Essen 2012 - Games played, bought and other impressions
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Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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I do not remember how many times I went to Essen yet, but each year I can't wait to go there again.
This time we were 7 people in total from our gaming group to go there.
We had 3 cars due to different time constraints.
So here is the story of our 2012 trip.
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1. Board Game: No More Room In Hell [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Board Game: No More Room In Hell
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Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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We always arrive Wednesday before the fair.
We like to have a walk trough the city. Check bargains at the department stores like Kaufhof and Karstadt, have a dinner and a night without boardgames before the rush of the Spiel starts on Thursday.

But the very first thing we ave to do is dropping our luggage in our appartment.
This year we had some trouble finding a decent room for all 7 people as our previous room was not available due to the pregnancy of the owner. After some search on the i-net I finally found a room in a street next to the fair. The price was ok so I managed to book it after 7 or 8 mails without response from the owner. Perhaps this issue should have alerted us on the organizational compentences of this guy.
Arriving at Essen and eager to start shopping in the city we got the information that our room was no longer available. Officially due to problems with the radiators. Some other people waiting in front of the building and having booked in the same company got their appartment, no radiator problems in their flats!
The proposition was to find another room. It was more than 3 km away (no more walk to the fair ) and more or less unlivable considering dirt and status of the furniture. But having no alternative we accepted this with some discount on the initial price.
We meet some other people in the building that all also had some problem with the availability of their rooms.
Just to warn those of you who could be temped to rent a room in Essen: Avoid a company called KoNoDomo, they propose a large number of rooms in Essen but are not reliable at all.
But finally we had a bad room with poor equipment but as the weather was fine, we didn't care that the radiators were not working in this appartment too.
So we could start our shopping tour to downtown Essen city, the Einkaufsstadt(shopping city in German).
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2. Board Game: Alles Müller [Average Rating:4.21 Unranked]
Board Game: Alles Müller
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Normally we start with checking some bargains in the 3big department stores in the center of the city:
Kaufhof ( next to main station), Müller (half the way down to Karstadt) and Karstadt (Limbecker Platz, at the other end of the pedestrian zone).

We found no promotions at Kaufhof so we headed to Müller.
What a surprise: the shop no longer exists. The building is occupied by some kind of closeout store for clothes. Not a single boardgame. This was very sad, as Müller always had some very good games at unbeatable prices. We hoped that Müller just moved to some other place but according to the people there Müller just completely retired from the city center.
Next stop Karstadt:
The only interesting game there was Finca for 10€. The years before they always had a big area with shelves full of Boardgame special offers.

Our shopping tour was much shorter than in previous years. But this is not a problem. We still had some time before dinner, so we decided to had some apetizers first.
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3. Board Game: Agora Barcelona [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:11907]
Board Game: Agora Barcelona
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France
Bantzenheim
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We stopped at the Bar Celona and had some beers while playing Doppelkopf.
This game was new to some of us, so we had quite a good time explaining the rules, learning the value of the cards, the differents bets etc.
After some disappointments earlier in the day, this was very promising for all the things still to come.
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4. Board Game: Restaurant [Average Rating:5.10 Overall Rank:16766]
Board Game: Restaurant
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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We use to go to the Va Piano for some years now.
For those who don't know the concept it is an itialian style restaurant where you stay in front of the cooks while the prepare your pasta or pizza just behind the counter.

Good food, some more nice drinks and the pleasant anticipation of the fair on the next day, what do you need more for a successful dinner?

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5. Board Game: Fun Fair [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
Board Game: Fun Fair
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Bantzenheim
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We had bought our tickets in advance so no need to queue up in front of Messe. No need to get up early neither.
Like always we meet some friends in the crowd and split up in the different groups to playtest as many games as possible.
Once again the school holidays brought a lot of teenagers to the fair, but generally they are not interested in the same games as us.
10 o'clock: The party starts!!!
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6. Board Game: Il Vecchio [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1501]
Board Game: Il Vecchio
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Bantzenheim
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We stopped by the booth of FunForge, but they had no french copy of Tokaido left, though they stated that on french websites when closing preorders a month before Essen.
But no problem, we were the first on the booth of Hall Games and could playtest Il Vecchio from Rüdiger Dorn.
Very nice and fluent Euro. Easy to learn and play, I bought a copy for 29 € (a very fair price for this king of game, while other publishers ofter ask for 40€ or more).

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7. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:51]
Board Game: Keyflower
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France
Bantzenheim
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Just picked up my copy of Keyflower as R&D Games are very next to the booth of Hall Games. Richard and his crew were very busy so we did not have the time to talk very much.
But on the other hand, this saved time for other games.
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8. Board Game: BraveRats [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2086]
Board Game: BraveRats
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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At the booth of Japan Brand we picked up
R and Card of the Dead and had to notice that Trains was sold out.
These games are not so heavy so it isn't a problem to carry them the entire day.

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9. Board Game: Clocks [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:8771]
Board Game: Clocks
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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Clocks was the next game that I picked up with the special golden dice.
The game explanation was a little bit chaotic but I believe that this game will be nice with the kids who like rolling dice.
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10. Board Game: Qin [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1486]
Board Game: Qin
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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Meanwhile I met some other friends. We discussed about likes, don't-likes etc.
Ome of them recommended Qin, the new Knizia from Eggert Spiele.
As we didn't get a table to test Zolkin or Robinson Crusoe we tested Qin.
Very nice filler game. Reminds me of Ingenious. Very easy to learn and fast play. But like Ingenious it has some depth so that you can continue improve playing and try to use smart combinations.
Didn't buy it anyhow because of the price. But perhaps later if online stores reduce the price, why not.
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11. Board Game: Goblins, Inc. [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2848]
Board Game: Goblins, Inc.
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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We had another attempt to playtest Zolkin the mayan calendar, but again there was no free table. At least one of the czech guy explained the game to us. Finally we could have a table to test Goblins Inc. So we tested this "remake" of galaxy trucker with 3 people.
But we were not convinced. Especially the 3 player version has some weeknesses in my eyes.

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12. Board Game: Medieval Mastery [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:12146]
Board Game: Medieval Mastery
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France
Bantzenheim
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Most tables were occupied at this moment so we visited hall 7.
I saw a game with some small dice on some hex tiles.
"Let's try this, it seems funny" and so we did.
Unfortunately this kind of confrontation games does not meet ur gaming group preference. But we had a good time fighting for the territory. I was happy to test it, as it will certainly never have the occasion to play it again within our group.
By the same occasion we discovered quite some other small publishers with interesting games.
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13. Board Game: The Resistance: Avalon [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:111]
Board Game: The Resistance: Avalon
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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After some small talk after the fair and a take-away pizza in our Ramshackle hut we had just the time for the new resistance spin-off Avalon before we could get some sleep.

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14. Board Game: Rattus Cartus [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:3655]
Board Game: Rattus Cartus
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France
Bantzenheim
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Friday morning we started with this card game.
I like the board game so I wanted to check this one.
It's working well with the same rat-theme but for me the emchanics was nothing really new.
Good vut not good enough for a buy.
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15. Board Game: City of Horror [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1467]
Board Game: City of Horror
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France
Bantzenheim
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We discussed with the guys from Repos about the Cities expansion for 7 wonders not available in French before we got a table for City of horror. Very good gaming experience with 3 other people. We killed quite some zombies before the helicopter saved us.
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16. Board Game: 7 Wonders: Leaders – Esteban [Average Rating:7.18 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.18 Unranked]
Board Game: 7 Wonders: Leaders – Esteban
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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As I could not buy the Cities expansion I got the Esteban leader card as compensation from Repos.
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17. Board Game Designer: Richard Garfield
Board Game Designer: Richard Garfield
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France
Bantzenheim
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After that we met Richard Garfield to get our garfields gift card from King of Tokyo signed.

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18. Board Game: King of Tokyo: Power Up! [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Board Game: King of Tokyo: Power Up!
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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And being at the Iello booth I bought Power Up to play with with the kids who love king of tokyo.
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19. Board Game: Western Town [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:3214]
Board Game: Western Town
desmodus
France
Bantzenheim
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We were waiting at the pearl games booth for a table to play Ginkgopolis on the next booth a table for Western town was free.
So we played it.
Nice western themed game with an interesting double-action mechanism of production and utilization of the buildings of the other players.
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20. Board Game: Ginkgopolis [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:379]
Board Game: Ginkgopolis
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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Finally we managed to get a table for ginkgopolis.
Very good impression.
All players at the table bought the game, I think that says everything.
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21. Board Game: Auf die Nüsse! [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:12428]
Board Game: Auf die Nüsse!
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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I do not remeber when exactly I met a friend of mine that is in the business.
He gave me some games for proof reading of rules. Now I will see if the games are playable with the final rules version.
The other games are
Meins!
Dragons
Bohn to be Wild
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22. Board Game: The Boss: 5-6 Player Expansion [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Board Game: The Boss: 5-6 Player Expansion
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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On the way out of the fair (after the official closing time) I grabbed the expansion for the boss. Unfortunately there was not enough time for test their new game. But it already was a lng day. So we just went home.
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23. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:123]
Board Game: Suburbia
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France
Bantzenheim
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After dinner and discussions of what we had discovered during the day, half of us played suburbia.
Easy rules and fast gameplay.
Did not convince me but the others enjoyed the game.
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24. Board Game: Karnag [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:6104]
Board Game: Karnag
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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Saturday is always our last day. It is so full during the week end that we only stay for Saturday morning.
One last game and the last pruchases before we leave.

We wanted to test CO2, but even if I was the first on their booth, we did not play because all tables were reserved. As we didn't know about the reservation: bad luck for us.
Next idea was to test La Loire. But unfortunately they just moved from hall 7 to hall 5 and this should have last for almost one hour, so we decided to change our plans.
Finally we found a table a playtested Karnag.
Nice worker placement but the random order of the tiles sometimes makes it impossible to realize your actions. The interesting thing was the 2 different final counting depending if the gate was closed or not.
But nobody finally bought the game.
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25. Board Game: Power Grid: Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
Board Game: Power Grid: Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland
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France
Bantzenheim
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Die Ärzte, Bad Religioon, Bauhaus, Dom Perignon, In Extremo, Joy Division, Lacrimosa, New Model Army, Nirvana, Officine Panerai, Placebo, Rammstein, The Sisters of Mercy, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, The Mission, Die Toten Hosen, Umbra et Imago
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So, no we had just enough time to grab some goodies.
At 2F I took the special card and the new map for Nothern Europe.
Hans im Glück did not have any goodie this year.
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