I was one of the first people in on Thursday morning and I took off running. Every one else was running so I just started running. I just ran until I ended up in a section with the only way in as the only way out. I had made it to the last booth before anyone else! I then turned around and started looking at game booths. I hadn't been looking for more than 4 minutes or so when I ran into Dale. He was standing near a booth. "Hey, what are you doing?" I asked. "Get in this line right now and buy this game. Don't ask any questions, just do it." I looked at Mark (we were sharing a room and we had shared a nice morning run through MesseEssen merely minutes before); we both shrugged our shoulders and got in line and bought the game. So with a budget of one game, I bought it without even knowing what I was buying, based on being told to stand in line and buy it. I did, however, get it signed.
Other than the fact that no one seemed to know how to pronounce the title, it was one of the two absolute smashes of the show (for me anyway). Mark bought it after playing a demo game of it and we took it to a local hotel that had a gaming room. We played a 3 player game and I was stunned. I couldn't believe that a game about ants was so amazingly complex. I was able to pay it again and wanted to play again immediately, but since it was 2 in the morning... It is a great game and I can't wait to grab up a copy when I get back to the US this summer.
This was the only other game that I wanted to buy. There were a number of games that I would like to play again (and soon), but this one is at the top of my list to purchase when I get back. I sat at a demo table and played a 4 player game. The game flows well and is deeply strategic. I felt like I was playing Die Macher. Not that it is anything like Die Macher (because it isn't), it just had that feeling. It was a longer game that had some hidden complexities that I was just beginning to comprehend when we finished. It is also a game that can beat the players, so it is a modest function of the game to help each other. If you are only interested in gaining VPs for yourself, the game will win. But the best aspect of this cooperation is that it isn't a cooperative game, it is truly just a tactic of the game to work together once in a while (this is a bit difficult to explain...as you can most likely tell.) This was the booth I kept going back to so I could get into another game, but it was always full.