Boardgames To Go's Essen (Spiel) watchlist for 2016
By now we know the drill... Look through BGG's Spiel (and Gencon) Previews, and flag too many titles that catch my attention. How do they grab me? Theme/setting matters, but hints about the gameplay/mechanisms (especially playing time) matter more. So does the designer and publisher.Recommend
Anything that has its roots in Kickstarter makes me instantly wary. It's not an automatic NO, but I'm so skeptical of that platform as a development tool (as opposed to merely funding), that I'll let others take the plunge first. Wait & see.
Expansions rarely grab my attention. I'm just not an expansion guy, expect for a few rare favorites (e.g. Port Royal). Similarly with abstracts--not my thing, but there are rare exceptions.
In general, my ranking of factors is
1. Publisher (which goes to development process & production quality)
2. Gameplay/mechanisms (looking for the types of games I know I like, though sometimes something unique & new. I steer clear of games rated at over 60 minutes--wait & see only, for those)
3. Designer (I'll let someone else take a flyer on a new, unproven designer...in most cases)
4. Theme/setting (I have distinct preferences toward real-world, historic subjects, and away from zombies/elves/spaceships. But I've learned from long experience that this is the least reliable indicator of whether a game will be a hit with me, alas)Now alphabetically grouped into a top tier (baker's dozen) I will discuss on my Pre-Essen podcast, a big middle section of Honorable Mentions, and a bottom tier of games I know aren't for me...but I wanted to comment on them anyway.
- [+] Dice rolls