Boardgames To Go - Essen Anticipation 2017
Mark Johnson
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Santa Clarita
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
As I've done most years, here are a bunch of (mostly) new game titles for Spiel at Essen in 2017. The game fair starts later this week, and I'll publish a podcast to share why these games are on my list.


As in previous lists, I try to assess whether it's the

Publisher,
Designer, and/or
Theme, and/or
Mechanisms

that are piquing my interest in the game.

BGTG 179 - Essen Anticipation 2017

Direct download MP3


-Mark

P.S. If you want to see lists from previous years, I have them for

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | no 2012! | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
(I think every year also has a podcast. In fact, "Essen Anticipation" episodes go all the way back to 2005!)
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1. Board Game: Photosynthesis [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:416]
Board Game: Photosynthesis
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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+ P - I've watched Blue Orange carefully expand from Gigamic reprints and Spot It editions to include a line of titles that hobbyists are drawn to. Usually with quality productions.
D - new to me
+ T - I'm always drawn to nature/ecological themes
M - interesting, but a relative unknown
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2. Board Game: Port Royal: The Adventure Begins... [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
Board Game: Port Royal: The Adventure Begins...
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P -
D -
T -
+ M - I guess this is where my love of this line goes, the mechanisms.
 
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3. Board Game: Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 6 – France & Old West [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Board Game: Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 6 – France & Old West
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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+ P - Days of Wonder remains a top tier publisher (in terms of production quality)
D -
T - France AND the Old West? It's like this was designed specifically for me.
M - I already knew I like TtR
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4. Board Game: 878 Vikings: Invasions of England [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:701]
Board Game: 878 Vikings: Invasions of England
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P -
D -
+ T - Great topic
+ M - I already know & greatly enjoy all of the games in this series/system.
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5. Board Game: Azul [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:47] [Average Rating:7.84 Unranked]
Board Game: Azul
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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+ P - From the same new publisher that surprised me with Century Spice Road? Images look great.
D - Sure, I know Kiesling, but not an automatic draw for me
T -
M -
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6. Board Game: Bunny Kingdom [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:315]
Board Game: Bunny Kingdom
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P - iello makes lovely games (at least to look at, hopefully to play)
+ D - Richard Garfield is the real draw, here. Always a fascinating designer. So creative.
- T - Actually a strike against. But outweighed by other factors.
M -
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7. Board Game: Carcassonne für 2 [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:5636]
Board Game: Carcassonne für 2
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P -
D -
T -
M - I'm not even sure why I put this game on my list, though I already know & appreciate Carc. Maaaaybe my wife would play this one? Or my daughter? Or maybe the guy at work who sometimes shares a break with me.
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8. Board Game: Fast Forward: FORTRESS [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:3020]
Board Game: Fast Forward: FORTRESS
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P -
+ D - Friese doesn't always do games I love, but he's just so darned creative & innovative
T -
? M - I'm more curious than anything about the Fast Forward concept
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9. Board Game: Harvest Island [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:4527]
Board Game: Harvest Island
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P -
D -
T -
M -

Not really any of the above categories, since it's the ART that I find completely irresistible about this game. Though if it were paired with any dealbreaker qualities (game length, game style), that still wouldn't be enough. Here, though, I'm very eager to check this out.
 
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10. Board Game: Nations: The Dice Game – Unrest [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Board Game: Nations: The Dice Game – Unrest
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P -
D -
+ T - I liked Nations Dice well enough, just felt something was missing
+ M - Which is why I have hopes for this expansion
 
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11. Board Game: Indian Summer [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1293]
Board Game: Indian Summer
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P -
+ D - I missed Cottage Garden, but we already know we like Uwe's Patchwork
+ T - Looks wonderful, and what a pleasant theme
M -
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12. Board Game: Mercatores [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:12984]
Board Game: Mercatores
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P - unknown to me
D - unknown to me
T - Yes, it appeals, but I realize the theme is pretty superficial here
+ M - I imagine this is where I pin my hopes, as it looks like the sort of thoughtful filler I tend to enjoy (For Sale, Coloretto...)
 
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13. Board Game: Nimbee [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:12010]
Board Game: Nimbee
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P -
D -
+ T - I don't know. I've had my own ideas about a bee/flower/hive game for so long (20 years! obviously I'll never do anything with this), I'm always intrigued by games like this
M -
 
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14. Board Game: Peak Oil [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:3855] [Average Rating:6.68 Unranked]
Board Game: Peak Oil
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P -
D -
+ T - This game has as many warning flags for me as anything, but I'm just intrigued enough about the subject, including the focus on a world after oil
M -
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15. Board Game: Pioneers [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:2195]
Board Game: Pioneers
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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+ P - I know they have their ups & downs, but Queen still has a wondeful hitrate with me
+ D - Haven't heard from Ornella in a while, have we? Always interested to see what he does
+ T - Western themes always hook me, and this one even focuses on stage routes
M - Less sure about this, but looks promising
 
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16. Board Game: Pioneer Days [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:1207]
Board Game: Pioneer Days
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P -
D - I know one of the designers, and wish him well!
+ T - Western theme again
+ M - Leftover dice system, right? I like those.
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17. Board Game: Pocket Mars [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:2449]
Board Game: Pocket Mars
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P -
D -
+ T - I definitely do NOT swoon for all space games. But I'm still tempted.
+ M - Short & sweet could make for a decent lunch hour game at work
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18. Board Game: Powerships [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:4406]
Board Game: Powerships
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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P -
D -
T -
+ M - I already know & like this, having played Powerboats for many years. Happy this cool racing system can reach new players.
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19. Board Game: Queendomino [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:425] [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
Board Game: Queendomino
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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+ P - More Blue Orange goodness (and we know how nicely Kingdomino was produced)
D -
T -
+ M - Going on the strength of the previous game, which I love. I don't know if I need more of that (or a more advanced version), but it's worth a look.
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20. Board Game: Schummel Hummel [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:6046]
Board Game: Schummel Hummel
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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+ P - They've done a great job with the others in this family
D -
+ T - I think I've tried all of these. None have matched the greatness of the original, Kakerlaken Poker, but I keep trying.
M -
 
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