My Essen 1909 list
Trent Hamm
United States
Huxley
Iowa
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After reading about 5,000 fairly identical Essen geeklists (Power Grid: Factory Manager? How original!), I decided to share my own experiences from Essen back in the day.

This was my first Essen, and the Kaiser's guards tried to stop me as I snuck across the border from France in my brother's Silver Ghost. Luckily, I made it (and back home again) without too much trouble. Here are the ten games I most enjoyed (along with my notes about them) from Essen '09.
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1. Board Game: Pit [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1075]
Trent Hamm
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Huxley
Iowa
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Given all the hype surrounding it, Pit is as hot as a Marie Curie experiment! Auctioning and deal-making make for a great game, one that I think will be used again in future games!
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2. Board Game: Rook [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1551]
Trent Hamm
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Huxley
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All of those religious types who are pushing hard to ban the evil standard deck of playing cards have bats in their belfry. Still, if this is the kind of card game made in response to such madness, perhaps some good can come out of it after all!
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3. Board Game: Flinch [Average Rating:5.17 Overall Rank:10827]
Trent Hamm
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Huxley
Iowa
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My grandmother and I used to play Spite & Malice by candlelight when I was just a wee lad. Flinch looks like a grown up version, one I would be unafraid to introduce to my whist partners.
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4. Board Game: Touring [Average Rating:5.22 Overall Rank:10223]
Trent Hamm
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Huxley
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Another clever little card game where you play sets of cards to simulate going on a trip, while others play cards that disrupt you. A small criticism: it often felt like you could never get going because the disruption was ridiculous. Perhaps they should revise this one and add some "protection" cards.
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5. Board Game: L'Attaque [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:8516]
Trent Hamm
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Huxley
Iowa
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A very clever little strategy game, where the value of your pieces is hidden from the opponent. The bigger piece always takes the smaller one, except that the smallest piece can take the biggest one. Great game - I just wish the board were a little bigger and one could set traps or landmines for the opponent to find!
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6. Board Game: Lost Heir [Average Rating:5.45 Unranked]
Trent Hamm
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Huxley
Iowa
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A trick-taking card game using a "mystery" theme. Interesting and fun, but I think it'll really send those folks who can't put down their Sherlock Holmes stories.
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7. Board Game: Sherlock Holmes [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Trent Hamm
United States
Huxley
Iowa
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A very fast simultaneous play card game where people actually select their actions at the same time! This was a big hit with some folks, who were practically begging for more simultaneous action selection games!
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8. Board Game: Pinochle [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1424]
Trent Hamm
United States
Huxley
Iowa
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A fantastic little trick taking game that one can play with an "evil" deck of playing cards that one of the card dealers taught me. I think this is one that my ol' mum will play with her friends.
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9. Board Game: 500 [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:2097]
Trent Hamm
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Huxley
Iowa
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Will this be the game that dethrones whist? There were almost as many people playing 500 in the card room there than people playing whist. I picked up a rules sheet to play with the old boys, but I think whist is such a standard that it will be around forever.
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10. Board Game: The Landlord's Game [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Trent Hamm
United States
Huxley
Iowa
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A charming young lady named Elizabeth was there demoing this interesting board game in which tokens move around the board and buy properties. It seemed interesting, but it also seemed very long. I can't imagine this game ever really becoming popular, but Miss Elizabeth certainly seemed to believe in it.
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11. Board Game: Salta [Average Rating:6.79 Unranked]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
southwest
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I was really lucky, too, finding this at one of the "flea market" booth. This edition is not 10 years old, but was only 1.50 Reichsmark! Almost unplayed. Now I have something to show off at my weekly Salta club meeting in the "Strohberg Café" around the corner.
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12. Board Game: Colorito [Average Rating:6.43 Unranked]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
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Missed this last year - an older design from England, but now presented by nice explainers in suits matching the four colours of the game! Also a "giant Colorito" was shown with schoolboys and girls doing steps and jumping over each other while crossing the board. Real fun!

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13. Board Game: Laska [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:4692]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
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Wow! Chess World champion Emanuel Lasker was signing Chess boards at the booth of the Berlin Chess Club on Sunday! He was also presenting a prototype of a game he is designing himself, probably bublished in 1910 by Otto Maier at Ravensburg - if the company will still be existent then.

Another abstract, sharing with Salta and Colorito some jumping, but is stripped bare to even simpler rules.
I was lucky to play a game of this against Lasker himself - I had no chance at all!
Put "Laska" on my wishlist.
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14. Board Game: Down and Out [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
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Rather dull children`s game by Milton Bradley. Probably "SdJ 1910", but who cares?
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15. Board Game: L'Attaque [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:8516]
Daniel Danzer
Germany
Stuttgart
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I have to say, I don`t see any future in games about some war. We have the 20th century now for almost a decade and haven`t seen any mentionable war! So, come on, - be a bit more realistic and look for other themes.
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16. Board Game: Base Ball [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Bill Gallagher
United States
Torrance
California
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Games based on sports were big as well. This game, based on the newest sports craze in the United States, was an attempt to introduce the game to Europeans. Another game on display was based on the annual Tour de France cycling race.

Rumor has it that games under development for release next year include ones based on soccer and American football.
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17. Board Game: Utställningsspelet Hvita Staden [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]

Eugene
Oregon
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A group of young European upstarts regaled us with this oddity. In this evocation of the Stockholm 1909 World's Fair, instead of moving pieces, we are requested to "place workers". Out of the ordinary rules combined with an unpronounceable title make me think these Olde World hopefuls haven't much of a future in the game business.
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18. Board Game: Anagrams [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:5912]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
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Some fellow was present trying to land a major publisher but seemed to have sparked the most interest from a local linthead name of Hassenfeld,. The game was nothing more than an assortment of little wooden tiles with letters on them and players were to sit around in silence trying to come up with words from this array of letters.

Problem was that he couldn't decide if it should be an English language game or German, what with the fact that he was in Europe. Mister Bradley himself was there saying he'd publish it on the spot if the game were renamed "The Game of the English Language," but he was willing only to purchase complete rights for the princely sum of $100 Needless to say, Herr Hasselfeld had a different opinion about the language preference and suggested that the inventory stick to his guns and demand residual licensing payments, a novel concept indeed!

Rumor has it that a minor player of the name Selchow/Richter has plans to revamp it and release it under their banner. Such a small publisher means that the spot polling figures will be dreadful and there will be no head of steam allowing for a run at the '10 SdJ.
 
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19. Board Game: The Base Ball Card Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Richard Massey
Wales
Unspecified
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The Allegheny Card Company were there for the fifth year in succession, banging on about their new collectible card game. When will they realise that this CCG idea of theirs is never going to take off?
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