PatK's Essen 2010 Geeklist - As It Happens!
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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In years past, I've posted haul lists of the stuff I brought back from Essen. This year, in a bid to switch things up a bit, a geeklist I add to each evening with the games I bought (and hopefully played) that day.

Enjoy!

Update: Here's a picture of my haul - I can't figure out how to post it in a larger size...

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51. Board Game: 1655: Habemus Papam [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2381]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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The latest DDD release returns to their small-box line (like Uruk, etc.) instead of last year's Seidenstrasse. Smaller box = smaller price, so I picked up a copy. It'll look great on the shelf next to the others in its line!
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52. Board Game: Perpetual-Motion Machine [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:4817]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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And finally, for today, Ted Alspach's new one. I quite like this, having played it a couple times at the Gathering. So it's pretty safe territory to pick this up.
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53. Board Game: Troyes [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:48]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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I didn't buy this but we did play it tonight.

It's a worker placement game that, to me, runs on a longer period than the usual one-round style. In other words, the workers persist in their roles for longer - until they get evicted by someone else. So there is (I think) more chance for longer-term strategy instead of short-term 'this is the best option for me right now' kind of thinking.

The way the cards come into the game make for decent replay value as well, so right now I'm giving this one a cautious 7.5, potential to go higher if the next play bears my suspicions out.

Disclosure: We didn't finish the game because one of the players was falling asleep. But I think we got far enough through it to get an accurate sense of the gameplay.

Depending on how much space I have left in my bags, I might seek this out.
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54. Board Game: Ubongo: Die Erweiterung für 5-6 Spieler [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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Today was a much quieter day purchasing-wise than yesterday. I'm mostly done my list, the only things I'll be buying from here on in are impulse buys or things I decide are worth it after getting to try the game first.

First up, the Ubongo expansion. Which I know is a Nurnberg release.
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55. Board Game: Dog [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1881]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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I found the compact / travel edition of this for only 10 Euros so I figured why not. It's way, way better than Parcheesi.
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56. Board Game: Famiglia [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1015]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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Ted told me that this is a good 2p game so I picked a copy up from Friedemann's booth.
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57. Board Game: Asara [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:567]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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I haven't picked this game up (yet?). This entry is for the Asara expansion freebie which the Austrians finally got in today - it had been delayed for some reason (I know, I know, story of the fair).

The expansion is large and oddly shaped (essentially a big cardboard triangle) so hopefully it won't get damaged on the way home.
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58. Board Game: Haggis [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:453]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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First of two from Indie. Yes, I can get these at home. But then I have to pay shipping to Canada, which is actually not insignificant. So it's almost the same to just buy them here.
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59. Board Game: Triumvirate [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1405]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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Second one from Indie. Again supposed to be a decent 2p game.
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60. Board Game: Friesematenten [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:2669]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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Another Friese game. Impulse buy, this was pretty cheap at 6E so I figured why not?
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61. Board Game: Stich-Meister [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:2224]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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Another Friese game, again from Amigo. Again 6E, so what the heck.
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62. Board Game: Kaivai [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1948]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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I got one of the last copies of the new smaller-sized Kaivai from Pfifficus, who I didn't even find booth-wise until today. No idea why, they were where they always are, I just didn't go down that route until today even though I'd thought I had early on in the fair.

Oh well, at least I have one! I need to double check but I think they might all be gone now.
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63. Board Game: Era of Inventions [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:3118]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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This looks really cool. It's a worker placement game but there are some interesting twists on the genre that make me think it's worth picking up.

For one thing, the inventions you can develop can be used by other players - and sometimes, they will produce cheap 'Made in China' knockoff versions of your invention that you get nothing for - no royalties, not even a thank-you. Unless you spend one or your precious actions to patent your invention, which makes the 'fake' inventions impossible to produce.

There's also a bit of Puerto Rico style stuff going on with the resources - you can pay 1, 2 or 3 gold to take the resources from 1, 2 or 3 spots, and any spots that don't get claimed get extra resources added to them. Those that did get claimed just get reseeded as normal. A simple thing but clever, as it means more interesting choices.

I read the rules in preparation for playing this tonight - only to have my fellow gamers bail on games at all today - too tired. So at least it'll be easy to teach to my group at home, I guess.
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64. Board Game: Master of Economy [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:3612]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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Only one game purchased today (Saturday). That's right, I'm basically done, save for maybe one or two last-minute purchases tomorrow. I'm very tempted to buy a bunch more of the uber-cool Tichu tins to use as gifts and stuff, but my luggage is getting full.

I've test packed both my big suitcases and, provided they're below the 50 lb weight limit I'll be fine with space. Although one of them might be a bit heavy - might have to take one heavier game out and fill the space with clothes instead. We'll see.

Remember that in addition to all the stuff listed here, I have, um, 6 big box and several little box games that I'm muling back to North America for a few folks. So getting all of this into bags is no mean feat! It's a combination of maximum game nesting (for volume considerations) along with maximum weight distribution across the bags (for weight considerations). It's kind of a game in and of itself.

As for this game, well, I have high hopes that it will be the game I was hoping Greed Inc. would be. It certainly sounds good, but the proof will be in the play. Hoping to get it to the table soon after I get home.
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65. Board Game: Tornado Alert! [Average Rating:5.54 Unranked]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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I did actually play one game at the fair today - this one, by a new Finnish designer. The game is a card game where you play cards onto a single pile. Whenever you want to take some cards, you slap the pile. You then take as many cards from the top of the pile as the number printed on the topmost card.

There are several special cards with special features that come into play, as well as some that cancel out your topmost card provided they're the Tornado that matches the picture on your card.

At the end of the game, whoever has the highest average card value wins. In other words, count up the values of all your cards, divide by the number of cards and that's your score.

A unique game in that you can have final scoring to two significant digits!

I thought there were some nice and clever things going on here - I especially liked the 'take as many cards as the number' thing - but the 20E price point scared me off. If this had been a 10E game I'd have bought a copy without hesitation, but at double that I think I need a little more 'something' to be going on - remember that for me, that's close to 30 bucks, which is what a number of big box games cost. I do hope the designer does well with the game, though - he seemed like a really nice guy and I wish nothing but the best for him and his designs.
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66. Board Game: Ubongo Extrem: Mitbringspiel [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:4503]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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Well, another Essen Spiel has come and gone. My bags are packed (mostly), and I've once again managed to make everything fit within the allotted space and weight allowances. Although I did need to repack my big bag four times to get down to the correct weight!

A few last additions to the stable today, many of which I hadn't actually planned on picking up. Funny how that works.

First was this, the last Ubongo game I don't own. For 5 Euros, I'll be a completist.
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67. Board Game: Ghost Stories: Jean-Claude Van Rice [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.23 Unranked]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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When I'd picked up my 7 Wonders the other day, I'd forgotten to ask for this guy. So I went back earlier today and (hooray!) managed to grab one.
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68. Board Game: Snapshot [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:3683]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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Rudiger Dorn? Dexterity? Sold. This looks so cool, I really hope I"m not disappointed.
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69. Board Game: Magician's Kitchen [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:4431]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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What?! No photo for this? Hmm. This was something I picked up for my daughter, I hope she likes it. The magnetic action looks pretty darn cool - I watched a family playing this at the fair. So hey, one last big box, at least it's light.
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70. Board Game: Key Market [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:923]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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What better way to end off my acquisitions than with this, the most difficult to obtain game at the fair (or so it seemed)? Through a remarkable combination of luck, persistence, pleading, begging, groveling, whining, sniveling and patience, I managed to snag an opened box of this from Richard at ten minutes before close of the fair. Hooray! I can't wait to play this one.

And so Essen 2010 comes to an end for me. My first and last purchases at the fair were, oddly enough, both from UK publishers. In between, I had a blast - I got to play a few games, buy a whole lot more, and meet some old friends as well as make a few new ones. Essen is one of those special things that just has to be experienced to be fully understood, and while I will never turn down the chance to go, I must admit I'm looking forward to getting home. It's been a long trip - two weeks of touring Europe beforehand meant I was tired when I got to Essen - and I'm looking forward to my own bed. Not to mention my own gaming groups, where I'll finally get the chance to play many of my shiny new toys!

See you next year (cross fingers)!

pk
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71. Board Game: Cat & Chocolate [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:5534]
Patrick Korner
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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Wow, how did I miss adding this one to my list for so long!?

Anyways, I played this with 5p last night. Superb party game that had all of the players laughing; this is a definite keeper. I suspect the 'right' crowd makes a big difference, but among creative players who can think quickly, this is quite something.

I hope Zev or someone picks this up - it'd do well in the North American market I think.

pk
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