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BGTG #139 - Essen Anticipation 2013 (with Dave Gullett)

Mark Johnson
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Santa Clarita
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Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames
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Board Game: American Rails
Board Game: Prosperity
Board Game: Mauna Kea

Board Game: Russian Railroads
Board Game: Five Cucumbers
Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game

Board Game: Hanabi
Board Game: King of Tokyo: Halloween
Board Game: Lewis & Clark: The Expedition


[Warning: At 2+ hours, this is a really long episode. There are just too many interesting games to discuss and speculate about!]

After years of doing these podcasts where I pore over Eric Martin's Spiel preview list, taking note of the games that spark my interest, I quit doing them last year. Remember that? I wanted to, I even got started, but then gave up and let the tidal wave of titles wash over me. I just couldn't keep up anymore. Besides, I didn't have any special insight or information about the games before anyone else. All I was doing was sharing my own "window shopping" excitement.

And yet...people said they liked these episodes. Maybe it's just fun to share in the excitement. At times I tried to get a little analytical, looking over previous years' anticipation lists and checking my own powers of prediction. Never mind about picking the top titles--could I at least figure out my own personal favorites based on preview/marketing information and a couple photos? Maybe. I also tried to psychoanalyze myself. WHY did those particular games catch my eye, and not others? Often it was the publisher, sometimes the designer, occasionally the "look" of the game, and--too often--a theme or setting I knew probably wouldn't come through in the gameplay. But I'm a sucker for those anyway.

Even though I cried uncle in 2012, skipping that year's Essen Anticipation podcast, here I am trying again in 2013. I don't know what the difference is except that I got an earlier start. In fact, I recorded the podcast an entire month before Spiel begins in Essen. The only downside of that is the fact that the podcast won't know about the titles which are announced in that interval. Oh well.

For the first time, I've got a guest for this particular episode. It's Dave Gullett, who you've heard on the show before. You'll hear how he doesn't normally even look at the preview list, being content to wait until well after the show for the news about notable titles to percolate up through BGG discussions and local gaming friends. I got him to look over the list and take some notes this year, but it still makes for a slightly different perspective.

Similar to other years, I made a Geeklist for Dave & I to refer to during our recording. You may like to look at it as well, either to follow along during our discussion or just comment on individual titles. We even had one person comment on the Geeklist, hoping for a podcast while we recording the episode! Spooky...

What games are on your watchlist, or even your preorder list. Why those? Will you place an order from Germany, wait to try them somewhere first (perhaps at BGG.con?), or get around to buying these games six months from now after everything has shaken out?

You know, something I didn't touch on much are the videos that are now pretty common for new games. Either Eric Martin himself has a preview video, someone has an advance copy with review, or even one of those silly unboxing videos. (Though since I often use a game's setup photo as a useful barometer for whether I'll like it, I shouldn't turn up my nose at those unboxing videos. I guess.) My problem with videos is that I never watch them. I listen to podcasts while my eyes are doing other things, like watching the road. However, I'm a 47 year old dinosaur. Perhaps you get more out of the videos than I do.


-Mark


Links

W. Eric Martin's Spiel 2013 Preview list

My Geeklist containing game titles & notes for this episode


If you're curious, here are also my podcast and geeklist from the last time I did this Essen Anticipation topic, back in 2011. How right was I?


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Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames
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