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Steph's AWESOME New to Me List - THE ESSEN LIST!!! October 2016

Steph Hodge
United States
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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...

Welcome to Steph's "New to Me" List 2016!

This year I have made the goal of learning 300 games! And I am probably going to increase that to 365

October List

1. Terraforming Mars:

All of the rage going into this month of October. It was definitely the hit of game day on Oct 1, 2016. Neat mechanics. Can be a bit luck dependent but there is some drafting for cards which helps a bit. VERY cool bits! I have to say there are some nice things going on and it will reward with more plays. Ron was super excited before we even started and said we have to own this game. It is now on the wishlist. If it was up to me I might not really need to own it since I know it will be on many of my gaming friend's shelves. It will work with most of my groups, I know that. Solid game and recommended at least for trying once. I will add the art is a weird mix of photography and illustrations which I don't understand and actually don't really like.

8/10 After 1 play (Not Owned/ Wishlist)

2. String Railway: Transport:

I played String Safari and found it ok. I was allocated to play this one and basically categorize it in the train games family- since it is a train game. This was actually a nice game. You only get 5 turns to do everything you can. You are placing track aka string to try and connect stations and deliver the goods. It is pretty abstract but kids could play it. It is one I find okay but never have to play again. I don't really like delivery games. It is no Yokohama...

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

3. Top That!:

Simple dexterity game of stacking items and hiding items. I really felt like I was doing magic! It is cute and for kids for sure. It is not a game I want to play all of the time but I don't mind every once in a while. There is a card that flips and you have show the colored items and hide the shaded items in the colored items. First person to do this gets the card. Most cards wins! Very simple and easy. Quite adorable too.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

4. Timeline Challenge:

I haven't played any of the Timeline games or even Cardline games. I can't compare. But I can say I think that this does offer more variety to the small tin games. Dan explained this was more of a gamers game. I agree there are a lot of different challenged revolving around the time period of random happenings. I think if you enjoy the tin games it would be hard for you not to enjoy the board game. I am actually quite happy with this game and plan to hang on to it for a while in hopes of picking up some timeline tins to use in it! All tins can be incorporated with the challenge game. I think it is very clever. Let me tell you, I am not the brightest bulb.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

5. Karmaka:

Beautiful game! I kickstarted this game because of the art, I won't lie. I love to help out artists with this kind of talent. Ron and I got to playing 2p and it actually works pretty well. I was unclear about the continuation of the rounds. I thought each player goes until they were dead then the new round, but it is more interesting than that. You just keep going until there is a winner. I think it is clever and I look forward to more plays of this. The actions are interesting and some good choices. It is not my favorite card game but it definitely deserves some more plays. It is so freaking pretty too!! I like it a bit!

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

6. Via Appia:

A game I have wanted to play for a while but never got the chance since it wasn't too well received. I honestly found this to be a snooze fest. I yawned 5 times in the hour it took to play. It was just not for me at all. Cool mechanic with the pushing of the stones but just too boring for me to ever play again.

3/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

7. You Gotta Be Kitten Me!:

For the kitty lover in all of us, this game brings on the cute! Have you heard of or have played Perudo? This is essentially that game but with cards. You are bidding on symbols or colors and it always have to be an increasing number. It is very cute. I probably give it a higher rating than everyone I played with just because I see the potential here. We just played with too many people (8). I would recommend it for a smaller group like 3 or 4 but yeah it is really cute. I would play it again!

6.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

8. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle:

If you love Harry Potter- A LOT, You will love this. I wasn't expecting much love for this game from all of the mixed reviews I have heard. After the Initial play I want more and more. OK, it is a simple deck builder but hey, I just don't care. I love Harry Potter more than I hate simple deck builders. I actually do like deck builders. Some minor issues that I have run into but not enough to keep me from playing it. Very enjoyable so far and I can't wait to continue on with the stories. (up to book 4 at the moment.) I really am happy I bought it. I will have to play with all of my Harry Potter friends who will appreciate it.

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

9. Inis:

A game I wanted to try out before buying. I wasn't terribly interested in it when I heard about it, but it was getting some good reviews so I wanted to try. It is a drafting area control game. The main problem I have is that the cards you are drafting are the same for every game. It will always be the same 13 cards or whatever. The tiles that come out will change and the red cards will change since there is a huge stack. For me the 13 cards from round to round was already getting boring by the end of the first game. I just played 3p and it had the typical problem area control games have at that player count. I surmise you really need 4p to make it work best. For me it was an okay game, but not one I will ever request. I could be convinced to play again but it is not high on the list. Very pretty though.

4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

10. Adrenaline:

To be honest, a game I was not so excited about. Turned out to be an excellent time and totally fun. A very simple shoot players in the face game. pick up guns and shoot, reload, move. Very easy to teach and play. Iconography could be better, but becomes clear with a few plays I am sure. Very enjoyable and fun times. I definitely recommend playing it and I do look forward to my next play. Didn't end up buying it but I would definitely play again.

7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

11. Microworld:

Not a game I was interested in playing, but it was there. Very simple 2p abstract game to gain majorities of the land. Not a game that was innovative or anything, but could be a nice entry level family abstract game for the kids. Probably not a game I will ever return to and play again.

4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

12. Chariot Race: The Great Chariot Race:

Got a lot of buzz at Essen. Now there is a KS up and running. It is a pretty simple race game with dice. I was spoiled and played on the special table version of the game with all the big components. I look over and see the actual version and I was a bit disappointed. Only played 3p so I suspect it would be better with more, but perhaps there will be too much down time as I was already feeling the downtime with 3p. Hard to say, but in the end I much prefer Snow Tails. It is a game I would play again, but no real desire to seek it out.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

13. Codinca:

2-4p abstract race to complete your hidden goals. Tiles are double sided. I think the first edition printing wasn't the greatest and there is discoloration. The main reason I didn't pick it up at Essen. I might wait for a second print run and see if the colors turn out better. I did quite enjoy this small abstract game. I would definitely be very interested in playing with more players so the board is changing a lot before your next play. Very interesting and enjoyable for a fast filler.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned/Wishlist)

14. Million Club:

A game that was on my to play list at Essen. Didn't get in a full game but got the general idea. Bidding for different actions in the game to acquire and change the stock market majorities. Seemed like it played nice and I definitely want to play a full game sometime. Unclear if all of the cards are balanced or not. I seemed to get one that really destroyed the other players chances in the first round. So it is hard to say with such little time playing.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

15. La Granja: The Dice Game - No Siesta!:

A top game for me to buy, so I did. Just played the game with 2 players and it works very well. Dice drafting, with variations that would sync to those found in the board game. Set collections and a lot of overlap with the board game. I think it is a very nice game. I worry about not rolling Siesta hats enough might drag on the game play too much. Also with more players I wonder if the game play would just be too long. But, I will definitely find out. For now it is solid and very enjoyable!

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

16. Kingdomino:

Loved it. Simple, fast, domino game with a cool bidding mechanism. Players are building their 5x5 kingdom to try and get lots of crowns in a region to get the most points. Very easy to learn and easily my favorite Blue Orange title. Hope to acquire a copy soon.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned/ Wishlist)

17. Eternity:

Trick-taking amazingness. Mind bending since the trump could change at any moment. It is just crazy how the turns work out. Try and collect trees to score the tricks you claim- but there has to be a balance. Really hard! Only played with 3p and I can't wait to play with 4 players. It is a stunning game and simple to learn and tricky to do well. I really enjoyed my time playing and very happy to own it.

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

18. Bubblee Pop:

For those Candy Crush/ Gem app gamers out there. This is essentially the app game you know and love. I used to play bubble pop on the computer a long while back and I do very much enjoy Candy Crush. Your family and wifey who play those games will certainly enjoy this 2p abstract game. I really did. If I thought Ron would actually play with me, I might have bought it. It is a clever abstract game to try and get 3 or more of a color in a row and you get a bonus action depending on the colors you are popping. You get a point for each pop. Simple and clever and so adorable!!!

7/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

19. Sweet Nose:

I am a big fan of Frank Liu so I was excited to try this game. I admit it is a very weird theme. Like SUPER weird. While learning the game we were given the short version of the myth. Weird! But the game play is quite interesting and awesome! Before the round starts you have to secretly bid on the types of foods. You want to collect the most of the food item that you bid the least for. You want to get the lowest score possible. On your turn you are taking a food item from your plate and exchanging it with another players item on their plate you place in your bowl. You can't lose or steal from bowls. The round ends when someone has nothing left on their plate. Then you have to evaluate all items in your bowl and plate remaining. It is a really tricky game and a mind trick! I loved it.

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

20. Lorenzo il Magnifico:

New Euro hotness! It is definitely a top game hot from Essen. lots of great decisions. I love that everyone gets to use the same dice roll and make it work. Got to playing a second time and it was very good with the advanced rules. Card drafting for tableau and engine building. Very cool and some randomness with the dice but can be mitigated by extra workers. Lots of paths to take and is super cool. Solid game and will be on my shelf for a while!

8/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

21. Chromosome:

Cool theme which drew me in for a play-through. Actual game play didn't grab me though. I don't get all the genes and mutating and all of that. Ultimately it is area control with some fighting. Different player abilities and actions to take. All in all seemed more take that and area control that I generally like. I am sure it will work for some groups but it just wasn't there for me. I am happy I tried it!

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

22. Meteln:

Was supposed to be 5 dice. Turned around and became 3 dice since the barrels were too small. Yahtzee type game of trying to get 3 of a kinds with the big chunky dice. The dice are what drew me in. Very cool dice. Not in my price range and really a drinking game. Cool, and something I would play but really just to roll some dice. Hard to say there is a really a game there. Awesome bits!

4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

23. Museum:

Going to KS 2017. Set collection drafting game. Very simple to teach and play. Still in prototype form so subject to change. I really liked what I saw and played. I fear it being too long for what it offers. We only played to 30 points and that seemed like it was almost enough. Normal game goes until 80 points which gets me a bit worried it might overstay its welcome. I look forward to Kickstarting it next year. I think it will be a big hit.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned/ Wishlist)

24. Azuchi Castle:

Adorable little box with a lot of stuff in it. Cubes and punch outs and a full deck of cards for the game play. Very simple card game to get resources and turn them into points. You will be drafting cards each round and then revealing an event. The game play is fast. It just didn't grab me like I was hoping it would. It is a fine game and I was happy to play it. I would play it in the future but I decided I didn't have to own it.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

25. Cottage Garden:

I was pretty excited for this one. Lots of buzz at Essen and after. When I played 2p it wasn't as exciting as I was hoping. reminds me of Patchwork but with less tension. Very easy, and maybe I could get my grandfather to play, which could be very good. All in all, I will keep it for now, but I don't know how much staying power it has. Definitely a let down for how beautiful and kitty-full it is.

6/10 After many plays (Owned)

26. Pipe Work:

On my long list to try and I managed it. Speed dex puzzle game- auto win for me. I loved this game. If the box wasn't so big I definitely would have picked it up. Awesome components and it is such a cool game. Easy to play. I will definitely be looking to pick this one up in the future.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned/ Wishlist)

27. Gemblo:

Older title but still one I hadn't played. This was the deluxe version! Wow, so pretty! I HAVE TO HAVE IT! Reminds me of Blokus and if you like that then you will like this, it is that simple. Similar rules and scoring. Abstract and awesome. Loved it- but I did not love it more than Blokus. Still enough to own both!

8/10 After 1 play (Not Owned/Wishlist)

28. Capital:

Instant hit for me. Was unclear if I would like it so I tried it and immediately bought it. Awesome tile drafting game. For me, it replaced Among the Stars. Simple to teach. Resembles 7 wonders with a special aspect to building your city. It really is a fantastic game. families and gamers would all share the love for this game. I hope it becomes easily available in the US. Great game!

8.5/10 Aftera few plays (Owned)

29. King Of The Hill: The Dwarf Throne:

Actually a pretty awesome game. Simultaneous bidding for majority after a vicious round of worker placement. It is a sneaky game and with the right crowd this could be a real winner. Unfortunately, I was the only one to enjoy this game when I played so it soured a bit for me. I would definitely play and even consider owning at some point. I did quite enjoy it. People we were playing with were very UNFUN. I still consider this game Recommended!

7/10 After 1 plays (Not Owned)

30. Cortex Challenge:

Simple card game. I was drawn in with the texture on the cards. It looked and felt so cool! I wish the whole game was about those cards and that there were more of them. I know it would be tough to do, but that is the coolest part of the game. The game is a series of speed recognition puzzles and you are trying to get pairs of the same type of puzzle by winning the round. Eh, it was fun one time but I am not sure about replay value here. Neat idea though.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

31. Key to the City – London:

Keyflower? If you like that, then you will like this. I actually don't really care for Keyflower so much but this was a lot better. The fiddly-ness is ridiculous here, however. Better turn order situations and better progression of tiles. Same problem where as the game goes on the AP grows longer. Lots of options. Better goals to aim for and a better than. Components are not as nice as keyflower.

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

32. Noch mal!:

Dice game, I need them all! I love fast dice games! If you like them, you will like this! Not much else you need to know. Nothing really new and inventive here, but I love the dice and I love that if it is not your turn you are still actively playing. Fun times and awesome.

7.5/10 After many plays (Owned)

33. Honshu:

Definitely a hit at Essen. I have played 3 times so far and it is quite a challenging game. It is played like a trick taker but more like Plums with players only collecting one card in order based on the value of the card they played. The card is then played into a personal player area like in Patchistory. Can be a bit fiddly but it plays quickly and is a very nice game. I very much enjoy it. Probably best with 3p.

8/10 After many plays (Owned)

34. First Class: Unterwegs im Orient Express:

It's great! Card drafting for actions to take. A few different strategies to work on. Much easier than Russian Railroads card game, but you definitely get the RR vibe. Really cool. Bunch of modules that change up the game. I haven't tried the other mods but I can't wait. It is a fast game and easy to teach and play. Will definitely be a hit for families and gamers. Really surprised me when I played at Essen, I am glad I was able to find a copy to buy!

8.5/10 After many plays (Owned)

35. Die Baumeister des Colosseum:

Cool that you are building a colosseum with the orders you complete. Collect resources and turn them in for points and building up the colosseum. Interesting engine building and good for new players for sure. A game I could play again, but just didn't keep my interest long. The end game was a bit fast and it seemed the points for the last 3 slots were unnecessary. Didn't do much for me, but I think it is a solid game.

5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

36. Capital Lux:

The artwork drew me in as a lot of games do. The game play for this card game is there and then I bought it. Really interesting scoring mechanic and different actions you will get by supporting the capital. Definitely unique and fun game. Plays quickly. I enjoy it a lot.

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

37. Fold-it:

Speed game to fold your napkin to only reveal the wanted meals. All players have the same napkin mirrored front and back. You have to folkd it. It is a crazy hard abstract puzzle game. I have no idea how you figure it out. Super hard and mind bending. I was terrible at it. cool concept and wicked hard.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

38. The Mountaineer:

Awesome game, and my hidden gem of Essen. New time designer Corey Wright brings his personal travels into an awesome mountain climbing adventure. hand management and abstract thinking. Very thematic with the rolling of the dice determining your movements on the mountain you will always get something but depending on your roll it might be better than not. Tech advancements give potential bonus actions. It is really a race game to finish the goals first. I can't wait to play with a bunch of players and all over the place. I know it will be a hit when it hits kickstarter 2017. Love it! Working on getting the special handmade edition.

8.5/10 After 1 play (Preordered)

39. Kodama: The Tree Spirits:

I enjoyed Kigi alright. This one has a lot more problems. Kigi has its own set of problems and this was just added on problems. It really didn't work for me. I like the cute art and that was the only thing that got me to try it in the first place. The goal cards are not balanced at all. Card placement rules are too picky- all in al I would pick Kigi to play again, but even that is on my trade pile.

2/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

40. DuCo:

Better than Kodama, not by much. Pretty cards, very abstract. Place your card on the main board and score points based on adjacency to matching colors and symbols. I feel like there could be a better game here, but the on the box it says can be explained in 5 second or something, so it clearly prides itself on that. I'd say fix the rules to be more of a game, and less about ease of play. It could be something really cool. I like the look of it and I was the only one at the table who wanted to finish the game we started. Potential here, but as it stands it is not a game I will likely return to.

4/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

41. A Feast for Odin:

The moment of truth! A game I have been anxiously awaiting for since last year. The next big Uwe R game! I wrote up a long review, but if you are a regular to my blog then it was posted recently. Spatial element to this game and can be considered fairly abstract. I enjoy that, but I mostly enjoy the abundance of options with actually a lot of limited availability to resources you might want or need. Very clever. I don't think it will ever be superior to Fields of Arle(10/10), but perhaps it might pass Caverna: The Cave Farmers (10/10) sometime. At the moment the game is still so new, I am not sure how it will all pan out in the coming months. So far I love it, and I am excited for the future! Still makes my top 20 list easy.

10/10 After a few plays (Owned)

42. The Colonists:

WOW this is a beast of a game! Alright this game is long, very long for your first play to grasp everything. The symbology is a lot but easy to understand. Everything is actually pretty straight forward once you get there. I might recommend playing 2 or 3 players for your first game to cut down on the time. Lots of potential here and I am so very excited to explore this game further. Can easily be a top 10 game for me. Seems to be just awesome. Very excited for this one.

10/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

43. Great Western Trail:

Alexander Pfister's new design. I had to have it. The game is one big rondel. Lots of different strategies to pursue and sort of point salad to this game. Many ways to get points and different focus points. Very solid game, but in my eyes doesn't compare to Mombasa(9/10), which is a game I just love. I need to play it a few more times and I will see how it holds up to other euro's in my collection. definitely solid and a game I would recommend playing.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

44. Habitats:

Easy tile-laying abstract game. Can easily teach new gamers or even non gamers. Adorable ceramic figures. I want to collect them all! Or at least trade for the ones I really want! Great theme and all around love this game. Won't be leaving my collection at least for a very very long time. I can't help but love this one!

8/10 After 2 plays (Owned)

45. The Climbers:

Caught me by surprise with this one. Very abstract even though it appears like a dexterity game. I have to say I very much enjoyed it and will have to look to getting a copy of it at one point. Different sized blocks you are moving around to try and navigate to the top of the structure that is being formed. Very interesting abstract and easy to play. Love the little ladders. Definitely would recommend and play this again.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Not Owned/wishlist)

46. Länder toppen!:

Trick tacking trivia game. Buwha?! Yah strange combo, but the cards are different countries and different statistics. You are trying to allocate the cards you are given to different categories to try and win the trick for highest and lowest results in that category. Very interesting. Something I could play again. I liked it well enough, I am not the smartest when it comes to games like this though. I expect to lose! Could be a fair bit of luck too.

6/10 After 1 play (Not Owned)

47. Round House:

One I was very excited for at Essen! Cool hefty cardboard house tiles. Rondel game where you are moving pawns around the house. Collecting items and potentially trading for on going powers and points. resource management game and set collection game. lots of options and not all house tiles are in play so each game will be different depending on the spaces that become available each game. Really enjoyable and a game I want to play a bunch more. Happy to have it!

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

48. The Oracle of Delphi:

New Feld! Not a point salad game but a race game. Trying to complete tasks before everyone else and get to the finish. Love the dice and the goads. Asymmetrical powers to start- unclear if some are just better than others. Very interested in playing this one more. I think I like it better than a lot of recent Feld titles. The colors are bold and the game is great.

8/10 After 1 play (Owned)

49. Woof Meow Biscuits:

Adorable card game with cute dogs and cats. I can't say the game play is all there since it is not. But I give it props for being cute. Simple games with great bits. Trying to hit 14 in value going around the table trying not to break rules. Semi- Uno ish. Table was having fun at the game's expense though. One I am unlikely to play again.

5/10 After 1 play (Owned/ For Trade)

50. Russian Railroads: American Railroads:

OMG words can not explain how much I love it! Blows my mind just like Russian Railroads: German Railroads did. Both I rate perfect since they are! So many options and strategies and a game I would always want to play. If you like RR then you have to get both of these expansions. I think of this as a game on it's own. Yes you need the base board and player pieces but it is a new game in its own. Deserves to be treated as a single unit. So good! Highly recommended!

10/10 After 1 play (Owned)

51.Las Vegas: The Card Game:

OK Not as good as the dice game. Not bad take on it either. Simultaneous selection of cards which is different than the parent game. I enjoyed it but you have to take it with a grain of salt. It won't be for everyone and many people won't like it. I would certainly play again and I look forward to playing the module for the dice game that comes in this small boxed game.

6/10 After 1 play (Owned)

52. Papà Paolo:

Worker placement delivery game. All about delivering your pizza! I love the theme, I can't help it. I LOVE pizza! There is an interesting bidding mechanic each round. Having play this first game I know I will do things differently next time. Tie breaker is most money... Ron and I tied so this is very important to know. Actually the scores were pretty close and it is not necessarily a good thing. I definitely enjoyed my play and want to play again. Art work can be a bit hard to see important items vs non important items- a bit busy, even for me.

7.5/10 After 1 play (Owned)

53. Zock 'n' Roll:

Fast bluffing Yahtzee type game with a lot of poker involved. I actually very much enjoyed it. Lasted a bit too long, but I think it is still a great filler. Got it in a math trade and I think I did very well! Recommended for anyone who enjoys dice games! I can't lie for sh*t and it is pretty funny. I am a risk taker and this definitely has some push your luck elements.

7/10 After 1 play (Owned)

New to me Expansions!

1. Deus: Egypt:

I love the base game! This adds a whole new deck of cards. You can mix and match colors with the base game or just use them on their own or just missed it all together. It is crazy awesome! New market pricing for the resources which is very cool. There is now a limit to the number of resources you can hold. It is all awesome. I LOVE IT! Equal rating to the base game.

8.5/10 After many plays (Owned)

please note that the resources are not apart of the game

2. 7 Wonders: Duel – Pantheon:

I have to say that I like 7 Wonders Duel okay. I don't quite get all the rage and I still like 7W better. This expansions adds some new god cards which are very nice. some interesting ideas, but still the same game underneath. I will always play with it going forward, it still won't be a game I frequently play though. Same rating as the base game.

8/10 After many plays (Owned)

3. Carcassonne: Star Wars – Erweiterung 1:

This is a great expansion to a great game. If you like the base game, you will like this. It adds a 6th player with a new faction. It adds some tokens you can use when putting down your meeple. The saber gives +1 to your highest die rolled. The blaster allows you to roll the 3-8 dice that comes with the expansion. It is simple and works incredibly well. Really fun! I rate it the same as I rate the base game.

8/10 After many plays (Owned)

The Tally

January: 25
February: 35
March: 14
April: 57
May: 21
June: 18
July: 17
August: 50
September: 23
October: 53

Total new to me games for the year 313!


A Feast for Odin

Thanks for following along! I hope you have an amazing week.

Until next week!

Happy Gaming!!!


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