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Nuremberg 2011 and some other games I'm stoked about

Bradley Keen
United States
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Every year Richard van Vugt of Gamepack.nl publishes a wonderful photo blog/list of the new games showcased at the Nuremberg Toy Fair. There are a number of games that look really interesting, including a new game from Stefan Feld and a Kiesling and Kramer release.

Here are a few of the games that I would like to play:

1. Paris Connection

Alright, you've got me. I have already played this game. It was part of last year's Winsome Essen set, and it is great. Congratulations to Queen Games for recognizing the great games that John Bohrer and Winsome Games keep coming up with.

You could probably take this game to crazy analytical levels, but I suspect that most gamers will enjoy it as a heavier 30 minute filler. It's good fun.

2. Casa Grande from Ravensburger.

Casa Grande by Günther Burckhardt has a definite Ravensburger look to it, and that's a good thing. Actually, it reminds me of Arkadia. It looks like players build buildings on the board and score points (?) based on the movement of Supervisor tokens that move around the edges. They seem to move via a die roll, so luck could be too large of a factor. But the components look great and it just has a "look at me, I'm easy to play, my bits are nice, and I have strategy" feel to it.

3. Plateaux from Winning Moves

Plateaux has all the makings of a fun two player abstract. It can play with more than two, but I wonder how chaotic it would be. Either way, players have the choice of two actions: Place a Brick or Move their Pawn. At the end of the game, the player with the highest pawn thingie wins. A perfect information abstract game. If you like that type of thing, this will excite you. If you don't, then you won't.

4. Olympos from Ystari

Whoa! What's this? Ystari games excite me. Up until this year, I owned all of them. I will now admit that I don't own Industria or their new three musketeers game. (I intend to fix this at some point...maybe). But a brand new release that joins Ystari with Philippe Keyaerts and their big box format is good news.

Yeah, this one is going to be a winner, I can just feel it.

So, those are the games I am most excited about. But I wanted to take a minute to also plug some recent additions to The Martin Wallace Ludography, a list that I try to actively maintain.

Martin has two new light card games coming out from Kosmos: Schlacht am Buffet and Volle Scholle.

Schlacht am Buffet is a re-release of ...und tschüss!, part of the Gold Sieber small box card game series. It has been out of print for a long time, though a Japanese company did produce a version of the game. It has no text, so that version would have been perfect. But Kosmos decided to stamp a theme on it and produce a new version with bits. Whatever. The game is brilliant. It is my favorite quick card game for more than 3 players.

I don't know much about Volle Scholle, but I am working on translating the rules. With that said, it's a super light game, and the game description on the geek pretty much covers most of the rules. It looks fun, in much the same way that ...und tschüss! is fun. I'm slightly concerned that it will be too random or chaotic for my tastes. ...und tschüss! is also random and chaotic, but it's a 10 minute game and it doesn't pretend to be anything else. But I will buy this game.

Martin is also going to release Discworld: Ankh-Morpork at Essen, a game based on the Disc World series by Terry Pratchett. I don't know much about it, but I doubt that I will pass it up.

A Few Acres of Snow should also be released this year, a remnant of the 2010 Treefrog Game Subscription. I'm somewhat sad to see Martin drop this model, but only somewhat. A subscription must put a lot of pressure on a designer to put out some very very good games. He would have to. If I order games up to a year and a half in advance, they had better be worth it. Dropping the subscription model takes away some of this pressure. This two player war game promises to be lighter and quicker than his prior two....and I am looking forward to the day when it shows up in the mail.

Finally, Mayfair is releasing a two player game from Martin, Test of Fire: Bull Run 1861. Martin has designed some of the best War/Euro games out there, but when he leans more towards War games, his designs sometimes leave me confused and cranky (I get tired of constantly looking up errata and different rules for particular situations). I do not think that Mayfair has some magical power to fix this, but designing for a second party means that he may tone down the rules some and I am excited by this game. It's not a must buy, as it doesn't have the Treefrog stamp on it, but it is a must play.

Let me know....are you excited by any of the Nuremberg releases?
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