The 2012 Eindhoven Essen game assesment list: what have we played and what do we think?
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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A historical record of the big Essen gaming bash, and a continually updated collection of ratings and thoughts of Essen releases played as evaluated by the Eindhoven Gamers group.
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1. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:351]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Michael 90
StefanU 86
James 74
MikeB 47

Ratings

James 7.5 "Really liked the ability to activate an extra pawn during the game"
MikeB 7.5 "Variety in actions quite good, and there are a lot of different things to do. Not an obvious path to winning. Good that everything did not have the same value, and plan to pick it up myself."
Michael 7 "Very nice production, and, once the game got going, moved along at a spanking pace. Quite a few ways to approach the game. Really like the weather control part of it, as it can have quite an impact on your strategy."
Stefan 6.5 "Way too many options. Would prefer to have more limited choices."
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2. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:8]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Michael 106
James 94
StefanU 92
MikeB 89

Rating:
Michael 8.5 "I did not expect I would like this, let alone buy it, but nobody else of our gaming group planned to get it at Essen, so I decided to take the plunge. Very happy to have done so. Throws everything but the kitchen sink in a blender, sometimes almost an overwhelming variety, but at the same time it plays pretty straightforward when you get going. There are a great number of different creatures you can play, so there should be good variability between games, although some of the creatures are very silly. Eagerly looking forward to my next game of this, and it may be my pick of Essen."
StefanU 7.5 "Much more straightforward than expected given the number of components. Not too much direct player interaction."
James 7 "Enjoyed the puzzle aspect of the game as eventually formed a plan to score."
MikeB 6.5 "All of it works, but I wish it was more fun."
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3. Board Game: Martian Dice [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1869]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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James 25
StefanU 24
Michael 21
MikeB 20

Ratings

StefanU 8 "I like the UFO theme"
MikeB 7 "For a 10-minute game, fun! As for the theme, it's good stuff."
James 6.5 "Great fun filler, much better than Zombie."
Michael 6 "Fun little silly game: really like the cow icons on the dice. Some nice push-your-luck. I like Cosmic Wimpout a bit more for the same type of thing but there is no debating that the theme helps get this one some extra points."
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4. Board Game: Tokaido [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:443]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Michael/Oskar 71
James 70
StefanW 63
MaikeB 54
StefanU 54

Rating:

James 7.5 "Worst inlay ever. Started by thinking 'is that all?' but discovered there were a lot of choices and decisions what to do. Like making the call of whether to go all-in for something or not."
StefanW 6.5 "I really felt like a Geisha tourist with my character."
StefanU 6.5
Michael 6 "Quite pretty but perhaps a bit too comical in the art of the characters. Pleasant enough game of wandering down the ancient Japanese road. Never felt much stress nor any real theme connection, but still enjoyed it well enough. A lot of air in that box, however. "
MikeB 5 "Like the graphics and love the artwork, but the game doesn't click at all. Hard to really bother with it at all as you have no connection to what is going on. Didn't grab me at all."
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5. Board Game: Rumble in the Dungeon [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:3264] [Average Rating:6.35 Unranked]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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StefanU 19
StefanW 17
James 15
Michael 12
Audrey 8
MikeB 8

Rating:

StefanU 7
StefanW 4
James 3
Michael 3 "Wow, I'm afraid this was a stinker. No real decisions to make at all, just a very random game. I wish there had been some character differentiation or SOMETHING to make it fun."
Audrey 2
MikeB 2
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6. Board Game: Di Renjie [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:7952]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Michael 9
Aydrey 7
StefanU 7
MikeB 6
James 1
StefanW 1

Ratings:

Audrey 7.5
James 6.5
MikeB 6.5
StefanU 6
StefanW 6
Michael 5 "Ok deduction game. Probably played with too many players. Nothing was very compelling to me about the game: kind of a boardless 'Clue' game although it might be good with my son. Some fiddly little rules that didn't seem to add much except confusion (like the red 6 character as wild card)."
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7. Board Game: Daemonibus [Average Rating:5.07 Overall Rank:13880]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Winner- Michael
Losers: StefanU, Paul

Ratings:

Paul 3.5
StefanU 3
Michael 3 "Whew, this one may have worked when I was ten but really a dud now. The rules also have some nice, big gaps allowing some heated debates in the midst of play. "
 
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8. Board Game: 1812: The Invasion of Canada [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:647]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Winners: StefanU & Kris (US)
Loser: Paul & Michael (UK)

Ratings

Kris 7.5
Paul 7.5
Michael 7 "If I had a friend who had never wargamed before and you wanted to get him into a game with conflict this would be a great vehicle. Nice use of variable-result dice, good components (except why on Earth did they make the US territory blue?) fast play, some tension (but not too much) and the ability to laugh uproariously at the cowardice of the Canadian regulars, coupled to nice card art results in a very approachable, entertaining game for an hour or two of battling. Hats off to the designers on this one."
StefanU 7
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9. Board Game: Sticky Stickz [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:5604]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Paul 13 / -
Kris 11 / 14
Michael 7 / 9
Stefan 7 / 8
Oskar 0 / 5

Ratings:

Oskar 8.5
Paul 7
Kris 7
StefanU 6.5
Michael 6 "A silly speed/dexterity game but quite fun to compete at sticking the cards as fast as possible. Nice for a couple plays. I'm just really rotten at speed games."
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10. Board Game: Hey Froggy! [Average Rating:5.51 Overall Rank:13131]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Paul 26
Oskar/Michael 24
StefanU 18
Kris 18

Ratings:

Paul 6
Oskar 6
Kris 5
StefanU 5
Michael 5 "Too involved for kids, too long to play for adults. It has some nice elements but seems to outstay its welcome. Actually harder to make combinations as the game goes on."
 
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11. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:94]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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MikeB 106
James 97
StefanW 81

Ratings:

MikeB 7.5
James 7.5 "If I didn't have City Tycoon, I would like it more."
StefanW 7.5
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12. Board Game: AttrAction [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:4742]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Kris 6
StefanU 7
Oskar 5
Paul 5
Audrey 6 "Maybe good to make you stop and think a bit before flinging the magnet, so fine motor skills involved."
Michael 6 "Interesting variation on a flicking game. A bit gimmicky."
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13. Board Game: Telestrations [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:225]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Ratings:

MikeB 5.5
James 5 "Lot's of fun, just too pointless for me to score it high"
Michael 4.75 "To be honest, I'd rather save the money and just draw pictures on some paper and hand them around to my friends and have a laugh. Not really a game."
Kris 7.5
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14. Board Game: Legend: History of 1000 Miglia [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:6245]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Paul 1h0m0s
Kris 1h1m54s
StefanW 1h3m2s
MikeB 1h3m36s
StefanU 1h3m36s
James 1h10m9s
Michael 1h16m13s

Ratings:

Michael 8.5 "Wow, a race game to rival Speed Circuit for me. Loving attention to detail. You need to approach the game more as a simulation than a game, because some cars probably just won't win: just like real life. I love the different handling dice, the rain/night rules, broken components, authentic maps and card charts. Really, really good stuff. I really hope to run a full 17 stage race solo sometime to see how it plays out over a long stretch. Probably the most divisive of all this year's games as far as impressions."
Paul 8.5
James 8 "Really like the simplicity, it moves so quickly and smoothly. Just what you want from a push your luck/judgement game"
StefanU 7
Kris 6
StefanW 4.5
MikeB 4
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15. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:44]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Michael 38
Paul 33
Kris 33

Ratings:

Kris 7
Michael 6.5 "Well, I suppose there is some new stuff in there, but it felt a bit 'old hat', to tell the truth. I liked the bidding mechanism and being able to use tiles from anywhere. Quite a few ways to score, and the hidden scoring tiles (which you still need to win by bidding on) were a nice idea. Also plays pretty quickly over only four turns. But there is nothing to 'wow' me, and I'm not so upset to have left a copy behind at the stand."
Paul 6.5
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16. Board Game: Myrmes [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:411]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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MikeB 39
StefanW 35
James 32

Ratings:

MikeB 7.25
James 7.25 "Seemed like a more simple version of terra mystica. A real nice puzzle".
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17. Board Game: Pick-a-Dog [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:3011]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Audrey 19 / 24
Kris 16 / 17
Michael 11 /21
MikeB - / 14
Paul 1 / -

Ratings:

Audrey 8.5
Michael 6.5 "I'm lousy at speed games but this was a really fun speed game. Great little pig portraits and could have a good laugh while making mistakes and putting it away in ten minutes. Too bad it sold out or we would have gotten a copy."
MikeB 7
Kris 7
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18. Board Game: Riff Raff [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1242]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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James 0
MikeB 4
Michael 5
Kris 10

Ratings:

James 7.5 "Arrrrr me 'earties. Tis a mighty fine game"
MikeB 7
Kris 6
Michael 5 "Not a dex game player, really, although this was beautifully made. Fun but nothing I would ever plan to get on the table myself."
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19. Board Game: Spellbound [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:3229]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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We lost!

Ratings:

Audrey 7.5
Michael 7.25 "Perhaps my favorite Lamont Brothers game. Not for the gameplay, as Snow Tails may have that, but the merging of the theme with the production. This was one of the first of their games where the little figures really spoke to me and invested me in the world of the game. Luxurious figurines (my favorite being the silver book), wonderful board. The gameplay nothing special, but fits exceedingly well with the artwork and whimsical nature of the sculpts, and I'm not one to be taken in by components much. One of the few games from them I would play several times just to enjoy the surroundings of the game. If there is a reprint I'd probably try to get a copy."
MikeB 7.25
James 7
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20. Board Game: Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:8401]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Michael 5.5 "Very light game but can be played very aggressively. Big, chunky pieces. The rules rather ponderous for such a simple game."
James 6.75
Audrey 6.5 "A nice light little game with some thinking and planning; would be good to play with kids."
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21. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:216]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Michael: 6.25 "Hard to rate a 5 minute game, but interesting enough to play a few times and enjoy."
James: 8
Audrey: 6 "A cute little guessing game: light and fluffy but it is all right."
MikeB: 7
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22. Board Game: 1st & Goal [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1751]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Michael: 7 "Pretty clever dice-based football game. Would be nice if they could use 12 sided dice or something, but still some nice action and good ways to handle time and tracking downs, for example. Fun play."
James: 7.5 "Really nice approach. Super fun to make a choice, roll some dice and score some points. Love the asymmetric."
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23. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:378] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Michael: 8 "Not normally a deck-building fan but I really, really liked this game. Maybe it was the map and the theme that made it come together, and I could 'see' what I was doing, so I really needed to own it. Not so many different cards but it is really tough to make choices, and love how the rubbish gets in your hand the more you expand, forcing you to deal with it."
MikeB: 8
JeroenD: 8
Kris: 8
James: 7.75 "It's like Dominion, but with a purpose. Great mix of strategy and tactics"
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24. Board Game: Archipelago [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:287]
 
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Michael 7 "Pretty decent game really almost ruined by the random nature of the scoring, especially with more players. Yes, I won my game, but on the sheer chance that someone had scoring cards that matched my builds. That was a major disappointment. Lots seems to go on but really pretty simple game overall. Semi-coop works pretty well, and nice to have someone in the 'losing' player group could pull out a surprise win."
JeroenD 7
James 6.5
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25. Board Game: Road to Enlightenment [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:8385]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Michael 6.75 "Pretty good game with deck-building element but handled in a way I didn't abhor. Game takes some time to play and some actions underused but we had a good time. I imagine it gets pretty crazy with more than four players. Price a bit steep but the cards are lovely. No connection of game to theme."
JeroenD 6.5
James 6.75
 
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