Essen 2012 - The Games That Came Back
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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My list of games, both new and old, acquired at this years excellent Spiel.

My planning list can be seen here http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/146902/essen-2012-watch-li...
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1. Board Game: Völuspá [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1680]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-5 Players Age 10+ 45min Playing Time

Played once with a misunderstanding of the rules, caused by skim reading and probably tiredness.

As expected the artwork is really nice and evocative of the games theme (yes I know it is a reworking of Kachina), the rules are pretty simple but with enough tactical depth to interest and be enjoyed by all those I game with regularly. Plus with half hour to 45 mins playing time it will be ideal for lunch time gaming.
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2. Board Game: Manila [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:630]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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3-5 Players Age 10+ 60min Playing Time

An older game from Zoch that Gwen has really enjoyed on the two occasions she has played it and was the one game Gwen really wanted. Having searched high and low in the Spiel, particularly on the second hand stands, the only copy I could locate was shrink wrapped one at full price.

May remain unopened till Christmas.
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3. Board Game: Finca [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:544]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-4 Players, Age 8+ 45min Playing Time

Another older game that was high on my wish list, as I felt it would work well with all the groups, that I found for the equivalent of £18.
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4. Board Game: Article 27: The UN Security Council Game [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:2397]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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3-6 Players Age 10+ 30-45min Playing Time

The first game I played at the show and thoroughly enjoyed it. Playing it again later in the day confirmed my first impression. This has a high degree of player interaction with lots of horse trading and am sure will be enjoyed by the groups.

Interestingly Martin from the Sunday night (Social Gamers - Crowborough) group also bought a copy having played and really enjoyed it.
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5. Board Game: Ark [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:2438]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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3-5 Players Aged 8+ 45 min Playing Time

This is again an older game and one of only three impulse buys. The artwork was the hook (as it is by Doris Matthäus who has done so much of the artwork for the Zoch games).

In the demonstration it became apparent that this is a game that needs many of the rules stripped out to be played at the 8 age range but with the normal rules offers something that has enough tactical choice and interplay to be of interest to our various adult groups and older families.

One of the aspects that seemed to offer a levity our groups like was that in housing the animals in cabins on the ark animals classified as 'nervous' could not be housed next to 'meat eaters'!
 
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6. Board Game: Crossboule [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:4154]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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1-6 Players Age 6+ Playing Time = As Long as you want!

This caught my eye as a game with a wide range of interests and applications. I am confident that it will be great when working with teenagers, families, public events as well as business / team building events.
 
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7. Board Game: Noah [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2321]
Kevin O'Sullivan
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Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-5 Players Aged 8+ 30min Playing Time

Sadly I am a sucker for cute artwork.

As a game that had appeared on my list of games to look out whilst at the Spiel. At EUR9 and with the appeal it will have when working with younger children this was impossible to resit.
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8. Board Game: Tulipmania 1637 [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3571]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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3-5 Players Age 12+ 60min Playing Time

I really like the Scott Nicholson video reviews and whilst not a game that I would ordinarily have bought it was one that I have been keeping an eye out for as in some way I wanted to support his first published design.

As a stock market trading game it offers something not found in any of my other games and is unlikely to be a regular on the table, however I hope will be enjoyed on those occasions when it does make it to the table.
 
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9. Board Game: Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:8329]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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3-5 Players Age 10+ 40min Playing Time

A game that Chris Bowler, Tim and I play tested at the UK Games Expo 2012 and to my surprise my name appears on the credits as a play tester. As the first time this has occurred I felt a compelling need to acquire a copy of the game. whistle

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10. Board Game: Let's Take a Hike [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:7481]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-5 Players Age 5+ 30min Playing Time

Came as part of the deal on Sheepdogs of Pendalton Hills
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11. Board Game: Goblins, Inc. [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:2345]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2- 4 Players, Age 12+ 60mins Playing Time

One of new CGE games and one I played and enjoyed whilst at Essen. I liked the aspect of hidden agenda's whilst having a need to work to work with one of the other players, a team that changes on each occasion you build a new robot.
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12. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:37]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-4 Players Age 12+ 90min Playing Time

A game I was really looking forward to playing and it didn't disappoint. It is probably the most complex of the games picked up at this years Spiel but I am really looking forward to playing more games of this.

The calender cogs cry out to be painted / dry brushed in some way (http://boardgamegeek.com/article/10341546#10341546).

What was really great was to have our first game demonstrated to us by the designer Daniele Tascini a man we had met on the 2011 years trip whilst playing a game of Hawaii and captured here (the last photo on the post)
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13. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-5 Players Age 10+ 90mins Playing Time

An expansion to a game that has proven popular with a number of our players on our Monday night group and I am sure will only become more popular as we get it to the table with the other groups.
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14. Board Game: The Gardens of the Alhambra [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:2986]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-4 Players Age 8+ 45min Playing Time

A game acquired as part of the BGG Essen Spiel Maths Trade. Alhambra has proven popular with both Gwen and the Monday night group so my hope is this stand alone game will also prove popular.
 
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15. Board Game: Shear Panic [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:1604]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-5 Players Age 10+ 45min Playing Time

A game I have been hoping to get for a while and acquired as part of the BGG Essen Spiel Maths Trade.

With cute sheep it looks like a 'fluffy' game but is actually an abstract tactical game that I am hoping will prove as popular with my various groups as Hey That's My Fish! has done.
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16. Board Game: Oltre Mare [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1217]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-5 Players Age 10+ 60min Playing Time

A game themed on the trading activities of the Venetians around the cities of the Mediterranean and one that was acquired as part of the BGG Essen Spiel Maths Trade. The first impression of this is that I think it will work well with the group of players at work, fitting into a lunch time and not being in a big box (it is the first version of the game), so will not weigh down my rucksack.
 
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17. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:351]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-4 Players Age 10+ 60min Playing Time

Acquired as part of the BGG Essen Spiel Maths Trade and as a 2006 Spiel des Jahres Winner fits into my growing collection of Spiel des Jahres Winners.
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18. Board Game: Tongiaki: Journey into the Unknown [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:2222]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-5 Players Age 8+ 45min Playing Time

Acquired as part of the BGG Essen Spiel Maths Trade as a sweetener for The Gardens of Alhambra.
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19. Board Game: Avanti [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:5946]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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3-5 Players Age 8+ 60min Playing Time

A game that I believe will appeal to some of our younger games in part because it has some really good car models.
 
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20. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:454]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-5 Players Age 8+ 45min playing Time

This years Spiel des Jahres winner and a game I played a number of times last year. Not a game that excites me personally but given comments within the Essen group about its popularity in their gaming groups was not a game I felt I could ignore.

This was the last game bought at the show and not so much as an impulse buy as a reluctant one! snore
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21. Board Game: The Road to Canterbury [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1778]
Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2-3 Players 60 mins Age 8+

Wanted to collect at Essen but missed my opportunity so talked to the excellent guys at GamesLore who shipped me a copy
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