Game Knight's Essen 2013 Watch List
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The buzz seems to be starting sooner every year, but I managed to hold on until July again before starting my list!

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1. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:14]
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The first from a number of carry-overs from last year's list. The Agricola link is gone from the name, so I'm guessing Uwe has confidence this game is good enough to get attention in its own right. Suck on that, First Sparks!

Update: Read the preview on Opinionated Gamers. It might be a bit TOO similar to Agricola to warrant owning both.

Update II: The €60 price has helped me decide: not getting this, I'll stick with Agricola!
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2. Board Game: Madeira [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:299]
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Number two from 2012. I'll just lazily copy my tekst from last year's geeklist: The theme of building up a colony appeals to me, even though it has been done many times before. Let's see if this one has any interesting new angles!

Update: The rules didn't really grab me, so definitely try before buy, either at or after the fair.
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3. Board Game: The Mystery of the Templars [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:10188]
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Another one that didn't make it last year. But this may come out before Essen as far as I understand. Let's see.

Update: Lost a lot of interest after reading the rules, plus a friend played this last weekend and was distinctly unimpressed. Another one off the list I guess!
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4. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:23]
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And rounding out the 2012 quartet is this rondel-less Mac Gerdts offering. I'll need to see what has changed and if I'm still interested.

Update: Read the rules. Sounds good, but not good enough to buy. One to try out at some point.
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5. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:42]
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ANOTHER 2012 game? Well, sort of. Keyflower is the best game I missed out on getting last year, so I'm hoping for a nice package deal with Farmers and maybe Key Celeste expansion to correct that!

Update: Got Keyflower already on a good deal from a webshop. Probably won't go for the Farmers expansion right away, but I'll see if I can score Key Celeste and the Storyteller.
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6. Board Game: CV [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:887]
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Sounds like a funny game reminiscent of Funny Friends (which I find somewhat underrated).
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7. Board Game: Terror in Meeple City [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:627]
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I like having some lighter fare and a small number of dexterity games in my collection. Let's see if this is worth buying or if Repos will price it out of my interest range.

Update: Read the rules. I'm not sure if the light gameplay (flicking and blowing things) will mix well with the 'missions' for VPs.
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8. Board Game: Kohle & Kolonie [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:1704]
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Not the most exciting theme (Ruhrshifffahrt didn't manage to interest me), but what I've read so far warrants a place on this list at least.

Update: I got to play Ruhrshifffahrt twice in the meantime and was less than impressed. Some nice ideas, but overall a not overly interesting game with some needless complexity. Makes me a bit more wary of K&K, but I guess I should judge that on its own merits.

Update II: Ugh, no! I managed to claw myself through the rulebook, but it doesn't seem like this is a game for me! VERY dry, and too much bells and whistles for my taste. I think I can write off part three of the trilogy in advance.
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9. Board Game: A Study in Emerald [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:594]
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I skipped the Kickstarter as I'm pretty much done with Kickstarter and all crowdfunding efforts. It sounds like a fun game, but I'll want to give it a try to make sure.
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10. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:483]
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Even though I don't get to play it as often anymore, Caylus is still one of my favorite games ever. So a new effort from mister Attia can count on my interest!

Update: read the rules, not much new here. A worker mechanism reminiscent of The Speicherstadt along with the usual fare of buildings and money/resource/VP conversions. I don't think I'll need this in my collection.
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11. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:96]
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Civ games generally have my interest, and I was impressed with the number of historical figures and events this one is supposed to contain. I have read something about similarities with Through the Ages, which I'm not crazy about. Will need to know more.

Update: From the rules it seems to share some of the downsides of TtA: no map, and a possibly fiddly maintenance and upkeep. But it should play faster at least. I'll probably decide at the fair about this one.
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12. Board Game: Patchistory [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:781]
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I like the theme of this one, the "stroll through history" thing. From the description I'm a little worried though that it could be mainly about the mechanics of placing and activating cards and less about the theme. But let's not be prejudiced, it deserves a spot on the list!

Update: Read the rules, or tried to, as they seem poorly translated at places. From the parts I could make out the game seems less interesting than I thought. Going some way down the priority list.
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13. Board Game: Venetia [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:3146]
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Wow, a board game about Renaissance Venice? Where did they come up with that idea??

Triteness of the theme aside though, it sounds like it has sort of a semi-coop thing going (increase power of Venice, enemies around you) that reminds me a bit of God's Playground. Interesting!

Update: Read the rules. Sounds interesting, though the possible back-and-forth placing of influence at colonies might get a bit annoying. And hefty price tag at €50.
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14. Board Game: Russian Railroads [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:67]
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Hans im Glück?
Heavy?
Railroads?
O&O?

Sounds good to me!

Update: I heard this will be picked up by 999 Games so maybe not a priority for Spiel.
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15. Board Game: Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:529]
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I like the idea of this game, the goal of building up a dynasty. Waiting to find out if I will also like the implementation.

Update: Read the rules. Not too crazy about the artwork, but the game sounds good, I like the mechanism of building a family tree. Though €36 seems a bit much for a 'cardgame plus'. Thinking about it.
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16. Board Game: The Capitals [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1549]
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I still haven't found a really good city-building game, City Tycoon and Suburbia both didn't make the cut. Third time's the charm?

Update: Read the rules, it sounds meaty enough with all the different tracks to keep 'track' of (culture, employment, etc.)

Update II: Pre-order price of €50?? I think I'll pass.
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17. Board Game: Sail to India [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1116]
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Age of Discovery themes usually manage to get my attention, this looks like an interesting (and reasonably priced!) game.

Update: From the rules this one does sound good, and with so many games from my list not making the cut I decided to go for this one! Pre-ordered to avoid standing in line at the Japon Brand booth.
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18. Board Game: Tales & Games: The Three Little Pigs [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1857]
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Sounds like a fun push-your-luck game, though I'll have to see if it is different enough to warrant purchase. And if I really need another filler...
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19. Board Game: Händler der Karibik [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:3510]
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Small game involving pirates, from the designer of Mines of Zavandor, and won an award. And from the OSM, so should be very reasonably priced. Sounds like something to grab on the go!
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20. Board Game: S-Evolution [Average Rating:5.45 Overall Rank:13429]
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A civ-themed game with trick taking and resource management... sounds like an interesting twist, let's see how it plays out!

Update: Read the rules, and it seems that this unusual combination could actually work! For €20, I'll probably pick this up.

Update II: Scratch the 'probably'. Pre-ordered from the Spiel-ou-Face website for €18.
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21. Board Game: Buccaneer Bones [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:5444]
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Ah, what the heck! Not sure if this one will turn out to be a keeper but for $8 I'm happy to take the chance. Kickstarted!
 
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22. Board Game: Castaways [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:1036]
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I've read a lot of good things about this one recently, and from a read through the rules it seems like this is a game I would enjoy. It seems to share a lot of similarities with Robinson Crusoe, but the semi co-op aspect and especially the "choose your own adventure" part make this more interesting to me.
 
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