Essen 2013 - The solution
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Another year, another try not to spend a month payment in games ... especially if you have no clue whatsoever where you'd put them anyway. But there's a simple solution to all your space problems: Stop collecting games and start being collected by multiple games.

To hell with it ... unless someone invents a machine to tempporarily make things 2D so you store infinite amounts of games I'll get rid of some older games and a good chunk of my right mind.

So here it goes again: my 2 cents, the bigger part of my money and of my better judgement as well.

It's GAMETIME

UPDATE: September is reaching it's end. I took care of aome superflous documents, magazines, bags, boxes and other stuff filling up some shelfspace. Not much but a few additional games would fit now. whistle

Adding some thumbsup pros and thumbsdown cons and a preliminary rating

1 interesting at first but ... meh
2 seems okay but no need for okay when there's awesome out there
3 wouldn't mind trying/playing but not adding that to my collection
4 there's definately something intriguing about it, but I still need alot of convincing
5 fingers are tingling, ready to grab it
6 there it is: awesome, me wants it
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1. Board Game: 12 Realms [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:9779]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Mage Company

Theme: Fantasy

Not a really new release but the german edition will see the light of day at Essen. The superbe artworks plus the availability of miniatures got me interested.

thumbsup Artwork
thumbsup Fantasy setting
thumbsup Additional miniatures
thumbsup Coop

thumbsdown Additional miniatures, additional cost

Status: reading the rules

UPDATE: After reading the rules I was ready to set this up to a 5 or 6-die but then I read about the smaller issues with the german edition. Mage Company has a great customer support so that it didn't put me off. But while reading about it I stumbled across the info that there'll be another backing in may 2014. And that's what I gonna do.
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2. Board Game: 7 Days of Westerplatte [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:4160]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: G3

Theme: WW2

A eurogame set in WW2 is a rare thing. Players try to defend the area of Westerplatte by workers who fix walls, support the troups (ammunition, grenades, pushing the morale) and hold the line. And it's a coop game.

thumbsup Coop
thumbsup Theme

thumbsdown Heavy theme, light gameplay
thumbsdown 12 event cards suggest lower replayability

Conclusion: 3
 
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3. Board Game: 8 Masters' Revenge [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:5712]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Serious Poulp

Theme: Eastern BAM

Judging by the cover all those eastern movies and beat'em up games may have had their influence on this game. If so this might be a somewhat completely different gaming experience. Have to find out more.
Is it even possible to put hand to hand martial arts into a cardgame?

thumbsup Artwork
thumbsup Eastern theme

Status: reading the rules

UPDATE: So now I read the rules and am under the impression the masters are no masters but a bunch of cards with a pasted on theme. The Focus on hands could have been so much more since kung fu focuses on hands as well. It all comes down to comparing nummbers ... when it could have been a very sophisticated deckbuilding game (learning techniques and adding them to your deck ...).

thumbsup Box cover
thumbsup Artwork on characterboards

thumbsdown A pasted on theme

Status: dismissed

Conclusion: 1
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4. Board Game: American Rails [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:1284]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Quined Games

Theme: hooot hooot

As it may or may not show in this list: I like train games.

thumbsup train game
thumbsup short rules
thumbsup lots of cubes

thumbsdown lots of cubes again

Conclusion: 5

Status: PREORDERED

End result: BOUGHT
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5. Board Game: Amerigo [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:302]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Queen Games

Theme: pasted on/Eurogame

Except for In the year of the dragon I like every Feld release which is why I will take a closer look at this. Even though the publishers general price policy is a very big minus.

thumbsup Stefan Feld (Bora Bora, Die Burgen von Burgund, Brüggge, Rialto, Trajan)
thumbsup Artwork
thumbsup Queen Games component quality

thumbsdown Stefan Feld (Im Jahr des Drachen)
thumbsdown Queen Games pricing policy/chaos

Status: probably buying it, depending on the price tag

End result: BOUGHT due to a lower price
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6. Board Game: Among the Stars: The Ambassadors [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Artipia Games

Theme: Space - The Final Frontier

I got the base gamne last year and like it. Unfortunately no publisher seems able to make a (descent) Deep Space Nine game I'll try everything to compensate that hole in space.

thumbsup Science fiction
thumbsup Artwork
thumbsup I like the base game
thumbsup alot of new stuff

thumbsdown price?!

Conclusion: 5

Status: PREORDERED at least tried to ... still waiting for an answer

End result: BOUGHT even though my preorder didn't come through
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7. Board Game: BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:1998]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

Theme: Steampunk-ish

thumbsup I loved the first two Bioshocks, haven't played the third one yet
thumbsup Love the theme
thumbsup Plaid Hat Games so far has released neither a bad nor even a mediocre game
thumbsup Artwork
thumbsup Miniatures

thumbsdown Should I wait for a german edition?

Status: unsure
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8. Board Game: Bremerhaven [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:3358]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Lookout Games

Theme: Economy

I'm a sucker for Lookout Games games, I like economy games as well. I'm curious what the new designer has done.

thumbsup Lookout Games
thumbsup harbors are still a fresh setting

thumbsdown The similarities of cover and board with Le Havre are somewhat confusing

Status: reading the rules

Update: Liked it alot and ...

End result: BOUGHT
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9. Board Game: Bruxelles 1893 [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:263]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Pearl Games

Theme: City Setting

Three games so far and all of them hits with my gaming group. Pearl Games games are on "instant buy" till the first miss and that will hopefully never come.

thumbsup Pearl Games
thumbsup Artwork

Status: waiting for preorder-option (cotton baaaaaaaaags)

Update: No cotton bag this time? Damn. T-Shirts are useful too.

Update: Read the rules ... thinky and intriguing ... possible cotton bag and two t-shirts in a bundle with Ginkgopolis expansion. Done.

Status: PREORDERED

End result: PICKED UP with a cotton bag and a t-shirt
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10. Board Game: Café Melange [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:4946]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Clicker Spiele

Theme: Café

A good café isn't just a nice place to stay for a couple of hours, relax and reflect about things and thoughts. It's also a possibly complex theme for a game. Those were my thoughts at least when I put this one up on my checklist for Essen.
But after reading the rules I ended up disappointed. Not because this seems to be a bad game. But because of my expectations. For me it's a slightly different take on what Cafe International did. Both use very different mechanims but in the end both games want full tables by placing guests under certain conditions.

thumbsup Artwork
thumbsup Theme

thumbsdown Another take on placing guests ...

Status: not buying

Conclusion: 3
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11. Board Game: Canterbury [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:2326]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Quixotic Games

Theme: Medieval Citybuilding

Another citybuilder ... but from a new publisher and with a strange looking board ... I guess there are worse ways to become aware of a new game. At first it looks appealing that you have to secure a certain infrastructure in order to allow special buildings to be build. But after thinking about it for a while I'm not sure if it may not be an achilles heel as well. If it's the same procedure in every district over and over again ... why bother?!
Watching Rahdo's runthrough helped putting that aside.

thumbsup Artwork (except for the well paint but boring box cover)
thumbsup Dependencies between buildings
thumbsup No luck involved
thumbsup Alot in the box (components)

Status: maybe buying it

Update: I love the Essen-special-bell

End result: BOUGHT before it sold out
 
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12. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:22]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Lookout Games

Theme: Economy

Uwe Rosenberg + Lookout Games = instant buy

thumbsup Rosenberg design
thumbsup Kind of fantasy setting
thumbsup up to 7 players

thumbsdown Maybe the price, but with Lookout Games games I nerver felt overcharged

Status: PREORDERED

End result: BOUGHT as long as I was able to carry it home
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13. Board Game: City Council [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:5066]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Golden Egg Games

Theme: Citybuilding

Citybuilding, worker placement ... two characteristics that identify City Council as a 2013 release. *laugh* At least it has no deckbuilding, negotiations and voting in it. Wait ... oh. Well no deckbuilding. At first glance the tetris-like building tiles and the colored areas made me sceptical. Not because I don't like tetris-like puzzling mechanisms/tiles. It just looked as if the would be very few possibilities to fit the buildings into their areas. But the rules cleared that up for me.
I especially like the part in which the players, representing council members, initiate projects (building) and then vote on the relization of all projects. That and the mixture of city and private funding gives City Council a realistic touch I very much like.

thumbsup Citybuilding, I like it
thumbsup Voting and role "selection" mechanism
thumbsup Realistic aspect, nearly a simulation of the real deal in general

thumbsdown Almost language independant
thumbsdown Rules?! How many FAQs maybe needed this time?*

*Waiting for some session reports and additional reviews. Rahdo's runthrough was a good one but he's positive on almost every game he previews for essen (No offence intended - I really like the runthroughs).

Conclusion: Watching the forums for now
 
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14. Board Game: Coal Baron [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:502]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Pegasus/Eggert Spiele

Theme: Mining

Till now I haven't been disappointend with any Eggert game that came out. The theme isn't overused like trading in the you-know-where and appeals to me as a NRW citizen.

thumbsup Eggertspiele
thumbsup Kramer & Kiesling = descent games
thumbsup I live in "District 12" of germany so to speak
thumbsup Wodden box edition

Conclusion: 5

Status: DELIVERED today (22.10.2013) *partygrin*
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15. Board Game: Colonialism [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:3577]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Spielworxx

Thema: Colonization

Since last years Ruhrschifffahrt I keep an eye on the Spielworxx releases. It isn't a perfect game by any standard but it is deep, thematic and manages the walk on the razors edge between work and fun.
Colonialism doesn't have that unique theme but it too shows a very good mixture of theme an mechanisms. Well judging by the rules it does.

thumbsup Mechanisms and theme going hand in hand

Conclusion: 5

Status: PREORDERED
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16. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:19]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: PD Verlag

Theme: Roman Empire

Another game set in the roman empire, jawn. But wait ... this one is no military strategy game. That and the missing rondel got me interested. Even though I really like the rondel games very much.

Status: unknown, waiting for the rules

UPDATE: Finished reading the rules. THIS is different to all the other games from P.D. Verlag. No rondel and no stealth rondel too. Role selection. The rules of his games never were overly complex and that's the case here as well. Reading those four pages you immediately get that it's still a strategic and complex game though.

thumbsup Short and clear rules
thumbsup No worker placement game
thumbsup Easy to understand, supposedly complex to play

thumbsdown Theme

Status: have to think about it ... I sure like (to get) it

End result: BOUGHT and not only the Geekbuzz and the Fairplay Scout list convinced me of it being a good decision.
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17. Board Game: Countdown: Special Ops [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:15742]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: The Game Master BV

Theme: Counter Strike - The Card Game

A cardgame that's been aproximately two years in the making. More time than time put into the original release/mod Counter Strike. Impressive and reason enough to take a closer look at it.
Players are special ops members trying to disarm bombs, saving hostages or eliminating terrorist leaders at different locations. At those locations there are areas you move through encountering dangers and civilians, boby traps and so on. All special ops members have different and very useful specialities (one each). To use those and to fight dangers you use a dice.
In higher difficulties you can level the special abilities the more you use them.
This is definately one of the few games I'd have to play to like/dislike it. Judging by the rules it's turning cards over via abilities or entering an area, rolling dice and moving on. No tactical positioning, no crossfire, no moving terrorists ... yet I can imagine having fun with the game as it is.

thumbsup Painted artwork, would have hated photos
thumbsup Traitor modus

thumbsdown The theme provides for alot more ... *

*on the other hand: which theme doesn't?

Status: play first

UPDATE: Didn't have the opportunity to test it

End result: waiting for a test play
 
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18. Board Game: Craftsmen [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:3604]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: G3

Theme: Economy

A eurogame without the usual euphoric looking guy on the cover? Isn't that against the law? *laugh* Enclave another game by G3 got me to take a look at the other games of the publisher. That and the fact that Craftsmen showed up on quite some geeklists made me read the rules. While reading it a really liked what seems to be going on here. Then the quasi Dice Tower Zee shows up in the Legacy review and talks about games that make you do stuff to get other stuff, which you transform into stuff which allows you to get what you originally wanted. That's Craftsmen. As much as he would rightfully hate this game I suppose, I like it for that. Why? Because it's transparent that in order to craft a masterpiece you need to get raw materials to produce what you need before crafting the real thing. I like that kind of games.
But I already have games like that ...

thumbsup Nice artwork
thumbsup More complex but transparent economic structure
thumbsup Price (assuming descent component quiality)

thumbsdown Nothing really new

Status: Thinking about it

End result: Skipped it in favor of Archon which looked more appealing to me.
 
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19. Board Game: Dark Darker Darkest [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:3276]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Queen Games

Theme: Horror

Great setting, different theme compared to most games in my collection. I'm wondering how this fits into the Queen Games portfolio ... I sure hope it doesn't and in this case that would lead towards buying it.

thumbsup Artwork
thumbsup Theme
thumbsup Queen Games component quality

thumbsdown Queen Games pricing policy/chaos

Status: After a short flight over the rules I just ...

PREORDERED via amazon (still able to cancel if QG-booth has a lower price)
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20. Board Game: Dr. Hrubec [Average Rating:5.66 Overall Rank:13760]
Timo Schneider
Germany
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Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: CBG

Theme: Medical Simulation *cough*

I got an Infarkt! because of the humour (and yes, because of the box cover as well) so it's logic to take a closer look at this too.

thumbsup It looks different, at least in theme and box art

Status: unknown
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21. Board Game: Dungeon Petz: Dark Alleys [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: CGE

Theme: TamaMonsterGotchi Fantasy

More goodness more fun for my gaming buddies and me.

thumbsup Artwork
thumbsup I like the base game
thumbsup new monsters?!

Conclusion: 6

Status: PREORDERED

End result: BOUGHT of course
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22. Board Game: Eclipse: Ship Pack One [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Amsodee

Theme: Science Awseome Fiction

thumbsup Miniatures
thumbsup Pimp my games and make it ...
thumbsup easier to hide the "Eurogame" behind those ships
thumbsup Shipdesigns

thumbsdown Same price as a complete and new game
thumbsdown Availability?

Make a very good game more sexy may attract new players.

Status: PREORDERED via allgames4you (32,99€)
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23. Board Game: Edo: Expansion #1 [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Queen Games

Theme: ol' Japan /Economy

I like "thinky".

thumbsup I like the base game
thumbsup Queen Games component quality

thumbsdown Queen Games pricing policy/chaos

Status: maybe buying at Essen, depending on the price tag

End result: Couldn't find it at the booth, will put in on hold until xmas.
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24. Board Game: Enclave: Zakon Krańca Świata [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:6173]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: G3

Theme: Weird Apocalypse Science Fiction

The setting or theme? To call it "weird" may very well be an understatement. But the prologue of the rules give a good read. It's very different from nearly any other game's story. The board has alot of polish writing on it but it supports the theme and has no meaning gameplaywise except marking areas that are shown in the rulebook as well which makes it language independant.
Is it a game I'd like to add to my collection? I'm not sure yet. I read the rules once and was a little distracted by the theme and some elements but not in a negative way. I'll read them again after sighting some more rules.

thumbsup Artwork
thumbsup Theme
thumbsup Theme (weird AND intriguing)
thumbsup Leveling a character

thumbsdown Weirdness? Too weird? I'll check again.

Status: RESERVED

End result: BOUGHT because of the story and the ingenuity of polish and russion authors in generell (fictional literature).
 
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25. Board Game: End of Atlantis: Revised Edition [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:10485]
Timo Schneider
Germany
Kamen / Unna
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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Publisher: Galakta

Theme: see game title

You're leader of one of the royal houses of Atlantis, which is doomed and so on. Cliché story but after saving dozens of damsels in distress, building thousands of cities, killing millions of space invaders ... who am I to judge the story. You try to rescue your people by influencing the senat. Majorities, voting ... influencing ... very interesting potpourri.

thumbsup Artwork
thumbsup Different from most of the other releases

thumbsdown Price!

Status: 40,00 € is more than I'm willing to let go for it - the bundle bonus doesn't change that.

Conclusion: 3
 
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