Spiel 2013 - Preparation and report
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I started this list as a private list for making sure that I don't miss any games I wanted to see.

Shortly after I made it public in order to share it with a friend, it got a thumb from a fellow geek who I don't even know.

So I figured that my list could be of interest to someone out there and decided to elaborate it a bit and keep it updated during the fair with comments about the games I played.

If you agree, disagree or want to point me to something I might be missing please comment!

BTW: In case you haven't already noticed the list sorted alphabetically and not ranked by my interest.

Edit No.1: Sooo... today I've spent my first couple of hours at the fair. I must say that I like the 'new' halls. Since it's just the three halls it doesn't seem so strechted out. That's a good thing since it means that one has to spend less time just walking around when trying to visit specific booths. But the area seems smaller to me but that might just be a misperception. While I spent most time strolling through the halls I also got the chance to play a bit and get some explanations and I added comments to those games.

Edit No.2: Phew. First real day of the fair is done. I used this day to pick up some games with a smaller printrun before they end up being sold out. Then I spent some time browsing walking through the new game presentation upstairs, tried two new games and bevor leaving I picked up most of my preorders.

Edit No.3: The Saturday wasn't nearly as bad as I suspected. It was definitely harder to find a table to try new games. But in general it was pretty okay. I was there with a friend who hadn't been to the fair during the first two days so we spent a lot of time walking the halls looking at new games. But we also had the chance to play some of the games I still wanted to try.
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1. Board Game: 1775: Rebellion [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:266]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I've seen this a couple of times on the homepage of Academy Games but I never had much interest in it. But then I happened to see a review and I realized that it's a very light war game and that got my attention.

Now I'm intrigued and I'd like to give it a try. Maybe it's a bit too light for my taste but we'll see about that.

Edit: I guess I could have checked it out but time was short and I just wanted to play other games more than 1775.
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2. Board Game: Among the Stars: The Ambassadors [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I own and love Among the Stars so kickstarting the expansion was pretty much a no-brainer.

Edit: Picked up
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3. Board Game: Archon: Glory & Machination [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1749]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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At first I wanted to skip Archon but then I watched Undead Viking's preview of the game and the gameplay sounded as interesting to me as the graphics. So I backed another Artipia title.

Edit: Picked up
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4. Board Game: C3K: Creatures Crossover Cyclades/Kemet [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I own Cyclades and I'll probably pick up Kemet at some point. Maybe I'll already get C3K even though I don't own Kemet yet. But I'm not sure.

Edit: Since I knew that my FLGS will be selling it cheaper I passed ont C3K.
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5. Board Game: Carnival Zombie [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:1728]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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This one will only be at the fair for preview but I'm very interested. Last year I had a look at Winter Tales and it looked absolutely fantastic but without somebody to explain we couldn't wrap our heads around the gameplay. So for the time being I skipped it. Carnival Zombie does not only appeal to me visually and thematically but the gameplay with it day and night phases sounds like some fresh wind in the Zombie game genre.

Edit: I only had a brief look at the game but I didn't play it. I liked the artwork, the glossy cardboard finish not so much. I'll keep my eyes peeled for reviews.
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6. Board Game: Concept [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:593]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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The concept of this game sounds like a new refreshing take on the explain-a-word-type of party game. Instead of using words players have to use various symbols on the board to make the others guess what they are referring to. Sounds great and Repos sure knows how to deliver a good party game so this one got preordered.

Edit: Picked up
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7. Board Game: Coup [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:399]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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Resistance theme? Sold!

Edit: I played this at the fair two times and I enjoyed it. I suppose the game improves with the number of players. The funny thing is... the Resistance theme got me into playing the game. But when I actually played the game I thought that it might have been better to leave the game in its original setting. The titles of the characters seemed a bit out of place for me. But it was still a very enjoyable game and it contained the Merlin & Assassin cards for Resistance so I bought a copy.
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8. Board Game: Dark Darker Darkest [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:3091]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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Dark, Darker, Darkest... It sounds pretty much like an implementation of Resident Evil 1. And that would be AWESOME! But the kickstarter campaign was a bit too much for my taste. And with Panic Station David Ausloos had already created a board game which sounded great but wasn't that great in the end. So I remained skeptic. But I'll certainly give it a try and hopefully my skepticism was unjustified.

Edit: After playing Rogue Agent I was a lot less excited about Dark, Darker, Darkest too. I looked at it but did no longer care much for an explanation. Probably it's a good thing. I would have looked for an experience in the game which is similar to playing Resident Evil 1 but I think a boardgame can hardly deliver that.
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9. Board Game: Desktopia [Average Rating:5.98 Unranked]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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A fantasy-themed disc-flicking game... I guess I'll give it a shot!

Edit: Today I got the chance to try the game. A big plus for me is that the game is asymmetric. I didn't expect that. What I did expect was that the stickers applied to the discs will probably show wear pretty soon. Unfortunately I was right about that. Of course those demo pieces have seen a lot of play during the first one and a half days before I sat down to try it but still that made me even more hesitant. I think can be fun and I'd probably play it again but I won't buy it.
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10. Board Game: The Duke [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:419] [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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Up to now Hive is my only abstract game. But The Duke looks like a very interesting system. It sounds pretty much like a brain burner so I'm not really sure if I have the right players in my groups but if I like it I might pick it up anyway.

Edit: I haven't really seen it. But by today I figured that for now I'm okay with just one abstract in my collection. I like Hive well enough and those two would probably fill pretty much the same niche.
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11. Board Game: Dungeon Petz: Dark Alleys [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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Dungeon Petz is an amazing worker placement game. Deep but still very accessible due to the very thematic mechanics. The only reason why it's not an instant buy is that I'll probably be able to pick it up at my FLGS later for a better price. But I'll definitely check it out.

Edit: I didn't have the chance to play it. And even though it seems as if there had been somo promo Petz to pick up with the game I really decided to get it later.
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12. Board Game: Dungeon Twister: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:4089]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I had already considered picking this up once or twice. I'll probably still not pull the trigger at the fair yet but I'll seek the chance to try it.

Edit: If a table had been free at some point I would have tried it but since there was no free table I didn't care enough to wait for one to be free again.
 
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13. Board Game: Eclipse: Ship Pack One [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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The ship pack sounds like a nice addition to Eclipse. However the fact that they get their batch by airfreight will probably make it cost more than I'm willing to pay for it. And this year there will be no promo so I'll probably pick it up later when it hits the stores.

Edit: I just wasn't willing to rush to the booth to buy something I wouldn't have the chance to play before it's available cheaper in the stores. So no Ship Pack for me.
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14. Board Game: Eldritch Horror [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:51]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I'm not sure if it will be presented at the fair or not but if they DO show it then I'll certainly go have a look.

Edit: There was only one table and it always was a bit crowded. I'm gonna hear and read enough about the game later.
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15. Board Game: Exodus: Proxima Centauri [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:1013]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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After playing the first edition of the game I wasn't too stoked about this game. But then they announced their revised edition and they have addressed some of the problems I had with the first edition. If they have changed enough or not... I'll try to find out at the fair.

Edit: I looked at the components and listened to an overview of the game. The components in general have improved a lot since the first edition. The cards were still a bit flimsy though. I don't think they will hold up well after repeated play. The overview sounded much like there were only minor changes to the game. So I my initial interest vanished again.
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16. Board Game: Expedition: Northwest Passage [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1142]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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For me almost any game Matagot publishes is worth a look. The expedition theme with a mixture of exploring, investigating and pushing your luck sounds really good. I'll give it a try and maybe I'll even pick it up.

Edit: Wow! This is a beautifully designed game! I liked it a lot. The game gives you a good sense of exploration but unlike in other games exploration is not something random. Is it thematic that you can choose in which way ice and water come up next? Well, I guess not. But it works well. The system of ice freezing is really neat. I don't think I have anything negative to say. There's no direct interaction with your opponents. But you are 'racing' for new explorations so you always have an eye on where your opponents are and what they are trying to do. So the lack of direct interaction doesn't matter at all. If I didn't know that my FLGS will carry it cheaper I would have definitely picked it up already.
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17. Board Game: Firefly: The Game [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:279]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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Firefly... I honestly don't even know the series. But Gale Force 9 have proven that they can make a good implementation of a licensed title (Spartacus) and I like SciFi. And it sure created a lot of buzz at GenCon so if I get the chance I'll give it a try.

Edit: The demo tables were always crowded. But after hearing and reading some less favorable reviews of the game I didn't bother to wait for a seat at a demo table.
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18. Board Game: Freedom: The Underground Railroad [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:321]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I've only known Academy Games for the Conflict of Heroes series. Seeing a war game publisher pick up such a great historical theme and make a cooperative game of that... That surely got my attention! After listening to some glowing reviews this one went straight to the list of preoredered games. I'm really excited about picking this one up and giving it a try.

Edit: Picked up
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19. Board Game: Galaxy Defenders [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:916]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I had a look at the kickstarter campaign but it didn't really get me at that point in time and my favourite game from Ares was created by Nexes (War of the Ring). But I like the look of it and I'd like to find out how it really plays. Maybe I was wrong not to back it.

Edit: Walked past the booth a couple of times but the demo table was always full.
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20. Board Game: Ghost Stories: The Village People Expansion [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.21 Unranked]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I was really surprised to see the Village people tiles at the Repos booth for sale. I suppose they came with the reprint of White Moon. For whatever reason they had them I was glad that I finally had the chance to get them.
 
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21. Board Game: Gormenghast: The Board Game [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:12411]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I don't really know much about the game. I like the look of it. Does the gameplay hold up to it? I have no idea. But I'll see if I can find out more about it at the fair.

Edit: To make it short: I haven't found out more.
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22. Board Game: Hegemonic [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:2536]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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A space-themed 4X game? How could I not want to check it out?

Edit: Unfortunately I didn't manage to play a demo. But since I own both Twilight Imperium and Eclipse it's probably a good thing because I wouldn't want to dedicate so much space to space themed 4X games.
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23. Board Game: Heroes of Normandie [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:757] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I had an eye on the kickstarter campaign for some time. But finally I decided that if I wanted to get into it I would want to have the full package and that would have been to expensive for my taste. But now that IELLO will present it I'd like to see how it plays and if I missed out on something.

Edit: When I picked up my copy of Freedom yesterday I saw that the guys from Devil Pig were presenting the game in the same booth. So now I walked over there again to give it a try. Good thing I did! I really liked it. First thing one notices is the artwork. It's really good and don't let the cartooney style fool you. It's still not a light game. What I liked most about the gameplay is the system for activations. Before doing the turns the players have to decide which units they want to activate. The have blocks to indicate this activations with numbers on the backside (visible only to themselves) to determine the order of resolution. To add some uncertainty for the opposing player, both players have a activation block with a blank backside so that the activation of that unit is just a bluff.
They told us that a German version will be coming too and now I'm definitely gonna keep an eye out for that.
 
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24. Board Game: Hive: The Pillbug [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I have only one abstract game in my collection and that's Hive pocket. I love the game so I have to pick up the new piece.

Edit: Picked up
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25. Board Game: King & Assassins [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1871]
Kai Mölleken
Germany
45147 Essen
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I'm a sucker for asymmetric 2-player games. In King & Assassins one player tries to assassinate the king while the other tries to protect him. Sounds neat!

Edit: It doesn't only sound neat. It really is! I played a round of it at the Galakta booth and I enjoyed it very much. It's a lot about bluffing on the side of the assassins and deduction on the side of the King. The assassin player has to lead the king player to believe that the false citizens are the assassins. The king player has to analyze which citizens move where and which of those are being put into position to attack the king. The explanation took 5 minutes max. and I think it didn't take us more than 15 minutes to finish an entire game. Since it would probably hard to get it afterwards I bought a copy.
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