A Female Gamer's Essen 2013 List
Ronja Räubertochter
Germany
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I'm not a gamer's wife or girlfriend, I grew up to be a gamer myself. I actually introduced my boyfriend to board gaming (with the result that he is now more obsessed with board games than I am). I went to the Spiel in Essen almost every year of my life.

I won't deny that my taste in games is not that of a typical gamer. I don't own any of the BBG's Top 10 games and I don't like most of them. Still, I feel like a gamer and I don't like it when games are recommended as "you can even play this with your wife" etc. We girls can be gamers, too! And some of us also dream of buying tons of games and storing them in a room just for board games, with a nice huge table in the middle (and a fridge in the corner, filled with drinks and snacks). meeple

With that being said, this is my list of games I am looking forward to and want to buy or at least check out at SPIEL 2013.

I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to comment away and make suggestions for more games.

Also, if you like, check out my boyfriend's Essen list: A Gamer's Boyfriend Essen 2013 List.
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1. Board Game: 12 Realms [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:9792]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Mage Company
- Price: €45 (+ €33 for the 3 additional packs)
- Hall-booth: 1-C137

In retrospect, I am a little mad at me for not backing this as a project, I don't know why I didn't do it. It looks really neat. My father backed it, so I probably won't buy it, I'm not sure. But I really want to try it at Essen.
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2. Board Game: 21 Mutinies: Arrr! Edition [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:5040]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Asylum Games
- Price: €35-ish
- Hall-booth: 3-P107

This one I really just want to try because I like the theme. I'm not convinced that this is a highly-enjoyable game. It was already supposed to be released one or two years ago and at the time I found it very interesting. Then it suddenly disappeared and now it's back after its crowdfunding was a success. I watched the Spieleschmiede video for 21 Mutinies, but it really didn't sound that great, so I didn't back it.
Maybe if I get to play it, it will surprise me. After all, the guy who does those video makes anything sound like a yawn to me, don't ask me why. So perhaps the game is better than I think right now.

Either way I'm not gonna spend those €35, but if it's great, contrary to all expectations, I might put it on my wishlist for Santa. ;-)
 
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3. Board Game: A Study in Emerald [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:676]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Treefrog Games
- Price: €45
- Hall-booth: 1–F160

I have to admit, I haven't read Lovecraft's stories and I haven't played Arkham Horror (because I didn't get the chance and it's too long for my taste), but I enjoy The Elder Sign and Mansions of Madness and I am also very interested in Eldritch Horror.
I am also a fan of Sherlock Holmes, especially of the BBC series Sherlock, but I also like other games with a Sherlock Holmes theme and the original stories.

So reading that this is a "stylistic mash-up of Sherlock Holmes and H.P. Lovecraft" was intruiging. I am very much looking forward to trying this.
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4. Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:498]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Abacusspiele/dV Giochi
- Price: €19
- Hall-booth: 3-E108

There's not much to say here. My friends and I like Bang, I usually like dice games, it's almost a no-brainer, except I think that 19€ is too expensive for some cards and dice...

Any thoughts on your end?
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5. Board Game: Buccaneer Bones [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:6370]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Wattsalpoag Games
- Price: €8.50
- Hall-booth: 1-C140 (sharing with Japanime Games)

A game with dice and a pirate theme. I like. But I will play anything with a pirate theme at least once. This has a major luck element, I am aware, but I don't mind that. I think it's good that you can't exactly loose a turn. If you don't roll two or three of a kind, you can choose one of three alternative actions to help your game along.
This game also comes with variants and a solo play option, which is great.

*

Update: A prototype of the game was presented at Essen 2012 and Cliquenabend shows this in one of their videos, which I found just recently and added to BGG. The rules are explained in English and German, so if anyone else is interested, you can watch that now. The rules were expanded a little bit since then to give the players more options for using their first mate, which adds a bit of player interaction that was missing before.

*

Second update: After thinking about this long (well, about 5 hours) and hard, I decided to back this on Kickstarter, which allows me to save €2.50. I hope I won't regret this. Anyhow, this is the first game I ever backed on Kickstarter, so Wattsalpoag you can be proud of yourself for that. Now I'll just have to wait and see if the funding is successful -> http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wattsalpoag/buccaneer-bo...
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6. Board Game: Carcassonne: South Seas [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:817]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Hans im Glück
- Price: €20
- Hall-booth: 3-D116

It's never wrong to check out a new Carcassonne. This one looks pretty, I like the new setting.
The new Carcassonne ice cube molds (http://www.cundco.de) are a perfect addition to this. The only problem is that summer is over in Germany, so it's not really the time for sun, sea, sand and chilled drinks...
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7. Board Game: Desktopia [Average Rating:6.23 Unranked]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Hobby World/Igrology
- Price: Not for sale at Essen
- Hall-booth: 1-E151

A game I just came across recently. According to the latest news, there will only be a demo of this in Essen, which I will definitely check out. I'm always up for a good flicking game, like PitchCar or Catacombs. I like that there are a lot of different scenarios in the base game and that there will be even more downloadable scenarios in the future. I also like that there are scenarios to play solo.
Maybe this will be the first game to look forward to in 2014.

The rules have been added to BGG in a couple of languages and I think it looks promising. The rules seem structured and detailed and from what I read so far they are good to understand.
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8. Board Game: Die drei ??? und der Feuerdiamant [Average Rating:6.05 Unranked]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Kosmos
- Price: €30
- Hall-booth: Hall/booth 3-B118

Please don't ask me why this is on the list.

I just love Die drei ??? audio books. That's it, basically... In Germany, the same three guys have been speaking the roles of Justus, Peter and Bob for over 30 years. A few years back they started doing live shows as well, where they read the stories (and act them out a little) in front of an audience and they are awesome!

I'm usually veeeery careful with Reiner Knizia games, but this is co-op and you can somehow use your smartphone in the game or something, so I just wanna take a look at it, even though it's directed at children.
 
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9. Board Game: Legends of Andor: The Star Shield [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Kosmos
- Price: €15
- Hall-booth: Hall/booth 3-B118

I loved The Legends of Andor since the first time I played it in spring. I also got lucky at a fair in Herne where I got a copy for €25 (instead of €30-35 you usually have to pay). I'm looking forward to this first expansion as I read that the replayability of the new legend is much higher than that of the first five legends.

The official price is €15, but I expect this to be available cheaper at booths that sell all kinds of games, like AllGames4You. As I only got to play the first three legends so far (I played each of them 2-3 times), I won't necessarily buy the expansion at the fair and instead focus on other games which are not as easily available, but sooner or later I will get myself a copy.
 
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10. Board Game: Dig Mars [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:7397]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Brain Games
- Price: €25 (€20 if preordered)
- Hall-booth: 1-G139

Cool theme and artwork, but I'm not certain if it's actually fun to play this, it certainly doesn't sound very innovative. I think I'll just have to try.

The same goes for the game Om Nom Nom. I like the artwork and the mechanics sound good. What bothers me is the food chain theme and this chewing-sound-title. I mean... look at that cute rabbit. And now I want to play the wolf card to hunt it? If 12 Realms is difficult to sell to male gamers, this game will probably have a hard time with female gamers because there's something cruel in hunting, even if it's completely natural for animals (and humans) to eat other animals.

 
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11. Board Game: DubbelYatzy [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Yonjuni Games
- Price: €10 (if pre-orded, I don't know if there is a different price if you didn't or if they bring extra copies at all)
- Hall-booth: 3-Q101 (but only on Saturday and Sunday, as I understand it)

A Yahtzee variation with dice inside the dice. Looks interesting. Before re-rolling you always have to consider that you actually loose 2 results instead of one.
 
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12. Board Game: DuCo [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:12961]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Self-Published by Henrik Larsson
- Price: €10
- Hall-booth: 2-D105

I just found this on a list called "Essen 2013 solitaire games" and I think it looks interesting. Production seems to be good and 10€ is not really expensive. It looks puzzly and challenging. I like that the rules include variations.

It reminds me a little bit of Cities by Martyn F, a game I also really enjoyed.
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13. Board Game: Dungeon Fighter: Fire at Will [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Cranio Creations
- Price: ?
- Hall-booth: ?

Dungeon Fighter was sooo much fun! I'm looking forward to finding out what it will be like with the expansion. I'd like to see this sold in a bundle with the base game which I have yet to acquire.
 
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14. Board Game: Dungeon Guilds [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:5443]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Moaideas Game Design
- Price: €15 (at the fair)
- Hall-booth: 3-O111 (sharing with Swan Panasia)

Description sounds interesting enough, I think my friends and I will enjoy this, but what really got me hooked was the artwork. Just look at it! Super cute!

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15. Board Game: Dungeon Roll [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2190]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
- Price: €15
- Hall-booth: 3-M110

Seems like this is a good game for 1-2 players. I read through the rules and liked what I read there, so seeing that it's only around €15, I'll most probably buy this (and maybe make it an even €20 by adding Zombie Dice 2: Double Feature).

The box is really cool, too.
According to Essen Spiel 2013 specials, freebies, promos and other giveaways Pegasus will have a level tracker mat as a promo for this. Mind you, this has not yet been officially confirmed by Pegasus.
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16. Board Game: Francis Drake [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:373]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Eagle Games
- Price: €60
- Hall-booth: 3-Q113

Tom Vasel from the Dice Tower has been talking about this A LOT. I'm curious what all the buzz is about. €60 is way too expensive for me, but with the gorgeous artwork (except for the board which I find looks a little dull) and all the little pieces I understand why the price is so high.
And even if it was cheaper, every game longer than 90 minutes and not co-operative is difficult to get on the table with my friends, so I want to try it, but I won't buy it.
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17. Board Game: Futterneid [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:11810]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: 2F-Spiele
- Price: €20
- Hall-booth: 3-L103

In my opinion, the idea for this game is brilliant: a game about dividing up the snacks on a game night. I mean, who doesn't have any kind of snacks on the table while playing board games? The only problem is that the game itself seems somewhat pointless. If everyone gets to keep their winnings for the rest of the night, then during the game you have to decide if you play this to win or just to get your favorite snacks. And not playing to win somehow defeats the purpose of a competitive game, doesn't it?
Oh, and also you always need snacks which are individually wrapped because who would want to eat a piece of chocolate that has wandered through five other people's hands already?

Still, I would really like to try this and see if it's more fun than I imagine right now because my boyfriend is very excited about this (mostly because it's a 2F-game and he likes to buy those... laugh). So I hope it's fun to play this even without real snacks so it's worth buying.

What interests me more at the 2F-booth is a solitaire 'puzzle' called "Falter" ("Folder" in English), which doesn't have a BGG page, because it's not really a game. Falter consists only of a piece of paper with a labyrinth printed on both sides. In order to make your way through that labyrinth you have to fold the paper sometimes and continue the track on the other side. It looks neat and entertaining (at least for a while). One labyrinth will cost €1.50 at the fair and there will be 8 different ones available. You can also buy the entire set for €11.

If you want to see what Falter looks like, check out the video on cliquenabend.de where Friedemann explains how the labyrinths work:
Start at 8.00 min. into the video for "Falter".
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18. Board Game: Galapagos [Average Rating:5.34 Overall Rank:14857]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Amigo
- Price: €20
- Hall-booth: 3-H103

This looks like a light, fun and also a little mean family game, with a lot of luck and some pressure to plan quickly. If I enjoy it, I might take it home.

When I first saw a photo of this, it looked like another version of the Settlers of Catan to me. Did anyone else think that?

*

Update: After watching a Cliquenabend video of the game, I have to say it looks more like a children's game than a family game to me. Anyway, if there is any time left during the fair, I might still give it a try. After all, there are other 'children's games' on this list as well.
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19. Board Game: Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1075]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Mattel
- Price: €27
- Hall-booth: ?

Another cooperative addition to the list. You can be sure I won't buy every one of those cooperative games, but I really enjoy playing together against the game instead of competing against each other and so I want to find the best games to do so. This one looks like it might be too easy and is probably directed at children, but I would like to play it at least once anyway. I'm not so sure if Mattel will actually be at the fair, though. Maybe I've just never paid attention, but I can't remember seeing a Mattel booth before.
 
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20. Board Game: Glastonbury [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:4090]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Franjos Spieleverlag
- Price: €19.90 (€18.90 at the fair)
- Hall-booth: 3-L101

A new and improved "Kupferkessel Co" with pretty artwork. I like the memory aspect of the game and that there are variants to make the game more difficult. I would like to try this and I hope it plays well with 2 players.
 
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21. Board Game: Guardians' Chronicles [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:6051] [Average Rating:6.64 Unranked]
Ronja Räubertochter
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- Publisher: Iello
- Price: Not for sale at Essen 2013
- Hall-booth: 3-M109

From the description it sounds a little bit like Sentinels of the Multiverse - The Miniature Game and my friends and I love Sentinels.
I like the superhero theme, the miniatures look neat (although unpainted) and the game sounds as if it would be easy to learn.
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22. Board Game: Händler der Karibik [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:3922]
Ronja Räubertochter
Germany
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- Publisher: Österreichies Spiele Museum:
- Price: At least €5 (as a donation to the museum)
- Hall-booth: 1-C106

A push-your-luck card game which sounds like fun to me. This game won the Austrian Game Designers Competition, so I hope that it is indeed a good game.
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23. Board Game: Ignis [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:8215]
Ronja Räubertochter
Germany
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- Publisher: HUCH! & friends
- Price: €23
- Hall-booth: 3-D120

A two-player-game that at first reminded me a lot of Ebbe & Flut, but with nicer components. It's different though in that the playing area gets smaller and smaller as the game progresses and that sounde very interesting, so if I get around to it, I'll give it a try and see how my boyfriend and I like it.
 
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24. Board Game: Karesansui [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:4542]
Ronja Räubertochter
Germany
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- Publisher: Gryphon Games
- Price: €34
- Hall-booth: 3-Q113

"The cutthroat game of Zen gardening" sounds completely absurd. I want to play this. laugh
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25. Board Game: Kenya [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:13053]
Ronja Räubertochter
Germany
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- Publisher: Ilopeli
- Price: €13
- Hall-booth: 3-P106 (sharing with Blackrock Editions)

I like the artwork, the gameplay sounds interesting and a little mean. I'll have to try this.
 
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