Essen 2013 - great artwork in games
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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This will be my third Essen and these are the new releases, expansions and some older ones I will check out this time around. Trend of the year seems to be exploration and maybe nautical themes, in my humble opinion.

I'm a sucker for artwork and components, being a graphic designer/illustrator, which will probably influence this list. That is usually what draws me in, however, I would not buy a game simply because of its good looks...well...we'll see.

I have not read the rules of all of these games, but I plan to, and post my opinions of them eventually.
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1. Board Game: City of Iron [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:968]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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Looks like an interesting euro. A lot of praise from Tom Vasel. The components and artwork looks decent++.
 
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2. Board Game: Archon: Glory & Machination [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:1842]
 
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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Very nice artwork as always with this company and this artist. Hopefully the game is good too.

Preordered.
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3. Board Game: A Study in Emerald [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:676]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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Gaiman, Lovecraft, Holmes, great artwork (!) Four good reasons to have a closer look at this one.
 
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4. Board Game: Expedition: Northwest Passage [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1196]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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The artwork and the components of the new Matagot edition looks stunning.

Preordered.
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5. Board Game: Village: Inn [Average Rating:7.86 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.86 Unranked]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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As a Village fan, this is a must-buy! Although I'm not crazy about the art in this one. The board looks ok, but it's not the most functional and too busy. Still, a great game!
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6. Board Game: Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:601]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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Looks like it's gonna be a big hit at Essen this year.
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7. Board Game: Nothing Personal [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:879]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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This is a must-buy for my group. Very colorful, with lots of interaction (backstabbing). In general I usually like being able to choose characters in games, for some reason.
 
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8. Board Game: Drum Roll [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:1262]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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This one is not new, but I will consider it, because of the artwork and the theme. Plus my girlfriend wants it.

Preordered.
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9. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:143]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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Second edition! I will probably buy this as I'm venturing into wargaming these days. Basically because of all the praise it's gotten from wargamers and even eurogamers I'm not an expert on these types of games, but I have read the rules and it seems like a very clean, elegant block game design.
 
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10. Board Game: Artifact [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:11513]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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As an archeology fan I have to check this one out!

Update: Read the rules. Mechanically it seems pretty solid. I'm glad they decided to add the expansions in which you're able to include Howard Carter and other famous archaeologists. I also like the special artifacts. This all helps to increase the replay value, which isn't that great to begin with (of course, you might discover different artifacts). It's also a big plus that the game is not as luck based as similar games. This game probably is best with 4 or 5 players, but I don't know if my friends are as into this theme as I am. All in all, I'm not put off after reading the rules, I will consider it.
 
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11. Board Game: The Great Museum [Average Rating:7.06 Unranked]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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Don't know enough - I just like the theme.
 
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12. Board Game: Cornish Smuggler [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:6900]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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Looks cool! I tend to prefer the kind of hand drawn esthetics to the really polished designs. Although the art and design in this one isn't perfected, in my opinion, it looks pretty good and seems to fit the theme/athmosphere of the game.
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13. Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Détective Conseil: Les Masques Africains [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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Only in French? If it was in English it would be a must-buy for me.
 
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14. Board Game: Tokaido: Crossroads [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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This is a must-buy for my group. The base game is a beauty!
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15. Board Game: Francis Drake [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:373]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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16. Board Game: Hive: The Pillbug [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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A new bug! Will get this one.
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17. Board Game: Bruxelles 1893 [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:263]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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18. Board Game: Lewis & Clark [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:159]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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Exploration games seems to be a big thing this year. This game certainly looks fantastic. Will hopefully get to try it.
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19. Board Game: Terror in Meeple City [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:698]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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Will try this, but probably not buy it. I have fond memories of playing something very similar on the old Sega Master System....
 
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20. Board Game: 1911 Amundsen vs Scott [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:2313]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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Poor Scott...

Wow, this artist (Pedro Soto) worked on Signum Mortis!
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21. Board Game: Castaways [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1221]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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22. Board Game: The Phantom Society [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:5549]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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23. Board Game: Steam Park [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:741]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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Looks promising, but the action-choosing mechanism will probably put me off. I'm just not that quick in games. Nice Machinariumish artwork.
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24. Board Game: The Builders: Middle Ages [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1482]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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The sample cards look very promising!
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25. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:41]
Thomas Hansen
Norway
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