Any Essen Greats Out There? Replacing your top 20
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
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I keep going over the Essen games this year and I keep seeing games that look good but not great. I've got a limited amount of time to play and I wish I could play my top 20 games a lot more than I do. Looking at the Essen '13 list, I cannot find a single game on it that I think would replace any of my top 20. What about you?

This Geeklist is simple (and I expect won't see too much traffic besides the listing of 2 games). Add an entry for one game to be released at Essen 2013 (Spiel 2013 Preview) that you expect will replace one of your top 20 games. Then mention which game is being replaced and why you think the new release has the potential to edge out one of your current favorites for more than 3 - 5 plays.
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1. Board Game: Francis Drake [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:372]
Evan Dunn
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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I can safely say this, because I kickstarted it and already have some plays. Really fantastic game, put it in my #13 spot, bumping Shogun out of the top 20.
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2. Board Game: Canterbury [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:2326]
Evan Dunn
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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I have high hopes this one will knock out Descent from my top 20. It looks really fantastic. I kickstarted this one too, and it should be shipping to me any day now.
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3. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:110]
David Etherton
Scotland
Edinburgh
Midlothian
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I've been looking for the right civilization / 4X game for me for years now.

I played the FFG Civ game once a couple of years ago, and it didn't really catch my eye. I've tried Through the Ages a few times (and just finally traded it away) -- downtime on that one is a killer. I thought maybe Eclipse was it, but we haven't gotten good enough at the game to get past the "player who gets the best explore draws wins" part of the curve. Then I thought maybe Clash of Cultures was the one -- but both of my games played have been derailed by opponent's military. And I thought I was ready for it the second time! So maybe 4X just isn't for me. Maybe this game, with its abstracted wars, is?
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4. Board Game: Patchistory [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:921]
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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I'm really interested in this one - to the point that I purchased a Korean copy as the game is mostly language independent. I enjoy Through the Ages, but its length keeps it from the table so I'm hoping this Civ game might be able to stick around and get played more frequently.
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5. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:491]
Ben
United States
Ann Arbor
Michigan
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This is FAR from a safe bet to break into my Top 20, but it is also the most likely to do so. As you mentioned, most of this year's Essen crop is uninspiring--good, but with limited upside. Tash-Kalar goes the other direction. It is the one game that, at least abstractly, has a high ceiling, even though it also has a high risk that I won't like it at all. It seems rather novel, yet challenging and sufficiently immersive. I could see it being very addictive if I can manage to find a steady opponent.

If you are looking for something a little less risky, I think Prosperity is the safest bet to be a game I enjoy and keep for at least a few years.
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6. Board Game: Russian Railroads [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:71]
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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This is the other one about which I am excited and think could end up in my top 20. I see a number of other games I look forward to playing, but not sure if there are any others potentially in my top 20.
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7. Board Game: Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:599]
Jason
United States
Irvine
California
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I already have many Portal releases in my personal Top 20, and I have a feeling this one will break into my Top 20 as well...
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8. Board Game: Roads & Boats [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:316]
Fabrice Dubois
France
La Garenne Colombes
Hauts de Seine
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Given the fact that i don't expect a great crop this year (Essen 2012 was awesome and i will look forward for only a few games this year), i will purchase one of the big three Splotter i don't own yet.
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9. Board Game: Rococo [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:200]
Alan
United States
Trumbull
Connecticut
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There's a decent chance that this one makes it to my top 20. I've played it and enjoyed the experience. And I want to play it more. And I will.
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10. Board Game: Koryŏ [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1699]
Kris Verbeeck
Belgium
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Essen is not for me about new games so this is on the third page of my shopping list. i tend to buy games that are a couple of years old.
However I think this might become a top 5 two player game. (and it plays up to four)

there are some complaints about luck, but I have heard these comments before ( Lost cities) . If you play a couple of rounds it should even out
and that won't be a problem if it is fun to play.


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11. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:22]
Dave K
United States
Austin
Texas
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I *adore* Agricola. This looks like Agricola++. I actually don't mind the cards in 'gric, but several people in my group feel those are the weak element of the game because sometimes you can get a flop while someone else gets a great combo.

At any rate, this looks like it has everything I love but more of it - plus the addition of buildings. The 'gentler' rules for animal placement (disclaimer: I have not read the full rules, I just read about this somewhere in a preview, so I may be wrong) might be nice as well for having animals as a 'side thing.'

Will it replace Agricola? That's very hard to say, but it *could*. And even the possibility of that is saying a lot for me!
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12. Board Game: Prosperity [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1630]
Brian Boyle
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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Wow, 4 out of the first 6 games listed here are also on my "Top 20" (I wish) list. The other Essen release I am holding out hope for is the Bleasdale/Knizia designed Prosperity. Between them, those designers already have five games in my top 20.

Really looking for something with simple rules but deep game play. Both are capable of this. But will it be a marriage made in heaven or hell?
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13. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:227]
Christina Crouch
United Kingdom
Tadley
Hampshire
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I am looking forward to Glass Road, which I hope might enter my top 20 games. I like the action selection mechanics, and the idea of trying to outguess what your opponents do to try and get the bonus ability for your action. For me it blends a bit of San Juan and a bit of Citadels with the usual Uwe commodity trading.
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14. Board Game: Enclave: Zakon Krańca Świata [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:6173]
Jack Russo
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Just read the rules and saw the Enclave: Zakon Krańca Świata reviews.
I think it is a safe choice to be a very good game coming from Poland
The picture makes me want it. This is a must-buy for me!
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15. Board Game: Sails of Glory [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:1376] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Stefano Tine'
Italy
Genoa
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It will only be demoed at Essen, apparently, but it sure is one of my most awaited games of 2013.
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