My Essen 2013 experience
Gilad Yarnitzky
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I'll update this list as I have time and as the event goes.

One of my goals in this event is to get rights for games to be implemented as iPad/iPhone versions, so the games I play are mixture of simple games and games I want for my self. (Reminder http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/162267/optional-ipad-new-p...)

I'll skip the not so fun part of arriving here which was a long way from Israel with delays and other "scary" parts and go right to the fun part: games
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1. Board Game: Atacama [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:9369]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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The problem I had with game was the scoring. It turned out that the English version had a mistake and this is a very good candidate for an iPad game. I had a good conversation about this and a second meeting is planned on Sat.
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2. Board Game: Glastonbury [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:4087]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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Played a game with two playeds. I think it is a bit long, but I liked it. Peached again my idea about iPad games and they appeared to like it, they asked me to get in touch after Essen.
 
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3. Board Game: S-Evolution [Average Rating:5.42 Overall Rank:15175]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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I love civilization games. I realy wanted to add this one to the list, but could not.
QAfter three out of six round me and another player we far behind the leading two players and there was nothing we could do about it.
In the first stage of the game you play the cards randomly and the playing order is set but the luck of the draw. We two were last modt of the phases not getting food that will enable us to advance to the stage were we can pick our cards so we stayed behind.
Not fun when after half of the game you feel you have no chance to win and it was not because you played badly but becauses you draw a set of bad cards. True maybe hte odds of this happening is small but a major turn down for me.
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4. Board Game: Cornish Smuggler [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:6896]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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After a long wait, I managd to play a near full game.
I did buy the game with mixed emotions:
Pros
- the game feel different then anygame I have
- the "secret" and othe cards make the game feel different game every time
- lots of back stabing, and as I said different but not dipplomacy level of backstabing so it felt right level
Cons
- the first stage of the game feels repetetive until the "secret" cards come into effect and the customs or what ever they are calls (forgot right now)
- not actually sure who in my group will actually play it
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5. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:227]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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I thought this will be fiddly seeing all the resources listed, but after playing it and finishing a game in less then an hour with the explanation I bought it.
It does have some unique elements but some mixture from other games but combined in a nice way.
Picking roles but trying to be unique is nice, but needing to pick some roles that you will not be unique in order to gain more actions is a nice twist.
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6. Board Game: Craftsmen [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:3599]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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I did play a full game but only the first round because it was the end of the day. But after the rules were explained and we played the first round the four of us who played together agreed that it is too fiddly with too many small details and none of us really wanted to play a full game.
 
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7. Board Game: Gear & Piston [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:6598]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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This was nice worker placecent game. Only three workers with three players so it went fast.
The investors concept is very nice and I think it will make the game different enough every time + there is too look out for during the game make this interesting enough for example:
- Color of the tiles for extra points so scrap tiles can give alot more bonus point but alot negativ smog point
- having the vehicle complete (I'm too ashamed to call what I built there a car)
So I bough it.
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8. Board Game: Om Nom Nom [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:3906]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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I went to meet with brain games to check this game and the next one as a possible option for iPad/iPhone games. The meeting went well, they will think about my offer and off I went to test the games to see if I really think the fit the bill.
This is a light game where you try to guess what will the other players will do. The more players the better. 15 minutes game top.
Great at the beginning of the evening or the end. I know my group will love it. Digital media or not, I wanted it.
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9. Board Game: Dig Mars [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:7389]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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This was the second game by brain games. More complex. I think it is a very good example for the games I'm looking for and I think my kids will enjoy it or people looking for a light filler (three players took us about30 minutes) so I bought it to learn the game more
 
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10. Board Game: Guildhall [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:809] [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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I wanted to try Canalis but while waiting for a table to free, I tried this.
The game left me with a feeling that if someone will bring it the table I might agree to play it, but I did not want to but it.

There is plenty of planning, but there is a lot luck of cards. Also we played three people where two knew each other and in some sense actualy helped each other, so while taking cards from another player to gain something, they made sure to give something back and I felt an outsider.
So the setting might have being a "bad" one for me.
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11. Board Game: Canalis [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:5128]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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When you first see the components it looks like a complex game, so my initial reaction was "not going to buy" but I wanted to at least try it.

It turns out, looks can decive (yes, I know that from real life).
The game is relative simple, and although we hand a run away leader ( leading 40 point after second stage) we alomst caught up with him with the missions (and if we did not forget the income rule wr might have even caught up with him)

This showed for me that there is a lot going on in the game and for 25 euro a relative cheap game, I bought it.
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12. Board Game: Bluff in Zoo [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:7803]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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Went to some friends hotel to play with them.
First game was this little card game. Basically this is lair dice with same extra cards (almost).
For me the feeling was: if you have lair dice skip this, if you don't anf prefer carring a smaller game consider this instead.
 
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13. Board Game: Ghost Blitz: 5 to 12 [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:2351]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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The owner of this game although it is a kids game though it might fit as a party game for adults.
The concept is very nice escpecially for kids. As for adults, I think a few more berrs needed to be added to the mix before.
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14. Board Game: Founders of the Empire [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:6716]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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This is actually one more game I was thing to implement.
Good news: this is a nice little game in a little box.
Bad news: the token you can eran add so much complexity to the AI that I think of going to skip this game.
I have a meeting with the company today to check some other games the do, but I'm going to buy this game for myself.
Eventually did nuy the game since I'm not sure it will hit the table with my group. Might change if space left in the suit case
 
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15. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:492]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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This is not my type of games. Can't put my fingure on it. Too abstract, didn't enjoy it.

One more thing about this game that really annoyed me is the size of the box. All the components can be put in a box third of the height. Don't companies realize boardgamers have limited space? Once it is gone we buy less games!
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16. Board Game: The Witches: A Discworld Game [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:3152]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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I loved the first discworld game, so I had to try this one. I was hoping more of Terry prachett world in it was I was a bit disappointed.
May I just did not rember the books but the villages names did not ring any bells for me or the other players who were also fans.

The game itself was so so: random cards and then random dice rolls. A bit too random. There is an element of planning, but it felt like something is missing. Unlike the first game where there are cards but a lot more strategy and my group who does not like chaotic game still want to play it again (which tells alot about how it is not really drawing cards does not make it pure random game)

So no go for me, but will play it once in a while when presented.
 
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17. Board Game: Coal Baron [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:504]
Gilad Yarnitzky
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Really wanted to play this one. Yet another worker placemet, lots of workers. 3 round with 15 workers in 3 player game.
First impression: lots and lots of desicion to make.
End of game impression: I'm so tired
1: I placed 45 workers, true, sometimes it was two or three together, so it was not 45 actions but that is a lot. Compare to gear and pistons that was 5 round (maybe 6) so 15 (18) actions a lot less.
2: the scoring. 3 turns, first turn you score for 4 elements, 2nd for 8 elements, 3rd for 12 elements. It appears that this will allow for alot of tactics since you can focus on so many things, but this is so tiring, since you need to count so much and you need to focus on so many things.

Another things that bothered us, it appears that first player first action should almost always be "get 6 money" and second player is "get 5 money" since money is so important. So having such fixed actions is kind of minus, and a big benefit for first player.

Playing it once in a while maybe, buying it no.
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