A Curmudgeon's Essen, 2013
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Another Essen has come and gone (sniff!). Great fun. Putting down my thoughts on games, and would like it if the other Eindhoven gamers could put their comments in on the games, and I can add them to the main text. Kind of a down year for new, interesting stuff. but maybe I missed something? Any comments from those non-jaded players out there?
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1. Board Game: The Mushroom Eaters [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:4801]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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PURCHASES

My peronal winner for best in show. Totally unique game, to my knowledge. 3D board and cards, map that folds as you journey, managing a ton of resources with hand management. Gives you the feel of taking a trip (or so I imagine) and we spent a lot of the game looking at each other and giggling. There is even a game attached. Brilliant. Sold out.

Rating: 9
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2. Board Game: The Guns of Gettysburg [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:1555]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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I was interested in Simmon's other games, but when I heard this was supposed to be the best of the lot, I could no longer refrain myself. It cost a lot, sixty Euros, but got an authentic Civil War bullet with it. It took a dog's year to sticker, and I was really freaked that I would screw it up, but it looks pretty good. All the chagrin about the rules is overwrought- managed to get it mostly played right through a single, careful read through. I had low expectations for a diceless combat system, but it really worked. Also, for one of the first times in a wargame I was looking at the map terrain and not really considering hex edges and movement points to maneuver: I saw hills and rivers. Way cool. Also, it looked wonderful when the blocks all laid out over the map. True, we could not finish in four hours and made a couple errors, but this is a gem of a game.

My rating: 8.75
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3. Board Game: Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:601]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Was involved in the early playtesting, and interested to see how it came out in the end, but not yet able to play. My copy was signed by Michiel (thank you!)
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4. Board Game: Pick-a-Polar Bear [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3921]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Pick a Pig was a big hit last year, but went back on Sunday and it was sold out. So, this year it was one of the first to be bought. Even got a silly hat to look like an idiot at the show.

My rating: 6.5
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5. Board Game: L'Aéropostale [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:4545]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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I have never been so totally slaughtered at a game, but I found out yesterday we played a rule wrong that would have allowed me back in the game, so I feel a bit better. A game where you feel yuor decisions now will actually pay off in the future. A lot of it a bit abstracty, but has some really nice presentation and we could get into it rather quickly. Variable game lengths is a plus, and even the short game felt like you were doing something. Probably the best liked Euro we played.

My rating: 7.5
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6. Board Game: Camelot: The Build [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:8345]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Wotan games is back! I have been a huge fan of Julian Musgrave, but could never track him down. But I got to meet him and shake his hand and than him for Excalibur, Merlin, and King Arthu's Knights, all of which are slated for re-releases in the near future. Uber-cool! In addition, Julian has dabbled in new designs: bought this one on mere faith in the author, and not disappointed. It is a Carcassonne-like game of placing and scoring tiles. The map is not going to change much game-to-game, but the key thing that will change is the order of palcing tiles. Gorgeous artwork and nice thick tiles, plus a nifty Wotan bag, although the bag does not look very robust. Enjoyed my first play of this light title, and looking forward to playing with my family.

My rating: 7
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7. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island – Voyage of the Beagle (Vol. 1) [Average Rating:8.28 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.28 Unranked]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Just got the base game, but decided I should go whole hog and get this one as well.
 
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8. Board Game: Händler der Karibik [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:3918]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Could be had for a five Euro donation at the booth. Also got a huge slew of expansions for other games as well.
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9. Board Game: Sissi!: Die Bohnenkaiserin [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:7649]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Should be popular at work.
 
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10. Board Game: S-Evolution [Average Rating:5.42 Overall Rank:15175]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Biggest disappointment of the show for me. Bought it based on the rules, but our first game was pretty flat. Seevral rules questions and what appeared to be overpowered buildings took out the fun. Play time was short enough, so that was good, but it may only get another chance before it heads in some other person's direction.

My rating: 5
 
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11. Board Game: Modern Art [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:216]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Essen flea market find: payed a bit much at 15 Eur, but it seems like everything in the flea market overpriced these days. Long gone are the days of treasures and rare finds.

My rating: 7.75
 
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12. Board Game: W Zakładzie: Lubelski Lipiec '80 [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:12530]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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I had to have this game for the artwork and as a excellent example of the black humor of eastern Europeans I find so endearing. While I cannot play the game at this time due to lack of translation, I am sure that it will come, and regardless I am happy to support the designer of this work.
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13. Board Game: Sigismundus Augustus: Dei gratia rex Poloniae [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:4264]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Looks very nice to me, and I really want to support these Polish publishers. Need to get the rules read. Looks to be more of a Euro than expected, but will make do.
 
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14. Board Game: Coup: Reformation [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Coup suprisingly good, so the authors have earned a place for this expansion in my collection.
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15. Board Game: High Frontier Colonization [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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An obvious must-have: it is an Eklund game.
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16. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:41]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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A bit of a cheat as I bought it before Essen, fearing it would not be available at the show, and I was right. Toms of German versions, but nary an English version to be seen. I really like the story arc generates by this one, making it one of the only coops that is and will be in my collection.

My rating: 7.75
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17. Board Game: Ghost Blitz 2 [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1719] [Average Rating:6.78 Unranked]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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My son played this and loved it, as did my wife, so decided it was worth the eight Euros to pick up.
 
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18. Board Game: Mad Scientist University [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:10684]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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For ten Euros, worth a try, and it turned out to be a favorite for my son. A delight to see his creativity come out playing this game.

My rating: 7.5
 
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19. Board Game: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:144]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Played once with James and was converted to a believer. I was a non-supporter on the p500 list because it didn't sound very interesting at all. But it was quite a fun game to play with great choices but not a long, involved ruleset. One of my lighter GMT games, a collection which is growing out of control.

My rating: 7.5
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20. Board Game: Dragon Lairds [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:9714]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Had this on my want list for some time, and had never seen a copy before. Almost made a stupidly lopsided trade to try and get it. I am a Tom Wham fan, and his silly artwork and lighthearted game play strikes a chord with me. When I saw this on clearance for 10 Euros, I didnn't even consider it but picked it up and flung my money.
 
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21. Board Game: Rommel at the Meuse [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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I am a bit Simulations Workshop fan and have most of their games. Saw this at the Sierra Madre booth and decided to up the collection by one more title.
 
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22. Board Game: Let's Start a Band! [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Picked it up about a month ago as part of the Essen pre-buy round. I lid it more than my colleagues, but I only have a few fillers, so am not tapped out on them yet. I kind of like the art. There is a bit of a storyline as you follow the rise and fall of your band.

My rating: 7
 
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23. Board Game: Palmyra [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:5755]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Really like Peloppones, so had to get this as well. My wife has played and said she liked it. Still need to give it a try myself.
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24. Board Game: Sword of Rome [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:949]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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MATH TRADE

An excellent addition in the math trade, pristine condition. Have played once before and enjoyed it, but glad to be able to add the fifth player. Damn, but the box weighs a lot. Insert scrapped already.
 
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25. Board Game: Ambush! Move Out! [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Biggest take in the Essen trade for me. Have not played nearly enough Ambush, but when I have, these extra scenarios are waiting for me!
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