Games from Essen 2013 - And a few thoughts
Holger Wies
Germany
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This is a List of games, we purchased at Essen 2013 and my initial thoughts about the games, we already played.

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1. Board Game: 12 Realms [Average Rating:5.81 Overall Rank:9775]
Holger Wies
Germany
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We had high expectations for this one. Cooperative, fantasy themed, dice, cards and tales in one box? with miniatures? Great!
The rules are a bit clunky and you have to become familiar with the icon usage. Also the way the talents are used is a bit... uncommon. the gameplay itself is fast, easy to learn and fun plus the game looks very well - especially with the additional minis from the Dark Lords and Buildings Pack.
 
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2. Board Game: Dark Darker Darkest [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:3278]
Holger Wies
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I waited so long to get this one and had very high expectations. The components are super-duper-fantastic and the setup is surprisingly fast. On our first game, we played with 2 players and first of all: We both think that it is a very good game - but with a few problems: The (german) rule book has errors which affect the gameplay, there are many misprints (heroes-sheet, character board, rules...) and the rules seems to be a bit fiddly, at least in the first game.

Our first try (in dark mode) was a total failure, and we only managed to lock in one "3-Symbol"-Code tile. But even if we often had to look at the rules during play, it was fun. I think with a few more games this game will be less confusing and then "great fun". Again, I need more plays to rate it.

We bought this one along with a "Zombie Expansion", which isn't added to the BGG DB yet. In our first game, we only used the base game!
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3. Board Game: Dungeon Fighter: Fire at Will [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Holger Wies
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Not played yet but it looks like a nice addition to a very fun game.
 
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4. Board Game: Dungeon Petz: Dark Alleys [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Holger Wies
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Not played yet.
 
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5. Board Game: Dungeon Roll [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:2186]
Holger Wies
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I love the press your luck mechanic, dungeon crawler and dice. So this one was a no brainer for me: Instant buy. It is light, fast and fun and comes in a traesure chest. Great!
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6. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple – Expansion 2: Quest [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked]
Holger Wies
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Not yet played

Again a very small but fun looking expansion (for a lot of money).
 
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7. Board Game: King of Tokyo: Halloween [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.24 Unranked]
Holger Wies
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Very small but also very nice little expansion for one of our most played games. There are two new playable halloween themed monsters in the box (with their corresponding character decks) and a few new item cards as well as a set of halloween-orange colored dice.
 
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8. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:241]
Holger Wies
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I can't believe how somebody can design such a great game with just a few cards. The Pegasus edition with its extra large cards and wooden heart tokens is awesome! We love it!
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9. Board Game: Mush! Mush!: Snow Tails 2 [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:3247]
Holger Wies
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We haven't played this one yet, but we can say that it looks veeeeery good. We hope that the game will be as good as it looks.
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10. Board Game: Pandemic: On the Brink [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Holger Wies
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Not played yet.
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11. Board Game: SOS Titanic [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1870]
Holger Wies
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A nice little solitaire game. Very good looking and fun little variation of the classic "solitaire card game". But I really do not see that this will be played much as a multiplayer game. For me and my wife (as a two player group) it is ok - but I think many groups will get a huge alpha player problem.
 
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12. Board Game: Super Fantasy: Ugly Snouts Assault [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:2788]
Holger Wies
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Great looking game - but not played yet. High expectations and I really can't wait to play it.

UPDATE:
We had the time to try Super Fantasy and it is superfun! the cool way to manage the actions of a hero (choose an amount of dice for your action out of 6 dice available per player and turn) makes the gameplay easy but needs a good amount of tactical decisions. The way how line of sight works is very elegant and (in our first game) without any flaws. The artwork is great and the component quality is good. It is easy to learn and teach but not too light. The way you level up your heroes and equip also is very well implemented. The heroes are very different and every hero has its own style and gameplay. the rulebook is well written and without big issues.

The only minor negativ points are:
the way ranged waepons work seems a bit unthematic: You can only use your range waepon, if you are in the exact range to your targt.

Some of the tokens are a bit too small (live/damage/status token)

We weren't able to answer all of our rules questions with the rulebook - but only very special ones: One special ability of a hero allows you to throw an enemy through closed doors. If there is a trap under the door marker, will the the trap effect the throwing character or the snaug, which triggers the trap? Same hero, same ability: How to throw big monsters if they are diagonally adjacent to the throwing hero? You see - nothing you can not handle but an official answer to these questions would be appreciated.

This game was a surprise for us: it is much deeper and more elegant then expected. Great, unique cooperative game and recommended for all coop fantasy dungeon fans.




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13. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:492]
Holger Wies
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Oh man, what a thinky game. Our first game was with 4 players and we all need a lot of time to finish our turns. It is a very interesting concept and rules wise not complicated but to play it well, you need expirience. The first game was too slow and maybe, in your first games you should play it with two players.

I have to play it a lot more before I can rate this one but I think it has the potential get a very high rate from us.

 
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14. Board Game: Terror in Meeple City [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:698]
Holger Wies
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This one is a big hit for us. It looks fantastic, the rules are simple and well written, the game itself is innovative and just pure fun. To be a bit "destructive" and to destroy a cardboard city is awesome! Surprisingly there is tactic in this game - at least more then we expected - another "plus" for this great game. I am very glad with this purchase!
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