Games I played in Essen 2013
Johannes Hihn
Germany
Walddorfhäslach
Baden-Württemberg
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This is just a little list of games I played at Essen Spiel 2013. Those games aren't neccessarily all brand new, these are just the ones that looked most appealing to me and my group

This list is still under construction, I will add more to this list over the next few days
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1. Board Game: One Night Ultimate Werewolf [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:320] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Johannes Hihn
Germany
Walddorfhäslach
Baden-Württemberg
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This was probably the game I was most excited about before I went to the fair. And I'm so happy that my hopes were reasonable. No, let me put this right. This game is actually even more fun than I expected or hoped for. I really love the fact, that this game has - similar to Werewolf: Inquisition - no player elimination at all. It's also cool that one round isn't longer than maybe 10 minutes and after that you get a new role for the next round and it starts over again. Another thing that bothers me about classic Werewolf is the mandatory moderator you need to be able to play the game. One Night doesn't need one dedicated moderator, it's no problem if one of the players calls out every role at night. I strongly recommend this game to everyone who likes Werewolf-like games because it brings everything Werewolf has in a condensed and streamlined fashion. Don't miss this!
Playing this game at the Bezier Games booth was certainly the best hour of the fair for me. Thanks to John and Dan from the United States, who I never met before but it was so much fun playing with you. I think John still doesn't trust me And thanks to Bryon from Bezier for doing a great job with demoing and moderating
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2. Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:498]
Johannes Hihn
Germany
Walddorfhäslach
Baden-Württemberg
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Bang the Dice Game was actually the very first game we played when we arrived at the fair and I have to say that I really like. It seems to play a lot faster than the classic card game since you can not hoard dodge cards - you just get hit. I also like the fact, that you have to use all your dice at any time. So even if you don't want to you still have to shoot maybe even your fellow mate. It just makes sense in the context of a dice rolling game.
 
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3. Board Game: 21 Mutinies: Arrr! Edition [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:5034]
Johannes Hihn
Germany
Walddorfhäslach
Baden-Württemberg
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This game was completely under my radar until I saw it at the booth in Essen but it immediately caught my attention with its cool artwork and the pirate theme. The game works pretty well and I personally think that the whole idea of either following the captain when selecting the action you wanna take or to just mutiny to become the new captain yourself just makes complete sense to me. As I said, the game looks really cool: the artwork on the board and the cards is really nice. I really liked it and it was actually one of my personal surprises.
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4. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:458]
Johannes Hihn
Germany
Walddorfhäslach
Baden-Württemberg
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Escape was also one of the surprises for me at Essen. I heard about this game and I've seen it played before but honestly, I was kinda sceptic about the game itself. It just always looked too chaotic to me. But when we tried it at the Queen Games Booth I have to say that I was really surprised about how much fun the game actually is. Especially the possibilty of sharing dice brings the cooperative aspect of the game to a cool new level. Even though it is a dice rolling game you have to be careful about what everyone on the group does. I was actually kinda surprised about how much a good plan and good communication can increase your chances of winning - even in the context of a completly luck based game.
 
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5. Board Game: Via Appia [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:2235]
Johannes Hihn
Germany
Walddorfhäslach
Baden-Württemberg
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When I saw the Game Night Episode covering this game I was really intrigued by this game and it was one of the titles I put onto the list of games I wanted to check out in Essen.
I have to say that I really enjoyed this game when I tried it at the Queen Games booth. Obviously the core of this game is that quarry-mechanic where you have to push wooden disks (representing stones in the quarry) into some kind of horizontal funnel with the goal to push other disks out of it on the opposing side. You can trade those stones for way-tiles of different kinds or coins afterwards. I was kinda concerned, that the rest of the game could be "glued" around that unique mechanic. But thankfully that was not the case - at least not for me. The game felt really good, even if you took one of the other actions beside the quarry. I didn't pick it up but I'm really happy, that one of my friends did. I'm looking forward to playing this again soon.

By the way. It's needless to say that the production of this game is flawless. It looks gorgeous and wooden pieces are always an huge plus for me
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6. Board Game: Relic Runners [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1584]
Johannes Hihn
Germany
Walddorfhäslach
Baden-Württemberg
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Relic Runners was one of my most anticipated games of the fair and I was pretty stoked when we finally got a spot at one of the tables at the Days of Wonder booth.
First of all, this game looks so cool. Days of Wonder never fails to deliver when it comes to looks and pieces and Relic Runners is no exception at all. The detail on those treasure pieces is just amazing and they really bring this Maya-Inka-Jungle-esque flavor to the game. Really cool, huge thumbs up. But... Well, Relic Runners is actually still one of my personal disappointments of the fair. I can't even tell what it is exactly but somehow it just didn't work for me. During the first turns the game is really decent, you have a lot of options and you have to be careful with your resources. You don't wanna be stuck in the jungle without being able to come back to the camp and losing precious turns. For us at the table - playing the game for the first time of course - this only worked for maybe the first half of the game. After that it was really awkward because the actions you could take became less and less and your main goal was moving your streets from one path to another to be able to acutally cover some space again in your turns. I don't know... Probably we just all played poorly and I feel like none of us made really good use of this crate-box-techtree mechanic. But I feel like the game becomes more fun after some plays and when you know better what to do exactly. I'm just not really motivated to play it again anytime soon. I'm really kinda sad that it didn't work for me because I still like the theme of the game as I said, I had high hopes :/
 
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7. Board Game: Yunnan [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:1344]
Johannes Hihn
Germany
Walddorfhäslach
Baden-Württemberg
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It's really a pity that I wasn't able to play this one beyond the second turn of the game. The reason for that is simply that the Argentum booth was really crowded everytime we were near it and so by the time we finally got a free spot at one of the tables, it was already something like 6:35pm on friday evening. So after getting the rules demonstrated there wasn't any time left to actually play the game
I'm kinda sad that we wern't able to give this game the time it actually would have deserved. From what I've seen it's a relly cool and thematic game with a lot of depth when it comes to selecting your actions: moving your horse, your workers, placing them on certain actions... Of course I can't really tell how the game plays out over a full game and I can't really tell you anything about the scoring and stuff. But from what I've seen I really liked it. Artistically the game looks really good, I really liked the style of the board and the box cover. I'm looking forward to give this a real try in the future
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