Noel's 2014 Games of Interest
Noel Llopis
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Essen Spiel 2013 is not even a couple of weeks away, and new interesting games that will be released in 2014 are starting to roll in.

This is the list I was keeping for 2013 (with updates on what I thought in each game I ended up playing): Noel's 2013 Games I'm Keeping An Eye On

And I already set up a list for next year: Noel's 2015 Games of Interest
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1. Board Game: La Granja [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:130]
Noel Llopis
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I'm definitely interested in a lot of games that Spielworxx puts out, and this is on a theme I was trying to design a game around not that long ago to boot.

Update 10/13: Finally played this one. For the first couple of turns it was just OK, and then it all clicked in in my brain and really liked it. I love the theme, and it borrows mechanics heavily from games that I've culled from my collection (Yspahan, Luna), so it might be a nice replacement. Now finding a copy is a different story...

Verdict: Definitely want to play again. Probably even buy (for a reasonable price).
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2. Board Game: Panamax [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:514]
Noel Llopis
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I'm a fan of dice as an input mechanic (but hate them as a "check to see if you pass"--unless it's Arkham Horror )

Update 10/21: Read a bit more about this one and it could be really good. The stock holding aspect is the only thing that might not make it a great game for me, but I have hopes.
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3. Board Game: Versailles [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2874]
Noel Llopis
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In the grand tradition of "a dude looking over some construction with some blueprints in hand". Hope it's more interesting than the cover.

Update: I just realized this is the same designer as Praetor, which quickly hit my trade list, so I'm not hopeful.

Update 10/16: Watched Essen video and it looks really good! The meeple rondel with shortcuts and mechanic that more meeples give you better actions seems like it could be really fun. Also really like the ability to take extra turns to make for more interesting plays.

Verdict: Definitely try.
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4. Board Game: The Golden Ages [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:814]
Noel Llopis
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A quick civ-building game with an exploration aspect. Watched a video and it looks very promising. I'm very interested.
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5. Board Game: La Isla [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:801]
Noel Llopis
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I haven't loved every Feld game for 2013, but the fact that comes out on the Alea small box collection makes me want to look at it more closely. I wasn't blown away by the video explanation, but I want to learn more about it.

Update 9/29: I just saw the video preview and it actually looks pretty interesting. In a way, it reminds me of the Feld of Notre Dame.
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6. Board Game: Deus [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:331]
Noel Llopis
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By the designer of Troyes. That makes me stop and listen.
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7. Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:92]
Noel Llopis
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I've always loved building castles.

Update 10/16: Watched the Essen video. Looks like a fun, light game. Definitely interested in trying it.
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8. Board Game: ZhanGuo [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:437]
Noel Llopis
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I tend to like WhatsYourGame games (although I bounced off Madeira). Still worth checking out.

Update 10/21: Watched Essen video and looked fairly interesting. Definitely will try. Is this the year of games with cards that you can put on slots on your personal board?
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9. Board Game: Fields of Arle [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:50]
Noel Llopis
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It's kind of weird me adding a Uwe Rosenberg game to this list, but I'm intrigued by it being 2-player only.

Update 10/22: Watched Essen video. This might be a fixed Agricola for me. The focus on 2 players is interesting, there's some variation from game to game, and scoring doesn't seem as constricted as Agricola. Want to try for sure.
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10. Board Game: The Staufer Dynasty [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:897]
Noel Llopis
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11. Board Game: Imperial Settlers [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:155]
Noel Llopis
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Hearing good things about it. I still haven't read the rules.
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12. Board Game: Nippon [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:261]
Noel Llopis
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I'm adding this hesitantly because I wasn't crazy about Madeira (actually, the jury is still out on that one).

I love that it's an economic game without stock holding or auctions. We need more of those. If it manages to avoid unneeded complexity, it could be excellent.
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13. Board Game: Helios [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:1489]
Noel Llopis
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Hans im Glück has a good track record for middle-weight euro games. This looks pretty interesting from the overview.

Update (lots of months ago): I read a bit more about this one, and I ended up ordering it from Amazon.de (especially since there's no US publisher in sight as far as I can tell).

Update (lots of months ago + 1 day): Cancelled the order from Amazon.de when I saw it was going to have a US publisher.

More updates: Been hearing lots of meh things about this game. I still wouldn't mind trying it, but I don't expect much.
 
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14. Board Game: Clinic [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:2956]
Noel Llopis
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I still haven't figured out how to type that last character.

Update 10/27: I'll have to play it again to be sure, but it felt that building is very constrained, so it doesn't lead to significantly different layouts or strategies (apart from tall vs. wide). I would hope a lot more freedom and potential interesting solutions from a game that seems to be based around this.

Apart from that, I'm never a fan of simultaneous action selection where the action can affect (and sometimes totally nullify) someone else's action (unlike RftG where you just happen to get a bonus).
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15. Board Game: Greenland [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1609] [Average Rating:7.08 Unranked]
Noel Llopis
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Don't know much about it but seems worth keeping an eye on.

Update 10/21: This looks a random-fest like Pax Profiriana. I might try it, but I don't have high hopes for it.
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16. Board Game: Akrotiri [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:618]
Noel Llopis
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An interesting-looking two-player game. More light civ building and laying terrain tiles. Definitely interested in trying.
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17. Board Game: Temporum [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:2806]
Noel Llopis
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Another Donald X game!
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18. Board Game: Kanban: Driver's Edition [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:185]
Noel Llopis
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It's been on my radar since it was announced well over a year ago, but somehow I totally forgot to add it to the list.
 
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19. Board Game: Murano [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:910]
Noel Llopis
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I don't know much about it, but I'm going on the designers--which have been hit (Village, La Boca) or miss (A Castle for All Seasons, Guatemala Cafe) for me in the past.
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20. Board Game: AquaSphere [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:391]
Noel Llopis
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Every day I'm less of a Feld fan, but this sounds worth looking into.
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21. Board Game: Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:77] [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked]
Noel Llopis
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I'm curious enough to try it, but I suspect the worst.
 
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22. Board Game: Secret Moon [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:9040]
Noel Llopis
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Sounds interesting for a social game.
 
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23. Board Game: Alchemists [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:86]
Noel Llopis
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The mix of board game with mobile devices for deduction could make for a fun change of pace.
 
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24. Board Game: Progress: Evolution of Technology [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1794]
Noel Llopis
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A whole game around a tech tree. It seems like multiplayer solitaire, but that doesn't bother me too much sometimes.

Verdict: I'll give it a try.
 
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25. Board Game: Historia [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1106]
Noel Llopis
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Quote:
Wars and raids are carried out in a non-disruptive way.

I'm definitely interested in learning more about it.
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