HRune's list for Essen 2014
Arne Hoffmann
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By popular demand of a good friend I start this year's list earlier than in past years.

Again, this list is mainly a "radar screen" for my/our trip to the Spiel. I will add games that sparked my interest in one way or the other and will fill in information once I learn more about each game. Most will be to take a look at or even better take a playing with. Surely, my buy-list will most likely be sparked by titles here but I am also looking at games that sound intruiging to be reviewed in the FAIRPLAY.

Any comments, hints, suggestions and teasers from my fellow geeks are welcome as I fine-tune the list.

I will add small remarks about what got me interested in the game and whether I already read the rulebook. In most cases I will not add price-tags - making exceptions where I find very promising deals. Try to remember this year, Arne, that you are looking for quality, not for quantity.

List is sorted by title.

My key is as follows with the tried system of the MHL = Must have Level
: no interest at all
: mild interest - curious for rules and test play
: interest - really want to try out in Essen
: high interest - on the verge of buying
bag : pre-ordered / bought
---------------
Links to other lists I am following with interest:
2014 preview list mit Regel Peeps of Jan MS
Official BGG Spiel 2014 Preview


---------------

Update 15.10.: changed sorting to hall+booth; final additions to the list
Update 12.10.: some final additions, new MHLs for some games and a last outlook prior to Essen.
Update 18.09.: updated booth information for a bunch of publishers
Update 06.09.: added DRAGONSCROLL and removed the placeholder FRAGOR GAMES
Update 31.08.: added a couple of games and updated booth numbers
Update 12.08.: assessment of BLACK FLEET and SUSHI DICE
Update 09.08.: Creation of the list and putting it online with the first bunch of games.
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1. Board Game: 100! [Average Rating:5.16 Overall Rank:13450]
Arne Hoffmann
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Essenbach
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Points of interest: Adlung Card game; simultaneous play, trying to arrange cards in hand in a certain order. In addition: the 100th card game published by Adlung

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Adlung ----- 3-E115

Note:

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2. Board Game: 1944: Race to the Rhine [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:1256]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Pick up and deliver mechanism in a "war-setting"; route-/network-building; also plays solitaire;

Rules: [X] read / [X] downloaded

----- Phalanx ----- 2-A103

Note: the rules and two video previews make this sound like a challenging logistics game. Rules are not overly complicated as turn options are limited to a set number of actions. Like the idea with the "timer" of Axis forces advancing from the Rhine. Notched the MHl level up a bit.

MHL:
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3. Board Game: Abraca...what? [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1951]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: HANABI-style deduction game where you try to deduct the spells available to you. Plays competitively and not cooperatively so I am curious to see how this works out. In addition, the game looks really beautiful.

Rules: [X] read / [X] downloaded

----- Korea Boardgames co. ----- 3-O119

Note: after reading the rules I a little unsure how great a deduction element this really is. Does seem far more shallow than HANABI thus currently losing one MHL-star

MHL:

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4. Board Game: Amber Route [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:10504]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Seems only loosely connected to Amber, also incorporating Slavic beliefs. Looks like a kind of race game with attacking options.

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Bomba Games ----- 2-E116

Note:

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5. Board Game: The Ancient World [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:954]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Graphics and theme (Civ-/ city-building)

Rules: [ ] read / [X] downloaded

----- IELLO / Schwerkraft-Verlag ----- 3-P113

Note: backed through Kickstarter

MHL:
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6. Board Game: AquaSphere [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:355]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Another Feld design. That suffices to pique my interest.

Rules: [X] read / [X] downloaded

----- h@ll-games / Pegasus ----- 3-M110

Note: ??? Read the english rules and have to admt that I do not really know what will be going on. Am I growing old? The board as such seems way too colourful - very keen to try but not to buy.

MHL:

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7. Board Game: Arboretum [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:357]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: set collection, tile-laying and hand management

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Z-man games ----- 3-P111

Note:

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8. Board Game: Arkwright [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:622]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: A heavy strategic and economic game? I guess that I will never be able to get this to the table with the correct group as it would conflict other games in this area. But I would like to get a closer look in Essen, maybe a test play and then see... whistle

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Spielworxx ----- 3-C126

Note:

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9. Board Game: Artificium [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:3804]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: card-driven development game; board layout makes me curious.

Rules: [X] read / [X] downloaded

----- Lifestyle Boardgames ----- 1-D144
(also at Asmodee booth)

Note: sounds like a very straight forward development and resource conversion game going by the rules. Probably do not need to buy this but would play.

Played on 15-10: Easy to learn and with about 25 minutes quick to play. Nice and really straight forward resource conversion game with some interaction due to resource or card stealing. You are quite dependent on your card draw which made the game ok but not great. Would play again if asked.

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10. Board Game: Auge um Auge [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Dice fighting game from Henning Poehl.

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Sphinx Spieleverlag ----- 3-P100

Note: lets wait for more information.

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11. Board Game: Bakerspeed [Average Rating:4.77 Overall Rank:15068]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: real time dice rolling; lose Sherlock Holmes connection;

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Österreichisches Spielearchiv ----- 1-C106

Note: played on 15-10: You want to be the first to deplete your hand. Each turn first ome, than a second and later a third die are thrown. One shows a choice of three colours, the next of three numbers and the third of three sizes. After each roll the player who played a matching card quickest from his hand gets to discard that card. Thats it - simple gameplay, nothing serious but the game does not want to be more.

MHL:
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12. Board Game: Black Fleet [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:641]
Arne Hoffmann
Germany
Essenbach
Germany
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Points of interest: Pirates and Bleasdale; Transportation / Pick up and deliver; components
Rules: [X] read / [X] downloaded

----- Space Cowboys/Asmodee ----- 3-B108, 3-H115&3-H116

Note: the rules are pretty straight forward and quite light (in a positive way). You own a merchant ship, which tries to sell its cargo to ports, and a pirate ship which tries to steal cargo from other player's merchants and tries to bury it. Third there are general navy vessels which can help capture pirates. On your turn you play a movement card that allocates movement points to both your vessel and one specific navy ship. In addition to movement, each of your ships is allowed one action. Nice twist is that you usually need two actions (one to get cargo onto your ship and one to turn it into money). Thus you are left out there for opponents to screw with you.

Sounds like a non-complex and direct approach at piraty conflict. Probably not for every group and interesting to see, if things balance out. Notched up a star and would like to test play this.

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13. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:381]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Racing game, SdJ winner

Rules: [X] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Pegasus ----- 3-M110

Note: have to admit that i have not played the SdJ winner, yet. As there is always a big booth featuring the SdJ winner it will be more a problem of getting my group to play it with me rather than finding this game on the fair.

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14. Board Game: Castle Crush! [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:4403]
Arne Hoffmann
Germany
Essenbach
Germany
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Points of interest: There is at least one dexterity game per fair that picks my interest. Build castles that outlast opponent attacks with a hammer. Looks really good, too.

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- SoSo ----- 4-A114

Note:

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15. Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:82]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Living in Bavaria this game is a must-see for me. Ludwig used to be our king! laugh Also the idea of having differently sized tiles for a tile-laying game sounds intriguing.

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Bezier games ----- 1-G-147

Note: watched Rahdo's run through and the game seems like a nice twist of SUBURBIA. Build rooms in your castle, working towards your own and the common goals. Not so many interconnections than in SUBURBIA and coming with some nice opportunities for screwage and optimization. Curious for a testplay.

MHL:

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16. Board Game: Ciúb [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:4644]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Amigo - Dice - Tom Lehmann - Nice Cover

Rules: [X] read / [X] downloaded

----- Amigo ----- 3-H103

Note: Set-collecting game where I try each round to match required conditions (what I call a set here) in order to gain a card with victory points. Each turn you roll your dice and either set at least one aside or use an exchange symbol to change a die against a different one. The dice come with different distributioons of extra actions, numbers and skulls. Skulls always need to be set aside. If you collect a card you need to downsize to five dice afterwards. If you fail to collect one, you can take an additional die for your next turn.

A test play should show if the different dice alone offer enough variability to lift this game above other YATHZEE-style games.

MHL:


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17. Board Game: Col-Or-Form [Average Rating:6.65 Unranked]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Pattern-recognition and pattern-building game with simultaneous play.

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Adlung ----- 3-E115

Note: I am usually quite bad at this type of games but enjoy them nonetheless.

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18. Board Game: Costa Ruana [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: components look beautiful; game of bluffing and out-guessing.

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Lifestyle Boardgames - 1-D144

Note: Only available for demo in Essen. Played on 15-10: What a fun bluffing and double-guessing game. Each player first places one card face up in front of any player. Next each player places one face down card anywhere and in a third round one meeple on any card. Cards have one of four backgrounds and only two of these will be active - a choice made by the current shaman. Then cards are resolved in order - yoir aim is to have majorities on islands later on in order to grab treasures. Some nice screwing mechanisms present here and I would have bought a copy if the game were already available.

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19. Board Game: Deus [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:303]
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oints of interest: Civ-building-game *ahemm* here in a shared environment and looking quite Euro-style

Rules: [x] read / [x] downloaded

----- Pearl Games ----- 1-C136

Note: Development game where you build "paths of cards" to activate while also expanding on the board. Interested in a testplay.

MHL:
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20. Board Game: Dice Brewing [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:3970]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Push your luck dice game about brewing beer.

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Board&Dice ----- 2-C108

Note:

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21. Board Game: Dino Race [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:4706]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Racing as a dinosaur couple in order to avoid extinction.

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Ares ----- 3-E100

Note: I am usually drawn to race games with strange themes although I rarely end up buying them. in most cases games did not manage to meet my expectations. But am always one for trying them out.

MHL:

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22. Board Game: Dragon Slayer [Average Rating:5.66 Overall Rank:7027]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Push your luck dice game with a dragon theme, where you can also challenge different players

Rules: [ ] read / [ ] downloaded

----- Indie Boards and Cards ----- 3-N102

Note:

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23. Board Game: Dragonscroll [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:4044]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: The new Fragor game. Do I need to say more?

Rules: [X] who needs rules? / [X] read / [X] downloaded

----- Fragor Games ----- 1-G157

Note: Everyone is allowed one unreasonable addiction. And the BALL-ROG at the latest would have gotten me.

After reading the rules: CARCASSONNE with moving meeples came to my mind right away but falls short of the description. You lay a tile CARC-like every round, place new sheeples or similar and then try to move your dragon to a new tile to devour or burn (or collect - for those faint of heart) a meeple. Not too deep so should be a good game for the family. Will hold on to my preorder.

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24. Board Game: Dungeons & Dragons: Attack Wing [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:2095]
Arne Hoffmann
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Points of interest: Ok, STAR WARS: X-WING has already hit me and I was able to resist the STAR TREK system. But Dungeons & Dragons? Honestly? This is just awesome!

Rules: [ ] read / [] downloaded

----- publisher ----- booth

Note:

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25. Board Game: Empire Engine [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:4711]
Arne Hoffmann
Germany
Essenbach
Germany
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Points of interest: A quick rondel micro-game with simultaneous action selection and some bluffing? Colour me interested for a test play

Rules: [ ] read / [X] downloaded

----- AEG ----- 3-K107

Note:

MHL:

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