Heavy Cardboard - Essen & Beyond - What we're looking forward to checking out!
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We already recorded a 2-part podcast listing our 42 games that we were most anticipating for the rest of 2014. However, that was before GenCon and more announcements have come out with more information...and the list is now up to 50 games and that is with removing all of GenCon's releases!

So I thought it might be a good idea to make a geeklist to track the games that we're interested in checking out for the rest of 2014. Although we are NOT going to Essen, I thought having a geeklist to keep track of the games that we may want to acquire is a good idea. Plus, listeners & followers of the show might be interested as well.

I'm sure this list will grow as time goes, but I'll keep it updated. Feel free to comment and, as always, hit us up if you have any suggestions of games you think we'd be interested in and may have overlooked!


For easy reference:

Pre-Essen release - releasing before Oct 16, 2014
Essen release - released at Spiel (Oct 16-19, 2014)
Post-Essen release - meaning from October 19th - end of 2014


If the listed games interest you, like they do us, you may want to check out our podcast: Heavy Cardboard & you can subscribe via the RSS feed there, or find us on Itunes "Heavy Cardboard".


Edits:

Added Three Kingdoms Redux
Added Wir sind das Volk
Added Cargotrain
Added Antike II
edited the header to make it clear that we can't make Spiel this year.
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1. Board Game: 1844: Switzerland [Average Rating:8.34 Overall Rank:2638]
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18xx, originally published by Double-O and is supposed to be getting reprinted by Mayfair sometime later this year (or early 2015).

http://www.ohley.de/english/


Post-Essen release.
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2. Board Game: 1880: China [Average Rating:8.31 Overall Rank:2198]
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Getting reprinted by Double-O Games next month! Supposed to be a great and pretty heavy 18xx, even by 18xx standards. NOT an entry-level 18xx game.

http://www.ohley.de/english/


Post-Essen release.
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3. Board Game: Age of Conquistadors: 1492-1612 [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
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Richard Berg, but streamlined? Ok, you have my attention...

Quote:
A complete remake of the classic SPI and Avalon Hill versions from the 1970's. While the original game featured largely the classic hex and counter movement that was prevalent in the 70's. This new version will feature features area-movement, action points for movement and a new card deck (that adds random events without driving the game). Players will use cards for both events and action points and at the same time being able to play cards during their opponent's turns to counter their efforts.

Players can play one of four European powers competing for control of the resources of the new world. The game's time line goes from 1495 to 1615 with players trying to establish colonies in the Americas and bring home as much gold and resources as they can back to Europe. Along the way they will have to deal with natural disasters, other European powers and of course the indigenous people of the New World including the Mayans, Incas and Aztecs.


You can go to: http://heritagegamestudios.com/polls/conquistador/ and sign up to be notified when pre-orders start up.


Essen release, hopefully.
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4. Board Game: Alchemists [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:80]
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CGE's big Essen release. It's a deduction game that uses an app that randomizes the way that ingredients interact with eachother each game. While neither of us is usually too keen on deduction games, this grabbed both of our attention and we're anxious to check it out.


Essen release.
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5. Board Game: Antike II [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:1050]
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Antike II differs from the 2005 Antike in several ways, according to designer Mac Gerdts. To start, players now own city tokens, which allows them some degree of choice as to which resource a newly founded city shall produce. Military units have become more expensive, and the rules for the conquest of cities are considerably easier. The scientific progresses were altered as well. Neutral temples now exist, which may be destroyed, gaining VPs of a general, without harming other players. The game features two new maps in a new graphical design, and a new card named "BELLONA" (the ancient Roman goddess of war) has been introduced to counter the starting player's advantage.

Gerdts notes that the main goal of all of these changes was to make the rules for a conquest of cities easier, while also opening more possibilities to win the game without the need to attack other players.


Hmmm, I am intrigued. Mac greets making it more Euro-y and potentially less confrontational. Curious to get the details on this.


Essen release
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6. Board Game: AquaSphere [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:355]
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Feld's latest. Some are calling it potentially, his heaviest. Works for us and the wife wouldn't NOT make me get this.


Post-Essen release. (December, we hope).

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7. Board Game: Arkwright [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:622]
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In Arkwright players run up to four factories in England during the late 18th Century. Your goal is to have the most valuable block of own shares. Thus, you must increase your share value and buy shares from the bank.

To run the factories, you need workers. When hiring Workers, demand is automatically created. But of course you want to replace your expensive workers (wage 2-5) by machines (1). To have more output from your factories you may employ new Workers or improve your factory to the next technical level.

You fix the price for your goods during an action round. To enhance your chances of selling goods, you improve your factories to higher levels, increase the quality and make some sales promotion. The higher these factors, the better are your chances of success - the higher the price, the lower.

Each player has an own set of "action tokens" like "build and modernize factories", "employ new workers", "improve quality" etc. On your turn you place one of those tokens on one of the free spaces in your line of the "Administration board" and pay the according administration costs, ranging from 2 to 10 (odd numbers). Some actions depend on how much you paid, i.e. you may buy more machines with one single action, when you pay more (= use a higher space, which is then blocked for the rest of the round). During the game your actions become more and more effective by new tokens, i.e. allow you to buy 3 machines in a single turn instead of 2, increase quality 2 levels instead of only 1...).

After each round of actions one kind of factories is active and you have to pay for all your workers and machines there, then sell the manufactured products. The value of your shares increases for sold products and best quality.

Goods may also be traded to the colonies by ship - provided you have a contract with the monopoly of the East Indian Company.

After four turns each of the factories has produced and the round ends. Players remove the action tokens from the administration board and reveal an event token. After 5 rounds the player with the most valuable block of shares wins. Neither being to be the one with the most shares nor being the one with the highest share value guarantees victory.

Arkwright allows you to act in different ways. Run all four factories with most possible output, set the focus on only two factories and improve them more than the others can; use shipping to colony or focus on the home market. In any way you have to react to the opponents and their strategy. Enter markets with deficit in supply or give up business where the other players start to push you out. Buy shares when they are cheap and increase the value, or first make money and buy shares later.

To get familiar with the market mechanics you may start with a 120 minutes version "Spinning Jenny", but for those who like full strategy in economic themed games, the 240 minute "Waterframe"-Rules come with more options to improve your factory and use ships.



Oh this sounds just delicious! I can not wait to get my hands on this. Insta-buy (not JUST because it's a Spielworxx game).



Essen release.


Eta: Just got the email saying that preorders go on sale Sunday!
http://www.spielworxx.de/news/
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8. Board Game: Blocks in Afrika [Average Rating:8.28 Overall Rank:6966]
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The 3rd in the epic series of block wargames depicting the entirety of WWII. First was Blocks in the East, then Blocks in the West, now this...and hopefully Blocks in the Pacific in a year or two! Absolute no brainer MUST buy for me.


Post-Essen release.
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9. Board Game: Captains of Industry [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:2277]
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The heavy economic 2nd game by designer Michael Keller. Previously kickstarted and heavily delayed. Should be by Christmas. Top 10 anticipated game for both Tony and myself. Even if I hadn't Kickstarted it, I'd insta-buy this. Looks incredibly good!


Post-Essen release.
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10. Board Game: Cargotrain [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:7996]
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CargoTrain is a fast-paced card game with a train theme. Deliver as much cargo to the factories as you can. Plan carefully. Invest wisely. Anticipate your opponents' moves, and deliver the most stock in the quickest way possible. And, what’s most important, fulfill trade contracts. Let your adversaries watch the sparks fly from under the wheels of your dashing train!

Every turn in this game is divided into two phases. First is the planning phase, in which players plan their moves by playing move cards. Next is the action phase; this is the heart of the game. Players reveal their move cards one by one and perform actions (load cargo, deliver cargo, upgrade train, switch cargo order on the stations, pick up a new contract). There are many possibilities; players must choose wisely and plan ahead their moves. The gameboard is made from cards and players change it during the game.


From the same designer of Craftsmen, Chris told me that it's on the heavier side of things, but not as heavy as Craftsmen. We'll be getting a copy to check out soon after it drops, October 4th.


Pre-Essen release
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11. Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:82]
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The spiritual successor to Suburbia that received great reviews from the demos at GenCon. Looking forward to the auction mechanic in this one.


Essen release.
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12. Board Game: Clash of Cultures: Civilizations [Average Rating:8.57 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.57 Unranked]
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Another Civ game that was just 'ok' when we first played it. However, this expansion brings historical civs into play w/ unique characteristics and tech trees. This very well may bring us on board for the game now! We shall see, but it at least deserves to be on our radar.


Essen release.
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13. Board Game: Clinic [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:2744]
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3D game where you build a hospital! Unique theme, city(ish) builder w/ an economic aspect too? Yes, please!


Unfortunately for those just hearing about this, but the designer, Alban Viard (of AoS map design fame), has sold out of all the copies that he's shipping. Only a few copies for Essen pickup are left. Luckily, we landed a copy. Very excited to get our hands on this!

Essen release.
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14. Board Game: ESSEN The Game: SPIEL'13 [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:3002]
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There are 2 different "Essen" themed games and this is the heavier of the two. Not sure about it, but at least a little intrigued if nothing else.

Essen release.
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15. Board Game: Evolution [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:329]
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Billions of years of struggling for food...
Billions of years of evading carnivores...
Billions of years of adapting to a changing environment...
This is EVOLUTION. A new card game where your choices determine which species survive, which ones thrive, and which ones will forever disappear from the face of our beautiful blue planet.

In Evolution, players do the work of nature by putting species into play and evolving them trait by trait to help them survive in a changing environment. There are two threats that players have to deal with for their species: starvation and getting eaten by carnivores.


We actually bought the original Evolution (which this reimpliments) and was having second thoughts on it. The artwork is stunning in this and, kind of like Civ-builders, this building of your species piqued my interest. Was on KS'er and we backed it. Looking forward to this hitting the table much more often than the original.

Essen release.
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16. Board Game: Fields of Arle [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:54]
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A 2-player Uwe game? Ok, we've been interested for months, but man, how is this flying SOOOOO under the radar?!?


Pre-order/ open for GERMAN ONLY copies for Essen.

Post-Essen US release.
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17. Board Game: Florenza [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:1152]
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In Florenza, the players are the heads of the most powerful families in Florenza during the Renaissance period. The goal of the game is to become the most famous patron of the arts by hiring the most famous artists of the period and financing their works.

Each player can commission artworks in his own district, the Cathedral, or in the civic buildings of the city. Each artwork requires money and resources to complete. To earn the money and resources the artists need, the players send their workers to labor in various workshops, possibly even in their opponents’ districts. Additional workers can be earned by offering charity to the church.
During the game, players will earn prestige points, primarily by completing artworks. prestige points can be spent during the game, but at the end of the game they will be the player’s primary source of victory points.

All of the characters in the game are real historical figures that lived and worked in Italy during the Renaissance. Most of them worked in Florence. All of the buildings in the game were real Renaissance workshops. The artworks the players can complete include the masterpieces of some of the most famous artists in the world.


While technically not a new game, it just ended on KS for a 2nd Edition and looks pretty interesting.


Post-Essen release. Estimated December.
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18. Board Game: The Golden Ages [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:725]
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In The Golden Ages, you lead your civilizations through history. The game lasts four different eras, during which you develop technologies, create fine arts, erect buildings, and build wonders. You'll send explorers to discover the continents, found cities in distant lands, and send your soldiers into battles.

Will you succeed in evolving your civilization through history, overwhelming your opponents on the way to glory?


So it's a heavy-conflict Civ game? I'm willing to give this a fair shake. Excited to see this. #14 in the Quined Games Master Print Series.


Essen release.
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19. Board Game: La Granja [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:115]
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I've heard it described as Feld meets Rosenberg. Couple that w/ it being another great looking Spielworxx game & I'm in!



Pre-Essen release. Preordered for delivery this month (from Funagain.com). Already out in Europe.
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20. Board Game: Green Deal [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:6715]
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In Green Deal you lead an international corporation in 2050! It is your job to increase the profits and plan the finances. But your business must not only be profitable. Due to resource scarcity and social distemper, governments increasingly require clean production and compliance with social standards from you. Also the customers have become more demanding. That's why you initiate PR campaigns. Do good and most of all, talk about it!

Each round players invest in project and action cards. About thirty different action cards give you special abilities. Before each round all players bid simultaneously for the turn order. On the world map you can cooperate with adjacent projects of other players or harm them financially.

It is important to develop in all four project categories because you receive extra points for your weakest one. Moreover, the players with the best reputation in each category receive extra victory points. In PR Campaigns you can secretly decide in which area you want to boost your image.

Try to predict the moves of your competitors and develop your own strategy to win Green Deal!



I'm not entirely sold on this, but I at least want to check it out. Says it's an economic game, but then not too light and has the same core mechanism as El Grande. I hate the color choices, but not enough to not check it out, at least.


Essen release Booth 1-G168. Already shipping to backers.
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21. Board Game: Greenland [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:1511] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
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Phil Eklund's latest. Don't really have to say more, but I will:

Quote:
The three players in Greenland represent the Norse (red), Tunit (green), and Thule (yellow) tribes inhabiting Greenland from the 11th to the 15th centuries.

As a tribe, you attempt to secure food, resources, and technology to increase the size of your tribe and support children, elders, and livestock while also wiping out competing species or gathering resources to collect victory points. You must work around the weather and the extinction of natural resources as well as negotiate deals to protect your wives while you decide between monotheism or polytheism. In this tableau-building game, you'll send your population out to hunt native species of Greenland — but some might not come back. (Historically, the climate turned frigid and all but the Thule (Inuit) died out.)


You can preorder from Phil's site: http://www.sierra-madre-games.com/ We already have preordered it, obviously.

Essen release.
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22. Board Game: Hands in the Sea [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:1875]
Edward Uhler
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First Punic War, inspired by the deck-building system of A Few Acres of Snow. We've played this and loved what we saw. Uber excited for this!


Post-Essen release. Kickstarter in November or December.
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23. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica: Britannia [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked]
Edward Uhler
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Tony may have sold his copy, but I haven't and I want this! The missus and I both enjoy this game, so it's a no-brainer.


Essen release.
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24. Board Game: Historia [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:981]
Edward Uhler
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One of my Top 10 most anticipated releases. Very unique civ game with an almost...stock-market tech tracker? Looks very interesting and I backed it when it was on KS.


Post-Essen release. (November)
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25. Board Game: Imperialism: Road to Domination [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:5745]
Edward Uhler
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Imperialism: Road to Domination approximately covers the period from the 15th to the 19th century. The players control superpowers and attempt to transform them into mighty empires. To accomplish this, they will not only have to look after the economic growth and try to gain social and civilizational achievements, but also modernize and expand their fleet and land army. Because being at war is expensive, it is often wiser to resort to plots and lies. Sometimes, making empty promises by negotiating tables is better than getting involved into a risky and exhausting war, which may empty the treasury and expose you to losing the precious prestige. The players have to pay extra attention to the dissenters who, especially in the beginning of the game, have greater military power and will not hesitate to draw others into a religious war. Will you manage to create an enormous colonial empire, military European dominium, or a small territorially but strong economically country? The player’s choices, luck, and reactions of others will affect the struggle. Creating an empire requires good strategic sense and flexible approach to the current military and economic situation. The players have to forge thoughtful alliances and avoid wars which they may not win.

The aim of the game is to create the most powerful empire. To achieve this, the players will change the reigning rulers, brew plots, conspire, conquer minor countries and overseas lands which will increase the level of goods production in their empire. The players will have to expand their armies and fleet to confront other superpowers. The player with most glory points wins.



Looks really good and I'm a huge sucker for Civ games. It has a playtime of 90-120 mins (or longer more likely), plus it's the same publishers as a recent fave of ours: Craftsmen.


Essen release.
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