My Essen 2014 interest list
Andrés Pérez
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Although I'm not going to Essen, I was perusing the Spiel 2014 Preview geeklist and realized that there's a good number of games that I'm intrigued about so I decided to create a list that's a subset of the original list so I can track those games before and after the show.
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1. Board Game: Kanban: Driver's Edition [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:221]
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Action point allowance and a neat theme. It's certainly worth a look.

video
Kanban Automotive Revolution - English rulebook

Update: Watched the video above and OMG OMG OMG THIS GAME LOOKS SO COOL! Shooting straight up to the top of my most anticipated games!

Update (less like a schoolgirl): This game does so much right it is ridiculous.
- The theme is fantastic and the gameplay is very integrated
- The action selection seems agonizing!
- Random goals
- The training track is particularly intriguing as you have the choice now of spending your shift trying to get certified to unlock more of that department but is it worth it?
- The different "moods of play" with Sandra is excellent and highly thematic! Easier game where you can shoot for point rewards, or a harder game where you're trying not to be penalized. Brilliant!

Honestly, this game just speaks to me! I swore I won't be buying any more games this year, but I'm having a hard time not pulling the trigger on a pre-order of this. The only concern I have is that I am not sure how this would do with two players. I need a Rahdo Runthrough stat!

http://www.coolstuffinc.com/p/206432
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2. Board Game: Keyflower: The Merchants [Average Rating:8.18 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.18 Unranked]
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Really looking forward to this expansion! Instabuy!

The handy-dandy geeklist that Richard made to explain this expansion
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3. Board Game: Keyflower: Trader [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
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Always want more tiles although this might favor my wife's tendency to go for green meeple tactics. That being said, I usally have more extra skill tiles than she does...
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4. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends – Everfrost [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
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Have not played this game much at all, but it has so much potential and a new deck would be excellent!

Tash-Kalar Everfrost rules ENG
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5. Board Game: Versailles [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:2649]
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video

Update: Just watched the Runthrough and oh heck yes this is right the heck up my alley. Fastest rise in this list of all the games!

Update 2: Man, this and Kanban have some similarities in the feel of the game play (move pieces to an area and do/get something from that area). There's definitely a type of game I like
 
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6. Board Game: Akrotiri [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:599]
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Another player's description of this as "Tobago on massive steroids" peaked my interest as I like that game quite a bit.

Update: Neat game. I can see why people compare it to Tobago. Seeing as my wife really likes Tobago and likes puzzley games in general, this one is going up on the interest list.
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7. Board Game: Kamisado Max [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:5225]
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Heard good things of Kamisado and considering how much I've been into abstracts lately, I should probably look at it.

Oh look. Vasel reviewed it.

It's also on boardspace.net

Read rules (of original game) and what a cool game! Not sure what to think of this bigger version. I have to get on boardspace and play it.

New rules

Update: Cripes what an addictive game! I keep playing game after game on boardspace.net!
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8. Board Game: Bruges: The City on the Zwin [Average Rating:7.76 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.76 Unranked]
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Always a sucker for an expansion! Although, truth be told, this one isn't blowing me away. I'm afraid it might increase the game's fiddliness. Plus I hate how they've tacked on a fifth player.

Adds 4 modules:
1) 40 new character cards. 17 in a new guild and an updated Engraver
2) A 5th player with their own canal board gulp
3) The Zwin adds pretty major actions that are performed when a player builds a canal. Actions include:
- Take 3 workers
- Remove 2 threat markers
- Activate a one-use person
- Take 6 guilders
- Advance 1 reputation step
- Draw a card and perform the action
4) The Stock Exchange allows players to modify one of the 6 card actions when they choose to take one. This is probably one of the more interesting one to me.
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9. Board Game: AquaSphere [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:355]
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Program robots and perform actions based on those programmed robots. It seems like a really cool game and I wish I had backed it after all

Update: I really don't like games with a dummy player. I have rarely played one where it didn't feel clunky or otherwise annoying. This game has two dummy players. Well, technically one but it takes up enough spaces to use up two colors.
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10. Board Game: Fields of Arle [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:55]
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I'm not a huge Uwe fan (yes, I'm the one) but I'm still intrigued. It certainly looks like a Uwe game. I need to read the rules before I can make up my mind.

video

Update: Read the rules and watched MiWi's walkthrough and I'm still quite intrigued by this. My only concern is that at times it felt like the complexity in the number of actions you can take was very unnatural. Like it was forcibly made to have a lot of stuff to do instead of it being natural to the design?
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11. Board Game: Colt Express [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:297]
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Game certainly has eye appeal!



Possible gimmick aside, each "turn" is played in two phases:
1. You can either draw action cards or place them on the table in a specific order
2. You perform the actions in the order you placed them.
Sounds fun!

Rules

video

Update: Seems fun albeit a bit light. I am unsure how this would fair with two
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12. Board Game: Tragedy Looper [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:509]
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So time-travel related game which actually seems like it could work with two players? thumbsup

You keep replaying the same day trying to repair the tragedies that the mastermind inflicts on characters in the game. It's very intriguing.
 
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13. Board Game: Waggle Dance [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:1364]
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A light racing worker placement game.

Rahdo runthrough and rules

Update: Watched the runthrough and this seems like a fantastic WP but might be a tad too light for my wife and I. Still, neat game. Would love to play it.

The only concern I have is that, particularly in a two player game, the dice are really restrictive to what actions can be selected. Still, the more I think about this game, the more I want to try it out.
 
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14. Board Game: Carnac [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:4226]
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Fascinating abstract that, at first blush, seems to be very deep. Will have to play this on boardspace.net soon!

You're trying to have at least 3 squares covered by your color (a Dolmen) by placing Megaliths which take up one square upright and two on their side. Difficulties lie in that your opponent will be tipping your pieces over and that your Dolmens need to be separated by the other color. Really cool!

Carnac - English Rules

Update: Played it on boardspace.net for a few minutes during breakfast this morning. Very simple but with agonizing choices. I really like it and will try a full game this weekend!

Update 2: That moment when you finish playing a game, smug about having wiped the floor with the AI only to realize that you actually lost and should probably re-read the rules because you obviously missed something critical
Update 2.a: Holy crap I played the wrong color! I thought I was black when, all along, I was red! So every time I placed a Menhir I was placing it with black symbols up. I didn't miss anything in the rules, I'm just an idiot that needs to go to bed!
 
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15. Board Game: Onitama [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:177]
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Five possible movements in a game. Each player takes two. When you use one movement, you swap it with the 5th unclaimed movement. You are trying to either capture their main pawn or place your main pawn in their main area. So simple but so intriguing. The mark of a potentially good abstract game!

English rule of Onitama
Game Preview: Onitama, or Five Actions, No Waiting

Interesting. Variable setup where the 5 movement cards are randomly chosen from a deck of 15. Ultimately, each player will have had the opportunity to play with all 5 in a game. I wonder if that starting hand makes the game too luck dependent? I feel that the answer is no, but the game feels a little light. Still, I really want to try it out!
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16. Board Game: Deus [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:301]
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This one keeps catching my eye, so card game or not I am going to explore it further.

Game Preview: Deus, or Divine Card Play for Mortals Like You

Update: For a card game, it sure has a gorgeous board! I like how placing a building allows you to active all the cards of the same color allowing you to build some combos. Still, it's not something that particularly wows me although I wouldn't mind playing it.
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17. Board Game: ZhanGuo [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:397]
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This "card game" looks to be right up our alley - at first glance, at least. Need to know much more.

ZhanGuo English rules

video

ZhanGuo - Sneak Preview - Part 1
ZhanGuo - Sneak Preview - Part 2
ZhanGuo - Sneak Preview - Part 3
ZhanGuo - Sneak Preview - Part 4

Update: I keep trying to learn more about this game, but when reading the preview I get stuck here:

Quote:
The main gameplay is around the cards, which are divided into 3 decks. At the start of each round, each player draws 2 cards from each of the decks, so they will have 6 cards in total in hand. Players take turns playing one card from their hand until all cards have been played. This marks the end of the round.


I mean, I'm sure that those 6 cards give you plenty of choices, and I bet there's a lot of game in trying to make the best decisions with the cards that you've drawn, but it's just not revving my engine. My knee-jerk reaction is that the game is playing you.
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18. Board Game: Spyfall [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:394] [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked]
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Quick, silly little party deduction game that honestly seems pretty neat.

Spyfall official rules in English
 
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19. Board Game: Patchistory [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:788]
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The price really sucks and the game length seems ridiculous for what it is, but it still seems cool.
 
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20. Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:82]
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I have absolutely no problems with long games, but Suburbia always seemed to go 1/3 too long for me. Usually towards the end of Stack B or start of Stack C, all I'm thinking of is "is this game over yet?". I think it's a good game, just not great. I am wondering if this game fixes that feeling for me.

video

Update: I can foresee that this game might lead to some AP. Need to figure it out more...
 
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21. Board Game: El Gaucho [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1420]
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The blurb caught my attention.

El Gaucho - Rules (EN)
 
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22. Board Game: Alchemists [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:80]
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Not sure about it requiring an app (without a GM) but I like the idea of the game. Will have to look into it more.

video

Alchemists Sneak Preview - Part 1
Alchemists Sneak Preview - Part 2
Alchemists Sneak Preview - Part 3

Update: Need to read the preview because the video I watched left me with the impression that the game is fairly boring.

Update 2: I don't get the buzz about this game. Yes, it uses an app to determine the results of combo mixing, but you can do the same thing with components. The game itself looks merely "ok".
 
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23. Board Game: Kaleido [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:9833]
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"You're trying to get the most amount of tiles on one of the many boards" snore
"When a board is completed, it is immediately scored and the active player can rotate that board however he wants. At game end, players score for adjacent hexes"

English rule of Kaleido

Update: Very interesting game! The English rulebook needs some work but I think I got the gist of it. As I suspected, the real interesting bit happens when the boards are rotated. So there's going to be this back and forth where nobody wants to put enough pieces on a board so that the other guy can finish it. In a two-player game, I suspect we will put out all of our boards before we start completing them.
 
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24. Board Game: ReMatch [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
Andrés Pérez
United States
Germantown
Maryland
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Item for Geeklist "Spiel 2014 Preview"

I'm all about the abstracts, it seems



It can play with 3 but it's always only two sides (so two people would be playing together against a third person). You're trying to capture the other guy's pieces.
 
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25. Board Game: Haru Ichiban [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:2192]
Andrés Pérez
United States
Germantown
Maryland
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Item for Geeklist "Spiel 2014 Preview"
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