Another year, another Essen, another storage issue
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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This year's Essen has been smaller than usual for me. By and large I've stuck to the smaller stuff, with a few notable exceptions (looking at you Fragor). I've also managed to get a few of them played already.
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1. Board Game: Doodle City [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:2960]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Picked this up fairly early on Thursday, and we played it that night. Turns out the doodling and the city routing planning is way more fun than I or my friends anticipated. We managed to get in a 5-player game and had a great time as we prayed to the Dice Gods for a good roll and cursed our own stupidity.

This one is highly recommended. I just wish there were some alternative maps, although the random starting roads should inject the variety needed.
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2. Board Game: Bakerspeed [Average Rating:4.77 Overall Rank:15065]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Love supporting these types of games and organizations. The bonus with this game is that I can now confirm that I am not very good at speed games, as I ended up with more cards than I started with. Despite this it's going to get played again for sure. If not with my gaming groups then certainly with some non-gamer friends.
 
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3. Board Game: Lap Dance [Average Rating:5.66 Overall Rank:9145]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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I have no shame. I bought this game for the theme only. Artipia wanted to know if I wanted card sleeves to go with the game, but I declined, I prefer my lap dances un-sleeved. Any way we played it, without the "party game" rules, and although there is an OK little card/dice game in there I really did miss the lap dance theme. It's about as pasted on as a theme can get. We spent our game talking about collecting cigars and drinks instead of laughing about high heels, tassels, VIP rooms, and making it rain. It turns out it's not really worth getting out as novelty item at all.

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4. Board Game: Dice Brewing [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:3968]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Glad I picked this up Thursday morning, as I found out Sunday it had sold out. I was surprised such a fairly under-the-radar game had done so well. But having played it I can see how it did do so well. This game has some tough decisions and some decent screwage opportunities. Really enjoyed it, again can recommend.
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5. Board Game: Dragonscroll [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:4042]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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The Lamont Brothers do it again. All their games not only have great miniatures, but also have a pleasant whimsical game-play. You gently plod your dragon around the tile-based landscape and giggle with delight as you get to through your fireballs into the burning tower of death. Curse words follow as the fireballs miss their targets. You try different fireball deliver techniques, but that still usually ends in failure. But you don't care, scoring points is the secondary goal here.
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6. Board Game: Isaribi [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:5746]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Got to play this a couple of times before Essen and loved it. Now, after Essen, it still remains my favourite game of the Essen titles. It's beautiful to look at, and it's beautiful to play.
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7. Board Game: Colors of Kasane [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:4275]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Not managed to get this played yet, so can't comment on that. But the packaging and contents of the game are exceptional. It reminds me of that first edition Love Letter for 2 years ago. The box is a beautiful little pick square box, something that wouldn't look out of place in a ladies powder room. Inside are some buttons, coloured pebbles, and great looking cards.

Looking forward to getting this played.
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8. Board Game: Corto [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:3992]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Picked up this 2013 release and the new Essen 2014 expansion. Again fantastic artwork and unique game-play and caught my eye. Really looking forward to getting into this game.
 
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9. Board Game: Marchia Orientalis [Average Rating:5.28 Unranked]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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This beauty was 5 euro, or 10 if you wanted a box and some cardboard coins. I wanted the box, so handed over my 10 euro.

This one felt distinctly old school as we separated the perforated tiles. A read of the rules got me quite excited. It looked to have the possibility to be a fun version of Alhambra. Turns out it's a near miss. I think the game could have done with a bit more development as we a) bust the bank as we taxed, and b) in a three player game realised we could have completely ended the game for a player as he could only draw two tiles each turn leaving them for other players to buy. But for 10 euro, who cares.

It was definitely good enough to get another play or two.
 
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10. Board Game: Onward to Venus [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1497]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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So I had decided to give up buying new Wallace's. The family targeted recent efforts weren't for me, even though the damn deluxe editions were too tempting for to resist.

Then along came Onward to Venus. This looked pretty good. But I was determined not to bite on the Limited Edition. So Thursday I deliberately left it to the end of day. Damn it! There were still some left. 45 euros later I had a new Limited Edition Wallace game in my collection.

Not played it yet, but am sure it won't be long.
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11. Board Game: Clinic [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:2741]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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With the exception of Isaribi Clinc was my game of Essen. We've stumbled through a single play, but that really has left me wanting more. This is a euro that integrates theme and mechanics as intricately as anything I've encountered since Kolejka. A lot of rules can be applied by common-sense. Best of all it's brain-burning as hell, but it's brain-burning with a purpose.

Reeeeeallly want to play this again soon.
 
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12. Board Game: Cargotrain [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:7988]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Cargotrain has 3 things going for it. First is the word Cargo. Second is the word Train. Third is that it is published by some one in Poland. I am finding Polish games to be my cup of tea. They are quirky, they are innovative, and they do a great job of integrating theme and mechanics. I've already mentioned Kolejka as an example, but there is also Magnum Sal and W Zakładzie: Lubelski Lipiec '80, to name two more.

Best of all, unlike so many games this year at Essen, it's a card game that know's it is a card game. It's has been thrown into a air filled box 3 times the size that is needed to justify a price point. Whatever this game plays like I am sure it will be 15 euro well spent.
 
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13. Board Game: Moscow to Paris [Average Rating:5.66 Overall Rank:12344]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Another purchase, another train themed game. I managed to put off a couple of friends in the group by saying that it was a bit like ticket to ride. Judging by their reactions it turns out that they need not be afraid. Interesting card play, some chances to mess with other players, and a sensible scoring system made this a hit.
 
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14. Board Game: P.I. [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:1553]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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This was the sort of Wallace game that put me off the new Wallace games. But when they're piled up to the ceiling for 5 euros I'm not going to say no. Worth it sit on the shelf and look pretty next to the other Treefrog and Warfrog logos.

One desperate day it will get played.
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15. Board Game: Las Vegas Boulevard [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Las Vegas, or Vegas to us early purchasers, is one of my favourite push-you-luck dice games (especially when played with the white neutral dice). Have played this expansion before and liked what it adds, so took the opportunity to buy.
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16. Board Game: Coup: Reformation [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Played Coup with the Catholics and Protestants, so added the Complots version of the expansion to my copy of Complots.
 
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17. Board Game: Rory's Story Cubes: Intergalactic [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:4977] [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Got this along with Medic and Score mini expansions. Nice!
 
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