Essen essentials 2017
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Time to start preparing for the biggest event of the year (in my book at least): Essen Spiel In this list I will collect the games that I am interested in exploring at Spiel. Fifth year in a row. I always come well prepared, trying to get the most out of my limited time there (usually just one day ) but last year I only focussed on games that had enough info available (like videos, rulebook posted,...) in order to limit the number of impulse buys that turned out just "meh" and thus a waste of shelf space and money. I tend to do the same this year :-)
I will update the list with comments on the games and categorising them into "must buy" - "maybe" and "probably not" as we come closer to D-day.
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1. Board Game: The Sanctuary: Endangered Species [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:4052]
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I know nothing about this game, except what the description tells me. The cover picture drew me in. And then I read it's about animals. I love animals :-) I hope to learn more soon.
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2. Board Game: Path of Light and Shadow [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:1867]
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I am soooo intrigued by this game! It has deckbuilding, area control, attacking, etc. All good stuff! But the Kickstarter is really expensive. Don't mind the price for the game, given the number of components you get, but then paying about 30% of the price of the game to get it shipped, wow, sorry, too much...
The publisher claims to be in Essen with the game, so I subscribed to the list to pick up a copy there.
And now I start my prayers to the logistics gods ands spirits to get the game ready in time for Essen
 
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3. Board Game: Ex Libris [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:800]
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Game about collecting the most rare and valuable books. A theme that appeals to me :-) Scheduled for release in Q3 2017, so I hope it will be at Essen.
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4. Board Game: The Fox in the Forest [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:705]
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A trick taking game for 2 players. Those are rare, and I'm always on the lookout for good, fun 2 player games, so (high) on the list it goes :-)
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5. Board Game: Feudalia [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:3403]
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First Kickstarter of the year that I back with Essen pick up.
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6. Board Game: Skyward [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:4095]
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Game of "I split you choose" (which I adore in Hanamikoji) where you build buildings. The art is vewy pwetty!
 
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7. Board Game: Palaces [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
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Another Kickstarter I let pass me by. Curious to see how this one turned out. It is a game of deckbuilding and building towers with cards. I think I want this :-)
 
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8. Board Game: Princess Jing [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:7943]
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Abstract game of bluffing for 2 players (or 2 teams). Essen release.

Edit: release has been pushed back to 2018.
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9. Board Game: Twilight of the Gods [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:6324]
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Fantasy card game for 2 players. I'm a sucker for fantasy card games, but they often don't live up to my expactations... Must check this one out before buying.
 
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10. Board Game: Seikatsu [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:2317]
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from the description:
Quote:
In Seikatsu, players take turns placing tiles into a shared garden area, with each tile showing a colored flower and colored bird. Players score for groups of birds as they place them, but they score for rows of flowers only at the end of the game and only for the rows of flowers that exist from their perspective, i.e., that are viewable as lines from where they sit at the game board.


Feels like a zen game, with beautiful art.
Might be too light...
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11. Board Game: Sentient [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:1117]
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A dice manipulation game of programming robots. Intrigued...
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12. Board Game: Photosynthesis [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:347]
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A strategy game where you get to grow trees from seeds. Best with 2, so on the list it goes. Components look beautiful.
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13. Board Game: Gentes [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:1356]
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Civ game with an interesting time mechanic. Curious to learn more!
 
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14. Board Game: The Palace of Mad King Ludwig [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:2548]
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Tile laying game where you build rooms in a palace (feels like the other Mad King Ludwig game), a moat that encloses that palace acts as timer: if the moat is finished, the game ends.
 
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15. Board Game: Blackwood [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:7280]
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A game of witchcraft, going into the forest to collect resources for your potions. Seems like a very interactive game, must check it out.
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16. Board Game: Shadows in Kyoto [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:3789]
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A 2-player abstract game from the team that brought Hanamikoji. 'Nough said, Hanamikoji is one of our favorite 2 p game.
 
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17. Board Game: Dragon Island [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:8266]
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From the description:
Quote:
In Dragon Island, you and up to three other players take on the role of wizards cast away onto a seemingly deserted island. Players compete throughout their journey to gain as much treasure as possible, building up the island tile by double-sided tile. Discover exotic terrains, build special structures, manage your magical energy, and tame dragons!

Once the entire island has been discovered, your quest is over, and whoever has accumulated the most treasure wins!


It has dragons! Not much info yet, would love to see more before jumping in. Eventhough it has dragons...
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18. Board Game: Innovation Deluxe [Average Rating:8.42 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.42 Unranked]
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Should have a European release soon.
 
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19. Board Game: Tulip Bubble [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:2533]
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An existing game... getting a reprint?

Game of bidding and auction set in a period of frantic speculation on tulip bulbs in 17th century Holland. Unique theme, would love to get it.
 
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20. Board Game: Merlin [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1151]
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New Stefan Feld. Not much info yet, but will check it out. I'm not a gamer who instabuys all the new Felds... I know, sounds like blasphemy here
Update: it has dice! 6
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21. Board Game: Queendomino [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:524] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
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Expansion to Kingdomino and stand-alone game. Not sure if I need more light games in my collection, but I've been hearing a lot of good things about Kingdomino so this might be worth a look. And there may even be bundle buys in Essen, who knows
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22. Board Game: Santa Maria [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:746]
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Tile laying: love it.
Engine building: love it.
So on the list it goes.
Preorders at discount price: http://www.aportagames.com/preorder/
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23. Board Game: Rajas of the Ganges [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:420]
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Worker placement with dice.

From the description: India in the 16th century. The empire is ruled by the Great Mogul Akbar; the countless provinces, however, are under the control of the local Hindu princes, the rajas. The rajas compete with each other for power and prestige. Hinduism and the caste system shape people's lives. Taking on the role of rajas, players control the destiny of their princedom and develop their province by using the caste system, trading with goods, and traveling along the Ganges. But the Gods also influence their fate. Good karma, but also other ways lead to wealth and fame.

Not convinced yet, need to find out more...
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24. Board Game: Summit: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:3148]
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I didn't back this on Kickstarter, but I'm still curious about this one. Player count might be a pickle: it requires 5-6 players to shine. So still a bit hesitant. But gameplay looks cool: try to make it to the summit first, with limited supplies and in harsh conditions.
 
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25. Board Game: Museum [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:9171]
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Set collection game, beautiful art.
Edit: Kickstarting in September 17, so won't make Essen :-)
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