Q4 2017: Super Uniquely Named List of Futuristic Games
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Personal list of the interesting board games debuting at Essen '17 and thereafter.
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1. Board Game: The Voyages of Marco Polo: Agents of Venice [Average Rating:8.05 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.05 Unranked]
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New expansion for The Voyages of Marco Polo.

I originally met this news with a sniff of indifference; the base game is so perfectly contained that it really doesn't need anything added to it. But the more I read about the incoming additions, the more I want to try them out.
 
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2. Board Game: Fields of Arle: Tea & Trade [Average Rating:8.57 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.57 Unranked]
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Adds a 3rd player! It might actually get played other than solo-only now! Uwe's adding the kitchen sink to his everything-but-the-kitchen-sink farming sim.
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3. Board Game: The Bloody Inn: The Carnies [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
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I love the art, the theme, and the gameplay of The Bloody Inn, so more of a great thing is greater, right?
 
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4. Board Game: Rajas of the Ganges [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:420]
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I've noticed that I like Markus and Inka Brand games, but rarely ever love them. This one is a definite try, at the very least.
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5. Board Game: Noria [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:2157]
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The "wheel-building" sounds interesting, and the art is certainly something to take note of.
 
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6. Board Game: Natives [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:6488]
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An interesting engine-building card game. Neat theme and art, the central "pool" almost reminds me of Glory to Rome a bit.

UPDATE: Played online via Tabletopia. I really, really enjoy this one. It's simple, it's fast, and it's lots of fun with its public pool of cards and slight twist on drafting. I'm really looking forward to getting a physical copy of Natives.
 
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7. Board Game: Raid on Taihoku [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:6835]
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Very pretty looking co-op. I want to try.
 
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8. Board Game: The Palace of Mad King Ludwig [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:2548]
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Square tile-based "spin-off" of Castles of Mad King Ludwig, which is a perennial favorite with the family.

I got to try the prototype version of this one at BGG.CON '16 and it was a fun take on tile drafting/laying. I really enjoyed the novelty of the moat timer mechanism.
 
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9. Board Game: Herbalism [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:5229]
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I've liked with Emperor S4 has put out in the past, so I'm adding this one to the list on that merit alone.
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10. Board Game: Calimala [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:1567]
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Don't know much about this one, but the art is pretty and the painfully dull theme is actually quite intriguing in a painfully dull kind of way.

UPDATE: After having watched a video, the central action taking mechanic actually looks pretty novel. I'm even more interested in this one now.

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11. Board Game: The Labours of Hercules [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
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I'll be the first to admit that the main two draws are co-op and the spectacular art. Intriguing that the player count is 4-7.
 
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12. Board Game: Rescue Polar Bears [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:8045]
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Another co-op with an adorable theme and even more adorable polar bear components.
 
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13. Board Game: Pot de Vin [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:9097]
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Trick-taking, yes, but Weberson Santiago art.
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14. Board Game: Dokmus: Return of Erefel [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
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More content for a great abstract game.
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15. Board Game: Perfect Hotel [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:9521]
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I want more hotel themed board games! This is a step in the right direction, people!
 
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16. Board Game: Scythe: The Wind Gambit [Average Rating:8.36 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.36 Unranked]
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I'm more interested in the added variability than the giant airship minis that I'll have no good way of storing.
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17. Board Game: Nations: The Dice Game – Unrest [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
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The dice game desperately needs a little somethin'-somethin' added to it. With any luck, this new chunk of content will be exactly that.
 
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18. Board Game: Five Tribes: Whims of the Sultan [Average Rating:8.16 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.16 Unranked]
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I dunno. I really prefer base game Five Tribes as opposed to having to swap out and set up the game with Artisans.

I do really like the idea of Sultan contracts, though.
 
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19. Board Game: Mysterium: Secrets & Lies [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked]
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More content for Mysterium. Hello, filler item to help me get to free shipping!
 
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20. Board Game: Whistle Stop [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:1059]
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I don't have a pick up and deliver game in my collection, and this one looks simple/entertaining enough that it might prove easy to get to the table.

I like the Tsuro-esque tile placement.

UPDATE: PLAYED! I enjoyed my first play. Lots of decisions branching out from having multiple trains on multiple tracks with multiple tiles to place. I liked the shares more than I thought I would-- an understated addition, but a fun one to keep track of.
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21. Board Game: Gentes [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:1356]
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An interesting civ game with a neat time management gimmick. Looks like a solid engine builder.

After watching a playthrough, it went from "sorta interested" to "hope to buy cheaply."

UPDATE: Purchased and played. First impressions are very positive. Feels like a smooth, Euro-ey engine builder. It doesn't particularly scream "civ game," but the game itself is such an enjoyable one that I don't mind its lack of theme. The time track and action tile gimmick works really well.
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22. Board Game: Clans of Caledonia [Average Rating:8.17 Overall Rank:61]
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Kickstarted and played multiple times on Tabletopia.

This one is a hit, very much looking forward to a physical copy.

UPDATE: Played physical copy, still a hit! Climbing the ranks with each successive play.
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23. Board Game: The King's Will [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:3606]
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I really like the hidden scoring objectives from Argent: The Consortium put into my kinda game: super dull historical Euro theme.

UPDATE: Played and owned. I enjoyed my first play of this one. As many have noted, the King's wrath seemed a little too lenient. The Advent Calendar mini expansion adds Orleans-esque events per round that make things more challenging, which is good; I'd also like to look into the expansion to see if it addresses this complaint.
 
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24. Board Game: Keyper [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:1245]
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I initially passed on this one when it was on Kickstarter because the price was prohibitive, but I'd love to try it. The folding boards look interesting.

UPDATE: Played and preordered. I was surprised how much I enjoyed my first play of this one. It definitely feels like a spiritual successor--almost a sequel--to Keyflower, a game I dearly love. Fortunately, it differentiates itself enough to enjoy and play both. I really enjoy the challenge of timing everything (and there is lots of everything).

UPDATED UPDATE: Played 2 times and owned. The more I play this, the more I end up loving it. The folding country boards take a little getting used to; after fiddling with them more, I can now appreciate the wider range of possible permutations and it really helps open up the game a bit more. Keyper has the potential to really rise on my favorite lists!
 
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25. Board Game: Agra [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:1084]
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One half of the design team behind La Granja and Solarius Mission. I've read the rulebook and it sounds like a solid worker placement/resource conversion game. Plus, lovely art by Michael Menzel never hurts.

UPDATE: First play was very positive! With so many tiny little rules, the game is not the easiest thing to teach/learn, but once it gets going, it flows surprisingly well.
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