A first timers Essen Spiel Post Mortem
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
54 
 Thumb up
3.00
 tip
 Hide
So, Essen Spiel 2017 is behind us and we're all, or at least most of us, trying to get our heads around the massive load of new and exciting games.

I'd like to be helpful in this endeavor so I thought I'd write up a GeekList with my musings on the games that I bought and/or have gotten to play. This list will grow over the weeks as I have yet to receive the two boxes of games that I mailed out.

Edit Finally the second and final box I mailed from Essen arrived.

Here's an image with most of my loot visible.



Just a few games from the auction are missing as well as some expansions whose boxes have already been chucked out. Notably Tramways: Grand Station, Tramways: The Tramways of Small City, Nations: The Dice Game – Unrest and Lorenzo il Magnifico: Houses of Renaissance.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can also compare this to my pre-Essen list

But before I get to the games, a quick recap of our trip.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: essen-2017 [+] essen [+] spiel-2017 [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
1. Board Game Event: Spiel 2017
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The convention experience was quite different than what I expected it to be. The Messe area is huge and I had a hard time finding my way inside at first. By the end of Friday I started to remember the overall layout of the halls but still I was hard pressed in finding anything than a few of the booths that were the most important for myself.

It was also quite exhausting physically. Already by the end of Thursday the soles of my feet were tender like a pair of schnitzels. It was most likely the haul of games I was carrying for most of the day. After the math trade meet where I picked up quite a few games from the no ship auction and also sold one, we made a quick trip to the hotel!

This was my haul at that point (missing Merlin which I forgot in my back bag):


After we returned to the Messe we moved on to picking up the various games I had pre-ordered. We managed to get most of the except for a few notables: Ex Libris and Sentient as the games were stuck in customs. We mailed out a medium sized box weighing a bit under 20 kg around six just before we left back to the hotel. Yes, we left an hour early!

My girlfriend is a movie buff and wanted to go see Jigsaw as she did not know when she would have the next opportunity to see it. Unfortunately it was only being shown dubbed in German. I do not speak German myself and understand only a few words and phrases while she has a basic understanding and speaks some German. I had not seen any of the Saw movies myself and didn't except much from this one but I agreed to go
with her. I doubt I really missed anything from not understanding most of the dialogue. The highlight of the movie experience was a dubbed trailer for Justice League which made me laugh for some reason. For Jigsaw I'd give a 3/10. Had I understood the dialogue I'm guessing the rating would be even worse

On Friday I was frantically trying to scrounge up the remaining must have games from my list before the math trade meeting so that I could mail the games just after so that we could spend the rest of Friday actually trying some games out. Naturally this was not to be and I think it wasn't until around two that we mailed the other box. This time we had to go for the large box and it weighed between 28 and 29 kg.

Since we had mostly ran after the games that I wanted we decided that she would get to pick the games for us to try out. A quick first impression of them in items 2-8
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Dino Party [Average Rating:5.83 Unranked]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You could describe Dino Party almost as Dino Curling. You throw the wooden Dino meeples into the bordered play area trying to get them to land on connected land area so that they multiply and not into water or anything else that might kill them off.

You do this a few times with a section of the board flipping over revealing more water. Between the turns there are also random rules added that affect either one or all players. The effects are your usual "fun gimmicks" like you have to stand on one leg or have one eye closed. In the end the player with the most alive Dino meeples wins.

It might be fun for children but not for me.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Oh! Yummy Burger to Go! [Average Rating:6.12 Unranked]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oh! Yummy Burger to Go! is a card game where you are trying to get rid of your cards featuring 0-5 different hamburger ingredients.

For each round one player, the cook, decides which ingredients are in the hamburger in the current round and then each player simultaneously chooses a card from their hand that best matches it.

There are four categories of match: exact match, one ingredient switched, one ingredient more and one ingredient missing. If you (have to) play a card which doesn't fall in to any of the four categories you discard the card face down next to you as a strike. If you get your third strike you are effectively eliminated from the game. You will still play but can not win.

If two or more players play a card in the same category they have to pick up their cards back into their hand and move their player standee into a line in front of the restaurant (game box) or if they are already in the line and the first one in line they discard their card and take back their player standee from the line.

Before we tested it I wasn't expecting much more than a gimmick as the burger is a burger plushy. We played a short game where we were only dealt a few cards. My cards apart from the 0 ingredient card that all players start with (also a 5 ingredient card) were all high cards featuring at least 3 ingredients. I was never the cook and all but one of the burgers chosen for the rounds featured less than 3 ingredients so I had 3 strikes fast. The chef for the next round is the player who was the only one to play a card in a category in this order: one more ingredient, one less ingredient, one switched ingredient, exact match.

I can see the game being a bit better than I expected when played with more cards but it's still not a great game. The graphics are nice and burger plushy is pretty unique but still just a gimmick. If the price point was lower I could see some justifications for picking this up if you don't have a lot of fillers. The price was 27€ which is way too much for a simple card game like this.


3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Fast Food Fear! [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:6817]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a fast paced co-operative card game where you're trying to serve fast food to monsters. The deck contains different fast food cards in different quantities and action cards. On your turn you either feed a monster by playing all the 3-5 food cards he/she/it wants, play an action card or just discard any on card after which you fill your hand back up to the hand limit. You do this until you have fed all the monsters or the timer runs out.

It's purely a speed game as the timer is just two minutes and there are just a handful of action cards that flip it over.

We first played a two player game during which the person that explained the game to us came back to notify us that it's not actually a very good two player game which was already evident to us at that point in time. "Luckily" two other people came to join us for a few games of which we lost the first and won the second while cheating slightly. We ran out the deck but had not been told that when you shuffle the discard pile to create a new deck you need to add one more monster to feed.

All in all it's a pretty mindless co-op (my least favorite genre).

At the time I gave it but after writing this that seems generous.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Pyramid of the Sun [Average Rating:5.26 Overall Rank:13532]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Pyramid of the Sun is a small card game from Strawberry Studios where the players are building the same pyramid trying to get the most points. You get points based on the floor of the pyramid in which you place the card, possible bonus points for matching adjacent symbols and a multiplier for playing an edge card at the edge. On your turn you either play some cards or draw some cards.

It's a quick and simple filler. There's not a whole lot of decisions to be made but for 8€ you could do a whole lot worse.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Strawberry Ninja [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:8831]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Strawberry Ninja is another card based micro game from Strawberry Studios. This time a co-op where you are trying to manipulate the Strawberry ninja card and the kitty meeple in the same place.

The game is played on a 4x3 grid with one card missing (the hole) and all cards starting face down. On a players turn they move one card in to the adjacent hole and then another adjacent card in to the new hole turning that card face up and applying the effect of the card if any.

After this a direction card is drawn from the 4 card deck containing left, right, up and down arrow. These cards will come in the same random order during the game unless shuffled by a card effect. This card tells in which direction the kitty meeple moves.

If kitty lands on the revealed Strawberry ninja card the players have won. If this has not happened during a specified number of rounds the players lose.

While I'm not fond of co-ops this one was short enough that I didn't mind. Although the game is just too simple for my tastes. We easily beat it the two quick games we played.



2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: What's Up [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:5004]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another card based micro game from Strawberry Studios. This one is from 2016 but we had not played it yet so I'm listing it here. This one is a memory game of collecting sets of one, two and three birds in the same color. The cards are two sided with both sides sharing either the color or the number of birds.

The cards are placed in a grid on the table and on their turn the player turns one card to its other side. If the card fits their set the player takes this card and if not they can swap its place with another card in the grid. You have to build your sets in ascending order and the first player to two full sets wins.

Again it's a quick and pretty nondescript game. I could play it again but would not buy it for myself.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: TOP Kitchen [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:6930]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll let you read the description for this game from its BGG entry.

We got to play one round of this dice chucker. The meaningful choices you get to make in this game are which of the random menu cards dealt to you to keep, which of the random action cards to mulligan, which dice you buy in what order and when to play your cards (some of them of the take that variety).

We only got to play one round of this and we were playing just the two of us. Neither of us thought much of the game based on the one round and I doubt we'd have changed our mind with more rounds. It just didn't have enough meat on the bones so to say.



And then on to our purchases!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Sentient [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:1107]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sentient is pleasant medium light weight card drafting game with a unique dice manipulation mechanism for scoring the cards. Each round starts with all players throwing their five dice. The dice are placed in a specific order by color.

Players take turns drafting robot cards from the five visible cards by placing their agents in the spaces above them optionally with assistants to aid in the end of round majorities for the five investors between the cards. The robot cards come in five different types and have corresponding investors which score at the end of the game. Each player starts with a different investor guiding their choices at the beginning.

After choosing a card the player then places it between two dice in his display. The robot card can change the face of either or both of the dice up or down unless the player assigns assistants to stop that from happening. Once all players have either drafted four robots or passed the round ends and the robot cards are scored based on the dice on each side according to different criteria. Some cards require specific numbers on both sides, some that they are either even or odd, some that their sum is even or odd, some that their sum or difference is as specified and some give point according to a formula like 7-higher dice.

After the robots have been scored the investors for the round are given out to the players with the majority of agents and assistants on either side of them (placed there when drafting cards) with the second highest total gaining a point for their troubles with the number of agents being the primary tie breaker and turn order the secondary tie breaker.

This goes on for three rounds after which each player gets points for their investors based on the number of robots they have of the corresponding type.

The game plays at a brisk pace and is just the right length. I especially like the dilemma of how much of your assistants you can afford to place with your agents without messing up your robot scoring.

You will most likely get the best results by collecting all the additional investors of the type you started with and by drafting a majority of the robots of this type. The random setup and luck of draw plays quite a huge part in your score potential.

I have so far played two four player games and enjoyed it both times. It doesn't hurt that the production values for the game are high as can be expected from Renegade games and the graphics are quite pleasant. Designer J. Alex Kevern seems to have a knack for these lighter yet still thinky games.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Azul [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:47] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is one the four notable games by Kiesling this year. I bought them all.

We played this on Friday at the hotel. It wasn't our copy as we had mailed it earlier that day. We were accompanied by two other Finns who happened to be at the same hotel. They had played it before as a two player game and quickly explained the simple rules to us.

We played on the basic side without the joker tiles (and I actually forgot to buy those for myself).

Azul was a very positive experience for us even though we both lost by quite a margin. The components are like candy and the choices you make can be excruciating. There might be a good move to make but that could open up a really great move for the next player. Or you could make a move that gets you a few points but forces the next player to take a lot of negative points. As far as abstract games go this is a great one and I can't wait for my copy to arrive.

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Alien Artifacts [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1527]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This was the third game we played on Friday accompanied by the two other Finns. Yet again it wasn't my copy but I bought this one as well.

Our first game wasn't optimal as the owner of the game had not learned the rules very well. We also played some rules wrong for some or most of the game like the scoring of operational technology cards.

The game dragged on as it was getting late and the combination of beer and muddled up rules did not help.

There are some things that I'm not too fond of in the game like the random chance of scoring the technology cards and exploited planets. Also the conditions for scoring the technology cards don't seem to be very balanced. But I believe it's an ok game when the rules are clear. I will be playing it again once my copy arrives.

Edit My first box mailed from Essen arrived on Monday. I got a second play in with three players yesterday. This game was more enjoyable having read the rules thoroughly. Still the random nature of scoring during the game is what is the largest con for me. If you compare it to the other Portal games' tableau builders Imperial Settlers and 51st State the only pro is that it plays faster.


4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Riverboat [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:1528]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The second of the Kieslings.

We played a two player game on Monday. The rules are quite simple and it feels like an older pure Euro style game.

It took a few rounds to get the main strategies for how to best position the produce in the fields but by the mid point it came clearer. Sadly it wasn't possible to quite correct our mistakes but since it was the same for the both of us it was a competitive game and even surprised us by how close it was in the end.

We both focused on quite different things apart from the namesake riverboat and I squeaked just past her with the harbor master to get full points for my boats but still came short. She beat me 156 to 148. It did show me that the game allows for varied approaches for victory.

It's a solid medium weight Euro and I can't wait to get to play it with three or four players.

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Favelas [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:4624]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wizkid's booth was the second one I visited at Spiel. I really wanted The Expanse Board Game but alas it had sold out just 20 minutes after official opening time. Instead I picked up this one due to the art by Kwanchai Moriya.

Favelas is a short abstract majorities tile placement game where you build up your personal colorful favela. The game is played in three quick rounds and each round starts by throwing the overly large colored dice which determine the value for each colors majority and for having each color present in your favela. You have the ability to affect these values before the round ends when the year end tile is revealed.

Then you score 1-6 points (as shown on the dice) for each color you have the majority in with ties granting full points for all tied players and the points of the clear die if you have all colors visible.

We played this one with just two players. I believe it'll be a better game with more players but it wasn't bad with two either.


3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Hida-furukawa [Average Rating:6.32 Unranked]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My girlfriend purchased this. She's into Japanese themed games. She also managed to get her copy signed by the designer.

We played this with two players which usually is the wrong player count for games with auction mechanisms. It's a small card game where you are building your own 3x3 town from cards featuring numbers 0,1,2,3 and 5. There are also a few cards each round that have a special effect when played. You are basically trying to gather either three of a kind or a 1-3 straight in any order on each horizontal, vertical or diagonal row for extra points.

The basic mechanism is auctions for the cards. The cards of the round (0,1,2,3,5+2 random special cards) are dealt evenly face down among players with one card going to the bottom of the discard. The cards that can't be dealt evenly are left face down in the middle of the table to be auctioned later. Players can look at the cards dealt to them but not the cards in the middle or other players cards unless allowed by an effect from the special cards.

The auctions are blind auctions for everyone but the active player who places his or her bid open. With everyone losing their bet and in case of a tie for the winning bid the card going for the second highest non-tie bid which could even be 0. The two player version changes the auction to be completely blind as it wouldn't really work otherwise.

It didn't work very well with two players as there was practically no way of knowing if the card of the other player was something you would want (there are only two peek cards which might not even end up in the game at all). It might work a bit better with more players with the active players open bid giving some kind of indication if it's worth anything to him/her.

I don't think I would play this with two again but I might try it with more.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Gaia Project [Average Rating:8.70 Overall Rank:14]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I played a single game against the easiest Automa. I had played once before using my print and play copy.

I lost miserably but had a good time. Though I have to say even with having played it before, I struggled with the Automa rules and I'm not sure if I played everything correctly.

If you've played Terra Mystica the basic game rules are mostly very familiar. Though the move in to space has made expanding seemingly harder. There usually aren't very many habitable planets close together and with the basic range being 1 you're forced to either tech for range or cheaper terraforming or get lots of the new green cubes for extra range or the round tile with +3 range action space.

It feels like a fresh economic puzzle and I can't wait to play it with my friends. It's too early to tell if it's better than Terra Mystica but my expectations are high. Some people will and have criticized the graphic design and the switch from wood to plastic for the components but I don't mind. It's not like Terra Mystica was pretty either.

I will update this once I've gotten a few more plays in.

Edit Got in a four player game yesterday. It was the first time for all but me and one of the players had not played even Terra Mystica. The game took about 150 minutes which is not bad considering the circumstances. I'm slowly starting to feel this is slightly better than Terra Mystica!

8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
16. Board Game: Nusfjord [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:1049]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We have separate game collections and as we both like Uwes games we made a deal that she buys Indian Summer and I buy Nusfjord.

We've so far played one two player game of this quick and quite smooth game. Deviating from his usual concept there's only three resources in this game: fish, wood and money with the latter doubling as victory points as is par for course. There's no feeding in the usual sense. The elders you take (hire? descend from?) do take a cut from your haul at the beginning of each turn but once they've eaten enough (three fish) they give you one back. I assume it's a fish they had put in the freezer instead of being one they are regurgitating after eating too much fish (I've been to Norway once and it didn't come up so could be either).

There's also shares which can end up in the hands of other players in which case they also take a cut of your haul of fish each turn. In the two player game these didn't seem to have much of an impact but I can see them being a bigger deal with more players if you snatch a lot of them up.

Then there's the various elders, which are always the same except the order of the higher numbered ones when playing with more players, and the buildings which there are quite a few of. There's three different decks. You can choose one or mix and match.

There are only a dozen or so different actions. Issue a share (you start with 2 issued worth 1 point and 3 unissued shares worth -1 point each); buy all shares (the issued shares from the previous action - they can pile up); get 1 gold (when you really need that one coin and/or have no better options); transfer all the resources from your reserve to your supply; serve fish (seven plates, fish from these are used when activating the elders); build a building (this is what you do if you want to build a building); deforest (free up slots for building cards on your player board); thin out (get wood based on the number of forests on your player board); reforest (cover up empty building card slots on your player board worth negative points if uncovered); build a ship (worth some points and increase your fish haul for the following rounds); take an elder (and use him immediately - that's how it's done in Norway apparently); and if you had taken elders previously you could activate one, given that there is a fish on a plate for them to eat. Activating the elders usually gives you a basic actions with possible bonuses or even an option from multiple basic actions.

Depending on the number of players the number of times a basic action can be taken each round is different. And the more players you also get one or three copy actions.

I believe the game feels quite different at all player counts. We have again played only one two player game. We both liked it. I liked it more than her. It's not the best Uwe game but I would place it in his top five. I haven't yet played Ora et Labora or Fields of Arle though.

Edit: Managed to play a four player game on Sunday. The different player count did not seemingly affect the feel of the game as much as I assumed it would. I also thought that the shares would play a bigger role with more players but everyone was really hesitant about issuing shares until the last three rounds. Most likely this is just a case of unfamiliarity with the game as two of the players were playing for the first time.

7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
17. Board Game: Whistle Stop [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:1056]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've generally liked the bigger box games that Bezier puts out. Suburbia being my favorite of them. Although Colony wasn't as good as I'd hoped and I skipped Palace of Mad King Ludwig outright.

With the premise you can pretty much sense where I'm going with this so I won't beat around the bush. Whistle Stop wasn't as good as I hoped it would be. It's not a bad game, though. The graphic design is pleasant though not color blind friendly.

There is at least one oddity in the components as well. There are no player aids but they did print the end game scoring rules on a component. The player board on which you gather your cubes and use to mark your taken actions for the round. Sure it's at most ten cubes and four tokens you're removing from it before you can flip it over to read it but it seems silly.

I've played one two player game and one four player game and after just two games I don't see there being much variety in strategies. You're going to want to get shares and a majority in at least one share. Then get as many trains to the west coast as you can.

It's mostly a quick game as you do at most four simple actions and up to two upgrade purchases per turn but seems to have quite a lot of potential for AP. Our four player game took an hour and 45 minutes which felt too long.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
18. Board Game: Dream Home: 156 Sunny Street [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you liked the base game of Dream Home I don't see why you wouldn't like the expansion. The two new modules are a nice and simple way to make a few more points.

The friends and family module has the players trying to place specific rooms side by side and then pick a friend or a family member from a common pool on either floor matching the requirements. You get 1-3 points per friend or family and you can have two visitors.

The private floor plan cards also have you trying to have specific room configurations in your house. At the start of the game each player gets a minor plan worth 3 points and a large plan worth 5 and you can only score one of them.

The added variety, and again a few more ways to get some points, from the new resource cards is also welcome.

We haven't tried playing with 5 or 6 players yet but look forward to it.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
19. Board Game: Cat Lady [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:1567]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Cat Lady is a quick and simple card drafting game. You're collecting cats like a genuine Cat Lady. Of course you'll need to feed the cats or you get no points, just like in real life.

You also get points for cat costumes but only if you have the most. You also lose two points if you have none. That's just basic bird law. Then there's cat toys. You collect sets of different ones for increasing amount of points.

Finally there's catnip. Have just one and you get minus two points, you gave your cats their free sample but had none to sell them once you got them hooked. Two or three gives points for each fed cat, the correlation between drugs and food is well known. If you have four or more it gives you even more points, congratulations you are a bona fide Pablo Escobar of catnip.

The draft is done from a grid of 3x3 open cards and you take one diagonal or vertical row but only if the previous player did not pick the same one. You can bypass this restriction with a spray bottle.

It's a great and a bit silly filler. Played it with three in under 20 minutes for the first time.

Anecdote time: I didn't actually buy this at Spiel. I wanted to but my girlfriend kept pushing back. I kept badgering her but she kept her ground. On Thursday she gave it to me as a birthday present although she had meant for it to be a Christmas present. We had talked about skipping birthday presents this year due to going to Essen being both of our presents this year but she was worried that I would buy it before Christmas. She does know me whistle

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
20. Board Game: Indian Summer [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1661]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Another game from the girlfriends purchases. A polymino game in the same vein as Cottage Garden. This one doesn't deal out any points though and the first one to fill their board ends the game (everyone gets the same amount of turns though). The players who have filled their board convert all the treasures in to nuts and most nuts wins the probable tie.

On your turn you get one action (place a tile) or if you have a feather or a mushroom you get to either steal other players tiles or place two of yours. Nuts can be turned into squirrels (they are a 1x1 tile) and blueberries can be used to fill your tiles from the middle.

All the tiles have a hole ine them and if you line up the hole with a treasure printed on the board you get to claim the treasure when you fill up the whole area containing the treasure. You can also get animal tiles if you create a continuous area with the holes. This will give you the treasures showing in the holes again.

It's a more straightforward race than Cottage Garden as there are no points. I'm not quite sure yet if I like this more than Cottage Garden.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
21. Board Game: Shadows in Kyoto [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:3770]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
And yet another one from my girlfriends loot pile.

This one takes place in the same world as last years Hanamikoji and like Hanamikoji it's a two player game. The game is very different though. You are moving you agents on a board using cards. You try to either feed your opponent three agents with false intel, capture two opponent agents with real intel or invade the opponents starting areas with a agent with real intel. There are area cards that let you move to the area of the same color and also tactics cards which have more complicated movement rules.

There's also two variants that bring asymmetrical character powers and items to the game.

All in all it's a simple with deduction, bluffing and very light hand management.

I prefer Hanamikoji but it's not a bad game.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
22. Board Game: Photosynthesis [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:344]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We played a two player game this morning. We decided that we would play the advanced variant where you can't grow trees or plant seeds when the trees are in the shade and then promptly forgot about those rules blushwhistle

This can be quite a cut-throat game with the blocking and with the advanced variant even more so. It's also a very simple and straight forward tactical game. Ultimately it didn't live up to my expectations. I will try it again with more players but it might up in the sell pile.






 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
23. Board Game: Altiplano [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:655]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For those who have played Orleans this will feel familiar but still a bit different.

The most noticeable differences compared to Orleans are (in no specific order):
1 Most of the tokens you collect in your bag are worth a variable amount of points even without thinning them out of your bag (unless placed on orders). You can also build houses which will increase the point value of one type of tokens in addition to being worth 4 points themselves
2 You can't perform an action any time the prerequisite action slots are filled - your meeple also needs to be moved to a specific area of the game "board" using carts and/or food
3 Extensions which act pretty much like buildings in Orleans come out in a pseudorandom order and only five are available each round
4 Each player gets a different role tile at the beginning which defines which workers you start with and also feature a unique action only that player gets (if you disregard that each of them is available as an extension)
5 There are no events, wild workers or gears to make actions more efficient
6 There's also a module for personal mission cards that you can complete for some more points

Altiplano feels more restrictive than Orleans in what you can do. It's possible although not likely that you are unable to generate some worker type during the whole game. The basic actions do not cover all the goods/worker types and if all the extensions and boats get snatched away before you get to them you may find yourself locked out of something for the whole game. This is not the end of the world as there are so many different avenues for generating points.

The rounds in Altiplano feel shorter than in Orleans but the game itself can last longer as the players can prolong the game by avoiding certain actions. The game end is triggered by not being able to completely fill the extension row or if one of the game area boards contains no tokens and cards.

Our first play was with five people and other than the game running a tad long it was an enjoyable experience.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
24. Board Game: Pulsar 2849 [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:550]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Pulsar is a simple(ish) dice drafting game that has the players zipping across the galaxy to settle planets and claim pulsars, patent technologies, build their head quarters, build gyrodynes on their pulsars, build transmitters and fulfill the conditions of the three end goals before the end of the eight and final turn.

Each of the eight turns players get to use two dice and one bonus dice if they manage to acquire one so during the game you only have 16 to 24 actions. It's one of those games that has you constantly wishing you had one more action each turn. There's so much to do but you just can't do it all.

There's quite a lot of variability in the game setup. The technology track is composed of three separate boards (levels). For each level there are two different two sided boards giving 64 different combinations. The end goals are also two sided featuring different quantities for the requirements and points available and there are more than the three used each game to choose from. The transmitter tiles and exploration bonus tiles are the same each game but the order is randomized as is the location of each system tile on the map. The map has two different sides as well. Then there are the four different headquarter boards which, again, are double sided.

The game plays quickly and my initial impression is that there are multiple avenues for victory which is a huge plus for me. We really enjoyed our first game. I won by by a huge margin but the two other players were just one point apart from each other (182 vs 144 vs 143). The second player built the most gyrodynes (and was the only player to build any transmitters) while the third player went heavy on planet exploration but neglected the gyrodynes he started building on pulsars for too long and was the only one to have unfinished gyrodynes at the end.

I'll have to play more to see how balanced the different point sources are but I will gladly do that.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
25. Board Game: Pocket Mars [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:2693]
Juha Leppälä
Finland
flag msg tools
#1 Ginkgopolis Fan
badge
I don't always wear a beanie but when I do, I wear it on Bill Murray's head
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Pocket Mars is a filler card game. You are trying to get your seven cubes , representing your colonists, on to four of the five buildings on Mars.

The players have four cards at their disposal at all times. Two in their hand and two face down on the table (their preparation zone).

The deck is composed of cards in five colors corresponding to each of the five buildings. The cards have a value from 0 to 7, an effect triggered when played from hand and and effect triggered when played from their preparation zone.

On their turn the players either play a card from their hand for the effect, play a card from their preparation zone on a building with the matching color (possibly allowing them to place a colonist from their ship to that building) to trigger that cards effect and the buildings effect, play a card from another players preparation zone (giving that player the chance to trigger the effect of the card) to trigger the effect of the building, get a colonist from the pool to their ship or discard a card to gain one energy (used to activate some of the card effects).

The game ends after the round in which at least one player manages to get their last colonist in one of the buildings. Then the players score their colonists on buildings (2 or 4 points), colonists on their ship (1 point), 1 point for most energy and 2 or 3 bonus points if they have at least one colonist on each of the four buildings that can house colonists or have at least 4 colonists in one building respectively.

The rules are simple but it took us a few rounds for them to click.
Our first game lasted 20 minutes with three players and I can see it going faster on repeated plays.

As far as fillers go it wasn't great but better than mediocre. Our scores ended up 18 vs 18 vs 17 which surprised us as it seemed like the player who got all their colonists in the buildings would win clearly but in the end only won due to the tie breaker. Further plays should reveal if the games are always this close.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.