The games I bought, got for free, and tried at Essen Spiel 2008
Tiago Luchini
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Essen 2008 was my first time and, hopefully, we never forget our first time. That said, I did not play as much as I wanted at first and I had lots of impulse-purchases that I did not want at first. So this is the list of games I bought, tested or even got for free at Essen 2008.
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1. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Tiago Luchini
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I had already set my mind to buy Agricola depending on the price range. I think some games get here in Finland with such a high price-tag that anything under 40€ looks like beer money.

Bought!
 
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2. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:128]
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I really wanted a space-themed game this year and Galaxy Trucker fit the bill. I saw some tables playing it and was sure I would have a lot of fun playing it. So I skip the testing phase and went straight to the purchasing phase.

Bought!
 
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3. Board Game: Master Builder [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:4885]
 
Tiago Luchini
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Master Builder was on my radar as I normally like Kramer and the little building did sound promising. Tested on Thursday and had a good time even though we played the first round completely wrong. The game is not superb but triggers some pleasure zone in my brain. Maybe the little buildings or the whole management side that fits very well together. On Friday I simply had to buy it and could not resist.

Played and Bought!
 
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4. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:115] [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked]
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Pure impulse purchase. A good one though. I was meaning to get my hands on some Ticket to Ride version and I automatically fell in love with the Nordic Countries version as soon as I saw Finland and all the familiar cities on it (including my loved town). It also seemed very good for a small amount of players and that's normally my case. We tested it on Saturday and did not regret the money spent.

Bought!
 
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5. Board Game: Khronos [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:1993]
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I know this game did not catch and I am sure it is broken somewhere (I'll find that later). Even though, I do appreciate the theme and the whole mechanics seem to fit well together from a brief overview. The copy I bought was only 10€ and my wallet-driven mind was so quick that I was carrying the game away from the stand before my gamer mind even noticed it.

Bought!
 
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6. Board Game: Turn the Tide [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:919]
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C'mon, card games should be this cheap worldwide! They are such great fillers.

Bought!
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7. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:147]
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The whole idea was to test-it-before-buy but it was love at first sight. Real-time, co-op, space-themed... what else could I ask for?

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8. Board Game: Shear Panic [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:1582]
 
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Haven't personally played this but I confess its cuteness level is pretty high. My wife went straight to it and liked it - a good reason to buy it - of course.

Bought!
 
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9. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
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Everyone was talking about it and playing it. Checked down a couple of tables and felt very little impulse to even try it (I know I can be sentenced to death penalty for saying that but it seemed a pretty boring, hand-management game). I'll surely test it someday and that's it.

Checked out Not bought.
 
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10. Board Game: The Princes of Machu Picchu [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1070]
Tiago Luchini
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This was on my radar as Michael Gerdts normally surprise me. And after spending a huge amount of time to get a table to test it, another huge amount of time to learn it and an unbearable amount of time playing it, he did surprise me: the games is not very good. It is a great idea and some things are well designed but others seem like a last time addition to make the game work. From the mechanics perspective it looks to me as a thing full of patches. All other players on my table also did not like it.

Played and Not bought.
 
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11. Board Game: A Castle for All Seasons [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1035]
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Lot's pf people flocked to get this game right on Thursday and this raised my curiosity. We tried it on Saturday and, besides its very commonplace theme, it is a pretty good game. Not a fantastic game though. I had fun playing it and would certainly play more times. Definitely a purchase if I had not already exceeded all my personal quotas for games this year.

Played and Potential purchase one day.
 
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12. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.08 Unranked]
Tiago Luchini
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We managed to play this extension while waiting for a bigger table to free. It was interesting but did not change the game so drastically as to justify a purchase. Eventually if I played the basic game more frequently, this extension could be interesting. This is not the case though.

Played and Not bought.
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13. Board Game: Tri-Ominos [Average Rating:5.27 Overall Rank:15174]
Tiago Luchini
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Nice story: I was walking around (pretty lost I confess) and I stumbled with Klaus Teuber signing some Catan copies to the masses. I stopped to take a couple of pictures to send to my fellow friends back in Brazil who love Settlers of Catan. The owner of the booth then asked me to send him the pictures I had taken as his photographer had called in sick. So I guess I was "paid" with a copy of this game.

Got for free!
 
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14. Board Game: Die Erbtante [Average Rating:5.16 Overall Rank:14224]
Tiago Luchini
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I don't even remember where I got this. It came as a "bonus" to some purchase.

Got for free!
 
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15. Board Game: Cavum [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1573]
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I checked some tables playing it and would probably enjoy the game in itself. It did look very abstract though and this would be a problem on my group.

Checked out and Not bought!
 
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16. Board Game: Planet Steam [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:662]
Tiago Luchini
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What a nice setup this game has! The kind of big game I would certainly enjoy. I spent a couple of hours following a game and liked it. Again, quota-restrictions and the knowledge my regular group won't play a heavy game that often took it away from my shopping list.

Checked out and Not bought!
 
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17. Board Game Designer: Thomas Ewert
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I accidentally bumped on Thomas Ewert (from Container) because I heard some familiar foreign language being spoken as I visited Valley Games. When I checked it out, it was Thomas and his wife Sheila speaking in Brazilian-Portuguese as they played Container: Second Shipment. We spoke for a while and Thomas is quite a nice fellow. Way to go!
 
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18. Board Game Designer: Wolfgang Kramer
Tiago Luchini
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Kramer was explaining his Master Builder on the table right beside me while I tested it. I missed the opportunity to get my copy signed by very little!
 
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19. Board Game Designer: Jussi Autio
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Congrats to my fellow colleague Jussi Autio who was officially releasing his "The Club" and seemed to have had a considerable amount of well deserved recognition.
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