My before and after Essen 2009... The AFTER!
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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For the second time ever my girlfriend Pernille and I went to the Essen Spiel for all the four days that it lasted.

This geeklist is a complete coverage of everything we did at the Spiel.

This list is also kind of an update on this one http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/46611 that I did before the Spiel to prepare myself.

Sit back and enjoy the tales of games.. new and old and good and bad....

This geeklist will vary a bit from the typical eurogame lovefest as you will probably see as there are games of all kinds here..
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1. Board Game: Space Beans [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:3051]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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We were very well prepared this year.. We had made homemade snacks for the trip, prepared what we wanted to see and where it was located there, basically armed for a week of gaming madness...

Our train ride there took 8 hours and we had brought a copy of Space Beans to play on the train ride as it does not require much space and is easy and quick to play..


(me posing for the camera I guess)

Space Beans was the only game we had brought WITH us to play
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2. Board Game: Hotel Tycoon [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:15137]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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We stayed from Wednesday night to Sunday on Hotel Kessing very near the Essen Central Station.

THe user
Gerald M. Zabos
Germany
Heidelberg
Baden-Württemberg
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that I know from geekchat had been so kind to book the hotel for us.

The Hotel is OK with good prices though with a few buts.. Our first doubleroom was VERY cold and wind came right through two big windows in the room right next to the bed. That ofcourse meant that we risked getting the trip ruined by getting sick.

All was not lost as we asked for another room and got a very nice and cosy room. Probably our best move the entire trip!
The other thing that was a little troubling was that the place the hotel had for gaming was also their smoking room which meant we could not really enjoy playing in that room.
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3. Board Game: Mississippi Queen: The Black Rose [Average Rating:6.73 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.73 Unranked]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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On to the Spiel!

Thursday arrived and we were well rested and ready for the show! As is custom to do the first day was used to seek out some good deals on games we wanted. And boy did we buy games! shake

The first thing we bought was not even for our own collection.

Some good friends of us own and enjoy Mississippi Queen so we wanted to buy something nice for them as a surprise when we came home.. We were happy to find this rather rare expansion for a good price.
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4. Board Game: Gheos [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1699]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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Having bought our first game we felt good and we wanted to continue the feeling I guess and when we found a complete game of Gheos for 5€ I knew that I wanted to buy it.
I have played Gheos a few times and really like how it plays.. Describing it as Carcassonne for real gamers is not that far off in my opinion.
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5. Board Game: A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:739]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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This one was in the same booth as Gheos for a reduced price because the corner of the box had gotten a bad tear. My girlfriend really wanted the game and she is an expert at fixing stuff like that so we bought the game and was very glad that we did as a later game of it turned out really good.

We are both big Arkham Horror fans and appreciate this one as an Arkham Horror light that still retains a lot of flavour.

Btw my girlfriend had within a few minutes from returning home from Essen already repaired the box so it is a good as new now.
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6. Board Game: Tyrant: Battles of Carthage versus Syracuse [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.01 Unranked]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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The shopping for wanted items continued and luckily Essen also gives a wide selection of good wargames.. I know this Tyrant expansion is probably the best of all the Great Battles of History Expansions so when I saw it for a good price I (ofcourse) had to buy it..

Now I just need someone to play the game with shake
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7. Board Game: Britannia [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:543]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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Wohoo another on the want list that was available for a good price!

The game consists of all kinds of Danes behaving badly to the british.. Got a love a theme like that really..

I have played the game before and really liked it.. So down the bag it went
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8. Board Game: The BoardGameGeek Game [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:4191]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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No we did not buy this game! (Sorry about that everyone but its just not for me that one)

BUT we did meet up with Derk and Aldie and had a nice chat with the both of them.. Aldie even claimed to sort of maybe remember seeing my username here on BGG in the past....


Aldie and me


We even bought a few Geekdo bags to carry our games in.. Even though Aldie and Derk had both written on them cool
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9. Board Game: Ghost Stories: White Moon [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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Ok buying is fun but so is playing!

We had pre-ordered the White Moon expansion package for Ghost Stories and we also wanted to try it out.

We had a great time with the guys at the Repos booth. We were lucky to get to play on a custom made board that was just awesome.. (see the images here)




The expansion really added a lot of fun to the game and was a great addition to our collection as well.. We also got the Chuck No-Rice, the B-Rice Lee and the Village People extras for the game.

Best part about it though was no doubt meeting with both the designer of the game Antoine Bauza and the great graphic artist who even drew a nice Wu-Feng for us inside the box-lid.


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10. Board Game: Dungeon Twister 2: Prison [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:1043]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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I had never tried any Dungeon Twister game and both Pernille and me would like to try it so we did.

I think the the people demoing the game had maybe made a bad judgement by only allowing players to try the game with two creatures and no combat. It just seemed way to abstract for us... Just constant moving around without any real fun..

So that was a pass for us even though I can not rule out that playing the whole game could be ok...

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11. Board Game: Small World: Grand Dames of Small World [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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More buying!

We knew we had to get these while still available so we bought the two new small world expansions and was happy to see they included the Leaders expansion as well when you bought the other two!

Later on the fair I saw that all the small world expansions were sold out so happy to get ours.
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12. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europa 1912 [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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A nice little expansion that we also picked up at the Days of Wonder booth. Its nice to have some new stuff for fans of the europe version as well.. Which is probably the best of all the ticket to ride games in my opinion. (the card game is also pretty good)
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13. Board Game: Cyclades [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:131]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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Before Essen 09 I had made a deal with the user
Gilad Yarnitzky
Israel
Reut
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to meet and play Cyclades. I know Gilad from geekchat. Before starting Cyclades suddenly also other regular geekchatters N/A and N/A was with us and it was nice to meet and say hello and we would spend many hours together the rest of the days.

Only Fierman ended up playing this game with us though.

The game has some nice components and is OK but nothing more.. Its a little too repetitive and static for my taste.



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14. Board Game: Fairy Tale [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:749]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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Bought this little game for a family member that has asked for a copy of the game in the past..

The newer version does seem kind of superior to the old one when you compare the artwork
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15. Board Game: Maria [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:253]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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The final purchase of the day!! (finally)

We ended the day at the Spiel with picking up my pre-ordered copy of Maria.

Friedrich is great and this game seems to be great +1.

Richard Sivel (the designer) was nice enough to write his autograph inside the box lid and give me the updated die cut counters for Friedrich that I did not have.
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16. Board Game: Hotel Life [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:4261]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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We ended Thursday by meeting up at the Ambassador Hotel with Gilad, Stuart, Fierman and his girlfriend to try and play some games in the evening.

We also met a nice guy named Michael
Michael Wißner
Germany
Augsburg
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who was visiting Essen from Augsburg. He taught Thunderstone to Pernille and we spend alot of time together with him the following days.


I tried to join in on a game of Shogun but fatigue overtook us and I ended up just relaxing a bit instead there.

Stuart opening his shiny new games


The loot for the first day!
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17. Board Game: PitchCar Extension [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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Friday arrived!

We had only been at Essen for a few minutes before finding this great expansion for Pitchcar.. We really had to restrain ourselves not to buy all the expansions they had there but if choosing one there was no doubt that this expansion was the one we wanted.. A jump and some nice different curves will be a great addition to the game for us.
 
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18. Board Game: Galaktico [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:9141]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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This was the first game we played Friday. Its kind of an abstract with some memory elements to it.

After the rules explanation and a few rounds we decided it was not for us.
 
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19. Board Game: A Brief History of the World [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1609]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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Then it was off to the Ragnar Brothers booth together with Gilad and Fierman.

Two very exciting things happened! (three if you count me spilling a cup of coffee all over the floor). First the game itself was very good and we ended up buying it. Now we might not have done this if I had not been called up in the middle of the game by a company I had been interviewed by for a job. They told me that they would like to offer me the job and with that knowledge there was no reason to hold back on buying games anymore!

(that last comment was a joke.. holding back had really not been an issue so far wow )
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20. Board Game: Dominion: Seaside [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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This was the next thing we played. We met up with Michael at the Rio Grande booth and got a table..

Dominion is an OK game.. not bad but has some design flaws in my opinion.. Mainly.. gold cards are "dead" cards that are just totally uninspiring to play with.. And the VP points the same..

Still it was nice to sit down and play some stuff..
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21. Board Game: Assyria [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1293]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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We then decided to try out Assyria..

BIG mistake.. We read the entire rules... but the game just left us totally uninspired.. and we did not want to continue with it.. Maybe Ystari games are just not our cup of tea as we have never played one that we actually like.


building huts and collecting food ressources... Bzzzzzzz wake me up when its over
 
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22. Board Game: Havana [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:928]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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Then we borrowed Havana kind of randomly and was very surprised to see that it was actually a great little game!

Some nice new card mechanics combined with a little "screwage" and planning. Especially Pernille was so fond of it that we ended up buying it.


 
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23. Board Game: 7 [Average Rating:5.10 Overall Rank:14893]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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We went back to the hotel and went out for some dinner together with Michael at a very nice and cheap italian restaurant called Vaporia. Definitely a place I can recommend to others going.

Pernille wondering just what went wrong or right! (you decide)

Later that night I met up with Gerald and his girlfriend and Stuart on Hotel Kessing. We ended up playing "7" till 3 in the night and we did not even get to play it all the way through..

An interesting game but the rules still need some work to be clear and I think that the playing time might be too long for what it is. But I am glad to have tried it out.. Definitely never played anything like it before.
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24. Board Game: Thunderstone [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:532] [Average Rating:6.99 Unranked]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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Now to Saturday!

I still had not got to visit the AEG booth so we started off by going to them and play Thunderstone that Pernille had played earlier and really liked. After playing it I came to the conclusion that I like this game way more than Dominion.

Its just more fun getting victory points for killing monsters than buying them for gold. And Thunderstone has no dead cards as well as there are no cards just for VP or gold..

We bought Thunderstone...
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25. Board Game: The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1094]
Stephan Rasmussen
Denmark
Odense C
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Still at the AEG booth we then tried out the adventurers.

It is a one-time gimmicky kind of game I think. Not really much decision making or meaningful actions but it was enjoyable enough I guess.

We did not buy it.

A nice selection of games at the AEG booth
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