Economic games in Essen SPIEL 2011
Carlos Moreno Serrano
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I adore economic games and after reading the Essen 2011 Canonical List I haven't noticed many in them. It might be that I didn't read it carefully enough, but I would like to kickstart this parallel geeklist and, together with your help, we can have a valuable "shopping list".

Please, help me fill this geeklist or at least point out potential candidates in the comments.

I'm focusing on pure economic games or games where economy/business is the main mechanic.

Thank you all for your valuable contributions.
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1. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:175] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
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If there is one game I'm anxious to get, it's the second printing of 1830. I already have a pre-order with my local OFGS, but I still haven't received it. Mayfair keeps pushing the release date and I expect to see it in Essen this year.
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2. Board Game: Rails of New England [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:4642]
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Drescription from game's page:

Players in New England Rails each represent a particular state during the 19th century – Connecticut and New Hampshire with two players, with Vermont added for three players, and so on – and start with two or three businesses in play under their control. Your goal in NER is to have more assets than other players at game end, as determined by cash in hand, cost of businesses owned, special routes completed and state subsidies acquired.

The game lasts at most 16 rounds. Each round players forecast the upcoming economic condition – depression, normal or prosperity – for a future turn, then take care of any events that occur, such as "Improved Bridge Building Techniques" that allow players to build across estuaries or "Sheep Boom Goes Bust" which represents the decreased demand for wool from New England farmers as the century progressed. Four of the first five events are fixed and represent historical activities, while the other events – including devastating floods, snow, and an improved business climate – are randomized into a face-down deck. Players then each draft a business or action card, with the option to play it immediately (thereby gaining a free action) if they choose to pay the cost.

During the subsequent development phase, players take two actions in turn order, either building twice, playing cards twice, or doing each action once. Players want to build depots that connect their businesses to one of the major markets in the area: New York, Boston or Montreal; to do so, they need to pay the track costs as well as the cost of the depots themselves. Players can build multiple depots in the same action, but the cost is higher since they're doing more work in the same amount of time. Once a business is connected, it earns the owner more income each turn since it's now supplying a larger, richer market. The cards allow players to start new businesses, play special actions, claim a special route (which generates income), claim one of the six state mail contracts, or collect a state subsidy, which provides special benefits like a free depot.

As the game progresses, the players pass through time time periods, with different businesses being available in each. The first period focuses on crafts and farms, for example, while the second introduces more industrial businesses such as shoe and textile production. When passing from one period to another, players must choose to make some of their existing businesses obsolete. Since a player can manage only eight businesses, however, you'll likely want to make room for more profitable ventures anyway.

If all mail routes, state subsidies and special routes are claimed by the end of any round, the game ends at that point; otherwise the game ends after round 16, with the richest player winning New England Rails.
 
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3. Board Game: Ora et Labora [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:91]
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Description from game's page:

Ora et Labora will be Uwe Rosenberg's 5th "big" game. It's based mechanically on Le Havre and set in the Medieval era. Each player is head of a Monastery that gains land and constructs buildings, little enterprises that will gain resources and profit. The goal of each player is to build-up a working infrastructure and manufacture prestigious items, like books, ceramics, ornaments and relics to gain the most victory points at the end of the game.

Le Havre fans will recognise many well-known mechanics like loads of different two-sided resources with a basic side that can be upgraded (turned) to something more useful. New buildings enter the game from time to time and can be constructed with building materials that players may gather as one of their possible actions. The other possible action is to enter a building with one of your workers.

What's completely new about the game is a clever Rondell mechanic that introduces the resources. Agricola and Le Havre are quite fiddly at times as you are constantly moving stuff on and off the board. This is no more in Ora et Labora. The Rondell shows numbers that refer to the amount of resources in a given Rondell segment. There is one resource token of each kind on the Rondell. At the beginning of each round, the Rondell is turned by one segment. This adjusts all the resource counts with a single move - extremely clever.

Another big difference to its predecessor is that players now really build something in front of them. Each player starts with a little board that might remind you of Agricola (its moor expansion in particular), and places his buildings (Merkator sized cards) on his board. However, like in Farmers of the Moor, the board starts with some wood and moor tiles that hinder your development. By taking wood or peat from the Rondell, you remove a wood or moor tile, respectively. Once they're gone, they're gone. If you want more wood and moor, or more space to expand, you can buy extra terrain as an additional free action during your turn.

Another main difference - and we won't got too much in detail here about the smaller ones - is that you start with more than one worker piece. If you enter a building, you place your token in the building where it stays until you've placed all of your tokens (you've got 3 in total). However, you can only enter your own buildings this way. If you want to enter another player's buildings, he'll have to move his token into his building for you! Of course, you have to pay him an entry fee.

The terrain tiles add another layer to the game. The times are gone by, where you've just entered a Building Firm and got what you wanted if you could pay the resources. You now have to build cleverly on your board as this effects your overall score. Also, some buildings have restrictions where they are allowed to be placed (e. g. only on hill terrain).

Finally, there is a little more player interaction. You can now screw your opponents by entering their buildings with their tokens... be prepared if someone does that to you! Although Ora et Labora is like a "Le Havre 2D", it doesn't take any longer. And if you don't have enough time for a full game... there might be a short version also.

Uwe's next hit will be published in Essen 2011. Stay tuned!

NOT AN ECONOMIC GAME (but I'm keeping it on the list due to personal interest, apologies for the inconsistencies).
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4. Board Game: Black Gold [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1675]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Description from game's page:

The year is 1922 and the Texas Oil Boom is in full swing. Prepare to head West, surveying the Permian Basin for profitable gushers and gaining more wealth than your fellow prospectors. Are you part of a burgeoning oil family fixed on becoming a dynasty, or a shrewd yankee, tired of watching southerners making their fortune? Whatever your reasons, join the race to become the wealthiest son of a gun in West Texas.

Black Gold is a board game of drilling and discovery for 2-5 prospectors, and play can last from 1-2 hours. Competitors attempt to claim the best wells, bid wisely against their neighbors, and sell their oil at the highest price in order to finish the game with the most money when the Oil Baron’s train reaches the last track.

To secure wealth, players explore the terrain of the provided map tiles for oil wells, and they survey and build their derricks. Map tiles are double-sided and modular, ensuring a unique experience every time. Money is made if a player can transport his oil to one of three oil companies, and win the right to sell at auction. The Oil Baron's train moves nearer every turn, counting down the rounds of the game's thrilling ride; all the while it begs you and your fellow prospectors to ask the question: Am I making enough money?

The landscape of the Texas Oil business can be fickle and lonely as it is arid. Players can strategize against their opponents, and upset their play through special actions. During auctions, players can even lie about the value of their Sales Licenses in order to force their neighbors to bid more! But careful, you future tycoons – if you're caught bluffing, you're penalized.

Although Black Gold is a satisfying bidding game, it is also an exciting contest of strategy and exploration. Every game variable can offer an advantage or variation in play each round. The round's starting player has the first choice for powerful Action cards, which dictate his options for that round. Subsequent prospectors can be savvy and alter their exploration based on other players' surveying, or the last player could choose to sell his oil at a different company than his neighbors and find an easier auction at which to bid.

Black Gold is easy to learn, but offers an abundance of intriguing game play choices. Black Gold also provides players with optional rules that can shorten or extend game play, increase the challenge, give inexperienced players a handicap, or even reduce the randomness of well distribution. With all of these options players will discover that Black Gold is a new experience every time, even offering unique variation depending on player number, map tile setup, and well placement.
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5. Board Game: Drum Roll [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1147]
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Description from game's page:

In Drum Roll each player takes over the role of a circus owner in the early 1900s. Each player moves around Europe hiring performers and giving shows.

There are five main categories of performers: the Tamers, the Acrobats, the Bizarre, the Magicians, and the Jugglers. Each of them have different demands the player must fulfill in order to give their best performance.

The requirements, which vary between performers, are: Rehearsal, Equipment, Supplies, Costumes, and Promotion.

There are 3 levels of performances that each performer can end up doing in a show: a poor one, a good one, and an outstanding one. The higher the level of performance, the more requirements each performer will have to fulfill in order to achieve it.

The better the performance, the more each player can get out of it. When performers do outstanding performances, the player must choose between getting the maximum amount of benefit out of them, or getting the Prestige Points they are offering. There are also other ways to improve a circus such as trailers, investments, and personnel that will help your performers do their best.

After the third show the game ends and the player who has gathered the most Prestige Points is the winner.
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6. Board Game: Kolejka [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:1266]
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I just discovered this one. It is a must buy now for me.
I love the theme and it comes with 2 documentaries. I'll keep a close eye on this one.

Description from the game's page:

Kolejka (Queue) – board game

Get in a queue with your family in front of a store and experience a rush of genuine emotions!

The Queue is a board game that tells a story of everyday life in Poland at the tail-end of the communist era. The players’ task appears to be simple: they have to send their family members out to various stores on the game board to buy all the items on their shopping list. The problem is, however, that the shelves in the five neighborhood stores are empty.
The players line up their pawns in front of the shops without knowing which shop will have a delivery. Tension mounts as the product delivery cards are uncovered and it turns out that there will only be enough product cards for the lucky few standing closest to the door of a store. Since everyone wants to be first, the queue starts to push up against the door. To get ahead, the people in the queue use a range of queuing cards, such as: “Mother carrying small child,” “This is not your place, sir,” or “Under-the-counter goods.” But they have to watch out for “Closed for stocktaking,” “Delivery error,” and for the black pawns – the speculators – standing in the queue. Only those players will come home with full shopping bags who make the best use of the queuing cards in their hand.
On the product cards there photos of sixty original objects from the communist era. The merchandise includes Relaks shoes, Przemysławka eau de cologne, Popularna tea, as well as other commodities that were once in scarce supply.
The neighborhood also has an outdoor market but the prices there are steep – unless, of course, you manage to strike a deal with the market trader. In this realistic game you really have to be savvy to get the goods.
Are you brave enough to confront the everyday life of the 1980s?

The box contains:
– a game board,
– a delivery truck board,
– 30 pawns in 6 colors (5 of each color),
– 1 marker for the player who opens the game,
– 1 marker for the market trader,
– 50 queuing cards in 5 colors (10 of each color),
– 5 shopping list cards,
– 60 product cards in 5 colors (12 of each color),
– 15 product delivery cards in 5 colors (3 of each color),
– 5 player assistance cards in 5 colors (1 of each color),
– instructions manual and historical overview.

In addition:
– a 1983 documentary film titled “Everyone Knows Who They Are Standing Behind” directed by Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz.
– a 2010 documentary titled “What Did They Deliver? The Life of Queuing in the People’s Republic of Poland” directed by Konrad Starczewski.

NOT AN ECONOMIC GAME (but I'm keeping it on the list due to personal interest, apologies for the inconsistencies).
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7. Board Game: Briefcase [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:3417]
 
Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Description from game's page:

Briefcase is a deck-building and resource management boardgame.

In Briefcase, players build their own business empires by acquiring and activating various companies. Each company, once activated, provides the player with some benefits (which are called decisions cards) and a special ability for the rest of the game.

Players start with identical decks of decision cards. Each time one player activates a company, he/she adds to his deck more decision cards. Decision cards give the players various possible actions (like buy/activate/hire/void). The most important is the "buy" action, with which players can either buy a building or a resource from the market.
 
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8. Board Game: Galáxia S.A. [Average Rating:5.99 Unranked]
 
Carlos Moreno Serrano
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I'm interested in this one. If it does what it says on the tin, it is totally my kind of game!

Description from the game's page:

Galáxia S.A. is an exciting game where player will build an intergalactic economical empire! The players will dispute every single piece of the galaxy by acquiring the right to explore planets that produce several goods. These are to be sold at the intergalactic market. But the galaxy is a dangerous place and your opponents will use cunning and intrigue to make your journey harder. Come aboard this adventure and become the most successful cosmic tycoon!

Galáxia S.A. is played in turns that are composed of the following phases:

Action Phase
Purchase of technology
Resources Generation Phase
Exploration Phase
Planets Auction Phase

With a fresh look and a high replay value, the game will give players hours of fun.

Cosmic Mogul is a non-collectible card game for 3-4 players. During the game, players become cosmic moguls, searching the galaxy for new worlds to exploit as they build their economic empire one planet at a time.

Illustrated by Michael Christopher.
Brazilian Version Illustrated by Marcelo Bissoli

Home Page: http://www.riachuelogames.com.br/galaxia/
 
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9. Board Game: Aviation Tycoon [Average Rating:5.92 Unranked]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Guildford
Surrey
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I'm interested in this one, but will it make it to Essen?

Description from the game's page:

Players are buying stock in four airline companies as they fly passengers across various airline routes. When an airline route is used that airline gets paid. When dividends are paid, those with stock get paid - and keep getting paid until the airline has no money left (assuming all could be easily divided among the shareholders). Special event cards can close airports, double payouts for using routes, etc. Special player cards give each player access to a special ability (which all share during a round).
 
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10. Board Game: 1834 [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Guildford
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Description from game's page:

1834 is an 18xx game set in the Northeastern United States. The scale is significantly smaller than many 18xx games, and the game includes both standard and takeover versions. 1834 is most like 1846 (and therefore has a linear stock market, multiple types of trains available at each phase, and paying for most track lays), but adds ferries and takeovers.

WILL NOT BE IN ESSEN (and will be sadly missed).
 
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11. Board Game: 1865: Sardinia [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:3760]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Guildford
Surrey
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I don't know if it will be in Essen. I hope so!

Description from game's page:

1865 Sardinia is a board game belonging to the 18xx series for 2-4 players and set on the Sardinia island (and Corsica).

Players play the role of 19th century entrepreneurs investing in the construction as well as the financial and operational management of railways. Selling and buying shares on the stock market, seeking new sources of funding, laying track and placing stations, running trains and paying dividends are all basic elements of 18xx games.

In addition, 1865 Sardinia has several features that make it different from other 18xx titles. The most important distinctions are:
a traffic based system that makes calculating company's revenues easier and faster
foreign investors (Dragons) trade in certificates in addition to human players
an absorption mechanism that allows companies to acquire each other
Other interesting points:
before phase 5, all companies start as minor companies with 40%/20%/20%/20% shares
converting a company from minor to major requires a direct route from a company base to a historical destination city
private companies become 2 trains when transferred to a company and also provide extra traffic
buying trains from bank makes the share price jump up
the last 2, 3, and 4 train comes with a discount
withholding money in company doesn't reduce the share price
tiles can be replaced with another tile of same color, provided the current connections are retained
bankrupt players are given enough loans to keep them in game, loans are then deducted from final score in the end
Dragons

during stock rounds, the Dragons will also trade
each stock round begins with a Dragon and Dragons also play between each player
dragons are interested in company's rank, an indicator based on the sum of trains phase and tokens on board, followed on a special table on the board
dragons will immediately sell certificates in companies ranked red and will buy certificates ranked green, according to a fairly simple and consistent algorithm.
players can buy shares from Dragons, but must pay a premium for well-ranked shares
share prices are adjusted down when shares are sold by Dragons or the company president
Traffic system

when a company places a station marker, it gets to collect traffic chips from the board along the route
mines also produce traffic chips, but diminish in value as the game proceeds
each traffic chip is worth $10 in revenue
revenues are the smaller value of total revenue in traffic chips and train capacity available
phase 2 trains, for example, have 8 capacity each, so if company has two of those for 16 capacity and 14 traffic chips, it will make $140 in revenue, while adding three chips would increase the revenue to $160 because the capacity hits the roof at that point
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12. Board Game: Startup Fever [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:14225]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Another game illustrated by the same artist that did my game (Gary Simpson). It's on my watchlist and I'll give it a go in Essen.

Description from the game's page:

In Startup Fever, the players are company founders in Silicon Valley and manage money and employees. Hiring Nerds (engineers) creates better products, which attract more users, who in turn generate money. Hiring Suits (Sales) generates more money, which can be used to hire more nerds. At the end of every year the best products steals users from the other products during showdown. Employees initially are very eager to stay with a company, but over time are more likely to move to competing companies, unless they get further (monetary) incentives.

Each player starts with 2-4 products (depending on how many players there are) and four event cards. The game is played over several years. Every year each product gets one turn, i.e. every player gets to play 2-4 times per year. Players adopts users, based on the number of engineers and a die roll. Then they earn revenue, based on the number of users and the number of suits. Third, the player can use money to hire more employees. Soon, no more new hires are available, and players must steal (or "poach") employees from other players. The other players try to spend their money to prevent "poaching" from happening. During the product show down at year's end users shift towards products that invested wisely. Outside the regular turn order, event cards can be played by any player at any time, both to further their own objectives as well as to hinder other players.

To win, a players needs to obtain the largest number of users. Players need a good mix of nerds and suits, and make smart decisions throughout the game. The constant back and forth over limited resources (employees) is different from many other resource based games and adds a lot of fun. The winning strategy depends to a large extend on guessing/reacting to other player's strategy.
 
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13. Board Game: 2019: The ARCTIC [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:5179]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
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Guildford
Surrey
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Interesting screw-your-neighbour economic game. Now in my watch list.

Description from game's page:

"Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, in agreement with Russia, warned USA to “keep their hands off the Arctic.”

Despite the cover picture "2019: The Arctic" is an economic game, however some military aspect is also included. In the game, players manage mineral resource companies interested in exploration of the Arctic region. They aim to maximize their scores, expressed in points, by undertaking actions that give them specific benefits or weaken the position of competitors.

The path to gain advantage over the competition is on one hand the investment policy that will provide a variety of resources, and on the other - controlling a large quantity of deposits of the same type, which will allow to dominate in a given segment of raw materials industry.

The tool for achieving the goal and winning the game is shaping the internal and foreign policy of the Arctic region countries (Russia, Norway, the European Union, Canada, USA). In addition to that, China’s participation in the race for access to the Arctic resources is simulated in the game.

Players may use their political powers to obtain subsidies from a given country’s budget and to secure their investments in mining platforms built on the sea behind the scenes. However, the main axis of the gameplay is exerting direct influence upon the policies of the countries by a wide range of political and economical actions taken on their behalf.

STRONG NEGATIVE INTERACTION and NO RANDOM FACTOR
 
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14. Board Game: Ground Floor [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1024]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
United Kingdom
Guildford
Surrey
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I don't know if it will be ready for Essen, but just in case...

Description from game's page:

THE DAY HAS COME… the paperwork is done, the registration filed and the business cards bought. You’re open for business.

So now what? Where do you spend your time? Where do you spend your money? What tasks are most important? What should take priority? Should you hire new employees? Or maybe invest in a marketing campaign?

These are just some of the many decisions facing you as a fresh entrepreneur that has dreams of a successful business. You must excel at balancing your time, money and staff, because all are scarce and all are required to thrive.

So, barter with your fellow colleagues, manage your staff, collect information, expand your office or schedule your next product shipment. It’s up to you, it’s your business. Of course, no matter what route you decide to take to reach that corner office at the top of the tallest skyscraper, you must start with everyone else…

AT THE GROUND FLOOR!

WILL NOT BE IN ESSEN (and will be sadly missed).
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15. Board Game: Upon a Salty Ocean [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:2759]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
United Kingdom
Guildford
Surrey
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Description from the game's page:

Rouen 1530. At the beginning of the XVI century Rouen was the main French harbor. The City richness was depending by fishing and trading salted fishes.
Salt produced in the salt ponds has to be loaded on the ships and used to preserve herrings and cods fished in the Atlantic Ocean. Ships full of salt barrels will leave Rouen toward sea locations in Celtic Sea and Great Banks of Newfoundland to fish herrings and cods. The salt was used at the time to preserve the fish and the goods were sold in the city markets.

In this strategic Euro-game the players spend money for ships and buildings and at the same time try to get rich. They have to find the right balance between investment and profit. The winner will be the player having more money when Francis I King of France will come to visit Rouen.
The game mecanical is an action-payment system, where players can do different kind of actions, but they increase of cost when are used.

Essen 2011 Release
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16. Board Game: Bullfrog Goldfield [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:5416]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
United Kingdom
Guildford
Surrey
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I always like commodity speculation and stock manipulation games. I'll keep an eye on this one.

Description from the game's page:

In 1905, the last great North American gold and silver rush took place near Death Valley, in Nevada. Bullfrog Goldfield is a stock trading game where players attempt to cash in on the discovery of this ore. Players must develop mines to acquire the ore, construct towns to support the miners, and lay railroads to ship the ore away. Competition can be brutal as railroads race across the desert to arrive at mines first, fortunes ebb and flow on the mercy of mineral veins, and hostile takeovers threaten hard-earned holdings. Only the development of mines brings chance into the game, luck is absent everywhere else.
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17. Board Game: Ristorante Italia [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:2391]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
United Kingdom
Guildford
Surrey
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Description from game's page:

In Ristorante Italia, each player owns an Italian restaurant, a restaurant that he wants to make better than everyone else's in order to have the most points at the end of the game. To do this, a player must set up the menu, draw recipe cards, go to the town markets to collect needed ingredients, improve and enlarge the restaurant, improve the staff's cooking skills (as indicated by the cook-o-meter), and otherwise do whatever is necessary to have the most exemplary restaurant in the city.

Ristorante Italia lasts four phases, with each phase being comprised of three rounds. In each round, players can perform two actions from this list: draw recipe/wine cards, buy ingredients, buy rooms, take a "personal touch" cube, buy a bonus card, or buy a cooking training course. Special events during the game include VIP visits, culinary reviewer visits and the final National Cooking Contest, in which players will compete with their best recipes.

To achieve victory, players can follow an economic strategy – focusing on a menu which provides a strong revenue – or a quality strategy, in which the restaurant features special recipes matched to unique wines. Both strategies can lead to victory, and a balanced strategy can also be a good idea.

Ristorante Italia, scheduled for release in October 2011, can be played in two versions: Recipes for Novice Cooks (lighter version) and Recipes for Great Chefs (complete version).

COMPONENTS
1 Gameboard
1 Extra Gameboard
5 Restaurant Boards
5 Shop Boxes
147 Ingredient Tiles
4 VIP Tiles
3 Golden Spoon Tiles
3 Training Course Tiles
11 Room Tiles
6 Star Tiles
15 Speciality Tiles
87 Coin Tiles
5 Plastic Cups
6 Plastic Chef Hats
18 Starters Cards
30 Main Course Cards
30 Second Course Cards
30 Dessert Cards
40 Wine Cards
28 Bonus Cards
17 Wooden Cubes
Rules
 
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Carlos Moreno Serrano
United Kingdom
Guildford
Surrey
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Why re-invent the wheel?
There already is a geeklist for this year's Winsome Games Essen set.
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19. Board Game: Colonial: Europe's Empires Overseas [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:1638]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
United Kingdom
Guildford
Surrey
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I'll try this one in Essen if it's available for demo.

Description from game's page:

A 3-6 players board game about colonial times, from the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution.

In ‘Colonial’ players are the ruler of mighty European states, sending their ministers to explore the earth, establish missions, ascertain scientific supremacy, and trade in exotic goods. These commodities will have to be exploited on an industrial scale and resold in Europe or in the colonies.

Set against an epic historical backdrop and using a branded Character Card-driven system, this fast-paced board game requires careful management, knowledge and diplomacy to lead to victory in the race for prestige.
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20. Board Game: The Manhattan Project [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:221]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
United Kingdom
Guildford
Surrey
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I'm interested in this one after reading a comment by
Jesse Dean
United States
Chicago
IL
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Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious predator on Earth!
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.

Description from the game's page:

A power struggle at the beginning of an atomic age. A revolutionary new technology. Who will use it to build the deadliest arsenal and become the world's dominant superpower?

The Manhattan Project is a low-luck, mostly open information efficiency game in which players compete to build and operate the most effective atomic bomb program. Players do not "nuke" each other, but conventional air strikes are allowed against facilities.

The game features worker placement with a twist; There are no rounds and no end-of-round administration. Players retrieve their workers when they choose to or are forced to (by running out).

An espionage action allows a player to activate and block an opponent's building, representing technology theft and sabotage.
 
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21. Board Game: Prêt-à-Porter [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:1040]
Carlos Moreno Serrano
United Kingdom
Guildford
Surrey
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After reading Andrea's article about it (http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/4312/game-preview-on-the-c...), it is hot on my wishlist.

Description from game's page:
Pret-a-Porter is an economic strategy game set in a world of fashion. Players run clothes companies and fight for dominance during fashion shows. It is – perhaps – one of the most cruel and ruthless of all our games. Money can be a dangerous weapon.

During the game players open new branches and outlets, hire new workers and try to gain new capabilities. New Design Agencies, Brand stores or Preparation rooms are opened, Accountants, Models and Designers are hired, lucrative contracts are sign to allow for short-term profits and expand company’s competencies.

Every single month player’s company gains new capabilities.

Each quarter held fashion shows – each player has to prepare a collection of clothing and has to show it on the show. The public, media, experts estimate collections in four categories and award prizes and diplomas. The more awards (represented by ‘stars’ in the game) will be collected at the show, the more money the players earn for selling their collection!

Will you get award for best Trends? Will you manage to be best in Public Relations and get the Media award? Will you earn more ‘stars’ than your opponent?

If you win ‘stars’, your opponents don’t.
If you win ‘stars’, you earn more money. Your opponents don’t.
If you win ‘stars’, you earn money, you hire new stuff, you get better. Your opponents don’t.

That is why during show you will kill for every single ‘star’. Welcome to the hell…

Pret-a-Porter is 2-4 players boardgame, unique mix of deep economy strategy and direct interaction. Low luck element, many important decisions to be made and many strategies that can be used to acclaim victory. With wide range of different employees, different buildings and contracts you can create your unique company every single time.

Pret-a-Porter it’s about counting money and it’s about dirty fight. There is a hot model on the box and there is a lots of blood inside the box. Pret-a-Porter was designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek, author of Stronghold, 51. State and other games.

Pret-a-Porter was published in Poland in 2010. English edition is second edition of the game with many improvements.

Pret-a-Porter was Game of the Year 2011 nominee in Poland.
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22. Board Game: Panic on Wall Street! [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1339]
Britton Roney
United States
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A real time economic game for 3-11 players being released at Spiel '11.

Description from game page:

In Masters of Commerce you take on the role of a freewheeling capitalist out to outmaneuver your competitors and earn your place as a great industrialist.

Players are divided into landlords and merchants. Your goal is to earn more money than any other landlord (if you are a landlord) or more money than any other merchant (if you are a merchant) by the end of the fifth round.

Each round landlords and merchants negotiate with each other in a two minute free-for-all to set rent agreements on the landlords' properties. Merchants then collect income from the properties they rented but not until a roll of the dice has has brought changes to the value of the four colors of properties. Landlords collect rent from merchants, pay taxes on their properties, and buy new properties at auction.

At the end of the fifth round the merchant with the most money and the landlord with the most money are each declared winners, the true Masters of Commerce.

Rules available here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/69887/masters-of-comme...
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