Thursday, October 17, 2013

Essen 2013: My Wish List (Part One)

I write this list knowing full well that I will not likely own many of these games... and that, in some cases, I won't ever get to play them. It's a WISH LIST, for crying out loud, not a shopping list. (The chances of me playing/owning any of these games is noticeably higher than me actually getting to Essen, so there's that.)

Part Two will go live tomorrow morning... with Part Three (yes, my wish list is that long) going live on Monday.

All of the information is pre-Essen and subject to change. The majority comes courtesy of BGG News and the ever-diligent W. Eric Martin.

Banjooli Xeet
  • designer: Diego Ibanez
  • publisher: Asylum Games
  • players: 2-5
  • length: 30 minutes
My pick for "Fluffy Game of the Fair" - and not just because of the name. The theme is ostrich race FIXING - using your magical shamanistic powers and some spiked piles of berries to make sure your chosen birds fly/run to victory. It's got dice, it's got pre-race predictions, it's even got an expansion in the works.

And it's got my name written on it. (Well, not actually. It's a figure of speech.)

  • designer: Phillip duBarry
  • publisher: AEG
  • players: 2-4
  • length: 45 minutes
Tile-laying, card-drafting, city-building... in less than an hour? What's not to like?

The designer diary on BGG just solidified my gut feeling - this looks to be a game that I will enjoy. I like these kinds of decisions (connections that actually have an effect on what you're building) better than simply dropping down pieces in order to rack up points.

Glass Road
  • designer: Uwe Rosenberg
  • publisher: White Goblin Games
  • players: 1-4
  • length: 75 minutes
Best guess from people who should know: it's got some similarities to Witches Brew (a game I really enjoy) with the addition of buildings, resources & other powers that affect the game. Winning will be determined by (a) putting together the right collection of buildings, and (b) reading the needs of others well in the picking & playing of cards.

I'm in.

Machi Koro
  • designer: Masao Suganuma
  • publisher: Japon Brand
  • players: 2-4
  • length: 30 minutes
Another city-builder... this time it's a small box card game from Japan where your buildings are activated by die rolls. The art is very Katamari Damacy (and I mean that in the best possible way) - and I'm a sucker for city-building games.

  • designer: Wolfgang Kramer & Michael Kiesling
  • publisher: Kosmos
  • players: 2-4
  • length: 90 minutes
I don't like every game the team of Kramer & Kiesling designs - but their designs are always worth checking out. The theme of this one is a positive (ship-building), as is the use of role selection via set of action wheels.

In the next installment of my wish list, you'll find yet another Kramer & Kiesling game - which I've played in prototype form & really enjoyed.

  • designer: Eric Zimmerman
  • publisher: FunForge
  • players: 2-4
  • length: 30 minutes
This is a space combat game with variable set-up and some interesting mechanics to transform your ships and strengthen your fleet.

Early play reports indicate that it's fast, high on conflict & lots of fun.

Relic Runners
  • designer: Matthew Dunstan
  • publisher: Days of Wonder
  • players: 2-5
  • length: 60 minutes
As I already have a review copy of this one, there's probably no need to have it on my wish list - but I wanted to make sure you guys heard about it.

Here's a bit of what I wrote as part of an Opinionated Gamers preview earlier this week...
Relic Runners – for me, mind you – has some common feel with another favorite game of mine: Wolfgang Kramer’s Goldland. Both are “tromp through the wilderness finding stuff” games on the surface that are actually very clever tactical puzzles once you dig into the design. Even more than Goldland, however, Relic Runners requires you to react to the play & plans of other players (especially when playing with 4-5 players).
(My full review coming in the next week or so...)

Suburbia Inc
  • designer: Ted Alspach
  • publisher: Bezier Games
  • players: 2-4
  • length: 90 minutes
It's really unfair to put this on the wish list as (a) I was a playtester, and (b) I have a review copy which I've managed to play 3 times in the last week.

Still, it's one of my favorite games from 2012 - now with the added bonus of this wonderful expansion. (Full review coming in the next week or so... until then, know that I consider this an essential expansion for an already great game!)

World of Tanks: Rush
  • designer: Nikolay Pegosav
  • publisher: Hobby World
  • players: 2-5
  • length: 30 minutes
A deck-building game... about tanks & tank warfare... from Russia. Hmmm. This probably wouldn't have caught my eye a year ago, but they sold me with great art and doing such a bang-up job on Septikon: Uranium Mining (the new version of Septikon will be at the Fair as a demo).

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