Some background info – I started this post weeks ago and planned to finish it for posting the week before Spiel. But I got sick and lost motivation and so never got it finished in time. I’m posting it now in a modified form as a list of the games I was interested in prior to the event. I have not updated any listed prices since it was originally written so i wouldn’t take those as gospel.
As we’ve come to expect, WEM over at BoardGameGeek has put together a massive list of games that will (or should) be found at this year’s Spiel, held in Essen during October 13-16th. Upon perusing the list, a number of titles caught my eye. Daydreaming that I would actually be able to attend Spiel, I’ve divided them into what I’d consider insta-buys and games I’d want to check out first, were I actually in Essen for the event.
Note: All images are either from the publishers’ websites or were uploaded to BGG by W. Eric Martin.
Capital Lux (Aporta Games – €15): absolutely gorgeous art by Kwanchai Moriya and it sounds like the gameplay leads to interesting decisions. I like the idea of having to decide whether to use the card for possible points, or to play it for an ability and to gain the ability to actually score those points with the downside of helping your opponents score points also.
Haru Ichiban (Blackrock Games – €18): Another Bruno Cathala game, this one for just 2 players. I like the theme of gardeners using the wind to move blossoms & thus produce beautiful patterns on a lilypond, and the use of simultaneous action selection is something I tend to enjoy in 2-player games, as it makes reading your opponent somewhat critical. The game also looks beautiful, making it extra hard to resist.
Kanagawa (IELLO – €25): Collect cards via a combination of push-your-luck & bidding and then decide whether to paint them (if you have the skill to do so), or place them as studio upgrades to gain more abilities and skill for future turns. Augustus-style bonus tiles and gorgeous art make this game one I can’t wait to add to my collection. The fact that I’ve been told this 45-min card game is heavier/thinkier than one would expect is just icing on the cake!
Kingdomino (Blue Orange – €20): I recently watching Zee Garcia’s review of this quick tile-laying, kindom-building game from Bruno Cathala and I really like the elegant method used for drafting both your next tile & your upcoming turn-order in one go. I think it’d be a neat little dinner game or a good filler while waiting on folk to show up for game night. Plus, the little castles are adorable.
Sugi (GDM Games – €25): The cover is beautiful and the idea of programmed movement that can be altered & messed with until you hit the threshold for resolution is interesting. I also love the idea of being a spirit ancestor referring to a family tree showing your favoured descendants, and your wanting them to make it through the woods before the descendants you like less, makes me giggle. It’s different enough for me to take a chance on the game sight unseen.
The Oracle of Delphi (Hall Games/Pegasus Spiele – €45): It’s a Feld so that’s already an insta-buy for me. Plus it uses dice to model consulting the oracle & being given allowable actions. I love the theme, I love the ability to slay monsters or pick up and deliver offerings, and I love that ships and the board have variable set-up boosting replayability. Plus, on top of all that, it looks pretty. It hits all of my buttons, and I want it NOW.
Games to Look At and/or Demo Before Buying
7 Wonders Duel – Pantheon (Repos Production – MSRP $25): Kit & I have really enjoyed taking this 2-player drafting game to the bar, so an expansion seems like a no-brainer. The only reason I might not buy the game immediately is that we haven’t actually played my base game in a while after a few cards unfortunately ended up in a condensation spot during our last play. Therefore I need to replace those cards or sleeve the entire game. Until I have a playable copy, there’s no point buying an expansion.
Barcelona: The Rose of Fire (Devir – €50): The theme is really interesting and the revolt mechanism is pretty intriguing. After getting & thoroughly enjoying Sherlock: Holmes & Mycroft at Origins, the company is on my radar and I’m curious to see how they do when delivering a larger game experience.
Cottage Garden (Edition Spielwiese – price unknown): This tile placement, puzzley game from Uwe Rosenberg reminds me a little bit on first read of Patchwork which I love. I also like the potential for solo play, and so would be interested in seeing exactly how it plays.
Honshu (Lautapelit.fr – price unknown): Combines trick-taking with using the cards obtained to create a map that will then score you points, which is an intriguing twist on an old game mechanism.
La Granja: No Siesta (Stronghold – price to be announced): I really enjoy La Granja and have been liking the similar-sounding OctoDice as a solo experience, despite its terrible, terrible dice. So the idea of another “roll dice & cross things off your scoresheet” version of a heavier game is appealing. And hopefully, Stronghold won’t screw up the dice on this one.
Legendary Inventors (Bombyx – €15, $39.99 preorder at Funagain): The art looks great, I love the theme and use of historical figures, and I’m almost always a fan of worker placement. I also like the idea that you have to choose between patenting the invention & setting it in front of you or gaining rewards that can upgrade your workers or other inventions.
Noxford (Capsicum Games – €12): It sounds like an interesting little abstract, and I like the slightly off-kilter card placement. Add in the beautiful artwork & it’s definitely a game I want to get a closer look at.
Russian Railroad: American Railroads (Hans im Gluck – €15): I don’t actually own the base game, but I’m definitely waiting anxiously for Adam to grab this mini-expansion for the Railroads family so that I can play it.
Taluva Deluxe (Ferti – €115): At €115, I’d have to stop & see just what this game is bringing to the table. The idea of potentially placing terrain on top of settlements, raising the land is interesting & the ability to limit potential volcano placement with the use of a single hut adds an intriguing twist to a game where you can otherwise destroy others’ constructions.
The following list were games that had caught my eye but I hadn’t decided whether to include them or not:
- Azuchi Castle (Baccum Inc)
- Baa’Beel (Meridiano 6)
- Brettspiel Adventskalender (Frosted Games – €48) I love adve
- Capital (Granna)
- Carcassonne: Amazonas (Hans im Gluck)
- Deutchser Spielepreis Goodie Box (Frosted Games – €10)
- Key to the City – London (R&D Games – €50)
- Mea Culpa (Zoch Verlag – €38 at Spiel, usually €45)
- Papa Paolo (Quined Games)