Monday, October 17, 2005

Im Schatten Essen

The whole boardgaming hobby stopped over the last weekend, with most of "those in the know" monitoring the web for information filtering out of Essen, Germany. Spiel '05 is of course the largest boardgaming event in the world, and many new titles are debuting there. Some of those able to make the trip have been generously providing updates. As usual, Rick Thornquist is on the forefront. The Gamewire has Rick's impressions of the hot releases, and of the event itself. Pierce Ostrander is maintaining a set of links to other blogs and news sources over at Boardgamegeek.

So far the games that I had my eye on appear to be in the "ok not great" class, which is about what I was expecting. This continues the trend of 2005 being a weak year for games, with no clear blockbusters or must-haves from major industry names and companies, and a lot of interesting niche from smaller publishers.

It's interesting to hear that the E&T cardgame is in fact E&T in cardgame form. While I think I'll eventually pick this up, there is not real motivation to play a card game when you can play the real thing. Hazienda is a more likely early purchase, but since it falls into the "same-y Euro" category (which I'm not opposed to, but the theme here isn't one that sets the world on fire), it's not a priority over adding reprints of proven older titles like RA, Stephensons Rocket, Medici and maybe Reef Encounter to your collection. Mesopotamia seems interesting, but since its designer is more known for fluff (Wrede) than for strategic games, and it's coming from a publisher with an unproven track record (Phalanx), it's definitely a wait-and-see situation.


At Wednesday, October 19, 2005 6:30:00 PM, Blogger Joe Gola said...

A lot of the Essen stuff I thought I might be interested in has left me cold. E&T the card game...why not just play E&T? Hacienda sounds by-the-numbers. I was excited about the new version of Oltre Mare for about a day, but then I realized something: puzzle-like hand management, trading, moving a token around a map...hey, I already have that game! It's Bean Trader! In fact, from reading the rules, Bean Trader sounds like the better design.

So, the list of what I'm interested in is relatively small. The must-buy: PĆ¼nct. The must-read-reviews-and-seriously-consider: Byzantium, Tempus, Caylus. That's it. Das Ende des Triumvirats has a gorgeous board, so I might read up on that one if wind is blowing the right way, but then Mare Nostrum had a gorgeous board and that game was out the door after three plays.


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