The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Essen Open Thread

I’m not there, but if you have any thoughts you want to share with us, go ahead.

I just added Kulkmann’s to the weblog. And I notice (via Iain) that Richard Heli’s site just had it’s tenth anniversary.


Written by taogaming

October 18, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Posted in Open Thread

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  1. Quick thoughts as I recover from the trip back yesterday.

    You can just fit all of the pieces for Phoenicia in the To Court the King box. Useful if you want to travel with the game while minimizing the space it takes.

    This was my first Essen, so I did a bit more wandering around than I’ll do if I ever go back. The best part was meeting people who I’ve talked to without having met, followed closely by seeing people I knew. It was good to see Frank Nestel in particular, as he hasn’t been to the Gathering for several years.

    As for game highlights, I knew it was going to be a good event because Race for the Galaxy was there. It wasn’t the first game I purchased, but I did buy it in the first hour. Other games I had an impression of in no particular order:

    Neuroshima Hex – Nasty little knife fight of a game. Quite fun.

    Brass – I like it, but I’m still mulling over it after one play. It has all the imprints of a Wallace game.

    King of Siam – Interesting game of maneuvering the control and potential of factions to your advantage. I’m a little worried after one play that there isn’t enough variety. I think the random setup will give some replayability, but I need at least a second game under my belt to be sure.

    Container – I think it’s a great game system, but I seriously doubt its replayability. The random scoring card does not give enough variability. I think a variant allowing players to buy their setup might help.

    Agricola – Haven’t played, but people were very excited about it.

    Amyitis – Not very good as a two player. I haven’t played it with 3 or 4, but it should be much better.

    Owner’s Choice – Very nice filler from Z-Man, even though I got trounced on the last turn when I rolled for the big money with Yellow.

    Lascaux – A filler from Phalanx that isn’t bad.

    Antler Island – Much better than Hameln, a good light hour game with some interesting tactics and bluffing.


    October 23, 2007 at 4:35 pm

  2. Thanks for the thoughts. Did you just bring Phoenicia w/o the board? Or was it in a separate box.

    Brass has “All the imprints of a Wallace Game.” Is that good or bad, in your book? I originally thought it was good, but now I’m not sure.


    October 24, 2007 at 9:49 am

  3. I took the Phoenicia board and stored it at the bottom of the suitcase. No damage or anything.

    As for the Wallace comment, it’s both good and bad. It has most of the things I like about Wallace’s design, however it does have a certain sameness to the feel. This is after only one play and at the tail end of Essen, so it could be I’m being ungenerous here. The technology progression is very different and I think with more plays will be what makes or breaks it as far as differentiation.

    Other games I forgot to mention:

    Fagin’s Gang – Sid Sackson’s Bazaar on crack. I liked it.

    Nomads of Arabia – Quite random for its length, probably better with fewer.

    Affentennis – Monkeys! Playing Tennis!

    Age of Discovery – I enjoyed playing it, but thinking back I’m not sure why.

    Anno 1701 Card Game – I like this more than the regular Settler’s card game.

    Before the Wind – Long bidding game where bidding too low or bidding too high are equally painful. If it was shorter I’d heartily recommend it.

    Darjeeling – I ran away with the game when my shipment sat on the x2-3 multiplier for a couple of turns. I’m not particularly impressed with it, but I’m willing to play it again.


    October 24, 2007 at 1:22 pm

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