The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Thoughts on Recent Awards and New Games

Bruno’s Game of the Year (Noms) and Spielfrieks Meeple’s Choice:

  • I should try Carson City and Cyclades. And Last Train to Wensleydale, perhaps. (Useless Fact: My favorite bridge convention name is “Last Train”  because it explains the intent of the convention via Monkees and the name actually makes sense).
  • I still think Endeavor will be forgotten in a year or two. The other two Meeple’s choice awards seem fine (although I wonder if H.T. is also a flash in the pan). Small World seems like the correct winner.

Upcoming Games from the Summer and Essen:

  • 7 Wonders has good buzz, I suspect several of you have played it.
  • Dschunke is yet another OK game that I can’t remember details of. So, I have no idea why it’s being remade.
  • I started reading the rules to Founding Fathers and I think that this is a game I should like (theme, style) but nothing grabbed me. Still, I’ll try this.
  • High Frontier (the remake of Space Flight) is an intriguing game, but is there really a demand for it? I liked the game for it’s ideas, but not for gameplay. A friend who took a graduate level class on theory and practice of space exploration said the bibliography in this game was pretty much the exact same reading list for his class.
  • I’ve never heard of MageStorm, but Bruno’s blurb has me intrigued. (“Very original system for ‘magical development’. It looks like Battlelore, but it plays completely differently.”)
  • Olympus sounds interesting.
  • I haven’t quite hit 10 plays for Wabash Cannonball, but I’m glad Preußische Ostbahn is getting picked up. I’ve been wanting to try it.

So, what is everyone looking forward to?

Written by taogaming

June 19, 2010 at 9:36 am

Posted in Open Thread

7 Responses

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  1. I keep thinking the game I should try is Ad Astra. Even though I don’t usually appreciate Bruno’s designs, the ideas here seem sound and it’s well regarded. But no one in my group owns it and I’m not sure I’m willing to pony up 40 clams for a game that might be played once and then discarded.

    A couple of games I definitely WILL try are Egizia and Glen More. It’s just a matter of waiting for the damn English translations. Since Glen More still hasn’t found a co-publisher, I may actually vie for the German version and a cheat sheet.

    Endeavor is actually my favorite of the three Meeples Choice Award winners; I just wish I was better at the game. But I think it’s clever and uber-elegant. I suspect it will survive in my group for at least several years because it’s a meaty game that plays fast and we like it with three. Hansa T. is definitely a keeper and will certainly be played years from now; my allergy against abstract designs keeps me from unequivocally loving it, but it’s a fine and very well designed game. And I agree that Small World is a deserving winner (although it does raise the question that if you’re going to reward a simplified remake, why not Steam?). However, when I’ve played, I’ve found that the game I really wanted to be playing was Vinci. Similar to my reactions of Power Grid/Funkenschlag and Steam/Age of Steam. Still, it’s a sound choice by the group.

    As a Wallace junkie, the game I’m really looking forward to is London. Based on the description, it could be amazing. I get less and less excited about Age of Industry the more I read about it. If it doesn’t wind up chopping 30-60 minutes off of the playing time of Brass, it’s hard to see why it’ll be worth exploring. I’m sure I’ll get the chance to play it soon and will be able to see for myself.

    Of the other Essen games, since Tikal remains one of my favorite games of all time, I’m really hoping Kramer and Kiesling can harkon back to their glory days with Tikal II. I’ve also heard some good things about another one of their collaborations, Asara. And like much of the rest of the gaming world, I’m looking forward to 7 Wonders. MY wonder (and my hope) is that it’s a quick game that will really excite me in a way that Race and Dominion didn’t (although I’ll happily play Race, which is more than I can say for Dominion).

    Larry Levy

    June 19, 2010 at 10:40 am

  2. I have Founding Fathers on pre-order, and it fringes on my job (one of whose many definitions is “pre-1877 US history”), so I’m looking forward to that. Of Euro-esque games, that’s about it at the moment. My main objective is to somehow, someway get Last Train to Wensleydale to the table.


    June 19, 2010 at 11:48 am

  3. I’m also thinking about skipping Age of Industry, as it seems to be too long.

    I’m somewhat interested in the new Bezier Age of Steam set, the teaser sounds promising (I do have too many maps, but still).

    Winsome set… Preußische Ostbahn is very much worth looking forward to, I’m really glad it’s reprinted. I’m also curious what the Samarkand expansion will look like, as that one’s a really good game.

    7 Wonders, yes. Innovation, somewhat. London, perhaps. Second game of Last Train, very much so.


    June 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm

  4. Ad Astra — Had a bizarre 3 player game. Will try again, won’t push for it.

    Glen More — Heard good things. Guess I’ll try it.

    I disliked Brass, so Age of Industry holds no temptation.

    I reluctantly admitted that Small World improves on Vinci. I didn’t feel Steam improved on Age of Steam. (Nor did RRT). Besides, there are roughly a zillion AoS mods splitting the vote. Small World remakes a game that’s hard to get. And by a big publisher. No surprise it won.

    I didn’t know that Tikal II was coming soon, but I only liked Tikal. (I’ve owned it several times, I think 3, and always traded/sold it to someone who likes it way more than me).

    I’ll keep an eye out for London.


    June 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm

  5. Larry, you should try Ad Astra. It wasn’t a winner for me, but it was good for four plays; I suspect that at worst you’ll find a similar level of enjoyment.

    Egizia struck me as another worker placement game. Some twists, but nothing I wanted to play a second time. Glen More faired better – Larry, you shouldn’t even need a cheat sheet, just English rules – but I’m not certain it’s a keeper.

    I’m looking forward to Freitag, and Four Families (or whatever’s Friedemann’s two player game ends up being called). And I have a sneaking suspicion that Founding Fathers will finally be the Jason Matthews game for me, albeit based upon no particular evidence.

    Personally, I’m done with the Spielfrieks winners after a grand total of two plays, but that’s just me. The games from 2009 I expect to last for me are Factory Manager, Macao (which I don’t think will become an evergreen – just one that strikes me well), and Inotaizu.

    Joe Huber

    June 20, 2010 at 3:03 pm

  6. Fast Food Franchise, Founding Fathers, …

    Don’t these people have any respect for Friedemann Friese’s franchise?!

    Eric Brosius

    June 20, 2010 at 5:23 pm

  7. I sold off/traded off Tikal. Twice.

    Endeavor strikes me as being roughly like El Grande or Web of Power, except not as good.

    T. Derscheid

    June 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

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