Visiting Essen isn’t too ambitious when you live in the UK, but right now, while we are still in our first 12 months of gaming, the idea seems all too intimidating, so for me, getting excited about Essen releases is more about getting excited about games that I might play or add to my collection in the next 3 months. I was pretty excited for GenCon releases and haven’t heard half as much about Essen so haven’t felt the excitement so much, but when I’ve looked into it – there are more than enough games to get excited about!
My information about Essen releases has come from a combination of the Essen 2015 Preview on BoardGameGeek https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/174654/spiel-2015-preview and the Dice Tower Essen preview videos. I cannot personally vouch for its accuracy.
10. At number ten is Hengist. This one just creeps onto the list because I am a still intrigued by Uwe Rosenberg’s 2-player series. Admittedly I am yet to try them, but it’s not for want of trying! The little I’ve seen of this game reminds me in some way of Lost Cities, which for me is a good thing. Probably one I want to try before I buy, but still interested.
9. At number nine is Prodigals Club which is somewhat of a sequel to Last Will. I have only played Last Will once, but I really enjoyed it and would definitely consider adding it to the collection, but if I try Prodigals Club and prefer it in any way then perhaps I’ll get the newer game instead.
8. At number eight is Dice City. I am only interested in this one because I’ve never played a dice crafting game and the idea is intriguing. I do worry that this will be another themeless ‘city building’ game like Machi Koro or Flip City, but I will try it if only to look at a new mechanism.
7. At number seven is Poseidon’s Kingdom in this case because it looks really cool and unique. The rolling wave that drops dice all over the board is probably just a gimmick, but it still draws me in. It also causes me some concern that the game will be too heavily luck based. But so long as it is short then I can be OK with that a times. I may be entirely wrong, but this game reminds me of a hybrid of Survive! Escape from Atlantis and Rampage/Terror in Meeple City, both of which I like!
6. At number six is Ticket to Ride: UK and Pennsylvania Maps. As a gamer in the UK, there is a certain excitement for seeing your own country ‘put on the map’ with Ticket to Ride. We currently only own Ticket to Ride: Europe and only really play that with my parents, so it would be nice to expand and this map pack sounds like it creates 2 new gamer versions which sounds much more appealing than just different geographical maps.
5. At number five is 7 Wonders Duel. My level of excitement for this one has actually dropped after we played the 2 player variant of the original 7 Wonders game and found it pretty playable. However, with so many reviews and some reviewers saying it is better than 7 Wonders (still one of my favourites) I am still keen for this 2-player game.
4. At number four is The Castles of Mad King Ludwig: Secrets. The base game is one of the first games we bought when we started getting really into board gaming after our first visit to a game night at a local gaming store. It is a firm favourite and the first expansion is hotly anticipated by our shelves.
3. At number three is Thunderbirds. It’s a Matt Leacock co-operative game. Enough said. We still love Pandemic and Forbidden Desert and even Forbidden Island sees table time for a quick 15 minute game. There is also some nostalgia for Thunderbirds as a theme so I’m really crossing my fingers that this game is a hit!
2. At number two is Raptor, which I’ve been excited about since the Dice Tower previewed it at GenCon. 2-player, great designers, unique theme, asymmetric game – all of these things make it a must buy for me.
1. And finally number one is Pandemic Legacy. It’s certainly not a unique number one for this style of list, but I am really keen to try my first Legacy game. Pandemic is currently in my top 5 games, so surely I’ll love this one. I just need to schedule a regular group of 4 players and we can jump right in!
So that’s it. I only picked up two of the games which were on my GenCon list for top ten most anticipated, so my game shelf has rather a relaxed attitude towards the new games coming out at Essen. Let’s see how it is looking in a couple of month’s time!