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Everything you need to know about Essen Spiel

Posted Wednesday, 14-Oct-2015


Board gaming’s largest convention has landed, with over 700 games to show. Check out the cream of the crop in this week’s Board Game News Brief.

Contributed by Calvin Wong



A deeply underexplored theme.
A deeply underexplored theme (park).


This competitive card game has players building taco stands, hiring professional ride designers, and pleasing the critics on their way to constructing the best theme park, rollercoasters and all.


Baseball Highlights: 2045


No elbow injuries for this fellow
No elbow injuries for this fellow


The future of baseball is here. From acclaimed designer Mike Fitzgerald, this quick-playing deck building game dispenses with innings and technicalities to put the emphasis on strategy and choice – do you field powerful robots or fast and intuitive humans, and in which positions?




Staring Men: The Game
Staring Men: The Game


This semi-cooperative WW2 game of influence and negotiation casts players as one of the three leaders of the Allied forces, trying to guide their country to victory while taking care not to become too powerful lest the other two team up and take them down.




This franchise is the cutest.
This franchise is the cutest.


Guide your civilization to greatness – and then write their resume. This action selection and resource management card game includes actions such as Slacking, Feline Domestication, and Feminism.


Euro Crisis


Satire in gaming? Yes please.
Satire in gaming? Yes please.


Gambling with other people’s money is the name of the game as players guide their banks to great heights of financial wealth through the purchase of gold and weaponry. Play through 12 quarters of earnings reports and privatization while suppressing the angry mobs – no, really.


FAITH Core Set


Can robots have faith? Apparently.
Can robots have faith? Apparently.


This RPG/Sci-Fi card game crossover features all the traditional hallmarks of an RPG: storytelling, combat, and character development – while retaining board game elements such as resource management and card-based gameplay.




We're getting a lot of games about birds this year
We’re getting a lot of games about birds this year


Action selection and timing are everything in this cute game about growing your flock of birds. Nest, feed, hatch, and take wing to make sure your flock is on top of the pecking order by game’s end.


New York 1901


Precarious photography - a hallmark of the era
Precarious photography – a hallmark of the era


Reach out and touch the clouds in this skyscraper construction board game. Build the icons of Lower Manhattan in this tile-placement game, slowly upgrading your buildings and crowding out your competitors.


Outer Earth


In the future, renewable energy rules
In the future, renewable energy rules


Manage and develop your very own planet portfolio. As humans explored the galaxy, terraforming companies sprang up to meet demand, and yours is going to be the best one! Bid on planets to develop and construct their infrastructure in order to be declared the most successful company in the universe.


Star Wars Carcassonne


Episode VIII: The Tile Layers
Episode VIII: The Tile Layers

Classic tile laying game Carcassonne gets the Star Wars treatment. The game promises some rules changes and character meeples from the film while retaining the map-building aspect of Carcassonne.


T.I.M.E. Stories


Best box of the convention.
Best box of the convention.


Prevent time travel paradoxes in this self-styled ‘decksploration’ game. Players will be assigned missions which they can time travel through as many times as they wish, with the objective of perfectly solving all the puzzles and overcoming all the objectives while being armed with the knowledge of their previous run.


The Big Book of Madness


Exactly how big are we talking here?
Exactly how big are we talking here?


Student wizards try to gain ultimate power by opening a book – What could possibly go wrong? Players must learn to cast spells in their element while defeating all the monsters, turning aside curses, and not losing their lives (or minds) in the process. Can you and your friends close the book in time?

The Producer: 1940-1944


'Halcyon' is a word created just for this game.
‘Halcyon’ is a word created just for this game.


Lights! Camera! Hire movie stars, sabotage your opponents, and deal with the history of the times in this faithful reproduction of 1940s Hollywood. Vie for audience share, jump on up-and-coming talent, and get caught up in a mob war – all this and more in this game of Post-Depression America.


Wombat Rescue


And the winner of best theme at Essen is...
And the winner of best theme at Essen is…


Mama Wombat has lost her 4 wombat children – what’s a wombat to do? Due to their poor eyesight, you must use your wombat’s sense of smell to navigate – by laying poop cubes in strategic locations around the board. Be the first to save your kids by managing your digestive system and avoiding the dastardly dingo – it’s Wombat time!



Arctic Scavengers: Recon


The wasteland is harsh and cold
The wasteland is harsh and cold.


A post-apocalyptic deck builder with significantly more player interaction than usual, Arctic Scavengers received a massive popularity boost in 2014 and now has a new expansion as well as a reprint of the base box. Featuring reconnaissance and deception, Recon introduces more subtlety and depth to the base game.


Dixit: Memories




More whimsy, more cards, more cuteness! Dixit Memories may be the most adorable Dixit set yet. This Spiel de Jahres winning card game of storytelling and creativity continues to amaze and surprise even 5 years on.


Flick ’em Up: Stallion Canyon


At 'em, cowgirls!
At ’em, cowgirls!


Wild West dexterity game Flick ‘Em Up! introduces horses! And cowgirls. And new locations. And new scenarios. But mainly cute wooden horses.

Galaxy Trucker: Missions


Why is he upside down?
…Why is he upside down?


Scenario play, radioactive explosions, and tasty beverages in glass bottles. Drawing features from the digital app edition of the chaotic space-travel/where-did-my-ship-go game, the new Missions expansion only requires the base set to play.


Orleans: Invasion


Ah, France.
Ah, France.


War has come to Orleans  – the first big box expansion for this worker placement game features co-operative play as players fend off an incoming invasion. The game also features 5 other scenarios, new buildings, and event cards.


Power Grid: The Stock Companies


Shouting may indeed ensue.
Shouting may indeed ensue.


It’s time to buy and sell – at the same time! This expansion to the classic eurogame features 3 new modules all featuring he aforementioned ability to buy stock in various power companies, and is based on a module from the designer’s newest game, 504.

Star Realms: Colony Wars


Which colonies? Whose? So many unanswered questions!
Which colonies? Whose? So many unanswered questions!


The smash hit deckbuilder receives its first standalone expansion. 80 new cards allow players to play either with this set alone, or combined with the base set for up to 4 players.


War of the Ring 2nd Edition: Warriors of Middle Earth


The Lord of the Miniatures
The Lord of the Miniatures


Six new factions vie for your attention as Ents, Giant Spiders, and the Eagles all receive miniatures, faction cards, and faction dice to add even more epic gameplay to this already epic 2 player war game.

Published by BoardGamePrices.com

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