Fathers in Messe: day 2

Driin … driin … it was 7:15 and we started the 2nd day. I decided to let Caterina sleep a bit more (actually I was able to wake her up only at 8:00!) but we were able to reach the gates at 9:00, just in time to enter the empty Messe and make a travel in the weakling up giant! If you have the possibility to have a press pass or an exhibitor pass I think it is really a nice experience for a kid to have a quick tour in the Messe without the usual crowd. We were also able to take some pictures and decide the games to play: Kingdom Builder was our choice but the faith brings us in other seas and we still haven’t play it.

Just a quick stop to be meeple for a day and a nice trip through an almost empty hall 6 to buy dice and try some costumes.

Now we are ready for our first buy: the K2 expansion. I’m really happy with K2 and I think the new maps can really add longevity to this great game.  I’ll write more as soon as I have the chance to play it.

Caterina asked me to try Sidi Baba by Perepau LListosella, one of the new Hurrican releases. We were a team that entered the Ali-Baba cave trying to find the big treasure chest and escape safely. It is a semi-cooperative game: we played all together against the game, making collective decisions during the game but, in the end, the one with the greatest treasure will win. The game is really nice: the team has to move in the maze without looking at it: a master actually moves the team on a secret map and shows the cardboard that displays what characters are seeing. The effect is really suggestive and you seem to be in a real dungeon. The leader of the group has to use one of his lamps to lighten the cave and can be the leader for the time of an hourglass and then move back and leave space for a new leader. As soon as you lead the team you will be the one that first takes a treasure if the team meets a treasure chest. There are 5 small treasure chests (with 5 treasure pieces) and one big chest (with 7 treasure pieces). The game runs really well and we enjoyed the play a lot. The box says 14+ but I don’t really understand why: apart from the master I think the game could be also played but younger people.

Then we stopped (again! at least twice every day!) at the Days of Wonders booth to look at their games (I have all the DoW releases but Caterina likes to see Small World and Ticket Ride games) … and we played 2 Small World iPad games. Unluckily Caterina beat me two times in a row so I decided it is better to use our time playing new boardgames: and this time father rules!

We stoped at the GameWorks demo area to play Bonbons, a memory-like game. To score a point you have to pair a tile in the middle of the table with one of the 4 face down circled tiles in front of you: then both tiles are left face-up. What is new is that you can also pair the tile in the middle with one of your opponent’s tiles and score it, giving one of your face-down tiles to the opponent. You add to this the empty candy (that make you draw an extra circled-tile) and the three money tiles and you have a nice and fresh implementation of the classic memory. Caterina, again, beat me twice in a row so I decided to change games and to miss my Essen year when I was alone in the Messe :-)

The next stop was at Gigamic. I’m not used to playing abstracts but, as I told you, this time I’m sailing troubled waters. Quarto, a game I missed the name of, and then Gyges: a really nice surprise. In a 6 by 6 grid with an extra space behind the first line, you move pyramids. Each pyramid can move 1 to 3 spaces depending to its height. You can move only orthogonally and you can change direction during the movement. If you land on an occupied space you can jump and move the piece again. To win you have to move onto the opponent’s extra space and you can do it only after jumping. The real new thing is that actually you don’t own any piece and you can move only the piece closest to your side. This time three match in a row and I was able to win at least once.

At 12:00 I got lunch with other IGA members, talking about the future. Something too boring for Caterina who decided to run and play with balloons in the corridor close to the press room.  After that a quick trip in the press area on the 2nd floor where all the games presented in Essen are well displayed. Some pictures and we were ready to start again.

Waiting for the IGA ceremony we got time to play some “action” games in the area close to the BGG booth. After we went to hall 9 and Caterina fell in love with Tanto Cuore by Masayuki Kudou, a Dominion manga version where each player plays as the Lord of a mansion and hires maids (using hearts as money) to fill out their house to become the King of Maids. We were lucky to have a really nice and prepared demonstrator and actually I enjoyed the game (that, as told before, is Dominion with some little additions). I bought the game and I think I’ll have to be prepared that in the future I’ll have to use much more often hearts than money if I want to play Dominion.

The next step to become the “perfect” father@Messe was a play to Die Briken am Rio d’oro giant live version. The game is easy: you have to cross a bridge and bring 5 gold nuggets from the other side back home. To move you roll 3 dices and use as many dice as you want. The results make you move 1, 2, or 3 steps. Special icons can also make you repair a bridge, steal a nugget from another player close to you, or just roll a white die (hazards) that could trigger the break of the bridge. Every bridge tile could be OK, damaged, or broken. If you end your movement on a broken tile you fall down and start again. Reach the other side of Rio d’Oro and you can put in your bag from 1 to 3 nuggets and start your travel back but for each nugget over the first you lose a movement die.
The three dice are different: the green one is “slow and safe”: few hazards, few movements and the red is quick and hazardous … obviously the yellow is in the middle and you can see the reference to traffic lights.  The bridge is narrow and two players are not allowed to stay on the same tile. If you stop in an occupied tile you push the opponent one tile ahead and this could be really hazardous if the bridge has holes.  The game is simple: Caterina liked it but for me it was too much random driven.

Anyway a good match and we were ready to play an easy locomotive game for kids. If you want to have 1830 or Age of Steam players in the future you have to start playing train games soon and this one (of which I forget the name) is really a good start. In the game, you have to move 3 of your 4 locomotives to the end of the track. Each turn you roll a colored die (that shows which colored tile will change position going in the empty space) and then move one of your locomotives to the full result of 2 dice. If you meet another locomotive you hit and stop and the other locomotive will continue the movement. The map changes when the colored tile moves. I think a really good game for kids starting from 5 … a sure buy for Francesco (my 5 years old son that is waiting his turn to attend the Messe).

We finished the day playing Alba Longa while Caterina and her friend were playing with Play-Mays. I liked the game but it doesn’t hit me enough to buy it: it works well but I think it has nothing to emerge from the huge crowd of average games.

In the hotel, after dinner, we played Nile DeLuxor, a really nice card game from Minion Games. Actually Caterina was eager to try Dungeon Petz but I think we have to wait until we are back in Modena. In Nile Deluxor you have to plant different types of culture (5 in a two-player game) and harvest. Every turn the Nile will flood one type of culture and the player with that culture can score one of the cards (actually removing it from his culture). Only one player can have each culture and you can plant a culture only if you can play more cards than the actual owner of this culture (the beaten player loses his culture, discarding all the cards). There are also monuments, in the advanced rules, built with stone cards that offer you some special abilities. A really good card game for 2 to 6 players: easy and fun … we played it 3 times before going to bed.

Tomorrow our last day of Messe: probably we will start with a Lupin the 3rd play and then … only Caterina could say but she is already dreaming here close to me in the room.

Good night.

Of course also today I got my backpack full of funny inutilities …

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About Andrea "Liga" Ligabue

Andrea "Liga" Ligabue is a game expert contributing to many games related international projects including Gamers Alliance Report, WIN, ILSA Magazine and Boardgamenews. Member of the International Gamers Awards Committee is coordinator of Play - The Games Festival and founder of the project Ludoteca Ideale.
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3 Responses to Fathers in Messe: day 2

  1. gamingleet says:

    Wonderful report. It must be so much fun to tour the Messe with such a bright companion, and always smiling! Maybe that is because she seems to always win?

  2. Nice report from a nice team ! (thanks for the vinegar BTW…)

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