Essen 2012: State of the Wishlist – Wednesday

With Press Day over and several hours of streaming demos under my belt, I thought I’d talk about the state of my wishlist.

I’m maintaining a list of the demos at Boardgamegeek, so you can see which I’ve seen already, and even follow the links to the archived videos. So far, I’ve managed to be quite picky about what gets onto the wishlist[*]. We’ll see how that works out. When I say that I am being quite picky this year, well, you may wonder what “not picky” would look like. I know that’s what my family say, anyway.

[*] The thing that you need to know about my wishlist is that it grows every year, as I mark all the great-looking games I see demoed at Essen. I try to add comments about why I am interested in a game, as well as where I saw it – but I think it’s still a challenge for my Secret Santa each year! After a couple of years, I drop them down to a “3” or “4” on the wishlist, or take them off altogether, but they do tend to stick around.

Here’s what has made the list so far. Current wishlist length: 163 (I removed several games from it this morning when I realised that I already had them).

  • Pluckin’ Pairs – a party game by Stephen Glenn. Looks like it would work for non-gamers as well as gamers (always good in a party game).
  • Snowdonia – great demo from Tony Boydell. This game looks intriguing. Also, it has pink pieces. It’s good to be shallow, sometimes.
  • Milestones – a Euro (looks lightish) from Stronghold games. Shelley highly recommends it – that’s good enough for me.
  • Crazy Creatures of Dr Gloom – another from Stronghold games. Sometimes, the name is enough to sell you on a light, inexpensive game.
  • Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island – an intriguing-sounding game. Ignacy (and Wilson the ball) do a great job of presenting this on the video stream. I particularly enjoyed his story of surveying his friends about what they would expect a Robinson Crusoe game to have – although I don’t think he will ever top the story of presenting Pret-a-porter at the bank (from 2011).
  • Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890 – no, it’s not just because of the name. This looks like a medium to heavy economic game and something about it really appealed to me.
  • Aztlán – this is in the “Thinking about it” category rather than the “immediate buy” – it looks intriguing, though.
  • Saqqara – Peter and Bart from White Goblin Games are always fun presenters, although with two Egyptian-themed games I did think that they could have put a bit of effort into dressing up for the cameras. I have an Egyptian headdress that I’d have been happy to lend them.

and also (from Dale’s post here – because one source is never enough when you’re looking for games from Essen)

  • Gregs Tagebuch: Mir stinkt’s! – many of you know that Otto, my 9 year old daughter, is at a bilingual “Deutsche Schule im Ausland” school. She’s read Gregs Tagebuch (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) in German as well as in English, so this would be a perfect gift not only for her but for the school too. I would dearly love to put together a set of games for the school that support the bilingual curriculum – we had a very successful family game night earlier this year, with nearly 80 people attending (not bad for a school with only 47 students!)
  • Gregs Tagebuch; Von Idioten Umzingelt (surrounded by idiots) – Dale mentioned this one specifically in his post, because it was designed by the lovely Friedemann Friese. Which makes it a perfect gift not just for Otto and for school, but for Fraser as well.

Of course, there are other Essen games that will inevitably make their way to the Rogerson-McHarg household – and five more days of demos, to tell me what I have missed so far. My radar is surprisingly limited this year – I haven’t really had time to look at game previews – but I do know about the 2-player Le Havre game (we really like Agricola: All creatures great and small) and of course the new Power Grid maps, which we had an opportunity to playtest a few months ago (I only tried the Northern Europe map).

About Melissa

Melissa lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she plays games with her husband Fraser and their two adult daughters. She works as a lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction and researches tabletop games. Find out more about her research at
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