EGG Head’s Essen ’12 First Impressions

Didn’t have much time to play games while in Essen so am trying to catch up this week!

P.I. Martin Wallace meets Mastermind. Kind of film noir art design. Nice little deduction game. If you like quick deduction games where you don’t have to write down clues (they are all tracked on the board) this is a keeper.

Al Rashid This is worker placement. Workers come in 3 strengths a little reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci. Played a 3 player game. I suspect it is a better game with more players since there will before competition for actions. Some of the actions have Conflict tiles that you must defeat  with your own conflict tiles to do the action. Tip for first play- the color of the Title tiles refers to the background color behind the portrait. Tip #2-if you have presbyopia you are going to need a magnifying glass or perhaps a microscope to read the tiles.

The Great Zimbabwe I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Context I also like Antiquity and Indonesia by Splotter. We played a 5 player game that took around 3 hours for the learning game. I like the art and find it fits the theme. It’s got interesting economics and the bidding for turn order is quite intriguing. You have to build near other players to use their goods but this also increases competition for the goods. You also want to network a bit to save money on transporting goods. The map size is dependent on number of players. We did a 5 player game. Really looking forward to playing this again.

Spellbound The box, board and bits are quite impressive and we are talking size here. The bits are way cooler in person and heftier than they appear in the pictures. The cooperative deck building we didn’t really get a chance to do much since we lost on the second turn! Still I’d be interested in giving it a few more tries.

Terra Mystica Ok the box is big and chock full of heavy wooden bits. Nice production with decent player mats. Whew, going through the rules was a trial, but the good news is that actually playing the game wasn’t that difficult. The different powers of the tribes I think will become more apparent in how best to utilize them with more play. We did a 3 player game. I think more players (4) would be a bit more interesting since there might be more competition for locations.

Ginkgopolis. Oh I really liked this one, tactical, and puzzly! Took a couple of turns to see how everything worked together but I really enjoyed it. We did a 5 player game and it didn’t take too long. It has a bit of a 3 D element to it but I would say it’s not a spatial game for those that have difficulty with those types of games. You play a card which allows you to gather resources or play tiles. You may get extra actions depending on what cards you may have played earlier.

About lornadune

Board game enthusiast
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3 Responses to EGG Head’s Essen ’12 First Impressions

  1. Ben (chally) says:

    Thanks for the comments, Lorna. I saw your copy of Al Rashid in the BGG Marketplace last night and considered messaging you to ask for your thoughts. I take it you didn’t find enough of interest there to see whether the experienced improved with a tighter board?

  2. lornadune says:

    I think that Al Rashid is a perfectly fine worker placement game. I do think it will be better with more players but in my limited space I can’t justify keeping it. However, if you like the worker placement genre and frequently play with 4 or 5 this game may be up your alley.

    • Alan How says:

      I looked at Al Rashid for a long while. From a distance the components suggested that it was a game that I would buy. When I got closer, I found that the font size on the cards was minute. Really small, in fact so small that I thought the game play would be far longer as players in my age brackets studied the cards, which would delay the game play and this was enough to put me off. It might be a great game, but not for me in its current presentation.

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