Essen 2013 – 4 Months Out

Essen is still a long way away, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t already anticipating many of the games that will be released in October.  I recently noticed a number of GeekLists popping up on BoardGameGeek with lists of games that people are looking forward to at Essen 2013.  I wasn’t sure what the big upcoming releases were, so I thought I’d figure out what games to investigate further by adding up which games were most frequently mentioned on all of the Essen 2013 GeekLists.  I tallied up all of the games mentioned on the 35 different GeekLists that I could find on BGG, and the results are pretty interesting.  I’m also interested to see how well these early results approximate what the Fairplay and GeekBuzz lists at the convention will ultimately look like.  Do you think you know which games are already the most anticipated of Essen 2013?  Take a guess at the top ten most anticipated games and then click below to find out…

   1. Amerigo (17)

   2. Archon: Glory & Machination (16)

   2. Spyrium (16)

   4. Rampage (13)

   5. Gear & Piston (11)

   6. Concordia (10)

   6. Expansion – Among the Stars: The Ambassadors (10)

   6. Expansion – Keyflower: The Farmers (10)

   9. Glass Road (9)

   9. Madeira: Pearl of the Atlantic (9)

   9. The Witches: A Discworld Game (9)

Overall 245 different games were mentioned on the 35 GeekLists!  I was amazed at how many different games people are looking forward to at Essen.  I’ve always heard that 500 games are released at the convention each year, but I had figured there were only 30-50 worth paying attention to.  Now I see that there are an absolutely overwhelming number of games to potentially consider.  Here’s a further breakdown of the numbers:

  • 140 of those 245 games got mentioned on at least 2 lists.

  • 98 games appeared on at least 3 lists.

  • 43 games could be found on at least 5 lists (i.e., 14.3% of the GeekLists surveyed).

I think these 43 games are the ones I’m going to focus on more when investigating Essen releases myself.  I’ll include the entire list of 43 games at the bottom of this post.  But for those who want to see more, all of the data underlying this can be found at this shared Google spreadsheet and all of the GeekLists themselves can be found at this BGG tag.  I should note that I did not edit out games that have already been released or will likely be released before October, because there would be a tricky judgment call to be made in many cases as to whether or not something qualifies as an Essen release.

Amerigo is the big winner, having been mentioned on 17 of the 35 GeekLists that are anticipating Essen 2013 releases.  Almost half of everyone putting together lists of games to check out at Essen are looking forward to Amerigo!  I guess this means people aren’t sick of Stefan Feld yet, even though he’s already had three big releases in 2013 with Bora Bora, Rialto, and Bruges.  It’s also possible that not many people have had a chance to even play those three games yet given their relatively limited availability.  All three of those games also got mentioned on a decent number of GeekLists for Essen 2013, suggesting that many people are still looking forward to them as well.  Of Feld’s new games, I’m most excited about Amerigo because of its inclusion of a cube tower, which I know and love from Wallenstein.

Archon: Glory & Machination was the biggest surprise for me in creating this list.  I’d never heard of the game before and was amazed to find it appearing over and over again on the lists of games that people are anticipating.  It appeared on over 45% of people’s GeekLists!  It’s being published by Artipia Games, which unfortunately makes me skeptical because I’ve played both Drum Roll and Among the Stars.  I found Drum Roll too long and boring and Among the Stars too derivative.  Although if Archon: Glory & Machination is as interesting a new release as the data suggests, then I will definitely have to check it out.

I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Spyrium in the #1 spot, but tied for second with 16 mentions is pretty close.  It is William Attia’s first major release since Caylus, so it is obviously going to be widely anticipated.  I had a chance to play the prototype a couple months ago and certainly enjoyed it.  Although I hope people don’t get their expectations built up too high, because it would be hard to live up to the 8 year wait since Caylus.

Rampage took the fourth position with 13 mentions, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it even higher on the Fairplay list in October.  It’s a perfect game for the convention setting because it will attract a big crowd and is easy to learn.  It’s got players flicking, blowing, and dropping to try to knock meeples out of precarious buildings so you can collect them for points.  It looks very impressive when set up and is fun to play (at least based on my two plays of the prototype).  I’m not sure how much staying power it will have, but I expect it will have a big presence and make a splash at Essen.

Next on the list was Gear & Piston in the fifth spot, which I had never heard of, but clearly lots of other people have.  Less surprising was Concordia in the next spot because it is the next game by Mac Gerdts — and lots of people like at least either Imperial or Navegador.  It did surprise me to see that the expansions for Among the Stars and Keyflower are so widely anticipated.  While I was not surprised to see so many expansions popping up on the lists, I would have expected games like Terra Mystica, Tzolk’in, Race for the Galaxy, and Agricola to have their expansions top the charts.  Then again, Keyflower was my favorite game of 2012, so I’m happy to see the expansion getting such widespread attention.

There was a three-way tie for 9th place with Glass Road, Madeira: Pearl of the Atlantic, and The Witches: A Discworld Game all tied to round out the top ten most anticipated games (by this GeekList survey metric at least).  Glass Road is unsurprising since it’s an Uwe Rosenberg design, but I had personally never heard of Madeira.  The Witches was also not a surprise since it’s got the dual appeal of Martin Wallace and Terry Pratchett, although I would have thought given the middling reception that Discworld: Ankh-Morpork got in 2011 that The Witches might be greeted with some hesitancy.  It was also interesting to see The Witches beat out Wallace’s other new upcoming game, A Study in Emerald, by one.  Looks like the Terry Pratchett theme bested the Neil Gaiman one this time around.

Ultimately the big surprises on the list for me were Archon: Glory & Machination, Gear & Piston, and Madeira: Pearl of the Atlantic.  I guess these are games that I need to investigate further, and maybe you’ll want to do so as well.  I was also a bit surprised about a few games that missed the cut (like Kramer & Kiesling’s Gluck Auf, Lehmann’s Roll for the Galaxy, and Hans im Gluck’s Russian Railroads).  In the end though, I think this top ten is a reasonable approximation of what the Fairplay and GeekBuzz lists will look like come October, and I’ll be interested to see whether that turns out to be the case.  What do you all think?  What are the big upcoming releases missing from the top ten?

To round out the list of 43 games that appeared on at least 5 of the lists, here are the rest of the games currently being anticipated with some frequency.  Remember that 245 different games were mentioned on the 35 GeekLists and you can see the full list here if you’re interested.  The number after each game’s name is the number of lists that included it.

  • A Study in Emerald 8

  • Gluck Auf 8

  • Kohle & Kolonie 8

  • Nations 8

  • Nobles of Paris 8

  • Artifact 7

  • KanBan 7

  • Canterbury 6

  • Cornish Smuggler 6

  • Expansion – Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts 6

  • Expansion – Rattus Cartus: Nobilis 6

  • Expansion – Tokaido: Crossroads 6

  • Expansion – Tzolk’in: Tribes & Prophecies 6

  • Guilds of London 6

  • Nauticus 6

  • Sails to Steam 6

  • Bremerhaven 5

  • Bruges 5

  • Dungeon Roll 5

  • Expansion – Agricola: Cave Farmers 5

  • Expansion – Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrels of Skullport 5

  • Expansion – Rattus: Mercatus / Arabian Traders 5

  • Expansion – Snowdonia: Jungfraubahn & Mount Washington 5

  • Expedition: Northwest Passage 5

  • Palmyra 5

  • Relic Expedition 5

  • Reprint – Coup 5

  • Rockwell 5

  • Rogue Agent 5

  • Roll for the Galaxy 5

  • Say Bye to the Villains 5

  • Walk the Plank! 5

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11 Responses to Essen 2013 – 4 Months Out

  1. Eric Brosius says:

    I have to think that no one really expects either Alien Artifacts or Roll for the Galaxy (which is probably better referred to as Wei-Hwa’s than Tom’s if you’re only going to list one of the designers) to be out at Essen. These games have been sitting on the runway for quite some time.

  2. Doug Faust says:

    Just a note: Agricola: Cave Farmers is a stand-alone game, not an expansion. (I guess Rosenberg is following in Friese’s steps with game names…)

  3. Joe Huber says:

    Russian Railroads doesn’t have an entry on BGG yet, which undoubtedly hurts it on a survey such as this one.

  4. Tom Rosen says:

    Thanks for the comments and corrections.

    Eric, it looks like a decent number of folks are still hoping for Roll for the Galaxy and Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts to make it for Essen (5 and 6 respectively out of 35), but it’s probably true that if there have been repeated delays that may have dampened their numbers in this survey. The same could probably said of others game, like Omega Centauri (Ascendancy).

    Doug, good to know about Agricola: Cave Farmers, I’ll fix it in the spreadsheet.

    Joe, I completely agree that the lack of a BGG entry hurt Russian Railroads, and several other games, in the survey given the GeekList format. I’m not sure Russian Railroads will end up doing so well in Fairplay/GeekBuzz though given its length/complexity, but it still may end up being the highly rated, complex game of the year, like Terra Mystica last year.

  5. huzonfirst says:

    Here are some notes on these games:

    * Concordia was previously known as Oppida Romana, as well as two other earlier names. Gerdts has struggled to come up with the best name for this one. Maybe he misses his rondel.
    * Glass Road was previously known as Glashütte.
    * Kohle & Kolonie is the latest from Thomas “Ruhrschifffahrt” Spitzer.
    * Artifact is from Jeff Allers and Bernd Eisenstein.
    * KanBan (which may not be ready in time for Essen) is the latest from Vital Lacerda, designer of Vinhos and CO2.
    * Canterbury is from Andrew “Core Worlds” Parks.
    * Guilds of London is from Tony “Snowdonia” Boydell.
    * Sails to Steam is from Hisashi “Trains” Hayashi.
    * Bremerhaven is the new Lookout game with a very similar physical design to Le Havre.

  6. DLE says:

    Amerigo seems like a decent game. That it is not a gamechanger yet is so highly considered here only shows how amazingly average all the other games are. This year is shaping up to be another year without a game or two like Dominion. Sure, you won’t get a Dominion every year, but you could make a case that even going back to Essen 2011, there hasn’t been anything to go gaga over.

  7. Jon Day says:

    I’m sure that Matt Tolman will be disappointed to learn that he didn’t design sails to steam : )

  8. huzonfirst says:

    Oops, that’s my mistake, Jon. My apologies to Matt. I’m sure the game that’s on all those Geek lists is Sails to Steam, so Tom is correct. I just misread it as Sail to India, which is by Hayashi. Sorry for the confusion.

    • Tom Rosen says:

      There are lots of sailing games coming out it would seem.
      -Sails to Steam got 6 mentions out of the 35 GeekLists surveyed.
      -Sail to India got 3 mentions.
      -Sails of Glory got 2 mentions.

  9. Alan How says:

    To me, none of the replies are that surprising, as many games that are on Kickstarter will be delivered around October time – though you can never tell. So people that had therm on geeklists did so in Kicjstarter expectation.

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