Essen 2013: My Wish List

Dear Santa,

I have been very good this year. I have not fought with my sister – possibly because she lives in another state. I have behaved admirably in a number of difficult situations – even when that guy put his drink on the table next to my OOP copy of Fast Food Franchise.

Please bring me the following games from your annual trip to Germany to stock up for Christmas Eve.


  • designer: Jeffrey Allers & Bernd Eisenstein
  • publisher: White Goblin Games
  • players: 3-5
  • length: 60 minutes

The archaeology theme is cool – but after reading the rules, what I’m most interested in is how the double-layered take-in-workers/pay-out-workers system is going to mess with my head. At first look, this doesn’t feel quite like anything else I’ve played before… and that’s a good thing.

Banjooli Xeet

  • designer: Diego Ibanez
  • publisher: Asylum Games
  • players: 2-5
  • length: 30 minutes

My pick for “Fluffy Game of the Fair” – and not just because of the name. The theme is ostrich race FIXING – using your magical shamanistic powers and some spiked piles of berries to make sure your chosen birds fly/run to victory. It’s got dice, it’s got pre-race predictions, it’s even got an expansion in the works. And it’s got my name written on it. (Well, not actually. It’s a figure of speech.)


  • designer: Andrew Parks
  • publisher: Quixotic Games
  • players: 2-4
  • length: 90 minutes

City-building game with a new economic model (no resources to trade! common treasury! actually providing city services!) + Andrew Parks (whose Core Worlds I really, really like) + homage to the town that made Chaucer famous (I was an English major)?! I just wish I’d had the cash to Kickstarter this one. The designer’s diary on BGG is a very interesting read… and makes me even more excited about the game!

Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy

  • designer: Michiel Justin Elliott Hendriks
  • publisher: Portal
  • players: 1-4
  • length: 60 minutes

I know very little about this game – but at first blush, it looks like someone has finally taken the IDEA behind one of the most unplayable & intriguing games I’ve ever owned (Avalon Hill’s Down With the King) and turned it into a playable card game. I’m willing to try it & find out.

Lewis & Clark

  • designer: Cedrick Chauboussit
  • publisher: Ludonaute
  • players: 1-5
  • length: 120 minutes

I like exploration games. I like resource management games. I like race games. I think this game may be the board game equivalent of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard for me. I’ve read through the rules and think there are some really interesting things going on here… and I hope to get to play it in a few weeks.

Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends

  • designer: Vlaada Chvátil
  • publisher: Z-Man Games
  • players: 2-4
  • length: 20 minutes

Here’s the deal: Vlaada has an amazing track record as a designer: Prophecy, Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, Galaxy Trucker, Space Alert, 2009 Dungeon Lords, Dungeon Petz, Mage Knight Board Game, etc. So, I’d be an idiot not to hunt down his newest game.
And, yes, I’m aware that there are new ships coming to Essen 2013 for Galaxy Trucker (whoot!) and a new expansion coming for Dungeon Petz (which sadly I have not yet played).

Town Center

  • designer: Albin Viard
  • publisher: Ludibay
  • players: 1-4
  • length: 30 minutes

There are a lot of city-building games coming out this year  –  but this is probably the coolest looking one. (You are building in 3-D!) If I order something sight unseen from the Essen haul, there’s a pretty good chance it’ll be this one. (I also think The Capitals looks pretty nifty.)

If you haven’t figured it out, I love me some city-building games. (OK, my love is not universal – I thought Urban Sprawl completely monkeyed up the balance between length & randomness, and City Tycoon was dry as a bone.)

World of Tanks: Rush

  • designer: Nikolay Pegosav
  • publisher: Hobby World
  • players: 2-5
  • length: 30 minutes

A deck-building game… about tanks & tank warfare… from Russia. Hmmm. This probably wouldn’t have caught my eye a year ago, but they sold me with great art and doing such a bang-up job on Septikon: Uranium Mining (the new version of Septikon will be at the Fair as a demo).

If you need a lot more ideas, Santa, you can have one of your elves read the following three posts on my personal blog:

About Mark "Fluff Daddy" Jackson

follower of Jesus, husband, father, pastor, boardgamer, writer, Legomaniac, Disneyphile, voted most likely to have the same Christmas wish list at age 57 as he did at age 7
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7 Responses to Essen 2013: My Wish List

  1. Dan Blum says:

    If you think City Tycoon is too dry, well… Town Center is even drier. It’s also more of a puzzle than a game IMHO.

  2. AED says:

    Great format on this one…good job!

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