Dale Yu and Lucas Hedgren: Essen ’14 initial thoughts

OK – let’s talk about games again!

I have just started to read up on Essen ’14 – thus far, I have downloaded over 60 rulesets, and I have read about 20.  I’d like to increase my rules consumption, but this non-gaming IRL work stuff sucks sometimes.  Additionally, I’ve been working hard at getting up reviews/previews of the new Gencon/Essen stuff that I have already played.

1) The new mechanism of the day looks to be “pouch building” – starting with Hyperborea (which I think Lucas will be reviewing soon), there is also King’s Pouch and Orleans – both of which use similar mechanics.  I haven’t played any of them, but I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s all about

2) The Japanese invasion – well, it’s been clear to me for about the last 10 years that there are some really good games coming out of Japan.  However, this notion seems to be taking hold with “big” Gaming now… Lots of games being ported to English/German by companies such as AEG and Z-Man.  The games that are being brought over by Japon Brand look good again, and now I’m filled with angst about whether to get them now or wait until they are re-done  ;)  Yeah, I know, first-world problems…

3) no slowdown in the production numbers – man, there are a lot of new games to look at.  The official press release from the SPIEL folks already has 800+ new “novelties” registered for the show.  Egads.  I already know there’ s no way to look at more than 150-200 of them in the 3 days at the show, so doing groundwork before going is paramount.

Luke’s thoughts:

1) Pumped for my first ever Essen Spiel trip: both for showing off my first published game to the European consumers and for taking in all that the fair has to offer. I actually haven’t read as many rulesets as I usually do by this time. I plan to catch up soon, though. This year, I have to make a list of the games I want to actually buy, and fit into my luggage, instead of just the games I plan on getting once they get back here to the states.

2) Like Dale mentioned above, bag building is now officially a “thing.” I think it is really interesting how mechanics come in waves. After Dominion popularized the deck building aspect, we got waves of “just a little different deck building” (Tanto Cuore, Ascension), then “applied deck building” (Thunderstone, Mage Knight), then “hand building” last year (Concordia, Rokoko, Lewis and Clark) and now “bag building”. “Great minds…”, I suppose.

3) Experiencing my first Gencon this year allowed me to have the first hand experience to really compare Gencon to Spiel. With 56k people in Indianapolis this year, Gencon is really coming up to challenge Spiel for the top convention worldwide. Personally, I think I enjoy the smaller conventions, that focus more on game playing, rather than demos, booths, retailers and sales. But, that certainly doesn’t mean there were no games played at Gencon, but a lot of my time was taken up in the retailer hall. Curious to see how Spiel plays out.

Dale – Sorry for hitting everyone with the DMCA stuff yesterday — but it was something that I had to take care of swiftly.

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About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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2 Responses to Dale Yu and Lucas Hedgren: Essen ’14 initial thoughts

  1. As far as the comments on Gencon vs. Spiel. I’m very surprised that so far (there’s still a month to go), nothing I’ve seen to be released at Essen has me more excited than the Gencon release of Panamax. While I didn’t have the chance to play the Asmodee releases, they also looked quite strong. Add in DoW’s release of Five Tribes as well as RGG’s pre-release of Roll for the Galaxy and Gencon was very, very strong this year. I can’t wait to see if Spiel can top it…. wish I was going :)

  2. onetonmee says:

    This year, I noticed that there’s also a fair bit of “quick” civs, Deus, Golden Ages, Imperialism and Historia all look interesting and have different takes to the genre.

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