Father in the Messe: day 2

It is late and I’m quite tired after a long day of games and friends, potatoes and wooden cubes, cards and maps and hours of walking along the halls. I’m quite sure we were able to see no more than the surface of what Essen can really offer. I’m quite sure every report will offer you something different. Of course there are games and things no one can miss …

The day started with the usual great breakfast at Jung and then a 10 minutes walk. We was lucky and during the walking we met Bruno Cathala, one of the star with his nice Five Tribes.


(Of course the one in the picture with us is Dale Yu and not Bruno)

The first stop was at Z-man booth to play Field of Arle. Me and Caterina are used to like Rosemberg’s design at this one looks great. It is 100% Rosemberg with so many “if i get this resource and convert with that action then I can but this building to produce …” that after the first 3 seasons we were sure we missed so many things that we decided to stop and take time ti play the game better at home. Luckily we discovered Cranio Creations is going to import it in Italy

I was looking something for Francesco and since he really like Memoir’44 and second world war games we stop to offer a chance to Armymals, a polish game with tanks driven by animals and superbous materials.


The game was OK. You have two tanks and two pilots and one general. Pilots and general are nimals with different attack, movement and health values and also a special action. During your turn you roll 6 dices (re-rolling two times the needed like in Yatzee) and than move, shot, rotate or take nuts. Nuts are used for activate special powers and/or play cards. You get points killing other tanks and fulfilling special missions, three different each game. We played some turn of the basic game but it is clear there is a lot more under this simple mechanic. I asked for a review copy after Essen: who knows ? If I’ll get it I’ll take time to explore all the different scenarios/rules and write a full review.


Than it was time to try Neptun at Queen Games. According to my testing Queen is a real strange company alternating great games with really boring ones. Neptun, unluckily, was for me and Caterina real in the bottom of the stairs. We get bored after the first of the three (identical) turn but luckily the other two persons playing with us were bored too so I don’t take time writing down how it works … Maybe after Essen.

Than we run to say hello to friends from Placentia Games. Sandro gave me the expansion for Florenza: the card game, one of the game impress us last year, and show us the new edition of Florenza, Placentia’s flagship! I’m sure I’ll write you me and Caterina thoughts about this expansion after Essen.



In the corner of the hall we discovered Monster Chef, an almost self-published Card games from a team from Italy, Swiss and Spain. The game is clearly far away from market standards, at least concerning the materials. Anyway we enjoy our play. Caterina won and i got Third that is not so bad but unluckily we were just 3.


Than we play Sblap, a game were you have to be able to discover before others if two cards have the same letters or the same monster and than you have go say a word starting with the letter in the last card also remembering the words of the previous hands. Memory and quickness, attention and reflex … No hope for me!


We met some friends and we played Camels Up. It has of course all the needed characteristics to be a good Spiele des Jahres but for us too much lucky driven. Anyway it is fun and I think it is a good SDJ.


We met Dale, our editor in chief and we took a picture together. A nice picture!


We were attracted by Hoyuk, from Mage Company. It is clearly a multi-player game but we try to give a chance ad a 2-players game. It is quite and abstract game were you have to build villages and improve with ovens, animals and other things trying to excel in one or more aspect, getting cards that you can convert in points or special actions. The game is nice and it is also mice the graphics and the setting: We think it could be really better with 3 players or more.


Than it was time to play some french games. Thanks to the strong link between Asterion and Asmodee (both starting with an A and a name of 7 letters with 3 vocals) we got in Italy almost the good french games but I know sometime something is missing like Sun Tzu, a nice 2-player game from 2005. We played 2 games in a row and I won both, showing how Caterina performances really drop close to dinner and where the main theme is war.



We take a Pizza for dinner than we go to the hotel to play some more games. First we played a game so bad that we decided it was our Essen bottom … But we don’t share the name with you to not spoiler giving you the possibility to find your Essen’s bottom and try it.

To rise up our morale again we ended the day playing Globz, a news great game from Gigamic with really nice components. The idea is simple (and like most simple ideas it works!): you have to decide if most or less and than reveal a card where there are some colored monsters. If you said “most” you have to take color/colors and monster/monsters that are most present in the card; if you said less it is the opposite. Great and funny. Caterina beat me three time in a row … I prefer to not share with you the final results to keep at least a bit of my honor!

See you tomorrow in the Messe. Good play!
Caterina and Liga


About Andrea "Liga" Ligabue

Andrea "Liga" Ligabue is a game expert contributing to many games related international projects including Gamers Alliance Report, WIN, ILSA Magazine and Boardgamenews. Member of the International Gamers Awards Committee is coordinator of Play - The Games Festival and founder of the project Ludoteca Ideale.
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5 Responses to Father in the Messe: day 2

  1. gschloesser says:

    Thanks so much for the wonderful reports! I must compliment you on your lovely daughter. Good to see her enjoying games!

  2. Dear Greg, I’m happy you enjoy our writings. I really hope to meet you again in Essen (I think it is the third year in a row you are missing) and hopefully some day in italy with your family at PLAY: the games festival.
    Good play

  3. Pingback: Father in the Messe: The Day After | The Opinionated Gamers

  4. I’m glad you enjoyed the game, it was very good to know you!

    I’m sorry you didn’t like the materials of Monster Chef (not Master Chef), so let me comment on this as I chose them.

    I beg to differ with your opinion they are actually among the best in the market! :)
    Our producer Ludofact delivered wooden tokens of excellent quality (60 in each box of 4 different colors) and 60 bridge size cards (300 g/m2 playing card carton, linen with black core and round corners).
    The die included is very simple I admit.

    All that for 15 eur, considering we’re at our first production I’d say it’s not bad, right?

    Hope to meet you again at the Play convention!

  5. Thank Daniele. That was the reason I Was not able to find the game on BGG nad I supposed it was a self-published. What I didn’t realized is that it was a 15 euros game. I really like publishers that don’t introduce in games expansive materials if not needed keeping prices low.

    See you on PLAY: the games festival, I hope.

    Good play and best wishes

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