After that we gone to our appointment at Giochi Uniti’s booth to try Rhein River Trade, a game from Zhanguo’s designers, announced years ago and close to be released. If you remember I told you to avoid sessions with the designers but I discovered there is something really worse: have a session with the designer commenting the game with one of the most verbose and chatty Italian’s blogger. Me and Caterina were stunned! I don’t know if it was the pleasure to have a all Italian speaking table or just the desire to make us really understand how the game is but it took endless time just to take few turns. Nicoletta and his housband were great in explaining us all the details and it was for me a surprise to discover how long has been the development time of this game. Talking with designers about design is something I love (you can read my series of interview here) but Caterina’s is just 14 and she need to move and play! The game looks interesting and I hope to see it soon published. You have to fulfill contracts bringing your goods along the Rhein using your trucks or common transports including airplanes, boats and trains. Public transports are quicker but you have to pay: for each kind of transport you have 3 different companies (colors) from the more expensive (but really quick) to the cheaper and slower one. The idea is to organize your cargo movement and costs at best, according to the contracts you took, since, in the end, money are victory points. It looks fine (I think it needs just some small fixing in the graphics and materials but the rules are OK) and it seems to offer different strategies.
Unluckily the time is running really fast and we have time just for the last game. We found a free Mombasa‘s table at Eggertspiele booth and after the rules explanation from a really competent girl (she was the one explaining us Rokoco last year: mr Eggert please confirm here for the 2016 edition!) we were able to play 2-3 turns. The game looks great with a lot of different possibilities in the usual successful designing trick to offer players much more opportunities to score than actions. Does it will survive after 4-5 sessions ? Does it will be still played in front of the good number of similar games ? We really don’t know but the game looks very good and Caterina, letting the table, says “It is a great game. I was just planning the next 3 turns” while, indeed, I was just finishing to get in all the rules … but there is no choice for a 43 old brain against a just 14 years old thinking machine!
After dinner we went back to the hotel where we join some friends from Denmark in a 4-players Sapiens play. We can confirm it is a really well designed game and it works fine also with 4-players. I really wish it will arrive in Italy.
We ended our day of gaming playing Expo 1906, a game from Remo Cazadori and published by a new company: Gotha Games. The game works around your lab’s mini-board where you have to organize your projects. Every project has some resources’ requirements and you have to play projects and resources on your lab making sure every project is connected by the needed resources. The idea of the game is to play resources in an optimal way to connect more projects. Every resource tile has two resources on it and find an optimal solution for the problem is quite brain-consuming. During your turn you play and action card. Possible actions are: take money, buy resources, buy projects and/or technologies, progress in knowledges, organize your lab or just organize a meeting. You can’t play an action card just played by the preceding player and playing a meeting card trigger the end of the round and all the players take back all the played cards.
The mechanic around the puzzle-solving lab organization work fine and it could be nice choice if you are looking a real brain-burning game.
Something we have learnt about Essen 2015 edition before our last post that will be about rankings:
– it is nowdays impossible to attend Essen. You can try to attend a small part of it but 3-4 days are not enough to have an idea of what’s going on. 700 publishers means that just taking 1 minute for each (the time to walk in the booth and read something) we will cost you something close 12 hours that is almost two days of visit if you consider eating, resting a bit and so on. So you have to be luckily and find something really good in the small part you are able to visit.
– 7 Wonders Duel sold 1800 copies and publisher and designer were happy. Other game sold-out their 200-300 print-run and the publishers were happy. Someone were happy just having good player’s feedback for their games and a mention on a blog or BGG. Some players were happy to buy 50 or more games, other were happy having played the top-rated games or finding the old “Move-that-meeple-and-take-this-action-getting-this-point” edition they were looking for. That means that if you work fine setting your “hapiness level” Essen could be a real good affair.
– We always end playing a lot of Italian’s titles. That is quite silly since we can do that easier in Italy.
– We like a lot gamers game. The games we are talking about more often during our dinners or travels from Messe to Hotel are hevier ones!
– In Essen you can meet your dreams. The Spiele des Jahres and the Goblin were just examples but I’m sure in the halls there were also Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, the LEGO figures and Unicorns (there is much more but since this blog can’t publish adult content I just stopped here).
Best wishes and good play
Liga & Cate
Thanks for the wonderful reports, Andrea! Wow, your little Caterina is sure growing up fast and has become quite a beauty!
Really enjoyed reading your reports on Essen! I was just there for one day and it became quite a stressful experience. When I read about your stay, i’m thinking it’s probably better to take more time than that.
One day ? It is just enough to figure out how The halls are connected orvwhere you can find the spiral potatos …
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Love the blog Andrea, i was only at the fair on Thursday for 4 hours and it was very stressful it was also the first time going alone which turns out can be quite boring. I played a few games and bought the ones I was looking for and in the end enjoyed it but I could not imagine spending 4 whole days there, and I only live 30 minutes away from the Messe :)