The Opinionated Gamers at SPIEL.digital, day 1 continued

Well, the Opinionated Gamers are located in 7 or 8 different countries and we’re all trying to experience SPIEL as we can.  The nice thing is that this year everyone has the opportunity to participate – not just the ones who were able to travel to Germany.  A few more reports…

From Simon W:

 

I’ve played all day and had great fun. I managed to get 3 game explanations in and watch another – So 4 new games in a day which is better than I do in Essen. 

 
Overall he experience was excellent. The first half an hour in nothing worked, but I guess they did some rapid fixes and we were in and playing by about 10:45. At Essen I love sitting down and being taught games, chatting to the explainer and the others at the table. Here I was able to do the same thing and it felt great to be participating!

 
Using Discord and getting into a game was a little bit messy: Often on the  spieldigital website itself, at an Exhibitor’s page,  there were no tables available but i found that if you take the discord link and then poke around in the Exhibitor’s channels you can talk to explainers, watch a game on Tabletopia or sometimes muscle in to play. It wasn’t that hard once you understand that everyone is using discord to talk to each other. 
 
Here is a very quick summary of the games I played: 
 
Monster expedition – Pfister does Splendor plus the Worm game. Roll dice and push your luck; then take a reward (monster card) which gives you points and often a small benefit . It has some extra touches, like a clever scaling mechanism for how many dice you roll which also compensates for low rolls. Timing on when to buy a cage for a monster (basically a draw of a random monster card instead of buying it from the display  and the card is worth about half) becomes important towards the end of the game. I liked it. 
Renature- superb abstract very Kiesling orientated product of the Kramer-Kiesling partnership. The components look superb from new company Deep Print. It’s a majority domino placement game, with a lot of depth in a small amount of time. Play a domino, possibly plant one of your wooden plant pieces; the size of the pieces you play in neighbouring areas will earn you points immediately and in a majority face-off when the area is surrounded by dominoes. So many clever choices in a small game. A must buy for me, I love it. 
 
 
 
Traintopia – short 30 minute filler with a Carcassone flavour but I would say it loses the simplicity of Carcassone for not much benefit. Place tiles or place meeples to score for certain things on your tiles or on your railroad. I wasn’t impressed but it is aimed at gateway gamers. I can take it or leave it. 
 
Tawantinsuyu-  It’s good but I am not yet convinced. We were kicked off after one round so I couldn’t tell how it would go in a full game. I am a bit allergic to anything that feels like a worker placement game with resource churning but this one has the twist of worker placement being affected by where you place your worker and how far from your priest the worker is. The colour of the worker also impacts the benefits you get. You start with two workers and can buy one each turn for a resource. Otherwise you are just collecting resources or cards which give you resources; and then use them to score points  The physical aspect of the temple shape was interesting and the game looks good. It does feel complex and the explanation took a good 45 mins, but I can’t yet judge how much of a point salad resource churned it is. Ideally I’d like to play again first but I will probably buy it. I like it. 
 
Simon

From Chris Wray – more of a report coming… but first a single comment

I liked the “theme worlds” page.  Clearly I like seeing all of the new product releases, although the BGG preview is a better way to do that.  I guess having pages for publishers is good, but it really isn’t that much extra work for me to just go to their web pages.  Few events interest me.
 
I know this was put together in a few months, and in that regard, I guess I am impressed, but this seems like a slightly more organized version of what Gen Con did.
 

to which RJ replies: “I would point out this is the Germans we’re talking about.”

 

Finally, my group is skimming the online stuff, but we’ve decided to play games at home.  Thus far, on the first day – 

More soon

 

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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