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Sunday, November 09, 2008


Impressionen von Essen

Howdy, folks. I know it's been a while since I've posted (but at least I've kept the cartoons up to date). At any rate, let me tell you what I've been up to.

Believe it or not, there's a major gathering of boardgame publishers every year in Essen, Germany. Now I've been to a few trade shows in my time, but Essen is in another category altogether. It's truly an international event covering a great deal of space - hall after hall with new games and happy people trying them out. Essen is open to the general public and the goal of the exhibitors is to get people to sit down and play yor game! I was there for two out of the four days of the convention and had the opportunity to try over a dozen games that I'd never seen before. Anybody who knows me knows that I'm a guy who's willing to give any new game a try and Essen put that to the test - there were so many games to try and so little time. Here's some highlights:

Stoneage (available in the US from Rio Grande Games) - In this game, players are leaders of primitive tribes. On each turn, players send their people out into the fields to harvest food, chop wood, dig for stone or (if you've got anybody left over) build a hut or other useful items. I can't wait to play this again.

Herr der Ziegen (Amigo Games, currently not available in the US) Ziegen is German for goat and in this game, each player is an alpha goat looking for the choicest specimens to add to his flock. The clever illustrations of goats in comical situations (rocking out like AC/DC, relaxing in a hot tub) add to the fun. While the instructions are in German, there is no text on the cards, making this a fairly easy game to pick up once you know the rules. A fun game for all ages.

Dominion (available in the US from Rio Grande Games) On the surface, this game looks like it would take a long time to learn, much less play. It's a card game where each player has their own deck of cards and each player has to build up that deck by selecting the best cards. During your turn, you play a card (Action), get new cards (Buy), and then get rid of any cards you can't use (Clean up). In other words, the game is as easy as A-B-C. If you're looking for a little strategy, a little light play and a whole lot of fun, give this a try.

More to come.

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