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Gathering of Engineers

Ludographic considerations from the Silicon Forest

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Games from Essen

Essen has come and gone, and it's time to review the purchases. So far I have 73 games listed as bought. (So far because I have a couple of boxes being shipped and I'm not entirely sure what was in them, so the total may be higher.)

First of all, the games that were new to me at Spiel 2005. Some of them I played before buying: Aloha, Freya's Folly, Kaivai, Lucca Citta, Timbuktu. Others were bought because others whom I trust had played or recommended them: Antike, Caylus, Die Baumeister des Krimsutep, Jenseits von Theben, Rotundo. Yet others I had a brief run through of and I thought they sounded interesting enough to buy: Big Kini, plus expansion, Celtic Quest, Movie Maker, Third World Debt, Whisky Race. Others I bought purely on faith or some particular reason: AoS expansion #4 (it's AoS dude!), AoS Reunion Island/Lunar Expansion (partly for the box to keep expansions in!), Byzantium (Martin Wallace is on my favorite designers list), Carcassonne: The Discovery (with free River II expansion; I like Carcassonne, and because of the exclusive deal with Funagain this saves me having to order from them specially), Fiese Freunden Fette Feten, Power Grid France/Italy (PG is one of my favorite games, and FF is another of my favorite designers), Helden & Zaubersprueche (expansion for Zauberschwert & Drachenei), Shear Panic (preorder).

There were quite a lot of older games that were on my list to look out for, either because they are difficult to get at home or because they are cheaper in Germany: Big City, Die Weinhaendler, Geschenkt, Im Auftrag des Koenigs, Im Schatten des Soennenkoenigs, Meuterer, Mississippi Queen: Black Rose, Quo Vadis, Razzia, Verraeter, La Citta, Lost Valley, Bus, Cannes.

There were also a bunch of games that were included free (or dirt cheap) with other games I bought: Ahoy, Titicaca, 2*Typo (buy Aloha/Ahoy, get Titicaca + 2*Typo free - I prefer to view it as Aloha/Titicaca, get Ahoy + 2*Typo free), Fruit Bandits (free for buying 3 JKLM games), Ur 1830 BC, Voc, Oraklos (for extra 10E with Bus & Cannes, which themselves were only 10E each), Badaboom (from Chris, extra copy received as trade for Havoc, I think).

I also picked up a few games for younger children for Cathy to try at school for their games program: Alles im Griff, Der Kleine Prinz, Geister & Gespenster, Im Maerchenwald, Lange Leitung, Moemmen, Schlauer Bauer, Schweins-Galopp, Geistertreppe (Kinderspiel des Jahres 2004). I don't expect to have any of these hit the table with my regular gaming groups. Useful to have around as well, if people with younger kids come over.

That leaves a few that were bought because they were cheap and/or recommended by others: Limits, Nicht die Bohne, Ole, Sabuca. None of these cost more than 3E - about 3.50. I also managed to pick up the wrong game for a couple of titles: Razzia (the old Stefan Dorra version), Die Weinhaendler. I'm not sure how I managed to confuse that last one, it's a board game rather than a card game. Looks interesting anyway, although it doesn't have a great Geek rating.

Finally, the totally impulse buys. 6 Nimmt in the metal case, because I was going to get the special expansion only available with that set and being issued at Essen. (In the end the expansion cards had been misprinted, and it was withdrawn by Amigo.) The compact version of Quo Vadis, which I didn't know was available until I'd already bought the full size version. Blokus Duo. (Most likely it's only me and Graham who'll play Blokus, so a compact, 2-player version seemed fair.) Carolus Magnus. (I've always fancied this one, and it was shrink wrapped.) Pompeji from Adlung, and a handful of older Adlung card games that were 5 for 10E.

And there you have 73 games. Total cost was just over $950. Estimated cost at on-line discount price, just over $1450. Kinda hard to compare directly, because a lot of them either aren't available here (13) or are too new to be available (27). Where I couldn't find a US price I just used what I paid. More than likely the prices at Funagain or Boards & Bits would be higher to allow for shipping charges, so I may be understating the difference.

There were a few games I tried that I didn't buy: Railroad Dice 2 (all luck of the dice thrown, no real planning or strategy), Socks in the City (just didn't seem to be much game play there), King's Progress (just didn't grab me), Skyline of the World (OK, but wasn't sure how much space I had left in suitcase/boxes). There were also a few that I got a brief outline or run through of the game, and decided not to go further. There were many games I would have liked to have tried, but never made it to them all.

I'm sure that some of those I bought will be proved to be klunkers after playing them once, but that's the risk you take when buying games without having someone else be the guinea pig first. I've only recently started buying games, so those more than 3 years old are ones I probably missed first time around, and hence the large number of older games in my haul. My next trip will more likely focus on the newer games.

That puts my Euro collection at 246, and I'm going to have to clear some shelf space to accomodate them. Fortunately I still have lots of ornaments and knick knacks in the dining room that can be moved to other display cases and shelves to make space. (Honest, dear, these would look far better in the entertainment center in the living room....) More of the wargames can be moved into the closet upstairs, leaving only those I'm really interested in and are likely to get played. (Columbia block games mostly.) I'll probably put a few games into the next auction day at our FLGS. I may yet do some more eBay, but I'm down to the last few that I either am not too interested in parting with or really aren't going to fetch enough to be worth the bother.

Everyone should be aware that November 20-26 is National Games Week. So get out there and speak to your local school or library about putting on a special event. Also check out the National Games Week web site.


  • At 5:06 PM, Blogger Dug said…

    Dude, you make me look sane.

  • At 5:09 PM, Blogger Mike said…

    Nah, that's impossible.... :)

  • At 2:32 PM, Blogger Eric said…

    Nah... he's no worse than me the first time I went to Historicon.

    THAT was an expensive trip.

    Of course, I'm sure my first Essen will run up quite a tab as well.

  • At 3:32 PM, Blogger Mike said…

    I started collecting late, so I have a lot to catch up on. Especially since a lot of these are now hard to get. The next Essen will see fewer games bought and a higher %age of new releases. I hope!


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