My Essen Top Seven

Greetings gamers! As you are most likely aware, the world’s biggest board game festival is currently running in Essen, Germany. There are hundreds of newly released games that make their debut each year at Essen. While I have never attended Essen myself, this is the first year that I will be able to get a game directly from Essen. How? My close friend Jeremy will be attending on Saturday (and maybe Sunday). So I am going to have him pick up a game for me. The problem is I still cannot decide which game to get.

So here are my top 7 games debuting at Essen this year in no particular order:

Glass Road:

BGG Link:

# of Players: 1-4

Playtime: 75 minutes

Mechanics: Hand Management, Simultaneous Action Selection, Tile Placement

What looks cool: First, it’s by Uwe Rosenberg. Those games always seem good. Also, I love the look of the artwork. Finally, I think the tension of playing the same employee/worker card as someone else will make the game fun to play.

Coal Baron:

BGG Link:

# of Players: 2-4

Playtime: 70 minutes

Mechanics: Action Point Allowance System, Pick-up and Deliver, Set Collection, Tile Placement, Worker Placement

What looks cool: The artwork looks amazing and I’m a sucker for good art. The other thing that gets me is the combination of mechanics. The five mechanics listed could possibly be my five favorite mechanics.

Expedition: Northwest Passage:

BGG Link:

# of Players: 2-4

Playtime: 45 minutes

Mechanics: Action Point Allowance System, Tile Placement

What looks cool: Again, the artwork is drawing me in. I think this is a very clever game design in how the isomorphism of the tiles works. Also, it seems like a nice take on the tile placement mechanic where you need to work within the land/ice system that the tile combinations present.


BGG Link:

# of Players: 2-4

Playtime: 90 minutes

Mechanics: Not listed, but there is a rondel and ship building, which is usually enough for me (Shipyard, Navegador)

What looks cool: I think that the way ships are built and the way the rondel works seems nice and fresh. The artwork looks good. And this seems like a cool take on shipbuilding.

Russian Railroads:

BGG Link:

# of Players: 2-4

Playtime: 120 minutes

Mechanics: Worker Placement

What looks cool: A railroad game with great artwork? A railroad game with worker placement? Either of those would lure me in. Together they make this game one of my Essen Top 7. I know that another Madisonite will be having a copy of this so I may not choose this one, but it sure looks awesome!


BGG Link:

# of Players: 2-4

Playtime: 30 minutes

Mechanics: Area Control / Area Influence, Dice Rolling, Grid Movement, Modular Board, Variable Player Powers

What looks cool: Everything about this looks cool. The designer diary was awesome to read. The artwork looks exceptional! I love that there are variable player powers. I love that the core of the game seems to be a simple system on which the designer added a few layers of awesomeness. And I love the idea of balance between the ship characteristics. Plus, 30 minutes is a great play time for my game group.


BGG Link:

# of Players: 2-4

Playtime: 120 minutes

Mechanics: Area Movement, Dice Rolling, Worker Placement

What looks cool: As with all the other entries I love the artwork for this game. I don’t really know much about this particular game, but with that combination of mechanics I know that this game is interesting to me. The playtime is a little long, but it still looks cool.

Honorable Mention:

So this list is a little long, but there are just so many games debuting at Essen that I would love to own!

  • Cornish Smuggler – Which Jeremy pre-ordered
  • Caverna – But I don’t think I would get such a game to the table often enough.
  • Piwne Imperium – Not available for purchasing, but it looks totally awesome!
  • Canalis – A very nice looking tile placement game.
  • L’Aeropostale
  • Les Bâtisseurs – Moyen-Âge – Not available in English, but this game looks really sweet.
  • Dig Mars – I’m a big fan of Undermining and this looks similar.
  • Craftsmen
  • Francis Drake – This game is awesome. We got to demo it at GenCon and it was a ton of fun!
  • Bremerhaven
  • Lewis & Clark – I love the theme and I hope that the designers did the great journey correctly.
  • SOS Titanic – The way they sink the boat with the binder seems interesting.
  • Amerigo – Another Feld game? Of course I had to list it.
  • Canterbury – I was very close to backing this on KS, but didn’t. I wish I had!
  • New Haven – This game looks pretty good as well!


What games are you looking forward to? Isn’t Essen Spiel awesome?!?


Posted on October 24, 2013, in The Boards and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Jeg kunne ikke avstå fra å kommenterer. Perfectly skrevet!

    Jeg har surfet litt rundt på nettet for å se hvordan det står til med dere og
    det er ikke mye bra å finne, men jeg synes din blogg var bra og måtte bare
    kommentere den. Bra skrevet.

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