Essen Spiel Excitement, The Hype Lives! by Brandon Kempf
It seems for the past 6 months, we've been reading about and getting excited about the new titles coming to Spiel '17, much like the Holiday Season here in the States, the leadup just gets longer and longer every year. But that probably should be happening considering that as of writing, W. Eric Martin has compiled a list of 951 Titles that will be at Spiel '17. With that many titles, it seems quite silly to try to narrow down that list to 5 that I am looking most forward to, but that's what we do, we take the silly and make it the reality, or something like that.
I am leaving a handful of titles off of this list that I am really excited about, but folks all over have talked about them ad nauseum, so while they aren't going to be listed, just know that I am excited about Charterstone, Azul, Meeple Circus , QueenDomino & Venus Next, but we'll save that talk for another day. Here are five titles that I can't wait to get my hands on, that are coming to Spiel '17.
So, Otys has probably been on my radar longer than most of the others here, it was one of the first Spiel '17 titles that I kind of got excited about and that is first and foremost because of the pedigree of Pearl Games. Otys is designed by Claude Lucchini and from what I can gather this is his first published board game. Otys is set in the future, and water has engulfed the land and you are among a colony of survivors who dive the depths to bring materials to the surface from the past Civilizations that have long since disappeared. It's a diving game, so Oxygen management is crucial and each player has a team of divers that they are managing to get those materials to the surface to try to help build.
We'll follow up the "oldest" game I've been watching, to the newest. DragonsGate College is coming from NSKN Games and designers Thomas Vande Ginste & Wolf Plancke. I've only really had a couple experiences with titles from NSKN, and they haven't been the most positive, the generally have rule books that leave a lot to be inspired and game play that kind of matches that, in my opinion, but this one has something that has made me want to try again. In DragonsGate College you are in charge of Student Houses who are trying to be the most prestigious. Themewise it feels like Harry Potter meets fantasy and it uses two of our favorite mechanisms at the moment, Dice Drafting and Tile Placement. It just looks to be a really fun game, I just hope that looks aren't deceiving.
Another bag-building game from the designer who brought us Orleans, Reiner Stockhausen, is a must play. Altiplano after a quick rules read seems to be a bit more complex, a bit more planning is needed to execute the actions you want to pull off. Theme wise this time around we are in the South American highlands where we are delivering goods along roads that we are building and also storing those goods in what seems to be a bit of a set collection type of mechanism. We've enjoyed each and every play of Orleans so I am hoping this lives up to that pedigree. Plus, it's has that beautiful Klemens Franz art style.
The designer of Coup & The Chameleon takes on a set collection game with some auctions and press your luck mechanisms. In Senators players earn money by buying resources, extorting resources and then selling them in sets back to the bank. The money used is a necessity to support your wars, to defend against those who would come after your resources and to buy more Senators. Really simple game play, really interactive and somewhat confrontational, this should be another hit for Rikki Tahta and La Mame Games.
Majesty: For the Realm
This one, I am basically going all in over based on recommendations of a couple folks who have tried it. Hans Im Gluck seems to not want to release the rule book prior to Spiel '17 so I can't really say much about it at this point. But this is the next game from Splendor designer, Marc André. Yes, yes, I know, Brandon, you didn't like Splendor. Which is entirely not true, I just became bored with Splendor after a dozen plays or so. Which may happen here as all signs point to it being another simple game engine building game of sorts, but, I'm willing to take a shot.
That's the five titles I am most interested in learning more about come Spiel '17. I should also add that there are a few expansions coming that I really excited about as well including, Flamme Rouge: Peloton, Adrenaline: Team Game Expansion, The Bloody Inn: The Carnies, Magic Maze: Maximum Security, Isle of Skye: Wanderer & maybe most importantly, some extra tiles for NMBR 9.
It's a good thing I'm not going to Spiel '17, I would have only been able to come home with the clothes on my back and a suitcase full of games and I probably would have had to brought two. Let me know in the comments what you are excited about and better yet, let me know if I should remain excited about anything I have mentioned!!