Boardgames To Go 207 - Essen, Fairplay, and the A La Carte Awards


Manage episode 345853686 series 1442
โดย Mark Johnson และถูกค้นพบโดย Player FM และชุมชนของเรา -- ลิขสิทธิ์นี้เป็นของผู้เผยแพร่ ไม่ใช่ Player FM โดยมีการสตรีมเสียงโดยตรงจากเซิร์ฟเวอร์ผู้เผยแพร่ กดปุ่มติดตามเพื่อติดตามการอัพเดทใน Player FM หรือวาง URL ฟีดนี้ไปยังแอพพอดคาสท์อื่น

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Opener: 7Seas (Or Scopa, if you want to learn the original) Remember when I used to do "Essen Anticipation" episodes? I know I did several in the past, but it's been a while. This year, Essen sort of snuck up on me. I went through the preview tool on BGG, but never managed to completely make it through. The tool is easier to use than ever, and now includes all of the things I need in a preview (designer, publisher, photo, brief description, and link to more). And's just too much. Is it too much in an absolute sense? Too much for anybody? Too much for a healthy hobby and industry? I don't know about all of that. I just know that it's now too much for me. Which isn't too say I'm no longer enthusiastic about Essen--I merely let it kind of wash over me, not trying to keep up. I'll certainly hear about the consensus picks for the best new titles, and I may also find out about some more obscure ones for oddball reasons--perhaps my thematic interest, a friend stumbled across it, a weird speculative purchase on whatever! This year my "Essen episode" starts with mentioning how close I was, on a business trip to Germany and the Netherlands just a few days before Essen. But I didn't make it to Spiel. I bought some games from Europe...but I "cheated" by ordering from instead of packing from local shops into my luggage to bring home.

(The Essen coffee mug is my favorite and lasting purchase from Spiel when I last went in 2016. I may not even own any of the games I purchased then, but I always enjoy this mug!) At any rate, when I went through most of the enormous Essen preview list, only this handful of oddball titles were the ones most interesting to me. Several are demos, most are oddly personal thematic choices that may not prove to be good games (they rarely do!), but they're my personal choices. Not recommended for everyone!

For a more universal, reliable recommendation list of new titles from Essen, you should look to the Fairplay Scoutaktion report. These are the annual feedback collections that Fairplay magazines collects at their Essen booth from any gamer who stops by to share their rating. On the one hand, lots of games are barely demonstrated at Essen, so the ratings may not be based on informed plays. On the other hand, they've been doing these Scoutaktion reports for decades, and they've proven to be reasonably good barometers for the hits of Essen. A long while back, I tried to do some analysis of their track record, and as I recall it just made some errors of omission sometimes. So take a look at the final list of top-rated games from this report. I also recommend Ben Bruckhart's article about this list at Opinionated Gamers. This remains one of the better websites/blogs about our hobby. Ben also takes a retrospective look back at the list from the previous year, something I appreciate.

Finally, another great thing about Fairplay magazine is their annual ranking of the best card games. This is called their A La Carte prize, and I've repeatedly found nice surprises on these top ten lists. Especially since small card games may not be made in English language editions, and can go undiscovered even in 2022.

Closer: At a management retreat for my job I brought a bunch of games. One person had requested them, but really this represented hope that I might get a group of coworkers to enjoy them with me. These days I'm a lot smarter about what to suggest in those settings, and after the recording I was successful! We played Just One and it was an enormous hit. -Mark

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