Hallo gamers. Here we are with the report of our second day of gaming. Today I have had to attend both the International Gamers Awards Committee lunch and also the presentation, so we are not been able to play as much as we (especially Caterina) would like but I think we got a good performance anyway.
The real problem is that Essen is also the opportunity for me to meet peoples I’m using to see just once every year and sometime (too often, according to Caterina point of view) I stop gaming to talk a bit.
Twin Tin Bots – Flatlined Games
Today I also discovered there is a kickstarter project I was not aware of, Twin Tin Bots: it is a new Philippe Keyartes game resembling RoboRally and since I’m totally crazy for RoboRally it looks promising. I know the kickstarter campaign will end the 15 of November so I’ll rush for it as soon as I’ll be back in Italy. Eric from Flatlined Games told me that the game will see the light anyway but without reaching the needed money with Kickstarter it will take more than one year. If you light the idea of a Philippe Keyartes game with robot and programmed movement that can be easily played in just one hour this one is for you!
Anyway, going back to my report, also today we was able to be at the Spiel really early, before the normal opening. I have a nice meeting with Adrien Martinot from Days of Wonders that offered me a review copy of Shadows over Camelot card game and it was nice, since we played it in the hotel this evening.
Lady Alice – Hurricane Games
Than we stopped at Hurricane booth to play Lady Alice. I was almost sure that, after Mystery Express and The Mystery Abbey, there was nothing new to say for this genre of games but Lady Alice has been a nice discovery. On the real light side of the series it a simple, quick and tense deduction games. Something is happen somewhere in London, at some times, made by someone with an object. Every player start with just a single piece of information (I knew, as example, the exact place).
During the turn a player try to guess making a complete hypothesis (who, where, when and using with) and all the players (including him) secretly tell if, according to their single bit of information, the hypothesis is true or false. During the game players can play some points (every one has 3 0s, 3 1s and 3 2s) on the possible information trying to bluff (using 0s) or out points on information they know or think are true.
Without going in the details I can say the game is really easy but challenging. Caterina rated it 7+ and says “Simple but nice. But, from the same publisher, I really prefer Mr. Jack”
Aztlan – Ares Games
After it was time to go to play Aztlan. We was so lucky to have the game explained by Roberto di Meglio from Ares, so we got an Italian explanation. Aztlan is a really nice and typical Colovini’s game but Areas was able to work on the theme and materials/graphics in a way that the game seems not too much abstract. On a map divided in regions of 5 different terrain types (mountains, fields, forests, cities and plains) players are placing and moving their Aztec warriors trying to occupy connected areas. The game last for 5 turn and you have to play a card each turn determinating the terrain you will score and the strength of your warriors (that range from 4 to 9). You can use every card just once in the game. Then, in turn order, you play y a single warrior anywhere in the map and that will continue until all the warriors are placed. Every time you place a warrior you can also move one already there. Than is time to fight: every warrior has the strength of the played card.
The winner of a battle can decide to remove the enemies from the mapboard or to let they stay: in that case he/she gets a special card and I have to admit that often is the most convenient choice.
Than everyone score according to the number of connected areas occupied by his warriors and the number of terrain of the chosen type occupied.
Than a new turn. In the end you get bonus point if you have mot used the most valued cards.
Really nice: unluckily also this time Caterina beat me … to bad! She rated 9 and says “The game works really well and it is really funny”.
Pescado – Steffen Spiele
Waiting the lunch we played a simple dice game, Pescado, where you have 6 tiles with 3 colors each and you have to roll 6 dice trying to get the right color to collect the tiles. You can keep some dice apart and make a second roll and than your turn is over. Nothing really great but not bad. Caterina rated 6 saying it is a good game for 5-6 years old kids.
International Gamers Awards Ceremony
Than it was time for the International Gamers Awards Cerimony where I was glad to offer some real Balasmic Winegar from Mondea to the winners.
(here me offering the balsamic from Cattini reserve)
(and here all the winners)
Fairy Land – Lo Scarabeo
We than meet Andrea Chiarvesio and get a copy of Fairy Land. I have already described the game here. What I have to add, after two games (one in the morning with 2 players and one this evening in the hotel with four players) is that it work really well. A real little jewel with also great materials and illustrations. Caterina rated it 9.5 and says “Wonderful the art and the game is great as much! I really liked it”.
Briefcase – Artipia Games
During the travel we stop to play Briefcase, a “build your production engine” game with a typical post-Dominion deck building core. You are trying to get points building production structures and activating. You have a deck with money cards, activation cards a stop cards and take 5 in your hands every turn. You can but resources (paying one money) or production buildings (paying 1, 2 or 3 moneys). You can activate a building using the right resources and playing an activation card or just produce with an already activated building doing the same.
Of course buildings are offering different points and advantages and it is a combo game combined to a deck-building one. In the last part of the game you can convert money from your deck in victory points. Again Caterina beat me (she is really a good player in “build your engine” games) and rated it 7 minus. I think I liked it a much more than her but it is a not so attracting theme for a 11 years old player.
Than we go to collect some other games and we played just a simple abstract game called Unites Square (somewhere in the 7 halls).
Legend: History of 1000 miglia – WBS Games
We also meet an Italian publisher I was not aware of (really stringe but is a new Publisher in hall 7) with an interesting game about “1000 miglia” (Legend, a car race that was run in Italy in the last century. I have not played the game but it looks they have had a lot of work in reconstructing the details and difference of the different cars. They have two version of the game: a gamer’s version (remembering Speed Circuit years) and a light version (they call “action game”). I think I’ll play it when I’ll be back in Italy hoping the rules and the mechanics are tested and accurate as much as the historical aspects.
At the hotel we played card games. Our idea was to play Al Rashid or Asgard but they was both heavy games and Caterina was a bit tired … we will have time once back in Modena.
Shadows over Camelot the Card Game – Days of Wonder
So we started with Shadows over Camelot card game; and we was lucky to have two gamers joining us. All the main aspects of SoC are there: the white/black swords, the missions, Merlin and Morgana, the cooperative structure and the traitor! There is also a nice memory component and really a lot of interaction between players. I hope to be back with a real preview in the future here but the impression was great both for me and Caterina.
We closed the evening with another Fairy Land play and Potion making practice.
Then, as soon as we reached the bedroom, Caterina felt asleep.
See you tomorrow in the Messe
Liga (and Caterina)