On the Radar: New Games at Essen 2012: Part 1

Posted by James (admin) on August 29th, 2012

It seems the Essen pre-hype began even earlier than usual this year with many, many new games being announced for release.  It’s interesting to see how many new publishers there are this year too.

I shall be posting about forthcoming games that have caught my attention.  As well as posting them, I have also added an Essen 2012 page where I will collate them as I go.  Hopefully, I will get a chance to play them at Essen and then review them too.

Here’re the first few:

Bora Bora (Stefan Feld / Alea)
Stefan Feld always seems to find some interesting game mechanic to place at the heart of his games (Trajan, Luna and many others).  In Bora Bora, players allocate dice to actions (the higher the number, the greater the effect of the action) and following players can use a previously used action but only with a lower value dice. So, a player could use an action with a low number and get little effect but would know following players would get even less out of that action.  Sounds neat (and humorously mean).

Aztlan (Leo Colovini / Ares)
It’s funny how it can take some time to notice you like a specific game designer’s games.  This game is designed by Leo Colovini so I checked what else he had done only to discover I have a lot of games by him and I like them too (Atlantis, Masons, Clans, Carolus Magnus).  Aztlan sounds interesting too.  From what I can tell, players secretly select a terrain type card (which determines where they get advantages) and then start placing meeple into regions for dominance (although can co-exist as well as fight) – players try to get control of areas whilst trying to figure out what terrain cards their opponents’ played so they know where they should pick their battles.
Check out more info on Ares’ site here: bga.me/aztlan

Rattus Cartus (Berg brothers / White Goblin)
I like the Berg brother’s games (Rattus and especially Oregon which is one of my favourite games) and the Rattus card game rules sound like it should be fun with some interesting mechanics that keep the theme and feel of Rattus but without directly duplicating it.
Check out more info on White Goblin site here: bga.me/rattuscartus

Balance of Power (Catalyst Game Labs)
Risk/Diplomacy looking game but using 3 types of unit that work in a rock/paper/scissors style.  On a turn a player gets one action with each type of unit and actions are to move, attack or duplicate themself.  Points are earned for controlling areas, capitals and your own country.  Sounds simple yet tactical and without any luck.  (This one just got released in the UK.)
Check out more info on the Catalyst site here: bga.me/balanceofpower

City of Horror (Asmodee)
I really liked Mall of Horror but it was broken as the person who controls the Security Room could hold it and win the game.  However, City of Horror is a mjaor re-working of the original game and looks like it will be the game the original one should have been with lots of new game mechanics.  Really looking forwards to this one.
Check out more info on the Asmodee site here: bga.me/cityofhorror

Call to Glory (Schacht / White Goblin)
Nice, simple card game.  Some push-your-luck element as you lay down sets of matching cards to get points but can’t add to them once they’re down and an opponent can take those points if they can lay down more cards of that type.  Players draw from the two draw decks or the two discard decks.
Check out more info on the White Goblin site here: bga.me/ctglory

 

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