(Relayed through DaveO's friend Torsten Hintz)

Entry Five - 10/20/02

Hi Rick,


Essen is over and this probably the last "Postcard from Essen".


Today we tried the prototye of the Bohnanza boardgame "Bohn Hansa" which could

be played at the Amigo booth with the Author Uwe Rosenberg. We found that it

caught the atmosphere of Bohnanza, but that the gameplay probably need some

finetuning and that all of the game mechanicss doesn't interact at the moment.

The game is about travelling around between towns collecting beans and try to

transport them to a place they can be sold for profit. Travelling costs you

money and sometimes mission cards. These mission cards bring you the money, as

they tell you which towns need which beans at the moment. Once in a town you

can invite other player to come over and trade beans with you. Following

invitations to trade can bring you all over the board, at almost no cost. So

players can use this, even if they don't have the intention to trade, to move

large distances. We all thought that the invitation/trade part needs some work

in order to function properly. We all look forward how much this changes until



Todays diner marked the end of this day. We all were too tired to play any

games, especially because Dave has to get up *very* early tomorrow in order to

get to the airport. So we said goodbye and ended this years Essen fair weekend.

We hope Dave is able to come again next year... and maybe you will join him.





Entry Four - 10/19/02

Hi Rick,


>Thanks again very much for your update - hope you are having a great time.

>Wish I were there with you guys!


So we are waiting to meet you there next year ;-))


>I'm wondering if you guys are planning on trying the Eagle Games'

>Civilization - it looks good (it happens I loved the computer game...). I

>also heard a rumour here  that Mare Nostrum (Eurogames) did not finish in

>time for Essen...too bad!


Civilization looks awesome and from the first look I can tell we don't have a

table large enough to hold the board. This game has tons of components, like

little plastic armies and all the stuff you know from the computer game. But

Eagle game only shows its games, you can't play them at their booth, so we

don't know if tis any good. We also heard from no one who had actually played

it yet. So hopefully this is not just a hype, because everyone is buying that

game even at a price of 60 Euros.


There is only a prototype ready for play of Mare Nostrum showed to press people. We watched a round held in French and most of the game looks French only

too. We tried their 2 player games instead today and find that Tony & Tino is

the best of the three. Molly & Lore is a funny little game, but we weren't

overly impressed by Drake & Drake.


Saturday is the most crowded day and we completely missed Dave unitl the end of

the show. We didn't specificly made up a meeting point and just to find him

somewhere didn't work in all the people. So we tried Hellas (that with the tons

of German on the cards), but after playing we think "Odins Raben" is the best

of the three new 2-player games by Kosmos.


After the show we met Dave at the Bambus booth and had at least diner together.

We played the three new cardgames from Heidelberger Spieleverlag. "Thor" is a

reprint of "Flinke Pinke" that can be played with 6 players and there are new

action cards that do weird things. "Korsar" is a reprint of "Pirat". A cardgame

in which you try to capture the most valuable ships with you pirates. We never

played Pirat, so we can't tell the difference. But its a solid one from Reiner

Knizia. We only thought it wqill play better with more than just 3 players. The

third is "Delphi". A unique design, in which you try to build the most valuable

row of cards in several rounds. That was the game we had the most fun with, but

mainly because we all thought it is broken somehow. But you can perform some

weird and funny things, especially with the action cards.


Its 2:16 AM and again my bed calls me.. even louder than last night.




Entry Three - Friday 10/18/02

Hi Rick,


more updates from Essen. Its 01:36AM at the moment, so this will be very short.


>Thanks again for the excellent update - you now know the secret that your

>e-mails are being posted for all to see! I don't know where I got the idea

>that you were affiliated with Bambus...sorry about that. I will fix it

>tonight. If you do have a company affiliation, let me know and I will get it

>right this time!


No company affiliation.


Today we tried together the prototype of Michael Schachts upcoming game

"Industrialization". On the first glance a very good auction game. In each

round one player puts up to 4 item cards for auction (that could be industries,

researches and resources). If the other players bid, he can choose to take the

money or to take the card and pass the right to auction items to the next

player. Since money is rare you ust choose wisely between accepting money, or

keep the card for yourself. Object is to collect the most development points.

Building industries yield you development points and produce resources, which

will bring you money and are needed for advanced industries. Researches bring

only development points. The game is divided in several ages of the

industrialization, which have all ther own resources and industries. This is a

"you-want-to-do-everything-but-can't" kind of game with a very balanced game

play. We all found it very good. It will be published in Nürnberg next year by

Queen Games.


And we tried the new 2-player games by Kosmos. "Hellas" has a large card deck

with tons of German text on the cards. Too much for Dave, so he will have to

wait for the RioGrande edition of this one. "Odins Raben" is basically a race

game with cards. Each player has movement cards and special cartds that will

take influence on the race track. A very funny and fast game. Enjoyable. "The

Duell" is another game with the Lords of the Rings logo on it and it really

sucks. Not that it has an overlarge box with tons of components you won't need,

it also plays very bad. You play four consecutive duells in which one plays

Gandalf, the other player is the Balrog. In each duell 6 cards played out of a

hand of 9, the remaining 3 cards a re used in the final duell. Sinde the two

decks have similar cards nothing really happens in this game, only cancelling

each other out.





Entry Two - Thursday 10/17/02

Hi Rick,


just stumbled over your webpage and to prevent Günther Cornett from getting

angry, I must say, that I am not a representative from Bambus. ;-))


>Thanks for the update! Sounds like you guys are going to have a great time

>this week. Dave is not a fan of Carcassonne, so for him to say he likes

>Hunters and Gatherers says a lot!


Generally we found it to play faster and smoother than the original and the new

scoring mechanism makes it tougher. You won't get points for unfinished rivers

and woods (would be roads and towns in the original) in the end, so you always

have to finish them and can't build on and on and on. Also the bonus tiles add

to the game. You get to draw a bonus tile (which always has a positive effect

and yields you basically a second turn immediately) if you finish a wood with a

gold mine in it, independent from the fact if its your wood or not.


Dave wants to know if you have the additional race tracks for Turfmaster and if

not if you are interested to get them for about $15? (webmaster's note: I declined! 

Can't get anyone to play the game, anyway!)


You see, today was mostly used to buy games and pick up the preordered and

limited games. Tomorrow will be devoted to playing, among others we will try

Industrialization, the new game from Michael Schacht. It will be released next

year in Nürnberg. For several years now Michael offers a few playtesting rounds

with prototypes in Essen.


Dave tried the new games from Winning Moves today, but we left early today and

couldn't talk to him afterwards. I will write you tomorrow about it. You can

play Clans at Winning Moves, which will also be released only later this year.


My bed is calling right now, so I say bye, until tomorrow



forget to tell, we will play the prototype of the Bohnanza boardgame on sunday.





Entry One - Wednesday 10/16/2002

Hi Rick,


Dave asked me to write you a short note about Essen. He arrived well and has bought the first bunch of games before the show actually opens tomorrow ;-)


This evening we tried the new Caracassonne: Jäger and Sammler, which was very good, we all liked it. Dave said he would favor this one over the original. It has a somewhat different scoring mechanism and plays generally smoother than Carcassonne.