Back from Essen – Spiel 2013

We are back from Essen with 22 boxes this year Spiel 2013 – this will take us a week or 2 to open, punch-out and read through all the games rules to initiate some “private series” and play with them for the 1st time with our Boardgame Monkeys members.



We started the unboxing yesterday of Legacy – The Testament of Duke De Crecy that we bought from Portal Games in deluxe version + goodies (tokens & 7 special mansion cards), as well as Caverna from Lookout Games that has more than 200 wooden tokens. Since we did not have Agricola in our possession, we rectify this by jumping straight onto Caverna that can be played up to 7 players. Amongst other things, we have the Kickstarter version (full blown add-ons) from Dark Darker Darkest edited by Queen Games, the giant version of Takenoko from Matagot, the deluxe version (limited to 2000 samples) of The Witches from Treefrog Games.

Reviews and details will be provided in the coming weeks (yes, weeks – as we have now a serious stock of games to play, aside of the 10 imported games from the US from 2 weeks ago).





Essen Live Coverage on BoardgamegeekTV

You cannot make it to Spiel 2013 in Essen this year ? No Panic, we found an alternative option for you – follow the live feed from BoardgamegeekTV. You’ll be able to have a peek of what’s happening live over there ! There is a chat where you can exchange thoughts on the right-hand side of the video. You can find the schedule over here.


Essen 2013 – Games Selection

You will have within this post the overview of all boardgames & game editors we’re watching out for at Essen 2013, This compilation holds a list of pre-ordered games that will join the collection of Boardgame Monkeys as well as the hand-picked list of booths we plan to check out during our stay. This might inspire you for your own list. The PDF version is available here.

By the way, you can find all the hall plans from Messe – Essen here to draft your route along the 3 exhibition halls.

1-A104 CZECH GAMES EDITION T-zolkin 35 € / Galaxy Trucker HIGH
1-C124 GAME SALUTE Storm Hollow (coop game) / etc.. HIGH
1-D121 QUEEN GAMES Speculation / Via Appia / Alhambra / Amerigo / Maharani / HIGH
1-D126 GRY LEONARDO Nehemiah LOW
1-D137 MAGE COMPANY 12 Realms LOW
1-F101 STRAGOO Mafia City Addon’s LOW
1-F131 KUZNIA GIER Kingpin: Cartel add-on (8 new tiles) LOW
1-F145 JIRASGAMES Nowheresville LOW
1-F160 TREEFROG GAMES Fields Of Glory (15€) / Discworld (The Witches limited ed. 45€) HIGH
2-F136 MERCURY GAMES The capitals LOW
3-B108 + 3-K106 ASMODEE / YSTARI Spyrium / Prosperity HIGH
3-B118 KOSMOS La Boca HIGH
3-D106 EGGERTSPIELE Rokoko / Time ‘n’ Space MEDIUM
3-D109 GIGAMIC Stratopolis / Color Pop / Marrakech MEDIUM
3-E100 THE GAME MASTER Countdown: special ops LOW
3-E102 DAYS OF WONDER Relic Runners (english version) MEDIUM
3-K103 ZMAN GAMES Robinson Crusoe / Glassroad / Tash Kalar HIGH
3-M109 IELLO Andor / Steam Park HIGH
3-M110 PEGASUS SPIEL Rialto / Dokumenta Art / Mage Wars / Mars Wurfel HIGH
3-N102 INDIE BOARDS & CARDS GAMES Gauntlet of Fools HIGH
3-O101 JAPON BRAND Love Letter (version Seiji Kanai) MEDIUM
3-P118 SIT DOWN /  GROSSO MODO Rockwell / Nosferatu HIGH
3-P118 LUDONAUTE Lewis & Clark MEDIUM
3-Q114 WHITE GOBLIN GAMES Artifact / Rattus LOW
3-R109 QUINED GAMES Carson City / Homesteaders / Reef Encounters / HIGH
3-S118 PASSPORT GAME STUDIOS Ace Detective / Cast-away (naufrages) LOW

Essen 2013: pre-orders ideas

Hi All,

Another post about Essen Pre-Orders, following the one about Repos Production. I did a check on various game distributors for some cool pre-orders to make. So let me share with you a few games that are for Boardgame Monkeys worth pre-ordering :


White Goblin Games has a few good pre-order packages available. Especially if you like Rattus and haven’t any boxes yet, a package might be worth for you ! If you want to discover more about Rattus and other games have a look on Boardgamegeek. Rattus and Rattus Cartus were published in 2010 with a few expansions in 2010-2011 and was a 2011 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee. Read some reviews of the game over here or here. Tip: if you missed some goodies from previous Essen Exhibitions, you can also pre-order them on the website.

essen2013preorder-dastworkThe Italians from Dast Work are proposing a steampunk card game called C.O.A.L. that has a pretty good rating on Boardgamegeek. This is a 2 to 4 player game (that plays well for 2 people). Here’s the pitch:

In a world where computers have never been invented and coal is the most precious resource, a group of brave pilots board their armored Steambots, take their place in the pilot seats of these 30-feet-tall, steam-powered fighting machines, and drive them into fierce arena battles.This is C.O.A.L.: Combat-Oriented Armored League, a two- to four-player card game with a steampunk setting. C.O.A.L. uses an original game mechanism that combines resource management, bluffing, and memory to simulate the heat of a real battle. The game includes four Steambot models – each with its own features, attacks, and defensive maneuvers – and eight different pilots, which have special piloting abilities of their own.

C.O.A.L.: Combat-Oriented Armored League includes customized rules for two-player games, for battles with three or four players, and for two-vs-two partnership games. Deck-building rules are included for advanced players who want to combine parts to build different Steambot models. Duels are quick, typically ending in about ten minutes.

We got an explanation on the Steambot card: there are 80 of them in the game, divided in 4 different decks of 20 cards each. Considering that there are two copies of each card, C.O.A.L. contains 40 different cards. You can discover more about the anatomy of the game cards in this forum. The game cover and card illustrations are the work of Alan D’Amico, who has worked for Games Workshop previously.  Retail price will be 25 € but discounted at ~20€ if you pre-order the game on their website.

Portal games is also having some pre-orders for Theseus, Legacy and the expansion of Robinson Crusoe (nominated for “Best Game Of The Year 2012” and “Best Game Theme 2012” of the Dice Tower Awards.

yhst-31180761784268_2272_2007807 yhst-31180761784268_2270_21237255Bezier Games will have a Suburbia expansion in pre-order and an interesting murder/mystery deduction game called Ultimate Werewolf.

Quined Games has interesting pre-orders; special mention for American Rails where each player assumes the role of a wealthy capitalist managing a portfolio of stocks and bonds in six fictional railroad companies.

Last but not least, have also a reading on the website of Czech Games Edition – although pre-orders are not open yet – you will see what’s coming up from them for essen.

Don’t forget that there are several regular game stores that sell their current stock at decent prices and they usually bring some Essen special offers, too. Among those are AllGames4you and Spiele Offensive. You may also get special discounts if subscribe to their newsletters etc. – so good tip is to register to those 🙂 .

Essen’s Game Selection: Banjooli Xeet

623-BanjooliWhile we’re currently working on our complete “wishlist” for Essen 2013, below a peek on a couple of games that we’re really looking forward to. Why share this now ? We realized that some people are actually preparing their very own list of games to look after at Essen !

What is Essen all about ? It’s the biggest boardgaming (yearly) event in Europe. It takes place  in a huge exhibition hall: Messe Essen.

Our goal is not to give you a full exhaustive list of games that will come out for Essen, but a peek on what we believe to be games to look out for.

Banjooli Xeet is a small & familial race game with some fun looking ostrich theme and some dices to gamble. Could be a lot of fun with some kids.



The author Diego Ibañez  is from Equador who published Las Torres de Zoraida (he was finalist from the contest Creación de juegos Ciudad de Granollers). Curious about how the game looks like; have a look on the “open the box” youtube video from 5 minutos por jeugo. Have also a look at the Boardgamesgeek page for more information (did you notice the average rating given is 7.38/10).