With Essen Spiel 2015 coming in a matter of days, I’m sure many of you out there are eager to see, try and buy many of the games at the fair and most of you have done their homework by creating lists of games worth checking out (if no-one does this other than me and my friend, then we may have serious problem).

With that being said, I wanted to share with you my short list of games that caught my eye out from the awesome and mandatory Eric Martin Spiel Preview List as well as from the videos of The Dice Tower Essen Preview. I’ve divided them into two categories while looking into factors such as cost, theme, look etc. So, here we go!


  • Tides of Time: Build great civilizations and enjoy gorgeous art of gigantic ancient monuments and all that for ~10 Euros?! Give me five!
  • 7 Wonders Duel: I actually haven’t seen the gameplay but since I don’t own 7 Wonders, I decided to balance things out. Also, I’ve heard excellent stuff about this game and the Game + Goodies + T-Shirt pack for 30 Euros sounds pretty decent. Preordered!
  • Codenames: Besides the hype it received, I desperately need more fun party games like these to have something to play with non-hardcore gamers, so this one looks like it’s a perfect match.
  • Mistfall: I absolutely love the art in this one. I also saw Rahdo run through this one and it looks like it is a good game. Being a co-op is certainly a bonus seeing as I don’t have many co-ops in my collection.
  • Visby: Short card game with bluffing mechanic and simultaneous card playing. I also like the graphic design – simple but nicely done! Seems like it will be a great filler. Also, it’s only 5 Euros!
  • Stronghold (2nd Ed)Second Portal game in the list (first being Tides of Time), and I’ve heard great stuff about this one. As I’ve read somewhere, it will be more streamlined and some of the mechanics are redesigned to give a better experience than the first edition. The theme is also great: you get to wreak havoc on an enemy castle while your opponent will try to defend it (or vice versa). Props to Portal Games for building such a nice catalogue of games over the time!
  • Among Nobles: The theme and graphics really caught my eye here. It’s a game where you try to expand your family dynasty in feudal Europe and you get to start with two cards – a Lord and a Lady. Throughout the game you will add new members of the family through birth and marriage and as written in the Boardgamegeek description section “Games can be won and lost because of the right or wrong marriages.” – which actually sounds really fun!


  • Pax Pamir: Don’t know much about the game, but I am a sucker for gorgeous looking games! This is certainly one!
  • Mombasa: Again with the “Don’t know much about the game, but I am a sucker for gorgeous looking games!”
  • The Bloody Inn: A game where you get to be an innkeeper and you have only one goal – to become the wealthiest of all players. You can do that by serving your customers properly or by simply killing them and taking their possessions. What’s there not to like?
  • Mega Civilizations: A civilization game that can take 10 – 12 hours to complete is every civilization-game fan’s fantasy. Am I making sense here? Oh, and it is for 5-18(!!!) players and comes in a BIG WOODEN BOX.
  • Mafia de Cuba: A mafia game where all players get to open the Godfather’s cigar box (which has a false bottom) and choose to steal diamonds or stay honest. In the evening the Godfather gets his box back and the accusations and heated debates get started!
  • 504: You all know this one. This would be an Instant Buy if not for the price. But then again, you get 504 games for around 70 Euros. Who knows! I may have to try it.

Other games I may have to acquire that aren’t new releases are Roll For the Galaxy and Istanbul. I have played Istanbul and I love it. I have to own it. And Roll For the Galaxy has sooo many dice (drooling)!

So that’s it, there is my short list! This year I don’t know if I’ll have the time to lurk around the fair like last year, because, as some of you may have already heard, I am presenting my game Small Star Empires at the Author’s Workshop Booth (7-K106), so feel free to pop by and show me your own haul from the fair!

Until Essen!
– Milan