Category Archives: essen


Conversation today, about bringing games home from OMGESSEN!

Me: “… and I got all these card games, because I figured they were effectively free.

Other person: “What do you mean, free?”

Me: “Well, they didn’t take up any space in my luggage, because I could fit them inside other games. And they only cost about 5 Euros each!”

Fraser: “So the free games cost $10 each then?”

Me: ooops …

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 9, 2008 in essen, games


Unexpected Saturday gaming

Alan had rung during the week to see whether the OMGESSEN! games were available for play at some stage. We rang him today and he came round to see what could be squeezed into a couple of hours.

Answer: Sylla (Dominique Ehrhard, Ystari games).

We played this with 3 (felt it would be a bit much for the Bigster).

Consensus: Liked it a lot.

Nice bidding game where the relative values of 3 main products of value may fluctuate. We each took different tactics: I went for Christians, Fraser  went for the power of the cube (Vestal Virgins and Legionnaires), Alan rejoiced in the power of being First Consul. I was way outclassed in the money stakes and found it hard to keep up – I needed to just opt out of something else and spend a round saving up, I think. I was mostly ahead in Thematic Hexagons (TM Fraser) at the start but spent too many of them early, I think. Don’t think I ever bought more than one building in a round.

Results Fraser 83, Alan 78, Melissa 70. I had been a LOT further behind than that but my many Christians and freed Slaves helped me to improve my position.

Keen to play this again. But first, I need to re-read the rules to see what we played wrongly 🙂


Posted by on November 8, 2008 in essen, games


Friday night game night – more from OMGESSEN!

Five for games tonight, which ruled out a few of the new games we were keen to try including Le Havre (repeat after me: Only play with 5 if ALL are experienced).

We kicked off, instead, with Cockroach Salad. This was fun and light (the kids’ rules make it WAY too light) but we got bored so threw it in after 20 minutes or so. I think it would be funner to play it much, much faster.

Next to the table was Der Name der Rose (Stefan Feld, Ravensburger). I hear that this is a remake/retheming of has similar mechanics to Heimlich & Co, which I’ve not played.

We enjoyed this game very much. It’s a nice, fairly light deduction game with lots going on. A couple of questions (do you reset the time track at the start of each day? We decided not) and a couple of warnings from BGG (Look at the white monk and the grey monk before you play), and we were fine.

Note to self: Check BGG for event card translations. Otherwise, do some. This is the only language-dependent component in this game.

Time on box: 75 minutes. We estimate that it took us a little over an hour to play tonight, including rules. Should be 45-60 minutes for a full game once the rules are known. Recommended.

Next we tried Sushizock im Gockelwok (fun) and Manimals (as expected, better with 4).

Will aim to write proper reviews/recaps of some of these later. These are first impressions.


Posted by on November 8, 2008 in essen, games


OMG I am on eBay!|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318


Even more frightening: Someone has bid on it.


Edit: Even more frightening: This one sold. For 8,30. Wish I had got Uwe to sign a few for me!|65:13|39:1|240:1318


Posted by on November 2, 2008 in essen, games


Saturday new OMGESSEN! gameapalooza – not

Bounced off excitedly for Eurogamesfest, our monthly games day. We had both kids in tow, as neither wanted to go to their grandparents’ today (they wanted to stay with me).

Played some more Black Stories in the car. Biggie is going to go through all 50 cards in no time.

My day kicked off with Palais Royale with JC and Ryan. Ryan won by a point from JC. It does seem to lend itself to close results – probably not a bad thing.

Otto wanted a game so we played a couple of hands of Quick – she had the cards open, I played by the usual rules. It was still quite a bit slower for her, so we stopped fairly quickly and I persuaded her to try Beep Beep.

This game by Reinhard Staupe is published by Valley Games. I’ve seen it described as a cross between  Blink (Speed) and Halli Galli, which seems pretty accurate to me.

Each player has 2 animal cards in front of herself, and there are 5 larger piles in the centre of the table. In the middle of  those is a rubber car that squeaks when you whack or squeeze it. The purpose of the game is “to avoid running over animals”. You do that by collecting an animal card that matches the one on top of one of your piles in either colour or shape. So a purple turtle could go on a purple duck or a green turtle, for example. Players all play at once, as fast as possible. The winner is the player with the most cards in her smaller pile. Meanwhile, if there are ever three of the same kind of animal or three animals of the same colour on top of the five piles, a player can hit the car – beep beep! She then takes 2 of those animals and places them face down beside her piles – they will count towards her score whichever pile is lower.

This is a nice little game and one that the kids really enjoyed. And the adults too. Unfortunately, Otto cracked it when the Bigster took a pink turtle as part of her booty after she hit the car. Screams and carrying on – this was the tantrum that had been building since I got home, and what a tantrum it was! I took her for a walk to the local park – she screamed and yelled all the way – and let her play for a bit. But it was cold and I was cranky, and she announced that she was NOT going to behave for the rest of the afternoon. This last in a reasonably polite way, just it was clear that she wouldn’t settle – so instead of playing Le Havre with Stefanie and Vince, I got to take her home instead.


Oh well – I slept most of the afternoon. Which meant she ended up with the treat of computer time, but I really wasn’t able to stay awake without other people there to help me.

Meanwhile, Fraser played Duck Dealer and another group played Ghost Stories. I saw the Bigster playing Manimals at one point, too. We shall see what else was explored.

1 Comment

Posted by on November 1, 2008 in essen, family, games


Friday night new OMGESSEN! gameapalooza

Vince and Anja came over for games.

This was a good thing, as it was possibly the only thing that was EVER going to get me out of bed again. I am still OMGSOJETLAGGED coupled with OMGCaughtBiggie’sCold. Or possibly Hay Fever. Will experiment with antihistamines today. Basically, though, I am awake in the early morning and in the late evening and that’s about it – the rest of the time I am completely wrecked.

Before they came, though, we played a couple of cards of Black Stories with the Bigster. This is that old game that you play when you go on school camps, where someone tells a very summarised (usually gruesome) story and the other players have to work out the full story by asking yes/no questions.

For example:

  • Two men are eating dinner in a restaurant. One of them runs outside and kills himself. Why?
  • A woman walks intto a bar and asks for a glass of water. The barman pulls out a rifle and aims it at her. She thanks him and leaves. (This from the game, but I remembered it from my schooldays)

Bigster enjoyed them although she needed some help framing appropriate questions. Otto asked random questions that often just restated the basic premise – but enjoyed it and felt that she was playing too.

Once Vince and Anja arrived, the game selection AP kicked in. Anja was interested in Krakow or Agricola. Vince was keen to try Le Havre. Somehow, we ended up playing Duck Dealer. 

The rules explanation (reading & summarising straight from the rules) was a bit long and confusing but the game itself was much simpler. Basically, you collect actions (trade, movement, building) until you are ready to go and take one long series of actions to get points and resources. It is a bit like Ticket to Ride in the way that players tend to collect, collect, collect — then someone goes and does stuff and everyone else follows.

We enjoyed it. It ran around 2.5 hours for us and as I was very tired that might not have been the best way to go. We all felt that we would like to play it again (and more competently). The bits and layout worked well and we all enjoyed the different ways to build things. My favourite was blue paint plus beads equals blue pills.

Vince won with 67, then Fraser 45, me 42 and Anja 33. I just needed the Space Diner at the End of the Galaxy card and victory would have been mine.

Ooops, mixing games up again.

Game day today and I am taking my OMGESSEN! loot – Fraser is hoping to play Duck Dealer again. I’m hoping to try Dominion and then Vince and I both want to play Le Havre later. Ghost Stories is another that I’m keen to try.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 1, 2008 in essen, games


Thursday night new OMGESSEN! gameapalooza part 2

Ghost Stories won the draw and we sat down to play. After the third time when I had to ask, “huh?” we knew that I was too tired to take it in. Save that for another day.

Instead, we played a couple of the Adlung card games I picked up.

First was Titanic – le mythe. Yes, somehow we have a French box for this game. English rules are not good, German are a little better. It was fairly pedestrian, but might be better with more players. Very short, so worth one more try anyway. Fraser won by a long way, 19:7

And then we played Manimals, the game that has spawned a series. It was – hmm – again, we think it would be better with a group. And I think Biggie will really enjoy it. I won this 11:9 and would have won by more if only Scorpions grew from larvae and something else lived by  a pond.

Melissa’s favourite symbol: “Is not an elf.” (Actually, “does not have external ears”)

Fraser’s favourite symbol: “Has a bum like a pig.”  (Actually, “has a tail”)

I just wish I thought I could persuade someone to play Dinosaur manimals with me!

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 30, 2008 in essen, games


Thursday night new OMGESSEN! gameapalooza

Sushizock im Gockelwok with Fraser and the kids


Biggie 8

Fraser 5

Me 2

Otto 1

Error in English rules is confusing – suggests you can only put aside 1 die after your second throw. Fortunately, the German and French rules are clear.

Nice quick little dice game. Because it’s dice, I will never love love love it. The kids seemed to enjoy it, though.

More of the same lovely components as in Heckmeck.

Now deciding what to play with Fraser tonight. Contenders are Ghost Stories and Dominion. Or maybe the Name of the Rose.

Also translating playeraids for Palais Royale.


Posted by on October 30, 2008 in essen, games


Wednesday night new gamesapalooza

Keeping up to date even though I know I need to finish off the OMGESSEN! posts

Fraser and I played Palais Royale last night. It still reminds me of Louis XIV although in fairness is perhaps somewhat lighter – it needs more plays to see how deep the strategies can go.

We both enjoyed it – me perhaps more than Fraser. It is  very much a light-to-middleweight Euro.

Final scoring.

Me: 94

Fraser: 94


Then we found another tile that we think was Fraser’s. He won 98-94.

But we both preferred the first result.

Next we played a few hands of Quick (Kosmos) – and decided that we both OMGHATE the Flames. Should be a good game to play with the kids, though.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 30, 2008 in essen, games, travel


Played it!


6.30am Plane landed

7.15am suitcases finally arrived, new case was all torn and shredded. Reported to Qantas.

7.35ish through customs. Quickly put my Lookout Games tshirt back on over what I was wearing. OMGkids! OMGFraser! (The kids loved the shirt)

8.10ish home

8.35 left to take kids to school.  Bigster wouldn’t let me take off my tshirt.

9.10 home, unpacking

10.30 started to play Le Havre

10.50 piked and went to bed

15.10 Fraser woke me to go get the kids. I told him to go away & went back to sleep

15.45 girls home from school. I told them to go away & went back to sleep

17.45 Fraser and girls home from swimming. Woke me up. I grumbled.

Then dinner, kids to bed, later Le Havre. Just on 2 hours for our 2player game

My score: 242

Fraser’s score?

wait for it 


but he made a mistake on the second last round and could have had 2 more.


Now 2.30am. Bedtime.


Posted by on October 28, 2008 in essen, games, travel