One of the year's biggest board game trade fairs kicks off tomorrow, for three whole glorious days of all things tabletop!
Rules of Play's Ian is on his way to Essen as I type, getting ready to say hello to a new wave of board games and game designers. It's the most wonderful tiiime of the year!
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To get you in the Essen mood, we've listed our most anticipated games at this year's fair. These are the ones we're looking out for, and that we *think* you'll love too!
If you've ever thought, 'There aren't enough board games based on Irish mythology', then GET READY TO THINK AGAIN!
Inis is the brand new 2-4 player family game where players try to become Ireland's first High King, using warriors, magical spears, horses made out of sea-foam, and a plethora of enchanted equipment. Good luck.
#2 A Feast for Odin
From the guy who brought us Caverna, Agricola and more, A Feast for Odin is the latest board game from Uwe Rosenberg! Players have to hunt, gather basic materials, refine those materials, develop their production-buildings, build/buy ships, and raid settlements.
All of this takes place in a 'Lord of the Rings' inspired Nordic setting, but without the terrifying orcs!
#3 Cry Havoc
If dystopic sci-fi is your thing, then you're in luck - Cry Havoc is on the horizon.
The game is set on an alien planet, where each player commands a unique faction – the greedy Humans, the evil Machines, the mysterious Pilgrims, and the native Trog – all of whom are competing to plunder the planet of precious resources.
#4 Escape From Colditz (75th Anniversary Edition - reprint)
Often billed as 'the greatest board game in British history', Escape from Colditz has been given a reprint as part of the 75th Anniversary Edition!
There's a new visual look, courtesy of renowned artist Peter Dennis, and wooden replicas of artifacts from a collection about Pat Reid, the original game designer who actually lived through Colditz. This game is high on our list.
#5 Captain Sonar
In Captain Sonar, you and your teammates control a state-of-the-art submarine and are trying to locate an enemy submarine in order to blow it out of the water before they can do the same to you.
Every role is important, and the confrontation is merciless. Be organized and communicate because a captain is nothing without his crew: the Chief Mate, the Radio Operator, and the Engineer.
We'll be keeping an eye out for all these games at Essen 2016, so we can report back on all the lovely new shiny things!
Got a game you're excited about at this year's Essen? Let us know in the comments!
Keep up with all the Essen action using the #Spiel2016 or #Essen2016 hashtags on Twitter!