Entdecker is a lovely game where you lay out tiles forming different islands and you pay to place settlements, bases and scouts. You gain victory points as you complete islands and gain more points if you have stronger forces on the islands. A little more advanced for new players but an elegant system.

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Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is an excellent game and I highly recommend it as a gateway game for non-gamers.

Each player has to collect sets of train cards in order to claim rail lines and victory points using the right amount and color of train cards cards. Added spice comes from choosing special trip cards which can be short, medium or long and if you complete these, they will gather you more victory points.

The challenge is that each turn you need to choose at least one special trip card and eventually, with other players taking rail lines it becomes difficult or impossible to complete all of your special trip cards. Each one you don’t complete takes the indicated victory points away from you at the end of the game. In a recent 5-player game, this turned out to be devastating to a couple of players.

I think that 5 players, although allowed, may be one too many as 1-2 new players spent chunks of time feeling frustrated. Otherwise this is a great game from Days of Wonder.

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I am currently looking at that this terrific game. I already had a play through to learn the mechanics and am going to have another soon. This is a co-operative game published by Z-Man Games which pits 2-5 players against various diseases threatening to spread across the world. Each player plays a specific roll such as a medic or a researcher and work together to find cures to stop the diseases from spreading. First impression is terrific. Really looking forward to playing this with friends.

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Essen Spiel 2009

I was lucky enough to attend the world’s biggest boardgame exhibiton at Essen Germany in October 2009. It was great fun and really great to view so many new games. I went with a couple of gamer friends as we took the roadtrip. My favourite part was the hall with second hand discounted games. Snapped up a few bargains!

Here is a shot of the crowds

Here is the boot full of our booty…

And at the Boardgamegeek stand…

And some very cool game es being displayed and demoed…

War of the Ring!

Wings of War

Battles of Napoleon

Some interesting people…

A 3D model to support the Essen release of Stronghold