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a gamer's life

Spiel 2020

Was canceled. Instead there was spiel.digital and a bunch of streamers and youtubers doing their very best to give us the spirit of the fair. In any case, I wouldn’t have bought quite so many games at the fair this year because I already backed so many kickstarters in 2019 for which I still owe a lot of reviews.

I’ve placed some preorders and I expect a few more games, that would have been at Spiel, to find their way into my collection.

So here’s a short list of games that would have been at Spiel 2020 that I already have or preordered in some way or other:

I would have looked for demos of some other kickstarters I’ll hopefully get within the next few months like

  • Oath, the big new Cole Wehrle (also see Pax Pamir 2 & Root). Here’s an article on it. Also issue 1 of 16 of the designer diary series.
  • 18DO Dortmund, the one train game I had to have
  • Frosthaven, the sequel to Gloomhaven (no we haven’t finished Gloomhaven)
  • Kemet: Blood & Sand, might have had a demo. Although, this is Matagot… maybe not.

I would also have looked at and waffled over buying:

  • Faiyum, the new big box 2F game where you settle an Egyptian river delta
  • Bonfire, a dark looking Stefan Feld
  • Renature, a new (mean?) tile laying, area control game by Kramer & Kiesling in which you restore an eco-system by blocking your fellow players from doing so
  • Lost Ruins of Arnak, the newest adventurous deck building hype from CGE, makers of the wonderful and timely codenames.game
  • Cosmic Frog for the sheer crazy of giant frogs (review)
  • Sidereal Confluence because the new edition is actually beautiful
  • Kitara because of the unique African mythology of the theme (designer diary)
  • Hallertau because who doesn’t want Uwe Rosenberg to tackle hops and Zweifelderwirtschaft? (It’s apparently an evolution of Le Havre)
  • Polynesia which has route building and spoiling fish in a lush pacific sea (designer diary)
  • Vampire:tM Heritage, because there must one day be a boardgame of Vampire that doesn’t suck? And this one is a centuries-spanning legacy game!
  • Pandemic Legacy: Season 0, because the first season is awesome and we haven’t even started season 2…
  • Baby Gloomhaven, because who wouldn’t want to take a look?
  • Merv: Heart of the Silkroad by Osprey games, just taking one look at the beautiful Ian O’Toole box cover makes me want to buy the game no matter what it is.
  • Beyond the Sun because who wouldn’t want to play a Science Fiction game that is not much more than a big skill tree? I watched through half the Heavy Cardboard playthrough. I am so proud of myself 😉
  • Isle of Cats is now out (and sold out) in German by Skellig Games who seem to be having a good run at picking games for translating/importing lately and who doesn’t want to save tetris cats from an abandoned island?
  • New York Zoo because it’s Uwe combining his favorite two mechanisms: Rudlpfupf & Tetris
  • Flourish because of the garden theme and visiting Starling Games, I might have snagged a copy of the sold out Everdell or have got a glance a demo of the War of Whispers expansion (another Kickstarter I am waiting for)
  • Formosa Tea, because after missing Alubari I still don’t own a tea themed game and this one comes with recommendations
  • Raiders of Scythia, because I’ll always visit Renegade Games at the fair and I don’t have Raiders of the North Sea (only as app which is good)
  • Hansa Teutonica in the big box at Pegasus might have made it into my loot pile…

Obviously, with no fair there was no meeting people, eating fair food and snacks all day long, no loud atmosphere, no sitting down at tables with strangers and trying games that end up in the #19000 rankings of boardgamegeek. I just found out this week that the two lowest ranked games (besides the obvious Monopoly et al) I’ve ever played have both received above average ratings from me: Last Banquet and The Isle of Dr. Necreaux both of which I discovered at Spiel and one of which I actually bought and still have.

By Yashima

Writer of code and stories