Nothing ESSEN-tial

The Essen game convention recently ended.  I attended this convention in 2004.  It is a mammoth event, sprawling over several halls at a convention complex in Essen, Germany.  I enjoyed attending in 2004, but have never been too tempted to return.  My German skills are limited, and I can buy a whole lot of games for the expense of attending.

As I have for several years, I read Kulkmann’s Game Box coverage.  Frank Schulte-Kulkmann is an enthusiastic game correspondent.  I found his English-language web site years ago, and have bookmarked his web site.  He isn’t all that active anymore, except for his Essen coverage.  If you have never seen his website, it is worth a look.  You can find it here:

This year, I didn’t really connect with any of the games he reported upon.  Sadly, last year’s games and this year’s games (so far) have not provided any major hits for me.  From the higher rated games from 2013-2014, I own Russian RailroadsSplendor, Twin Tin Bots, and a couple of 18xx games.  Nice games, but not the nectar that games from a decade ago represented.  Looking at BGG, I see Caverna is now a top 10 game.  I know Rob is a fan of this game, but I wasn’t especially enticed when I saw it played at the Fandango.  Eldritch Horror just looks like another Arkham Horror to my eyes.  Nations is also highly rated, but I am not willing to buy it, and no opportunity to try it has surfaced.

I checked, and I own a few other recent releases:  C.C. Higgins Rail PassString Savanna, Lost Valley and Whacky Wit.  I’m unsure if String Savanna will really hold up for me.  But since I intend to keep the previous string games: String Railroad and String Railroad: Transport, I think String Savanna is safely in my collection.  Lost Valley is a game I have loved in the past.  But I have not yet played the new edition.  C.C. Higgins is a game I like, but clearly it is not aimed at the modern Euro player.  And Whacky… well, it is just wonderful, but a total extravagance, and a game I marvel was ever made.

There is one more game from 2014, soon to be released, that I took a flyer on.  It is called Baseball Highlights 2045.  This may have been a mistake, as it is a 2-player game.  But a geek buddy of mine was raving it up, and my will crumbled.  I think it may arrive in a month or so.  I’ll butter Alex up to see if he is willing to give it a try.

If you were counting, that was just 10 games from 2013-2014 that I own.  I don’t have an easy way of counting, but I suspect I have added twice as many older games to my collection in the past two years.  I am sensing that I am getting left behind by my hobby.  I seem to dislike how newer games strike me.  I seem to find the faults more annoying and the features less compelling.  I fear I have become a CURMUDGEON.



2 Responses to “Nothing ESSEN-tial”

  1. robmderrick Says:

    “become a CURMUDGEON” — Welcome to the club! Actually, I think it just means that you have acquired a certain degree of wisdom and sagacity. There was a time when there we so few good games. Now there are many.

    However, I think you need to try Caverna once! I’ve played three times now and have a fourth coming up later this week. People who like Agricola have loved it, and people who really don’t love Agricola have very much liked it. Ben and Zash said it was their favorite game experience at Fandango.

  2. robmderrick Says:

    I hate computers!@#$%&* Not only did it post my comment twice, it won’t let me fix typo’s in it. Them.
    –> “…a time when there were so few…”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: