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BGG.CON 2011

November 22, 2011

I'm back from BGG.CON in Dallas and ready to report on my findings. I've tried 35 of the new Essen games and am here to rank them from top to bottom as I'm wont to do. I have also included a brief blurb on each game to give a sense for my reasoning. More in-depth reviews are sure to come from the OG in the weeks to come. I have broken the games down into groups, but ordered them within each group from favorite at top to least favorite at bottom. I have played most of these games just once so need to play many of them again to shore up my opinion, but I've included my number of plays in parentheses for games that I've played multiple times. Let's get right to ranking those games and my initial thoughts on each.


These are the seven games for which Iíll put my money where my mouth is and shell out hard-earned cash. I think theyíre all good games and ones that I will want to play repeatedly.


This group includes the six games that I enjoyed, but am not yet convinced to purchase. I would like to try them some more first or may just hope to satisfy any desire I might have to play them through a friendís copy.


The next nine games are ones that I thought were okay, but had some issues or concerns with them. They showed some potential, but each was held back by one thing or another.


The last seven games are ones that definitely fall into the OGís ďNot for meĒ category. They werenít all terrible, but they were games that I donít particularly want to play again for one reason or another.

A Few More Essen Titles

The games above are all ones that I tried at BGG.CON, but I did also have the chance to try the following six new Essen games before I went down to Dallas. These range across the spectrum from games I want to buy, to ones I liked but wonít buy, down to ones that I hope not to play again.

Still More Essen to Try

Despite having tried the 35 new Essen games above, there are still nine more that I want to try at the very least (not to mention needing to play many of the above games a second or third time). The new Essen games that Iím still looking forward to trying out are:

BGG.CON - Beyond Essen Titles

So I may have practically lived in the ďHot GamesĒ room of the Westin hotel for four days, but I did venture into the other rooms a few times to try older games. For completeness sake, here are the handful of older games that I played while in the Lone Star State:

Biblios (a great two-player game on the flight there), Big Boss (Kramerís take on Acquire, still feels dated and too random), Polizei-Alarm (an awesome Haba game of frantic fun), Fluch der Mumie (an okay asymmetric game that ran a bit long), Reverse Charades (chaos as whole team tries to silently act out the word for one guesser), Freeze (Meyerís improv game of guessing randomly assigned roles in each sceneís hierarchy), Crokinole (the king of dexterity games), Le Passe-Trappe (a less good dexterity game), Nexus Ops (the team variant is definitely the way to go for this great game), Jungle Speed (three plays, including once with the totem in another room, fantastic and exhausting, and hopefully a new annual tradition), and Tichu (ended the convention with the classic Tichu, a good card game that just canít quite measure up to Was Sticht or Njet).

*          *          *

All in all, a good crop of games with a few that Iím really looking forward to picking up and playing more. There were some duds as always, but even those can be enjoyable with the right people and BGG.CON is full of the right kind of people for having a blast regardless of the game. Hope to see you all down in Dallas same time next year.

(See The Opinionated Gamers for this column plus additional comments on it)