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SPIEL 2019 recommendations?

Just 2 days until Essen. :star_struck: This is not my first time going, so I have prepared to make my best of the 3 days I have.

I have browsed the BGG preview endlessly and have assembled a fairly long list (~55) of games I want see, have preordered stuff I know I am getting anyway and I have watched a half dozen hype lists… they all have more or less the same games on them. Same with the rankings of the preview and https://tabletoptogether.com/tool/top.php

Even if you are not going to Essen, do you have any recommendations for games to check out?

Pax Pamir 2? Mainly because it would normally be hard to get outside of America. And it’s good.


I have been wanting to ask about this Pax Pamir 2. The original didn’t sound so good on the podcast and looked awful the first time I saw it at Essen back when… but the new looks shiny and I couldn’t help but notice the forum games. Is it as awesome as it looks?

One caveat about it is that I have not seen it in the official guide and the publisher is not attending afaik. I will however be going to Ion/Sierra Madre because both Pax Transhumanity and Bios: Genesis (edited: said Origins, I keep mixing up the Bios games) look very promising. Maybe they will have copies … it is listed in their webshop.

I think it’s great, obviously, but my interest is in Wehrle’s designs, not Eklund’s.

That said, I got my info mixed up, and Cole/Wehrlegig are not there, so preordering from Sierra Madre for Essen pickup might be the only option.

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I do not know much about Eklund beyond what the podcast mentioned in regards to Pax Pamir 1 (and I am also only interested in the shiny new version of the game). Plus I used to avoid Sierra Madre Games because they were hyped by people who liked games I didn’t at that time.

However, I’ve been in the market for a game about evolution ever since our complete and utter failure to enjoy Evolution: Origin of Species due to a runaway victory issue. So earlier this summer I stumbled across TTS where I found Bios: Genesis and decided to try and teach myself the rules from the digital copy. I haven’t been able to find someone to play the digital version with but it looks promising and maybe maybe I’ll get to play it in Essen. It seems to be a small box and the Essen pricing is decent so … I’ll see. Essen never turns out quite the way I plan :slight_smile:

Here’s my list. The priority list is just a matter of which ones I’d try first, not necessarily buy (depends on the price and/or promo). But if you ask me which ones I would buy on-the-spot it would be the Agricola deck expansion and Ishtar.


My list of things to look at:

So, You’ve Been Eaten
Lux Aeterna
Throne of Allegoria
?Trismegistus (it’ll need a new rulebook at least)
Sarah’s Vision
Tuki (only if the Pegasus Spiele version is cheaper than I can get at home)
Trial of the Temples, Jiguan: The Eastern Mechanist, Jixia Academy (all EmperorS4)
Mental Blocks
Europa Universalis (only to look at, and given how often I didn’t play TI when I owned it I probably won’t KS this either)
Lovelace & Babbage
Bloom Town
Reset '86


Thank you. Just scrolling through I found quite a few interesting games I have overlooked or dismissed so far. Here’s mine:

(Bearing in mind that quite a few games were released previously in English and only now hit the German market and while I used to prefer buying English games 1) my local game store doesn’t carry them at all and 2) some of my gaming friends do not speak English well enough to be able to play games with a lot of text comfortably)

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I definitenly need to try Dice Settlers at some point (not on Essen).

Also I need to further prune my list. It’s stupid big.

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Obscurio is on my list, too. I gave away Dixit as a present the year it came out and we played quite a bit with our friend and all loved it. By the time I realized I wanted my own there were so many expansions… that I felt buying in would be too expensive and since then I’ve been waiting for a game in this style… so maybe maybe Obscurio is that game.

We just recently played Alchemists again :slight_smile: So I like the alchemist theme of Trismegistus but one review mentioned that it is three rounds and at the beginning of each you get to draft a single die and that then governs your whole round. This looks like a trap for AP sufferers …

I gave Tuki to my 7 yo nephew and he loves it. And so did the grownups because the game has different levels of challenge. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

I already got my KS copy of Lovelace & Babbage but have only tried it by myself as a puzzle so far.

I’ll have to take a look at the rest :slight_smile:

I enjoy Dice Settlers every once in a while. We played it a few times after Essen last year but not as much as I had hoped we would. It is definitely worth trying out.

Long lists happen for Essen. Mine has over 50 entries…
Have you seen this year’s fantastic map in the tool? And the checklists?
I’ll be at least wandering by all the places that have interesting games. Just to see what speaks to me or where I can find a spot to sit down and play.

I don’t know these. Please tell!

The Tabletoptogether Tool has maps included now. Up at the top in the menu there is one thing that says “Maps” click on it you get an overview of the halls. Then you can select a hall and all the booths are colored by your priority list.

There is also an option to give you a sorted by hall checklist for the games you selected. The tool also works well on my smartphone in the browser and so do the maps.

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The thing Obscurio has to beat for me is Mysterium, which I like a great deal. (Also Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, aka “Mysterium-Resistance”, since that brings in the traitor aspect.)

I’ve played Tuki once and beat my friends hollow, so if I do buy it I probably won’t get to play it much. :slight_smile:


@Yashima - Printed them. Thanks so much! Made my life easier

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I have it on good authority that there will be NISEI Netrunner people there. and you should absolutely check that out.


I have last played a Netrunner game in the late 90s (we had a single starter of the CCG that came out int 1996). I kind of missed out on the whole Android thing. But funny thing is both me and a friend have been considering buying a copy in Essen if we can find it.

I recommend picking up a second-hand collection if you can. The base set is too limiting. On the other hand, I have found that even the extensive collection I bought after the license was lost isn’t sufficient to play with people who have everything - power creep was a real issue, and people who have everything seem very concerned with sticking with various banned/restricted lists that seem to hamstring anything I can put together, but don’t impact the later sets so much.

If I had more time, I would print out cards to supplement what I have, and construct one of the well-researched deck collections that are out there for casual play.


I realize that I should probably research this more before buying into it. Space, money and playtime are all limited resources. (and space in bags I am carrying out of Messe Essen is even more limited, especially since I have already preordered a few games)

So one of the biggest reasons to try to get into it now is that you can use proxies for anything you don’t have for all of the game nights and things when playing with other people.

There’s also some great new player stuff on the way, which doesn’t help you for Spiel, but… Soooon

If you’re at all interested, there will be some information given out at Spiel even if you can’t manage to get into it right now.

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