Spiel ’17 has come and gone and it was great! We would like to thank all the readers that said hello and everybody who worked so hard to make Spiel such a success. And a special thank you to AbacusSpiele for sponsoring the games of NMBR9 we needed for a 70+ player game of NMBR9 during the meetup we organized together with JonGetsGames, Actualol and No Pun Included. The actual meetup went great and it was wonderful meeting board gamers and content creators from all over the world. Thank you all so much!

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Right, that’s enough bold text for now. So, our first visit to Spiel was awesome. We went on Thursday and Saturday and that was quite enough for our first time ever. The size of the event and the crowds can be quite overwhelming! Although it’s nice that sitting down and playing a game allows you to filter out the masses of people a little, Besides meeting a lot of cool people (a lot more than pictured in this comic 😉 ), we’ve also demoed/played quite a lot of games, here’s a little list:

– Alien Artifacts
– Shadespire
– Hero Realms
– Giant Junk Art
– Muse
– Wordsy
– The Networks
– Burglar Brothers
– Fugitive
– Fog of Love

We didn’t buy too many games at Spiel and tried to get some titles that are hard to come by overhere. We’d like to support our local game store and will get the bigger titles another time this or next year. Also: we didn’t feel much for carrying around the heavy games all day. 😀

What was your favorite game at Spiel this year?

I wasn’t able to attend, but I’d imagine Photosynthesis made an appearance? … I am very intrigued by what appears to be a beautiful and elegant game.

We wanted to try Photosynthesis too, but the demo tables were always super busy and the game was sold out on Friday. But it is just as beautiful in real life as in pictures!

I was able to score a copy of Photosynthesis yesterday! I haven’t been able to play it yet, but I’ve read the rules and the design is extremely clever. I can’t think of an abstract game that has such a interweaving of theme and mechanics.

There are two phases for each round: essentially “get action points” then “spend action points” … but the action points are “Light Points” and the amount you get depends on how many and what size trees you have on the board AND (and this is the clever part) whether the angle of the sun (the wedge along the outside of the board that moves each round) is such that those trees are not blocked by a line of other trees’ shade.

And that makes sense! Your trees’ leaves can’t generate Light Points if other trees are blocking their light.

Then you have the intriguing decisions of how to spend (or save) your Light Points:
-Increase the seeds and trees you have available to add to the board
-Plant seeds for new trees
-Grow current trees
-Harvest full-sized trees for victory points

Victory points, of course, win the game, but large trees on the board grant you more Light Points and therefore more powerful turns. Plus, points are awarded in stacks of tokens based on how close you are to the center (everyone starts with small trees along the outside) and the value of these tokens in their stacks DECREASES as you go down the stack. So, the top/first token grabbed is worth more than the next and the next …

If you manage to plant a seed on the center plot that grants the highest points, could the other players grow their surrounding trees to block your light before your seed can grow? If they don’t and you nurture your tree to full growth, do you harvest it for big points, opening that spot up to the other players, or do you sit on it and just rake in the Light Points for more actions each turn??

I don’t know! Can’t wait to play!

I’ve played it in the evening and it was a really fun abstract where almost every round after the opening moves you had a nice decision between collecting points and continued area-control. Unfortunately it was also 40€ which was too much for an abstract in my taste. Azul had a similar problem, though that was only 35.

It was my first time going to Spiel this year as well. My partner and I decided to just go for the full 4 days, boy was it crowded.
We kept an eye out in case we could meet you, but alas ^^;

One of my definite favourite games I’ve seen and played is Lander, we had so much fun and my partner even managed to beat the people at the booth 😉

Here’s to Spiel18, can’t wait!

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