Spiel 2017 blog and photo extravaganza avalanche part 1

Gone quicker than you could say french fries with bratwurst und sauerkraut.

Ladies and gentleman, another Spiel is in the books and another year went by as fast as lighting. What an absolute blast it was and there were so many great people I have met again and I had the honour of talking with. I am afraid it were just too many names to call them all out, but know that each and every one made my Spiel 2017 one I will remember for ever! Already missing the buzz surrounding this amazing event.

So let’s see what happened on days two, three and four and maybe we can share some nice scoops we have got from the publishers we spoke too. But as is custom with our blog, we will overload you with a lot of photos, to emerge you into the moment hopefully.

But first, the mandatory Spiel 2017 haul picture right…

Publishers and their games.

Queen Games

We had a wonderful meet up with Travis from Queen Games, who introduced us to the new games coming out from them this year. The amount of solid titles this year from them is astounding and we cannot wait to get some of them to the table for a more in-depth look at them.

Pioneers Queen Games
Pioneers, a light weight, but still has some (golden) teeth to it.
Your state coaches which brings you workers, so actions to do, and when you empty them, they also give you points.
The variability on the board, while still travelling West only, is big with the variable chits which come out randomly
Meeples go West!
A modern version of games like Wallenstein and Shogun. In this game there are a lot of similarities, but also a lot of new twist and turns which makes this a very fresh take on area control and action programming powers. The eternal fight between the light & the dark side put into this game we must admit is really cool! Immortals by Dirk HennMike Elliot
Two sides of the world. Don’t fight on one place, but mind the possibilities on the other one as well. Dying here isn’t always a bad thing.
Beautiful artwork at the dark side
Or do you prefer the light side?
The random setup of you player boards gives again a lot of replayability
Who doesn’t want to play this game and fight for a nice sun spot on one of these relaxing beach chairs? High Tide is a fun push your luck game by Derek Henn.
The battles of the perfect beach spot. What a unique themed game and it looks like plain fun to get to the table.
A push your luck dice game, where you try to get as close to the water as possible. But don’t get your feet wet!
Designer Dirk Henn
Merlin by Stefan Feld and Michael Rieneck
The player boards with your dice, pawns, flags and traitors.
Build your castle at the right place at the right time and make a lot of points
I present you your point salad! But in all honesty, the board looks great and the game is not a 100% pure Feld, due to Michael his influence it is a different kind of game. But, yes, with of course all kind of ways to grab points which most Felds have the last couple of years, it does feel like a Feld for sure.
He or she who controls Merlin, controls the game. Maybe…
Templar’s Journey, a game which don’t get the buzz due to being next to the other big Queen game, but this game sounds really interesting and deserves more attention. By order of the Pop himself you travel Europe to recruit your knights to go on a crusade to Jerusalem.
Use your knights and Templars wisely and try to out smart your opponent to time your moves accordingly. Don’t be too greedy, because you may end with empty hands.
The main board has a classic look to it, which suits the theme very well and is also very functional.
Target the cities which are going to be scored or change the scored city if you cannot get there to screw over your opponents.
Do you take a weaker action or do you dare to take the big action? A skill to read your opponents mind isn’t included, but does help you win the game!
Captain Silver, a smart kids game which is nominated for kinderspiel Des jahres 2017. Those pirate ships looks awesome and the gameplay is already a real game for those youngsters.
Set collection, push your luck and action selection. This game will appeal to youngsters, but for moms & dads there is also a lot of game still left to enjoy. From what we have seen, one of the best kids games out there at the moment.


As we almost love the whole spectrum which we have in the board games, we couldn’t resist the call of this appealing miniatures game with a lot of mechanisms going which may also appeal to the euro gamers. It isn’t a tabletop war game, but much, much more.

BATTALIA: The Creation is a competitive, fast-paced, strategic deck-builder that combines map construction, hero and area control and unique calendar mechanisms.

Alexander is a passionate guy, who was more than willing to spend a few minutes with us telling about this concept and all good things coming for this title. The Kickstarter had been a great success and the game looks the part also.


These creatures look amazing
Mira interviewing Alexander
The detail and passion behind this concept is represented well in this game
A demo game going on
The board, which has quite the grid feel to it, but really looks very clear in use


Massive amount of stuff already out for this game
As most games have nowadays, the artwork does help to immerse you into the game


Game Brewer

Doing all the talks and blogging in English is fine, but once in a while having a good old Dutch chat at Essen can be refreshing. As was the case at the Game Brewers. A very cool Belgian based publishers, which has some games which surely appeal to a broad audience. So, the ambassador of Buzz (awesome title) Kevin took us through some of the hot games from their line and especially the one set in the Netherlands caught out attention, Castellum.

This game will be released soon, so keep your eye out on that one. It’s a fast playing take that game with a little bit of Lords of Waterdeep to it. Now that’s mostly the look of the board and the action you can take on the given location through workerplacement, but the way the characters work, isn’t anything like that.The game is based on the struggles the city of Maastricht had in the 15th and 16th century with the Spanish, French and the Dutch conquistadors. The art has some similarities to the classic Dutch paintings and for us a Dutchies that really stood out. A must buy for us when it hits the friendly local game stores.

Other games which they brought were Pixie Queen and Chimera station. Both are very solid workerplacement games, but as is a trademark for games which the Game Brewer puts out, they bring something extra to the experience. May it be upgradable workers with Chimera Station or the way you start in a negative position with Pixie Queen.

Castellum by the Game Brewer
The different cards from the different nations who give you power over the city
The game board, which has a little LoW look to it, but also captures the essence of Maastricht very well
The Pixie queen at work, just being beautiful is not for the faint of heart

The Taiwanese Boardgame Design group

These guys & girls, are there any other so passionate and doing their thing with so much fun as them? I highly doubt that and I am so honoured to call them my friends for the last few years. Again hooked up with Smoox and his family and finally met Eron from EmperorS4. They bring better games every year and the growth they are going through is absolutely well deserved and pays of all the hard work they put into the industry.

Smoox and his lovely family, that’s what passion is all about in our humble opinion.
A game with a heart and a game about a serious problem. Rescue Polar Bear by TwoPlus Games and designed by Jog Kung and Huang Yi Ming


The game of life is a popular theme and rightfully so. My Story is an elegant and fast playing deckbuilder card game which gives you the experience of living a beautiful life you may have always imagined living (or maybe you are doing it even right now!). Designed by Smoox Chen and published by Homosapiens Lab. It plays very fast and afterwards you have build something, where even if you don’t win the game, still had a great time and a story to talk about.



Another game where the game engine is driven by its story. The Raid on Taihoku is based on the real experiences and dedicated to the people of Taiwan during the second world ward. In this coöp game you and your fellow citizens will try to survive these horrors. Publisher Mizo
EmperorS4 brought a lot of small box games this year and like almost all of them this one also made a solid impression. Mystery of the Temples is a smart design of set collection and pattern recognition. The way they always find ways to put a lot of game into such a tiny box amazes me every time.
Sorcerer & Stones is a the race for immortality. Taoist will try to race to become the first one to be Xian. Another great game in a very tiny box.



The craziness behind the booth at the Taiwanese Boardgame Design Group.
Shadows in Kyoto is a modern version of Stratego, with a little Onitama card play and the special powers you find in a lot of other games. It’s a beautiful follow-up to the smash hit Hanamikoji and keeps that spirit much alive in this tactical battle of wits. And yes, the artwork is again gorgeous


One of those publishers you may have never heard of (or maybe it is just us not noticing them before), but their games were just selling like cookies and hot coco on a cold winters day. The man behind this company, David Liu, is such a gentleman and also a very intelligent guys who knows how to bring not just good games, they are great games!

At the Moaideas booth with in the corner David Liu.
Tulip Bubble is a smart auction game designed around a blown up part of the Dutch history. The time where tulips were more valuable than other goods and people speculated on those flowers until the bubble popped. The game looks like a light game, but don’t get trapped in those fields of flowers. This is a brutal game, where you need to think ahead to stay ahead in the race for money. The little swing the events bring are a nice way introducing a little randomness to the table. Set collection, speculation and drafting makes this one of the most fun games we have seen at Spiel 2017
Liberatores, the game where you try to kill Julius Caesar or fail and still win if you made the right team choice. It’s a quirky set of different games styles with deduction, negotiation and secret information. Does sound intriguing though and can’t wait to play this one.



And now some random gaming

Halloween by Quined Games was another great title which was of course available at a very opportune moment at the end of October.
Steph (@punkin312) and her men Ron doing their spooky things
There is more to the game then just a theme of horror. It is a medium heavy game with a nice engine building mechanic and with a smart way they implemented with the variable powers and action spaces.
The componenets are amazing, but we don’t expect less with Quined right.
One of the games which peaked our interest after Rahdo put it on his top 10 games for Essen 2017. Now that should not have surprised us, because one of the designers is Asger Granerud (13 Days, Flamme Rouge) and we love his games! (and yes….Steph photobombed…) A Tale of Pirates


Yes Ron……
Welcome to a married life my friend 🙂
The only person at Spiel 2017 who got to sleep at the Messe…
The new upcoming new tile from Fantasy Flight Games, Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn


Fallout the boardgame, one game I sadly haven’t tried, but am looking forward to try hopefully soon.
One of those games which has such a big following behind it and it already is at its 4th Edition, Twilight Imperium


Whoosh: Bounty Hunters a real time game where you need to put the icons on the cards to the available monsters as quickly as possible. A fun little party game by Artipia Games.


Good times at the Messe Essen at Spiel 2017. Wizkids
A Dutch and Belgian publisher booth (Mountain Men) was something we of course needed to visit for a short game of Sign.



Heavycardboard meetup at Fitzpatrick’s

While we don’t have much pictures from the evening, because of being much to invested in talking to some wonderful souls and having a Guinness or two, we enjoyed our time at Fitzpatrick’s very much. Edward & Amanda have grown their niche in to a very special place and are such genuine awesome people. I can wholeheartedly say I love those two for what they represent and how they go around on this quest. The people attending ranged from designers, publishers to regular listeners, strangers and everything in between. The connection was amazing! Need to thank Alexander (designer of Lignum!) for the Guinness! Proost!

Have a listen at their podblasts on Spiel 2017


Too much is never enough right?

While this only covers the first 3 days we were at the Messe, including Wednesday press day, we have a lot more ground to cover in the next blogs. We hope you like what you have seen and see you back for the next part of the Spiel 2017 adventures.

Love your board game life!

~ Marlon


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