Who is Good Owl Games?
Antoinette Mason is an accidental board game reviewer who loves dry euro games and long walks on the beach. She lives in Cork, Ireland working on Good Owl Games as a way to tell people about fantastic board games and to work on her own mental health. She's very proud of her unbroken win streak playing Time of Legends: Joan of Arc and doesn't play favourites among her games, they're all special!
Great to meet you in Essen! Normally I’d hate to be in any gathering of 200,000+ people, but as you say there’s a friendly feeling: everyone there is basically there because they like boardgames, maybe not the same ones as you, but you’d at least be able to find some common ground.
(This may not apply to some of the big companies of course, but I don’t spend much time with them.)
No social deduction games? Shocking. (Though yeah, they only really start working with about 5 players, and they’re best with 7+.)
Have you played the original Vast? Mysterious Manor is something I’m looking at quite hard right now.
I’ve never played Kingdom Builder — as with Dominion I wasn’t really looking at new games when it got popular.
Watching a game played (assuming you don’t do a big production and editing job the way they do on Tabletop) isn’t all that much fun in itself, but I think that for getting an impression of the gameplay before buying there’s nothing better. (Still, I record and publish role-playing sessions, so I’m clearly beyond hope.)
Grifters Nexus was a KS and Essen launch last year (sequel to the original Grifters, basically the same mechanics) – it’s a hand-building game rather than a deck-builder, in that you get more and more cards, then have to choose between using their special powers and sending them out on jobs, after which they’re out of play for several turns. It’s not one of my top games but I do enjoy it.
I think there’s no overlap between your haul this year and mine – that’s just how huge boardgaming is now.
There are usually a few second-hand stalls, but they’re mostly selling German versions of games. Which is fair enough.
It was wonderful to meet you too! Hopefully, we’ll have more chances in the future and time to play a game or two.
I have one social deduction game but I need 4 people to play it 😛 so it may wait until my birthday party to have enough people. I’ve not played the original Vast but this new Mysterious Manor version looks really promising (I’ve only unboxed it so far.) More news to come on that one. I quite like Kingdom Builder, I thought it was a much heavier game than it is. Super quick and easy. Well worth a look at, especially when it gets cheap to buy as it often does.
You’re very right, watching a game is the best way to get an idea of how it is played and it’s something that really seems to appeals to people these days. For me, I like a bit of mystery. But they are usually fun videos to make and they take the pressure off of me when I’m not at my best. So I’ve some of those plans in the works. That and some games are better to be seen rather than talked about.
Yay for some insight about that Grifters game! I worry when you get given games about their quality. But you’re the second person to tell me it’s pretty ok so now I must try and get to it faster.
It’s cool to see your haul! And you picked up Possession for someone, hurrah 🙂 I agree with lots of the games you didn’t buy actually but at least you got yourself some promo’s. I’d hoped to pick up some older games at Essen but that seemed impossible (and by old, I mean like 2 years old) so it looks like my Christmas wishlist is growing instead.
I hope you’re recovering well from the trip and the fair and that you’re enjoying your new games. I’m still working through mine and may be for some time 😀 What terrible first world problems I have.
Last year, Indie were giving away Pirate 21 (basically pirate-themed blackjack with special card powers) and Witching Hour (set-building and take-that) along with other purchases. Now, I’m not going to claim that either of these games is the Best Thing Ever, but they’re both decent fillers and enjoyable in their own right. And yet I’ve never seen a copy of either of them other than my own, and I only know them because I got them as part of my demo pay the year before.
Similarly, we were selling Senators last year and it was vanishing as fast as we could re-stock the shelves. It’s a lovely auction/treachery game by Rikka Tahta, designer of Coup, and Haig Tahta whom I think is his son; I took a copy home, and quite a few people I played it with wanted to buy it. But it never appeared on the Indie web site, and it only showed up on Amazon UK this September.
Publicity is weird, and with 1000+ new games per year even quite good ones can simply go un-noticed. (And one could argue that with 1000+ new games per year one should only play the best, rather than the quite good.)
I remember your preview of Possession; I very nearly backed the KS, but for some reason didn’t. Looking forward to playing my friend’s copy. 🙂
The older stuff I got this time (Automobiles Racing Season, Tobago, Between Two Cities) was all from the BGG auction, where I also unloaded a bunch of games that I don’t play enough to justify keeping. Worth looking into both the auction and the maths trade if you go back next year.
It’s crazy how some games just come and go isn’t it? We seem to live in a world of single print runs. However I’m starting to become convinced that while there are many good games being released there are not many great ones. So lots of fairly decent games are falling to the wayside. I know I’m keeping fewer new games in my collection because they simply can’t compare to some of my ‘classics.’
I need to get in on the BGG auction stuff, it sounded like a great way to trade and get some older games! As we both know I love a good trade. Your collection must be on the up and up!