The best part about Essen is none of the games suck yet. On paper, they all sound good. Here's my Top 30 exciting games:
Dungeon Lords: Looks like Dungeon Keeper and done by Vlaada (Galaxy Trucker, Through the Ages). Yes please.Dominion: Seaside: Hey look, an expansion. Where's my wallet?
Campaign Manager 2008: Followup to 1960, but we lived the campaign. Must have.
Alcazar: Kramer, castle-building, and lots of wood. Sign me up.
Luna Llena: "Semi-cooperative" game with werewolves. If I get to hang Hose I'll buy it.
Thunderstone: Dominion-type, with a better theme. Worth a look.
Savannah Tails: Ostrich racing and quicksand. The Lamont's are fulfilling my dreams one game at a time.
Day & Night: 2p assymetric card/tile game. Hype is growing. Watch it.
Vampire der Nacht: Glow in the dark dexterity game. Lots of potential there.
Funkenschlag - Fabrikmanager: Follow up to Power Grid. Guaranteed to be quirky. Watch list.
Rise of Empires: Martin Wallace + Civ makes it worth watching for.
At the Gates of Loyang: Uwe's next work after Le Havre. Chances are good.
Macao: #13 in the Alea set. Must keep the shelf full.
Opera: Budget-managing for and Opera house? It's not German-regional elections, but...
Agricola: Farmers of the Moor I'll try one more expansion for sure.
Albion: Wrede's first non-carc game, on my watchlist
Skyline 3000: Re-implementation of Capitol, which is a great game that no one has played. Watch it.
Krysis: 2-4p card game set in the 30s. Great art. High ratings. Watch it.
Stronghold: Worker placement during a siege. Sounds painful and interesting.
Carson City: City-building in the old west. Watch it.
Peloponnes: Great-looking civ game. Watch list.
Vasco da Gama: Looks like a true navigation game, which the world needs.
Chaos in the Old World: Great theme. Dock probably can't resist.
Tricky Trek: Predatory animal-racing. That can't be as much fun as it sounds.
Greed, Incorporated: Another big Splotter game. Hoping Dock buys this one.
Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans: Interesting for the name more than anything else.
Imperial 2030: Fix to Imperial, in the future.
Samurai: The Card Game: Skeptical
7: 7-player co-operative fantasy. That never ends well.
Ticket to Ride: Europa 1912: Another unnecessary expansion. I think I can resist.