Only two more weeks until Essen, time to ramp up the preparations for the busiest time of the year. A useful instrument to get a feeling for the interest in the new games presented at Essen are Youtube videos about the most anticipated games of the board game show.
I watched a few during the last couple of days and made notes which games where mentioned. The result is an aggregated Top 5 which in most parts is not very surprising:
1) Charterstone: The only game that was mentioned in every video. But not everybody is convinced that the game will work, but the combination of Legacy game and Eurogame has too much lure.
2) Nusford: After last years A Feast for Odin there are high hopes for another special Rosenberg game.
3) Altiplano: A new bag building game from the team behind Orleans? Count me in and it seems like I’m not the only one.
4) Meeple Circus (the only real surprise in the Top 5, I didn’t hear anything about this games before I started watching the videos, but I can see why people like it: stacking Meeples? What’s not to like?) and Gaia Project (Terra Mystica still has a lot of fans and the promise of a streamlined experience secures this heavyweight a Top 5 spot)
5) Clans of Caledonia (Radho called this game the Terra Mystica killer, so let’s see if Clans or the Gaia Project will be the bigger hit) and Photosynthesis (an abstract game with beautiful artwork and components which got a big boost in popularity after a pre-release at Gencon)
Honorable mentions of games that were mentioned quite often, but didn’t make the cut for the Top 5:
- Fast Forward games from Friedeman Friese / Stronghold Games
- Noria: the debut title from Sophia Wagner brought to life by Michael Menzel and Klemenz Franz
- Azul: the new game from Plan B Games
- Queendominio: the gamers’ edition of Kingdomino with more ways to score points
- Pandemic Legacy Season 2: Season 2 of the most successful Legacy game so far
- Merlin: a new Feld, enough said 🙂
September is the month between the two biggest board game shows: The UK sees some of the GenCon releases arriving and at the same time the pre-orders for Essen releases start to go online.
All of the games in the Top 5 Sales have been presented at GenCon and were available in the UK shortly after the show.
1) Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium
2) Wasteland Express Delivery Service
3) Whitehall Mystery
5) This War of Mine
Unfortunately quite a few games have been delayed this year, because the trend goes more and more to a US release in August at GenCon and a Europe release in October at Essen. This is not an evil plot against European board game geeks, but more a result of cost savings because this way you can split your stock and delivery part of it directly to GenCon and afterwards to US distributors and part of it goes a bit later to Essen and from there to European distributors. Which makes perfect sense, especially for smaller publisher.
And here are the Top 5 Pre-Orders which are dominated by the first big hitters we added to our Essen section:
3) Terraforming Mars: Venus Next
5) Raiders of the North Sea
We have received two new games/expansions:
Yesterday was delivery day and we have received quite a few new games.
In stock are now:
And tomorrow two new games/expansions from FFG will get released:
Last month was cut short because of our summer break, but we still had a busy month considering it was the school holidays and a normally quiet time of the year for the board game industry.
Here are the Top 5 in sales, which were dominated by reprints of two very popular games:
1) Cthulhu Wars
2) Roll Player
4) Spirit Island
5) Runebound (Third Edition): Unbreakable Bonds
Three GenCon announcements from FFG have taken the Pre-Order Top 5 by storm:
1) Fallout: The Board Game
2) Terraforming Mars: Venus Next
4) Civilization: A New Dawn
5) Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition)
It has been a very busy week with lots of deliveries and new arrivals. So without further ado the list games that have arrived:
Terraforming Mars, Clank, Barenpark and Caverna: Cave vs. Cave are the restocks we have received on Tuesday and Wednesday. And that is not all: for next week we are expecting Captain Sonar, Magic Maze and Great Western Trail back.
New arrivals are:
We have talked to the UK distributor of Terraforming Mars yesterday and have good news and bad news.
The good news is that Terraforming Mars will be back within the next 1-2 weeks. We haven’t received the stock confirmation yet, so we can’t accept new orders at the moment. But hopefully, the supply situation should be better this time.
The bad news: the expansion Hellas & Elysium has been delayed and is expected to arrive in the UK at the end of July or early August.
As always at the beginning of the month, we are looking back to the last month to see what the bestsellers have been.
Here are the Top 5 of April (Sales):
2) Clank! (Restock)
4) Clank! Sunken Treasures
Capital was a surprise in April and despite an ugly graphic design the gameplay was a big success with our customers and we received a lot of great feedback. Yamatai is a success like all the big box releases from Days of Wonder, but this one is especially interesting for fans of Five Tribes. Clank! Sunken Treasures is the first expansion for Clank and after the success of the base game a Top 5 spot for the expansion was to be expected. Rounding up the Top 5 is Barenpark, the newest game of Cacao designer Phil Walker-Harding.
And the Top 5 Pre-Orders:
1) Caverna – Cave vs. Cave
3) Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium
4) Gloomhaven (Reprint)
5) In the Year of the Dragon: 10th Anniversary
The two player version of Caverna took the top spot in the pre-order Top 5 easily. Charterstone and Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium kept their Top 5 spots from last month and are still going strong. After the disappointment with the cancelled retail release of Gloomhaven 1st edition a lot of customers jumped on the chance to secure a copy of the reprint. And the Anniversary edition of In the Year of the Dragon is a game quite a few of our customers have been waiting for.
Another month of a busy year so far is gone, time to see what our bestsellers of March have been:
Top 5 Sales:
- Scythe (Restock)
- Great Western Trail (Restock)
- Flamme Rouge (Restock)
- Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures
Clearly, the month of the restocks with a lot of great games coming back into stock. Terraforming Mars missed a restock in March just by a few days, otherwise it would have taken the 1st spot.
Top 5 Pre-Orders:
- Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium
- First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
- The Expanse
- Cthulhu Wars (Reprint)
After the success of Terraforming Mars, it’s no wonder that the first expansion goes straight to Number 1. Out of the five, The Expanse is the biggest surprise, but I guess the success of the books and the TV show on Netflix are playing their parts. And it is a good sign that the new board game unit of Wizkids (lead by Zev Shlasinger, formerly head of Zman Games) is off to a good start.
Great news: Next week we are finally expecting the Terraforming Mars restock to arrive. And the even better news: we will get enough copies to fulfil all pre-orders and even the orders that went to the waiting list after we closed the pre-orders. But unfortunately we won’t have any copies left to sell them on the website.
We will send out the payment requests to all pre-orders on Tuesday morning and start packing and pre-paring the orders for shipping on Tuesday afternoon. Because of the high number of orders, it’s very likely that we won’t manage to get everything packed on Tuesday afternoon/evening. The ones that are done, will get shipped Wednesday morning, the rest will follow Thursday morning.