Last night - two of the hottest games from Essen! Just me, Keith and Trevor, at Trevor's home. First up was Space Dealer. I've been anticipating this a lot ever since I first heard about it. First impressions - it's a bit confusing, easy to make mistakes and build something you can't power, or set off in the wrong direction or with the wrong goods. Atmosphere of knock-about fun, together with hastily-made strategic decisions. I enjoyed it, but need to play a few more times, and with the advanced rules, to get a clearer idea. Just beaten to a win by Keith with 19 points to my 18.
Next was The End of the Triumvirate. Like Space Dealer, this immediately gets into my good books with its theme. If I can't be a space freebooter, then surely the next best thing is to be a Roman politician-soldier! I liked this a lot. I very much liked the simplicity of the mechanics, the tricky interplay of the various sub-games, the short run-time, and the clear and evocative components. After one play it gives the impression of being well polished and balanced, but time will tell of course. Easily an 8 at the moment, and very keen to play this again.