Last week was The Internationale Spieltage, the largest games fair in Europe and, arguably, the world, known to Gamers worldwide simply as “Essen”. The fair runs Thursday to Sunday in mid/late-October every year and is the one of the biggest and most significant of all the boardgame conventions with many new releases and timed to coincide with the end of October.
Yes, unbelievably boardGOATS is still here after six years, still meeting fortnightly in the Horse and Jockey in Stanford-in-the-Vale. Of the six people who were present at the first meeting so long ago, five are still coming; the group has grown, but still has the lovely, friendly, social feeling we cherish. We would like to thank to everyone who has come along in the past and in particular, all those travel regularly from further afield. Without you, boardGOATS wouldn’t be the success it is, so we really appreciate it. We’d also like to thank the folks at the Jockey who have always been so supportive, and let us have so much fun in their back room.
It has been shown previously that dogs and horses have the ability to discriminate human emotional facial expressions. This is thought to be a by-product of their close working relationships with humans during domestication. Because dogs and horses are required to work together an understanding of human emotional facial expressions is actively an advantage making the attribute self-selecting. In contrast, goats have been exclusively domesticated as production animals and as such are less likely to have been selected for reading subtle communicative cues from humans. A study carried out at the Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats, suggests otherwise however.
– Image from pexels.com
A total of twenty goats were tested (eight females and twelve males), receiving a total of four test trials each. Each trial consisted of a pairs of greyscale still human faces of the same individual showing positive (happy) and negative (angry) facial expressions and over all the trials, the goats’ first interactions were more often with the positive image. They also tended to spend more time with the positive image compared to the negative one, indicating that goats can distinguish between human faces conveying different emotions. These results suggest that goats are attracted to “happy faces”, and have been reported by McElligott and co-workers in the Royal Society journal Open Science.1
– Image by boardGOATS
1Nawroth, C., Albuquerque, N., Savalli, C., Single, M-S., McElligott, A. G., R. Soc. Open. Sci. (2018), 5, 180491; doi:10.1098/rsos.180491.
A couple of months ago, Reuters reported that according to un-named sources, investment bankers had been hired to run the sale of Asmodee. The claim was that the sale “could value the company at over €1.5 billion”, but there was no credible information as to who the potential buyers were. This mystery has now been solved with the announcement that PAI Partners have entered into exclusive discussions to acquire Asmodee, a company with an enterprise value of €1.2 billion. So, who are PAI Partners and what do they want with Asmodee? Well, PAI is a European private equity company, that grew out of the merger between the French banks, BNP and Paribas in 1993, with a management buyout completed in 2001. They have invested in a wide range of companies covering everything from yoghurt (Yoplait) to tyres (Kwik Fit) to cargo handling (Swissport). Obviously PAI are interested in making money from Asmodee, but at this time there is no evidence to suggest that would by by asset stripping. Price increases would be almost inevitable however, as the Studios would be under pressure to provide a good return on the investment.
The 2018 winner of the coveted German Game of the Year or Spiel des Jahres award is Azul. This has been a very popular game within the group and to us has been the stand-out game this year since Essen. It is very easy to teach with a surprising amount of depth and is beautifully produced, making it a game we are always happy to play. The Kennerspiel des Jahres was awarded at the same time. This honours more challenging games and this year was awarded to Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg. So far this has only been released in German, so we have not been able to play it yet. In addition, there was a special award for for Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, which the jury felt was the benchmark against which all other legacy games should be judged. The Kinderspiel des Jahres award was announced last month and went to Funkelschatz (aka Dragon’s Breath) which is dexterity gem collecting game.