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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Conventions » Essen

Subject: First time at Spiel, how to prepare? rss

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Jeroen 3h
Netherlands
Zwolle
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I only just bought my ticket for Spiel (only able to attend on Saturday), but really have no idea what to expect. Any tips on what to do and not to do? Want to prepare myself at least a little and not just run around only to realize I missed half of it.

The logistics part of it is no problem, only a short 2 hour drive and I speak (or at least I can understand) German but have no clear idea on how to prepare on what games to buy.
 
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Ilse
Belgium
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My advice would be don't prepare too much, if it's your first time and you're going for just 1 day, just have fun. You can look at the Spiel preview list and check what games interest you, and try to go and play those.
Note that saturday is really busy, so don't expect to play the overly hyped games.

Have fun.
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Roberto Vaccari
Italy
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Just prepare cash, since no stand in Essen takes credit card!
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Jeroen 3h
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Ilse23 wrote:
My advice would be don't prepare too much, if it's your first time and you're going for just 1 day, just have fun. You can look at the Spiel preview list and check what games interest you, and try to go and play those.
Note that saturday is really busy, so don't expect to play the overly hyped games.

Have fun.


Thanks Ilse, I do plan on being there a little before the doors actually open just in case there are any huge lines waiting (I did already buy a ticket online).
 
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Emile de Maat
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Well, it's going to be big, and it's going to be busy (especially on Saturday).

It'll be hard to find a table to play a game. So, if you are planning to try out some games, don't be too picky: if you see a free table for a game you want to try, take it - don't go looking for something better.

The best place to start preparing is probably the SPIEL 2016 Preview. Have a look at all the games coming out, and make note of the ones that interest you, and at which booths they may be found. You'll probably find out that some of the halls have more games that interest you than some of the others (for example, many of the games I like are in Hall 3). That will give you a place to start your wanderings.

It may be useful to note that one of the halls contains mostly comics, not games, and one of them contains mostly LARP items and roleplaying games. Depending on your preference, you might go there first, or go there only when you've got some time left.
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Jeroen 3h
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Purple wrote:
Well, it's going to be big, and it's going to be busy (especially on Saturday).

It'll be hard to find a table to play a game. So, if you are planning to try out some games, don't be too picky: if you see a free table for a game you want to try, take it - don't go looking for something better.

The best place to start preparing is probably the SPIEL 2016 Preview. Have a look at all the games coming out, and make note of the ones that interest you, and at which booths they may be found. You'll probably find out that some of the halls have more games that interest you than some of the others (for example, many of the games I like are in Hall 3). That will give you a place to start your wanderings.

It may be useful to note that one of the halls contains mostly comics, not games, and one of them contains mostly LARP items and roleplaying games. Depending on your preference, you might go there first, or go there only when you've got some time left.


Thanks Emile, no comics or LARP for me so I can already drop two halls (or at least save those for when I have any time left).
 
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Johannes B.
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jeroen3h wrote:
Thanks Emile, no comics or LARP for me so I can already drop two halls (or at least save those for when I have any time left).
Keep in mind that these halls are not completely Comic/LARP and there are still some boardgames (at least in the last years...).

You can also use the "SPIEL together"-tool. There are the games from the Preview-list mentioned above, but you have several filter options, i.e. by player count, playing time; you can sort the games by their popularity either here on BGG in the original list or by the rating system at "SPIEL together" and so on...
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Alain Baum
Luxembourg
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The last years, comics and LARP was mainly in hall 2, but since SPIEL has grown into additional halls, this may no longer be quite true.

Halls 1 and 3 are mostly for the "big names" in board gaming, and they have larger booths. Halls 2, 4, 6, and 7 have smaller booths that often present only one or two games.

As a shameless plug, may I recommend my maps here: Hall Plans for Essen Spiel 2016 - Finished!

Also, I wrote an Essen guide for our gaming club in Luxembourg, but most of it is pretty generic and of use to anyone: http://www.spillfabrik.lu/Essen_en.htm

Hope this helps.
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Jeroen 3h
Netherlands
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DukeOfEarl wrote:

Halls 1 and 3 are mostly for the "big names" in board gaming, and they have larger booths. Halls 2, 4, 6, and 7 have smaller booths that often present only one or two games.

As a shameless plug, may I recommend my maps here: Hall Plans for Essen Spiel 2016 - Finished!


Thanks Alain, hall 1 and 3 first I guess and then hit the other halls with smaller booths. The shameless plug really helps ;-)
 
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Eddy Sterckx
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One thing which wasn't mentioned : you don't need to speak German but sometimes it's a bonus when you do so you can join a table where the explanation / gamers are German.
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Jeroen 3h
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
One thing which wasn't mentioned : you don't need to speak German but sometimes it's a bonus when you do so you can join a table where the explanation / gamers are German.


I can understand German pretty well and speak NederDuits I guess, a beautiful (not according to the Germans I guess) mix of Dutch and German.
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Bart R.
Belgium
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The best tip was already given: don't over-prepare, but it can't hurt to have a look at the preview and the hall maps so you know where you can find the games you really want to see/buy. Although the booth numbering is pretty straightforward in most places, knowing where things are beforehand helps a lot, especially for a first-time single-day visitor - I once was one of those too whistle .

For the rest: walk into those halls and fully hand yourself over to the kid-in-a-candystore feeling laugh
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Trond Åge Låstad
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Already loads of good advice here. In addition I would add; wear good comfortable shoes. You will be walking a lot, and on hard concrete floors...
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Philip Homatidis
England
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Though there are food stands most everywhere, be sure to carry a bottle of water with you and perhaps a snack. The queues can be long at those food stands, especially on Saturday.

At the other end of the above thought, the toilets will have queues. If you pass by one with a short queue, think about taking a moment for a break. Do not wait for the last minute.

Be patient. There will be a lot of people as well as a lot of people wearing large backpacks/carrying oversize bags and not paying as much attention to others as they should. You will get hit inadvertently. Do not get upset.

Remember that you can enter/exit the Messe as you wish. On the way out, get a wristband so that you can re-enter later. Knowing this, you can leave to drop off things at your car rather than carry them with you all day. If you do not want to do this, think about the coat check service. They will also hold bags of games for a few Euro.

Think of one or two games which interest you the most and head for those first. Bear in mind that others will be doing the same. The problem with the big publisher areas is that people will park there for hours trying different games. The problem with small publishers is that they may only have 1-3 tables at most. That too limits your chances of getting to play a particular game. Once again, patience. You can wait at one place until you do get a player spot or you can wander and see what else is in the hall. Think about time management.

Be open to trying games about which you know nothing. You may find a gem or at least a good social experience meeting others while playing that game.

Finally - Enjoy yourself. That is why you are attending. If you are not having fun, go to another hall/booth/area and reset. The day can be tiring. Realize this.
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Harald Dalbakken
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Do your homework... find out what games are beeing released or demoed at spiel'16 that you find interesting, in which hall and booth they are located. I reckon you know about the Spiel16 Preview Geeklist?

It all can be quite overwhelming. There are lots of people everywhere, huge Halls and a lot of Booths. Try to prioritize what is most important to buy/check out before buying (Thursday/Friday). On Saturday it may be sold out already. Something get sold out straight away (like japon brand)

meeple

jeroen3h wrote:
I only just bought my ticket for Spiel (only able to attend on Saturday), but really have no idea what to expect. Any tips on what to do and not to do? Want to prepare myself at least a little and not just run around only to realize I missed half of it.

The logistics part of it is no problem, only a short 2 hour drive and I speak (or at least I can understand) German but have no clear idea on how to prepare on what games to buy.
 
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Mia N.
Germany
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jeroen3h wrote:
eddy_sterckx wrote:
One thing which wasn't mentioned : you don't need to speak German but sometimes it's a bonus when you do so you can join a table where the explanation / gamers are German.


I can understand German pretty well and speak NederDuits I guess, a beautiful (not according to the Germans I guess) mix of Dutch and German.


Whaaat? I looove NederDuits! Don't know of anybody who doesn't consider it very charming :-)
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Louise McCully
New Zealand
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My recommendation is to ignore all publishers whose games will eventually arrive in your country.
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Norman Mueller
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Philia wrote:


Whaaat? I looove NederDuits! Don't know of anybody who doesn't consider it very charming :-)


*slowly raises hand*


...



Naaah, I'm just kidding. Ik wens u veel plezier in Essen.
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arz man
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jeroen3h wrote:

Thanks Ilse, I do plan on being there a little before the doors actually open just in case there are any huge lines waiting (I did already buy a ticket online).


If you have your ticket go straight to the door bypassing the ticket booths. The queues are generally for the ticket booths.
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Jeroen 3h
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LannisterCrimson wrote:
Philia wrote:


Whaaat? I looove NederDuits! Don't know of anybody who doesn't consider it very charming :-)


*slowly raises hand*


...



Naaah, I'm just kidding. Ik wens u veel plezier in Essen.


Ah you called me 'u'. You can call me 'je' if you want ;-)
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Louise McCully
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The way I see it there are three ways to prepare yourself regarding the Essen releases (thorough; relaxed; carefree)

1. Read every game listing in the Spiel Preview; skim read any reviews or rule books and make a short list knowing you have given everything your assessment. This is what I did and still missed out on some cool games. I don't think you have the time for this now.

2. Browse other people Essen Geeklists; especially useful if they write their thoughts down as to why interested or not. There is a compilation Geeklist of Essen Geeklists.

3. Don't research; just try what interests you on the day.
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Nick Davies
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Good advice.

I'd also look at the games you own / have played and really enjoy. Then see if those designers are launching anything at Essen as a quick way of getting a few games to seek out at the very least (e.g. I love Marco Polo [the game!], and found Lorenzo il Magnifico was coming out by the same designer, so I must check it out!)
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This may be a super n00b question, but when everyone is talking about publishers "having tables." Do you mean that they are having tables with copies of the game and people letting you play demos of the game?

So, I can go up to a publisher's booth and sit at one of their tables to learn and play the game?
 
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Christian Gienger
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arrr_matey wrote:
This may be a super n00b question, but when everyone is talking about publishers "having tables." Do you mean that they are having tables with copies of the game and people letting you play demos of the game?

So, I can go up to a publisher's booth and sit at one of their tables to learn and play the game?


Yes, the publishers usually have tables at their booths and people who demo their new games there. At most booths each table is dedicated to a single game (and some games are demoed on more than one table). Usually you aren't playing full games though!
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Vincent
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arrr_matey wrote:
This may be a super n00b question, but when everyone is talking about publishers "having tables." Do you mean that they are having tables with copies of the game and people letting you play demos of the game?

So, I can go up to a publisher's booth and sit at one of their tables to learn and play the game?

If you do a google image search in SPIEL Essen, you get a pretty good idea of what it looks like. Some publishers have one tabel, some have over 12 tables. It can be pretty hard to get a table though. I think there are still plenty of people that play full games. But even if you're not playing you can watch other people play or get an overview from someone.
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