Up until this year, I had never even heard of Spiel Essen. I've been to a boardgame con in Eindhoven before, and I enjoyed that, although it was small compared to Essen (but to me it seemed big at the time).
Then BGG started overflowing with posts about Spiel, and after reading up on it, I decided I should take my wife and simply go. For me it's a 1.5 hour drive, so almost next door.
Once we got in at thursday, about 10.30, I was amazed at the sheer size of the halls and the amount of people already inside!
I was happy to have brought along an A3 printed copy of the hall layout, courtesy of DukeOfEarl.
I had made a list of things I wanted to check out and/or buy, as many people have advised here. And it was helpful indeed. Things on my list:
- Claustrophobia: Furor Sanguinis (C:FS)
- Dixit base game + all expansions (I own Odyssey)
- Mice & Mystics: Heart of Glorm and Downwood Tales + promo cards + possibly a plushie (MM:HoG / MM:DWT) though PlaidHat games cancelled their attendance sadly.
- D&D boardgames: Legend of Drizzt, Wrath of Ashardalon and Castle Ravenloft. (DD:LoD / DD:WoA / DD:CR)
- pick up Escape Big Box from the kickstarter at Queen Games
- Zombicide promos perhaps? Even though CMoN / Guillotine wasn't attending.
- Swan Panasia sleeves for Dixit and BaHotH
- Arcane Tinmen sleeved for some other games.
- Whatever tickles my fancy.
Seemed like a big list to check off on one day, but seeing how people were lugging around HUGE crates stacked on top of eachother, FILLED with boardgames, I think my list was relatively moderate. Thankfully, I read about bringing along a trolley suitcase, and so I did.
So I passed by Queen Games for my Escape big box first:
And also got a pretty cool cloth Escape carrying bag to carry it in. Nice people at that booth!
Then I spotted the BGG booth! Hi BGG!
Then my wife spotted the Krosmaster Arena booth, and she loved all the colourful minis there:
They were selling the game at €50,- and I was kinda on the fence about it, because we mainly play coop games, and not PvP. But it has a huge bling factor, and I'm a true magpie when it comes to bling. Then later on I saw several booths selling it for €34 IIRC, and I was tempted even more. I'm kicking myself for not buying it for €34,-. That was a steal...
But we wanted to see some ingame action, so we decided to check some reviews first. We didn't have time to play a demo sadly.
Then I crossed several miniature wargaming booths, cool scenery and minis:
And some were selling laser-cut wooden scenery. It looks amazing. I always take some pics of that kid of thing, even though we don't play wargames. It's just so beautiful, and those painted figures are marvellous.
Then we passed a booth with a store that sold new and old games, soe secondhand ones too. I spotted my favourite game HeroQuest. FIVE TIMES! Plus an advanced edition. I was salivating, but they priced them pretty steeply. I managed to withhold from buying one.
What's that? D&D fantasy adventure boardgame expansions!?!? Eternal Winter and Forbidden Forest? Yup... In German... GAH!!
The nice lady did open a box for me. Sniff that goodness there... Oh well, over my budget.
We entered hall 4 to see Adriaensen amongst others, but it seemed only half filled. The plans showed a full hall, but apparently lots were either relocated or did not show up. The first game we came across there was:
Machina Arcana. At first glance it seemed fiddly to me. Lots of tokens, cardboard figures (and I love me my minis!), lots of cards with lots of text to read... Complex, cumbersome.
But my wife seemed interested and so we talked with the designer, who was there on his own, and it turned out that it not only was cooperative, but also relatively easy to grasp. Most of the card text was flavour text, and turns were short. Very pretty dice, and I was immediately thinking: with my large collection of minis, mostly from Reaper Bones I and II and lots of other sources, I could easily replace the cardboard figures with actual miniatures. My eyes started to sparkle. "How much is the game?" I asked. It's $50,- but we don't have any in stock right now. GAH again! It was distributed via Kickstarter and they sold out the few leftover copies they had produced.
Well, we got a calling card with the webaddress, so we could look it up. Apparently there will be another Kickstarter soon, so we could back for a copy of the game, possibly with a new expansion.
Then some more cool wargaming scenery and a spaceship!
We walked and walked, and took some pictures of all the booths and people playing games.
I found a booth that had the D&D boardgames, Tellurian Games, and I managed to get all three of them at a reasonable price! Joy! My trolley was instantly filled. We had to go back to the garage and dump it all in the car. On the way out, I bought Dixit + 4 expansions at the Brummbär booth in hall 3. Cross those from the list!
Suddenly I spot a booth with Kinetic Sand. I immediately point it to my wife: "You gotta see this!" and she loves it. Great for our almost 2 year old son, who loves to play with sand. As his sandbox in the yard is now "closed" for the coming winter, this would be something for him to play with. And my wife likes to sculpt, so she wanted it. But they didn't have any for sale yet. Tomorrow they said. GAAAAAH! Seriously??
Fortunately, the next booth had "Magic Sand", which was exactly the same. Booyah! Bought the biggest pack they had.
I was getting thirsty. Did I ever mention I love mead?
More very nicely painted miniatures:
And a booth with carved wooden figures. This is amazing stuff!
AvP the boardgame. I love the movies, so I had to take a few pictures:
Here are the Freebooter's Fate pictures:
Oh look, a Munchkin barbarian!
Who finds a companion barbarian! With mead! I love mead!
Cuteness overload at the Japanese games booths and comic booths:
Recent KS I backed was there, but unfortunately not the artist:
Super Dungeon Explore! Looks absolutely great, but so darn expensive!
Another project I backed on KS: MYTH... I have yet to receive it. Longest KS ever... Looks really good though:
Some final shots before heading home:
Got my sleeved from Swan Panasia, but couldn't find Arcane Tinmen...
Also, Asmodee did not have C:FS in yet. GAAAAAAARGH!! *weeps silently*
And to top it off, NOBODY had MM:DWT in stock. Most had MM:HoG, but in German again, except for Heidelberg, who fortunately had a few, so that was off my list as well.
All in all, a very satisfying, though tiring day. I think I would have enjoyed a second day, so I could actually try out some games, and sit down some more. One game we did manage to try out was Dark Tales, a beautifully illustrated card game. I think I'll put that on my "maybe" list if I ever come across it again. Dragonscroll also looked very nice, with some funny looking miniature dragons and an awesome fireball tower! But they were also sold out, you had to pre-order it. On my watch list
I hope you enjoyed reading my report!
This is my blog of HeroQuest game sessions, miniature painting and custom resources. You can also read and subscribe for my blog at http://yeoldeinn-heroquest.blogspot.com where I'm a co-writer.
- [+] Dice rolls