My Essen 2013 or "Is it a good idea to do a 1-day trip on sunday?"
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
Kallo
Antwerp
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Like we are doing it the last 5 or 6 years, our club visited Spiel on sunday. Because most of us are teachers, we will never be able to go for a 3- or 4-day visit. In this list I will tell you the good and bad things about sunday, I will tell you what I bought, what I could not buy, what we played and what we saw. I will start with the traditional loot-pick:
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1. Board Game: First Impressions [Average Rating:3.67 Unranked]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
Kallo
Antwerp
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After a 3 hour ride and a short walk from the parking garage, we arrived in the new halls. I do not see that much difference with the old halls. I like the fact that we had a little bit more space to walk in most of the pathways.
I do think that sunday is not the most crowded day, a lot of people are flying/driving back to go to work I guess. It was possible to find a free table if you were not to picky.
 
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2. Board Game: The Great Persuader [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:12793]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
Kallo
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Before buying anything we sat down for this warming up game. I will not say it's bad, it can be funny in the right crowd I guess, but when someone has to evaluate how good someone else defends the hobby of climbing the Himalayas naked, you know it's not that deep.
 
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3. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island – Voyage of the Beagle (Vol. 1) [Average Rating:8.28 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.28 Unranked]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
Kallo
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We can call this my first buy of the day. We preordered the Portal bundle because 1 guy of our club wanted Theseus, another wanted Legacy, so I had an excuse to buy this expansion. It would be the only expansion I bought this year (sorry Keyflower: The Farmers, maybe I will get you later). I really like the graphic design and I am curious to play the campaign with my girlfriend.
 
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4. Board Game: Trains and Stations [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:5369]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
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We were able to get a demo again so we sat down for this light train game. I think a lot of the demoers are tired on sunday (I can understand), so it was not that clear when you received which points. Half of the commodities never were used in our game, so maybe we did something wrong. Anyway, not really our thing.
 
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5. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:492]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
Kallo
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I read the rules for this (in my opinion a bit atypical Vlaada-)game and I liked the semi-abstract way it appears. I saw the pile of English copies diminishing so I had to buy it. I got a cool badge too :-) .
 
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6. Board Game: The Mines of Zavandor [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2317]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
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Every Essen, we buy some calculated guesses. I think I heard some good things about this game... only 5 euro... OK let's give it a go.
 
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7. Board Game: World of Tanks: Rush [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:5649]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
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One of my fellows had this high on his wish list. It was sold out (we will see another one of those), but we could try it. I do not like it when you get a demo in which they let you play your first turns without explaining why you would choose to do something. Let's sum it up by saying my fellow will not buy it. I think it's to close to Dominion and Eminent Domain to get a position in our collections.
 
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8. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.10 Overall Rank:19]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
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As a Latin teacher and a fan of Mac Gerdts this was my only musthavegame of the show. "Sold out?" "They cannot be serious." "..."
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9. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:313]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
Kallo
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Voices in my head:
"You know you like this game, and lots of people you know will like it."
"But you can play with one of the copies your friends own."
"But not when you are not with them. And this version looks so cool. And it will be different than the versions my friends have."
"Well ok."
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10. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:407]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
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This game was some time allready on my wish list, I am always intrigued by the games of Phil Eklund, but also a bit scared by them. This seemed the most accessible.
I did not know they had a booth on the show, so I decided it was destiny when I passed it. The lady who sold me the game meant it when she said "Enjoy your game." I read the rules in the car back home.. should read them again I guess, but oh boy this looks promising.
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11. Board Game: Blueprints [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:790]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
Kallo
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A table became empty at the moment I was watching this game at the Z-man booth, so we sat down. The explainer gets my demo-of-the-show-award: a quick, clear and complete explanation. We all agreed this was a game our club needed. Fast and fun, but also, what most fast and fun games miss, tactical. I predict this will see a lot of plays in our club.
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12. Board Game: BasketBoss [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:3266]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
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Our last buyingrush had begun: I saw this for 3 euro, remembered I read somewhere this is an underestimated game and remembered I still like Gipsy King by the same author a lot. We will see. It sure is a theme I do not have yet.
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13. Board Game: Mascarade [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:969]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
Kallo
Antwerp
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I would have bought this too (read the rules, like the author and the play count), but English version was sold out and I think player aids will be important. No problem, I will find this in Belgium without a problem.
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14. Board Game: Prosperity [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1630]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
Kallo
Antwerp
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I saw I wanted one more economical game and doubted between this and Spyrium. I think this will be more unique and hope I made the right decision.
 
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15. Board Game: Jumping to Conclusions [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Stefaan Henderickx
Belgium
Kallo
Antwerp
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To answer the question I stated in the beginning: I do think it's a good way of visiting the fair when you live close enough, but you have to be prepared that some games will be sold out and that you will not play long games when you only have one day. On the positive side: the crowd was just enough to fill the halls but not enough to make them burst, and some bargains were to be made.
Anyway it's a fun way to spend a day with friends, to laugh and to eat some bratwurst.
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