Picture-diary of my Essen 2013
Andreas Roth
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(See my former Essen picture-diaries here: Picture-diary of my Essen 2011 and Picture-diary of my Essen 2010)

My third time to Essen, so here's my third picture-diary from Spiel 2013 from me and my friends' perspective. Komm, spiel mit!


Sara, Me, Joppe, Yauca, Johan and Staffan with some of our bought games.


This time we were all in all seven Swedish friends who travelled to Essen for all for days, which was a first. We rented two full apartments so we would have planety of space to play games in the evenings. Super-excited and having planned (or at least prepped) for more than 14 months, this is what unravelled:
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1. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:214]
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Early Thursday morning me, Joppe, Johan and Yauca met up on the train to Copenhagen airport to get us down to Germany.


As I participated in the math-trade for the first time, my bag was already full to the brink upon departure.


On out train-ride to the airport, me and Joppe managed to play a quick Ingenious: Travel Edition, which I handsomely lost...


...however, in two-player and three-player Love Letter on the plane to Düsseldorf I was unbeatable!
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2. Board Game: Helvetia [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:959]
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After checking in an quickly repacking our bags for the fair, we were on the threshold to our third Essen!


Entering at the Western end, there were lots of Asmodee games on parade, many of them in larger-than-life versions. Who wouldn't want a Takenoko collector's edition...?


After a couple of minutes we met with Staffan and Nina, who had arrived on a plane just before us. See the picture as a warning for making impulse decisions at the fair - Staffan is holding his used copy of Helvetia for 12€, while Yauca bought a new version in shrink for 10€, both in the same hall!
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3. Board Game: Oss [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:11995]
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Time to play some games!


First up, me and Staffan tried Oss. Really hard for new players, not as fun as expected. If you play the same group over and over and progress skillwise maybe, but for a casual party-game to break out now and again...? Pass.


Lewis & Clark looked really good, and the table was full everytime I passed. Don't know too much about the game, but I like the not-so-defined board, really gorgeous.


I like the theme and the box for Bruxelles 1893, having lived in Brussels and a big fan of art noveau-architechture...but it seems like the architechture is missing from the game? It looks a bit bland and seemed a bit boring really, testified from the faces of the test-players.
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4. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:421]
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A giant four-in-a-row. Me vs. Staffan 1-1.


After having been split ut, we met up in the afternoon for two rounds of six-player Escape: The Curse of the Temple. Great game, which Staffan picked up.


Final game of the day - Sheepland. It looks so good, but gameplay was sort of bland and not really what I hoped for. Seemed like there was something missing really. Pass.
 
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5. Board Game: 1000 Blank White Cards [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:2834]
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Day one wrap-up: new games galore! Yauca showing off her Tier auf Tier: Jetzt geht's rund! and Staffan with his Escape: The Curse of the Temple.


We slipped by Ibis for a trade...


...before going home and playing 1000 Blank White Cards with custom-made cards based on our day (travel and fair).


Qwixx as a SDJ nominee? Give me a break, it's a nice filler but not more than that.
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6. Board Game: 1,2,3! Now you see me... [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:8302]
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Played 1,2,3! Now you see me... twice actually, as we came back on Sunday as well. Staffan picked up a copy for his kids.


Origins, was it? Cool mega-version, but skimming through the rule booklet I was not so impressed.


Splendor at the Asmodee stand. Never catched the name, but it looked nice.
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7. Board Game Publisher: Japon Brand
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Went by the Japon Brand stand several times, but always full and to be honest I didn't see anything that I fancied. Passed on String Safari for 24€.


Games as art.


Sheep seemed to be the big thematic thing this year, altogether we counted for about 12-13 titles (Vikings lagged far behind at four-five). The Sheep Race looked good, played ok but was...pretty meh. Lane six won handily, as expected. The German family we played with wanted more, but we moved on after one round.
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8. Board Game: The BoardGameGeek Game [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:4167]
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Math-trade on Friday. Wonderfully frenetic and joyful!


Giants, Quarriors!, Flash Point: Fire Rescue, Legends of Andor, Smash Up, 2 de Mayo, Mondo...and then Staffan picked up 10+ games as well!
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9. Board Game: Restaurant [Average Rating:4.95 Overall Rank:14004]
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the best thing we ever did in our three Essen experiences - we went out for lunch. Please note that the bowl of soup and the salad are both starters...




2013 and 2011. Same old Staffan and Munchkin love.
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10. Board Game: Om Nom Nom [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:3532]
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Post-lunch there was a bland offering:


Rockwell looked really dark. We sat down for a test-game, but there was no interest in explaining the rules to us and we didn't have the energy to reat the rules. Pass.


Probably the worst game we played, "Rule of Alchemist" (not in the database). Don't even get me started.


To me, Om Nom Nom was a mechanic without a game, with great graphics pasted on. About as good as the picture.
 
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11. Board Game: Lifeboat [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1854]
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Me and Joppe has a wonderful game of Lifeboat with these two guys. We all died, so it was a tie of sorts. Should probably have picked this up, but I'm wondering if it doesn't get a bit too repetetive after a while?


Over at Treefrog Games, isn't that Martin Wallace in the booth?


Palmyra was a great and cutthroat little game, perfect to pick up for half price next Spiel.



Tumblin' Monkeys 2013 and 2011 respectively - this time we played it in a restaurant in the evening!


Me and Joppe playing the final game of the evening, Sorry! Sliders.
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12. Board Game: Via Appia [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:2042]
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Like cattle, we got there early for the Saturday action...


First out - me, Yauca and Sara (who joined us Friday night) played Via Appia. Wonderful medium-light game, Sara later picked it up!


Can't remember the name, but itGet Bit! was a clever little filler with great LEGO-components.
 
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13. Board Game: Yellow Jersey [Average Rating:6.74 Unranked]
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We played a great game of Yellow Jersey, and picked up the two last copies. Handmade and signed by the designer, who gladly paraded for a photo or two.


Yauca trying FrogFlip, which Sara later bought.
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14. Board Game: Panic Lab [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3061]
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Another out-of-fair lunch. Great pause, and a chance to talk about games! whistle


Panic Lab. Very stressful. Requires a round table?


Joppe bought Banjoli Xeet, and me and Johan are trying to look like ostriches.


Le Fantôme de l'Opéra was basically Mr. Jack on a different board. snore
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15. Board Game: Terror in Meeple City [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:629]
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We saw Knizia, but no casual talking like in 2011.


I bought a copy of Terror in Meeple City but alas, why didn't I wait for...


...Antoine Bauza to sign it? What a streak he is on!
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16. Board Game: Mush! Mush!: Snow Tails 2 [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:2927]
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A great six-player game with one of the Lamont-brothers (Gordon, who beat us badly), and later on a signed copy from both brothers. One of the highlights of the fair! meeple
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17. Board Game: Win, Lose, or Banana [Average Rating:5.41 Overall Rank:14623]
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At the end of the day, we celebrated with 'German tapas'!


Staffan is one happy camper, having just discovered a copy of Win, Lose, or Banana in his traded copy of FlowerFall!
 
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18. Board Game: Tokaido [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:439]
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The final day approached, with more games games games in hold.


An analogue version of PacMan.


Zagłada Atlantydy looked like a decent cube-pusher.


Tokaido, Bauza's journey through eastern Japan, holds much promise - the players didn't look to excited though.


Johan and Yauca super-excited about finding a copy of K2!
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19. Board Game Designer: Klaus-Jürgen Wrede
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Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, what a delight! See pics for 2013 and 2011 respectively - probably the nicest guy in Essen, always with a smile and willing to talk for as long as it takes. laugh


Fun Farm was fun, but not that fun.


Gobbit, clever party-game with a twist.
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20. Board Game: Byzantio [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:5010]
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Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar! devil


Byzantio was quick and fun, but it seemed like it was something it wasn't. Pass.


Tipp-Kick, the quintessential German game!
 
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21. Board Game: Loot [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:1626]
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All good things come to an end. Ah, well, we spent quite some time to pack. Game-in-game is a classic if you want to fit anything.


Back home, with my modest loot. (Trias for 5€ is missing!)

So what did I get?

Math-trade:
Flash Point: Fire Rescue
Giants
Smash Up
Legends of Andor
Quarriors!
+A Castle for All Seasons in a traditional trade

BGG Auction:
2 de Mayo for 17€
Mondo for 10€
Fast Flowing Forest Fellers for 15€
Flash 10 for 4€

Games bought:
Trias for 5€
Pony Express for 10€
The Road to Canterbury for 50€ wow
Terror in Meeple City for 38€ surprise
Easels for Pastiche
Bag of random meeples (and other stuff)
Dice for making my own Tumblin-Dice

Alas, I should've bought more games...! arrrh
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