Not quite Essen, but maybe close - my short report from the Sueddeutsche Spielemesse 2009 in Stuttgart
Marc
Germany
Pliezhausen
Baden-Wuerttemberg
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I've never been to Essen, and I've been to Nuernberg only once, but as I live very close to the capitol of Southern Germany, Stuttgart, I attended the fairs hosted there quite often when I was a kid.

Today, now that I am more into boardgames than ever, I tried to get my regular gaming group together to visit the game fair in Stuttgart on sunday, the last day of the fair. So here is my short list, trying to recapture the good times we've had, garnished with some pictures and descriptions of what happened.

So here it is, my first geeklist. Enjoy
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1. Board Game: Monopoly: Stuttgart [Average Rating:3.20 Unranked]
Marc
Germany
Pliezhausen
Baden-Wuerttemberg
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Everyone on BGG knows where Essen is. But Stuttgart? Maybe not quite everyone, or maybe just the one's who own the Settlers of Catan Germany Edition?

Stuttgart is the capitol of Baden-Wuerttemberg, which is, besides Bavaria, one of the two states of Southern Germany. Some years ago the convention centre, where all the fairs and concerts where held, was located right in the middle of Stuttgart. Meanwhile it moved close to the airport, right outside of the city, where lots of parking space and lots of space in general for the visitors and the exhibitors is provided.

The new exhibition site is also really easy to approach, and very nice to look at because of it's almost futuristic design.



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2. Board Game: Peoples of the Planet [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Marc
Germany
Pliezhausen
Baden-Wuerttemberg
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Boy, it was crowded. Because there wasn't only the game fair held in these 4 days, but also 6 other fairs held at the same time (minerals, handicrafts, baby, electronic, model-making...), the place was packed and almost bursted of people.

Things could get a little bit tricky if you wanted to try out some games, although there was plenty of space provided as you can see on the pictures below.



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3. Board Game Publisher: Asmodee
Marc
Germany
Pliezhausen
Baden-Wuerttemberg
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There were lots of major (Kosmos, Asmodee, Schmidt Spiele, Amigo, Ravensburger, Days of Wonder, Heidelberger...) and smaller (Adlung Games, Zoch, Abacussspiele...) publishers around, with a focus on family friendly games they offered to teach, play and, of course, buy.

I even had the chance to meet with a fellow boardgamegeeker and old gaming buddy who works at Asmodee...

Guido Heinecke
Germany
Konstanz
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... who can be seen on one of the pictures below




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4. Board Game: Dominion: Seaside [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked]
Marc
Germany
Pliezhausen
Baden-Wuerttemberg
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Dominion was everywhere. And so was Tobago. Maybe these two games where the single most wanted games of the fair, which were offered at alomst every corner of this gigantic hall.

We have also seen a lot of play for Imperial 2030, Stronghold, Finca, World Without End, Alcazar and other new or established titles.

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5. Board Game: Pack & Stack [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1618]
Marc
Germany
Pliezhausen
Baden-Wuerttemberg
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After we walked around for a while in hope of finding a table where we could give some games a try, we finally snatched one at the Kosmos area where we first tried Zack & Pack with 5 players.

After just a few minutes of rules study we all got right into the action. It is a very light but very funny and interactive game which involves both reflexes, three-dimensional thinking and math, but is also suitable for younger players.

One of our friendly couples liked it that much, that they wanted to buy it shortly after. And I can't blame them for that, I for myself wanted to play a 2nd round right away!

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6. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:767]
Marc
Germany
Pliezhausen
Baden-Wuerttemberg
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After Zack & Pack we went back to the Kosmos bus and asked for another fast game for 5 or more players. The Kosmos guys recommended Tsuro, another very light but enjoyable game which felt more random than Zack & Pack, but can accommodate even up to 8 players!

After less than 5 minutes of rules studying we played 3 rounds with 7 players, where our girls beat the hell out us. Tsuro is a really nice filler game, but that maybe can become too repetitive too soon.




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7. Board Game: The Castle of the Devil [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1716]
Marc
Germany
Pliezhausen
Baden-Wuerttemberg
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To be honest this is the only game I bought on the fair, because I couldn't decide on what games I wanted to buy first (my wishlist is long, very long and contains titles like Pandemic, Mr. Jack, Agricola, Race for the Galaxy, Warrior Knights, Power Grid and some more), and I also wanted to save me some games that I can wish for this christmas and for my birthday.

So I decided to give Adlung Games a try and followed the advice of my fellow friend Hieken and went for Kutschfahrt zur Teufelsburg. After browsing through the rules and the gorgeous artwork I am really looking forward to buy more games from Adlung like Meuterer and Verraeter in the near future.

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8. Board Game: Balloon Cup [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:909]
Marc
Germany
Pliezhausen
Baden-Wuerttemberg
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There have also been a lot of other attractions, apart from the regular boardgames like f.e. this massive aggregation of balloons...







...fantasy euqipment...



...or other very strange games like Affentennis...



...or just plain funny promotion...



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9. Board Game: Over-n-Out [Average Rating:4.67 Unranked]
Marc
Germany
Pliezhausen
Baden-Wuerttemberg
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All in all it was a really nice experience for all of us, even if it was too warm and too crowded at times, and you really couldn't get through the hallways without jostling one another, and having quite a hard time finding a free seat to play games.

We had a blast browsing through all the booths, playing some quick and dirty action games, talking to other enthusiastic boardgamers, and just observing whats going to be played this winter in Germany.

The atmosphere was very warm and friendly, and especially the offers for the kids were just awesome, as they had plenty of space and games to play with.





So this is the end of my short report. I hope you enjoyed it a bit and thank you for your attention
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