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Subject: Essen: How many days? rss

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Ibrahim Rodríguez
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Hey guys,

I hope you are well. I was wondering how many days you recommend attending to the event. I already purchased a four-day ticket but not sure if attending the four days can be overwhelming. And of course if I can avoid spending more in accommodation, that would be great. I'm fine staying the four days or less but what are your thoughts on this? Is there a lot to do during the four days?

Another question. Do you recommend attending the first day early?

It's first time I'm attending to this event, so any tips are appreciated.

Cheers!
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Daniel B-G
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We've been all 4 days the last 2 years.

I can recommend all days apart from the saturday.

Thursday is crucial to get the stuff that sells out quickly.
Friday is a great day to play games
Saturday is absolutely rammed, it's hard to move and far too hot
Sunday is a good day to pick up deals from people that don't want to take stock home with them.
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Louisa Berry
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Depending on your travel plans etc, we fly in on Wed, spend Thurs and Friday all day at the halls. Spend Sat mornings in town or playing games at the hotel, possibly go into the halls on Sat pm, go to the halls for a few hours on Sunday before going to the airport.
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Robert Wesley
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Re: Essen: How many more daze?


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Matt Utting
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Hexanauta wrote:
Another question. Do you recommend attending the first day early?
Went in 2012 and didn't realise how crammed the underground would be, so missed the lining up... I think we were about 15-20 mins after opening and some of the Japanese games were sold out... but they were going to be sold out in any case. So I wouldn't super stress about it unless you're really desperate to absolutely get a game that you can't preorder.

If you're going to skip a day, skip the last one rather than the first, I think... I was so wiped out that day that after a few hours we decided to head back to the hotel and sleep
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Ibrahim Rodríguez
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Thanks for your response guys, this is really helpful. How can I know where gaming sessions are happening? I booked the accommodation in Webers - Das Hotel in Ruhrturm. Also, not sure if this one is in a good location.

Any experience with this?

Thanks guys!
 
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Ron
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When there was no Internet (you know, the dark days), I was there on all four days. There was so much to discover!

Now that I know nearly everything Up Front (thanks to Boardgamegeek News), I'm only there on 2 days: One for running from booth to booth, buying items I checked out the weeks before Essen, and the second day, just for strolling, chatting, and probably even playing a little.
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Karthik Setty
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This would be my fourth year at Essen, the first year I was totally underprepared and was overwhelmed by the experience. I had to stop after two days. But the second year onwards it was better. I had lists of stuff I wanted to see and had done research on the games beforehand.
If you can I would recommend going early on Thursday. Thursday is the best day for the fair.
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Eddy Sterckx
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PzVIE wrote:

Now that I know nearly everything Up Front

Ok, spill the beans, what do you know about the reprint of Up Front ninja
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Ron
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
PzVIE wrote:

Now that I know nearly everything Up Front

Ok, spill the beans, what do you know about the reprint of Up Front ninja
It will be in Essen for backers to pick-up, haven't you got the eMail?
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Ben P.
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Hexanauta wrote:
not sure if attending the four days can be overwhelming.
It's the other way round: One or two days would be overwhelming. Four days gives you enough time to be relaxed all the way through.

I usually spend 2 days exclusively with playing games and 2 days mostly with browsing the halls, collecting pre-orders, buying games, trading games, talking to people I know etc.
If SPIEL is during school holidays, I spend Day 1 and 4 with wandering around and days 2 and 3 with gaming. If SPIEL is not during school holidays, I do all the running around on Thursday and Friday when there is still some space to move while on the weekend it gets so crowded that I just play games all day.
In recent years, SPIEL has been during the school holidays most of the time, I think.
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Matt Utting
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Hexanauta wrote:
I booked the accommodation in Webers - Das Hotel in Ruhrturm. Also, not sure if this one is in a good location.
Ah... this is where we stayed!

All you have to worry about is getting to Essen Hbf... we walked down or Bussed down to Topfer Str and then caught a bus? tram? don't recall to Essen HBF and then caught the Ubahn to Messe.

There were some people playing in the foyer of Webers one or two nights... but was with family, so didn't get a chance to play.
 
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Bart R.
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Essen in a single day is a rollercoaster ride. Although you can casually stroll along the isles, it's more likely you'll be pushing to see as much as you can and you'll be exhausted at the end of it. Due to circumstances, I've had to do just that for all my visits so far , but I'm looking forward to being able to go for two days. Unfortunately, that won't be happening this year either soblue
 
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Sam Freeman
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This will be my first trip to Essen as well... we're going for Thursday and Friday (didn't like the sound of Saturday!). Done my research, got my wish list nailed... hope to have a good time
 
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Karan R
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I'll be ending my month long eurotrip at Essen and have 2 games listed for myself, everyone in town is busy making their wishlists for me to lug back
Hopefully 2 days will be enough
 
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David
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I agree with cuazzel.

I always go all four days and find it a rather relaxed affair this way. Perhaps this is also due to the fact that I'm more experienced now. I also have a pretty long list every year but I'm more relaxed about not being able to check out everything on it.

But still once I figured out that I can't be gaming into the wee hours every night and have decided to forgo the crazy U-Bahn ride from the Bahnhof to the Messe I'm having a remarkably low stress visit.

If it's your first time then I strongly recommend you make your way to the hall early enough to witness the unleashing of the nerds.

Enjoy some of the side program like the WarmUp-Day (which I believe will be ongoing throughout the fair this year) or hotel lobby gaming.

Understand that if you want to be at the Messe before opening and plan on taking any kind of transportation it's going to be insane. The U-Bahn from the Bahnhof is going to be SUPER-cramped. Think Tokyo metro style. If you are within walking distance then it can REALLY pay taking that walk.

Know your limits when you play in the hotel or the WarmUp-Day. It's very tempting to go on playing till 2 every night. If you can take it more power to you. But a whole day of learning rules and walking through loud and hot halls is already taxing. I need my 8 hours of sleep. As much as it hurts me to but out of all night gaming, I spend too much money going to Essen to be exhausted and dazed from day 2 out.

There are open spaces between the halls. People often go there to take a break, eat (last year I think there was a small "beer garden") or smoke. They can also make handy shortcuts between halls.

Here's what I would consider my ideal strategy for the fair:
* Prioritize your list. Know which games you'd be disappointed if you couldn't check them out.
* The more time you have the more you should favor going through the halls systematically
* The less time you have the more you should favor zig-zagging across the fair to hunt down your top priorities
* But this is a sliding scale.
* If a game you want to check out has no open tables
=> consider moving on to another and come back later
=> consider just watching and asking questions
=> for low complexity games ask if joining is still possible
=> ask how long they'll still be playing (if it's an hour or more you can probably check out a short game and be back for the next game)
=> ask if you can reserve a spot for the next round (some will allow it others won't)
* If you see others hovering and waiting for tables ask if you could join them. Not only does it improve your chances of getting a spot, it can lead to hilarious situations like a Czech designer explaining a game in English to a group of Germans and a Swiss who use their broken French to teach the lone Frenchman.
* Don't forget to chat about recommendations when the opportunity presents itself
* Consider taking some time to just stroll and check out something that sounds or looks interesting.
* Be open about your intentions regarding play time. Some just want to play a few rounds to get a feel for the game other want to play the whole game.

Be direct, flexible and friendly.

Know where the nearest toilets are! And know there will be lines. Plan ahead. Toilet areas however are always well stocked and clean in my experience. So once you get in you should be good.

I very rarely eat foods from the fair grounds. They're not particularly good (the Flammkuchen last year was good though and I've never been to the restaurants), healthy (yeah, sorry Flammkuchen), somewhat pricey and generally never near you when you are hungry. I eat up at breakfast and carry snacks in my backpack. There is plenty of time while waiting for turns, explanations or tables to nibble a granola bar and sip from a water bottle. In exchange I treated myself to a real dinner every day last year.
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Ellie
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Kempeth wrote:

Know your limits when you play in the hotel or the WarmUp-Day. It's very tempting to go on playing till 2 every night. If you can take it more power to you. But a whole day of learning rules and walking through loud and hot halls is already taxing. I need my 8 hours of sleep. As much as it hurts me to but out of all night gaming, I spend too much money going to Essen to be exhausted and dazed from day 2 out.
I second the know your limits advice. I attended only Thurs and Fri last year, but I was so exhausted from late night gaming that I took a 20 min nap at the fair Fri afternoon. whistle
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Eddy Sterckx
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chaoticcalamity wrote:
Kempeth wrote:

Know your limits when you play in the hotel or the WarmUp-Day. It's very tempting to go on playing till 2 every night. If you can take it more power to you. But a whole day of learning rules and walking through loud and hot halls is already taxing. I need my 8 hours of sleep. As much as it hurts me to but out of all night gaming, I spend too much money going to Essen to be exhausted and dazed from day 2 out.
I second the know your limits advice. I attended only Thurs and Fri last year, but I was so exhausted from late night gaming that I took a 20 min nap at the fair Fri afternoon. whistle

I once pulled an all-nighter, but that was back in 2006 or so when we were still young and crazy

These days we don't game outside the halls at all - there's plenty of time to play those new games once you get back home - use the evenings to unwind, relax, sleep and reload for the next day - Essen comes around just once a year, so make sure you're rested when it matters

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David
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I've never been crazy enough to pull an actual all-nighter but the first time I went I figured "Well the halls open at 10 so I can play till 2 and still get roughly a 8 hours sleep." On sunday I was walking the halls like a zombie. It was nearly impossible for me to follow any conversation let alone rules explanations. Luckily I was heading home on Sunday afternoon anyway so I didn't waste too much fair time, but man it was rough.
 
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Johannes B.
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In my opinion Saturday isn't that bad, compared to several street markets in some European metropolises laugh But I have to admit that we take extra long breaks outside in the sun on Saturdays cool
 
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Felix Brause
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ALL OF THEM !!!!

(even Wednesday due to me demoing games there )

But without demoing I´m there two days. If all goes well one day with my nerds and one day with my girlfriend "forcing" her to test some games that could be good for us

I go for a long time now (first time back in 1999? wow)... 2 days are enough for me to see everything I want, but there will be stuff I straight out ignore or just glance over at best. 1h line to get into the heidelberger discount area.. no thanks... yu gi oh demo...nope...
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