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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Conventions » Essen

Subject: Going Solo to Try Games -- how likely to have a good time? rss

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France
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Nord Pas-de-Calais
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First-timer planning on maybe going to the show solo-bolo. Not a hardcore gamer, but love me some Euros. I'm more into playing a bunch of games and trying out new ones rather than shopping.

What would people advise for going to Essen? Is it going to be a pain in the ass to find games to play if I'm alone? Or would there be lots of demos going on that I could join? I'm thinking of going Thursday and Friday when it would be less crowded.

These questions come up for me after deciding I would go and then read the FAQ pinned to the top of the forum. This paragraph has me worried --

"It can be exhausting too. You do a lot of walking each day, there are few places to rest and the show can be packed solid on the weekend. You have to be very active to get a table or somewhere to play (people often play on the floor between tables). Essen is not a games convention in the usual sense, there are not organisers to reserve tables or games for you. You have to use your wits and work the show yourself. It's not aggressive, people are very friendly, but if you are not up for it, you may find the show and the crowds hard work. But it is easy to make friends and many German gamers will explain new games to you."
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Tilou
France
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Don't let it scare you. Sure it's crowded. But depending on the games you'll get to try you'll easily play 6-10 new games in a day. The thing is not to be too picky and just sit down where there is a free spot.

It's a nice experience, though I've never tried it alone. But I've seen a lot of solo people and it didn't seem difficult for them to join a table.
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Christian Gienger
Germany
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arrr_matey wrote:
First-timer planning on maybe going to the show solo-bolo. Not a hardcore gamer, but love me some Euros. I'm more into playing a bunch of games and trying out new ones rather than shopping.

What would people advise for going to Essen? Is it going to be a pain in the ass to find games to play if I'm alone? Or would there be lots of demos going on that I could join? I'm thinking of going Thursday and Friday when it would be less crowded.

These questions come up for me after deciding I would go and then read the FAQ pinned to the top of the forum. This paragraph has me worried --

"It can be exhausting too. You do a lot of walking each day, there are few places to rest and the show can be packed solid on the weekend. You have to be very active to get a table or somewhere to play (people often play on the floor between tables). Essen is not a games convention in the usual sense, there are not organisers to reserve tables or games for you. You have to use your wits and work the show yourself. It's not aggressive, people are very friendly, but if you are not up for it, you may find the show and the crowds hard work. But it is easy to make friends and many German gamers will explain new games to you."


I usually take some time for myself every year and it's pretty easy to join demos if you're alone. Just compare it to the single rider lane in amusement parks. There's always 3 player groups at 4 player demos or even more 4 player groups at 5 player tables that you can join with hardly any waiting time.
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Andreas Krüger
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Krefeld
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When you are alone, you can find a place faster than as a group. But you have to be active. When you see someone setting up a game, ask if you can join (and if they mind speaking English - the fair is getting more and more international but still, a lot of people don't speak English fluently).
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Andrew Rowse
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Wellington
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Also - if you're only going for two days, you'll easily be able to spend that entire time exploring!
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Eddy Sterckx
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arrr_matey wrote:
.. and trying out new ones rather than shopping.


Yeah, that's what I said my first time too ... just to be safe : make sure you have some extra cash handy
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Adastra
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I'd say it depends on your personality. If you're very introverted and suffer from mild social anxiety (like me), you probably will have a harder time to ask if you can join games. Maybe find someone like yourself who'll join forces with you?

But if you're very outgoing, you will definitely have no problem at all!
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Trond Åge Låstad
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And you will be able to play a lot of games at the different hotels in the evening. People are more than happy to have you joint them in playing their newest purchases.
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Me Me
England
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Somerset
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[q="Thamos von Nostria"]When you are alone, you can find a place faster than as a group. q]

Much easier to be alone. You can try out the games you prefer rather than hang around a game you're not interested in. We do not speak German, but people were very helpful.

Enjoy the buzz!
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
arrr_matey wrote:
.. and trying out new ones rather than shopping.


Yeah, that's what I said my first time too ... just to be safe : make sure you have some extra cash handy


Or purposely leave your wallet at home.
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Kasper Lauest
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raevynn wrote:
I'd say it depends on your personality. If you're very introverted and suffer from mild social anxiety (like me), you probably will have a harder time to ask if you can join games. Maybe find someone like yourself who'll join forces with you?

But if you're very outgoing, you will definitely have no problem at all!

I have never been to Essen, but that is exactly what I would have said. An outgoing person would probably never have a hard time finding a game at any convention. The trouble is for those of us who are not outgoing.
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Garry Clarke
United Kingdom
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Even if a table is full with people playing I just walk up and ask them what they think. Most people are there to test things out rather than have a full game. Nobody I've ever spoken to has had a problem with this.
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Karl
Austria
Salzburg
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I am not exactly the outgoing type and usually roam alone in Essen. Still almost nerver had a problem playing a given game besides the 3-4 extremely hot ones that might even have reservation lists (2F games I am looking at you). Unless its 2 player games (that can be really hard to join, but i you are a bit lucky the designer will play vs you) its usually really easy to join larger games. Maybe not on 1st try but with a bit patience its a veray doable thing. I think I actually prefer going alone for playing games on my 'interested' list. I prefer going in groups to discover games I hadn't even on my radar as they might suggest something new. But so might strangers when we chat before or after a game.
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France
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Thanks a million for everybody who replied. TBH, my heart has been thoroughly warmed by how nice everyone is here on BGG.

I'm going to go for sure and as a kind of half-introverted, half-extroverted person, I think I'll be able to make a go of it. I'm living in northern France at the moment, so it's just a train ride away.

I'll try to check out the forums before I go to see if people are posting events for the evenings or anything like that. Would be awesome to meet up with people.

Thanks again everyone!
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Meow San

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arrr_matey wrote:
Thanks a million for everybody who replied. TBH, my heart has been thoroughly warmed by how nice everyone is here on BGG.

I'm going to go for sure and as a kind of half-introverted, half-extroverted person, I think I'll be able to make a go of it. I'm living in northern France at the moment, so it's just a train ride away.

I'll try to check out the forums before I go to see if people are posting events for the evenings or anything like that. Would be awesome to meet up with people.

Thanks again everyone!


you can also join us in the evening at Motel One for some gaming any nights after 8to 8.30pm. i'm a chinese dude with weird colour hair
i'm roaming the halls by myself too or with friend(deoending if he's joining the trip) either way if yer interested do pm me
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Deb Wentworth
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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They should have a singleton table at the Spiel where those of us going solo can hang out to hopefully get in a game!
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Martina Frohme
Germany
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The Dice & Mystics Board Game Guild say: Have fun!
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You could meet lots of nice people at our guild's Dice & Mystics Fringe on Saturday, 15th, after the fair. 15 mins by car, approx. 1 hour by public transport. You're sure to find a friendly welcome.

I'll just give you the basics:

Dice & Mystics Fringe - October 15th 2016

SPIEL visitors can take their loot straight to our location in Bochum, just 15 to 20 minutes by car, sit down comfortably at large well-lit tables, reduce luggage weight and, of course, play, share experiences and have a glimpse at what others bought in turn.
The Dice & Mystics Fringe is free of charge and non-commercial. All we want is give fellow board gamers a chance to safely unbox and enjoy. There is space and time to play from 16.00 to 24.00 p.m.; however, places are limited, so we kindly ask you to contact us and make an appointment.[/b]

Food and soft drinks may be consumed on the premises. We ask you not to smoke inside the building. A delivery service is going to be there and take your orders (we’ll send you the menu in advance) at 18.00 and at 21 o’clock, and there is a kiosk the other side of the road.

So: You would like to come, too?

Contact us
on DiceAndMystics@tidenreich.com and make an appointment, giving your name, address and contact data so that we can put you on our guest list (registration ends on 08.10.2016). We can give you directions on how to find us (just 3 turns from the autobahn; also by public transport).

Also Dragon Dawn productions will demo both Perdition's Mouth: Abyssal Rift and Black Hat, too. Or want a picture of you and our Mandalorian security guy?

Anyway:

Dice & Mystics say: Have fun!

Edit: Deleted aberrant letter...; and another...
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Kerstin
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Can almost just repeat what everyone has been saying: as lomg as you are willing to and comfortable with just approaching people it's actually very easy and almost easiert sometimes.

I usually attend Essen with my boyfriend but last year he didn't feel well the first two days so I went on my own and after feeling lost a bit in the beginning because my usual "routine" was of course going around with someone else, I eventually just asked people whether they still have a free spot or sometimes just if they would mind me watching. And I can't really recall when it ever was not possible. Even 2 player games I "joined" quiet a few as I was usually approaching people when they started to sit down to get a rules explanation and I simply asked if they would mind me listening in and watching for a while and usually one of two things happened: either one of them offered me to "team up" with them or the demoing person offered to play me for a few turns on the next table.

So I wouldn't worry at all, you'll have plenty of opportunities to try all kinds of games, I'd worry more about not buying too many of them when there is noone to talk you out of it.
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Meow San

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ovis wrote:
Can almost just repeat what everyone has been saying: as lomg as you are willing to and comfortable with just approaching people it's actually very easy and almost easiert sometimes.

I usually attend Essen with my boyfriend but last year he didn't feel well the first two days so I went on my own and after feeling lost a bit in the beginning because my usual "routine" was of course going around with someone else, I eventually just asked people whether they still have a free spot or sometimes just if they would mind me watching. And I can't really recall when it ever was not possible. Even 2 player games I "joined" quiet a few as I was usually approaching people when they started to sit down to get a rules explanation and I simply asked if they would mind me listening in and watching for a while and usually one of two things happened: either one of them offered me to "team up" with them or the demoing person offered to play me for a few turns on the next table.

So I wouldn't worry at all, you'll have plenty of opportunities to try all kinds of games, I'd worry more about not buying too many of them when there is noone to talk you out of it.


unlike any event or trade shows i attended Essen spiel patrons are super friendly and open to new ppl and be friends with

Huzzah to all friendly board gamers !!!
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France
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Thanks, that's a super nice invitation.
 
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Ulf Persson
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Malmö
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After going with friends for several years, last time I attended Spiel I went solo and it wasn't bad at all.

I found that my mind was not as tired in the evenings as I had been previous years. I think this was probably since I didn't have to make compromises or run every decision by my friends (what to do, where to go, when to eat, whom to meet). I could do what I wanted to, whenever I felt like it.

Of course there were times that I felt a bit lonely in the crowd as well but I forced myself to make an effort to reach out to people and be more extrovert than I actually am. Stepping out of my comfort zone.

This year I'll be going solo again.
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France
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Thanks Ulf, I'll be there on Thursday and Friday so don't hesitate to send me a message if you want to meet up to play.
 
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Ahmed Alabbasi
Bahrain
Springfield Gardens
New York
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Well, I am going Solo this year after 2 years going with a big group. So it should be interesting. I just didn't want to break the tradition

Anyone looking to meet up and play drop me a PM (I mean other solo travelers whistle).

 
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jo strating
Netherlands
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Never had any real problem.
Even with people that are big groups, you can play together.
With groups of people together sometime they are waiting for other peoply of there group to join and then most of the time I will look fore another game or explain the game already to them, is it a short game they ask me to join and we already start the game, sometimes we finish the game if for example the people don"t show up yes that hapens a lot friends that don"t showup!
Are the peoply that join don"t mind finishing the game and the best experience is when they join in and I stay chaotic in the beginning but fun all the way.
Only problem if you are the only one at the table, but just walk around and tell the explainer at the booth you wanne play and they will call, give you a shout out.
 
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