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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Conventions » Essen

Subject: Never ever again rss

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Garfield Cat
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Hi

I was at Spiel 16 on last Thursday and Friday. My impressions? Never ever again! It was crowded like hell. I don't want to imagine how it looks on Saturday and Sunday...

99% of the table were already occupied. 90% already at 10:15am!
That's not my definition of fun and entertaining.

90% have to eat on the ground.

Maybe it's more fun with children from 6-12?

I bought some games and then went for sightseeing...
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Charalampos Tsakiris
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I think it had to do with your expectations. Last year i was there to do some work and play a little and i didnt like the crowds BUT, if it hadn't been for the crowds no big or medium publishers would come so this is a fair for buying stuff and then playing.
Smaller fairs might do the trick for you.
Are there any in your country ?
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Paul
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Shame you didn't enjoy it. Maybe just not for you. Not sure why you posted about it though? Just don't go again. No big deal.

Of course you might be trying to get a rise out of people on here in which case you might want to re-evaluate your decisions.
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GarfieldKlon wrote:


Maybe it's more fun with children from 6-12?


What makes you say that?

With kids you can't possibly attend the full 9h (I'd be surprised if you can stay more than 3h if your kid is 6yo)


Paying €15 for the chance of seeing and buying games is already hard to stomach imho (can you imagine doing groceries and having to pay an entrance fee) but paying €15 and not staying a whole day? Madness.
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JS
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For years, we manage to play(test) round about 25 games in three days in Essen without any problems. Sometimes we have to wait 15-20 minutes to get seats, but that is not surprising. We have a detailed plan of the fair and our favored games and stick to it. On Saturday, we are always in the indie-halls 6 and 7 where we can avoid the mass of the other visitors; they are normally in halls 1 and 3.
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Justin R
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EarlyFlash wrote:
Shame you didn't enjoy it. Maybe just not for you. Not sure why you posted about it though? Just don't go again. No big deal.

Of course you might be trying to get a rise out of people on here in which case you might want to re-evaluate your decisions.


???

I'm happy to give somebody the benefit of the doubt and assume they're not trolls. I think it makes perfect sense for a person that goes to a board gaming convention and does not have a good time, whether or not it was justified on the basis of reasonable expectations, to mention that fact on a website about board gaming. Surely negative reviews of games are reasonable topics for forums. Just as surely are negative experiences in gaming groups. Countless threads on more abstract phenomena as the negative portrayal or objectification of women. I do not see what is sacrosanct about conventions.
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R Smith
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Sit? There's way too much to see to sit down! I always get at least 15000 steps per day at Essen!

More realistic advice: get to the restaurants at non-standard times e.g take lunch at 11am instead of 12 noon. Then it's easier to find a seat.

For playtesting, don't wait to sit. If there's a seat, just grab it and watch. Then you've got the table for the next Game and you already know the rules.

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Daniel Kearns
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I had the same negative reaction to gencon in the US.
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Richard Dewsbery
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I was also in the halls on Friday, and they were indeed busy. I played about six different games, mostly in halls 6 & 7 where it was a bit quieter, and therefore I achieved all I wanted to.

Thursday and Saturday I was demoing in hall 1, and on both of those days there were busy times, but there were times on both days when you could easily get a demo of one of our new games.
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Lutz Pietschker
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GarfieldKlon wrote:
It was crowded like hell…

Hm. And why do you think it is so crowded? I can't say about hell from my own experience, but could there be a reason why so many people are at the fair?

Quote:
I <…> went for sightseeing...

Now that is a brave decision. What sights did you see, specifically? I can recommend a stroll along the Ruhr, and through the Stadtwald. That's what I did last year… on my way from my quarters in Steele to the fair
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Dave Ross
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EarlyFlash wrote:
Not sure why you posted about it though?


Because this is a community and forum to discuss issues surrounding board gaming, including conventions, releases, kickstarters, publishing, etc, both positive, negative, neutral, up, down, left, right, whatever. This is the beauty of having a relatively open forum for discussion. It's not like the OP's post was derogatory and vitriolic and full of vinegar; s/he was simply posting her/his experiences, as one is wont to do on a forum such as this. I don't think it was heavily negative by any means.
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Sam Freeman
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I went last year with trepidation about crowds... and was pleasantly surprised. Thursday and Friday were very busy, sure... but nowhere near as busy as I had feared and we managed to fully play 12 games in the two days we were there. I was very happy with that.
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Garfield Cat
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No free tables means no free chairs. And just standing around for 20min and watching others playing? Hmm, I don't like that. And I'm not the kind of person that interrupts other playing and asking questions.

Why there are so many people? I really don't know. Holidays I guess?

I think the games for 6-12 years old are not so crowded, so the chance to play a game is higher? At least I saw more free tables than anywhere else.

And because everything is so close together, it's so noisy.

I mean I would go again and try some different approach if I would live near Essen. But plane tickets, hotel etc. are too expensive too try it again.

It's about buying games and playing them? Where? At the hotel?
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Bart R.
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Travahar wrote:
GarfieldKlon wrote:


Maybe it's more fun with children from 6-12?


What makes you say that?

With kids you can't possibly attend the full 9h (I'd be surprised if you can stay more than 3h if your kid is 6yo)


It's not really that hard to keep a kid entertained at Spiel . Our daughter was only 5 last year and we were there from 10am until closing time. Granted, that was on Sunday, so it was easy to find free spots to play, but we deliberately didn't go on Saturday to avoid the crowds.
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Johannes B.
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GarfieldKlon wrote:
No free tables means no free chairs. And just standing around for 20min and watching others playing? Hmm, I don't like that.
So you want to go to the worlds biggest fair for boardgames, where many people from all around the world attend, and sit down at every game you like to play immediately without having to wait?

GarfieldKlon wrote:
And because everything is so close together, it's so noisy.
Welcome to any fair in the world...
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Eddy Sterckx
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GarfieldKlon wrote:

It's about buying games and playing them? Where? At the hotel?


Yes - and back at home.

It all sounds as if you're woefully ignorant of what Spiel actually is and came totally unprepared. That's a bit like traveling to Africa and then complain the weather is hot.
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Garfield Cat
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And what really surprised me that some take their babies at the fair! Yeah not really surprised, because there are always such idiots...
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Garfield Cat
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
GarfieldKlon wrote:

It's about buying games and playing them? Where? At the hotel?


Yes - and back at home.

It all sounds as if you're woefully ignorant of what Spiel actually is and came totally unprepared. That's a bit like traveling to Africa and then complain the weather is hot.


Unprepared? Not really. I made a list of games I want to play and/or buy. I printed out the hall plan before. But guess what? Yes, every table occupied.

For example -> Great Western Trail. Only about two or three tables?

I saw the pictures of the crowds before. But I wans't expecting that on Thursday/Friday morning after 10min!

And imho they put way too many stands in the halls (quantity over quality)


Sightseeing in Essen? We visited the "Zeche Zollverein".
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Richard Irving
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Nobody goes to Essen anymore. It is too crowded.
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Eddy Sterckx
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GarfieldKlon wrote:

Unprepared? Not really.


Yeah, really. There must be a thousand posts in here about waiting to get a demo table, the amount of games that get released there, the crowds, the price of food & drinks, the chaos of the math trade, ...

The only thing people are allowed to complain about was the traffic/parking situation, because that was new, caused by recent changes in the parking procedure, and nobody could have planned for it.

Well, of course you're free to complain about the rest as well, but you're not going to get taken seriously. Crowds at a fair which gets 150k people each year ? Who'd have thunked.whistle
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Christian Gienger
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GarfieldKlon wrote:


For example -> Great Western Trail. Only about two or three tables?



Eggert Spiele had 5 tables, Stronghold 1, and I'm not sure if there weren't more at Pegasus.
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Garfield Cat
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eddy_sterckx wrote:

Crowds at a fair which gets 150k people each year ? Who'd have thunked.whistle

You don't believe it if you haven't seen it by yourself...

I'm very sorry Eddy Sterckx, didn't know that it's forbidden to complain.

I mean there were corridors that were completely full and you barely could move. Spiel 16 is the only fair I experience that. Imho it's just overloaded.
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Vincent
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GarfieldKlon wrote:
It was crowded like hell. I don't want to imagine how it looks on Saturday and Sunday...

99% of the table were already occupied. 90% already at 10:15am!

90% have to eat on the ground.

I agree it was crowded and that a lot of tables were occupied, but it was the same as last year. I actually played more games this year then previous three times together. When things get too busy, you just move to halls 4,6 and 7.

We always eat on the ground. Getting a kebab and sitting on the floor in the Galaria is part of the fun, watching people carrying crazy amounts of games. You just have to take it all in.

I'm sorry it wasn't what you expected. It's one of the biggest boardgame conventions in the world, it will be crowded. Maybe a smaller gathering would be more to your liking.

I appreciate you posting this. It might help people next year in deciding if they want to go or not.
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Carsten Stürmer
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rri1 wrote:
Nobody goes to Essen anymore. It is too crowded.


Second that.

and not to mention the poor parking organisation with the new ticket machines this year.
I strongy recommend that everybody should be staying at home next year so I'll get all the games I want and can sit wherever I want to.
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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GarfieldKlon wrote:
You don't believe it if you haven't seen it by yourself...

We have all been there. Don't assume we don't know what we are talking about.

Quote:
I'm very sorry Eddy Sterckx, didn't know that it's forbidden to complain.

It's rather that your complaints fall completely on deaf ears, or make no sense. Even if we allow for quiet at the beginning of the fair, you would have had at most one hour of free-ish tables, because after that things are simply full. In other words, It sounds quite ridiculous (in an objective sense) that you'd be able to manage everything you wanted in that short time.

Going to Spiel means being on the move, and spending your time wisely. If you're not playing, you're shopping. If you're not shopping, you're eating or drinking. If you're not eating or drinking, you're meeting up with others. If you're not meeting up with others, you ask explainers at the stand you are now back at how long a game is predicted to take, and/or whether there's a way to tell. Then you split up as to maximise your chances of doing something as quickly as possible. Anything else just leads to frustration.

If you don't want to do the above, expect immediate service and gentle background noise, then that's perfectly fine. Spiel is not for you, then, not now, not ever. It happens. But I can assure you that even given the tough crowds of this Spiel and late arrivals due to parking problems, I never had the feeling of being forced to make decisions I didn't want to make. I played what I wanted to, I looked at what I wanted to, I purchased what I wanted to, and had time to spare at the end.

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I mean there were corridors that were completely full and you barely could move. Spiel 16 is the only fair I experience that. Imho it's just overloaded.

That's nothing new, really. Even in the old halls this could happen from time to time: hall 12 in the corner to the right of the entry doors was infamous for it, and hall 9 could get pretty crowded too. It's good that halls 4, 6 and 7 were there so that pressure on halls 1 and especially 3 was reduced.
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