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Essen 2007

After our first time in Essen last year, we decided we had to go back in 2007. Comparing SpellenSpektakel (biggest Dutch game convention) with Spiel? We're doing Spiel again!

But two of the four that went last year couldn't make it. So that left two of us. No problem. We'll go on Sunday, just the two of us. Wednesday evening: phonecall. The other guy couldn't make it after all. angry cry

Fortunately, another friend was in The Netherlands, visiting from Switzerland, and would return there on Thursday. Big gamer as well. So why not give him a call. Wanna go to Essen tomorrow? "eeeehhh... hmmmmm...eeeeeerm.....pfffff....." Long story short: he really wanted to go, but also had his plans ready for returning home. But we went. Whoohoo! If I missed out on Spiel this year, I'd really be bummed.

Soccer was lost on me that evening (The Netherlands - Slovenia 2-0). I had to start preparing. Call people to stand in for me at volleyball on Thursday. Find transport back (Bas (the other guy - yes, there are a number of Bas's in our group - would drive back from Essen to Switzerland). Print out maps, lists, read rules, I'm stressed! Just go to bed, everything will be fine.

6:15

Wake up, get some coffee, do some reading on BGG. BGG is down?! AAAARGH! Not now! I wanted to check my Geeklist, look at Jon's FAQ, print out more rules! OK, relax, you’re going to Essen, have a great day, pick up some nice games. Just read up on Kulkmann’s reports and BGN. Have another coffee.

7:30

Bas arrives and we’re off! Got enough money? Sure. Maps? Lists? Bags? Yes, we’re ready! On to Germany! The main difference between going on a Sunday (last year) and a Thursday? It’s a regular working day: Stau! File! Traffic jams! But we’ll get there. Into Germany we listen to the German news. Apparently the Deutsche Bahn is on strike… How am I ever going to get back?! O no! …until 11:00. O. Pffff… another problem out of the way. Let’s go on!

10:15

Arrival at the Messe! Get a parking spot. Get on the bus to the Messe. What? Yes. You can get on a free bus from the parking to the Messe. Because it’s that far? No. It’s a 10 minute walk. Still there’s a bus… Get in the Messe and enjoy! Because this was a last-minute thing, Bas and I decided not to make it too late. 15:00, 16:00 at the latest we would return home. My preparations were quite good (hey, I’ve been looking at this Canonical list almost every day), so no problem! Let’s see what we can find!

10:45 and on!

We decided to skip hall 11/12 (Days of Wonder, Kosmos, Ystari, Eggert, Hans im Glück, Ravensburger, etc) as it was quite crowded from the start and get to Heidelberger right away. They always have some great bargains, let’s start there! Yeah, over there. Where all the people are standing in line to get in… They did have some great prices! Our haul: Citadels: The Dark City for € 5, The Pillars of the Earth: Expansion Set € 12, Vikings € 20, Kingsburg € 40 and Ticket to Ride: Switzerland € 15 for Bas and Kingsburg and Ticket to Ride: Switzerland for me as well. Heidelberger gave away a free game when spending € 50 or more: Armada. No idea what that was, probably a little card game. But no, it was a box as big as Ticket to Ride… So there’s a new problem: we got all these games within an hour and have to cary them all day.

Let’s browse some more.

I decided I didn’t want to go looking for second hand games this year. It would take too much time and my list of new games was big enough already. A lot of companies had the same spot as last year, which was nice. I knew where I wanted to go (AllGames4You, Heidelberger, etc) and what I could miss (Fantasy hall, Comics, second hand market). There were a few stands I didn’t see last year, that had some great bargains as well. One stand had the new alea In the Year of the Dragon for € 23, where all the others were selling it for € 26-30. Picked that up. Love alea, love Feld’s Notre Dame. Have to get this! Another stand had 20 or so games all for € 5 each. No rubbish, but games like Age of Napoleon, Cosmic Encounter, Paris Paris, Lost Valley and Through the Desert. Got that last one; not sure if I’ll like it, but hey: € 5.

When carrying around a lot of games from the start, you know you don’t want to get your bags too heavy. So early on I decided not to pick up that many new, big names. Cuba and Hamburgum looked really, really great, but I decided to pass. I didn’t read up on Hamburgum and want to know more about it before I buy it (and the eggert stand was quite crowded – didn’t want to wait for a spot to open). For Cuba: I’m hoping to find it in The Netherlands someday… Agricola was very high on my list (together with Kingsburg), but I knew the German cards would scare my group. We’re already having problems with our German Louis XIV version. Another pass. Next pass: TZAAR. Why? I know I want it. I know I’ll love it. I also know my girlfriend dislikes some of the GIPFs. Let’s wait.

We went on comparing prices, looking for interesting stuff and hopefully a game to play. We wanted to try games such as Oregon, Ming Dynasty, Chang Cheng, Eketorp, Amyitis, but the tables were full all around. It was quite crowded, more than (correct?) I expected. Not as ‘bad’ as last year’s Sunday, but still. As I own the Dutch version of The Pillars of the Earth, I really wanted to see the new expansion. We went looking for it at the Kosmos stand, but nothing! NOTHING! Of course, we could just open Bas’s game… Didn’t get it anyway; I’m hoping 999Games will publish the Dutch version.

A few Dutch publishers were around. Cwali – which I somehow missed. The GameMaster, who had a nice demo + contest going. And QWG, showing their MasterPrint Series. I congratulated them on winning the Nederlandse Spellenprijs, but was especially drawn by the Reef Encounter boxes with a € 10 sign on it. Cymric will be pissed… but I got it. As did Bas. El Capitán looked really good, but I’ll probably get that over here. And we didn’t go away without some drop. Any of you non-Dutch tried that ?

It was getting ‘late’ (well, for us), so onward to find some expansions! Apparently Saint Petersburg: New Society & Banquet Expansion didn’t make it. I don’t mind, but I know someone in my group will. Besides the Pillars expansion and TtR:S, I wanted one other expanion. So we went looking for a green-haired guy with a stand filled with green games: 2F-Spiele. Got Power Grid: Benelux/Central Europe and Power Grid: The New Power Plant Cards for € 11. Bas wanted Caylus Magna Carta and found it at AllGames4You for € 15 – which is a normal price, I guess.

Should we try to play a game? Or go home and make it on time for dinner? We had only played one game that day: Pentago. And it wasn’t that good. But for now we only wanted to sit for a while and have a coffee. Aha: table! With Trias on it. I got some coffee, while Bas talked a little with Ralf Lehmkuhl. We decided to play a game, mostly because I knew some BGGers really liked this one. So we played a 3-player game with Ralf and indeed, it is a good game! But we were short on money by now. Good game, only € 15, but we’ve already spent this much… Ralf proved himself a good salesman and sold us both a slightly dented copy for half price: € 8. Thanks again, Ralf! But now we really had to be going home.

15:30

This is the part where there’s no more Essen info. So you can stop reading now. I knew the train for Venlo left at 15:45, but we just missed it. The station didn’t seem that far on the map, but it was. O well, I’ll wait for another hour. Nice station, Essen HBf. Very organized, friendly DB staff. Got on the 16:45 train, which had a minute or 3 delay and picked up a few minutes more along the way. I would miss my connection in Viers! No problem, there would be another one in Viers in only 7 minutes. Right? Wrong! On this very old, small station in Viers the announcement was made that the 17:40 train would not ride. AAAARGH! We would have to wait another hour! (Stange part: me and Corné van Moorsel's brother-in-law – who was also there – had to tell a German what was just announced. My German is getting better every day.) Of course the 18:33 train picked up some delay and I arrived in Venlo at 19:10. There I had to wait for my girlfriend to pick me up, but of course there was a 9 km traffic jam… After a quick McDonalds meal (McKroket is Euroknaller!) we arrived home at 21:30. Man, was I tired. And I had to play a futsal match at 22:30…(lost: 3-5). But I had a great day!

Today

I’ll be taking pictures of my new games, of course! Reading rules! Reorganize my closet! I am still tired. But what a great day! I hope all of this has been not too boring to read (well, Melissa will read everything twice, probably ) and I’ll try to upload pictures a.s.a.p.

I probably missed a lot in typing this, so just ask if you want to know more! And correct my spelling and grammar and wrong links. O, and I still like seeing all these designers! Look! Kris Burm! It’s William Attia! And Bruno Cathala. Friedemann Friese! And… Silly really, but I like it.

What a great day!


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Jason Cheng
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Thanks for the report, the way you wrote did a good job to convey how hectic the day seemed to you (and yes, you used 'than' correctly). It seemed more like a purchasing trip rather than one in which you get to play the new stuff, but as long as you enjoyed it, that's all it matters!
 
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Scott Alden
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Thanks for the report! It looks really crowded this year - I can't even fathom how Saturday will be.
 
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Melissa
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Fantastic report, Bas! Even though I have only read it once so far

And what a great way to do Essen. I was fantasising today about spontaneously getting on the next plane over (I would have been there for Saturday and Sunday) ... when I started a list of what to pack, I realised that I needed to get out for a walk instead.

Lookout Games will have a complete reference list of the Agricola cards' English translations available very shortly after the Messe - if you decide to reconsider

We have Armada (it sounds like the same one - biggish square box) and played it once or twice a couple of years back - If I recall correctly, it's an action point game - not great, but nothing wrong with it either. We hammed it up playing the pirate stuff and enjoyed it.
 
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Zalasta wrote:
Thanks for the report, the way you wrote did a good job to convey how hectic the day seemed to you (and yes, you used 'than' correctly). It seemed more like a purchasing trip rather than one in which you get to play the new stuff, but as long as you enjoyed it, that's all it matters!


It was. Bas and I really would like to play all the new games, but as we were leaving pretty early, we didn't take the time to wait for a table. (at Queen and Kosmos a lot of people were already playing on the floor...)
 
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melissa wrote:
Fantastic report, Bas! Even though I have only read it once so far

And what a great way to do Essen. I was fantasising today about spontaneously getting on the next plane over (I would have been there for Saturday and Sunday) ... when I started a list of what to pack, I realised that I needed to get out for a walk instead.

Lookout Games will have a complete reference list of the Agricola cards' English translations available very shortly after the Messe - if you decide to reconsider

We have Armada (it sounds like the same one - biggish square box) and played it once or twice a couple of years back - If I recall correctly, it's an action point game - not great, but nothing wrong with it either. We hammed it up playing the pirate stuff and enjoyed it.


I know I will keep a close look at Agricola. It really looked great and what I read it about it also makes me want this.

I think Armada will stay in the box for a long time... we still have an Essen 2006 game unplayed and now a few new ones.
 
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Peter F
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Fantastic report please keep them coming.
 
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Thanks!
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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Great report! Wish I could be there too and join in on the frenzy!
 
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Zalasta wrote:
Thanks for the report, the way you wrote did a good job to convey how hectic the day seemed to you (and yes, you used 'than' correctly). It seemed more like a purchasing trip rather than one in which you get to play the new stuff, but as long as you enjoyed it, that's all it matters!
In my experience, you need a whole day, if you're only planning on seeing everything, walking and buying games. If you really want to play(test) games, you should start calculating extra days.

I went yesterday (thursday) too, and it was sometimes even crowded at places. Glad I didn't plan to go in the weekend. Anyways, we only played 2 short games (10-25minutes), rest of our visit was spent watyching and buying. Then we went home, at about 18:00. We arrived at something like 10:30, so go figure.
 
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Thanks for a super report. For those complaining it's too crowded this year don't say I didn't try to warn everyone. MtG is having a major tournament at Spiel 07 this year which will draw in another 10+% of a crowd. Last year's Sunday was near unbearable. Still, I'm jealous and wish I was there. Cheers.
 
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-=[Ran Over]=-
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Hey, Bas. Thanks for the report. And because you asked for it...

BaSL wrote:
Fortunatly, another friend was in The Netherlands
Fortunately, with an E
BaSL wrote:
Because this was a last-minute thing, Bas and I decided not to make it to late.
too late
BaSL wrote:
It would take to much time and my list of new games was big enough already.
too much time
BaSL wrote:
A lot of company’s had the same spot as last year, which was nice.
companies (plural, not possessive)
BaSL wrote:
When carrying around a lot of games from the start, you know you don’t want to get your bags to heavy.
too heavy
BaSL wrote:
Good game, only € 15, but we’ve already spend this much…
spent, with a T
BaSL wrote:
I hope all of this has been not to boring to read
too boring (no way!)


There were a few others, but they just look like typos.
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Ak! That is bad! Especially the to-too.
 
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OK, edited those! Thanks!
 
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Carlos Abrunhosa
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Good report. Good shoppings!

Thank you!

I'm wanting for the photos!!!
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Thanks!























 
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It was hectic. Even despite the fact that we went for two days rather than one. I can't understand how we managed last two years to play four games in a day and shop.
 
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Why didnt you come to our stand at hall 4 -40 you could have played quinamid and twisted your mind
 
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Well, you're right: we would be better off playing a game of Quinamid instead of Pentago. But I read the rules to Quinamid before Essen, so I have an idea what it's like; very interesting! And when we passed Hall 4, we already had enough kilos on our hands

But seriously: I know I'd probably like the game, but my GF would not like me buying another 2 player abstract. That's why I left TZAAR as well.

 
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