Tag Archives: Essen

SPIEL 2021: Most Anticipated Board Games

You say „board game fair“, I say “SPIEL” at Essen. It’s the Mecca for the tabletop gaming faithful. Four days of playing, trying, and buying. 160,000+ visitors. I’ve been there a few times over the last years for two days each and found it an intensive board game experience. Other plans prevent me from going this year, but that can’t stop me from writing a short list of the new releases that look most interesting to me. Maybe some of you who can attend find a new gem! And maybe I’ll get to try these games out some other time as well.

Continue reading

SPIEL Essen 2019 Recap

After a break in 2018, I’ve been back to SPIEL in Essen this year – the largest board game fair in the world. I spent two days there, which, as I’m more and more convinced, is the ideal amount of time for me. I get to check out (almost) all games about which I am particularly interested. The only way I could see myself staying longer is if I went with a larger group and/or did some gaming in the evening after the fair.
I’m also content with the time planning – I had two pre-reserved games, went to two more first thing in the morning to secure a seat, and except for that, it was a mix of going to the booths of publishers/games I particularly wanted to visit and, especially late in the day, just strolling with open eyes and sitting down wherever there was an open table with an interesting-looking game.
As for the games themselves, it was a pity that two of my most anticipated games could not be played at the fair: Europe Divided (Chris Marling/David Thompson, Phalanx Games) did not get ready in time, Watergate (Matthias Cramer, Frosted Games) was apparently too old already – Frosted Games focused their play tables entirely on their new release Cooper Island (Andreas Odendahl, Frosted Games) and had the few-months-old Watergate only on their shelves for shopping.
As for shopping: I did in fact not buy a single game at the fair. When I think about how many great games I have at home which are not played often enough, a new game must be something really special. One game, however, came close (see below).
Continue reading

SPIEL Essen 2019: Most Anticipated Historical Board Games

How fast a year goes by! …I say, not because New Year’s is rolling around, but instead the SPIEL board game fair at Essen. But to each their own holidays, and SPIEL is the Christmas for the tabletop gaming faithful. Four days of playing, trying, and buying. 160,000+ visitors. As I couldn’t go in 2018, I am doubly excited to attend this year again. Therefore, I’ll share my list of the most interesting board games with a historical theme released or demoed there this year. Have fun!

Continue reading

SPIEL 2018: Most Anticipated

You say „board game fair“, I say “SPIEL” at Essen. It’s the Mecca for the tabletop gaming faithful. Four days of playing, trying, and buying. 160,000+ visitors. I’ve been there the last two years for two days each and found it an intensive board game experience. Unfortunately, time constraints (not to mention that going to such an event is exhausting, albeit in a good way) prevent me from going this year, but that can’t stop me from writing a short list of the history-themed board games that look most interesting to me. Maybe some of you who can attend find a new gem! And maybe I’ll get to try these games out some other time as well. The games are sorted by location at the fairgrounds. Continue reading

The Essen that was… 2017

The annual board game Mecca which is the Essen SPIEL has ended, and, like all attendants, I am a bit overcome by the sheer amount of games and gamers. I have only been there for two of the four days, but that was enough to try out a lot of games and enjoy the company of like-minded people… except, of course, when I was walking somewhere and had to make my way through thousands of tightly packed like-minded people. No, of course I’m kidding – the crowd at SPIEL is very friendly (and always up for a game). I am very thankful for this experience to the various people I encountered over one or the other game as well as to my two friends who went and shared most of the games with me at the fair.
Here are some of the titles I played and liked.
Continue reading

Essen 2017: Most Anticipated

Ladies and gentlemen,
One word has turned from a quiet buzzing to a noisy storm over the past weeks in the board gaming word… and, as always this time of the year, it’s ESSEN! The world’s biggest board game fair, the SPIEL in Essen/Germany is upon us. On Oct 26, less than two weeks from now, the gates will open and the merriment commence. I will be among the lucky ones who can go and am appropriately excited for it! So, here’s my list of board games I look forward to most as well as some general thoughts about attending a game fair in an affordable way.
Continue reading