Once more, the SPIEL fair at Essen has come to an end. It’s been a few intense days of looking, meeting, and, of course, playing. I took things a bit slower this year, not playing quite as many games and instead focusing on the enjoyment of those that I played. I think it worked well. Here’s what I particularly enjoyed.Continue reading
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 (before COVID, that is). I’ve been there a few times over the last years for two days each and found it an intensive board game experience. After a two-year hiatus, I’ll be attending again this year. In preparation, I have perused Board Game Geek’s list of releases (fairly expansive, also including new editions, expansions etc.) which stands well over a thousand items for the most interesting (often, but not always history-themed) games so you don’t have to.Continue reading
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).
Fall is the season for fairs and conventions. Summer’s heat has come and passed, and now people are flocking back to the warmth of inside events. Christmas comes ever closer, and so every publisher wants to bring their new games to the market – and every gamer wants to find out what is worth wishing for or giving to others. The Stuttgart Game Fair (Süddeutsche Spielemesse, Southern German Game Fair) is no exception.
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
So far, we have discussed how board gaming can be a really affordable hobby (bottom line: Get few, but good games and replay the hell out of them). We’ve also had a look at how to find games you’ll like and replay (and which probably won’t fit that bill) with the help of the BGG main page of a game. This time, we’ll get to the practical matters on how to play new games (that is: games you haven’t tried yet, no matter when they were published) while limiting your spending on board games.