Monday, 28 October 2013

Going to Essen!

This past weekend saw four of the E.L.F boys taking the quick plane trip across to Germany to attend Spiel '13, THE convention for those who love their board games.
But how would we cope such a large event with most of the attendees/exhibitors speaking German?
It was really late Thursday night when we hit Essen and the boys decided to play a game of 'Tickle Nic' to pass the time as we waited for the train.
WARNING: There are a lot of pictures and videos in this post.
I'm not going to give a huge write up as it would take too long and I want to let the other guys put up their own reviews without repeating ourselves, so I'm going to show you what we got up:
First game of the convention is Zombie 15'... 

..the normal board is card tiles but the custom one just brought it to life! 
As we learnt the rules we released it plays to a sound track which is your time limit for the game...
...every minute brings the (literal) growl of Zombie reinforcements.
First purchase of the convention, even more Mice fun to be had.

Four player Krosmaster, chibi fun!

Setting a trend for the weekend, Will emerges victorious.

Spiral deep fried potatoes for all.

First play of Firefly (my purchase) and you can see it's a real table hog.

Which is better, Bang the card game or the new Bang the dice game? There's only one way to find out...

Rampage on a special super-sized demo board (another game at which I really sucked!)

Did the boys enjoy it? Well they bought two copies!

Look at that rainbow of eaten meeples, no wonder he won!

12 Realms, a fairy tale based co-op game.

The first of our sets of purchases of AT43 stock (5 Euros a box!) for 40k use.

Space Cadets dice Duel - Jeff Engelstein teaches us the game he designed!

Quantum - A space empire game. Those dice are space ships that can reform into different classes of vessel.

Zombicide demo game started off with so much hope for the survival of humanity...

...Zombies were being beheaded with frying pans left and right...

...until that happened and it took some cunning heroics to scrap a victory!

This one sold out (they wouldn't even sell Nic a demo copy!). The middle volcano is used to release rubies for the dragons to  eat as they fly around.

A clever game where one player (the Witch) hides a metal key and the other player has to find it as they race to save the Princess.

Another designer lead demo. This time Dig Mars. Nic got a signed copy.

Mattel's newest release, sadly only in German...

...but we liked it so much it had to purchased any way!

Those AEG bags were amazing and thanks to the companies Sunday reductions meant we ended the convention with three to carry our games bag with.
There were far more games played and purchases made than those in these photos. It was an enlightening weekend and I was amazed at the difference in price between the German editions of games and the English versions (Mice and Mystics for 39 Euros? you have to be kidding me!), it was just a shame that not all the American producers/distributors turned up (Fantasy Flight were a no show, along with the Zombicide American distributors) meaning some games weren't available. 


  1. Wow, so. Many. Games! A) how did you get it all home!? And B) did you start to get a bit of burnout due to learning so many things back to back?

  2. Ooh! Ooh! And how was firefly? Looks like there's quite a lot going on on that table...

    1. There were indeed more games than we were able to get demos of as you had to make a choice between standing around waiting for a slot to open up or (as we did) bolt of your preferred demo as soon as it opened so you knew you'd get that one for sure on that day.

      A) Add to the baggage 54 bottles of beer (Will is well stocked for his Birthday shindig!) and we had a lot of stuff. But as it turned out we could have brought far more back as all the AT43 models fit into a very small space when you take them out of the packaging.
      B) It wasn't learning the rules but the heat and walking/people dodging that became draining. We left about 4pm on Friday & Saturday as we had games set up in our apartments (we were upgraded to the perfect gamer rooms!) and allowed us to chill out. The Sunday discounts were pretty impressive once it went past 1pm. I picked up the new Thunderstone game for 10 Euros!

      Firefly is really cool. We chatted to one of the designers about it and cleared up a few rules questions (it wouldn't be use if we didn't play a few things wrong!). The only thing that needs adding (and it's coming in the first box expansion next year) is the ability to attack other players, as we found that if you aren't paying enough attention to what your opponents are doing and try to thwart them one player can race off a bit. I still love it and picked up the promo crew cards!

    2. 4PM sounds very doable, sounds like an ace weekend, hopefully i can join yous next time :)

  3. Im looking forward to trying Firefly and the german ghosts thing. and having watched the video im quite excited about rampage too now. Top stuff!

    1. Just found out that Wayland Games version of the game comes with more stuff (the extra ship and 50 more cards) so am now wondering whether I need to buy another copy to make sure it's complete (damn my completest tendencies!).