Essen Spiel 2010 – Anecdotes

What follows are my memories, comments and images, as well as those of my travelling companions, from the 5 day trip to Spiel Essen 2010.

Essen Spiel 2010 - Day 4 The team just before we head home - Rob, Phil, Simon, Ian, Daniel, Paul, Ben and me
I should start by listing the team that helped me with my research, patiently answering my questions and even playing one ‘fluffy’ (the disparaging term used by board gamers about lightweight games) game with me. Paul Grogan (trip organiser from Devon), Ben and Rob (also from Devon), Simon (from Bracknell), Ian and Daniel (from London), Phil (from Hertfordshire),  Paul, Dave and Mark (from GameLore in Telford), Tim, Chooi and Philip (from Manchester) and finally my room mate Tim (from Newcastle). Thanks guys.

· Paul awoke on the Thursday morning to discover a settee at the foot of his bed with no recollection of how it got there. This was not because of alcohol, but rather
the level of tiredness from the drive and then playing games on the first evening till 1:30am. The couch having been moved in around 9pm to accommodate the growing number of people playing board games in his enormous bedroom – he was there at the time.

Essen Spiel 2010 - Day 2
The LARP area of the show
· LARP is the acronym for Live Action Role Play. There was a hall devoted to the armour weapons, face masks etc used in what is a really popular pastime in Germany. In the UK they only get a mere 1,000 people turning up to an event on a bank holiday! It seems strange to me but hey I like playing games so who am I to talk. If you have never heard of it this video may give you a clue.

· Paul  falling asleep whilst playing Merkator at around 9pm on the Saturday only to get his second wind and play 5 scenarios of Space Alert till 1:30am. Space Alert being a very time pressured co-operative game. Looks a stressful 10 minutes to play but well worth watching others play it!

· Convincing Tim to go for an Egyptian meal with me, to find that there was no English translation and we could understand about one word on each page. We took a chance and the meal was lovely .

· That there is enough money in the European games business for the makers of Pokémon to hire lots of young ladies to demonstrate their games.

· Ben watching the latest version of Civilization being played – for 8 hours!

Essen Spiel 2010 - Day 1 Children Playing Football on polls - It looked great fun
· The welcoming nature of the Germans and the number of children playing games everywhere, with no computers in sight. I doubt you could get better value for money anywhere when it comes to things to do with your children at the weekend, a children’s day ticket was EUR 6.50 or EUR 15.50 for 4 days, whilst ours was only EUR 24.

· Britain and Ireland being called the black hole of games

· Being taught Dominion between midnight and 1am by Simon at an incredibly fast pace whilst a little voice in my head was saying “but I want to go to bed and sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep”. Needles to say I lost the game!

Essen Spiel 2010 - Day 3
The team (Phil, Ben, Rob, Daniel, Simon and Ian) eating dinner - Curry brakwurst - hmmm
· Paul (again) leaving the Spiel on the Saturday taking a wrong turn, in the rain, carrying 11 games (they are far from light), got to his room to find everybody had gone out, so had to go back to reception, lugging said games with him - when he eventually put them down he discovered that the team had gone out for a currywurst without him.

· Playing The Resistance card game across the cars as we travelled back on Eurostar.

· Meeting so many great people.

Essen Spiel 2010 - Day 4 Phil, Simon, Rob, Ian, me and Ben playing The Resistance in the tunnel
· Wondering why with so many beautiful and brilliant games available board games are something largely only played by so called geeks in the UK?

More photos of the trip can be found here. Whilst the games played and aquired can be found here

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