Essen was a new adventure. A new country, with new culture, language and expectation. My boss and I ventured toward Essen through France, landing in Dusseldorf at 1pm of Wednesday. Our original plan was to hop onto a train heading into the city, but the trains were striking that day. One 60 Euro taxi later and we pulled up to our weirdly-modern hotel. We dropped off our bags, readied our tired brains and set out to find the Mecca, I mean Messe.
The part of town we stayed in is less central, more auto shops and homes. We will later discover the town center where most visitors stay, but not until our last day. We cross the town in 45 minutes and land upon a largely-abandoned Messe. We tracked down our compatriot inside the massive hall. There many companies had set up their wares, some were preparing demo areas, others were completing interviews. Very exciting stuff. I tried really hard not to linger too long at other’s booths… that time would be the rest of the week.
We headed uptown where an annual ‘Warm up day’ was taking place. This is the day before the fair begins. Many participants gather for the day to play games and interact with publishers and designers. We were walking in the direction we thought we had to go… and we didn’t see the correct street… and we walked… and we walked… the part of town changed… there were more cars. Brig’s phone couldn’t find us.
We were feeling lost.
We decided to walk up one more block, and then. FREE EFFING WI-FI COURTESY OF A STARBUCKS. Right in the middle of Essen. Warm up day was a measly block from where we stood! We were two Americans in Germany, saved by Starbucks.
So I’m back in the land of tasty water and fast wi-fi!!
Let me tell you, do not expect to easily upload from major conventions. I need a press badge next time(my coworkers had them and told me of the magnificent wifi in their lounge)… and yes, now I know that press badges exist, ha!
This is a mini I-swear-i’m-still-alive-post. I’m currently writing up some thoughts on the rest of the con!
Foretold: Rise of a God was surprisingly fun. It’s a card game, multi-player experiences and dungeon crawl. yep. Speaking with the designer he wanted to create the same feeling you get from a great game of EDH(a style of MTG– it’s okay, you can unfollow now).
He did that very thing! It had an interesting balance of set collection and timing. A little negotiation, and because it was made by Legion Supplies… very pretty accessories available. Will be picking this up when it’s out.
Coup Reformation is something I had backed on kickstarter. We played a pickup game with a table that got a lot more than they expected. Brian and myself are not the most casual of negotiators… so they were taken aback when the deals started flying around the table.
We didn’t get to finish our game of Equinox, though we got through 2/3 before the room closed. It’s going to be a fast-paced game until the last 10 moves, when you really want to maximize your impact on the board. Knowing the tiles will also help immensely… in your first play everything is such a surprise!
Next I’ll try to put together a 5 things to do and not to do for a convention… until then? sleeeep
There are so many neat Kickstarters out this week! I’m sad about some of the timing as I am keeping my budget back for GenCon. Maybe getting the word out is payment enough?
Florenza I had to look twice as my first impression was of a stuffy, overused theme. Then looking deeper the game flourishes in low random nature and the theme doesn’t matter!
Fidelitas is just beautiful, tongue-in-cheek card game! They really knocked this out of the park.
Lift Off is coming along really well for a new designer. The campaign is polished, thorough and it seems that he really did his homework.
Redacted is super intriguing! I love hidden identities, negotiation and the minimalist cover is just perfect.
Wizard Dodgeball is silly, quick and the card mechanic works really well!