Essen 2009 day 3 – Saturday 24th

25 Oct

We got in to the fair around 9.30 today. I don’t remember them having a special roped-off access to the halls last year, but that’s what they have this year. You go in through a gate and then there’s a kind of VIP corridor that should be lined with red carpet – because when you walk down it between the crowds of people waiting to get in, you feel like some Big Name Movie Star walking into a movie premiere.

Or maybe that is just me.

Once I had stopped posing for the cameras, we headed in. Sorry to the guy whose foot I apparently stepped on. But if you try to sneak in through the VIP entrance and get stopped, you quite possibly asked for it.

It seems like so long ago – as though I were writing about something I did 2 days ago, not 17 hours …

We headed straight for the Rio Grande Games stand today, where we had arranged to meet Ann & Ageeth at 10. We found a table (the girls settled at another one to systematically read all the Dominion: Seaside cards) and started to set up shipyard – which took us rather a long time. There are a LOT of tiles to sort, so the first play will involve lots of setup and hopefully a good supply of baggies to speed things up for future games.

The girls arrived at 10 and we started to make our way through the rules, which are clear and well-written, but extensive (which is a polite way to say really REALLY long). Scott Tepper was explaining a game at the next table, so we asked him to come to us when he was done, and waited 5 minutes or so for that (Fraser was still sorting tiles).

It really is so much easier to learn a game when you have a good game ‘splainer. By the time Scott was halfway through the rules, it was clear that the game was going to take a LONG time to play – and it was clear that I wanted to play it, very much. Essen rule applied: once you know you want a game, move on to the next thing.

“I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve already decided to buy this game. I don’t need to play it.”

Scott gave us the rest of the rules, then we tidied the table and got up to wander. By now, Biggie had joined in a game of Priests of Ra at the next table with Stephanie, Chris and Jeremiah – we arranged that she’d go directly to Lookout games, and we’d find her there later.

By dint of bribery (yes, I’ll buy you a hot dog AND a copy of Polizei-Alarm), we got Otto out of the front halls and over to hall 4. A detour through hall 6 netted her a selection of chessex dice necklaces, and then we started to search Hall 4 …

… when I realised it was time for my meeting with the SAZ, the game authors’ society. Thanks to Christian and Friedemann for your time in this busy Messe. It has given us something to think about, I’m sure.

Then it was time to meet Mousey to play kids’ games at HABA. Fraser was busy at BGG, I think playing something on webcam, so Otto and I headed for the fun stand. We played a few familiar games, a full game of Kayanak in which the adults cheated to punch as many holes as possible (we just wanted it to be over) and a partial game of Diego Drachenzahn, which I actually liked quite a bit – it’s a kids’ game with dexterity and betting. Just what you want them to learn before they go play shuffleboard in the casino.

Our final game here was a giant-sized Kleiner Magier.

Next stop after HABA was Drei Magier Spiele, who had 2 games that I was itching to try. The first, which I think was Der kleine Vampir or somethhing similar, was another glow-in-the-dark game like Die Nacht der Magier. Complicating things this time is the fact that you use magnets to push things around the board. This looked fun and gimmicky, just like Nacht der Magier. But we still get that out regularly (not often, but regularly) so this might not be a bad idea. Das Magische Labyrinth, which won thte 2009 DSP: Kinderspiel, also looked pretty darn good.

Up at the Neuheitenshow, I had a call from fraser, who said that the Bigster had not turned up at Lookout Games yet. We both
converged on the last seen location, Rio Grande Games, only to discover that she’d had so much fun playing with the other adults, she’d stayed to play Tobago and was just starting Factory Manager!

It’s hard to be annoyed with your kid for having fun playing great games with great people.

Actually, it appears to be impossible. Especially when she says, “Oh yes, I’d love to go see my friend, would you like my place?” to her dad who is a huuuuuuuuuuuge Power Grid fan.

Otto and I headed for Amigo, where she wanted to try one of the Lauras Stern games. With no tables available, we just waited – until Otto saw the Sitting Ducks shooting range.

Now, I am a bit anti-gun. To the point that I once returned a gift that one of Biggies’ friends had given her to the store, because it had a gun in it. It was tough to see Otto holding that thing – but I still celebrated when she finallly, on her sixth and last shot, knocked down a target.

We gave up on Lauras Stern and moved to Zoch, where we tried Mausgeflippt.

Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood to play this. the backstory drove me bananas and the game itself bored me. Sorry.

Eventually we made it back to BGG, where Friedemann arrived to set up a demo of Factory manager. Somehow I managed to get roped into playing this (it’s REALLY GOOD) so when Fraser arrived back from playing FM at Rio Grande, I was sitting at a table with Friedemann. Geek moment!

Sorry lovelies, it’s the new 2am and I must sleep. More of this later, but maybe not till Monday.



Posted by on October 25, 2009 in essen, games



2 responses to “Essen 2009 day 3 – Saturday 24th

  1. Tom Rosen

    October 27, 2009 at 1:16 am

    The story about Fraser being so excited to get Biggie’s seat for Factory Manager, only to find out later that you had a seat for Factory Manager WITH Friedemann is a classic! I love it 🙂

    Glad to hear (and see) that you and your family had such a great time at Essen this year. It looks like a blast and I definitely hope to make it next year.

  2. Jeff Allers

    October 27, 2009 at 3:52 am

    Hope you are rested. See you tomorrow? Need directions?


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