Welcome to my Essen review, but first, an exciting announcement - I've been recruited into the ranks of Breakthrough Assault! This only extends to my Flames of War and related posts, I'll still be using this blog to cover my other hobby based madness, such as Bolt Action, Infinity, World of Twilight and boardgames.
Any who, last Wednesday I flew out to Germany to visit Essen on another business trip. Essen is a major show for Games manufacturers, where they release the new lines before Xmas. The show is more family orientated than Gen-Con, as the gaming industry in mainland Europe is much more developed than the rest of the world, where families often play games together, and the 'game of the year' (this year its Camel Up) is often bought as a gift to Grankids.
The show had much less 'geekary' compared to Gencon - still enough stands to get something interesting, but its defiantly all about the boardgames. The big publishers really pull out the stops with their demo and trade stands, with plenty of tables with people running games for you to try - although even with an army of demo-ers, the tables are still busy all day.
Language wasn't really an issue, as most of the people I met had a great level of English - although as I am doing Nuremberg as well each year, I think its in my interest to gain a basic command of German.
One of the interesting things is the sheer number of releases of games - this Essen had 950 new titles released (although some of those are different language versions of the same game).
A large number of the stands are geared towards the younger and family end of the market, and there is also a large number of independent publishers who are looking for their big break. The quality and pricing of the games can vary quite wildly!
It was weird to see the miniature stands relegated to the side, this is defiantly a board game show. The crowd is much more family based, with far fewer cos-players than Gencon. The crowds on the Saturday were far worse - it was a struggle to get from one meeting to the next at times, and that was within the same hall!
Another big difference was the fact that everything stops at 7 - no late night gaming halls, no playing areas, its very efficient and civilised.
Thanks for reading!
|Our little slice of corporate sanctuary...|
|Although I didn't get to use the offices :-)|
|Getting ready for the doors to open!|
|One of picks for this year - Samurai Spirit|
|So many games!|
|Omega Centuri - 4ex game with no dice...|
|Hawk Wargames finished their Drop=zone ship.... its huge!|
|Magic the Gathering - Boardgame!|
|Another great looking game - Colt Express|
|Mad King Ludwig's castle|
|Rob the train - Choo Choo!|
|Looking forward to the English version of this next year|
|Love the Pea-dot card backs|
|Rubbish picture, this JU-52 flew overhead at about 500'. Such a large wing means its very slow!|
|So many people playing games!|
|The Crowds on Saturday|
|Super special Krosmaster|
|Example of a publisher stand - huge!|
|New Wings of war planes! Floatplanes!!|
|The hotel-right next to the Messe. Just the wrong end to get in!|
|Lovely stratus over the coast on the way home|