Saturday morning

Well looks like the phone gremlins got it again.  Sorry for no posts yesterday afternoon. Lots of pictures of fried potatoes. 



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Father in the Messe: day 2

It is late and I’m quite tired after a long day of games and friends, potatoes and wooden cubes, cards and maps and hours of walking along the halls. I’m quite sure we were able to see no more than the surface of what Essen can really offer. I’m quite sure every report will offer you something different. Of course there are games and things no one can miss …

The day started with the usual great breakfast at Jung and then a 10 minutes walk. We was lucky and during the walking we met Bruno Cathala, one of the star with his nice Five Tribes.


(Of course the one in the picture with us is Dale Yu and not Bruno)

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FRIDAY morning



Brian got his own energy drink this year!


Here is the initial Fairplay list.  No numerical ratings yet (not enough votes)

By 1030, there are numbers


Beasty bar at the top for now

Had a nice meeting at Kosmos. Their big mainstream release is a cooking trivia game sponsored by a celebrity chef.  Too much German on the cards for me to try.

7 steps is a nice puzzle game and Jaeger und Spaher is the next Kosmos 2 player game.  According to my contacts, the company is definitely looking to revive the 2p line with regular releases. 

The other great thing at the meeting was the German Machi Koro box which is nice and small.  Part of me was considering getting an empty box to store my English cards in!

Time for my Huch meeting


Mit mist und tucke. Rolling dung marbles.  They also had a clever party game called 5 minutes which uses electronic timers.

Then off to observe the memory world championship


Seriously. It’s an annual thing.


Liga and I met up for some yummy fried potatoes,


Everybody is eating them


Ok. Lunch break is over. Time for more game exploration.

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Friday morning breakfast time

Gotta get off to a good start.  Most important (and prepaid) meal of the day.


Lots of walking thus far. 9 to 10 miles each day. (about 6,000 –  7,500 nike fuel each day says my Fuelband)  I got a blister early Monday morning while we were walking around trying to keep awake and that has slowed me down a bit this week.

Hopefully the rain holds off.  I was uber thankful for my zippered Ikea bags yesterday as they kept my games dry. Skies currently look overcast. Boo!

Thus far. I have played more games than I usually do while here. Partly due to less preparation prior to leaving – there are a lot of games that I’m not overly familiar with.  Also, there’s a great group of guys that we’re hanging out with. Thanks to Brian, Luke H and Anthony R.

Spike and Spellcaster from R&R are both very good. We enjoyed abraca-what? From Korea. 7 Steps is an interesting puzzle-y game but you have to like the problem solving aspect as that’s what the game revolves around. The knizia Zombie game from Noris is very reminiscent of Heckmeck. Mangrovia may be a candidate for SdJ though it may be a touch too heavy for what the jury has selected in the past few years.  Villanex is a quirky card game, but what would you expect from Japan? May be the first game that takes longer to score a hand than to actually play it.

Lots of meetings today and then time to head home to test pack.  Right now, my first big bag is full but I still have most of the orange one to go,


A large portion of last night was spent separating the heavy boards and punchboards from the boxes. The empty boxes go into the big pieces of luggage while the heavy bits go in my carry on (which is usually not weighed)   Then a bit of box tetris trying to nest as many boxes as possible and get them all to fit in the bag,

Ok. 9am beckons. Time to head back to the Messe

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Father in the Messe: Day 1


Today we play! No excuses, no regrets. We will take no prisoners! We were at the Messe enough time before the opening to be able to let our jackets in the press-room wardrobe. As usual all the lockers were already taken and locked … I start to think that someone is reserving the lockers an year before … Maybe one year I’ll be able to get one and discover what is inside!!

We passed the exultant gamers waiting the opening of the gate and get a 30 minutes trip inside the almost empty halls. Time to say hello to some friends and decide where to stop.

Then like a lava from a Vulcano running gamers entered the halls trying to reach, like anger lions, tables full of colored wooden cubes. It was great!

We, as usual, started with an heavy dishes served on a 4-players table: Imperialims: road to domination from G3.

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Thursday part 2

At the Asmodee press event

Loony quest looks awesome. Lots of fun.


Sadly, it will not be available for this show.  I am eagerly awaiting this one.  Hopefully Asmodee usa will do it! Continue reading

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Thursday. Part 1

Looks like it is true.. According to Eric, demos only for now. No word on English or not.


New awesomeness this year. Ikea bags that act as backpacks. Continue reading

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Weds part two, try #2

Not sure what happened to the first draft. The app on my phone must have eaten it.  Anyways, I can’t find it anywhere.

Setup day was it’s usual hectic hurry up and wait. Everybody rushing around to get stuff done.

Managed to have my favorite blood pudding dish for dinner tonight.  Yum. Continue reading

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Father in the Messe: Day 0

Today is “the day”, when left behind ordinary customs and traditions me and Caterina convert in real “gaming machine” ready to play everything will be served on our tables. Of course we have likings and prejudices, expectations and wishes but we are open-minded and we can range from kid games to heave gamers games, passing through party-games and dexterity.

One of my biggest wishes is to be able to play some good and deep Sci-fi board-games (Caterina loves fantasy but she hates sci-fi) … I really prefer to be unaware of which is the biggest wish of an almost 14 years old girl …

I’m also bringing with me information abut the next edition of PLAY: The Games Festival (here a nice video of last edition) for designers and publishers interested in visiting us, but I’m sure this “public relation” duties will not steal me too much time. It is Essen time: it is time to game!

Looking our last year “top 5″ I think we are “good testers” (or, at least, lucky ones) because our top of top was Russian Railroads that won both DSP and IGA. Caterina said “A perfect game. I liked everything. If there will be an Essen award for best gamers game it will have to go to this one” and me “I’m always fascinated by worker placement games and also by games you have to build up your engine in time to get points before the end. This game seems to have both this feature.“.

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Weds part 2

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