The Opinionated Gamers Prepare for Essen (Part 1)

Dale Yu

As I mentioned on last Thursday, now that Gen Con has come and gone, it’s time to start getting ready for Essen…  This year, there are a number of us going to Essen, and we each have a slightly different focus for the show.

I’ll be headed to Essen for my 10th or 11th trip.  I’ve done the math, and I believe that Essen, Germany is now #6 on the list of days spent in a particular city…

  1. Cincinnati, OH (where I grew up and continue to live)

  2. Nashville, TN (Vanderbilt)  ~ 4 years

  3. Columbus, OH (Gathering of Friends, Origins, close by, state fair, multiple soccer games) >200 days

  4. Hilton Head Island, SC (annual family vacations as a kid) = ~150 days

  5. Saugatuck, MI (annual family vacation as an adult) = 80 days

  6. Essen, Germany (10 trips x 6-7 days each) = ~65 days

  7. Tottori, Japan – 45 days as an exchange student in junior high

  8. Niagara Falls, NY (Gathering x 3) = 30 days

I honestly can’t think of any other places that I’ve been more than 65 nights in… so it is probably pretty firm at #6.  That’s kind of amazing that 3 of the top 8 places I’ve been to (in terms of days) are directly related to gaming.

So far, I’m still fairly unorganized.  But it’s early.  At least 2 months to go still, right?

Things I have done for Essen:

  • Hotel reservation

  • write at least one OG blog post about Essen

Things I have not yet done for Essen:

  • airline tix

  • pre-Essen travel plans

  • started to read and annotate the humongous Essen geeklist on BGG

  • made my Essen spreadsheet of games I want to look at or not

  • applied for my Essen press pass

  • renew my passport

I’m going to try to start working on some of these things this week, as well as starting writing up some of my thoughts on the new games.  On the docket are the Essen 13 Winsome game set (just played them a week or so ago) as well as whatever news that I found at Gen Con last week!

W. Eric Martin

With nearly two hundred titles listed on BoardGameGeek’s Spiel 2013 Preview (, I’ve already done a ton of prep work for Spiel. Nothing in the past couple of weeks, mind you, what with Gen Con to prepare for and cover for BGG News, but now that that’s out of the way, it’s clear sailing from now until late October, and by “clear sailing” I mean endless late nights and bleary eyes and sore wrists and the never-ending fear that I’m missing information about new games from some publisher or other.

I know that I can’t write up everything, that (1) new publishers will show up at Spiel that know nothing about BGG or that like to keep everything a secret and that (2) I simply lack the time to do everything that I might want to do to prepare for the convention. I’d love to record preview videos to give more details about various titles or interview designers about their take on an unusual topic, but the hours simply don’t exist in the day. So be it. I’ll tackle what I can in the time available and try to limit the self-flagellation to once or twice a week. After all, time self-flagellating is time that could be spent writing about new games!

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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1 Response to The Opinionated Gamers Prepare for Essen (Part 1)

  1. jgeske says:

    Travel plans for the Sasquatch Essen mule are made, although we still need an exhibitor badge to let Doug in on Wednesday. I started the Essen list (based on Eric’s Essen preview) and it already has close to 100 games on the list. Next will be reading through game rules to refine the list, figuring out which ones I can pre-order/pre-pay/get shipped to me before Essen (to facilitate game pick-up at Essen & optimize luggage space), and updating the list with new entries/booth info.

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