Opinionated Gamers prepare for Essen, part 4

Dale: Finally started to look at games in earnest… The Essen Preview geeklist at BGG has been read-through and subscribed.  A spreadsheet has been made noting games that I am interested/not interested in.  I use a 5 point scale for the games. 1=must have, 2=want, 3=need to see how much baggage space I have left, ?=need more info (i.e. booth demo), X=DO NOT WANT.

I make my own spreadsheet to organize myself in Essen.  There are too many games to see in the 3-4 days that I’m there, so it really helps me to already have a list of games that I know I want to pick up / see / learn more about / avoid / etc…  I will shrink it down and print up a copy that fits on the inside cover of my reporter’s notebook that I carry around.

Each entry has:

  • Game Name
  • Desire Level
  • Publisher
  • Location
  • Cost
  • Whether I’ve read the rules or not
  • Notes – usually a one sentence description of what the game is
  • appointment – if i’ve set up a time to see the game, I want to make sure I don’t miss it!

Why do I have a “DO NOT WANT” category?  Mostly to make sure that I don’t go back and keep trying to re-read or re-research a game that I know I don’t want.  Just prior to leaving for Essen, I will move all the DO NOT WANT games to a second spreadsheet and print out the titles so I still have that to reference at the show, but then those games will not be in the master spreadsheet cluttering things up.

The other big thing I need to do for this year is find and print out maps.  As you’ve probably heard by now, the show is moving temporarily to new Halls while the usual ones are being renovated.  The new layout has everything in the ginormous Halls 1,2,3.  So… for this year, everyone will be in a new place.  No longer will people be able to describe things based on where they are in relation to Lookout, Queen, Bezier, etc.

The numbering system of the booths even seems strange…


The numbering system doesn’t even make that much sense… they base the letter on which “row” you’re in, even though there might not be a full hallway in that row.  It’ll definitely be an adventure this year navigating around… And by the time I learn where everything is (in 2014 or 2015), we’ll prob be back in the old halls.

I’m a bit worried that the new setup will be LOUD.  Hall 6 is not quite as big as 1,2, or 3 – and it was always the loudest of the halls in the old setup… though i don’t know how much of that was due to the RPG/LARP/etc crew that normally lives in 6.

As far as logistics go – getting closer

  • Flight, hotel, transportation all set up and confirmed
  • My brother and I will actually be on the same overseas flights, which is the first time that we’ve ever managed to do that in about 10 trips together…  I think we’ve even managed to get seats next to each other
  • My badge is actually in – so I’m definitely all set in that regard!  20130909_182819
  • Already have my second pair of shoes set up…
  • Still need to dig my European wallet, lanyard and badge holder out of the closet.

OK. Back to research (oh, and studying)… I’ve read about 25 rulesets so far, 40ish other downloaded and not yet read.  And, I have a few previews of new games coming up this week or this weekend…

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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9 Responses to Opinionated Gamers prepare for Essen, part 4

  1. Jacob says:

    Do you keep your “must have” list private so as not to offend publishers who don’t have their titles on there? Or are you willing to share your number 1’s? Just wondering.

  2. Dale Yu says:

    Jacob, I have no problem sharing my must-haves. In fact, the initial lineup was in the second portion of this series (well, with the addition of Russian Rails which I somehow left out).


  3. Jacob says:

    Ah, yes. I see. I look forward to reading your report. Prosperity is my only #1 on your list.

  4. madhobbit says:

    In an interview in Spielbox the organisor mentioned we’ll be in the new halls for the coming 5 years. After that period they’ll evaluate and see if we move back again or stick to the new halls.
    So plenty of time to learn your way around.

  5. Love the prepare for Essen segment !
    See u there

  6. Fraser says:

    So what’s the difference between your European wallet and your United States wallet?

  7. Dale Yu says:

    The European wallet was bought while in Spain. It’s a bit wider to hold the larger Euro bills. It also has a change pocket built in. Here in the US, there is absolutely no use for coinage, so it just goes into a pocket until it gets lost…. in Europe, I might end up with 20 EUR in change before I realize that I have a substantial amount of money in that little pocket!

    Also, my travel credit card lives in that wallet and is only used in Europe. 1) it’s easier to tell if someone is using it who shouldn’t. 2) it’s the only card I have that doesn’t charge fees on transactions, so I try to use it when I must use a credit card over there.

    That wallet already has photocopies of my secondary ID cards, health insurance cards, etc – so in case it gets lost, I don’t lose the originals which I will need a lot more back home. (The passport and drivers license must come along, if nothing else for the overbearing US airport security checks).

  8. Marc Specter says:

    Do you have a link for the Essen preview thread on BGG? Marc

    Share this dragon. If you do, a lucky end for them and you.

    Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 22:49:13 +0000 To: kamus73@hotmail.com

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