On the way over here, I saw an episode of How I Met Your Mother where everyone appeared to be writing letters to their future selves. One of those is coming from-me-to-me for Essen 2014, but for now a report on the past two days.
The one game I lined up for was Patchistory because it was a novel idea and could be implemented well, be frustratingly incomplete, or be both. So imagine a line of maybe 100 people queuing up for a game at an empty booth with virtually no signs, no clear reviews on the web, and no one there. There we all stood in a niceish line at a booth with no people and no games, waving money. Patchistory is from Deinko and they were sharing a booth with Magpie. I had not heard of Magpie, but had a brief demo of their games from the line (not leaving the line to lose my space there). I thought I recognized the Korean showing me these games, but could not place him. He was the designer of Cat & Fish, a game I really like and will almost always play. We greeted each other warmly. He has converted Visionary Games to Magpie! He had two deduction games 32 Suspects for families and Holmes 13, by Hope S. Hwang, designer of Guildhall, for adults. One copy of Holmes 13 – Sold! So my first official new game purchase of Spiel 2013 was not Patchistory and was not even a game that was more than ‘look at’ on my list. For me, these are the memories that make Essen special.
Why all those qualifiers ‘first official new game purchase’? Well, that is a story too. I really enjoy seeing and talking with Joe Huber. A font of wisdom about games I have never played and will likely never play. We are walking past a used game booth on Wednesday and he spies a pile of old Pelikan games. They look dated and in many ways, they are dated. I would normally make a mental note to check them out later and move on. Here, Joe interrupts my thoughts and points at one of them, Schutzenfest. He then starts talking about how it is a gem of a game and while walking, explains the rules and how he had nominated it as an ‘an unsung gem’ on a geeklist last year. We were long past the booth by the time he finished and we went on to other things, but later on, I went back and got it. So now I have the Pelikan game, Schutzenfest, with a great memory of that booth and Joe at Essen.
I have met tons of new people as well as old friends, but for me, I love it when the people and the games become inextricably intertwined to create lifelong memories.
Well, off to the Messe, as the Friday night half-time show is over and the Third Quarter is about to begin!