Yesterday was my final day in the great city of Essen. Unfortunately, due to the need for packing and sleep, I didn’t manage to post last night and I am soon going to be frantically rushing around this morning trying to get ready for our flight back. So I will skip the life lessons this morning, instead just jump into the day that was.
Yesterday featured gorgeous October weather, which almost made it a shame to be inside. Our hotel is just a short walk from the Messe, and the path to the halls is very serene, especially if you are early enough to beat the crowds.
I used my first hour at the halls to get some one-on-one explanations of games that I was aware of, but unfamiliar with. I prefer to simply have a game explained to me (perhaps with a sample turn or two), than to sit down and start playing an unfamiliar game that I might end up regretting. Perhaps I was in a good mood this day, but I found the morning’s games promising.
After about an hour, my wife joined me and we feasted on several delicious SPEIL delicacies.
Despite what Dale says about the halls being less crowded this year, Saturday crowds still present a major logistical issue. It seemed no matter which direction you headed, you were bound to get stuck in a mass of people just inching along. (I took a 30 second video of me stuck in traffic, but I don’t know how to import it right now.)
The demo tables were hopping, as usual. We tried some dexterity games and observed players attempting a few eagerly anticipated titles.
In the afternoon, I went off to meet up with some people I knew to play a few of the games I had purchased. It was a great time. We broke out Wildcatters, which was quite interesting despite having a few vague rules that left us scratching our heads.
We also broke out Yunnan, which had some inter-player aggression that I rather enjoyed. I don’t expect it to have the longevity of something like Hansa Teutonica, but it is another solid medium-weight design from Argentum Verlag.
In the evening, I knew what I needed for my last meal in Germany: more pork knuckle!
The I also went for German-style ice cream with the Yu brothers (for the second consecutive night). The Germans seem to know how to do dairy right. The cheeses have been delicious and the ice cream is outstanding. I got the Whiskey Cream, which was more whiskey than cream I think.
We finished the night with a quick game of Bombyx’s Continental Express, a rather simple card drafting game. This one fell flat for me, and I wonder whether the rules need another good pass through by a translator. Some of the mechanics just seemed odd given the game’s weight and length.
That’s it for now, as I have to pack the computer. I saved many of the most-anticipated games for when I return home, since I know I’ll have to play them with my game group anyway. Nevertheless, I’ll try to post some final thoughts on the Fair in the coming days. Thanks for reading!