Dale Yu: Essen 2013 – The Games (at home)

One of the joys of the Essen trip is the hours spent packing and re-packing to make sure that I can bring home as many games as possible.  I say that only half-sarcastically, as it is an enjoyable puzzle to see how much you can get into your two pieces of luggage, a carry on and a personal item.  I think that I’ve got a decent system in place now, and with a little help from some friends, it all works out.  I was lucky to have someone help this year get a box to the post office, so not all of the games on the list below came home in my bags.  I’d say that probably 12-18 games went home in the box in the mail.  But I can’t tell you for sure because the manifest for that box was written on my master list – which is now lost…. I’m hoping that I simply packed the list in one of my game boxes as I was trying to make everything fit into the luggage, and I’ll be surprised one game night when it shows up.

This year, given that I shipped a box home, it made it a bit easier on the actual Luggage Tetris ( TM) game that I have to play. I still definitely tried to nest boxes where I could, but I didn’t feel the need to punch every game to try to shave off every gram of weight.  Instead, I took the heaviest part of each game – the cardboard – placed each game’s worth of stuff in an oversized ziploc bag.  The bags I found this year at Dollar Tree were actually TOO big, these turned out to be two gallon bags, but being too large isn’t that great of an issue… Some games (I’m looking at you – Caverna and New Haven) probably each had at least 5 pounds of cardboard each inside the box…  These BOUS were then carefully stacked up in my carry-on which is just big enough to accommodate two separate stacks of cardboard from the usual rectangular sized box.  I probably managed to get 12-15 games worth of cardboard into the carryon.  The space left over on the sides was filled in with heavy decks of cards from games as well as the bag of heavy wooden pawns from Origin.  In the end, my carryon was a light and airy 45 pounds… And that’s without using the zipper to expand the size.  I try to attract as little attention to the carryon as possible, so I want to leave it small if possible so they don’t stop me due to size at the gate.  Also, if the dang thing was any heavier, I’m not sure I could get it into the overhead compartment without giving myself a hernia.  There was a bit of spillover into my bookbag (personal item) which brought 6 or 7 games worth of the 30cm square variety that did not neatly stack in the carryon.  Oh, and let’s not forget about the jacket. There are a few decks of cards and wooden bit secreted away in the pockets, but certainly not jammed packed like years previous. 

When it’s all said and done, I’m guessing that my luggage is about 170 pounds when totalled together.  Both of the checked luggages came in on the official scale at DUS at 22.6kg, so this means I was within 100-150 grams of the limit on the way home.  Both of the bags were busting at the seams, and frankly I don’t think I had the volume to fit anything else in either bag.  In fact, due to the lack of volume, a few games moved so far down the list as to be left behind – Nations and Amerigo, for instance – though both of these should be available fairly soon domestically says their respective publishers…  I will break down what games came home in what bag further below… but first, here is my sort of complete list – I am probably missing a few games that I cannot remember right now, and there may be a game or two on the list that I thought I had picked up and managed to not do so…

1. Archon

2. Artifact

3. Blueprints

4. Bremerhaven

5. Bruxelles 1893

6. Caverna

7. Cheaty Mages

8. Citrus

9. Concept

10. Continental Express

11. Duco

12. Flash 10

13. Florenza the card game

14. Folders

15. Funf Gurken

16. Futterneid

17. Galapagos

18. Galaxy Trucker expansion

19. Geister, Geister, something-meister

20. Glass Road

21. Handler der Karabik

22. Ignis

23. Kaboom!

24. Kronen fur der Konig

25. Last Will expansion

26. Legacy: Duke de Crecy

27. Letnisko

28. Lewis & Clark

29. Longhorn

30. Lost Legacy

31. Machi Koro

32. Machi Koro plus

33. Madeira

34. Mauna Kea

35. Mission Combat

36. Nauticus

37. New Haven

38. Northwest Passage

39. Origin

40. Oss

41. Packet Row

42. Palmyra

43. Primate Fear

44. Prosperity

45. Quantum

46. Rampage

47. Rokoko

48. Russian Railroads

49. Sail to India

50. Sandwich

51. Sanssouci

52. Scotland Yard: Master detective

53. S-evolution

54. Shadows over the Empire

55. Sissi

56. SOS Titanic

57. Steam Park

58. Suburbia Inc

59. Tash Kalar

60. Templar

61. Tokaido expansion

62. Trains and Stations

63. TTR boards

64. Ugo

65. Yunnan

66.  lots of other assorted promos, goodies, etc which I cannot remember


Not taking the time to punch and bag al the games probably cost me somewhere between 5 and 8 pounds in weight, but again, given the size boxes of the games this year – I likely didn’t have much more volume to bring home games unless I could find games that I wanted that came in small, non-standard sized boxes.  (For instance, I could have punched a few games to get the Luchador dice game… if I had even known about it prior to leaving the fair for the last time on Saturday!).  This year and last year has been a bit more challenging due to the fact that most of the games come in the two basic shapes, so there is only so much nesting that I am able to do to save space.  The advantage of not punching the game is that I was able to spend much more time socializing and gaming while at Essen, and that has a lot to be said for itself as there are many people that I only see once a year here.

OK, here’s how it all fit in the bags (with pictures):


Big black bag – weight 49.9 lbs



1. Mauna Kea

2. Primate Fear

3. Futterneid

4. KaBoom

5. Concept

6. Rokoko

7. Nauticus

8. Kronen fur den Konig

9. Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister

10. Sail to India

11. FunfGurken

12. Machi Koro

13. Machi Koro plus

14. Longhorn

15. S-Evolution

16. Glass Road

17. Artifact

18. Prosperity

19. Steam Park

20. Palmyra

21. Ignis

22. New Haven

23. Yunnan

24. Madeira

25. TTR Netherlands

26. Packet Row

27. Templar




Champagne Bag – this is 29″ clamshell suitcase that is fully expanded




1. SOS Titanic

2. Blueprints

3. Folders

4. Trains and Stations

5. Bremerhaven

6. Quantum

7. Legacy – Duke de Crecy

8. Lost Legacy

9. Caverna

10. Lewis & Clark

11. Archon

12. Russian Railroads

13. Bruxelles 1893

14. Continental Express

15. Letnisko

16. Ugo

17. Shadows over the Empire

18. Florenza: the Card Game

19. Origin

20. Citrus


Orange Carryon

1. Sissi! Die Bohnenkaiserin

2. Sandwich

3. Handler der Karabik

4. Cheaty Mages




Carryon held Cardboard for:

1. New Haven

2. Origin

3. Lewis&Clark

4. Bruxelles

5. Citrus

6. Templar

7. Archon

8. Glass Road

9. Prosperity

10. Russian Railroads

11. Caverna





(that’s how tall the stack of cardboard was!)


What’s in box (that I can remember) – and thus will not be here for a few weeks

1. Rampage

2. Scotland Yard: Master

3. Sanssouci

4. Galapagos

5. Flash 10

6. Last Will expansion

7. Mission Combat

8. Northwest Passage

9. Oss

10. Tash-Kalar

11. Tokaido expansion

12. Speed Cups



Already in Basement on Essen Shelf (prior to leaving for Essen)

1. Coal Baron

2. Desktopia

3. Suburbia Inc

4. Infamy

5. Trains

6. Heroes of Metro City

7. Global Mogul

8. The Downfall of Pompeii

9. Triassic Terror

10. Francis Drake

11. Lost Legends

12. Inkognito

13. Relic Runners

14. Plunder

15. Capitals

16. Twin Tin Bots

17. Unnatural Selection

18. World of Tanks: Rush

19. Dungeon Roll




Now that it’s all unpacked, now it’s time to try to put Humpty Dumpty back together again and reunite all of the separated bits to the box that they belong in!


Oh, and this had nothing to do with my suitcases, but I saw this on the belt at CVG

This is my worst nightmare… this isn’t “inspected”, it has been exploded!


Until your next appointment,

The Gaming Doctor

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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7 Responses to Dale Yu: Essen 2013 – The Games (at home)

  1. AED says:

    I was right behind you when you were getting your Steampark signed, but didn’t recognize you at the time. I hope you got your Lewis and Clark signed as well…the artist was kind enough to take extra time to create a special drawing on the inside of the box for my wife that we will treasure!

  2. AED says:

    Thank you for answering all of my noob questions and preparing me for my first Essen…next year I will know who to thank in person!

    – Aaron

  3. Dave says:

    Wait, you abandoned a (purchased?!?) copy of Nations in Essen? I suspect that’s mostly a box of air anyway (Eclipse-sized box with six play boards, some chits, and cards) so you could have left the box behind and still brought the guts home?

  4. Dale Yu says:

    Dave, i did not abandon a copy of Nations. I merely declined the opportunity to bring one back – as in, I did not purchase one once I saw what my luggage situation looked like. I had it on good authority (the designer and my contact at Asmodee) that this will available Stateside in the near future.

    • Dave says:

      Phew! I can sleep at night now, knowing there isn’t a poor, lost game unloved in the German countryside. And thank you for your usual quality trip reports, I’ve been reading all of them!

  5. Olav Fakkeldij says:

    Thanks for the review of Luggage Tetris (TM)!
    It’s a game I don’t feel the need to play the advanced version (being able to visit Essen by car), but I really enjoy your annual review.

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