Dale Yu – Getting Ready for SPIEL 2015, part 2

Well, this probably marks the end of my pre-Essen coverage from home… My flight leaves early Saturday morning, and I have a lot of packing and planning to finish up between now and then — enough work that I’m fairly certain that I will not have any time to write on the blog.   Work will be double-time for the rest of the week (as well as the week after I return), so there won’t be any writing from my desk either!  There are still a few other game previews planned by the other OG writers, and I will likely be able to catch up a bit with the blog once we’re up in the air on Saturday.

Thus far, I’ve gone through the Spiel Preview geeklist on BGG a number of times, and I’ve made my own spreadsheet of games that have caught my eye.  They are color coded due to level of interest as well as US availability.  This will help me get to all the games that I’m most interested in pre-show, and notes on US availability will help me figure out what I have to try to cram into the luggage and what can wait until I get back.

My list currently has 170+ games on it, and I have left a few empty spaces in the grid for games with high buzz that I didn’t manage to research prior to the show.  I will rely on a number of sources at the show to figure out what’s hot.  First and foremost will be a network of dedicated gamers that I talk shop with each year (Alan How, Mik Svellov, W Eric Martin, etc) – each time that we cross paths, we have a quick chat about anything neat that we’ve seen in our travels around the halls.  I’ll also be keeping an eye on the two main polls: Fairplay and Geekbuzz.  It’ll be impossible to see all 800+ new games at SPIEL, but I’ll do my best to hit the ones that I think are good for me.

Of those 170 games, I think that I have over 130 rulesets downloaded to my tablet, and of those, I think that I’ve read/skimmed about half of them so far.  I can often get a decent feel of the level of complexity of a game as well as the graphics/aesthetics from the rules, and this helps me stratify the games as well.  I am putting myself on a strict regimen of a dozen rulesets per day until the start of the show (as I know that more will become available on BGG each day, so my unread pile will continue to grow ever higher).

I’ve got at least a dozen different meetings set up with various companies – these meetings offer a nice opportunity to take in some information of the new games in a less hectic and less crowded manner.  It’s also a welcome respite from standing/walking all the time, as most of these meeting usually involve a little bit of sitting down!  These meetings also prove to be a nice chance to catch up with some old friends, as I have had meetings with some of these industry folks for over 15 years now.

Now it’s time for the puzzle of figuring out how to pack the minimum possible for an 8 day vacation in order to maximize the weight for games

One non-SPIEL note – but still something quite important to me (and likely you) is the announcement yesterday that amazon.de now will have EN support.  That’s right, you can now peruse the games on Amazon.de and read it in English!  No longer will you have to guess at what the shipping small print says…

amazon de


It’s still in BETA – at least, that’s what it said when I loaded it up…  When you go to amazon.de, there will be a link in the menubar for it… Or you can click on this:


FWIW, I got this email because I have an amazon.co.uk account, and that branch of Amazon really wanted me to know about it!

Amazon.de also seems to have updated their shipping options… When I put a test item in my cart, I now have these two options: (this was from 9/29/15 @ 22oo)

Choose a delivery option:

International Delivery made easy by AmazonGlobal. Package tracking with import fee deposit estimated and customs clearance on your behalf. Learn more
AmazonGlobal Expedited Shipping (averages 5-10 business days) : get it on Oct 15-16
AmazonGlobal Priority Shipping : get it on Monday, Oct 5by 12 a.m.


For this example, I loaded the cart with a single game, Spinderella from Zoch.  The slow shipping option would cost 16,49 EUR to ship, and the expedited one was 24,49.

A second test basket containing 5 large games (Spinderlla, Geister Geister Schatzsuchmeister, Colt Express, Elysium and Camel Up!) was also done

  • Cost for games: 121 EUR
  • Expedited Shipping (by 10/16): 30,15 EUR
  • Priority Shipping (by 10/5): 38,15 EUR

One week shipping from Germany – not too bad for only an extra 8 EUR per shipment…  I guess that this will become a slightly higher option on where to look for games that I wasn’t able to bring home from Essen!  If you’re buying multiple items, this actually seems to be a fairly decent method of importing them home!  (And, if someone from the EU tries to do the same thing, don’t forget that my cart will be cheaper as I do not have VAT added into the cost of my games)


Well – time to go search for my luggage scale, packing materials, etc.  I’ll see you from the other side of the pond in a few days!

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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3 Responses to Dale Yu – Getting Ready for SPIEL 2015, part 2

  1. Jacob Lee says:

    I’m looking forward to the OG coverage and I hope the games I’m interested in are on your radar.

  2. Joe Huber says:

    170+, Dale? Cutting back?

    (Joe, who’s Essen want list hasn’t come close to triple digits even when actually attending. But who will be getting MegaCiv, which I’m certain is _not_ on Dale’s 170+ list…)

  3. Dale Yu says:

    Mega civ would be about 40% of the use-able weight in one of my bags! And I’d rather saw off my arm than play a game with a possible time of 900+ minutes. Now, admittedly, at huber-speed, we could probably get the game in around 150 minutes for a 12p game; but that’s still too much for me :)

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