Essen Diary of Regrets-what I did NOT buy at the fair

[Ed note – welcome a new author to our ranks, Simmy Peerutin!]

By: Simmy Peerutin

As most of us do, I had spent weeks before the fair studying the BGG Preview List, watching videos and reading reviews, and I had whittled down the games I was interested in from the over 1,000 listed to a mere 300 or so. During that time I pre-ordered only a handful of games; the rest I wanted to see and experience.


Even though the fair ended less than a week ago and I bought about 40kg worth of games I have already compiled a list of games I still want…and this only days after arriving home with two suitcases stuffed full of games. It got me thinking that I haven’t seen any writing about the choices we make day after day at the fair; which games to buy that day and which to leave for another day. This piece would be too long if I discussed the lists I made each day and why I included certain games, so instead I thought it would be interesting and novel to focus on what I did not buy because I have come to believe that due to the sensory overload in the halls most if not all logic and discipline disappears. Here is my edited recollection of that journey.

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Dale Yu: Bagging up after Essen – new bag supplier found – Royal Bag!

OK – just getting back and into the groove after the trip to Europe.  As you might expect, this first week back can be quite hectic.  I didn’t pull into the airport until about 10pm on Sunday night, and this gave me just enough time to get the bags into the car, drive home and then fall into bed to get ready for a full day of work on Monday.  Good thing that I had enough time to write up most of my Essen recap pieces while on the plane home, because it’s been non-stop at work all week.

In the evenings, I’ve been slowly unpacking the bags and finally getting to play with some of the games.  I’ve got over 70 new games to look at, read the rules, punch the bits and whatnot.  One of the great pleasures that I get from my games is the initial unboxing and organization of the components.  Sometimes, there is a great insert which holds everything just right.  More often than not, there is a huge empty cardboard box that needs something to help organize everything.


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Dale Yu: Essen Recap Part 4

Dale Yu: Essen Recap Part 4


Well, we’re nearing the end of the road here for what happened – in this (possibly final) piece, I’ll just talk a bit about some of the more interesting things that I saw.  This is not meant to be comprehensive, and I’m sure that I’ll mention a bunch of things that some of the other writers talk about, but I also hope that I hit some things on my own.  I’m just using the pictures on my phone as a guide…


First off, let me just say that one of my most anticipated games for SPIEL 2017 remains anticipated… Decrypto is not quite done, and while it’s at the show in nearly final prototype, it will be a spring 2018 release.

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Dale Yu: Essen 2017 Recap Part 3

Dale Yu: Essen 2017 Recap Part 3


Well, so far, in part 1 and part 2 of my recap, I’ve been going in chronological order.  From here on out, I’m abandoning this strategy.  Why? Well, to be honest, things were such a whirlwind this week, that I am pretty much having trouble remembering the order in which things happened.  I didn’t really take great notes, and anyways, the actual timing of the events is less important than the discussion of them. So, with that – let’s head back to the halls for the actual fair.


This year, it did seem busier than previous years. At this point, that statement is purely based on empirical observation – it just felt busier.  I’m sure that we’ll get an email soon from Merz Verlag telling us the turnstile count – though how they calculate that is quite unclear as there really doesn’t appear to be any counting of entrants.  You have a ticket, they punch a hole in the date to show you’ve entered – and that’s it.  At a minimum, they can calculate the number of tickets and multiply by the number of days the ticket was purchased for, but that’s about it.

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Dale Yu – Essen Recap Part 2

(So, I already wrote a short bit while on my phone on Wednesday – I am using that as the base for this longer recap as I now have a bit more time to fill in the details – so if some of this sounds familiar – it is!)

Part 1 of my Essen recap is here

Well, setup day is always hectic here in Essen.  There is always someone with an emergency or crisis.  The rare booth will have everything under control by 3 in the afternoon; the remaining 95% scurry around trying to get everything ready for the masses to arrive the next morning. Most everyone is still too busy to talk much to us, though we sneak in a few minutes here and there.

In general, the security here is relaxed. People are setting up booths on their own schedules, and when they are done, they pretty much just leave with their product in the middle of the stand.  I have seen a few stands that will wrap plastic wrap around their shelves or some that might drape a dropcloth in front of the games – but most everyone else just trusts that their stuff will be left alone. Continue reading

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Father in the Messe 2017: Day 3


We are finally arrived at the Friday. Just after a single day of games we really want to try something good. Mauro di Marco (editor in chief of ILSA Magazine , the best Italian boardgame magazine, and, like me, committee member in the International Gamer Award) got a good analysis of the number of titles published in the last 10 years: thanks to BGG first and Kickstarter than the number of title is really increased in something close to 5000 entries in the last year. It is not possible to look and try just only the interesting ones so we decided to go and play whatever inspire us without looking what’s hot or the top rated games: Heaven & Ale looks like the kind of game we all three we can really like.


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Essen Wrap-up (Chris Wray)


I’m still on my long trip back to mid-Missouri, but here’s my Essen wrap up.  I discuss (1) the semi-final BGG Geekbuzz list and the Fairplay list, (2) when various games will arrive in the United States, and (3) some of my favorite games/promos/moments/etc. from the convention.  If you’ve missed my previous blog posts, read this one instead: this is my summary and final analysis.   Continue reading

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Essen Day Three: What was hot, and what I played… (Chris Wray)


I spent most of my time on Saturday doing last-minute shopping (gotta love the used game stands) and chatting with publishers for a couple of articles I’m working on.  I didn’t get as much time as I had hoped to play games, so this post covers only: (1) what’s hot, and (2) thoughts on the convention so far.  I’ll put my last “played” list in my final update Sunday night.   Continue reading

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Dale Yu: Essen 2017 Recap Part 1

OK, well, I’m not sure how many posts there are going to be – you’ll find out as soon as I figure it out or run out of things to say.  As I’m now heading home, I’ll just start writing about the trip and my thoughts on the travel, food and the games.

As usual, we’re heading home on Sunday morning.  Sure, this means that I miss the last day of the fair – but to be honest, my bags were within 2kg of being filled when I went to bed on Friday night.  Not much left to get on Saturday, and there would definitely not be room for anything else come Sunday, even if that’s when the best bargains are to be had.

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Fairplay. 1400 Saturday 

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