I visited Spiel 2005 in Essen last weekend. Spiel is probably the largest convention focusing on boardgames. I never went before, and because Alan got the wagon rolling, I decided to join this year. So on saturday at 7am, 5 of us got into our cars and departed for Essen.
The fair is pretty large, and the halls are filled with publishers and shops. One can play a lot of games at the various publishers booths, try out new games, etc. I have to say I didn’t play games — after so many years of attending conventions I don’t have the patience anymore, so I spend my time walking around the booths and picking up as much merchandise as I can.
So what did I buy? * Conquest of the Empire: a huge boardgame from Eagle Games, focusing on the Roman Empire. Although I have been dissapointed with games from Eagle Games in the past, I decided to give this one a try. It looks very stunning and has a lot of components!
Descent (Fantasy Flight Games): a new dungeon-crawling boardgame. It has been eagerly awaited, and this was the first opportnuity to buy it in Europe. Our group got 3 copies total. Yes. we’re crazy ;-)
Burning Drachens, the new expansion for the excellent WW1 dogfighting game Wings of War.
Some Axis and Allies miniatures boosters. I also saw another WW2 game, Panzer Squadron (www.panzersquadron.com), which looked pretty promising.
I also wanted to get the expansions for Memoir 44, but they were sold out.
Anyway, Essen is a day of fun. There’s not that much to see if you’re only interested in historical miniature wargaming (although most of the big SF/F miniature publishers are present), but for boardgames, it is the place to be!