Tobold's Blog
Thursday, October 06, 2022
Essen Spiel 2022

I went to the Spiel Essen 2022 today, probably the largest board games convention there is. After having watched Quackalope on YouTube saying that ISS Vanguard would be for sale at Essen, I had seriously considered picking that up. Unfortunately that information turned out to be wrong, Awaken Games didn’t want to sell the game before it was delivered to the Kickstarter backers. But then I went past the Chip Theory Games booth and found out that *they* didn’t have the same sort of reservations: Hoplomachus: Victorum, the Kickstarter delivery of which just had been delayed into 2023, was for sale at the same price I could preorder it, or roughly the same as the Kickstarter price plus shipping. So my resolve to not buy this melted quickly, and I bought this currently rather exclusive game. Which admittedly sucks for people who backed it on Kickstarter.

The only downside was that I had to leave the convention half an hour after arrival to lug Hoplomachus: Victorum to my car. Those Chip Theory Games weight a ton, and you can’t just carry them around with you all day. But getting back into the convention was easy, I got a bracelet that allowed me to bypass the ticket check. I only bought one other board game at the Spiel: CoraQuest, a family dungeon crawler. I stayed nearly all day, and still had the impression to not have seen everything, the convention now being back to full pre-Covid size (last year it was smaller). As a result I only managed to play a single game, Warcrow, a prototype of an upcoming Kickstarter, which didn’t overly impress me. There were a lot of upcoming Kickstarter games on show; but only Nanolith from the games I backed this year showed their game after the crowdfunding was already over. Forest of Radgost, which I had backed in 2021 was also there, but that one is already shipping and I should get my copy soon. I still said hi, and they were happy to meet one of their backers.

Several of the games I had wanted to see weren’t there. Getting a board game delivered in 2022 is still a problem. So most of the games at the convention were not crowdfunded, but retail games. I didn’t buy any of them, because I wasn’t interested in many of them, and I didn’t even see many especially good deals. A retail game from Amazon, including shipping (or free shipping with Amazon Prime) can be cheaper than picking the same game up at MSRP at a convention. Unsurprisingly for a board game convention in Europe, there were a lot of Euro games. I am somewhat picky about those, I just recently got Wingspan, and that is basically *the* must-have Euro game. I’m staying away from the more complex Euro games, as I prefer more thematic games. And while Wingspan has a certain elegance to its game mechanics, a lot of the newer Euro games just have an overload of different ways to gain victory points. That doesn’t really appeal to me. And I am not a big fan of the “most victory points” victory condition anyway.


I hope wingspan is good in person for you because I have played it on steam and recently on board game arena and it bores me so badly.
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