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Essen Review (Sort of...)

Even despite last weeks cold I had a very enjoyable time at the Essen Games Fair. Lots of good food, lots of meeting up with old friends from around the world and making a few new ones to boot, oh and lots of games to look at (and play) too.

And play I did this year. I usually end up rushing around from meeting to meeting and trying to check out each stand to make sure I'm aware of what's coming out, where the 'buzz' is, and how I can get copies for the shop. Well I did all of that this year (plus some dinky Cubicle 7 stuff to boot) AND still managed to have a handful of games! How I managed it I'm not entirely sure, but I'm glad I did.

The games I played were "King of History" by a Korean company (which I then brought for further testing), 'Shear Panic' by Fragor Games (A Scottish companY) which was absolutely fabulous and had actually sold out by the time the show open its doors on the first day due to preorders and the popularity of it. I have my name down for when it's reprinted - excellent little sheep game :p Zombiaki - a Polish two-player zombies card game which I'm hoping to produce in English, A Neuroshima (Polish RPG) tactical board game which was very good fun, Wench: The Card Game (by Eagle Games) and a couple of other games. I also came back with a couple of bags of games (samples, promos as well as a few purchases) which I'll no doubt start inflicting my games group with in the coming weeks (need to find rules translations for a few too).

Meet up with several LJers (most notably anyeone mrwarfrog and muskrat_john). Got roped into a podcast with John K as we were chilling out both having our 'lunch' at about 6pm (John had just done a marathon signing session). Why is it that microphones are always thrust in front of you when you keep coughing, sneezing and have a gravelly voice? I also almost got interviewed on German TV but ran away as I didn't have a clue what they were trying to ask me (obviously in German).

Also managed to bump into a couple of old Nightfallers. Chippy was at the show signing art and I bumped into Chaz Elliott at a party on Friday night with his wife. Also at said party was Pete Adkison who was at the show launching his company's new game 'CLOUT: Fantasy'. It's a collectible poker-chip battle game where you are trying to flip your chips to protect your pieces whilst trying to attack your opponents. I haven't actually played it as yet so don't know how it plays. John K and myself suggested that Peter produced some promotional CLOUT Frisbees for GenCon SoCal as it's in California. I'm not sure he took the suggest all that seriously though (which is a shame as I'd love to own a frisbee with daver2323's artwork on it!). I also met one of the designers of the Pokemon games at the party (he couldn't speak much English though) and a collegue of his who has been working on a very cool looking Pokemon Collectible Miniatures game due out in Europe/Australia next Easter (he could speak much better English and has invited me out for drinks if I go to Tokyo - yay!). There were tons of industry folk at the party and fun was had by all! It was also Gille's (from Millennium - a French Distributor and publisher) 40th birthday celebration so it was doubly good to see a healthy turn out to help him celebrate.

It was also during the party (Friday night about 10.30) that my full hearing decided to return. A combination of cold and flying had killed my ears which was annoying to say the least when you're at a show with 150,000 other people trying to do business when English is not the natural language for about 85% of the people you're talking to. Glad it finally returned but I was back on a plane again the neext day! (My ears survived second time round). Anyway, had a great show and am seriously considering doing Nuremburg in February as well as GTS in Vegas and GenCon Indy next year as I really do miss the people I only get to see on the Show circuit. Oh, and next year I will try to do Lucca as I have invites from various Italians and it sounds like a damn fine event.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 18th, 2005 11:22 pm (UTC)
Hope Chippy was looking well. Last time I saw him was when he made a flying visit to the Cathouse in Glasgow one Saturday night. He's a talented lad.
Oct. 19th, 2005 08:02 am (UTC)
He certainly was looking on form. Had quite a que of fans in front of him too so I'm sure his wallet is feeling pretty good at present too! :p
Oct. 19th, 2005 01:57 am (UTC)
Do you run a games shop then? I have many geeky friends who may be interested.
Oct. 19th, 2005 08:03 am (UTC)
Sure do. Leisure Games http://www.leisuregames.com/

Spread the WORD!

Oct. 19th, 2005 10:38 am (UTC)
which reminds me...
do you stock the card game hentacle... I want to give it to someone in my group for thier birthday...

also which is better (ie has the easiest to decipher / gm system) Serenity or the new WOD mage.?? I already have the General Rules new WOD book. I can only get ONE book this year and I'm drawn to both of these....

and opps ! also made this post as anaymous, please forgive me :S
Oct. 19th, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC)
Re: which reminds me...
Hentacle is only available through Postmortem Studios. If you ask _grimtales_ he might be able to do you a copy. There are also expansions for Hentacle too :p I'm hoping to get hold of some for the shop but that will probably be post-Dragonmeet. Grim will be sharing a stand with me at Dragonmeet if you want to collect a copy there?

Mage or Serenity. Hmmm. Tricky one. Despite a lot of antagonism shown against Mage: The Awakening the game has been selling extremely well and from the feedback I've heard from people who've read and played the game it has proven to be very popular. I've not received any 'game play' feedback from Serenity as yet - and I'm not including corone as he wrote part of the game so is very biased :p - but it is selling bucket loads. It's certainly pushing Warhammer Fantasy RPG as the best selling core rulebook of 2005 and the way it's going I think it'll surpass it sales wise. I know the first print run of Serenity has already sold out and a last shipment is en route to UK distributors right now. A reprint is hoped for in December so we may be facing a bit of a Serenity RPG dry spell.
Oct. 19th, 2005 02:24 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, you won't likely have to worry about that podcast seeing the light of day, as Derk's equipment was all lost on the way back to Amsterdam :(

Full story at the 'Geek.
Oct. 19th, 2005 08:03 am (UTC)
Ouch. Will head over and have a read. Hope they turn up.
Oct. 19th, 2005 07:56 am (UTC)
Wench: The Card Game?

The very idea intrigues me.
Oct. 19th, 2005 08:05 am (UTC)
It's most definetly a drinking game.....

Oct. 19th, 2005 09:50 am (UTC)
Sounds like you had a blast. I didn't reply to your message but I hope to see you tonight anyway. :)
Oct. 19th, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
Cool. Dom is still out with the cold(tm) but Seth is coming around so there'll be three of us this evening!
Oct. 19th, 2005 11:45 am (UTC)
Good to hear both Chippy and Chaz are still alive, especially Mr Elliot. It's been an absolute age since I last spoke to him. Still one of the funniest things ever was going to see Lock Stock in a small Seattle cinema with him and natf and us three being the only ones who got the jokes!

Sounds like Essen was cool. I still have nightmares about doing it with WotC.

- Neil.
Oct. 19th, 2005 12:25 pm (UTC)
Thursday. Yes. E-mail me!
Oct. 19th, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
Shall do. Spoke to Mr Wallis and Mr Green and they're both on stand-by for details :p
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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