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Essen Spiel Fair
 The Exhibition AreaVisit the Merz-website for graphic Hall plans

Checklists:  Hall 4 Hall 5

Great news! Everything is once again on the ground floor! Instead has hall 7 been added, and it will mostly be used for the kid's play ground, although part of the fantasy section will be placed here as well. The used games section will move into hall 4 - which makes it easy to carry out loads of boxes through the exit at hall 5.   Hurray!

Family Games are located in the halls
5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
Fantasy, RPG and CCG are in hall 6 and part of hall 7
The Secondhand Shops fills hall 4.
The Childrens play ground is in hall 7.
The Comic Action area is in hall 8.
Main entrance is Gate Ost with subway 11 right outside.
The Foyer contains cloakroom, lockers, toilets and bank. The ATM outside takes most major cards.
Spiel Fair Area

Main Gate "OST": Most people enter the fair through the Eastern gate. Inside the lobby will you find small kiosk, a bank, information desk and a cloak room where you may leave bags and clothings under attendance. There are also a few lockers, but these are taken by the first visitors in the morning. Should you be lucky enough to get one can you keep it for the rest of the fair, as they are not emptied during the night.
Just outside the gate is the only cash dispenser (ATM) at the fair. Expect to wait in line for about 15 minutes, so use one near your hotel if you can. There is another ATM at a gas station just opposite the Gruga halle (on Alfredstrasse) only a few minutes walk away. Be aware that you cannot re-enter the fair on the same ticket/pass unless you get permission from the staff at the door. Ask politely before you leave and you may receive a token which will allow you back in.
Hall 12: The first sight will be the large stand from Hasbro, but there is little of interest there. On the way down to hall 11 will you go through the large stands from Kosmos, and they are far more interesting. Like most other large stands do they have a huge gaming area with free tables and a counter where you can lend all the games currently available.
Young students help explaining the rules, but be warned: most of them know very little about the games they are supposed to teach, and explaining rules in a language they hardly understand doesn't help either. Try to get a German or Dutch gamer to sit in on your game as they will be able to read the rules and most gamers speak a reasonable English.
Along the walls can you find small publishers and a few game shops. Note that none of the big companies sell games. Instead you buy them in one of them many game shops.
Hall 10/11: As one large room it can be a bit confusing to find a particular stand number until you realise where the rooms separate. This is where you find most of the publishers you already know: Amigo, Hans im Glück, alea, Goldsieber, Queen, even Mayfair is here.
Hall 9. You will find a mix of German and foreign small publishers here.
Hall 8 is devoted to the Comic Action part of the fair.
Hall 7 is used again for the first time in years. Most of is used for the children's play ground. Filled with large scale amusements, like bouncing floors, climing mountains and labyrinths, the place is a paradise for the kids. A part of the hall is set aside for those fantasy dealers that couldn't get room in hall 6.
Hall 6 is filled to the brim with roleplayers of all species. Miniatures, CCG's and other fantasy stuff is also placed here. This is also where you find war games and computer games. You can even find a few "normal" games in here...
Hall 5 is one of the most interesting corners as it has many of the small non-German publishers like Cwali, Winsome, Warfrog, Splotter Spellen and GMT Games.
Hall 4 is the new "home" for the Second Hand dealers. In here you will find just about every game imaginable - except the one YOU want. Don't expect to find real bargains, these people know their trade. But prices are still reasonable compared to Ebay: last year I bought a mint-condition Ave Caesar in original shrinkwrap for 50 Euro ($60), which is a fair price for game that has already provided me with many hours of play. If you are a little adventurous you can buy lots of completely unknown games for 10-20 Euro or less.
Hall 4a is just a small boring hallway, but is does provide a less noisy area with restrooms and various food stands.
Saal Essen - The 'Essen room' on the second floor used for the Press Conference and the Deutscher Spiele Preis on Wednesday (not open to the public); for the Game Collector's Conference on Friday; and the European Championship Boardgames is running most of Saturday. They take it very seriously and so isn't too happy about spectators.


© Mik Svellov 1997-2005editor@brettboard.dk 8. okt 2005