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Essen Spiel Fair
 2003
We finally reached the magic number: more than 150.000 visitors entered the halls where 612 exhibitors from 21 nations were ready to present over 2000 games. Mik

Many gamers have published
reports and pictures from Spiel '03

Just follow the links > > >
Mik at the fair
© Greg Schloesser 2003
English
Trond Braut
Bruno Faidutti
Angela Gaalema
Mark Johnson
Garry Lloyd
Greg Schloesser
Rick Thornquist
German
Brigitte & Wolfgang Ditt
Frank Gartner
Andreas Haass
Jürgen Karla
Holger Kiesel
Britta Kleymann
NDR 1
Mischa Prössel
Gerlind Rode & Michael Weber
Harald Schrapers
Frank Schulte-Kulkmann
Jost Schwider
Carsten Wesel
Knut-Michael Wolf
Dutch
Erwin Broens
Ronald Hoekstra
Spelinfo
French
Monsieur Phal

 
Most stands were placed where the were last year (when there was a large rocade in the attempt to fit the Comic Action section in a better place. Although we gamers liked the way it had been pushed all the way back into the most remote hall 8, it probably wasn't good for business as very few of us bothered to enter that hall. So this year was the Second Hand Dealers pushed into the far back of hall 8 with the comics sharing the area between halls 8 and 6. It worked okay, so I guess we will see the same layout next year.
 
So many people have already written about the fair and the new games that it seems fruitless to add another impression. I had a good time, met many wonderful people and only played a few games. I didn't bring back as many games as previous years as I was limited to just a single suitcase due to space problems in the cars we shared. I therefore concentrated my efforts on the hard-to-get titles from the smaller publishers as I can always get the others later. You will be able to read my impressions as I update the titles in my Games database.
 
I will mention one event from the fair, which has been covered much elsewhere:
 
EuropeMasters 2003
was back in Essen for the first time since the original Intergame event stopped in 1999. The European Boardgame Championships are now held by a Dutch organisation and have therefore been held during the Spellenspektakel convention. As it is easier to attract European gamers to Essen than Eindhoven have they now moved the event back to Essen in the hope that more teams will attend.
 
This first season at the Spiel fair had a few mishaps: first of all was it held on the last day of the fair, Sunday, where many people are going home. So this meant that only 16 teams were able to attend. Secondly is it difficult to get sponsored decent games, which was both apparent in the games played at the tournament and in the prizes given to the winners. Most people already had the games, and I heard one guy mention that the only thing worth of interest was a SdJ T-shirt from Queen Games. As one of these were given as a consolation prize to the worst player did he decide to work hard for winning this. Hardly in the spirit of the tournament, but understandable - and he won it!
 
Finally was it very strange to see how spectators was held out from the area. Why hold it at the fair if no-one is able to watch anyway? It must be far less expensive to hire a room at a nearby hotel or school.
 
Due to the limited number of teams able to attend were the Danish Vikings invited at the last minute. We only managed to try the games a few times before the event, which clearly showed in our placing as 16 of 16.
 
The four games played were: Magna Grecia (Clementoni), Eiszeit (alea), Netzwerk (Jumbo) and Lara Croft Tomb Raider (Identity Games) of which only the first it truly devoid of luck. But given the circumstances were they pretty acceptable, and we hope to do better next year.
 
Next year will the event be held on Saturday the 23. October 2004, and should you be interested in joining should you contact Ronald van Lent, who will be able to tell you everything you need to know.

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© Mik Svellov 1997-2004editor@brettboard.dk9. nov 2003