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First impressions of Essen Spiel ’13


The International Spieltage or ”Spiel” in Essen (near Düsseldorf) is the world’s biggest board game convention and trade fair. I was there for the first time this year with Heroes of the Storm – Sword of the Great King. I’ll blog more about what happened with the roleplaying game, but here’s an overview and some pictures of the event itself.


The first thing you notice is how big Essen is. Here’s a crowd of people waiting for the doors to open on Saturday in front of just one of the three entrances.


A train has just arrived Messehalle Süd station.


The second thing you notice is that it’s not just for geeks and hardcore gamers. It’s full of families who come there to play games for a day or the weekend, and go home with bags full of boxes.


Having said that, it’s ALSO for geeks and hardcore gamers. And cosplay is definitely a big part of the experience for some people, especially in Hall 2 with comics and role-playing games.


Surprisingly, Rorschach was very polite and not at all paranoid about having his picture taken.


Here’s our booth with two of guys hard at work looking at cat pictures. The t-shirt says ”Mindwarriors,” which is Tactic’s imprint under which Heroes of the Storm – Sword of the Great King, and four board games are published.


We weren’t the only Finns around. Arctic Union is a group of several independent board game publishers from Finland.


I got to try out this great upcoming dungeon board game by Dragon Dawn Productions, one of the companies in the Arctic Union. It will crowdfund later, and I’ll let you know!


Sometimes game design starts with a great title. A classic from the 80’s has been reimagined!


These guys have been at it for a while.


They also had a Gallery for lots of fun kids stuff. It felt more like an amusement park than a game fair. Too bad they wouldn’t admit grown-ups!


It’s Germany, so of course a game convention had a pseudo-medieval Bierstube in one booth.


Dice by the mugful!


Carcassone World Championships!


This is how I spent most of my days. More about that later…    

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