It is Spiel time and for the 3rd year in a row I find myself in Essen Germany being crushed by tens of thousands of board game fans and simply loving it. This report is a very small picture of a very big event. Day 1 was spent wandering, looking, talking, resting, eating, and playing, not necessarily in that order nor limited to only doing things once…resting and playing sometimes masked as the same thing.

The show appears to be as big as always, with multiple halls with massive booths and new games everywhere. Some of the fun of Spiel is wandering

Indie Games Booth at Spiel 2011

the crowded aisles, coming upon a line of people waiting for something, getting in the line for the sheer curiosity, and emerging out the other end with something cool and coveted. In this case, it was a copy of Panic Station from Stronghold games. Their booth was a crazy blitz of Stronghold people taking money and stuffing bags with games as fast as they could. They were showing off Panic Station, Core Worlds, Confusion, and a rerelease of Outpost. Their booth was absolutely slammed, especially since it was shared with Indie games who were desperately telling people that Flash Point was in the country just stuck at customs and would be arriving in the afternoon. (Which it did to the delight of many). Flash Point is one of the success stories of Kickstarter funding this year, raising more than $51,000. You can see their Kickstarter page here Flash Point Kickstarter Page

While in the line for Panic Station we met Colin Lim from Singapore who was at Spiel to demo his new game, F3, a card game of Mahjong meets Texas Hold ’em. Their company is called Black Dove Games We played the game once, and I won with a Royal Flush…except I don’t remember what I did or how I did it. The good news is that my buddy has friends who play Texas Hold ‘m AND Mahjong so he snagged a copy for 5 Euros to take back to London.

While we were in the Indie Games booth, we spoke with Don Eskridge, creator of The Resistance. He currently lives in Korea and admitted that since releasing The Resistance we were the first ‘Fans’ he had spoken with face to face about the game. The night before at a dinner at a restaurant while out with a friend and his family, I had brought The Resistance with me in case dinner took too long in coming. With six of us, I was able to teach them all The Resistance and play a quick game before we ate. This is such a great game when looking for a quick game to play with new gamers.

Don mentioned some ideas that have been floating around in his head about the next version or expansion for The Resistance. The working title is The Resistance…Hostile Expansion. The idea is that both sides are escalating the conflict, and the new expansion would give you the ability to add new roles, new activities of assassination and sabotage, and new interactions between the players. My favorite is The Sleeper. He doesn’t know which side he is on until halfway through the game…but the spies possibly know. The game is still in the idea stage inside Don’s very creative head, but we are looking forward to seeing it. We love the game and we love the new stuff he shared.

There was much more that we saw and experienced but it is 1:40am, we leave in 7 hours to return to Spiel for Day 2 and at some point I think I had better sleep if we are to make it to the end of the week.

See you tomorrow

P.S. My eyes are blurring and I’m very tired. When you find the typos let me know and I will fix them tomorrow.