Author Topic: Willem's journey to Essen 2022  (Read 1462 times)

Offline Willem

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Willem's journey to Essen 2022
« on: October 13, 2022, 06:19:40 AM »
I've only just recovered from an amazing weekend!
I was very happy to share this experience with many people (about 147.000 to be a bit more precise), but especially Tom, Dan and Hector throughout the whole journey, as well as meetup up with several people from both Carcassonne Central and the Carcassonne Forum!


I left the house to meet Tom and Dan in Ashford. I figured it would be clever to avoid the motorways, so i took the backroads. This was time efficient, but driving through forests and very narrow roads was something i hadn't done in a while, so it was an adventure on it's own!

I arrived about 20 minutes early, so i had time to rest at a local Tesco before picking up the other 2.
The drive to Essen from there went very straightforward. As Tom mentioned, we had some traffic around Antwerp, but other than that, we did well and arrived at the hotel earlier than expected!

We were also blessed with a parking spot in the parking garage right underneath the convention, so we decided to park the car there and walk to the hotel.

It wasn't too long before Hector arrived, and brought the first load of goodies! A massive suitcase absolutely full of Carcassonne!
And amongst all of that were even customised Carcassonne Museum tile towers!

Some games were played, and of course Carcassonne had to be played, with the beautiful tile tower! Some might have questioned my chances to win, as i am more a collector rather than player, but the end score begged to differ (i played as Yellow):

After the fine McDonald's breakfast, we arrived at the Messe around 9:45am. The lines were not too busy, but as soon as we got in, Tom and I picked up our pace and got to the HiG booth in Hall 3 very quickly!
The booth had a nice display cabinet, which would look nice in something like a Carcassonne Museum.. (just saying...)

At 10:27 I had my first purchase done! I planned ahead, to try and stay close to the €20 limit for a Spiel tile, and to spread out my purchases.

Then on to the other booth! The line was a lot longer there, but we powered through and met some nice people in line. Thanks to Tom for reminding me in his write up, that we met some people who were talking about the reselling of expansions. The woman was saying she had a subscription to SpielBox i think, and just resold the Carc expansions to make back her money spent on the magazines.
The first membership cards were handed out, and pictures of the museum were shown! Those pictures would come in handy several times throughout the weekend!

Second purchase done, and i was ready for more! Me and Tom walked around to see some more things, and i was keen to pick up a pre-order that was waiting. The pre-order wasn't there yet, but both Tom and I picked up Radlands, which was a recommendation from UncleWill, who i played it with once, which was enough to convince me to get it!
We met up with Dan and Hector who were back in line at the Hall 2 booth for a 3rd round.
Dan was happy to swap places with me, and he and Tom went off to new adventures!

The newly formed Team C(arcassonne) stayed in line for round 3 though!

After that, back to the other booth!

With 4 purchases done, i hadn't really made a dent in my shopping list, but it was a start. I managed to get the Ukraine maps i wanted, a bunch of Ukraine tiles (which were limited to 3 per customer at the time, later changed to 10), and the first few copies of The Bets!

Things took a bit longer than expected, so we made our way to the Carcassonne Fan Meetup! It was fun to meet up with MrNumbers, Benny, Dieter and Konrad2605. I handed out Membership Cards, which were in high demand!

Team C were back on the road, to more purchases! I got my first copy of the English Mists over Carcassonne, the German Hunters&Gatherers and some more Ukraine tiles. As i had many people who i wanted to help get a Spiel tile and/or Ukraine tile, i knew there was more to come!

Hector and I met up with Dan, to play a game of Giant Carcassonne! We were asked if we wanted to play as a team, which we thought would be interesting. Our opponent was a nice young lady in a meeple tshirt, who said she had played it a few times. Boy was she up against something hahaha
The guys demo-ing the game asked if we were familiar with the game...

The 3 of us with matching Carcassonne t-shirts suggested we were indeed...

Our opponent left during end scoring, and Hector was too busy talking on his phone, so Tom joined in our team picture, having played 1 tile!

After the game, Team C was back at it, making (i think) 7 more runs between the HiG booths. We got recognised at both booths, which led to some nice conversations with the HiG team! Despite them stating that you need to ask for the Spiel tile specifically, Hector and I were past that point and they just added them to our purchase when we paid.

After a heavy day, making 11(!) visits to the HiG booths, it was time for an amazing burger, with lots of beer!
We stopped by the car, to pack our things away. It soon became a bit chaotic, as we tried to keep track of who had what, but i think we did well.

On friday we had to go to the main entrance, which we were not happy with, but it did take us through the Catan hall!

Ready to go!

Both Tom and Hector got their copies of Dorf Romantik, which was a game I also enjoyed playing with them the day before.
Anyway, back to the HiG booths!
I picked up some more copies of The Bets, some Ukraine tiles and more MeepleFlags! My shopping list still had a few smaller things on it, so i figured i'd make the best of me being there!

As Tom was having his VIP treatment lunch, i was messaging with Linksux, who told me he arrived, so the easiest place to meet was the Giant Carcassonne!
We chatted for a bit, and once Hector joined us, we figured we should play a game!

Dan&Linksux vs Hector&Willem

It was a tight battle, where we took quite a few risks, most of which worked out nicely. At the end of the game, i had the opportunity to sneak a farmer into a shared farm, which would give great points. However, it was our last meeple, so i decided against it, as there were only 2 tiles left and only 1 of them worked. Turns out, i should've played the farmer, as i drew the right tile, but luckily my hesitance was not punished, as we managed to win by 1 point!

After that, i sneaked in another HiG run, this time just for Ukraine tiles and a Spiel tile. They had a box of the tiles under the desk, and would count of the amount you asked for. So imagine my surprise when they quickly grabbed another box and gave me 6 tiles in a frame!

Hector, Linksux and I went to check out Spielematerial, which kept Hector busy for hours and hours! I sneaked in another DanMeeple, and then noticed the Social Media manager of HiG walking around. He was doing a special promo, where if you found him and use the secret phrase, you would get a Spiel tile. I quickly ran up and stopped him!

I also gave him a Carcassonne Museum Membership Card, and his reaction was "That's you?! Wow, so nice to meet you in person!"
We chatted very briefly, and went our ways again, only to chat more on the Instagrams!

The rest of the day, we took it easy, playing a few games, such as Trending Kittens, Weykick and HiRoBa. I managed to sneak in a few more HiG runs, crossing off everything on my shopping list, and filling up the car more and more!

Frittenworks was amazing for food, and soon Dan and I sneaked off to meet Melvin and Theus at the train station. We walked with them to the hotel of their friends, where we exchanged stuff we had for eachother!

Tom went in early, getting his copy of Turing Machine, which was a big success!
The rest of us were waiting at the other entrance, which did open, but a bit later

We split up again, and Dan, Hector and I played a game of Next Station: London!

Me and Hector later met up at the Devir booth with Oscar, the Spanish National Champion, and we talked with Devir's publishing manager, who was very interested in the Museum!
We exchanged contact info, and who knows what comes from that......

I was also tipped about a tile dispenser which looked like a cross between a tile tower and a cheese grater!
When we found it, i gave them a Museum Membership Card and they went crazy! They were very enthusiastic, and actually gave me one for free! Later we thought it could be that they thought i was actually from HiG/Carcassonne, but i like to keep thinking they recognised the Carcassonne Museum  ;D

At the Fan-Meetup, i started playing a new game, called Collect the Champions!
I met a quite a few of National Champions, took pictures with them and got them to sign tiles for me!

At the end of the day, we were pretty tired.

The game of Crazy-Cassonne was great fun, and of course the second leg of the Picture game. Tom took a picture of me taking this picture of Dan taking a picture of....

Sunday started with another McDonald's which seemed to have a strange effect on Tom....

We made our way to the Carcassonne World Championships, seeing all the National Champions duke it out!
It was great to see, although we all knew who would take home the winner's trophy...

I was honoured to meet Klaus-Jurgen Wrede for the first time. He was very nice and happy to talk to us as well as signing whatever we brought for him.

In between rounds, Tom and I walked the fair and played a few games!
Perfect Shot was a nice game that was recommended, so Tom and I played a game. It was fun, but very short and we felt it didn't flow as nice as we'd hoped.
We also played another small game of which we forgot the name fairly quickly. It was fun, but we were happy not to pick it up.

Back to the Championships, and KJW sat down to meet and sign things for all who wanted!
So of course i had a few more tiles with me for him to sign, and my limited German surprised him when i said it was an honour to have met him :)

Of course i also continued my game of Collect the Champions! It was a bit funny to explain to some of them who i am, and tell them about the Carcassonne Museum. They are very focused on playing the game, so were surprised to see my collection, and couldn't resist asking me about my BGG tag and ELO rating hahaha
The Mobius Mama told me the day before that she would be wearing her special kimono, and of course i asked her for a picture. When i did, she quickly ran to her bag to hand me over a very special present!

I also managed to talk to and share a picture with the 2022 Carcassonne World Champion from Romania, Gere!

When I asked for a picture with Moritz, he was happy to do so:

Once the picture was taken, he said: "So you are the man behind the Carcassonne Museum?!" It was funny to see that he knew of it, and we was very surprised to hear it is my personal collection. I told him about the great help i've had from many many people from different countries in having my collection grow. We exchanged contact details and of chatted a bit more with Tom and Dan!

I think for the Sunday evening and Monday morning, Tom has shared the great highlights. Once thing to add was that we were sitting at a Dutch McDonald's, when someone came up to me and scanned the large QR-code on my back :D

We had a good drive, and as Tom shared, we got to visit a good friend of mine. I had been talking with him online for a long time, sharing stories and collections, as well as helping eachother with collecting more and more. His collection is amazing, and his display even more so! We could've easily spent more and more time there, talking about some great things he has, as well as me nerding out about the specifics of some boxes.
It was very nice to meet you, and thank you again for your hospitality!

Once i got home, i unloaded the car with all my Essen haul... My partner was a bit surprised when she saw everything outside the front door.....

Once inside, it could be put up a bit better:

Essen was over, but i was not done yet! I spent most of the day sorting through all my takehomes, logging it all in my Excel, and of course making sure i did some washing

In summary, it was an amazing weekend. It was my first time in Essen, and I was blown away by how big and great it was! I was a bit overwhelmed with meeting so many new people, playing new games, trying to buy so many new Carcassonne things, and trying to keep up with Meepledrone's enthusiasm!
Tom and Dan shared their prior Essen-experience with me, which helped me massively in making it through the weekend! I couldn't be happier with how the weekend went! Many new connections were made with Carcassonne collectors and players from all over the world, as well as several publishers who were at the event. I made sure to try and visit as many as i could, and network my way through the days!
I played quite a few Carcassonne games over the weekend, and won all of them, which pretty much sums up my thoughts about the weekend! It was amazing!

Join me on the journey through the history and oddities of Carcassonne, on My Instagram
1 0 days since i've bought more Carcassonne

Offline wallaceprime

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Re: Willem's journey to Essen 2022
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2022, 06:35:50 AM »
Great write-up, Willem, +1 from me. I can't believe it was your first time at Essen; I guess you'll have to start saving-up now for next year's purchasing extravaganza  :yellow-meeple:
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Offline Decar

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Re: Willem's journey to Essen 2022
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2022, 07:33:15 AM »
Wonderful write up Willem! It was a privilege to share the time with you; even if it did mean you caught me in a compromised position.  C:-)

+1 from me!

Offline Challa007

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Re: Willem's journey to Essen 2022
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2022, 12:30:04 PM »
Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Willem  :)
 +1 merit from me

Offline kettlefish

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Re: Willem's journey to Essen 2022
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2022, 02:43:37 PM »
Thank you Willem for your great report from your first journey to the Spiel.
I hope you used the short run through the halls between the booth from CundCo.


Offline Willem

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Re: Willem's journey to Essen 2022
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2022, 03:09:19 PM »
Thank you Kettlefish!
I tried to use every shortcut I could hahaha
I've still got most of my receipts from cundco, so can check what time I was where.
It seems I visited the booth in Hall 3 the most!

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Willem's journey to Essen 2022
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2022, 06:26:50 AM »
Great job Willem! Thoroughly enjoyed reading about everything from your perspective. +1 merit (of course) ;) :(y)

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Re: Willem's journey to Essen 2022
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2022, 08:50:36 AM »
Thanks for the write-up! Looking forward to hearing what interesting things this might lead to between now and Spiel 23.

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Offline Snearone

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Re: Willem's journey to Essen 2022
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2022, 05:43:12 AM »
Thanks for sharing @Willem, in particular, for photos in the form not of thumbnails, but full-size  :(y)
And I apologize for increasing your merit counter from the exact hundred  :P
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Offline Willem

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Re: Willem's journey to Essen 2022
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2022, 09:14:22 AM »
Thanks Snearone! the photo's is mainly on accident i will admit, but glad you like it :D

And too bad regarding the merit counter. I guess the only logical thing to do now is to work it up to 200!

Offline Den Ozzy

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Re: Willem's journey to Essen 2022
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2022, 11:40:54 PM »
A nice report Willem, it's almost like we were there too  :(y)
It was very nice to meet you guys
Know that you are always welcome when you are in the neighborhood  ;D

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