Author Topic: Essen in Essen '23  (Read 1485 times)

Offline Willem

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Essen in Essen '23
« on: October 15, 2023, 07:44:28 AM »
As a lot of people will have heard, we went to Essen again this year!
People in our Discord got bombarded with short messages and random pictures, so let's see if i can summarise how it all went.

Preparations before we could storm the convention
In preparation for our travel from the UK to Essen, @Decar was planning a visit to the Museum before setting off. As we live a few hours apart, and not really on the way to the Eurotunnel, it would mean staying over. So of course i prepared something for a Night at the Museum ;)

Things happened, and unfortunately we had to change our plans, but I'll make sure to have this prepared for you next time!

In the end, we met up at a motorway service station at around 7:20am. Perfect time for a Dingo breakfast i would say! After this we parked Decar's car in Ashford and set off to the Eurotunnel.

When we got there, we thought we could smoothly drive through. But this time, we were stopped for a further check. The customs officer asked where we were going (well, at first he assumed we were going to the Netherlands), and when he heard we were going to a board game convention, he asked us where in the Dutch Monopoly board we could find The Hague or Amsterdam....
Luckily i knew the answer  8)

Driving through France, Belgium, Netherlands and ending up in Germany was actually quite smooth this time. We had a good chat, and the time flew by. With a ~30 min stop included, it took us about 5 hours from Calais to our hotel in Oberhausen!

After we settled in, we walked to a large shopping centre across the road, with a massive food court. Luckily for us, it also had a Frittenwerks!

Once back at the hotel, we had about 5 hours to wait for @Meepledrone to finally finish flapping his arms all the way from Spain. I cam prepared, and brought games with me to play (bringing games to Essen.... it still feels weird).

2 games of Radlands saw us both win once, Art Robbery (works better with more players i think) was a win for Tom twice (i think?). Splendor Duel i would argue was a draw, as I actually helped Tom devise the winning move in the last turn. I also got greedy and could've won the turn before that, but tough luck for me.
We played some Pass the Pigs, and ended the evening of course with a round of Carcassonne!

Some people might say it was unfair, as one player had their large meeple on the field and the other one didn't notice until near the end of the game, but that's just the way the game is played (i won ;) )
New Kings Orders were once again nice in this game!

Once Hector arrived we had another round of beer, lots of hugs and gifts and a great time catching up!

It's time!
Thursday and Friday
We went early this year! To avoid the busy roads, we left our hotel, grabbed a Dingos on the way, and parked at the convention at 8:30.
With our early arrival, we were basically at the front of the queue to get in!

Once the doors opened (promptly at 10!), it was no surprise that i made a quick dash to the HiG booth!
Only 6 minutes past 10, first purchase done and Spiel tile secured!

Throughout the days, it was a mix of quite a few HiG runs to get bits for other people, burger for lunch and visiting various booths. Highlights include visiting the booth for Final Girl, a game that Tom has been recommending and i managed to pick up quite a few bits for, MicroMacro, who also had a big wheel of fortune that put me in prison a few times (although both Tom and Hector managed to win promos). I also did a thing where i was in a tube and had to catch flyerthingies and if i got the right one i could win a prize.
Apparently, i got the right one, and i won a free copy of the card game ArchMallows!

Near the end of the Thursday, we sat down to play a game of Red Palace, an Alhambra spin-off

We were a bit later on Friday, so we figured we should just drive faster to make up for lost time

At the end of both  days, we went to Burgerheart for dinner. Big burgers, lots of beer and on friday evening even @Linkarssonne (Linksux) arrived to join in the fun!

Carcassonne Meetups
As is tradition, we also made sure to have meet ups with people from CarcassonneCentral, Carcassonne Forum and everyone else Carcassonne related. Both Thursday and Friday we met up, chatted about Carcassonne, sharing gifts and making new friends!

The day we weren't in Essen?!
On the Saturday, we actually didn't visit the convention at all!
This year, the Carcassonne World Championships were held on the Saturday, at the Spielezentrum in Herne, about 20 mins away from our hotel.

But first, Tom managed to convince us all to visit an old upside down railway line in Wuppertal! This was build in the early 1900's, and looks very industrial and futuristic at the same time!

Once we made our way back to the car, we headed to Herne, where the World Championships were in full flow! We came in after the 2nd or 3rd round (can't remember).
It was a great afternoon, speaking with many people, making many new friends and of course promoting the Carcassonne Museum ;)

The championships themselves were great to watch, especially the last few games being played. I didn't actually watch the finale up close, as i was watching the battle for 3rd place.
In the end, Matt Tucker gets to call himself Carcassonne World Champion for the next year!

And we were blessed with a visit from none other than Klaus-Jurgen Wrede himself! He took the time to sign things, take pictures and chat with everyone there. There was a long line, and we figured we might take quite a bit of his time, so we made sure to let all the players go first, as they had more games to play!

After the championships, almost all players and several guests like ourselves went out for food and drinks at a nearby pub. It was great to chat with so many people, make even more connections and just have a fun evening together

Right, back to the convention you!
On Sunday, we made our way back to the convention. After we parked, i enjoyed a little nap as i wasn't in too much of a rush to get in today. Once in, more HiG, ice creams and MicroMacro wheels would follow!
At 1pm, there was the prize ceremony for the World Championships, so we made sure to be there on time!

But before that started, Thomas and Moritz had a special surprise...
They called out that there is a Carcassonne Museum?!  :o

I was called to the front, and was given a very special gift from Hans im Gluck! Myself on a tile! Designed by Marcel Groeber, actually printed by HiG, framed and signed by KJW!

Thank you again Hans im Gluck and of course Meepledrone, Edouard, Danisthirsty and Decar for keeping this a secret and helping create such a special surprise! I'm still amazed when i look at the frame that is currently standing on my desk!

Group pictures of course had to be taken:

@Decar , @Willem , @Meepledrone , @Linkarssonne (Linksux) , @totor66

After all was said and done, we made sure to play a game of Carcassonne. But not just any, we played the first ever game of Pinkassonne!
A 4-player game with Linksux, Isabella, Benny and myself, with special meeple from Spain!

I managed to win, partly due to the farm that i blocked a second meeple from Linksux out of, and also my best move, blocking 1 meeple from each of the others in 1 go!

At the end of the day, we were able to sneak in a game of Misfits, which is kind of like Jenga, but with different shaped blocks. It was quite fun, and Linksux showed his strategic mindset and managed to win!

We enjoyed a beer with Andreas at the HiG booth, before making our way out. Back to the hotel, where we played a nice game of Carcassonne between the 4 of us.
I didn't take any pictures it seems, so let's hope one of the others did.
Decar won, i came second. And as we know, Second's Best!  ;) 8)

That's it, back home with you!
On Monday it was good that we did some planning, as it turned out i misremembered our Eurotunnel back by 2 hours. So we set off around 10, and drove back. With a stop at a supermarket in NL, and a burger king in Belgium ;)
I said goodbye to Decar once we picked up his car and the last 2 hours of driving brought me home!
Some impression of my Essen haul:

So, what did you learn?
It was a great weekend. The Championships actually being in Herne was a good format, and it allowed for much more interaction between players and spectators. Thomas showed me around and actually donated quite a few amazing pieces of Carcassonne history to the Museum! What a nice guy, open to everyone and genuinely loving what he does!

I'm sure i've glossed over a lot, but who's reading all of this anyway ;)

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 Scott

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Re: Essen in Essen '23
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2023, 08:26:30 AM »
I read every word of that! Too bad that you didn't have time to drop-in at Ringo's along the way.

If anyone is interested to learn more about the upsidedown railway, here is a short video:

Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Essen in Essen '23
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2023, 08:56:39 AM »
Nice write-up @Willem and cool video @Scott !

Questions about rules? Check WICA:

Offline Linkarssonne (Linksux)

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Re: Essen in Essen '23
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2023, 11:35:06 AM »
This week end was so good in Essen and Herne, thanks to write it up, it was a very good time with you all !

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Offline Meles

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Re: Essen in Essen '23
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2023, 07:05:38 AM »
No comments on Willem's framed tile? I guess Carcassonne's green tiles go with envy. ::) I must be amazing looking at it every day.

Offline Willem

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Re: Essen in Essen '23
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2023, 09:21:56 AM »
i am very much amazed looking at it on my desk every day :D

Offline Challa007

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Re: Essen in Essen '23
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2023, 12:40:58 AM »
Thanks for this jucy write-up, Willem!! +1 merit from me

And congratulations for the "trophy", you most certainly merited it!!!!  :(y)

Offline Snearone

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Re: Essen in Essen '23
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2023, 09:30:46 AM »
Thanks @Willem for that report. It was a good read and even better look at those photos in full sizes :) +1

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