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What (Not) to Do When You Win

Laszlo Molnar
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Some thoughts in relation to my ’win’ at the Spiel Mini design contest.

1. Be patient but know when it’s too much. When I sent the rules in November I knew that often it takes lots of time until publishers can check rules sent. So I was patient – but after some weeks I started to feel uncertain: did it reach them at all? I sent another mail, asking only for confirmation of my mail (trying to be very polite – I really didn’t want to hurry anyone) but Christmas passed and I still didn’t get any response. So in January I wrote to all the contact addresses found at the company’s website. I was afraid they would think I was very impatient but it turned out the mails sent weren’t forwarded to the right address yet so in the end it was the right thing to do. Phew.

2. Know who you are talking to. The most embarrassing moment came when I was informed I won and should choose my prize (games worth 100 Euros from the current line-up of the company). The e-mail had a long signature with an Airlines and Abacusspiele logo, link to the Abacusspiele homepage, Abacusspiele facebook page, Abacusspiele address, but all this didn’t stop me asking about where I can find the game+price list of wow Schmidt Spiele wow to choose from, even mentioning the url of the Schmidt spiele online shop in the mail.
I don’t know of any reasons why I did this mistake. Even in November when I sent my rules I checked the online shop of Schmidt Spiele, thinking about which games I would choose if I won (well, we can dream, can’t we?). After this, when I looked for the company addresses I was looking at the abacusspiele site; but when I responded to the mail I was once again in the world of Schmidt Spiele. I’m sure it ‘helped’ that I was writing an article about the new games of Schmidt right then, but still, why did I look for the games in the Schmidt catalogue already in November? Was itt he blue-orange-yellow colors of Spiel that are the same as the ones in the Schmidt logo? Was it the name of the company (Schmidt Spiel & Freizeit GmbH)? Or some advertisement next to the call for designers in one of the Essen magazines? I have no idea but I felt extremely ashamed…

3. Choose wisely. I think I made good decisions. It wasn’t easy to choose the games that I won as usually I buy the games I like and I prefer buying games that I have played and liked over games that I haven’t played yet. I realized I had 25 Abacusspiele games at home so I had to choose from the “rest”. Old big box games were out as most publishers sell these for full price while quite often you can buy them for half price at webshops; also however much I like Medici and like Strozzi, these are multiplayer games so right now (when I play mostly 2-player with my wife) I could not find a reason to own them (other than making my huge Knizia collection even bigger). I don’t really like Bang! nor Race for the Galaxy and all the Anno Domini series is language dependent so that was also out. Still there were lots of games to choose from.
Finally I chose
- Africana (I like Schacht’s games and this one looked to be perfect for playing with my family),
- Gonzaga (which looks intriguing, has nice ratings and is a family game, but – or therefore – I just can’t play It in the gaming club),
- Mamma Mia! Plus – which, besides Bohnanza which I know, is the only pre-Agricola, light Uwe Rosenberg game I’m interested in,
- and Zooloretto Würfelspiel – as I like dice games, I like Coloretto and this one looked nice.
I think I made good choices; if I had to decide now I would make the same choices (although I’d love to own a copy of the new edition of Spiel Mini of course – I guess I’ll buy that later). Would you have chosen different games?

4. Don’t look like a complete idiot. After the Schmidt/Abacus mistake, when I chose the games, I sent my address as well – and half an hour later I also sent my ZIP code that I forgot to send in the first mail. So I guess I made the impression of being rather absent-minded. But the truth is… Oh well, probably I am.

Anyway, the games arrived very fast, and I’m happy I could participate in the contest. The contest is still up and running so if you have ideas of your own, just send them to the publisher… And remember: it’s Abacusspiele.
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