Essen 08 list, booths, and prices - by Haggis, a virgin attendee
- Rob Corn(Haggis)United States
OhioHow appropriate. You fight like a cow.
here), I've found myself able to attend Essen 08! With about a month of planning available, I had a lot to do:
1) Figure out what Essen is.
2) Figure out where Essen is, and how to get there.
3) Create a short list of games to try/buy.
3a) Realize a short list is impossible and create a long list of games to try/buy.
4) Figure out how to buy and play as many games as possible in just one day (Friday).
5) Figure out how to fit all these games into two suitcases.
6) Learn German.
Item 1 was easy. Essen FAQ- Essen, what the gosh darn heck is that all about?.
Item 2 was half easy half difficult. The where was straightforward thanks to Google Maps. The how took some learning, and please correct me if I'm wrong. Luckily, the German public transit system looks outstanding. The links here, here, and here were particularly useful in plotting my stops.
It is important to note that Hbf (Hauptbahnhof) means central station, where most of the major transfers will occur.
Google Maps will show all of the subway stations, so from there it was relatively simple to enter my start and end points (I'm staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Essen, and the Berliner Platz stop in Essen is right down the street, at least according to Google -- from there I just stay on the U11 train about five stops until I get to the Messe Ost (Gruge-Halle) stop, and bam! the main doors are right there).
It's also important to note for those flying into Frankfurt (like me) that the train stop in Frankfurt is Frankfurt Main (for the nearby river and only a coincidence that the English word is appropriate), and that there are two train stations at the airport -- FE (Fernbanhof -- for distant stops, i.e. outside of Frankfurt) and RE (Regionalbahnhof -- local stops in Frankfurt).
So, with that information in hand, I was able to determine that I could buy tickets (and stamp, you stamp them in little machines at the stations to validate before getting on the train) and with only a few transfers get from my work place to Essen. And then I get to take the high-speed ICE train from Essen to Frankfurt (Main) FE directly which should be pretty awesome.
It looked daunting but after some homework and traveler testimonials I'm a lot less intimidated. Supposedly the ticket machines speak excellent English now, as well.
Item 3 was quickly abandoned after only a few minutes' work, after which Item 3a was born. After many days of homework, I had a list of games that had my interest for various reasons.
With limited time, but fortunately a large budget due to the "free" airfare and hotel, I had to optimize my day. I took my large list and broke it down by priority, price, and booth location where available.
The top priorities went to games with a high likelihood of being good without needing a pre-play and/or Essen exclusives that I won't be able to get later (games I will almost certainly buy). Middle priorities are games that look good but I'd really like to try before buying. Low priorities are games that if the play is fun, the price is right, and the luggage space is available I'll pick up.
Item 4 I think I'm going to have to wing. I know about where I want to go in each hall, but I have no idea what I'm getting in to and time management will be important. It's like a live-action boardgame -- Essen 2008 The Game! Should be fun.
Item 5 will be difficult I suspect. I've seen people talk about punching the bits (since space it not the only factor, weight will probably come into play), discarding spacers, packing games inside of games, flattening boxes (the horror!), using bubble wrap to cushion games, etc. I'll just have to watch what I buy and put a priority on smaller boxes. I'll figure it out Friday night.
Item 6 is underway thanks to Rosetta Stone disks from the local library. I would like to know enough German not to embarrass myself, since it seems only polite to at least make an effort to speak a little of the language of the host country. I have read that visitors can do just fine with almost no German at all, so that's reassuring.
Edit: The exhibitor list and hall plans are now online! Thanks to quatsch7 for this thread, direct link is here (English).
Edit 2: Added items #31 through #38.
Guten Tag! Ein groß Bier bitte!
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