An european Ameritrasher/Wargamer got to Essen 2008 - photo heavy!!
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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Like a fly to a light bulb I was also attracted to Essen this year, with the company of 3 hardcore Eurogamers.





Helio
Vasco
Tereso
and myself


But for all that is to be written about the Essen Spiel this is the image of this trip:

This Manga/Anime characters where a constant all around contributing to the surreal ambiance of the fair.
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1. Board Game: Zeus on the Loose [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:3516]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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Going to Essen is also to play whenever possible, so on Wednesday night during the flight from Lisbon to Bonn we made a quick game of Zeus on the Loose. Stretched has the four of us where on a single row in the GermanWings airplane there was't many more games we could play on board.

Once in Bonn airport we just took a rented car to go to our hotel in Essen and a night sleep before the first day.
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2. Board Game: Red Sky Morning [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:7219]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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We stood at the line to the ticket office just before 09:00am, so that we where on the front to buy our tickets.
The we just had to wait for one hour for the inner doors to open.
While we where waiting 2 more Portuguese from Oporto arrived also, making the group go up to 6!!
Cristina
João
The gang so far!
We just had to wait a little more.
And a little more.
And then at exactly 10:00 am the doors to heaven opened!!

And this was one of the most strange experiences I had in my life, because in the exactly instant the doors opened, everyone, and I mean really everyone that was in that packed hall just made a two steps forward looking like it wasn't the people who where advancing but rather the all hall that was moving behind. And the all madness I've read before started. In a blink of an eye we all passed in front of the camera TV crews that where positioned just inside to cover this moment, and then I just lost 50% of the group!!
In one moment there where 6 of us, and the next instant I was alone with Cristina and João.
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3. Board Game: The Name of the Rose [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1199]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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The three of us passed along the first stands and all along people where running to the inner halls.
I passed along the Heidelberger stand already packed with people not 5 minutes after the show opened.
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4. Board Game: Battles of Napoleon: The Eagle and the Lion [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:1933]
 
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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While the three of us where going through the halls I glimpsed the prototype for this game.
This wouldn't be the last time I would be near it.

Passing along several stands full with games in second hand.
and finally ended in the Hall 6.
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5. Board Game Publisher: Chessex
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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Where Chessex had his stand, along with

a lot of stands dedicated to LARP's

and variants

be it mythical, mythological or medieval.

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6. Board Game: Battle of Britain [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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By this time I was alone wandering the Spiel.

I found this stand with this strange game of the Battle of England. A 3-D aerial combat system. A good looking game, where I had the opportunity to speak with the guys there who talked me into the basics of the game. Interesting, but no head turner for sure.

Once again wandering around and looking at all this strange world that seldom gets mentioned here.
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7. Board Game: Flames of War: The World War II Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:1187]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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The
European branch of Battlefront had a good stand on FoW.

But I sure had already seen better displays of FoW in the portuguese tournaments.
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8. Board Game: Corunea [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:4457]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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Next I got to the French publisher Insight Games, to check on this hybrid system of a CCG and RPG. Good looking and really interesting, but I'll wait for when they move it out of the CCG spectrum, sometime around next year.
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9. Board Game: World of Warcraft Miniatures Game [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1894]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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Around here I saw this stand dedicated to the miniatures and card game, with the life sized models.
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10. Board Game: Space Alert [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:78]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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Then I moved along to Hall 4.
The CGE stand was full with visitors, and this game was taking center stage.
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11. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker: The Big Expansion [Average Rating:7.99 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.99 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.99 Unranked]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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And my first buy of the fair was this!
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12. Board Game: Neuroshima Hex! Babel13 [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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Just on the same corridor was the Portal Publisher where this was the main attraction. The next day I would be back here to buy it for a friend back in Portugal (BTW: the price 19.99€ was outrageous for 3 cardboard pieces to be punched out and added to the base game, and the rest was just empty space inside the box - something like 95% of the box is air!!)
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13. Board Game: Saladin: The Fall of the Crusader States [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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This looked interesting but every time I came around there was visitor been talked by the guy there.

I'll need to check this out some time in the future.
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14. Board Game: Leader 1 [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1091]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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Here was the gorgeous display of Leader 1, one of the games that was under my radar.

The boxed game wasn't that bad looking either. But all this didn't made me buy it. The price tag of 40€ looked to me excessive. and this was going to be the norm for the new releases throughout the Spiel.
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15. Board Game: PitchCar: Stunt Race [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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I was looking eagerly for this.
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16. Board Game: Tumblin-Dice [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:474]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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When at the same booth I found this. manufactered by the French Publisher Ferti, this was something I didn't expect, and this was another buy for me.

With all this the lunch hour was coming by and the 4 of us met to go on a trip to the car.
There we just deposited the bounty of the morning.
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17. Board Game: Jenga [Average Rating:5.52 Overall Rank:9546]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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Back inside after lunch, I had time to take a good look to the giant Jenga game.
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18. Board Game: Connect Four [Average Rating:4.81 Overall Rank:11130]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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And also the giant Connect Four (there where two of them).
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19. Board Game: Keltis [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:1026]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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Going back inside at a more slower pace I was able to appreciate the numerous games going on.
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20. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:165]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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This pimped up german version was in big display also.
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21. Board Game: Formula D [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:304]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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And this new version of Formula De was another of my buys, at 25€ it was well priced for a new print.

And for the eye catcher there was the 3-D version just for display (I would love one of this also )
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22. Board Game: WeyKick [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:1764]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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There was time to give it a try at this one also.
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23. Board Game: WeyKick On Ice [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:4931]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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while myself and Helio got our hands on this version.
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24. Board Game: Planet Steam [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:409]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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We just give a good look on this one.
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25. Board Game: Kippit [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:5649]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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And also on this one.
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