I'm a gamer since I was infected with Chess at age 13. At about the same time my father showed me Carcassonne and The Settlers of Catan and the world of modern boardgames opened up before my eyes. So my roots are Eurogames and Abstracts, but I play a lot of different games with player numbers ranging from 2-16 thanks to a nearby library for games (Herner Spielezentrum) and many friends who are interested in playing boardgames. As for my personal collection, I opted for the Minimalist Approach - keep it always lean and playable. (promos listed under previously owned)
ESSEN As a resident of the Ruhr area in Germany, I was fortunate to be able to visit the fair SPIEL (better known as "Essen") every year since 2003. It's just a great atmosphere with thousands of games and gamers from all over the world.
2003: My first visit. I remember entering the fair and a big sign told us that Alhambra won the Spiel des Jahres prize 2003.
2011: My picture is from SPIEL 2011. Me (middle) with game designer Antoine Bauza on the right and game illustrator Pierô on the left.
2012: 2012 was not only the predicted end of the world, it was also my 10th SPIEL Anniversary, hooray!
2014: During SPIEL 2014 I was an explainer for Asmodee/Marabunta.
2015: During SPIEL 2015 I'll be an explainer for Asmodee/Space Cowboys.
My personal rules of thumb for good games
Depth: the more the better (I can discover new things after a good dozen plays)
Gameplay: strategic and/or tactical (having a plan = better winning chances)
Interaction: rather high (my decisions have a real impact on other players)
Playing time: good time-fun ratio (I'm awake and constantly involved until the end)
Rules: the fewer the better (several tiny rules should at least make sense thematically)
Artwork & Components: original, atmospheric, functional (the unique look attracts me and the pieces help me understand the game)
Theme/Mechanics ratio: about balanced (if a game proposes a theme, it should be linked to its mechanics)