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BasGame is a yearly board gaming event taking place in the city of Basel in Switzerland. So if you are interested in the world of boardgames please come and visit us. 

BasGameBlog

Essen: There and back again... (Day 2)

Ruben Cabezon

Having in mind the huge crowd that we found last night going back in the train, we decided that we will take our time to go to the fair. It opens doors at 10.00, so let's be there at 10.45-11.00 and avoid the waves of people. Unfortunately, quite a lot of gamers had the same idea. Strategists are common here...

And that was already quite late...

And that was already quite late...

In any case, it worked good enough and we could get through the doors pretty fast. Another recommendation: if you are getting short in Euros better withdraw the money now! There is only one ATM and the queue is huge later! Even better: do it the evening before! You only have to think that on Sunday, publishers are lowering their prices quite a lot, and many people wait until this day to do the buying. It's a risky strategy, as many cool games are sold out by then, but if it works it really pays off. I saw reductions from 200 € down to 30 € !! o_O

Anyway, we had to take the train at 18.00 so we had a route: Asmodee, Spielbox, Hans im Glück, buy some specific games, search for offers, and... ah! yes... eat something at some moment.

Asmodee was so big with so many stands that it was impossible to find our contact in there. We almost played cat and mouse the whole day. We could check Mysterium, though, and we loved the components, the atmosphere that it creates, and the gameplay. We didn't like that it was sold out. :-(

We had the chance to chat a bit with Barbara Nostheide from Spielbox. She was super kind and, as always, very happy to contribute with the BasGame. We can count with them this year again!

Afterwards, we went to Hans im Glück. They were very generous in the last edition of BasGame, sending us super new and cool games like Die Staufer, Helios and Auf den Spuren von Marco Polo, which, by the way, was the winner of the Deutscher Spiele Preis of 2015 and a game that we really love. While we were in their stand, this guy shows up:

We are superfans of Stefan Feld!

We are superfans of Stefan Feld!

Yep. Stefan Feld himself! We LOVE his games. Trajan, Bora Bora and Burgen von Burgundy hit our table very often. Hirginia is in fact an actual expert in all these games, so she was extra happy to meet him. And you know what? He is a very nice guy! We invited him to come to Basel someday and he agreed, as he lives reasonably close. So be ready, because this will happen at some moment. :-D

From there we crossed paths with Edge. This is a Spanish publisher, so we commented them about BasGame without much hope of interesting them, as their potential market is clearly not in Switzerland. In spite of this, they decided to help us and donated a very funny and entertaining game: Dungeon Raiders. A fantasy, family card game that is surely going to be a hit in the BasGame. You can imagine how proud we were from our fellow Spanish gamers!

We spend the rest of the day searching for offers and buying games. From time to time we stumble upon amazing productions, like Cthulhu Wars.

Brutal "minis" of Cthulhu Wars.

Brutal "minis" of Cthulhu Wars.

Well. I don't know how would you call those, but "minis" is to stretch the word too much. Some of them were of the insane size of a forearm! "Biggis" fits them better... Amazing!

And I don't really know what was happening in here, but it seemed hilarious:

I'm pretty sure that this game was Doctor Panic and, at least from outside, it seemed that people was having a super funny time, running around the table.

The time to deal again with the terrible train connections with Essen and (hopefully) get back home was coming. So we packed up, and headed to the train station. In our path we could see people fighting with their suitcases (or their cars) to fit all the games they bought. It was funny, to peek a bit to see what they bought. Did I miss something super cool? The answer is always yes! Essen is so big, that it is very difficult to cover everything without violating laws of physics like causality and speed of light (sorry, Physics humor...).

Once in the train we spend a couple of hour talking with two Brits (who of course came also from Essen) sharing experiences, wish-lists, and board game practices in our countries. This is something that can only happen there!

Back home we checked our stash and I could say that this year I was proud. We got Madeira and Ys at ridiculously low prices, and we got our novelty of this year: Spirits of the Rice Paddy, an absolute brain burner that has very nice and new mechanics. Among these, some small expansions, and, of course, a set of wonderful meeple-themed mugs. Perfect for returning to the gaming routine at home.

Our stash plus the donations from CGE and Edge.

Our stash plus the donations from CGE and Edge.


Essen: There and back again... (Day 1)

Ruben Cabezon

We were super excited about coming back to Essen. Last time was three years ago, so we have not been in the new halls yet. Hirginia was today in Barcelona, so she took a flight very early to come back to Basel and we went almost directly to Badischer Banhof to take the train to Essen.

We manage to get there just with one hour delay. An amazing accomplishment taking into account that the city was disconnected from the rest of the world via the ongoing works in the German fast train network!

Check-in in the hotel, and running to the Fair. We could already see people playing in the hotels, wearing geek T-shirts around, and worse… with bags full of games. That urged us on arriving at the fair in a record time of 30 min after disembarking in Essen.

We entered in Hall 3, the main space of the fair and wow! That’s big! Way bigger than last time we came here. And the first thing we see is the booth of Asmodee customized as a mystery house to promote Mysterium. Very nice game with a mix of Cluedo and Dixit. We like to call it “Advanced Dixit” as it is Dixit but with a theme that, in fact, fits very well.

In fact, this photo doesn't transmit the actual amount of people that were there...

In fact, this photo doesn't transmit the actual amount of people that were there...

Our first stop was the booth of the BGG where the core group of the well-known website host interviews to the designers and publishers to promote novelties. On Friday I promised some Swiss chocolate to Katherine, and we are people of honor!

Here, she was interviewing a guy from Repos to promote 7 Wonders The Duel. I’m not a fan of 7 Wonders in general, but I only heard very good things about this 2-player version. John, Beth, and Aldie on the right looking pretty tired…

Cool... I just was watching these people on my computer some hours ago!

Cool... I just was watching these people on my computer some hours ago!

The interview was getting a bit longer than expected, so in the meanwhile, we dropped a visit to a well-known person that was pretty close:

This year's objective... check!

This year's objective... check!

Tom Vasel was a very nice person and easy to talk with. Taking into account that I like a lot his reviews and I agree in general with his opinions, it was wonderful to meet him at the fair. And he’s is big! At least one Hirginia and a half:

Hirgi also loves his reviews!

Hirgi also loves his reviews!

And we came back to the BGB. Katherine finished her turn and we could catch her for a moment. She was not believing that we actually brought them chocolate, so she even came out from the booth to have a picture.

Chocolate makes happy everybody!

Chocolate makes happy everybody!

After the social objectives we started walking around without a much defined objective. It was already 17.30 and we had left only one hour and half. So we tried to locate the most important publishers, see what the offered and contact with their event managers to thank them their support of our beloved BasGame, or let them know that we exist.

In general we saw several games that were attracting us: Spirits of the Rice Paddy (a beautiful brainburner), Potion Explosion (Candy Crush made board game), and 504. This last one has a completely new idea, so big that people was in general skeptic about it: the box contains actually 504 games! This is done with a LOT of components and a rulebook divided in three sections, each one with 9 options. When combining them without repetitions provides 504 different rules. 2F-Spiele, the publisher, claims that all of them work well or very well, and with play times between 30 and 120 minutes. Nevertheless, at 65€ we rather decided to wait a bit and watch the reviews. Just by lucky coincidence we could catch Friedmann Friese there. To spot him was not a difficult task, though:

Probably the only game designer with green hair in the world.

Probably the only game designer with green hair in the world.

I like his out-of-the.box thinking when designing games with very unusual themes. I love Friday, his solo game that was specifically designed for 1 player. We are also fans of Funkenschlag, which in fact was the game that got us in the world of modern board games.

Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that 2F-Spiele will support BasGame. They told us that they are too small and actually, they are over their capability right now, giving support to other local events. Bad luck, but at least now they know that we are here. 

Just around the corner we could visit Stronghold games, with the English version of 504, and the 2nd edition of (oh! surprise) Stronghold. Three months ago I got a second hand copy of this beautiful asymmetric siege and defense game, after looking for it for years. And now they publish a revised edition! :_(

Anyway, we moved to Czech Games Edition, which is one of our favorite publishers with games like Space Alert, Dungeon Petz, Galaxy Trucker, and Alchemists.that have been hits in our game sessions. And who was there? Another wonderful designer: Vlaada Chvátil:

The star of CGE (on the left, of course...)

The star of CGE (on the left, of course...)

He suggested us to rearrange the icons on our T-shirts as 'Game-Game-Game-Eat-Game-Game-Sleep-Game...'. Funny! Just 10 minutes ago, someone suggested to directly cross or eliminate 'Eat' and 'Sleep'.

There we met with Jana, the event manager of CGE. We just felt in love with her. She is super energetic, motivated and, very importantly, she likes BasGame. She was so nice that she already gave us two novelties for BasGame 2016: Codenames and the new edition of Through the Ages, a superb game! Codenames it is a super-funny party game that turned out to be a surprise to us. It is going to be a blast in the association meetings and in all the events we organize! Of course, it is designed by Vlaada.

After that, time was over and doors started to close. We were happy because we could at least get first impressions, do some contacts, and take some pictures. Not bad for just 90 min… But of course, the difficult part was starting then: how do several thousands of people travel from the fair to their hotels at the same time? Yes. The answer is: It doesn’t matter. It’s going to be a pain in the neck anyway.

In fact, this was the second round of people...

In fact, this was the second round of people...

So mental note for next year: Do not wait until closure or… take the train in Messe Ost BUT direction to Messe Süd where everybody jumps in. At least you will be seated when it changes direction.

Somehow we managed to get in the train and reach the hotel. Once in there, the atmosphere was like always: everybody playing everywhere. We love it! We met a Czech couple and we tried Codenames with them and it worked very nicely with four players, but I guess that with more it is going to be a blast.

This is the second part of Spiel: socializing with fellow gamers.

This is the second part of Spiel: socializing with fellow gamers.

Afterwards we called the day and went to bed. It was quite a intense day, and we had a lot to visit and buy on Sunday, when the editorials decrease the prices for last time.

FTL play report

Ruben Cabezon

Posted By Rubén

Yes. If you are into Science Fiction you would have recognized that FTL stands for "Faster Than Light", something absolutely necessary if you own a starship. Nevertheless, here I simply aim at giving a super fast, short and straight-to-the-point review/report in games I play either at home or at the BGB.

That said, I will start with Project Manhattan, a wonderful, tense worker-placement game that has flown slightly under the radar.

The aim of the game is to be the first in reaching certain amount of victory points, and you do that via building nukes (oh, yeah!). To do so you have to build buildings and hire personnel,  that will allow you to gather Uranium and Plutonium, the salt and pepper of any nuke-builder. Besides that you can spy on other players and bomb them (with regular bombs to disable her buildings, so we keep it clean), hence some interaction is assured.

From boardgamequest.com

Last game was between Hirgi, Ramon and me. The outcome made me love this game even more: Ramón and myself entered in a sort of cold war, spending actions in increasing our fighters and bombers just to dissuade each other to attack. In the meanwhile, we forgot the actual objective: make nukes!, while Hirgi didn't. Then she calmly reached the goal in victory points, while the testosterone of her opponents was playing at her favour. In the end, I found all this super-thematic (the cold war, not the testosterone…) and kept us talking about what happened in the game for a while. This is usually a sign of a good game!


New Website

Harvey Bowen

The all new BasGame website for 2016, will be going live soon.  

We will be posting here, on Twitter and on Facebook with all the latest and greatest news pertaining to BasGame 2016. Plus anything else we feel is interesting or relevant to board gaming in general.