essen spiel

 “Gaming conventions are a great way to find awesome new games, connect with other gamers, and even get feedback on your own designs. Good things happen when gamers gather together!”

The fine folks at who elegantly wrote that quote above reached out to us to share their interactive and rapidly-updating map of all board gaming related conventions for 2017. Word spreads pretty quick about titanic occasions such as Essen’s Spiel, Gen Con, Origins, and BGG Con, but there are so many more smaller venues near you that can be worthwhile too! This map is publicly updated, which gives new and still-growing conventions better ability to reach out and garner the interest they need. If you know of a con which may not be featured, or if you’re just curious and interested in visiting other venues, check out the map to share with this awesome community.

Leading the industries of creating board games, trading cards, and collectibles, Cryptozoic Entertainment, joined forces with highly regarded Russian publisher of board games, Hobby World, to release the highly anticipated Master of Orion: The Board Game in early 2017.  One of the most buzzed about games during the 2016 Essen Spiel game trade fair, this strategic video game transformation has received high praise from The Dice Tower’s Tom Vasel receiving his seal of excellence.

“I was really happy with this. This really hits my sweet spot. Having cards and actions, the game plays smoothly.”  Tom Vasel

In Master of Orion: The Board Game players first decide which race to lead to victory.  Choose wisely because you will have to defeat other players in space confrontations while carefully managing your resources and building your systems.  This strategic economic card game has multiple paths to victory including military means, attacking other systems, building space fleets, or a path of creation.  The leader of the most successful system will be awarded the title of Emperor from the Galactic Counsil.

This competitive tableau building game plays 2-4 players and plays in 40-60 minutes for ages 12 and up.






During the Essen Spiel, Cubicle 7 showed off their newest card game based on the Doctor Who Franchise: The Time Clash starter set. This new card game features an all new, unique design that has been well received by convention patrons and will be hitting store shelves this November. The game plays quickly for 2-4 players with an emphasis on balancing threats from different angles. As described on Cubicle 7’s website:

“You’ll play cards representing plans, threats, tech, and quips to stacks that represent the time of the struggle, the Doctor’s companion, and the enemy’s influence. The two sides also compete to control the Doctor’s location, which activates or deactivates crucial powers.”

Cubicle 7 has been very well received with their supplementary books for RPG systems, including the only comprehensive series for Doctor Who-inspired adventures. It’s excellent that they have taken the IP and used it for a card game, and I’m sure there’s a lot of theme for fans of the long-running sci-fi series. For more information, visit this link for the full rules of the game or visit Cubicle 7’s website where you can also check out their wealth of role-playing companion products.

Blick in die Halle 3. --- 08-10-2015/Essen/Germany Foto:Rainer Schimm/©MESSE ESSEN GmbH --- Verwendung / Nutzungseinschränkung: Redaktionelle Foto-Veröffentlichung über MESSE ESSEN/CONGRESS CENTER ESSEN und deren Veranstaltungen gestattet. NO MODEL RELEASE - Keine Haftung für Verletzung von Rechten abgebildeter Personen oder Objekten, die Einholung der o.g. Rechte obliegt dem Nutzer. Das Foto ist nach Nutzung zu löschen! --- Use / utilisation restriction: Editorial photographic publications about MESSE ESSEN / CONGRESS CENTER ESSEN and their events are permitted. NO MODEL RELEASE - No liability for any infringements of the rights of portrayed people or objects. The user is obliged to seek the above rights. The photograph must be deleted when it has been utilised!

Every year in October, gamers from all over the world descend upon Essen, Germany for one of the world’s largest board game conventions. Last week they came again, and in greater numbers than ever before. According to the final report issued by organizer Friedhelm Merz Verlag, Essen Spiel 15 boasted crowds so big that the convention was forced to open the doors early every single day, overall an incredible 162,000 visitors, 910 exhibitors from 41 different countries, an exhibition space of 63,000 square meters and more than 1,000 new games being released. In other words, bigger and better in every category.

Game designer Klaus Teuber was also on hand – with over a thousand fans from all over the world of his global hit game Catan – to break the world record for the largest game of Catan ever played, playing on a game board of almost 500 meters in length!

Take a gander at the full Essen Report below and be sure to mark your calendar for next year’s SPIEL, scheduled for Oct. 13 – 16, 2016.

Sunday 11 October, 2015

Essen –

Final Report from the international games event SPIEL 15 with COMIC ACTION

SPIEL 15 in Essen – the world’s biggest fair for board games came to an end today, this year setting five incredible records: More visitors, more exhibitors, more exhibition halls, more new games and a CATAN world record to boot!

Inspired by the motto: “The whole world’s playing – and its playing in Essen”, 162.000 games fans, licensees and buyers came to the world’s biggest fair for board games thus breaking last year’s record of 160.000 visitors. Contrary to every on-line trend, board and card games are more popular than ever before. This year’s SPIEL provided an impressive picture of that fact.

Spread over an exhibition space of 63,000 sq. meters, an increase of 9% in area, 910 exhibitors from 41 different countries – that’s more than ever before, even more than last year’s 832, all presented their companies and products at this year’s international games event SPIEL ‘15. Over four days it was possible to put thousands of board and card games to the test, amongst them more than 1,000 new releases (850 last year) which were being presented to the public for the very first time just ahead of the Christmas sales period that is so vital for the sector.

Early in the mornings the crowds at the box office and in the exhibition foyer were so large that the hall doors had to be opened 20 minutes before the official fair opening time every single day.

On Saturday 10 October 2015, 1,040 players set a new CATAN world record at SPIEL ’15 in Essen. To achieve this, CATAN Fans from 25 different countries played together at a game board of almost 500 meters in length, smashing the previous record of 922 players. Alongside CATAN inventor Klaus Teuber, former German national football star and board game fan Jens Nowotny, amongst others, took part in this very special game. This event was designed to mark the 20th anniversary of CATAN’s release. Even ahead of SPIEL 15 the German board games industry had reported a buoyant increase in sales of 8.4% across all product sectors in the first two-thirds of the year 2015. This roused hopes of strong Christmas business sales.

Hermann Hutter, chairman of the interest group “Die Spieleverlage e.V.” (Association of Games Publishers) in which all of the leading German board games publishers without exception are members, was highly delighted with the way the games event had gone. “SPIEL 15 has been a great success. The wide-ranging activities staged by all of the games publishers have been enthusiastically received by the visitors and the queues at the booths were indicative of the massive interest in the exciting new releases being presented by the publishers. Lively buying and ordering gave the exhibitors reason to be cheerful. Games are becoming ever more popular and sought-after. In the weeks to come, the new games on show here are certain to become a major talking point amongst gamers and in the shops and they are sure to bring exciting evenings to many, many people. The prototypes being exhibited during the event by the hundreds of games writers in attendance are a sign of how creative the sector continues to be and even today, 2016’s range of games promises to be a very successful one indeed!”

The COMIC ACTION event, which is incorporated as part of SPIEL, was also extremely successful. Steffen Volkmer of Panini Comics reported, “The event went wonderfully and again was better than the previous year. We were delighted to be able to welcome thousands of enthusiastic fans at our booth. There were long queues for the signing sessions by our comic artists and the artists themselves were more than happy.”

The next SPIEL with COMIC ACTION will take place from 13–16 October, 2016 at the Messe Essen. Please find press photographs attached!

Event Organizer: Friedhelm Merz Verlag, D-53173 Bonn, Bismarckallee 8. T: +49(0)228/342273,

echo system banner

Artana Games has announced a new series of games that expands on Rob Daviau’s Legacy mechanic to allow player decisions in one session to impact gameplay not just in a later session of the same game, but in subsequent titles in the series, as well. For those unfamiliar with the premise, the Legacy titles (so far comprised of Risk: Legacy, Pandemic: Legacy, and Seafall) change permanently from one play to the next, altering the board and card decks in such a way as to give permanent consequences to players’ tactical choices.

Daviau himself has partnered with Artana’s Dirk Knemeyer to help design the Echoes games, which extend this idea further to make consequences stretch across an entire series of games released years apart. Chronicles 1: Origins, is the first in this line, and is predicted to debut at Gen Con 2016 (US) and SPIEL 2016 (worldwide).

“With the Echo System, players build history, persistence, and meaning into their play,” said Artana creative director, Dirk Knemeyer. “Within one box, one purchase, there are two levels of engagement: each single game session you play has things going on and can be won. But, based on those various game sessions, the world within that box also changes and builds persistently toward even grander goals and outcomes. Finally, on top of that, via the Echo System, the world you build in that game, the actions you took, the characters you created, will translate uniquely and directly into the next boxed game in the series. The result is an unparalleled degree of immersion and consequence.”

Those attending Gen Con 2015 will have an opportunity to learn more at a registration-only Q&A at 9:00 PM on Saturday, 8/1. Those of us who will be unable to attend that event will have to content ourselves for now with the video trailer on YouTube and the opportunity to sign up for Artana’s newsletter about the series.

pandemic legacy

Z-Man Games teased via Twitter that Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 will be available in time for Spiel Essen on October 8, 2015.

Can your team make it through the year; face month after month of set backs and fleeting victories to save humanity?

While not much is known about the details of the newest Legacy-style game, this teaser indicates that the October release will be the first of several potential seasons to be released over time.

Check out the full post here.

magic strategy board

An advertisement during the Pro Tour: Khans of Tarkir broadcast teased viewers with a graphic that read, “Magic: The Gathering, Strategy Board Game” and showed a release date of 10.16.14 at Essen. No other information is available at this time but we’ll keep you updated. Being as the release is scheduled on the first day of Essen Spiel it shouldn’t be too much longer before we get more news! Stay Tuned…