But when we drove past the parking garage near the swimming pool (which is next to the Messe) we noticed cars going right towards it -- and that line was moving. There were policemen standing on the corner, and they had a sign saying it was closed off with them -- but they had not 'deployed' it. So if you followed the parking signs, you'd end up at the big parking outside the city -- but we decided to try our luck anyway. And lo and behold: there was ample space in the garage, so we got to park reasonably close to the Messe! That was a huge relief, to be honest.
Essen is more geared towards boardgaming -- and we're not huge boardgamers. But there's some roleplaying games there, and I had marked the map with some stands that I was interested in. For some reason, Essen ends up being all about the dice for us. Because there's no such thing as too many dice!
Q-Workshop has many, many speciality dice. One thing they're pretty big in is themed sets for various games, which is fun. So when I learned that they had a deluxe set for The One Ring, it went on my shopping list.
This is the set in the box, flanked with the sets I already had.
Comparison of the two 'original' sets and the Q-Workshop set. It's much more decorative, and I like that the edges and corners are not as 'rounded' as with the other sets.
There is also an RPG of Dragon Age (which I have), and it uses a set of three dice, with one die in a different colour -- the so-called Dragon Die. So I got the Dragon Age set as well.
I especially like the fact that they have both a griffin and a dragon on the 'dragon dice'.
TheDiceShopOnline (nomen est omen) was represented with a large stand with their dice made of semi-precious stones on prominent display. Good choice: I think they were the only shop with dice like that. There were some really nice dice there, but we constrained ourselves to two sets of dual D6'es. They have a nice weight and feel cool to the touch.
I chose a set made of synthetic turquoise styled like malachite.
klik chose these dice made of brown Cats Eye, which were new and launched at Essen!
This is the 'warrior set', a full set of polyhedrals themed after the weapons and armour of a warrior. There's the D4 dagger, the D6 sword, the D8 mace, two D10 armoured fists (one marked with dots to set it as the 'tens' when rolling them to get a percentile), the D12 helmet and finally the D20 shield. They're not really convenient or easy to read, but they're kinda cool looking.
Bullet dice! Set of six, of course: that's the number of bullets that go into a revolver.
They're fun to roll and easy to read. Pretty cool if you're playing a western-themed game (which they were meant for -- but they were also sold separately, so that's what we got).
Irondrake is an Italian manfuacturer of metal dice, and their designs are really cool. Last year we bought one of their sets, and again this year there was a set that caught our attention.
We also got to choose a 'bonus die' for free with the set!
Chessex is one of the big manufacturers of specialist dice. They create some really nice sets (a few of which we gifted to first-time players). But there was nothing in their stand that really caught our eye -- except for this packet. A large variety of the most beautiful dice -- what's not to like?
This is the stack of dice:
So did we buy only dice? Nope, I also bought some game components.
Wooden tokens/guys/meeples for use in roleplaying games: perfect to show relative positioning etcetera, without having to invest in miniatures (which I can't paint worth a damn anyway). There's a large shop that sells all sorts of these tokens and figures -- some as replacements for components of existing games, some to make your own games with.
For some reason they also sold a packet of five plastic Buddha's/Chinese lucky gods. We're not sure what we're going to do with them, but of course we couldn't pass it up!
I have a standing policy to buy everything that Cubible7 publishes for their The One Ring system. They published this book recently:
which ports the specific systems of The One Ring to the fifth edition of D&D. Kinda excited to read that.
Finally it will be possible to actually play a Hobbit in D&D!
As for actual games, we got three.
Lugu, a story-telling game based on abstract cards.
Suspend, some kind of gravity-challenged anti-mikado. Pretty fun!
Pocket Invaders, a game with a pixelated retro-videogame feel. It's a cool little game, which plays a bit like shoji. If you take an enemy piece, you roll the die to see which type of ship you can deploy later on your side.
We were kinda tired when we got back home, but it was a lot of fun to wander the halls and to see what's on offer.