At this year's game fair in Essen, visitors can admire hundreds of great new releases from the wide world of board games, card games, comics and toys and buy them for real money. But the real highlights of the fair take place away from the sales stands. At first, completely strangers come together to form common playgroups at the gaming tables. In addition to a lot of board game fun, rules discussions, exciting conversations and sometimes even new friendships arise. Children's eyes shine when they play Looping Chewie for the first time or hop on one of the trampolines in the children's area while their parents treat themselves to their well-deserved French fries currywurst. The Spiel'15 connects people and is therefore a wonderful role model for all people who are currently doubting whether the political or social discussions are about social cohesion.   

Let The Games Begin

One of the most interesting franchises for me was the expansion of the KrosmasterGame world. In the Krosmaster Quest variant, the tactical game plays like a traditional dungeon crawler and thus appeals to those board players who, thematically and visually, can best begin with the large-headed characters from the MMORGS Wakfu and Dofus. In the style of a 16-bit RGP, up to 6 players slice their way through the dungeons or over beautifully designed game boards. New miniatures and 3 different game modes caused a lot of amazed faces at Spiel'15. Because what is reminiscent of a children's game from the outside, turned out to be a real tactical delicacy on closer inspection, which delighted the board-playing crowd. Anyway, I had a lot of fun with Krosmaster Arena and Krosmaster Quest.

Both variants of the franchise live from their almost inexhaustible supply of possible expansions, because only the developers' imagination can set limits to the game concepts. The miniatures look great and with their crazy designs appeal to collectors and gamers alike. The prices are moderate: Krosmaster Arena is available at Spiel'15 from around 30 euros, the new version Krosmaster Quest costs around 60 euros. Both investments are worthwhile, but if you are still unsure, you can visit Spiel'15 in Essen and see for yourself. First of all, you can't go wrong for 7.99 euros anyway. The card game from Nürnberger Spielkarten Verlag is not a cheap junk product, but the price only a sign that games with little use of materials can be a lot of fun. In the end, The Game was not put on the list of nominees for the 2015 Game of the Year for no reason.

Magic the Gathering - The board game

It was a tough multiplayer game, which in the end could only be decided by chaos of rules and good sitting meat. In a four-player skirmish, we fought for victory in Magic the Gathering. After a short briefing, we jumped into the icy cold water and fought, with existing knowledge of the rules from the trading card game, with rule questions that kept arising. This resulted in an exciting and tactical battle that was only decided by the skilful (and sometimes unconsciously not completely compliant with the rules) use of special skills. Magic the Gathering - The board game is a great game variant for Magic fans and for all board players who like strategic tabletop games. Moving across the board with the Planeswalker, his six-man army and loads of unit skills as well as witchcraft and enchantments was one thing above all else: fun beyond the limits of the rulebook. We immediately ignored the lap limit, in the mistaken belief that we would not use up the number of laps anyway. That turned out to be a false assumption, but extended the game by at least an hour. We didn't have a point winner, we played for the total elimination of our opponents.

The units look nice. The Planeswalkers are far better than the colored troop units. In Germany, Magic the Gathering - The Board Game is currently in the first round. At the next table, the game developers showed what was still in store for us: A huge, nasty, purple-colored monster - at first glance it became clear that an interesting expansion will await us players if we decide to get started with the Magic board game. And that was done faster than expected. The Hasbro booth was waiting for us "An offer that we could not refuse": Even without a horse's head and a pistol, the temptation was too great. Magic the Gathering - The board game wandered for 29 Euros in your own pocket. This is what trade fair prices have to look like - perfect!

A shock of power

On the way through the exhibition halls, I suddenly felt a tremor of power on the Spiel'15. That was certainly also due to the great models from Star Wars Armada and Star Wars Imperial Assault - but it was mainly due to the great exhibit we get to see in the upcoming film: Rey's Speeder. Looked good, was photographed, will be admired again in December. Multiple times!

Sensory overload

After a few exciting rounds of games, the day of the fair was drawing to a close. Board game purchases still had to be done and so the last detour of the day was the always full sales paradise of the Heidelberger Spieleverlag. We were faced with the choice to buy Battlelore 2nd Edition or Battles of Westeros. We decided on the latter board game - also because I'm a Game of Thrones fan myself. Incidentally, both were available for 29.95 euros; a good deal considering the current retail prices of the two games. So the Spiel'15 was worth it.