Tee, Spiel und Essen

And here we were again, for me the 16th time. In a place full of winners, losers and mostly people that are both. But who cares about winning or losing? It is all about the games on the Internationale Spieltage SPIEL in Essen, Germany that take place each October. Considering this was the fourth time last year that I was in Germany another record is broken brrrr.

 

Messe Essen

Messe Essen

Spiel

Spiel

For the non (European) gamers: Spiel is the largest gamers event in Europe. With the note that we are talking about boardgames, cardgames, roleplaying, tabletop some children games and only a negligible amount of computergames. Since a couple of years it is combined with COMIC ACTION a comic book event. But I usually don’t do more than taking a short look there. Spiel is mostly about learning and playing new games, buying and sometimes meeting friends. It was also a place to find bargains, but unfortunately this becomes less and less each year. Although the littlebit of free space in my little house tells me this is not that unfortunate. This year I met several friends that I see once a year on a completely different occasion. And this caused a new record to be broken: How often can you say “Goodbye, see you next year” on one day to the same person?

An international event

An international event

Games to buy

Games to buy

Some old games

Some old games

Not only board games: Kapla

Not only board games: Kapla

And of course: play, play, play

And of course: play, play, play

MinD Spielepreise

Besides playing and buying Spiel is also an event for contacts, awards etc. This year I was at the award ceremony of the MinD Spielepreise 2012. MinD is the German branch of Mensa and the MinD Spielepresie is the German version of the Mensa Select prize awarded by Mensa (US/International).

This year the award goes to:

7 Wonders

7 Wonders

7 Wonders on the table

7 wonders on the table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this simple but versatile cardgame people try to build a more advanced nation than the other players. This game is good and therefore awarded with a lot of international prizes making it the most awarded boardgame.

And now also with the MinD Spielepreise 2012:

Award

The author, someone from the MinD Spielepreise and someone representing the publisher

The author with his price

The author with his price

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about 7 wonders: see boardgamegeek or the official website.

Is there some real tea somewhere around here?

I did not really look at the food stands, so if there was some surprise beyond the usual teabag stuff I missed it. But outside? Over the parking lot there is a bridge connecting one part of R\”uttenscheider Stra\sse to the other. Last year I went left and right (seen from the Messe) of that bridge to look for tea. This year I only went right. So left first. Notice that this is from memory only. I found three places that sold loose leaf tea in that direction. There was a Tee und Chocolate shop. The tea seemed to be decent, but the selection was standard. Somewhere further on there was a shop that I forgot all about except that it was there, not primarily about tea but they sold it. Somewhere between them was Reformhaus Kaubisch, which sells all kinds of reform food and of course loose leaf teas. According to my memory there were some interesting teas there. Not high level, but Bio and interesting nonetheless. The few that I took with me last year were nice.

As written, I went only right this time. The side closer to the Messe. There is only one small teashop that I know of: “Tee und Honig”. As said they sell tea and honey. Oh and little buddhas, shawls and some other “alternative” stuff. Including …incense…. The store smells of incense. I keep the teas and bag separate from my other teas to let the smell wear of. But I did not really find a hint of incense in my tea. The teas are slightly, but not far from standard. A lot of flavoured ones, including oolongs. But I found a few teas to try and a small cheap older book about the health effects of Pu Erh. I don’t have to tell most readers here that the most valuable part of that book is the cover with Chinese plucking and weighing tea. But it might also be interesting to see what fairy tales they try to sell.

I think that the most interesting about this shop is the weird combination of stuf in a small shop. A combination that makes a lot of tea drinkers shiver so close before Halloween.

Tee und Honig

Tee und Honig

The loot

As said the loot was limited this year. For the first time I bought more non-game items than games. That is if I count the dice as one. I think that this year I even bought more non game items than in all previous visits combined.`And of course, like every year, there are some buys that I regret not buying.

 

The Essen loot 2012, except for the banana. I ate that one.

The Essen loot 2012, except for the banana. I ate that one.

 

Tea time

If you search for tea on boardgamegeek and throw out the games that ain’t tea related you see that there are not much games left. One of those few is a new game: “Tea time”. And it is not even really about tea, but about Alice in Wonderland.

 

Teatime with of course half a cuppa.

Teatime with of course half a cuppa.

The idea is simple. You have a pile of cards. On each card is a character (from Alice). For each character there are two types of cards. A normal character and a mirror version. These cards are laid down in a grid on the table. One by one each player can take 1, 2 or 3 cards that are in a row. Once the grid is empty another one is filled. After three rounds points are cointed, basically the more cards you have of a certain character the more points you get for it. But be aware normal character cards and their mirror versions cancel each other out and having one or 2 cards of a character is worse than having none.

It is a simple quick game. I played it a few times now and I think it turns up as a game for between games, or at the end of a gaming session from time to time, but not very often.

For more information see boardgamegeek or the official website.

Tea versus games

Tea and games have several things in common. First of all both bring people together for a good time. They both make people think. And they can both be used to either escape the world or learn more about it, or both.

But there are more similarities. Like most people know only a handful of teas, most people know only a handful of games. Most have heard of Risk, Monopoly, Chess and a limited number of other games. But like there are many thousands of types of tea there are many thousands of games out there that most people know nothing about. Some as bad as a simple Lipton teabag, others as great as a good Da Hong Pao. This makes me wonder what worlds are hidden behind other things in my life.

So next time when you have a tea party consider to play a good game while drinking good tea. Or vice versa.

 

That city again, there seems to be no escape...

That city again, there seems to be no escape…

bram

bram

Someone interested in too much, including but not limited the history and culture of tea. Some other keywords: Tea, History, Books, Loreena McKennitt, Astronomy, Mathematics, Evolution, Physics, Boardgames, ...
bram

Latest posts by bram (see all)

10 thoughts on “Tee, Spiel und Essen

  1. Xavier

    Tea and games.
    Both should go well together.

    Thanks for this tea trip in Essen and you have to let me know everything you can about Grand Cru,

    1. bram Post author

      I’ll try to remember that.

  2. Jackie

    Interesting post Bram. I now want to go off and buy 7 Wonders. It sounds like a fun game for the family. Have you played it? We are very keen players of Settlers of Catan, which of course won prizes too some years back. We have various expansions and versions but our preferred game seems to be the original one. Maybe just because we know it best. I remember once buying a game that won a prize (I’d have to look through our game closet to tell you what it was called) and it was such a huge disappointment because nobody could understand the rules. We really tried, I even tried to google them but we failed. It was so frustrating. It was quite expensive and we just never played it again. 7 Wonders sounds easy to play though.
    If you have any recommendations let us know. Of the games you chose, anything that stands out there? Besides the Ducks in a Row game 😛 Anyway we always drink tea when we play games, so now we just need you to join us! Hopefully one day Bram.

    1. bram Post author

      7 wonders is nice. One warning though: Although the rules are simple it takes some time to get to know the cards. So you have to play it several times to get a feeling for what happens and what you can/should do. Take that time.

      I did not buy anything special this time. The city is a nice little cardgame, it is in German, but there is also an English version under another name and there is a translation downloadable on boardgamegeek.

      If you look for rules/gaminfo/answers boardgamegeek is a good place to start.

      Ah Catan. I don’t play it often anymore, but there was a time when I played it several times a week. But that has been a while ago. The basic game (with 5/6 players expansion) remains the best although the Cities & Knights expansion created an interesting different game.

      Perhaps one day we sit around the table and I throw a 7 … 😉

      1. Jackie

        Boardgamegeek is interesting. I still haven’t checked what the name of the game is, but I’ll let you know. Then I’ll also see if the rules are perhaps explained on that site.
        If you throw a 7, put it on @lazyliteratus. Not me. He has more cards than I do.
        PS: Wish we could play online

  3. jopj

    Sounds as if this was a wonderful event. I remember the days when board games were a weekly event in our household. I’ll have to pull some of them out and try a family night along with pots of tea. Thanks for this reminder.

  4. Jackie

    @jopj the game night’s on then. With Bram and you. And probably @lazyliteratus. I know he plays Settlers too.

    1. bram Post author

      Ok, now we just have find a date and money for the trip 🙂

  5. lazyliteratus

    I actually play boardgames every Monday with friends. Catan is a permanent staple.

    1. Xavier

      I am in too.

Comments are closed.