Essen Part three, the third last bit
And so we approach the last segment of the BSoMT, which sees the last strangeness of the show and farewells to the halls, the games and the friends made throughout the week.
To continue …
- Freaky Sales Techniques
- Home James and don’t spare the horse
1) Freaky Sales Techniques
I shall refrain from naming the company in this little segment, but during my wanderings I stumbled across a stand that had four or more large boardgames in full demonstrative flow. The place was heaving but I managed to finally collar someone that looked vaguely official to ask about the two games they had that offered a solo mechanic. The chap was helpful and, although not in possession of English as a first language, managed to explain how the games worked, well enough for me to grasp the basic concepts anyway. Both games really appealed to me both visually and mechanically so I though I would break from my custom to be quiet and reserved in nature and in a brazen fashion, asked if they had any copies available for review, The guy said he would need to speak to his boss so I left one of my business cards (the ones that set off airport security alerts)
I wandered further, later to return to the 2d6EE stand, ready for some more game demonstrating, On arriving, however, I noticed a rotund, Greek looking fellow sat in my usual shirker’s corner… sporting a rather stretched suit. He introduced himself and it transpired he was the ‘big boss’ from the stand I had visited earlier. Initially I felt rather important as this guy had come over all the way over to my friend’s stand just to see me. After scrutinising what I did re:game reviews, my website, my social media network, he finally established that he liked me and trusted me, ohhh! Nice, I think?
I wondered what he was going to suggest next… I am glad I was sat down because the cheeky fecker said, ‘seeing as I am generous and you are going to do a review of my games, I will let you have them at cost price of $30-ish’
What the actual F? The bloody games were thirty euros on the stand….so he wanted me to buy his games and then do a review. OK, I am not after free stuff, but if I review a game I have purchased, firstly I have a meticulous process to go through before buying, so it is always going to be a positive review (because I never buy a game that turns out to be poor), then I I have to have free time to share what I have found through playing the game. This process is time consuming and voluntary. Maybe I am a cheapskate, but to be told to buy a game at the stand price, and to then be obligated to review it as well? hmmmmmm!
2) Home James and don’t spare the horses
When it all came to an end, it was with a heavy heart that I said my farewells to the empty halls of Essen, and after a nostalgic half hour/forty five minutes with my hosts, Aigar and Inga, attempting to consume a last German coffee I might drink in company, that could well have been the worst I have ever endeavoured to consume… it bearing a close resemblance to something that may have been sieved through the underpants of a long distance runner. Eventually they had to hit the road, having a very long ride back to Estonia, I bid farewell to them too… Aigar and Inga, not the runner and his pants, by the way.
(Photo courtesy of Kingu Designs)
The reality already starting to sink in that all this boargaming shenanigans was now over for me, as the horrors of real life loomed ever closer. Sadly my flight was not until five in the evening so I had something akin to five and a half hours to kill. I did expect a good sixty percent of that time to be consumed by pointless searches through customs (and goodness knows what else). I did find my first stumbling block with the digitised check in… I had a large case to check in for my return journey, accommodating my review games. When checking in I was asked if I would like the ticket printing out…
‘…don’t be foolish’, I cried ( to myself, inside my head, because I am far too polite in such situations, ‘I have the all new digital way to travel….’ the pass to go beyond the gate and ascend the golden escalator, Sadly this proved to be too much for my phone and email… check and check again.. then the Germanwing’s website decided it didn’t want to know me any more, and promptly locked me out. Sat on the floor in a dejected heap (I have no idea who left it there…my little witticism… lol) I foolishly forgot the traditional method. Realising my blunder, I went across the marbled amphitheatre and apologetically explained my predicament to the lady I had checked my bag in with. Expecting the worst, I failed to anticipate an instant ticket and a Have a nice Day routine.
So, the golden escalator bore me up and transported me to customs… and not a bloody glitch. no sirens, no bag search, no fondling of parts best not fondled at an airport… straight through without a glitch. The subsequent wait was fairly nonplussed… a long wait interspersed with various pastries and coffee that could almost pass as such.
I put this time to good use by not only faffing about on social media (thanks to free airport wi-fi) but also reading a couple of rule books…I am astounded, even to this day, that I had the forethought to pack them in my hand luggage knowing I was in for a pretty log stint.
And so the flight time came and passed…boarding was fine but it was a hot, cramped and very bumpy ride home. A strong head wind and huge, ridiculously slow moving ques through UK customs made the connection time for my return train, eek ever slowly away. Then trying to reclaim my luggage… oooooh what a fiasco. round and round the last few bags went until a battered pushchair and some mutated beanbag remained as the sole unclaimed items… but no holdall full of delectable boardgame. Panic stricken and gutted beyond belief… had some unscrupulous bastard ‘alf inched my bag? The dirty thieving git! I went to an isolated desk at the back end of nowhere and reported it missing including a pacific inventory of irreplaceable games (irreplaceable on my budget…and the agony of not being able to fulfil my promise to review said games. Head hung in disrepair, I passed the luggage carousel one final time… and spotted an upturned black bag some distance from the conveyor… could it be? Indeed it was… Some complete arse had obviously taken it off, realised it wasn’t theirs and, instead of placing it back on the carousel, dumped it, oblivious to its precious contents.
All this arsing about made me miss my connection so a six metre long meatball subway was in order, to fill the hour gap between my planned train and the very last one of the night.
Fully fed and watered I waited on the allocated platform… then discovered they made a last minute chance so I had to leg it right sharpish from one side of Newstreet to the other, boardgames a plenty in tow. I made it as the doors were about to close…to find my self sitting across from several lads obviously having spent the night out somewhere partaking in certain smokable substances, stoned out of their tiny heads. Fortunately for me, they all fell fast asleep the entire journey, so my final leg was quiet.
All in all, travelling and digitisation do not care for me as well as perhaps they should.
It will be interesting to see if BSoMT can make it to Essen 2019 to see what has developed in the world of solitarianism!