Did you read Flashback articles at BGG News? They are cool idea to look few years back for our hobby. Few days ago Scott posted Rick Thornquist’s article about Essen Spiel 2005.

Spiel 2005. My very first Essen. Lots of memories.


I come from a small city. I had never been at any fair, big or small, dedicated to board games or to hammers and drills. I had never seen anything like that. So when I walked into halls, I had a hard reset. That was mind blowing experience that my mind did not handled well. I was mind blown.

You know, I have this – super useless – skill: I remember names and titles. I know which designer design which game, I know which publisher published this or that game, I know all this stupid stuff. If only there were TV game shows dedicated to board games, I would win billion dollar just like that.

The moment I walked into Essen halls, my system just went down. All my knowledge, all my freaking huge knowledge about games was gone. 

Too many games on my sight per minute. I just looked around, I saw This game! And this game! And woow, they have this game! And man, this super rare game! 

And then bum! I knew nothing. All designers, publishers, everything just mixed up and I knew nothing.

Major malfunction.


Back then I was reviewer for Polish magazine Star Pirate and aspiring designer with two small games under my belt. I was walking around halls and I felt like I was day dreaming.

I had scheduled meeting with Philippe des Pallieres. We were sitting at the restaurant and talking about possible cooperation with Portal Games. Suddenly Bruno Faidutti approached to the table. Bruno Faidutti, designer of Citadels, my beloved game. Bruno himself. He said 'Hi’ and sat with us. 

I reached to my backpack and pulled out my copy of Citadels. 'Can you sign it?’ I asked. 'I love this game.’ I added.

’I can see that.’ said Bruno. 

Well, I don’t use sleeves, you remember, right? And I played the game more than 100 times. You can imagine how my copy looked like…

zdj-cie (1)

We were talking and suddenly another two people approached our table – Bruno Cathala and Serge Laget. Shadows over Camelot team. OMG.

I reached my backpack again, pulled out copy of Star Pirate magazine with my review of Shadows over Camelot and asked for autograph.


Imagine that – kid from Poland sitting with 4 famous designers at one table. Pretty awesome.  


Essen 2005 was a great fair. Days of Wonder was promoting Shadows over Camelot and Pirate’s Cove with huge 3d boards that looked like terrain for miniature game, Zoch Spiele was promoting like crazy their Spiel des Jahres winner Niagara, and Hans um Gluck was celebrating 5th anniversary of Carcassonne.

Looking back I think Cash & Guns might be one of the most important or significant game of this fair – Repos Production and their huge sombreros were one of the highlights of the fair and since then they began to grow like crazy putting one great game after another. Back then no one was expecting that these crazy guys will bring us Ghost Stories, 7 Wonders and many many more…

9 years. Not that many on one hand. Another era, on the other. Me still kid Repos just debuting, Carcassone celebrating 5 years…

I brought home quite a good number of games. Here is a pic I took when I got home.

Łupy Essen 2005

 Do you know any of these? Few of these titles is pretty amazing.