zdjęcieWhen I was a kid video games were much harder than these days. In most cases you needed to use cheat codes and other tricks to handle bosses and hard core levels. In magazines dedicated to video games there were sections like „Tips & Tricks” where you were able to learn how to get unlimited ammo or find all hidden doors. Remember those days? I bet so!

Few days before Essen I came up with crazy idea – I will gather „Tips and Tricks” for board games. Ultimate Guide to win! Oh, yeah!

And then I will give it for charity.


I had a small notepad, I had a pen and I had this dead simple idea – approach as many as possible game designers at Essen and ask them to contribute to this little book. I know many designers by person so it looked like easy and fun task. The fair began.

On Wednesday I had no time to get any entries to my Ultimate Guide. I was too busy and in a fact there were not that many designers in the halls yet.

On Thursday I had… On Thursday I had no time to get any entries to my notepad. I was way too busy to even have a hot dog or cup of tea. That was crazy busy Essen day. In the evening I came back to my room and looked at my notepad. It was empty. No entries. I was sad. I was worried that my crazy idea has no chance to succeed. Essen was overwhelming this year.

On Friday I had…

OK, Friday looked just like Thursday. It was crazy. But, I didn’t give up. I managed to get entry from Kristian Ostby (designer of Escape) who visited our booth. I managed to get entry from Brad jr. Tolton (designer of Pixel Tactics) who visited our booth. And then breakthrough happened. My friend from CGE, Peter Cernak came to our booth with Matt Leacock (designer of…  c’mon, do I need to say it?!).

I asked Matt to contribute to my book and to write a tip how to win Pandemic. I explained him that I gather entries about winning games and I am creating Ultimate Strategy Guide and then, after Essen I will give it for charity. Matt, of course agreed.

„What a cool idea!” said Peter.

„I wish I had more time to go around halls and gather more entries.” I said.

„I’ll help!” replied Peter.

He took notebook. Few minutes later he was back with entries from all Czech designers that were at their booth.

And that was just beginning. Peter began to walk around the halls and talk about my project. He was asking designers to visit Portal Games booth and put entry into the book. Antoine Bauza came. Then designers began to tell each other about project. And then Merry helped. In a few hours my notebook had entries from Martin Wallace, Friedmann Friese, Bruno Cathala and many many other great designers.

I have tips and knowledge how to win Ghost Stories and Forbidden Island, and Chaos in the Old World, and Cold Express and Timeline and even Story Cubes! 😀

All together 23 entries from 23 designers about winning in 23 great games.

Here is a quick look at this piece of craziness…


I am happy to tell you that you can have my Ultimate Strategy Guide for Boardgamers. This is all unique item, this is great designers contributing for a good cause.

Here is the auction!

How cool our hobby is, huh?