Essen! Reviews! and more...

Hi there,

If you're new to the site then you probably met us at Essen we were there for the largest board game convention in Europe (possibly the world). It was an amazing and tiring experience. I'm going to give a run down of how things went.

A review!

Before I get into it, while in Germany we had the first review come in for Nothing To Declare, courtesy of the Bearded Meeple, you can check it out below.

The review copies are out so a few more reviews should be coming in soon-ish, watch this space!



If you're familiar with the wonderful world of hobby board games you might have heard of Spiel or as it tends to be referred to Essen. It takes place in a giant convention centre in Germany, Essen, unsurprisingly. It's a bit like the Milton Keynes of Germany. 

The plan, to promote the heck out of Nothing To Declare ahead of the Kickstarter. We arrived on Wednesday to set up. 

the place is massive

the place is massive

We had to walk through 3 different halls to get to our booth, hidden at the back. After a dash trip to IKEA we got all set up.

Tim was very happy at this point

Tim was very happy at this point

I should probably point out there are no pictures of me as I took all the pictures. I was accompanied by my equally card board obsessed friend Tim (T-Dog) and my 'never wants to see a board game again' girlfriend Natalie. Both of whom were amazing and made no complaints despite hours and hours of demos and run-throughs. 

As you can see we had 3 different stations set up and basically commandeered anyone who looked in our direction for too long. Although having said that often we didn't have to, people actually wanted to play the game! 

I think this was taken Friday morning

I think this was taken Friday morning

Over 4 days we explained Nothing To Declare what felt like a thousand times and played countless games. It was a lot of fun and by the Sunday night we were totally knackered. 

It was an incredible experience, we met some awesome people, queued for way too long for the toilet and most importantly got some amazing feedback. Seeing people laugh and enjoy the game was the most rewarding thing. It really makes me happy to have created something that gives other people joy. 


New Friends

I want to give a special shout out to some of the amazing people that we met. They have some great games that I cannot recommend enough.

Seize The Bean

These guys are working on a game about opening up your own Coffee Shop in Berlin. The artwork looks amazing and they have some awesome components they're working on. They also gave us free coffee and hung out with us to play Nothing To Declare.

Crossroads of Heroes

We were lucky enough to be Neighbours with Pat Piper and his beautiful looking game Crossroads of Heroes. You take on the role of an aspiring hero, choosing from one of the different clans available. What I love about this is that you can decide to become evil at which point you flip your character card and your objective becomes trying to kill everyone. 

Inside Up Games

Our other neighbours, Inside Up had a successful campaign earlier in the year for their game Summit, it's a game about mountain climbing, I think they are still taking late pledges so get involved. Their fearless leader Conor was always cheerful and super encouraging to us, which we definitely needed for the last day. 

London Board Games Co

I was introduced to Mark a few weeks ago thanks to a networking event for UK tabletop peoples. He's currently midway through his first Kickstarter for The Football Game, him and his team (see: family) were smashing it everyday with demo after demo. They are so nice I cannot praise them enough.


Modiphius are one of those guys who do lots of stuff you wouldn't realise that was them. Achtung! Cthulhu, that was them. The Thunderbirds board game, that was them. The new Siege of the Citadel Kickstarter, you guessed it, that was them. They are incredibly supportive the gaming community and if it wasn't for their events I wouldn't know half the people I do.

These people really made Essen a special experience for me and for that I cannot thank them enough. I should also give a special shout out to Inside The Box and Brain Crack for stopping by and pulling faces at me pretty much everyday. Not to mention having dinner and ice cream with us on the first day. It's always nice to have a familiar face when you're in an unfamiliar place.