Board gaming is almost a full time job atm.

Genghis charged!

The Djengis Con came and went. It was a huge success again. Got to try some new games, and meet new interesting people. Even ordered one of them to the collection – Sagrada. Building glass windows in the world famous church.

Life sometimes surprises you

Sagrada
The beautiful glass windows

You know the feeling where life has ugly surprises, or you experience something that just drains all your energy? That has been my life. Do to take this as complaining over things, it has just been a bumpy ride.

Then I got an email from a very large international NGO. They had heard about my board gaming events, and volunteer work, and they wanted to me meet me to hear more. It will be this week, and I am looking forward to it.

It still surprises me that board games brings people together, and when you do something good it always come back. If you seek and share positivity life will reward you.

Do not know if you feel the same way? It has just always been the way I have experienced life. People who seek negativity will try and push it on people who are not negative, but positivity always wins.

So what is I do?

When doing the volunteer work with board games I always try to find games that fits the audience.

One example: Have played with people who suffered from Cancer and I brought games that had a positive twist, as sick people often isolate themselves I brought games that “forced” them to interact.

It works! They talk and share stories, they interact and have fun. I know that I cannot cure their disease, eliminate loneliness or solve all the issues people fight with. The few hours that they are “mine” they will however have a room filled with positivity, and if you have not tried to share your own interest in volunteer work I dare you to try – it is rewarding beyond belief.

Everyone has something to bring to the table

More than once when I have talked with both friends, or been a speaker at events people think that what I do is incredible (no self promotion intended), and I always tell them the same as written here “It is easy to participate, just bring your interest and passion and you will improve others lives”.

Share your story
Share, and get back tenfold

The reply always centers around them not having an interest as special as mine – trust me you do. It is not about the interest but the engagement and energy.

Recently a business connection took me on my word and asked me if I could connect him with an organization, because he wanted to assist with IT – which is an area where he excels. I did so, and he now offers his expertise and passion about IT to a large Danish NGO that could use some help in that area.

So please dear readers – share your passion, and let others benefit. If you can think of nothing contact me, and together we will make a difference.

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Genghis is back!

So you are back?

Yeah – this post has two meanings:

  1. I am back – hopefully writing some more again… and yes I look like Ghengis Khan.
  2. Genghis Con (Djengis in Danish) is the name of a small board game con in Denmark.

#1 is a given, and I am participating at #2. Friday the 28th of April until the following Sunday will be with board games, board games and happy board gamers 🙂

Genghis Con

It has been approximately a year since I signed up to participate again, and I always look forward to this event. Of course it is because it is board games, but also because it is arranged by one of the nicest guys around on the board game scene in Denmark. He plans and executes this Con by himself, and arranges food, lodging, sessions and everything else for about 50 people.

This year I signed up to explain rules in three modules. Do this every year because I like to give just a little bit back to ensure the success of the Con, and this year it will be three very different titles.

  • Mechs vs. Minions. The game from Riot Games (yep – they make League of Legends) – fun miniature game with 100% coop.
  • Terraforming Mars. This game has so many good elements. One of the best themes (how cool is it to make Mars habitable?), card drafting which I love, and some great opportunities to block and interact with other players.
  • The Dwarves. Once more a coop game, where the Dwarves try to protect the land from the invading Älfar, trolls and orcs.

My two sons joins their mad dad once again. They are 16 and 18, so I think this will be an all time last for’em, but how many can brag that their sons still wants to participate in something with the “old guy” aka dad?

We ARE not old sweaty, smelly men (well old perhaps but not sweaty and smelly)

There are a lot of outside opinions that these kind of events are for very fat sweaty men; it is not. You will see all kinds of men and women with one common interest – board games…

Community

Charging Khan
50 angry board gamers charging across the board…

… and that is one of the corner stones of the Con. People from all over Denmark, some who see each other often, some who only meet once a year, some who attend every year, and some that are brand new all just meet. I have been there four years I think, and not once have I experienced anyone who excluded others. There will always be some games, players etc. that you prefer, but none are excluded.

So if I will see you there I look forward to it. If you could not make it, there is always next year.

But is that all?

No – not at all. I am still arranging events for Save the Children Denmark, still work with  Men Against Cancer, and play once a month with young (and old and everyone in between) people in Grøønegadens Kulturcenter – next 12th of May, and you are more than welcome.

Wrote the Ronald McDonald foundation that runs a house for families with severely sick children, and they will get in touch when they see a possibility for gaming; they really liked the idea.

… so the old, round conquer of worlds Genghis is back, and since I failed to conquer this one I terraformed Mars. It is now livable – go there and see for yourself.

So until we see each other again…

Keep calm

Essen done… Final thoughts

Back in Denmark, and have been for some time now. We left Saturday as both of us did not want to go to a fully packed Spiel16. As we had already done our shopping, tried out the games we agreed that home it was.

Looking back I had one hell of a good experience, and came home with some cool games. There were some games that I simply could not find where both Kharnage and Aya were two of those; both games were games I really wanted to try out.

And when also looking back at my top 5’ish you might wonder how that came along. Not as I had planned 🙂 Have four of the games home with me, and tried two of them. When looking at Mystic Vale I thought I saw a solitaire board game with very little interaction. I might be wrong and it is still on my watch list.

Got to play Kanagawa and Tatsu. Both very good games. Also got to play a lot of other games, but no other games from the top 5 got played. Have the entire week off, so I think this week will see a lot of gaming.

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Tatsu: A Backgammon “like” game where your dragons have to outmaneuver the opponent.

Looking at the games I did bring with me home to the collection it is quite obvious that I prefer the fast games. Not a single worker placement game found it’s way into my heavily loaded Ikea bags. The opposite for my friends Thomas and Allan; they chose nothing but euro games, so the coming Wednesdays will prob. bring Great Western Trail, Terraforming Mars, Indonesia and similar to the table. And it will be fun.

Final thoughts on Essen. It was a very cool experience. I do not regret driving down there, and I do not regret how I went about it down there. Got to try games, see a lot what is happening, and what games will be released shortly. Did not get to see Mechs vs. Minions – that game looks out of this world.

Also I really like how they handle everything about the exhibition. Good at getting people in when opening, nice usage of space and placement of stalls and the people there are kind and smiling. One booth got all their money stolen tho’, but what does the community do. They back them in a Kickstarter campaign, the board game celebs make a video, and everyone just gets involved. How cool is that?

cu4o1xawcaavxjn-jpg-large
New games to the collection. Yep; the toilet game is there.

Brought back “some” new games that I am so looking forward to trying out.

Will I be going again? I do not know actually. Why is that? Do not have the answer right now. I think I will go next year if the € allows it, but I do not know.

If you were there I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did? If not and you like board games it is worth the trip.

What is next in my board gaming life? Well – both an event with Save the Children, and an event with Grønnegadens Kulturcenter. And it is happening within the next 14 days.

The amazing continues – day 2

Tired feet and lousy bed in a very bad airbnb flat meant I was not at 100% energy this morning. Mood was still very much on the positive side. 

Were there when Spiel16 opened their doors for the public at 10. Not as planned as yesterday, but still knew what I wanted to see and try. “Try” is a rather hard word to use; with so many people all tables are full. We got to see all the halls again and just as cool as yesterday. So many games all gathered in one location  and the only thing missing is my wife. Been married less than 2 months and then I leave to play board games (thank you FaceTime, got to talk to her today).

But back to the business. Bought a few games and then we thought “let’s call it quits”. All done with the day early we decided to do something radical, we left at around 16. 

so we were done with the day a lot faster than yesterday… so what to do. 

Ulm. Great game and great components.

Well the solution was easy and straight in front of us. We’d play board games. 

Normally I am not that much of a euro gamer, but Thomas suggested that we tried out Ulm. It has a rather unique way of how you select your move. The game is just so very cool. Two more joined and we ended up playing three games. 

Just a point mentioning besides the games and Spiel16. The Atom Kebab dish we found at the best kebab restaurant in Essen must be the best ever tasted, and half the price compared to Denmark. Dinner two days running.

Got to try even more games and really enjoyed the evening with all different kind of games. 

Do not know what we plan tomorrow. As a Spiel virgin I have been told that the place will be packed during the weekend days. Fear it will become too warm, humid and almost claustrophobic. My thoughts go towards finding some more people to play board games with. 

If you are here in Essen I hope to see you and perhaps meet for a game or two. 

To quote two of my teen kids: Oh my god

The day has been amazing. Of course I am speaking of day 1 Essen Spiel 16.

Have tried games, seen board game celebrities, bought games, picked up Kickstarters, and talked to some pretty ok fellow board gamers. 

amazing game, and my first buy.

Started the day with playing a game I had preordered. When we were introduced to the game a very friendly Canadian asked to join. Joined Essen all the way from Toronto. Very nice experience. 

… and how cool is it that the designers of the games introduce and take time to explain their ideas and thoughts on the games? 

We were there when they opened, and there were a lot of people, but it was ok. We managed to find room to move; that changed later in the day. The temperature increased, the amount of people increased and it got hard moving around. We decided to do all the shopping today, so tomorrow would not also be so cramped. 

Moving around with nine board games in an IKEA bag takes room. Not all appreciate that.

But I have to bless IKEA. Without their blue bags this would have been impossible. 

It is also fun to see the different games people prefer. Even Thomas and I have a very different taste in games. What moves it from fun to amazing is the happiness and joy they all bring. 

Do miss my wife and kids though. Look forward to seeing them again. Tired and happy and waiting for day 2. 

It’s ALIVE!

My friend Thomas and I got safely to Essen. It is a nice cozy town that will soon explode with Essen Spiel 16.

Even tho’ it is still a “small” business we love it. When Thomas went for beer in the supermarket he saw Rob Davio who designed Seafall and Pandemic Legacy. Pretty awesome for geeks like us.

Tomorrow it will start, it will be amazing.

7 halls filled with board games, celebrities like Rahdo, Vasal, designers like Vlaada Chvatil, Japanese weird games and tons of other fun stuff.

We’re fed, we’ve been beered, we are tired after a 7 hour ride and we expect heaven. Thomas proclaims that it is Zen.

Dear friends. To quote dr. Frankenstein:

It’s alive

Tomorrow we are there. Today we are just waiting.

So close I can almost taste it!

I am not sure you can taste a board game convention, but I am so ready to go.

On Wednesday I will be leaving, and on Sunday I will be back with lots of games; more like good games. The mission in itself is not to just hoard games.

img_0398
My planning. Need glasses I think, had to make my youngest daughter write on the maps.

However I am prepared. All the halls with the board game exhibitioners have been printed in map format. Based on all the readings of the games I have done (and the list is shorter now) I have now planned the best possible routes. This is done by colour coding the booths based on those games I want to try, I want to buy and have been preordered.

The money are ready; not as many as I would like, but hey – that’s the story of my life 🙂

Passport has been found, and all in all I live up to my PxPxPxPxP training I learned a lot of years ago.

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance

So leaving Wednesday, picking up Thomas, 6+ hour drive and one ferry and then we are there.

Think I will get some supplies for the trip. Will have to get some Coca Colas. You can drive for a long time on those.

Will bring my iPad and see if I can get some blogging done from Essen Spiel. Should be possible.

One “ugly” downside. My feet are killing me at the moment. Got the brilliant idea to walk 22 km the other day. Blisters on my feet and thighs with muscle ache, but it has until Wednesday morning to go away.

Hope to see a lot of happy people there, hope to play tons of games and get to try some of those you normally never get around to. Especially the oriental board games. Think I am the only one of the three man group that has any sort of passion for those kinda games.

bluesbrothers
I’m on a mission from God. Bring home board games.

The week after Essen is Fall-week in Denmark; meaning that the schools close for a week. We will have all four kids. Guess what we will be doing?

Excited does not begin to cover how I feel. Wish that all out there have an interest that brings out as much joy as this does to me.

This is my holy grail quest, and I have found the grail. It is in Essen, and I am going there.