Diary of an Essen Newb | Board Games | Zatu Games UK

    Zed has hand-picked an exciting and varied selection of games in his subscription box. Expect to receive some of the best games as well as a few surprises!

    Subscribe Now »

    Looking for the latest new releases? Then this is the subscription for you, each month you’ll receive a mystery box full of the newest and biggest games!

    Subscribe Now »

    Our two new Mystery Box offerings will help you pick up some of the latest top of the range games and exclusive goodies, but at a much lower price!

    Order Now »

    Menu

    Buy 3, get 3% off - use code BOARD3 · Buy 5, get 5% off - use code BOARD5

    Diary of an Essen Newb

    Diary of an Essen Newb

    This year I am going to Essen for the first time. I am simultaneously excited and petrified. The idea of going to the biggest board game trade show in the world is two parts anticipation one part nerves. Thankfully, I have some plans!

    Firstly, I am going with people I know and that have been before. The amazing folks at Final Frontier Games (Coloma, Robin Hood, Rise to Nobility) have asked me to join their demo team and demoing is something I love.

    I'm not looking forward to the size of Essen as much. Nor trying to navigate the crowds, but this is the cost to see some of the hottest new releases!

    Pre-orders and Patience

    I'm slightly worried about coming home with more games than I can carry. To combat this I've made four tactical pre-orders! Then, there is a list of games and expansions that I might pick up. Saying that, I'll probably just wait for them to roll into the Zatu warehouse. The Underwater Cities expansion, New Discoveries, falls into this category. As much as I really want it, I think I can wait until retail. Trismegistus is another one I may not be able to wait for. I love Daniele Tascini's previous games such as Teotihuacan and T'zolkin. But the rest I'm just gonna see what I see!

    My pre-orders include Q.E. This is a bidding game, one where you can literally bid whatever you want. However, you don't want to be the player who has spent the most at the game's end. Q.E. started life as a handmade wooden game from Gavin Birnbaum here in the UK. I'm delighted to see this now in wider publication.

    Next we have the mini expansion for Rollecate. This is a lovely push your luck game that I was sent to review. Gameplay involves laying out track for a train to move along, without making it fall off the track. There are various complications to this and it works super well. The expansion, Broken Rails, is €2 to pre-order so felt like a no brainer. I'd love to think that it will hit wider retail, but at the moment can't see that quite happening.

    Masters of Renaissance: Lorenzo Il Magnifico – The Card Game is the one I need to rush least on, but it's board game sibling is one of my favourite games. Also, early reports are that this version is just as satisfying to play, while being a little lighter and quicker. Lastly, we have Awkward Guests, which is so sought after that even when it hits retail it will probably sell out!

    Essen Days and Nights

    So I have my pre-orders, and during the days I'll be on the Final Frontier Booth demoing Coloma and A Fistful of Meeples. I have a few publishers to meet too, but I've tried to keep that to a minimum with it being my first show. Final Frontier have a great reputation for looking after their booth volunteers so water and food will be on supply. In the evenings there are various events to attend and, of course, games to play with my fellow demoers. I have one mixer to go to on the first night and then I will be led by the veterans, early reports look like this will be to bars mainly...

    My show will end slightly early on the Sunday as I catch a ride back to London with one of the developers of the upcoming LANDER. I will make a few live videos during the show which I will post on our Facebook page, as a diary for those who are interested. My biggest fear? Con Crud (post-expo cold) will hit when I get home and go on the family holiday!

    Excellent
    08000075444
    Bowthorpe Main Centre, Unit 15, Norwich NR5 9HA
    Zatu Games is rated 4.91 based on 11168
    Reviews

    Really good site, often best prices I can find - great selection too. Only MINOR gripe is I spent £80 though and would have been great to have free postage at that price rather than another £3 but worth it anyway.

    Really good site, often best prices I can find - great selection too. Only MINOR gripe is I spent £80 though and would have been great to have free postage at that price rather than another £3 but worth it anyway.

    Been using Zatu for several months since finding them online, rarely beaten on price and delivery always timely. No complaints at all, would highly recommend them!

    Been using Zatu for several months since finding them online, rarely beaten on price and delivery always timely. No complaints at all, would highly recommend them!

    Consistently excellent service, products & prices! The best there is & very much appreciate the efforts!

    Consistently excellent service, products & prices! The best there is & very much appreciate the efforts!

    I order all my games from Zatu, they have everything I want and always have a constant resupply. Everything I order is on time and in perfect condition, I really couldn't ask for any better. Thanks Zatu, keep up the awesome work :-)

    I order all my games from Zatu, they have everything I want and always have a constant resupply. Everything I order is on time and in perfect condition, I really couldn't ask for any better. Thanks Zatu, keep up the awesome work :-)

    Pre-ordered a set of Pokemon cards, dispatched early so it arrived perfectly on release date. Excellent service, will use again for sure.

    Pre-ordered a set of Pokemon cards, dispatched early so it arrived perfectly on release date. Excellent service, will use again for sure.

    Excellent service. Best prices around and quick delivery then there's the sheer selection of games! Will buy from again

    Excellent service. Best prices around and quick delivery then there's the sheer selection of games! Will buy from again

    Best price for sushi go party! Swift delivery. Very happy customer. Will buy from Zatu Games again.

    Best price for sushi go party! Swift delivery. Very happy customer. Will buy from Zatu Games again.

    Even in a pandemic Zatu deliver quality service and the best prices on the internet.

    Even in a pandemic Zatu deliver quality service and the best prices on the internet.

    My purchase arrived promptly in perfect condition.

    My purchase arrived promptly in perfect condition.

    Zatu are always great for speed of service and excellent prices- They are also very helpful! The reward points and discounts are also very welcome. I can and do strongly recommend them.

    Zatu are always great for speed of service and excellent prices- They are also very helpful! The reward points and discounts are also very welcome. I can and do strongly recommend them.

    Read All Reviews