No, I'm not going to Essen this year. But I managed to go once, back in 2003, and not going never stopped me from getting excited about the event. In this podcast I talk about what observed myself when I got to attend, explain why I (normally) don't get worked up for limited edition games, and share the names of some new titles I'm anticipating.
By the way, there's now one more way to submit feedback to this show. Use my Skype voicemail! The account name is BoardgamesToGo (of course!). Skype + Total Recorder is how I managed the good audio quality for the previous long-distance podcast with Mike Siggins. I thought it worked very well.
As mentioned in the podcast, I came up with a solution for migrating all of my previous text blog material over to this site. It stretches back about three years, going through three different blog hosts. It's more material than I could have guessed (169 pages!), all collected into a 2 MB downloadable PDF.
Oh! I forgot to mention that Fairplay also announces the Card Game of the Year at Essen, which is a lesser-known award (the á la carte Kartenspielpreis) that always interests me. It's a point-based voting system, open to the public (I think--maybe it's just their subscribers), and the final tallies are shared. You can find some decent unknown card games by looking a little past the top vote-getter.
The Gamewire at Gamefest.com's excellent Essen guide
My Essen article at The Games Journal
Fairplay Magazine's Essen Scouts (results from 2004)
My Fairplay Scout-BGG rating comparisons (pp. 28-37 of my BGTG Blog Archive)