Tucked away near Gleisdreieck in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district is STATION-Berlin, home to the German capital’s main board game convention Berlin Brettspiel Con. For three days in July, hordes of tabletop hobby enthusiasts converge to play games, speak to the dozens of exhibitors and generally have a great time. For the first time, I’ll be among them and I can’t wait. I’ll be attending as a member of the press and have made a short list of whom I want to talk to.
The event is spread over five halls, shared by exhibitors, tournaments, a stage for events, a bring-and-buy sale area, a board game library where you can borrow games and open gaming tables. One of the halls also hosts a number of tables for prototypes for designers to show off and playtest their games. There is even a small studio tucked away at one end and a place to drop off your luggage. Outside there are food trucks, offering a variety of options. Of course, there is also the obligatory merchandise shop where you can get Berlin Brettspiel Con t-shirts, hoodies, baseball caps, mugs, stickers, pins and much more.
When it comes to attendees, many of the exhibitors are from German-speaking countries, but there is also a handful of international companies present. I would assume that visitors will also be mostly from Germany, but I expect there to be a fair few international attendees as well, myself included. It should be a good mix of nationalities and I assume there will be a similarly good mix of languages spoken. I’m certainly ready to speak German as well as English, but I wonder what the default will be.
There are some companies I really look forward to speaking to. At the top of my list is Spielworxx. I can’t wait to finally speak with Uli Blennemann in person. His company is well-known for its limited print run of really exciting and very interesting board games. Chances are you will have heard of classics such as Die Macher, which is the very first game entered into the Board Game Geek database, or The Cost, a game about asbestos mining and manufacturing. If you know what I’m talking about, you can imagine how excited I am.
The Japanese small-box game publisher Oink Games is going to be there too. It’s not too long ago that they opened a German branch of the business. So it’ll be nice to speak to them in Berlin and see what amazing new games they have on offer and what ones are lined up for 2023 and 2024. I love games that come in a small package and the Japanese product design is always simply gorgeous.
I also want to speak to the many smaller exhibitors present, some of whom will be first-time attendees. It’ll be great to find out what they have on offer and their plans for the future. I always love the passion and excitement that first-time publishers and smaller companies exude about their games.
Of course, many of the big names are attending Berlin Brettspiel Con 2023 too. I am sure you will recognize Abacusspiele, Amigo, Asmodee, ASS Altenburger, Board Game Circus, Feuerland Spiele, Frosted Games, Funtails, Hans im Glück Verlag, Hasbro, Heidelbär Games, HUCH!, IELLO, Kosmos, NSV, Pegasus Spiele, Queen Games, Ravensburger and Schmidt Spiele. They really don’t need any introduction. I am looking forward to speaking with them and finding out what games they have planned for the future.
Apart from the exhibition side of Berlin Brettspiel Con, there is a big focus on playing games as well. On both, Friday and Saturday nights, the open gaming tables will be available until midnight. That should be plenty of time for everyone, but if you do want to continue until the early hours, you’ll have to make alternative arrangements. Luckily, public transport in Berlin is amazing and runs late into the night. So everyone should be able to get home easily and cheaply.
I certainly look forward to the social side of the convention after the show closes. I look forward to playing games with wonderful people and hopefully learning some new ones while chatting and generally enjoying myself. It’ll be interesting to see what games people bring to the table and who is there to play games. Maybe I’ll have bought some games that I can learn with other attendees of the show. Whatever happens, it’s going to be long nights filled with lots of fun, that’s for sure.
I definitely look forward to going over to Berlin and seeing what Berlin Brettspiel Con is all about. I reckon the location will give the event a really special vibe. It’s going to be interesting to see how it is all organized. I certainly expect it to be busy. At the same time, I hope it’s not going to be too busy. I am prepared to circle around the exhibition several times to find the right moment to speak to people, but it would be nice if people don’t feel rushed and are free to have good conversations.
So if you’re going, please let me know. Maybe we can find some time to play a game together. If you’re not going, then keep an eye out for my review of this event soon after.
- Berlin Brettspiel Con 2023: https://berlin-con.
- Spielworxx: https://www.
- Die Macher: https://boardgamegeek.
com/ boardgame/ 1/ die-macher
- The Cost: https://tabletopgamesblog.
com/ 2020/ 12/ 12/ the-cost-digital-eyes/
- Oink Games: https://oinkgames.
Transparency FactsI feel that this review reflects my own, independent and honest opinion, but the facts below allow you to decide whether you think that I was influenced in any way.
- I was given a free press pass by the organizers to attend all three days of Berlin Brettspiel Con 2023.
Intro Music: Bomber (Sting) by Riot (https://www.
Music by AShamaluevMusic.