Monday 10 June 2024

UK Games Expo

I went down to UK Games Expo at the end of May / start of June. It's a huge show for tabletop games, wargames, board games and card games. It's hard to explain the sheer scale of this place. This is just one of three halls the event is held in. On top of that, they take over a whole hotel for roleplaying games on top of that.

I really didn't find the Games Expo website particularly good for someone who was new to the event. The "first time" section of the site just gives a list of the things to do at the event. There weren't instructions of where to go when you arrived, no explanation of how queueing and entry worked, and I had to basically guess how to book into games and seminars. It turned out OK, but if I got any more anxious than I do my brain might have exploded.

The way it worked when you arrived was that you joined a queue to get into the NEC. Once you got through there, you'd be directed to a ticket hall, where they'd scan your QR code, and that got you your pass to enter the event, plus the tickets to all the smaller things you'd signed up to. The photo above is a picture of Second Queue that you had inside the event to get your tickets.

Forbidden Psalm had a stall, with an example game board set up ready to play. I picked up their rules as a PDF back when they originally Kickstarted and have never gotten around to playing it, but it looks like a fun quick game that doesn't need too many models.

There was also this board promoting the game Necropolis 28. It's another one of these indie / garage vibe skirmish games. The premise of this one is a world where everything is dead. I had a nice chat to one of the folks on the stall, and he gave me a free 3D printed miniature. More on that later.

Catalyst Game Labs were showing off both Shadowrun and Battletech. I didn't manage to get a demo of Battletech during Expo, as they seemed to be busy every time I wandered past.

I already had a demo of Warcrow at SELWG, so I didn't get a new demo at Expo. I did have a chat, and it looks like the rules have really evolved since SELWG and they're looking really good. They've now uploaded the rules to their website if you want to have a nose.

Only Games were showing off colour 3D printing. There's a particular desaturated look these prints all seem to have, but it's really impressive what they can do. I still prefer hand painted models, but if you want something "off the shelf" that's ready to use, these are a new option I've not seen before.

I signed up to a few events at the Expo. I'd booked into three Pathfinder games, which were held over at the Hilton near the NEC. I also went to a talk on Terry Pratchett (which was OK) and also played in a Flesh and Blood tournament (which is a competitive card game) - but more about that later.

I ended up heading back to my hotel pretty late each evening, and one evening, I made a new friend.

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