The UK Games Expo was held between 2nd – 4th June 2017 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.
I thought I’d share some pictures of the weekend, including a number of the games that I mentioned in the podcasts.
The trade hall for the show was in Hall 1 of the NEC. This was a pretty big area, and this year was filled with trade stands and areas to play games.
Friday was spent in the press preview, wandering around playing a few games, grabbing interviews and taking photos.
U-Boat The Board Game
Unfortunately the interview I recorded with Phalanx games about this wasn’t useable. This looks a really interesting game – it’s a co-operative game where players take the roles of various crew on the U-Boat: Captain, First Officer, Navigator, Engineer. The game is run using an app, and the crew have to respond to various scenarios that occur in real time whilst attempting to complete their mission. This is Das Boot on a board. A really interesting concept – and yes, it’s coming to Kickstarter soon.
Gloom over Kilforth & 1066: Tears for Many Mothers
Beautiful artwork on these two games
4th Quarter Football
Great to see a ‘proper’ American Football miniatures game – really enjoyed this.
Saturday was the day when 3/4 of the Podcast crew were meeting up – so a day spent shopping and gaming with the ‘Meeples Crew’, as well as our first ‘Meeps Meet’.
It was a very busy day at the show, with a great buzz about the place.
Great to see and chat with everyone – we had a great time playing games and acting as sherpas for the Welsh Wizzard and ‘my other mate Dave’.
Sunday dawned, and the plan was to try and grab a few more interviews with those people that I hadn’t seen earlier in the show, and also to play some more games with my son Josh.
Batman – The Board Game
We decided to make straight for the Batman Boardgame demo from Monolith as soon as the doors opened – we ended up playing the game with Sam Healey, who is a presenter on the Dice Tower Podcast.
It’s a great game – very similar in many respects to Conan, but obviously appeals to a different audience.
Josh wanted to get a game of ‘Ninja All Stars’ – that game was busy when we arrived, so we had to suffer and play a game of ‘Super Dungeon Arena’ first – oh the horror!
I loved the look of this game when I saw it on Day One. Whilst I love the miniatures, I don’t think that the game itself comes up to the same standard, which is a great shame.
We had a great 3 days at the UK Games Expo this year. The show is large enough now that you really need attend multiple days in order to see everything, although I was aware – even after three days- of just how much I didn’t see and do.
Saturday was hugely busy at the show, and it was actually quite difficult to get a game on that day – a question of being in the right pace at the right time. Friday and Sunday were quieter days, so playing games on those two days was a much easier proposition. It’s a niggle, but given the number of people at the show this year, I’m not 100% sure how you solve this, other than making even bigger demo areas.
The one major problem we had was finding any sort of open gaming area to play after the Trade Hall had closed. We were hoping to play a game whilst waiting for Josh to finish his RPG sessions on Friday and Saturday, but this proved to be impossible – there was simply not enough places available. Not sure what the solution is to that, but I hope this can be solved for next year.
It was announced yesterday that 31,000 people attended the Expo over the three days (up around 6,000 from last year), which certainly makes the Expo the biggest tabletop gaming event in the UK. Gencon and Essenspeile are several magnitudes larger than this event, but the UK Games Expo is making huge strides towards them.
This show, more than any other, the ‘must attend’ event in the UK Show calendar – we are already planning our trip for next year.