Other than Stabcon South, which is really a small convention for playing games only, we have never been to a board game convention. That is until last weekend when we visited the UK Games Expo. As first timers, we decided we’d just try out one day at the expo and see what it was all about. It was perhaps a little bigger than I expected and one day was certainly not long enough to see everything, but here’s what we managed to cram into one day.
What We Did
I made a plan in advance of the things we wanted to see, something that seemed to me a definite must for someone planning just one day at the expo. However, let’s just say that the plan went by the wayside for more of a kid in a candy store approach!
· I think we probably walked about 75% of the hall – I’m sure there’s some stuff we didn’t see at all.
· We went to the bring and buy once – I kind of wanted to go again but 30 minutes queuing was too much of a sacrifice when there’s so much to see.
· We saw The Dice Tower Live podcast recording. It was definitely an experience and I at least had a seat with a good view and could hear. Not sure I’d do it at another convention though.
· We ate really good food at the food stalls at the Hilton hotel.
· We played some games on the Brain Games stand with friends from Southampton.
· We managed to play a few demo games, although it was definitely a struggle to get space at a demo table and many people seemed to be taking the opportunity to play a whole game at some stands.
· We bought what looked like a sensible pile until you consider that we’re moving house next week and just added two moving boxes!
Games We Tried
· Ice Cool
· Om Nom Nom
· Airfix Battles
To see what I thought of the games, check out my geeklist at https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/209704/games-played-uk-games-expo-2016
What We Bought
· The Bloody Inn - £10 bargain at the bring and buy.
· Mysterium – £20 at the bring and buy for the Portal Games version because we know lots of people in Southampton who own the game, but when we move we might need to own it ourselves.
· Bomb Squad - £20 for a new and unpunched copy at the bring and buy – a price I was happy to pay, but no idea if it was a god deal.
· Imperial Insert – Was great to find that Chaos Cards are now the first UK stockist of The Broken Token inserts.
· Sentinels expansions – Amy loved her Senitnels of the Multiverse, but I don’t particularly enjoy it, so a sneaky bit of small expanding with one villain and one hero is a good compromise.
· Imperial Assault expansions – We have loads of Imperial Assualt, but according to Amy our rebel side wasn’t complete without Leia and Batham riders do look awesome and will be fun for her to paint.
· Brews of the World – This was not a good game! It’s a slight variant on Top Trumps, but I love beer and the card art was beautiful so I’m making a piece of art for our new games room!
· Blueprints – This was really our only pick-up from a standard retailer, but slightly cheaper than RRP and a game I tried and really enjoyed – appealing to the architect and engineer in me.
· Mice and Mystics – A pre-agreed trade on a Facebook group, got me this unplayed game for £35, which I can’t wait to start a 2-player game of and if we enjoy it Amy is excited to paint the minis too!
· Trambahn – Finally another trade for £8 to get us an interesting sounding two-player game that sounds like a slightly more complex Lost Cities – a game I really enjoy with my parents as well as with Amy.
Games I Wish We Saw
And now for the regrets...There just wasn’t time to demo every game we wanted to see. Or the demo tables were too busy so we played something else. If anyone wants to show us these games, we’d love to play!
· Isle of Skye
· Mystic Vale
· Animals on Board
· The Networks
· Dark Souls
In one day I think we saw enough so that we didn’t regret leaving, but there was definitely more to see and do that could’ve lasted us all 3 days. We didn’t even play any full games and I’m sure I could’ve tried loads of new games either with new or old friends at the Hilton or in Thirsty Meeples’ open gaming section. Ah well...there’s always next year!