Wow, we can not believe the UK Games Expo 2017 has been and gone already! We had a fab time. Building on the success of last year, we played more games than ever. Enjoy our review of the bigger and better show in Birmingham this year;
First thing we were greeted with, a full sized sheep from Catan!
We had a wander around the trade stands, got a few freebies and spent a few pennies! Our gaming buddy Tristan joined us, he was especially interested in the Games workshop stand, being a huge fan of Warhammer 40k.
Our other gaming buddy Nick did not join us, so we had to tease him with a photo of all the AvP goodies available.
I even squeed over the My Little Pony RPG stand. Great to find out more campaigns are on the way. If you are interested and want to know more, check out River Horse Games
Once we ran out of money we got down to the serious business of playing games. Started with Game of Thrones, Westeros Intrigue. A super simple card game from Fantasy Flight. You place cards in a pyramid, so long as the colour of you card is directly below in the previous row. Do you just get rid of all your cards or do you try cutting off other players? The scoring was rather strange, you get negative points for every card you have left. We liked the gameplay, quick and simple. We felt the theme was badly pasted on, we could probably do this game with just a plain deck of cards!! Ah well, onwards to the next game.
Next up we ended up in the family zone! We had loads of fun playing Baobab from Blue Orange Games. The aim is to get rid of the most cards from your hand. This is done by placing cards on a ‘tree’ in various ways. This is a dexterity game with a lot of strategy. It was one of those fabulous kids games that adults can get drawn into. We had great fun, laughing, giggling, commiserating, cheering, booing all the way through this game. This game totally came home with us!
The next game table to open up for us was Catan. Mike and I were a little hesitant of this as our experiences with Catan have been bad. We know it is a beloved gateway game. So we wanted to give it another try. So glad we did. We had a great time. Our volunteer explained the rules clearly and concisely, got us set up, let us get on with the first round and left us to it. We were trading left right and center, using the robber to stop all other players and the longest road tile went to a different player most turns!!! We now understand the love for Catan. Will it end up in our collection? We try to avoid games that need 3+ players as we cannot play on our own. Time will tell for Catan!!
Next we played a game currently on Kickstarter: Realm-Master. We played with a prototype copy, however you could see it had been made with care and looked good. The gameplay was a little tricky in places but we understood the basics quickly. We rolled dice to decide what to do on our turn. They gave us gold, extra life, victory points and the ability to attack. Very similar to King of Tokyo with a fantasy theme. There was a lot of dice rolling and a lot of attacking! We used our gold to purchase extra abilities and really utilised these extra cards to great effect!! Great thing was I played as the Princess and won!!!! I got an epic free t-shirt to proudly proclaim my win too 😍 Thank you Joel. Check out the Kickstarter campaign here – Realm-Master
The next game to catch our eye was a dice battle game called Masters of Gettown. Not available yet, with a Kickstarter planned for sometime next year. We are not sure we completely understood what was going on, but we did have fun. You get two normal d6 and a smaller special power d6. You chuck them into a mini arena and hope to get the best score. You aim at other players dice in an attempt to knock them onto a lower number. Player with the highest number chooses another player to attack and battle away. The special abilities were varied and made a big difference to the gameplay in great ways. We did enjoy this game and will keep a close eye on it as it develops. – check out their Facebook Page for more information.
At this point we were hungry and wanted to find food. However Tamz found an empty games table, so we sat down for a game of Square Up. To me it felt like a WH Smith game. You know, Something random relatives would pick up for you because they know you like boardgames and Smiths stuck it in the middle of an aisle to force sell it! The aim was to move tiles around to match a pattern before others. Yeah, very boring. Not to mention I did it in a super quick time and the boys got miffed!!! All those years of texting finally paid off. 😄
At that point we toddled on home after a great day. We filled up the car boot – not too impressive, it is a Toyota Aygo lol. The UK Games Expo is now the 3rd biggest boardgame convention in the world – it is well deserved they did a great job this year. Not only are there plenty of trade stands, but plenty of places to play games. Playtesting with developers, manufacturers bringing games to demo, borrowing from the boardgame library and open games tables to play with your new purchases. If you have not been, we recommend a visit. Be warned, there is a lot to see and do so eat a big breakfast before you get there nice and early!
Did you notice Mike’s snazzy t-shirt? Hand made by me! I drew our logo onto freezer paper. Cut it out and ironed it onto his plain t-shirt. Then, put some bleach and water in a squeezy bottle, 2:1 ratio, then carefully sprayed around the design. Once happy I peeled the freezer paper off and voila, a personalized t-shirt ready for the expo!