I admit it, I love UK Games Expo. It’s almost right between the Essen SPIEL fairs, and has a completely different feel to it. It focuses a lot more on prototypes, seminars and gaming in general. I was happy to be going for the second time this year and I had a blast. So what did I do there, you might ask? What was my favourite game? And what games did I get my hands on? Well keep on reading and you might just find an answer to all those questions.
UK Games Expo didn’t start out well for me, my flight was delayed and because of that I missed the press preview. Luckily I did get there on time for the grand opening, so along with the rush of so many board game geeks I went in there. My first mission, to hunt down Century: Spice Road that I knew there was not gonna be a lot of copies of. Luckily I quickly found it and I could move on the next thing on my list, getting a hold of Bärenpark. Unfortunately the Mayfair stand didn’t have their copies yet. Luck would however smile on me as a found a single lonely copy sitting at a random shelf, at one of the many shops there. I quickly scooped it up.
It was time to try out a game now, and I had been chatting to David J. Mortimer the designer of The Cousins War before the expo, so knew I wanted to go see if he had time. I got to meet him and he taught me and a friend the game. It’s a very well designed and interesting little game, not a game for me, but a good game for sure.
After the demo and some lunch it was time to buy even more games. Normally try to pick up as many games as possible on the first day of a convention, the other days are a lot less stressful that way. I ended up browsing and buying games for the rest of the day. I don’t know how but I managed to restrain myself and ended up only buying 10 games (and 1 expansion for a game I didn’t even own).
Before I left for the expo I had learned that Saturday was the day that the European Continentals for Star Wars: Destiny (a collectable card game I enjoy a little too much) would be held. I thought since I were there I might as well sign up for it and play a few rounds and drop out after getting my ass kicked. But things did not go as I had planned. I ended up playing all day, from 10:30 to 21:30, and ended up as 15th out of nearly 200 players. It was an awesome experience getting to play and hang out with so many great people. I even ended up getting some prizes for finishing in Top 16 (and a shiny medal). Only downside was that I missed an entire day of the expo.
I only had a few hours at the expo Sunday because I had to catch a flight home. So those precious few hours was spent getting a refund for my damage Flatline box (a big thanks to Thirsty Meeples for being so great about it), and hunting down a new copy of it. I also had to stop by The Dice Tower booth and talk to Tom Vasel a bit about the Tabletop Together Tool (that he loves and has been kind enough to promote). After a chat with him I had to spend some of my last pounds on promos at their booth. One more quick look through the expo it was time to say goodbye and head home to Denmark again.
I did not get to play close to as many games as I liked this year. But out of the ones I did Bärenpark is my favourites, hands down, no questions asked. Personally I think it’s superior to both Patchwork and Cottage Garden, that I’m sure it will be compared to a lot. It has a simple clean set of rules, but still enough depth to keep it interesting, and top top it all of it has a fun unique theme. Phil Walker-Harding has done it again!
- Century: Spice Road
- Pocket Mars
- Santo Domingo
- EXIT: The Game – The Abandoned Cabin
- EXIT: The Game – The Pharaoh’s Tomb
- EXIT: The Game – The Secret Lab
- Imps Devilish Duels
- The Lost Expedition
- Castles of Caladale
- Between Two Cities: Capitals
Promos and Other Random Stuff
- Blood Rage: Hili – The Even-Handed
- Arcadia Quest: Tomrick
- Imperial Settlers: The Dice Tower Inn
- Unlock! – Fifth Avenue