Uk Games Expo

For those happy few who have walked the hallowed halls of the Essen Spiel the UK Games Expo may seem small and parochial. For us mere mortals, however, it approaches gaming nirvana! Three days of gaming, vendors, seminars and more. This is expo, people. Expo. EXPO!

There are two halls of vendors selling board games, card games, CCGs, dice, card sleeves and, well, pretty much anything gaming related. Many of the big internet sellers are there (Leisure Games, Gameslore and Boardgameguru for the first time this year) and some smaller ones selling games at internet prices. There is a bring and buy for second hand games. There are also publishers represented and they and some of the vendors have demo games running so you can try before you buy. There are seminars featuring such gaming luminaries as Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone, Reiner Knizia and Chris Barrie (?). There are some cosplayers and who doesn't love seeing *a healthy young lady dressed as Wonder Woman *a healthy young man dressed as Conan *lots of pasty, uncomfortable, very unhealthy people dressed in lycra only carried through by their own sweaty enthusiasm (*delete as appropriate).

There are RPG's for you to sign up to and rocket propel your grenades til your heart is content. There are board, card and miniature game tournaments for a wide variety of games/systems. And then there is the open gaming.

I went for the first time last year and this, for me, is the heart of the expo. Open gaming starts 9.30am Friday and they didn't seem to close again til about 4pm Sunday. Being an old coot I only managed to test them until about 2am last year but they were still busy when we left. There is even a system to get into games by placing a flag when setting up indicating you are looking for players (or just scout round looking for a game the flags). Oh, or you could just borrow a game from the library. The game library. Game Library. Isn't that just wonderful. 'Nuff said.

It runs from Friday May 30th to Sunday June 1st, is at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole next to the NEC (about 1 1/2 - 2 hours drive). Last year there was free day parking for expo visitors. You can go for a day or the weekend and you can stay at the Hilton (not the cheapest option but not hideously expensive) or one of the many hotels nearby because of the NEC and the airport. Tickets for the event are pretty cheap too (£9 a day/£20 the weekend) and can be bought on the door or in advance.

I know there are a select few of us SBC-ers attending so if you are thinking about it post here for advice or to arrange a meet. Checkout the website for further details:

Hope to see you there.

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  • David V.

    Well, I didn't run into any of you there, but it was a great event - very well attended and it goes from strength to strength each year. I entered a few tournaments and almost made final table for 7 Wonders and Catan. I thought that would be it, but then on Sunday I won the Dominion tournament! £50 voucher and a new shiny for the mantelpiece. I also had time to play a few demos, and came away with Camel Up!, Mount Everest and a secondhand copy of Duel of Ages. Hoping to come along on Friday but I may be double booked.

    June 3, 2014

    • Tony A.

      Ah, the tradition of an SBC member winning at the expo continues - congrats! Last year it was Karl winning a Hive tournament. We were nearly tempted into buying Mount Everest as it seemed pretty keenly priced at a couple of places. Resisted it, though (see Tony!). I'd be interested in what you think of Duel of Ages too - it always looks interesting but I've never been sure I would be able to get it played enough to justify buying it.

      June 6, 2014

  • Tony A.

    Thought I would do a final tally of the games I played, for the record like:

    Love Letter
    The Cave
    Augustus (x8 - went on a very rare run of beating Kathie at this and she wouldn't let it lie!)
    Castle Dice
    Lords of Vegas
    Sail to India
    Port Royal
    Get Bit
    Castles of Burgundy
    Geschenkt (No Thanks)
    Lords of Waterdeep.

    See if I can beat it next year!

    June 3, 2014

  • Simon J.

    Quick question: Does anybody own Caverna or Castle Dice who is going to the expo and would mind bringing it?

    May 26, 2014

    • Tony C.

      Chris - thanks - will try and enlist for TM on Friday. And I guess Ware is a fair distance for you to travel (if I set up a Nations evening), but I'll try and bring it down on another club session. Sarantis...was good to see you at the expo - but the temptation to buy everything in sight is agony to deal with! ;-)

      June 1, 2014

    • Tony C.

      Sarantis...definitely interested in Eldritch Horror...just name a place/time! ;-)

      June 1, 2014

  • Liam K.

    Quite looking forward to this years, went last year for the first time, was fun. Am coming up on the Saturday and staying over sat night, played so many games last year, was excellent

    May 22, 2014

    • Tony C.

      Thanks Liam :-)

      May 29, 2014

    • Tony A.

      They even have a little video guide here:­

      May 29, 2014

  • Karl W.

    Would really love to come to this event - unfortunately I'm abroad - sunning it up and drinking rum

    May 24, 2014

    • Tony A.

      Thats a poor excuse for not defending your title of UK Hive champion. ;-)

      May 25, 2014

    • Karl W.

      I know but I can argue that a trip to Barbados to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary is sufficient cause not to be there!

      May 25, 2014

  • Tony A.

    Oooh, we made it to featured meetup status! Good times.

    May 20, 2014

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