The Games We Play

The Games We Play

A repository of reports on the Wednesday night sessions of the club and anything else related to the club or boardgaming in general, which may be of interest to anyone who may be passing by.

Sunday 3 June 2007

UK Games Expo as seen by DaveD

Just got back from UK Games Expo, I ended up going on Saturday and also Sunday afternoon. Here are my comments on what I did and my thoughts. Please anyone else who went and has posting access, post your reports as well as it will be interesting to compare notes on what we did, thought and played. Some of the memories are over 24 hours old now, so please forgive any inaccuracies that you may spot.

I got there on Saturday morning a few minutes after 10 and stood in a short queue, once I was in I headed in the direction of Ragnar Brothers (stopping on the way for a quick chat with Richard Dewsbury and to admire his HeroScape setup) to pick up my copy of the Canal Mania 2nd. edition upgrade kit, this turned out to be the only new thing I picked up all weekend and I'd paid for that in advance so my expenditure was lower than I thought it might have been. After chatting for a bit with the Ragnars, I set out to explore the show, seeing several dealers selling Caylus Magna Carta, which I had thought I might get, but not without being able to try it out first, disappointingly Esdevium weren't demoing it, so I didn't buy but obviously many did as by the end of Saturday all the copies seemed to be gone.

I eventually sat down with the designer of Tara, Seat of Kings who unsurprisingly soundly thrashed me at his game, essentially an abstract using cards to play pieces on a board to eventually capture the space at the top of a pyramid. I think, in this one, experience and knowledge of the card mix would be a big advantage. Just as I'd finished I was found by Dave C and Ben and we wandered around together for a bit taking in a five player game of Pitch Car. I was in second early on overtaking Ben in the second half of the second lap and eventually won by half a lap (obviously a game requiring great skill).

Dave & I left Ben playing HeroScape and went to find the boardgame tournament room where Mike & Richard were playing, running into Matt, who had played a game of Fondue, his comment as I recall being that he would rather have played Fury of Dracula (you can draw your own conclusions about that). Having exchanged brief greetings with Mike & Richard who were heavily into Puerto Rico we ran into Julian and I spent some time chatting with him while Dave went to find Ben.

When I left Julian I briefly ran into Dave again and then headed over to the Garden House for a pint and something to eat, it sounds as if this was a good move as it seems the catering at the show had run out of most things on the menu, possibly something that needs to be looked at for future events. I must say that the Garden House is a much more pleasant environment anyway.

After lunch it was back to Ragnars and a first try at 2nd. edition Canal Mania. Unfortunately I made a bit of a bad mistake right at the beginning and this together with a lot of advice given to the newbies by the designers meant I lost rather badly (oh well never mind). That was my last game playing for the day the remaining time being spent wandering. I left with Dave & Ben just before 5 I think.

I had been in 2 minds about whether to go on Sunday but when I got home and opened up my Canal Mania box I found a few of the contract cards were creased, so I set off back for the show after an early lunch the following day. Ragnars were happy to replace the cards and after dealing with this I had another quick look around and had a quick chat with Mike & Matt, then went and had a game of the new 4th edition Talisman. Although I am not one to give high priority to how a game looks, I have to say that the production of this is a vast improvement on the old 2nd edition on which it is based. What surprises me is that the set we were using seemed to be of production standards (although there are a few corrections to be made on some cards and the board) but it is not due out until October. While I was playing Matt wandered by (apparently he won a game of this yesterday) and later on Gordon & Steve P. There was a bit of a commotion at one point when someone rushed past proclaiming his innocence pursued by several Imperial Storm Troopers (and a girl dressed in the costume of one of Jabba the Hutt's slave girls?). We did not have time to finish the game but I was declared winner by virtue of advancing my character the most. Some pictures I took follow:

All in all I think the show was a great success and will definitely go again next year, although I do think some more space could be set aside for open gaming and it sounds as if the catering could do with improvement.

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