This past weekend, myself, Lindsay and Megan went to the UK Games Expo, which the third biggest tabletop games show in the world behind Essen and Gencon.
It’s a weekend I save for and look forward to all year, and this was the first time that Megan would be visiting for the whole weekend, previously she had only been able to go on a Friday once before. So we were looking forward to this a lot, I have been for the past six years and Lindsay has been joining me for the past four.
This year we travelled down on Friday morning to arrive in time for the show opening at 11, and this year collecting the tickets went so much smoother than last year, yeah there was a queue and annoyingly there was no distinction between people collecting tickets and people buying tickets, but we were only waiting for less than 10 minutes, which was brilliant really.
I then made a beeline for the Hawk Wargames stall and purchased for myself the show only Athens Class Light Cruiser, just in case they ran out like they did at Salute, and Lindsay and Megan bought us a show t-shirt.
I then left to go to the Games Workshop seminar on the new Warhammer 40,000 where I got to see the first preview of the Space Marine Repulser and Chapter Approved, and it was nice to be one of the first people to see something. I also got to have a quick chat with the lead designer of 8th edition Pete Foley who advised me on a new tactic I can use when it drops. He said that when I unload my troops from a transport, have the transport then charge the unit I wish to attack so that it soaks up the overwatch.
There was also a question from a lass about if GW will be making more efforts to have the game appeal to more women, and that was something that Andy Smille, was able to answer, and answered well. GW are looking to develop more female models, but the process takes at a minimum two years, and the results of the project are only starting to come to market now.
After the seminar Andy sought out the lass who asked the question and then took her to the bar to discuss the matter further and it was something he felt very passionate about.
After that I returned to the hall and meet up with Lindsay and Megan where we looked around until we went for our lunch, which we enjoyed in the car. We finished up in time for the John Kovalic seminar, which was a lot of fun.
I love Dork Tower and am a big fan of Munchkin so it was great to hear a bit about he came to be involved with the game. During the seminar he drew several pictures and I was lucky enough to get one he drew of Cthulhu, which he signed and that’s going to get framed and put up in the games room. After the seminar he also signed my copies of Munchkin Deluxe and the Munchkin 2010 Holiday Edition, both of which had already been signed by Steve Jackson.
We then returned to the trade hall and continued to look around, but about 5:30 Megan had a bit of a panic attack so we decided to go to the hotel and check in, after which we went to Toby Carvery for some dinner.
We then went back to the NEC and went to the Hilton, we couldn’t find any space for open gaming, so we went to the bar. At the bar we bumped into Lynne and she introduced us to Donna Prior and she is a really cool and interesting person. So after a lovely night full of awesome chat we went back to the hotel and slept.
On Saturday I was playing in the Dropfleet Commander tournament in Hall 3A, which was a lot of fun. I took a UCM fleet with a Tokyo as my flagship, and an Avalon. My list was very burn-though heavy. But I learnt a lot about the game and how it’s played and figured out how I want to change my fleet a bit.
We all got a UCM dog tag that was different to the one given out in the Kickstarter and I won a collectors edition of the Dropzone Commander rulebook. And I managed to destroy a shop by ramming it which was an epic movement. I won one game, which was my opening game, and ended up in 5th place, and then lost to the lad who came second, and finally lost my last game against another UCM fleet.
Between games, mine were quite short, I got myself to the trade hall where I tried out a few games, principally Dark Souls and Batman the Board Game.
Dark Souls was awful, it was so so so very bad, it simply drained all the fun out of the room and then some. From what I understand it replicated the grinding of the video game perfectly, but that’s not what I want in a dungeon crawler. It’s a dull game, not very imaginative and is really not worth the time if your life to play it. A shame as it has great minis, but that doesn’t make up for bad rules. I am told that the expansion material coming later in the year will fix a number of the issues, but that’s all Kickstarter backer exclusive, so not really gonna do it if you are silly enough to buy this at retail.
The Batman Board Game was much better, Monolith are behind this one, and you can tell, they have done their best to stay loyal to the IP and have some great minis. It’s still a bit rough, very much a work in progress, but I can see this being a great game when it’s finished. That goes to Kickstarter in February.
Whilst I was playing Lindsay and Megan went to Birmingham, Megan felt that the Saturday would be too much for her anxiety to cope with, but when they were travelling back to the hotel, Megan was really brave and decided to go back into the hall and purchase the two Fluxx games we wanted, Chemistry Fluxx and Math Fluxx, which they were successful at doing, and I am so very proud of her for doing that.
Because I was so late getting out of the tournament we ended up changing our dinner plans, so we just went back to the hotel and had a takeaway, I had a burger with mixed kebab meat and chips.
On Sunday we went back to the trade hall and we made our last purchases, I got a Khorne t-shirt from Forgeworld, a copy of 7 Wonders Duel from Eclectic Games, some Blood Bowl transfers from Tritex Games, Sherif of Nottingham promos from the Dice Tower and a few dice from the Dice Shop.
I introduced Lindsay to Luchador and she loved it so much she bought a copy, which the designer autographed for her.
About 2pm mine and Megan’s feet started to kill us, so we decided at that point to end our Expo and return to the hotel, where after a brief rest we went to a smokehouse for our tea. The food there was quite nice, but I preferred Dirty Bottles in Alnwick. I had brisket and pit beans, but the one thing I really disliked was the fact that they had no sugar free drinks, not very good for a diabetic.
Anyway after that we returned to the hotel, which was that night a lot quieter, many of our fellow guests had been exhibitors and they all seemed to have checked out that day, that was ok, we just sat in the breakfast area and played a game of Ticket to Ride Rails and Sails which Megan won by 2 points.
On Monday we returned home, via Warhammer World, where we stopped off at Bugmans Bar for dinner.
We have already booked our hotel up for next years UK Games Expo, this time at the Ibis Styles, which is right on the NEC and considerably closer to the action.
What I am Modelling
Before Expo I painted up six members of my human Blood Bowl Team, a Blitzer, Thrower, Catcher and three Linemen, which add to my Griff Oberwald and Ogre and give me the beginnings of a team I can play with.
This week I finished off some Word Bearers, this time a unit of five Tartaros Terminators with a Plasma Blaster and a Powerfist on the Sgt. Alongside those I also painted up a Praetor in Cataphractii Armour from the Betrayal at Calth box.
Once they were done I then built and painted up a Commissar and a Lord Commissar for my Millitarium Tempestus, I need one for my 2000pt list for next weeks midnight launch of the 8th edition of Warhammer 40,000.
I have now moved on to the last five Tartaros Terminators for the Word Bearers, this squad equipped with a Reaper Autocannon and a Powersword on the Sgt.
What I am Reading
I couldn’t sleep one night and ended up staying up all night and completely finished off Consorts of Heaven, something I find myself able to do with Jaine’s books.
I have now moved onto The Crimson King, although I will admit to only having just started it.
What I am Playing
Bar the games played at Expo, I have only played a game of Chemistry Fluxx tonight which Lindsay won.
Was nice doing something chemistry related again.
What I am Backing
We backed Untold, we had a good look at it during the Expo and we were quite happy to continue backing it, and it’s now funded and the campaign is over.
What I am Spending
Probably too much! With the launch of 8th Edition Warhammer 40k I have ordered 3 of the 5 Indexes, both Imperial ones, and Chaos, plus the two Forgeworld books, a Combat Gauge and Maelstrom Cards. I will be getting Dark Imperium soon, but I will be putting that on the credit card I think.
I also bought a Space Wolves Contemptor Dreadnought at Warhammer World, along with a Chainfist and a Heavy Bolter for it.
At Expo we bought quite a bit, but I have already mentioned most of that.
- Mood: Tired
- Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: 6
- In My Ears: Songbird by Fleetwood Mac
- Game Last Played: Chemistry Fluxx
- Book Last Read: The Crimson King by Graham McNeil
- Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Bones
- Current State of Projects: Word Bearers Terminators, red compete, shoulder pads glossed, metallics next.