Our Expo Experience Day 2: Saturday- A Day of Firsts

A brief (ish) run down of Adam and Elaine’s three day, magical adventure at The UK Games Expo 2017, held at the NEC in Birmingham and The Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham. This is our third visit now to the Expo and the experience has been different each time.

Saturday 3rd June

Woohoo a whole day of playing games, drinking and eating junk food for my birthday!!!!

The Catan sheep in our colours!
It looks like we weren’t the only ones to have this idea as this appeared a few hours later!

An Expo first for us today. The Saturday is always the busiest day by far so we decided to have a leisurely morning and attend a seminar, of which there are many various ones held throughout the three days . We choose ‘Style vs Substance’ (Art in Gaming) which consisted of a panel of guest artists talking about their work and how this related to style vs substance. They included Ralph Horsely who designed the artwork used on the cover of the this year’s magazine and tickets, Jon Kovalic (‘Munchkin’) and the lovely and very talented Gillian Pearce of Hellion’s Art, who we commissioned to do some custom artwork for us, but that is another story, which no doubt will be in a future blog.  Ad and I are suckers for great artwork in games and we found this thoroughly enjoyable. In fact as soon as it was over we braved the hordes and headed back into the trade hall to check out the artists’ stall in more detail. Ralph had some spectacular, original oil paintings for sale and although these were a bit out of our price range we did pick up some beautiful prints which will decorate our dining room nerd cave nicely.

Ralph Horsely- Owl Bear & UK Games Expo 2017 magazine cover art

http://www.hellionsart.com/ & http://www.ralphhorsley.co.uk/

We also bumped into yet more Herefordshire Board Gamers at lunchtime;  The Beavanses (Emily, Rob and Abi).   It was really great to see so many Herefordshire Board Gamers yesterday and today, although none of them were called James which was rather unnerving.

The afternoon brought another Expo first for us- pre-arranged gaming with strangers. We had arranged a four player game of ‘Through the Ages’ (a heavy, civilisation building game) with two lovely chaps via the Facebook group,’Board Game Trading and Chat UK’; Christian who we later found out runs Board Game Monster (online gaming retailer) and Uli. What could possibly go wrong?!  After a strong start by us, in first and second place for much of the game, we got mercilessly beaten down by war after war in the third age (about 4 hours in) and on my birthday too 🙁

Another Ghostbuster with bonus Gandalf
More Ghostbusters!

‘Board Game Trading and Chat UK’ have done some great work this year by facilitating  member meet ups, as it can be very daunting to wander round the gaming rooms, trying to sum up the courage to approach others for a game. They also have t-shirts so members can identify each other easily and therefore hopefully feel less nervous about approaching strangers. This is a great idea, although our t-shirts are much better obviously! We still have some for sale and Christmas is just around the corner…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/UKboardgametrade/

So endeth the second day of firsts.

Click here for Day 3

Our Expo Experience Day 1: Friday- All the Shinies!

A brief (ish) run down of Adam and Elaine’s three day, magical adventure at The UK Games Expo 2017, held at the NEC in Birmingham and The Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham. This is our third visit now to the Expo and the experience has been different each time.

http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/

Friday 2nd June

We arrived on Friday just after opening and bumped into four of our friends from Herefordshire Board Gamers who had travelled down together (Fraser, Jo, Mike and Emma). It was lovely to see them all wearing our club t-shirts, including one ‘ghostbusting’ Herefordshire Board Gamer!

The HB crew!
“Who ya gonna call?” A Herefordshire Board Gamer!

We went our separate ways and had a good explore of the trade hall at the NEC.  Friday is a much better day to shop than Saturday as it’s much quieter.  Ad made us walk the halls methodically so we didn’t miss anything, as I kept getting distracted by all the ‘shinies’!

We bumped into Kenny from Herefordshire Board Gamers and his girlfriend Abi and decided that we must get some of the purple ‘Dobble’ hands that we had seen people sporting. The ‘demo-er’ said we had to beat him in a game of ‘Dobble’ in order to win the hands. We played one game of ‘Dobble Beach’ and he narrowly beat us by one card. We made it clear that we weren’t leaving without the ‘Dobble’ hands and so the poor lad (who looked about 15) just gave us the hands as I think he wanted to get rid of us but hey whatever works?!

Our expo haul

https://www.esdeviumgames.com/featured-product/game-number-1/

We then met up to have a sit down and compare our loot whilst we waited for Ad to queue in the Bring and Buy.  Both ourselves and Fraser and Jo were weighed down by a copy of ‘Star Wars Rebellion’! Mike had aptly bought a ‘Ghostbusters’ game and Emma was sporting an awesome new purchase ; a t-shirt depicting a  cat vomiting rainbows (‘cos Expo!).  Mike also met a fellow ‘ghostbuster’ and had a long chat about proton packs.

Ghostbuster friend!

We then headed to the Hilton for a night of open gaming. Our HB crew had scored us a large, round table in the ‘Kings’ Suite’ whilst we checked in to our hotel, so we played a few quick games with them before they headed off home.

We opened one of our new purchases to learn, ‘ Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy’ by Portal Games which Ad had picked up in the Bring and Buy; a game set in 18th century France, about marrying off your children advantageously. No sooner had we set up than Jo (Burdon) from Herefordshire Board Gamers and her boyfriend Tom appeared and asked if they could join us! We played a couple of games and were very impressed. I managed to birth a broad- hipped daughter which stood me in good stead. Jo and Tom then bid us farewell and we decided to crack open one of our other new acquisitions, ‘ The Pioneers Program’ by GCT which is a Kickstarter we had collected at the Expo.  We were joined for this by Kenny and Abi.  The theme of the game is post- apocalyptic survival. The artwork is amazing (same artist as the’ Explorers of the North Sea Saga’- Mihajilo Dimitrievski). There are elements of drafting and building up your settlement, as well as attacking other players.   I think we need to have another play of this as it felt a bit disjointed and there was also no tie-breaker winning condition which meant a couple of us had a joint win.

https://gctstudios.com/catalog/pioneers-program-0

All in all, a great first day at the Expo.

Click here for Day 2

 

What’s next for Herefordshire Board Gamers?

So we survived and conquered the charity day. What is next?

ROAD TRIP!!!!!!

A good number of us are off to the UK Games Expo and then lets go and visit all of the clubs in the country and then show our faces in the neighbouring county clubs and game shops!

I’ll start collecting ideas and building an agenda shortly. These clubs are all super friendly so attend when ever you want, but if you want some company join the HB grand tour.. (we may need to pick a decent name to increase the awesomeness!)