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 type of games convention goer are you?

I like lists, both useful and funny so here is an attempt at a funny list. A random conversation at the expo spawned the idea of defining what type of convention  goer you are.

  • The Accidental Gamer: Discovers the con by accident (2017 accidental gamer story, a lady attending the Take That gig near by chats to a gamer over breakfast, ends up attending the Expo for two days!)
  • The Aerosmith (I don’t want to miss a thing):  Has to do everything, see every stall, at the expense of sleeping, runs on coffee and food you can eat one handed.
  • The Bargain Hunter: Scours the bring and buy sales and price checks all the stores and online shops before purchasing.
  • The Demoer: There to play lots of demos, either to be the first to know or to try before you buy.
  • The Floater: Drifts around  near the surface avoiding big crowds.
  • The Freebier: Collects freebies even hoarding business cards and leaflets
  • The Haggler: Haggles constantly despite massive queues, often also a bargain hunter.
  • The Herder: Trys to coordinate either a family or pack of friends, constantly on the phone trying to arrange meeting points.
  • The Insider: Works at the show so has early trade access however often too busy to actually enjoy the show.
  • The Magpie: Ooh Shinies! Must buy all of the things. If also a planner comes armed with a huge list.
  • The Researcher: Explores and take copious notes for research later, phone in hand on BGG and boardgameprices.co.uk.
  • The Nervous Lurker: Looks longingly at celebrities and demos and other interesting things but too nervous to ask, awkwardly takes a sneaky photo and moves on.
  • The Planner: Spends weeks scouring for information and meticulously planning itinerary and routes. Plans to explore everything or to hit the stalls and venues at the optimum time to get demos or freebies. Has a full list of things to buy and optimal prices.
  • The Player: There to play games, lot of games, first up and last to bed.
  • The Proto-typer: Similar to the demoer but has to play the very newest and  unreleased games. Has to be the first to know.
  • The Scared Cat / Sheep: Goes to a convention with friends, but does leave their side to explore the convention so ends up having a very expensive standard games day.
  • The Scrutineer: Similar to the bargain hunter but applies scrutiny to a single stall or shop checking every item, eventually buying a single small cheap item before moving on.
  • The Specialist: Goes with a single aim / objective to achieve, for example collect all the purple things.

I’m definitely an explorer and nervous lurker. Sometimes a planner and gamer depending on energy levels.

Watch this space for UK Games Expo stories. It was great! There are lots of comments and photos on our Facebook page too.

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


This is the best comment from Facebook so it’s getting pride of place here. From Griff of “doing a Griff” fame.

I’m a faffer which isn’t on there, also known as a Griff.

Bargain Hunter that wanders around waiting for queues to shrink (they never do until sold out)

Buyer/planner – plans to write a list but runs out of time to research/write one

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!)

Top pub games part 2

Whilst researching I had loads of good advice and recommendations. Picking the top 10 was a real challenge.

Pub Starter kit: Codenames, Penguin Trap, Perudo, Zombie Dice and Rainbow Rage

Here is a list of the contenders!

Social / large group games
Resistance, Coup, Dixit, Wits and Wagers, In a bind, Times up, Fake artist goes to new York, Snake oil, Secret Hitler, Man Bites Dog, Perudo (liars dice)

Two player quick games
Hive,  Patchwork

Two to four player quick games
Blokus, Hey that’s my fish, Quirke

Two to five player quick games
No thanks, Sushi Go party, Exploding kittens

Two to six+ player games
Fluxx (Pick a theme), Bannagrams, Cockroach Poker, Pickomino, Saboteur, Cock and bull, Pickomino,

Meatier games
Splendor, Ticket to ride, Carcassonne, camel up

Rude games
Joking hazard, Cards against humanity.

Top pub / cafe games (Or the Pub game shelf starter kit)

Pubs and cafes are a great place to play games and over the coming months I plan to list the best pubs in the area to rock up, play games. Having a game shelf in a pub is becoming cool but with so many games out there where do you begin? (particularly if you are not hugely into gaming).

So here is Herefordshire Board Gamers Top 10 ultimate pub game starter kit.

This doesn’t include ‘the classics’; chess, dice / Yahtzee, cards, dominos, draughts and Jenga.

These games are all reasonably cheap to buy, are tough enough to survive abuse, including losing the odd piece and punch well above their weight for fun. A lot of these have a good ‘wow factor’ and are great to watch.

Prices correct 23/05/17 and will link you to a price comparison site.

  1. Dobble (Beach): Super simple dexterity game, good with 2-8. The beach version is hardier and waterproof, think snap but meaner and funnier! . Under £15
    Dobble: Fun snap style game,

     

  2. Rhino Hero: 2+ players simply funny and great to watch stacking dexterity game, very visual as you try and build a skyscraper with cards. Under £10

    Rhino Hero. Stacking game like jenga but super portable.
  3. Penguin Trap: 2+ player, quick dexterity game, simple yet suspenseful. Great fun to watch. Ebay under £10

    Penguin Trap: Silly fun, knock off the ice block who ever makes the Penguin crash looses.
  4. Codenames: 4- 12 players. A very clever yet simple social word game, good for audience participation too, one of our favourites. Under £15

    Codenames: Simple but clever word guessing game.
  5. Timeline: 2+ players A simple trivia game about putting things in the right chronological order, much trickier than it looks, when were glasses invited anyway???. Under £15

    Time Line Various editions: Putting things into chronological order, a lot more fun and harder than you think.
  6. Love Letter (Original or a theme i.e. Archer or Batman): 2-4 player light card game quick and fun. Under £10

    Love Letter: Original and Archer Theme: Simple quick 2 to 4 player game.
  7. Zombie Dice or Martian Dice: 2+ players. Push your luck quick and simple dice game Under £15

    Zombie Dice: Push your luck dice game, collection those brains but don’t be shot.

     

  8. Skull: 3-6 players, bluffing game , simple and clever game but with lots of replayability (this can be played with a deck of cards too).  Under £15

    Skull: Amazing tense bluffing game.

     

  9. Telestrations: 4-8 players. Drawing, party / social game for ,chinese whispers in drawing form. One of the clubs most played games along with Codenames. Under £25

    Telestrations: Amazingly fun drawing and guessing game

     

  10. Qwirkle: 2-5 players Simple strategy game  like scrabble but with shapes, bright, simple and attractive Under £17

    Qwirkle: Like scrabbly but with colours and shapes very accessible.

     

Honourable mention:

King of Tokyo: Dice rolling, group game, based on a familiar Yahtzee style game but with more depth, beautiful and clever cards give the game depper strategy. Under £25

King of Tokyo: Yahtzee means Godzilla, with amazing art and power cards to add to replayability.

This list would also be great or cafes, community groups, schools, or other shared spaces looking for a new activity.

If you have a better or different list please let us know!

The list again:

  1. Dobble (Beach):  . Under £15
  2. Rhino Hero:  Under £10
  3. Penguin Trap:  under £10
  4. Codenames: Under £15
  5. Timeline: Under £15
  6. Love Letter (Original or a theme i.e. Archer or Batman): . Under £10
  7. Zombie Dice or Martian Dice:  Under £15
  8. Skull:  Under £15
  9. Telestrations: Under £25
  10. Qwirkle:  Under £17
    King of Tokyo: . Under £25

The list of games which didn’t make the cut at here in part two.

We have a new home The Imperial!

Imperial Hereford is now our Thursday home (along with Sundays at the Beer in Hand) I’ve have a few good chats with Craig the landlord who is keen to support us going forward and is hopefully going to pop up and play with us.

A few rules updates:
+Supervised under 18s are allowed in the function room until closing and before 9pm in the bar. (As a club we’ll need to monitor and see how this goes but I welcome all gamers young and old. I am happy to take suggestions on this as I have a potty mouth at times)
+Outside food is allowed in the function room.
+The is no room charge (currently) I am still going to collect voluntary donations to cover limited club costs like tea, coffee, milk, tablecloths etc.
+We are more than welcome to play downstairs in the bar and we can have section for us, for now we’ve voted to use the function room. (On Thursdays and quiet nights.)

I am looking forward to this relationship and having a stable home for the next year. (If we out grow the Imperial on a regular basis I’ll be surprised!)

 

Charity Game day photos

I was too busy to take lots of photos, but hopefully these represent the day!

Stage of games to lend and play

Two great causes 😀 Gaming and mental health

Penguin Tap
Junk Art
Gaming in full flow
Artemis, Charity space captain challenge
Villages of Valeria
Gaming in full flow
Terror in Meeple city
Arboretum
My first carcasonne
Roll for the Galaxy
Key Flower
Artemis, Charity space captain challenge
Artemis, Charity space captain challenge
Terror in Meeple City
Gaming, early on as we had spare tables!
Terror in meeple city.
All set up and ready to go, stage of games ready to lend and play
Artemis, Charity space captain challenge

Terror in Meeple city

Auction Prize
Auction Prize
Auction Prize
Auction Prize
Auction Prize
Auction Prize

Player quotes from the Charity Board Game Day

As well as raising a load of money for charity, the day serves as a great recruitment drive for gamers, and provides a safe space for shy or introvert gamers to try us out.

Here are some quotes from the players on the day;

Emily (Attended with husband and teenage daughter)Well Rob and I only recently found out about the Herefordshire Board Gamers and had not managed to get to a meeting to introduce ourselves in person, although we had said hello on Facebook and you all seemed like a friendly bunch. We came along to the charity day with our youngest offspring and a fellow ‘newbie’ gamer and were really pleased with the super friendly welcome. I’m a long term sufferer of anxiety and depression so approaching new groups is not always easy. However we stayed over 6 hours! We met some new people and even learnt some new games! Along the way we hope that we contributed to a great cause close to my heart. Thanks HBG we are looking forward to the next meeting

Emma (attended alone)After looking forward to the charity board games day for a long while I was not disappointed. The function room was full – evident of a thriving board games scene in Hereford. There were plenty of games available to play and no shortage of people to play them with. The event was very well organised with the most exciting raffle in the universe, an auction, bring and buy and merchandise table.”

Michael (attended with young daughter) “it was so great to see these gamers doing what they do best, bringing people of all ages, walks of life and experience levels together in the spirit of fun and play

If you have any comments or feedback please send them our way!

Charity day summary! Over £500 raised again!

Final count for the Third Annual Board Game Charity Day is £526.51 huge thanks to my team, all of our players, and our sponsors Imperial Hereford, Basically Wooden, Surprised Stare Games Ltd, The Black Lion, Wise Owl Toys, Worcester, Beer in Hand, Left Bank and DellCon

I am looking forward to a lot more games with your all over the new few months and years, growing this community and doing good work with Herefordshire Mind.

We had 48 gamers and we played at least 27 different board and card games. If you want to know more about games the club or to work with us please let me know. We have over 30 players nearly constantly playing from from 2pm to 9pm! Am amazing turn out, atmosphere and day!

We played; Plague Inc. Terror in meeple city. 6 nimmit. Codenames. Secret Hitler. Inis. Villages of Valeria. pandemics. Tsuro. Junk art. New Bedford. Stone age. Robot rally. Qwirkle. Roll for the galaxy. Arboretum. My first carcossonne. Castle for all seasons. Keyflower. Cube quest. Unfair. Telestrations. Tap tap penguin (penguin trap). Lords of water deep. Walking Dead card game (6 nimmit) Mysterium

I can still accept donations for Mind if you are feeling generous and think we did a good job.

Board games, depression and me. Another voice.

Good friend of Herefordshire Board Gamers and founder of the Great Indoors and Bromsgrove Board Gamers, Peter Hazlewood has kindly offered to tell his story as well.

I have suffered with depression for a number of years now; it’s hard to say exactly how long. Thankfully, unlike millions of other similarly-afflicted people in the world, I’m a board gamer. Out in the real world, being an introvert hinders my ability to make friends and depression and anxiety symptoms have done nothing to improve this. If you can relate to this then my first piece of advice would be to go to a regular gaming group. Emma and I had lived in Bromsgrove for 4 years by the time I formed Bromsgrove Board Gamers. How many good friends had I made in that time? Not many. Fast forward another 3 years and we have made some great friends, all through the joys of gaming.

Socialising with people I’m not hugely familiar with can be daunting. What do I talk about? Will we have anything in common? Well, if you’re with gamers then you have the answer to both of those questions. Even if you’re not with card-carrying hardcore board gamers, playing something fun can be the ultimate ice-breaker. There aren’t many people out there who genuinely don’t enjoy games and we sometimes use them as the focal point for an afternoon or evening.

Without the joy of board games in general, and the friends I play them with in particular, I have no doubt that I would be in a far worse state of mind. If I need company, or someone to offload on, or maybe just something to take my mind off things, then I play a game with the people I love. So if you are having difficulties or know somebody who is, then talk to people. Play games. Honestly, it helps.

Originally posted here https://great-indoors.co.uk/blog/why-making-friends-is-hard-for-me-but-rewarding