Taken me rather longer than intended to post a few comments relating to my experiences of UK Games Expo – hectic couple of weeks at work, a nasty cold (perhaps picked up from the Con), and some gaming nights. So, this was my third UK Games Expo and my first at the new venue, having missed last year. Also, this was the first year I got organised enough to take the Friday off work and book a room to stay over. Plus, serendipitously, packed the game books for the games I was booked into – which proved to be a stroke of luck as it turned out.
I’d pre-booked into several RPG sessions and had managed to arrange it such that got to game with some friends I’d met via Twitter and the UK DnD Tweetups – hence, got to play The One Ring with @symatt and @craigpbrown, Star Wars Age of Rebellion with @pedr @jimbohawkins and @Evoroth, Shadows of Esteren with @tamsynx and @craigprbrown (an excellent dark adventure run by Gary Loveridge). Also had a superb game of 13th Age run by Steve Pettifer. All the RPG’s I played in were great, but must admit that by Friday evening, after 12 hours of gaming, I was flagging a bit, but was ready for more on the Saturday! One of the things I may do next year is spread out the games a little more and ensure I had more time to wander the trade halls and attend some of the seminars.
Did get to play some excellent games of ‘two rooms and a boom’, with a massive group of players on the Saturday. One disappointment was that despite having booked onto Matt Dawkins’, the Gentleman Gamer’s, Numenera session, I’d not ultimately secured a place – I’d booked within a few mins of registration opening but there seems to have been a glitch such that some of the first bookings were lost on the system.
After I got over my English reserve, I thought that given I was carrying around a bag full of heavy RPG books, I could be cheeky and get some of them signed. This proved to be an excellent decision as not only did I get some signatures, but more importantly got to chat to gaming luminaries Sarah Newton, Monte Cook, Shanna Germain, and Nel from Shadows of Esteren, all of whom were marvellous and lovely.
My brief trip to the trade hall did allow me to do a bit of shopping, picking up two ‘All Rolled Up’ s, as well as a new book for Hellfrost and Sarah Newton’s Monsters and Magic, and a couple of Marvel Boosters, as well as some gifts for my children.
Thinking back, I should have been more prepared for the queues for food and drinks at the venue and would have brought more provisions myself – as it was, I survived on a packed lunch, a binge-out thanks to the helpful people at Domino’s and their 50% off voucher, and the breakfast as part of the room stay. Although, when I got to the front of the queue for breakfast at the hotel, most of the hot food had gone.
I’d certainly recommend the UK Games Expo to anyone interested in any table top gaming – whether it is RPGs, board or card games, or miniature skirmish or war games. The organisers do an excellent job of putting on UK’s foremost gaming convention, a convention that every year expands beyond their expectations. I certainly hope to be there next year – this time with with lots of food in the car boot! An additional bonus from the con is having met and gamed with people I’d only knew on line previously and that the gaming spirit has continued and brought some of us together into a roll20 game of 13th Age online.