RogerBW's Blog

UK Games Expo 2018: Thursday 07 June 2018

UK Games Expo expanded again this year, and either it sorted out most of its organisational problems or I managed to shift to doing the things which it's good at.

Photographic note: all pictures were taken on my Nexus 6P.

For a start, I didn't even try to run any RPGs. It's always been in big noisy rooms, which are probably fine if you're doing a dungeon bash or Paranoia, but aren't really conducive to building up an atmosphere for a thoughtful investigative game. Other GMs manage it, and my hat's off to them, but it doesn't really work for me.

(To be fair to the Expo, there's not much they can do about this. Small rooms for RPGs would effectively have to be hotel rooms, which the hotel would want to be paid for – and the hotel in question is still the Hilton Metropole, which is aggressively unhelpful as a matter of policy.)

Anyway, I went up on the Thursday afternoon, and met the rest of the Wotan Games crew – I was doing demonstrations for them again, and got in on an Exhibitor badge, which has the side benefit of letting you get into the hall before the huge crush when it officially opens in the morning. The major shocking news was that the Wotan Bus wasn't available: it dropped its oil-pan some thirty miles short of the venue, the engine seized, and it's probably a write-off. The owner does have another bus available for hire, so it will probably return in a new form, but this meant that we didn't have our distinctive landmark, extra table space, and convenient haulage/storage facility.

Instead there had been hastily-hired vans, and boxes of War of the Nine Realms which had finally arrived from the manufacturer.

After setup, I went to join some friends who were staying on a farm a few miles from the site; it seemed quite remarkably isolated, considering that it's audibly under the south-easterly departure corridor for Birmingham Airport. We got to game-playing, starting with Century: Spice Road which still makes me want to play Splendor.

The sheep were demonstrating that the grass really is greener. (Later they were let out and happily munched on the flower beds outside the window. This did seem to be as the farmers intended.)

After supper, we played some Magic Maze, which wasn't a success, with two out of four players not feeling at all enthused. Then we went on to a few games of Rhino Hero, which is sufficiently silly that I think I'm likely to buy it. (The new Super Battle version is in a bigger box, and doesn't offer the original gameplay; the point of this is to be quick silly fun, I feel, not to be a huge complicated game.)

Last thing, I went back to the NEC to drop off games for the Bring and Buy: unlike last year, they'd arranged to be open on Thursday evening, and there was almost no delay.

And all of this was before the show officially started…

[Buy Century: Spice Road at Amazon] [Buy Magic Maze at Amazon] [Buy Rhino Hero at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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