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UK Games Expo


jonnyalpha
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Any venue/business can do whatever they want, really, provided it doesn't discriminate on any legally protected grounds (race, religion, gender etc). It's a private event. The balance is which side of the backlash you want to deal with.

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It has been Quite The Fucking Day. It's all over my twitter if folks want to see what's gone on after the Dicebreaker story. Still trying to decide whether we'll actually go or not.

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8 hours ago, michael said:

It has been Quite The Fucking Day. It's all over my twitter if folks want to see what's gone on after the Dicebreaker story. Still trying to decide whether we'll actually go or not.

 

Read your thread, well done on taking care of things in a measured way.

 

I think that while you've got a couple of token concessions - you can ask people to wear a mask at your booth, some statement that says "please do a thing" in whatever guidance comes out - the reality is you're coming to England. In England, the pandemic is over.

 

The Tories saw to that, and they've made sure you can go to the football, to shows, back to the office, to the horse racing, on holiday and everything else you love to do - all without taking any measures, because there is no pandemic.

 

If you're not reading my sarcasm in that statement, that's on me for not layering it thick enough. 

 

I genuinely believe the best you can hope for is sub-10% of attendees wearing masks at the show overall, and likely no more at all carrying them in case a stand asks them to wear one.

 

I haven't booked my ticket yet, my wife wants to go and is CEV (but has had it so is less worried now), but our working assumption was that there would be no measures in place and low voluntary adherence.

 

It's disappointing to hear the organisers have been intimating different and are now going back on it, but dollar dollar bills y'all. 

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9 hours ago, michael said:

It has been Quite The Fucking Day. It's all over my twitter if folks want to see what's gone on after the Dicebreaker story. Still trying to decide whether we'll actually go or not.

 

Can you summarise for those of us not on Twitter?

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Sure. No face coverings, no proof of vaccination required, no distancing measures (I actually forgot to add on the thread that they're decreasing the aisle width from 4m back to the usual 3m).

 

They're sending out a Health and Safety statement soon, following all the guidelines laid out by Solihull Borough Council (that is to say, no enforcement required). It will, however, 'encourage' visitors to take their own precautions.

 

No hand sanitizer stations in the halls, but there are some dotted around the wider NEC complex, and at the entryways to the halls.

 

As an exhibitor, I can request people wear masks and use sanitizer at my booth. If they refuse, I can ask them to leave. Basically, the word from the organisers is "your booth, your rules". There's also a plan for security to be walking the halls in case things get heated. Of course, I'm hoping that they won't but planning for just in case, considering folks are getting masks grabbed off faces and plenty of verbal abuse here in NI.

 

In short, cover your own arse, because (as @Pelekophoros so eloquently said) the pandemic is most definitely over in England.

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I've not been paying much attention to my regular sources of board game news this past twelve months. Could anyone point me in the direction of a good UKGE preview?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Who's here then? I'm in the queue for the Bring & Buy, almost didn't get in because I arrived after the ticket office closed and they were seriously considering not admitting us. Sense prevailed though, and now I'm probably stuck in this line for the next hour.

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I queued for about 45 minutes in the end, although the line looked much shorter when I left than when I joined. From experience I would expect a similarly long queue tomorrow morning.

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@revlobCheers. I heard they were making some changes this year.. cautious as I don’t want to spend a huge chunk of tomorrow morning standing in line at the B&B for the sake of £60 odd quid. 

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B&B has been an hour + queue for years, especially if you rock up this morning. For hundreds of pounds it's worth it, but if you have only a couple of bits eBay them next week instead. It's a shit way to start the expo imho. 

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@Pelekophorosand I recently got back. The last couple of years have been weird as, combined with not being able to play as many boardgames as normal, I've had a really busy period which meant I went in to this blind and it was pretty overwhelming. 

 

Got a few demos and picked up a few bits, but definitely a far cry from previous years where I'd come out with bags full of stuff from the Bring and Buy, which was already pretty dry when I got to it at 1100 today.

 

Wandering through the aisles felt great though, I've very much missed it and will hopefully have more energy and prep for next year.

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That was fantastic. It was the first time I've been for the full three days, I'm absolutely knackered but it's allowed me to experience the show in three different ways. On the Friday I was with friends, getting exciting about the group's new acquisitions and playing silly card games until midnight in the hotel. I was on my own for the Saturday, allowing me to see everything I wanted to, at my own pace. Today I took my kids, and we had a wonderful time tossing giant dice in the family zone and trying all the Haba games.

 

Some highlights:

  • Chatting to @therearerules and getting to see Damask in action. I took his recommendation to try out Gutenberg and ended up buying a copy.
  • Meeting @michael for the first time, and seeing those wonderful Blaseball cards. My friends and I enjoyed playing The Split that evening.
  • Reminiscing with another independent publisher about Cheapass Games.
  • Thank goodness for Games Workshop and their free painting stand. It keep my kids occupied long enough to allow me to recover the strength I needed to keep up with them.
  • Finding so many weird and wonderful indie RPGs I'll never get to play.
  • The Folded Space stand was dangerous. I had to tell myself I was only allowed two inserts, otherwise I would have walked out with a dozen.
  • It was great to see Nisei had a stand, and to learn Netrunner is still alive and well post-FFG. If I could justify getting back into the game I could have spent a lot money with them.
  • Any doubts I had about how much my kids would enjoy the event on were totally smashed, they had a wild time and didn't want to leave. The family zone was marvellous and I'm definitely booking us in for a kids RPG session next year.
  • Everyone I spoke to was having a good time and every stall I visited was buzzing with positive energy.

 

Here's what I came home with this year:

 

Spoiler

IMG_20220605_173447_HDR.thumb.jpg.09eaa4ca6d9a01b2dea55ced25735eba.jpg

 

 

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Spent two days there, staying in Hilton overnight. So got to try lots of stuff and play loads of games with chum.

 

Wrecked my back in the morning (slipped down stairs in childish excitement on Friday morning heading off to event) so limped about 5 minutes and then needed to sit down. Might have coloured my impression but I thought while the event was packed lively, everything seemed a little more...subdued?. There didn't seem to be many publishers pushing a big new IP/game, and display areas where more mixed/varied that trying to buzz a new game. Seeing Xwing/Legion pushed off to the side upstairs was odd. 

 

That sounds negative, but was really nice. Think over 2 days played about 14 games with friends (some we bought to play, mostly trying out new stuff) and it was great to be surrounded by nerds.

 

Could easily have blown a fortune but was determined to be sensible so only bought Akropolis and Scout (plus 2 other of their box series for a deal price)

 

Also foodstreet - Oh got the Greek Wrap places was AMAZING

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Only went yesterday so it was a pretty tight schedule, didn't play anything but did spend time chatting to people at the stands which was nice. Was bigger than I was expecting and was great to see so many independents there, which suggests the hobby is in a reasonably healthy place. Really enjoyed chatting to some of the ttrpg guys, the scottish guys with the monster hunter-esque game (can't remember the name) and the Senet team too. 

 

A lot of big companies (in all sectors) are scaling down expo attendance (either attendance or stand size/complexity) due to the costs so while it felt like the show was maybe missing another one or two big stands i'm not sure it really detracted from it.

 

Only two of us went yesterday (from our regular group of 5) so hoping next year to get the whole group down for two days so we can experience some of the non main hall stuff and play a few more games too.

 

I think my favourite bit was the whiff of panic that started around 3pm when everyone started getting spending fever :lol:.

 

Didn't spend much at all - LA Crimes (on sale. expansion for Detective), Rustling Leaves (seen before the show so just convenience) and Fire Tower (A slightly dark subject maybe not executed with much empathy, but always partial to a quick 4 player game!)

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I only went for one day to have a look around but it was great fun. Didn't play any games, just browsed. Annoyingly I couldn't/didn't find the food street with the Greek wraps and Mexican - just the hog roast place. Doh!

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49 minutes ago, MattKB said:

I only went for one day to have a look around but it was great fun. Didn't play any games, just browsed. Annoyingly I couldn't/didn't find the food street with the Greek wraps and Mexican - just the hog roast place. Doh!

 

The "Food Street" isn't at the actual Expo. It's across the road, through the Hilton (where events, talks and huge open gaming is) to the Hilton's Car Park where all the pop ups are.

 

It's a 5-10 minute walk depending on your speed (and it's annoying loopy route. As the crow flies it much shorter). 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, MattKB said:

I only went for one day to have a look around but it was great fun. Didn't play any games, just browsed. Annoyingly I couldn't/didn't find the food street with the Greek wraps and Mexican - just the hog roast place. Doh!

 

You have to go over to the Hilton, where it's parked out front.

 

I enjoyed my visit with @strawdonkeyand my fam yesterday (Sunday). We landed about 10.30ish, and clocked out at 3pm.

 

You're right @Hexx, it was definitely more subdued. I reckon it was about 25-30% down on exhibitors/space - there was a huge chunk of hall 1 not being used, the aisles seemed wider than 2019 (last time I went), bring and buy was in hall 2 where it was in the third dedicated gaming hall back then and there were less stalls in there too.

 

None of that is a surprise of course, it was more a note of curiousity.

 

It was definitely the quietest I've ever experienced the Expo though in terms of punters. There were way less people, though it was still busy - I liked it! The major retailers looked like they'd been hammered, with emptier shelves than I've ever seen them.

 

We played:

  • Skora, which was an interesting and simple little card game.
  • Tokaido Namiji which was lovely and I'll be grabbing it in October when it lands at retail.
  • Poetry for Neanderthals which was pap
  • Gaslands, which was fun and we bought it

But mostly I wandered about being slightly overloaded after 2 years predominantly in my house not tracking the hobby at all. I had done some research before hand so went with a list of "things I wanted to grab" and we came back with:

  • Parks, which my wife liked the artwork for. Turns out it's lovely!
  • Qwirkle
  • Micro Macro Crime City
  • The Initiative
  • Gaslands + dice
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Thanks to everyone who stopped by! Not going to post loads, but had a great time, and I did find that copy of Agricola 15 I scoured the halls for. Tis a thing of beauty. Also, Blood on the Clocktowering until 2:30 on the Saturday almost killed my voice dead and made me sleep today. Worth it though.

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10 hours ago, therearerules said:

Thanks to everyone who stopped by! Not going to post loads, but had a great time, and I did find that copy of Agricola 15 I scoured the halls for. Tis a thing of beauty. Also, Blood on the Clocktowering until 2:30 on the Saturday almost killed my voice dead and made me sleep today. Worth it though.

Was Agricola 15 where I thought it was?

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