UK Games Expo 2018 – Day 1

I’ll shortly be on my way to UK Games Expo, gaming nerves all a jangling with anticipation. I’m really looking forward to this break from work and meeting up with friends I don’t get to see nearly often enough. I’ll be attempting to get you an update daily like this, probably going out in the morning of the following day highlighting what I’ve been up to and the games I think are worth your attention.

The Trip

I came down by train this year, which I think I actually preferred: cheaper, relaxed, and allowed me to carry more luggage. After settling in to the hotel for all of 5 mins myself my cohort Rich went and grabbed press passes and a pint whilst waiting for the infamous Gaz to make his way along.


Expo buddies!

Pressing the Flesh

The press preview for this year’s show was taking place on the Thursday which is a much better plan than the panicked running around that happened last year (also gives exhibitors a bit of a chance to get setup before the hordes descend). I used the opportunity to drift and see what caught my eye over and above my hitlist which I hope to get through most of on the Friday (barring ‘Holding On’ which is scheduled for the Sunday).


I caught this out of the corner of my eye and made a beeline for it as I didn’t realise they were going to be showing it off yet. Martin Wallace himself gave me a bit of an overview of the game, coming from Osprey Games, which is a capture the flag affair with multi use cards that drive the actions of the lovely minis. Core box sounds pretty generous and I am going to see if I can get a proper demo.


Hub Games

I had a brief chat with Michael from Hub Games, hoping to setup an interview with him at some point, and got my first look at Holding On:The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr. I really liked the look of the art and am looking forward to playing it on Sunday.


Deaths of Athazar

I was given a quick demo of this Uno like game with a fantasy them but I can’t say it really grabbed me. I was only playing 2 player though and I suspect it would play better with more.



Although they are on my hitlist I wanted to say hi to Thomas before the madness of the con proper began. They had a little mock up of the health tracker they are going to have and he was saying they had loads of plans for their upcoming Kickstarter which goes live today! It sounds like it is going to be great value for money and I for one will be backing without question.


Mock up of the health tracker

Wotan Games

Everyone who has attended Expo before knows the bus that usually sits in the middle of Hall 1 is the home of Wotan games. The bus is not there this year as it had a bit of a technical issue, it wouldn’t go forwards. I have never had a chance to play their games but War of the 9 Realms sounds pretty intriguing so I’ll see if I can swing by for a demo.


Towers of the Sun

This is a gorgeous looking abstract game from Quality Beast. The idea is that you are all trying to build tall towers to capture the last remnants of the sun and is being pitched as as a light abstract game. Definitely one I’m adding to my ‘try if I can’ list.


Love the art on the cards

Loke Battle Mats

These look exceptionally cool and are also available in a digital format. It’s a book of dry wipe maps that you can use in your dungeon adventures and may very well be one of the few things I buy this con for my Dungeons and Dragons game.


Summoner’s Isle

I’d heard of this game through fellow press person Rory from Board Meetings and it looks to be an interesting game of symmetrical area control with a really lovely looking board. I’ll see if I can’t snag a demo or even a review copy for when the game goes live to KS later in the year. If you are really keen, the designer Robbie Munn has hand crafted some sets of the game that you buy at the con. That is some commitment!


The After Party

I had a really nice evening relaxing with friends and meeting the rest of the Unlucky Frog which was great. Looking forward to getting into the con proper tomorrow and I am hoping to get my hitlist hit so I can spend the Saturday and Sunday seeing what else takes my fancy. Hope you enjoy the con if you are here and if you aren’t then I’ll try and bring you all the goodies I find so you can decide for yourself if they are for you.


Iain McAllister

Tabletop games reviewer and podcaster based in Dalkeith, Scotland.

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