UK Games Expo 2018 – Day 2

Here we are then, the start of day 3 for me and time to shake off the morning head fuzz, take a look back into the past that was yesterday and show you the money. It’s what you are here for after all. I’m pretty pleased with how much I got through and it will give me space to try out some games I wasn’t intending to or hadn’t spotted on the preview.


One of my only appointments at the con was to meet up with Ross from MoreGamesPlease and play the forthcoming pirate Deckbuilder Ruthless from Alley Cat Games. Thankfully the artist Roland had managed to get over, his flights took him via Edinburgh in the end, and we were joined by another gentlemen called Richard for a 3 player game taught by Roland.

Ruthless felt a lot more dynamic than your typical deckbuilder, displaying some light touches to the mechanics that made it flow well and play fast: cards with multiple uses, each card allowing you to use it immediately upon purchase, a nice amount of player interaction and a very pacey turn structure. I’m totally sold on this and will be picking it up when it hits retail round Essen later in the year.


Ross from MoreGamesPlease probably planning to attack me. Again. The Cad.

The Gig

I jazz handsed my way over to Braincrack Games and secured a demo of The Gig. Nice. This is a light, dice placement game where each player is trying to score points by pushing the main song along but also their own solos. Completing parts of your solo raises the audience appreciation which gets everyone more points on the main song, so there is a balance between pushing your own board and that of the main. Very nice. I only had a short demo, which was great by the way, and it definitely whetted by appetite to give the full game a try sometime. Mmmmh, lovely.


Sing us a song, you’re the piano man


I only had a wee taste of this game from BadCatGames at Dragonmeet so was keen to play more. I met up with Rory from Board Meetings and Duncan from the Tabletop Scotland crew to put blood on the sand. This demo really confirmed my initial impression that Gladiatores is a game I really like: the dynamic fighting, the zoomed out gambling game where you may bet on yourself to lose and the season mode that allows you to play multiple fights with an almost campaign like structure. You will be ENTERTAINED! (I’ll get my coat)


I didn’t do too badly

Dare to Dream

After a quick break for lunch and a refreshing cold beverage, I dived into hall 2. I’d realised that I don’t really need to visit Themeborne or Sinister Fish as the former don’t have anything new to show off, though the Kickstarter is live, and I have a copy of Villagers for review. I’ll probably still pop by both stands on the Sunday to say hello.

Hall 2 is the home of a lot of the smaller companies, the playtest zone and all the organised play events as well. I had Dare to Dream from Turtle Dream Games on my radar because of the glorious art style and got and overview of the game. It’s an asymmetric 1 vs. many game of guardians, toys, fighting off nightmarish monsters. There wasn’t really room for a demo at the stall but seeing up close definitely made me want to play it. Maybe see if someone has a copy I can play whilst at the con.


It is absolutely gorgeous

Towers of the Sun

My friend Matt had wondered about my picture of Towers of the Sun from the day before and it just so happened that they were free for a demo as we wandered past them in hall 2. This is an abstract game of tower stacking and point collection that I have to say it didn’t quite gel with either of us. We couldn’t see how to really mess with each other properly: how to turn the tide if we were behind or defend if we were in front.  It is a very attractive looking game but I am not sure the tactical bite I want from a game of this type is there.

Doomsday Bots

My last demo of the day was from Digisprite games a Dundee based operation that I only came across during my preview. This was a rather charming game of racing to the top of a tower to defeat a boss and steal their powerful bot parts, then running for your life to the bottom. Building your own bot was fun and the gameplay was enjoyable but fairly heavily random with some gotcha elements. We both thought some of the graphic design could do with a punch up, large symbols on the cards for tests for instance, but enjoyed our time with the game.

It’s on Kickstarter now and has already broken through its funding target.


I don’t usually buy much at cons but I did pick up Carta Impera Victoria (CIV) after the excellent review in Tabletop Gaming Magazine and the Big Book of Battle Mats which is an awesome product I suggest you check out: 58 pages of dry wipe maps in a spiral bound format you can just carry around. Genius.


Going to hit the hall early and get some more demos in the retreat to the relative quiet of Open gaming to get some play in. Should be a good opportunity to make some new friends, play some fine games, eat, drink and be merry. Isn’t that what all this is about?

Iain McAllister

Tabletop games reviewer and podcaster based in Dalkeith, Scotland.

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