UK Games Expo 2019 – Day 3

Here we are at the last: the feet were tired, the brain a little fried but the enthusiasm for my hobby carried me through the last few hours.

My first stop off this morning was at the UK Indie RPG League saying hello to the always excellent Grant Howitt, Rowan, Rook and Deckard, and getting the low down on the new stuff from another member of the stall, apologies I have forgotten the name (really need to get in the habit of writing that stuff down). They were touting some really cool new products including a giant monster fighting RPG with a domino run based system and some storytelling card games that sounded like Once Upon a Time but with a bit more crunch and structure.


Also had a quick run down of Under Falling Skies, a single player game that Czech Games Edition are looking at publishing next year where you are playing the defenders of the earth as aliens fall from above in a way reminiscent of computer games like space invaders.


It was time for my first and only booking of the day at the Hub Games stall where I got a demo of Megacity Oceania, many thanks again to Michael for squeezing me in after I screwed up my scheduling. This is a really fascinating mix of dexterity, building the actual structures, and a bit of positioning as you try and shove said buildings into the optimal place in the ocean to score the most points. Players compete for contracts, getting the tallest building, getting the most points from particular types of building or for a diverse arrangement of architecture.


My first building

I really enjoyed this game with it’s combination of building cool, weird and wonderful buildings, moments of extreme tension as people shoved their teetering structures to their final resting place and very little downtime. If you weren’t shoving a building around on your turn you were grabbing more contracts to fulfil, getting more of the lovely plastic bits out of the bag and thinking about what to build next. On others turns you are just building as quickly as you can so when it comes round to your turn you can fulfill the contract and score some sweet architecture kudos.


The view from my citizens side of the table

Megacity Oceania is in production now and should be in stores near you round Gencon and Essen later in the year.

The rest of my morning was spent doing a bit of wandering: picked up Assembly and Glitches expansion from Wren Games as my last purchase of the con, got a rundown of Solar Storm from Dranda Games (sounds like a neat, small box co-op game), and also ended up getting my last demo of the con from the gents at Grizzly Games and their game Home on Lagrange.

I’d had this on my list for the con but there were always busy when I came past. Luck would have it we passed by just as there were free and Rich and I sat down to have a quick game. Home on Lagrange is a quick playing game of building a space station out of various modules. You’ll use your hand of cards to mess with your opponent, buy different modules and lay traps and defences down for when your rivals come and get you.


The art is absolutely fantastic with loads of easter egg jokes on the cards

The game is a pretty light, take that style affair but we both really enjoyed it and the attention to detail in the art and excellent jokes on the cards was enough to carry us through the demo. It’s not the deepest game ever but I am absolutely certain that it would make a good addition to anyone’s collection if they are looking for something light, fillery with an old school sci-fi theme.

Away we go

One last trip to the food trucks, a chat with the Unlucky Frog, a lot of hugs from friends I won’t see for a while and I was away back up the road to the homeland with my friend Simon, who did all the driving because he is an absolute legend!

I’ve spent the last 3 days indulging in my hobby of choice and I couldn’t have found better people to do it with. My friends Gaz and Rich have been constant companions over the last few years of con attendance and I am making new friends every year. It was great to finally meet Jon from the Polyhedron Collider and spend a bit of time with Rory who I only really get to see once or twice a year. Matt, a friend from the Collective Endeavour days, was along solo on the Friday and Sunday and with his family on the Saturday who all seemed to be having a good time.

I love that families can come along to the show and it is the diversity of the crowd at expo that keeps me coming back. There aren’t just games for the hardcore nerds amongst us here, there is everything from games for the very youngest amongst us, to those who just want something light and silly to break the ice at a party. I loved my time at expo, the people I met and the exhibitors and demo teams who were good enough to take the time to show me their games. I’ll be back next year, maybe even with Sam if he has returned from dimensions unknown.

Thanks to all who made my con great, love you all.


Iain McAllister

Tabletop games reviewer and podcaster based in Dalkeith, Scotland.

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