At the beginning of the month I had the pleasure of spending two days with friends at the NEC in Birmingham at UK Games Expo 2018. This was my second year attending as a punter (I first attended in 2016 when I was trading as Twisted Pinnacle Games).
Lots has been said elsewhere on the interweb about the show so I’m not going to do a full review here, just to say what an enjoyable and excellent time we all had. Since moving from being solely at the Hilton Hotel to the NEC proper in 2016 the event has continued to grow and this year spread into a second exhibition hall.
There was the usual eclectic mix of traders and exhibitors (including a noticeable incease in the number of wargaming companies this year). If one lacks self-control (like I tend to) then there is a tempatation at this sort of thing to go on an orgy of shopping. While this is certainly possible at UKGE it is somewhat eclipsed by the sheer number of opportunities to actually sit down and play games of all different shapes and sizes. Be this companies demoing on their own stands, distributors like Esdevium/Asmodee UK or the much expanded open gaming areas (a real success this year with the opening of the second hall), there was simply so much choice.
It’s also worth making a note on the atmosphere and demographic. This is a very family friendly show and it was encouraging to not only see lots of kids and families present, but also a good male-female split (very different to wargaming shows). My friend’s ten year old lad had a fantastic time at the specially organised children’s roleplaying games area. There was also a family zone run by Imagination Gaming which provided the opportunity to play lots of different sorts of games aimed at the younger age groups. I am thinking that next year it’ll be possible to bring my six year old daughter along and keep her entertained for the duration.
So, I wasn’t that good and did end up spending quite a bit while I was there (to be fair I had been saving and have had a massive clearout recently). My swag for the day is pictured above – I was mainly concentrating on stuff for Star Wars Legion and was luckly to pick up one of only a handful of the newly released Rebel Fleet Trooper boxes on the Friday. TTCombat ended up getting a lot of my money with their really affordable MDF scenery (mainly for Legion again). My other big love at the moment is 7tv and Crooked Dice were present selling all sorts of cult TV and cinema related miniatures.
All in all a great couple of days, and I’mm looking forward to next year already.
Oh, and talking about 7tv, ‘The Apocalypse’ is coming – more on that soon…..