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Friday 29th May signalled the main event in the UK’s gaming Calendar. The UK Games Expo!

Thousands of people from up and down the country all come together in harmony, well almost, to celebrate our amazing hobby. Traders, bloggers, reviewers, designers, publishers and of course players! It’s quite a site and this year the organisers took it up a notch. As well as the usual games halls, trade halls, seminars, etc. This years sees an excellent food course (with a bar in a bus atop which you can sit and sip an ale if you so wish), there is a cinema showing a few films and a stand up comedian… yes, that’s right. This has to be a first, right?

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Continuing the theme of things that are a little left field, I arrived a little later than anticipated at the event, but undeterred and had a quick look around the trade halls before the doors opened to the public. I spotted some pals from Grublin Games who are currently running  a Kickstarter for gorgeous gaming dice: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1811420414/terralith-organic-metal-rpg-dice

They look and, I can say with total honesty, the feel great too (as I had the chance to pick them up and have a play). What’s left field about any of this? Well, I became their first hand model and while I appreciate the opportunity to become a part of the modelling industry (even if it was just my left hand) I don’t expect my career to last very long, but here is my hand being upstaged by some dice!

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Then it was off to Surprised Stare games. I will be honest, there were some promos I was keen to get my hands on for Snowdonia (I also bagged a nice Idris the Dragon for Ivor the Engine too). Mission Accomplished. However, even more exciting and totally unexpected was the prototype at he stand. Tony Boydell was there and gave myself and some other lucky peeps a demo of the game: Guilds of London. You can read all about the game and development over on his BGG blog, here. (I have pictures, but the phone they are on needs to be charged, I will post these at a later date.)

Suddenly it was five o’clock and the day had vanished… so it was off to go and get that beer I hinted at earlier! Sitting on the top deck, over looking the crowds and people watching was a nice round off to the day, before heading inside to the bar.

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I did manage a brief chat with Miles Ratcliffe of Chaos Publishing, who I bump into all over the place it feels like. He is the gent behind Chaos Publishing. publisher, designer, podcaster… a man of many trades it would appear. I also popped over to see The Great War by PSC games and hope to review that soon… I got chatting and forgot the pictures! I will rectify that tomorrow (later today) as it does look pretty amazing. Of course, there were many other interesting and exciting games I got to see and will post more on them later also (the card game Xi. Jane Austen’s Matchmaker, amongst others).

But for now 5am has come and gone and there is another full day tomorrow (yet oddly, I am still getting messages from people I have met today, so it’s good to know I wont be the only zombie wandering the corridors in a few hours!)

Tomorrow there will be more pictures of the game (and I will make sure that everything that needs to be fully charged is fully charged).