UKGE 2019

UKGE – it’s massive!

We had a great day at UKGE this year.

Loads of pics below.
Find a dedicated article for our ‘Game of the Show’, here.

This year was our second venture to the UK Games Expo at the NEC in Birmingham – and wow! What a show!

There’s so much to UKGE, that without intense planning, you’re going to miss a lot of what’s going on. That’s not necessarily something to worry about. With it being such a long-standing affair, it’s likely not going anywhere for years to come! We only attended the Friday, but the show runs for 3 days. We’re now checking out accommodation options for possibly attending the whole weekend next year.

Last year was our first and we really had no idea what to expect. We perused the pdf version of the programme days before and seen that there were loads of opportunities to play in organised sessions and tournaments, but we ended up just wandering the floor of the big halls and still having a great time! That first year, we made it our mission to pretty much scour every corner of the main halls to ensure we didn’t miss out on anything. This year we did things differently…

This year, we were more relaxed in our approach and took our time to have a good rummage around some of the retail stores and indie shops, as well as stop off to talk to specific creators whom we’ve become aware of over the years. We made sure we ate early on so we didn’t become fatigued, and we also took the time to sit down and play and do some painting. We had an awesome time!

What follows is lots of photos and some explanation of what we got up to. Enjoy! 🙂

Keyforge tournament
Keyforge tournament

Keyforge was a big deal at UKGE this year. The tournament area was huge and it was all just kicking off as we entered the hall!

Star Wars: Outer Rim
Star Wars: Outer Rim

Clearly the new hotness at this year’s show, Star Wars: Outer Rim was everywhere when it came to stalls, but only one demo in progress that I could see. This is on my wishlist and soon to be added to the collection. As a fan of Imperial Assault, X-Wing and SW: Rebellion, how could I not?! I should have picked it up at the show when I found it for an absolute steal at the first stall we came to, but the cautious side of me said to wait and shop around. When I came back to that first stall, yup – sold out! Doh!

Star Wars: Legion – another FFG minis game I’d love to get into if only I had the money!
Ralph Horsley and some of his beautiful artwork. Looks like he worked on previous years’ UKGE logos.
Lasered Games
Lasered Games

We made a point of walking through the indie aisles first this year, as we only passed through them on our way out last year. And so glad we did! Walking past the above stall, I thought hmm… “I recognise those finely-crafted antique leather chests”. And sure enough, They are the OP Laser ones I’ve coveted for so long! Phil of Lasered Games has taken over where Dave of OPLaser left off when he recently retired, which is great news for anyone into Arkham Horror the card game. Attending UKGE was a bit of a last minute thing apparently, but the product speaks for itself. So glad these will live on!

Conerstone of any nutritious breakfast: cheeseburgers and ale! 🙂
Kodama and Kodama Duo look like fun. Need to find out more about these!
Battlesystems terrain
Battlesystems terrain. Cracking stuff and all made from cardboard. Like Gremlins – just don’t get it wet!
Osprey Games

Osprey Games has moved further and further towards the center of our radar in the last couple of years. I picked up Wildlands a while ago and have enjoyed playing it a few times now. I’m also keen on trying out ‘The Lost Expedition’ at some point, which they’ve just re-skinned and revamped as Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth – well now I’m in a dead tie between which one to get!

Their latest is the quintessentially English: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which is an absolute favourite book of my wife’s (plus we both really enjoyed the tv adaptaion), which has now been adapted into a board game. The aim is surely to make English magic respectable again.

Strange & Norrell
Strange & Norrell
Judge Dredd
Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth. Apparently all the gorgeous artwork was commissioned as new.
Contrast paints
We sat down to try Games Workshop’s new Contrast paints. Not sure I’ll be getting these as I don’t paint large armies, but I can see where the benefits lie for those that do.

Not only does the above photo enthusiastically inform the viewer where the toilets are in the NEC, it also shows just how striking Themebourne’s aesthetic is. Escape the Dark Castle is a favourite of mine as well as my gaming group and I’m looking forward to eventually picking up their follow-up game: ‘Escape the Dark Sector’. They nailed the 80’s fantasy vibe with the former, so I’m sure they’ll achieve the same if not more for their new sci-fi game which introduces ranged combat and a couple of other tweaks, whilst mostly keeping to the original game’s format.

Escape the Dark Sector.

That’s all folks! You can check out a dedicated article for our ‘Game of the Show’, here.

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