UKGE – Debriefing

Chris – Sorry that this isn’t being posted sooner, but I have been travelling the week after UKGE so I’ve been quite busy and not in a position to write this. But here we go!

UKGE has been bigger than ever, featuring most vendors, larger tournaments, and a larger bring and buy area. And of course tons of games being run in the halls and hotels, of which Darker Days Radio has been involved.

Saturday for myself involved a rapid check in with all of the manufacturers and companies we have been featuring in the lead up to the event. From Para Bellum we will soon have a demo kit to review, and they had on show the fantastic models that represent their Dweghom (dwarf) and Norse ranges, plus new models for the knights and elven factions, and final box examples that will be going to retail. These guys have a lot planned for the future and we will be keeping an eye on them. So stay tuned for our review of the gameplay!

Scale 75 had a great first UKGE, and we had a great chat to them about the future of their minis games, such as Fallen Frontiers, and Smog Riders. We also got a review copy of a small board game that takes just 15 minutes to play. James will be writing a full review of that game shortly.


Games Workshop was out in force with their new Contrast Paints being shown off. These are a real game changer and it is clear that they will lead to many people getting armies painted fast. The team had displays and cabinets filled with models painted with these new paints, and also on show were the new Enforcers for Necromunda. Oh yes – keep an eye peeled for a new Necromunda campaign here.

Speaking of the worlds of Games Workshop, Cubicle 7 was doing well with their new starter set for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4e, plus Wrath and Glory, which under the new license deal will not mean a change in the rules, just a revised edition.

Farsight is one game we will also be delving into as Mike will be reviewing this soon. This miniatures board game, which on the surface looks like Mechwarrior/Battletech, has some interesting gameplay using tokens to create a fog of war. The minis also look fantastic.

We also caught up with our friends at Grimlord Games. Boy were those guys busy! They had a prototype of Everrain that was very popular, and with Room 17, they were using the Ten Fold Dungeon as a means to run Village Attacks. We will be catching up with these guys again in Sheffield to play some Everrain soon!

Table Top Combat and their fantastic Venice board for Carnevale!

Of course my first day was not just looking at new games and new releases, as I was part of the Contagion Chronicle event for Onyx Path Publishing, which involved myself running Geist, Klara running Vampire, Chris running Werewolf, Steffie running Changeling, and John running Promethean, and with Matthew running the grand finale.

Matthew and the players of the final game of the Chronicles of Darkness tournament, Stephen, Chris, Sophie, Michael, and Andrew (Winner of the Geist game run by Chris – DDR) ! Congratulations, Michael!

It was fantastic to be involved in such a event, to briefly sit in on the finale, and to have my very French Hannibal Lecter Slasher turn up in the cross over scenario. The Geist scenario will be published soon on the Storyteller Vault.

The next morning was all hands on deck as I was helping out the Modiphius stand running demos of Vampire the Masquerade 5th edition, using a cut down version of Make Blood Boil, our free to download scenario. Overall I was glad to have demoed to so many people new to the game, and convince those that 5th edition was worth picking up. Plus it was great fun being on the front line of promoting games I love.

Chris getting ready to run some Vampire 5th edition set in the dark heart of Manchester.

We of course had our live show that afternoon which you can find here.

And well that it is it from my side and I give way to James to fill us in on what things he got up to at Expo.

James – This year was another excellent expo with so much to see and do! Chris and I split up to cover as much as we could and I still don’t think we got to dive into everything we wanted to over the 2 days we were there.

One of the first thing I did on the Saturday was register for a Pathfinder session to play with the new rules, the session played out quite similar to last year but while I was waiting I got a chance to read through a print copy of the new edition which will be out on the 1st of August. There was a lot of interesting changes from when I used to play Pathfinder so I’ll definitely be picking up a copy and I’ll share my thoughts on it once I’ve had a chance to familiarise myself with it.

In our exploring we came across Free League who had copies of their new book Things from the Flood, a follow up to Tales from the Loop which shifts the focus to teenagers rather than kids and based on the second art book by Simon Stålenhag. With the system being based on the same rules as Mutant: Year Zero I picked up the quick start book to get a feel for running an introductory session.

After dropping Chris off to run his game I had a scout around and found the UK Indie RPG League who had a lot of interesting games on their table, even while I’d planned not to buy anything this year I ended up picking up two books from their table Goblin Quest and Lovecraftesque. Goblin Quest sounded like a great fit for my gaming group as it’s filled with chaos and jokes while Lovecraftesque drew me in with its considered and socially conscious approach to the subject matter. With so many interesting games on their table we arranged an interview for the Sunday that you’ll be able to hear soon.

The UKGE is always a great opportunity to get a chance to try a game that you’ve been considering buying but finding an empty table for specific games can be tricky. My top tip if you’re at the expo for a couple of days is find where the games you want to play are set up on your first day and then make a bee line for the table at the beginning of the second day to cut down on queuing time.

First thing on Sunday I sat down with the new Lord of the Rings game which makes use of a tablet to generate the world and events but wasn’t sold on it, with the play space expanding throughout the play experience we were constantly having to move tiles to try and fit the gowning board on the table.

At Inside The Box Games I played Sub Terra 2 and tried to escape an erupting volcano, it was a lot of fun even though we all died to some very unfortunate rolls causing barrage after barrage of deadly darts. In addition to bringing Sub Terra 2 to demo they also had an early demo of Aquanauts which sounded interesting but I didn’t have the time to play another demo.

This year we stayed closer to the expo site which meant we were able to take part in more of the social scene, having gone back year after year it’s a great opportunity to reunite with old friends and make some new ones.

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