Expo games

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Expo games

Post  Lizzy on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 15:16

Thought I'd start a new thread about what games people played at the expo and what you thought of them.

Here's mine:

Web of Spies
Played this loads of times already, but we had a really fun, much more aggressive game than usual.
Scoville
I was expecting a worker placement game, but this was quite a nice puzzle game. Very prone to AP figuring out what chillies you need where to get the colours you need to complete missions. I did like the different coloured chillies being different sizes though, they looked cool.
Ninja Camp
Simple card game a bit like Hey That’s My Fish! Nice filler
Council of Verona
Very quick playing betting game. Seemed a bit random, but fun.
Lifeboat
Fun game of pushing your friends out of boats and trying to stay alive
Quadropolis
Played this before the expo, but turned out I’d played it very wrong the first time. Much more puzzley than I thought and better for it. Basically a prettier version of Between Two Cities
Madame Ching
This was pretty good and quite unusual. Sort of push your luck, deciding whether to go for one long run or several shorter ones to get the most treasure
Study In Emerald
Played this before and still really like it. Deck builder where you have to figure out what teams the others are on before taking them out with assassins
Niagara
Much better than any of us expected. Looks like a gimmick with the river being the game box, but was actually a really fun game of risking it for the bigger gems or trying to steal them off your friends.
Lanterns (Purchased)
Lovely looking game similar to Splendor, but with a tile laying mechanic
Medieval Mastery
Taught to play by the very young looking designer and it turned out to be a pretty good area control game with lots of replayability
Wrong Chemistry
This was awful. You just played the cards you happened to have in your hand that gave you the most points. No real decision making to be made. Could easily be turned into a decent game, they just didn’t.
Ice Cool
Fun dexterity game of flicking penguins around
Lab wars
Pretty standard deck-building game with an unwelcome take that mechanic. I loved the theme, but it’s pretty niche!
Undermining
Surprisingly good mining game of completing missions and improving your machine
Mondo
Real time tile grabbing game where you're trying to build patterns to get the most points. Quick simple and fun.
Ominoes
Simple abstract game. Maybe better with fewer players?
Escape from the aliens in outer space
Hidden movement game where half the players are aliens and half humans. This was really tense and fun all the way through.
Baseball Highlights
Another deck-building game, which I don’t think we understood the rules of properly. I liked the theme and think it’d be better if you can understand what you’re doing at each stage, I just never quite got it.
Knit Wit (Purchased)
Great party word game. Paulyg suggesting a “folding safety sword” for Curved, Safe, Smaller than a Bread Box and Larger than a Bread Box was possibly my favourite moment of the expo
Dark Minions (or Paulgy Crushes all the Cities)
We played this hilariously wrong, but with the right rules actually worked as a game. The artwork was appalling though and it’s not something people should run out and buy.
Bucket King 3D
I was expecting a bit more interaction and bucket mayhem so I was a bit disappointed.
Wasteland Justice
Awful “improvement” on Thunder Road
Odin’s Ravens
Looks really pretty, but we found this a bit stale. Maybe we weren’t using enough of the Loki cards, but we mostly used the cards we happened to have to keep going so it didn’t feel like we had much impact.
Yeti
Played this wrong too, but once we sorted it it was an ok little dice game like King of Tokyo, but with much less interaction.  Had a lot of scope to either go for straight points or set yourself up to get more points later so it had a bit to it.
Treasure Hunter
Card drafting game trying to get sets of colours. Nice game, but I feel it could have been condensed into a smaller card game and been just as good.


Last edited by Lizzy on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 16:57; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Expo games

Post  DaveB on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 16:14

Port Royal
Pretty light tableau building game in a piratical stylee - great little filler/opener game
Web of Spies
Christened my copy of the game, glad to see it really holds up well
Scoville
Very pretty puzzle game where you try to grow different chillis to complete recipies. Very dependant on players - avoid with any AP players!
Ninja Camp
Agree with Lizzy > Simple card game a bit like Hey That’s My Fish! Nice filler
Council of Verona
Agree with Lizzy > Very quick playing betting game. Seemed a bit random, but fun.
Lifeboat
Agree with Lizzy > Fun game of pushing your friends out of boats and trying to stay alive
Quadropolis (bought)
This was on my list of games to try out and really enjoyed it, fairly light little citybuilding game. Bright and colourful
Rattle, Battle Grab the Loot
Horrible horrible game. Looks lovely, but no fun at all to play. Abandoned by mutual consent
Niagara
Played this with Lizzy - she's 100% correct that we all liked it a lot more than we were expecting
Ominoes (bought)
Lightweight dice-chucker - played with three and was good fun (two of us bought a copy)
Sheriff of Nottingham (bought)
Social game where you try to get contraband past the Sheriff (or trick him into impounding perfectly legal goods). Good fun although not sure about long-term depth
Carrotia
Odd little cooperative grid/maze game. Didn't like it very much, rules were unclear and poorly edited and the components were... confusing (for example three seperate egg timers for three seperate times. 30, 60 and 90s. Timers NOT labelled.
Android Mainframe (bought)
Area control game. You play cards to try and create areas on the board that only your icon is in. If you managed it that area is locked and scored for you at the end of the game. Theme is nothing more than a lick of paint on top of a fun little mechanic. Enjoyed it enough that I immediately grabbed a copy.
Canalis
Build an industrial power base supported by resources and canal network. I liked the concept and enjoyed the game, my only real complaint was that the scoring was very bitty and complicated.
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Re: Expo games

Post  JohnH on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 17:09

I have a card called "Kitten" from the ninja camp game (came with Kodama)

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/195554/ninja-camp-kitten

if anyone has bought it they can have it.

Also, I've felt massively left out of all your gaming fun at the weekend, so I've bought myself Euphoria (and Shipyard from Lizzy), and I'm going to a Polish boardgame shop tomorrow to see what I can find.
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Re: Expo games

Post  PaulC on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 17:26

The only games I played that haven't already been mentioned:

Cohorts
Roman legion based set collection game. It has an interesting mechanic that causes you to disadvantage yourself in order to free up space in your hand. Not terrible, but I'm not rushing to buy it.

Betrayal at House on the Hill
Polly enlisted me to teach this to the table. Despite trapping Polly in a graveyard for half of the game, stealing her only useful possession and then killing her, I think she still liked it. I certainly did - despite rolling dice so terribly that my 6'2" hulk of muscle was beaten up by an 8 year old girl.

Tosspot
Yes, really. I regretted it immediately. I'm so sorry.

Scythe
Didn't play a full game, but got to play out a couple of turns and fondle the lovely components... looking forward to getting hold of it next month.
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Re: Expo games

Post  paulyg on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 17:52

I didn't record what I played so this is from memory...
Port Royal
Pretty much what Dave said.
Web of Spies
I'm impressed by how much I'm enjoying re-playing this one. Really enjoyed our super-aggro game of it!
Scoville
Like Lizzy, I was expecting a totally different game but this was really good! If Paul didn't already have it then I'd have bought it.
Ninja Camp
OK little filler. Think the artwork was the best thing about it, though!
Council of Verona
I'm enjoying this one more than Love Letter now, I think. Quick little game of deception and second-guessing what your opponents are doing.
Lifeboat
Really keen to play this with more than 4 people! And to play the sequel, Desert Island.
Ghostel
Played a specially shortened version of this but it was very fun. You play as ghosts trying to scare the residents of a hotel, using a combination of dice rolls and cards. There's quite a clever movement aspect to this and it's very interactive as you can jump in and 'steal' scares from other players. Looking forward to this one arriving!
Quadropolis
Pretty fun tile placement game with some good puzzly qualities. A little too similar to other games for me to pick this one up.
Madame Ching
Very interesting card game with a massive board Smile I quite liked that the most intuitive strategy wasn't necessarily the best in this one.
Imhotep
SdJ nominee this year. Pretty interesting block delivery / building game. Again, a lot of second-guessing of what your opponents are trying to do and trying to position yourself in the best way. Don't think it'll win the award though.
Automania
Nice worker placement game where we all more or less forgot to do one of the cool things (place workers on spots already taken by other people) but we still had lots of fun playing.
Lanterns
I really like this. It's a tile placement game with a hint of Splendor thrown in as well. And the artwork is lovely and tranquil.
Medieval Mastery
Pretty decent area control game with combat similar to Cosmic Encounter. I might have bought it if it was a bit cheaper.
Wrong Chemistry
I think Lizzy was a bit harsh on this. The puzzle aspect of trying to make the molecules you had in as few moves as possible was quite fun but the random card draws and extra points for consecutive runs was stupid.
Isle of Trains
Fun little compact card game of building trains and delivering goods. I also appreciate the wordplay.
Terrain(?)
Weird game of pretty much putting down hexes of different types to get the largest consecutive area. Felt like I was playing the setup of a much better game but the much better game never started.
Cat On Your Head
A crowd game played at the SUSD podcast where a cat and mouse made their way through the crowd (by people tapping each other on the shoulder). Surprisingly tense and fun!
Carrotia
No idea if this game was good (suspect not) as the rules were too terrible to figure out how to play it properly.
Knit Wit
This was way more fun than I was expecting. A word game of Venn diagrams!
Dark Minions
This was also way more fun than I was expecting but not for the right reasons. We played it totally wrong which worked out pretty well for me. Playing it the right way I think it would be ok but nothing special.
Bucket King 3D
More like Thimble King. Those buckets were tiny! Anyway, this was a bit like Uno or something with a tower of buckets that you occasionally had to try and not knock over. Fun once.
Concept
Like playing charades but by selecting particular pictures rather than miming. I quite like the logic that you had to put together for this one and we got to play the giant version with magnets!
Yeti
Push your luck dice game about climbing a mountain. Agree with Lizzy's assessment.
Compounded
Fun engine building game about discovering molecules. I really like the design of this. Also you can have lab fires.
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Re: Expo games

Post  PaulC on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 18:12

Lizzy wrote:
Odin’s Ravens
Looks really pretty, but we found this a bit stale. Maybe we weren’t using enough of the Loki cards, but we mostly used the cards we happened to have to keep going so it didn’t feel like we had much impact.

I really enjoyed Odin's Ravens. Each time I played I used all of my Loki cards, perhaps that's the difference. I've bought a copy, so maybe you can reassess at a later date.
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Re: Expo games

Post  BeardyTom on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 18:32

Here's some I played:

Guilds of London I really liked this. Some combotastic card play + area control = a hit for me. Would have bought it if it hadn't sold out.

Nina & Pinta by the Ragnar Brothers. I'm quite attracted to the quirky theme of Columbus's ships encountering some weird spacetime anomaly in mid-atlantic and simultaneously discovering three different versions of the New World to plunder. Like most of the big box Ragnar games I've played, it asks a lot of the players as they have to deal with the many different game elements but there's a fair bit of intricate strategy to be found in there. Would have bought it if it had been unloaded from the boat in time.

Clown Standoff Russian roulette with custard pies. Takes a couple of minutes. Probably best played drunk. Needs people to be in the right mood for it but if they are it can be a lot of fun. Bought, because basically the guy on the Artipia stand was throwing games at me as it got late on the last day.

Onitama Really liked this. Two player abstract where on each turn you're looking at two cards in front of you, each of which shows a way to move your pieces. Once you've used a card, you swap it for another. Every game will have a different selection of five cards which cycle around the two players. Smooth, rapid and thinky. Would have bought it if it hadn't sold out everywhere. EDIT: I just found this blog post which is exactly what I would have written about Onitama if I had a blog.

King of Roses An older 2-player abstract from the Kosmos 2-player series. Felt a bit like Go but more manageable. Bought.

Button King Cute but feather-light little filler from one of the Brunos (Cathala I think).

Pi Mal Pflaumen Lovely little card game. A bit of trick taking, a bit of set collection and with a random mix of fruit and transcendental constants. Bought.
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Re: Expo games

Post  Aneurin on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 15:12

My games played list is dominated by games with very badly written rule books Wink.

Cheaty Mages - Played this one while waiting in the que for the expo. Fun card game - where you, as a mage, can bet on a monster to win a pit fit - once bets are in - you cast secret spells on the monsters to either enhance or degrade their power. But there is a judge - and if the amount of magic used is revealed to be too much (each spell has a mana cost - which must be below the mana limit of the judge card) - he will disqualify the fighter. The fighter with the hihest power wins and bets are paid out accordingly. 3 or so rounds to get the most money.

Space Planets (Haba games) - a fun little dexterity game for small children. Roll a dice, hit a planet card, if you do you can travel to that planet using the number of energy crystals shown on the dice. If you can't travel there (lack of energy crystals) you collect them instead. Nice art work. Great 5-10minute game for 5-10 years olds. Purchased.

Go Kuckoo (Haba games) - Basically reverse Ka-plunck. Each turn you lay up to 3 kebab sticks horizontally on a tin. If the end colours of your stick match - stop and place an egg on the stick nest. If the egg falls into the tin your opponents each give you one other their eggs. First to place all their eggs wins. Great idea - but as more and more sticks are added to the nest - the game gets easier and easier. Disappointing.

Spookies (Haba Games) - a push your luck type game for children. Roll some dice - if you hit the required number you can move up a floor in a haunted house. You can keep rolling - but if you fail to hit the increasingly higher numbers your turn stops and your character drops  a floor in the  house. Stop on a floor and you can collect an indicated number of Spookies (which all have random VPs). The number of dice you roll with dictates how many Spookies you get too. Slightly silly in that if you do push your luck and succeed - its not worth it as the VPs on the Spookies are randomised. But it is a kids game so... I still approve of this one.

New York 1901 - a ticket to ride clone about building skyscrapers in new York. Race to collect sets of coloured cards - then when you have a big enough set - build one of the fancy buildings. The bigger the building the more VP granted. I was expecting more of a puzzle game - having to think about how to fit all the different shaped buildings into limited plots... but no... you can simply demolish lesser valued skyscrapers (without sacrificing the VPs) to build a better building (bronze-silver-gold levels). That last rule basically turns this potential great game into a who got lucky on collecting the coloured cards game. OK entry game but if I want to play TTR why wouldn't I just play it instead of this? Disappointing.

Rattle Battle Grab the Loot - So this game has an awful rulebook. I believe it is relying on online play videos to explain it to people. Get through the rule book at its a pretty simple game with a unique dice dropping element... with lovely artwork... but it is still hindered in so many ways. In short - drop some dice (your pirate ships) into the box lid and fight the nasty pirates. The score on the dice indicates it's power, have a higher power than your nearest neighbouring dice and you win. Survive all the fighting and you claim loot to spend in town fixing your damaged ships, making your ships better, hiring better crew, or simple VPs. So awful awful rule book aside it still doesn't work as the box isn't transparent - with the box in the middle of the table - most dice end up at the edges of the box and your cant see them without standing up and observing from above. If only everyone could afford a nice sunken board games table. Disappointment.

Rococo - Beautiful euro about collecting silks and making dresses for the elite to rent for an aristocratic party at a mansion. You can also decorate the mansion, place musicians to entertain the guests for put on magical firework displays for bonus points. On first glance it looks very over-whelming but if you can get past that it boils down to 4/5 simple actions - collect silk, make dress, hire new people, decorate the palace or get the queens favour/start marker - which you activate by playing 'worker' cards - drafted from a deck. Worker cards can be limited to only some of the five actions - but might give you extra silks/cotton/other bonus' to help the dress making process. Loved it.

Imhotep - A SdJ nominated game for 2016. Wanted to play it - Evan had pre-purchased it from GamesLore. Really enjoyable block placement game about building in ancient Egypt; with a small bit of push your luck involved when placing your blocks on ships. Will someone on their turn sail the ship you are placing bricks on to a location you don't really want to use. A nice game - well executed. Would buy it but no need - there a few copies circulating around the club.

Council of Verona - A nice little alternative to Love Letter - probably the best one I have played imo. Place cards in either the council or in exile - place secret betting chips on certain cards. If the conditions of said card are met (e.g. Romeo and Juliet are together) at the end of all card placement then you receive points based on those betting chips. But be careful some betting chips are just poison - and the card is removed - unless the antidote chip was also played. Seriously considering getting this one.

7 Wonders Duel - Finally got to play this. Brilliant game. Loved it. A little bit frustrating when every card you reveal in the card pyramid helps your opponent but I guess that just adds to the fun. I think I lost all games - but still loved it.  

Guilds of London - Another mid-level euro - area control based game. All actions are driven from a hand of cards. You can buy workers, use the colour of the card to move a meeple to a matching coloured guild, or pay (in cards) to use use another cards special ability (which can range from giving you simple VP, to extra workers, or scoring cards). Once enough meeples are on a guild it is scored for VP. You become the master of the guild if you had the most meeple on it. There is also a VP prize for coming second. Guild masters are often used for final scoring cards (e.g. most red guilds etc) but also grant VP bonus if adjacent to other masters. Met the designer. Great game. Purchased.

Cacao - A nice tile placement game. Place worker tiles in a checkerboard grid. Fill the gaps with jungle tiles which then grant either cacao, allow you to sell cacao, give you access to water, temples or sun tokens. All done to gain the most VP. Smooth. Great looking. It will be on my interested to buy list. Makes a good entry level game.

Baseball Highlights 2045 - Another terrible rulebook. Quite confusing. I had a keyword 'walk' looked up what it meant on the player aid and it basically said - makes you do a walk - not that helpful. However, given our mad stumbling through the first few games - we picked it up eventually and it could be a fun deck building style game. It's quick... you play over several baseball games... and it involves robots... what isn't to like. Not that I'll be buying it...

The Hen Commandments - This just isn't a game... I don't get it. Ok probably best played when drunk... but mainly exists to take the piss out of Christianity. Basically pick a coloured card (representing things like Desire, Sacrifice, Judgement etc) - if your card is a unique colour (I.e. no-one else picked that colour) you can persuade other players to vote for your interpretation of a collection of random words into a commandment that somehow links to your random coloured card... holy Jesus... even describing it annoys me.  Possible the worse game I had played... until...

Carrotia - I still don't get this game. And it's still missing a D12. Awful book. Obviously a failed translation. How does this stuff ever make it to market. Don't ask about the sand timers. Avoid.

Rebellion - I love this game. Real cold war feel to it. Empire verus rebels. Will the empire find the hidden rebel base before the time in the game runs out... (time is pushed reduced by the rebel player scoring minor victories e.g. destroying a star destroyer). It oozes theme. Evan managed to blow up my death star (twice)... but that was after the emperor seduced him to the dark side. Again its run on cards, but you need leader to power those cards, but those leaders also move your ships, and can work against enemy mission cards if they are trying to destroy something you need, or raise sympathy for their cause. If you haven't played it yet - come play it with me! I'm rubbish. Owned.

Treasure Hunters - A Richard Garfield game. Draft cards between players. Score high/low and collect the corresponding treasures (be they high or negative value). Once done you need to escape the dungeon. Did you bring enough dogs? You can collect those too during the drafting phase. Much better than Sushi Go in my opinion. But I can see the theme wont suit everyone compared to Sushi Go. On my list.

Isle of Skye - Beautiful game about building your kingdom and scoring VPs. Some economy based mechanics make it very interesting. On my list.

Clown Standoff - well yes... This was at the end of the expo... ergh. Tom and Polly can keep it.

Ominos... forgot this one. Played about 3 times. Works really well with 4 players.

Suddenly realising I played a lot of games...
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Re: Expo games

Post  BeardyTom on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 16:08

Aneurin wrote:Clown Standoff - well yes... This was at the end of the expo... ergh. Tom and Polly can keep it.

Coulrophobe
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Re: Expo games

Post  Evilevan on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 21:23

Well – quite a chunk of the games I played have already been covered above... but I’ll add my comments as is appropriate....

Cheaty Mages – I’m not that fond of bidding games, but I enjoyed the secret card playing in this card game – good fun!

Space Planets (Haba games) – a fun kids game... simple dice rolling onto cards to get gems... ok...

Go Kuckoo (Haba games) – Didn’t really get the point to this kerplunk style game – a bit silly

Spookies (Haba Games) - a push your luck type game for children. After you have pushed your luck and won a load of counters, you flip them over to see what random points you have won. I disapprove of this nonsense.

New York 1901 – I liked this a lot, even though we were missing something – the guy who taught us the rules omitted some cards that give extra end game scoring bonuses... I think this may have given an extra level of strategy to the whole thing.. so I’d definitely like to give it a go with those some time... I liked it.

Rattle Battle Grab the Loot – We really struggled with this... the artwork and components  were really nice, but the game was not good. Bad rulebook. We gave up.

Rococo – What Aneurin said. Fantastic!

Imhotep – Oh yes!.... I read the rules online and pre-ordered it to pick up at the expo... a solid family game of chunky cube placement with an Egyptian theme – going to get a lot of play out of this one!

Council of Verona – This replaces Love Letter. Nice.

7 Wonders Duel – Another pre-order I picked up.... I love what they’ve done with this 2 player game – Totally has the feel of 7 Wonders, but uses different mechanics... I think I won all games -  Razz    

Guilds of London – Yep – Good solid Euro game... was getting a lot of well deserved buzz at the expo... really enjoyed it.

Cacao – What Aneurin said. Very nice game.

The Hen Commandments – Absolutely the most awful “party” game. Good grief.

Carrotia – Bad rulebook. We gave up.

Rebellion – Even though Luke was turned to the dark side early on, the Empire couldn’t break the rebellion... I’ve only played this twice, but it’s great fun... It’s a long game, but so thematic that I didn’t notice how late it was until we finished...If you like Star Wars... then this is THE Star Wars game.

Ominos... nice abstract dice placement game....short, but very strategic... we played this a few times. Karl said this was a prototype version that we played, so I’d be interested to see what it looks like if it is professionally published. Good game.

Treasure Hunters – Hand building / Card drafting (like 7 wonders) and then playing sets to try to either win or lose to get the treasures, beat the goblins and escape the dungeon with the most loot... very clever, very fun, nice components... but essentially this is a card game, not sure it needs the big box treatment.. a bit expensive for what you get, but it’s a very good game (one to look out for in the bring and buy next year!    Very Happy    )...

Isle of Skye – Tile placement like Carcassonne, but with bidding... really enjoyed this one....

Cornwall – Another Carcassonne style tile placement game, this time with a Cornish theme... the tiles are 3 hexagons stuck together, and there are some interesting mechanics and ways to score -  I liked it, but it doesn’t replace Carcassonne...

DragonWood – I really enjoyed this one, you collect sets of up to 4 cards in a rummy style – either runs, groups of the same number or groups of the same colour, then play them against various monster cards that are in the woods... how many cards you play dictates how many dice you roll against the monsters to try and beat them... after the 2 dragons have been defeated, who’s got the most points wins... you can also collect cards that give you bonuses to beat the monsters – a good mix of tactics and dice rolling luck = fun! – This has the same appeal as Treasure Hunters, but is a third the price and comes in a small box... would have been an insta-buy... except they’d sold out... boo.. definitely going to track down a copy of this one for the kids.

Queen’s Necklace – This seemed quite a dull game, but the tired young lady who half heartedly explained half the rules to us at 3pm on the Sunday kind of put me off... I think we got the gist of it, didn’t make me want to try it again... another basic card game that has been put in a big box with over sized cards and an unnecessary board... blah...

Ominos... nice abstract dice placement game....short, but very strategic... we played this a few times. Karl said this was a prototype version that we played, so I’d be interested to see what it looks like if it is professionally published. Good game.

Games that came back with me: IMHOTEP, MEMOIR ’44, A STUDY IN EMERALD, 7 WONDERS DUEL, PATCHWORK, MYTHOTOPIA, QUADROPOLIS, FRIDAY, and for the kids... KAKERLAKEN POKER, FUCHS & FERTIG, DAS MAGISCHE LABYRINTH KARTENSPIEL, and MONSTER CAFE...

I had a great time, this was my 4th Expo... I went for three days this year, which is the longest one I’ve done, still felt like I didn’t have enough time to do / see everything I wanted to...

The only criticism of things that I experienced really worth a mention was the seminar space in the main hall – (too much noise, not enough space, PA not loud enough... and no  raised platform so you couldn’t see much) – hopefully they’ll learn from that one!

One of the Highlights for me this year was the Shut Up & Sit Down Live podcast recording - but It’s just a great experience being in that friendly atmosphere, surrounded by games / gamers. The first year I went by myself and was a bit shy and struggled a bit to find people to play games with... this year it was non-stop gaming. Fantastic!
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