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Another successful Expo - we took slightly more money than last year, which meant that we covered our costs and had enough left for a meal at Manzils (which was the best Indian meal I've had in a very long time) and a couple of pints in the Burton Bridge Inn. Money, however, is a secondary consideration for us at Expo - we go there to enjoy ourselves and play games with as many people as possible. As usual we were ably assisted by Nick, Paul and Carole; for a variety of reasons ranging from plain incompetence to alarming medical emergencies we were short of extra bodies, but managed to catch at least some of the new releases. We came away with Go with the Flow, a simple tactical game with quite a lot of luck involved but fast-paced and very well produced, and Convoluted, a simple but really quite thoughtful word game. A hideously misplaced apostrophe on a card put me off Zombie Close but further investigation has shown it to be really quite good despite being Yet Another Zombie Game; a lot simpler than most of the others, fast-paced, nicely balanced and quite atmospheric. I managed to miss Medieval Mastery, but having played it since am hoping that it will be available to sell in the shop before too long.
So what were we playing in our demo patch in front of the stand? On Saturday, mostly the dice game King of Tokyo which, as expected, was the hit of the show for us. It's easy to learn, fast to play, colourful, fun, and works with 2 - 6 players, so ticks a lot of boxes. We also played a fair few games of Cargo Noir, the new Days of Wonder release which is also a favourite at our Wednesday Night sessions, and Abandon Ship, which has been out for a couple of years but has been largely unnoticed despite being a fine lightweight tactical/bluffing game. Sunday was dominated by Conquest of Planet Earth; we had planned to try the co-operative variant but as fast as one game finished there were players waiting for the next game so we stuck to the version we knew. Ascension and Guillotine got a run-out too, but the longer games didn't get a look in. However, one person did stop at the stand to say how much she had enjoyed Navigador, which we had recommended a few weeks previously; that was top of the list if we'd had the chance to fit a longer game in.
At another company's demo table nearby, there were constant games of Braggart - with the advantage of costing only £8.99 it was our top seller, though closely followed by the £29.99 King of Tokyo. Braggart won the Best Card Game award at the show, unsurprisingly. Best Board Game was won by Martin Wallace's Ankh-Morpork, but we all have to wait until the September release before we can lay our hands on that one.
Spirit Games (Est. 1984) - Supplying role playing games (RPG), wargames rules, miniatures and scenery, new and traditional board and card games for the last 29 years
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