Author Topic: UKGE 2023  (Read 1914 times)

Offline Decar

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UKGE 2023
« on: May 31, 2023, 01:39:03 AM »
Hi all, just a quick note to say that I'm attending to the UKGE on Friday. So if you're going it would be cool to have a high five from other UK fans.

I think some are attending the Carcassonne Championships, which is on the Saturday 11 til 6. Unfortunately I can't make those this year.

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=6382.0

Offline danisthirty

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2023, 08:46:00 AM »
Hope you have a great time there! I'm hoping to arrive by 9 on Saturday so should have a couple of hours to look around before the championship begins...

Offline Meepledrone

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2023, 03:13:40 PM »
@Decar No report of your exploits? ;)
Questions about rules? Check WICA: wikicarpedia.com

Offline Decar

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2023, 04:04:13 AM »
You know me - I'd do anything for a merit point....

Friday started early at 6am, and out of the door by 6.30.  A momentary stop at a service station for breakfast saw me getting to the NEC around 8.40.  There was a queue to get into the car park.  Typically, Friday is the least busy day of the UKGE, usually because people have to take a day of work in order to attend.  This really indicates we're now in a post-COVID world, there were no restrictions in place, and people were milling about with numbers seemingly close to pre-pandemic levels.

I met up with Rich just outside of the carpark and we had a brisk walk into the halls to join yet another queue for tickets.  Even though I had ordered my ticket online it is customary for British people to queue at every opportunity.  With Lanyards acquired we headed into Hall 2.

The first game we played was Beacon Patrol.  At first glace this appears to be a Clone-cassonne.  Essentially you draw 3 tiles, but any only place them orthogonally adjacent to your boat; which you then subsequently move.  You score points by surrounding Lighthouses, buoys, and houses.  One thing I wasn't particularly fond of was that all the tiles must be positioned in the same direction.  Reducing the effectiveness of a tile.  It's hard to know what this limitation adds to the game play.  The game is also cooperative, and each round player's are allowed to swap a tile.  Rich and I both qualified as Sailors.  We both purchased a copy; I think it plays quite nicely; and I enjoyed it more than I was expecting.



Next up was a deck-building game called After Us.  Which is basically set in a Planet of the Apes world where tribes of Apes battle it out for being the greatest tribe.  The deck building is neat, on each round you draw your 4 cards and then have to sequence them so that frames are completed which give you access to resources or actions you can take.  With the resources you buy more Ape cards and eventually your start making big points.  I made a few mistakes in the penultimate rounds, and a dude overtook us all to win the game.  I generally like the mechanics, although I'm not sure the designers understand the differences between Apes and Monkeys, which is something you should never get wrong.  In addition I felt that the great Ape civilization was destined to make the same mistakes Mankind had, arguing about resources and being unable to share a victory.  The material understanding of the world is still deeply routed in our own framing of intelligence.  But this is just the smallest of niggles.  The majority of the game is a solo-affair, with the exception that on each turn, players can spend 2 resources to invoke a neighbour's chosen action for the round.  I can see a lot of people liking this approach, although I generally prefer strategic and aggressive games.  I had a brief introduction to the solo-bot, which makes use of the sequencing and frame production; I think this might make for a great solo-experience.  Alas, they sold out within 12 minutes of opening in the morning.



Next up was a game called Carrooka.  My limited understanding is this guy makes these lovely boards in his shed.  There are different sizes, this one being the smallest.  It's basically pool with pucks.  I think the table was a little light, and so would have a tendency to wobble while I was taking my shots.  Likewise pool relies on spin and screw, which I certainly couldn't perform on a puck.  I do love games like this, but I think this one will have to wait.



Rich and I also played a game called Kites, which I had seen at Essen in 2018 I think.  It's a very simple game, where you play a card to flip and egg timer of a matching colour.  The net result is chaos, because the timers must never run out.  I particularly like the meta-rule breaking, where choosing when to play and when to turn over the egg timers, creates a space for tactical cheating.  I'm pretty sure Mrs Decar would love it, so I picked it up.

Before going into Hall 1, Rich and I went out for lunch; a short trek to grab an over priced burger (WITHOUT FRIES).  I really think that the UKGE/NEC could be doing more to offer food to people.  Essen Spiel has this sorted, and you don't have to queue for very long for a burger and a beer, and the prices are far more reasonable (yet still over priced).

We dropped off all our things in the car, before catching the bus back to run around Hall 1.

I spied a new print run of Carcassonne Big Box, unfortunately they sold out before I could grab a copy for Willem.



We played a game called Sea Salt & and Paper.  It was much of a muchness, draw 2, discard one, or take one from the discard, make sets maybe make actions.  I didn't feel like I could do much with what I was being given, and not very much happened for the first 3 rounds.  I suspect if I have the insight, along with the other players, it might keep my attention, but I wasn't inspired by it.



Having run around Hall 1, we headed back to Hall 2, because I went back and forward to the Van Ryder Games booth.  I had promised the owner and designer of Final Girl (and Hostage Negotiator) a high five.  Unfortunately, I just missed him and he was taken ill.  Instead I spoke to two nice chaps at the booth, one of which knew who I was which took my by surprise.  I decided to pick up the Adventure Game books, which are generally impossible to find in the UK and EU.  If you were looking for anything from Van Ryder Games, their booth prices were excellent!  Hopefully the trip was a worth investment for the company, and I'll get my high-five next year!



On the way to VRG, I stopped off to play Dogfight, a WW1 inspired 2-player game.  Essentially, asymmetric planes have to tail gate each other so that they can take shots using a simultaneous action selection mechanic.  There are turning circles, allowing you to bluff your opponent, to attempt to get in front or behind each other.  I generally really like this sort of game, and it played quickly.  The demo is an abbreviation of the rules, and there are 4 scenarios that can also be played which involve bombing runs, and convoy protection.  I think I'll pick this one up eventually.


 
Finally, as the halls were closing we saw that Undaunted: Battle of Britain was available to play.  This is part of a series of games that Roland McDonald had done the artwork for.  The basic idea is that you build a deck to influence which units can be activated.  And when you inflict damage the unit's cards are removed from the deck, until they no longer have any cards and are removed.  Again I really enjoy these types of mechanisms, so I'll probably pick this up eventually at retail.



With that the halls were coming to a close.  Thankfully the UKGE stays open until 10pm for open gaming.  We visited Subway, where I had a great conversation with a guy and his lady friend, who spotted my VRG books and was totally gutted he didn't see their booth; and we proceeded to exchange delights.

Having refilled my Diet Pepsi 4 times, it was ready to hit the open gaming halls.  I decided to show Rich Majesty, I'd played it a couple of times before, although not with the advanced rules.  There's no need to NOT play the advanced rules btw.  We played twice, I got a smashing victory in the first game, and Rich got his own back using much of the same mechanic I used against him in the first game.



We had time for one more game, so I grabbed KJW's classic... The Downfall of Pompeii.  I've had this for a while and not had chance to play it.  There were a few pieces missing, but not enough to affect us.  I was surprised how well this played at 2 players, and I took great pleasure in dropping Rich's counters into Mt Vesuvius.  We got stopped by an American couple who were surprised to see someone playing the game; although initially I wasn't sure if they were talking about the place Pompeii or the game, and in that confusion they decided to leave.  Anyway they enjoy the game too, so that validates my existence.



It was a close battle, Rich managed to get a lot more Relatives, but I think I did better getting my people out.  I managed to win by 1 point; although the contents of the volcano shows a different story.....


With all said and done, we packed up, got our deposit back, and walked back to the car and headed home.  Wallets lighter, and bags full.

Here's the obligatory things I got when I was there Photo:



Big thanks to Rich for being my partner in crime for the day.  Who simultaneously enabled and disabled me at just the right moments! It takes a lot to drive across the country, but absolutely worth spending the day playing an assortment of games and exchanging experiences!

Offline lr

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2023, 04:15:43 AM »
What size are the beacon patrol tiles?

Offline danisthirty

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2023, 04:36:32 AM »
Thanks for that great report @Decar - it was interesting to read about all the things you stopped to explore which I'd only really seen in passing because of the time-pressures caused by the Carcassonne championship. Glad you had such a good time, and congrats on your awesome haul! :(y)

What size are the beacon patrol tiles?

Square size.

Offline totor66

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2023, 04:41:11 AM »
I believe he meant dimension wise, aka bigger/ smaller/ same size as Carcassonne tiles :)
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Offline danisthirty

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2023, 04:44:58 AM »
I believe he meant dimension wise, aka bigger/ smaller/ same size as Carcassonne tiles :)

Aha right. Now I see, sorry.

I'd say they were somewhere between being smaller and a bit bigger than Carcassonne tiles. Hope this helps.

Offline Decar

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2023, 04:45:46 AM »
Definitely one of those

Offline Decar

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2023, 04:49:05 AM »
Also I'm not sure tile size matters anymore until we are correctly describing the corners of the tiles

Offline lr

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2023, 05:31:45 AM »


Aha right. Now I see, sorry.

I'd say they were somewhere between being smaller and a bit bigger than Carcassonne tiles. Hope this helps.
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Offline lr

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2023, 05:32:37 AM »
I believe he meant dimension wise, aka bigger/ smaller/ same size as Carcassonne tiles :)

That's the point of my question  :)

Offline lr

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2023, 05:34:27 AM »
Could someone who has bought the beacon patrol game take a photo with the beacon patrol tiles and the carcassonne tiles next to them?

Offline Willem

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2023, 02:29:41 PM »
Very detailed write up, thanks for that @Decar ! Love seeing the pictures of every game! I usually forget to photograph at least 1 game on a day like that, so well done you!
And thanks for finding the new BB7; I'll make sure to order one at bgextras  ;D

I remember playing Beacon Patrol online with Rich a while back. It was more a sandbox environment, so without Rich actually knowing the rules, I would've probably made an even bigger mess of it. But I liked the look and feel there, so I can only imagine how nice it can be to play a physical copy!


I remember seeing Majesty during a board- and videogame convention in Margate I think it was, many years ago. Never played it though. I also remember 1 stall selling Carcassonne there, but being overpriced.

Overall, it sounds like you had a great day, and I hope to be joining you for it next year!
And thanks for picking up some Carc for me on the side  ;)

Of course, +1 merit for the great write up!
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Offline Decar

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Re: UKGE 2023
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2023, 02:44:38 PM »
Thanks for the merit Willem, I hope you're able to make it. Majesty is about 5 or 6 years old now. It's really due an expansion, but I don't think it sold well enough. It's an HiG classic and hits a good weight, but I don't think the core game offers enough replayability to play more than one of twice a year. Happy to show you if we get the chance though.

I forgot to mention the order, I almost picked up without you paying for it. That was quite funny getting a message saying: I'm the guy with a blue meeple tshirt on at a board game convention.  I sent him a photo of Rich and myself, I'll have to dig that out.

Beacon Patrol seemed to have nice quality components, the tiles were a perfect size for the boats to sit on, and the iconography was clear due to It's limited palette. Eventually I'll have to do some tile counting as I think certain orientations only have 1 or 2 tiles.... maybe a second box would help.  Based on our scores we have a long way to improve.

PS I forgot to photograph Kites.  I hope Rich The Fish managed to snap one!


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