After so many board games we needed to hire a carrier mule, to bring back all our new tabletop goodness. Following all our lovely chats and meetings with the wonderful people of the show and after maxing out our step goals in half a day – even though we’ve been mostly sitting down to play, the last day of UK Games Expo has arrived.
As a board game critic and enthusiast, I’m embarrassed to say that there are some games I’ve not played. These games are underpinning the current board game revival. Confessing that I’ve not played them, would probably be similar to a film critic confessing that they haven’t seen The Godfather… pretty embarrassing. So [deep breath] I never played Qwirkle! Until UK Games Expo that is! Wow, it felt good to get that off my chest.
Qwirkle is a colourful, more sophisticated child of Dominoes. Players place blocks of a single matching attribute, colour or shape, and score points depending on a number of tiles. If the player manages to complete a line of all six shapes and colours, that is called a Qwirkle and awards that player additional six points. Easy to learn, fun, competitive and brain tickling. If you don’t believe me, then here is an episode of Tabletop with a playthrough of Qwirkle for you.
The Gig (Alex)
Returning to the Playtest UK section, we trialled game that – I will confess, has not enthused me to start with. The Gig is a game about a Jazz band, a topic that I am very indifferent to. After I played the game, however, this has changed for the better, so much better!
In The Gig every player is one member of the band, be that a drummer or a saxophonist. Together they are all playing one song, but they also want to show off their skills and have amazing solo’s to enthuse the crowd. If the crowd gets bored with the performance, that it is game over and everyone has lost. However, in order to win the game, the players all must successfully complete one song and the player who gets the most points for their performance wins. As you can see from this description, the game has both competitive and co-operative elements to it and I love how these elements fit into the overall narrative of the Jazz band concept.
In essence, The Gig is a dice drafting game. During their turn (the turn order is decided through a bidding system) a player can either pick up two dice and place them or pick up one dice, change its value and then place it. The player can place die either on their solo or on the song. If the layer is being too narcissistic and working too much on their solos, but not enough on the song, the crowd gets bored, and vice versa. Both solos and songs have their rules of placing die, for example, die have to be the same colour or all die have to be of different numbers, and so on. There are several different songs already designed, all with their own sets of rules.
I think this is a brilliant dice game, that with minor balancing adjustments, will be a must buy for me whenever it gets published. Judging by the attention this game was getting during our playtest, I am not alone in thinking that!
Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, Star Trek Adventures and Tales from the Loop (Alex)
It is exciting time for the lovers of RPGs and miniatures, especially since publisher Modiphius Games have you covered on all fronts of the RPG spectrum.
Let’s begin with a new hotness, Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, a miniatures RPG, which I am sure will make a lot of lovers of the game, especially Fallout 4, very happy. It seems only natural that a video game RPG, will be transferred to an RGP in its tabletop counterpart. The game is running on a new system and will contain co-op modes, player-versus-player skirmishes and solo play in story driven missions. The story, while not repeating the narrative in the games, will be the snippets of the events from them, including events you might have heard about while playing the video game. The stories and characters from other Fallout games will be available through expansions. Now onto, the most good looking part of the game: its minis. While they were hidden under lock and key during the expo, I was kindly shown a small preview and let me assure you, they look great. The figures will, of course, include Deathclaws as well as Brotherhood of Steel soldiers, floating Eyebots, humans, Dogmeat and more.
Star Trek Adventures (shown above) was much enjoyed by those attending the show. It is written by New York Times bestselling Star Trek author Dayton Ward and is the first official Star Trek roleplaying game in more than 10 years. However, the game that immediately caught my eye was Tales from the Loop. It had an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign and will definitely fit in well with the lovers of Stranger Things. Players are teenagers from the late eighties, who are solving mysteries connected to a Loop, world’s largest particle accelerator. While teenagers are saving the world, they also have to deal with oblivious parents, never-ending homework and bullying at school. The rule book is absolutely gorgeous and the universe sounds incredibly interesting, so go give it a look.
There we go! That’s mostly it, except that we will have more board game reviews from the expo coming shortly and, of course, a lot of UK Games Expo goodness may or may not (ok, spoiler, definitely may!) be featured on Tabletop Tuesday!
Tags: board games, BRB @ UKGE, Century Spice Road, Esdevium, Expo, Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, Guards of Atlantis: Tabletop MOBA, Modiphius Games, Playtest UK, Qwirkle, Star Trek Adventures, Tales from the Loop, The Gig, UK Games Expo, UKGE2017