Nerd Cons in Brum: UK Games Expo 2017

I have ineffably fond memories of last year’s UK Games Expo… if only because it was part of the tail-end of 2016 before Britain lost its fucking mind and fell for complete and utter bullshit. Right, now that I’ve got that out of my system, I can get onto the actual convention.

As far as I can recall, there are two things I’ve never done at the Expo: booked in the full three days, and done a full day of roleplaying. The reasons were mostly logistical (it’s a good 40-60 minutes from my place to the NEC by train), but after using up some annual leave and 20 minutes on Trivago, I managed to get a three-day ticket and two nights at the Yardley Travelodge, a mere 20 minutes by bus to my destination. Continue reading


Nerd Cons in Brum: Spaghetti ConJunction

I’ve covered gaming conventions before, but pure roleplaying conventions are a slightly different matter; such events are nothing but playing one-shot RPGs for a few hours (3-4 is usual, but it can go either way) with a break every so often. I’d never been to one before, but I decided to go along to this one just so I can say I’ve done it.

Image result for spaghetti conjunction Continue reading

Nerd Cons in Brum: UK Games Expo 2016

I make my way out of Birmingham International Airport, having just touched down after a few hours flying from Malaga. After stopping for a mediocre egg mayonnaise sandwich from Spar, I make my way to the NEC via the airport’s Air-Rail Link. Making my way down the escalator and past an overpriced Wetherspoons, I catch sight of those three little words that always set my heart aflutter…



Expo. Continue reading

Twang!: Robin Hood in modern-day media

Recently, I came across Robin Hood by Jim Bradbury; a surprisingly informative read detailing the historical facts from the Robin Hood legend, mostly by looking at the ballads, poems and plays starring (or at least mentioning) Robin Hood. In that respect, it’s an excellent and concisely told book.

RHBradbury Continue reading

I know I normally post on a Sunday, but this is something I have to do

Name: [This deity has been known by several names, most of which are known and accepted even by unbelievers]

Symbol: Orange-red lightning bolt with a blue “shadow” on theĀ  upper-left

Home Plane: Mars

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Portfolio: All types of artists, although musicians are more usually associated with him (there are rumours that this particular god is venerated by goblins and has an emnity towards gnomes, but there appears to be no verifiable sources for such claims)

Clergy Alignments: Neutral Good, Chaotic Good

Domains: Stars, Magic, Children, Mind, Good, Creation, Rock

Favoured Weapon: Music Continue reading

Nerd Cons in Brum: UK Games Expo 2015

The UK Games Expo hasn’t been around that long; it only started in 2007, making it a mere babe-in-arms compared to, say, the Origins Game Fair (1975) or the Essen International Spieltage (1982). However, it’s definitely one of the fastest-growing gaming conventions around, as shown by the necessity of the Expo to move from the Clarendon Suites to the Hilton Metropole back in 2013. I know the Clarendon wasn’t to everyone’s tastes (the chairman of my local roleplaying group refused to even entertain the notion of attending when they were held there, but became very interested when I mentioned they were now being held at the Metropole) but I rather liked the old place – the Masonic paraphernalia lent an odd atmosphere to any RPG or Living Dungeon (later Living Munchkin) sessions I attended, and the layout was a lot simpler than The Metropole… anybody who tells you they never got lost at the last two Expos is a liar.

There is certainly a lot more room in the Expo now, but for every new vendor that has room to sell their latest games, there are attendees to fill just as much space. Saturdays are always busiest at most weekend conventions, but things were pretty absurd at the Expo this year; my current GM at the aforementioned roleplaying club tried to get in a game of Ticket To Ride with some friends using the Expo’s Board Games Library… only to return it after finding there was no room to play it. I remember hearing that the staff at the Metropole were sceptical that there’s be more than 1,500 visitors when they first got the contract to host the Expo. Overall attendance that year was about 6,000 people. Continue reading