The UK Games Expo Report

This week has flown by, as we got the 2023 BEOWULF Annual ready to go, unpacked the returning stock, and caught up on our studio work. But last weekend was UK Games Expo in Birmingham. And what a show! Despite the train strikes, (up the workers, give ’em hell) people turned out in droves, and the venue was packed. It’s really nice to get out and about again, and always a pleasure to meet our customers in person.

Left: Malcolm was in charge of aero pressing the coffee and thank God for that. Above: our neighbour Shep of Hansor Publishing was in charge of whatever that is Shep is doing.

Jon and Malcolm were on booth duties for the weekend, and we were right next door to our friends at Nightfall Games, Word Forge Games, Hansor Publishing and Dice Sports in a loosely-defined conglomerate presence! We were on the same size mini-booth as last year, but we really need to go bigger! We have too much stuff now!

Jon arrived from Scotland early evening on Thursday, and by 9pm we were all set up to go.

Friday saw Malcolm and Jon deliver a panel on Games in History and History in Games. This was well-attended, and we enjoyed some really good questions from the floor. It’s always terrifying when an audience member begins a question with “I’m a medievalist…” but everyone was so kind, and a really good discussion was had. I’ve said to many people in attendance that it’s always hard to know if your anecdotes and experiences of making games with historical themes are interesting or not. But apparently we gave good account of ourselves. Malcolm (or should we say Professor Craig?)’s current research project is about what we can learn about attitudes to the Cold War through the medium of post-apocalyptic roleplaying games, and there’s some truly fascinating stuff coming to light. It’s really satisfying to see our hobby being taken seriously as an art form and social document.

We’re not sure if a recording was made – still trying to find out – we’ll let you know!

By the end of Friday we had to send out for more copies of BEOWULF Age of Heroes – it’s really cool that despite being our very first book, it’s still a great seller at shows. The “5e for two players” angle really works, and it was an insta-buy for loads of our customers. Welcome, if this is your first time to our site having found us at Expo!

It’s always lovely to catch up with industry pals at shows, and this year’s expo was no exception. Of course we don’t always remember to get photos, but Annie from Bad Squiddo did! Bad Squiddo make an amazing range of 28mm figures of women from a broad range of eras, including the early medieval period, perfect for BEOWULF!

These people are clearly in no way up to shenanigans.

Jon managed approximately 2 minutes away from the booth to say the briefest of helloes to Fenris Games, who kindly let us use some of their models in the new artwork edition of The Silver Road.

Our brand new mini-catalogues went really well, and loads of those are now out in the world! We’re very happy with the way those show off what we do in a really convenient format. And don’t worry, Handiwork-superfans – all mail orders come with a catalogue now too!

The special edition of Maskwitches was all gone by Saturday, and we did a lot of talking about a|state – it’s always a treat to have a|state co-creator Malcolm on hand to answer questions straight from the horse’s mouth. A lot of those folks came back on Sunday and snaffled up a bunch of copies!

On Sunday we caught up with some HIGH LEVEL SUPER MEETINGS, and we will hopefully have some very exciting announcements to come in the next few months.

All in all we had a really great show, and couldn’t have asked for more. Special thanks to our friends at GMS Logistics and Nightfall Games for all their help. Couldn’t do it without you.

Right at the end of Sunday we got to visit the portion of our stock that lives in England at the GMS warehouse. Exciting stuff! And then while the Nightfall team had a meeting, Jon even got some writing done for an upcoming Nightfall project!

Thanks of course go to everyone who stopped by to browse and pick up a game, and the Expo organisers for another amazing year at UK Games Expo! See you next time!