Tickets for the UK Games Expo 2016 are on sale and if you're a UK gamer you need to be there. The UK Games Expo is the UK's largest gaming convention and covers all aspects of table top gaming, its chock full of card games, board games, miniature games and loads of role playing games. Top publishers from around the world rub shoulders with home-grown gaming talent and you never know what you're going to find.
If you're still uncertain here are 10 more reasons why you need to be there.
Loads of GamesThe UK Games Expo has more games than you can shake a British Standard stick at and no matter what your flavour of game there will be something there for you. If you're looking to buy games then there are a number of big name UK game vendors like Gameslore, Board Game Guru and Gamesquest all offering a massive selection of games at some great prices and what is more you get to take that game away with you, no more waiting for Yodel to push a note through your door saying they missed you even though you where stood by the door waiting for them.
There will also be a great selection of games to play, from Esdevium's demo game area, to individual publishers and developers, you can try something new.
Get to Play New and Prototype GamesLast year a huge number of new games premiered at the UK Games Expo, in fact we put together a list just before last year's show. Not only will you get to play demo games from loads of publishers you may get a chance to try out something before anyone else in the world!
Last year Fantasy Flight Games had demo version of Forbidden Stars and their reprint of Tigris and Euphrates long before our American friends. There's also the play test group that hold regular sessions all weekend where not only do you get to give feedback on games in development but as a budding gaming developer you can have your game evaluated by a bunch of complete strangers, a very valuable service to help improve your game.
Meet Gaming CelebritiesLast year gaming giants Eric Lang and Ignacy Trzewiczek where in attendance and this year we get to meet the video reviewing and physical giant that is Tom Vasel of the Dice Tower. The really great thing about the table top gaming community is that it's so humble, bumping into Eric Lang doesn't feel like brushing shoulders with a celebrity but more like meeting a friend at the pub.
I'm sure more celebrities both gaming and otherwise will be announced closer to the date so keep an eye on the UK Games Expo Facebook, which unfortunately always gets shortened to ME SEX on my phone.
TournamentsThe folks organising the UK Games Expo love events, and tournaments are always top of the list. Fantasy Flight Games have already announced 128 player X-Wing and Netrunner tournaments will be held at the Expo and you can also play in Doomtown's European Marshall Event, the first such event to be held outside of the US.
But no matter what your favourite game style there are plenty of tournaments on offer, Warmachine and Mutant Warzone for miniatures, Pathfinder for role players and Catan and Ticket to Ride for more traditional board gamers. You can check out the events page for more information.
A New Larger VenueThe UK Games Expo has grown phenomenally over the last few years, it was only 4 years ago that it was held in a tiny hotel in the middle of Birmingham. Since then it moved to the Hilton Metropole hotel just outside the NEC but then had to build huge marquees for tournaments and added a street vendor area for food.
In 2016 the UK Games Expo is doubling in size, yes you read that right, doubling. Open gaming and tournaments will still be held at the Hilton Metropole but the vendor halls are moving into the NEC proper. Table top gaming is now playing with the big boys!
This not only means more space for gaming, tournaments, vendor stalls and publishers alike but should also spread out the crowds and give us all a little more breathing room.
Open GamingIf you want to play games then look no further, the folks behind the Expo know that a lot of people just want to play games and over the last few years have greatly increased the open gaming space and provided a library of games to play.
What is more, with the change in venue of the vendor halls to the NEC main, it means that the Hilton Metropole will have even more gaming space available, in the NEC hall during the day and the Hilton in the vending, and no doubt long into the night.
CosplayDo you like dressing up? Do you like seeing someone else dress up? Well in either case you'll be happy as a Jawa in a scrap yard, as Cosplay is always a major part of the U.K. Games Expo, whether it's Doctors, Sith, or Deadpool.
Each year the cosplayers led by the awesome Galactic Knights will be at the show raising money for charity, so drop by, get your photo taken and donate a few spare pennies.
Bring and Buy SaleLooking for a gaming bargain? Or maybe you're looking to prune down your collection? Then you need to visit the Bring and Buy Sale. All manner of second hand board games, card games, roleplaying game rule books and source books and even the odd miniature are available at well-loved prices.
Two years ago the bring and buy came under a bit of stick, mainly because it was a victim of its own success, but in 2015 a new computer based registration was introduced reducing the load and getting you more chance to peruse the bargains.
Family FriendlyDo you have a few kiddywinkles in tow and are worried that the UK Games Expo is going to be ultra-hard core gamers, well the hard-core are there but the UK Games Expo is also one of the most family friendly gaming conventions in the world.
There's a family zone run by Coiledspring Games, together with loads of family games available to play along with giant games and family activities.
Face it, you'll never be able to afford to go to Gen ConCome on admit it, you want to go to Gen Con but you can't afford it. First of all it's going to cost a flight to America, which really isn't cheap, not only that you'll have to bring your family along, for some reason they take offence to you going to America without them. Then you have to buy tickets, which have already sold out and then have to find a hotel in the same city rather than a four hour bus drive away.
Why not come to Birmingham, its right in the middle of the country, find a modestly priced hotel and enjoy the best three days of UK Gaming. I assure you, you won't be disappointed and you'll have plenty of money left over to spend on games and not worry about them fitting in your suitcase. So what are you waiting for, go book your ticket now!