Update: We've added 8 more games to be excited by in The UK Games Expo 2016 Preview: Part 2
Original Article: It's just a two weeks to the UK Games Expo, the UK's largest tabletop gaming convention, held at the Birmingham NEC between the 3rd and 5th June. There's plenty to be excited about; games, shops, cosplay and even more games but if you're still not sure what to expect we've gathered together all the new and shiny games you'll get to see at the Expo.
Some of these will be fully released retail versions of the game that you can take home with you. Others will be early demo versions, allowing you to get the first chance to play the game before it hits retail or Kickstarter. But they will all be new games that very few people have played before.
Keep coming back as we’ll be updating this list as more publishers and designers release news of their upcoming games.
Guilds of LondonGuilds of London may well be one of the most anticipated game of the U.K. Games Expo. Designed by Tony Boydell, the hype is due to his previous back catalogue and because he's been talking about the game for what seems like forever.
In medieval London the many craft guilds held a lot of power, controlling manufacturing and commerce and the most powerful guild master would often hold the position of Mayor of London. In the game Guilds of London, you'll build up your standing in various guilds in a bid for the Mayoral role.
Placing your livery (workers) into the various guilds and playing cards from your hands will allow you to build up control across the board. Guilds effect neighbouring builds in different ways and with the game being modular it means the layout as well as the strategies will be different in every game.
It's been three years since early news of Guilds of London hit the Internet and the hype for this deeply strategic euro game has been building since, this is going to be one of the biggest games of the Expo.
Nine WorldsWhen is the best time to launch your game to the world at large? Why during the convention that you have organised of course. Richard Denning is one of the main men behind the UK Games Expo and he'll be unleashing his new game Nine Worlds to the public at the show.
Based on Norse and Anglo-Germanic mythology (i.e. your man Odin) players will attempt to control the nine worlds using action points to move armies between worlds and banish the opposing armies to Helheim. Controlling a world will give you access to the world's powers opening up a variety of strategic options.
Nine Worlds looks very much into the Euro game world, with no signs of randomness but if you're expecting a grey and boring looking game from this description think again as the board is absolutely beautiful.
I used to work in a lab once. I used to characterise dynamic stress strain relationships and visco-elastic moduli of polymers. It was really boring but thankfully Lab Wars is absolutely nothing like that and actually sounds rather fun.
The aim of Lab Wars is to build the best lab. Not only do you need to buy the best lab equipment and hire the best staff you also have the opportunity to sabotage your opponent’s labs.
Lab Wars is a light deck-builder with a modicum of bluffing and will be hitting Kickstarter in June, giving you a chance to play the game before the project goes live.
MultiuniversumThose plucky chaps at CERN are obviously big heroes of us here at Polyhedron Collider (the clue is in the name) and while firing up the Large Hadron Collider one day they discover not only teleportation but also portals to other dimensions. At least that's the premise of Multiuniversum.
The problem is, as Gordon Freeman will tell you, is just as you want to visit those other dimensions so the creatures from those dimensions will want to come into our world, best close up all those portals then.
So on the surface this game sounds a lot like Arkham / Eldritch Horror, but it couldn't be further from that. Instead of a dice fuelled adventure game, you have a card driven action selection game, playing cards from your hand to explore the other dimensions and close the portals.
It all looks very nice, and the design for the alternative dimensions are both new and really good looking. The murderous gummy bear is particularly terrifying. I have been very pleased with Board & Dice's offerings at Essen so I am very much looking forward to giving this a go.
Codenames Pictures and AdrenalineThis year we already know that CGE will be showing off Codenames pictures. People have already started experimenting by swapping the code name cards for Dixit cards and even board game boxes! Well CGE have taken a leaf out of the Dixit book and produced an official pictographic version.
Rumour is it won't be as crazy as Dixit, which is a good thing as I don't think my brain would be able to cope with that concept without some chemical assistance, but there will be enough going on in each image to create a variety of possible meanings.
The new game however, which we think is called Adrenaline, has me intrigued even more. Very little information has been provided so far as to what the game is or how it works but Paul Grogan released a few images on his Twitter account and these show two things; heavy weaponry and cubes.
Are we looking at a resource managed bug hunt (like a Euro Space Hulk), a worker placement shooter, an economic sci-if gladiatorial battle? Time will tell but to me those weapons look like they belong in Warhammer 40,000 or Halo.
Legends UntoldMaking their debut at this year’s Expo will be Inspiring Games with their first game Legends Untold.
Legends Untold is a cooperative dungeon crawler for one to eight players. The aim of the game is to reach the end of the dungeon and grab the treasure (isn’t it always?) but rather than this being a tile based miniatures game or pen and paper RPG, Legends Untold is a card game, where cards are laid out across the table to build up the dungeon map.
Apparently there are over 350,000 different possible dungeons to explore as well as combat mechanics that reward cooperative play and careful strategy. The other big sell is that the game requires next to no set-up, you can quickly grab the cards and start playing.
Hannibal: Rome vs CarthageSo enough of Dragons, Lasers and party games, let’s talk about some good old meaty historical war games. Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage originally came out in 1996, but Phalanx Games are bringing out a brand spanking new version of the game and it will be debuting at the UK Games Expo this year.
It’s quite possibly one of the most famous wars in military history, Carthage, led by Hannibal, faces off against the might of the Roman Republic. You know the one, where Hannibal led his army of elephants over the Himalayas, therefore providing bumper rhubarb crops.
Hannibal is considered a bit of a classic amongst war game aficionados and this new version not only updates the graphics into a more modern style but has also been tweaked to make the game run smoother and reduce the play time considerably.
Pandemic: Reign of CthulhuNuts and Gum, together at last!
That's right folks our favourite disease curing cooperative game has been combined with the most popular squid faced great old one in the form of Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu. If you listen to our podcast you'll know that our interest has been piqued with Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu in that it sounds like an interesting concept but could end up being Pandemic but with a different set of graphics.
The good news is the game will be on show at the Esdevium stand and you'll have a chance to win a copy of the game at the Expo. Good Luck!
TatsuTastsu actually premièred at last year's Games Expo, but at the time was only in prototype form well this year it's here in all its glory. Tatsu can best be described as a gamer's backgammon. It's got the same feel of attempting to move pieces across a board, moving over and past your opponent.
However, each colour piece represents a different kind of dragon and hence has a different special ability. Water dragons can blow pieces off the board, green dragons can tangle them in roots and of course, red dragons can breathe fire, destroying the enemy’s piece.
The game looks very pretty with a distinct oriental style; it's also going to be rather tactile. Tatsu is made by Gen 42 games, the same people behind Hive. You know how Hive has those nice heavy ceramic playing pieces, so does Tatsu.
You can actually play Tatsu at the moment on Steam, but you really want to play it in person at the Expo, don't you?
EverdarkEverdark is an upcoming Kickstarter and you’ll get the chance to check out the prototype at the Expo, and what an amazing looking prototype it’s shaping up to be. The City of Phos has been plunged into to darkness and you and up to three other players must save the city from the horrors lurking in the dark but also attempt to become the city’s ruler.
The gameplay sounds like a careful balance of cooperation and competition, you must ultimately come out on top but what’s the point of being a ruler of a city that is lost. The balance isn’t the most interesting aspect of Everdark, it’s the 3D rotating board that immediately grabs your attention.
The City of Phos is made from a series of rotating rings that form a large, ever changing maze. You can move the rotating elements to help or hinder your opponents