The Great UK Games Expo 2019 Wash-Up Part 2

Post UK Games Expo Review - Marquesas, Quantified, Megacity Oceania, Chapter

There was something about this year's expo that made it very special for me.  Perhaps it was the excellent company I kept.  Perhaps it was the now legendary map or perhaps it was the standard of games on offer.

We've already spoken at length about some of the games we saw on episode 63 of the podcast, and both Andy and Jon have put fingers to keyboard to tell you about the games they enjoyed, but here are a few more of the games I played.

Megacity Oceania

UK Games Expo Megacity Oceania

I hadn’t realised how partial I am to dexterity games until during the press preview Jon exclaimed “Are you looking at another dexterity game?”

I was.

My first game of the expo was Megacity Oceania.  A dexterity city builder where players do lots of little things in the hope of building a big ass floating city.  First you’ll need to grab a tile (which you can flip if you really need to), followed by a colour matched contract, then you’ll need to get a bunch of building materials, but be careful, the contract may specify which materials to not use.  But, you can only do two of these actions and all the while that you are deciding your giving your opponents more time to actually build.

One of the key elements of the game hinges on the speed build element, while you have the bag of bits in front of you, you cannot build, but everyone else can.  This is important as not only are you trying to complete contracts, and build the tallest building you’re also trying to get your building into the prime locations around parks for all those extra, juicy bonus points at the end of the game.

Once you’ve finished your construction it costs you your entire turn to attempt to slide it into the Megacity.  It it falls, you’ve lost a turn and you’ll have until your next to rebuild it and try again - at this point your opponents can be real dicks and put the pressure on so you get minimum building time...if you play with people like that.

For more info on release dates and price etc you can keep up with it all here.


UK Games Expo Quantified

Probably one of my favourite games of the entire expo came in the form of this thought provoking and challenging co-op game.  To discover it won’t even be coming to Kickstarter until mid 2020 (at the earliest) was irksome, but at least they’ll have a fuller-prototype at next year’s expo.

This game has players in roles of the disadvantaged, looking to climb the social ladder in a dystopian and very Orwellian near future.  You’re playing for all players to get all their rights, that is; Movement, Communication, Work, and Privacy.  To do this you have to move around the city and complete goals in order to raise you status or by “lowering the bar” of a Right.  However, “Big Brother” is watching and the more you move around, the more time you spend at work, the more you do...well...pretty much anything the more data ‘They’ collect.  More data means you are analysed and essentially tagged.

Which is bad.

Threat cards are drawn and progress each turn, triggering after so long depending on the type.  These can cause problems ranging from a grimace to a full blown “Ah shit”, mainly because they create a continual speed bump to any plans you may have been able to form.

Currently the game only supports 4 players and is in prototype form but the rules were pretty straight forward and caused some interesting (if not utterly annoying) conversation at the table.

To learn more about this game you can sign up to the newsletter here.


UK Games Expo Marquesas

Andy and I had a fleeting visit to the Polynesian archipelago of Marquesas from Alley Cat Games on the Saturday of Expo, just before one of us had to dash off for some football thingy that was on the TV. This meant we didn’t get to play the whole game through but what we both saw we both liked.

A lot.

The round begins with dice being rolled, which then each player matches in their own colour.  Next you’ll select which of your Villager types to play that turn which grant rule bending or bonus abilities - the Beggar for instance forces the other players to give you resources.   Dice allow you to trigger actions, colonists allow you to trigger some of these, so getting colonist down is good, more actions, but they are harder to move around than dice, ou need a ship for a start to move between islands.  All the while you’re looking to gather more resources to build huts, add more colonists, collect flowers and so on.

Then, at the end of the round you have to pass you Villager type to the next player, so now you have no beggar until the player to your right plays theirs.  This bit made us both go “Ooohhh”

Again this is in prototype form currently, with the box art only being completed just before Expo.  Expect this to hit Kickstarter later this year and to do very, very well when it does.

To keep up to date with this game you can join the ACG mailing list here.

Chapter 2

UK Games Expo Chapter 2

This was an early prototype 2 player card game I saw early Sunday morning after both Ian McAllister of the Giant Brain and Roland McDonald (designer and artist of Ruthless) called it to my attention.

The premise and rules are very simple, you'll construct you deck of cards by drafting three of the ten different Forces such as Ice, Fire and Magnetism.  Each individual force deck is made up of a number of cards that rank 2, 3, 4 and 1 that ranks 5.  Where the higher the number the greater the hit points and rarity.

From here you are looking to either destroy your opponents cards or score bases.  Each of the different Forces deal damage differently and have different rules for movement.  Overall the game works as mash-up of sorts between a deck builder and Uno.  You can use any Fire card to trigger all of your played Fire Cards.  Or use a number 3 card to trigger all 3s.  The meat of the game comes from being able to estimate what your opponent is planning/doing, knowing how their Forces work and how they can combine as well as your own.  A really light game but one that offers a lot of versatility and was far more thought provoking than I thought upon looking at it.

The best place to keep up to date with information on this game is by following the designer, Roman Rybiczka on Twitter.

There were of course more games, but some of those need a little more room than was available in this article.  You'll find my First Thoughts on Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North and Sierra West coming soon.

The games in this article were all demonstrated to us at the UK Games Expo and were in various stages of development.  Any final final product may look, smell, feel or play completely differently to that experienced.

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