I’ve been trying to think of a way to get our UK Geek Events page to be, you know, better. It was fine for a little while, but constantly updating it has become tedious and if I’m being honest, clunky. So I got thinking about how to make this better, how we can do something as a community and how we can catalogue all of the great events that take place across the UK. I figured we might as well turn it into a Google Spreadsheet, as at least everyone will get access to the data this way.
Space, the final frontier. Whilst we don’t have the means to go there ourselves right now, it’s okay, because the penultimate frontier is GeekOut Bristol Meet. Join us for a night of games and a Trekky-themed competition!
They came, they saw, they spooked the regulars at the Old Market Tavern. On Saturday, the geeks of Bristol were back for another day and night of shenanigans and fun, combining board games, lots of drink and chats and of course, costumes. You can never celebrate Halloween too early in October, right? … Right? Well, we think so anyway, as we got our geeks together to celebrate the spooky month. The Old Market Tavern came to the rescue, bringing us excellent decorations to the conservatory and plenty of warmth and spirits in the main bar. So how did the event go?
Before we get into the article, I just want to say a huge thanks to Tabletop Gaming Magazine for issuing us Press passes for the event.
Despite the drizzly London weather, I turned up to what I believe was the second year that Tabletop Live took place. The location was the beautiful Alexandra Palace in North London. I thought it might be a smaller and more intimate version of UK Games Expo, and I was not wrong.
A single-day ticket cost £16 for an adult, £11 for a young adult and a family ticket was priced at £41 (2 Adults and 2 Young adults). Two-day tickets were a pretty good deal if you wanted to attend both days at £26 for an adult, £11 for a young adult and £66 for a two-day family ticket. During the expo, there was plenty of opportunities to grab a bargain, and there were some interesting workshops and talks, including one by Ian Livingstone CBE.
In shadow, we find the light
Safely sealed in darkest night
So make sure y’all keep it tight
Wizards only fools!
Do you wanna beef in the eye of Glob? Do you wanna reach the highest initiation of the secret schools? Well too late, we already disbanded Wizard Club and we’re not supposed to talk about it. Magic was on the table, in the air, magic was in the fudge cake! Or maybe that was chocolate? Certainly wasn’t in the ice-cream, that was… fine I guess.
Anyway, here’s how GeekOut Shrewsbury went this month.
Premeet – Palmer’s
Six of you voted… about a dozen turned up. Dear Palmer’s, apologies for dominating half the room, but hey, at least people were eating and drinking, and at least Gemma brought her dog in for a while to say hi and steal some panini. Oh and thanks to Chris for helping me complete my Omnath commander deck, because as per usual we took the opportunity of the pre-meet for a grand card swap and social session.
I think it’s official, we now average thirty people per event, which means we’re occupying more and more of the pub. This month we were, quite literally wall to wall, expanding further and further. Some of you may recall that – when we began – I was offered that entire half of the pub, and I thought to myself “Yeah, sure, if we get enough people, on a Thursday, sure? Maybe in a decade!” but we are two and a half years of GeekOut Shrewsbury and… well suddenly that doesn’t look quite so unreasonable.
Oh, and if you’re looking at the projector and thinking “Hey, didn’t Joel say that there’ll be no quiz on the projector anymore because of a projector issue?” and yeah… yeah I did…
Magic, experimental chess variations, and EPIC SPELL WARS OF THE BATTLEWIZARDS: ANNIHILAGEDDON (still not available in the UK, thanks Gen Con). Suzie rightly pointed out that towards the end of the evening GeekOut abandons the board games and descends into a casual chat-group… and… good! That’s a sign we’re a casual and friendly atmosphere.
Winners included (in reverse order), a spell that slightly overboils an egg, a spell that guarantees a full and bad night’s sleep, and the winner, a spell that turns a beloved animated film into a live-action remake! Potent, terrible, useless, and yet there are people in this world who would cast that spell all day long!
Lost and Found
The headphones have been claimed by their rightful owner, but does anyone recognise the umbrella? It’s with me and going nowhere until someone asks about it. You can claim it from me next month, and on the subject:
Next month is the Bad Costume Competition!! Moreover it’s on Hallowe’en itself, October 31st (in case there was any uncertainty). Keep an eye on Facebook and Meetup for more information, and watch the countdown timer at the side of the page.
Every month I like to do these roundups, as a way to show people that hey, there are people out there who like to game. This month was a quieter affair for us, but it’s just as well as it was also the day before Bristol Pride, meaning the bar was pretty damn busy at points. Nevertheless, we had a great night out with plenty of games. Lots of people interacted with us, discussing games and getting involved in the quiz which had 14 entries – All in all, a successful night. Here’s how the day went and a few quick bits of information about next month’s event.
Here we are again, several weeks after UK Games Expo and I finially got round to fulfilling that promise of a second roundup of Kickstarter projects from UKGE 2019. All of these projects are in various states but as far as we know the Kickstarter has not been launched as yet but they certainly interested us.
Board game beginners, bring your friends, those who haven’t touched a dice since Ludo, someone who with the bitter aftertaste of Monopoly finally fading. If you can’t shuffle a deck of cards to save your life, this is your month to dip a proverbial toe firmly in the metaphorical water.
Premeet – Sweet
I did not take photos at the premeet again, I was kind of busy having my ass handed to me repeatedly at Magic while downing milkshake, not by Murray this time, but by Kim and her vicious blue-green ramp deck, which I should not have attempted to mill to death… which makes a lot of sense if you’ve played Magic but if you haven’t… well come to GeekOut, we’ll teach you.
It was pretty on theme too, Kim’s Magic addiction is in its first flushes, so taking out an experienced player with relative ease is always going to be affirming. Although I refuse to accept any and all responsibility for any hobby-induced poverty experienced as a result.
We have outlived the quiz! Not our quiz, the other one that was moving in on our territory. So no need to move into the far side of the pub, we get to keep our corner with all of the amenities we’ve become accustomed to, like a projector, tables for the board game library, and room to spread and expand in comfort.
And this month we were also almost back to a full compliment of 30+ attendees, including some new faces alongside the regulars. Amongst those new faces, at least one new adventurer steps into Meadsbridge, and there will be some newcomers who are most certainly returning – if not next month – then certainly in the near future.
It wasn’t all plain sailing this month, we completely forgot the competition, so I guess that’ll have to be a rollover? And we had a mini-parade of mental and medical complaints, but news and updates from all concerned sound broadly positive. We look after our own, your health and welfare are priority one. Look after yourselves and each other first and foremost, then break into the board games and nerdiness later.
Next Month – Convention Season, the 25th of July, conveniently right in time for me to vanish to America for GenCon, and while I’m starting mad prep for Insomnia in August. No Kitacon, no Amecon, so in the absence of my regular national-scale geeky get together, we’ll do our best to capture the moment.
Brits don’t really give themselves enough credit. There are so many fun, quirky and creative geek things that we’ve done, that in this event, we’re going to celebrate being a British geek. Come along, share your thoughts of what being a British geek is all about and join in with our competition!