The 13th UK Games Expo (UKGE) closed the hall doors last Sunday, and GameOrNought was there for all three days. With a week’s worth of reflection, and many agonising hours of decision making, I have been able to choose a handful of highlights from the show. Some of these were new this year, some are returning exhibitors, all made the show amazing.
As a note, this does not include the GameOrNought Game of the Expo. That will be written in a separate article coming soon. So, if your highlight isn’t here, then it may still be in the running for our big award!
Citadel Contrast Paints
Citadel are claiming that their new Contrast paint set will make it possible to have miniatures battle ready with just one coat of the new range. After getting hands-on with it at UKGE I can absolutely believe them. The results are incredibly impressive.
The paints are advertised as combining basecoat, shading, and highlighting into one new paint. From the results I achieved using just four of the new paints and ten minutes, I can see this changing the new hobbyist landscape. It is easy to see somebody picking up a set of minis, a pack of Contrast paints, and getting them ready to play with in the space of a day.
While those who are looking to parade their minis will still need to make those final touches, those who just want to have a good looking army to play with can absolutely look to the Contrast paints to make this easier than ever before. Launching in-store June 15th, keep an eye out for the tidal wave of amazing paint jobs inevitably coming to your social media.
Miniature You, from Minuteman Miniatures, is the latest competitor in the growing market of customised miniatures. More specifically, miniature replicas of you, your friends, or your loved ones. However, Miniature You is both affordable and easy to do.
Miniature You uses a purpose-built app and your smartphone to scan your head. I did this and the show, and it literally takes minutes to do. Just listen to the instructions from the app, point your smartphone camera at your face, and away you go.
Then, in-app, you can see your scanned head on a range of model sizes and options. Select the one you want, order it, and wait for delivery. It was incredibly simple, making this a potentially go to option for anybody wanting to see themselves as a warlock, bard, or one of many different character designs.
Minuteman Miniatures are aiming to eventually add augmented reality to the app, allowing you to see your custom mini on your tabletop before you order it. I hope they are ready for the mass of orders they will get when this service is fully released later this year.
PlayFusion – Lightseekers and Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions
PlayFusion continued to impress me at this year’s UKGE. Not only have they continued to develop the related digital equivalent games for both Lightseekers and Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions (Warhammer Champions), they have been working hard on making sure both trading card games grow and evolve.
Lightseekers were showing off their new expansion Uprising. Available for purchase at the Expo well before general release at stores, there was definitely a buzz about the PlayFusion stands for the entire weekend. After initially exploring the game when ti first released, I am very happy to see it is still popular with casual and more hardcore card gamers alike.
Warhammer Champions was also demonstrating their upcoming release with Warband Pack 2. Containing the beginnings to two new armies, these Warbands have a distinctly different feel to those already in the game. This is what made PlayFusion a highlight for me.
PlayFusion could easily rely on fan-service or purely-cosmetic releases to keep drawing in the players, but they aren’t. They are carefully considering their next releases and considering the impact on the meta of the game. These releases are designed to shake up both Lightseekers and Warhammer Champions, making sure that they don’t stagnate and fade away.
In a market where so many other trading card games are vying for attention, PlayFusion are taking well-considered steps to earn yours. They deserve our attention for that alone.
Room 17 – Tenfold Dungeon and Mighty Lords miniature range
Room 17 were another exhibitor showcasing a range of upcoming releases. I could easily write a whole article about their stand but, instead, I want to draw attention to two of their projects. Tenfold Dungeon, a dungeon crawling all-in-one terrain system, and their Mighty Lords miniatures range.
Tenfold Dungeon originated on Kickstarter and was incredibly successful. The system offers a suite of rooms and corridors for you to adventure in, all of which fits into one main box. Importantly, even the outer box is actually a part of the terrain system. Don’t think this is just a set of pretty boxes though.
The system comes with doors which clip over the box edges giving the terrain a real immersive feel to it. Furthermore, using another set of edge clips allows you to create multiple floors to your dungeon giving a verticality to the terrain. The ability to add interior walls to each room makes this even more adaptable.
Mighty Lords miniatures is Room 17’s attempt to get into the miniatures market. The design is impeccable, as is becoming expected of Room 17’s products, and absolutely stands out in an already crowded corner of the industry. There is a real drama to the minis which is lacking in so many of their potential competitors. I can easily see the Mighty Lords range becoming a favourite for those looking to show off their painting skills.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
It is no secret that I am a fully fledged Dungeons and Dragons addict. That being said, I am always on the lookout for new systems to play with or new offerings on the tabletop roleplaying game (TTRPG) scene. The Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) Starter Set definitely caught my attention this year.
Though not new to the show, the WFRP starter set is an amazing example of how any TTRPG should entice in new players. The contents of the box are breathtaking. Of course, you get the obvious inclusions like an introductory beginning adventure, pre-generated characters, and some dice. Cubicle 7, however, weren’t satisfied with just that.
The box itself transitions into a DM screen containing the most often referred to rules, and a beautiful map of the world where the game is set. The dice are not the standard plain variety which plagues other starter sets; these are thematically designed to go with the set’s aesthetic. Perhaps most impressively, you get a gorgeous campaign setting books, the guide to Ubersreik, which thoroughly details the city with information, potential story hooks, and stunning artwork.
Though the system itself requires a little bit more maths than some others, it runs incredibly well and utilises just two dice. The focus on down-and-dirty, gritty fantasy, instead of epic questing, offers a refreshing experience in the pen-and-paper world. With a core rule book, two smaller adventure modules, and an upcoming full campaign module, this could be the system for those who want to escape glamour fantasy.
Have we missed your highlight of the show? What should have been on this list? Let us know in the comments below!