Monday, 25 June 2018

FFG Europeans and UK Games Expo

You may have noticed a break in my weekly publishing schedule recently. That's because I was away for a couple of weeks. The second week was a Stag Do (what happens on tour stays on tour), but the for the first I was working at the FFG Europeans and attending the Asmodee Uk Retailer Summit.

All of this was held at the UK Games Expo, a yearly convention to celebrate all things gaming. I was fortunate and had a short period of downtime across the weekend to have a quick explore. There was a lot to see and do, far too much for the hour I had available and probably far too much for just a one day ticket. I did get a chance to check out a game a playtested a while ago that's coming soon and will talk about that more once my NDA allows.

If you are into gaming, especially tabletop,  it is the UK event to check out.

As an employee of G.I.Games, I was able to attend the Retailer Summit this year. It was an interesting event, almost a mini-convention in itself, with presentations from some companies and the ability to walk around and talk to representatives from others. It was a really good opportunity to network, as well as see some of the things that are coming soon from the big companies like FFG, Wizards and Wizkids. I can't go into too much detail on information we were given, as a lot of it was confidential, but we did get an early look at the X-Wing Second Edition Rebel Conversion Kit.

The bulk of my time was spent working at the FFG Europeans. This was the 2018  European Championships for Star Wars X-Wing, Android Netrunner, Game of Thrones, Star Wars LCG, Star Wars Armada, Star Wars Imperial Assault, Runebound and Star Wars Destiny, plus side events for all those games. That's a lot of players playing a lot of games across three days. Speaking as a Judge for X-Wing, we had nearly 500 players in the main event. I believe Netrunner had 300. It was huge and involved long days for players and Judges.

The X-Wing was split into two Day One events, with the top players in each day qualifying for the Day Two knockout rounds on Sunday. That allowed us to manage 500 players without needing 250 tables for one game system and without needing to do 7 rounds. It's only 1 less round at 250 players, but it makes a difference.

I enjoyed the weekend, despite the long hours. The highlight was seeing two of our local players; Matt Coles and Mark Smith, make it through to Day 2. With such a large field that's a real achievement, especially with the current World Champion, last years European Champion, the current UK National and other high caliber, known players in attendance. I'm really proud of them especially flying lists made up of ships they love, not just flying what the zeitgeist says is good.

Next year, the Europeans are going to be in Poland. Hopefully I'll be able to judge at them. Judging in another country will be an interesting experience. The current Judge Team are all fantastic and Alec Thorne has taken over the reigns from Alex Watkins. Also, UK Games Expo will be hosting next years FFG UK Nationals which will keep us doing big tournaments there.

Shout-outs to the following people who made the weekend the great experience that it was;
  • Alex Watkins
  • Alec Thorne
  • Corina Cretu
  • Dawn Stangroom
  • Dan Eggle
  • Matt Coles
  • Mark Smith
  • Pete Yarwood
  • Chris 'Preeko' Preece
  • Ian Atrill
  • Matt Vicary
  • Chris Thomas
  • Les Harvey
  • Vince Kingston
  • Kris Mitchell
  • Liam Hall
  • Seb Brady
  • Craig Barrett
  • Carl Sheppard
  • Nick Bond
  • Paul Cadwell
  • Brad Andres
  • Pierre-Anthony Corrado
  • Poul Holmelund
  • Fernando de la Torre
  • Wojciech Pe
  • Kasia Wlazlo
  • Tomas Zelazko
  • Rasta Maice
  • Simeon Dellapina
  • and Ben 'Bengar' Cox
Plus the rest of the Judge team, most of whom I didn't get much time to speak to.

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