I managed to duck out of the usual weekly meeting just after 12PM to trundle home for lunch; everything was content in the Boydell household with work going on in the garden, Arthur happily Minecrafting and Benedict on his paper round. I felt less urgency than usual to 'get going' because, well, it was a sunny day and the van was already packed and I'd promised to read some more of Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkhaban to Arthur (we've just gotten to the bit with the Dementor on the Hogwarts Express!) and, most importantly, Mrs B hadn't finished washing my socks and pants yet! As keen as I am to 'Expo the Shit out of the Weekend', I refuse to do so 'commando'.
Anyway, after a cheese sandwich and a mug of strong coffee, I was on the heat-hazy road for 3PM. The van, borrowed from our good friend Julian, is a VW Transporter with a long wheel base...and it rattles like a bastard, so I had to put Definitely Maybe on full volume as a distraction. I remained unphased by the motorway snarl-ups and road-works as these have been a regular feature of my Expo journeys since - ooooh - forever? I arrived, calm and seemingly knowing what I was doing, to find a nice parking spot in Hall 1 (behind the partitions) to unload; Alan and Charlie and Vicki Paull wandered in to view, almost blinding me with their synchronised hi-vis vests, to commence the decanting and trolleying to Stand A8, Hex Street:
I bumped in to a few old pals, including some of those credited in the Guilds of London rulebook, and handed out playtester copies in a magnanimous and beneficent manner then let three hours sail by - unnoticed - pulling everything in to shape. The stand is quite rudimentary by Exhibition standards but it's a form we're all acquainted, and pleased, with; as far as I'm concerned, if people have a place to sit down and play AND/OR something visible to buy then I'm content.
Dropping my couple o'boxes off at the still-being-assembled Bring & Buy zone, I took the van to the Exhibitors Car Park and checked in to the Hilton around 8PM. As I feared, my room was at one of the far extremities of the Hotel, so my aching soles flapped-and-shiny-floor-clapped my tired body to its Sanctuary...
...for a quick splash, a change of clothes and back down to the Bar for food, drink and games!
After a chat with Kara (The Bespoke Geek) and a delicious burger, I wandered in to one of the large rooms - last year a Trade Hall - to see what was occuring; at one end I found Efka (No Pun Included), Hemel's Paul, Sam Healey, Tom Vasel and A.N.Other (Tom/Sam's host for the weekend) running through the pre-game rules for Scythe:
Leaving them to their beautifully-themed, elegantly-engineered and fascinating shenanigans (my copy arrives in a couple of months), I joined Mr Paul Grogan (Gaming Rules!) for a couple of hearty rounds of Codenames: Pictures:
Come midnight, I drifted in to the foyer leaving the still-heaving, still-buzzing games room behind me, to find THIS being finished off in the Bar:
I couldn't tarry as I have an early appointment with Mr Wakethehellup on the 'morrow and, hopefully, with his best friend Mr Fred English-Breakfast; if you'll excuse me, it's time to take forty winkzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Father, Grandfather, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer.
- [+] Dice rolls