Thomas Pain :: blog

UK Games Expo 2023 Highlights

2023-06-04 :: 671 words

I went to the UK Games Expo for a day! Here's a rundown of some of the things we did aside from trying to restrain ourselves from buying a silly amount of dice.

Null Signal Games/Netrunner

Pretty much the first thing we ended up doing was learning how to play Netrunner courtesty of the folks at Null Signal Games.

Netrunner is fairly well summarised as a funky version of Magic: The Gathering, which makes sense because they were both designed by Richard Garfield.

It's two player - one player plays the role of a future dystopian megacorporation setting up servers and defenses and powerups, and the other player plays the role of a "runner" trying to break through those defenses and sabotage the megacorp (here's Wikipedia explaining it).

Since this is an out-of-print game, Null Signal Games are a nonprofit that creates new sets of Netrunner cards. The sets we played were from their remastered System Gateway set, and it was very good once we got into the rhythm of it. Would reccomend.

(I lost, possibly because I didn't quite understand the win condition)

Stuff by Bez/Beetroots and Radishes

We also demo'd two games by Stuff by Bez - one called Beetroots and one called Radishes. Both have the same rules, the difference being that Radishes is harder by virtue of having trickier drawings.

The game is played by spreading a deck of cards out on the table face down. The aim is to end up with the most cards in your hand at the end by picking up cards that are entirely dissimilar to the last one you picked up. Every card has a drawing of a character on, each with a combination of certain features like a number of eyes or arms or wings or legs and so on and so forth. Everyone simultaneously flips cards over, either picking them up or leaving them on the table.

When all cards are used, you swap hands and check somebody else's hand. If they made else made a mistake, they're disqualified.

It was okay - I enjoyed it but it was a little too simple for my taste.

Themeborne/Escape the Dark Castle

We waited around a little while to demo Escape the Dark Castle, mostly because one of my friends was adamant that we should play it. Rightly so, because this was excellent.

The premise is that you and your gang of people are stuck in this dark castle and you have to escape it. Each player has a character with unique skills and weaknesses, and you have to work through this stand of cards that piece together a story together, culminating in a final boss.

It was exceptionally good fun. It's also supposed to be quite a difficult game, but we managed to beat it in about 15 minutes, including some stellar plays such as this:


(the white dice our are plays, and the black are the things we need to roll to defeat the enemy, hence we rolled double the required amount of *s and obliterated the enemy first try)

Our party walked away from the Themeborne stand having bought two copies of EtDC.

Free Warhammer things!

I don't know what Warhammer is, but that didn't stop me from (shittily) painting this little dude.

that little dude


While we did manage to restrain ourselves from buying a silly amount of dice, as a group we did end up buying did buy some dice, including a d100.

Across the entire day, I bought: