This year’s UK Games Expo looms before us once again, promising a bevy of exciting new upcoming tabletop titles for players to get their hands on. Whilst there may be many people choosing not to attend due to the current lack of COVID safety guidelines – which will not require attendees to wear masks or provide proof of vaccination for entry – for those who are going to the event, you might be curious as to which board games are going to be featured at the convention next month.
Despite being a much smaller event than the likes of Essen Spiel in Germany or Gen Con in the US, there will still be plenty of worthwhile board games, card games and tabletop roleplaying games being featured at the expo. From newly released titles to upcoming games, there’s more than enough to look forward to for any fan of tabletop gaming, some of which you’ll be able to experience via demos on the show floor, whilst others you’ll even be able to get your hands on yourself.
Board Games to look for at UK Games Expo 2022
- A Game of Thrones: B’twixt
- Batman: Everybody Lies
- Galaxy Trucker and Galaxy Trucker: Keep on Trucking
- Quacks & Co: Quedlinburg Dash
- Voices in My Head
- Crescent Moon
Whether you’re looking for the next chunky strategy board game or for a spin-off from one of your favourites, there’s bound to be something that’s worth hunting down at the exhibition. So, get your diary ready and take note of these six must see board games being featured at UK Games Expo 2022.
1. A Game of Thrones: B’twixt
Will you play the Game of Thrones or will you die?
Originally revealed back in September 2021, A Game of Thrones: B’twixt is based on the now beloved series of fantasy novels written by George RR Martin. Whilst there are existing tabletop titles adapted from the A Song of Ice and Fire novels – including the rather intimidating A Game of Thrones: The Board Game, released by the same studio behind B’twixt, Fantasy Flight Games – this one is a little different from the others. Rather than focusing on intense strategy, B’twixt sees players battling it out in a game of wits and card-play.
Centered around the deadly politics of King’s Landing, B’twixt has players becoming leaders of rival houses from the Game of Thrones universe, including the likes of Doran Martell, Cersei Lannister and even Melisandre. As political manipulators, the players will be trying to take control of the most powerful small council possible. Small councils are made up of the alliances that players have managed to forge amongst the elite of King’s Landing, which are represented by cards. Cards can be acquired via bidding, with players using the influence cards in their hand in order to gain powerful alliances.
Players can play alliance cards on either side of them, with players having control over both the council to their left and to their right. This means that players will need to be careful about where they decide to place their alliance cards, as the person with the most combined power from both their small councils will be named the winner of the game. Players should be wary of others forcing them to discard their cards. King’s Landing is not a place for the faint of heart, you can find that out by checking out A Game of Thrones: B’twixt at UK Games Expo 2022.
2. Batman: Everybody Lies
Work with the world’s greatest detective to solve crimes in Gotham
The Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game series is one of the many excellent detective board games we’ve seen pop up in recent years. Scratching that deduction itch many of us have thanks to shows like CSI Miami and Midsomer Murders, detective games are perfect for people who want to solve crimes without all the actual danger that comes with the job. Add Batman to the mix and you’ve got yourself a rather enticing little board game.
Batman: Everybody Lies is based on the Detective gameplay system, with an added flair of the caped crusader and – of course – the many criminal masterminds that come with him. As various side-characters from the Gotham universe, such as Catwoman and reporter Vicki Vale, players will be attempting to deduce the culprit behind three separate cases. (Alongside an introductory prologue.) Though you won’t be playing as Batman himself, you will be able to go to him for advice and clues as to where to look next, as well as other key characters like Commissioner Gordon.
As players work together to put all the clues together and figure out the truth behind all the deception, they’ll open up new pieces of evidence and find new people to interrogate. Players will eventually have to come up with a solution to the mystery when the time comes, putting themselves to the test and determining whether they can save Gotham – or if Batman needs to step in for you. If you’re a fan of the character and world of Batman, or if you just like solving mysteries, Batman: Everybody Lies is definitely worth a look.
3. Galaxy Trucker and Galaxy Trucker: Keep on Trucking
An old favourite gets a new lease of life and a fresh expansion
For those who may not have heard of it, Galaxy Trucker is a modern classic board game created by the designer behind Codenames, Vlaada Chvátil. As the owner of a porter industry based out in space, players in Galaxy Trucker must carefully balance the risk versus reward of each job, being sure to avoid getting robbed by pirates along the way. Originally released back in 2007, Galaxy Trucker has recently seen a reprint that features shiny new artwork and a more accessible ruleset to enable newer audiences to give it a go. Not only will this reprint be at UK Games Expo 2022, there’ll also be a playable demo of its brand-spanking new expansion: Keep on Trucking.
Revealed just last month, Keep on Trucking adds a collection of new content to the game that will enable players to take on even more exciting – and even stupider – risks on the job. Provided by the generous (and less than thorough) people at Corp Inc, Keep on Trucking introduces a collection of new and highly experimental vehicles to Galaxy Trucker. As delivery drivers who strive to be on the cutting edge of the industry, the players will be expected to test-drive these new vehicles – taking both the benefits and potential dangers that come with them. As well as the vehicles, the expansion comes with a new type of challenge in the form of rough roads cards that turn otherwise uneventful journeys into much more exciting – and catastrophic - experiences.
Keep on Trucking also features a roster of fresh-faced alien species for players to hire to help on their ships, offering some new abilities for them to take advantage of. On top of all that, the expansion comes with some new tactical options for players to utilise against their delivery rivals. Galaxy Trucker certainly seems to be getting a new lease of life lately, which players can witness at UK Games Expo this year.
4. Quacks and Co: Quedlinburg Rush
Instead of blowing up cauldrons, players are blowing up records
Quacks of Quedlinburg continues to be a fan-favourite amongst the Dicebreaker team. With several expansions already under its belt, it seems it’s time for the series to take to a new direction with the recently announced Quacks and Co: Quedlinburg Rush. Based within the same German town that the original Quacks of Quedlinburg takes place in, Quedlinburg Rush looks like it’s going to provide a much more accessible experience.
A board game for kids, Quedlinburg Rush tasks its players with hopping on the backs of some classic farmyard animals – think donkeys, sheep and pigs – and racing their way through the town to win the ultimate prize of the golden cauldron. Whilst the premise of Quedlinburg Rush is different from Quacks, its core gameplay is strikingly similar. Just like in Quacks, players in Quedlinburg Rush blindly pull tokens from their bags, hoping to reveal certain types and not unveil others. The tokens that players take from their bags represent various food items they’re feeding to their mounts, with the number shown on each token indicating how many spaces their mount will be able to move along the board.
Besides the movement, each type of token will result in a different effect from occurring, such as green tokens enabling the player to draw again. However, one type of token – dreamweed – will gradually lull the player’s beast into slumber. Should a player ever draw three dreamweed tokens, then their animal briefly falls asleep and they are forced to stop pulling tokens for that round. Any rubies that have been collected can be spent on acquiring more tokens for players to put into their bags, decreasing the chances of them pulling a dreamweed. Whichever reaches the end of the board first is named the winner of the game. More Quacks is always a good thing and the UK Games Expo has it.
5. Voices in My Head
The co-designer of Eldritch Horror’s next game goes to some weird places
Before we dive further into Eldritch Horror co-designer Corey Konieczka’s latest board game, Voices in My Head, let’s get something out of the way first - the title and artwork both have some problematic elements. The game’s title might aptly describe the basic concept of Voices in My Head, that players each control a different type of personality for a perpetrator on trial, but it’s also been used as an insensitive way to describe people with mental health issues, particularly people with schizophrenia. What’s more is that the artwork for Voices in My Head features a modern-day Asian woman on the front wearing a qipao or cheongsam, which hasn’t been worn by women in China since the 1920s and ‘30s.
However, despite these issues, Voices in My Head still appears to be an intriguing-looking board game from a designer who has proven themselves in the past. In the upcoming board game, one player takes on the role of a prosecutor whilst the others each become responsible for a personality within the mind of the defendant. As the prosecutor, the players will be driving the general narrative of the courtroom drama that makes up the setting of Voices in My Head, as well as attempting to sway the jury onto their side. By contrast, the rest of the players will be choosing which aspects of the defendant’s brain they want to take control of.
Though collectively the defendant players want to get their host off the hook, every player’s secret identity – which will drive how they decide to use their section of the brain – could have a chance of throwing the whole courtroom case into complete disarray. The potential for total and utter chaos feels pretty high with Voices in My Head, ensuring that players are bound not to forget their experience with the game any time soon. You can find out more yourself by seeing it at the exhibition in June.
6. Crescent Moon
An intense strategy game with a beautifully unique art style
Root continues to be one of the best board games of the modern era thanks to its intricate balancing of factions and asymmetric gameplay – with each player having access to a different playstyle and/or set of objectives. Though there are other asymmetric board games out there, none of them have quite managed to reach the lofty heights of Root. However, a recently released board game themed around a Caliphate, or Islamic public office, may have what it takes to be considered on the same level as Cole Wehrle’s masterpiece.
Published by Osprey Games – the studio responsible for the deckbuilding wargame Undaunted: Normandy – Crescent Moon is a board game for four to five players that features a varied collection of different playable characters. As leaders of one of several warring groups, players must use the unique abilities and playstyles of their chosen faction – whether they’re the well-connected Murshid or militaristic Caliph – in order to gain power and gather the points they’ll need to win the game. Across the course of three, sometimes four, rounds players will need to use their actions to gather armies, defend themselves against invaders and complete their secret objectives.
Crescent Moon appears to be the kind of board game that certain players crave, one that challenges their ability to strategise and outwit their opponents in an intense battle of minds. Sometimes you’re in the mood for something that will test your friendships and encourage cutthroat behaviour on the board, it looks like Crescent Moon could be the tabletop title to scratch that particular itch. Why not seek it out if you’re heading to the UK Games Expo?