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7 board games to play at UK Games Expo 2024

Don’t miss these titles this June.

An image of Fate-Flip: Washed Ashore cards.
Image credit: Red Cat Games

UK Games Expo, also known as UKGE, is one of the first major events in the tabletop gaming convention calendar. Taking place over the last weekend of May and first weekend of June, UKGE sees publishers and players gathering at the Birmingham NEC to meet, chat and, of course, play some games.

Though not nearly the biggest tabletop gaming convention out there, UKGE is still an important convention thanks to it being an opportunity for players to catch anything they might have missed from the previous year’s release schedule. However, as well as older titles, there are also a plethora of upcoming games to be found at UKGE - some of which you’ll be able to play, or at least get your hands on, at the convention.

Best games to play at UKGE 2024

Which titles should you be looking out for? We’ve collected a list of some of the most exciting board games you’ll be able to find at the UKGE. From massive horror releases to smaller and shorter titles, here are the seven board games to play at UKGE 2024.

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1. Fate Flip: Washed Ashore

Can you escape the island alone?

An image of Fate Flip: Washed Ashore.
Players will have to make some tricky choices to survive their time on a remote island. | Image credit: Red Cat Games

This solo board game challenges players to work alone to figure out a way to survive and escape from an island they’ve found themselves castaway on. Stranded on a remote island and desperate to return home, the player will need to explore the land and make a series of choices to get them closer to their goal.

A choose-your-own-adventure style solo game, Washed Ashore offers a mixture of storytelling, exploration and strategy gameplay. Players will read various entries for the game’s story via its cards, with some of them seeing the player having to make choices for their character, with the consequences following suit.

This looks to be a good board game for players to pass the time alone, maybe whilst travelling or between any social gatherings they have planned. For a tense, narrative-driven and rules-light tabletop gaming experience, be sure to look for Fate Flip: Washed Ashore at this year’s UKGE.

2. Horror on the Orient Express: The Board Game

Survive a train ride from hell

A layout image of Horror on the Orient Express: The Board Game.
The gauntlet of horrors players will face on this locomotive are not to be taken lightly. | Image credit: Chaosium/Dicebreaker. This is a prototype.

Based on the iconic campaign for tabletop RPG Call of Cthulhu, Horror on the Orient Express: The Board Game has players attempting to survive one hell of a train ride. This co-op board game has players controlling characters with unique abilities as their journey on the famous locomotive is suddenly disrupted by the arrival of a cavalcade of terrifying monsters.

The players must try to mitigate the worst efforts of the various eldritch beings and try to find a way back into their own dimension, before the train journey ends in their abrupt demise. In order to win the game, players must discover the identities of the cultists currently hiding away on the train. On their turns, players can interrogate the other passengers on the Orient Express and gain crucial information they need to unmask the right people.

Meanwhile, the group will also need to avoid dying or losing their minds as they’re bombarded by strange and terrifying encounters. Horror on the Orient Express: The Board Game is definitely intended for people who enjoy challenging cooperative experiences, as well as the themes and iconography of the Cthulhu Mythos. Book your ticket on this terrible train ride at UKGE 2024.

3. Rebirth

Designer behind Lost Cities and Modern Art strikes again

An image of Rebirth.
This alternate version of future Scotland is both hopeful and a bit scary. | Image credit: Mighty Boards

Reiner Knizia is one of the most prolific board game designer who ever existed. The creator behind modern classics such as Lost Cities, The Quest for El Dorado and Tigris & Euphrates, Knizia seemingly cannot stop designing board games. One of the iconic designer’s upcoming efforts is Rebirth, a board game that’s set in Scotland within an alternate future.

The world of Rebirth takes place after a series of calamities have left human civilisation in pieces, with the remaining people left to repair the damage and rebuild. Players are tasked as leaders of their own respective Scottish clans, with obtaining land for their people and revitalising it for a new generation. Players can expect Knizia’s classic approach of tile-laying and strategic point scoring, alongside some unique worldbuilding aspects that utilise these gameplay mechanics.

There’s not a huge amount known about Rebirth just yet, with the game set to get a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter next month. However, any design from Knizia is at least worth a look at, which you should be able to do at UKGE 2024.

4. Terminus

Turn your Sim City dreams into reality

An image of Terminus.
Prepare to build your own subway network across a thriving city. | Image credit: Inside Up Games

If you’ve ever had a soft-spot for city simulation video games like Sim City or City: Skylines, then Terminus is a board game that will scratch that particular itch. In Terminus, you’ll take control of the public transport of a city, with your company being hired to build and improve the city’s subway system and attached developments. However, your rival players have been hired to achieve the same objectives, meaning you’ll be competing with them to do the best job possible.

Throughout the train game, players will be taking actions across a variety of areas: from constructing new networks to lobbying local governments to improving existing infrastructure. By approaching these actions in the right way, you’ll be able to set yourself up to acquire as much prestige as possible. Prestige is earned through building great subway lines, as well as taking and completing projects and fulfilling agendas before the end of the game rolls around.

Terminus looks to be a board game that can satisfy the wants of fans of city-building games and fans of train games in a single box. If you consider yourself to fit into either of these categories, or just like the sound of a board game that challenges your ability to execute a carefully laid strategy, then Terminus is a title worth checking out at this year’s UKGE.

5. Conservas

Run a quaint Spanish tinning company

An image of the box for Conservas.
Players will need to balance profit with sustainability in order to succeed in this game. | Image credit: Salt & Pepper Games

Conservas is named after the traditional Spanish food of tinned small fish, such as mackerel, sardines or anchovies. A delicious fishy treat, conservas rely on the fishing boats that operate along the Spanish coast, catching and tinning the tasty morsels for the locals to enjoy.

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In the solo board game Conservas, players take charge of running one of these small fishing and tinning companies, with the goal of providing people with the preserved fish they know and love whilst ensuring that the Spanish waters remain well populated. Players are responsible for every aspect of their fishing business: from acquiring and managing the boats to fishing to selling the finished product. Though making a profit is an essential part of managing the business, players will need to refrain from overfishing to keep things sustainable.

One way of maintaining the balance between catching fish and populating the oceans is by taking what you need from the bag of fish chits, whilst leaving enough fish within the sea to breed. Players will have monthly objectives that will gain them the points they need to win, as well as their profits and sustainability efforts. For an uncomplicated game that can teach you something about oceanic environmentalism, look for Conservas at 2024’s UKGE.

6. Cities

Design new neighbourhoods in London, New York and Rio de Janeiro

A layout image of Cities board game.
Fans of city-building games should be paying attention to this board game. | Image credit: Devir

If you’ve ever wondered how well you’d do at designing your own city neighbourhood, you now have the opportunity to find out with the new board game Cities. As the name suggests, Cities is a tabletop title in which players are city-builders who have been tasked with planning an entirely new neighbourhood for some of the most iconic places in the world: including New York, London, Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon, Mexico City, Sydney and Buenos Aires.

These responsibilities involve players constructing new places for people to live, work and spend their leisure time. Players will need to consider everything from housing to office space to parks when forming their neighbourhood-building plans. Over the course of eight rounds, players will use their worker tokens to gain scoring cards, as well as the tiles they’ll use to indicate what and where they’ll be building things in their respective plans.

Players will need to place their chosen building tiles on matching colour spaces in order to comply with city regulations, all whilst ensuring that they’re fulfilling their scoring card goals. As well as buildings, players will be placing tiles for parks and water spaces, creating a good mixture to make a balanced area. Become a part of fictional architectural history by playing Cities at the UK Games Expo.

7. Worms: The Board Game

Shoot, blow-up and blast the enemy team

A layout image of Worms: The Board Game.
Worms will be able to utilise different weapons and items against their enemies. | Image credit: Mantic Games, Team 17

Based on the beloved video game series, Worms: The Board Game seems like the ideal tabletop adaptation. The original video games feel like a good fit for the tabletop, as they’re essentially digital war games themselves. This video game board game looks to be attempting to inject all the charm of the classic titles into the physical world, with players commanding their own squad of worm miniatures against each other.

In a similar fashion to the video game series it’s based on, Worms: The Board Game will have players moving their worms across a randomly-generated map and attacking worms of the opposing team/s. Players will be able to utilise an entire arsenal of weaponry, which should include many of the most iconic items from across Worms history: such as the bazooka, the grenade and the uzi. Players will want to injure their opponents’ worms enough to either push them into negative health points or into the water hexes on the map.

As in the games, players can collect additional weapons and items by collecting it from boxes that land on to the map. There will also be a sudden death card that can be randomly drawn from the item deck, thus triggering the final stage of a game and the acceleration of attacks. If you’re a fan of the Worms series or enjoy humorous miniature board games, you should play this new tabletop adaptation at the UK Games Expo in June.

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