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It used to be at the Clarendon Suites in Birmingham, which is a teeny little convention centre, and it was horrifically crowded (and the car parking was awful). Every year it's grown to be bigger and better, and then in 2016 it exploded into Hall 1 of the NEC.
It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the UK boardgame, tabletop game, and roleplaying game event. Footfall in 2016 was something like 20,000 (I'd have to look the stats up), the cosplayers are out in force, and if you have children, the Family Zone is a must. If you're there in a group, you can't go far wrong registering with Thirsty Meeples (boardgame cafe from Oxford, my wife and I went to their store at the beginning of October), and grabbing a table for a game with your friends.
As well as hosting the FFG UK championships, you can buy almost anything you might want - from an RPers perspective: maps, books, terrain, miniatures, bespoke gaming furniture (drool, now figure out how to convince the wife). If you're in the UK and can't find a book, game, or whatever that what you want, visit the Games Lore booth. The owner has served me extremely well over the years. As an example, one year I was trying to get hold of a tabletop starship combat game (Saganami Island Tactical Simulator for all you Honor Harrington fans), and it was impossible to find in the UK. Games Lore got it for me within 24 hours. Ordered one day of the Expo, picked up the next. Similarly, Hero System 6th Edition, which is a bit of a pain to find in the UK and since the books are so large and shipping costs are high... and I got a discount for a slight (and I mean tiny) amount of damage to the corners. And a friend of mine got every box of the Killer Bunnies card game from them... well, you get the idea. Games Lore - they're awesome.
Okay, if you haven't been to the UKGE website, yet, let's talk RP. And food. Well, ice cream. RP events are at the very close Hilton Birmingham Metropole (book overnight tickets EARLY!) hotel, which was the second site to host the whole event, but got outgrown after a couple of years. There's a variety of food options (and a beer bus, don't forget the beer bus) to suit absolutely any taste (and you can get Dominos delivered, too), and in 2016 there was this absolutely delicious ice cream truck - lemon cheesecake ice cream to die for!
If I haven't sold this enough yet, let me just say that if you want to spend three days surrounded by gamers and totally geeking out, and you're in the UK (or can easily get here), then please, it's one weekend in June. Get your arse in gear and get to Birmingham.
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|Eldred the Grey|
|Eldred the Grey|
This sounds even better than before! We have two children (ages 12 and 10)and they loved the UKGE this year. The demo games went down really well and, as usual, they loved the Pathfinder games they played. A great opportunity for inspiring your kids to take part in the same hobbies as us big kids!!!!
My darling wife rolled her eyes when I told her about this. The official line from She is "2 days only, Friday and Saturday, and the Saturday is for our son, so get your fill of Paizo on the Friday."
So now I have a plan.
And, just to have fun, don't forget to register yourselves on the United Nations of Paizo roll call, especially if you're from Paizo Central.