Andrew Adey
United Kingdom
Wolverhampton
West Midlands
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Games Lore is a big internet games company who offer great service. I have no connection with them other than as a happy customer by the way.

Each year recently they have organised a small mini-convention at a village hall in the little town of Shifnal, Shropshire; about 10 miles from home. Each year I have had to miss it - until yesterday.

Five of Her Majesty`s pounds Sterling gained me access to a large room with 30-40 people inside all sitting at tables playing games. Some they had brought themselves, some were kindly loaned by Games Lore themselves, and some were available for purchase from Games Lore. There was also a bring and buy though I have to say I didn`t see anything on sale there - maybe I didn`t look hard enough.

Within five minutes I was playing with Pete, Andrew and Nicki - "Forbidden Island". A game by the creator of "Pandemic", this is a game about a sinking island (shades of "Escape from Atlantis" here) where the players co-operate to save four treasures and helicopter themselves off the doomed land before the waves claim it. It`s good. About 45 minutes to play. Each player has, like "Pandemic", certain skills they can use. The game comes in a tin - appropriate protection for a game about watery destruction.

We then moved on to a four player game of "Lord of Vegas"; a game about buying casinos and running them at, of course, at a massvie profit. This is a game with some luck, but skill too. It`s quite chaotic and parts of it made my brain hurt, but it`s good when you get into it.

I then felt the English need for some tea - it was a make-your-own set-up in a small kitchen. Just fine.

Other games being plaed included Ecplise, Ginkopolis, Battlestar Galactica, Magic: the Gathering, Galaxy Trucker, London, and I saw many boxes of privately owned stuff which, if I had asked nicely, I`m sure the owners would have allowed me to examine.

The finale was watching a game of "Spartacus", newly purchased and punched before my eyes, by four fellas who obviously enjoyed their games (as do I) and had a wicked sense of humour to go with it. I have often thought of getting Spartacus but not given in to temptation just yet - but it looked quite good to me. The TV series is superb, but not for the squeamish! The only disappointing thing was that the combat section (cleverly done with dice) only allowed one on one combat. I would like all the lanisters to be able to field one - or two combatants, but don`t know how this would be done.

"Expansion fodder!" crioed one of the humourists playing - and he`s probably right.

The game took about 2 hours, and would be faster now they know what they`re doing.

"Spartacus" is also the ONLY game I can think of, where there is a card entitled "Jupiter`s Cock". So there`s a selling point.

The doors opened at 10am, and closed I assume at 10pm as advertised. I arrived at 1pm, and stayed until about 6.30pm.

Will I go again? Yes. I`ll put it in my diary; and take some friends next year.

Thanks to Games Lore of Telford for their efforts.
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Paul Bryant
United Kingdom
Telford
Shropshire
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Glad you enjoyed your visit, shame you didn't have longer. The boxes of games on the tables at the back right could all have been browsed / borrowed for play and many were.

You don't even need to wait until next year, we'll be running the Apres-Essen MiniCon in October / November though I don't think we have a confirmed date for that yet. That will probably be in Wellington, again it will be close to the railway station.

Hopefully as you're close to us you know about our Thursday night games club in Telford and the Playtime monthly event in Wolverhampton which takes place 2nd Wednesday of the month at Lych Gate Tavern.

See you again.
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Liam
Scotland
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Fab I didn't realise that Games Lore did more than just send me games.

Great to hear that they're also putting time and effort into supporting and building the gaming community too!

Good job Paul and team.
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