UK Games Expo

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UK Games Expo
GenreBoard Games, RPGs, Hobby Games, Tabletop Games
InauguratedJune 2007
Attendance21,698 in 2018
ActivitySeminars, Tournaments, Trade Halls
LeaderUK Games Expo Ltd

UK Games Expo (UKGE or Expo) is a tabletop gaming expo and Hobby Games Convention held annually at the NEC and the NEC Hilton Metropole Birmingham, during the last weekend of May or first weekend of June (the first weekend after the Spring Bank Holiday).[1] UK Games Expo is the premier event in the UK where all aspects of the gaming hobby are represented. In 2019 the show had 400+ booths manned by 435 exhibitors and co-exhibitors including publishers, retailers, independent designers and artists.

The show is host to a schedule of seminars by industry leaders, several hundred role-playing game sessions and many board and wargame tournaments, including several national tournaments such as the UK Settlers of Catan Finals, the UK Agricola Championship and the UK Carcassonne Championship and the Fantasy Flight European Championship and a Grand Kotei as well as the a British Historical Gaming Society Championship. Role-playing events included the UK Cthulhu masters, the D&D Open Championships and the D&D Adventurers League Epic. Other gaming-related entertainment in 2019 included performances from John Robertson, Paul Flannery Jollyboat and Tom Crosbie. The 2019 major sponsors were Wayland Games, Games Workshop and Catan with additional associate sponsorship from Paizo Inc, Cubicle 7, CMON, Greater than Games and ITB. The Family Zone was sponsored by HABA.

Unlike most other large shows, UK Games Expo is notable for offering both large areas of free open gaming space[2] and a charity bring and buy. In 2019 over £18000 was taken in commission on sales and other donations and was donated to three charities.


The first UK Games Expo was held at the Clarendon Suites in Birmingham in 2007. The show took place at this venue six times before relocating to the Hilton NEC Metropole in 2013. Continued growth in attendance has meant that from 2016 UK Games Expo has expanded to include a Trade Hall and a separate tournament hall in the NEC as well as maintaining activities in the Hilton.

In 2016 and 2017, the UK Games Expo Trade Hall occupied Hall 1 of the NEC, with the 2017 Expo also taking up Hall 3a exclusively for tournaments. Expo 2018 took place in Hall 1 and Hall 2 of the NEC (Hall 1 being entirely trade and Hall 2 Trade and also tournaments and open gaming, various smaller rooms as well as space in adjacent hotels bringing the total hall space to over 28,000 sqm.)

The Major Sponsors in 2018 were Warcradle Studios, Games Workshop and Catan Studios. The associate sponsors in 2018 were Osprey Publishing, Paizo Inc, Geeknson, CGE and Greater than Games.

Previous sponsors have included Fantasy Flight Games, Mayfair Games, Mage Company and Coiledspring Games.

In 2008 the UK Games Expo was the venue for the official launch of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition in the UK.

Notable guests of the show in recent years have included Martin Wallace, Colin Baker, Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone, Chris Barrie, Monte Cook, John Robertson, Tom Vasel and John Kovalic.


Attendance figures released by the organizers are published each year in their exhibitor pack. 2018 Exhibitor pack:

UK Games Expo Attendance Figures
Year 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Uniques 900 1200 1800 2000 2455 2879 3538 5805 7162 12636 16500 21698 25704
Attendance 1200 2000 2500 2800 3585 4046 5734 9919 13971 25149 31000 39106 45097

2018 unique attendance makes UK Games Expo the largest show of its kind in the UK (A Hobby Games Convention with all aspects of gaming represented and featuring tournaments, open gaming areas, seminars and live entertainment). It is also one of the largest events of its kind in the World.

This graph shows annual attendance at the UK Games Expo since its first year (2007). On the graph uniques means how many unique individuals attended the event. E.G. Tom and Bertha attend UKGE. They count as 1 unique attendance each or 2 uniques between them. Attendance is how many people came adding together the turnstile each day. Tom went for 2 days so he counts at 2 attendances. Bertha goes for 3 days so counts as 3. Thus Tom and Bertha contribute 2 uniques but 5 attendance.

UK Games Expo Awards[edit]

The UK Games Expo Awards are a series of awards announced usually on the last day of the UK Games Expo, which are voted on by attendees of the convention as well as a panel of judges. These awards are highly sought after by publishers as they usually precipitate significant increases in sales figures, and retail takeup across the world.


Below are the main eligibility criteria directly taken from the UK Games Expo website for products entered into the UK Games Expo Awards.

1.Game products on show at UK Games Expo and which had been released in the UK in the preceding 12 months, or are released at UK Games Expo will be eligible for entry into the Awards.

Additionally, if a game is a new reprint or version of a game published prior to UKGE 2007 we will consider it. If the game was released between 2007 and the current show BUT is on sale or distribution in the UK for the first time in the current award year we will also consider it.

2.The Games must be on sale at UK Games Expo.

3.Manufacturers and publishers may suggest which category, other than the Special Achievement Award, in which to enter their products, however the Expo judges will make the final decision. Only ONE category per product is permissible. A Game may only be entered for the awards in ONE year. Sometimes a given category will NOT be used one year in which case we will fit the game in the nearest category.

4.The awards are only for products from games companies who are exhibiting at Expo (either themselves or via another company) and they are not open to others.

5. For all categories (other than Best New Accessory or Expansion) games must be original designs and not just new editions unless there is significant change in the design or gameplay between editions.

Judging The winner in each category wil be determined by a combined system of a public vote and the opinion of a Panel of Judges.

Firstly all games are rates by a panel of judges chosen by UK Games Expo. For 2018 UK Games Expo introduced short lists of the top games in each category where there are more than 3 entries. The short lists will be selected according to the judge's ratings and published on mid May each year.

One of the short listed games will be declared the Judges award winner at the convention.

At the show there is an opportunity for the public to vote on the short listed games using the convention app. This will select the popular choice award winner.

The Awards will be announced on the Sunday of UK Games Expo at 3pm.

Award Categories[4][edit]

Best New Boardgame (American-Style ) Generally feature a prominent theme, encourage direct conflict between players and have a significant degree of luck. American-style games often have longer playtimes and have mechanics designed to suit the theme. Sometimes referred to as Ameritrash. (Games with a target age of 12+ and specifically not for young children.)

Best New Boardgame (Euro-Style ) Generally these games will have less direct player interaction, limited elements of luck and less conflict. Sometimes called a Eurogame or German-style board game. (Game with a target ages of 12+ and specifically not for young children.)

Best New Boardgame (Strategic) These are games which involve tactical and strategic game play, involve direct player interaction, often involve elements of competition, conflict and sometimes military themes. MIniatures may be involved or tokens representing characters or units(Game with a target ages of 12+ and specifically not for young children.)

Best New Card or Dice Game Generally these games will not involve a board, but dice or cards will be the predominant feature. (Game with a target ages of 12+ and specifically not for young children.) In any given year we may decide to split this category into Card Games and Dice games.)

Best Role-playing Game (A game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting and where the main thrust is players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a story general run by a games master. In any given year we may decide to split this category into Roleplay Games and Roleplaying Game supplement.)

Best Miniatures Range (A wargame system and/ or miniatures range where the core part of the game is using miniature figures to fight out battles. Might include figures aimed at use in RPG games. In any given year we might break this category into rules systems and figures.)

Best Party Game (A game which is usually light and easy to play, with simple rules and designed for larger groups or a party.)

Best Children's Game (A game which is specifically designed for younger children (10 years or below) to play with or without adult supervision but not a game adults would play on their own.)

Best Family Game (A game which is ideal for children (perhaps older children) and adults to play together and all enjoy equally. Something for parents and kids to have fun together with.)

Best Abstract Game (An abstract game is a game that minimizes luck and does not rely on a theme. It typically focuses on strategy where skill and careful planning is the key. May feature various components)

Best New Expansion (This covers expansions to existing games, new versions which are essentially the same game but might have a different set of pieces e.g. an army pack.)

Best New Accessory (Anything gaming related not covered in the other areas e.g. game storage solutions, dice bags etc.)

Previous years results[edit]

Winners 2018[edit]

Best Children's Game Judges Award: Brain Box People at Work – The Green Board Game Company People's Choice: Rhino Hero – Super Battle – The Habermaass Gmbh (HABA)

Best Family Game Judges Award: Untold: Adventures Await – Hub Games People's Choice: Untold: Adventures Await – Hub Games

Best Party Game Judges Award: When I Dream – Repos People's Choice: When I Dream – Repos

Best Board Game (European Style) Judges Award: Great Western Trail – Stronghold People's Choice: Photosynthesis – Blue Orange

Best Card Game or Dice Game Judges Award: Pikoko – Brain Games People's Choice: Legend of the Five Rings – Fantasy Flight Games

Best Miniatures Range Judges Award: Warhammer 40,000: Dark Imperium – Games Workshop People's Choice: Warhammer 40,000: Dark Imperium – Games Workshop

Best Miniatures Rules Judges Award: Gaslands – Osprey Game People's Choice: Gaslands – Osprey Game

Best Abstract Game Judges Award: Thieves – Merlin Games People's Choice: Thieves – Merlin Games

Best Expansion Judges Award: QueenDomino – Blue Orange Games People's Choice: Cities of Splendor – Space Cowboys

Best Accessory Judges Award: DMB Games Resin Dungeon Tile Core Set People's Choice: Big Book of Battle Mats – Loke Battle Mats

Best Board Game (American Style) Judges Award: Rising Sun – CMON People's Choice: Rising Sun – CMON

Best Role-Playing Adventure Judges Award: Two Headed Serpent – Chaosium Inc. People's Choice: The Cthulhu Hack: Three Faces of the Wendigo – All Rolled Up

Best Role-Playing Expansion Judges Award: Down Darker Train – Chaosium In. People's Choice: Leagues of Cthulhu – Triple Ace Games

Best Role-Playing Game Judges Award: Adventures in an Age Undreamed of – Modiphius Entertainment Ltd. People's Choice: SINS – The Roleplaying Game – First Falling Leaf Limited

Best Board Game (Strategic Style) Judges Award: Civilisation – Gibsons People's Choice: Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire – Games Workshop

Winners 2017[edit]

  • Best Family Game – Sushi Go Party (Gamewright)
  • Best Children's Game -Baobub
  • Best Euro Game – Sub Terra (Inside the Box Board Games)
  • Best American Style GameDark Souls (Steamforged Games)[5]
  • Best Strategic Game – The Colonists (Mayfair Games)
  • Best Card Game – Statecraft (Inside the Box Board Games)
  • Best Abstract Game – Ominoes (YAY Games)
  • Best Miniatures – Dropfleet Commander (Hawk Wargames)
  • Best Role-Playing GameAdventures In Middle Earth (Cubicle 7)
  • Best Role-Playing – Cthulu Rises Doompack (Syrinscape)
  • Best Party Game – Chameleon (Big Potato)
  • Best Expansion – Dropfleet Commander: Reconquest Phase Two (Hawk Wargames)
  • Best Accessory – Dropfleet Commander Modular Spacestation Pack (Hawk Wargames)
  • Best Miniatures Rules – Dropfleet Commander (Hawk Wargames)

Winners 2016[edit]

  • Boardgame - Isle of Skye (Mayfair Games)
  • Board Games with Miniatures - Star Wars Rebellion (Fantasy Flight Games)
  • Role Play Games - Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition (Chaosium)
  • Family Games - Civilisation (Granna)
  • Miniatures - Frostgrave (Osprey Games)
  • Strategic Card and Dice Games - Odin's Ravens (Osprey Games)
  • General Card games - Games of Trains (Brain Games)
  • General Games - Time Stories (Asmodee)
  • Children's Game - Icecool (Brain)
  • Party Game - Codenames (Czech Games Edition)
  • Abstract Games - Onitama (Arcane Wonders)
  • Expansions - Colt Express, Horses and Stagecoach (Ludonaute)
  • Accessories - Dice Tray (All Rolled Up)

Winners 2015[edit]

  • Boardgame - Black Fleet, Space Cowboys (Asmodee)
  • General Game - Cycling Party (Snake Eye Games)
  • Board Games with Miniatures - Star Wars Imperial Assault (Fantasy Flight Games)
  • Role Play Games - Mutant Year Zero (Modiphius Games)
  • Family Games - Waggle Dance (Grublin Games)
  • Miniatures - Star Wars Armada (Fantasy Flight Games)
  • Strategic Card and Dice Games - Elysium Space Cowboys (Asmodee)
  • General Card games - Sushi Go! (Gamewright)
  • Children's Game - Chickyboom (Blue Orange)
  • Party Game - Cash'n Guns (Repos Production)
  • Abstract Games - HexAgony (JJR Distributions Ltd.)
  • Expansions - Firefly, Blue Sun Rim (Gale Force Nine)
  • Accessories - Syrinscape (Syrinscape Pty Ltd.)
  • Honourable Mention: Johnathan Green, You Are The Hero

Winners 2014[edit]

  • Best New Boardgame - Splendor (Asmodee)
  • Best Role-playing Game - Achtung Cthulhu Keepers Guide (Modiphius Entertainment)
  • Best Miniatures Range - Sails of Glory (Ares Games)
  • Best Family Game - Luchador! (Backspindle)
  • Best Abstract Game - Castellan (Steve Jackson Games)
  • Best Strategic Card Game - Trains (AEG)
  • Best General Card Game - Cheaty Mages (AEG)
  • Best Children's Game - The Magic Labyrinth (Drei Magier Spiele/Lion Rampant Imports)
  • Best Party Game- Anomia (Coiledspring Games)
  • Best Accessory - Gaming Bag (All Rolled Up)

Winners 2013[edit]

  • Best New Boardgame - Mice and Mystics (Plaid Hat Games)
  • Best Role-playing Game - Star Wars (Fantasy Flight Games)
  • Best Miniatures Range - Star Wars X-Wing (Fantasy Flight Games)
  • Best Family Game - Forbidden Desert (Coiledspring)
  • Best Abstract Game - String Railway (Abstract Games)
  • Best Strategic Card Game - Lords of War (Black Box Games)
  • Best General Card Game - Smash Up (AEG)

Winners 2012[edit]

  • Best New Boardgame - Zoom Zoom Kaboom (Hopwood Games)
  • Best Role-playing Game - Airship Pirates (Cubicle 7)
  • Best Miniatures Range - Star Fleet (Mongoose Publishing)
  • Best Family Game - Rory's Story Cubes (Coiledspring)
  • Best Abstract Game - Foundation (Cubiko)
  • Best Card Game - Panic Lab (Coiledspring)
  • Special Award - Designers and Dragons (Mongoose Publishing)

Winners 2011[edit]

  • Best New Boardgame - Ankh Morpork (Treefrog)
  • Best Role-playing Game - All For One (Triple Ace)
  • Best Family/Children's Game - Kingbrick (Oliver Sidthorpe)
  • Best Abstract Game - Cubulous (Coiled Spring Games)
  • Best Party Game - The Know It Games (Pants on Fire)
  • Best Card Game - Braggart (Spiral Galaxy Games)
  • Best Miniatures Range - Wars of Tonan (Table Warfare)
  • Special Awards:
    • Triple Ace - Best Looking Stand
    • Scott Hughes - Beast of Burden Award
    • Richard Law - "I do all this work just to get a free Yellow Shirt Award"

Winners 2010[edit]

  • Best New Boardgame - Workshop of the World (Ragnar Brothers)
  • Best Role-playing Game - Dr Who (Cubicle 7)
  • Best Family/Children's Game - Forbidden Island (Coiled Spring)
  • Best Abstract Game - Mijnlieff (Hopwood Games)
  • Best Card Game - World Cup Card Game (Games for the World)
  • Special Award - Martin Wallace - For service to boardgames
  • Best Looking Stand - Triple Ace

Winners 2009[edit]

  • Best New Boardgame - Snow Tails (Asmodee Version)
  • Best Role-playing Game - Lovecraftian tales from the Table- The Bradford Players (Yog radio)
  • Best Miniatures Range - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Copplestone Casting)
  • Best General/Party Game - Liar-Liar - Pants on Fire Games
  • Best Family/Children's Game - Cubiko (Gavin Birnbaum)
  • Best Abstract Game - Kamisado (Burley Games)
  • Best Card Game - Fzzzt! (Surprised Stare)
  • Best Collectible Card Game - Huntik (Upper Deck Entertainment)

Winners 2008[edit]

  • Best Boardgame - Iceflow (Ludorum Games)
  • Best Role-playing Game - Dungeons and Dragons (Wizard Of The Coast)
  • Best Miniatures Game - Field of Glory (Slitherine)
  • Best Quiz Game - Identity Crisis (Ibble Dibble)
  • Best Abstract Game - Serendipity (Cuburo)
  • Best Card Game - World of Warcraft (UDE)
  • Special Award - Take it Easy (Peter Burley)

Winners 2007[edit]

  • Best New Boardgame - Fagins Gang, Ludorum Games
  • Best Family Game - Alphabet Runner, Alphabet Runner
  • Best Card Game - World of Warcraft, Upper Deck Entertainment
  • Best Miniatures Game - AT-43, Rackham
  • Best Role-playing Game - RuneQuest, Mongoose Publishing
  • Special Award - Pitchcar, Ferti


  1. ^ "Uk Games Expo 2017 - Home Page". Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "UK Games Expo Awards".
  4. ^ "Uk Games Expo Awards". Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  5. ^ Steamforged Games

External links[edit]