Last year I volunteered at UK Games Expo in Birmingham. It was fantastic. I met loads of lovely gamers, had a great time helping people find their way round and played some fab games too. I also picked up some bargains at the Bring and Buy. This year I am braving Aire Con as a punter, it will be strange not having a role or a function. But I'm going in equipped with some valuable info after last year. I'm taking a survival kit (worth £25) and one lucky winner (in the UK) will receive one too. Simply like, share and follow on facebook to be in with a chance: click on the fb logo below to find us.
This is essential. Only a fool believes they will stick to their careful budget during a games con. Cut to me wrestling with games under each arm and an over-filled bag which would no longer zip up whilst trying to board a train. Yep! Always take a spare bag like this stylish and thoroughly apt one from Hippo Warehouse.
Good quality refillable water bottle.
Apart from needing to remortgage the house to cover my games habit the next big expense was keeping hydrated and sustained. I wanted to make the most of the experience and I didn't want to waste time queueing for anything that wasn't game related! Taking a refillable water bottle is a good call and snacks too. I'm treating one lucky devil to this fancy one -
Hand Sanitiser and Wet Ones
These two have a permanent home in my rucksack. I don't understand why anyone would not carry them. Most sweaty situations can be relieved by the use of a wet one and there's something about being out and about all day that makes me appreciate a bit of hand sanitiser. So these are not so much Games Con essentials but life essentials.
Plasters for delicate footsies
The amount of ground you cover at an expo is mindblowing. If we'd walked that amount of steps up a hill we'd be posting smug photos of ourselves up a mountain. Somehow at UK Expo I escaped without needing these but plenty of folk did, so this is more of a just in case item. I feel like the law of sod dictates that if they weren't in my bag my feet would have blistered and then fallen off; better safe than sorry.
Pawn of your choice: you packed a survival kit why shouldn't you declare your dominance. Take the pawn colour of your choice and insist on using your own pawn in all games. This is completely reasonable behaviour and will definitely help you make friends*. You'll notice that black is king/ queen of the castle - the rest of you are dirty rascals! Guess which colour I always play? Also, spare dice (including a lovely Wotan Games die) - you just never know.
*there's a chance people will refuse to play with you but that's just their jealousy talking - they wish they'd had the amazing foresight to pack a pawn.
Not essential but stylish and very handy, I saw this from Amazing Trading while I was searching for actual essentials and couldn't resist. This says a lot about my ability to attend a games con with the aforesaid "budget"...
A quick play game
I've thoughtfully illustrated a set of cards for you so you can play rock, paper, scissors, lizard, spock with the person next to you in the queue. You could play with your hands but even if I do say so myself, these cards are lovely and there's a handy 'what trumps what' card to help avoid any unpleasantness. This is a super quick game to pass the time.
Other bag sized quick games include: Love Letter, Dobble, Poo, Gobblin' Goblins and of course just a pack of cards.
Hope to see some of you at Aire Con.
What would you include in your survival kit?
What are your games con essential tips?
Let me know in the comments below!