GS TABLE GAMES: Event Spotlight On Dragonmeet 2013

On GS Table Games today we look at the next game convention to take place in the UK. Dragonmeet 2013 is on 7th of December 2013 in the Kensington Town Hall. We talk to the organizers about how it started and what to expect.

People in the board game community know that the two biggest game conventions are Essen Spiel in Germany and Gen Con in the US but the UK is slowly taking up the mantle with various shows around the UK and Dragonmeet 2013 is one such show that wants to bring gamers together.

Geek Syndicate: What is Dragonmeet about and who is it aimed at?

Dragonmeet: Dragonmeet is London’s friendliest games convention, a day-long festival of fun. It’s aimed at people of all ages who enjoy games, whether it be RPGs, board games, collectable card games, turn-based strategy games or wargames.

GS: How did it start

D: Dragonmeet was originally an event run by Games Workshop in the 1980s, and reinstituted by James Wallis (then of Hogshead Publishing, now of Spaaace the games consultancy and an intrepid group of RPG aficionados. The first Dragonmeet was held in Conway Hall, Holborn in 2000. Over the years it has grown and is now well established in its current home in Kensington Town Hall.

GS: Why choose London as a location?

D: London is a great city for a convention as it’s very easy to get to both nationally and internationally, and there are excellent transport links around London itself. It offers a wide variety of possible venues and accommodation for convention attendees, and it’s a hub for gaming in the UK with a large number of RPG and board games clubs.

GS: What should people expect when attending?

D: As well as the games detailed below, attendees can expect to see some of Britain’s greatest artists like Ralph Horsley signing posters and cards in the art show; a packed day of seminars featuring our esteemed guests, and our legendary trade hall, with retailers and publishers eager to show off their latest product. In the evening, we’ll also have our charity auction, this year in aid ofAlström Syndrome UK.


An example of Ralph Horsley’s work

GS: What can you tell us about the guests attending?

D: We’re joined this year by a number of gaming luminaries including Paula Dempsey, an ENnie-award winning writer for Pelgrane Press; Joe Dever, an award-winning British fantasy author and game designer; Lynne Hardy, who’s written for Pelgrane Press, Cubicle 7 and Modiphius Entertainment, as well as writing her own steampunk and fantasy games; multiple Origins, Golden Geek, and ENnie Award winner Kenneth Hite who’s designed, written, or co-authored over 80 roleplaying games; Robin D. Laws, whose previous RPG designs include The Esoterrorists, Ashen Stars, Feng Shui and HeroQuest; Sir Ian Livingstone, OBE – the Life President of Eidos and one of the UK’s founding fathers of interactive entertainment; and Graham Walmsley, an ENnie award winner who has written fo roleplaying games companies including Cubicle 7, Bully Pulpit Games and Pelgrane Press.

And we’ve just confirmed that Rob Heinsoo, lead designer on D&D 4th Edition and the co-designer (with Jonathan Tweet) of the 13th Age RPG published by Pelgrane Press will also be coming along.

GS: Why do you think board games are getting more popular than ever these days?

D: I think there are a number of reasons. The internet has spread the massive popularity board games have enjoyed for decades in Germany and mainland Europe, as more people are discovering the great game design and high production values of the Euro-style board games. And in part, it’s a reaction to multiplayer gaming online – a desire for social interaction with your friends, and the richness of the interactivity between people compared to interacting with an AI. Plus, the diversity of design and creativity to be found in board games is incredible; unlike video games, which are technically difficult and expensive to produce, all a board game designer needs is a good idea and some basic stationary and they’re well on their way to making a prototype.

GS: It seems that board games are bridging the gap from geek to chic where RPGs seem to still be in the geek arena. Why do you think that is?

D: While most families in the UK will be familiar with board games, RPGs have not yet broken into the mainstream consciousness, and any references to RPGs in popular culture will generally be derogatory. As a result, most people are more open to trying board games than RPGs. However, I think RPGs are bridging the gap more and more; geek icons such as Wil Wheaton are both playing and writing for story-driven RPGs like Fiasco, and geek media outlets like io9 and MTV Geek (before its tragic demise) are reporting more on RPGs.

GS: What games will be available to experience on the day?

D: Attendees can expect a full line-up of RPGs, ranging from old favourites like D&D and Call of Cthulhu to the innovative story games such as Monsterhearts and Fiasco. And if they have spare time between RPGs, there are plenty of board games available, including the top games from this year’s crop at Spiel in the Best of Essen competition, and a wide range of demo games from our friends in the Men in Black and Looney Labs, among others.

The list of games in the Best of Essen include: Amerigo, Coup: Reformation, Dark Darker Darkest, Eldritch Horror, Mascarade, Nations, Space Cadets: Dice Duel and Tash-Kalar.

Eldritch Horror. One of the Best of Essen games

Eldritch Horror. One of the Best of Essen games

GS: Will there be retailers there on the day and if so who?

D: Leisure Games will be there, offering an extensive selection of board and role-playing games. We’ll also have House Atreides, a UK-based specialist in CCG singles and second-hand RPGs and Chessex, your resource for dice and other role playing accessories.

GS: Do you think that right now the board game market is becoming oversaturated with titles and is this a worry for a publisher like Cubicle 7?

D: While board games are very popular with families in mainland Europe, they have yet to take off in a big way in the British Isles and the USA. So I think there’s still plenty of room for the board game market to grow and develop and publishers like Cubicle 7, with a strong focus on RPG publishing as well as board games, need not worry just yet.

Also on the day will be the Playtest UK games team on hand to test various game designs and if you have a go you could win a prize. You can find out more about the group HERE

Source: Dragonmeet Facebook, Dragonmeet Twitter, Dragonmeet
Reporter: Montoya

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One comment

  1. Mark /

    The charity auction will be well down this year two of the biggest bidders are no shows this year.

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