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Tabletop Gaming Live - attending one day, my two pence...

The Tabletop Gaming Live 2022 logo

The convention Tabletop Gaming Live has been and gone (17th - 18th September 2022) and I wanted to get down onto digital paper my thoughts and reflections on the event as a whole. Now, I may have only attended one day (Saturday) and I made it extremely clear that I was attending this event as a member of the public and not a content creator. This is harder than it sounds, as of course publishers and independent designers recognise you and networking in general tends to take place, BUT I did manage to play some games and find NEW games that had previously not hit my radar... so overall it was a success and I feel the need to break it down into some form of logical sense.

Venue: - Victoria Warehouse, Manchester (

The venue is new for sure. Whilst I haven't spoken to the organisers about the venue, I did surmise a fair bit, and also spoke to other attendees and traders to form this opinion. The venue is normally an O2 music venue, and was newly refurbished. The rabbit warren-esque feel to it didn't lend itself to being a bright environment for playing / demonstrating board games and in certain areas publishers and independents had to rely on supplying their own lighting to make the areas usable, and where some folks hadn't brought any they struggled (and it was a struggle, I for sure had some eye strain). The poor lighting meant that some game demos were affected. You do need large open areas with lots of good light to play games and the venue didn't lend itself to this so much! On the flip side, you certainly didn't feel overwhelmed with herds of people milling around as folks were busy exploring all the areas (two floors), so in my opinion this was better. However, lighting for sure needed to be improved in certain areas that were not a part of the main hall!

Trade Hall: This wasn't in one specific area and was spread around the whole venue. There was a great selection of different traders so there wasn't too much of a crossover of products. However, you did of course still have multiple price variations on games (Ark Nova being one - I saw it priced from £45.99 all the way up to £79.00). So, as always, shop around before committing. I was very happy with my mystery box from Zatu Games ( where I got a Zatu Bag, Exit the Game - The Mysterious Museum, Caper Europe and Bonfire.

So very much worth the £60.00 I paid!

I also bought an amazing Class Action Silver (Hollow Metal D&D Dice Set) from Critical Kit ( very happy with that purchase. If you haven't seen Critical Kit's dice selection, it's for sure worth checking out, and if you like RPG (solo specifically) then also check out there Be Like A Crow RPG - review here ( It was really nice to catch up with them as I hadn't seem them since UKGE. As with any convention, there is always lots to check out, but with the venue (and a map) you were never quite sure if you had checked it all out due to all the nooks and crannies. Thanks to my friend (Henry) his internal satnav soon had us getting around it all, without him I for sure would have got lost countless times!

Games: - So we managed to play a couple of games on the Saturday, and we would have played several more but the stands seemed full, so in hindsight we could have easily found things to do on the Sunday (if we were staying).

What did we play then?
A banner for the game Fate of Witches
The Fate of Witches box

First up was a new game coming to Kickstarter between March and April 2023 - Fate Of Witches a 1-4 player mini tableau-building card game. Build the most powerful coven, avoid capture, cast spells and become the Grand Witch! Our demo game was great (if not for the low light) and we enjoyed the demo with Pete (Director) from the One Bold Games team (, we hope to be doing a review sometime soon, but in the meantime sign up to the Kickstarter pre-launch* page to get an alert upon launch. Any fans of witchcraft and coven themed games will love this! I enjoyed the fine balance of the summoning and how it converts to the final scoring, very unique! Watch this space for a review!


Secondly, we were hoping to play Achroma an evolving card game, but the demo tables were busy whenever we went back! What is Achroma? Well, it is a beautifully illustrated fantasy card game for two or more players.

Cards from the game Achroma

The game themes are based across the Five Realms. The ravages of a dark energy called Achrom is spreading, diminishing the magical life force called Chroma. Deploy your Achroma cards to gain, drain and steal your way to victory in this fast, fun, tactical game.

You can even download the Achroma app to assist you at the game table, add Achroma cards to your profile, unlock rewards and help shape the future of the Five Realms. Check out the game here ( We are hoping to have a review on the #DOALG site soon!

We also hoped to play a new game from Paper Fort Games ( called Cosmoctopus, an engine builder game designed by Henry Audubon with a unique celestial cephalopod theme where players guide Cosmoctopus through the inky realms gaining resources and cards to gain tentacles in order to prove yourself worthy of Cosmoctopus. Again, it was busy (signs of a popular game for sure), and we didn't get a chance. I have, however, now received the review copy of this (thanks to Chris), and the review will be landing soon! For sure one to check out upon the Kickstarter launch click the image below to sign up. You can also read our Word-nerds review here (

A banner advertising the board game Cosmoctopus

Finally, we did get round to playing a game of Crown of Ash ( designed by Richard Lawton, while I had played this before my friend Henry hadn't and he did like the look of it, so I was more than happy to play it again, especially since I had played it Richard had made some tweaks to the board design and some minor mechanics. Now we are scheduled to be reviewing this, and of course the review will be landing in the new year (March to be specific), as we are also doing a special live launch event which you can save a link to now - here ( So, I will not elaborate too much right now but for any of you interested it is a worker placement area control game and it is visually stunning (see pics below).

So much to see and do at the event, we did run out of time. We certainly did need the Sunday if we wanted to play more games! A large chunk of time was spent looking around the event for sure, but some of the games we did want to look at that deserve an honourable mention are here:

Button Kin Games

Funko Games - The Goonies Never Say Die ( Steamforged Games - Epic Encounters (

Fistful of Crits - TTRPGs (

Food: - Final thoughts comes down to the available facilities of food and drink, while drink wasn't an issue during the daytime (bar was open and had drinks) the problem was during the open play time (they had run out) which is never good when you have geeks wanting to sit down and play their new games with a drink! The food options were limited to two stalls; while the flatbreads were nice, not a lot of options so I hope the organisers hope to provide more options for future events!


Overall, I really enjoyed the event. If I was a trader / stall holder I might have been a little miffed / upset about the lighting and the fact that there was no lift to get things up to the second floor, but I wasn't and in this instance the lift wasn't the organisers fault! I would have loved to have attended the event on the second day, but logistics in this instance wouldn't allow it, but FUN was certainly had! One thing I would like to point out to the organisers is that there was NOT enough space allocated in the open play area after the halls had closed, we hung around for an hour trying to get a table to play to no avail, so note for next year more tables please. Otherwise an awesome time was had!

No dates have been announced for next year YET! Please do keep your eyes peeled on the Tabletop Games Live website ( for an imminent announcement. I for sure would like to hope the organisers will fix these minor issues ready for next year.

You never know I maybe a general punter again, or on site as press for the channel, we'll see!

In the meantime, thanks for reading. Maybe see you at Tabletop Live 2023

The Talent & Founder - Mr Chris

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