Author Archives: Matt Prowse


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    Branded as ‘The Place to Play’ Airecon fills larger and larger sections of the Harrogate Convention Centre every year, three full halls and more this year. There’s so much going on, but playing board games is the focus – you won’t find more open gaming space anywhere else.

    Held in March every year the event has grown from strength to strength and attracts players from all over. Harrogate is a bit of a trek for me from Newton Abbot, but it’s worth braving the rubbish Cross Country train services to get here.

    There’s a trade hall, demo areas and a family zone. And there are tournaments and events running every day. And you can browse and borrow from the best games library I have ever seen.

    As a town, Harrogate is Posh Yorkshire. It’s beautiful and although the restraunt and entertainment scene is fantastic, it is a little pricey. Book your accomodation early to find a cozy guesthouse or more value hotel.

    Charity raffles and events raised over £7000 in 2023, a huge achievemnt. And although 4000 people is a lot, Airecon retains the friendly feel of a smaller convention. Volunteering opportunities are available, you can check the website.

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    I use Tabletop Simulator on the Steam PC platform to play epic games with more complicated rules. For example War of the Ring, Twilight Imperium IV or Dune Imperium with all the expansions (pictured below). There is a lot of stuff scripted to automate turns, but you also have to move components and understand the rules yourself, just as you would if playing at a real table. Loads of games are available as workshop created content, many free, some of suspect legitimacy, plus loads of approved DLC at a fraction of the physical copy price.

    Setting up and putting away games is also a whole lot faster!

    Matt’s opinion here! TTS is a board game simulator aimed at existing online gamers. If you’re happy playing The Witcher III or Call of Duty with a mouse and keyboard then you’ll have no issues here. But the interface and manipulation of your viewing camera, components and functions may be a bit much for those not used to online gaming.

    I also use TTS to host a Dungeons and Dragons table, and play in several campaigns using all virtual maps and miniatures. It’s a fantastic resource and a regular feature in the Steam Sales, or as a bundle of 4 to share with your friends.

    Steam Platform install from:

    My username: Mattprowse

  3. Patreon Support

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    We joined Patreon! And the Meeple Tier at £1 a month is available as an opportunity to support our goal of establishing more residential gaming holiday locations across the UK.

    A crack team of Elves have just become available after completing seasonal work at the North Pole. They will be applying glitter to meeples in readiness for subscriber rewards at our events. Full sets of the meeples will also be available to buy.

    Please consider supporting us. And get involved in our social media to give your opinions.


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    Board gaming is a really social hobby, and (I think) it’s best enjoyed with a group of friends around a table with an interval for a shared meal. But life can get in the way and it’s not always easy to get together in person. Thankfully there are many ways to game online, and Board Game Arena is a contender for the top spot.

    With a very solid claim to be the world’s #1 platform for playing online, you can play hundreds of board games from your browser for free. And you can host many more premium games for a small subscription.

    There is a wide selection of games, and you can search and filter by complexity, player count, and many other options. The platform uses a simple point and click interface, and is extremely user friendly via PC.

    With friends around the world that I’ve met at Conventions, BGA is a great way to stay in touch and keep gaming.

    Matt’s opinion here! BGA has a mission to keep things nice and simple. Point and click functionality across the whole design, and all games, clear instructions, plus many linked teaching videos from the best providers available all combine to make it really accessible.

    If you’re on BGA please add me as a friend and lets play some games!


    My BGA username: Venomstryke


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    Originally conceived as ‘Gaming Rules In Devon Convention’, Gridcon is organized by the wonderful Paul and Vicky of Gaming Rules. After organized gaming events outgrew Castle Grogan, things moved to a convention hotel, and Gridcon’s current home is the Holiday Inn at Taunton.

    There’s lots of space to game, a well-stocked library to borrow from, there are opportunities to hob-nob with various games designers and industry professionals, and inspiring charity raffles have raised thousands for great causes. Gameslore have been retailer in residence at past events and take orders for collection at the Con.

    This will be a sell-out event and tickets first go on sale to Gaming Rules Patreon supporters. Residential and day ticket types are available. Book early.

    Location: Holiday Inn, Deane Gate Ave, Taunton. TA1 2UA. (M5 JCT.25)

    Dates: Gridcon 4, November 17th – 19th 2023




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    Baycon is a fantastic convention totally focused on gaming space, spread across two convention halls. Hotel rooms usually get booked a year (or more!) in advance, but you can attend any day as a guest for a small fee (Usually £5 a day, or £15 for the whole event). The Con has been happening for more than 30 years, and the well-established player base bring hundreds of games to play. Because the player base is so well established very little advertising is done, but new players have always been welcome.

    The Con is starting earlier and earlier each year and there will always be players around from Wednesday night in the Bar. Sign-up sheets are posted for longer games and there are awards and prizes announced around 3pm on Sunday.

    My favorite gaming event, Baycon’s no-frills gaming space + friendly playerbase format are definitely a huge part of the inspiration for Full Board Gaming Events.

    Location: The Exeter Court Hotel, Kennford, Exeter. EX6 7UX.

    Dates: Wednesday to Sunday immediately after Easter Monday.

    Facebook group: