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Gaming Dairy of a Gameseller… Insomnia 51 Festival

We are Spreading… the BoardGame Bible!??

When we were approached last year by Michael Lambert, the Events Manager at Multiplay, to host a TableTop Zone at Insomnia 51. We instantly jumped at the opportunity.

As a retailer, we also sell Collectibles and Gifts and instantly saw the opportunity to not only to sell the collectible side the business, but more importantly to sell and demonstrate board games.  I was fortunate enough to know the Demonstrator Manager at Esdevium, Mike Budd. So I not only know, but understand the aims and values that Esdevium set out, when demonstrating at these large events.  Gamesquest could not or continue to run this event, without Esdevium’s amazing support from Mike and his team. One has to admit, that what they are doing up and down the country to support retailers and grow our amazing hobby, is nothing short of brilliant.

Did you know Insomnia is not just a LAN based show…

Multiplay run three Insomnia shows per year,  Easter and August Bank Holidays, as well as a show in late-November.   You may immediately think that Insomnia is a purely a LAN based computer show.   True, LAN play is at its heart, so why then have a Table Top Zone?

Insomnia has developed into a Gaming Festival.  As a visitor too you can immerse yourself in a wide variety of gaming from PC to Console to Retro to Cos Play and of course Board Gaming.  The Easter show was our third event and not only were we supported by Esdevium but also by Richard, Tony and some of their crew from UKExpo, who saw the opportunity to promote their show at the event and we were only too happy to oblige.

 Insomnia 51 Gaming Festival - GamesQuest

TableTop Zone’s success means a bigger area!

The objective for Esdevium and ourselves was very much to convert and show people the sheer diversity of board gaming and of course,  also that the social aspect to board and card gaming is amazing.  Insomnia is full of people old and young who love to game, only many of them have not yet been introduce to the modern board gaming era (i.e. post Monopoly and Cluedo). As a tribute to the TableTop Zone’s success and popularity, Multiplay had increased the size of the Zone to approximately 150 sq meters.  For all three days the Tabletop zone was a popular venue demonstrating a variety of board games such as Zombicide, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Dixit, Pathfinder RPG, Small World and many more board games.

Event Highlight…. Fleet Gaming!!!

It’s a tiring event, but very rewarding and yes, we get to game in the Evening.  The Highlight to the event is most certainly the gathering of the Captains in the superb card game Fleet, which can only be described as a re-enactment of Forest Gump.

Fleet should never in a million years lend itself to Role-playing, yet with our Motley Band, it most certainly has.  Lt Dan, Commander Dan, Sub-Commander Dan, Captain Dan and Prime Minister Dan (coz he’s not from around here) lined up, yep that’s five captains in a four player game… but we all wanted to catch some Shrimp.  Lt Dan had learned all the words to Buppa’s shrimp speech from Forest Gump and he was determined that he was only gonna buy Shrimp.

No Shrimp for Buppa….

Only there was no Shrimp during the first two rounds and he was left boatless. I could not resist the opportunity….  you should have seen his face when I told him, we had taken out all the shrimp licences from the deck!  Priceless, even more so when he realised that I hadn’t and it was just bad luck!  Sub-Commander Dan sailed to victory, but not before we had drawn an audience with our loud southern drawl accents, well apart from PM Dan, but of course he’s not from around here.  And so the “Order of the Dan” has been born and anyone who joins the GQ crew at one of our shows will be given a title of Dan….  The Prefix will only be gained through their own acts.

 Fleet Card Game at Insomnia 51 - GamesQuest

Cockroach Poker troubles even the great Gamers…

I must admit, I do enjoy the social quick fire games and so we had many a game of Cockroach Poker Royal and Nosferatu.  We discovered that Tom Randell was in fact the worse Cockroach player in the world, even with his girlfriend Nicky trying to protect him….  Oh how we feasted upon the weak!  Captain Dan did likewise the following night, when he could not even compete against a 12 year old.

Cockroach Poker Game - GamesQuest

Social Multiplayer Games to relax the mind…

The problem with working all day at a show and then trying to game in the evening is that you are generally knackered, which is why the social multiplayer games are so good, easy and relaxing!

However there was time for a couple of other games  C.V and Defenders of the Realm also hit the table!  Both very good!  More on those in later blogs!

 Defenders of the Realm Board Game - GamesQuest

For us Insomnia was another great success, Multiplay love the Zone and the forums are buzzing with chatter about how good and enjoyable the zone is.

We’ll be Bigger and Better!

We have finalised the Zone for I52 which will be Multiplay’s largest event ever!  Our Zone is a massive 260 sq meters and with the help of Esdevium, 247 Toys and some of our boys, the line up will consist of nearly 15 board and card games including, Marvel Dicemasters, Battlestar, Games of Thrones, Splendor, Terror in Meeple City aka Rampage, X-Wing, Firefly, Sons of Anarchy, Dust Tactics, Flames of War, Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, Vanguard and loads more.  So please come join us and visit a truly amazing gaming festival!

Board Games

1. A Study in Emerald 8.75 (2)
2. Robinson Crusoe 8.50 (3)
3. Flash Point 8.25
4. Nations 8.0
5. Neue Hiemet 8.0
6. Betrayal at House on the Hill 8.0
7. Finstere Flure 7.75
8. Battlestar Express 7.75
9. Zapp Zerupp (Ludo) 7.5
10. Winter Carcassonne 7.5
11. Concept 7.5
12. Firefly 7.37
13. Shadows over Camelot 7.25
14. Libertalia 7.25
15. Speed Circuit 7.25
16. Lewis and Clark 7.0
17. Founders of the Empire 6.5


Card Games

1. Fleet 8
2. Among the Stars 7.75
3. Boom Town 7.75
4. Kings Under Mountains 7.5
5. Splendor 7.5
6. Eminent Domain 7.25
7. Race for the Galaxy 6.5 (2)


Starter Games

1. Cockroach Poker 8.5 (2)
2. Nosferatu 8.25 (3)
3. Qwixx 8.0 (9)
4. Something Different 7.75 (3)
5. Ultimate Werewolf 7.5
6. Kaa-Boom 7.5 (2)
7. Walk the Plank 7.0
8. Banjooli Xeet 6.5
9. For Sale 6.5
10. The Bot Card Game 6.0


4 (80%) 1 vote
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By Day - Director of online Games and Toy Store Gamesquest. By Night - Father to two girls and husband to one wife! Board Gamer, Blogger and general dogsbody!