The 11th of April this year was the 3rd annual International Table Top Day. International Table Top Day was created three years ago as a way for board gamers around the world to come together and celebrate table top gaming and this year I was able to go to an event to celebrate it. The event that I went to was Preston Table Top Day and it was held in the Foster Learning Building at the University of Central Lancashire, UK.
When we got there (finally, university campuses are confusing!) we were welcomed into the building by the organisers and pointed in the direction of the room the event was being held in. Inside were tables galore laid out ready for people to play games, game tables all ready set up for bigger games and stalls to buy table top goodies.
We stopped by The Museum of Gaming table, who were showing some ancient games and letting people play. Me and my husband had a go at a game called Rota from Roman times and it was so much fun. It’s very much like noughts and crosses, except that it is circular and there is a second stage in which you can then move your pieces into empty places to try and win if no one matches their three counters in the first stage.
We had a look around and watched some people playing family games and a man painting game pieces. We chatted to the stall holders about games and what they suggested and our friend bought himself One Night: Ultimate Werewolf (which we played and it was awesome). The final game we played was Cube Quest, which was incredibly fun! It’s kind of a strategy game that involves flicking cubes across the board.
Preston Table Top Day was family friendly and I took a 6 year old and a 21 month old with me and they both thoroughly enjoyed themselves. There were so many games and activities to get involved in and there was something there for everyone. We would definitely go again and would recommend that people go and get involved on International Table Top Day.
I was cheeky and asked if I could ask the organiser, Millie, some questions and she was good enough to agree:-
Can you tell me the history or story behind Preston Table Top Day?
Preston Table Top Day was part of International Table Top Day. Wil Wheaton has a YouTube show called Tabletop (yes it’s Wesley from TNG) and they created the holiday back in 2013. I went to an event last year at Harlequin’s Game Shop, it was great. I recorded a radio show about it and was lucky enough to have a phone interview with Boyan Radokovich (the producer and “games guru” of the show). You can listen to the show here.
How did you get involved in being the organiser of the event this year?
I thought it would be great to have a HUGE event for the day and level it up from the one I went to in 2014. So I chatted to people and spoke to people on Facebook and Twitter and a lot of people agreed that it would be a good idea. So I went on to set up a Kickstarter page to help fund the event, thinking that I would just get enough to cover the cost of the venue and the insurance. We ended up with almost double the amount so we were able to make special t-shirts for the backers, have a game designed for us, there were prizes and promotional items that were given away through a free raffle, a Pandemic tournament was run with prizes and the entrance was free for everyone who came. It also meant that the people who volunteered to help got some drinks and I was able to give them each a thank you present.
But I’ve waffled away from the question, I was the organiser because I wanted there to be a giant Table Top Day event, so I made it happen. There were some amazing people, who I couldn’t have done it without, but basically I wanted it to happen in my City so I did everything I could to make it.
Can you tell me about your day job?
I make podcasts, some YouTube videos and I write some blogs. But really I’m a stay at home mum; I take the kids to school, cook tea, load the washer and wash the dishes. There’s fun stuff too. I’m very lucky that I get to spend so much time with my family, see my kiddies grow up and spend time with my husband, it’s actually great fun.
Was there a final tally as to how many people attended?
178! The real count is a little higher, there were some kiddies there that didn’t count towards the door tally and also the vendors and volunteers aren’t in that total. But 178 people played games at Preston Table Top Day!
What is your favourite board game?
I love a game called The Resistance; it’s a social game where you’re either a spy or a Resistance member. The aim of the game depends on what team you’re on. If you’re a Resistance member, you need three successful missions. If you’re a spy, you want to sabotage three missions. Everyone’s roles are hidden; it’s a game full of social deduction, lies and convincing your friends that you’re really on their team…even when you’re not.
Will there be a Preston Table Top Day 2016?
I think so, I’m currently deciding on if I should try another Kickstarter or if we should charge a really small ticket price and see if we can get a bigger venue or a bigger area of UCLAN.
A big thank you to Millie for your time and effort in organising this event and thank you for answering my questions.