Nearly Ready to Invade Expo

It's just a few days until UK Games expo, and I need to get my biggest objective for the event sorted: stabilise a prototype of Invaded that can be run at the Playtest Zone with innocent, unsuspecting members of the gaming public.  That means I need to be reasonably confident that it will play OK and not collapse under its own weight.  It doesn't have to be perfect, of course, but I don't want to waste the valuable time of the playtesters.

So, after my recent frenzy of high speed testing and development, the latest revision of Invaded was a fairly small change in time to get to a Playtest UK meetup in Oxford (at the Thirsty Meeples boardgame cafe) where I played the game with a couple of fellow designers.

Here we are about 2/3 of the way through a test game of Invaded,
with the colonial forces getting pretty well advanced and starting to launch attacks.
The upshot is that we identified a few problems, which were mostly things that I already knew about or suspected, and weren't show-stoppers.  We had some useful discussion about possible ways to fix things and additions to the game to fill gaps, and also noted a few minor things that could do with being tidied up.  Overall, though, I am getting more confident that the core of the game is looking at least OK.

Given all that, I'm planning to make a couple of small changes and then spend the next couple of days getting the prototype ready.  If a couple of plays with fresh people don't show up anything structurally wrong I plan to move on to looking at those gaps I mentioned (and it may turn out they are not really a major issue) and then move on to an exciting new stage of playtesting: checking balance and looking for interesting ways to break the game.

As for UK Games Expo, that is, as you may know, at the Birmingham NEC from the 2nd to the 4th June.  I have so far booked two playtesting sessions: 14:30-16:00 on Friday, and 10:00-11:30 on Sunday.  I will probably leave it at just those sessions, though I will also be volunteering at the Playtest Zone at various other times, so please drop by and say hello -- and play a prototype, ideally!