Bedford’s first-ever Tabletop Expo is taking place this month, with something for everyone from seasoned veterans, regular role-play game (RPG) campaigners or someone new to board games.
The two-day event will take place at the Harpur Suite on the weekend of 21 and 22 January and is the brainchild of Robin Galton, the owner of Hobby Hive.
“I established Hobby Hive early in 2022 to organise and host a variety of tabletop and wargaming events in Bedford,” said Robin.
“Alongside selling hobby products through the website, the main drive of Hobby Hive is to allow for a range of gamers and hobbyists to meet up and play the games that they enjoy, usually in a private and family-friendly setting.”
After running two successful Wargaming and Tabletop Day events in the Howard Room of the Corn Exchange, as well as regular club nights at the Goldington Reading Rooms, Robin felt it was time for Hobby Hive to reach out to a wider audience.
He successfully applied for a grant from Bedford Borough Council’s Town Centre Priority Fund which supports events or projects that benefit the town and increase footfall.
“Having attended various conventions and expo events across the UK, I know there is an opportunity in Bedford to establish a successful and popular regular expo in the town,” he said.
“The hobby community is huge here and it is my hope that this is going to be the template for larger events in the future that will use the larger main Corn Exchange area to host a yearly tabletop and gaming convention and
show the hobby community what Bedford has to offer for their interests as well as building a vibrant and wholesome community for like-minded tabletop fans.”
The event takes place between 10am and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday and is free to enter. As well as gaming tables, there will be ‘bring and buy’ and ‘stay and play’ areas and professionally-led workshops about all things ‘tabletop’ including Dungeons and Dragons, Wargaming, terrain building, painting and more.
Local clubs, businesses, communities and enthusiasts will be showing off their miniatures, games and events for attendees and the new managers of Ready Steady Roll in Sharnbrook will be on hand, helping you along if you’re new to gaming.
“Working in partnership with ‘Saveagehammer Wargaming Tournaments’ we are running a Warhammer 40k doubles tournament and a Warhammer Kill Team tournament over the weekend,” said Robin.
“Plus there will be a ‘stay and play’ area, a miniature painting competition and other challenges. We recommend allowing a visit of at least an hour – plus make sure to check out Bedford’s cafes, restaurants and shops while you’re here.”