Friday 30 May - Sunday 1 Jun 2025
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Exhibitor Spotlight: Surprised Stare Games

6 May, 2022

Surprised Stare Games is a small UK game design and publishing house run by Alan and Charlie Paull. We specialise in card games, boardgames, and wargames primarily for hobby gamers. At this year’s Expo we will be presenting our Pocket Campaigns series of games variously designed by David J Mortimer and Alan Paull, Lux Aeterna (Tony Boydell’s solitaire SF game), as well as our last few copies of Tony’s Snowdonia Deluxe Master Set. We will also be displaying the prototype of Gibsons Games’ new edition of Kingmaker, re-developed by Alan, which will be kickstarted in the Autumn and published early next year.


Pocket Campaigns: Grand Historical Conflicts, Artfully Distilled

Expo 2022 will be the first where we will have available all three of our popular Pocket Campaigns series – The Cousins’ War, The Ming Voyages, and The March of Progress. All of these games are heavily thematic with a lot of depth of strategic and tactical play in a small box. They are designed to take about 30 to 45 minutes to play.


The Cousins’ War
, designed by David J Mortimer, for 2 players, 30 minutes, 12+

The Wars of the Roses were fought between the Houses of York and Lancaster for over 3 decades during the 15th century in England. The houses were both branches of the royal family, therefore the Wars were originally known as “The Cousins’ War”. Each player represents one of the houses as they fight battles and gain influence to control England.


The Ming Voyages
, designed by Alan Paull and David J Mortimers, for 1 or 2 players, 30-45 minutes, 12+

In Chinese history, the treasure voyages were the 7 Ming-era voyages of the treasure fleet between 1405 and 1433. The grand project resulted in far-reaching ocean voyages led by Admiral Zheng He to the coastal territories and islands in and around the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and beyond. But on the landward side of the Empire, border troubles were always brewing. With 2 players, one player is the Ming Emperor trying to complete all 7 Treasure Voyages as well as protecting the Chinese Borderlands from invading barbarians. The other player controls 3 barbarian factions, who are trying to settle on the Borderlands of China. There is also a solo mode.


The March of Progress, designed by Alan Paull, for 2 players, 30 minutes, 12+

The March of Progress is a 2-player strategic micro-wargame, composed of several historical scenarios. Each scenario changes the set-up and tweaks the rules to give a flavour of strategy in different time periods from the Thirty Years War through to World War 2. The aim of the game is to control countries through the simultaneous play of Action cards, in order to generate VPs during scoring.


We will also be showing off the prototype of Gibsons’ Games new edition of Kingmaker, re-developed by Alan Paull. Come and see some of the new artwork, and maybe even try out the new version!

Stand 1-828