Thursday, 4 October 2012

Games Day 2012 Part Three - What I did and saw

My expectations were high for this year. After last years mediocre showing and the insane queues for the retail stands GW had to have made changes... Here's last year's write up if you're interested.

I got to the LG arena nice and early. From Cardiff it's a few hours drive and my girlfriend very kindly took me there, setting off at half 6 on her day off so that her boyfriend could have a few hours of geeky fun is not the best way to spend the day, and for that I am both very sorry and very grateful.

When I arrived the queue had started moving into the lobby, I was quite a way back but fortunately my friend Jamie had got there a lot earlier and was in prime position near the front of the queue so we met up, had a talk about life and hobbying and waited for the tensa barriers to be opened. If you haven't done so already please check out Jamie's blog, his youtube channel and also follow him on Twitter.

As the barriers opened the crowd surged forward and we proceeded at a brisk pace through to the new retail area in the hall beyond where it was last year. Adding on this whole extra space was a great plan and the queueing seemed a lot more controlled. Fortunately we were quite near the front and headed straight to the Forge World line. It was here we got separated but we were to meet up again towards the end of the day.

I only had to queue half an hour maximum to pick up everything that I had wanted, the Horus Heresy book 1, the Primarch Angron, Black Library's Games Day anthology and the event only Blood Angels captain. Feeling extremely chuffed but extremely light of pocket I headed to the FW display area. They were running seminars but in my haste to acquire the hefty tome of heresy I hadn't picked up a ticket. I was still early so had a look at the Warhammer Forge section and had a great chat with Steve Whitehead who has been hard at work on the new Dwarf/Empire/Goblin book. His artwork looked amazing and his test sculpt of a knight on foot was cool.

At 11 the seminar doors opened and I managed to get in without a ticket, must've been down to a few people with them being stuck in the queues still. Had a great time in there, took down loads of info which you can read here, and at the end got my book signed by Alan Bligh!

With all the shopping and seminar out of the day I had the rest of the day to wander round at my own leisure and see what was about. Along the way I met up with more Twitter friends, Lee and Carl from Cambridge, Ian, and Nick from Worthy Painting. I also tried to meet Pete and Kevin but it didn't quite happen. Everyone seemed just as enthusiastic about the day and I really enjoyed chatting to you all.

After checking out the Armies on Parade, which you'll find here, I looked at some of the smaller stands. Had a nice chat with one of the guys developing the Warhammer Quest game for iDevices and had a look at the Fantasy Flight Games stand. I was so tempted to pick up a copy of Death Angel but couldn't quite bring myself to spend even more money! After that it was a quick look at the display cabinets, mostly they contained stuff brought down from Warhammer World which is always great to see but there were a few new bits and pieces to feast my eyes on.

The new White Dwarf crew were in full force and I had a quick chat with Andrew Kenrick, we talked about twitter and if we'd be seeing any of the new chaos releases in his amazing Death Guard army soon. We will be so that's great news. Next to them was the incredible asteroid base from the 6th edition rulebook. The photos don't do it justice this thing was epic. It looked like it would be so much fun to play on.

Next on the hit list was the gaming and participation area. Somehow just like with the Armies on Parade I totally missed Cardiff's award winning table but did see the Cambridge one as I was with Lee and Carl at the time. From there it was onto the make'n'take area. They had it locked down tight this year. All that was up for grabs was some battlefield debris, no chance of grabbing a complete Garden of Morr and two arcane fulcrums like last year!

At the end while the Golden Demon awards were being given out I realised that I'd never found the whole Ultramarines chapter on display, it was hidden in the retail hall and I'd never returned there after getting through the queues, damn!

So there you have it. It was an amazing day, I was a little worried about going on my own but met some fantastic guys and had a great time all round. I definitely recommend getting there early to avoid being stuck in a queue all day leaving you free to enjoy yourself. Yes the only real previews came from FW but I don't think that's what the day is about. I see it as a celebration of the whole hobby as it stands at that moment, and it succeeded in that mission. It built on last year and I can't wait to go again next year to see what more they can do.


  1. I can't believe I missed John Blanche's mini's! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

    1. I thought they were Blanche's at first too but they're from someone called Tammy Nicholls from the studio. Uncanny resemblance though to what was in the WD!