Monday, 8 October 2012

Games Day 2012

There are really only three reasons I don't mind getting up at 5am: Christmas Day, to catch a plane abroad and Games Day.

Games Day has become one of my favourite days of the year and this year's was my fifth.
Meeting up with the Meadowhall crew at 6am, we were picked up by the coach and arrived in record time at the LG Arena, Birmingham.

We may have had another hour to wait for the powers that be to let us in, but we were at the front of the queue.

Like some kind of ninja, my friend Tim (whom I had crossed paths with on Twitter and met previously at a Forge World event), made his way from the back of the queue to where I was. We passed the next hour talking about our plans for the day, what we were going to buy and hoped to see and also about how to juggle the hobby whilst living with long-suffering girlfriends.

(I encourage you to follow Tim on Twitter here, and check out his blog, where he has written a 3-part round-up of this year's event).

As the barriers lifted, we headed straight for the Forge World stands. After the diabolicle queues at last year's event, GW had moved the sales stands into the massive Hall 1. While there was still room to make the Forge World area bigger, it was still a far better system than we've seen previously.

My mind was focussed on getting the Games Day model. While I knew they would have plenty to go around, I didn't want to risk not getting one. This year's model - taken from the cover of 2nd Edition Warhammer 40,000 - is just the defining image of Warhammer from my childhood.

I secured the model as I joined the Forge World queue. It was here Tim and I got seperated in our bid to secure Book I of Forge World's Horus Heresy series. Neither of us were disappointed, though we would have to lug a heavy book around with us all day.

From here I took a walk around The Pavilion, taking in the great gaming tables and art competitions.

Moving through to the LG Arena I made a point to speak to Phill Kelly about how wonderful I thought Dreadfleet was. We had a brief discussion about the scenario types and then I went on my way as his table was crowded all day with people wanting to discuss the new Chaos Space Marines Codex.

I had a stroll around the Licensed Games area, the Golden Demon cabinets and took in the Armies on Parade. Here are a few pictures.

After lunch, I went back to the sales area and picked up my next Horus Heresy novel - Tales of Heresy - before checking out the ForgeWorld area and this fantastic set up depicting the battle for Istvaan III:

It was here I met up with Tim again and we shared a few thoughts on the day.

Afterwards, I made my way to the front of the stage ready for the Golden Demon and competition winners. And some amazing models there were too.

So what have we learned?

Games Workshop learned from last year's sales stand mistakes and improved matters immensely.

The quality of the painting on display both in Golden Demon and Armies on Parade continues to rise. Truly impressive.

And it was also apparent that Warhammer 40,000 is the main selling point for GW right now. Granted, Forge World were releasing Horus Heresy and the new Chaos marines were being shown - so it was bound to be very 40k focused. But I still though there could have been more from Warhammer Fantasy and The Lord of the Rings. I didn't mind myself, as I only play 40K - so far! - but if that was the otherway round, I'd have felt a little bit left out.

But all in all, this was another great GamesDay. Bring on next year's!

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