Games Workshop Warhammer Fest, Sat 11th and Sun 12th October 2014
Years ago when I was a teenager I used to love Warhammer. Like really, really love it.
It wasn’t collecting the figures or painting them that I was interested in. To be honest I was crap at painting and to buy all the proper paints, inks and brushes was too expensive.
Instead I loved the whole Tolkienesque immersive world, the game design and the intricate thinking behind the rules. There were all the many species that fought against each other, each with it’s own army book describing history, special characters and special rules.
If you’re new to Warhammer, there’s basically two main time periods that the game is based around:
- Firstly Warhammer Fantasy is in a mediaeval setting. You get the Empire (Men), who live in a Germanic styled realm along with all the classic Tolkienesque races such as Elves, Dwarves, Orcs plus there’s the Undead, Skaven, Ogres, Chaos and much more. Their world is a kind of mock Earth but of course has Magic permeating throughout it which makes things far more interesting (the 8 colours of magic and the differences between them is very imaginative).
- Whereas Warhammer 40,000 (or 40K) is set far in the future and is purely sci-fi. The main warriors of men are the Space Marines who fight alongside the Eldar (science fiction Elves) against Chaos and other dark creatures such as the Tyranids.
I’ve recently taken an interest in the whole genre again. Partially from an interest in how Games Workshop are managing everything nowadays and also because it’s nice to revisit stuff!
I saw tickets for Warhammer Fest going for £20 and as the Ricoh Arena is not far away I thought ‘sod it I’ll go’. And by myself too. Get away from it all for the day. I’m not sure anyone else would be as sad as me and join me anyway!
Getting to the Ricoh is easy – just off Jnc 3 of the M6.
Inside there was all sorts going on – galleries of paintings, loads of fantastically painted miniatures, massive dioramas (battle scenes), plus gaming tables where short battles were going on.
There were also seminars, book signings, painting tables where you could listen to painting audio guides and paint your own free figure and a massive shop.
There was also plenty of chance to meet and talk to all the many friendly staff. I even noticed Jervis Johnson there – a long standing and well known Games Workshop figurehead.
Galleries of paintings
There were some impressive paintings and prints on sale.
Tiled Mosaic Gallery of Undead Figures
The first thing I noticed about the modern figures is just how intricate they are. Some are really delicate looking.
The better production technologies have allowed the designers of the figures much more freedom. From speaking to staff there, everything nowadays is designed on computers.
I even took part in a short battle which lasted 20-30 mins, a short space of time which only allows for roughly 2 turns each.
It was run by two Games Workshop guys who were very funny and great facilitators of the event.
Even though it was Nagash by himself vs everyone else, he still ended up defeating Settra easily through a one to one challenge.
The shop was in a larger hall on the ground floor and was very busy. Looking around at what’s on offer now it was great to see that the game is just as diverse as it was years ago when I knew it much better.
The figures and books are so expensive though. Which is a real shame. From comparing costs on eBay (always a good indicators of what people are willing to actually pay for stuff and so what their true worth is) some of the stuff on sale was indeed massively over priced.
For instance the Warhammer Army books, which I used to love collecting, are now only available in hard back and retail at £30! A quick look at eBay, the same new books are selling at roughly £20, with some ‘nearly new’ books as low as £5-£10.
Games Workshop are missing out on a trick there, especially as it’s just so easy to shop elsewhere online for products now. If they were to reduce their costs, I’m sure they’d find people would buy directly from them much more. Especially because they have that fanbase who love the game and the organisation.
There were some great battlefield dioramas on display. All which you could reach out and easily touch (which I didn’t), though big signs everywhere told you not to. This showed a good amount of trust to all the attendees of the event, which I thought was good.
A digital artist there was creating an image with a stylus on a computer which was very good. He was demonstrating zooming in, editing the canvas and more. I think he was using Photoshop though I could be wrong.
The picture was brilliant with lots of details. He was obviously very talented.