Meat for Meta: An American At Warhammer World
What is it like for an American to visit Warhammer Mecca?
Meat for Meta is rated editorial nonsense. These articles are meant to complain about some group, somewhere, that is playing the game for all the wrong reasons or simply to just make fun of 40k nerd rage.
Last month to this day, I made my way across the pond to Great Britain, thanks to the help from many Blood of Kittens readers. My plan was simple head to Nottingham and Warhammer World straight into the belly of the Games Workshop beast. Along the way I encountered the world in which every major city had a GW store and every town has a gaming group. It is though at GW headquarters where all Warhammer dreams are made.
When I got to Warhammer World it wasn’t an average experience. It had taken me an hour to walk from the train station to get there all the time taking in the pleasant city of Nottingham. Once I got to the GW compound I crossed the mostly empty parking lot to Warhammer World entrance; where I found no human presence. In fact had seen no one on my approach to the place and everything seemed eerily quite. I wasn’t sure if I was entering a Umbrella Corp facility or Games Workshop one. It didn’t help as the foyer only had a giant Space Marine statue and a few model cases. Once I took a breath and gather myself though, I took the stairs up to the main hall to actually find humans.
The lack of humanity though I found out was for a good reason, first it was a weekday, but second the gaming hall was close because of a company event going on the next day. The Warhammer World hall is divided into three stores, one bar, and fake castle gaming area. I was actually taken aback at small the entire floor space was. In American, we have many game stores with vast gaming and product space, here though I was expecting the most grand Warhammer palace of all time! The ceilings were too low in many places and the division of the space just seemed awkward.
Anyway, enough complaining! Once in the main store, I was greeted quickly by a cultist…er I mean GW employee who went into a Warhammer World spiel about the place and was generally very helpful. He apologized about no gaming, but since I was still sweating from my walk to the place, I still needed to take a breather, so I headed to Bugman’s Bar, which was very cool, still strange, just because it is attached to a corporate headquarters and retail store!
I got some water and laid back in a comfy chair and was finally able to take everything in. Sadly I didn’t have much time to waste, Warhammer World was closing early because of the corporate event, so I had to get to exhibit hall!
I got my ticket chatted some more with the employees and then headed into the bowels. Now I could go into great detail, but instead I will just let the pictures do the talking! Just to make people aware, every current model is on display, minus one army (Sisters), no surprise knowing what we know now. The dioramas are spectacular in sheer grandeur, just keep in mind since so many models are at work not every one is painted to Golden Demon standards. Speaking of Golden Demon, it is very cool the first corridors to the exhibit halls are filled with them!
Enough typing, just take a look at the pictures!
I went through the multiple halls a few times, finding it almost entirely to myself. The only off putting part of the experience was the constant war music playing, which got annoying very fast. Of the people I did encounter at least half of them had no idea what Warhammer was all about; instead they had friends, siblings, and partners dragging/explaining them through the entire thing. I can say though not a one of the newbies seemed bored with experience.
Once I was done, I made my rounds to all the sale booths. The Forge World staff was the most laid back and one guy had an amazing Emperor tattoo on his arm! I had a list of products to get for friends, I got them and sent off to be shipped back to the States for free! When that was finished, I went back to Bugman’s Bar to wait for my meetup with Phil Kelly. By 4:30 the GW employees started to spill out, it was cool to see people I recognized from White Dwarf and social media. I got a good vibe, as everyone seemed to head right to the bar to get pint and sit down and talk about the day. Everyone then broke into corresponding teams, with the White Dwarf, artists, and designers groups all taking different tables. Still, there was much cross talk between groups and you can see a cohesion between everyone.
By 5:00 Phil got out and we met-up and started to chat. Having only talked to him over email this was my first face to face, and it was great to finally have it happen. He was very nice and we started to talk shop, but we ran through various topics like video games especially virtual reality. As I normally do, I harassed him about coming to American and checking out our events, but as life goes he is pretty busy. I could tell Phil was very proud working for GW and was general inquisitive about fans reactions to the company and design decisions they make. He introduced me to a few other folks and everyone was very welcoming.
Now of course if you have read this far you are curious about any gossip. Well the only things I can report are what we have already heard. First is Sisters of Battle and second is 8th edition are both coming very soon. What was news to me though, was even GW was surpised by Age of Sigmar sales since the release of the General’s Handbook. So I guess Sigmar is here to stay. Other notes, were staff expressing fatigue with Warhammer 40k. What this means I have no idea, but I imagine it has to do with need for a new edition. It also makes me wonder if 8th isn’t just a tweak, but a BIG change.
Overall, I had a great time at Warhammer World meeting GW folks, I hope to go back again, but next time when a large game event is going on. I hope you enjoy the pictures and if you are American with the means it is well worth taking one day to check the place out.