Games Day UK 2011 Round-up

September 27, 2011 by brennon

So Games Day has been and gone, and it was one hell of a hectic day. It started with a lot of stress (friends car wouldn't start!) but finally we got there and had a good time. You all saw my twitter feed during the day where I took a few pictures and posted them up for you guys to see, but I thought I would give you a bit more of an in-depth look at the day and what I thought of it overall.

Golden Demon & Army on Parade

Golden Demon is always a pretty nice jewel in the crown of Games Day. It's fun to look at all the Studio armies and their paint jobs but what always strikes me is how impressive the models painted by the general public are. As always its a bit of a scrum trying to barge your way through to the cabinets but when you get there you are greeted with some utterly fantastic little pieces. I picked out a few below, some of my favourites. Army on Parade was also a great little addition to the day, but it would have been nicer to get a closer look at the boards and their armies. It seemed a little too far away to make a good decision about things.

One thing that really impressed me this year was the Youngblood entries. Some amazing paint jobs from the younger end of the hobby and seriously some of them put the adult ones to shame. Also reminds me to try and buck up on my painting skills!

Black Library

One of my favourite parts of the day was going to the Black Library stand. Not only did it have a booth where you could submit your ideas for a novella or short story but it had all the authors you know and love. I managed to get my Dwarf Omnibus (which I reviewed here on the site not long ago) signed by Gav Thorpe and Nick Kyme.

A returning face to the event was William King promoting his new High Elf book for the Warhammer side of the company. I wrangled a signature out of him for my battered Gotrek & Felix First Omnibus and had a chat to him about his love for Space Marine and if he would ever return to the dynamic duo. Sadly he couldn't say either way, but keep and eye out just in case!


Like many of you I was a little sceptical of Dreadfleet when it was announced and so it felt like a good idea to squeeze a demo game into my time there. Obviously at  a big event like Games Day the rules take a bit of a back seat to a more relaxed style and so a few of the rules went unused. Still, it seemed rather fun and I enjoyed playing as the Dwarf vessel which you can see below.

The game however didn't strike me as anything particularly special. I was wavering on the cusp of pre-ordering it but after a bit of time with the game and a quick flick through the rulebook, I think I will stick to my Uncharted Seas from now on.

Participation Games

There were of course plenty of participation games out there at Games Day this year. Many, many Warhammer 40,000 games were on offer which all looked epic from an assault on an Ork fortress to a battle with a particular model you may have seen on the Breaking News feed to the right of this article!

However I was very much looking for some Warhammer and indeed I found it. A great Dwarf battle was there and I had some time to enjoy that, and a great raid on a Khemri pyramid which was very fun. The real highlight of the day though was from the Warrington Warlords who had managed to get Necromunda into the arena. A fantastically fun game with some really great guys and was a pleasure to play a specialist game at the event.

Something Warren might be interested in is that they were hoping to get Warhammer Quest in but were sadly declined. It won't stop them trying next year though apparently! Blood Bowl might also make an appearance next year which would be a fantastic participation game I would love to get involved with.

Fantasy Flight - Relic - Bioware Mythic

Plenty of third party support was out there from all three big companies. Space Marine was there in both console and PC form and I managed to get a few moments to play through the demo. Think I may have caused some jumps as I laughed like a maniac slicing up Orks!

Fantasy Flight was demoing Blood Bowl: Team Manager, Chaos in the Old World and Warhammer: Invasion in their small corner of the arena and had plenty of boxes on sale which all went pretty fast.

Bioware Mythic was also there showing off Warhammer: Wrath of Heroes which I actually found pretty good. It's a bit of a departure from what they were doing before in the pure MMORPG but was very fun and hectic. Very Warhammer.

Forgeworld & Sales

The queue to get into the back of the arena and look at the Forgeworld products was extremely long. It took me half an hour to get in and was rather disappointed with what was on show. There were a few models, a nice display and some interesting greens but nothing that truly grabbed me.

Annoyingly the sales area of the arena was also with the Forgeworld products and crammed into such a small space it took forever to actually get around and buy anything. This was the most annoying thing on the day but I do give credit to the staff there who pulled out all the stops to make sure it went as smoothly as possible. At least they gave me a free bottle of water!

Final Thoughts

Overall the day was pretty good fun. I would be interested to see them maybe do Games Day over two days with the games and tournaments getting played on the first day and opening it up more as a sales fair on the second day. I'm sure Games Workshop have thought about this in the past, but would be something interesting to consider. In terms of what I would love to see next year, as I mentioned before more specialist games would be fantastic and a better spread of participation games from different areas of the hobby.

My next Games Workshop trip is going to have to be to Warhammer World now. I need me a Bugman's Board Game!

What were your thoughts on the day?

What would you like to see there next year?

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