Wednesday, February 1, 2017

An American in Warhammer World's Court

For every hobbyist who doesn't live in the U.K. one of your dreams is to one day visit the center of the hobby, Warhammer World. For those of us in the States it's even harder to get to, being on the other side of the Atlantic and all. I was lucky enough to be in England on vacation recently though and of course, one of my days was set aside for a trip to Nottingham and Warhammer World and it definitely didn't disappoint.

I was staying in London while over in England, so I took the train up to Nottingham. I didn't get to see much of the city besides what I could see through my taxi's window, but Warhammer World is what I was there for anyway. As soon as the taxi pulled up and I saw the golden Stormcast statue my excitement level spiked. It's in a bit of a weird part of town, seemingly in the middle of an industrial park, but that makes sense when you consider it started out as just their factory and headquarters. The first thing I did was take the obligatory selfie with the Stormcast, because, I mean, you have to. It's pretty much written into the WHW (Warhammer World) contract. Sadly I forgot to look for the life sized Rhino though.

Once inside you are greeted with a fairly impressive entrance hall with cool art, sweeping music, and a couple of display cabinets to show off the models. On my visit the new Gathering Storm models were on display at the entrance. These are the 'Eavy Metal painted ones you have seen in all of the promo pictures. If you haven't seen an 'Eavy Metal model in person then you just don't understand how insanely crisp and high end they are. The pictures don't do them justice.

After climbing up some stairs you enter into WHW proper right in the store. The main area is divided up into a few sections. There's the main store, with all of the GW stuff you can find everywhere plus a bunch of awesome exclusives; a dedicated Black Library store with every book currently in print as well as exclusives again; and a Forge World store with their entire stock including Titans. In both the Forge World store and the main GW one they have display cabinets showing off every single model fully built so you can see what they look like all together. In the GW store they also have some 'Eavy Metal models on display. This is particularly helpful with the FW store, since most people won't have seen these models built in person before. Then there is the main gaming hall, which has at least 20 - 30 tables in it, all Realm of Battle tables or even more elaborate gaming tables; Bugman's Bar, their cantina which is very, very nice looking inside; and of course, the Exhibition Hall, showing off all of their insanely awesome displays.

The first thing I checked out was the gaming hall. The Tomb Kings table was my first port of call and I poured over every inch of it. This table was made for the End Times and is now available to play on. I'm a bit disappointed I didn't get to play on it, but whenever I make my way back there again I definitely intend to.

I then checked out all of their other unique tables, like the Khorne castle one and the brand new Imperial Mining table for 40k. You can play on all of these tables which is a very unique opportunity I would recommend taking advantage of.

Even on their normal Realm of Battle tables they have some pretty slick terrain, some of which you will probably recognize from their live streamed games on Warhammer TV.

Speaking of Warhammer TV, the filming area is right there in the gaming hall, so you can watch all of it in person if you're there when they are filming. I was lucky enough to have been asked to co-host the Live show with Rob for a few segments that day, which was an insanely awesome opportunity and also a bit nerve wracking. Rob was just hanging out near the WHTV area so I went and talked to him for a bit to get ready for later in the day.

After that I went and checked out the stores, which I did a few times throughout the day when I had time. There's just so much to see in there and so many options on what you can buy. The main GW store of course has the exclusives everyone knows about, like the Knight-Errant for the Stormcast and the Space Marine command tanks for 40k, but they also have a bunch of shirts, mugs, and other random things. You can even buy a CD of the music that's played in the entrance hall if you really want to set the mood for your own games.

Next I was again insanely lucky in getting to meet Eddie and a few other members of the Community Team. They were all awesome and put in a ton of work to bring everyone all of the awesome content we see every day. Also, yes, Eddie is as awesome and friendly in person as he seems on the Live Stream.

I hit up the Exhibition Hall next, since there was no way I was going to miss out on seeing that. The exhibition is split up into a bunch of different rooms, with each army getting it's own section in each one. When you first walk in there are a few older, classic displays, like the one above of the Emperor and Horus, which has been a favorite of mine ever since I started the hobby.

You get to see the AoS display that went up right when the game launched.

A newer one featuring the Ironjawz and Sylvaneth.

Seriously, the amount of detail on all of these is insane and no picture you see of them will do them justice compared to seeing them in person.

Each army has it's own section too, where you can see all of the 'Eavy Metal models as well as the studio army. These are painted by two different team so they can produce larger armies for their campaign books and battle reports. If they had the 'Eavy Metal team paint every army it would take forever. I made sure to take a bunch of pictures of the Tomb Kings army on display. The Necrosphinx in particular was impressive.

Again, I know I have said it before, but you really need to see these in person. They are extremely top notch.

Once you get to the Space Marines section they have a cool Chapter gallery showing off a bunch of Chapter color schemes. This is super helpful for anyone wanting to see how the different Chapter colors look in person on an actual model.

They also have older models in display, like some of the ones pictured above. I remember that Salamanders captain with the blonde hair from a battle report in my very first White Dwarf around 17 years ago. The Crimson Fists Terminator Captain was used in a ton of battle reports when I was younger too. It was a nice bit of nostalgia being able to see these in person. I particularly enjoyed seeing the older Crimson Fist models since they really held a special place in my memory and had inspired me to start a Crimson Fists army of my own a long time ago.

There are so many awesome displays.

Like the giant Chaos castle being assaulted by the Stormcast and Fyreslayers. This thing is massive and a few feet taller then me.






Including the gigantic Ultramarines display that's so big they have a walk way to go all the way around it. The entire 1,000 marine strong Ultramarines chapter is on display here, along with numerous Titans, and I don't even know how many Chaos models. Everyone has seen the pictures of this online, but in person it's a whole other beast.

I could go on and on about the Exhibition Hall, but suffice to say, you should just try and make it there yourself sometime. I could have easily spent my entire day in there just pouring over all of the models and displays, but alas, I had other things to do. That is my one regret about the Exhibition Hall, that I didn't have more time there.

After lunch at Bugman's with Eddie and the Community Team it was time for the live stream. I ended up going on twice. First to co-host the Mail Bag section and again a bit later for the Community Corner section. It was definitely nerve wracking knowing that it was live and there were hundreds of people watching. Rob made it super easy though and I had a ton of fun doing it! I would definitely go back on in a heartbeat, so Rob, if you want your first foreign correspondent back on at say, Adepticon, I'm all game! You can watch both of my segments at the WHTV Twitch account here if you have a subscription.

To finish off the day I played a quick game against Mr. TGA himself, Ben Curry. I wasn't able to bring my own army with me of course, so I was lucky enough to get to borrow none other than Robin "Tomb King" Cruddace's personal army, which was terrific. Thank you Robin! I also got to meet Robin and Ben Johnson as well as a few other members of the studio such as Martin as they filtered through the gaming hall. The entire Facehammer crew and Dan from Tales of Sigmar were there as well getting ready for Heat 1 of the GT that coming weekend. In my game I lost pretty horribly, but it was fun nonetheless. WHW closed at 6pm, so after we wrapped up the game I went and decided what I was going to buy and ended up getting a few exclusive models, some FW stuff, and an exclusive art print they had on display at Bugman's Bar. They have a bunch of really cool art prints that you can buy and they were fairly cheap too, costing only around $25-$30 a piece for the larger ones. For international visitors like myself they will ship everything you buy there to your home for FREE! It takes a few weeks, but when you have limited space in your luggage it's a huge help and really frees you up on what you want to buy.

My biggest regret from that day was not getting to meet all the people I wanted to and that was just due to not having enough time. I had to be on a train back to London around seven, so once WHW closed I was gone and back to the train station. It was really great getting to meet so many awesome people in person that I previously had only known online or over the phone. Even the people I got to meet I feel like I had to cut my time short with them to make sure I was able to fit everything into my day. Next time I go back to WHW I am going to make sure I have at least two days there, if not more. There's so much to see and do, and there were so many people to meet. Our community is really great and I think it is a testament to the strength of that community that even though this was my first time meeting all of these people in person, it felt like I already knew all of them and was able to just strike up conversations right off the bat.

I know I used the word "awesome" about fifty times in this article, but there really is no other way to describe Warhammer World. It's something I think every GW hobbyist should try and visit at least once in their life if you are able too. Just make sure you leave yourself enough time to see and do everything you want and block out a large amount of that time for the Exhibition Hall.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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