Monday, 26 September 2011

Games Day UK 2011 - Part 3

Part 3 – Overview and Thoughts on the Day.

I’ve  been going to Games Day since 2006, so nowhere near as many as some but enough I think to have a balanced view on the this years event.

So after wondering around all day these are some of my thoughts – keep in mind I did not set out to do a ‘review’ of the day so I didn’t take notes as I went round or try everything available. These are my thoughts of regarding my experience at Games Day. Regrettably the overriding thought is disappointment.

Games Day is what it is, it does not try to be anything other than a push on Games Workshop product. In amongst this corporate shop front you can normally find some real gems, which in the past have always been enough to motivate me to go,

The only reason I pay £30 for a ticket is because I can get at least half that back by selling the GD mini on eBay, though the fact you no longer have a choice with this I find annoying. It seemed much fairer to have the option of a cheaper ticket without the mini. Not everyone will be in a position to use the mini or be able to sell it on.

Golden Demon – there didn’t seem to be a Golden Demon entrance this year, which meant doing an entry to get in early was pointless. As previously the Golden Demon cabinets were set up in a big block with the usual problem of simply getting to the cabinets to see anything on display. People pushing in with big backpacks does not make a great viewing experience. It would be so much better if they had something set up as suggested to me on the day by Schoolcormorant (from The Spring Offensive), namely a second row of barriers creating a corridor round the cabinets and letting people in at one end who then work their way round, no pushing in, good access to the cabinets etc. All I did was look at a few cabinets and then give up – better to wait for the pictures of the winners to show up on line than battle the horde of onlookers.

Design Studio – barely worth a look. Nothing new to see.

Sales Area – On the one hand I look back at last years FW Mosh Pit approach to a sales stand and shudder, but the size of the queue just to get into the sales area this time was unbelievable. I heard from some that it wasn't as bad as it looked but then they only went into the queue later on in the day. It seemed that for many it was awful. I only went into the sales area right at the end of the day so on the one hand I didn't have to queue, on the other hand the FW books I wanted to get hold of had sold out (but then I still got to order them with post free delivery, so i was happy with that)..

Dreadfleet – Why they thought they needed to push something like this so much and use up so much room I don’t know. It will sell out; the eBay market will ensure that people snap anything up that is limited edition, so why have such a big presence at Games Day?

Gaming area – I know some of the reasons but the fact the number of clubs now doing boards for GD is a fraction of what it once was id a real loss. These tables and the creations some people came up with was one of the big attractions to me in going to GD. It seems such a waste to have so few. Personally I would of dropped a few of the tables used up for Dreadfleet and bring and battle boards and given them to clubs to put together something better and more inspiring. Some of the tables there, including the big games were nice if not impressive, but there needed to be more. The themed Warhammer World tables are always worth seeing, even when you have seen then numerous times before. However why the one table needed that bloody air horn I do not know, that constantly going off was a real bitch and frankly the guy was running a fine line to getting it shoved up where the sun doesn’t shine. I cannot say without using expletives just how bloody annoying and unnecessary that idiot with his horn was.

Armies on Parade – Some of these looked excellent. Though it wasn’t always easy to tell being so far away. A better set up allowing you to get closer to the boards would have been really good. The lighting in the Arena isn’t exactly great so when you are a couple of metres away behind a barrier you can’t see all the result of the work many had put in well enough
Forgeworld – The only real shining light on the day. Always with something new, happy to discuss what is in the works. Quite enjoyed the masterclass put on by Mark Bedford and Phil Stutcinsskas (even with the interruptions from the idiot with the air horn). The boards set up for IA8 and 11 are excellent. Displays like this sell the hobby and the GW brand far better than some of the crap set up elsewhere.

There were other things on show, such as THQ doing their computer games, various competitions and Black Library signings with authors but to be honest that doesn’t float my boat.

So in summary a day only saved from being pointless by Forge World and meeting up with friends. The rest I could take or leave, more leave than take to be honest. Will probably give next year a miss, maybe I’m too old for GD now. Much like White Dwarf it has become something that doesn’t seem to be aimed at anyone over 14 or who hasn't been in the hobby for more than a year.

I want Games Day to excite me, enthuse me, inspire me and surprise me. Show me something that starts ideas forming and plans to be made for what I can do next. Games Day does not do this. From now on I will stick to going to the Forge World Open Day only.


  1. Fully agree with all your points dude, I know me and Dave were bored pretty quickly, literally takes like 15-20 mins to see pretty much everything.

    Normally I come back from such things energised to work on GW stuff, this time I came back and carried on working on Malifaux and zombies, think the magic of GW stuff has worn off me.

    I agree with the price to, £30 is a rip off especially considering I was at the NEC the week before for Gamefest and that was only £10 a ticket.

    Seems the only person out of us lot on the day who will likely be going next year is Mr Feral and thats probs only to get FW stuff.

  2. I wouldn't go if I didn't know people to be honest. It was good to see Si on Saturday and stuff aswell as on the day.

    A lot of the attraction has gone it's true, I think the computer games thing may get bigger in future years.

    Nice little roundup.

  3. @ Si - pretty much, although I might skip it and go to the next FW Open Day if I can get up there.


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