Games Workshop, Games Day 2010

Mark's T-shirt

3 a.m. on a Sunday morning and all is still. Except in our household. Where there is a palpable buzz in the air. We’re getting ready to drive up to Birmingham to attend the 2010 Games Day. It will be my first time. My husband Mark and our friend Dom have been several times in the past and they loved it. This year, I’m accompanying them as “press person” as I promised the good folks at Games Workshop to do a big old write-up here at GeekSyndicate.

I have heard rumours about the size of Games Day. I did not believe it. We drove to Birmingham, having left our tiny house in Kent at four, and arrived at just after 6 a.m. We were not the first people in the queue. A small group was there before us. A bunch of crazies from Northern Ireland and I was so pleased they were there as they were incredibly funny and entertaining and kept me from worrying about freezing to death before the event opened.

Oh, the event took place at the lovely LG Arena which, from what I hear, is a vast improvement on the the previous premises just around the corner. Somehow this made me happy to be part of the “new” venue.

Soon enough we were ushered into the first part of the hall where we had to queue again to gain entrance to the main arena. We didn’t mind. We were warm, there were loos nearby and also coffee and tea and breakfast could be had from various places within.

Everyone grabbed a piece of carpeted floor and settled in for the wait. A lovely person who works there came up to tell everyone that there is no need to queue at one stage. Everyone would get in. He was met with blank stares because clearly this dude just did not understand. We found Jonathan Green, writer and geek, roaming about and made him huddle with us at the front. We could see a lot of movement within the hall. People were walking around doing tantalising things. It was heady stuff. Dan Abnett came over to say “hi” as did his lovely wife, Nik. We got cuddles and kisses. Nik looked pretty spectacular as part of the Titan crew.

Then! Eventually, the banners were put away and around 10,000 people surged in with a cry of WAAAGH and SPARTA!! and flooded the arena. I hastily made my way to the place to pick up tickets for the 2pm writers workshop and then I spun around and started taking photos. Let’s check them out along with some comments.

The Queue Behind Us

There were a lot of people but the atmosphere was ace.  A lot of jokes and laughter.

Black Library Banner

One of the few things we could distinctly see.  It was teasing us!

The Hoard descends

Apologies for the blurry photo, however, this gives you an impression what it was like being carried away by the storming Games Workshop fans.

Titan Crew

How awesome do these guys look?  They were around for the entire day and it must have been tiring but they were non-stop in their dedication.

How cool?

This young man freaked me out no end – I was chatting to some people when I spotted him and ran up to ask him if I could take a photo.  Sadly, the lighting was so bad in the arena that even if I did take a full-length photo, you would not have seen it as it was too dark.

Black Library e-books on iPad

Got chatting to Christian Dunn who looks after some of the Black Library’s new acquisitions and also about their massive drive into e-books.  Personally I am over the moon.  I get to download their new short story magazine called Hammer and Bolter for the Kindle for a mere £2.50 – which is really not bad going, at all!

Games Workshop Banner

The Games Workshop banner.  So pretty!

Epic Diorama 1

I was a bit heartsore that I couldn’t get closer to do some close-up shots of this amazing diorama but honestly, even from a few feet away it blew your mind.

Epic diorama 2

The second massive diorama I spotted – wow – just wow.  The hours and dedication – just fantastically epic.

The following are a series of photos I took of some of the Golden Demon entrants.  I have resolved to try and do my own entry for next year.  Looking at the minutiae these guys and girls have gone into in producing these pieces, you feel both inspired and driven to tears because that is a lot of hard work!  Sadly, we left before the winners were announced, but regardless of who won, the quality of painting and innovation.  Just wow.

Golden Demon - Random 1

Golden Demon - Random 2

Golden Demon - Random 3

Golden Demon - Random 4

Golden Demon - Random 5

Golden Demon - Random 6

As a non-Games Workshop games player I have to say I was worried that the day would be very long and very tedious.  However, I found myself chatting to a lot of people and asking questions and being answered with a patience that made me grin inwardly – you could tell that the questions I was asking had been heard before and answered before.  However, everyone was genuinely friendly and pleasant to be around.  When I couldn’t reach some of the higher shelves to take photos of the artwork, those around me helped without me asking.  I was shown details on cloaks and armour in the Golden Demon room and although there were a lot of people crowding in there to view the entries, there was no pushing and shoving.  Although, that did happen at the Forge World stall but then you know, those guys are hugely popular and who am I to stand between them and aspiring clients!

Mark, Dom and I attended the Games Workshop writers panel at two after a lunch at Subway and it was an entertaining panel with a lot of audience participation.  I did ask permission for my iphone to sit on the table so that I could record it in an attempt to do a podcast.  As far as I can tell, it’s worked, with a lag in quality here and there as people spoke away from the recording device, so I’ll pop by here to let you know if I’ve managed to set that up.

Games Day, for me, as a newbie was fantastic.  The atmosphere is great, the staff from Black Library and Games Workshop were all so keen to help and show off their goods and products.  A shout-out has to go to the guys behind the scenes, who played the music, who sorted out the queues, the money – all of it.  It was a job well done and I for one, am so looking forward to attending next year.

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  1. I always enjoyed the Golden Daemon, never actually managed an entry though; those people can paint!

  2. Hi there!

    As the poor sap dragged up to sit on the panel, I’d love to hear that podcast. Let me know how that works out…




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