Sunday, 13 May 2012

Warhammer World: A Brief Introduction

Anyone who's been around our hobby for more than a week or two will have heard of Warhammer World in Nottingham. Due to the ever growing international nature of the 40K community there's a relatively small percentage of us will actually ever make the pilgrimage.

I've been into all things Warhammer for half my life or so and have never made it there, until a couple of weekends ago when we went for Throne of Skulls.

We were like kids in a sweet shop (candy store for you Yanks).

I thought I'd use this as an excuse to upload the other few pictures from that weekend and give a not purely GW view of things. The picture above and a few others will come from the Warhammer World (WW) section of the GW website so go there and check it out if you do fancy visiting.

The first thing you notice on arriving will either be the big Space Marine statue or the huge Aquilla on the building behind it. Then, as you get to the entrance, just to one side behind a big sheet of glass:

One of GW's ultimate dioramas. There's literally face prints on the glass where over enthused geeks (like you and I) have pressed against it, trying to spot every tiny detail. It's bloody awesome.

So you go in and climb a flight of stairs and arrive at another full size Marine (two in one day! Overload!!) then some display cabinets. The army in there at the minute is really impressive; every model almost is converted. Unfortunately I lack pictures of this but it was a real inspiration.

Turn the corner and you enter the gaming hall. Most of you will have seen pictures of this, but I hadn't quite got the scale of it:

Rows upon rows upon rows of 6'x4' realm of battle tables. In the top right corner on that picture are the paint stations - room I think for five people, with lamps, water etc. The tables above are all set up for ToS so the terrain varies. At the far end of the picture though are the posh boards - themed tables covering two rows. These range through a complete Fantasy Village, a Middle Earth town, an Ultramarines drop site (where the only terrain is abandoned Drop Pods, crashed Speeders and dead Marines), Tau fortifications (jungle scenery with Tau buildings and rail gun emplacements), fortresses built from multiple get the idea.

Beyond them is the GW store, boxes of Forgeworld stacked behind the till, and behind me in this picture is the famous Bugmans Bar:

The WW pub quiz from their Facebook page
The bar's a pretty good bar. Tad expensive for a pub in the north (getting toward London prices) but captive audience etc and lack of competition means I guess it makes sense! Plus the beer they served was darn tasty  and that's the main thing!

Next, upstairs. The world famous miniatures hall. It's like a hobby wet dream. The studio NMM Sanguinor? He's there. RTB01 Marines through to 3 ups of the latest sculpts? They're there. Classic Mike Mcvey dioramas? They're there. Studio Revenant Titan, Warhound Titan, Chaos Dragon? They're there. Selected Golden Deamon winners? They're all there!!

It was an awesome walk round but the highlight for me was definitely dioramas I didn't know existed still outside of some mid-90's White Dwarf, including my two all time faourites:

Mike Mcvey - Chaplain on bike vs Exodite Dragon rider
Dave Andrews - Thunderbolt (which is tiny) refuel
Seeing these and some of the others was, without being too dramatic, a bit of a dream come true. Everything is shiny and you feel like you're meant to talk kind of quietly. Here's a pic from the WW site:

Various bits of art and a few designs like he central divide.
And that's most of it. If you're there for an event you'll likely experience the canteen for your included meals. It's canteen food so nothing ground breaking, but it was good, tasty and generous portions. Enough to keep me happy and not hungry! There's also a small shop in Bugmans' selling the Bugmans board game, some little bits and bobs and even some of the old codexes ranging back to 2nd Edition 40K. 

Transport to and from there is between £6 and £7 from the centre of Nottingham. Split between 3 or 4 pilgrims it's quite affordable. There's also plenty of parking space if you have the option to drive.

Throne of Skulls itself was a LOT of fun. It lacked the super competitive side that I hate the idea of getting into by attending tournaments in general, the mix of opponents was broad, all the armies were painted and everyone I spoke to was friendly. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who's considering taking the plunge. I wouldn't suggest going if you want a hardcore tournament though, it's not set up for that kind of competition I'd say, so just go if you want competitive fun on a big range of tables!

Overall I wasn't let down. I don't know if I'd every go just to visit WW but, with the range of events they have available coming up - which range from sculpting lessons through to a 1,750 point list where you can include super heavies - provide an excellent excuse to head up/down/over. 

Overall I'd give the whole place a very solid 8/10. For sheer coolness I was very happy. The facilities were great and we could game until going on 11pm on the Saturday night. Staff were all very friendly and the displays were amazing. Repeat visit value is maybe a little limited but, as I fully intend to go back for another ToS maybe next year, I'll look forward to my return.
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