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  • Games Day UK 2010 & Golden Demon

    Games Day UK 2010 & Golden Demon


    Sunday 26th September saw the crowds gathering at the NEC Birmingham from all over the UK and a few regulars from Europe ready to gain entry into what is billed as the ultimate in the Games Workshop event Calendar “Games Day UK” (GDUK) with the Golden Demon painting contest said to be the best in the world of all the GW contests and if you haven’t won a Demon at GDUK then you haven’t really won a Demon...



    Although GW use their GD events across the world to announce the launch of new products the UK GD is their premier launch pad and all sorts of rumours abound prior to the doors opening from Forgeworld and what they have planned and what they are working on in the way of immediate/imminent release to what GW themselves have in the pipeline and this year was no different with the announcement that the rumoured Warhammer Forge was going to be making an appearance but more about this later.

    My morning started off at around 6:45am as I was on the road heading east and then north out of Wales on what was a rather chilly morning with the temperature outside the car reading 6 degrees C only for this to plummet to Zero 30 miles up the road and to see fields covered white in frost, Whatever happened to the summer?



    Arriving at the NEC and joining the queue for the Demon Contest entries (thankfully this time I remembered my ticket and had packed it the night before along with my contribution to the painting contest). I met up with many members of Wamp, Platoon Britannica and The Basement and met even more during the day once inside. One of the best things about these shows to me is the meeting up with friends I only get to see at shows and the new people I meet there having only spoken to them online in the various Forums all with a common interest, a thirst for the hobby and painting along with the wiliness to share this knowledge.

    A word of warning at this point I think, GDUK has a lot going on in a small space of time and also over the years a large social gathering that escapes the madness and go over to the hotel where they can sit and discuss the hobby in general, in a quiet and comfortable setting. To this end this is likely to be a long report and photo heavy (I took over 162 photos) as I try to cover all the new stuff and the different aspects of the day.

    I will not post all the photos hear though and will link you to a separate file of the photos at the end of the report. Hmmm, having said that where do I start?



    GW Design & Studio
    This was rather busy to say the least and they were swamped right from the start, being split up and scattered all over the Pavilion Hall didn’t really help matters very much either and it was difficult trying to get in to view anything let along speak to anybody on the teams and this situation only got worse as the day progressed consequently I have very little in the way of snippets of news from this area although I did manage to get some photos of the new Dark Eldar and their plastic sprues and have to say they do look better than the old ones, the bikes are very nice indeed.


    Dark Eldar Reaver




    Nothing was heard on the release of Grey Knights though and apart from the Dark Eldar nothing new was seen in the cabinets even the Fantasy side of the Design Studio only had the Island of Blood figures and the High Elves that are about to be released in the cabinets. The Three ups looked nice and I do so wish that GW and Forgeworld for that matter would start releasing in the larger scale figures again even if it is in limited runs for the collectors amongst us.





    Forgeworld Design Studio
    This year the Forgeworld Design Studio was separate from the main LG Arena Hall and was located behind the seating area in a nice bright area. Besides the usual rumours and pre-release figures that had been seen on the net and pushed out in their regular newsletters there was a couple of surprises waiting in the cabinets for those brave enough to push through and get a look.

    The Eldar Phantom Titan was on display, based around the original Epic/Space Marine version but is still work in progress and several months away before completion.



    Imperial Armour books 9 and 10 are to cover the Badab War and between these two books it is said that between them they will cover the background for over a dozen (that’s 12 for our American friends) Marine Chapters along with rules for each. There will be a second edition release of Imperial Armour Vol1 which will include updated rules in line with Codex Imperial Guard etc and also Vol2 of the Model Masterclass is on the cards for release.

    Imperial Armour 11 is definitely going to be about Eldar and is said to also include Cadian’s and Elysian’s along with a Space Marine Chapter but which one is not said, rumour has it Space Wolves but I doubt this as it is already covered heavily by GW and I therefore suspect it may follow along the lines of IA’s 5, 6, 9 and 10 with chapters not previously covered in depth by GW.


    Red Scorpians Librarian Sevrin Loth

    In the cabinets were various bits including the new pre-release stuff, Ork Weapon Sets, a new Land Raider Achilles which has a thunder fire cannon, twin multi-melta sponson mounts and extra armour. What surprised a lot of people though, was the two new one manned Eldar attack veicles the “Hornet” and the “Lynx” both of these looked very nice. Also later in the day I spotted a single Eldar Warrior in the cabinet having seen only art work for this it was the rumoured Aspect Warrior, yes that’s right Forgeworld are going to be doing Eldar characters/figures.

    Land Raider Achilles





    Eldar Hornet attack craft.

    It is also said that Aeronautica is not going to be developed any further than it presently is but the range of figures/models currently in production and the rules will remain available but it was not stated how long they would remain available for.


    Lynx Attack Craft.


    Eldar Aspect Warrior.

    Warhammer Forge
    Following the newsletter form Forgeworld (FW) on the 24th September that the rumoured Warhammer Forge would be unveiled at this year’s GDUK I was quite eager to see what they had lined up and I must say I was not disappointed in the least as on the way to their stand next to the FW Design Team I passed by the hugely crowded and chaotic FW trade stand and saw a poster for their first two figures being sold at the FW trade stand as pre-release a Plague Toad with Rider and a Chaos Ogre.



    Rick Priestly has done the bulk of the story line and is the drive behind this along with Mark Bedford and an enthusiastic design team. On display was folders of the book that will eventually accompany the figures and lots of work in progress, concept sketches and completed art work. The main poster is titled Tamurkhan “The Throne of Chaos” and is actually a large oil painting where as a lot of the other work is digital art but very nice none the less.



    Talking to Rick everything is based around a Chaos Incursion into the Empire, the main character for chaos being Tamurkhan who Rick says is a sort of maggoty thing in his own body but has the ability to take the form of anything he defeats, the last defeated enemy was an Ogre therefore Tamurkhan is currently in the form of a giant Ogre and is riding into the Empire on a Toad Dragon.


    Toad Dragon

    The whole team was very enthusiastic about the project and the future plans for it and have especially loved working on the Chaos Dwarfs just as much as people seemed to be demanding more of these. Rick also hinted that the whole plot is separate to that of Warhammer Fantasy and will have a completely different outcome to the normal Warhammer scenarios of this type. Also in the cabinets were the FW Chaos War Mammoth, Giant, Fire Dragon, Ogre Rhinox Riders, and a few other chaos pieces that would fit the Forge storey line all of these along with Rick’s statement that despite initially being sold through the FW website it is hoped they will eventually have their own site with the usual GW/FW link together which leads me to think they are going to pick up the current FW fantasy figures leaving FW to concentrate on the 40K universe.



    Theodor Bruckner mounted on Demigriffon and on foot

    What was in the cabinets...well a lot of nice models to say the least, most of these were still very much works in progress and it is hoped to start rolling out the first of the figures before Christmas these probably being the two that were available pre-release on the day. Cabinet contents included a 3 piece Chaos Dwarf Steam Engine with 2 connonades which were a Siege Bombard and a Demolition Rocket, Chaos Dwarf Engineer and engine crews, A beautiful Marienburg Landship which will eventuall have a crew and other figures for it, an Empire Character by the name of Theodor Bruckner mounted on a Demigriffon (no wings) and also a figure of him on foot, Chaos Dwarf Steam Engine Skullcracker, and Magma Cannon, Nurgle Trolls, Chaos Nurgle Ogres, Nurgle Rot Beast, Toad Dragon Plague Toads, Chaos Warriors and the Carmine Dragon, upgrade sets for Empire Spearmen/Halberdiers and Hand Gunners/Crossbowmen.


    Plague Toads



    Black Libarary
    As usual all the books were available and a lot of the authors were there for book signings although when I walked past in the afternoon some of these poor chaps looked a bit lonely. Black Library were also selling the Chap Book that they released for the event but at £5 for what was a very thin short story I don’t think they sold very many.


    This years Chapter book @ £5 each!

    Also just off from the main Arena was “Black Library Digital” who are looking at a October 2010 launch with all the titles available for download as eBooks, during the day they were giving away promotional CD’s which contained the entire novels of “Hammer and Bolter” (the entire first issue), “Sword of Justice”, “First and Only” and “Nightbringer” as well as chapter 1 of “Prospero Burns” and chapters 1 & 2 of God King. Also on the disc were the audio book sample of “Horus Rising” and the audio drama sample of “Garro: Oath of Moment” and extras in the way of exclusive wallpapers.

    The Art Competition, Static Displays, Ultramarines Movie & Computer Games
    As usual GW ran its GD Art competition whereby entries had to be submitted on paper no bigger than A4 size, disappointingly there were a few nice entries submitted on A3 size paper which I would imagine will have not been judged. Over all the quality of the entries for this was very good and of a very high standard ranging from what seemed like computer generated art to sketches.




    This year’s static displays included “The Siege of Volganoff” and “The Island of Blood” tables and the “Art of Games Workshop” which featured the Warhammer Art Exhibition and also gave people a chance to talk to the artists responsible for the art in the latest Warhammer rulebook.



    Fantasy Flight Games were in attendance although never really seemed to be that busy but did have a steady flow of interest, whereas the “Space Marine” game for the Playstation and Xbox received queues, the People behind the “Ultramarines movie gave a seminar and had large queues for people to go into a cinema to view snippets of the movie.

    Several other lectures were given by GW during the day which were booked in advance but word from those that attended these was not good and that they were boring!

    Gaming Tables & Trade Stands
    Gaming tables were definitely decreased this year, in previous years there has been upwards of 60 gaming tables but this year I saw only 31 and these were of a disappointing standard. They were also very bunched together with very little room around them to see anything let alone participate in any of the games taking place.

    The two main trade stands were that of Games Workshop and Forgeworld, both were extremely busy throughout the day but the usual chaos abounded around the Forgeworld trade stand with people waiting over an hour and a half to get served, this didn’t really abate during the day either and was just as bad in the afternoon although I did manage to get served within 5 minutes by spotting a gap and speaking up when the they asked who needed serving, despite it being 2:30pm when I was at the stand I managed to get most things I wanted with only one thing having to be ordered for free postage from them I even managed to get the two Warhammer Forge pieces and the new Grot Mega Tank which really surprised me.


    Caestus Assault Ram

    One of the things that annoyed me though was Forgeworld’s inability to fulfil reservation orders yet they still had these things for sale on the trade stand!
    Chaos ruled the day as always at the Forgeworld trade stand, this year they used the excuse of new tills at the last minute with nobody knowing how to use them but given a frontage of over 60 feet they only had 4 tills maximum anyway...the Reservation collection point had one of these tills only despite the fact that I had been told earlier in the week when chasing up confirmation of my reservation that they had received over 600 reservations. You put your order forward or claimed you reservation order only to be then put in a queue and wait for your name to be called out so you could go to a till and pay for it!


    Lugft Huron

    This is nothing new really and is the same year in year out with the Forgeworld stand but this year seemed to be the worst and can only leave a person to wonder who the hell is doing the organising for them and why are they still being employed let alone wonder what would happen if Health & safety paid them a visit one year.

    Golden Demon Competition
    To me GD has always been about the Golden Demon contest and the people it brings in many of whom I have got to know over the years. This year however seemed to be lacking in entries to most of the categories compared to previous years with many cabinets either empty or partially full, it was rumoured that this year would be the last year for large scale figures and that next year sees the end of the LOTR License for GW which will mean the last year for the LOTR Category as well.



    Out of 3 cabinets for LOTR there was only 53 entrants and due to the restrictive range and rules that cover the entries into this class you tend to see the same figures time and again all be it different paint styles but after 6 or 7 years of a mounted Arwen or Gandalf there is only so much you can do. Other categories didn’t fare much better with the single figure and regiment classes all having empty display cabinets.



    The GW staff behind the barriers appeared to have had no brief on how to handle people’s entries and I even complained to the girl that took my entry from me about the way she handled it, placing her fingers straight across the base with the potential to squash foliage and wire etc. Figures were being placed and removed from cabinets piece meal and handled by the actual figure itself with bare hands, really annoying as some people don’t varnish their figures for competitions and handled this way without plastic or latex gloves causes all sorts of problems for the owner.



    Judging was once again a bone of contention this year with erratic being one word to describe it, some pieces that should have made the cut were overlooked and others made it that clearly shouldn’t have, entries were put in the wrong categories and then not moved to the correct category despite being blatantly obvious where they should have been, the 40K single class had at least 3 entries that should have been in a different category as they were either mounted figures or more than two figures on the base.



    Year after year people have complained to GW about the judging system and even people who have acted as judges at other successful shows have offered advice to GW to change the judging system but they continue to operate a first past the post system instead of the “open” or “American” judging system saying that they are promoting the hobby, their approach to “Their” competition. However, I feel does very little to promote the hobby for themselves as a company or for the youth of today who will be the painters of tomorrow.



    It was also noticeable that the winners of the Duel and Large Scale Categories were up on the big screens before 10am in the morning! Trying to get anywhere near most of the cabinets after the first 30 minutes to have a look was near impossible as usual.



    GW coverage can be found here http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/co...?aId=12900022a and here http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/co...00016a&start=2
    Some of the winners and finalists included Bertanini, Camelion, Steve B, Darklord, PrawnPower, Iacton and War Griffon. Other winners included a gold to Chris Clayton and Matt Parkes, Matt also collected his 4th Slayer Sword for his entry into Diorama which he has been working on for several years. This year seemed chaotic in this area as well though, there was no clear indication of who had won what in most of the classes with some of the Demon winners not even being on the top shelf and by 3:25pm the cabinets were being emptied and people being told to leave the Pavilion Hall as they were closing!



    One of the things I enjoy about Golden Demon is the people it brings to the hobby of painting these figures, as I was putting away my entry and talking to friends at the prep table a lady and her sun came over from the cabinets to put away their figures. Her son had entered in the Young Bloods Class and she had picked up a pin for her third ever painted mini which she had entered into WHFB Monster, she had got into the hobby after a bit of mother/son bonding and this was the third year she had entered Golden Demon, with a bit of sculpting experience she had made a base and modified a Skaven Rat Ogre.




    The mosaics on the base and the freehand were very well executed and it was a pleasure to be able to photograph this entry out of the cabinet even if it was only by the camera flash for lighting. Known as “themum” over on Platoon Britannica it is hoped that she will us with her presence here on Wamp as her work was well worth seeing despite her family going without attention as she worked on this model.



    Conclusion
    All together it was a very disappointing show with a lot of inconsistencies across the board, it would seem this year GDUK was all about how much money GW could make in a day and if this is a trend I can very easily see things going backwards from here not forwards. As it was the area occupied this year was a lot smaller than previous years and the organisation was lacking and very evidently so, floor plans were not given out at entry and the plans on the website were last years!



    With no show discounts and what has to be the most expensive one day show/competition on the UK gaming circuit at £30 entrance fee (with a figure thrown in) plus the £8 NEC charge to park the car it has left a lot of people feeling disappointed and either wondering whether to bother going next year or already decided not to go at all.
    More photographs including the pictures of Chaos Dwarf's can be found in the thread here: http://www.wamp-forum.com/VB4/showth...2940#post82940



    • Hinton
      #12
      Hinton commented
      Editing a comment
      Very nice report, WG. Thanks!

      Originally posted by warhammergrimace
      Mine came back with a massive chip on it, so they had dropped it. How hard is it to carry a mini by the base from the cabinet to the judging table without dropping the bloody thing, obviously for some dumb ar*se it proved humanly impossible.
      Damn! Don't blame you for not wanting to go again.

    • warhammergrimace
      #13
      warhammergrimace commented
      Editing a comment
      Its happened the last two years, both times I've been in an Irregular Magazine top.....coincidence maybe???

    • Captain Sprout
      #14
      Captain Sprout commented
      Editing a comment
      They don't like the quality of their rivals!

      Really good review WG, sums up the day well.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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