With each event I attend of Games Workshops’ the quality and organisation continues to improve. It would appear that the events team have managed to shackle the unruly organisation beast and now making it sing to their tune. Myself and Penddraig arrived at Warhammer World for the Forge World Open Day around 9am and the queue had already reached the farthest corner of the car-park and then continued to stretch past the Sigmar logo on the side of the main office building. The queue started at 7am… It is staggering to see how popular this event has become over the past ten years.
As with most Games Workshop events, you need to speak to the staff and ask questions. If you don’t then your event will be pretty lack-lustre. It’s also important to remember that these people are as enthusiastic about the hobby as we are, but are also professionals – asking them sensible questions will get you a better answer than asking something stupid or childish, or criticising them for a decision.
Forge World Open Day 2016
For anybody who went only for Age of Sigmar you’ll have been disappointed (though it does beg the question why you went to a Forge World Open Day for one aspect). There was only one pop-up banner with the new Shar’tor the Executioner on, no preview models and nobody obvious there who was “responsible” for the Forge World AoS offerings. Initially I thought this strange, but as the day went on I believe the lack of AoS products was for a number of reasons (warning – this is mostly supposition and reading between the lines)
First and foremost those items have been held back for the Age of Sigmar Open Day in four weeks time – we know from the Horus Heresy weekender that we have a Fimir Hero and Chaos Lord on Dragon coming and I can’t imagine that in four weeks we’re going to have very much in the way of “new” products to show.
Tickets for the Age of Sigmar Open Day are starting to be pushed and pushed hard, which suggests that uptake has been lower than Games Workshop would have liked. Forge World always draws a crowd so holding products back may be seen as a way to encourage more people to come along.
Nearly all of the people attending the Forge World Open Day were actually there for Horus Heresy stuff, you could tell this from the Bloodbowl and The Hobbit areas which seemed to be less busy.
These, combined with the amount of negativity that still exists towards Age of Sigmar meant that if Forge World had put anything out it wouldn’t have had the appeal of other items. This was highlighted when the best of show and raffle were drawn when Tony Cottrell asked who was going to the Age of Sigmar Open Day and was met with a slightly awkward silence.
One piece of information I did ask Alan Bligh was that the points for all of the Forge World Age of Sigmar models have been worked out and passed over to the web team who deal with getting them processed and then distributed out. This means that we should be able to expect the points when the Generals Handbook is released and the App is updated.
This actually leads quite nicely onto another nugget that I picked up from a number of people I spoke too. Games Workshop is running the company in a much more businesslike manner. So a sculptor/designer will create a model, get it completed and then pass it over to production. Unless there’s a problem, they don’t get involved with that again, the production and release of that model falls to other departments. This means that although a sculptor (developer, artist etc) may have an idea of when something should be out, it’s quite common for that release to be pushed back or brought forward depending on what the release schedule looks like.
The Specialist Games crew were there and I spent quite a bit of time talking to James about the new release of Bloodbowl and the work they’re doing on Adeptus Titanicus. One complication with the Bloodbowl release is that it’s a boxed game (thus available in stores), so in order to perform a global release it needs to be shipped over to every country and Australia being the furthest country from the UK will take at least 3 months. Because of the way shipping freight works, you have to wait until the ship is full of containers before it can sail. There will be a variety of new releases, including new teams (they hope to release each of the original teams again), new pitches (expect a Dwarf/Skaven pitch) and packs of cards to replicate certain items. For example you may get a pack of cards that allows you to play in a particular races stadium. It sounds really enjoyable and lends itself to you collecting one flavour of team and going round to a mates house who will have a different one giving you a lot of variety.
There is a chance that Adeptus Titanicus will actually come out before Bloodbowl as distribution is happening directly from Forge World. The “boxed set” will contain the rules, templates and modular buildings and you’ll then need to purchase the Titans separately. The game is intended to have five models per side and means you can buy the Titans you like the look of – there will be new Titan variants too. The smallest model you’ll be using is an Imperial Knight (which will be roughly the height of a marine). Rules for human sized models (marines) are being written but unlikely to be released at least not for Adeptus Titanicus which will focus on one particular part of the Heresy.
You also had team responsible for The Hobbit there and Penddraig and I spent quite a long time talking to Adam and Keith – I am really impressed with what they’re doing. I’ve been a Tolkien fan since I was a child – I’ve read Lord of the Rings half a dozen times and The Hobbit easily the same, but somehow I’ve never quite got round to collecting a full army. Looking at what’s coming up I may consider it. By the end of the year they will have produced a new source book “There and back again” that contains basically a hybrid of the book and film of The Hobbit (this is the extended version of the film) and dozens of scenarios to allow you to replay key scenes. The new Laketown plastic scenery kit still blows me away with how versatile and detailed it is. The display cabinet also had Dain on his boar (I think he’s coming out in Forge World resin) and he looks amazing (and is a beast in the game). Some very exciting stuff coming in for the Ringwraiths and Necromancer too. The ultimate hope is to release a new rulebook (one book to rule them all) that collects together all of the rules into a single definitive location.
The vast majority of the Heresy items on display had been seen before but had been moved further along. The new Imperial Knight still looks amazing and has been slightly tweaked exposing pipes on guns and a few other tiny tweaks. Price point will be £250 and is meant to be a counterpart to the similarly sized Tau walker. If (like me) you’re going to pick one of these up make sure you magnetise the weapon arms as it looks likely we’ll get some alternatives in the future, at least from looking at some of the concept sketches. Mark Bedford has painted one up as part of his Imperial Knight family, speaking to him that household initially fight for both Loyalist and Traitor and at some point go full traitor – he hinted at this may be an Order 66 style reveal 🙂 Mark is also very keen to see all of the Imperial Knights available in a Mechanicum variant, he had one Cerastus on display where he had used the Atrapos armour panels which looked amazing (and similar with what I’ve done on one of my Questoris Knights). With luck his persistence may see all Knights with the Mechanicum armour style – which I would be very chuffed with.
In addition to the alternative heads for the Cerastus pattern Imperial Knights we now have a set of Questoris Knight heads. I’ve mixed feelings on these as there are a couple I really like and a couple I’m not very keen on. Only a couple were there painted so my opinion my change.
The Macrocarid Explorator for the Mechanicum was on display and looks like a hybrid Land Raider, Triaros and Thundertank (and really nice with it). Fluff wise this makes sense as it existed before both the Land Raider and Triaros and those designs originated from it. I’m sure when you get this in the flesh it’ll also have more hints to other designs that came later. It’s actually bigger than pictures indicate too – being next to large Imperial Knights does tend to make things look small!
The new Space Wolves transfers by Holly look stunning, seeing them on a few models really sets up the feel of the Wolves without adding trinkets and pelts all over the model and I think anybody using them for their Space Wolves (either 30k or 40k) will have a beautiful army to place on the board.
Leman Russ is finished although there wasn’t a completed version on display. Speaking to Simon Egan, there is a painted version (blonde hair) which we were told looks amazing. Magnus is being worked on but won’t have the chest horns because when tried out they looked bizarre. Before anybody starts chuntering about this, a later version may come along with them as there is no reference as to if these came before or after Magnus’ fall/ascension. Magnus will also be a full head taller than Vulkan and also bulkier to give him the presence the Primarch has in the various stories, he’ll be wearing a power armour variant rather than terminator armour and likely the base be a bit more integral although Simon didn’t want to spoil the surprise. He did confirm that he won’t be working on Daemon variants, which puts a bit of credence behind the theory that there will be plastic Daemon Primarchs that will work in both Heresy and 40k.
If you’ve never attended an event like this at Warhammer World, your ticket includes entry to the exhibition centre which everybody should do multiple times in their life. It includes various displays, including some of Mike McVey scenarios which as Penddraig and I talked about with ChildOfFang, have defined and shaped the hobby from the day they came out. The last time I went round was March and since then they’ve put in the Ironwarp Citadel display which is fantastic – it’s also worth picking up the book that goes with it as it shows a number of work in progress shots.
On the way out Penddraig and I also did manage to surprise the staff in the store when they started to quiz us on if we attending the Age of Sigmar Open Day – clearly they weren’t expecting a “yes and we’ve got our tickets” which did also mean we managed to have a flick through the General’s Handbook. I’m sure there are still people a bit “on the fence” about the Age of Sigmar Open Day – please don’t be, it’ll be a really enjoyable event with a lot of information on hand to whet your appetite for the game, it’s phenomenal value for money too – £12.50 for a whole day’s entertainment and access to the Exhibition centre is a really good buy, plus at the Forge World Open Day Bugmans were doing a Titan Burger for £9.75 – Homemade beef burger, topped with slow cooked beef brisket, slice of belly port on a ciabatta with roasties and gravy…
Of course the dozen or so pictures above are only a fraction of what I actually took 😉 I’ve popped the rest into a Flickr Album – note that I’ve also created a new Flickr account as the old one I’d not touched for ages! I’ll eventually go through and rename all of the images but that may be a while off!