Getting tickets for UK Games Day 2008

Let’s start with a bit of background. Spinks and I were pretty avid tabletop roleplayers growing up and through to today when we can get a group of like-minded individuals together. But we’ve never played Warhammer. Games Workshop, miniatures and the cost of starting up always seemed a little intimidating and we were happy with the games we played.

Fast forward to yesterday. We’ve been discussing between ourselves checking out Games Day in the UK in September as it’s held between where we both live and it’d help us get a fairly intense insight into the game, how it all works, the varieties it comes in and just how popular it is. Plus, looks like Warhammer Online will be represented there too*, which is an added bonus. We thought we’d write a series of articles for others who might be coming to Warhammer Online without knowing all that much about the mechanics of Warhammer – ie, our personal experiences might inform others out there.

So with that in mind I headed into the Games Workshop, steeled myself and went in to speak to them. Why steel myself? Well, despite meeting a woman around my age who played Warhammer just last week, I still kind of have the feeling that it’s generally aimed at a different demographic and I’ve always felt a little intimidated when I’ve popped into the shops before. This time though, it was totally non-intimidating and the guy I spoke to was lovely and gave me all the info I needed. So here’s the deal for anyone thinking of going:

Games Workshop Games Day 2008 is being held at the NEC in Birmingham on September 14th. It’s 10am-4am, but 10am is when the doors open for non-Golden Demon participants (that’s the miniature painting comp – I have some details about that if people want to hear about them). If you subscribe to White Dwarf you can go buy a ticket now, if you don’t you need to wait till 28th June.

At that point you go to your local Games Workshop (or any actually ;p) and you can grab a ticket for £30. Shops also arrange coaches to and from the event on the day, which costs extra but given sunday trains is worth considering! But coach tickets are more limited than Games Day ones, so if you’ll need that, get to the shop early on 28th (and check opening times, I ended up wasting half an hour in town because I hadn’t!). We both ended up speaking to our local stores and were both really happy to find it such an easy and friendly experience. My only criticism of Games Workshop in relation to Games Day was the difficulty in finding this info out online (something I hope to help rectify!) ;p

Apparently there are a ton of tickets this year because they’ve gone for bigger numbers and taken more space at the NEC. There’s also plenty of parking at the NEC if you want to make your own way there.

It sounds like it’ll be lots of fun and really informative (for us). If anyone wants to meet up while there, we’ll put something up nearer the time and maybe UK-ers into Warhammer Online can have a little meeting – who knows!

*Josh Drescher says as much on the comments to his blog here, plus I spoke to Games Day Manager Brian Aderson and he said as much too (thanks to my local Games Workshop shop for suggesting I ring him and providing name and phone number!). Also Mythic have it listed in their Event Calendar.

Dwarf Lore (some links)

A Dwarf army is like a well-crafted mail shirt; each warrior is an iron-hard link, knitted together by duty, honour and loyalty. And, like a mail shirt, never a blow shall pass them as long as all the links remain strong.” – Dwarf Saying

They’re small! They’re round! They bounce along the ground! – Idris

We love dwarfs here and Games Workshop have given us 20+ years worth of background on our favourite Warhammer race. They’re long lived, honourable folk of the mountains who love gold, beer, and a good fight. Steadfast allies and implacable foes who never EVER forget a grudge (and boy do they have a lot of grudges), you do not want to get on their bad side.

So we’ll be writing some more about the short beardy guys and gals when we get a chance, but first let’s see what the best of the web has to offer.

Warhammer: Dwarfs from Games Workshop Online

Dwarfs from the Warhammer Online homepage

A basic roleplayer’s guide to the relentless dwarfs from the Warhammer Online Vault

The Big Thread of Dwarfen Lore from Warhammer Alliance forums (lots of nerdrage in this thread for added drama)

Dwarfs from the HammerWiki

Getting to grips with the setting

I’ve not read any Warhammer books, I’ve never played the RPG. So why the hell do I crave the game so much?

Well, I started roleplaying in my teens (a looong time ago), I started online roleplaying in the early 90s with MUSHes, I started MMO-ing with DAoC and progressed through WoW and LotRO. I miss stuff about DAoC and I have a fair amount of trust in Mythic to make a great game. If Imperator was on the cards, I’d probably have tried that too. I kind of like PvP, especially in the Realm vs Realm scenario where you have an in-built sense of loyalty to your side. And, most of all, I have a small group of friends intending to go play WAR, so I’ll be joining them there on the Order side.

I’ve read plenty about the quests, the classes, the city sieges, the tome of knowledge.. but I’ve yet to crack the actual background and setting of the game. So, because we have some time before open beta and any chance to really get a hands-on look at the game, I thought I’d spend some time reading the lore.

I’ll be reading through the links on this page on Warhammer Alliance forums, and this page from the official WAR site. And, of course, I’ll be sharing my views.