Warlord Games Open Day

Yesterday, thanks to Wargames Illustrated I attended the Warlord games open day at Warlord HQ in Nottingham. I was lucky enough to have won a Golden Ticket, One of only 3 of us who attended! I felt truly special indeed! The golden Ticket gave me guaranteed entry to the Q&A sessions which had limited places, a free lunch, A resin version of the special edition model Given away on the day, A private tour of the Factory by John Stallard as well as a Signed rule book of my choice (I went for black powder).

The Day was fantastic (I’m not just saying that because of the extra bits I received, It would have been a great day even without them!)

Naturally, I took my camera with me, and snapped away all day. I’m going to try my best to show you what I saw while I was there. I Hope you Enjoy! Also, if you like this post PLEASE leave a comment at the bottom of the page, and don’t forget to use the links on the left to share this post on facebook, twitter and google+. Thanks!

The Golden ticket!

Warlord Games Open Day Golden Ticket

Warlord Games Open Day Golden Ticket

My Day at the Warlord Games Open Day

So, Firstly, The all important haul!! No trip to a wargames show would be complete without coming home with a lighter wallet, and a bag full of lead.. so, here’s What I picked up.

[singlepic id=2630 w=580 h=435 float=]

Not as much as I thought I’d buy. But still a pretty decent haul! The bag of figures in the bottom left was a special “golden ticket” extra, where we got one of each of the special edition figures usually only available when you buy certain books from warlord, Which was sweet! I love painting up special character models, so these will keep me going for a long while! I also picked up the limited edition historicon 2013 Mini which was for sale on the day, I absolutely love this figure, and Hope to paint it up pretty soon! I’ve always loved painting tiny models, but never actually tried to recreate them through drawings or paintings. I don’t know how they’ll turn out though, but I do have a friend who loves the process, especially if he uses the best watercolor paper for it-the colors come out just right. I’m not much of a canvas artist though, so I’m not sure if I’ll stray from my model painting yet!
The other goodies from the day included A 4ground wagon set, which I’ve planned to buy for a little terrain project I’m working on, I had hoped to pick up a couple of their two story 28mm building packs, but by the time I got to actually “shop” around the show, everyone who had them had sold out!
I was also lucky enough to get a Black Powder rule book, signed by Rick Priestly himself, Which was great. We play a lot of black powder at my local club (see one of our BP AAR’s here: Black Powder After action report), and I’ve never had the chance to get a set of the rules of my own until now.
I also bought a Book on The Nazi Occult from the Osprey stand, Probably because in the Alessio Cavatore talk there was mention about some Bolt action Weird war stuff that piqued my interest! (that, and I’m a Captain America fan..)
I managed to get my hands on a Bolt action British 17lber kit too, which I’ve been meaning to get for a while. My bolt action force has been severely lacking in the anti tank department until now! Along with some (boring) airbrush cleaner which was found from Arcane Scenery, and the Latest copy of Wargames illustrated which I got from Caliver Books (along with the wagon set).

The most interesting purchase (and probably the cheapest), were the British Para transfer sheets. Not long ago, I painted a whole force of British paras in 28mm for use in Bolt action. I spent quite a bit of time on these guys and really love the way they turned out. I didn’t know Warlord did these little gems, but after talking to Warlord’s Graphic designer Mark Owen (who apparently should be a salesman!) I snapped them right up. These will finish off my paras very nicely indeed!!)

Warlord Games British Para transfer sheets

Warlord Games British Para transfer sheets

The main hall for the event was pretty spacious, otherwise, the authorities would have to opt for heavy duty commercial tents for sale to accommodate all the visitors and exhibits. The reason I say this is because every inch of the hall, which was big enough, was jam-packed with traders, demo and participation games as well as painters, writers, sculptors and other key warlord staff on hand to talk to people about anything and everything.

[singlepic id=2616 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2617 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2618 w=580 h=435 float=]

I was lucky enough to sit in on three of the four Q&A sessions that ran over the course of the day, (I only missed Paul Sawyer’s talk)

The First Talk was by Rick Priestly.

[singlepic id=2665 w=580 h=435 float=]

Rick talked for about 45 minutes about various topics, and spent most of the time taking questions from the floor. When asked if he could impart on wisdom onto budding writers, he gave three tips, saying the three most important things in writing were 1)*my mind fails me at this precise moment on the first tip!*, 2) Brevity – If you can say it in fewer words, do so. 3) Wit – a little humour always helps.

[singlepic id=2667 w=580 h=435 float=]

The second Talk was by Alan and Michael Perry (Of Games workshop, foundry & perry miniatures fame). Actual legends in the wargames industry these guys are certainly the most prolific sculptors to work in the industry. Take a look at your figure collection, whether it be historic or Sci fi, and I can almost guarantee it’ll have something in it that’s been crafted by these two!

The presentation they gave walked you though a “typical” sculpt, and they imparted words of wisdom and tips on sculpting, the best piece of advice they gave (for me anyway), was to use e45 hand cream on top of the greenstuff, it stops the greenstuff sticking to the tool when working with it. This has long been my biggest failing when working with greenstuff! So I’ll be raiding the wife’s dresser for some hand cream and grabbing my sculpting tools pretty soon.. Another tip they gave was to always use an armature (a wire frame or equivalent), otherwise sculpts will sag, this also helps with posing models.

[nggallery id=10]

The talk was fantastic, and it was really interesting to see first hand how much these guys know about not only creating beautiful miniatures, but about anatomy and how different types of cloth fold in different ways etc. They even told us how for their napolionic ranges they researched how the uniforms got baggier over time (the design, not growing jackets…), so there would be larger folds in the clothing, which is reflected in the miniatures. Designing game structures, characters, action figures, and miniatures is no easy task. And just imagine the number of games out there that the designers have to create for! Be it digital designs of in-game characters (like these Diablo 2 character classes that can be seen on yesgamers), or figurines and collectibles, an infinite imagination and top-level skills form the foundation of their creation.

This was my favourite talk of the day (Sorry Alessio & Rick!). The entire 400 mile round trip was worth it just to listen to these guys speak.

After this, Warlord’s owner John Stallard Gave the golden ticket holders a private tour of the warlord games factory. There were public tours being held throughout the day, which showed the metal and resin casting processes in action (which were awesome to see, i have a real interest in these areas), but John also showed us the design studio, Where Warlord’s sculptor Wojtek Flis sculpts the figures, as well as Where Paul Sawyer appears to live under a pile of boxes..

[singlepic id=2674 w=580 h=435 float=]

Immediately, I was jealous of this place of work!

John showed us some of his favourite models, along with the vast array of other beautifully painted figures that adorned the many cabinets in there.
[singlepic id=2677 w=580 h=435 float=]

The rest of the tour photos:
[nggallery id=11]

John Sallard Tells us more about the sculpting process, next to Wojtek Flis’ desk in the Design studio!

[singlepic id=2672 w=580 h=435 float=]

Richard Nunley explains to us about the metal model casting tools

[singlepic id=2679 w=580 h=435 float=]

Andy Munro talks about the Resin moulds, and how they differ from the metal casting process.

[singlepic id=2693 w=580 h=435 float=]

The last talk of the day (I missed Paul Sawyer’s unfortunately) was by Alessio Cavatore and Andy Chambers, two games designers who have vast amounts of experience in games design. They talked about Bolt action, the reaction to the game so far, and what the plans are for the future.

[singlepic id=2631 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2632 w=580 h=435 float=]

I was excited (think kid at Christmas) to find out that there is another series of books planned after the army list books are released. The First “interim” book (as Alessio put it) is a book on tank battles. Usually in bolt action a typical game will only see one or two tanks on the field, with their recent PDF expansions they introduced armoured platoons. This book apparently expands furthur on this.

After this they have planned a series (of 5?) Theatre/campaign books. These books are still in the planning stages, but appear to be the next project the pair are planning to embark on. Andy was interested to take peoples suggestions for the theatre books, one of which he seemed very interested in was presenting each mission in the book twice. Once as a “anyone can play how they like” type mission (like the current ones in the book), then once again as a narrative driven mission based on a specific action. This seemed to go down well with the crowd and Andy seemed genuinely interested in that idea. Hopefully we’ll see something like this in at least one of the theatre books in the near future!

[nggallery id=8]

After the talks were done I spent the last couple of hours of the show wandering the main hall looking at the games and trying my best to spend some money. Well, I can always recover that amount by playing bingo for cash or similar other online games that pay the player on completing certain objectives. That way, I could have taken home some of the games from here and not feel guilty about spending money on them as I could recover it.

One of the things that stuck out to me was the 4Ground stand. I’ve previously always been a fan of scratch built terrain. I’d like to think that I was a competent terrain maker, while not the best, I feel I can “hold my own”. So I’ve stayed clear, for the most part, of the buildings from the various laser cut mdf providers. Purely because I’ve been of the opinion that I’ll make my own, when I get round to making some 28mm buildings. Then I went to this show, and fell in love with some of their buildings.. wow. They are fantastic. I really wanted to pick up a couple of the 2 storey buildings, unfortunately, it looks like everyone else had the same plan so by the time I got to the stalls they were all gone. No matter though. I’m a patient chap, so I’ll no doubt pick some up online soon (unless some kind soul fancies sending me one that is! :-P)

[singlepic id=2508 w=580 h=435 float=]

A collection of images from the 4Ground stand
[nggallery id=7]

Remember earlier when I said I felt like a kid at christmas during Alessio’s talk? Not a patch on how I felt when I saw this bad boy..

[singlepic id=2626 w=580 h=435 float=]

That’s right.. A 28mm scale version of Pegasus Bridge! I nearly wet myself when I saw this thing, and had to take a moment to compose myself after Mark Owen explained that it’s being released at the back end of this year (Planned for October) as part of a set ( 150?) containing a bunch of British & German figures, and all the iconic buildings from the engagement. (the cafĂ© gondree and a gun emplacement). No prizes for guessing what my October wargames budget is going on…

Some other notable tables I liked the look of were the table for “In her Majesty’s name”,

[singlepic id=2553 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2554 w=580 h=435 float=]

which looked pretty interesting.

The huge game which I think was put on by the Perry twins

[singlepic id=2557 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2556 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2559 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2622 w=580 h=435 float=]

A large 15mm Black powder game put on near the entrance which was very impressive

[singlepic id=2522 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2525 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2527 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=22529 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2530 w=580 h=435 float=]

There were loads of other games on too, Check out the bottom of this page to see the whole set of images I took while I was wandering round. I’m pretty sure I got a few of every table on show. Check them out near the bottom..

I also Saw Kevin Dallimore, A legendary painter had a stand where he was painting models.

[singlepic id=2607 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2608 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2609 w=580 h=435 float=]

Some display cabinets with work in progress miniatures for Bolt action & Judge Dredd minis:

[singlepic id=2603 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2604 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2605 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2562 w=580 h=435 float=]

[singlepic id=2563 w=580 h=435 float=]

All of the images I took while walking round the main hall can be seen in this gallery:

[nggallery id=9]

Thanks for reading my post, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you were there (& spot yourself in a photo!), or if you’ve just liked it, please leave a comment, and check out the rest of my blog.

Thank you to Warlord games for hosting the event, and to Wargames Illustrated for the ticket. I had a fantastic day.
Special Thanks to John Stallard for the tour, and to Andy Hobday & Andrew Chesney for being such genuinely nice blokes and looking after us for the day.

Can’t wait for next years Warlord Games Open Day!


About The Author

Chris has been a Wargamer since he was 12 years old, progressing through 40k, WFB now playing a diverse range of games from 15mm WW2, to space combat games, and even the odd game of judge dredd.

6 Responses

  1. Chris

    Thanks for the great comments and images of the day, we don’t have it look quite as Nic eas this in Australia, hmmm one day I’ll get to have a look over some UK shows. Again thanks for posting so soon after the event, glad you had fun

    Cheers Chris

  2. James Morris

    Excellent images and a good round-up of a great day out. Hats off to the Warlord guys for all their efforts!

  3. DavidA

    An exquisite article Chris.

    Thanks for the amazing pictures of a wonderful occasion.

  4. AnthonyWB

    Good report on the show and some good pictures, great stuff, looks like you had a good day.

    I was manning the GCN stand all day so missed all the seminars etc, but some fantastic games on offer all around me.

    I too will look forward to Warlord Games Day 2014.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.