Saturday, 29 May 2010

Games Workshop

I was invited to Games Workshop's headquarters in Nottingham, UK yesterday. I can't tell you why, that's a story for another day. I've never been there before and I was really looking forward to it. Whilst I was there I had a bit if a wander around the place.

I'm a big Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay fan and I recently bought the Rogue Trader RPG. I'm slowly getting back into the wargaming side of it all after a 18 year break (!) and the visit really gave me some geeky inspiration. I took many pictures of the place, some of which I'll share with you here.



The buildings were all very modern and had the eagle insignia everywhere. There were life size Space Marine statues dotted about, like they were on guard. It was all very atmospheric. The reception itself was modelled like some kind of chapel. Very stylish.



Even all the mats had the insignia on them. I want one for my hallway.



The Space Marine statues were really impressive. You can't miss the place when you approach it - one of these massive gits is standing right outside the gates.



There's an exhibition building called Warhammer World, in which thay have a custom built gaming room filled with tables foor all kinds of Fantasy Battle and 40K games. It was quite quiet when I was there - it was a work day after all - but I was told that on weekends and holidays it gets really busy. I'd like to see that.



Upstairs from that was a miniature display room. It was awesome. They had dioramas and models dating back years, some I remember from old White Dwarf issues, and they were all expertly painted and arranged. This picture does it no justice - you'll just have to go along and marvel at it yourself.



It was then I found the most important room of the place: Bugman's, a pub. It was all styled out in a Dwarvish theme - again, my phtotograph is terrible - and I had a pint of Troll Brew, which was... an experience.



Mounted on the wall was a life-size Orc head on a shield, and as I stepped backwards to get a better photo...



... I tripped over a chair and went arse over tit. I looked like a proper prat.

Games Workshop get a lot of stick for their business practices but I've been a long time fan - maybe not a huge one but I've always enjoyed their products - and visiting this place gave me a new appreciation of their product. Everyone was friendly, even random staff members walking past would give a cheery 'Hello!' as they went by, and they were all eager to share and talk about the hobby. An office I was in was decked out with pictures, models and a personal collection so I could see that they were all really passionate about the game and the hobby as a whole. You can't knock that kind of eagerness.

I highly recommend a visit to the place. If you're not going to play then it's not a full day out, you'd get through it all in an afternoon, but it is an experience. I'm looking forward to going back.