My other posts on Games Day 2013 can be found here:
The story of my journey up to Birmingham
A small sideline I had in persuading GW staff to make up fake rumours
A fun little 'scouting game' that Jervis invented
So, how did I find Games Day 2013?
It was very odd. It was the first time I've gone as an adult when my darling wife didn't come with me. I'd thought it meant I would have a lot more time to run around and do whatever I wanted. This was true, but I didn't plan my time well. I barely spoke to everyone on the Forge World stands, I didn't go and see the Golden Demon and Armies on Parade entries at all, and I didn't spend enough time talking to the sculptors, which I had told myself I would do more this year.
I've already written to GW about the completely appalling lack of signs and directions outside the venue to get you to the right place - if you weren't on a bus, you'd have no indication as to where you should be going. Still, the policy of gradually letting people in rather than all in a rush seemed to mean that everything went much smoother, and I'm told there was no stampede for the retail queues.
I had some excellent chats with assorted staff members - too many to list here. Some people were busier than others, though. Jervis, Phil and Robin from the studio were constantly swamped, and if you really want to get some good time in to chat with them, an event like "Enter the Citadel" is probably a better bet.
I managed to restrain myself in the retail section, although I did get a few bits and bobs more than I had intended - some skulls for basing for me, and some Goff Rockers for the wife. Other than that, as planned, I just got the Games Day model and the Forge World Event Only models.
I think the biggest disappointment for me was not finding any of the non staff people I know of, like Joeyberry or Templars Crusade, and thus really being at a bit of a loss for what to do once 4pm happened and everyone was turfed out. I ended up back in my soulless hotel room, eating horrible food and typing up what happened for the blog, and heckling the Bell of Lost Souls Lounge to keep me sane.
What was also interesting was the number of "reveals" that were made at Games Day. The collectibles division had an entirely new coffee table book, plus the combined Chaos collectors box. Sentinels of Terra was brand new and announced in the programme and was discussed by the Digital staff present. Forge World was, as ever, happily showing off all its upcoming stuff. The Dark Elf army book will also have had next month's models in it, although I didn't get to see that myself.
In short, Games Workshop has listened to feedback, and is now providing as much "advanced preview" as they humanly can at Games Day. They can't show plastics months in advance, as it will seriously hurt their first week sales as the bits manufacturers rush out cheap knock-offs ahead of their release. The Chapterhouse lawsuit has also left them open to the risk of losing the right to produce a model they've worked on for years if someone else beats them to market. That's something they will take no risks on whatsoever, and keep things close to their chest until advance orders go up.
I did have a good time, but next year, I want to make a few more plans. If I can save for a nicer hotel, I will. I understand my darling wife has no desire to be left behind again, so will be along next time. And perhaps I'll be able to arrange a little further in advance to chat with some folk who are going in advance and arrange something to do afterwards while all the day-trippers head home. Because I think I've learnt that what makes this hobby is the other people involved in it.