We made our 1st visit to the new Warhammer World this week.
I didn’t fancy being one of the crowd at the weekend, so held back all of day or two. After reading some of the feedback online about lack of displays in the non exhibit areas and reduced number of playing tables, I was a bit worried the old Warhammer World experience had been lost. I’m happy to say I don’t think that is the case.
First impression are good. The new entrance is modern and spacious. I must say I do think there is a bit too much space. There are a couple of small cabinets with a mix of exclusive merchandise and a couple of small 40k armies, of course one of them is Space Marine, White Scars in fact. The life sized Space Marine who used to reside outside the old White Dwarf bunker, opposite Warhammer World, is now standing guard over the precious pair of cabinets. Where the Life Size Ultramarine has gone I don’t know. When I saw the redevelopment plans I had expected there would be a glass covered display in the lobby, replacing the Forge World display which was in the old front window. So a little disheartened that the extension had just been used to house a couple of cabinets a stair case and some toilets I went upstairs.
Warhammer World Store
Upstairs you find yourself in the Warhammer World Store greeted by the friendly Warhammer World staff. In the shop are all the exclusive teeshirts, mugs, bags and models, along with the standard citadel miniatures, paints and tools. The shocking thing is there is not one display case in the store. It must be the only Games Workshop in the country without one. Of course there are a couple downstairs, but really it’s not a patch on the old store, which had painted Horus Heresy armies Titans and other inspiring objects for the collector to lust over. Well the Warhammer World store is only 1 of the 3 shops in the complex, so hopefully things will improve as we move on. On reflection most of the museums I’ve been to have the shop at the end of the tour. I guess you do need to buy tickets to the exhibit
At this point you have a choice upstairs to the Exhibit, through the gaming hall to the art/print/free exhibit area, or right into the Forge World store. I being a descendent of a canny Scott and not GWs real target market, aka not that rich, I went for the free stuff first.
The 1st floor exhibit area consists of mostly prints of GW artworks. Which are displayed on artists stands. I think these were located in bugmans bar before the redevelopment work. It was nice to see these laid out well and some of them where tempting, but I didn’t come to the world’s only Forge World store to buy prints. Over all the area did feel a bit Spartan. I’m sure it will get filled up as time progresses. To my utter surprise, tucked into the back corner of the area, was the old Forge World Horus Heresy display from the old front window. Next to it was the Battle of Cath display from Warahmmer Fest. I can’t say how relieved I was that I could still look at painted models without paying to go in the exhibit. However good the exhibit is, I won’t have time to look around it on every visit.
So on to the ForgeWorld Store. I must say it has to be the best Forge World store in the World; it’s the only one. The store is organised into Horus Hersey on the right, Imperial Amour on the left, with the counter in the middle dividing the two. The display cabinets have all the available models assembled, with the obvious exception of the chapter upgrades. There is a bit of space probably too much, there could have been more lines stocked fairly easterly. However I’d say the real weakness of the store it the lack of a single painted model on show. They do stock the top 700 Forge World lines. Seven hindered sounds like an awful lot, but it didn’t appear to be much more than the old Warhammer World store held, just better layout and organised. The items I had hoped for like Emperors Children Blade Squads or Ultramarine Landraider doors were not there. I’d left it too late to order them for same day delivery, so I made do with some old mks of power armour. The best thing about the store is the assembled models. I’m used to being forced to look at the website, in order to work out what I want. It’s really refreshing to see it in the cabinet. So overall an improvement, but let down slightly by not stocking about 300 more lines and having no painted display peices.
Black Library Store
The Black Library store is the smallest of the 3. So my expectations where quite low. However it appeared to stock the full Horus Heresy series. I didn’t check them all, but the one I wanted was there. So that’s all that bothered me and I walked out happy. I did also find out from the guy who served me that there are still just as many gaming tables in the main hall. It appears all that had been lost is some corridor space and a couple of large scenic boards.
Bugmans bar is largely unchanged. It’s a bit brighter but at the same time has lost a bit of it’s mystic. The old Ork bust had disappeared and I’m just not sure a dwarf hall would be painted magnolia. However it now has a resident Uruk huk, the only remaining indication of the Lord of the Rings licence. He had been squashed in behind one of the tables rather than made a real feature, but I’m glad someone gave him a home. The food is as yummy as ever.
And so we come to the exhibit halls. I’m not saying it’s too expensive, but £7.50 is three issues of White Dwarf, or one of those Visions things, or 2 hours of cinema. At £5 I’d be there every other month. As it is I don’t think a new exhibite is going be enough to get me parting with my cash; once I’m saturated on what they have now anyway. That said I thought it was truly fantastic! I counted at least 11 battle scenes on top of all the Citadel and ForgeWorld models in the display cabinets. I don’t think one visit was enough, I expect I’ll be back in a few weeks to soak it up some more. I’m not a fan of paying to see GW product, however the battle boards are fantastic and well worth the money. Maybe some of the old displays could have been left where Joe public could view them without paying, but that’s not to say I mind paying to see the new ones.
Room for Improvement
Of all these changes i have to wonder about the 1st floor layout. It would have been so much easier to keep the store in it’s old location with a new Forge World and Black library store built outside. This way you would have walked out of the exhibit into the shop hopefully inspired to buy.
The other thing that bothers me is the lack of painted models throughout the ground and 1st floor. Surely it would have been so easy to have put a couple of staff armies on some of the old display boards in the free exhibits area, like fort pain or encase them in the lobby so the display stands could be used upstairs.
No Picture Please
There is now a sign on the way
In saying please don’t take picture for anything other than personal enjoyment and non commercial use. Well I don’t think this blogs is what they had in mind but it’s both non commercial and is done for my personal enjoyment. Gw please contact me if you really do object to free marketing for the new Warhammer World.
In a line. Even with the £7.50 price tag it’s worth a few visits. Hopefully by which time the rest of the facility will have improved and will justify the cost of making the trip.