There is no reality – Me & Games Day 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve written an article for the site now but if you did read any of them you may remember that I am a very nostalgic person. I yearn for a time in the hobby 16 years ago that in reality probably did not exist – Games Day was part of this image of a ‘golden age’ of Games Workshop. For various reasons, I have never been to a Games Day until this last weekend. But I had built the event up to be possibly the greatest event known to man – on par with the first moon landing or the fall of the Berlin Wall. I felt that this was the year to finally make the pilgrimage (also everyone from Corehammer was going).


The Corehammer Crew arrives at Games Day and proceeds to push children and men-children creatures out of the way for tickets.

Sometimes the impression might be given from some of the articles on Corehammer that we as a group are quite cynical about Games Workshop and in many ways we are. However, I think a lot of that was pushed aside this weekend in order for everyone to have a laugh and actually enjoy it for whatever it turned out to be. I’m glad that was the case as although I kept it quiet, in my head I was losing my shit about finally going.

As a kid there were two things that made me really want to go to Games Day. The first was it just seemed like a really rowdy party where nerds who like toy soldiers go wild and rule the earth for a day, there were always great pictures in White Dwarf which showed loads of lads with curtain haircuts flipping out and carrying home-made banners. None of my mates at school were really into GW so I guess I just wanted to be with my people. The second is Golden Demon – I’ve done a whole article on it previously so don’t need to remind you that I love dioramas and well painted mini’s. Most of all it looked really DIY and kind of bodged together.


So let’s talk about the reality of what Games Day was like – it wasn’t as rowdy as the pictures back then made it look. Instead of loads of cool people getting together and appreciating the one thing that we all had in common, I overheard conversations of people making fun of Golden Demon entries or ripping into the older models on display. It seemed like some kind of nerdy elitist den of bell ends. From middle aged men wearing basketball shorts with leather cowboy hats to some guy literally pushing people out of the way to look at a painted model – Games Day had it’s fair share of people I wanted to set on fire. It also seemed a lot cleaner and more corporate than I thought it would be – rows of iPads showing codexes made me think of an Apple Store more than anything to do with the grim darkness of the future. To finish things off the GW store employees turned security guards turned out to be jerks and flipped out at us for getting a Corehammer crew shot.

However, in spite of that I can say it was one of the coolest days I’ve ever had. From the Black Library authors talks about the Horus Heresy through to the ‘Eavy Metal team painting figures live I actually felt like I pretty much got my moneys worth. The design team for Forge World & GW were there for Sketch to yell at over how shit the Centurion figures look. Forge World artists were there drawing stuff live. Dan Abnett was there, which is enough. We had a few people from the Black Library team come and ask us if they could buy shirts. The Golden Demon section was HUGE – way bigger than I thought it would be and I spent about an hour there looking at the stuff on display. I felt like there was quite a lot of substance to the show and although a lot of it was a disguise to sell models (that’s the business after all) I did feel that even if you didn’t buy anything you still got a lot from it all. I sometimes think that Games Workshop is headed for ultimate failure one day and it has no idea what it’s doing but after this weekend I think that maybe I’ve been a little too harsh on them. Quite often they’re wide of the mark with some of the things they do but the way they laid out some of there most important content creators for the public to talk to and question was really excellent. I’m sure they’ve been doing this for years but I wasn’t expecting it, and if anything it seems at odds with an company that sometimes seems to have a complete disregard for their fans opinions or wishes.

So to summarise, the reality of Games Day was different to what I thought it would be like in terms of how Games Workshop ran it but it was still just as excellent. The atmosphere of the whole event was less riotous than I thought it would of been. Part of me wanted to see someone get trampled to death for a Space Marine Captain limited model but the lack of that was made up for with the amount of content on show. For me it was Corehammer that injected the element of DIY and rowdiness that I was looking for. From ripping peoples hats to wearing balaclavas – even if Games Day had turned out to be a complete let down it would still have been an absolute banger with all of these guys.

Just a quick PS – this is just my personal opinion and I know some of the other guys wouldn’t agree at all with my thoughts on the event!

I ended up having my SLR taken off me by security so all I got were iPhone shots but I’ve enclosed below my personal highlights from the Golden Demon and Armies on Parade hall, enjoy.


Great pre-heresy Death Guard at the Forge World stand. Looks grimey as fuck – perfect.


This was my army of the day. Great Slaanesh army set off by the excellent scenery.


I love anything Death Guard/Nurgle etc, you’re probably going to get that over the next few pictures.


I think this has cemented itself as my favourite 40k squad ever. Lead models made a good showing in GD.


Plaguebearers…..flying mate.




I don’t believe this was even in the finalists cabinet which is pretty wild.


My diorama (or ‘duel’) of the day. Some fella shooting an animal in the face.



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About David Ager

David Ager rides bikes, reads books, talks about Warhammer more than plays it & wants to be 11 again. Known within hardcore for turning up to Rot In Hell gigs with only 4 strings on his guitar and forgetting songs mid set.

5 thoughts on “There is no reality – Me & Games Day 2013

  1. “… Games Day had it’s fair share of people I wanted to set on fire.”

    It is a terrific event though. Thanks for the review as I couldn’t make it down this year. Good to see the CH crew were in force, putting the core into the Apple 😉

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