Writing this on the train home, my head is swimming with ideas and dreams for the coming year, after the New Year Open Day at Warhammer World.
And what a day it was. Release the troll!!! I will come back to him.
It was a day full of reveals, loads of great miniatures, and Games Workshop staff around to ask the only real question. “So when can I buy it?” A bit of painting, shopping, some demonstration games and Warhammer celebrity spotting.
The Open Day
So what was new for Blood Bowl …
Helmut Wulf and Karla von Kill were both available to buy, having gone on pre-order the day before on the Forge World website. Not a huge fan of the sculpts beforehand, but seeing them in person means that I have certainly warmed to them.
Specialist Games were present in the Studio area being held in the main event hall this year. So anything new you ask? Well you probably have already seen but they had previews of the three Goblin positionals (Pogoer, Doom Diver and ‘Ooligan), the Nurgle Rotspawn and last but not least the new troll.
Or as the sign said ‘Troll 2’.
And am I glad we finally have a sequel. I love these new miniatures. The Goblins are fun and OTT as they should be. The Rotspawn is fat and ugly. And the troll is … well how a troll should look. Not a baseball pitcher! A+ all round. I hear we should expect a February release for these.
The usual attempts to cajole, bribe and threaten the Specialist Games staff to provide more details was fruitless (note that I did none of these). But it is always worth a chat with the guys who design, make and write Blood Bowl for GW. The most striking thing you notice when talking to the Specialist Games team is the sense of enthusiasm for the games. They actually love it. And this shows through in the quality of what they produce.
Other than Blood Bowl they had announcements for most if not all of the other GW game systems. Previews for Kill Team, Black Fortress, Necromunda, 40k and Age of Sigmar.
The other Blood Bowl related interest on the day for me was the new Gloomspite Gitz range. With the new Squigs and Squig Hoppers on show. I am looking to put together a Squig Herder team for a local league, so these have come at a great time. The new Troggoths releases could also make for some interesting conversions for Blood Bowl.
Elsewhere they had a demonstration game of Blood Bowl running along with all the other GW games. It seemed quite popular throughout the day which was good to see. I did think about asking to play a bit of a game as they had painted Human and Orc teams. Most likely painted by the GW Army Painter team. So much better than my standard of painting but I thought I should let others get involved.
They also had the usual stands for miniature and terrain designers, artists, painters, writers and White Dwarf staff on hand for any questions.
New this year was the Paint a Model and Construction Corner (Building Terrain) areas. I got to use a fully stocked painting station on a Chaos Warrior. This included paints, brushes, GW palate paper, one of the new paint pot holders and painting handle to use. And best of all you got to keep the miniature. Although what GW would do with my effort I would rather not know.
This was great fun and I spent a couple of hours here. The typcial miniature painter experince tends to be solitary one. But here I found the communal aspect of sharing paints and brushes a welcome change. And the kind comments from on-lookers was something very different from the usual dungeon at home. Brushes for Dry brushing and water pots seemed in short supply but we all muddled through as best we could.
And finally the exhibition. This was free to enter for event attendees and is always a highlight of any visit for me. So much inspiration and excitement is gained by visiting these four special rooms. Which just happens to exit into the shop. I wonder why …
Speaking of the shop. Did I buy anything? Well of course. You cannot spend several hours in a building designed to enthuse you about lumps of plastic and resin and then not. I had a budget and stuck to it, mostly. A trip to Warhammer World always makes the wallet cry a little.
Having been lucky enough to visit Warhammer World previously I have all the mugs, and T-shirts I could want. But I did pick up the new releases for myself and fellow league members. Saving on Forge World shipping is always useful perk.
Overall a great day. I have been to the two previous New Year Open Days and this one was defently the best. The cost of the ticket was covered mostly by the entry to the exhibition alone. And the chance to see upcoming products and meet the people that make Blood Bowl related things is always a treat.
A couple of preview/painting seminars during the day would have been a great additional but I think a lack of space is the issue here.
We even got a free cup cake when we arrived. Happy 20th Anniversary Warhammer World!
Blood Bowl at Warhammer World
So what else does Warhammer World have for a Blood Bowler?
Well, they have the goods. By that I mean they have probably the most extensive Blood Bowl selection anywhere I would think. And if they don’t have it on the shelf, just ask. In the case of Forge World products, if you ask during the day they will try to have it for you by 5pm if not early. Otherwise they will ship it to you for free. A great service especially if you are making a special trip or drop in on the off-chance.
The main section for models, dice, pitches is now in Forge World. With the mugs and T-shirts in the main shop. I believe these are Warhammer World exclusive so always nice to have. Not much of a tea or coffee drinker myself but a Blood Bowl themed mug makes a great painting water pot I find.
Top tip: Just don’t accidentally drink the water!
Forge World also has a specially made mini Blood Bowl pitch. Created by Ashley Reid at GW, it is used for teaching customers the basics of the game. This is a fun item and looks great. If you ever fancied making a pitch this would be a great exanple to follow.
This is tje only Black Library shop in the world. Not the biggest bookshop you will ever visit but for fans of the lore, a must. Browse some of the background fiction, and pick out some limted editions. A couple of comfortable chairs and some Open Copy books on the table make it somewhere you could easily lose a good few hours.
Published Blood Bowl fiction is limited at best. With the novels by Matt Forbeck and the recently released Blood on the Pitch anthology really being it. A couple of copies of the new anthology book were next to a copy of the Blood Bowl Starter Box interestingly. A copy of which is currently sat in my reading pile at home. More on that at a later date …
If you need one reason to visit Warhammer World. The exhibition would be it. A benefit of going to events at Warhammer World is that usually the exhibition will be free for attendees. Normally it is around £7.50 to go in. But it is worth every penny. And more! I would have happily paid on the day if I had to. And if you don’t think you will make it back soon or ever, it is a must.
The sheer volume, scale, quality and cost (lots of miniatures) is mind blowing. For anyone who has ever built or painted a miniature from Games Workshop, you will instantly appreciate the effort required to fill these exhibition rooms with hobby awesomeness.
Blood Bowl is represented but is limited to only two small cases showing two matches in progress. And then a cabinet with the newly released teams from 2016 onwards with the original Blood Bowl trophy in the middle.
Noteworthy here are the two Blood bowl pitches used in the dioramas. These were photographed and used as the basis of the pitches supplied in the 2016 box release. And they are real works of art. Complete with some appropriately battered looking sideline advertising boards (an idea which I have already borrowed for my local league).
It might be interesting to use the two moments displayed as the start of a ‘What If’ scenario to see what would happen next. Setup a board as close as possible to the diorama and then play out the drive. One for the future perhaps.
The extent of the range of miniatures and paint styles on display in the exhibition means that inspiration is fully on show. I like to look for new and interesting paint schemes for future projects. The armies of the 40th millennium and the Age of Sigmar provide quite a spectical, with lots of ideas in every case. The Golden Demon winners on display are also worth a look. A chance to see how the real hobby champions do it. The odd Blood Bowl model might be lurking in there too.
And as is tradition, no visit to Bugman’s Bar is complete without a pint of Blitzer’s Best. Or at least I would have done if they had not run out. Supposedly it was also a cherry flavoured one. Not very Blood Bowl if you ask me. So I opted for the Orca Cola instead (cola drink). Hmmm… maybe next time I should ask for an Orca Cola and see what I get. A funny look most likely.
They had a special New Year Open Day menu. So no Blood Bowl themed items as they have had previously. I believe you could take the Bob Bifford’s challenge which consisted of a plate fit for an Ogre, pilled high with food. Receiving a certificate for finishing it all in 30 minutes. It might still be available on normal days. Check before you travel on that one.
And Finally …
Well that was all the Blood Bowl I could spot. I haven’t covered the other systems from Games Workshop. Others more involved can do that better than I. But hopefully this has given you an idea what Warhammer World is all about for a Blood Bowler.
Already looking forward to the next Open Day at Warhammer World and I might just see you there.
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