[Archive] What I learned from Games Day


I’ll put here everything I learned, but feel free to add anything you discovered as well.

First off the queues…  If you plan on getting in early it’s well worth painting any old mini just to join the shorter queue!

Having got inside, my first port of call (after entering my mini) was the Black Library stand.  I bought a copy of Elf Slayer, and had it signed by the author Nathan Long.  I saw a poster there for the next book in the series:  Shaman Slayer.  I asked Nathan where this was set, in the Drakwald forest apparently.  It�?Ts a nice front cover, wish I�?Td taken a camera.

Whilst I happened to be in the signing area I thought I�?Td go and have a chat with Gav Thorpe�?�  Of course I had to interrogate him about Chaos Dwarfs :slight_smile: I sneakily worked them into the conversation by asking him about Grudgebearer.  The main thing I learned was that the reason he didn�?Tt include the Bull Centaurs or Hobgoblins was not because he intended to erase them from the list (or fluff).  What he was doing was trying to focus on Dwarfs V Chaos Dwarfs and not �?oconfuse people�?� by bringing in the other aspects.  The other bits he brought in; the Kollosus, daemonic machines and Immortals, was trying to develop the idea of the CD.

I asked specifically whether the exclusion of the BC & HG was because they were not coming back (just to be doubly sure), and his answer was basically semi confirming that was not what he intended.  He said the slavery angle would be present, so I�?Tm not sure whether he means in the list or the fluff?  Obviously they will remain part of the fluff.

He seemed keen to hype up the �?osplitting of the Dwarf race�?�, so the way he described it it would be pretty apocalyptic in the fluff.  I very briefly described my fluff I�?Tve written and he thought it was cool (though he would say that).  .

He has no plans to do a sequel to Grudgebearer, but might do a book on Dran the Reckoner.

He also said he had plans to do a Time of Legends series (3 books) on the Dwarf Ancestor Gods, and might do a 3 book series on the War of Vengeance as well.  Though Nick Kyme might get one of these.

Gav sounds a lot different to how I imagine him.  He has a real deep voice, much like a Dwarf actually :slight_smile:

Next up for interrogation was Andy Hoare.  Insert company line �?owe have no immediate plans, but we hope to get round to them when we have time�?� etc.  I asked why the Hellcannon was included in WoC, he said because people had invested time and money in them, and they thought it was good.  Interesting that it wasn�?Tt primarily on rules reasons.

I mentioned to him about how I was the one pushing the fluff objectives for Dwarfs and Chaos Dwarfs in the Nemesis Campaign.  He asked my forum name, when I said Grimstonefire he knew who I was…!!!  

He also said that Gav wrote the very end bit about the Dwarfs.

Onto John Blanche, potentially the most useful and most disappointing.  I didn�?Tt know he would be there, but he was very high on my list of people I wanted to talk to.  Long story short he said he was currently working about 2 years in advance of where they are at the moment, but he has not done any Chaos Dwarf art :(  HOWEVER, he said when he does do concept art he does a lot of work in a short space of time, so there is still hope for 2011.

Matt Ward said pretty much the same as Andy.

Finally Mark Bedford.  There will not be any god specific resin sets for Chaos Warriors.  I�?Tm glad he confirmed what I was thinking (incase I did a load of work), but sad there won�?Tt be a set.  There also are not many plans for Warhammer unit resins in general.  Also no resin replacements for Space Marine bikes, incase anyone was curious.

I did CDO proud and interrogated quite a few.

I’ll put up what I learned from Golden Daemon later.

Kera foehunter:

Three cheer for grimstonefire !!! he went fase to face with gav!!!

great job!!


I also spoke to Andy Hoare and got pretty much the same response (I think that’s who it was). He said that there is a will to do them among the designers in the studio. It is just a matter of when. It seems from what he was saying that the main thing is sales. The analogy he used was if we do Chaos Dwarves we would have to not do something else, and we have to go with the one that makes the most gamers happy (generates most sales). Pretty much the satndard line now, and to be fair you can’t really blame GW.

It seems that the people that we really need to convince are the top dogs. The people in charge that he mentioned were Tom Kirby and Rick Priestly, as they make decisons but havce both the corporate and gamers point of view. Perhaps they are the ones that we need to send any petitions to.

Godbob and his jolly rogers:

hip-hip hurray,hip-hip hurray,hip-hip- hurray :cheers


Agreed. Excellent job GSF. Basically most of the guys at GW are lock-step and are repeating the company line.

So what do we do? What we have been doing. Keep focusing on our initiatives that are out there to help keep our visibility high.


well done Grimmy. sounds like it was a full day for you! and excellent that Andy knew who you were! good stuff :slight_smile:

what we should do is send the WOH to people at GW… since it’s so incredible looking :slight_smile: they’ll see we mean business!


Well done Grim, that was interesting to read.


Amazing work dude! Love the pseudo-interview with Gav!

Uzkul Werit:

Splitting of the Dwarf race could mean more converts to Hashut!


Its a mark of how well we’ve done that they have a company line on Chaos Dwarfs! A few years ago we’d just have been laughed at. Does anyone have Rick’s email. I reckon he’s our best bet.


I have 2 or 3 direct contacts at GW… unfortunately wihtout their permission, I cannot give them out. I can always forward any pertenant discussions to them though… :slight_smile:


That was a great read thanks Grim.


@ THT: when the next Word of Hashut comes out, send it over to them, with our compliments :wink:


I will do that Sojourn. Please also remind when it is out, in case I don’t see it, or forget about it… (wink)


yep, games day was good I got pretty much the same comments as mr grimstonefire, except the I know you bit

I had a chat with nick kyme too, about general workings, me knowing him (he used to work at the local store, good old grimsby) he said he general bit but he was looking forward to the chaos dwarf bit, and since I trust him, thats as good as a cinfirmation for me

oh, and for everyone who went to games day, dontcha think the thunderfire canon looks like a good earthshaker/bunch of bolt throwers without the canapy

oh, and there was some artwork of an evil dwarf at the art stand


Art stand as in something someone had entered in the Art comp?

BTW I saw 2 CD in Golden Daemon; a nice CD lord based on the older White Dwarf (holding the hat one), and a Bull Centaur with a half track for legs?

What did I learn about Golden Daemon then?

The only other time I went to Games Day was 1998, little did I think 10 years later I�?Td be entering Golden Daemon.  Back in those days all the entries looked awesome to me, so I can�?Tt really compare then to now directly.

I have learned several things though that I will remember well for next year�?�

Firstly, and most importantly, the overall quality of entries was lower than I had expected.  I have always dreamed of Golden Daemon as being the home of painters with god like skills, at best I would say most of the entries were flawed in some way (some more than others), and very few were what I would call an awesome entry.  This was very surprising to me, and without meaning to sound modest means I may well be in with a genuine chance to win something one day!

By flawed I mean painting, converting, basing, or the actual choice of entry/ category itself.  The painting on many of those in the �?~Finalists�?T cabinets was only good.  Good painting will not win statues.  Converting flaws were shown more in the vehicle, monster and duel categories IMO.  Bad planning basically, which I also saw countless times in the choice of the models to enter.  Certain types of model will stand a better chance of winning in certain categories (IMO).  For instance one of the Warhammer monster winners included a very nice giant, the only giant entered.  The bigger the model, the better the chances to show decent painting techniques.  Other finalists in this category included for instance a couple things on small mounts (can�?Tt remember exactly).  The choice of mini is especially important for that initial wow factor.  The Warhammer regiment was a classic example.  A bunch of ogres on a decent base!  Very nice painting.  Compared to some wolf riders, or some hammerers.  Which do you think will win higher?  The 40k single mini was also a good example.  Most of the finalists had long flowing cloaks, most of them SM or CSM.  A few Skulltakers, and a few of the Games Day model from last year in both single mini comps.  The Duel had some really wierd entries that were obviously never going to win because of the way they had been converted… and yet they made it into the finalists cabinet???  

The second most important thing I noticed was the ratio of entries to winners in each category.  The Warhammer single miniature had roughly 120 entries (rough guess), of which about 20 got through as finalists, and about 12 had the mysterious green stickers (including mine).  This was similar to 40k Single mini.

Compare this to the Duel, which had probably more like 20 entries (roughly, with about 5 finalists), the Warhammer Monster (similar to Duel, but more like 8 finalists roughly), and the Large Model/ Open (say 10 entries, I think there were 4 finalists).  Warhammer Regiment was similar to Warhammer Monster.

Can�?Tt remember any of the others, and all those numbers are only rough guesses.  But you can see that in certain categories if you do a VERY good job on it you stand a much higher chance of winning.

So next year I will increase my chances of winning by entering several categories.  Duel will be a good start, also Warhammer Monster.  I may enter the Warhammer Single mini again, this time with a mounted model.  Lastly I may actually enter the 40k monster.  I have ideas for what I will do in all these categories, but they will remain secret for a long time :wink:

Another interesting thing was the lack of specialised painting techniques; source lighting and NMM, much to my amazement!?!?

I learned a lot about the flaws in my model based on the other finalists.  I think the idea of trying to copy an existing piece of art was good in principle, but flawed in practice.  Sure I captured the essential character of it, but I was also tied down doing microscopic details and painting that may have been close to the artwork but actually looked like mistakes if you didn�?Tt happen to have the art next to it.  The basing and flies on my model were classic examples of this, if I hadn�?Tt have been trying to copy the artwork I would have left off the flies and done a much nicer base.

So I won�?Tt attempt to reproduce a piece of artwork again, but I will almost definitely use existing artwork for reference.

Another crucial lesson for me was that you need to allow at least 150 hours to complete an entry (depending on size of entry and converting).  I used to read that in the GD booklet and think ‘yeah right, as if it took that long…’  Famous last words…  When you’re up at 3am on Golden Daemon morning despite having started your SINGLE mini about 8 weeks earlier you really feel annoyed :frowning:

I learned something that was very reassuring for me.  Firstly that when I push myself to the limit I can achieve a very nice model, well beyond what I thought I was capable of.  Secondly that my painting is good enough to get me into the final round.  I always thought painting was my weakest area, so I was very happy about that.

When somebody loads up the pics of the finalists, you may notice as I did that the quality of painting comes before all other sensible factors for judging; an interesting mini, a decent base, a realistically sized weapon. So IMO the judging is not really that fair.  Anyway, I�?Tll let you all be the judges of that.

A couple of other things I learned:

Take your mini over to the painting tables (as in the big square of tables) to touch up any chips of paint before entering the model.  I borrowed some paint and a brush off some guy who happened to have them at the table with all the glue, forgetting of course all the stuff in the next hall.  Words wouldn�?Tt describe the neglect that poor brush was suffering�?�

The cabinets should be spaced much further apart IMO.  Dozens of people crowded round a couple of metres is never going to work.


have you posted a link of your entry somewhere Grimmy? I’d love to see it. sounds like you had a good showing! to the finals and everything! wow. congrats! :slight_smile:

although it doesn’t sound as impressive as I thought it would be, based on your account. I too thought that the calibre of painting would be unattainable by most mortal standards, and the judging does seem biased, as composing a mini and based and converting are just as important as painting really.

but that’s not to take away from your efforts! I’m happy for you and your achievement! :slight_smile:


To enter Golden Daemon takes little skill actually. Anybody can enter a mini, I don’t think they prejudge them to decide who is allowed to enter. Just paint a mini and join the short queue!

That I didn’t see any stupid or terrible entries might be because people expect only the best to win, and have respect for the competition?

Winning is an entirely different matter though.

Heres a link to him unpainted. When I can bring myself to look at this mini again I’ll take some photos of him painted :wink:

Ghrask Dragh:

The first time I entered I entered a mini that I hadn’t painted for the competition but a mini that I just picked up from my desk because I ran out of time (gotrek) and made it to the finals :smiley: however when I tried to do the same again the second time (not on purpose but poor time keeping skills again :mad) I got my butt kicked, the only finalist mini I got was in the diorama cat’.

I agree that some categories are easier to win than others, I remember there was some pretty big mistakes on my entry for the diorama. I also agree that you could do well Grim’, I’m not surprised at all you got a finalist badge (how cool are they :D) I think you should really go for it next year!

Can’t wait to see your entry painted :cheers


On a slightly related note, I spoke to Jervis briefly - he saw my Chaos Dwarfs Online shirt, and remarked that he was given one at Games Day Baltimore in a hit and run attack, and then wore it to work. Pretty cool, heh.

My magnetic travel 40k was also shown around, and eventually I was walked over to the Golden Daemon area (where I saw your entry Grim, nice work) and several pictures were taken of it. The resident German photographer Markus also came over and took a picture of me with it, so with luck we’ll be getting some publicity on the website thanks to the shirt.