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Warhammer Fest 2023: Thoughts?

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What are your personal thoughts and opinions about this year edition? In general, I mean.


I wasn't present in the physical event, but the ambient look great. And about the presentations I have mixed feelings. I hoped to see more things (specially in Horus Heresy and WFB. WFB was quite disappointing...) and I was sad when I saw nothing for Necromunda, because I'm an avid player an miniature collector of this game, but I'm quite satisfied in general (Kill Team boxes showed are very juicy. The big one is awesome for Necromunda also.) And quite surprised, I must admit, with lack of info leaks this year. Maybe GW's has learn to cut them off. I think some webs and channels are not happy about that.


What are your's?

Edited by AGRAMAR
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I've no interest in Marines or Tyranids, so only seeing Leviathan did nothing for me. I think the Tyranids look pretty good though and the Marines are... well, Marines, I can see why people who collect those would be excited for it.


Other than that, the actual details of 10th in action also seem pretty damn thin on the ground, so it doesn't feel like we know much more now versus what we did on Friday. The lack of any reveals for any releases beyond Leviathan was a bit of a disappointment, if not unexpected.


Age of Sigmar I won't spend too long talking about, but they got a pretty decent spread of reveals. I don't think many people were expecting more than Cities of Sigmar, so only getting the one CoS reveal and then a new narrative series, plus confirmation of many new models coming soon was a big, pleasant surprise. The Harbinger of Decay also looked amazing and may be the best model they've shown all year.


Myself and I think a lot of others didn't go into the Horus Heresy preview expecting more than the two resin characters to be shown off. So getting a plastic Cerastus, Assault Marine CADs, a roadmap and MKIII rescales was definitely a surprise. Probably the biggest twist of Fest for me, and I still ended up being surprised how negative the reaction was from a lot of people.


Kill Team was a bit of an unknown just because it seemed a bit early for Season 3. An Inquisition Kill Team is probably the most requested and I'm quite happy with the amount of options it looks like you get, plus the ability to include members of other factions. The Chaos side of things was more of a let down though, considering the new Cultists would have been a great candidate to receive an upgrade sprue given how samey they all look for a horde unit. Granted, it at least means they'll go for cheap on Ebay.


Overall I'd probably give it a 7/10.

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I went on saturday and monday as I live local.  I'm not into the hobby, only the BL/lore side of things.  Which basically made it a waste of time.  But tbf it was never said to be a BL event - but it did feel like a missed opportunity that we didn't have a BL reveal in the auditorium.


Also the shop barely had any BL books ... what a wasted opportunity.


The cosplay was pretty cool though, the Horus and Necron in particular! 

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My last experience of a WH event like this was Games Day at the NEC back when the current assault Terminator box came out. That had more going on (for example there was a BL section and I got my Sabbat campaign book signed by Mr Abnet).


I took my 8yr old to this one and he said he loved it but the queues for everything took the shine off for me. He wanted to paint something but we were told the wait was 1.5hrs. I would have liked to have tried 10th but no way was I going in a 3 hour queue. 

The thing that annoyed me most was that there was even a slow moving queue to look in the GD cabinets! Surely they can come up with a way to display those better.


Enjoyed the cosplay going on but skipped the game announcements as was with my son. 

A friend was in the casual 40K comp and that area was great to wander around.


I wish the shop was better. Maybe having old exclusives for sale. I also wish there’d been a decent merchandise shop rather than just a small table of random stuff. I went in fully expecting to buy my son a tyranid t-shirt but there wasn’t even the opportunity to do so!


The licensed games bit was smaller than expected and was sad to see no update on SM2. 


The location itself was decent and the catering was good.


Not sure I’d go again next year if I’m honest but overall, thanks to my son’s enthusiasm, it was a good day.

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Overall, I’d say Warhammer Fest was underwhelming. I’m glad I went, and if it’s back in Manchester I’ll likely go again, but with different expectations. I bought a weekend ticket on the basis that it was taking place locally and I could pop in an out in accordance with when thing’s interested me. I also bought tickets for the screening, quiz and Scrap Demon. I can understand why these were ticketed events, kind of- people who’ve paid are more likely to attend and it’s better to have full seats than empty, but I’m left seriously unimpressed by the value-for-money of the first two. Details were sketchy at time of announcement, but I assumed more would be announced nearer the time- I was mainly hoping for some BL content, if not author seminars, at the very least a ‘Coming Soon’ panel. 


As I’ve said elsewhere, showed up on the Saturday morning at about 10 and left soon after largely due to the overwhelming queues. Not that I was joining them, just that they dominated the initial entry area. The whole thing seemed somewhat chaotic- there were no venue maps/schudlues available on entry and the wristbands issued were one-day ones. Returned later in the day and it was much more pleasant, had a decent look around and bought things painlessly. 


Returned in the evening for the quiz, which while I enjoyed, the more I think about it, the less good it was- especially when you consider the price. It was, frankly amateur- I’d expect better from a local pub, let alone an event costing a tenner a head. The answer sheets were pages torn from a notebook rather than printed forms. No writing surfaces were provided. The questions were *great*, and the hosting was pretty good (they could have perhaps tried to facilitate the formation of teams beyond saying “go make new friends” a few times), but the display of the questions could have been clearer and, annoyingly, the round numbers were out of sequence- this is a paid-for event so I’d expect better. The ticket sales page said “We’re even spicing things up with mini games and spot prizes throughout the night, to keep you on your toes.”, but this didn’t happen at any point. The prizes for the first three teams looked great, but considering they were all GW products and effectively ‘free’ to provide the price of the ticket didn’t really justify them either. 


I returned Sunday evening for the Warhammer+ screening, which consisted of the three existing episodes of Blacktalon, all of The Exodite, Iron Within and a previously unseen AoS episode of Hammer and Bolter. Blacktalon got a very brief introduction but beyond that, nothing. It was great seeing them on the big screen, and they all sounded fantastic but again I didn’t really feel like I got anything near value for money. I believe the venue has other rooms that could have been used; so I’m not sure why this sort of thing wasn’t playing in a side room on a loop throughout the weekend instead? A bit more exclusive content, either an early preview or an introduction for each feature, either pre-recorded or delivered from stage and have been much happier having paid and I’m already a Warhammer+ subscriber.


The Hobby Challenge, or Scrap Demon, was great though. I arrived at about 9, when the initial pile of available sprues mainly consisted of thermic plasma conduits. However, the joke was on everyone else who nabbed the so-called good stuff because I *love* building things from thermic plasma conduits. I spent a good three hours building a tower from these and some of the Adeptus Titanicus buildings (another good kit) but eventually the glue fumes got to me so I popped over to the Warhammer Alliance teachers event, specifically the SEND bit while my creation got sprayed. Genuinely useful and has inspired me to maybe set something up next year. Returned to the Scrap Demon area only to be overwhelmed by tiredness so I couldn’t build any more and staggered to the bus and home. The Hobby Challenge, unlike the other ticketed events, was perfectly run, great value for money and the sort of unique event that I couldn’t see happening in another setting. Do I wish I had bought three tickets? A bit, to be honest. 


Overall, did I enjoy Warhammer Fest? Yes.

Would I go again? If in Manchester, yes.

Did I expect more of an event run by a massive company with experience of running events? Yes. They sold three day tickets, so there really ought to be enough happening to ensure that there is enough to do on at least three separate visits. Even had I be interested in the third-party stands or demo games there wasn’t all that much there. And again, the ticketed events were pretty underwhelming and didn’t fully meet their advertised descriptions. 

Did I get £100 worth of enjoyment out of my tickets? Probably not, but I’ve got some culpability there. 


Edited by aa.logan
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It was… Ok 


Im glad I got to see all the new box set minis painted up [especially the Terminators which looked amazing] GD was great to see too but the QUEUES!! Just felt waaaaay to busy and poorly organised, way to packed in! Everything was an hour and a hour wait so didn’t bother with most of the activities on, you couldn’t get within 5 deep of GD entries without waiting an age or pushing [which I hate] There was even loads of people queuing to see the GD entries to only be told at around 2pm that it’s not an actual queue so don’t bother


So yeh I’m 50/50 on the whole thing really, poorly ran but good too see the minis when you eventually got a chance 

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Well I was disappointed with the event. 

Having been to many past events including games days at both NEC and NIA in Birmingham and the Warhammer Fest in Coventry this was a massive let down.

The queues for doing anything were ridiculous and there wasn't enough going on if you didn't fancy three plus hours in line.

Previous events you could talk to the designers,  authors, 'Eavy Metal painters, artists and all sorts. There was none of that here. We only went on the Saturday and there was no Scrap Daemon, something I've always enjoyed but it had been replaced with a Hang Out and paint thing which was an extra ticket which could only be purchased in advanced. 

The Demo Area for 10th was way too small for the number of people, and the sales area was a shambles, poorly laid out and it was just a scrum followed by another hour or so queuing to pay. I'm sure any number of people just walked away without paying there was just no organisation. It reminded me of the very worst of the Games Day Forgeworld scrums.

The sales area didn't even have much in the way of direct only or Forgeworld which would be a big draw for some.


On a positive note though the reveals were nice and I do like most of the stuff they showed off. I didn't get to go to any of the seminars but the reveals were shown on tellies around the venue.


The third party exhibitors were great having a far more professional set up than GW themselves and the cosplayers were awesome. Foe me the 28mm s ale AT game was a highlight chatting and being inspired by their passion and talents.


We did spend a bit of time walking around the GTs that were going on looking at the armies and by the Emperor there's a talented bunch out there. If you were one of them I take my hat off to you.


All in all I think this was the last of these I'd go to, I'd prefer the smaller events at Warhammer World 





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Just to echo the sales area issue! It was indeed bedlam! Me and the friend i went with managed to eventually grab a few HQ’s and then went to have a look at the Box set releases completely forgetting to go and pay first, luckily we’re both honest and then queued up about 20mins to pay because not a single person saw or cared! 

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I dread to think how many things will have been stolen from that shop!  I did see a token security guard on the final day, but for some reason he was stationed at the very front of the shop's queue rather than patrolling the shop floor.  Perhaps that was why the range was so sparse for such a large event - I'm sure they didn't want to put their more high valued items in such an unsecure environment.  

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Didn't go so can only comment on the reveals, but aside from 40k I thought it was (predictably, sadly) underwhelming. For an online preview or a third party event I think this would have been fine - but for GWs flagship event which is billed as the ultimate celebration of the hobby, I don't think it was enough, and obviously them having to lead with Leviathan meant that everything else felt like an afterthought.


In some cases I even felt it was a bit tonedeaf; like including MESBG as a featured game for a diorama that has no use in said game, or showing resin characters for Old World when what people want to see is some evidence that there will be proper plastic support for that system. Starting AoS's end-of-edition campaign arc without any sign of the last unupdated faction (Flesheater Courts), and yet more single character models for factions that are already absolutely packed with them (Fyreslayers, Gloomspite Gitz).


Cities of Sigmar preview including just a single unit when it's being trailed as a big update and is the next big release after Seraphon felt lightweight, Warcry was effectively nothing new because Nightmare Quest was leaked a month ago (I know this isn't GWs fault but they could have thrown in something else to mitigate that). Even carving Kill Team off into its own preview instead of leaving it with skirmish games felt crap given how little was revealed (a single kit, albeit a welcome and long overdue one). I also have absolutely no patience for "teases" at a big reveal event you had people pay to attend. Either announce Epic, or don't. Either announce the next KT season or don't. 


In terms of positives, the Cerastus Lancer was a good surprise, the Harbinger of Decay was arguably the best model of the lot, confirmation that plastic HH Assault Marines are actually coming, and each system getting a roadmap for the next 6-12 months was welcome, even in 40k where in practice that means a lot of people being told your faction isn't getting updated for at least a year.


Overall, C- must try harder.








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I was there to play in the heresy event. This was kind of a shambles to be honest, with one poor guy trying to run it for something like 50 players. Fun features included a briefing in which they didn't tell us either the mission we were playing or the special thing we had to do to earn loyalty/traitor points. These were communicated by him walking round all the games and telling us how to score them during the game. In game 1 we had started by this point and my Warlord was outflanking, only to learn that he had to stand in the middle of the board to earn points. My opponent kindly let me redeploy. All four games followed this pattern.


Then in game 2 I was drawn against the same opponent. A couple of other players weren't feeling well and the resulting confusion took an hour to resolve before I could finally start playing. For a while they had me paired against two people, who therefore had to work out what to field as half their armies, only for a second person to feel unwell so one of them went again.


On day two for the doubles they first had to explain what the rules for playing doubles 30k were, because they hadn't put anything in the pack. These were shouted from the front, at the dozens of people trying to hear over assorted other announcements going on.


I might have actually got more loyalty points than anyone else and won something but I don't know, because we weren't going to wait another two hours after the game ended to find out. They've got my email address so maybe I'll hear something. There's no way to check because the email address they gave in the pack doesn't work.


The rest of the show seemed kind of mad. As I was playing in an event I didn't join any three-hour queues so can't really comment on GD or the new 40k. Food was good and the cosplayers seemed to be having fun. I decided to pay for the things I bought, though apparently that was optional, and actually quite difficult to do, though by waiting till our games were finished I at least missed the queue. Watched some of the preview stuff on screens with no sound that were positioned around the gaming areas, so that would have been better at home.


I think Fest tried to do everything: a gaming event, reveals, trade and fun stuff to do. It didn't manage any of these all that well. I'd actually been at Salute, which is run by my little gaming club in South London, the week before. We had over six thousand people through the doors and it was a great success. It was interesting to compare an event run by amateurs for the love of the game with one run by understaffed "professionals" doing it for money. Salute was far better, though admittedly it didn't involve tournaments.

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Agree on the above, the Heresy tourney was poorly managed, the one guy trying to deal with 50 players, he was judge, jury and executioner with no other support. He did what he couldn and was really nice, but his boss let him down in a big way. At least one of the many, many judges in the AoS/40k tourney could have been brought over to support.


Similarly, nothing was explained, the painting comp on day 1 was nixxed in favour of judge nominations and they didn't even make it round to see all armies. 


Overall, I had a good time at the event, but you really had to make your own fun by chatting with people. If you didn't have a ticket for an event/seminar, there's really only half a day's worth of stuff to see. I would reccomend taking part in a tourney, or one of the paint classes, or other to get your money's worth. 


The reveals being at 9am were bonkers, as people were setting up for the tourneys, and the single day ticket people hadn't even been allowed in by that point, additionally the above not having enough space for 10th ed demos, the shop etc. 

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I was there on the Sunday for the heresy doubles event and I can only echo what people have said about how badly it was organised, despite the best efforts of the poor guy who’d been left to run it. The player pack had almost no info in it about the event.


As for the rest of the fest, the queues were ridiculous. Three hours to try the new edition? That’s just a joke. Everything had huge queues, even just buying stuff from the shop. 

There also wasn’t as much there as at previous events. At other Warhammer feats they’ve had designers there to chat to and studio painters doing small demos etc. It was only the fact they had the tournament on that meant they even needed a large space. If it hadn’t been for that they could’ve fit most of it in Warhammer world.

In short, the only reason you might’ve needed a three day pass was if the queue you were in ran until the next day.


On the plus side, the heresy reveal showed off far more than I was expecting which was good.

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I was there all weekend and I’ll start by saying that I did have a great weekend, and I got to play 10th edition, but the people made it what it was, the community were amazing and were it not for that fact, I think I’d have stayed home on the Monday


Put some thoughts on video, inc some quick 10th edition views 



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I was planning on sticking up a lengthier post, however I think I'll just summarise my issues with the event.


  • Long Days
    • 8AM to 8PM is a pretty ludicrous length of time for a convention, particularly one that doesn't have masses to do.
  • Overemphasis on Tournament/Gaming
    • The tournament / gaming space took up half the main venue hall; space that would have been better served as seating for attendees, stall / vendor space, demo spaces, etc. That said, the whole affair largely reeked of Mike Brandt importing unwanted American-style events to the UK given his background in running NOVA.
  • Queuing Issues
    • I know we're infamous for our ability to queue in the UK, but holy hell was it rough. Store wasn't large enough to process the queues quickly enough, the demo space didn't have enough room / staff, etc. Seminars were rough, but not massively bad if you turned up thirty minutes to an hour early. The sole exception was the Heresy x Old World seminar, which myself and a buddy had the foresight to start queieing for two hours early.
  • Store Security
    • Security at the store for the first two days was diabolical; anyone could walk in / out without paying. After a Chaos Warhound was accidentally smashed to bits on Sunday and stolen before staff could respond it seems as if Games Workshop leaned on the venue staff to do a better job, as they had added extra railings and uniformed security staff on Monday.
  • Stock Issues
    • Some fairly critical stuff to the range missing, but not entirely unsurprising given the last few months. To their credit, the Games Workshop staff were incredibly helpful here; if something wasn't out in the store they'd check the back for you, and 7/10 they'd have it. Even wandering through the queue to check if people had everything they wanted.
  • Auditorium Capacity
    • Venue limitations meant that the auditorium capacity was pretty low, sitting around 750-800 seats. This wasn't counting the 80 plus seats set aside for the Golden Ticket holders, which were completely empty until the Heresy x Old World seminar when Adam Troke started filling them up with attendees still queuing outside so they wouldn't miss out.
  • Golden Ticket holders
    • Pretty disgusting system to implement, and one that drew quite a bit of flak from the rest of the attendees; particularly those queuing up for the seminars. There wasn't a great deal of clarity on what they could / couldn't skip, and it seems as if a lot of the staff weren't properly informed either.
  • Q&As not recorded/summarised
    • Really ought to have been recorded, rather than cutting the streams out at the end of the previews; consequently, you had Eddie Eccles wandering the Twitter-sphere on Monday and Tuesday clarifying answers that people had misunderstood/misinterpreted. Write-ups in future are definitely preferential.
  • Screen Accessibility Issues
    • There were a handful of screens dotted around the venue (primarily in the far corners near the tournament space) that were intended for broadcasting the seminars. This didn't go to plan, unfortunately.
  • Absence of Design Teams
    • Another event has passed without anyone from the design teams present (willful exclusion?); this earnestly takes a lot of the appeal out of the event overall, as the old Q&A seminars and walk-ups were hugely successful at past events.
  • Lack of Activities
    • Wasn't really enough to engage attendees past the demo table and seminars; the stores and stalls were nice, but there simply wasn't enough of them.
  • Absence of Major Licensed Partners
    • Ignoring the absence of licensed merchandise, a number of major partners were completely absent from the event in part or totality; Fatshark lacked any sort of stall, Saber Interactive are completely MIA (not surprising given they've pulled a lot of staff off of projects like SM2 to focus on KOTOR Remake), Creative Assembly weren't present at all, etc.
  • Lack of support for industry engagement (TOC)
    • Probably the one that vexes me the most; the Titan Owner's Club, despite being a massive draw, had little to no support. From the conversations I had with them they didn't have loading bay access / access to the car park underneath, so they were forced to cart in everything they were using bit by bit, and there was no support in so far as providing water or food to them.
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4 hours ago, Ubiquitous1984 said:


AB with his own review.



Sounds like having influencer ("creator") privileges was very relevant in his ability to enjoy the event.

Good for him, but irrelevant or negative when it comes to reviewing the overall experience and actually influencing my interest in future Fests...

Edited by Allart01
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On 5/5/2023 at 5:51 PM, Allart01 said:


Sounds like having influencer ("creator") privileges was very relevant in his ability to enjoy the event.

Good for him, but irrelevant or negative when it comes to reviewing the overall experience and actually influencing my interest in future Fests...

That’s what I mostly took away from the video also 

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On 5/7/2023 at 1:05 PM, WARMASTER_ said:

That’s what I mostly took away from the video also 

To play devils advocate, and I know you aren’t referring to me, but just thought I’d add that my video review is based on me paying for a 3 day weekend pass out of my own pocket, and just going as a punter, despite having a YouTube channel etc.


I didn’t have any content creator privileges, and still enjoyed it for the most part, with some constructive criticism, unlike some of the clickbait rants I’ve seen by people who I spoke to at the event and were gushing over it, then went home and made a video title with the words Warhammer Fest and OMG DISASTER in it. 

Edited by Cyrox
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i didnt go but from what i saw from pics and videos they needed to triple (at a minimum) the number of demo tables. 


I also think that they need to start involving their community more, one of the best parts of Salute (south london wargamers show) is that there are dozens of big games being run by loads of different gaming clubs from all over the country. 


GW needs to get over the designer debacle. Sure a few years ago some designers got heavy flak from some community members who may or may not have serious social developmental issues and dont know how to act. So they stopped putting their names out there on what they worked on. But they need to bring it back, again at Salute, you have all the warlord games team there sculptors, artists, Fatbloke (thats for the oldies) etc and you can chat and look at what they are working on they show how they do their digital and physcial sculpting, you can see the 3 up minis etc. 


painting needs to be a thing again, speed painting, masterclasses, etc the Evier metal guys (again at salute) and duncan rhodes all had booths for painting activities and were filled all day.


They used to do a big table where they piled sprues on and you could just start clipping at random and build a mini many years ago that was again really popular way to kill some time. 


i think GWs isolationism in the industry is hurting them.  i KNOW they want you to buy their stuff but this isnt 20 years ago where they were bascially the only gig in town theres a whole industry built around their wargame and its time they started to reach out and embrace it, look at more licencing like MDF scenery, battle mats, etc (i know this wouldnt ever happen but i can dream)


on the subject of tickets. i have no problem with their tiered tickets as they will help pay for the event. You want to drop a grand on a ticket go for it just dont put yourself in financial trouble.  

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