I had a spare couple of hours this morning, so I thought I’d pop ‘up the road’ (that being a 35-40 minute drive up the M1) to the grand opening weekend of the Warlord Games HQ Store.
I eventually found the place, having originally been misdirected by the sat-nav into a cul-de-sac in a side street (apparently, the car park I was aiming for was only yards away…just the other side of an 10′ brick wall).
The shop is in a group of buildings which make up the Warlord offices and factory – North Star Figures’s building is just across the car park.
It’s actually a surprisingly small place – being made all the smaller by quite a number of fellow gamers who were wandering around looking for a bargain.
As you can imagine, considering Warlord Games catalogue, the shelves are packed full of miniatures. Bolt Action takes up one entire wall, with the other two walls divided between Hail Caesar, Black Powder, Beyond the Gates of Antares and Konflikt ’47 – with various Army Painter goods scattered throughout the store, and the odd shelf dedicated to other games such a Doctor Who, Frostgrave or Project Z.
I managed to have a brief chat with Martin, the store manager. The store has been open since the start of December, and had initially been quite quiet, though it has seen a steady increase in custom as more people have begun to realise its existence – obviously this weekend has made something of a splash. The ‘big day’ was yesterday, when they also had the events hall open – this is where they were putting on demo games etc. Today was a much more low-key affair, but they kept the ‘Grand Opening’ discount offer available for the entire weekend.
Martin is also the events manager for Warlord. The intention is to hold regular events at Warlord HQ to tie in with new product releases – for example, there is a plan for an event to launch the Operation Sealion book for Bolt Action – there will be a limited edition miniature available for the event.
The shop has a good stock, with the added advantage that if you were after something specific, one of the helpful staff could just nip out to the warehouse and get it. A short but pleasant visit was only tarnished by the inordinate amount of time spent queuing to pay – apparently they are still having issues with the store till – although this gave time to have a quick chat with other customers in the queue, and arrange an exchange of plastic sprues from our goodie bags.
I think if you played any of Warlord Games products, and were local to the area, I could see this being a regular place to visit.
So, did I buy anything?
When I arrived, my only thought was to pick up some new paint brushes. On top of that, I ended up with some glue and paint. However, the big surprise was to find a copy of the new version of ‘Escape from Colditz’ by Osprey Games included in the opening weekend sale.
For me, this is not somewhere likely to become a regular place to visit, simply because I don’t play Warlord’s games (Battlefield Hobbies is much better in this respect) but it’s worth a look if you are in the area.