View Full Version : Has anyone ever played a demo game in a GW store?

06-03-2011, 23:25
Here's my dilemma. I haven't played a game of Warhammer since 5th or 6th edition and I'm rusty on the rules at best. I've collected and painted a 1000 point army under 8th edition army composition and would like to give it a whirl and brush up on my warhammer knowledge before I join a gaming club of vets.

Problem is, many of the friends I used to play with have moved on and got lives and so I don't actually know anyone else who plays Warhammer.

I was thinking of going to a GW store and having a demo game with one of the staff. Has anyone ever done this before? I assume most of the demo games they run are with little kiddies, so am I going to feel stupid as a 20-something being patronised by a GW staffer? What are the chances of me taking my 1000 point army and picking up a game with another customer in the store?

My local will be the Oxford Street branch in Central London, btw.

06-03-2011, 23:28
Did it at the release of 7th, and it was no problem. The guys in store generally are happy to tailor your experience to your level, so be honest with them, and you should have a laugh.

(My experience was in the Nottingham Friar Lane store)

06-03-2011, 23:37
I would say the best way to get to grips with the rules is, find a local gaming club and ask if people are willing to play some games with you.
Especially since one game isn't going to cut it. =p
Or just sit down in a GW store to paint some models and eventually you'll get talking with other people around the table.
That's generally how I find people to play with.

About the demo's, the only people I see who do the demo's are people who have no idea what the game is, or indeed, little kids who just started playing.

07-03-2011, 00:15
as someone who has run over 2000 demo games for people in the 5 years of working for gw, i'd say go for it. Trick to getting the best result is to give them a ring before hand, explain your a lapsed player and your thinking of returning to the hobby. Book an hour to go in and play, the guys will love you for it.

07-03-2011, 01:59
Agree with Herm.

Staff members love having an 'excuse' to play an actual game, even if it's just to give you a run down of the rules and show you what's in and out.

And if a Staffer is having fun it tends to mean that the other player/s are also having a great time.

Just explain this isn't an introduction into the hobby for you, but instead a return. A staff member will do a very different game when it's being run as a demo, as opposed to an introductory game.

07-03-2011, 08:45

If you're in Central London then come down to the Clapham Gaming club on a thursday night. Plenty of people there will be happy to run you through the mechanics of the game, and will take their time. Hell I'll do it myself in a few weeks - far more fun doing it over a beer than in a GW store!

07-03-2011, 11:16
i got back into warhammer last june, went into GW and got a intro game and then asked if i could have another intro game but with 1000pts of my army vs the stores, so i could get a hang of playing with somthing that wasnt skull pass.

you will find as well that the staffers will change their attatude dependant on your age, so you wont get the patronising ' AND THIS IS A GOBLIN , HES ALL RED EYED AND MAD D:' , you will get spoken to as an adult unless you really want to get the proper intro game treatment =p

also theres nothing wrong with turning up at a GW gaming club night and just saying ' ive never played before' and asking for a pickup game. i did this for a good few weeks after my intro games, and nobody minds you looking into a rulebook or asking how somthing works (:

Nomrana Est
07-03-2011, 11:42
Yes, I have played a demo in a GW store. It was a pretty useful way to get into the hobby, and the staffer was a damn nice guy.

I would suggest calling them beforehand, explaining that you've had a hiatus, and would like to get back into the hobby. They should speak and explain to you in a more approriate way, and I'm sure that they'd rather play and speak to somebody in a more adult way than to the many kiddies that they invariably have to deal with.

07-03-2011, 17:24
I've played a lot of demo games in GW stores.

Of course, I was the one in the red shirt at the time...

If the Redshirt is anything like I was, they'll be happy to meet you at your level and play a game with you. If you end up buying something at the end, they'll be even happier (because they'll be able to justify it to the manager). :)

07-03-2011, 20:26
I hadn't played Fantasy since towards the end of 6th and got an intro game around the time 8th was about to come out.

Was fun and useful and the staff member really helped me get back into it.

Fired off a quick email to GW customer support commending him (and pointing out that I'd placed a bigass order as a result)

Emperor's Grace
07-03-2011, 22:20
I played a BFG demo at the store whilst in my late twenties.

The storekeep didn't seem to mind at all (though I did make sure to come at a quieter time).

He taught me rules but left me on my own for tactics (and beat me soundly). I still bought the box. :D

08-03-2011, 00:24
ah good times......I remember my first demo game very well...it was a small game of empire vs orcs and then I ended up playing both of them. In 40k it was smurfs vs nids and I went and played IG.

I hadnt realized managers give redshirts the eye if they do demo games...

New Cult King
08-03-2011, 00:36
Once, a long time ago, because I had a friend interested in starting 40K. He enjoyed the game, but didn't start it up due to the cost factor...

10-03-2011, 12:57
My ex went for a demo game once, she thought the staff were great compared to most other retail stores and totally not what she was expecting.

I tend to agree, putting a hobby like ours straight on the high street with full window displays takes some doing, and takes a lot of social effort to give people a positive opinion of it. I actually find GW's retail approach within it's stores to be quite similar to Apple's in terms of products on the walls, entire centre area dedicated to playing with them, plenty of knowledgeable staff etc.

The worst gaming stores tend to be the ones where the staff *aren't* the chirpy, chatty redshirt types that everyone on warseer apparently hates and instead just have some fat bearded guy staring at you in silence from behind the counter.

New Cult King
10-03-2011, 23:37
It depends on the customer. If I go into a GW to buy five pots of paint and a specific mini, I don't want the new releases forced down my throat along with excited babble about how awesome *insert new unit* is.

I also strongly dislike one particular GW store, because I had been shopping there for years, the staff knew me by name and what armies I collected, but would *still* try and foist other stuff on me and treat me like a noob.

Whereas my fave gaming shop *does* literally have a fat bearded dude staring at you in silence from behind the counter and it's AWESOME, because I can go in, browse for an hour if I like, pick and choose what I want, and then go purchase it with a minimum of fuss or up-selling.

If you are a total newbie, then I can see the benefits of the former approach, but I've been collecting and playing since some of these redshirts were BORN. I'm pretty sure I don't need to be treated like a 13 year old.

11-03-2011, 07:42
Remember a demo game instore will most likely be rules-lite, and as such may not really be of much benefit to you. However, it may give you an idea of how things have changed.

Whenever I've been over in London and in the Plaza I've found the staffers, with one exception once, and manager to be *****. Its a flag ship store with a zillion tourists that doesn't make for an ideal place to play. Covent garden is a bit more intimate, and not far away so try there perhaps.

Better still look for clubs around central London where you'll get a less, slightly, bias view of the game. Also you're certain to get a game too!

List of clubs:


11-03-2011, 16:33
I was in your position a few years back; I went with a friend to Warhammer World and we played a demo game of Orks vs Ultramarines on the demo table before going on to play our own game on one of the main tables there. We did it just to make sure we had the basics down, and understood everything. As I hadn't played in about 10 years, it was a helpful thing to do, just to make sure I was "doing it right."

It was useful, as it meant that any rules questions which came up in play could be answered quickly and easily.

The one other thing it taught me was that I'm not suited to playing as Orks. I got murdered in the demo game!

11-03-2011, 17:49
I think I did the 8th ed "preview" (Ie OMG YOU MUST BUY THIS NOW!!!! WHERES YOUR PREORDER?!?!?!?!?)

Shame i thnk I knew more about what was in the book than the staff member...... not really an intro to 8th - in fact it killed my current fantasy love

12-03-2011, 04:34
In my "career" I played several demo games in different GW stores-- and there was no problem at all, and everything got explained well and it also was lots of fun.

17-03-2011, 02:33
I quit 40k at the start of 3rd edition and while I kept collecting I didn't game and only bought the odd codex. When I got back into the game shortly after 4th edition was released I was given a intro game by a staff member when I asked and they were very happy about it in having someone coming back to the hobby. There were some changed they never went into since they were specific to things that weren't involved, but I came away form it with a good understanding of how the basic game worked with the most recent changes at that time.

I've done the same twice with Fantasy and each time the staff have been more than happy to give me a quick game in how the latest editions have worked.

At the very least, they'll go through some examples of the latest rules with some examples using models and rolling the dice, etc.

17-03-2011, 20:55
I've been to GW Oxford Street several times and the guys there have always been very friendly folks. Can't imagine why they wouldn't do a demo game with you.

If you want a quieter location, try GW Kensington at Lancer Square. It's a tad hard to find but also very nice staff and usually pretty quiet.

22-03-2011, 13:58
I played a demo game in my local store Bristol, A nice guy named Zack ran me through the game mechanics since i hadn't played antasy for a year, He worked at a level which suited my experience and it was a good laugh, So id recommend the GW demo games

22-03-2011, 17:48
Yes four times, always play baddies.

So far my record is four games for four wins

I played

Orcs In Skull Pass
Tyranids in Battle of Macragge
Orks in Black Reach and
Skaven in Blood Island

22-03-2011, 23:18
I am in a similar situation. I normally play WFB, but picked up some of the DE on release. I spoke to my GW staff about joining the beginners program and got told not to bother. When I get some stuff put together to just turn up, and they will run trough all the more advanced tactics.
So just pop in with your bits, explain your situation and they will tailor your intro/tutorial to something more useful to you.

22-03-2011, 23:37
I played a demo game of WHFB at a Games Workshop store when I was about 17 then I stayed in the store to do some painting.

I wasn't the youngest person who got a demo that day, so I don't think you should worry about age.

But the game was no fun. We used the battle for skull pass box set, and it was a straight "Go kill everything" game on a modeled 2'x2' table section, with models pre-set. The match was terribly unbalanced.

Now I recognize that the contents of those box sets were never designed for a fair "Go kill everything" style game.

23-03-2011, 02:45
I played a demo game of WHFB at a Games Workshop store when I was about 17 then I stayed in the store to do some painting.

I wasn't the youngest person who got a demo that day, so I don't think you should worry about age.

But the game was no fun. We used the battle for skull pass box set, and it was a straight "Go kill everything" game on a modeled 2'x2' table section, with models pre-set. The match was terribly unbalanced.

Now I recognize that the contents of those box sets were never designed for a fair "Go kill everything" style game.

I played my first game at 40

30-03-2011, 14:19
I first found GW in 1996 and I still haven't played a game. Although I have stopped collecting/painting due to work requirements.

31-03-2011, 10:29
Well i haven't played before but after hearing exciting news i am much impressed and would like to play different games in a GW.