View Full Version : I've Never Been to a GW "Store"...

24-04-2009, 02:34
Just wondering... There isn't one near me anyway, but wondering if I should make time to go find one sometime.

If you want to suggest the "type" of store that would be most worth it, that might be good info too!

Edit: Just to let you know. I have an independent nearby (run by a long time gamer/friend) and we also play at my house too, so I'd just be going for the "ooohhh aaahhhh" factor... :)


24-04-2009, 02:36
Am I missing something?

Yes, You need to run, not walk to the nearest one immediately!
No, They really are a bunch of overbearing salesmen...
Maybe, There's stuff you should probably see, but ain't a necessity.

You aren't missing much. If you have an independent nearby, they are probably a far more relaxed environment that doesn't seem like a used car lot. That said, they do have nice displays generally.

Templar Ben
24-04-2009, 02:38
You are better off with an independent. GW stores outside of bunkers are not worth going to. Bunkers are okay but not worth a special trip. If you live near one though that is pretty nice.

Gutlord Grom
24-04-2009, 02:39
I went to the Glen Burnie Battle Bunker once. They were nice, and they had some really neat models. Even took out their Warhound Titan so I could take pictures of it. They had Forgeworld stuff too.

Check it out for the stuff. Don't know about the gaming though.

24-04-2009, 02:41
Maybe, it depends on what you want from it, when you go and what your gaming situation is. veterans nights are essential for me to actually get many varied games in. that said its by no means great and the quality of the staff and those who attend greatly affects the experience. that said, the staff of the 2 stores I've visited most are great

101st Vostroyan
24-04-2009, 02:41
I don't know...The GW stores by me ar really cheerful and fun to go to. You get a really relaxed and nice enviroment...I think that the independent stores are generally less interesting and overall are not as relaxed...Thats just my opinion though...

At least try it once during a busy time like a weekend...

24-04-2009, 02:51
I've only ever been to one store, it was quite small. The displays were nice, the range was good and it was nice to see some of the cool conversions and whatnot - one of the staff had a balrog that had been nicely converted to a lupine daemon prince.
Overall though, I would be happier going to a FLGS. Less pressure to buy and good people to hang out with.

24-04-2009, 03:10
I visited the Memphis Battle Bunker a couple of times before it closed down, mostly to get my annual Forge World goody fix there. It was nice and the gaming tables were truly awesome, but it was way out in the boonies. The folks at the store were just that, nice polite Southerners. The manager there was nice enough to give me a tin of dice that were rolling really well for me after I realized my dice were packed away for the trip home. Too bad it closed, they were some nice folks.

That being said my Local gaming store, Pet Shop Comics in Louisville, KY totally blows away any other gaming store I've EVER been in and I've been doing gaming stores and conventions for over 30 years, the Battle bunker MIGHT of had better tables but that's the ONLY possible advantage I'd grant them. IF you're a gamer and ever in The 'Ville, you simply must check out the Pet Shop.

And no I don't work there. I do spend enough there to help put the owner's kids through college however. :angel:

Peace: thorugh good, friendly gaming stores, whereever you are.

24-04-2009, 03:10
It's not possible to give a generalised answer to this question. How much you'll enjoy playing at a store greatly depends on how compatible your personality is with the staff and the other players. On top of that space and games nights scheduling (if any) will affect how much you can enjoy it.

I personally do go to vets nights at the store second nearest to me (the nearest one is only really half of one) and I do enjoy it. Whether you will you can only truly determine by trying it yourself.

Giving it at least one shot is hardly so draining that it can't be worth it. You can always not go again afterwards.

24-04-2009, 03:34
It's a store...they sell toys...like many others...

Seriously folks, the only real advantages to going to a GW store are:

1) Intro stuff for beginners
2) Indepth knowledge (painting, converting, background, etc)

If you don't need either, they don't really have anything to offer...

24-04-2009, 03:37
It really does vary by the store. Employees, size, who goes there, events, etc
Personally though I've had good experiences at independants, but they, like GW stores, still vary a lot as well

24-04-2009, 03:42
Normal GW store, worth a 1st time visit just to see. But don't plan on staying.

Battle Bunkers though, run to them now. With lots of Cash.

Because you can go on a Forgeworld Spending spree (which is what I love to do), and see some very well done boards and other things.

24-04-2009, 03:59
I live on Long Island, so here and there I go into the City for a day. I try and stop in at the one in the Village. It's a pretty nice place. I've never gotten to play a game there, but everyone seemed to be generally nice.

Lord Humongous
24-04-2009, 05:03
The only one I ever visited was the one in the Nashville TN mall that closed a couple years ago. It was really small, and I couldn't imagine hanging out there for a game or to paint. Te tables were 4'x4' with almost no terrian, and the "painting area" was a small metal picnic table with seating for 4. There was also probably to much foot traffic for any sustained conversation with staff, if such had been worth it for me. However, they did have a decent miniatures display.
On the other hand, my local indy store (admit4edly not in Nashville) has a golden demon painter as a regular, and displays the stuff he (and his close competion) paint up. As for conversation, one of the other regulars won the Baltimore GT... so in terms of rules knowledge, its handles pretty well. They also have very nice boards.
So in my case, indy >>>>> GW. There isn;t even aGW store where I live now, and never has been. If there was, they'd probably close before long; Minneapolis still has a lot of indy bookstores, resteraunts, and coffee shops that kick ass on the big chains, too.

Zahr Dalsk
24-04-2009, 05:31
I visited a GW store once, the one in Yorkdale Mall, Toronto. They were pretty helpful.

24-04-2009, 05:43
Well if you can find a nice little event to add to the time to travel to one, I think it is worth the time. I know the first time I went to one, was just because there happened to be one in the mall we were at. I went to check it out (this was maybe 2 weeks after Ogre Kingdoms were released and I had been out of the hobby for probably 2 years at that time, but OK drew me back and I've been going strong since!), and they were having an auction... I didn't stay long, but that captivated me. I ended up going to since, another 5 auctions that they have had, and anytime I am in a city I know has a store, or stumble upon one in a new mall, I always swing by just to see the difference, and the display armies as you never know what you may see, and draw ideas from.

Now I am lying just a weeeee bit. The first time I was actually in a GW was actual about 4 years prior to that, but it was so long ago, and wasn't in there for long I don't remember anything but the fact I was there.

I haven't gone to anything else at a GW on purpose for awhile other then when they had the auctions, I have ended up working on days where I was thinking of heading down to things like when Apocalypse was released for a big kick off game and recently a "Bits Buy"/LOTR WOTR intro game day thing. Im still tossing up the idea of whether my brother and I will be visiting are first Games Day this year... the cost is a bit pricey as we wouldn't be going to game or enter anything into competition, so we are not too sure what major perks of going would be with the cost of the tickets, gas and parking, that I couldn't just get at the local store, or have shipped to my door for free or less, plus all the folks on here get me all the sneak peaks for free anyways lol.

24-04-2009, 05:47
GW stores are allright, it is always fun to look around at the models they have on display even though usually not that much. I usually try to go to the local GW if im on vacation for example. But other then that im ordering online from independents more and more because they are just so much cheaper. Also some of the red shirts at our local shop are such retards, it's quite amazing.

24-04-2009, 10:16
Just another place to game and find new opponents.

24-04-2009, 11:42
It's a store...they sell toys...like many others...

Seriously folks, the only real advantages to going to a GW store are:

1) Intro stuff for beginners
2) Indepth knowledge (painting, converting, background, etc)

If you don't need either, they don't really have anything to offer...

That's hardly fact. My store offers a very friendly environment where I enjoy painting with the other guys (former collegues most of them :)). I also had an independent around, but overal they had a poorer level of gaming (less painted stuff, more poor models) and sometimes a bad/superior attitude (Warmachine is better then 40k. Yada yada).

There's no fit-for-all answer. Some GW's suck, some are great, largely depending on the staff. Another local GW (yes, I have two) had nicer/more fun staff before, so they're less attractive to go to these days.

24-04-2009, 11:46

me, personally i love going to my local gw, perth. I find the people there really nice, willing to help out, always some pople to play and painting advice while you paint there, great fun,


Vote Kantor
24-04-2009, 11:51
As with Capros, i think my local GWs are AWESOME, its really relaxed, and you do what you want, its just a one room store, with about 10' by 4' worth of tables, and a 8' by 4' paint table, you can paint, talk about whatever, and have a friendly game with anyone. Than again, it differs from place to place, of my two local stores, one is clearly more relaxed.

Brother Xeron
24-04-2009, 11:54
Ive never been to an independent before, but id def recommend going to an official GW. They rock!

Superbly painted miniatures, gret scenery/terrain boards and nice friendly chaps...

They usually have maiden playing too..

Cant go far wrong with that!

Brother Xeron

Vote Kantor
24-04-2009, 12:10
Ive never been to an independent before, but id def recommend going to an official GW. They rock!

Superbly painted miniatures, gret scenery/terrain boards and nice friendly chaps...

They usually have maiden playing too..

Cant go far wrong with that!

Brother Xeron

I wish i had the skills to put it like that, QFT

Brother Xeron
24-04-2009, 12:17
hmm... whats QFT mean?

Brother Xeron

Vote Kantor
24-04-2009, 12:32
Quoted for Truth

24-04-2009, 13:18
The one in Nashville's mall was pretty bad. Whoever thought to put a gw store in a busy mall where dumb kids gawk at you playing a game was pretty stupid!

24-04-2009, 13:29
Thanks guys this is good info.

The closest ones to me are approx. 5 hours driving time away. :)

24-04-2009, 13:52
The one in Nashville's mall was pretty bad. Whoever thought to put a gw store in a busy mall where dumb kids gawk at you playing a game was pretty smart and placed a GW-store exactly where they need to be.
Fixed it for you :D

24-04-2009, 14:33
If you say so chief!

24-04-2009, 15:36
* generally knowledgable people
* some nice displays of models that you might not own
* Nice games tables
* a fairly good stock of GW material for sale
* they host the special events for the GW lines
- Oftenthe only place to participate in such events

* There appears to some pressure on staff to sell, sell, sell
* no products from outside the GW range (GW is NOT the whole of the modeling/wargaming hobby - no matter what the PR flacks and fanboys like to say...)
* the GW stores (including the one bunker I have been in...) are really small - beware claustrophobia...
* Aboslutely NO chance of a discount

If you have a reason/chance to go to one of their stores it can be fun - the bigger the store , the more stuff there is to see...

24-04-2009, 17:09
I've been to two GW stores and the MD Battle Bunker. They are pretty neat and it is worth seeing, but I'm not sure if it's worth going to far out of your way to see one. "Out of your way" also happens to be a relative phrase.

I'm fortunate to have five within a 90 mile radius and since I happen to travel a lot, 90 miles to me is like a walk down the street.

24-04-2009, 23:38
I love going to my local store, it fills me with wonder! I wonder why the idiot manager keeps his job, lazy, insulting, ignorant, bullying (to staff), SoB that he is.

The only time I walk in is when he is not there, I can't stand the guy, unfortunately there are no independent stockists close by, if there were I probably would go there.

The staff they have there at the moment are rather good, paint well and know the stock line and background to the games, unlike the manager.

101st Vostroyan
25-04-2009, 01:46
The ones not in malls are nice. there is less random people coming in and I became friends with many of the staff. The on in the mall by me has 1 table, a tiny gaming table, and enough space for about 12 people. The store in the plaza by me has 7 tables, a big painting table, and great staff.

25-04-2009, 02:27
I know I am probably in the large minority here, but I think I am very lucky when it comes to the quality of my GW store. GW Metrotown in Burnaby, B.C. has about 4 tables, and the staff usually allow you to convert one or two of the display tables into a gaming one. There's also a painting table, and a general building/painting/roster-writing table. Some space leftover for browsing their selection [though that's the one area they fail in - very few non-HQ blisters]. The staff aren't totally obsessed with sales, and they're even available to answer rules questions [sometimes].

Oddly enough, despite being in the province's biggest mall, and being adjacent to a Toys-R-Us, there's a tolerable level of kids. The regular crowd of teens and 20-somethings on Saturdays is usually enough to convince parents that it isn't just an expensive daycare.

However, I should visit a few independent stores, to see what they have. It may be a while though, as the GW store is the closest GW-carrying store to me.

25-04-2009, 02:36
I went into the GW store when it was at the metreon in san francisco, but they closed up shop a few years back.

Whenever I've dealt with GW directly their customer service has been friendly and very helpful. I may have gripes about their codex construction/play testing, but their service is top notch.

25-04-2009, 03:54
They're just stores where I've never seen any sort of sale. The ones I've been to have always been tucked away in malls with small tables which basically prevented them from running anything outside of mall hours, so larger/longer games become more difficult (though not impossible).

I'm also an older gamer, so while the token level headed chap in the shop and I tend to get on alright, the four or five hopelessly addicted folks tend to annoy me. I realize they're there to get the kiddies and the teenage geeks pysked about the product, but one of them always seems to try to sell me something I've no interest in. Now, I will say that that's usually about the time the token level headed chap comes over, removes the puppy, then asks a couple of well formed questions and often starts a pleasant conversation, so it's not a totally lost cause. It just gets repeated every time I go in. Even at that though, I'd forgive them if they ran sales or I could get a better price. That doesn't seem to be the case though, so I split my shopping between eBay (trolling for deals) and the two local shops in Barrie since I play at both and their selection tends to outdo most GW stores I've seen.

Realistically though, if you're in the neighbourhood of the GW shops, they usually have something fun to look at in the window at the very least, so they're probably worth looking at for that. If your FLGS has a descent selection of models and a few 4x6 or 4x8 tables, you're really not missing anything. GW stores are a descent stop in a mall, but they're not worth a special trip.

Brother Xeron
25-04-2009, 10:46
I would agree about the mall thing...in the UK shopping centres it kinda sucks when you have random people who dont understand the game and just stare or take the p*** lol pretty irritating

Brother Xeron

25-04-2009, 12:04
If you want to go there once for just having a look at what these things are like, sure, go for it, why not. It's nice to visit and have a look but for regular shopping/chatting I prefer the local indy store.

But still, getting into a GW store for the first time is a cool experience. I got pretty darned exciting and I was 22 when i first went into a GW store (didn't have any in Austria before that).

25-04-2009, 17:44
I had to try three times to get into a GW store. I moved to charolette and the GW store there closed a month or two before I moved there. I then moved to new mexico and the one in phoenix (5 hour drive) closed about a month or two before I showed up there. then I got into the one in denver (apparently its closed now too) but its nice they have a larger collection then most of the LGS that I have been to and I was able to find a few items that I had been looking for

25-04-2009, 18:04
My local GW store (Games Workshop Stockholm) is great, 2 of the guy's still working there have done so since I started the hobby (about 15 years ago), so I've spent countless hours in that store, painting, gaming and just talking to the guys, they know me, I know them, it's nice, and they do have nice displays... sadly the store could be bigger and offer more gaming, all day around ;P

25-04-2009, 18:42
If you haven't been to a GW store, I encourage you to go there once so that you know what is like to be there. If you don't like it, don't go back.

I go to my local GW store every weekend because I play games there and want to read white dwarf for FREE in addition to other things.

27-04-2009, 22:16
I went to one in Baltimore before going to games day a few years ago, and as a store, the only thing it had over the non-gw store I fgrequent is that it had a bit better selection. However, the gaming tables were really nice tables to play on. The giant Space Marine outside was also very cool.

Brother Gabriel
27-04-2009, 23:30
Going to a games workshop once and looking at the miniatures and tables is quite nice. But staying there for a game is imo not. I may be wrong, but in the GW here you arent allowed to drink, they dont have a toilet or snacks. You are not allowed to say kill and whatnot.

No thats not an environment i want to play my games in. In the FLGS we had here we could buy drinks, snacks and had a toilet. Now we play at a youth club ^^ and even have beer :). Life is good when playing outside a GW store.