Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Horus Heresy Weekender 2015

Horus Heresy Weekender 2015
A somewhat belated review

Ever since Forge World started running their Horus Heresy Weekender events back in 2013 I have desperately wanted to attend one. Games Days were canned in Australia after GD 2012 and it was starting to seem like I’d have to wait until I moved overseas before attending the HH Weekender.

A series of fortunate (and somewhat unfortunate, as I will elaborate on later) events conspired to move the Weekender to February rather than its traditional spot in May for the 2015 event, which fit in with my strict schedule. After convincing my girlfriend that this was an excuse for a holiday, we booked and within a couple of months I found myself at the HH Weekender, surrounded by people who have been writing the books I’ve loved for (in some cases) much of my life.

Many others have covered the specifics of the event – whether that be the seminar details or many pictures, and so I hold little interest in emulating their great contribution to the community. Rather, I’ve written a sort of review or account of my time at the HH Weekender. Perhaps, if anybody else is looking to make the leap to travel vast distances in the name of the hobby they love this will assist them in their decision making.

The Location

The Horus Heresy Weekender is located in the Nottingham Belfry, a 4 star hotel located approximately 15 minutes’ drive away from the Nottingham Train Station. I’ll be blunt; the hotel was fantastic in every sense of the word. While it’s too far away from most of Nottingham’s attractions if you’re not driving, the building and location are gorgeous. As with any good establishment, the staff are kind and helpful and the rooms are quite impressive also. We received a discount on our room price due to attending the Weekender which made the whole thing a bargain. We chose to stay an extra night on the Sunday so we wouldn’t have to check out during the last day of the Weekender itself, and for the money you’ll be hard pressed to find a better hotel for the price in the UK.

There are two great bars in the building and overall I felt that the place was good enough to justify dragging your spouse/significant other along, if you were to do what I did and make the HH Weekender part of a holiday. My girlfriend loved the place, and we’d both happily come back.

The Store & Merchandise

Forge World had set up a huge stall right in the foyer as you entered, a big circular beast. I was incredibly excited for the event exclusive minis, and was disappointed to find out that FW hadn’t been enforcing a limit of one per person until the end of the event,  so when my friend and I went up to buy them around lunchtime on the first day they were all gone.

Thankfully, FW were kind enough to take my order and ship the event only minis to me back in Australia for free.  FW’s exceptional service and class was a common theme of the event. When Nick Kyme wasn’t able to make a book signing, he personally came out of Warhammer World to sign my book for me, and if I hadn’t been able to make it FW were going to get it signed and shipped to me with, once again, no cost.  There were no Primarchs or books available for pre-order, which was a little bit disappointing, but the art prints & event anthology were more than enough to satisfy me.

To any prospective visitors, I’d highly recommend taking cash to the event. Several times I was able to skip significant lines because I preferred to use cash and not card.

I bought a completely new copy of Conquest and got it signed by everybody involved in its creation. It is now my most prized possession. I also grabbed a massive Sons of Horus poster and a canvas sketch of Horus himself. For the Warmaster!

The Seminars

The Seminars were a mixed bag. All of the Forge World run seminars were fantastic, Tony Cottrell is a great host & the legends that be (Alan Bligh, Andy Hoare, Mark Bedford etc) make them universally entertaining and interesting. The Black Library seminars weren’t necessarily bad, but generally fell into the category of a Q&A rather than a seminar.

My favourite seminar was The Galaxy Burns: The seminar on Conquest. Those who know me will know that I believe this to be the greatest book ever written, and it was great to hear them talk about it and answer general questions on the Heresy.  My girlfriend & I got a cheer for travelling from Australia at the beginning of this seminar, which was really nice.

Evening Entertainment

This was, for me, the only really disappointing part of the weekend. I expected some kind of giant HH quiz – which was what the other kind gents at my table expected also – but what we actually received was some kind of Laurie Golding twitter promotion festival. It was fun for a while, the teams built monstrosities out of Lego etc and completed some smaller quizzes, but then for some stupid reason Laurie Golding decided that he wanted teams to take selfies and post them to his twitter (while following him on Twitter, of course). While winning obviously wasn’t important, it meant that for a solid 20-30 minutes my team just sat around, as none of us had twitter-capable phones on us. Some of the groups in the room had fun and others were completely left out.

I would have preferred that every table be able to participate. It was quite disappointing, and I hope that next year they change the way this is run, or confiscate Laurie Golding’s phone and inform him (kindly) that he will never be a twitter celebrity.

Musings & Legends of the Hobby

Because of the grand Warhammer World unveiling in May, the HH Weekender this year did not have as much ‘exclusive’ or pre-release/preview content as the two preceding events. In terms of brand new content, it didn’t feel like there was as much as I’d seen in pictures from other events.

What carried the event were the people. The staff and authors were universally wonderful people. Never had I felt so geeky as I felt that weekend, but people were understanding, even when I was babbling inanely in an (ultimately futile) attempt to convince Alan Bligh and Simon Egan that I wasn’t a lunatic. From Tony Cottrell welcoming us to the event personally, to Alan Bligh not minding me fanboying over Conquest (BEST BOOK EVER), to AndyHoare not minding fanboying over Conquest & the 3.5ed CSM codex, to SimonEgan simply being an amazing bloke when I fanboyed over Horus & generally everything the man does, to Mark Bedford who was an insanely funny, helpful andinteresting guy, to Graham McNeil who put up with my fanboying over his many brilliant works (notice a common theme here?) and was happy to talk about Honsou & Vengeful Spirit, and to Chris Wraight and Guy Haley who stood talking to me for so long, speaking so candidly about things I thought I’d never hear anybody affiliated with GW say. Not to forget Dominik, an incredible & friendly artist who gave an incredibly insight into the design process, and Rhys who was helpful in explaining the subtleties of Sons of Horus green.

It was incredibly endearing and I left the Weekender a bigger fan than when I arrived.


I’d like to sincerely thank my girlfriend for putting up with my resin addiction.
Also, a huge thank you to all Forge World staff, writers and artists as well as the various BL authors. Without you all there wouldn’t be the 30k so many of us know and love and it was these great people that made the event worth travelling for.

I'll definitely be back next year!


  1. Interesting read! I'm really keen on hitting up one of these events myself in the future, glad to hear it's worth the trip.

  2. Awesome post man, keep it up!

    Would love to get to a Weekender at some point.

    I'm interested in your ancient studies too! I started studies at UQ in ancient history, but I just wasn't able to attend enough of the classes due to working full time in IT. If only they'd podcast the lectures it would be perfect..

    Love the wars of the Diadochi too. Ptolemies FTW!

    See you at ANZAC cup!


    1. Thanks mate! Always thrilled to hear about others who love antiquity, even more so fans of the Successors!