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Made in gb
Crazed Spirit of the Defiler


GW Newcastle, 1999. The day before a mate showed me all his beautifully painted Dark Angels he'd painted himself (turned out his step brother had actually painted them, the liar). Went along to the store the day after and it was the most awesome place I'd ever been to; full of people, plenty of staff, people painting, intro games going on etc. It definitely felt more like a scene than just a shop with people in, and I was hooked. I left with a £5 box of plastic plague marines and that store was my church for the next two years.

In a couple of months that will be 20 years ago!

Hydra Dominatus 
Made in us
Androgynous Daemon Prince of Slaanesh

Norwalk, Connecticut

First was in Syracuse NY, 13 years ago. It was in a mall, so lots of foot traffic (and people walking past making fun of us “nerds”). It closed down a few weeks later, I heard, because they were harassed and the “WAAAAUUUGH” roads broke the volume codes of the mall. But it was cool, no pushy salespeople, just friendly and helpful. I remember buying 4 pewter Minotaurs there for my burgeoning Chaos army.

Reality is a nice place to visit, but I'd hate to live there.

Manchu wrote:I'm a Catholic. We eat our God.

Due to work, I can usually only ship any sales or trades out on Saturday morning. Please trade/purchase with this in mind.  
Made in us
Stealthy Warhound Titan Princeps

 techsoldaten wrote:
This was in College Park, Maryland, at a store that no longer exists.

It was summer, arrived at the store just after opening. The place was bustling with all kinds of customers - high-school kids, skaters / punks, some older folk who clearly knew a lot about modeling. I was a young teen and knew little about 40k other than having seen other people's armies and realizing 'I want that.'

The walls were stacked with poorly organized blister packs. There were several on the floor, opened, where someone had relieved them of their contents. They also had several copies of the old Citadel castle, and I remember wondering why that was needed for sci-fi games.

The store had 4 tables, one of them was a jump-pack marine force fighting against a Chaos foe. I listened in on an argument between the players, it involved the affect of spiky bits and the abilities of an apothecary. Other people were trying to work out a schedule of when they would play, similar to the way people would say 'I got next' with old arcade games.

I got a box of Marines that day along with some basic paints. The manager of the store was a stout fellow, short cropped hair, and very enthusiastic. He gave me a copy of White Dwarf for free containing the rules for Genestealer Cults, which became the next army I collected after Marines. He also gave me a Chaos Heavy Weapons sprue that was sitting near the register. I had lunch at a nearby sub shop, wondering why there were faces carved into the guns.

I spent a lot of time there and was genuinely sad when they closed the location. It moved to a nearby mall, next to a pet store, which had a very different vibe to it. More floor space meant people were not huddled together as much so there was less conversation. The manager no longer worked there, the person who replaced him was a generic retail manager type who didn't really understand the game.

The sense of wonder went away after that move, I kind of 'understood' 40k at that point and had a group of people I played against regularly. It was really something compared to the way the game is played today, more like a 'scene' than a hobby.

I remember that one as well, went there a few times, though my first one was the mall in Laurel. (Where I got a Bloodthirster, Great Unclean One and Lord of Change out of the bargain bin for less than $20)
That one didn't last long either- a lot of the first GW stores died off, and the new ones were almost universally in worse locations.

While I didn't play much in either location, I was stuck to driving to the Glen Burnie store after that.

Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
Made in us
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine

San Jose, CA

There wasnt a GW store(less than 400mi away)when I first played in RT so the first time in an actual GW store was circa 2004.

Having quit with the squattening and I was kinda interested in getting back into it. so while @ the mall one day I noticed a GW store next to the local video game joint. I walked in and was immediately greeted by a red shirt. He asked if I had ever been to or played WHFB or 40k. I said I used to have a squat army and a squad of Salamanders but hadn't played in 10ish yrs. Right away the pushy sales tactics kicked in. The entire 10min I was in the store he was hounding me about making a purchase. Numerous times I said i wasnt interested in the game, just the models. but he just kept telling me that eldar were the way to go and how OP it was. I basically told him to back off 3 or 4 times, finally I just said fuckoff & walked out.

It was another 12 yrs before I went into another one.

The 2 stores that are now open within 20mi of my house are wonderful places to go & take my Nephews/paint/hang out. No pushymcpusherton sales method and smelly"no social skills" weirdos.
Made in de
Regular Dakkanaut

"My" shop is in Berlin near Frankfurter Allee,

went by some day when I was much younger by accident and watched the cool models on display and thought "hey, that's some cool painting". Some years later - we were playing a lot of pen and paper role playing in a medival setting - I entered just to look a bit which type of models exist, since we thought about getting some models for our RPG characters. The store employe was really friendly, showed me around a bit, but on some point we both realized, that the GW miniatures were not really what I was looking for back then. He gave me some pointers to another store instead, which speaks for their honesty.

Fast forward another maybe 5 years: I was really keen on getting into building and painting models again, as I did as a teen (I especially liked vehicles and painting schemes of WWI-WWII-modern North African campaigns) and remembered the cool models I saw at the GW store. Getting there with the plan to start a Tallarn army in mind I was greeted by a really grate employe and we imidiately talked a lot about the IG regiments (he has a Vostroyan army) and he gave me a lot of great tips and really took his time to advice me with the paints. I wanted to get the big cadian box which they did not have in store at that moment, so they packed it separately from the single boxes. Everyone was really friendly and the atmosphere between customers, players and employes really reminded me of our RPG evenings.
Made in no
Longtime Dakkanaut

15 or so years ago, only shop in norway and still is. (miniature gaming is an obscure wierd hobby in norway)
I cant remember my experience with the personell but i remember the impression the shop itself left and it was an overall bad one. It is just as big as an small/mid size 7/11 kiosk with just 3 tables, one for 40k, one for fantasy and 1 paint table.
My impression is that it was way, way too small for a dedicated hobby shop, considering that at the time we had Avalon and Outland shops that was 3-4 times bigger that allso sold alot of other gaming systems in addition to gw products and they allso doubled as a gaming hub with lots of tables for both minis and card players.
So i bought all my Gw product at thouse shops and BFG from the actual gw shop since it was direct order only.

I dropped in the same gw shop last year for the first time since 05, to see if they had some AT knights since my regular independent web shop was out, same tiny shop, but now i was greeted by two english speaking employees(you are in norway and you cant hire personell that speaks norwegian....????), telling me that they dont stock any specialist games. (but they was very keen on pushing other products on me.......)
I just said thanks for the info and left. From that point on im now ordering all my GW releated stuff thru that independent web shop(that allso stock and sell specialst games) even if that means waiting a few weeks for the stuff that is not in stock.

I realy belive GW has no reason to have a presence in norway if they cant be a proper hobby hub.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/20 08:31:09

Collects: Flames of War/Tanks. Wings/Sails of Glory. Warmachine. SW Armada. Adeptus Titanicus. 
Made in de
Longtime Dakkanaut

I was shocked because of the cramped surroundings and the willingness of geeks to play tabletop games in such a confined space on a regular basis.
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitor with Xenos Alliances

2003 or 2004... went to a new store opening in the Chicago area... I think it was a battle bunker... but it was while I was on a family vacation. I get there and the store opening had been delayed because of permit issues, so there was a complete but mostly empty store withe lots of boxes. The GW regional manager was working to unpack and get the store setup and saw me standing at the window looking bummed, came out and started asking about where I was from, what armies I played... etc. We continue talking, he shows us around the store, then leads my brother and I to a neighboring office they had clearly been using to work on terrain and models and to keep all their stuff in while the construction was going on.

This was when the Eye of Terror campaign was about to start and the stores opening event was supposed to be tied to it... The manager felt bad and gave me an my brother a bunch of free stuff. 2 copies of the EoT book, 2 Typhus', 2 sets of Eldrad, warlock and farseers, 2 bags of the "chaos mutant" kits that were a mix of IG and ork parts, 2 of the Chaos lords on foot. I was surprised and grateful, thanked him, and then jokingly said "wow you really threw in everything but the kitchen sink." He chuckles walks over to the kitchenette area and tosses me a blister pack... "Here, kitchen Skinks".
Made in us
Awesome Autarch

First one I went to was around 1996 or so, Fairfax VA - in a small strip mall. It was (at the time) one of two proper GW retail stores in the US. I think they may have had their battle bunker in Maryland too, but I'm not sure. Coincidentally both stores were in the Northern Virginia area (read: near Maryland).

It was an early effort and the store wasn't in any corporate paint scheme, etc. It did carry the full range of kits and blisters (which pre-internet was awesome to dig through). I was in early high school and didn't have much money, so it was "pick up a blister or two every couple of weeks" kind of thing. It was cool seeing the tables set up (in all their green flocked glory).

I only went there a few times, later switching to the nearer store in Springfield Mall - this was the first identifiable shop which had that corporate GW colour/layout etc.

Made in us
Skillful Swordsman

Baltimore, MD USA

Lots of Maryland stories here... So here's another one. My friends had introduced me to 40k by buying a set of the original plastic beaky marines from a store called Alternate Worlds in Cockeysville. They didn't really carry much in the way of wargaming, so that was it for about a year. Then we heard that a store dedicated to 40K had been opened in Towson. It was off of York Road just outside of Towson. This was 1992. I was 15 or 16. It was too far to go to often, but we went whenever we could. The Store was friendly, had 2 or 3 employees and always had younger kids learning to paint in it.

A new guy had just moved to our area and he had a car... so we got him to drive us there. We didn't have much money but we all got a blister or two... when we got home, the new guy shocked us when he pulled out a boxed set of something (don't remember) but it was worth more than the stuff the rest of us had bought. We were all horrified that he had stolen and jealous that he got a set we could not afford...

The Bunker came years later, man I loved the bitz ordering... especially when they had sale days and you could buy bitz based on weight. I pieced out 2 metal dreadnoughts in a bitz order for like $10...
Made in us
Hellish Haemonculus

Boskydell, IL

They weren't playing, it was their 'hobby day,' where everyone was building/painting. (Some guys showed up to play about an hour after I got there.)

I stepped on a bit, looked down, and realized it was a plasma pistol. I pointed it out to one of the guys building marines and I was like, "I think you dropped a bit." He sniffs disdainfully and gestures to the floor, which I realize is LITTERED with thunder hammers, power swords, plasma guns, combi-flamers, and everything else, and he says "It's all garbage."

So I pass my time while waiting for a game by going over the floor of their hobby room on my hands and knees, rounding up valuable bits.

Welcome to the Freakshow!

(Leadership-shenanigans for Eldar of all types.) 
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut

Talking about 1991 or something like that, but my mother took me on a pilgramidge to the GW store in Maidstone, UK, and I had an obsession with Terminator marines - and she bought me the metal Terminator Captain! Was over the moon with it - I think he came with a second Terminator, but I can't remember. Couldn't paint at the time( was only 11 ) but I picked up enough hints such as "black undercoat and drybrush" and somehow - I don't know how - but he turned out okay. Even detailed the eye dots so it didn't look weird.

The store was on Pudding Lane, which got giggles from the other kids at school.

Casual gamer, casual fun! 
Made in gb
Splattered With Acrylic Paint


2003 Aberdeen Scotland, had just moved for Uni. Always knew about GW but had never been in.
Friendly staff, played a demo of 40K, I bought Battle for Macragge some paints etc.. They invited me back for more games.
I couldn't decide between Nids and Marines so they setup a big game. I played Nids and the staff member slaughtered me badly ( I barely knew how to play),it somewhat put me off playing- I think he expected me to pick marines. I picked Nids and bought a £50 battalion box or whatever it was calle but the painting really grabbed me.

Since then I've been in and out the store a lot. Sold the nids, bought marines, fantasy, lotr and everything. Never had enough painted or lived close enough to get a decent game in. I now do mostly skirmish and historical at a small club.

When the stars were right, They could plunge from world to world through the sky; but when the stars were wrong, They could not live. But although They no longer lived, They would never really die. 
Made in ie
Norn Queen

Dublin, Ireland

Dont remember my first time tbh.
Said the prom queen on prom night.

Dman137 wrote:
goobs is all you guys will ever be

By 1-irt: Still as long as Hissy keeps showing up this is one of the most entertaining threads ever.

"Feelin' goods, good enough". 
Made in ca
Longtime Dakkanaut

Surrey, BC - Canada

GW Store is Gas Town on the downtown east side of Vancouver...the dodgy end. Friendly folks a few years older than myself with more figures than I had even seen before.



Made in us
Angry Blood Angel Assault marine

In your thread, trolling.

My first time experiencing Warhammer anything, was in the early 1990's, drooling over a White Dwarf that a kid brought to school with him. I then found some stuff at a local hobby store, but couldn't afford it, and I still didn't really understand the concept of the game.

In high school, there was a gaming store that my friends and I would go to. They had a much more extensive collection of GW stuff for sale. I had the money to buy some 40K Chaos and Eldar stuff, and those were my first experiences with GW.

Now, as far as going to an actual GW store... fast forward to around 2012 (?), Kansas City finally got an GW store. It wasn't until around the 8th edition release that I'd actually go there. I wasn't impressed. The people working there weren't interesting, their stock was very limited, they only had a few tables for gaming. I almost felt dirty and ashamed, like I was betraying my local gaming store that I've been going to since the 90's.

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