Hmm, I was writing this in the News and Rumours thread, and between the time I started and the time I finished the thread was locked. Luckily I did do a quick Copy and Paste so I can put it here instead.
Now that I'm home and had a good nights sleep, and chance to fully think back on a lot of things, I think a more detailed write-up of the Weekend is in order:
Black Library Seminars (Road to Terra / The Primarchs):
Honestly, I think these seminars were a bit ... I'm struggling not to say disappointing as it's not the right word for it. Ultimately both of these seminars turned very quickly into a Q&A session, and anybody who's expecting some great revelations about the future of Black Library and the novel series is going to be disappointed. Road to Terra showed us some of the cover art for upcoming novels (which I've shown earlier), with the authors vaguely hinting at there being many plot points that they're trying to work towards the siege. The Primarchs was a little different as for the first 10 minutes or so we had Guy Haley reading part of the Perturabo Primarch novel he's written, which was good (just I always prefer to read the content for myself rather than have voice actors read for me). Again there wasn't really much after that and it quickly became a Q&A without revealing too much. The only real takeaway I had for future products from The Primarchs seminar was that both the Perturabo and Lorgar novels have a base theme of them being origin stories and the Primarchs dealing with their various 'daddy issues' with their adopted fathers.
I'm not sure how much the departure of Laurie Goulding had on the content of these seminars, as there wasn't a de-facto Black Library 'guy in charge' figure at the Weekender, and to be honest John French sort of assumed that role due to the number of seminars he was in (The first four, including Prospero and the Talons seminars). I made the comment to LetsYouDown between seminars that it felt like Black library had to come up with a couple of seminar titles but didn't have too much content when they did. Obviously there are upcoming works that they are not allowed to speak about, but it all fell a little flat at times - especially when having to deal with the random nature of audience questions, some of which were either very specific and could be answered without too much interpretation, and others were very 'out there' such as the question asking the panel which Primarchs they would have liked to have swapped sides in the Heresy.
Art of the Heresy:
Did not attend this seminar - it was literally the only seminar I didn't attend. Even I have to go around and see the cabinets and speak to designers...
A really cool seminar going over the background of the Titanicus games (and the background of the Horus Heresy setting as well), looking at some of the older models and some of the promo shots and White Dwarf articles for the older iterations of the game (fun fact: back in the day the only way to get smoke effects into their shots was to use cigar smoke. Good to see Health & Safety wasn't always so overpowering...). We got a little insight into the new game, some of the background for it, what they're potentially including, and some insight into the modelling process for the new kits. Apparently someones been working on making the 40k scale Warlord into a AT scale and it's taken them around 2 to 3 months to complete. It's scaled so well that they've taken shots of the resultant models and without any reference for scale there's no way to determine which model is which. Apparently they're trying to do the same for the Reaver, but with it not being an existing CAD they're having to do things manually, which is a longer process.
The game itself seems like a lot of fun, and seems to scale incredibly well. Apparently it can go from a single Warlord on each side all the way to around 10 or so Titans on each side and the only real impact is the time required to play it. Plus it's not following the traditional Fantasy / 40k system of 'My turn, then Your turn' but each phase is a one action followed by the other players action, and so on until the turn is finished. This keeps the game flowing without you having nothing to do for about 10 minutes whilst your opponent has his turn. I think this will be a really good system to get into when it comes out - which is still not finalised. Because it's going out in GW stores it has to fight it's way into the main GW schedule, and apparently there's already a lot lined up for the next two years which is making Titanicus problematic to schedule.
New Models and Angelus:
I think I've covered these off already in the previous parts of this thread, so there's no real need to cover this again.
Again, we sort-of had very little pre-release for this Weekender, in that we had the Inferno book, Ixious Hale (Custode Event Mini), the IF Storm Shields and Assault Cannon packs, and this weeks website releases. We also had the event exclusive items like the Rogue Trader rule book and the various T-shirts and mugs. On the Black Library side I think the only pre-release item was the Garro anthology, but they did have some of the more limited items (Ahirman trilogy, Primogenator, etc). It would have been nice if there was something more that they could have offered us in terms of new models and surprises, but I think I'm going to have to chalk this up to there being so many events happening during the year. With the FW Open Day, Warhammer Fest, and lots of these newer events coming into the schedule I'm guessing there's demand for something to be available at all of these days, so they have to keep items to spread across them. As such I haven't actually spent nearly as much as I have done in previous years, something my wallet is thankful for, but equally something that feels a bit weird as I was really struggling at one point because I was looking at models to buy purely because I'm use to buying things at these events, and the models I were eyeing I didn't really want to use - I hope that makes sense.
Inferno - boy that's an interesting topic. Sold out during the Saturday, apparently they shifted somewhere in the region of 250 copies and didn't have opportunity to sell it unrestricted (i.e. relaxing the '1 per customer' rule), but I seriously doubt that and some people may have just been sneaky and purchased a few more. It would appear that they paid extra to expedite these copies from the printers to be available at the Weekender, and the general stock are still somewhere at sea on a transport ship, with general release around 5 weeks time. Lots of people have had their say about this, and I'm not going to add anything more here right now.
The registration and sales on Friday was ultimately a good idea, but was yet again poorly executed. Considering this is the 5th time the Weekender has been in the Belfry with virtually the same layout, it's disappointing that they still can't get this right at all. There's nothing more frustrating that to have queued for an hour away from the sales tables, to be drip-fed into the sales area 4 at a time at random intervals. At WHW events there's normally a few staff who work their way down the queue to get in before opening time ensuring that people have lanyards and packs (and seminar tickets sometimes) so that when the doors open people can head straight in without any admin, but this wasn't done and felt like a missed opportunity. At least flicking through the event brochure would have killed a little time during the wait, and bought just a little goodwill. And perhaps most frustratingly was that on the Friday there were three till points to process what appeared to be the majority of the attendees, and no Black Library presence at all, yet on Saturday morning the Black Library fellows had turned up with an additional three till points. Having those tills on the Friday would have made things run so much quicker, as this was ultimately the root cause of the slow progress.
I might have a listen to some of the audio recordings of the seminar a little bit later today to see if there were any more interesting points, and I will probably address something that really soured my Weekender experience as well, but that will be later too.