Geeking Out with Miniatures in the UK Tour 2017

geek-tours-300-x-300-600dpiGeek Nation Tours is proud to announce our return to the UK in 2017. Every second year Geek Nation Tours takes a journey to the United Kingdom to celebrate miniature gaming. Every miniature wargaming Geek’s dream is to visit one of the birth places of wargaming – Nottingham England. If you are a fan of 40K, all things Fantasy, Historical Wargaming or even a good old fashioned Martian Invasion – then this is the tour for you. We will be focusing on rolling dice and we will have no less than eight days of wargaming instore for tour participants, not to mention a boardgaming and computer gaming event evening each.

This year we have stocked the tour full of wargaming goodness.  We will be returning to many of the places we have visited in the past, but all will have a cool newness about them.  We will see the newly renovated Games Workshop HQ and Warhammer World,  and return to Warlord Games and Mantic Games. But this time we will spend most of the day at each place touring their facilities, exploring their games, hobbying and, of course, looting their warehouses! We will also take a trip to one of the industry’s best magazines Wargames Illustrated and the UK home of Battlefront Miniatures

hadrians-wallAdded to all this is a brand new lineup for 2017. For the first time ever we will visit Wargames Foundry. Not only will we see their fantastic grounds and facility, but Bryan Ansell (founder of Citadel Miniatures) will regal us with tales of the past.  It will be an awesome opportunity to explore the history of our hobby.  Undoubtedly, we will roll dice and get to gaming here as well!

But that is not all, GNT is hard at work at adding several other awesome miniature companies. More should be in the wood works, but for now please note that we will also be visited by Atlantis Miniatures, and will be heading off to Mierce Miniatures to see their offices and their exhaustive line of awesome miniatures. We will even be regaled by the infamous Perry Twins when we visit them at Perry Miniatures… Each of the above companies will be taking pre-orders so you will be able to come back with loads of loot.img_53%205108sm%201%202

And there is still more!  We will even have a bit of history that may inspire you to explore a new period or embark on a new project.  We will be visiting Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman’s means of keeping the barbarians at bay and the inspiration for George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.  We will step back in time almost 2000 years to explore the defenses of Britannia’s wild northern frontier. Also new this year is a trip to the Duxford Imperial War Museum to view their world famous Air Show and all their exhibits. The museum is a treat to all miniature wargamers and history buffs…

Need more? We failed to mention that Carl from The Independent Characters Podcast will be joining our tour this year as a co-guide and host. We will game together, record an episode or two and even perhaps watch him pick up yet another Titan at the Forgeworld store.

So book soon to hop aboard and explore these wargaming sites while being surrounded by people of a like mind. Fellow gamers – who are just as enthusiastic about miniature wargaming as you are. We might even have a drink and a meal at a local pub in Nottingham and possibly even meet a wargame celebrity or two.

Day 1 – Tuesday September 19th

103Today we will arrive from all around the world to meet in Newcastle. Tour members will be arriving throughout the day and will be given detailed instructions on how to meet up with the rest of our tour participants. From there you will have a free day to explore all that Newcastle has to offer. Depending on your arrival time, you might want to visit the Quayside or Grainger Markets, stroll down Grey Street, visit trendy Ouseburn, discover Newcastle Castle, or just sit in a café or pub and enjoy the awesomeness that is the UK. Your Geek Nation Tour representative will be on hand at the hotel to get things rolling as your crewmates arrive throughout the afternoon.

You will want to return to the hotel by early evening, however, as Geek Nation Tours kicks off our landing party with our traditional Welcome Dinner right at the hotel.  It will be a great opportunity to meet your fellow tour participants and discuss what we are going to do in the coming days.  Our first evening in the UK will see us getting straight into gaming, as we will join the local community and Carl from the Independent Characters Podcast to roll dice well into the night.  More details will be released on this night as planning progesses, so please return often for the latest information!

Day 2 – Wednesday September 20th

housesteads%20roman%20fortToday will be our first day to explore Hadrian’s Wall – the ancient northwest frontier of the Roman Empire for almost 300 years. It was here in AD 122 that the Romans built a wall lined with forts, milecastles and turrets that stretched 117 km from Wallsend (near Newcastle) to Bowness-on-Solway. Soldiers kept a watchful eye out for barbarian invasion and controlled the passage of people and goods through ‘checkpoints’ along the Wall. We will bring back the ghosts of 2000 years ago as we visit the most important monument ever built by the Romans in Britain.

We start off with an introduction to the Wall at Cawfields, where there is a fine example of a milecastle and an impressive view along the military zone. From there we head to Walltown Crags for a highly scenic walk along the Wall before going to Carvoran Roman Army Museum to see ‘Edge of Empire’ in 3D. This award-winning film provides aerial views of Hadrian’s Wall and reconstructed images of how the Wall and its fortifications once looked.

After lunch, we go on to Vindolanda – a remarkable Roman fort south of Hadrian’s Wall that is undergoing complete excavation. We will walk through the vicus (civilian settlement) and into the fort to see the excavated remains of barracks, granaries, bath-houses, headquarters building and the commanding officer’s house. Vindolanda is the home of the famous writing tablets (‘postcards from the past’), which were recently voted Britain’s top historic artefact.

Afterwards we head back to Newcastle to eat in an English pub and perhaps indulge in a pint or two… Who knows we might even take out the dice again…

Day 3 – Thursday September 21st

vindolanda%20heroToday we will leave Newcastle and head to Leeds, but before that journey we will continue our exploration of Hadrian’s Wall, visiting a Mithraic Temple at Brocolitia, Housesteads Roman Fort and calling in at Limestone Corner to capture a moment in time.

Mithraism was a secretive cult that was very popular with Roman soldiers. New initiates had to undergo various challenges to progress through the ranks and attain the role of ‘pater’ or father of the cult. We will learn more about the mysteries of the ‘celestial equator’ and other fascinating insights into ancient astronomy and astrology.

Housesteads sits on a ridge astride one of the most scenic sections of Hadrian’s Wall. Alongside the usual barracks, granaries, HQ and commanding officer’s buildings is the most complete example of a Roman latrine anywhere in Britain. If time permits, we will walk along one of the most scenic sections to conjure up an image of this once-mighty Wall traversing the country.Arena Rex Grand Opening SM

Having admired Roman engineering and ingenuity all along the Wall, we end our visit at Limestone Corner where the Romans were defeated by the hardness of the underlying rock.

At this point, we also abandon Hadrian’s Wall and head south towards Leeds for another group dinner and an evening of wargaming with the local Leeds community. Perhaps after the last two days of exploration we might want to pull out our Arena Rex miniatures and see if we can crush all those Legio XIII players guarding that Wall up north…

Day 4 – Friday September 22nd

war2We will rise early today and start our journey to the centre of the wargaming world – Nottingham! However, on our way there you are in for a treat as we stop at the Leeds Armoury to visit its wonderful displays. The Royal Armouries Museum is the UK’ national collection of arms and armour, and you will see a vast collection of such from across the world and throughout time via their themed galleries. Even better, GNT has arranged for a “Handling” session where we get an in-depth private discussion of specific weapons that placed directly in our palms. If you are a weapons buff this is the place for you.

foundry_shopFrom Leeds we will continue south towards Nottingham and our first wargaming stop Wargames Foundry . Established in 1976 Wargames Foundry produces miniatures, paints and other gaming supplements, with deep roots in Wargaming history. Bryan Ansell of the Foundry is the founder of Citadel Miniatures. He helped create Warhammer Fantasy Battle, was once the Managing Director of Games Workshop and had a direct hand in the Warhammer boom of the 1980s. We will start our evening with dinner, but will not only tour the workshop, but witness a live casting demonstration as well. We’ll view some historical Games Workshop art and the Foundry’s massive collection of miniatures while being regaled by Bryan about the history of our hobby. His stories go way, way back so you’re sure to will learn lots about our hobby and how it’s developed into what it is today.

But that is not all – make sure you have your miniatures handy as we will be gaming well into the night.  All systems are welcome, and I am sure whatever you want to play your fellow tour participants will happily jump right in and roll some dice with you…

We will be staying the night at the Jury’s Inn Nottingham. Trip Advisor Review

Day 5 – Saturday September 23rd

Today, we will give you some time to rest and recover and do some exploring of Nottingham on your own.  You could go for a quick stroll to Nottingham Castle and take a tour of the castle ruins, museums and the warrens beneath the castle itself. This is where Richard the Lionheart reclaimed the castle from Prince John and where the legendary Robin Hood let the odd arrow fly. Or, if you have more modern tastes, you can take in The National Videogame Arcade or tuck into some English cuisine at George’s Great British Kitchen.

slider-pubwhitewallMany of us will kick back at a local pub or the hotel to yet again roll some more dice and get some more wargaming in…

Today is also the day for our traditional outing to “Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem” pub. We’ll take in a few pints and have a tour of the pub’s secret warren of caves – there are a lot of hidey holes in Nottingham! We will dine at the “Trip” and settle in for a night at the pub. Even better, GNT will be inviting a number of special guests to our dinner. Have a beer with wargaming celebrities and join in our pub quiz and other pub fun. John Stollard from Warlord Games and Ronnie Renton from Mantic Games have both said they will join us for a “pint” or two again this year.

In the past the Perry Twins, Rick Priestly, Jervis Johnson, Andy Chambers, Alessio Cavatore – and many more notables – have joined us as well.  So be sure to bring a small game, and some gaming questions, as we settle in for the night.

We will be staying the night at the Jury’s Inn Nottingham

Day 6 – Sunday September 24th  

d-harbar%20spitfire-ixt-airleasing-001_0Today we will meet in the lobby at 8:45 am and set to the Duxford Imperial War Museum for an entire day exploring its grounds and their world famous Air Show. We will see a cornucopia of military machines – those interested in air assaults will see aircraft from the Spitfire to the Lockheed Blackbird. Those more interested in land warfare can explore the “Land Warfare Hall” to see a large collection of armoured vehicles. There are also naval vessels, a Battle of Britain Exhibition and we will even get to see how the museum restores and conserves their displays.

Geek Nation Tours is hard at work securing “Gold Passes” so we can have the very best of Air Show Viewing. We will be able to get up close to examine historic and contemporary aircraft before take off. But that is not all – make sure you bring an appetite as we will leave Duxford to journey to the Smoke Works restaurant prior to heading back to Nottingham.

Again, we will be staying the night at the Jury’s Inn Nottingham

Day 7 – Monday September 25th  

mierce_miniatures_-_logo_-_01_11746788013rToday we have quite the lineup of wargame companies to visit and first on the list is Perry Miniatures. The Perry Twins, as they are affectionately known, have a long history in the wargaming world. They have created miniatures for Wargames Foundry and Games Workshop and were instrumental in creating the hobby we love today. Recently, they have started their own company – Perry Miniatures and it is here we will start our day. The Perrys will talk to you about the old days, recount their beginnings and show you their historical miniature line. Lastly, we will call on Mierce Miniatures but prior to taking a look at their offices and the multitude of awesome miniatures they produce for Darklands, Robert Lane and Tim Fisher will join us at a local pub for lunch. GNT will even offer pre-orders for pick up at each company so you can start collecting loot as soon as you arrive!

Tonight we will be heading off to a local pub for a burger night and another couple of pints. The Canalhouse is an excellent place to dine, but also boasts one of the finest examples of canal architecture and even has an internal canal basin and two boats moored inside.

We will be staying the night at the Jury’s Inn Nottingham

Day 8 – Tuesday September 26th  

manticlogo0Today we will continue our exploration of wargaming companies and head off to lunch at Mantic Games. Here we will have a tour of their facility, check out their warehouse, game with them and even sit down and hobby. We will dive deep into all things Mantic from Kings of War, to Dungeon Saga, Mars Attacks, Dreadball and or course their Walking Dead game. We will again be able to pilfer their warehouse for goodies to bring home.

The first of our Hobby Challenges will also take place today, so be sure to bring something Mantic to game with to earn extra prizes and discounts… More on our Hobby Challenges later, so return often to see what we have planned.

We will finish our day with some gaming and dinning at the [Alt] Gaming Lounge. Here we will hop on their computers and do battle via Call of Duty, League of Legends, OverWatch or Minecraft. You will find yourself confronted with loads of gaming challenges on this GNT tour!

We will be staying the night at the Jury’s Inn Nottingham once again

Day 9 – Wednesday September 27th  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today we visit to the all-new Warhammer World. Revamped in 2014-15, WHW now sports three stores! In addition to the Games Workshop store, there are also separate stores for Black Library and Forge World as well. Even better, WHW now also has a brand new Exhibition Centre which displays many of those beautifully painted ‘Eavy Metal miniatures you have seen in White Dwarf. But the really big news is that they now have specially build dioramas, including the largest diorama that Games Workshop has ever built. We are told it is huge and fills a room in itself!

All tour members will have the opportunity to play friendly Warhammer 40,000, Horus Heresy or Age of Sigmar games. We suggest you bring a 1500-point army or so, but past tour participants have loaded up their trunks to play massive games this day. Participants can come and go to Bugman’s Bar and even have a pint or two when they play – but lunch and dinner will be on Geek Nation Tours. So just call our representative when you are ready to eat and we will take care of the tab. We will have almost 12 full hours to game here so don’t melt your dice…

In the past, Forgeworld has welcomed our tours to Warhammer World and have given us access to both their awesome studio painted miniatures and the people who produce them.  This year will be the same but, in addition, GNT is in discussions to allow tour goers to submit pre-orders and get your resin right out of the moulds!

We will be staying the night at the Jury’s Inn Nottingham

Day 10 – Thursday September 28th  

warlord_logo This morning we will head off to see more awesome wargame companies. Frist, we will visit the offices of Wargames Illustrated and Battlefront Miniatures. They will show us how their organizations work and where the interesting bits of publication and miniature building happen. We will even be able to sneak into their warehouse, grab a few extra issues of Wargames Illustrated and the latest coolness from Battlefront or Gale Force Nine

The afternoon will see an even more action as we converge on Warlord Games. Once again, we will get to game with the Warlord Crew and take advantage of our Hobby Challenges (more later) … Expect to roll dice as we take on each other with Bolt Action, Gates of Antares and Konflikt 47… Warlord’s warlord, John Stollard has also said that we can take a special trip down to his storerooms and run rampant through the aisles to purchase everything on offer…wi-logo

Tonight we will leave the miniatures behind for a while only to jump into boardgames at the Ludorati Café… This boardgaming café sports loads of games and we will break up into groups to challenge each for the title of top dog gamer.

We will be staying the night at the Jury’s Inn Nottingham

Day 11 – Saturday September 29th  

031Today is our last full day in the UK and we will travel from Nottingham to Manchester. However, we will get some last minute shopping and perhaps a last pint at Warhammer World today. We will be heading there bright and early and plan to leave just after noon to give you one last taste of Games Workshop.

Once we arrive in Manchester we will gather one more time for our final meal together and set off on a search for one last pub (or two).

We will be staying the night at the Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre

Day 12 – Friday September 30th  

Unfortunately, all good things must end, unfortunately, and today we return to the airport and depart for home. We will be headed off individually to the Manchester Airport today in small groups via taxi, but the memories, miniatures and friendships you made are yours to keep forever!

Attendance of special guests and celebrities is subject to change due to scheduling conflicts and professional obligations. booknowbutton

Tour price: $3299.00 + $197.94 taxes and fees.

Deposit: $750.00 – due upon booking and securing your spot. Book by soon to take full advantage of our traditional Titanic promotion (see below)

Final: Due May 20th 2017

Single Supplement:  $900.00 If you would like a room on your own

Don’t have a friend to get the double occupancy rate? That is what Geek Nation Tours does. Book as a double occupancy and we will match you up a roommate… This way you get the best of both worlds – someone to BS about the con with – and more cash to spend!

What is included: All accommodations, all transfers excluding transfers to and from airports, private tour costs, all breakfasts, all dinners including “Welcome Dinner” and “Farewell Dinner”, Museum entrance fee and private tours, and more fun than you can shake a ruler at…

What the tour does not include: Some small transfers and entrance fees will need to be paid for locally – including transfers to and from the airport. International air.hw1138a%20birdoswald%20roman%20fort%20%20hadrians%20wall

Remember that the “Geeking Out with Miniatures in the UK Tour will have a maximum guest space of 35 passengers, so space is VERY limited. Book now to secure your spot. 

Gaming while on tour – there will be many chances for spontaneous gaming throughout the tour. In the past the hotels have supplied us with tables and gaming areas and we were happy to be able to game to our hearts content after returning to our hotel in the evening

Promotions!:

As is tradition, we will have our “Titanic Surprise Give-away” again this year. During one of our many wargaming days we will do battle for our Titanic Give-away. We are still working on what game to play to determine a winner so please stay tuned to this page to find out more details.

We can’t tell you exactly what it is but it comes from the UK, has two really big guns, has to do with war, is themed after a hound, and is Titanic! Fantasy player? No worries! You are included too…With magic we can “zap” that Titan into your favorite alternative miniature….

Additional Options: Want a few extra days in the UK to chill out or want to go to other places in Europe after the tour? Geek Nation Tours will be more than happy to arrange it for you. Simply email us at headgeek@geeknationtours.com or put a quick note in the “Special Requests” box when you book.

Non-Geek Spousal Argument: “But think of the historical sites…”

Want to see some photos of our last trip?

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