Geek Nation Tours is proud to announce our return to the UK in 2019. Geek Nation Tours continues to make the 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 seven days of wargaming instore for tour participants, not to mention a night of console computer gaming.
2019 will see guests from MiniWarGaming come aboard. So far, we have recruited Josh Nelson to run a linked 40K Narrative event that will see us game in the MiniWarGaming universe as we travel the UK. Historical gamers fear not! Geek Nation Tours has never before created a miniature wargames tour so dedicated to the full spectrum of the Wargaming Hobby. Along with some Necromunda and Warhammer 40,000, Teras will also be launching into historical gaming this year and will bring along Warlord Games’ Hail Caesar! and Mantic Games Kings of War: Historical for some crazy historical gaming so those of your already into that part of the hobby won’t be left out of the fun…
GNT is all about bringing the community together in a cool place, so expect painting challenges from every possible wargaming genera and company. We hope to lead wargamers to game outside their normal boxes and cross historical, fantasy and sci-fi boarders… Be sure to see our “WARNING!!! HOBBY CHALLENGE” note throughout the tour description…
Each of our Minis in the UK tours have been stocked full of wargaming goodness and our 2019 journey will not be an exception. As a matter of fact, we have decided to do what miniature wargaming fans have asked us for years. We will be headed off to the UK’s premier wargaming event – Salute! Put on by the South London Warlords gaming club, Salute is the biggest independent one-day wargaming and gaming event in the UK.
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 (both of which have newly renovated stores and gaming areas). 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…
Added to all this is a brand-new lineup for 2019. 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 have some HUGE news for 2019! Not only will we be regaled by the infamous Perry Twins, but they have graciously invited us into their homes. Ever wonder what the creators of your hobby game on? Well, join us now and we will take a humbled look at the Perry’s set up… Want more? John Stallard from Warlord Games is not to be out done by the Perrys! He has invited those historical and Warlord fans to play at his home….
So, there you have it! You wanted more gaming and more special guests…. How does gaming with John and hanging out at the Perrys do yah?
But GNT always loves to add a bit of history to or Miniatures in the UK tours, and as such 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. It is sure to be a treat to all miniature wargamers and history buffs…
This will be a Miniatures in the UK tour like no other. 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.
Josh Nelson works as the Studio Manager at MiniWargaming, a group of self-proclaimed geeks dedicated to producing entertaining and informative content about miniature wargaming, including battle reports, painting tutorials, and other random videos. Josh has been at MiniWarGaming for the last 2 years, and he’s been playing wargames for the last 16 years starting in 3rd edition Warhammer 40k.
WARNING!!! HOBBY CHALLENGE: No matter your current miniature wargames bent, we are throwing down the gloves on this tour. We challenge you to bring at least one unit from a game company that is outside your normal hobby and gaming box. If you are a Games Workshop fan – bring your GW minis (we WILL be using them) – but also bring a Hail Caesar! unit as well or a Kings of War unit… Actually, Teras will be combining both with a unit of Romans (just saying). If you are a Historical gamer then consider yourself slapped in the face with the scifi glove, pick a Necromunda or 40K unit to join in Josh’s narrative! For miniatures, you’ll have loads of choice… Think about using Wargames Foundry miniatures, Perry Miniatures or any of the other companies we will be visiting…
Day 1 – Thursday April 4th
Today we will arrive from all around the world to meet in London England. 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 London has to offer. Depending on your arrival time, you might want to visit Buckingham Palace or the Tower of London, stroll Hyde Park, ride the London Eye, discover Big Ben, 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. Josh will start our first evening in the UK off with a discussion of what we will do gaming-wise over the coming days. Who knows, we might even be able to get to some dice rolling on our first evening together…
Day 2 – Friday April 5th
Today we will do some explorations of London through the eyes of a wargamer. Get on your trainers as we will be doing a bit of walking today. Our first stop will be the famous London gaming store The Orc’s Nest… Opened in 1987, it is London’s oldest games shop and it is a must for all gamers to visit. For those that have never been, think Harry Potter on Diagon Alley…
We will then shift gears and go a little more upper class as we visit the Armoury of St. James’s… If you are looking for regimental brooches, naval and military silver, helmets and Military antiques this is a shop for you… They also offer a selection of British made traditional toy soldiers which should please everyone… This will be a quick stop, and like the Orc’s Nest, can only fit a few people at a time…. So be on your best behavior – no bulls in the china shop and all that…
Next stop is The Guards Museum where we can learn more about the five regiments of Foot Guards and Household Cavalry that make up Her Majesty’s Household Division. They also have a small Guards Shop that has miniatures and toy soldiers of the classic variety. You might even walk away with a big fuzzy hat….
Our last game store of the day will be none other than, Dark Sphere. If you fancy a more super-sized gaming space, then this will please. Dark Sphere has a fantastic selection of games, gaming tables, terrain, and of course miniatures. If you are looking for something from many of the less known companies, this may well be the place to find it.
Our final stop on today’s journey will be monstrous Imperial War Museum London. This is a must stop for any wargamer traveling to the city as it depicts the bravery and tragedy of conflict from World War I to present day. The museum focuses on human stories, but the depth of the displays and artifacts are truly fantastic. Often, sported as a “must see” London museum, gamers would do well to spend some solid time here. And well, we will…
We did promise you some gaming however, and tonight is our first official gaming session. We will hook up with the London Warhammer Gaming Guild to roll some dice and get started on Josh’s Narrative. Teras will be right there too, and expect some Historical Gaming shenanigans too…
Day 3 – Saturday April 6th
As mentioned above, today is our day to visit the UK’s premier wargaming event – Salute! Put on by the South London Warlords gaming club, Salute is the biggest independent one-day wargaming and gaming event in the UK. Expect vendor booths, demos and the chance to hop into a full game if you so desire. Here is your chance to check this off your bucket list in style. The Salute crew says they might even have a few goodies for us along with our guaranteed swag bags and day passes.
Salute has loads of amazing tables, displays and re-creations of fantasy, sci-fi and of historical military events. The tables are a delight to gamers and are often massive in both proportion and inspiration. If you are even remotely interested in seeing masses of toy soldiers, flags in the air, ready to charge, Salute is a must see for wargamers of any period.
For those wargaming fans from outside of the UK, here is your chance to see some of the many smaller wargame companies that one doesn’t often get to see at outside of the UK… With that said, it also offers more familiar things like a huge vendor area, painting competitions, prizes, and of course – new releases.
WARNING!!! HOBBY CHALLENGE: Salute (and also Orc’s Nest and Dark Sphere) will be an excellent time to continue with your hobby challenge. Make sure you shop outside your box there will be plenty to add to your growing love of the “other side” of the hobby…
Day 4 – Sunday April 7th
We will transfer to the airport early today in order to head north to our next adventure. Today 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 the Great North Museum. The GNM covers the natural history of the area along with Ancient civilizations, but what draws us here is their awesome scale model display of Hadrian’s Wall. We will get a great view of the wall as well as an overview of where we will visit over the next couple of days. But we might as well start at the beginning and thus visit the remains of the Roman fort “Segedunum” which is considered the easternmost portion of the wall before heading off to our last stop in Newcastle –Arbeia. We will visit their wonderfully reconstructed fort and museum which is thought to be a key garrison of the area and perhaps the military supply base to the other forts on the Wall.
We will then venture off into the British country-side only to experience perhaps one of the best views on Hadrian’s Wall – Steel Rigg. But what would be a great view without a Roman Legionary and a Celt Warrior to guide us. Kevin Robson (an outdoor living, adventure, and Pre-Historic Britain enthusiast) and Joseph Jackson (an Archeologist and Heritage Management professional) will teach us about the area in costume, and take us on a forced march to dinner…
Tonight, we will stay right on Hadrian’s Wall and game into the night. Mantic Games has graciously lent us their terrain for the evening and thus our games will come alive like never before. Their DeadZone terrain is second to none and will be featured tonight! But what about those Historical minis? Don’t worry, Warlord Games will be sending us some Hail Caesar terrain so we have you covered too…
NOTE: Tonight, we will stay right on Hadrian’s Wall and we will game well into the night. We will be staying in a museum complex called the Sill. We will be in bunk beds and rooms based on 4 to a room… It should give us a vibe like being back in school again. Those who like the top bunk better book soon😊 Don’t worry it is only for one night. We will be back in comfort at a nice hotel tomorrow night in York.
Day 5 – Monday April 8th
Today we will continue our exploration of Hadrian’s Wall, starting at 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. This place is a true wonder and a must see for anyone investigating the area.
We will continue our series of forced marches with our Roman legionary and Celt Warrior (don’t worry they are just short hikes and they are not really forced) at Housesteads, which 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.
Having admired Roman engineering and ingenuity all along the Wall, we will end the day at the Roman Army Museum, which depicts Roman army life in a fort on Hadrian’s Wall. Through its artefacts and reconstructions, we will be able to step into the life of a Roman solider and experience life on the front line of Emperor Hadrian’s British frontier.
At this point, we also abandon Hadrian’s Wall and head south towards York and the day’s end.
Day 6 – Tuesday April 9th
Today we will discover the historic city of York. The walled city of York is not only magnificent, but it is certain to bring you back in time. Founded by the Romans, it has a rich history including Viking habitation and one of the worlds most celebrated cathedrals – York Minster.
We will dive right into the history of York today, starting with a visit to some 40K ruins… Oooops! No those are the remains of the St. Mary’s Abbey – but really, every wargamer must take the opportunity to get a selfie with them in the background. After our quick photo op, we will be off to the York Castle Museum (which is set up to look like a medieval town full of living history actors, displays, shops and other marvels) via the City Walls. From our vantage it will not be hard not to envision the power the walls would have had throughout history. The walls which continue to encircle the whole still medieval feeling city to this day, would mark York as a place of civilization when first erected in 71 AD, refurbished by Constantine the Great, and then the Danes in 867.
York is the inspiration for many novels and short stories, but no geek can walk the city and not see the shopping district of The Shambles as those found in Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. We are not sure if we will find any flying magical brooms or not, but you will have plenty of time to look around after our visit to the York Minster for a private guided tour. Those wanting to make the tower trip and brave the 275 steps will be encouraged to do so (most likely without your guide (just kidding)).
You will have the rest of the afternoon to visit many of the other super cool stops in York, like the Jorvik Viking Centre, The National Railway Museum (highly recommended), York Brewery or perhaps a pub stop at the House of Trembling Madness… Don’t get too lost in the Shambles/Diagon Alley though, as we will be making our way to the Traveling Man game and comic book store for another night of gaming goodness. Make sure you indulge yourself by picking up something to read for the rest of our travels in this awesome comic and games store. Josh and Teras will again, be right there, leading you on games well into the night.
Day 7 – Wednesday April 10th
From York we will continue south towards Nottingham to call on Robert Lane and Tim Fisher from Mierce Miniatures and our first wargaming company stop. We will take a look at their offices, examine much of their awesome range of Darklands miniatures, and even be able to pick up any orders that we may have placed in the months leading up to our tour.
[You will be able to make advanced orders for all the companies we visit to insure you are able to bring home loads of loot. Remember to bring a second bag!]
Another first for Geek Nation Tours, we are super proud and excited to visit our next and final stop of the day – 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 arrive just in time for a late lunch before getting a tour of factory and workshop, witness a live casting demonstration and much more. We will also 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 learn loads about our hobby and how it developed into what it is today.
The Ansell’s are proud of their wargaming history but like to make sure visitors also explore the battlefield just outside their doors. GNT has arranged to do so with local historian – Mike Ingram. We will hear the story of the final battle of the War of the Roses, the Bloody Gutter and much more…
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 game right in the store itself. Perfect for any late-night shopping as you pick from the largest miniature range in the industry.
Day 8 – Thursday April 11th
Today we will fit in one more historical stop prior to heading off to dive deep in miniature wargaming goodness…. Today’s stop will be the National Civil War Centre where we will explore Britain’s deadliest conflict and how brother turned against brother ending with a beheading and load full of other nastiness…
Now is time to make our way to the centre of the wargaming world – Nottingham. 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. Expect to learn more about Bolt Action, Hail Caesar!, Gates of Antares and Konflikt 47… Warlord’s warlord, John Stallard will take us on a tour to explore their casting room, offices and store, who knows we might even get to roll some dice or run rampant through the warehouse aisles on a looting spree.
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, LEGO Star Wars, OverWatch or Minecraft. You will find yourself confronted with loads of gaming challenges on this GNT tour!
Not enough guests? Well we will have Daniel Jack from Atlantis Miniatures joining us today. We hope to have him come computer gaming with us to add even more miniature options to your loot lists… Oh and he will take pre-orders too – for delivery right into your hands….
Day 9 – Friday April 12th
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 a multitude of specially build dioramas, including the largest diorama that Games Workshop has ever built. All the dioramas are true wonders and are breath-taking for miniature fans of all types…
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 for lunch and dinner, and even have a pint or two when they play. With almost 12 full hours to game here, Josh will be ramping up his narrative this day so expect the crescendo of a long hard-fought battle. Who will change the MiniWarGaming universe forever? Only you will decide…
But what will the historical gamers do today? GNT has a special treat for you… After taking in the spectacle of WHW we will be headed to the house of Warlord’s Mighty John Stallard for a game of historical coolness. John is known to be one of the most welcoming people in the industry. You want a good time? Just get him talking about the old days and you will hear some of the most interesting and humorous stories you will ever hear. John is boistress and larger than life and a true joy to be around. Not to mention he has an awesome wargaming table and has offered to have you play at it. Yes – that’s right – you want to have a once in a lifetime gaming experience? Here is your chance!
WARNING!!! MULTIPLE HOBBY CHALLENGES: Today all your hard work comes to a head! For those gaming at Warhammer World the miniatures you brought will be taking out in earnest and Josh’s Narrative will be building to a crescendo… Meanwhile, those that brought historical minis will be able to give them a go at John’s house… What a day!
We will be staying the night at the Jury’s Inn Nottingham
Day 10 – Saturday April 13th
Today Geek Nation Tours has arranged yet another once in a lifetime wargaming experience. 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. Sometime ago the twins started their own wargaming company – and many of you will be able to pick up your pre-ordered Perry Miniatures minis today… But that is just the half of it. The Perry Twins, have graciously invited us into their homes. You will get to go into their homes to see their armour collections and their private gaming rooms! All the while the Perrys will talk to you about the old days, recount their beginnings and show you their historical miniature line, miniature collections and get a first-hand experience on what two of the nicest people in the industry game on.
After we leave the twins, we will continue our exploration of wargaming companies and head off to lunch at Mantic Games. The King Kahuna of Mantic Games will be at hand to say hello and possibility roll some dice with us. Ronnie is a long-standing friend of Geek Nation Tours and his kindness and enthusiasm is legendary. You can tell he loves to move toy soldiers across a table and he radiates a kind of infectious excitement about miniature wargames that brings that joy to others. He loves miniature wargame fans and Mantic is sure to launch us into some awesome fun.
We will tour Mantic’s facility, check out their warehouse, game with them or 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 also have to ask Ronnie if we can pilfer their warehouse for goodies to bring home.
WARNING!!! HOBBY CHALLENGE: Another day to display your hobby prowess, and for all those that missed their opportunity to use their historical minis with Mr. Stallard, a perfect time get those minis out. We will either take out our Kings of War Historical minis or launch into playing a multitude of other Mantic games like – Dreadball, Dungeon Saga, Star Sage or Walking Dead.
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 Stallard 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 11 – Sunday April 14th
Today is our last full day in the UK and we will travel from Nottingham to London. However, we will get some last-minute shopping, dice rolling, lunch 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.
WARNING!!! HOBBY CHALLENGE: For all those Historical buffs this day will allow you time to use the GW minis you have been working on to hop into the final moments of Josh’s MiniWarGame universe Narrative!
Once we arrive in London we will gather one more time for our final meal together and set off on a search for one last pub (or two).
Day 12 – Monday April 15th
Unfortunately all good things must end and today we return to the airport and depart for home. We will be headed off individually to the London Airport(s) in small groups via taxi, but the memories, miniatures and friendships you made are yours to keep forever!
Tour price: $4199.00 USD + $458.26 taxes and fees.
Deposit: $1000.00 USD – due upon booking and securing your spot. Book by soon to take full advantage of our traditional Titanic promotion (see below)
Final: Due Feb 1st 2019
Single Supplement: $1150.00 USD 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.
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
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 email@example.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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Thank you to Wargames Illustrated’s Jamie Walker for many of the pictures above