The London Grand Tournament is one of the fastest-growing events in UK hobbyists’ calendars, and this year promises to be its biggest ever, featuring not just the regular Warhammer 40,000 Tournament, but games for The Horus Heresy, Warhammer Age of Sigmar, a Warhammer Underworlds Grand Clash and even Necromunda and Blood Bowl. We caught up with organiser Zach to find out more…
Zach: When I got back from the Warhammer 40,000 Championships at last year’s Las Vegas Open, my boss asked if I’d lost much money. I laughed and told him it hadn’t been that sort of holiday, but that I’d had the most fun since I’d picked up my first Ork as a kid. A little bemused, my boss quickly changed the subject. Not being a member of the Warhammer hobby himself, my reference to Orks didn’t quite hit home.
Being a Tournament Organiser myself, my trip across The Pond to LVO, and later in the year to NOVA, had been part holiday, part research. I came back to London not only with a smile on my face, after quite literally having the most fun in my Warhammer career, but also inspired by the challenge to make my own event comparable. Not only in terms scale and breadth of gaming on offer, but also in terms of the collegial atmosphere large-scale conventions foster and the celebration of the Warhammer hobby at their heart.
Since the early 2000s, when I first attended a Warhammer tournament, I’ve been convinced that they encapsulate the best bits of the Warhammer hobby. You get to play the games you love with lifelong friends, as well as showing off your painting skills, or admiring those of others. You meet new people and share new gaming experiences. Ultimately, you have a lot of fun with like-minded people in the community. It was this that inspired me to set up the London Grand Tournament (or LGT for short), on a cold and windy night in the winter of 2015.
Our ambition, at first, was to create an event for players from the numerous London gaming clubs to attend, and our first event in May 2016 had a little over 100 attendees come along to play in our Warhammer 40,000 Grand Tournament and participate in the painting competition. In 2017, we doubled in size, as word spread of the LGT and players travelled from across the UK to play in our expanded Grand Tournament and the newly added Horus Heresy Narrative Event we hosted, led by Greg Dann of the Imperial Truth Podcast.
So, what have we got in store for the 2018 London Grand Tournament? Firstly, a location like no other. Have you ever wanted to compete in the Olympics? It might be a little late to start training for the 100m, but we’ve got the next best thing: playing Warhammer in 2012’s London Olympic Stadium. What’s more, it’s not just Warhammer 40,000 on offer this year, though there is plenty of it to go around – at 350 players, the Grand Tournament is now the second largest Warhammer 40,000 Grand Tournament in the world. We’re also hosting a huge Warhammer Age of Sigmar tournament, which I am super excited about, where every group of tables is themed to one of the 9 realms. Players battle their way through the realms to reach the Gates of Ayzr as they move up the rankings.
Games Workshop’s specialist games are equally well represented. My favourite of these is making a first-time appearance at the LGT: Blood Bowl. We’ve teamed up with the Hard 6 Podcast, who have been running Blood Bowl events in London since the game was relaunched, to bring the first ‘Blood Bowl GT’ to London. Necromunda and The Horus Heresy are on offer too, as well as blasts from the past such as Warmaster, Epic, Inquisitor and more, ranging from painting seminars to narrative and double events. There’s something for everyone and too much for me to list here.
When people ask me why I do it, or what is the LGT? I say simply ‘It’s like Glastonbury music festival, for Warhammer.’ Our goal is to put on the best Warhammer party around, and you’re invited.
Do you want to join the party and celebrate the Warhammer hobby in style with over 600 like-minded hobbyists? The London Grand Tournament is being held this year on the 18th, 19th and 20th of May at the Olympic Stadium, London.
Thanks, Zach! You can find out more, including full details of all the events on offer on their website.
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