Sunday, 24 June 2012

Spel Verkstad

Games Workshop: Göteborg

Turns out I now live about five minutes away from Goteborg's finest GW. My wife and I were wandering about the city centre on Midsommars Dag (yesterday) and somehow ended up in there.

True to form, as with all the locals, the guy behind the counter was a giant blond man with a healthy tan and muscular frame. I established I spoke more English than Swedish, and he asked if we knew anything about The Hobby. I said I did, V (as usual) rolled more eyes than dice, and our host launched into a kindly-meant explanation about how the games work in flawless English.

"They work like chess. Except that you buy and paint the models yourself," (demonstrated with a sprue of Mines of Moria characters with their arms not on yet), "we use a tape measure instead of squares to move closer to each other, and where in chess one piece jumps on another to take it," (demonstrated by hitting the top of a goblin with a hobbit), "we roll dice. Are you interested?"

I obviously am, although mostly in how that's anything like chess.

I explained again that I'd been a player for many years, but that my wife sees them as hilarious anathema to all that is good and true in life. I've now got a standing invite to come in and paint shop-supplied models for free. This was delivered in that friendly tone fondly used by drug peddlers and sweat shop owners the world over.

There was also much nerdy excitement over the new edition of the 40k rules. Not so much that I'm running off to buy new armies or anything. Actually, nerdy resigned bemusement was closer to my state.

Incidentally, 'Spel Verkstad' isn't actually the Swedish for 'Games Workshop'. It's a crude translation I picked to make the point I live abroad now, and means something like 'Match Toolshed'. If you type 'Games Workshop' into Google translate, it gives you the Swedish as 'Games Workshop'. I find this oddly terrifying.

In further other news, General Stylus, the statue from your avatar photo is two blocks from my window. He's pointing at the ground as though to say 'Build the city there immediately'.


  1. Most amusing. I wish I thought to play dumb when first visiting my local Match Toolshed store (instead of telling them I played Dogs of War - hoping that would close down any sales avenue - only to get a lecture on how rubbish metal was compared to plastic and finecast).

    As for the bronze-immortalised Gustavus Adolphus, I always imagine him saying, "Aren't we afraid this costume is going to look a bit outré to future generations?"

    "Oh no, Your Highness! Lace pantaloons, thigh-high boots, waxed moustaches and feathered hats will ALWAYS be in fashion. Now just put your hand on your hip and pout."

  2. I'll try and get you a photo of the other large bronze cast down the road - a gentleman in full Empire-style kit, riding a giant destrier and brandishing a remarkably fine Warhammer.