Whilst sat here in lockdown I began to think about what we aren’t allowed to do currently. In regards to gaming this generally means meeting with friends and playing games which seriously sucks. I then began to meander my mind back to simpler times, when models came on square bases and magic blew up my wizard multiple times. These were the times of Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition. In particular I was remembering the fun times I had at tournaments with this game and my gaming club, The North West Warriors.
My first tournament (I think) was down in the mighty Warhammer World in Nottingham, UK. This place is a shrine to Warhammer and a place every fan must visit once in their life. The tables are great, it has a forge world shop which is just too tempting and an awesome bar with some amazing food. I can heartily recommend the burgers as well as a pint of Bugman’s Ale on the side.
The Warriors are a group of fine people who whilst enjoying rolling dice, also enjoy the odd tipple or too on the side. I was well aware of this before venturing to this tournament and planned to have the Saturday night as a big old booze up of a night. This however was unstuck on the Friday night. You see I thought I could drink and so drank… and drank.. and drank. My first ever Warhammer tournament on the Saturday began with me spending copious amounts of time over a toilet bowl. Lets just say the Saturday night wasn’t as ‘large’.
Tournaments continued and I went to Warhammer World again for another A Gathering of Might. I believe if I remember rightly the bar tab on the Saturday night of this event was the highest Warhammer World had ever had. We also somehow managed to break a sofa when someone said a certain word (I’m not even going to go into that on here for the fear of being crushed by many sweaty men) and fun and frolics were certainly had. As far as how I placed in both these events, well we don’t discuss that. Its all the dice’s fault ok, not mine, the dice.
A Gathering of Might tournament moved to Stockport as Warhammer World changed how they ran things. The Stockport Gaming Centre, at the time, was truly a vile run down place however it had a few specific things ideal for a group of mainly sweaty men to role dice. This being wargaming tables, terrain and a bar (well a means to sell beer). I stupidly around this time came up with a wonderous idea that whomever was doing the worse in the tournament between myself and my friend Paul would have to wear a TuTu. I think secretly I just wanted to wear this wonderful piece of clothing, either that or I assumed I’d always beat him. The centre itself had some of the filthiest toilets ever witnessed by mankind but it did the job and we played a fair few tournaments here. They have since improved as Element Games took over the running.
We even had a stag do at one of the events. Richard was getting married and what better way to have a stag do than during a weekend tournament. I devised a cunning get up for him to wear (full on yellow to stand out) as well as a table of consequences for him during games. If he rolled specific dice rolls or his army did certain things he would have to drink shots supplied by Paul. His early games started off very slowly and he began to show off that he didn’t have to drink. Things changed however and by 6pm he was in bed. He didn’t stay there for to long as he was dragged out later on the continue the party in a sticky floored nightclub.
I sit here writing this on a chilly but nice Sunday morning and think back to how lucky I have been to of had these weekends. Yes there silly and yes childish but we all need this in our lives. We have to keep smiling and enjoying life no matter what it throws at us. I must also admit how lucky I am to of found such a stupid bunch of wargamers who enjoy similar things and continue to roll dice, enjoy the odd pint and generally know how to let their hair down.
I haven’t played in a tournament for a few years now mainly due to the death of Warhammer Fantasy however I hope once the world is free again, that this will change. I intend to pull out the Iron Hands and march forward to slay, drink and generally fail at rolling dice. Until next time…