The Trip to Atlanta, "Buddy-System Style"
Our club decided to head out to Games Day Atlanta in waves. A first wave left at 10am, followed by the second wave, including our vehicle, just after 11am. Another wave followed us in the afternoon. We were paired up with the club president, David Drake, who led us on the path, going a blistering (for a van and an SUV, anyway) 90mph.
This was a good system, it turned out. Because of the pace, the poor transmission on our minivan decided it was going to go haywire, and blew out all of its fluid. We'll be getting that fixed soon. But as David looked back and saw us pulling off-road, he quickly hit the same exit we did and called us to check on us. After explaining the situation, he suggested a truck stop and we headed for it. It took some time to get there, since the engine died and refused to go without adding fluid, but after some time we were back on the road again, with him now behind us keeping an eye on our vehicle for trouble. Had we been alone, we might have been in serious trouble. So I definitely suggest the "buddy system" for traveling.
We arrived around 7pm, whereupon we checked into the hotel, dropped off our stuff, and hit the local Irish pub. Being St. Patrick's Day, it was a festive atmosphere, and much alcohol was consumed while Irish music played in the background. It was a good time, but it soon had to be over as we all turned in to catch some sleep.
The Day You Really Want to Hear About
We got to the convention center at around 7:30, and there were only a few people in line before us. However, it was noted that they'd have four lines, so we started a new line. Luckily they allowed me to set down the army display base I was carrying. I don't think I could have taken thirty minutes with it. After a few registration formalities, it was soon time to enter the hall and help set up my father's Skaven army on his display board. Having experienced issues with the little buggers falling all over themselves before, we brought along some yellow tac to keep them attached to their bases. This actually worked well during the day. I stayed with him while he set up for Round 1, playing against a Dark Elf opponent. They seemed to be going along well, so I slipped off in stealth mode to keep inside the hall waiting for 10am so I'd be first into the store. Anyone who's been to a Games Day knows that the mad rush heads to the store first.
I was successful being first in, but disappointed at the "prereleases". There was the Tau Empire codex and battle force, and the Sniper Teams. I grabbed a codex and Sniper Team, and got through the line. Technical problems saw the tax calculations not working, so I didn't have to pay an extra 7% for the stuff. However, the same couldn't be said for the Black Library store, which was working well with their tax. I picked up a copy of both Malus Darkblade books to get signed by Mike Lee, and Steve Saville's Inheritance which he signed for me. Then I went off to get some pics of the new figures they were showing off, featuring the WFB7 box, and I've included those below. While there, I was chatting with Ali Morrison, and got my first confirmation that the price for this boxed set is $45. Yes, the price for the Warhammer Fantasy Battles 7th Edition "Battle of Skull Pass" box, complete with mini-rulebook, terrain bits, and over 100 figures, is only $45. Bet that got your attention. Check the images below. This box is a stunner, especially at that price.
I wasn't able to do many activities, primarily because I was helping my father with the Warhammer Fantasy tournament moving around his Skaven army for him between rounds. This wasn't his fault. Had the tourney gone as scheduled, I'd have been kicking along with lots of things to do. However, following Round 1 they had serious computer problems (notice a theme here?), then the printer gave problems, and finally things were sorted out and Round 2 started... an hour late. This didn't interfere with the schedule, oh no! They cut off Round 2 after just over an hour... except for one table at the end, which kept playing on for another half-hour. This delayed things further. However, it did give me a chance to get some pictures of the armies on display. Check those out below. Sorry, 40K fans, I didn't have that much time.
During Round 2, I also got around to the Forge World store. The Forge World line was ridiculously long, as usual. It was sort of a comedy of errors as well. I handed them my marked catalogue, they grabbed my pieces and put them in a bag and gave me half a ticket so I could get the bag when I reached the register. However, somewhere along the line they lost the bag and had to find the pieces again! Another gentlemen in line behind me told them that he'd had a preorder sent in, but never got a return e-mail. He gave them his name and they checked and said it wasn't there, but they believed him and collected what he said was in his order, and even gave him a free Kroot Bird to make up for it. As I reached the counter I looked and saw the boxes with last names lined up, and spotted the man's box. I pointed it out to him and he managed to get his original order. An interesting tidbit that I heard while talking to one of the Forge World workers is that the new three-in-one $50 boxes of Piranhas are going to be a limited release that will run six weeks during the kickoff of the Fall of Medusa Five.
Finally they were able to start Round 3, just in time for me to hop into the seminar. Oh yes... the seminar.
Graham McNeill was the guest this year, and a fine guest he was.
The slideshow was basically nothing new. For Lord of the Rings, they were introducing Shadows in the East, Fall of the Necromancer, a new Two Towers, and Legions of Middle Earth (including somewhere around 60 factions and army lists for all of them). An interesting note here is that they are having more of a connection to Tolkien Enterprises now, so they're able to do more stuff with the books, and in doing so have decided that because some of the stuff in the books is "more cool" than the stuff in the movies, they went with it instead.
They then went through some images of the Dwarfs... very old news, indeed. Following that was basically a confirmation of WFB7, then a little bit on the Tau. Basically, the Tau expanded in the east while everyone else ran off to fight in the Cadian campaign.
Medusa V is the summer campaign, with a reason given for everyone to fight. Cities of Death will basically be a majorly updated Cityfight, with new rules such as stratagems, which are various strategies you can use during a game (think 2nd edition Strategy cards).
The Q&A session provided a lot more information:
There are a couple of notable awards within the club. My father, Tom Setzer (owner of this website) placed 2nd Overall in the Fantasy tournament with his Skaven. The Guardians of the Sanctuary club won the club banner contest.
The trip back to Jacksonville was mercifully uneventful. We got back home at about 2am. Since then, I've been working on this report for you. I hope you've enjoyed it. I'm about to pass out.
Tom Setzer with his plaque
The club members with the club banner.
Top row (left to right): Dave Gough, Erik Setzer, Bill Gilbert, Justin Rigdon, Joe Lain, David Drake
Bottom row (left to right): Tom Setzer, Hector DeJesus, Robert "Airborne" N., "Nanner"
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