ps. for Games Day

Have decided to twitter our trip to Games Day and have just set it all up to take twitters from my mobile, so hopefully there will be good reception there! Not sure what kind of stuff I’ll have to say except ‘whee, big tank battle’, but if you want to follow it, the twitter is bookofgrudges. Who knows, we might be able to persuade random people there to steal my phone and send messages! (seriously, do not steal my phone!)

If there are no updates after 10am UK time, you know the NEC is somehow getting in the way of my mobile phone. We might pay for some wifi access – but since it’s something like £5/hr we’re more likely to make you wait till we’re home that evening (I’m staying with Spinks for the Games Day experience!).

Don’t forget to bring your Games Day I-Spy along, I’ll be bringing a copy amended for me & Spinks (we get quarter points if we meet someone who’s read the blog!). It’s had some tweaks since I originally made it up, mostly to reflect the fact we know Paul Barnett will be there, but probably not any other Mythic types.. and Iain C and Magnus are unable to attend due to the headstart launch, so have changed it to generic-GOA staff. Also a generic 20 points for grumbling you’re missing the headstart launch!

  • Will we get skaven skin cloak codes like the US Games Days? Hope so!
  • Will we go gawk at the huge tank? Definitely!
  • Will we be happy to chat to anyone despite our nerves? Yes, though forgive us if we seem a little nervous, we’re used to this cloak of anonymity we won.

I’d suggest a big meet-up sometime, but honestly – we’ll be at the GOA booth, am sure you all will be too!

And, here’s the GOA press release about the Games Day presence as an added bonus:

GOA today announced that they will be bringing the highly anticipated MMORPG, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (WAR), to Games Workshop’s annual Games Day on September 14th, 10am-4pm at Birmingham’s NEC Arena.

GOA will present Warhammer Online on 24 PC’s, guaranteeing hours of non-stop Realm vs. Realm action for legions of attending Games Workshop enthusiasts.

WAR’s Creative Director, Paul Barnett, will also be on hand to meet fans and speak with press as GOA publicly presents the game one final time before its global launch on the Day of Reckoning – 18th September.

Things to do at Games Day (UK), no. 1

Go to the Black Library stand and pick up their free 64-page sampler, which previews titles to be published in October and November. Leaf through Empire in Chaos which is due to be on sale at Games Day and decide if you can fit in a quick novel set in the Warhammer Online universe before the game’s release.

Bother authors for autographs. A bunch of them are due to be there including Dan Abnett, Nathan Long, Mike Lee and Gav Thorpe.

Games Day (UK) I-Spy

When we were kids there was a range of books called I-Spy books. In them, you got points for each thing you spotted. Each book had a theme, like ‘Wild animals’ or ‘Flowers’ and we loved them. They were great ways for a parent to keep a kid quiet and busy, but also playing a game and learning about the world around them. I just remember hours spent on journeys ticking off things we’d seen.

Anyway, less of the history lesson and nostalgia from me. I was bored, and thinking of things we might do at Games Day UK in September, and I decided to devise an I-Spy sheet with points and things to do! I’ve tried to include everything I know is happening, and have also added points for finding Josh Drescher/Mark Jacobs/Jeff Hickman even though I have no idea if they’ll be there. Will probably put up an amended file the week before the event, but here’s my first draft – feel free to make suggestions or amend for other events 🙂

ps. the chocolate is there to ensure I get some points!

Book Preview: Empire in Chaos

So maybe all this time-travelling has got to me, but I thought I’d take a look at the Warhammer Online novel that’s due to be published in September 2008 (make of that date what you will!). How can I provide such an insight you might ask? Well, those helpful people over at The Black Library have provided a 15-page excerpt to whet our appetites, so I thought I’d read through it and see if I felt hungry.

Written by Anthony Reynolds, Empire in Chaos is set firmly in the Warhammer Online universe, which distinguishes it from many Black Library releases. It’s listed as the first in a series of novels that take place in the MMORPG’s universe. Now, I’ve not read any of the World of Warcraft novels, so this is my first foray into computer game-related fiction, and of course, I’ve only got 15 pages to play with her. But it gave me enough of a taste to ask my local library to order it for me (ok, so it’s also my workplace, but for the record many libraries are happy to take suggestions!).

So, without further ado, here’s the overview of the novel:

When Annaliese Jaeger’s* village is overrun and destroyed by mutants, she and an injured elf captive are the only survivors. As the two unlikely companions fight their way towards Black Fire Pass, Annaliese discovers within herself powers of courage and faith that inspire all around her. With a grizzled witch hunter and a dwarf warrior, the heroes battle alongside the armies of the Empire and the dwarfs, above and below the earth, against greenskin tribes and the hordes of Chaos.

The extract provided comes from the start of the novel and describes in glorious detail the mutant attack on Annaliese’s village and her first interaction with the elf captive. It’s very well-written and the details of the horrors of the attack as well as the inhuman treatment of the elf in captivity really drew me into the action a lot more than I’d expected from such a short extract. And it made me think more about the setting for Warhammer Online, and how it’s actually a fairly horrific prospect for war to be everywhere.

The excerpt really captures how people would live and think and react within this universe, and as a fan of roleplaying (although more casual these days), it did make me smile and change how I feel about the idea of RvR in-game. I want to feel like I’m fighting for my life and that of my friends, family and everything I hold dear!

Anyway,  I am looking forward to this and the rest of the series; a set of Warhammer novels that’ll take place in our universe, one we’ll shape. 15 pages doesn’t take long to read, why not check it out and see what you think?

* Yes, she shares a surname with Felix from the Gotrek and Felix novels.. will be interesting to see where this heads.

Book Reviews: Heldenhammer & Grudge Bearer

These reviews mark our first forays into the Black Library, novels based in the Warhammer universe. We hope to read quite a few to help us, and perhaps others, get a taste of the rich world the game draws lore from.

Heldenhammer by Graham McNeill

At the heart of the Old World lie the lands of men, ruled over by bickering tribal chieftains.

Set in the time of legends, hundreds of years before the Age of Reckoning, this is the story of Sigmar Heldenhammer, young chieftain of the Unberogen tribe. We follow the epic tale of how he fulfils his vision to unite the warring tribes of his homeland into a single empire. Yes, this is the same Sigmar who is currently worshipped as a god by the men and women of the Empire.

As well as uniting the disparate tribes by means involving diplomacy, wild sex (yes really), and monster slaying, he finds time to pick up a magic hammer from the dwarf king, acquire and lose a love interest, exchange smalltalk with his shield brother, and deal with a traitor who was once a trusted friend. Finally, in order to repel a massive greenskin assault, Sigmar must call on the sword-oaths which the other tribal leaders have sworn to him and lead the men of the Empire to fight alongside the stalwart dwarf army at the Battle of Black Fire Pass.

With all these epic adventurings, there isn’t a lot of time for character development so don’t expect anything deep here. The battle scenes are exciting and well described, and the atmosphere of the savage warring human tribes is convincing. If you’re interested in the history of the Empire and their alliance with the Dwarfs, it’s not a bad way to pass a few hours.

Grudge Bearer by Gav Thorpe

This gold Barundin had dubbed dammazgromthi-umigugalaz, which meant gold that he found particularly pleasing and beautiful because it was from the man grudge

My first foray into Warhammer literature was the book Grudge Bearer by Gav Thorpe, published in 2005. Obviously, from the title, it’s a dwarf-centric book and deals with the life and grudges of King Barundin of Zhufbar as he goes from grudge to grudge, settling each in turn as dwarf life and lore dictates so he can finally seek vengeance over his father’s betrayal.

It’s better written than I thought a game-related book would be, and it definitely gave me a ton of insight into dwarf society and got me quite excited by it all. I loved that the book was divided into grudges, and I felt that it was a great book to start with for some hearty dwarf-lore and setting. From the connection between dwarfs and gold to the strict order of carrying out grudges, and the importance of both the Engineers’ Guild and beer, I learned a lot.

Ironbreakers, Hammerers, Skaven, Greenskins and the Empire all made appearances and there was a particularly icky battle scene between Dwarfs and Skaven inside an old Dwarf mine which definitely gave a sense of what’s to come in WAR. So I’d say a damn good place to start if you fancy playing a Dwarf and want a short, easy-to-read intro into the setting.