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Golden Throne - View topic - So, who is going?
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 So, who is going? 
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Post Re: So, who is going?
... I waited for half an hour... :cry:

..time I will never,ever get back. :(

Time I had to spend staring in horror at the poor sods lining up to get their FW stuff and the person in the Culexus assassin costume.


All in all a good day, good job to Mr. Mordred ( and anyone else) who has scavenged pics for the rumours board, I am fucking knackered now though, the 60+ hours working week and the 4AM start did not make for a happy trip.

..on the plus side the trip getting there, looking back with rose tinted glasses and having survived it all, was quite funny if overly eventful.

Report and thoughts to follow... you really all need to buy the FW badad War book.. t'is awesome.

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Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:25 am
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Post Re: So, who is going?
I do sincerely apologise satan.

I'm gutted i missed what did look like the best Games Day in a very long time, but I feel bad about not being able to meet up despite having organised it.

I'm the kind of person, who hates missing something if they have said they will be there. So it left me in a really bad mood all day yesterday.


Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:21 pm
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Post Re: So, who is going?
As long as you took it out on your brother, then we're good.

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Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:25 pm
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Post Re: So, who is going?
http://www.sfx.co.uk/2010/09/27/games-day-2010-report/

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Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:24 pm
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Post Re: So, who is going?
I see there is Games Day chicago for 2011, does this possibly mean one for LA?


Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:08 pm
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Post Re: So, who is going?
No, AFAIK there is just the 1 USA GD next year, the idea being it will move around the country.

..assuming they keep doing them anyway..

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Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:24 pm
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Post Re: So, who is going?
God that sucks.


Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:17 pm
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Post Re: So, who is going?
I didn't go this year but the comments on SFX sum up how I felt when I went 2 years ago. GW are not putting in as much effort as they used to and the smelly nerds attending are getting ruder and more belligerent.

I hate to hark on about the past but the events in the late 90's held at the NIA had a more intimate atmosphere.

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Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:16 am
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Post Re: So, who is going?
“Doubt is uncomfortable, certainty is ridiculous.”

Is what Voltaire wrote.

“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt” is Shakespeare’s’ take on the topic.

Me..? I’m riddled with them, but I think that’s healthy, really. People with no doubts are both dull and oft dangerous. Confident people are generally entertaining to talk to and be with. The over confident soon overstay their welcome and wear down ones tolerance for interaction with them.

People with doubts, normal people, wake up in the morning and wonder what to have for breakfast and whether or not they can get away with wearing the same socks again. People without doubt wake up and decide to invade Poland. And look how that turns out!

Still that said, one cannot always fall prey to the insecurities and worries that eat away at one in the depths of the night, wearing you down like the sea’s relentless assault on the cliffs. Only, hopefully, perhaps in a manner that’s not quite so damp and doesn’t involve fish. If it does then I would suggest that you are in serious trouble indeed and should seek professional help urgently. Or drink more. Whatever gets you through the night man. Whatever.

So, in the bold spirit that makes countries great and women weak kneed, I decided some months ago that “Yes!” I will go to Games Day UK 2010! Hooray for me. And hooray for my White Dwarf subscription permitting me to be able to buy my ticket earlier than the great unwashed, plebeian masses. That’ll show them eh! Eh..?

Oh..whatever.

I had my doubts about attending. I’ve been to several Games Days in the UK, including at least one, maybe more, back when it was held in the Assembly Rooms in Derby many more years ago than I would care to recall or dwell upon. In fact on one of those occasions, as a bright eyed and chipper young urchin, the vast vista of my life still afore me, spread out like..like..well.. like some huge fat drunk and passed out “chick” . How little I truly knew and yet, oddly enough, how little I doubted. The surety of purpose in children should never be doubted. Carroll was quite perceptive about children.

He was also, seemingly, much better at sticking to a,or, the point as well.

On one of those occasions I was demonstrated a very valuable lesson by no lesser person than Rick Priestley himself. True story. Such is the odd way that wisdom is accumulated as we live.

Generally speaking I have enjoyed my experience of these hallowed events. There is after all a deep comfort in a communal experience, a shared joy or moment that lightens the oft tediousness of our day to day existences. And it is kind of cool, in a dumb way perhaps but there you go, to just be on the same wavelength as other people. To know that despite all the myriad of differences between you A.N.other there is a connection on some level. It might be you both dig an author’s work, or both OOHH at a paintjob on a space marine. Or just share, in that very British way, a wry raise of the eyebrow and a “tut” at the behaviour of some of your fellows as you wait for Forgeworld to get their fucking act together and maybe actually serve someone from the crowd that resembles the Urak hai assault on Helm’s Deep, if perhaps not being as well attired.

I guess part of this is just me getting older. I don’t want to go and participate in some random game for several hours. I have some interest in the Golden Demon models… but in all honesty I’ll see more and better coverage online at a later date. I am of course keen to see what delights might well be forthcoming with regards to models, rules etc etc…. but, again, this is generally quite well covered online as well, oft these days live as the event happens. And, at the risk of sounding boastful, quite often I know already what will be there and indeed what should well be after what we do see has been released as well. There’s still nothing quite like seeing in the flesh… well, plastic and/or metal actually I suppose.. the finished goods. Solidity has a truth that quietens doubts – here we go again! – wonderfully at times. And physicality adds an extra edge of enjoyment to things as well in my experience that even the most verbose and elaborate prose or rhyming meter can’t quite capture, even if they have worthwhile attributes all of their own as well.

The chance to purchase several items in advance, coupled with the opportunity to actually meet and converse with several of the authors and artists I admire is the main draw for me. Plus.. and I guess it helps to know a few people here and there too, you’ll be amazed what you can learn by simply talking with the design studio team/whomever. I’m always quite amazed at the way some attendees at these events treat the staff and people there like automatons there purely to divulge “facts” and answers and the like, without any recourse to the pleasantries of human interaction. They talk to them, not with them, and often don’t listen to what any answer is anyway. You can see the mad glint in their eyes as their jaw twitches as they await the opportunity to tell this person exactly why they are wrong, what they should be doing and why they and the company they work for are the worst thing ever. It’s almost like watching a bad actor wait for their cue to say their lines.

But I guess there is very little difference, ultimately, between a mere fan and a fanatic.

..anyway…

So the ticket was bought months ago, vague promises were made towards people who are mainly a small image and a screen name and the die was cast.

Time passes and I find myself looking forward to the event. Not least as it seemed that GW had, perhaps, acknowledged the grumblings over content and the like from past years and this one held the tantalising promise of genuine reveals and the unknown. Also September is, generally, a really shitty month for me, due to work related issues. Suffice to say the start of a new term at a university, whilst being invigorating in some regards, is also incredibly busy and usually brings about plague like levels of disease amongst the staff that work there, as the germs from 129 countries meet and intermingle. Much like the students I suppose. This basically meant the week leading up to Games Day I did a little over 60 hours from Monday – Saturday. I’ve done worse, but this also comes off the back of the quietest time at the university too, and the change of gears required to suddenly meet this new workload is awkward at times.
But work was over, a little after 14:00 on Saturday afternoon. I had a few things to take care of downtown , before returning home and waiting, Xmas eve like for the following morn…..

…. To be continued….

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Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:06 pm
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Post Re: So, who is going?
Front page, please? [-o<

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Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:34 pm
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Post Re: So, who is going?
Charred Flesh has a unique and distinctive aroma that lingers or permeates the mind longer than any actual physical trace possibly could. I know this to be true due to past events. Not long after I left University, having graduated despite, if one is honest, really doing SFA work for quite some time and really seeing the whole thing as a time to smoke a lot of weed, drop a lot of acid and nail some pussy, I entered the arena of full time work. This led me, one fine and clear summers evening, to be working in one of the large kitchens that provided victuals for the starving masses that make up the student body. Quite literally in some ways.

It was nearing the end of the shift, to be honest I hadn’t really done a lot, lacking many (..any ?) real skills in this particular area, but work can always be found for another pair of willing hands in a bustling kitchen. I was carrying a dirty saucepan over to the potwash area (the industrial sized dishwasher for those unfamiliar with the terms of this most rigorous of trades.. marvel at my easy mastery of the tongue of the working class whilst maintaining my thin veneer of lofty intellectual elitism !). I glanced up and, just like in those shitty movies prior to “The Matrix” things genuinely did seem to suddenly slow down, as if the tape we were being played upon was sticking or spooling at the incorrect RPMs. A short distance away from me was one of my colleagues who was wiping down and around the now turned off deep fat fryer, which as one can imagine saw a lot of use, mainly in the production of chips. Or fires as out American friends might well call them. He was joking and laughing with a colleague on the other side of the kitchen, every other word a swear or curse word that had me shuddering, not from any sense of shame or embarrassment ( I curse with the best/worst of them…incase you haven’t noticed!) but more from thoughts that these comments could and would be heard outside of the kitchen and the diners, our customers, even if they were “just fucking students”, were the reason we had jobs, and this was really somewhat unprofessional of us. I didn’t say anything or object of course. Perhaps I should have…

..anyway, in horrific slow motion I watched him wipe the cloth – with blue stripes as the cleaning cloths are all colour coded to avoid cross contamination – and it, and him suddenly slipping as water interacted with oil.

The fryer was off, but hadn’t been for long. The oil inside was still bubbling and hissing. Even more so once the poor mans arm was plunged near shoulder deep into said bubbling “inferno”.

He screamed. He really screamed. The oil crackled and bubbled. And then the smell hit me. Oddly similar to the initial waft of odour when ones chum opens a packet of pork scratchings in an inn. It’s meat.. but it doesn’t smell right. Not fit for human consumption..almost.

Before I could react or do anything there was a yell from several of his/our colleagues. I’d done some basic first aid training – a skill I have made sure to at least try to keep up to date with whenever possible at work. I lie to myself and others and say it’s only for the £50 a year extra they pay me, but being honest it’s mainly as I don’t like feeling helpless and..well… you could help another human being. Internet cynicism aside that IS cool and well worth doing. One day anyway.
But anyway.. this shout went up.. I’m stood there, like a twatish statue, still holding this large saucepan. I wait for them to grab him and run his arm under the cold tap, maybe even apply some ice and/or wrap the limb in clingfilm.

*Thwack*

This poor sod who has just had his arm plunged into a vat of boiling oil is royally punched in the jaw. He falls or slips – can’t blame him can you really eh ? – and hits the deck, screaming even more. I even recall seeing him smack his head on the edge of one of the metal shelving units, I believe this wound required stitches as well later. It seems his colleague – and good friend – had panicked and had tried to knock the burn victim unconscious. Bless. With friends like that eh ?

..anyway… he bundles off to hospital and was off work for months with very nasty burns.

But the smell stayed with me.

And I was reminded of it a couple of years later, almost literally a couple of years later thinking about it, when I set fire to my own hand one night at home.

Good times.

But that, alas I hear you sigh, is a tale for another time. Actually I suspect I might have already enthralled/bored rigid some of you with that saga,, a lucky escape there for you eh ?

..so.. charred flesh…ah, yes…

Thankfully this flesh was roasted hog, being slowly turned on a spit.

..see how I’ve totally fucked with your preconceptions about this “report” now eh ? All of that preceding – and 100% true – melodrama, and it’s all just about a fucking roasting boar at a “Euro Foods fair” taking place in a municipal park on the Saturday afternoon. Ha ! bet you feel foolish now then eh ? Or, possibly, sympathetic, as you read this and ponder upon the poor soul writing this ( all cheques and donations gratefully received, Ta ! ) before retiring back to your beds and your dreams, as the sweet omniphagous night swallows you.

Unless you’re in a different timezone of course, in which case fuck you it’s your own fucking fault for living somewhere so ridiculous.

…see what I meant about the swearing ! …

err… so…

… downtown, wandering amongst the various stalls for the Euro food and crafts exhibition on the Saturday before Games Day itself. Yeah. That’s right. We’ve gotten this far and the event hasn’t even started! HA ! Bet you feel daft now. “Agreeing” to read all of this and it’s not even relevant!

*focus Michael! Focus!*

..so… exhibition and foodstalls.

I do the rounds, my hunger growing, my mouth literally watering. I see a few people I know and am left marvelling at the odd social circles I keep and move through. 2 ex(?) drug dealers, 1 ex junkie, a former deputy mayor, a police officer and several old drinking cronies – some of whom now have like real jobs, wives/husbands and even children! – nod or say hello. I even have an encounter with an old ex girlfriend who professed to find, and then sell for smack, faith several times over the last decade. She looks painfully thin yet curiously young. Except her eyes. They have an almost shark like quality to them. I’m reminded, not least due to the really chivvy headscarf she’s wearing, of photos of Russian peasant women from the Nazi advance/retreat towards/from Moscow.

Eyes that have seen too much.

But I smile, yawn, and feign interest before moving onwards..seeking..seeking…yes! YES ! There it is ! The stall that sells proper German sausages, cooked over a charcoal grill. Both Brat and Bock wurst. Delicious. I patiently wait in line for… oooohhh one or two million years, whilst listening to a brass band perform a version of “Black Hole Sun” in the bandstand. I’m just tired I tell myself.

I get to the front and discover they have run out of change, and the smallest denomination I have is a £5 note for a £3 sausage in a bun. My eyes lock upon the smiling face of Steven –England and Liverpool Captain- Gerrard ..he’s not there.. of course.. but his picture is there, next to the cancer stricken child the stall is also taking a collection for. The money raised will help pay for him to fly to .. America… I assume. For treatment.

Despite my poverty I think.. and tell the nice lady running the stall to stick the change in the charity box later, when they get the chance. Okay, she might not… but if they’re that cuntish then they’ll also steal from the charity box anyway.

I load up my freshly cooked, 100% organic sausage with mustard and ketchup, the cooked onions – grown locally in Kent ..apparently.. have my taste buds drooling. My mouth closes upon the “target”. Onions.Ketchup.Mustard….


..over excited 8 year old runs into me, sending both bun and sausage cascading to the straw and shit covered ground. She gasps and looks scared, a picture of Aryan innocence. Blonde pigtails and a quivering bottom lip.

Father comes over and apologises. He has a limp and one arm in a sling. My fists close, as rage and tiredness sweeps through me, like the hit from a brand new designer drug at a clinical trial. Mum turns up.. on her mobility scooter, apologising profusely and offering to pay for a new one “ If I can give them my address and don’t mind waiting a week until her disability payment comes through.”.

….. I don’t believe in God. At least not in a benevolent one anyway. But.. well… there are just signs and portents you need to see.

I apologise and buy the little lass – who, being fair, was gorgeous and deserves nothing but happiness in her life if only for her smile – a lollypop as well.

I leave the show. I think I shrugged. A lot.

The purchase of a new rucksack – despite using a credit note from some previously purchased and lacking trousers – from the local Naval and Military store goes fine. Small mercies I think.

I go to the Tesco Metro, wanting some dinner and, most importantly, some vodka for my hipflask to ensure a happy day.

..I should have known better..

.. suffice to say..there really was not an “unexpected item in the bagging area” and whilst I do not know who it was who took the security tag off of the bottle of vodka, it wasn’t me. If it was, would I really have scanned it through the till anyway ? I think not. Still, it’s hard to look the picture of respectability with huge ketchup and mustard stains down the front of ones shirt. I don’t think they believed me about the girl, her dad and the disability chair either.

I finally make it home, and crash out for a few hours. Or I would if my next door neighbores ( Ha !) weren’t holding their monthly “let’s yell hymns and songs loudly and out of tune with random organ music” night.

Still..X Files DVDs and books saw me through and I crashed out, uneasily as I knew I had to be at the store for 4 AM on Sunday, prompt.

I’m sure most of you have experienced the oddity of being sober whilst everyone around you is pissed up at one stage or other of your life. That was my walk downtown as all the nightclubs kicked out.

However I arrived at the store, with a good 10 minutes to spare. I assume it is partially as I don’t carry a mobile phone.. and as I am an adult… but I am very rarely late. And I wasn’t here either. Of course. The store lights were on, as if it was some really, really cheap Vegas casino. I, and the others gathered, went in.

Our local store, like many GW stores, is located on a sidestreet off of the main High Street. This does mean however that it is surrounded by residential flats/similar. And in past years – and oft with good cause I must agree – they have complained about the noise the GD party has caused.

So to lessen this impact, this year we are all asked to wait inside the store. Which is a good idea, one I approve of.

……..so there we are, only 20 odd of us- much less than in past years ( we’ve taken 60+ people up before to the event..but the store has had….issues… this year.. to say the least) …

…. And then… then…then.. then the fire alarm goes off….

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Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:51 pm
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Post Re: So, who is going?
.. we will actually get to GD Uk..I promise !

That section might wll be short, but we will get there..

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Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:58 pm
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Post Re: So, who is going?
I'm in suspense. This does need to go on the front page. Others must know of your dedication to the cause.

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Post Re: So, who is going?
What do you call twenty wargamers burnt to death in a shop fire?

I don’t know, why are you asking me? I’m kind of horrified that you are labouring under the impression that would even be a term for such a tragedy.

….Bonfire of the Inanities perhaps?

..anyway…

So; it’s getting close to 4 in the morning. Only a light drizzle is falling, so in UK terms it’s good weather. Our store, our church so to speak, is in the midst of a residential area – near some blocks of flats just off the high street. In past years the gathered throng of excited/overtired/drunk gamers has raised the ire of those who sleep in said apartments, so we had been asked this year to wait inside the store itself. Seeing as they had also turned on the wheezing old heating system in there this seemed quite appealing.

If you were an inexperienced traveller anyway. One not accustomed to the grind and hardship one must undergo to attain entrance to our yearly Mecca. One who has not the experience to realise that there’s no point in getting all warm and comfortable inside the store when, just as one considers taking off ones coat(s) and/or gloves and hats, you will be cruelly dismissed and forced to leave the cosy haven, line up in the cold and then stumble and barter and haggle for a seat on a coach that has, helpfully, been pre chilled by experts to such an exact degree that you will be riven with indecision as to whether or not one can remove ones coat and use it as some from of blanket – and thusly aid ones attempts to sleep, perchance to dream – or just sit there and try not to feel too ridiculous.

In the old days we used to call things like this character building.

And it never did us any harm. Aside from the deaths and maimings anyway. A certain amount of scar tissue looks manly and suggests character too. “Chicks” dig it. Well, they always seem drawn to them in Batman comics and if it’s good enough for batman then…then….

..anyway…

So, after a brief sweep through the store to say “hello” and grab the “programme” for the event – a somewhat pisspoor effort, redeemed only slightly by a few hundred word tale by Mr. Hoare within as a bonus. Which is ironic as if one is honest it was pretty much the only content in the poxy thing, aside from a map designed to infuriate those with poor eyesight and a (larger) plug for next years “Black Library Live” event.—I retreated outside. Fortified by a quick …smoke… and a few wee nips from my hip flask. See? Experience there. I’m a veteran.

And then the fire alarm went off, set off by, we think, the accumulation of dust in the heating system from over the summer. So, even though we know there was no fire everyone still has to move and stand outside. So now we not only have a large crowd of assembled excited/overtired/drunk gamers making noise but a blaring siren cutting through the night air like some putdown from a political anecdote from in the 1800s or somesuch.

Boy, the neighbours sure did love us!

Of course this wasn’t everything; my local store is currently sans a manager, after a year long series of fuck up after fuck up and gross mismanagement by GW that has seen a once thriving store been reduced to a sad shell of what it once was, with regular customers leeched away to online store or even leaving the hobby altogether. For example, there’s been past years when this store has booked and filled two coaches completely with ease. And this year.. well.. there’s twenty odd of us, not enough to fill a whole coach.

Remember this fact. I sure as hell wish I’d thought about it more.

One consequence of this sad, sad state of affairs is that certain things in the store haven’t been done or have been left, pushed to the side “to do when there’s time.” This has also led to an awkward staff shortage, which meant the poor sod from the store “In Charge” of our party was in fact the shops key timer, ie the part time guy who does about 8 hours a week. He is sound enough and, all in all, coped magnificently with what was thrown at him over the course of the day. In fact he went “above and beyond” so much so that I emailed GW not long after the event to pass on my thoughts on this and say what a good job he had done under the circumstances. It’s very easy to criticise and moan about staff, but people very rarely take the time to say anything when they experience great service.

GW haven’t got back to me at all. Which is…interesting.

So.. fire alarm, key timer, people outside…. store telephone is partially broken and keeps cutting out and/or breaking down entirely and no one has had the chance to fix it. Fair play to the key timer guy, he whips out his mobile phone and dials the fire alarm company.

Or at least he would do if he could get reception inside the store. Just outside the store, fine, as soon as you set foot into the store…nothing.Nada.Zip. So he flits back and forth, like an oversized pyromanical hummingbird encountering a very odd flower indeed, trying to turn the alarm off.

His cause not being helped by the broken light bulb and piles of boxes and general crap filling up the rear area where the alarm control panel is situated.

Thankfully most of the assembled people were adults, many of whom hold down jobs and the like, some of us even managing to operate such complex bits of kit as fire alarms, often without doing ourselves serious harm either! A swift bit of team work, aided in part by the light provided by a ciggie lighter, cleared the crap out of the way, and the alarm was cancelled by the cunning method of following the fucking instructions on the alarm system itself.

It’ll never catch on.

We wait some more, the tedium lightened somewhat by the trusty hip flask and another minor farce with regards to the store banner.

Ah, yes.

For those unfamiliar with the UK GD experience let me explain.

GW is run on strict, ruthless Darwinian principles. To this end each store that travels to GD has or constructs a banner, like the ones that units in Warhammer carry. The design is up to them, as long as it has the store name on it. Some of them are actually very impressive pieces of artwork that leave you marvelling at what people can do when they put their minds to it. Over the years, and events, they even accumulate “battle damage” of a sorts. The idea her being that each store can arrive and then “march” together to the event and, most importantly, refind each other at the events end.

Tradition and the aforementioned Darwinian principles dictates that this banner is always carried by the weediest and geekiest kid in the party. Ideally one who lacks the physical strength to hold the bloody thing upright but just about stubborn enough to refuse any and all offers of help. Thus the initial approach is oft accompanied by stifled sobs and moaning and, most vitally of all, that at the end of the day, when several thousand people mill around and try to leave all at the same time, it is impossible to see the design on the banners at all. The weak and the unlucky simply fall and are left behind. Some say they are absorbed into the ranks of the NEC staff, others hint at a fate both darker and more diabolic.

So, now the alarm is off, some bright spark mentions the banner. Bear in mind of course key timer is quite new and wasn’t here last year, and has no idea where the poxy thing is kept. A brief, if frantic, “treasure hunt” ensues. The added motivation being that embarrassing as walking along with the banner can be, it’s still far better than walking along with a broomstick with a bit of cardboard and your hometown scribbled on it in biro is.

We found the banner! The screws to assemble the thing had, of course, disappeared during the last year. More were swiftly located..from where I know not, but I’m staying away from the wall mounted shop fittings for a while I can tell you. The screwdriver was also AWOL but, in true game fashion, we improvised with a hobby knife and scissors.

Finally, and only thirty minutes late, the coach arrives.

Upon reflection I should perhaps have been worried that he only got here after phoning for directions…., still at least he had the key timers mobile phone number.

We get on the coach.

It’s a double decker. Tradition and the threat of violence means we stick to the usual travel arrangements; kids and those all excited go upstairs, grumpy old grognards and those intending upon some dozing, light reading etc etc downstairs. Where it’s nice and quiet.

Key timer “calls the register” to check everyone is here. This isn’t helped by the fact that hasn’t a clue who many of us are. This takes about fifteen minutes.

At some point I had gathered that we were not going to go straight to the NEC, but were going to make a, minor, detour to another store en route as they also hadn’t quite got enough to fill up a coach on their own either. “They only sold a dozen tickets” was the tale told, and we all chuckled, dismissive of this stores’ ineptitude, for some fucking reason or other. I dunno.. it was late… or early… anyway…

Myself and The Old Gits have settled on the downstairs. Key timer, bless him, comes over and suggests that it might be “fun” if we all sat together upstairs, as that way it would be easier to keep track of the two groups when we picked the others up. This suggestion did not go done well. The language was a bit….. industrial…. If you follow me… here. I felt somewhat sorry for the nice lady and her two children – ages 8 and 11 – who had also chosen to camp downstairs. I could see the burning desire in the 8 year olds eyes to ask his mum exactly what a motherfucker was and exactly how one does fuck off and die.

The seating arrangements resolved we, finally, set off. Just after the driver explained that he was late as he’d “had to put petrol in the tank”. Now I am no expert, don’t even drive, but I’m pretty certain this is common to most motor vehicles and something that, perhaps, one might factor into the equations when agreeing upon travel times. Anyway…. off we go!

The mist shrouded English countryside rolls past the windows, as we snuggle down. The peace of the downstairs area being broken, initially anyway, by the regular sounds of the SAT NAV system. I swear I’m not making this next bit up, but , somehow, it had a speech impediment.

“Turn L..L…Left.”

It fucking stammered on L words. Oh good.

Anyway, we’re driving, I’m trying to doze and/or reading a book – Gav Thorpe’s first non BL novel, well worth picking up if you like a bit of blood and sandals and a side helping of politics and sex-- when a guy comes down from upstairs. He’s got a/some kid/s with him and has wound up there. Poor sod.

He then politely asks the driver if he’s sure that he’s going the right way to this other pick up..

… guess what….!

Still, both locations start with a “M”.. easy mistake to make.

We drive on, find a junction, turn around and set off in the right direction.

By this point some of the downstairs people have given up on sleep. One or two are passed out due to alcohol/similar, but these few have decided there is NO SLEEP UNTIL BEDTIME. One of them has already managed to eat 2 packets of crisps, a sausage roll and one or two – reports vary – pork pies. And some Jaffa cakes. And has opened a packet of “Scampi snacks”, a “treat” which really added to the atmosphere on board, in more ways than one.

One of these….. fellows…. Has also brought a portable DVD player with them. And they decide, at 6 something in the morning, to watch “Battle Royale”. You know, the hyper violent, subtitled Japanese film where loads of school kids get dumped onto an island in a violent reality style show and have to kill each other. Led to that lass in the schoolgirl outfit getting that role in “Kill Bill “ 1. It’s not a bad film, I own it. But place and a time maybe ? Especially if you’re going to add somewhat ribald comments to do with the sexual activities you would undertake with some of the female stars. Even if they are in school uniform.

And the obligatory wargamer tough talk as people explained why they’d be alright as they studied martial arts/once had some Kendo lessons/know a lot about guns/ just know a lot of survival skills/general bullshit from people who couldn’t turn off a fire alarm not long back.

Once again those little kids were getting quite an education with regards to adult linguistics. I curse—in case you haven’t noticed—a lot. But time and a place and, well, you’ve got to be careful around kids. You never know when things like that will come back to bite you in the ass later anyway. I… suggested… they might want to watch their language in front of the lady and her bairns. She smiled, they grumbled, I offered to resolve the issue outside the coach at the first available opportunity if he really had an issue. They back down and grumble.

Karma however it seems is swift these days.

For it seems that one of them suffer/s/ed from motion sickness, and the small screen on the portable DVD player was not helping. He got up and announced, loudly, that he wasn’t feeling well. Ashen faced he stumbled towards the coaches toilet. He clawed at the day, making that swift swallowing and heaving motion one does in these circumstances. The door refused to open.

Panicked he turns and yells at the driver –- bear in mind as he does this we are also hearing “At the next junction take the second L L L left” – of his plight. Quick as a flash the driver responds…

“Oh yeah. You need like some key to unlock it, but I couldn’t find it, so there’s no toilet. Sorry.”

Oh. Good. I thought.

More or less.

Looking back and seeing the heaving state of his passenger, the driver quickly, and expertly, cuts across all the near empty lanes of the motorway, adding further to the child’s vocabulary of new words as he does so.

So we stop and spend a few awkward minutes as someone is noisily sick outside and I lead a few brave people a little bit further along the motorway side to piss behind the few withered trees that cling to life next to this motorway. One of my party is the 11 year old. I have terrible visions of some car based carnage happening and trying to explain that to his mother. I chuckle slightly at the thought as we all stand there in a line, small streams of steam coming off of our streams. The mind works in odd ways and all I kept hearing at that moment in time was Will Ferrell in “Zoolander” as “Mugatu”, from right at the end when he shouts out “I feel like I’ve taken crazy pills”. Over and over again.

That’s one of the signs of madness, if you believe what you read.

Thankfully we all get back on board without the loss of either life or genitals.

Captain Vomit, as he is now known – and if you are going to wear a leather waistcoat you might well get mocked eh ? Eh ? – is forced to swap seats. For reasons I cannot recall or fathom, he gets put almost directly behind the driver, so if he is sick it will be all over the man in control of the vehicle. Errr… anyway.

We crack on and arrive on the outskirts of the town where we are to pick up “the others”, as they had come to be known, as if we were suddenly in “Lost”. Which was, perhaps, looking more fun. Still..on our way now eh…

…Or we would be if the SAT NAV wasn’t trying to direct us to go under a bridge that had a maximum clearance of muchlessthanoutcoach. So we play it cool and, apparently, start to randomly drive around this town despite no one on the bus knowing it or the location of the store at all.

And then we discover the wonders of this town’s absinthe and LSD inspired one way system. Seriously bat shit crazy, as if the town’s roads were designed by a combination of Illuminati occult techniques and Stevie Wonder with crayons on a rollercoaster.

We are, of course, running late by now, so the store here phones key timer to see what is going on. Of course he hasn’t had a chance to recharge his battery and he has used up loads of his charge trying to speak to the fire alarm company earlier so his phone dies.

Good times.

Thankfully some brave soul/massive geek has got a copy of White Dwarf with them, so we pull the stores phone number from that and then initiate an incredibly odd method of guiding the driver. On the plus side the guy issuing the instructions at the other end – who is a guest from their store, he doesn’t work there or anything – is ex military and used to teach navigation whilst one guy on our coach is in the Territorial Army as a “scout” / something to do with maps.

So we get there!

We do drive, much to the drivers discomfort but I figure he knew his stock was low at this point due to his lateness and the lack of toilet facilities, the wrong way down the one way system for a good mile or two, including several brief sojourns on the wrong side of the road … perhaps… but who cares! We’re there !

And there is like 30 – 40 people stood outside this poxy little store. Not quite the 12 or so rumour had talked about earlier.

They got on. They had a full time member of staff, who had been briefed, swiftly, by our key timer as to the situation thus far. And, to be fair to the guy, he’d acted.

“Look, I’ve brought a bucket” he, cheerily, announced as he hefted a tin bucket up above his head.

“Just in case anyone can’t wait whilst we’re travelling”.

I, until my dying day, will wish I had a camera to catch the look on the face of the mother sat downstairs with us when he’d said this. I am now convinced that the smile on the face of the Mona Lisa is based upon some situation roughly analogous to this.

Although I’ll admit “Smile on the toilet blocked women” isn’t quite as catchy as titles go. Perhaps.


Give it time.

You read it here first.

So they clamber on board, loud, cold and moaning. Full timer member of staff comes over to us, a big I’mgoingtoaskyousoemthingdumb smile on his face..

“Hi guys ! “ – I’ll be honest, he’s not off to a good start with that opening line – “ I was thinking it might be cool” – as he said “cool” he tried to do the speech or quotation marks gesture, the affect spoilt by him holding the god damn bucket still –“ If maybe you guys all moved upstairs as well, that way all your lot together and it will be easier…”

This did not go down well, I especially was quite vocal in my refusal to move.

And then.. then he tried it. The “AUTHORITY” approach.

“Well, I guess I could always make you move…” he slobbered, laughing as he said so, trying to garner support from those around the area, and as he does so realising he won’t get any whatsoever and is entirely on his own here. People looked away. Bless his little now educated socks, but the 8 year old even laughed a full on “The Duke” style chuckle as he heard this, followed by an “Uh oh”.

It’s unlikely he’ll ever read this, and I did..kinda.. apologise later. But if he does; I am sorry. I really won’t do that that to you. Or your mother, or your Father, even if I/someone has to dig him up from his grave first.

And the bucket wouldn’t fit there anyway I’m sure.

All things he took it well, and went upstairs.. quietly,, with “the others”.

Vindicated and full of “HUH! ALPHA MALE 111 “ chemicals I sat back down.

It was just my sore neck that meant that I couldn’t meet the eyes of the mother and her kids after that exchange….

..right ?

We drove on.

..Remember what I said about Karma….?

All of a sudden there’s a “HISS” and a “WHOOSH” and the door to the coach opens about a half inch or so. Thus leaving all of us sitting downstairs, effectively, sitting in a wind tunnel. Over the next hour we try various things to fix this. Belts are taken off and tied in various combinations, as are scarfs, random bits of clothing and even carrier bags.

We stop at a service station, to affect repairs and allow toilet and food breaks.

We hurry into the facilities.

As I do so there is something of a commotion from next to me. It’s coming from one of the “gambling” machines in the entrance foyer. It’s one of those ones where once you pays yo’ money, you (futilely) attempt to steer a claw like arm to grab at a prize and then, in a crane like fashion, move and drop this snatched treasure into your sticky grasp. Ands wind up with some cheap piece of crap not quite worth the money you paid for it.

Hmm… there’s a metaphor here somewhere I’m sure of it….

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Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:12 pm
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Post Re: So, who is going?
Huge apologies for the delay in this...

..but ..but..there are reasons.

I've nearly finished updating the RPG thread as well.

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Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:14 pm
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Post Re: So, who is going?
A little aside:
from the new 40k radio. It really is quite enlightening, especially the interviews at the end with the other tourists. One of the speakers is German and he explains the difficulties of playing Flames of War in Germany.

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Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:52 am
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