Dadhammering At The World Championships of Warhammer

Games Workshop held The World Championships of Warhammer a champion in four games, plus an overall “team” championship for a country. When it was announced that an official GW event was happening in my home town of Atlanta I was excited to repeat my Chicago experience, but without the cost of a plane ticket and hotel. However, GW decided that this event would include a narrative 40K event and tickets for those that were able to git gud at generalship or a combination of generalship and painting. Since I don’t have a fully painted and based 40K army my involvement was limited to hanging out, taking pictures, and talking with my people.

The World Championships of Warhammer were held in one of the three connected hotels that make up the sex hotels during Dragoncon. On Labor Day weekend upright and well meaning mini-generals and hobbyists travel to Washington D.C. to enjoy and NOVA. At the same time cosplayers, TV watchers, and movie enjoyers come to Atlanta to drink and party while wearing elf ears and making questionable posts looking for hookups. It was a shock to the system to see so little vomiting and body fluid exchange. It was wild to see some many sober people walking around that poor CVS.

A giant space marine terminator
Yes, you could touch it all over. There wasn’t enough staff on hand to stop you. During Dragoncon this would be vomited on by inebriated attendees.

I’m not sure why I spent so much time at the World Championships of Warhammer. Maybe it was being able to see people and talk battle barbies? Maybe it was the joy of being interviewed for a podcast while being assaulted by my son? (Look for Atlanta Warhammer to post something around June 2024). While I didn’t have any games to play I wanted to go support my friends who were playing and see some people that I don’t often get to hang out with. I stopped down Thursday, hung out with friends Friday, and came with both kids on Saturday. I was honestly I was surprised when both my kids wanted to go back on Sunday after a long and extended day on Saturday and I ended up staying for the awards ceremony. It really was a dadhammer weekend as my kids enjoyed running around screaming “pew pew pew pew” with some other kids while older children at heart were being anointed/beheaded by chaos. I’m assuming anyone with good dice rolls at the 40K event said “pew pew pew pew” before rolling 6s.

While open to the public the World Championships of Warhammer (“WCW”) wasn’t about them in any way. Unlike some cons I didn’t have to purchase a ticket or sneak around to shop at the warhammer store, walk through the tables, or talk and find my friends. I saw a few helpful souls explaining what was happening to confused/interested hotel guests. The of the weekend was on people who are so entwined into the hobby already and that was fine.

A Skull dude of Khorne

There was a lot of this going on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

What I Did

Thursday was spent connecting and seeing friends that I didn’t get a chance to talk to since my last travel event (LVO earlier this year) before retreating to Hattie Bs for dinner with some Georgia Warband members. The grand narrative event wasn’t set up or running at this point and hanging out with everyone replaced my regular thursday night gaming session. Having the WCW right off of a metro stop is a great idea even in a city with limited metro coverage like Atlanta.

Friday I stopped down after work with my son to check out things and walk through the grand narrative. Walking through the rooms was a trip Despite my best efforts and encouragement he didn’t request any models from the GW store. As we continue to work on his Thunder Lizard custom chapter I intended to let him be part of the preview but he wanted to leave early freeing me up for dinner.

The GW preview, a tradition at big events that occurs prior to a new revel, was pretty good. Since it occurred right after the first nights briefing the room was pretty full of Khorne energy for the reveals. I had tried to keep my son up for the event as I figured there would be a space marine revel. It always amazes me to hear people get really excited about space marines and the loudest pops were for the Dark Angels releases. The Old World model was neat and I wanted them to show off more kill team terrain. However, the crowd reaction to the FEC release was louder than I expected given the number of 40K players in attendance. I have no idea who buys Necromunda but I have never spoken to a person who looks at the models and says “that’s dumb”.

While FEC isn’t an army that I particularly these models show off what I really like about Age of Sigmar models – the huge diversity in textures and materials to paint. Despite this the preview felt pretty weak overall – but not unexpected as we’re waiting for the Old World, 10th has released, and we’re in the middle of a cycle of books in Age of Sigmar. We also were treated to the big WETA LT. Titus model that was later displayed and was given to the best general 40K winner. Unlike LVO, where Angron became not present, the community in Atlanta did not remove the model during the event.

As a favor to my wife I took out both kids on Saturday expecting them to want to come back after a few hours. For whatever reason my kids LOVED running around with other ragamuffin children long into the night. I had anticipated a quick in-and-out followed by food and an early bedtime. Instead, we got a few photos at the big space marine terminator.

Sunday was a LONG day waiting for the final awards ceremony. The grand narrative finished up and most of the day was spent getting some drinks and talking over the games and events with people.

Nicolas Tassone of France won after multiple marathon games coming through the redemption bracket. Since he came through that bracket he likely had the most table time out of anyone in Atlanta.  

Tom Mawdsley of England took second in Age of Sigmar.

On Monday I went to a local store to finally get in some games while a few of the international players went on flights. Due to the stomach bug/illness that was going around I only got in two games but straight up copied one of the gitz lists below that I’ll be trying to get use to for LVO. I stole Phil Marshalls list and tested it against a golden ticket winner. I will be running it at a 1-day GT this week.

The Good

So the narrative event looked neat and I received some rave reviews from a friend who played in it despite getting tabled in 20 minutes in a game. The combination of ‘themed’ rooms and the high number of cosplayers was pretty neat and the acting/plays that I saw were neat. Anytime a servant of Khorne speaks that is a tough act to follow. From time to time during the weekend I saw a few people getting symbols painted on them and most people I talked to had some story of an interesting event. The idea of theme rooms, with a desert room being bright, or a forest room having vines on the table, was neat but the tables were tables at the end of the day. On some level being able to see during a four hour round outweighs the “oh there are a lot of candles” on the steps.

Having the competitive events and the narrative completely separated was a good call. While Underworlds, Age of Sigmar, Kill Team, and Warhammer 40K all had different schedules letting the occur in the same room was a good experience for the more organized teams and let people wander through and observe games. You see the fist pumps, or the tight cheeked walk across the table to check a measurement in a competitive games that isn’t always present when people are rolling dice for fun. On the first day I was struck by how good I felt the hobby was overall and there were more than a few amazing standout in all of the game systems. However, as the weekend progressed I became a little less starstruck for two reasons. First, a good number of the participants earned a golden ticket through a best overall win as opposed to simply a best general. Second, there weren’t that many meta-chasers in throwing up the barest minimum acceptable paint job just to get models on the table. We’ve all gone to events where the current hot meta army (sharks) is thrown together as quickly as possible and to the lowest standard. I still stand by the hobby being great by competitive standards due to these factors.

There was AMPLE free water at the event that was refilled throughout. Anyone that has gone to LVO understands how awful it is to just want some water and not have any around. Throughout the weekend water, ice, and cups were available to anyone who wanted some. Additionally, the hotel bar had a pretty attractive (for con standards) $22 bucket of beer made up of the cheapest/worst beers our country has to offer.

For the Age of Sigmar event I think the format (pools with a top eight and a champions/not winners bracket) was really interesting and something that event organizers and TOs should think about. I know that BCP required some special programming to get everything running but having pools opens up some really interesting types of events/placings including allowing smaller venues hold larger events.

There was a big honking space marine terminator.  It was dope and the gun barrels were drilled. I put a picture at the beginning because it was cool.

Finally there was a sample of the newest (not shovelware) Warhammer something something Age of Sigmar that could be played on an xbox. While I didn’t participate or play it several children (including a member of my family) did and it is “hard” with “bad guys”.  During the past week my son has not asked to play it at home so make of that what you will.

The Warhammers were on display with winners from the GW open events.

The awards ceremony was great despite the late hour and GW went out of their way to recognize as everyone for getting best in faction in all the game systems. Most events I’ve been to don’t have a unified final event scoring/awards and it was a nice way to tie everything together. I really want to shout out the Underworlds Team Canada for bringing some strong energy.  Additionally, GW did announce that they attempted to verify that “Best Overall” winners painted/converted models themselves.

The Bad

A game of Age of Sigmar should not take five hours to play.  Most times at events there are a few games at the end that are going over time. This is often the #23 vs.#25 game to see who is 1-4 and who is 2-3. With respect to these players, as that’s the portion of the bracket I find myself, nobody wants to wait around to finish up awards for that game. Top games are often finished up very early. On Sunday I texted my wife around 4 PM that the things shouldn’t last beyond 8PM at the very latest. I didn’t get home until after 11:30 that night. I understand that there is a balance between important games coming to a natural conclusion letting everyone leave. As GW pointed out at the awards ceremony the country rankings for the entire event came down to a single dice roll. Somewhere between 7PM and 9:30PM things started I started to feel more like a hostage than an observer.

Some potential solutions are:

  1. Have the last game be a custom scenario with 8 megas and 1 single point. (2 armies 1 point)
  2. Use a chess-clock – Something that has been suggested and rejected by the players.
  3. Enforce the four-hour time limit.

Two TOs discovering that there ain’t nothing in the rulebook that prevents a dog from playing (Dogs and children can likely pilot megas and troggs to a 1-4 or 2-3 finish). There also isn’t a way to determine when a game starts in Age of Sigmar.

Ultimately the length of game question and the desire for a natural conclusion vs. an adjudicated result is something outside the scope of this article. As Age of Sigmar has become more interactive (a good thing) and includes more bookkeeping it’s going to require faster play. I have to imagine that the specific lists involved (Luminith with the potential for a long hero phase and Skaven doing weird bodyguard math on screaming bells) didn’t help the issue. Other competitive endeavors have figured out ways to speed things along (clocks, stoppage, timeouts) while still balancing the need to allow for adjustments or planning. I want to be perfectly clear that my comments on the time limit are not blaming the players at all – both games were fair and hard-fought.

The streaming situation kinda sucked if you didn’t speak French or want to watch 40K exclusively. Now, I understand that 40K is the reason most people are tuning in and there should be a stream of it going at all times. That being said, this is a really good opportunity to show off the other game systems for people that might not think about them. In the next year I hope that GW puts the resources and space into having a dedicated stream for each one of the games represented at the WCW to allow more people to follow at home. It is very difficult to stream a new game system and I wouldn’t be able to tell you the first thing that goes on in a game of 40K.

Items not for sale at the store. While neat to see your mileage may vary if you like it or not.

I don’t particularly understand the point of having the WETA LT. Titus model as the prize for best general in 40K. This is a lovely painted large figure and many of the participants earned tickets for best overall in additional to being the best general, and their chances of winning best general were slight. It would have made a better award for Best Overall.

In my opinion this award should go a person who won something with a painting score attached to it.

The Ugly

Look, lots of people got sick with a stomach virus or something. That sucks. I caught COVID at or around LVO this year and the post-con getting sick sucks. I don’t attribute this to anyone in particular but I heard that it hit the British team pretty hard. I made a very calculated choice to not speak with Phil Marshall (3rd place finisher) during the Age of Sigmar finals as he looked close to death while supporting his team on Sunday.

Dadhammering next steps

My next event is going to be a 1-day Warzone event on Friday where I”m stealing Phil’s list from worlds and running it to the best of my ability. The narrative event at worlds was so fun that I’ve started my [redacted] army where I’m really really going to lovingly paint every model.

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at