Every year on April 1, for just a few hours, we poor, maligned wordsmiths in the online journalism biz get to write an April Fools Day story: one brief, golden opportunity to put our thinking caps on and con you all into believing something silly. For the record, here’s a list of all the tricks we’ve ever pulled.
Don’t think too badly of us; it’s only once every 12 months, after all, and – believe it or not – a huge amount of creativity and hard work goes into cooking up these spoof articles.
Sure, when you realise you’ve been duped, there’s a moment of embarrassed anger – but there’s also joy, tomfoolery, and merriment to be had, and the prank day comes but once a year. So we hope you enjoy reliving these epic lols with us.
Here’s every Wargamer April Fools Day story, in order:
- Mysterious giant metal dice appear worldwide – 2021
- FromSoft Warhammer 40k game with Henry Cavill – 2022
- Archaeologists discover ancient Babylonian TCG – 2023
Mysterious giant metal dice appear worldwide
April 1, 2021
Our debut April Fools feature came just two months after Wargamer relaunched at the end of January 2021, and was a Dungeons and Dragons-themed riff on the (then recent) weird phenomenon of giant metal monoliths mysteriously turning up at random spots around the globe.
The story reported that huge, metallic D20-like objects had appeared, seemingly overnight, in locations as far apart as the Shetland Islands (north of Scotland); San Francisco; and the Namibian desert in Africa.
We’d like to give special thanks to tabletop RPG YouTuber and later Wargamer contributor Olly Paul for his, er, ‘comments’ on the befuddling news, providing expert confirmation that these were, unquestionably, DnD dice.
FromSoft Warhammer 40k game with Henry Cavill
April 1, 2022
A lot of diabolical deceptive groundwork went into the creation of this spoof, which claimed Dark Souls and Elden Ring developer FromSoftware was working on an officially licensed Warhammer 40k game featuring the world’s most famous fan of 40k Henry Cavill.
Once again, with heartfelt regret, we must affirm that (to our knowledge) this game does not exist).
Titled Warhammer 40k Nihilus, we reported the game would be a “vast, mysterious, and constantly surprising open-world action-RPG”, and gleefully included false quotes from Cavill himself.
We want it on the record that we diligently and sensitively roleplayed Cavill in order to compose these, and we stand by our confidence that – had any of this actually happened – they would be pretty damn close to what the real Henry would have said.
Over 70,000 Warhammer fans read that article, and – to put it mildly – a lot of them were not best pleased when they realised it was, in British cockney rhyming slang, a big old Porkie Pie (lie).
But what are such imaginative pranks, if not inspiring visions of what could be? If you want Warhammer 40k: Nihilus to be a reality, there’s nothing stopping you from (politely, constructively, and enthusiastically) encouraging Games Workshop and FromSoftware to make it happen. Believe us, we’d be right there with you.
Archaeologists discover ancient Babylonian TCG
April 1, 2023
Our most recent April Fools Day story was the adept work of Wargamer’s newest staff writer Tim Linward, and it was a doozy, read by over 43,000 people.
Heroically written in fleeting breaks while running an in-person tabletop gaming and miniature painting zone at London’s 2023 W.A.S.D. gaming show, the article reported archaeologists had unearthed clay tablets in ancient Sumerian ruins that appeared to be a TCG in the order of Magic: The Gathering, only 3,750 years older.
We’re in no hurry to add “The revered game played in the house of the king who lets counsel flourish” to our guide to the best trading card games (given it never existed) but Tim poured a lot of love and care into making the prank colorful, fun, and just about believable.
The clay ‘cards’, he wrote, were roughly MTG card size, but one inch (2.5cm) thick, and weighed around 3.5 ounces (100g). They were made by Sumerian priests, who supposedly produced a new selection of cards and rules every year, similar to MTG sets.
He even invented supporting comments from respected academics at SOAS University of London and Mustansiriyah University in Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq.
The crowning flourish was a reference to that most meme-ified of ancient persons, Ea-Nasir – the ancient Mesopotamian merchant who was the subject of the first recorded letter of complaint (a literal clay tablet inscribed with angry words in Akkadian cuneiform script.
In honor of Ea-Nasir and Tim’s article, we’d like to request any future complaints about Wargamer’s editorial output be submitted to us in cuneiform-inscribed clay tablet form only. Thanks for your cooperation.
For now, that’s our full library of spoof April Fools Day stories – we hope you found time to enjoy the silliness in between grumbling about getting got. For future reference: if you read something that doesn’t seem right, it’s worth quickly checking if it’s before noon (UK time) on April 1.
For more factual information, there’s always news on our homepage, or you can try the DnD release schedule and MTG release schedule guides to find out the latest on what’s coming up for your favorite games.