Gamesday 2012 in Chicago

What a weekend!

Mike Cho and myself flew out to Chicago for Gamesday and met up with Fritz who drove (With his wife.)  There is nothing like seeing good people and having good times.

Mephiston in a pool of red angels.

Here was me with a girl from the plane. Her name is Michelle, and she made the first cut for American Idol I think and was excited to be going to the next round. I figured why not grab a pic with some one soon to be mega famous! I will be watching for her in January.

Lets start with the negative and get it out of the way.  It seems Games Workshop is setting a new standard for doing the lest amount of work as possible and still get away with calling it a Games Workshop event.  This was the smallest Gamesday I have attended.  The numbers are down, a lot. Who knows why... probably because it is in Chicago and traveling to Chicago sucks.

But worse, it seems that Games Workshop seemed eerily not in attendance!  What I am saying is that gone was the eye candy. The goods. Case after case of beautiful eye candy and displays. There was nothing.  Well I won't say nothing. They did have a massive big game that was chock full of models, and they had a big tank game full of bane blades.  But Gamesday to me used to be about looking at beautiful stuff and interesting stuff on display, and there was none of that.

There was even a lack of the club tables that had become a huge part of Gamesday.  There was only five, with the most notable being my friends at Snake Eyes who created an epic Ship Boarding engagement scenario between Space Wolves and Chaos.  They won Best Community Table, and well deserved.

There was a lot going on, but I don't know, it just seemed flat. Perhaps others who attended can help me elaborate.

On with the good.

All the great times!

First, on Friday Night, Fritz, Cho and Myself went out to the GW Battle Bunker to try to get some games.  Sadly though, it seemed no one was interested in playing! There were a lot of people, but aside from the sales dudes trying to push Chaos Demons on us, almost all of them were heavily invested in playing big 3v3 or more games.  The only guy interested in playing at all was a dude teaching another dude how to play 5th edition.

So Fritz and I grabbed a table and started playing!  I learned a big lesson. Never play a game vs Fritz on a table that perfectly matches his army.

He nearly tabled me.  Batrep to follow.

Here is some eye candy from the bunker.

Beautiful hand painting on that raider!

Saturday morning came and I found myself sitting in line with all the rest of the people. This was my first year in half a decade going to Gamesday as a normal person. Waiting in line sucks.  Then I found out that they were letting in the Golden Demon entries an hour early.  Score.

I decided to pull out some models from my transport and enter them!

I threw in my priest and my scouts. Both of whom made FIRST CUT!  I take that as an honored compliment considering the amazing competition and the fact that these models, while painted for competition, were not painted for Demons.  It inspired me to actually try for next year.  My first attempt to win a Demon was thwarted by a douche who entered a Dark Angels squad purchased from and painted by a famous artist who has won herself many demons. I spoke to the staff that year and they told me that I missed the bronze by just a hair, edged out by that squad.  Drat.  Oh well. I only brought these models to play on the open tables, so a first cut is more than I ever expected.  I do believe that my Sanguinor had a chance to at least make final cut, but when I pulled him out he had a big chip in his paint on his chest.  These models were painted to play with, and they take damage.  Oh well.

So any way, I was in. Fritz and Cho were still waiting outside and I was free to roam the show.  I was among the first into the retail area, and I was one of the very few to score a coveted limited edition print of the cover art for the new Horus Heresy book by James Swallow!  He was in attendance signing autographs, so I had him sign the book and print for me.

Thanks Mr. Swallow!

My banner was a huge hit. Once I got it assembled with the help of Brian Niro, and I send a HUGE thanks out to him for his help, I could not get 10 feet without stopping for pictures with fans!  Here are some shots.

I entered my banner in the competition, and in the toughest contest I have faced so far, won my fourth.  A guy with a Chaos banner had a particularly loud group of friends out there and I fear that the masses were polarized against Ultramarines thus hurting my response.  But the Jawafans came through and I owned the day, barely.  :)  Next year I am planning a Lamenters banner.  

Fritz and I got to play against some fans from the blogs. First up was a youngling Chris and his dad.  I teamed with Chris and Fritz with his dad.  It was a great game with the Eldar just edging Warmaster Chris and myself commanding our Wolves and Angels.  

Then Fritz and I teamed up against two young guys Michael and Spencer. Michael was playing an awful iffy 500 point list including Mephiston and two mostly full assault squads in pods and Spencer was playing a contingent of Ultramarines.

There would be no mercy.  Fritz and I unleashed the might of our forces, first cutting down Michael's angels, with Mephiston going down to Pathfinder fire, and then cutting down the Smurfs in a stubborn but futile close combat.  Spencer's captain earned his name in battle though, before his head fell to my Librarians' feet.  I asked Spencer if the valiant captain had a name, having none, I  named him Aurelious Maximus, and Spencer informed me that the Tactical Sergeant locked in combat with Fritz's eldar was the Captains son.  So my Librarian jumped over there and added his head to the pile.  Jr. did not put up as much as a fight as his dad.  

It was all in good fun folks. It is called building a narrative. The boys had a great time and we had some joking fun.  Michaels's mother thanks us for playing with them. It was our pleasure!

That is about all I have for pictures from Gamesday. Like I said, there was little eye candy worth taking pics of.  Plus the day goes by so fast... But Fritz got plenty of pics too.  

Here are a couple more. 

A brilliant painter named Mike snapped a shot of his Armies on Parade entry with his Silver Demon

One final pic!

So on to dinner!

Perhaps more so than Gamesday, I have been dreaming about this steak for a year. Last year we went to an awesome steak house at the hotel next to the con.  This year, John Steining and his wife joined us. I ordered a 28 ounce pepper crusted porterhouse. I named it Gone. As in, it was about to be!

All dressed up.

Fritz got a 7 ounce steak. Wimp.

The five of us. 

We drunkenly made a pact. Uh oh.  I think it is written some place to beware drunken pacts... Any way, our pact was for all five of us to enter a Lord of the Rings Golden Demon model next year. Oh man.  :)

Gone lived up to his name.

So that is it for pictures.  We had an outstanding day. I got to talk gaming with dozens of people and answered a lot of questions about lists and armies.  I got to sign a lot of autographs and meet a lot of young fans.  That is what it is all about.  

So here is to next year!  I will be doing a Lamenters banner, and entering the Golden Demon contest in earnest, probably with some of the Lamenters models I will be painting this year, and one Lord of the Rings entry..

I have selected this guy.

Now to get the model and start painting! 

I did get some nice info out of the Forgeworld guys. They plan on releasing codex books for Pre Heresy armies from the Horus Heresy!  WOW!!!  A codex book for the Blood Angels complete with Sangiunius!  Too sweet. When I asked them if Sanguinius would be one of the first, he just sort of looked up at the ceiling with a smile.  Too cool.  It is going to be a fun year indeed.

More to come!



Billy Woodman said...

Hi there! First of all I want to congratulate you on your banner I thought it looked absolutely awesome!
I agree on your opinion of Gamesday though, myself and a couple other friends have been playing 40k for almost half a year now and our local GW store manager encouraged us to go to Gamesday, so we took the bus there very excited for what sounded like an amazing day, but after the doors opened we were all very disappointed.

I felt like I had spent 25$ to either go spend money on more GW product or wait in very long lines. Pretty disappointing I have to say.

It bothered me that there was so much open space because any other kind of convention I've ever been to always is packed to the walls with booths, events, etc.

I personally think that Games Workshop's strategy there was to have little in the way of things to do so that there would be long lines for what was offered so then people were faced with either waiting in line or going into the on site store and spending money.

I guess I was just expecting an event that catered to the enthusiast rather than their wallet :p But hey I got a nice Blood Angels Captain I could paint up and use one of these days.

Jawaballs said...

Hey Billy, thanks! And I think you may have nailed part of it. Know that Gamesday has not always been like this. In the past, there was so much going on, it was difficult to get it all in. They used to run a tournament during the con, and every where you went was cool stuff to look at. The retail part was secondary. This year, the biggest devotion of space was to the store.

Tim Toolen said...

Games Day this year for me was all about connecting with folks like you, Mike, Fritz, Chris (Borer, already mentioned you :), Jim and Dave...and far more than I can name here. Having half hour and longer conversations...actual conversations, was amazing for me. Yes, I miss the days when the GT turned Games Day into a two day event for me, the bevy of seminars, sneak peeks and sheer geek eye candy that is of yesteryear now.

Forget GWs lack of attention to their community, we've formed our own community and they showed up in force and we all had a blast together. Just take a look at all the pictures you've got and all the connections we got to make Saturday :)

It was awesome to see you again, my friend, and I really hope you (and everyone) make it to Adepticon next year. We need to get a game in!


Black Matt said...

How did cho do? Any pictures of his stuff? Why no mention

Jawaballs said...

Oh Cho didnt enter. The kid sucked up all his time!

Black Matt said...

I guess that's what they do, god bless em! Congested on first cut. Did they have ant blood bowl going on?

Black Matt said...

Oh yeah, know anyone who wants to sell that games day shirt @ a semi small profit? Id love to buy one.

knightyc said...

did you win a deamon :p

did you get my model only joking. Hmm sounds like GW just going to put main effort into the uk gamesday now then. Maybe its starting to cost them too much to do it now.

Gladeius said...

Hey Jawaballs, I am the father of the new Warmaster Chris of the Space Wolves. I just wanted to say thank you for the game. We had a great time and really appreciate the time spent with you and Fritz. You guys were so patient with my son, and with my lack of speed. This is a highlight of our gaming together.

On another note, the games day of 3+ years ago was much bigger and included many more models. I remember in the past, the guys at the gw stores would have small armies that they had to paint for games day gamin and display. I have not seen that lately.

Again, thanks for a great time.

Gladeius (Jim and Chris)

Gladeius said...

Hi Jawaballs, thank you for spending time with my son, Warmaster Chris and I at Gamesday. We had a great time. You and Fritz were great sports. I think you have a new fan for life (or two). Chris also asks when you will post the video. He also says thanks again for the blood dice. If you are coming to the Chicago area and need anything, let us know.

Thanks again,
Gladeius (Jim and Chris)

Howl said...

Hey Jawaballs,

Great banner! Love it! Do you ever make banners for commision?

Jawaballs said...

I sure do Howl. Look over on the right for links to them. Email me at hotmail and we can discuss more.

inquisitor_dunn said...

Also gone are the Outriders who would paint up lots of figs and terrain for themed tables at Gamesdays.

Lucky us in Minneapolis that get to play on tables with "former" Gamesday terrain for RTTs (reason I make the 4 hour drive up!). The Dark Angel Forgewold thunderhawk tables is always a blast. (Gamesday table- ThunderHawk Down)

Jawaballs said...

Yes! Is it too much to ask to see gigantic displays such as those that appear in White Dwarf? It is the only North American Gamesday of the year... you would think they could make it shine!

Matthew Ochs said...

Congrats on another impressive banner! It was nice to meet you in person.

That's great to hear you made first cut. 40k squad and single mini are incredibly tight categories. Best of luck next year!

Brian said...

Nice banner pole!
... and the banner is quite smashing as well.

Excellent to see you again. Terribly sorry to have missed the steaks. Next year.

Heavybolterbob said...

Congrats again on the banner! And thanks again for taking the time to let me get pics of it with my Ultramarines Armies on Parade entry and my Silver Demon! Much appreciated!

EllisW said...

Hello there jawa, I also attended games day. I felt the same way, I miss the tounement and the bits wagon of old. Felt like it was a store with attractions while you shopped.

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