Wow, what an insane 4 days. I can honestly say I have never had more fun playing war games and meeting people.
Let's start at the start I guess. After an eight hour drive down to St Louise on Thursday, I met up with my best friend that I had not seen in 4 years. We got everything settled in to our rooms and went forth to meet people and get a few games in before the convention started. In the first hour I got to meet people I have "known" online for years. People were just as friendly and awesome in person. I was pulled into card games, and the famous game of Werewolf that I had heard of and wanted to play for years.
Friday morning was the Last Chance Qualifier. For those of you who don't know what that is. It's an insane tournament that had about 200 players all trying to win the one spot left open in Invitational, which is the biggest event in Warmachine gaming. Obviously I had no shot at winning but it was an amazing experience to be among that many people. To their credit everyone I played was friendly and a great sport. In my mind this is what gaming should be!
After I left the Invitational it was time for what I thought would be a quick nap. Unfortunately I slept for about 4 hours.....
Then it was time for more war gaming, meeting up with friends in the hobby room and generally having a great time.
I want to speak about the hobby room for a bit. Andy Welton from Crippled System fame volunteered to spend his convention running an outstanding side event filled with classes on painting, airbrushing, pinning models and just about everything else related to the hobby side of gaming. I was fortunate enough to even teach a class on photographing miniatures. Dallas Kemp from the Privateer Press painting studio was even on had teaching painting and judging the Painting Competition. Just speaking with Dallas and showing him my models was worth the trip. So thank you Dallas for all the great feed back and tips!
Also a huge shout out to Hangar18minis.com for providing some fantastic photo backgrounds for taking pictures of miniatures.
On Saturday I took a step back and played in the Young Blood events. These are there for newer (read not great as well) players that want to get tournament experience without having to swim with the sharks. I gotta say that it was by far the most fun in gaming that I have had. The folks running the event were superb and extremely patient. The games were fun and enjoyed for the crazy off the wall things that happened and winning or losing we all had a blast. I also need to thank Brad Hartbauer for taking the time while waiting to play in the Invitational to play a game with me (while waiting for my next opponent). His tips and explanations really helped me understand what I was doing wrong and helped me tighten up what I was doing correctly. So Brad, thank you so much for spending the time helping a player noob!
Sunday was a bitter sweet day. It was time to pack up and leave and still be exited to go home to my wonderful wife and children. But before I left I had the honor of doing the photography for all the entries into the painting competition. I was humbled that Andy trusted me enough to not only handle what people spent hundreds of hours working on, but to also capture them on "film" and show how amazing some painters really are. The pictures will be posted to the warmachine weekend website soon!
So yea if you have any inkling of going to a con, I would highly recommend getting into WMW. The hotel was amazing, the prices were reasonable and the whole trip including gas, hotel, tickets, and food were under $400!
OK you read a wall of text (or you were smart and just scrolled down). Here are your pictures.
Here is the main hall Thursday night before the convention started. There were something like 200 tables ready to go!
Here is a picture of my first game against Circle during the LCQ
Here I am all bald and teaching people how to make their models look as good (or bad) on screen as in real life.
The Young Bloods room!
My buddy Kevin waiting for people to play.
The great folks running the Young Bloods Tournament (Kyle on the left and Dave in the blue shirt)
Folks waiting on the next round pairing talking about games and stuff.
There was a demo area for a new game called Guild Ball. Think BloodBowl but with good rules and really nice minis!
Of course I drive 400 miles to play my friend in a random paring tournament......
And my game with Brad, Thanks again man!