Monday, August 1, 2011

The day before Games Day: The Tale of the Tables for Heroes of Armageddon!

Phew! I survived yet another Games Day!
But before I start showing you shiny pictures of the event itself let me start with the day before Games Day in which yours truly overslept, the FOUR 3'x4' Heroes of Armageddon tables were finished and then transported to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, the Heroes of Armageddon crew finally met in person and the miniatures finally got to see their enemies..

Friday, August 30, 2011 (The day before Games Day)
It's gettin' there..
SNOOZE! After specifically instructing my parents to wake me up before 7:30am, I ended up waking up an hour late! Oh no! And I was supposed to catch the 9:25 Metra train to Santa's Brian's little workshop. A quick shower, a taxi to the Metra Station and three shots of espresso from Starbucks (I was running on 3 and a half hours of sleep, you see) sealed the deal.

Although slightly late for the party, there was still plenty of work to be done. Nothing major, though, just minor touch-ups where paint had chipped, pooled or where something needed a second, third.. or fourth layer of paint. Some watered down fancy washes were also applied to bring things together and under the hot Chicago sun they dried pretty fast. Too fast, even. That was pretty much all me and "Frozencore" Joe had to do while Brian and Tall Paul were trying to figure out a way to transport the entire (well... sort of) Hive Hades to Rosemont.
And as luck would have it, U-Haul was out of trucks. Yaaaaaay... ;/

We somehow managed to fit all 4 tables in Brian's truck while the upper removable sections went inside Joe's car, after which we were on our way to the convention center. Aaand we lost Brian's vehicle just a couple of blocks after we left his house, because Chicago's intersections and roads are worse than those of a Third World village still using beasts of burden.. Then we spent an hour or so back and forth the traffic-jammed highway trying to find the correct exit to Rosemont, but we eventually found it (through sheer luck!) and the rest was eeeeasy!  The convention center welcomed us and just like that we were inside, helping the rest of the crew to set up the tables and the miniatures.

Just a small part of the Heroes of Armageddon crew..
Let's see.. That day I got to meet Jawaballs, Fritz, Mike Cho, John Dickerman from Santa Cruz Warhammer, Brian from The Inner Geek, Drathmere from his 40k Hobby Blog and then some more! All of them are great painters, converters and bloggers and needless to say I felt.. well.. sort of.. unneeded. It's true that all of them have been in this hobby way longer than my measly 2 years, yet I just can't help it. Picking the brains of some of the greatest hobbyists this side of the globe meant a lot to me and I felt honored to be a part of the Heroes of Armageddon team, if only as the youngest, least-experienced Eastern European token character. ;P
Everyone was very happy to finally put the precious HoA models on the table and even though the tables seemed so big and vast, once Dave Taylor's Steel Legion started hitting the table it turned out that the tables needed to be larger! ~20 vehicles and ~100 infantry models will do that, I guess!

The Imperial Navy zooming above what is left of Hive Hades..

"Ha! I got head from an Ork!"
We really tried to create a story with the models, especially in areas where the Imperium of Man was clashing with the Orkz. No amount of pictures would be able to capture the power level of the Battle for Hive Hades as there was just so much to stare in awe at. We tried to do it, anyways, though. In the next few days there will be hundreds of photos all over the internet and I'm really curious to see which angles of the battle intrigued people the most. If you have interesting pictures to share feel free to send them to my e-mail and I'll make sure to post them. Here are some of my favorite ones..

Steel Legion troops taking positions..
A Chimera being deployed from underneath the Hive's sewers..
Armageddon Ork Hunters
As you can see, the Imperial Guard models are definitely very photogenic and each picture tells a story and there were literary hundreds of opportunities to capture such moments on camera.
You definitely don't need characters such as Ghazghkull Thraka duking it out with Captain Tycho in the same picture to get epic results.. But when you do it's just an added bonus. Especially when both models are painted by Golden Demon winners such as Mathieu Fontaine (painted Ghazghkull) and Tim Williamson (painted Tycho)!

Fontaine's Ghazghkull model was definitely my favorite and when I got a chance to hold it in my hands I really, really wanted to just run away with it. The new Finecast model is so gorgeous and light! On can hold the model without being afraid of dropping it just to see it shattering to a million pieces. The yellow was very warm and fluid...
You know what? I'm not a Golden Demon winner, I don't deserve to describe all of its glorious qualities to you.

After everything was set up, the event organizers and club members (yours truly included!) got to shop nice and early and by that I mean the day before the convention. I really didn't want to spend a lot at Games Day. Forge World stuff I can always get and the rest of the stuff is available at my local Games Workshop store, so I prefer to spend my money there. Besides I have plenty of stuff to build, convert and paint. I couldn't resist buying the Games Day 2011 t-shirt, though. It was just way too cool not to. The front of it has the =I= logo and some words while the back has a Bloodcrusher of Khorne with the words GOLDEN DEMON under it. Overall an amazing shirt worth every buck.

What else.. What else, what else? Oh, I know what.

You know that Horus Heresy book? The limited edition one? The one signed by the author? Ah.. yeah, this:
"Promethean Sun" by Nick Kyme
I got the last one. 
The day before Games Day.

And for some reason I got a 50% discount on the T-shirt. I also got one of the Heroes of Armageddon club shirts, a Space Marine and an Ultramarines shirt for free!

Get it? Get it?
After everyone had finished setting up we were kicked out of the convention center at around 7:00 PM after which we decided to share some alcoholic adult beverages to celebrates the awesomeness of charity! 15 minutes spent searching for a Red Roof Inn and then a $13.00 parking at the Double Tree we ended up at the DT's bar where we got some pretty overpriced beer. I had a Blue Moon.. Someone's Corona was $7.50. I know right? We then decided to leave this joint and based on Joe's memory we headed to Maria's Mexican Restaurant! Joe's path took us through some industrial construction site and some fences, but with the help of Fritz' auspex Smart Phone we managed to locate the destination. Maria's was deceptively big and dark! We all got on the high chairs and ordered some amazing Mexican cuisine. I got the Chicken/Beef Fajitas and a Pina Colada, while everyone else got Margaritas.

Jawaball's Banner!
Me and Joe were sitting against Fritz and Jawaballs and of course we started talking about the hobby, especially the tournament scene. It was definitely nice to hear some stories from people with so much tournament experience and success, especially while breaking "bread". Me and Joe were trying to convince them to show up at Adepticon either for the Team Tournament or the Gladiator event. Who knows? Maybe we have succeeded....
Oh. Oh! Jawaballs was filming the whole thing as well, so expect tons of footage from him as soon as he stops being lazy! Man, I'm pretty sure I look and sound ridiculous, but then again it's me so it's all good.

After we finished our delicious meals we left the premises and visited yet another hotel bar where a lot of Games Workshop employees were enjoying some alcoholic adult beverages. We all sat down and Jawaballs got a beer, saying that he was in for the long haul. I called it the Jawahaul. And then the Drop Pods landed.

The Drathmere Drop Pod Massacre: There I was, checking my cellphone when 10 bottles of Heineken landed on our table. Two for each of us sitting at the table. Each one landed with a silent *clank* and like every Drop Pod list in the history of 40k we all started aiming for the easy Kill Points. 10 minutes later all bottles were gone and Jawaball's so called Jawahaul ended with him going to bed. I called it the Jawafail. :P

After that we slowly started to evacuate, because tomorrow was going to be a loooong day filled with adventure.

And it was.

To be Continued...


  1. Awesome write-up. So makes me wish I could have been there, sadly 6000km is just a little too far (or 3.9e^41 Planck lengths as google maps tells it :D).

    Really looking forward to hearing about the actual day too.

  2. I had a great time that evening. It was fun hanging out. For the record, after you sissies left; John, John, and I stayed and drank till almost 1AM. Or maybe it was just one John... it's a little hazy now.

  3. 3 Johns walk into a bar and order a round of... sounds like the start of a good (or terrible) joke.

    But nevermind all that. Check out the glistening dome and rippling forearm in photo number three! How's that for a sneak attack?! and nary a John in sight.

    But nevermind all that we've just neverminded. I was caught by the phrase "I felt... unneeded" above. My God Man! Perish the thought. You and Joe made the whole thing come together. I genuinely don't know what would have happened if you two hadn't stepped up in grand style (is it possible for a bald man to get balder?). Surely.

    It was great fun. And we have much work and great things ahead of us yet.
    Quite right. Quite right.


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