Tuesday, August 2, 2011

HoA: Games Day Reflections and Table pics

I am a nerd -unabashed, unhesitating, full-frontal nerd, and I will gladly say with no shame in the matter that I had an absolute blast at Games Day (evisceration included; thank you Skarvald).

I believe this effort would make my fifth dalliance at a Games Day event over the span of 10 years.

The first year I skulked about, ogling the tables for a bit, but then left after having only stayed an hour or so feeling both awkward and vaguely disappointed. I went alone and spoke to no one while was there.

The second year, I entered a few models in the Golden Daemon contest that I thought were quite good for my standard… and immediately regretted that decision once I saw what real painting talent produces for that competition. I was shattered and embarrassed to see my models next to the professional efforts; I felt humiliated. I spoke (or rather, was spoken to by) only one person, Dave Taylor –who was kind enough to compliment one of the models I had entered. Those kinds of things stick with a fellow.

The third year (and possibly fourth, they blend together a bit), Ref Pitmann came along and we wandered about the hall for a good while. Pitmann left early, and I stuck around to speak with a few folk from the UK studios.

I even entered the Speed Daemon contest and placed second in my heat with this beastly Orc (the first photo ever to appear on A Gentleman's Ones as a matter of trivial fact, and not a bad effort for only 45 minutes and a broken club for a brush). One of those years, I also entered the Golden Daemon again and earned an honorable mention for a ghoul of all things. I was thrilled beyond reckoning.

This year, I genuinely got involved; so much so, that I think it fair to say that I was in way over my head (why be dull, right?). The HoA tables, of course, dominated my participation for weeks up to the event and for most of the day as well (this post will conclude with a veritable bucket of images of those tables -feel free to skip down if you like).

But the real matter for me here is the simple lesson that I seem to need to learn again and again: one gets out what one puts in. If I failed to enjoy the experience in my first year or so, it was positively because I failed to make the effort. I appeared on the scene and expected the scene to entertain me in ways that I had not even bothered to imagine. No wonder I was disappointed; I expect most people are when they haven’t genuinely come to grips with their own expectations. If I left feeling rather isolated, it is entirely because I had been shy and isolated myself. tsk. tsk.

This year was amazing. I met a ton of really quite incredible people from across the blogosphere and beyond –tremendous crowd, genuine ace individuals, one and all. I entered the Speed Daemon contest once again, and once again placed second in my heat with the Legolas above (by the way, has anyone seen my Legolas? Jawa? Cho?). 

Next year!

Oh, and the table. There will be more, to be sure, many more in the coming days. With the next two posts, I intend to outline in some detail the two dramatic influences that helped shape the HoA table (in no relevant order: photos from around town and Porky’s Expanse). Until those posts, however, enjoy. 


epiphyte said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

So glad to see Captain Tycho getting some of the glamor!

The table you made for this project is amazing. I wish I could have been there myself to see it. Thanks for all the photos. Big ups for all the collective work that went in to this very worthy project!

Skarvald the Troll-faced said...

I love that Orc model!
This was definitely my favorite Games Day as well and definitely because of my involvement in it! Got to meet so many people and if I hadn't it was going to be exactly like the previous convention over at Baltimore. It really seems like the convention is what the fans make of it all of the cool tables, events etc. were ran by clubs. By people like the Heroes of Armageddon.

Does that make me.. a Hero?

SC Mike said...

great job brian. it certainly was by far the most amazing project John and I have been involved in.

next year? I have ideas and it will post a good challenge for the table builder in residence.....

The Angry Lurker said...

Excellent, truly excellent, would love to do the show once before I die.

Bix said...

Awesome work Brian, so glad the amazing effort you guys put in reaped such success and fulfilment.

Good advice on how best to enjoy a Games Day, although the impression I get from the blogs and forums is our friends across the pond do it so much better.

@Angry, you cannot die you fool, you're immortal! ;o)

Porky said...

A very fine post. It's always good to read reflection and see the benefits of experience being passed on. There are things to do and fun to be had by just drifting in whatever fields we dabble in, but it's hit and miss, and nothing compared to the fun of engaging, and the deeper the better it seems.

Warflake said...

Saw the table on Miniwargaming.com.

Amazing work sir!

WinFamilySurvival said...

I realy enjoyed reading this article, and loved the pictures of the table, excellent work.

Im off to my first ever games day here in the UK this year, with my partner Michelle, and were realy excited about going.

I intend to be in there asking questions like crazy, I need to learn and want to improve my painting skills sooooo much.

Thanks again for the article, Ellis.

Sidney Roundwood said...

“One gets out what one puts in”…. Very, very true. It’s been fantastic privilege looking at the HoA tables and the blog of their construction. Amazing stuff, especially in the time frame, with real-life, and especially because you did so much earlier in the year. Glorious!

On to your blog post. I liked it…in fact, I really, really liked it. Your experiences of shows over the years has been a lot like mine…from passive attendee to active participant over time. A lot of the pleasure in I get in running games at shows isn’t the games themselves or the terrain or the rules – it’s the unique chance, sometimes for only a few minutes and sometimes for an hour, to make someone welcome who’s just wandering through the show. It’s the chance to meet someone new, talk to them, find out what they love about the hobby. “One gets out what one puts in” – so true.

Brian said...

@ Old Shatter Hands. Tycho indeed. He became a focuspoint or axis of the tables for me. Thanks for your kind words and support.

@ Skarvald. Yes. It does. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.

@ SC Mike. Thank you. While I simply cannot wait to hear the details, I am also trembling at the thought...

@ Angry. Make it so. oh, and Bix has a compelling point.

@ Porky. Amen.

@ Warflake. God I hate the sound of my own voice. They caught me cold, and I was actually terrified by the thought of appearing on camera. My 15 minutes have well and truly expired.

@ Ellis. I found absolutely everyone to be incredibly forthcoming with ideas and meaningful commentary. I hope that your experience is much like my own.

@ Sir Sidney Roundwood. Cheers mate. Your kind words mean more than you likely realize.

The Inner Geek said...

My first year at Games Day could have gone very much like yours. I'd already loaded up the laptop with games in case I got bored and ended up in my room part way through the day. There was a lot of cool stuff to do and see for sure. But I think getting to meet and hang out with the HoA guys was what really made the weekend for me. So I guess, technically, I got out of it what you put into it...