Games Workshop Grand Tournament Vegas Diary
Fly into Vegas late Thursday night, spend an hour in baggage claim trying to find my suitcase and discovering that it came out on a different carousel 15 minutes later than Adam’s (whose came out immediately upon us arriving).
Check into the hotel, paint.
Wake up at around 10, paint, rent a car, drive to the Cashman Center for registration. Paint. Talk to a few fans that recognized us and swung by while we were painting. We got some swag at the tourney, Shirt, Tape Measure, Water Bottle. The latter is a great asset to a portable painting kit.
Hang out with GW guys for dinner, get home late, sleep around 3am.
Wake up at 8, print out army list tweaks at the hotel’s business center, head over for the first 3 rounds of gaming.
Got crushed, but not annihilated by Dennis F’s Empire army (which fortunately didn’t have 2 steam tanks, 3 cannons, a mortar, and Karl Franz on a griffon, which seemed to be the fashion). Good guy, was very patient with a jackass who hadn’t played his tournament army in a real game yet (namely, me). Second game, I sit down to play against one of the aforementioned fashionable Empire armies. Then Robert H rescued me when he saw my nametag and told me I was at the wrong table, and that I was supposed to go get crushed (but not annihilated) by his Lizardmen instead. Another good game, but not yet the “…by the third game” whereupon I had been telling myself I’d finally realize how my army was supposed to work. Speaking of that third game, it’s the only one I won. Todd M’s Dark Elves scared me a lot, but difficult terrain and his uncooperative dice helped me out a lot.
We finished up there, and drove back to the hotel to show the game off for a bit. I became irrevocably unconscious and Adam abandoned me for a night on the town. (I think he got in around 3am again).
We we’re out late last night, didn’t get a ton of sleep, woke up later then expected and of course we were one of the last people to show up and sign in. The GW staff was nice enough to call and make sure we were still alive and actually heading to the Tournament at around 9am (keep in mind first round starts at 9).
Game 1 – Crap load of confusion when it came to who was playing where, everything got sorted out and I played my first game, Chaos vs. Chaos 4 the win! The Gods did not favor either of their mortal Champions and the battle was a draw
Game 2 – After the lunch break came back and found myself facing a rather nasty Empire force. Luckily their general was a really good sport, and he didn’t make too much fun of my 6 turns of watching my Chaos Warriors become Chaos Jelly under the wheels of a steam tank. Favor is waning, however Chaos holds strong and survives with only a minor loss
Game 3 – Tzeentch was not looking favorably upon me after my loss in Game 2. I was given a chance to redeem myself and show my might against another one of the Empire’s mechanical monstrosities. Just in case the Empire forces came with LOTS OF GUNS to make sure anyone that got by the tank got nice and shot. Strategy prevails! Major Victory, to all you chaos generals out there I recommend staying the hell away from steam tanks and using hills and woods as cover. Guns hurt from afar but 5 chosen knights are enough to wipe out 40 handgunners if they can reach them!
We get back to the hotel fairly early, where we show off the game to some of the GW folks. Jeremy was so excited by the demo that he fell unconscious on the couch. I on the other hand rolled out to Fremont Street with the GW guys (and some tourney folk), got myself a nice steak dinner, a lot of beer, and then proceeded to toast Dave T’s birthday with more booze and a 300 dollar donation to the casino. Suffice it to say it was 4:30am before I staggered home.
Crawled out of bed at 7:00 this time, nursing a wee bit of a hangover. Got Jero, grabbed a danish and got to the tournament on time for once. A little less chipper than the day before, but still ready to go, I was riding high on my not so loosing record.
Game 4 – WAAAAAAAAAAGH! Need I say more, ladies and gentleman never EVER let those greenies gain momentum. 1 WAAAAGH and 6 really bad dice rolls later resulted in one massacred Chaos Army. That and one very happy WAR fan. Not only did he get huge points for the win he finally got his BETA. Yes sir folks that sheriff ran me right out of town.
Tzeentch continued to show his displeasure at my poor performance for the rest of the trip. Jeremy tells the tail more interestingly but here’s a quick summary of the horrors that incur when you loose the gifts of the gods.
- You lose money, lots of money at the casinos! Somehow I managed to drop 100 bucks in 30 minutes playing $1 & $2 dollar Texas hold-um
- You lose money, more money at the casinos! Attempting to find a cab resulted in me loosing another 120 at a blackjack table in uhh I dunno 3 minutes?
- You win money??! Another wrong turn on the search for a cab nets me $300 bucks at craps
- You find out you were just baited by the Gods your not that lucky! Random events with other Vegas goers costs you another $500 or so, trust me you don’t want to know
- Just to make you remember your trip, Tzeentch delays you’re flight, grounds your plane in Dallas and makes you sleep next to an industrial grade waxer in the airport
Adam’s Total Tally for the trip
- 1 Major victory, 1 Tie, 1 Minor loss, 2 incredibly painful massacres
- $1000 bucks down the drain, half in casino and half in errrr “entertainment”
- 1 free night stay in Dallas Airport, room service was horrible and the beds we’re stiff I don’t recommend it!
Wake up at 8 again. Head over for the last 2 games. We’re both dead tired. My first game I learn that Dwarf Slayers, while not necessarily an incredibly strong force on paper, are quite a good tournament army. I managed to clobber enough of Chase H’s guys with big, strong hits that made most of them go to the happy mountain in the sky, having achieved a noble end. A good solid draw. The final game of the tournament was against Todd H’s incredibly, crazily converted Ogre army. This game was fun and laid-back, but also very eventful, as fight after fight ended up swinging things back and forth until he narrowly defeated me.
Phil Kelly took a break from designing things at the UK studio for a few days and was on hand all weekend. He handed out the awards. Adam worked with the GW guys running the show and gave EVERYBODY that won ANY award for Warhammer a beta pass (as well as some pins, posters, a hat here and there). Additionally, the top awards for WARHAMMER 40,000 and Lord of the Rings also got some beta love.
Oh, and um...then there’s the small matter of that Day 4 Beta riot.
A couple of phone calls, and a few under-the-table Beta passes later, we’re back in the hotel decompressing a bit, making sure we had all the beta passes people filled out stowed and noted. Then a roundabout adventure finding the wrong In-N-Out burger and another late night of, y’know, Vegas-y stuff.
Pack everything up, and get to the airport.
And wait at the gate for 2 hrs before attempting to leave for Dallas. Then fly there and do a couple laps before landing for fuel in Austin.
Then sit on the runway there for an hour.
Then get to Dallas 6 hrs late by the time the weather improved.
Gersh tried to sleep while the zamboni driver hustled back and forth polishing the floors from 2-4am. We finally got a flight back to DC not quite a day after we were supposed to land originally. But hey, I got my suitcase quick that time!
Thanks to all who showed enthusiasm there, for the GW guys for putting on a great event, and hope to see you again in November at the Baltimore GT!