Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chicago Games Day 2009


I went out to Games Day earlier today at the Stephens Convention Center, I couldn't make it last year and it was in a larger ballroom than 2006...which was totally unnecessary, basically an airplane hanger. The room is way to big for the event and makes the event look sparsely crowded (Exception the Forge World store which had a 100 person line when I got there at about 10:20am, more on that in sec) All the usual stuff was there, Speed Painting, Conversions, the Big Game(one for 40K, one for WFB) the Golden Daemons, Golden Daemon painters lounge , Armies on Parade, there was a history of the Space Marines exhibit, a bunch of club run game tables and then plenty of really nice tables for open gaming. That's all she wrote.

I have pretty mixed feelings about Games Day, It was sorely hurt by the lack of tournaments...they make the event much more of what most people expect...given the current cutbacks and some of the issues with past GD tourneys I dont blame them for being on hold or hiatus for the time being, however the tourney's did bring alot of Vet's out and without them if you aren't there for Golden Daemons or to buy Forge World..you just don't have a hell of alot to do, welcome to my world.

Most of my pals wont touch Games Day with a 10 foot pole, they've been there- done that and GD is clearly aimed at kids and 40K kids in particular. I go because I know some folks that work for GW, I get to see people from out of town or just people I dont see that often but I know they will be there. I always want to see the Golden Daemons, and this year I wanted to see the Armies on Parade, which I seriously thought about but didnt feel like lugging my stuff out there all day not to mention the required display area for you army was just way to small...I could never fit my massive Empire Army on an 18 X 18 board and have it look good as it be too jammed together. Anyway despite hearing that all the slots for Armies on Parade were full, I got there and there were 4 armies on Display. Ok I am early I thought...I check back an hour later there were 6....by the time I left there were maybe a dozen a far cry from the 40 slots they had out...Armies on Parade was a 75% NO SHOW...I don't know what the hell was up with that.

The Golden Daemons were/are the high point of Games Day, great stuff all around I went thru once and got some pics of the 1st things that caught my eye, and planned on the second trip but the line got too long. so I never got back. The GD painters table had lots of notables chatting and giving tips to folks..I spent some time checking out one the guys using a wet pallette and moved on.

The whole Forge World/ GW store thing is/was kind of a debacle..I thought the GW store was pretty good in 2006, tons of rare stuff, tons of blisters..and last year they were unloading all those brown army boxes at crazy discounts...nothing like that this year. Tons of boxes at full price, barely any blisters, nothing special tiny selection of Specialist stuff. They did have most of the Blood Bowl army boxes and the only swag I got was a free CD with the current rules for all the Specialist Games on it. (pretty cool, but no swag at the door? nothing come on, there even out of laminate hangers for your ticket when I got there at 10:20am?).

Forge World is always a trainwreck...100's of people crawling over there own mothers to buy stuff in order to avoid overseas shipping and FW's notorious shipping F-ups. Well they did it again and apparently barely any of the new releases made it Chicago in time. I was told there was a shipping error and the new product didn't arrive in time So even if I wanted that new swanky Khorne Daemon Prince and Herald..nope not there, Blight Drones, Death Korp Mounted Commissar...they had like a 1/2 Dozen...they were out of tons of popular items. How these guys stay in business despite themselves is more impressive than their products.

The biggest drag is the food choices..you have an Airplane hangar with 2500 people in it and you have one Concession stand? of course the line was stupid long..there was another food court area setup but there were two other conventions going on so that was stupid crowded too..I wanted to grab a cup of coffee and some water and couldn't do so without waiting in line for a half and hour. Not cool, I am just too old for that garbage, that contributed to me leaving early.

They seriously need to move Games Day to a hotel like the one Adepticon was at last year that would improve things considerably..Lots of services and food choices and there wouldn't be anything else going on..being mixed in with two different "self empowerment" conventions
definitely didn't help the "Games Day Vibe"

Overall, nothing special this year..." The Mystery Box" everyone's talking about is the new Space Hulk game..there was a product presentation at 1pm..I was going to go to..but after thinking about the crap presentation I saw at Adepticon..I decided I didn't need to hear about what I am going to see in the August White Dwarf and decide to go find some lunch somewhere. Unfortunately that meant getting in the truck and leaving the parking garage...I drove down to the nearest McDonalds and the line of conventioneers was around the block, for Mcdonalds? I just kept on driving.




Jon Cash, Dogs of War/Empire Army.. See my Adepticon 09 posts for more photos. Jonny should have won hands this hands down but I left long before I found out. The protection glass is a neccessary evil..made it very hard to take photos here and of the Golden Daemons..but you got to have it.



Horde of Stompas and Tanks from the 40K big game




Here are some Golden Daemon photos..I tried to grab all the 1st cut Fantasy Stuff I could but I was being rushed through the line and with the protection glass getting good photos was very difficult...I was lucky to get what I got..at least half of what I shot didnt come out.















10 comments:

TKKultist said...

re: concessions - if you went through the doorway at the back of the hall with the HUGE restaurant sign above it (the one with rainbow stripes across it to draw additional attention) you would have found a whole restaurant area. There were lots of food choices for ya. Just so ya know.

re: FW - I went through the forgeworld line around 4:00 it took 4.5 minutes. Anything that wasnt there is being shipped for those who wanted it with free shipping no less - so you could have had anything you wanted from their entire catalogue if you were willing to wait a week.

Nathan said...

I was there last year, and it was about the same as you had described it. I had really high hopes about the conversion contest, until I realized it was just a grab whatever you can snatch from the person next to you. The ~only~ plus was the uber sweet space marine fig at the door. Not entirely worth the 50ish bucks from my past exp and unless there's a tourney, not planing on being back anytime soon.

John@Plastic Legions said...

@TK

While I was there those doors to that restaurant were locked tight
that was the first place we tried to get coffee around 10:30...I saw people going in via the interior stairwell by 1pm the doors from the GW hallwere still locked and we thought that area it was for the other conventions..later I realized you could go all the way up and around the skyway and enter...but they were locked from the GW hall (at least until I left at 1pm or so) and that point I had enough.

That's cool on the Forge World it be nice if they brought the stuff in the 1st place..

Chuck Rogers said...

Hi John,

Can you elaborate on your "Mystery Box is the new Space Hulk game" comment? Mainly where you heard that, as no-one else has reported it from the day.

Thanks!

Chuck.

Elazar The Glorified said...

Nice pics of the GD entries!

John@Plastic Legions said...

@ Chuck

I was told by two GW employees when I asked them about the "mystery box"
I didn't lead them with even mentioning I knew about the space hulk game...I just said "so what's the deal with that mystery box?" One was like "It's Space Hulk" the other said "it's probably or most likely Space Hulk" One them definitely qualified it as a "likely" the other "definitely" both these guys spend alot of time in Baltimore.

Tim Kulinski said...

John,

Nice report, it sounds like Chi GD was pretty much like LA last year, although they did have a few tourneys. But overall I was not impressed and for the price it is not really worth it.

I second the idea that GW needs to move to a better venue for their GD's much like Adepticon, although I do not think they could pull it off like Hank & the crew at Adepticon.

Tim K

oni said...

I would have loved to of gone, but alas it was not my fate. Looks like this one was much better than Baltimore.

Paul said...

Hmmm, I'm pretty sure when I (eventually) gtot to the FW table that they said if I needed something they didn't have, they could ship it to me in 4 weeks. I can get it quicker myself from my friends back in the UK.

All in all, it was a let down, and certainly not worth $25.

Mike Howell said...

I wasn't able to make it this year. I missed being present for Golden Demon, but I didn't miss the "wandering around not wanting to take part in any of the activities" part.

 

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