Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Results from Gathering in the Desert

Well here they are, the final results from Gathering in the Desert 2009. One thing to mention, is that Anthony was not eligible to win best Overall since he did not paint his own army, so the best he could get was best General for going 5,0,0 over the weekend.

I will post pictures later this week...


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What a Weekend!


I had thought I would be able to get in a update over the weekend, but was up early & went to bed late every night. Gathering in the Desert 2009 has come & gone now & it was a stellar event, we had a few hick ups, but nothing serious. I took well over 300 pictures & spent the Monday editing them and will be posting them in the next few days.

I have to say thanks to everyone that came out to play, a big thank you to our sponsors Games Workshop, Empire Games, Litko, Castle Kits and AZ hot Shots! Also a big thank you to Dean for helping out and a even bigger thank you to my wife for letting me do this, Love you Dear!

One highlight of the weekend was that I won two out of the three Red Dragon painting awards which we had the store staff judge. I won for the best battle scene with Gandalf & Saurman in a duel, it was the only entry though. And I won the Best single mini for my Gandalf entry. I was truly surprised by this!

Any how, will have pictures up in a few days so stay tuned.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Behind the scenes of GitD

So whats it take to run a Lord of the Rings Indy Grand Tournament for Games Workshop, well I will tell you! It takes allot of time & hard work, below is a picture of what I need to take to the venue (Empire Games), and in the shot you can 4 tubs of terrain, two ice chest for the sodas & water for lunch, a box of shirts, a folder with all our notes for the event, all my LotR books, some of the prizes and a few other things.

The day of the event I will be bringing my camera, and another player as well as a few more things like the Ringer army (No you can't see it!) and other misc stuff. So it takes allot to put on a good event, and since we are on the GW Tourney Circuit, we want to start the session off on the right foot.
Gathering in the Desert (GitD) has been something that Dean & I hatched up back at Adepticon in 2008. After seeing how the Adepticon crew runs there event, we decided that we wanted to put on a similar event here in Phoenix. But the valley of the sun is an interesting place, we have a ton of avid gamers, but not allot of excitement for events. Sure all the gamers want a large event here in Phoenix, but no one really wants to do the work. Also Dean tried in the past to put on Desertcon, but the valley gamers did not really buy into it & it failed. So when Dean & I started talking about GitD, I had told him we need to focus on one event & one system. Since I was playing LotR & Dean had just gotten into it, we decided on LotR.
Hence GitD was born and we ran our first event last July 4th weekend of 2008. Now let me tell you something about Phoenix, it's Hot here in July (Duh!), and it gets hotter as the day goes on. So doing a two day event in the middle of Summer & on a 3 day weekend, some thought we were crazy! (Heck my wife did & she let town to go to San Diego with our son to get away from the Heat!) We had 15 local players & one traveler from Tampa Florida, Frank Brown. I met rank in Chicago at Adepticon while playing Warhammer Acients Battle tourney I ran. Well Frank liked the way I ran the event & made the trip out west. After he said he would come I realizede that I had seen Frank before in White Dwarf, he was the 2007 Grand Tournament US Champion! So we had one of the best players showing up to our event. Anyway after our event Frank gave the GW US Community team know what a great event we ran and we then got put in contact with Dave Taylor & the Community team. And the rest they say is history and we are now holding our second annual event, with hopefully more to come.
So besides this little history lesson I thought I would show you some pictures of what I did two nights ago. As many guys that are attending were posting on the web, they were in a hurried pace of finishing up there armies. Well not to be out done & being a glutten for punishment I decided to build a few more terrain pieces for GitD. So I busted out the LotR terrain pack (4 of them) and started building a few ruined pieces. Now my buddy Rob Brightwell was working on an Angmar, but do to work, he was not going to be able to finish his ruins or the board. So I put these in two night, that building, mounting, texturing & painting, I think I set a new personal best in terrain building & compleating a project! So here they are,

Here is a shot with Dave Pauwels Golden Demon painted Gimli to show how big this ruin is.
Here is a rather simple runied wall.

And here is Gimli making another guest apperance.

This ruin is one of my favorites, it just turned out nice.

And look who is back, man this Dwarf gets around!

So thats it, now its time to pack up and head out, see you either at GitD or next week with results of the event along with a ton of pictures...


Monday, February 16, 2009

Less than a week to go...

And Gathering in the Desert will be upon us! Allot of preparations have gone into this event and I am looking forward to this coming Saturday. Terrain has been built, armies are being painted, bags are being packed, it is going to be an awesome event and I hope we set the bar high for the First Circuit event for LotR for 2009.

I was talking to my good friend Robert Brightwell last night about the event and he & I are both hoping that this event still retains the charm of last July's first GitD, let me explain. It seems that out of the three core games for GW (WHFB, 40K & LOTR), LotR still has that small charm feel to it. There is not allot of players that seem to play, although more & more are realizing the game daily. There is a close knit feel with the community here in the states and it seems that most regular players know each other in one way or the other.

Allot of that is due to the most part one US based web site, the LotR AWC Forums . It seems to be the best active US based sight out there and most of the US Tourney LotR players are there on those boards. I have found that this group of guys seems to be the most knowledgeable on all aspects of the game and is very friendly to new comers to LotR as well as old timers of the game. This small group of folks has been an inspiration to me while Dean & I worked on the idea of GitD. We have been able to craft an event that was worthy enough for GW to ask us to participate in the 2009 Circuit.

So what was the charm from 2008's GitD, well it was small with only 16players. It was well run and we had no issues with the scenarios or rules. We had some outstanding looking armies that were fully painted and the terrain looked rather well. The last thing was that most folks walked away with some sort of prize. There was also another interesting thing I noticed last year and it happened when everyone was having lunch. You see we catered lunch for folks and I noticed that everyone was sitting around with each other talking about there games they played. Now this is nothing new, and it does happen at other events, but the group just seemed to gel together better than at other events. Every one seemed to be getting along and there was not tension in the air like at other 40k & WHFB events here in the valley. It reminded me of the WAB events that Tom O & I have run in the past, it was just a laid back feeling to it.

So that takes me back to my talk with Rob, I hope with us now being on the Tourney Circuit that we retain the feel from the first GitD. I can say that as the organizer, I have tried to make it so, but I think it will come down to the players attitudes. If the folks keep the laid back attitude with the game, than I think it will feel just like before. But that's not something I can control, I can only put on the best event that I can and I think we will. Thanks for letting me rant...

By the way, I have progressed on my Uruk-hai, but was just too lazy to upload the pictures of them. Perhaps tonight I will get a few pictures up...


Monday, February 09, 2009

Almost here!


we only have 11 days until Gathering in the Desert, the terrain is built & packed, the shirts are ordered, the prizes are in, now all we need is players. We are at 19 players now and could get a few more. I am looking forward to the event & I am not playing, will be running it. Since we are the first Lord of the Rings event on the 2009 tournament circuit, I want to get the season off on the right foot, which I think it will. Now we just need to get to the 21st, which I hope that night to be able to make an update here, but we will see on that one.

So with nothing else to do now, my thoughts turn to Adepticon in April. I have been working on my Legends of the High Seas game and have a few surprises or the players which I will not let on about here. Sorry, Dead men tell no tales!

Now I will be playing in the Lord of the Rings Singles event while at Adepticon and I need to start thinking of what army I would take. Now I frequent Adeptus Windy City LotR forum and have gotten to know a few guys. Well Brent Sinclair is the self proclaimed Rohan Horse lord over there and he also builds themed armies. So a few weeks ago as we were chatting the idea came to me about doing an Isengard Scout list. Now most people do not take the scouts since they have a lower defense than their White Hand brothers. But I thought why not take a themed Scout list using Ugluk as the leader. The list would include nothing but scouts and be a representation of the Uruk-hai scouts that kid napped Merry & Pippin in the first movie. Also since Brent is into Rohan, I could see these two armies meeting on the battlefield. So with that I set out to put the list together, and here is what I came up with:

Ugluk at 55 points

22 Uruk-hai scouts with shields at 198 points

10 uruk-hai scouts with bow at 90 points
Total 343 points.

Now will the list do well, probably not, but its themed and compact to take across country. So after figuring out the list, I took a look at what I have in my collection. Well I have everything except Ugluk. Now I do not like the model that GW came out with for this Uruk, just something about him doesn't do it for me. So I did a simple conversion with a metal scout which I liked and added a orc in his hand. If you remember from the movie, Ugluk made his appearance when the Orcs that were with them wanted to eat the hobbits, well Ugluk beheads one of the orcs and that's the end of the discussion. So Ugluk in game turns can kill one of his followers to automatically pass Courage tests when the army breaks, so I knew I had to have him holding a head. So here are a few pictures of what I came up with.

Here is a close up, I added hair to the poor orc he is holding, which came from one of the two handed plastic orcs.
Here is a close up of the face, you will notice the left arm is black & that came from one of the plastic Uruk-hai scouts that I had, I liked the way the arm looked & it also had a open hand on it.

Here is another shot of the face, you can see the green stuff here which was a pain to add to the head since I did it not mounted in the hand at the time.

Here is a shot of the full pose.

And here is the other side, which you can see the arm better with some green stuff to use as filler to the body.

Also I love converting models, this is a Uruk-hai archer that I did when I couldn't find the plastic scouts locally. The body is a metal uruk-hai and the arms are from another hapless orc. I really like this pose and I will be stringing the bows by the way.

Here is a whole shot of the 350 point scouts after I primed them tonight, next up will be painting, maybe I can get them done before GitD? Hmm we will see.

Well that's it or tonight...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Adepticon 2009 Promotion

Folks, just a note, I will be attending Adepticon 2009 in Chicago IL and thought I would pass this along:

With just two months left before AdeptiCon 2009, the "Can't Miss"event of the Games Workshop miniature war gaming hobby! April 3rd-5th,2009 will bring gamers and hobbyists from across the world to Chicago for a weekend of fun and excitement. http://www.adepticon.orgAdeptiCon, is best known for being the premier Warhammer 40k,Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and Lord of the Rings convention in the Untied States. But many people don't know that our lineup of events includes a full slate of Warhammer Historical demos, open gaming, and tournaments.

Last year, we made a commitment to the Warhammer Historical line of games and this year we'll be expanding and building on the success, including both singles and doubles Warhammer Ancient Battle tournaments, demos of Legends of the High Seas by the author Tim Kulinski, Legends of the Old West, and more. More demo gaming still being added to the schedule.

AdeptiCon Historical Model Preview: AdeptiCon has a history of providing a limited edition models to each of our attendees. Besides all the swag that comes with the AdeptiCon2009 badge this year all Warhammer Historical participates are going to get there very own limited edition Celt Chieftain model courtesy of Mark Sims of Crusader Miniatures fame! Crusader miniatures are available in the US from or at for the rest of the world.For a sneak preview of the model:

That's not all! Wargames Factory has generously offered to provide every attendee at AdeptiCon with a Mystery Plastic Sprue! What's it going to be? British Colonials? Celts? Zombies? Only Tony Reidy knows for sure!All the above plus some outstanding support lined up from GrippingBeast, Artizan Designs, Black Scorpion. Look for more announcements about our sponsors!Special thanks goes out to Tony Reidy from Wargames Factory and Mark Sims of Crusader for making this happen!

AdeptiCon 2009 Weekend Badge The AdeptiCon weekend badge will cost the normal $30, so sign up today at Wondering what you get with your AdeptiCon Weekend Badge? Well,besides the ability to register and attend all our tournaments, open games, seminars, and other events, every AdeptiCon attendee will also receive:
*1 Chaos Dwarf Model from Avatar of War
*1 Mystery Sprue from Wargames Factory
*1 Limited Edition AdeptiCon Femme Militant/Imperial Citizen model,sculpted by Steve Saleh
*2 books courtesy of Black Library - 1 Warhammer 40K novel and 1Warhammer Fantasy Battles novel
*1 bitz bag from The Warstore/BWB
*1 bitz bag from Armorcast
*And much, much more!

If a Picture's Worth 1000 Words, What's Video Worth? If you're wondering what the excitement and fun of AdeptiCon is all about, check out our video archives for footage from AdeptiCon 2008.

Warhammer 40K INAT FAQ v. 2.1 Released! We've taken in the feedback from the wider gaming community, reviewed the initial release, and finalized the INAT FAQ for this year's Warhammer 40K events. You can download the FAQ from the link below and find out how those tricky rules will be interpreted at AdeptiCon2009.

AdeptiCon 2009 Hotel Information Remember, AdeptiCon Attendees who want our special discounted room rate, must reserve their hotel rooms by March 11, 2009. Our special reserved block is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Did the Cardinals really lose?

So not much gaming stuff happened this weekend due to the Superbowl and the Cardinals making it to the big event. So this will be a blog entry on football today, so no game stuff today.
Now let me give you some background on my football passion (or lack of it in some years). I spent most of my life growing up in Southern California with the LA Rams and the LA Raiders. but when the Rams moved to St Louis & then the Raiders made the exodus back to Oakland, Los Angeles was left without any NFL teams (and is still team less today!). So without a home team to root for, I became a fan of quarterbacks instead of a home team. I rooted for Dan Marino and the Dolphins as well as Brett Favre & the Packers. So without a home team I became fans of these other teams living in So California.

Then 10 years ago I moved to the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix AZ and was excited about moving to a city with an NFL team. But when I got here I was faced with a horrible team of Cardinals and never really got on board with the Cardinals. I mean come on, how can you get excited about a team that puts more in the loss column than the win column!! So I kept rooting for other teams not becoming a Cardinals fan. Even with a new state of the art stadium I could not get behind them. Perhaps it was the owners (The Bidwells)and how they seemed to make bone headed decisions that reminded me of Al Davis and the Raiders & George Frontiere and the Rams. I will not go into the coaching troubles or the quarterback flip flop but regardless to say, it has not been a great time to become a fan of the Cardinals.

We then move ahead to this year, while watching the training camp reviews I saw something different with Coach Whisenhunt and the team. They seemed to have a different feel to the team, but then again they were the Cardinals and one thing they seemed good at was letting you down. I watched a few games through the season and was surprised to see them start heading towards the top of there division. And when they clinched the NFC Division I was shocked and could hardly believe it. But then the Cardinals played the Patriots at home & were blown out, & I thought "Hmm same old Cardinals". But I knew they were going to move on into the playoffs and this was now history in the making.

So with the Cardinals making into the playoffs I started to take more notice of them, and I was totally blown away when they actually kept on winning and moving on to the next round. Which takes us to Superbowl Sunday. The Cardinals faced off against the Pittsburgh Steelers with the number one Defense in the league. So I sported Cardinals Red and sat with just about everyone here in the state watching the drama unfold on TV.

Funny thing, that during the game, it was like a ghost town outside here in Phoenix, the street were wide open and it looked very weird to have a busy city be almost empty! I did not get to talk to my folks, but our Super bowl tradition was in effect were we make a dinner bet were the loser buys the winner dinner. My parents knew I would be rooting for the Cardinals while they took the Steelers. needless to say my streak is pretty much the same and I owe my folks dinner yet again!

But as I watched the game unfold I knew that I was a Cardinals fan from here on out. The Cardinals played an awesome game & I have to say that this was the best Superbowl game I have seen for many years because it was so close. I was disappointed during some points in the game (100 yard interception run for a TD) and was on cloud 9 when Fitzgerald scored in the 4th quarter to have the Cards take the lead. There were bad calls by the refs as well as badly executed plays by Kurt Warner & the rest of the teams but yet I am still proud of how the team played.

So in the end the Cardinals lost 27 to 23 to the Steelers who are now being called the Lords of the Rings. But in the end I think the Cardinals came out ahead of the Steelers because the Cardinals finally earned the rights to have a fan base, and they earned my respect and I can now say I am a Cardinal Fan! So now I can't wait until next season to start, go Red birds!