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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Epic battles of Miniature History: Hussar 2013 vs Games Day Italy 2013 - Part 2: Italy

Epic battles of Miniature History: 
Hussar 2013 vs Games Day Italy 2013 

Part 2: GD Italy 2013

A perfect weekend in Milano Modena.
One weekend, two miniature competitions: Yesterday I wrote about my awesome time at the Hussar 2013 in Warsaw, Poland. A perfectly nerdy weekend with more fun than you can shake a brush at. 

So, I sent my minion Ben to Italy to report for you. 

Unfortunately, it's going to be a rather short and disappointing report. 

Concerning FUBAR - full disclosure  

Masses of nerds converging
on Games Day Italy 2013.
We had a long talk about how to write this article. We don't want to hurt the hobby and the Italian scene which, after all, has some of the most awesome painters this side of Alpha Centauri. 

But if you followed our epic mini-series about "The future of Games Days and Games Workshop", you probably start to feel the same way as we do right now. It is not US who are hurting the Hobby. 

It clearly is not that our hobby is dieing. 

Games Workshop is killing our hobby. Not slowly - but quickly. The international Games Day Codex (which was downgraded from "mandatory" to "just to give some ideas") allows no armor saves for nerds. And I really don't understand why. Unforced errors.

So I want to apologize to all of our Italian friends (I hope you will still drink some vino with us when we meet you this weekend in Monte San Savino!) and I also want to apologize to all of the cool Games Workshop staff who are trying to make the best of rules that their management fucked up beyond any recognition, maybe - at this point - even beyond repair. 

GW's 2013 global campaign: "The damage is done."

PLEASE GW management - for the love of everything that's holy: WAKE THE FRAKK UP!

So like the B-52's, we will just "tell it like it 't-i-s". Don't kill the messenger ;) 

Less than 50 people waiting to get into GD Germany.
0 line in Italy. ZERO. How low can you go?
Empty chairs at empty tables, all my friends are dead and gone. 

Wandering the empty halls.
When Ben came back from GD Italy he basically only said one thing: "This was the most frustrating and depressing miniature event I have ever gone to."

When I looked at the pictures and heard the tale about what went down at GD Italy, I caught myself shaking my head again and again in disbelief and sadness. The song "empty chairs at empty tables" from Les Miserable has been in my head ever since. 

According to a GW official from Nottingham, only a total of 430 participants attended the event, including GW and FW staff. 1000 tickets were available. Another unparalleled success-story for GW. Black Snow coming down on Italy.

At Games Days, our fans can do what they like most: Buy our products

GW prepared well for the masses
storming the sales areas. Alas,...
OK, let's shine a positive light at this outrageously delusional statement from Games Workshop's master GD architect: There was Zero waiting time in any lines for anyone whatsoever. Let's book this under 'excellent customer service'. 

But seriously, GW, you want to save money at GD's? You even want to make a PROFIT out of them? 

DID I NOT TELL YOU that that is the worst idea ever, GW? I am sure the less than 400 attendees made massive purchases to make this event profitable. NOT

Damn, I really need a sarcasm sign for this post - some people might not get it, otherwise. 

50€ worth of fun

Even Bette Middler knows that "From a
distance, the world looks blue and green.
We all came to terms with the fact that we won't get T-Shirts, Miniatures or any other nerdy swag for our addiction. So let's see how much fun and entertainment 50€ bought you at GD Italy.

Armies on Parade

We would have liked to show you some nice close-up pictures of the Army on Parade entries - some of them seemed quite good said Ben.

Let's think about what we can do to hinder fans to take a look. 

How about putting up a trench of large tables with GIANT voting boxes in front of each entry? Miniatures should impress the benevolent viewer from a distance after all. 

I don't even know what to say. That's a first, I think.

Fun events

We all love speed-painting. Adrenalin rush for the long-distance painter like me. But let me introduce you to hard-core speed-painting. It's kinda like the Iron Man in Hawaii, an event that only few know how to truly enjoy. 

Speed painting Modular Gaming Boards. That's right.  Hardcore.

Again, I don't know what to say. Looks like fun. (Warning: Sarcasm!)

Geeesh, I really don't know what to say! :(

Q & A

One of the better additions to GD events in 2013 are the Q&A sessions with designers and authors from GW/FW and Black Library. 

After all, the designers are all hoopy froods who really know where their towels are. 

And with the lack of other activities, a few nerds attended these talks. 

Some even got a nice little nap out of it :D

Oh, yes, Golden Demon!

You can actually overdo zenithal light, GW. Shine on!
One of the reasons - maybe the only reason - I still would have loved to go to GD Italy this year is to meet some of my all-time-hero-nerd-painters. Italian painters are among the best of the world - and I really would have liked to see their works in person. 

Unfortunately, LEDs seem to be still illegal heresy at GW so the miniatures were lit with yellow, spot-on-halogen goodness. 

Unfortunately, with the lack of attendees, the amount of entries was very low. But fear not, the standard was insanely high, as per usual in Italy! 

Just look at Rusto's epic duel between Ork and some evil Skaven mama. The colors! The conversion! The composition! Simply stunning!

Martin Goumaz, entered a hand-full of mind-blowing paintjobs out of which his single fantasy mini, a skeleton, received the coveted Slayer Sword. Well done, indeed! 

It has to be sa(i)d though, that at Hussar 2013 there were more entries than at Games Day Italy. Things that make you go hmmmmmm...

Nerd breakfast!
Super-effective wild salami tactics!

When we meet up for events, it's 90% about meeting up. 10% is also going to the event. So what does the Italian nerd do, when there's nothing else to do? Of course, they treat their friends to some awesome italian food! Salami, crackers and Vodka (from Anna, with love)!

And suddenly, like through magic, the spirits of the painter nerds were lifted, people gathered and had fun. See, it's so easy - it does not take much to make us happy! 

Quo vadis, Games Workshop?

It's not the fault of the food that the event left a bitter after-taste with Ben - and from what I heard about it - also for me. 

Quo vadis, GW? Seriously, quo vadis? I really wanna know!

Maybe my brain is just not capable of comprehending the ingenious master-plan that Games Workshop has conjured up for us. 

Result of GW's Global Games Day Codex:
Cracks in the facade, FUBAR.
In short - I have absolutely no frakking idea, what the frakk GW is doing. None, whatsoever. Whatever they are trying to do, I begin to have the feeling that it ain't working... But maybe it's just me. 

Single nerd tear

With the official Golden Demon / Games Day year over, I am just left with this incredible mixture of feelings of sadness, disbelief and rage. Nerd-rage.

But I feel that I am slowly losing my strength trying to convince myself that I am the one living #1 fan-boy of GW. Maybe it's time for me to move on. Maybe it's not. Maybe it's just winter depression, who knows. 

I don't know if there will be another Games Day Italy next year. I hope that Games Workshop will sit down, someone who tells their management that snow in fact is not black will not be fired for a change and they come up with new and exciting plans for all the Games Days 2014. If they don't, I will now predict the end of Games Days as we know it. Heck, we have already witnessed the end. Question is: Can GW turn the ship around. Iceberg ahead!

I am sure we will regain our trust in all the good in the miniature world this weekend, when we attend what I heard is one of the best miniature shows on this planet: Monte San Savino 2013.
I predict that it will be an epic weekend. STAY TUNED for a massive report on this channel!

RESULTS of the epic battles of Miniature History: Hussar 4 - 2 GD Italy.
Let us know what you think: COMMENT BELOW!

What do YOU think about all of this? Am I too critical about the whole thing? Do you understand what GW is trying to do? Did you go to Games Day Italy? What was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!

Again, I am sorry for the depressing undertone of this post. Paint on!



  1. Wow this is... sad.
    But it seems there are many other events which can fill out the nerdy hobby place and make the visitors happy.

    1. Yes, there are. I still want GW to do better than this. Bring back the awesomeness! I'd rather have 10 great events a year than 6 good ones and 4 shitty ones.

  2. I have attended games days (more precisely golden demons) from the very beginning...I am finding GW's approach and strategy extremely saddening, its ruining something so great (for me)...I look forward to GDs every year with such excitement, but I fear the end

  3. Do you remember our phone call ... around a year ago. I was in total rage about GW management and actions and your hopes were still high. Now you are in rage and I already kind of gave up on what the GD once was. A really, really sad development :'(

  4. There probably won't be an Italian GD 2014.
    Italian Event Manager charge got deleted a few hours ago, with a grim future for ToSs or GDs.

    Source: Mauro Canavese Facebook page, ex-italian GW event manager coordinator.

  5. I would invite you to contact james hewitt at mantic games and attend one of their open days

  6. I would invite you to contact james hewitt at mantic games and attend one of their open days


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