[Surprise Attack!] Live from NOVA, Saturday

Do I sound like a broken record if I say today was awesome? ‘Cause it was…

Okay, the morning sucked. I signed up for a 7:00AM seminar back in March when I got my tickets. Because, apparently, I’m an idiot. 7:00 is early, if you’re curious.

The good news is it was a class with Caleb Wissenback. He’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met, but the pic I took makes him look like an asshole. Justin McCoy is full of energy and cracks jokes, but my pics made him look like a narcoleptic caught mid-stride. Since good photographers are supposed to capture the inner essence of their subjects, and I do the opposite of that, I’d like to announce that I am firmly cemented as the World’s Worst Photographer, Ever, For Serious.

Fortunately for me, this isn’t the only award I’ll win today.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRR…

One more pic of the paint seminar. If you’re not jumping on these, you’ve got some screws loose. 
A little X-Wang cosplay makes my morning, and provides my favorite quote of the day. Tie pilot is trying to move pieces on the board and gripes “I can’t see anything through this helmet”, and mister funny in the crowd yells “THAT’S WHY THEY’RE AGILITY TWO”. Hilarity.

Wasting some time after the seminar, I finally give the display cases some love. I don’t know who Painter #310 is but he is killing it. First up is his Imperial Knight crushing a purple dreadnought. What’s purple, Emperor’s Children? I don’t know, because fuck 40K. There’s no arguing with his great piece, though. Worth embiggening by clicking on the pic.

 He also dropped down some Flames of War. Gorgeous German armor.

Did I say “fuck 40K”? I take it back, this old school land raider is amazing. My concern is that all of these pieces are good enough to get voted fan favorites but collectively will compete with each other and some random dude with a solo piece will pick up the win. I don’t care what the results say, Painter #310 you are the best in show, whoever you are. Great work.

Ladies and gentlemen,  the charity auction Ultramarines army featuring Zab’s scout squad. Unfortunately, they backlit the hell out of the display case and I had to use flash photography. A crying shame, here it is au naturale.

Here’s a few more with the flash on.

It comes complete with life-size banner.

Nice work, buddeh. Last year they raised $10,000 and they’re hoping to hit $15,000 this year. Best of luck.

On to the Infinity 400pt ITS tourney. I’m matched up against John from yesterday, who proceeds to shit-kick me in Annihilation like I owe him money. He wins 6-4 on objectives, but kill points it’s 400-0. In a 400 point game…yeah, I didn’t kill ANYTHING and he killed EVERYTHING.

I killed an AuxBot, so technically I shot something, but it was part of a team so no credit for it. What can I say? He was the top player today and ran a two-TAG list that had first turn. Shit happens, but I have fun with it.

Game two is Supplies against a new player, Adam, on the board I played Martin on yesterday.

Great game. Not only this, but Adam is a HoP fan. Yes, it’s true! People read our little blog site, and we are social gamers active in the community who mingle with our peers and roll dice with them. Suck it, BoLS.

ADAM: You write for House of Paincakes? Which one are you? Are you SinSynn?
ME: No, fuck SinSynn. That guy’s a big smelly jerk. Maybe not the rest of him, but his work boots definitely smell like a garbage truck. Nobody likes that guy.
ADAM: I wish you were SinSynn.
ME: Well I wish I had a five-inch dick but that’s not happening any time soon, is it?
ADAM: This would be better if you were SinSynn.
ME: That’s what she said. What do you think of Bush Craft?
ADAM: Who?
ME: I’m outta here.

But seriously Adam’s rad and it was great to bump into a fan of our work, so give us a shout out in the comments some time, bro. We don’t bite.

Since lunch was up next, Adam and I hit up the catering truck and got some curry which, all things considered, was probably a poor choice for tournament food since we ended up rushing to finish our post-lunch games. I’ll skip the details.

After lunch was game three against Martin, again. Oh snap! Awesome, I love playing this guy and so did everyone else, apparently, since he won the Sportsman award by a mile. Only one person hasn’t ranked him their favorite player, and that [sadly mistaken] guy ranked him his second favorite. We have an awesome game where we smashed my left/his right flanks against each other so hard that everything died, then we brought in medics to heal them and smashed again. I ended up winning the Quadrant Control scenario.

Martin pulls some corpses out after a close encounter with Cameronians. Love me some Cameronians, yessir.

Final round is against Derek from Sand/File/Sharpen. Uh oh…Derek is a first-rate player I know from my area and has an unbroken streak of shit-kicking me in every game we’ve ever played, usually in a shut-out. I like Derek as a person, but I am not looking forward to having my ass handed to me and I will be happy to score a single objective point against him.

Unfortunately for him, we play on the catwalk table. Elevated fields of fire and hidden crannies mix well with my heavy weapons teams supported by super-jumping Cameronians and Antipodes. He blasts me with nasty Hacker + Repeater + Guided Missile Launcher shenanigans, but my Cameronians get lucky with some smoke and punch through his center. One dies, but the survivor scorches a wasteland across his deployment zone, including his specialists and the goddamn guided missile launcher. It’s downhill from there and I grow some balls to start claiming objectives. My 112 medic jumps off a 4″ ledge, survives the fall, and lands on an objective. Epic.

So epic that I do it again with the Kazak Doktor off a 5-inch high catwalk, for 13 points of damage, and live. This is what’s known in the gaming community by it’s technical term “a hot streak”.

Derek won’t go down without a fight and tries to bring in a troop to rip me off an objective and force a tie, but camoflaged Antipodes dodge into close combat with him off a catwalk and we call game. I don’t feel quite so bad about him being a far, far, better player than I am ’cause at least I can say I won…once.

Greggles and I throw some emails at each other trying to set up some HoP-ish guest-writing for him on the 40K scene this weekend, but our stars are not aligned tonight. He does swear a solemn vow to do it tomorrow, so now that I’ve called him out on it all over the interwebs he has to do it. That’s how these things work, right? Right?

End of day brings an awards ceremony, and it turns out I win “Renaissance Man”, the highest average of victory points, paint score, and sportsmanship. I was really hoping for this award more than any others, and I’m not just saying that because I won it: To me it’s more important to be an all-around great gamer than to have an uber-list that crushes all, or a wicked hand with a paint brush. It meant a lot, and I’m no-shit appreciative of all the players who fought in some great games, voted for me being a swell guy, and thought I had a nice-looking army.

Thanks guys.

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