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Events and Battle Reports
Spring Offensive
"Armies with Character" lists <> "AwC" Battle Summaries <> Ozone Scorpions <> 
"Bug Hunt" special scenario <> Photos <> Why SO is better than Games Day

Why Spring Offensive is Better than Games Day by Patrick Eibel
Patrick EibelGoing to an event like Games Day, Spring Offensive, or Fall From Grace is a huge investment in time and money. If you have decided to make that investment, you want to be sure that you are going to get your time and money’s worth. Let me give you my opinion on why an event like Spring Offensive is more "bang for your buck" (literally).

Travel costs
Admittedly, since I live in Maryland, getting to Baltimore to attend Games Day is no hardship. Driving to Greenville, South Carolina and sharing a room in a hotel so as to attend Spring Offensive was about $100 per person. However, there was no admission fee to Spring Offensive. Games Day has admission fees, starting at $12 (or so) and going up from there, depending on whether you want a T-shirt, figure case, etc. with your ticket.

Playing the game
The main reason I go to events is to meet new people and play against armies that I don’t get to see all of the time. At Spring Offensive, I played six games and participated in the "Bug Hunt" special event. My opponents for the six games were Tyranids, Eldar, Imperial Guard, Speed Freaks, and two DIY Marine chapters--quite a variety. At Games Day 2000, I played in two pre-registered games and one pick-up game. While the one pick-up game versus Imperial Guard was enjoyable, the two GW-run games were not because of the way the games were run.

The gaming environment
After playing Warhammer 40K for over ten years, I demand more from a game than just playing. I want an experienced, friendly opponent; a pleasant gaming area; and a casual pace. At Spring Offensive, all of my opponents were quality players, the games were all enjoyable (although some were quite tense), the gaming area did not feel crowded even though there were plenty of people, and the games could last as long as necessary (barring the store closing). 

At Games Day, you never know who will be across the table from you at the pre-registered games. I have faced the gamut from new players to seasoned vets to blatant cheaters. To make matters worse, the GW Outriders contribute to the pandemonium by changing the rules during the game to make the game enjoyable for the side that is getting its ass kicked. This can be very frustrating to say the least. Not to mention, Games Day is loud. Games Day is over crowded. At Games Day, you have to rush every turn to get as many turns in before time is called.  Again, the only enjoyable game I played at Games Day was a pick-up game on the open gaming tables where the GW goons were not trying to force things along.

Merchandise
An event is a good place to see how others construct an army, try different armies, and learn about the game. All of which may inspire you to buy some new figures. At Spring Offensive, the store owner had 40K stuff at 15% off, and many people picked up Tyranid swarms, tanks, and Orks to add to their armies. At Games Day, all of the product is full price. This year, you got a free figure with your admission ticket (great, what am I going to do with a Kroot?), and you could buy some bits or Forge World models, but how is that better than just going online and having them shipped to my house?

Conclusion
Clearly, I enjoyed Spring Offensive more than Games Day. And that is perfectly understandable. Spring Offensive was an event created by gamers to be as enjoyable as possible for everyone involved. Games Day is GW’s big trade show.  If you want to find out the latest developments in the hobby,  hobnob with GW glitteratti, and maybe play a couple of games, then Games Day is for you. On the other hand, you could pool a bunch of people together, convince your local game store to sponsor your event, and gather for a weekend of what the hobby is really all about: playing the game.

Spring Offensive
"Armies with Character" lists <> "AwC" Battle Summaries <> Ozone Scorpions <> 
"Bug Hunt" special scenario <> Photos <> Why SO is better than Games Day


Related Pages
Other Events at Borderlands
 

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© Copyright Patrick Eibel, May 2001. Used with permission
 

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Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle