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

Events and Battle Reports
Your Guide to Games Day
You are There! <> Stuff to Do <> The Golden Demon <> Bring Your Army! <> Photos <>
What Else is There to Do?

Games Day: You are There! 
If you haven't been to Games Day before, this article is for you. Lots of other websites will show you what you’d SEE at Games Day but they don’t tell you what it’s like to BE at Games Day. While photos of the new releases and the Golden Demon entries are always interesting, there's more--a LOT more--to Games Day than that. 

I live about an hour from Baltimore, so I'm lucky enough to be able to go every year. In this article (and the related pages) I'll share with you my experiences at the annual event in Baltimore and offer you lots of advice on what to do if you go!

No event that draws thousands of people is going to be perfect: you just can’t please everyone all the time. But the good thing about Games Day is that there are a lot of different things to participate in. 

There are demonstrations where you can try out different games—Warhammer, Epic, Necromunda, Battle Fleet Gothic—without having to buy or paint anything. There are registered games where you can fight battles using new armies against new opponents. There are Bring and Battle events where you use your own figures in missions set up by the GW staff.

Want some tips on painting or making scenery? Check out the free clinics held by top-level GW artists. Want to find out what’s ahead for your favorite game? Talk to designers like Andy Chambers, Gavin Thorpe, or Jervis Johnson (see below). Show off your best miniatures in the Golden Demoncompetition, battle other players in tournaments or Open Gaming sessions, get sneak peeks at the latest products, enjoy the silliness of the Speed Painting contest, or just hang out. 

Jervis Johnson
Above: Jervis at Baltimore Games Day 2002

Getting ready
Better than the ticket that gets you into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory...To get into Games Day, you gotta have a ticket (at right). To get one, you call up the Mail Order Trolls, give them your credit card number, pre-register for whatever games you want to play, and wait about a month (literally) for the ticket to show up in the mail. Spend the extra bucks and order your Games Day T-shirt with your ticket because they run out quick when the doors open.

There's a lot more to do at Games Day than just play in pre-registered games,  however, so you should start getting ready for it right after you order your ticket. Don't make the mistake that I have frequently made of waiting until the week before and then rushing around like mad. 

Games Day is so big (and it just keeps getting bigger every year) that you probably can't do it all without wearing yourself to a frazzle. Pick out the events you'd really like to participate in and develop an itinerary. Games Day is always crowded, so allow plenty of time for waiting in lines.

The important thing to remember is that while we all think of Games Day as being a two-day event, it's really a day-and-a-half: Friday (usually from 2 to 7 pm) and Saturday (usually from 10 am to 7 pm). 

The crowds are larger on Saturday, so my advice to you would be to schedule your pre-registered games for then. Spend Friday walking the hall, checking out the upcoming releases, talking to the UK guests, and participating in the smaller events like Speed Painting or the Bring & Battles. The Golden Demon is only done on Saturday (and draws a huge crowd), so if you do a lot of other things on Friday you'll have plenty of time to stand in line and gape in awe (with the rest of us) at the fantastic entries.

One final piece of advice: get plenty of rest Thursday night and especially Friday night. While it may be tempting to stay up for some late-night gaming, you're going to need your stamina. Saturday is a long day and you'll be doing lots of walking (it's a BIG hall), lots of standing, and lots of yelling. 

So figure out what you're going to do, pack up your miniatures, get lots of rest, and let's go!

Getting there
Getting to Games Day is easy. All you have to do is take Interstate 95 (or I-295, which has prettier scenery) to the Inner Harbor. On your way in you’ll pass PSINet Stadium (home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens) and Camden Yards at Oriole Park (for all you baseball fans). The Inner Harbor is the nicest part of Baltimore, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops, so make some time to get out after hours.

Games Day is held at the Baltimore Convention Center, which is so big that blindfolded Orks on strenuous cold medication could hit it from 300 yards off. Park the car, grab your gear, get out—

--and then repeat after me: “WOOF.” At this time of year (end of June/beginning of July), it’s usually so hot and humid that whenever you go outside, you feel like you’ve stepped into the mouth of a very large dog. That black Games Day T-shirt you're wearing isn't helping matters. Hurry up and get inside the AC.

Three things to bear in mind once you're inside
1. Games Day is REALLY FRICKIN’ LOUD! Put several thousand enthusiastic gamers together in a large room, play some non-stop techno music in the background, punctuate with the occasional door prize announcement over the PA system or the frenzied “WAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHH!!!!” of some exuberant Ork players hurling their Boyz into a charge, and you’ve got a lot of noise. It just gets louder as the day goes on, too, so be ready to spend most of the day shouting to make yourself heard. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself from getting hoarse.

2. You’ll be standing for hours on a concrete floor, so don’t be surprised if your feet are killing you at the end of the day. Those steel-toed biker boots you were planning on wearing look cool but you might want to go for comfort instead.

3. Pace yourself. As I've said, you probably can't do it all, so don't try. Take breaks to sit down and eat.

What to do
There’s a lot to do at Games Day, so much that I can't show you everything. Follow the links below to read about some of the things you’ll find. 
 


Your Guide to Games Day
You are There! <> Stuff to Do <> The Golden Demon <> Bring Your Army! <> Photos <>
What Else is There to Do?



Like what you've seen? Then vote for the Jungle in the "Top 100 40K Sites"

© Copyright Kenton Kilgore, June 2000
Games Day ticket image © Copyright 2000, Games Workshop Ltd.

Top

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