A year in the trenches

Group shot. Location was our awesome waiter's idea. Seriously, Ben kicked ass!

Gencon 2009... after the show.

Oct. 16 marks my 1-year anniversary as a member of the Press Gang. It will remain a bittersweet day for me because shortly after finding out I had been accepted into the gang, I received word my grandfather died.

The email from Biggie proved a great comfort to me that day. I was going to be able to officially run events for my favorite game, hang out in the PG forum and do… cool stuff.

Looking through my Purple Tourney Notebook o Doom, I ran two events before I was “official.” In the past 12 months, I’ve run 10 events, not including a ton of Monsterpocalypse stuff. Some tourneys have been small, some large, some better than others. From what I can tell, folks are having a good time and they’re still playing the game, which are the most important things. I’m fortunate to have an awesome store to operate out of and a great group of players.

From my standpoint as a PG, the past 12 months have been gamer geek heaven. In February, I was able to attend Templecon in Providence, RI. As my first convention, Templecon will always have a special place in my heart. That’s where I met Kevin and Biggie and had my first meeting with Devilsquid, Tamwulf and CptCaine — PGs who became my friends and running partners at future shows.

I didn’t play many games, but that wasn’t the point. I was traveling across the country to be at a convention with 56 hours of Warmachine and be surrounded by folks who love the game. It was great, and I can’t wait until Templecon 2010.

Fast-forward to May and the Privateer Press Invitational, an event that is highly anticipated by the Gang. This was our shot to visit the Mothership, our chance to meet the folks who make the game we love. And it didn’t disappoint. More friendships formed, bombing down the road in the Walkaway Insurance Van… the stuff of legend. From a gaming standpoint, Theater of War Live was insane. It was my first time meeting Chris Walton, Michael “Scrappers” Faciane, PPS_Jack, Matt and DC.

At this point, I figured I was done with cons for the year. I knew PAX was in September, and figured that would be doable. Then I got the opportunity to go to Gencon. So of course I went! Even though there was tons of stuff to see, I had plenty of fun working the Privateer booth and running events with Kevin. I got the chance to talk at length with Doug Seacat and Chris and Mike. I got to see Ron Kruzie paint up close and work with PPS_Dave, PPS_Ed and PPS_Jack. I was able to hang out with Simon during some of the tournaments, and he gave me a cool messenger bag. 🙂 Of course, there was more wreaking havoc with CptCaine and Devilsquid and the insanity of painting models for Tamwulf’s Retribution army for Hardcore. It was a hectic show, but well worth the trip. Breaking down the booth with no A/C was a little rough, but it was a lot of fun. Of course, the real fun was the dinner afterward.

With about two weeks to recover, it was time to hit the road with Dicewraith and attack PAX. While Gencon is older, PAX is nuttier. So many people, so many gamer geeks and the Privateer booth was in an awesome spot where those folks walked by everyday. Another long, hectic weekend, but this time there was a great deal more rum consumed, Rock Band (with me buzzed enough to sing!) and more Retribution. There was also a great deal of hilarity with Dave, Mike and DC, plus dinner with Biggie and then dinner with the gang after tear-down.

I know there’s a lot of name dropping in this post; that’s not the intent. Part of what makes me so passionate about promoting Privateer’s games is knowing the people who make those games. I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. When I can tell a player, “DC said this about model X,” that carries more weight than reading something on the forums. Or if I can say, “Scrappers is fantastic, I beat the guy who made the game, ” they might be interested where they weren’t before. The thing I love about Privateer Press is how hard they work and the fact they make time for their players. Really, all anyone needs to do is write an email and chances are, you’ll get a response — you don’t need to be a PG. Hell, you can call if you want; you will talk to someone who can answer your questions, just ask. And believe me, asking goes a long way.

Every time I look at the Breast Cancer Brawl: Boise artwork, I’m blown away. It’s a stunning piece of work that Chris Walton has donated to my event that will be on our shirts, for starters. This whole thing came about through a few PMs on the forums, some discussions at Gencon, and then some followup PMs. I didn’t meet Chris until the Invitational in May. I certainly didn’t expect him to stay late at work a few weeks ago to make a logo for the event, but that’s what he did. In all honesty, my feelings wouldn’t have been hurt if he said “no” because those guys are super busy. But he didn’t, and in eight days, I’ll show off the art and you’ll be able to see why I’m so excited about it.

I’m very fortunate to be where I am right now. I’ve made some lifelong friends and met the people responsible for the game that’s been my hobby for the past 4 years. I’ve traveled to places I never would have considered visiting, I’ve met cool people and done some crazy things. If my second year as a PG is even a quarter as fun as my first, I’ll be a very happy ‘Ferret.

Thanks for indulging me on this one. I’ve been thinking about this a lot and figured this was as good a time as any to write about it. Chances are, I’ll be scarce for the next week or so.

~ Jen

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3 Responses to A year in the trenches

  1. Z says:

    Yeah, I have to say that being in the PG has definitely made Cons more fun. I’m glad you’re a part of it, and I’m glad that we hung out quite a bit during these events. Seeya at T-Con ’10

  2. tallyn42 says:

    I will have to point out that when I went to PAX, I may have had followed Jen around a lot but every single member of PP talked to me as an individual, not because I was THAT guy with Jen, they wanted to know my name and remembered it, I was treated well, and I know I got to have some opportunities at PAX cause i was with Jen, but Privateer Press does what they can for everybody involved with them as long. And itoo drop off of radar to hoepfully get time to work on the BCB models.

  3. Eddie Barnes says:

    Hey Jen, looks like you’ve been pretty busy since BCB:Boise. I just wanted* to take a minute to tell you I think that was a great event you put on, and you’re a credit to our hobby, and the Press Gang in particular.

    *by that, of course, I mean that I have to leave comments on two blogs not related to my Educational Technology class for an assignment in said class. The sentiment is true enough, but I could just as easily have said so on Facebook or the PP forum. 😉

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