Sunday, May 15, 2011

The secret member of Heroes of Armageddon....

We have told you all about the four team leaders building up the 4 armies of Heroes of Armageddon:
-Dave Taylor: Steel Legion
-Thomas "Goatboy" Reidy: Speed Freaks
-Chris "Jawaballs" Dubuque: Blood Angels
-Rob "Spikey Bits" Baer: Ork Hordes

But we have one other surprise up our sleeve: a custom built gaming table, a table that will be worthy of hosting 12000 amazingly painted models during Games Day in Chicago on July 30 this year.

I asked Brian from  A Gentleman's Ones if he would do it, since his tables are amazing and the Adepticon one this year was absolutely GREAT.
He said YES. And he lives in Chicago...

I asked Brian to share some thoughts on things: building tables, life, charity and whatever....i suggest you read the whole thing. I added pictures of his work in between..ENJOY!

Brian "Gentlemans Ones" Niro:
"As the fifth Beatle teamleader of the Heroes of Armageddon project (the one in charge of the tables upon which these forces will be displayed), I admit that my role in all of this may seem modestly marginal or, at worst, completely tangential. The armies are going to be glorious; however, with an event so concretely and historically situated, I am pleased that the HoA team felt compelled to go in for both penny and pound, and to create a suitably ambitious space in which to situate these four massive armies…

Tables. Massive Tables:
 That is where I come in. Generally speaking when considering terrain, the casual hobbyist aims for a place, suitably atmospheric, in which vying armies might collide.  What is undeniably both challenging and tremendous in the Heroes of Armageddon project is that the tables must evoke the place where these armies fought so desperately. The distinction is subtle, but superlatively important.
 
Since I was very small, I have been drawn to the 40K universe not only for the dynamic modeling potential of the figures, but also for the expansive complexity of that universe itself. Once upon a time, I stared for hours and hours at the images lurking across the various 40K-related rulebooks and whatnot –the cityscapes, the dark corridors, the gloomy bulkheads, and so on. These days, I consume Black Library material voraciously, but the idea is the same. I like to get lost in the astonishingly complex layers to this reality.
 
As such, the four individual Heroes of Armageddon tables are an ideal space in which to invoke that narrative, a narrative that must be relevant to the individual army it displays, that must be directly evocative of the larger Armageddon narrative, and must work in conjunction with the other tables to create a single, playable space. The tables must flesh out the reality of this historical moment, and yet stay subtle enough to remain a scenic display, and not the point itself. This is a wild challenge, and (if I may be candid) one that I am up to.
 

My Curriculum Vitae:
 Scenery of this nature has been an integral component of my hobby interest for years now; however, the most ambitious project that I have undertaken to date came to fruition this year at AdeptiCon. Those of you that made it to AdeptiCon and/or those that follow such matters on the web may have noticed the six individual tables that I created earlier this year. 
These tables were assembled to host a Special Operations: Killzone event (a fan-based skirmish dynamic inspired by the Kill Teams scenario in the Battle Missions supplement and created by Big Jim from Galaxy in Flames).
 
In all, there were six 4’x4’ contiguous tables, which means that this was, in fact, a single 4’x24’ table (pictured here). That is 94 square feet of conjoined gaming glory.
 
…dramatic pause…

At this point, I should mention that I am a teacher and will have part of June and all of July free from the more mundane stresses of “life” and adulthood, and expect to squander my hobby time on little else but the HoA tables. The weather should be more accommodating than October-March were here in Chicago. As such, I will be quite pleased to be able to work in the open air (did I just jinx that?) rather than my crusty garage for this project.

And before I sound to self-aggrandizing, I should note that my first crack at the AdeptiCon tables was a disaster (you can find some early posts on my blog from late Autumn of last year). I learned, basically, how not to build tables of this stature. Of course, the learning did not stop there.
 The second effort, the one you see here, taught me a decent lesson about what I can reasonably expect from the materials, and what parts of the envelope I can still press further. Although I am really quite chuffed with the results for the AdeptiCon tables, I fully intend to make several significant advances, to raise my game by several giant steps, for the HoA tables. After all, it would be rude not to.
 
Of course, if my trusty companion and carpentry mentor, Tall Paul, has his way, the HoA tables will require their own utility bill –gas, running water, electricity, cable television, telephone, the works. I suspect we will settle for a touch of electricity, but more on that soon enough. 
 
Perhaps the first most relevant lesson we learned concerns the assemblage of contiguous tables that must both interact and stand alone: both in terms of the carpentry challenges, and in terms of the thematic evolution of one table to the next.

And on that note, I will tell you that the preliminary sketches and imaginative drawings are nearing completion; soon it will be time to get the saws spinning once more…

I cannot wait.
 
Because I can:
 --that statement is the simplest answer to the question “why do you want to contribute to this charitable endeavor?” At the end of the day, I do not believe there need be more reason to give to such a worthwhile and significant cause as we find in Doctors Without Borders. I encourage anyone reading to genuinely consider the incredible benefit a simple donation provides for some other human being in, quite often desperate, need.  
 
And yet, the charitable disposition of this project makes it a win-win opportunity not only to feel that one’s work has meaning, purpose, and beneficial relevance in the real world, but also to work in a manner that is entirely more ambitious and grand than might normally be possible. I cannot imagine another scenario in which I could take up the challenge of building a table for 12,000 points of masterfully painted figures. To be candid, I am not even certain I know what 12,000 points will look like all in one place –as it is about twice as large as the most ambitious game of Apocalypse I which I have ever participated.
 
Of course, there is a third layer to all of this. Although aware that the blind luck of my vicinity to the event had a large part in the selection process, I am nevertheless one measure honored and one measure flattered to get the nod on this assignment because of the other people participating, including some absolute legends from across the hobby, the planet, and the internets."

There you have it Friends, Brian's wonderful essay!

KEEP READING
We have no intention in holding on to the table that will be built but are not sure how to proceed. We might donate it to the Bunker in Chicago, we might give it to the Boys and Girls Club in Chicago...but what I would like most: someone emails me and says: "I give $xxxx to Doctors without Borders, we will take a truck to Chicago and take it to a loving home"...get it? Anyone who is seriously interested about taking the table at the closing of Games Day will have to email me: scwarhammer at gmail dot com. We do require a serious donation to take this home.

Become a follower of Brian at A Gentleman's Ones. You won't regret it

Mike

1 comment:

  1. Too bad that I can't just drive a truck from NZ to Chicago and back :)

    ReplyDelete