Saturday, January 10, 2015

Warhammer Online - GamesDay Convention Freebie and odd happenings.

[Disclaimer - The pictures in this update are a mix of ones taken with my iPhone 5 just recently, and a few taken back on the day of the show with my old cell phone and a slightly more respectable digital camera. I normally try to provide the best quality images I can for my blog updates because it drives me crazy to see terrible photography, but at least with some color correction and enhancement in Photoshop, some of the decade old images came out with new life. - Mario]

(Left) The ticket to get in was your show pass. Which for me was pretty kick ass because the artist who had done the artwork on it was in attendance at the show. For the life of me, I cannot remember his name, and his signature is a bit hard for me to read now. (Right) The artist whose name I've forgotten. If any of you have White Dwarf issue #274 overseas edition, this art is on the cover... pass his name on to me would you?
Back in 2003, I had a chance to go with some friends to a convention in Chicago. It was my first time going to a genre specific convention, and I was really just getting into the whole hobby of tabletop miniature wargaming. I was going through some personal problems in my life during that year, so this was a nice bit of relief to go with a few friends of mine on a nice long road trip. I don't make it a habit to run from my problems, but I do engage in my hobbies when "real life" can be tumultuous.

This was one of the largest conventions I had attended, and because I had never been to Chicago and had an opportunity to get a bit of spending done to build up my dark elf army, I was really excited to go.

It was a great time, especially since this was during the time that the Lord of the Rings movies and tabletop miniatures were really being heavily promoted, so if it wasn't about Orks and Space Marines, it was about Hobbits and Rings. That was great and all, but I noticed a booth set up near the miniature speed painting area, that was showcasing a new computer game for an upcoming game called Warhammer Online.

I spent about fifteen minutes or so speaking to some of the developers from Climax and I was so stoked about the footage they were showing at the show, the concept art, all of that. I didn't know it at the time, but Sega was the company handling the publishing of the game.

So after speaking to them for a while, one fellow handed me the pin you see below which is still pinned in the exact place it that I put it back in 2003. I didn't want to lose my little pin, so I made sure I put it on my ticket lanyard (which I comically didn't take off until I was back in Warrensburg a day later).

The logo features the twin tailed comet of Sigmar on it. I remembered at that point how dark and realistic the demo looked that was being shown. There was no playable version from what I remember, but I do remember how lofty the goals for the game seemed.
The show was actually really pretty cool, seeing all the work put into the models and displays made me want to both delve into the hobby further, and also get a heck of a lot better at painting my miniatures.

(Left) My friend Nathan's entry into the painting competition. (Right upper) People taking in the huge amount of painted models on display. (Right lower) Some of the work was really nice.
These were some I managed to get pretty close to without much of  glare on them. The Anubis styled miniature was just killer, but I really dug the wings and overall aesthetic of the winged Space Marines.
(Left) I know that some people might think that watching other people play games is boring, but it's no different than watching chess or baseball to me. I actually learned some tactical stuff while watching the game unfold. (Right) I loved the vibrant colors on this Eldar ship.

BASK in the mighty tech of a ONE megapixel cell phone camera... A variety of images of the show, including (Lower Right Corner) a really heavy downpour of rain that hit right before we got to the convention hall.
Man, I almost forgot how terrible the camera on my old T-Mobile TM-150 actually was. I liked it because it had a removable SD Card slot on it, but LOOK at the "quality" of the pictures in that grouping above... it's one step shy of grainy Loch Ness monster footage.

Overall, at least during that time, Games Workshop put on a great one day show. The panels they held for people to attend were fun, informative and talked about upcoming releases and revisions to the rules.

After a good long day, we all got back on the road to head back to Missouri. As I've gotten older, I have made some long treks to many places for art shows, reenactments, all kinds of things, and I rather enjoy the long drives. In 2003, I was like a dog that had been penned up for months. I got restless, tired, cranky, and sore from sitting so long on the way there and back. And I didn't even drive from what I remember!

So after spending a day hanging around a lot of people that were nuts about miniature wargaming, I thought to myself, that was a great and odd weekend. Not much more could top that...

(Left Top) Nathan and Michelle at the speed painting area. (Left Bottom and Right) PLANE! IT'S A DAMN PLANE!!!! On the HIGHWAY! What kind of Micheal Bay-hem action is this?!
To this day, I have no idea what happened aside from the fact that if I had not taken those photos, I don't think anyone would have believed us that a plane crash landed on the outskirts of Warrensburg.

So there you have it, a short trip down my memory lane. Now I told you all that story to say that some years later, another company would pick up the Warhammer license and create an MMORPG that would be the first game that I played online like a religion. WAR: Age of Reckoning by Mythic was the eventual successor to the never released Climax/Sega version. I was not the best online player, but it did re-ignite my love of the Warhammer Fantasy world. But that's a story for another update.

Here's a clip that was uploaded of what I believe was the footage I saw at the show of the far darker and dread heavy version of Warhammer Online.

Until next time, cherish the good things in life, keep your hobbies and interests alive, and be kind to your fellow beings. - Mario, the Rogue Hobbyist.
Stats Rating/Information
Item Warhammer Online Convention Pin
Made by Climax
Rarity Very Rare
Classification Retro - Released in 2003
Condition Mint
Procured Chicago, Illinois
Worth $40 (based on one offer I got for it, I've never seen another for sale)
Investment Free
Further Research N/A
Trivia & Fun Facts Sega was the publisher announced in 2003 for the first version of Warhammer Online by Climax. Later after the second effort was let go by Mythic/EA, Sega once again stepped in literally ten years later to scoop up the rights to make games based on the Warhammer Fantasy world once again... Is it possible that the third time might be the charm that takes down World of Warcraft (As both previous versions of Warhammer Online had been touted as)? 

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