Eulogy to the Press Gang

 

 

As many of you likely know, I’ve volunteered my time for privateer press as both a Pressganger and a Judge a fair amount over the last 5+ years. For those of you who don’t know, The Press Gang was a worldwide group of volunteers who ran events, among other things, for the community, hoping to assist in its growth and spread the game to people who hadn’t experienced it. Yesterday, fairly promptly, the program was disbanded. This is my look back on some of my favorite moments I had, and favorite people I met during that time. 

Irene! Motherfuckin’ Irene! 

I spent the first 7 years of warmachine learning in my, and friends basements. I didn’t go to conventions, I didn’t attend tournaments, and I didn’t know many others who played. I was lucky enough, though, to have a group of about 8 friends who covered every faction and every possible caster I could face. Those years were really awesome, playing the game when and where we met. We made it out to one tournament, and it was a ton of fun, but we couldn’t really find any others. No one was running them. I’d contemplated becoming a PG prior, but this really inspired me. I play against my friends all the time, I should run some tournaments, and see what we could get going. Maybe we could play against some new people. So I put my application in, and let it sit. They said it could be a while. 

Around the same time, though I don’t know how, I heard of a convention down in DC. They needed some casters for Who’s the Boss, and I figured I’d head down for the day or two and help out, in addition to lending my models. I wasn’t a PG yet, but at least I would be able to help out. 

thankfully, not two weeks (12 days, to be exact) before the event, I got my application approval. At the time, I didn’t know how it happened, I was just pleased that it was done. I didn’t know it at the time, and I don’t remember when I learned it, but the one and only Faultie was the man who got it pushed through, asking the Illustrious QM Jen to get it through. 

That weekend, my first event and convention as a PG, though, was almost cut short by Hurricane Irene. Making landfall just shy of us in the Carolina’s she dumped tons of rain on the region. Dumb as we are, though, the convention went on. The attendance was down, but I met a lot of awesome folks that weekend, people who would become fast friends. It sounds corny, but from sitting there watching Rudy sculpt a Legion Model for No Quarter, helping Brian pull out models, take care of models, and then play using those models in WTB, to simply walking around with Andrew, Nate, Mike, Brendon and the rest really made a big Impression. I felt part of a group of people who’s had taken it on themselves to plan and run events not for themselves, but for the players who enjoyed, and appreciated it. 

While the massive storm did dampen the attendance numbers and the mood of the convention, it didn’t quench the desire for me to keep doing it. 

I am the one, Mechanicon! 

Mechanicon 2011 – the birth of the Midlantic PG’s.  

When we got there, we discovered that we couldn’t buy just a six pack of beer. We had to buy a whole damned case, but it was going to be expensive. So we sold the rest! This, dear people, is where I would try my first, I do believe, non-Guinness Stout, and was extremely pleased. Just a few short years later, and I’ve tried over 200 different beers from breweries around the world!

I attempted to play a massive, 4 caster game through the night, I believe, against Derek. I could be wrong though. Its in a long and hazy past. 

This is also where Brian and I met our good friend for a very long time, Chris Nanry. An excellent human and a fantastic front man for some really awesome events. Brian, Brendon, Mike, Andrew and the Two Dans formed a great partnership with him. He had ideas, events, and time, and we had bodies. He lived in NJ, but that was OK. We’d carpool up on Friday morning, stay through the weekend, and head home afterwards on Sunday. The Colonial GT. Mechanicon. Warstore Weekend. East Coast Rumble. We ran it all while Chris oversaw and made sure that everything went smoothly on the back end. 

While he was living in NJ for a long time, He finally made it back home to Texas, and though I’ve lost touch with him, I do hold a deep respect for him and am unendlingly thankful for the friendship we had, and the friendships he fostered, both in the Gang, and without. 

While NOVA was the first event I assisted with, Mechanicon was the first one I really got the hand on to run with the rest of the group. 

From here, It just starts to all bleed together. 

At Home in the Gang

While I enjoyed being a player, there was just so much more satisfaction running events, feeling good for doing well by the players, and introducing them to the awesome game that is Warmachine. Among the best PG Moments I’ve had. 

  • Introducing Danny McGeehan and Jeff Garcia to Waramachine via early MKII Haley 2, and then having them allow me to crash on their couch like a bum. Danny, at least has become a key competitive player in our area, and I can’t help but assume my kind and gentle introduction to the game helped. 
  • The PG Gator Exchange – Where I have an entire army of gators, painted by PG’s and Judges. While I stopped collecting them a while back, they will mean more now, than they ever could have until this day. There will be no more additions. The army, the painting, will be done and complete. I will likely make one final push to get everything I have left unpainted, painted in exchange, and Hunt down the few I have left outstanding. 
  • Playing against Aeryn Rudel in the invitational at Lock and Load – three years running, I do believe. I may not make it out again after this year, so I’m going to make sure to continue the streak. 
  • Picking up Andrew from the Chilies, late on a friday to head up to NJ for the East Coast Rumble, and him saying “I just watched your daughter eat a cookie for 7 minutes” 
  • Meeting John DeMaris outside of the Red Lion at my first lock and Load because I had a Ravens cap on. He’s a bengals fan, and we bet on dinner every year, based on our football team standings. I won my first bet this year!
  • Meeting, and playing against the Frozen Commander, Anthony Acosta at the NOVA Open – Two blogger PG’s duking it out with dueling Battle Reports.

The problem with lists like this, and with memories, is that your bound to forget almost all of them as soon as you start thinking about it. I don’t have that great of a recall memory to begin with. I can’t remember when I met Undead Dan, Schwenkenstine, Frka, Ireland, Hof(f)man(n) and others. 

I won’t forget the awesome times I had as a pressganger, but more importantly, the loss of the title changes so little. I’m still going to judge, I am still going to run Brawltimore, local tournaments and other events, and I am still going to lead Warmachine at the NOVA open. While it is fun to have a title and a name, its just as satisfying and just as justified to do so without the title, without the name. What I did for the community is just as meaningful today as it was 48 hours ago. 

To My fellow Press Gangers – 

“We rode on the winds of the rising storm,
We ran to the sounds of thunder.
We danced among the lightning bolts
and tore the world asunder.”
-Robert Jordan

 

I’m bad at poetry, but this was fun to write:

 

From deep within the hulls we came,
to man the oars and steer the ships;
both when its sails are slack and lame
and filled with mighty gales

now we tread the weathered deck,
gaze upon the coming eclipse, 
yearning to avoid a wreck-
and spare our wards of great travails

Though our flag will fly no longer
it does not end our strong devotion;
atop the mast, no Jolly roger,
but a fellowship of games adored

and those we’ve lost, and loved and found, 
brethren on this steaming ocean;
even those who’ve flags are downed
we shall leave no community ignored