Gamesday! The word brings about a sense of anticipation and expectancy of new blood in to the universe of warhammer 40,000 unlike any other event. This is an account of my experience of the said event this year.
I got involved in the hobby of WH40K in 1997, when I was based in Taunton, Somerset, having been introduced to the second edition of the game and the Dark Angels. After returning to my place of abode in Melbourne, Australia, I had, within a couple of years discovered the wealth of information and talent on the internet related to WH40K, and become a regular member in the Dark Angel forum of the Bolter + Chainsword Chat Board. Before long I had been hit over the head and shanghaied aboard the same forum as a moderator for the Dark Angels forum. Three years after getting in to the hobby I had managed to muddle my way in to creating my own Dark Angels page, and subsequently revamped it in to a proper web site within the first four months. I also had the pleasure of introducing the hobby to both my nephews, who lived in Sydney, Australia. My first Gamesday experience was in Sydney, Australia, in September 2001. It was a memorable day because I had just recently been in touch with Andy Hoare in relation to the revamping of the Dark Angel Codex, an effort I am proud to acknowledge that the B+C forum's Dark Angel community had been asked to be involved in. The highlight of the day was meeting up with Andy Chambers for a brief moment.
The year 2002 saw me move to Birmingham for a couple of years. I had revamped the Storm of Vengeance campaign for the third edition of 40K and sent it to Andy Hoare in the hope of reviving the interest in Dark Angels. Uncannily it had reached him 24 hours after Owen Rees had approached Andy Chambers with the same idea. I had been in contact with Owen an year earlier, since he too had a fledgling web site (The Outpost) relating to the Dark Angels. There began a collaboration and friendship that I think would do the Dark Angels legion much good. As the day loomed closer I suddenly realized that the Gamesday UK 2002 was being held at the National Indoor Arena, a mere ten minutes walk from the Hyatt Regency Hotel where my wife worked. Off I went to the great event, accompanied by my lovely wife, who has been ever so supportive of my hobby. I could only spend a few hours there because of work commitments, though I had the pleasure of meeting Andy Hoare and Andy Chambers once again. I still remember the look on Owens face when I pointed to his displayed Dark Angels army (recently victorious over the new necrons in a white dwarf battle report) and criticised it blatantly. He of course didn't know who I was until I introduced myself a moment later.
Owen's ideas of creating an Inner Circle to oversee and develop Dark Angels related background resulted in the creation of the Inner Circle consisting of six members from three continents, all of whom were ardent DA fanatics. Then came the Eye of terror camapign and the Inner Circle jumped headlong in to it with our own parallel Gathering of Angels Campaign. In this time great friendships had spawned between people I had never before met in person, all from the B+C board. As the 2003 GD approached, it became apparent that I would finally have the chance to meet in person some of the members and moderators of the B+C. Plans were put in to motion and expectations rode high. The following acount is what happened on that day.