Insider 10-10-2016

The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it. – Hubert H. Humphrey

Three years ago I was fortunate enough to be part of the first Privateer Press crew to attend SmogCon, the biggest Privateer Press convention in Europe and one of a few major conventions dedicated to Privateer Press games in the European Union. Together with Ed Bourelle, Ron Kruzie, and Doug Seacat, I made the journey from Seattle to London, where the convention was held that year. The four of us honestly didn’t know what to expect when we landed, outside of a serious bout of jet lag.

The moment we walked into the hotel, we were immediately met by some of the nicest and most exuberant WARMACHINE and HORDES players I’ve met anywhere. For the next three days we played countless games, had the distinct pleasure of doing the world premier of the next generation of HORDES gargantuans, and simply got to hang out with all of our friends from the other side of the pond.

Three years later I still find myself talking about all of the amazing memories from our experience at that show. In my eight years with Privateer I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel to more conventions than I can count, and I’ve met thousands of remarkable players. But I can say, without any hesitation, that SmogCon 2014 ranks in the top three of my best con experiences. Ed said it best when, late one night after much friendly celebration with our new European friends, someone asked him if SmogCon felt different than the stateside shows we were used to. He replied, “No, because we all share the common language of WARMACHINE. And that makes us all instant friends regardless of how far we have to travel to get here.”

SmogCon 2017 marks the third year Privateer Press is sending a crew out to the United Kingdom to mix, mingle, and of course share in the hobby and game with the wonderful community of players from across the Atlantic. This year sees writing manager Matt Goetz, organized play developer William Hungerford, and painting and hobby manager Dallas Kemp making the trip to experience their first SmogCon. Plus, they are organizing some thrilling, one-of-a-kind events for everyone who is attending SmogCon.

First off, SmogCon will once again play host to a huge worldwide reveal. On the Friday that the convention kicks off, we will be pulling the curtain back on the first new Faction for HORDES, teased last summer at Lock & Load Gamefest 2016. SmogCon attendees will be the first people in the world to see the new Faction in all its glory! But that reveal will be just the tip of the iceberg for the new Faction goodness we have in store for SmogCon.

In celebration of the reveal, SmogCon attendees can pick up an exclusive variant pose model from the new Faction! Not only does this make it the first model ever available for the new Faction; it also represents the first exclusive model ever released first outside the United States (but certainly not the last).

As the primary writer for the new Faction, Matt Goetz will be giving players a taste of its power in a special narrative massively multi-table mega-game. Three parts WARMACHINE and HORDES and one part RPG-style GM’d game, this event is sure to be one of the most talked-about of the year, and the only place to experience it will be at SmogCon 2017!

Will Hungerford will be ready to throw down with anyone who wants to challenge him to his fast and furious new game (title soon to be announced), which will be appearing in January’s No Quarter. We’ve been playtesting this game for a few months now, and let me assure you, you won’t want to miss out on the fun! If you ever wanted to literally beat Hungerford at his own game (and honestly, who doesn’t?), SmogCon is the place for you.

Last, but certainly not least, our very own Abraca-Dallas will be hosting a nonstop (okay, maybe not nonstop—I’m told we do have to let him sleep at some point) Hobby Corner where you can come by at your leisure and paint with one of the best and nicest miniatures painters in the world. From basecoating to object-source lighting, Dallas will answer any questions you have and show you “how to” with hands-on, interactive instruction you can’t get anywhere else except Lock & Load!

Of course, in my experience, the greatest part of all is simply having our Privateer Press crew and our incredible global community of passionate players meet, connect, and hang out. If you’ve ever just wanted to know who the people are behind your favorite tabletop miniatures game, you have a terrific opportunity to do it at SmogCon.

SmogCon will take place February 17–19, 2017, at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham, UK. Tickets are on sale now at

If you haven’t yet picked up your tickets to SmogCon, what are you waiting for? Get yours today, and come on out and make some amazing friendships with us!