I know how much the latter means to him, even when he won three of the categories at Throne of Skulls the year I took home Best Painted Army it was cold comfort for the accolade he really wanted. He's now achieved that goal and I couldn't be happier for him. At my insistence he also entered the Golden Demon but did not make the cut, which is nothing to be ashamed of - he now knows what is required and I fully expect him to look at this for his next challenge. He'll enter in earnest no doubt and not display something already painted. I've no doubt he'll do really well.
Obviously lots of announcements over the weekend, I'm particularly looking forward to Adeptus Titanicus. The GT itself seems some attention though, by all accounts the terrain was not great and out of the 120 GT Heat invitations only 64 competed on the day. I was even told that some that lost on the Friday didn't bother coming back on the Saturday. I really hope the events team look into a reserve list - once you have your invite you have a time limit to book your ticket otherwise those that didn't quite make the cut get a chance to take part. I still probably would have been out of the running but far better to sell out your tournament than have it half empty [or half full ;) ]
Lastly, big up to Morgan Cole who won the 40k GT. I played Morgan in the Warhammer TV live Twitch feed and it was an amazing experience. It's been rather sad to see that some have subsequently felt he 'slow-played' during the final, using game turns as an indicator and also referencing our GT3 heat as yet more evidence. Having played against him I know that wouldn't be the case, we both played hordes, we both played as efficiently and economically as possible. In fact I was amazed at his tactical acumen under such time constraints.
Folk also seem to ignore that half the Chapter Approved missions score on continuously holding objectives each turn, so not having too many turns could put you in a disadvantage. Planning to just play 3 turns a game and getting all those objectives early enough so your opponent can't do the same would be more difficult than just playing the game. Regardless, Morgan had contacted me on Facebook on the Thursday night asking if I was going, he was far from confident of his army's chances - he certainly did not sound like a man who had meticulously planned to 'game the system'.
I know how difficult this criticism will feel for him, for those that played him and now feel aggrieved they should have raised their concerns at the time - the situation could have been resolved either way. The sad result is an online witch hunt with all sorts of folk chiming in without any first hand knowledge or experience. This isn't the LVO, there was no $5000 prize money at stake and there was no evidence of gamesmanship. My first hand experience tells me that's not how Morgan plays, that's not how he'd want to win, fingers crossed he won't let it get to him too much.