I'm a competitive person, always have been since the days of playing T-Ball in kindergarten.  That is why I hated the decision that Games Workshop made when they decided to go from three Games Days to one each year in North America.

 People who are ultra-competitive were able to go and compete in several events per year if they wanted to travel and those who didn't had more then one option not only in location but time of year. Not only that but the competition pool was a little more diluted, since the top competitors couldn't make it to each Games Day.

Now some of you are probably thinking I am talking about the tournaments, people getting together for an orgy of dice throwing and making pew-pew noises. No, if you really knew me, you'd know I'm talking about the Golden Demon, one of the premier miniature painting contests in the world today.

People compete in multiple categories with first second and third awarded a gold, silver or bronze trophy respectively.

We paint for hundreds of hours to try and win this, well played Games Workshop, well played
Now the competition is open to anyone who comes to a Games Day with a model, and honestly you can see some pretty ugly models there. But with it being open to anyone, even previous winners, the competition is incredibly fierce. Now like I said I love competition and my goal is to one day win a Demon or one of the major competitions out there. Sadly,GW is doing us, the competition painters a disservice. They fail to remember that not everyone wants to play the game competitively, or hell even play. With their new marketing plan unless you live in Memphis (um no) you really do not have have a chance to play one of their Army on Parade competitions or play in any truly sponsored tournaments.

With the competitions down to one per year in North America you are guaranteed to see people like Natayla Melnic, Jennifer Haley, or Yurii Chinenov. I may be competitive but this is like playing poker with a guy who's deck is stacked with aces, going up against one of these beasts of painting is bad enough but all at once is a bit self punishing (so 50 Shades of Grey is talking about painting). Yeah yeah I know keep practicing, you will get better, but damn it's not like these guys are suddenly going to start sucking and they don't stop improving. The best thing this generation of painters can hope for is for them to stop painting.

Natayla Melnic's Slayer Sword winner

Jen Haley's Slayer Sword winner 
Yurii Chinenov's Golden Demon winner
Honestly the cutting of the number of Games Days was just a slap in the face to the North American consumers. We can look over to Europe and in an area smaller then the United States they still have four GDs. GW wants to make money but cuts down their largest market to a single event. To me this just doesn't make a lot of sense and people like myself who want to get into multiple events per year have to focus on different gaming system's models to be able to compete. Honestly as a miniature painter I am almost better off switching to model cars or planes.

So in closing unless something changes, I will have to start painting more Reaper, Darksword, etc miniatures to ensure I can attempt the maximum chances to win per year. Also on a less whiny note, going to the various GD you could pow wow with the painters whose skill is honestly above yours and most of them would answer your questions on what you could do to get better, yeah I know you can do it over the internet, I do it often enough here on Talk Wargaming or over on the forums but it's just not the same as doing it face to face where they are able to look at your miniature in all it's faults. So here is hoping that GW sees the error and increases the number of GDs, or hopefully other events step up and open up to open painting competitions.

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