Monday, March 23, 2015

Travel to - Playing Matt!

Hi everyone,

This past Friday we traveled to the HQ of to play Warhammer 40K against Matt!  We had a great time - it was really run to play Matt - and - it was extremely cool to see the studio set-up where Matt and the other MiniWarGaming team members set up their BatReps.

Beat Matt Batreps, Battle Gaming One, Pink Ork, Matt with Ork and Space Marine
We asked Matt if he'd be up for a photo with our favorite Space Marine and Ork!

[For us visiting Matt was really a big deal.  Going back to our very first days of us playing Warhammer 40K (when we came home from Gator Games and Game Kastle with boxes of Space Marines and Orks to glue together) watching Matt's Youtube Beat Matt Batreps was our introduction to what playing 40K is like.]

And, by the way, we discussed with Matt and agreed that we shouldn't write any *spoilers* of the battles we had here -- just write about our adventures traveling there and back.  :)

Challenging Matt

This idea came way back in September (7 months ago)....  We e-mailed Matt, explained who we were and how much we valued his 40K Batreps, and asked if he would be up for playing if we could get ourselves and our army(ies) to Canada.

Matt wrote back right away - and graciously explained that a) yes, they loved it when people traveled in to challenge them; b) that we should make sure our armies were fully painted; and that c) we needed to get to Welland, Ontario in Canada.

Getting Ready to Play Matt

Well when we got this e-mail back from Matt - we were pretty excited.  But, we also knew that we had quite a lot of work to do.  We were still pretty rough with the rules.  And, we had lots of model building to do.  (Confession - we certainly didn't have a fully painted army ready!!)

So, many thanks to a large group of people who were very generous with teaching us how to play :)  This spanned all the way from the first person who played against us, our friend Mr. E (here's a link to our write-up of that first battle); to the great group of friends we've formed in the progressive league we played in at Game Kastle in Fremont.

And, even a large thanks to people who gave us models (like Mr. T in San Francisco).  [By the way, Mr. T - if you ever get to read this - we did bring your Orks along with ours to challenge Matt.]  (Here's our write-up about Mr. T's Orks!)

Also, big thanks to the modeling experts who were happy to share how to paint, how to glue, how to magnetize, etc....  Game store friends helped us out; web forum people helped us out.  (Here's our write-up after our first 'season' of progressive league in Fremont.)

And, in the end, we got it done.  Two different lists of 1500 points, ready to go to play against Matt :)

Our Ork Army is Ready to Go!

Traveling to MiniWarGaming

Getting from California to Welland meant (one way or another) a pretty long set of flights.

In the end, the way which worked best with frequent flier miles was to fly first from San Francisco, CA to Newark, NJ -- and then take a commuter flight from Newark to Buffalo, NY.  Matt had coached us that we could fly to Buffalo and then drive across the boarder at Niagara Falls -- and then a short drive to Welland from there.

First there was the issue of packing.  Because we had cleared with Matt to bring some fortifications, we knew that we needed to figure out how to pack some bulky models - and our Orks.

In the end, what we did was pack our Orks in the army foam (with the cut-outs for each small model) - and then placed these into plastic bins which snapped shut.  We packed these full so that the foam couldn't rattle around. 

These are the bins we used to protect our Ork Army :)

Then we zipped that into our biggest duffel-type suitcase with a pretty squishy blanket surrounding it all.  (At this point, you could sit on it, stand on it - all pretty rugged.)

Loaded the bins into our duffel suitcase - and then surrounded that with this very fuzzy blanket.

For the fortification, we used lots of bubble wrap and then lots of clothing -- and outside of that books (as a layer of armor) -- to fill up our suitcase.  Not bullet proof (even with the book-armor) but pretty rugged.

How did it all work out?  Well, we got some good feedback via a comment here on the blog that TSA might open our packaging up - and not put it back quite right.  And, you know what -- they did!  Lucky thing was that even though they didn't snap our bins back together because everything was to tightly nested it really didn't matter and everything worked out!

And, by the way, we did watch closely -- we did our best to monitor the load and unload of the troop transport!

Arriving at!

Bright and early Thursday morning (it was 6AM for us!) we arrived at  First thing we had to do was take a few photos to celebrate the arrival :)

Our visit :)

 The set-up at is extremely cool.  We got to have a look at the studio where we have seen Matt record his BatReps -- and we also got to have a look at the many studio armies.

One very cool thing was the terrific piece of terrain in the lobby!  We took some pictures of our favorite Ork and Space Marine with those.

Our favorite Ork and Space Marine with the scenery in the lobby at

Ork and Space Marine playing tag...

We had two 40K battles with Matt.  (Will be writing about those only after Matt and the team produce the videos from these battles.)  The day was truly a lot of fun.  Terrific to play against Matt - and terrific to get to play with the detailed terrain they have available.

Last key piece - we had a very tasty lunch - some very delicious food from a nearby restaurant!!


  1. Super awesome! Can't wait to see the videos!

  2. Seems like an awesome trip.
    One day I will have to play Matt myself.

  3. Hey make sure you hit the Miniwargaming forums for more painting, hobbying and gaming advice

    I've got to head up there myself...I'm close enough to drive! I'd love to spend a few days there and play against Dave, Matt and Ash. I'd also have to play against Epic Duck Mike....and Joe if I can find him....

  4. I just saw the video at MWG, and great job! You should email Matt and let him know he needs to put your blog link in the video.

    1. Thanks Matt for flagging this :) Just sent an e-mail to Matt at -- he's added the link!