JBW: Hey Jason, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. So how did you get into 40K?
My brother had joined the Army, and I acquired some MK6 plastic beakie marines from him. I had no idea what they were. They looked pretty cool, and I enjoyed assembling and painting them.So around 1989-1990, I ventured out into the void of gaming called Mobile, Alabama to find out what these plastic space marines were. I found a comic book shop that had some rogue trader blisters on the rack. In particular there was a Nurgle chaos space marine, and from that moment on; I loved Nurgle. The clerk who sold me the model asked if I played Nurgle. I think he could tell by my blank stare that I had no Idea what he was asking. That’s when he spoke the words that would change my evenings and weekends for the rest of my life… “Dude, it’s for a game called Warhammer 40k and they have a club that meets every week at the festival center”. The very next week I was at the club. I walked in and there was a game going, Orks vs Marines. That’s when an ogre looked at me and said “you want in?”. The drool had puddled on the table, and he noticed. He introduced himself as Marvin, and we have been friends for many years. Even though he’s lost in the warp again.
JBW: What other Games/ Systems do you play?
None, once upon a time I would pick up anything.The cost of this hobby has increased over time and leaves no room for other games.
JBW: Do you have other 40K armies? Would you mind giving us a quick list of them?
UGH. I have sooo much stuff, and as everybody knows, I hardly play any of them. My second and greatest love was Imperial Guard, and I find it hard to play anything else. However, I do own Chaos Space Marines, Daemons, Dark Eldar, Space Wolves and Tyranids.
JBW: In your opinion what do you think makes a good tournament player?
Knowing the rules is number one. I’m finding that my lack of playing since 2013 CAGE has dulled the rules in my head, AGAIN. So if I play anyone, and there is a question about a rule, just open the rulebook and smack me gently in the face with the page while smiling.
Players should move quickly, and don’t waste time talking instead of playing. I’m not saying don’t speak during a game. I’m just saying don’t talk while it’s your turn to move and the clock is running unless you are talking AND moving. It’s very hard to get all 5 rounds in if you waste time.
No tears. I try my best not to sob when losing, and I appreciate the same from my opponent.
JBW: You have been busy with life lately, and have come out to participate in the CAGE Match. What is the draw for you to make this effort in your already busy schedule?
A couple of friends threatened my life. True Story.
Friend #1, Ryan Johnson, also from Mobile originally and a long time friend of mine. If anyone wants to hear the stories about his 21st birthday, I’m your man.
The other reason I’m attending CAGE 2014 is almost as intimidating as Ryan. Friend #2, See next question.
JBW: You know of a few guys in the Mobile area. Are any of them headed to the Final that you know of?
Johnny Smiley. AKA “Big John”. I doubt he still goes by this, but at the time there were a couple of Johns around, and the other was around 5 feet tall so it was obvious what to call them.
Johnny and I became friends around 16 at the gaming club mentioned in the first question. He worked down from the club meeting at Chicago’s best pizza. Still to this day, I have not found better pizza…I think it was John’s “special sauce”.
I’m sure he will be able to regale many stories that should not be repeated about my teen years. We went different ways due to life events, but have reconnected via Facebook, and I make it a point to harass him about his recent reemergence into 40k. His painting has always exceeded my skill by miles, so look out Shawn! You may have competition.
JBW: Say there was someone reading this who wants to try and qualify for the 2015 Cage Match at their local store. What advice would you give them?
Don’t come to CJ’s to qualify, because I own the qualifier there! People may say that I was the only one to show up, and that MAY be true. However, I like to think that everyone else was just too scared to face me! *FLEX*
JBW: Thanks for the time and responses.