Over the weekend something very special happened. It happened in a hobby dominated by mostly white men and boys. A hobby based on a dystopian future where the "heroes" are mostly white super humans, and everything else is either alien or oversexed nuns with guns. A hobby that really doesn't scream gender or racial equality.
So, what did happen? A woman won a Warhammer 40k major tournament. Not a girl, not a chick, but a WOMAN. A woman won in a competitive scene that breeds a masculinity complex unlike most in the geek world. A scene were the only women usually seen are wives strapped to chairs next to husbands while they play.
She won at an event that had no painting score. No comp score, nor a sportsman score to skew her accomplishment. A woman won with a lucky lizard caught by a friend and pure skill. She went 7-0 over a grueling array of opponents without the use of any flyers or Forge World. She had risen to the challenge, above all the other 140+ players at the Bay Area Open.
She did it by playing an army she loved. An army she been playing five years, since its first codex was released. She started playing Warhammer 40k not because her boyfriend or husband played. She starting playing Warhammer 40k because that is what her friends played. She did it with grace and humor, disarming her opponents with her knowledge of the game and her ability to adapt to any situation.
So who is this mystery trail blazer?
Her name is Lizz Foster and she won with Chaos Deamons with a list you won't ever see again.
It had all the cheesy goodies: Tzeentch Chariots, Flamers, Screamers, and only a Blood Thirster for anti-air. Her army was painted in an under-the-sea theme with tentacles for Screamers, jellyfish for Horrors, and mermaids for Flamers. She almost didn't play her army, but felt that this was going to be the last time she ever get a chance to play the old Chaos Daemon rules.
She beat some of the best players from a champion (Alan Bajramovic) at WargamesCon...
to a runner up (Alan "Drago Wing" Hernandez) at the NovaOpen.
Her final game was against a Imperial Guard army filled with Forge World and Drop Pod Space Wolves for Allies. In the end it came down to one Horror surviving a combat and no troops left for her opponent Alan. The hosts of the Bay Area Open Frontline Gaming will have a full video battle report up soon.
By the end I am sure Lizz was exhausted.
But she got not one, but two standing ovations from the crowds watching history in the making.
But really, the best part was her winning the coveted Belt of Russ!
Does Lizz win mean that women will be flooding your local gaming store? Highly unlikely, but what it does mean is women shouldn't be intimated by the hobby, nor should any of us guys ever take a female player for granted. Lizz proved that practice makes perfect no matter what sex you happen to be, and unlike the lady I used for title picture she actually won something.
If you are looking for more bad grammar and no comment section please take a look at my blog Blood of Kittens.