Ok ... I'm sure many of you have seen the announcement on the GW page (link). No Gamesdays ... no real GTs ... just a bunch of random events leading to a special GW run event. Perhaps I'll be proven wrong but at this point I'd wager that the people at that end event all hail from some group or club that are running the "Indy GTs" ... the Adepticon groups, BOLS groups, etc.
I have to say that in some ways this sounds exciting and enticing ... but once I hold myself in check by reminding myself that I'll never move in these circles. I am not part of an inner circle GW group nor do I have a relative who is a GW employee. We all know the way things work at the higher levels of GW competitive events in North America ... its not just a matter of how much you spent on your Blue Table Pro Painted army but who your buds with. So one of those GW "insiders" will be the ones dining with Mr. Johnson.
From the GW perspective I see this move as something nice to put in White Dwarf to excite the 15 year old fanboys and give the stores something to try to sell new customers on. The reality is a more inclusive system that gives the average joe gamer something for spending their hard earned dollars on this hobby ... would be much better.
I recall the days that the GTs were simply about braging rights and a plaque. You'd get your army and your mug in White Dwarf and that was it. Attending the GT was a chance to see amazingly themed armies from the hardcore to the hilarious. It was a chance to get BITZ BY THE OUNCE (SIGH!!!) ... it was a chance to play a cool mix of players and a damn good excuse for a road trip. Sadly those days are gone and now the competitive side of GW feels more like Magic the Gathering ... with endless net min max lists of doom and a sea of "professionally" painted armies. So the 15 year old kid and old duffers like me ... really have no place in the GW tourney circuit anymore. I see this announcement by GW as yet another nail in the coffin of the GW tourney scene that used to be. GW has opted to farm out all of the tournaments to random local clubs, some well run ... some very greedily run. I've heard many stories of the obscene amount of terrain and prize support GW is giving to some of the "Indy GT" organizers and I've heard how much of it ends up in some of their own collections. Those resources apparently GW doesn't care about ... yet they could be used helping new players and giving more people an opportunity to experience well run tournaments. GW used to take the attitude that there were certain standards for events involving their product. They would run some marquee events regionally to give people reasonable access to some cool very well run tournaments and mini-con type events. Now it seems like they are simply looking to cut costs and quell the anger of internet vocal power gamers.
Perhaps I'm being too harsh ... but for anyone outside of those big "important" clubs and those "inner circles" of GW chosen ... this move really is disappointing as going more "exclusive" GW is doing just that ... excluding their fans. Great for the inner circle GW guys in the big "important" groups... very very disappointing for us average Joe gamers.