The Real Story of Hard Boyz, 2009   

Brent here, from Strictly Average, and I’ve been invited back to the wonderful world of douchery that is Blood of Kittens to wax eloquent on a subject near and dear to my empty, digital head…   

…no, not Storm Raven conversions. I’m over that.   

Not really. I’ll never be over it and can we move on? My therapist suggests I change the subject whenever it comes up.   

I’m here today because I want to clear the air on something. Nick, probably better known as Darkwynn from Bell of Lost Souls, desperately wants to keep the following absolutely true story under wraps to protect what’s left of his reputation. I’m sorry, Nick, but I have to tell the truth.   

Yes, the truth hurts.   

Nick – and what the hell is a Darkwynn, anyway? Let’s call him what his momma does. Nick owes his Hard Boyz victory to me.   

That’s right, I won Hard Boyz for him.   

We were all drinking beer in a grubby hotel lounge the Friday night of BoLSCon 2009. After giving Mkerr business advice, Nick asked if I could look over the army he made with the preview copy of the Imperial Guard. “I think I’m going to call it the Leafblower,” he said.   

“You should call it the Blowjob, dude,” says I, “because it sucks.”   

The tears threatened to start so I threw up my hands. “Now, now man! None of that. Let’s give it a fix.” So I sat down and wrote something out.   

The newly-happy Nick gripped his tattered list to his chest and left, mumbling ‘Leafblower’ over and over. I picked Goatboy’s head up off the bar and asked him, “What’s the deal with Leafblower?”   

“Dunno. Did you know I’m getting married next..?” I let his head drop.   


But it doesn’t stop there.   

I saw Nick again in Chicago for the finals of Hard Boyz 2009. He was sitting on a bench in the corner, and true to form the tears were about to start flowing. “Now, now man! None of that. What’s up?”   

“Brent, man, am I glad you’re here!” Naturally. “I’ve managed to get this far by letting JWolf and Goatboy knock out all the real competition, but now I don’t know what to do!”   

I sat down next to him, giving him a jolly man-pat on the back. “Buck up, mate. Did you bring the list I made for you?”   


“Okay then! Just win the first turn, make sure your opponent doesn’t set up anything in reserve, and let the list do the work for you.”   

“…the list will do all the work?”   

“Of course. Isn’t that the conventional wisdom? You’ll be fine…”   

(And then I said something I really regret – I feel awful for it to this day.)   

“…you just have to be bold. Stick to the plan and you’ll be just fine.”   

Nick raised his head up, letting the sun take him full in the face; it was a dramatic moment, an analogy of new beginnings, new hope. He stood up and walked in to the Battle Bunker, kicking his way through the rapid redshirts.   

Nick went undefeated that day, devastating all the competition.   

(I went 1-2, having failed to bring the game that got me to Chicago in the first place. I took a monumentally horrible army list. If you’re interested in making fun of it, check out Strictly Average.)   

At the end of the day, we all stood around chatting. Nick looked at me, gratitude in his eyes, and remarked, “Brent, I owe you everything.”   

“Yes, you do.”   

“How can I repay you?”   

I thought about it for a moment, “Well, GW, in its wisdom, actually gave out all the good prizes in the semi-finals,” and with a magnanimous flourish I finished, “so don’t sweat it, Nick! This one’s all you!”   

Nick lifted up the God-awful chainsword they gave him, saying, “What about this? Do you want it?”   

“No, dude, I live in Texas. I have real weapons at my house.”   

So, Gentlemen and Unicorns (and no, I don’t believe you exist), that’s the absolutely, 100% true version of how Nick, Darkwynn from Bell of Lost Souls, owes me his Hard Boyz 2009 win. As proof, I offer you this photo:   


Yup, this is the picture Big Red put up on Bell of Lost Souls. I took this picture. Ask ‘em. And if that’s true, and it is, doesn’t it stand to reason the rest of the story is true?   


What’s that? Oh, yea. I mentioned earlier there was one thing about this whole affair I really regretted. I’m ashamed to admit this, but okay.   

As I sat outside on a bench with Nick, building him up so he could win the event, I looked at him and gave him this piece of advice:   

“You have to be bold.”   

Nick thought I said, “You have to be bald.”   

Regrettably, he took my advice on that, too. You can see where that’s getting him.   


So the Hard Boyz 2010 finals are coming up soon, and no doubt there will be a whole new batch of tall tells people will be telling! Any guesses on the winning army? Are there any thoughts about the event you’d like to share?  



Oh, and while it doesn’t have to be said, I’ll say it anyway. I didn’t run this parody by Nick before sending it to TastyTaste: I don’t have to. Nick is truly one of the good ones in our hobby and the most he’ll do it make me buy the first round of beers at this year’s BoLSCon. Which I probably owe him, now…