By: , about 195 days ago
BOLTERCON 2023 Recap Part 2 - The 40k GT, AoS RTT, Exhaust Wolf, Golden Bolter, and more

Nearly a month has gone by and at this point I have the existential strength to take a shot at a recap of the rest of BOLTERCON. The marquee event is our 40 person Warhammer 40k GT, but there are tons of other fun things going on during the four day long slamfest of tabletop dopeness. The more words in the intro, the less words in the cool parts so let’s wrap this up and get on with the main course.

Everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth

Head on over to our previous BOLTERCON Recap Part 1 to read our esteemed Hype and Morale Officer’s take on the Battle for Cypra Mundi first. Once you’re caught up, let’s rage.

We are going to cover: 40k GT, AoS RTT, Exhaust Wolf, and finally The Golden Bolter. Last but not least, we’ll wrap things up in conclusion with all kinds of links and ominous signs.

Warhammer 40k GT

Our big event ever since it was the Invitational – we love a large scale 40k throw down (honestly all kinds of tabletop throwdowns, but we’re talking 40k now). The Bolters at Dawn twist is that our GT pushes the hobby and sportsmanship to the max – dope armies, dope tables, dope people. With an ever-growing group of newcomers, it’s fun to see them actually enjoy a competitive environ where the meta is all wild and the hobby on display is genuinely impressive. Also, there are so many skew lists it’s hard to say a generally good meta list (cowardly netlists) will even make the cut!

As a quick recap, here are the final top 10:

Place Player Faction Record
1 Josh Salzman Black Templars 100 / 90 / 90 / 75 / 86
2 Peter Hattemer Necrons 93 / 92 / 75 / 97 / 100
3 Jason Walker Iron Hands 81 / 63 / 50 / 77 / 97
4 Adam Blum AdMech 85 / 67 / 78 / 39 / 95
5 Chris Kentrup TSons 71 / 98 / 100 / 52 / 85
6 Nate Sowder Aeldari 67 / 77 / 92 / 65 / 91
7 Joshua Maddux Drukhari 80 / 95 / 92 / 63 / 61
8 Gavin Peacock T’au 82 / 56 / 86 / 80 / 61
9 Devon Hanavan Knights 86 / 95 / 53 / 76 / 48
10 Coty Flannery Tyranids 76 / 29 / 69 / 88 / 83

In the spirit of less words from me, let’s lean on our esteemed colleagues over at Goonhammer for a pretty good breakdown of the event and the final game.

Black Templars are enjoying a breakout season here, performing well with a wide range of builds from outright infantry spam through to more mixed ones like the above, which sprinkles in high quality Marine vehicles (Redemptors get even chewier with access to a 6+++!), and a Land Raider for staging and transporting. My understanding was that this final into Tsons was an absolute classic and came down to a redrawn card in the last turn giving the Land Raider the chance to Capture Enemy Outpost and bring home the win by a single point- absolutely amazing! Very well done on the win Josh.

Now I will say this, there are some spicy lists in there that I’m sure the Goonhammer folks just glossed over (Monoliths and all). Maybe we should invite them next year to come see the wild meta in person?

Congratulations to our top three GT players in Josh, Peter, and Jason! BUT WAIT, we have two more awards to hand out.

  1. Booger Bowl Champion – props to Kelvin Jordan for beating Mike Klebau in the time honored tradition of the Booger Bowl
  2. Purity Seal – Gabe Newhall takes home the trophy by being voted Best Sportsman by the people despite the ruthless win in the Newhall Bowl

All the game scoring details are in Best Coast Pairings, so head over and check out the complete final placings!

Age of Sigmar RTT

For AoS, we are going to hand it over to Devon (@EonFenrir) for the recap since he organized and ran the event like an absolute legend:

The Age of Sigmar RTT on Friday saw 6 factions take the field to reign supremacy over the mortal realms (none being Order, sad good guy noises).

In the end the Destruction meta reigned true, seeing the Beastclaw Raiders (Devon Hanavan) take 1st and the Sons of Behemat (Tyler Clishe) take 2nd. Destruction would also win the day in the looks department as Gavin Peacock’s Kruleboyz would leave with the best painted award.

That’s all for now, but look to the future for more events in the Mortal Realms in 2024!

Check out the final placings over at Best Coast Pairings for the AoS RTT for all the details.

Exhaust Wolf aka DOOMRIDER – Painting Competition and Joust

Through a series of late night conversations while hobbling in voice comms, the Exhaust Wolf aka DOOMRIDER challenge was born. A generous Bolters at Dawn member from Maryland (hi Dave!) helped us organize the first ever daemon-centered hobby competition with finale joust. Now what is a joust? We hosted a couple of jousts with Knights and Land Raiders in the clubhouse, so of course the next logical step is to do it with daemons on bikes. Ten players not only fought over best painted, but a bunch of awards for hobby and play style during the joust itself on Thursday night.

Check out the player packet for the DOOMRIDER competition in the player packet for BOLTERCON .

On to the awards! There are three awards and the votes were tallied up to have a winner, first runner up, and second runner up. Congrats to all for the wild times and hard work:

Midnight Marauder: awarded to the overall crowd favorite capturing the absolute essence of the Exhaust Wolf
 (voted on by players only)
Joe Blackett, John Gemrich, Jesse Brown

Old Tyme Evil: Crowd favorite vintage model showcasing an old-fashioned approach to DOOMRIDER’s wickedness (voted on by players only)
Joe Blackett, Devon Hanavan, Christian Chadwell

Speed Demon on the Highway to HELL: awarded completely subjectively to the fastest-looking DOOMRIDER (voted on by players only)
Joe Blackett, Dave Kunes, John Gemrich

King of the Road: Best painted! (voted on by any attendee)
Joe Blackett, John Gemrich, Jesse Brown

Congrats to Joe for taking it home with his over-the-top Slaanesh take on the Exhaust Wolf aka DOOMRIDER aka Master of Debauchery!

Admittedly, I did a poor job of taking extensive pictures of this event. Maybe the mission was too wild? Distracted by all the dope models? Whatever the cause, you can see what we are gathering in the Google Drive shared folder .

The participants spent a couple of hours on Thursday evening zooming around a custom mission and generally having a blast. Wouldn’t you know that our very own Warmaster (aka Brad aka @Kororuk) was the winner by a large margin! Very much looking forward to the next iteration of this event, so let us know what you’d like to see us do!

The Golden Bolter Painting Competition

Every year we host our painting competition that is directly related to the 40k GT. We have two awards, one for best painted single model and one for best painted army. The rules can be found in detail in the packet, but short summary is that it must be from your GT list! A twist that helps skew that meta in weird directions. In addition, we avoid the popularity contest angle by having a completely unconnected 3rd party do the judging – Kenny Boucher from Next Level Painting.

This year Kenny was on the road in SoCal doing shoutcasting for some tourney action there. Without further ado, see our favorite Florida Man breakdown the winners from the road.

Winner Best Painted Army – Albert Witt! His Tyranids impressed in years previous, but Albert finally breaks the curse and is an award winning painter.

Winner Best Painted Model – Peter Hattemer! This C’tan (pronounced see-tan) was blinged to the max and attracted a lot of attention throughout the GT and beyond.

You can see all the pics we sent to Kenny in the Google Drive shared folder here. As I reflect on the sheer amount of work that the remote judging has become, it’s probably time to switch to in-person judging at BOLTERCON 2024. We’ll still have the photo booth (with someone more capable / less tasked than myself running it), but the real way to fully appreciate an army/model is to see it in person. Should we fly Kenny out? Maybe bring in other judges? Let us know your desires in our Discord!

Big thank you to Monument Hobbies for sponsoring our event with generous gift cards to their store. Head on over and buy some stuff (like the best white paints in the game, dopest travel hobby case ever) to show them how much we appreciate their support. Did you know that you can also purchase Monument Hobbies supplies in our Bolters at Dawn store ? Either way, get busy.


We did it, we lived, we thrived. Another successful BOLTERCON in the books and we look ahead to 2024 with eyes wide open. Our two-part coverage of BOLTERCON skipped over a few events because there is just so much we can’t capture it all.

First, we had a Combat Patrol RTT that was a resounding success. From all the people I talked to during and after, they are very much looking forward to more Combat Patrol games and are waiting to hear about the next event. Our very own Director of Inter-organizational and Competitive Knowledge ran a tight ship and you can head on over to the Best Coast Pairings final placings for more details.

Second, we had an amazing Kill Team event hosted by our Praetorian of Righteous Indignation and Careful Kudos that was well received. Unfortunately, it sounds like everyone died by killing each other or getting eaten by Tyranids. Better luck with that escape next time!

Third, and I will only touch on this briefly, our Judiciar Extremis put on a fun hobby event called Only Paints. It can’t be fully summarized with words and/or pictures, but you can get a feel for things with this action shot:

Am I finally free of BOLTERCON 2023? The answer is firmly yes (maybe). We downloaded the pics posted to the BOLTERCON Discord channel and will be taking submissions to add more if you are interested. There are also event-specific folders in there to try and help you navigate. But honestly you should just slideshow it and go down memory lane (or live vicariously through the pics).

Keep abreast of all the latest info by joining our Discord. Planning for 2024 is well underway, and we know for certain that BOLTERCON 2024 will be happening November 14th through 17th, 2024 at Centre Park of West Chester! Mark those calendars because you’re going.