Back in November a number of us took the trip to Reading in Berkshire for the annual two day wargaming convention Warfare. Ed, Mike, Joe and myself had entered the two day five game DZC tournament (Dan stayed behind to house sit OB Towers). Last year the Drop Zone tournament was held in the hurley burley of the main hall, this time around, we were housed in the relative solitude of a squash court.
Above: Round one underway.
I had done very little in the way of practice prior to the event. I decided to take my Scouge which has changed very little since the Brighton tournament. Until the Overseer gets it's expected nerf in the next rules update I don't see any reason to amend the list for the time being. What had attracted me to attending Warfare was the chance to be at a traditional wargaming event. We had all brought along bits and pieces to sell at the Bring and Buy and we decided to stay over in a nearby hotel overnight. A very good decision in the circumstances, as the M3 Motorway was closed that weekend, and the traffic using alternative routes made the journey a total mare.
If you are a regular reader of this blog (for which I thank you), you could not be blamed for thinking that we have only a dozen or so wargamers in the whole of the South East of England. Certainly, with Drop Zone, (and I expect, Drop Fleet in due course), the pool of players are regular names on my write ups, and for this tournament I knew pretty much all of the competitors taking part. Perhaps there is a question to be asked on whether Drop Zone is still able to attract new players, or maybe it has gone has far as it can? The introduction of Drop Fleet may of course reinvigorate the wargaming community and new players may filter across to Drop Zone. Time will tell.
Game One - Chris L - PHR - Mission: 'Old' Recon
'Old' Recon!!! Yep. Before there were a flurry of rewrites we had the first, and original, Recon. Back in time we go, where rolling ones when searching for objectives in buildings results in a most annoying explosion and no objective to be found. Balls!. If you are a bad luck magnet, this is to be a most frustrating game.
There were a couple of surprises in this game; firstly, Chris' usual gold PHR were replaced by a much more restrained blue colour scheme. Secondly, he had the lesser seen flame armed Apollo B walker, which, to begin with, kept rolling the required sixes to cause burning death to my infantry, who were wrongly convinced that they were safe inside buildings. My Razorworms were, however, immense being able to find objectives in buildings my infantry were unable, or unwilling, to visit.
Above: A blue! Njord.
The searching dice rolls were more kind to me than Chris, and eventually, I was able to win the game 12 to 8. With our regular games against each other it won't be long before Chris gets his revenge.
Above: Mike and Joe get the latest Blotz update.
Game Two - Alex G - Scourge - Mission: Secure the Flanks
A very bloody Scourge on Scourge game. Notable for a unit of Alex's Destroyers who were shot out of their transport in the middle of nowhere. Were they scared? Not likely. They set up a picnic, and took the occasional pot-shot at my units as they passed by. My shots, conversely, just pinged harmlessly of their tough hides as they munched on their sandwiches and drank their ginger beer. Otherwise, my memory of events is rather lacking. Alex won the game 12 to 8.
Above: Destroyers asking each other if anyone remembered to bring a bottle opener.
Above: The Bring and Buy.
Game Three - Ed - PHR - Mission: 'Old' Ground Control
Third game and my third opponent just happened to be OB's own technical wiz-kid, Ed. The massive problem with 'old' Ground Control; no one does anything until the last two turns remaining inactive off table where possible. My Destroyers and Eviserators twiddled their thumbs waiting for the squishy Valkeries to arrive. They were party poopers and did not want to play with my lumbering hulks. No fair.
Above: Another PHR Njord. This one black, supports the many walkers beneath it.
The buildings were very close together on Ed's side of the table. Not ideal for his walkers, although it could have been worse if he owned a Resistance Thunderstorm. Ed's better appreciation of quarters and the points contain within allowed him a comfortable 14 to 6 victory.
Above: Ed's shiny black 'Tron' PHR.
So onto the evening's entertainment. First, Mike, Ed, Joe, Amit and myself walked the short distance from the venue to the Toby Carvery, and had a very nice roast dinner. Mike, Ed, Joe and myself then returned to our hotel for board games. We started with Tsuro (The Game of the Path) and then moved onto my favourite, Shogun. Which I completely forgot the prime objective (build buildings) and came a very disappointing fourth. Day two kicked-off with a hearty fry-up at the hotel, then off to the venue.
Game Four - Mark - UCM - Mission: Land Grab
Mark was new to the game and nicer bloke you couldn't have met (and someone I have never played before! Hooray). He had only played for six months and this was his first tournament. Not only that, he brought with him the only UCM army at the tournament and he was using my favourite looking model in the whole game, the Albatross.
Above: I do like the look of this model.
Mark's list featured two fast movers, in separate battle groups. And a unit of six Katana's that moved around the table in a very tight formation (see picture below).
Despite my best efforts to keep a track of the points values I couldn't keep enough models on the table and Mark got a very well deserved win, 13 to 7. I wish him all the best with his Drop Zone journey.
Above: Katanas on manoeuvres.
Game Five - Greg J - PHR - Military Complex
The final game of the weekend pitted me against Greg. There were a number of notable events in our game. Firstly, Both my heavy infantry units, the Eviserators and the Destroyers, found themselves in the wrong building early on and so made suicidal dashes across a street in their Intruders. Both transports were destroyed by Phobos, and the occupants then made their very slow progress walking towards alternative buildings instead.
Secondly, Greg told me that his Nemesis had refused to perform all weekend, and this was born out by the massive walker's inability to do anything apart from building demo.
Above: Yet another PHR Njord. This one, Blue and Grey. Anyone seeing a theme? It would appear that the Njord is the new Scourge Overseer.
Thirdly, my Screamer was a total demon, destroying stands of Valkeries in so much burning death.
And finally, fourthly, the shame inflicted on the PHR army that, having lost so much infantry during the game, was forced to use a Medusa to take an objective off the table so that we finished the final game as a draw. I must thank Greg for a really fun game to finish the day.
Above: The Incredible Shrinking Joe! The question; Is Joe sat down? Amit (The Giant) is his opponent.
Above: Mike playing X-Hawk Simon.
Above: The final positions. (1 win, 1 draw and 3 losses left me 14th out of 18 competitors - I was happy enough with that).
Well done to X-Hawk Simon on his victory, and thanks to Mr Karl T-H for being our TO.
I haven't really gone in for Bring and Buy before. However, the Warfare system seemed fairly simple and there were some models in my collection that will just never see the light of day, so into tuppaware boxes they were packed, and very reasonable prices were a fixed to each. Warmachine, Hordes, Infinity, and 40K made up the majority of my hoard, and despite a couple of no sales, I made a pretty penny by the end of the weekend. This money has, of course, already been ploughed back into new toys.
Below are some pictures of the pretty wargaming tables in the main hall.
My purchases across the weekend were quite reserved, unusually for me. From Blotz (MDF terrain) I got their very cute Guild Ball (or Blood Bowl) score board and an American style petrol (gas) station for when my wargaming focus returns to Furious Geoff. Following a nice chat with KR Multi-Case's Daryl, I got myself a box and foam suitable for my eventual Drop Fleet models. And that about wraps it up for the year. Thanks to all my readers and commenters for your visits to the blog.
And finally, how best to wish you all a Merry Christmas - Surely a picture of Mike wearing a festive jumper and a half eaten mince pie in his gob.
Take care all.