And onto day 3 of our Expo experience. Board games took a back seat as Joe and Ed took part in the Drop Fleet tournament and Mike and myself went off to play at the Infinity N3 ITS event. As with previous years Peter Acs (Lead Rising Blog) and Ian Wood (The Wargames Trader) were hosting the latter. This was Mike's first Infinity tournament and a very brave little soldier he was too. He took his Yu Jing, and I took along my long suffering Nomads.
Above: Gamers for as far as the eye could see.
The wargaming events were not held at the Hilton this year but in one of the cavernous halls at the Birmingham NEC. X-Wing, Pokemon, Imperial Assault and Settlers of Catan, were amongst a vast and diverse range gaming tournaments taking place. There was also some more old school 'traditional' wargaming which brought back happy memories of a bygone age.
Above: To the left, Epic, in the centre Ancients, and to the right, the Infinity players begin to gather.
Above: Mike and Nick Gray discuss stuff prior to game one.
I enjoyed all three of my tournament games. They were unhindered by any possibility of victory due to good play on the part of my opponents and some tactical errors on my part (we shall not dwell). Here are some very short summaries.
Game One - Antenna Field - Alex Gray - Aleph (Steel Phalanx)
The decision to choose round one opponents alphabetically, by first name, paired me off with a familiar foe, Alex Gray? Alex played well with his link team and my individual models acted as road humps as Nick picked them off one by one.
Above: The table for game one.
Above: The centre of the table became hotly contested.
If memory serves, the game finished in a 6 to 2 victory for Nick.
Game Two - Supplies - Laina - Haqqislam - Hassassin Bahram
My second opponent, Laina, has her own blog called Haqqislammed,(http://haqqislammedlainasinfinity.blogspot.co.uk/) which records her adventures across the Infinitysphere. This was a fun game, as we both had a similar approach to the events unfolding; yes of course we wanted to play and win, but we both enjoyed the narrative taking place between our miniature heroes. The game did feature some poor decision making on my part; my Sin Eater moving from a reasonable firing position, and stumbling carelessly into a pistol ARO, which resulted in him playing no further part in the game. Once the dust had settled, Laina had secured a comfortable win.
Above: Just before kick-off for game two. We got to play on one of the nicest tables.
Above: The centre of the table was full of action as my forces attempted to slow Laina's link team.
Above: The action hots up in the Ancients tournament!
Game Three - Firefight - Jasper - Nomads
Jasper should not have found himself playing me in game three. I knew his nicely painted army from a Totally Crit ITS event, which he had won! Before starting Jasper explained that he had been away from the game for a while and had played two very strong players so far. Well reader, in this game, Jasper got his mojo back. Very simply, my Sin Eater was smoked out by a Jaguar/Intruder combo. A Werewolf in fatigues caused merry hell in my back field, and rest of my army was mopped up with not to much difficulty. Job done.
The bitter pill of last place overall was sweetened a little by a very nice prize, a blister, two badges and a measuring device (I won't mention the accompanying wooden spoon).
Above: Great stuff for losing. Don't look at the spoon! Just don't look at the spoon!
As always, thanks to Ian and Peter for putting on the event, and for all those that took part. Of course It goes without saying that Mike finished ahead of me, after he managed a win and two losses. A very good result for his first ITS.
Above: Joe and Ed starting their Drop Fleet tournament. As much a test of stamina and resolve, as strategic know how.
Above: Drop Fleet players unconcerned that a polystyrene elephant has taken a dump on the centre of their table.
Above: And then onto the evening. Whilst we waited for the return of Ed and Joe we played Flashpoint - A game where you take on the role of heroic firefighters. Probably unique over the weekend as a game you can play as a solo or multi-player version.
Above: Box art displayed by my able assistant Simon.
Above: Tsuro 2. This second version of the game with added ships and dragons.
Above: Next up, Amit teaches us Spyfall. Mysterium required some lateral thinking, but Spyfall really messes with your mind. I struggled with the self imposed pressure to think of answers that would not give the game away to the player who took on the role of spy.
Above: A happy Joe, and a very tired looking Ed, finally arrive from their Dropfleet marathon, to play Mysterium. Mike is totally surprised that they finished before midnight.
Above: Mike and I visually explain that we both expect to finish first. I think that is what the hand gestures meant?
And, for me, it was time to turn in for the evening. More to follow next time.
Keep having fun you all.