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Category: ETC (page 1 of 4)

ETC 2015: Flames of War

Ah, Prague, a beautiful city rich with history and culture, one time capital of the Holy Roman Empire. This isn’t where we were. Our event was a little further out.

The actual location of the ETC was a metal shed, full of sweat, heat and… sweat. In Ireland, this is the kind of place you go to auction livestock.

Having experienced a degree of shock from the heat, I was concerned for the well-being of my delicate team. Imagine my relief in finding that their specialised dietary requirements could be met locally.

Preparation was paramount this year, months of planning, list analysis and pairing under tournament conditions (read: drunk and sleep deprived).

On the way, we noted that Team USA had gotten there before us and were doing a little freelance work for the local CIA front.

After a night of drinking and sweet, sweet dance moves, we square off against Brian’s favourite nation, Team Belarus. I take their Finnish infantry list in Dust-up. The decision to harass his force before falling back to eliminate his reserves was a little too greedy. His reserves arrive quickly, fight well and I make heavy going of finishing them off. After a close fight, we prevail. With his reserves gone, an additional platoon kill was required. With all key platoons close to testing and the enemy deployed in good positions, it took almost an hour to unpick the defence and force company morale checks.

Ireland Score Score Belarus Result
Padraic 6 1 Artem Win
Brendan 1 6 Michail Loss
Ulick 3 2 Denis Draw
Brian 4 3 Andrew Win
Floody 3 3 Bartosz Draw
Baz 3 3 Valery Draw

Looking around, we took two wins from the round, lost a game outright and the rest were mutual losses. Having expected an easier run-out, I feared the worst as we pop into the table in 18th place. The only consolation was getting paired with England in the next round.

Between rounds, we met with Adam from the Breakthrough Assault podcast who had said unkind things about our lists previously. We forgave him his abusive comments as his crippling height disadvantage meant that there was little honour in picking a fight about such things.

Facing off against Team England, I reminded my team of their many crimes against our people (especially on the part of Steve Charlton) and strongly implied that a loss would see the Union Jack fluttering over Dublin by morning. I then squared off against their German infantry list. Pete dug in across the board. I chose a flank and rolled forward, hoping to weather the ambush. The planned smoke bombardment failed to form and the ambush was brutal. The surviving tanks fought it out for a few turns, killing a few guns, suffering heavy losses. The game ended with a futile last attack killing off the company commander.

Ireland Score Score England Result
Padraic 1 6 Pete Loss
Brendan 6 1 John Win
Ulick 4 3 Graham Win
Brian 1 6 Steve Loss
Floody 4 3 Jez Win
Baz 6 1 Kevin Win

Luckily, the team performed well, beating the English 4-2 overall. Freedom is secured for another year and we climb to 12th place. That paired us against a team who might harbour a historical grudge against us, Greece.

In honour of the occasion, special actions were called for. We located his monument and fired off quick prayers to the patron saint of rules lawyering, St. Beardius.

Best possible start to the day.

The next morning saw me defend against French tanks. Arkon, the Greek player, played a very cagey game. A careful push along a tree line tried to force my ambush but I held it for the right moment. Losses were even when I pounced but the ambush did no damage. Thankfully, the counter-attack stumbled in turn and the fight degraded back into a knife fight again. At a key moment his three bailed Laffleys fled, taking the company commander with them and the lack of covering fire saw the attack unravel. Although dangerous to the end, the surviving platoons were hunted down and the company broken.

Ireland Score Score Greece Result
Padraic 4 3 Arkon Win
Brendan 6 1 Panos Win
Ulick 4 3 Harry Win
Brian 1 6 Frank Loss
Floody 6 1 Unknown Win
Baz 3 4 Unknown Loss

Another 4-2 win settled our nerves and we began to feel comfortable. We were happy to find the Greeks to be both friendly and fair and hoped to find the Swiss as pleasant. Overall, the win gets us 9th position.

My glum and hardened veterans feast on the hearts of their enemies. Well, the hearts and assorted innards of something, anyway.

We resist the urge to accuse the South African team of murdering Cecil the Lion. We do not resist the urge to spread rumours amongst the other teams that the South African team murdered Cecil the Lion.

As another nation that ducked WW2, we have a deep affinity with the Swiss. Deploying my pidgin English during the pairings, I quickly realise Arnaud’s grasp of the language is better than mine. Playing German Mech, he is “delighted” to “win” the roll to attack and gamely advances to make a fight of it. His mobile elements make it through but his guns are bogged down. He viciously targets the mortars, to my confusion, as I filter tanks from reserve to cover the objective. The plan was revealed as eight Paks arrived wheel to wheel as my forces began to filter in. Without mortars, they will be difficult to remove. But his volleys do not have the desired effect and, with frankly ludicrous rolling, the shootout goes entirely my way.

Ireland Score Score Switzerland Result
Padraic 4 3 Arnaud Win
Brendan 2 5 Christophe Loss
Ulick 6 1 Etienne Win
Brian 5 2 Markus Win
Floody 6 1 Maurus Win
Baz 3 4 Stefan Loss

The battle of the neutral powers goes our way this year. Another 4-2 win pushed us slightly further up into 6th place. Our reward was a game against Slovenia who had beaten us 6-0 in 2012, right as we were starting to getting cocky. I fear that history might repeat itself.

Riding high on the glory that evening, I refuse to allow my team to eat in such a common establishment and insist we move on to somewhere that would be, at the very least, above-average.

Next morning, fresh-faced and happy after an entire two hours of sleep, we sit down to pair against the Slovenians. Frankly, we were delighted to be playing a team with a reputation for good-spirited play.

Truly, they are a happy and friendly people, free of burning, lingering hate. 🙂

Fighting a tank list in a mobile reserves mission, I fear the worst. Primoz enacts a set-piece offensive, rolling on my home objective. The stalling forces fought well with reluctant trained troops driving off two separate assaults. Their heroics are in vain as the reserves arrive too late to retrieve the situation and the enemy plan locks me out for a turn six defeat.

Ireland Score Score Slovenia Result
Padraic 1 6 Primoz Loss
Brendan 3 4 Jan Loss
Ulick 4 3 Anze Win
Brian 3 4 Rok Loss
Floody 4 3 Milan Win
Baz 5 2 Tevz Win

Overall, we manage a 3-3 result which drops us to 8th place but keeps us within striking distance of the top five. Our last game is against the International Brigade, Team UN #1.

My last game was against a fellow Irishman, Darragh and his Czech tanks. Having suffered their fire in the last game I move quickly to engage them and push the fight into open ground. The Somuas and Laffleys were caught out of position but arrived in time to continue the fight once the Hotchkisses had lost three of four platoons. He is unlucky not to company morale me before I do the same to him to claim a final victory.

Ireland Score Score UN #1 Result
Padraic 4 3 Darragh Win
Brendan 2 5 Matteo Loss
Ulick 3 2 Karol Draw
Brian 6 1 Ilya Win
Floody 2 5 Unknown Loss
Baz 5 2 Nic Win

The team as a whole went 3-2 and with wins scarcer in the final Fair Fight mission, it was enough to jump us into 4th place. USA, Poland and Australia scamper off with the trophies as we watch resentfully.

Having come within touching distance of the podium, we were proud but also a little disappointed. That disappointment was brutally compounded the next day when Brian drops the celebratory ice-cream Floody bought him. His sobs ring through the Old Castle for hours.

No matter, we gather our belongings, take a bearing off the Eiffel Tower (who knew it was visible from Prague) and start marching home.

P.S. I’m missing some names from our match-ups, if you know them, let us know.

ETC 2013 After Action Report

 (Warning: This blogpost contains lots of pictures, if you are on your mobile, turn back now.)

The various Team Irelands have made their way back from the ETC and the clear winners were our 40K detachment who took 5th place. They also produced a nice video which really encapsulates their time at the ETC. The rest of us fell to a mix of food poisoning (Team Ireland WFB) and Italian military prowess (Team Ireland FoW) to finish mid-table in our competitions.

Allow me to say that I make this statement of my own free will and I am not under duress. The organisers were very friendly, very competent and I am well fed.

But really, this was the best ETC I’ve ever attended. The organisation was top-notch from the results hub to the media center to the multiple bars. The Serbs also followed the lead of the Poles by bringing specialist vendors like Titan Forge and The Russian Alternative. Again, a very good idea.

There were also stands selling militaria which we quite liked. Kaptain Brian decided to prepare his children for the forthcoming Irish revolution and I picked up a nice entrenching tool to assist in any heated rules debates.

Booze was plentiful and very cheap. This particular grapefruit-based beverage (2%) meant that the players had a cool drink on hand at all times but couldn’t actually get enough alcohol into their system to impact on their gameplay.

There were some concerns about the quality of terrain prior to the tournament. While they fell short of the Polish ETC, the organisers did very well considering the lack of a local FoW scene. I believe the Germans, Poles and Battlefront provided a fair chunk of terrain but the Serbs still had to go to some trouble to make up the shortfall. These pictures should give a decent overview. The tables were a little disjointed in some cases but certainly playable.

After dumping my 2nd Infantry Division in the hotel and checking out the hall, we passed a civilised night, enjoying the local food and drink. Our captain attempted to keep our natural inclinations in check by threatening that the most hung-over player would be first bid for all of Day 1.

The first round saw us pitted against the Portuguese and Richard was fed to the wolves. I faced off against an American Armoured Rifles list. I set up a weak front line and fell back on the objectives behind that screen. There were some small clashes as I tried to extract the blocking forces. He managed to kill one small platoon during their retreat but when one of his full strength platoons got shot up in their halftracks, his force ran out of steam. Our tank destroyers traded shots (to his benefit) but with two platoons of heavily armed Yanks dug in on the objectives, he didn’t really have the troops to remove them. A morale-boosting early win.

Overall, honours were even as both countries claimed three wins. We started our 2013 campaign in 14th place.

Ireland Score Score Portugal Result
Barra 2 5 Joao Loss
Brian 2 5 Carlos Loss
Richard 1 6 Jorge Loss
Ulick 4 3 Pedro Win
John 4 3 Pedro Win
Padraic 4 3 Jose Win

We faced the Czech Republic in the second round. My game was a fair fight against a Soviet horde. We both went for the throat during the game, risking dangerous assaults but neither of us could press the attack home and it became a simple slugging match. Ziead did over-reach a little, losing five of eight platoons and I’d like to think that had it continued, I could have broken his company. But the infamous “no new turns in the last 10 minutes” rule reared its ugly head and that was the end of it.

Although, we’d only scored two wins, there were an abundance of drawn games across all the table and those two points lifted us into 12th place.

Ireland Score Score Czechs Result
Richard 4 3 Daniele Win
Barra 3 4 Tibor Loss
Padraic 3 2 Ziead Draw*
Brian 2 5 Jaromir Loss
John 1 6 Ivan Loss
Ulick 6 1 Jiri Win

 *A draw is treated as a mutual loss so it’s bit of a worthless distinction.

When we saw that we were paired against Slovenia, our hearts fell as they had gutted us last year. A second glance cheered us up as we realised that we were playing Slovakia. My opponent’s evil StuHs almost won him the game as he swarmed an isolated objective. I was forced to start siphoning troops from other objectives into the area in a desperate bid to salvage things. However, the tank destroyers finally stopped mis-firing and shredded his assault guns at the critical point. His attack stuttered to a halt and he spent the rest of the game trying to avenge his troops by hunting my M18s down. A lovely if ruthless opponent, he does get credit for (accidentally?) shelling his own troops when they refused to un-pin. We ran the game to its natural conclusion and I came away with the win.

We scored a solid victory overall and jumped into 8th place. The matches for the following morning went up and we were to face England.

Ireland Score Score Slovakia Result
Richard 3 4 Michal Loss
Ulick 6 1 Andrea Win
Brian 2 5 Lucia Loss
Padraic 4 3 Karel Win
John 5 2 Anders Win
Barra 5 2 Michal Win

We started our night by checking on Team England. Obviously, news of their upcoming match against us had left them in a state of paralysing fear but we did what we could to reassure them and ease their terror.

Then we started drinking properly. When we were choosing between the French and Serbian bids, it was the US State Department’s dire warnings which swung our vote.

“Serbian nightclubs are increasingly popular with foreign tourists. If you decide to go to a nightclub, you should know that they can be crowded and may not be up to Western standards for maximum occupancy and fire safety.”

 Sounds perfect.

This is the single fire exit we found on our travels and it was behind a locked glass door. Presumably to keep it safe from grubby, ash-covered hands.

We were actually in pretty good shape the next morning. My opponent, Tim brought the Irish Guards against me, which seemed a bit mean. I hardened my heart and prepared to shoot down my 15mm relatives. He did a great job of containing the tank destroyers but couldn’t really get any traction against the infantry until they were eliminated. By the time we got to the critical tank assaults, he was under pressure. The game was still winnable but he hadn’t factored in my homing bazookas which chopped up the charging Shermans in short order. Another close win.

Across the tables, we’d managed to go 3-3 with the English but dropped to 10th place as a result.

Ireland Score Score England Result
Padraic 4 3 Tim Win
Ulick 1 6 Jez Loss
Barra 1 6 Pete Loss
Brian 5 2 Dave Win
John 4 3 Ian Win
Richard 2 5 Steve Loss

In the last round, we went up against the Italians.  This is probably the game of which I am most proud. I risked everything on a massed continuous infantry assault over the first three turns and manage to smash three of his infantry platoons for the loss of almost half of all my infantry platoons. It really shouldn’t have worked but it did. Enrico has to pull units off his far objective to contain my attack and after his reserves arrive and bog down under mortar fire, he’s got no way of stopping teleporting tank destroyers bypassing his wire/mines and roaring onto the far objective to claim a win.

Looking around, I realise that I’d used up our team’s entire luck ration in my game and we’re running into trouble elsewhere. The heavy defeat drops us to 13th and slingshots the Italians into 3rd.

You’re welcome, Italy.

Ireland Score Score Italy Result
Richard 3 4 Stefamp Loss
Brian 2 5 Maurizio Loss
John 3 4 Federico Loss
Padraic 4 3 Enrico Win
Barra 3 4 Lorenco Loss
Ulick 2 5 Andrea Loss

Onto the awards ceremony, where the Poles, French and Italians take the top spots. They’re traditionally associated with success in WW2, right? The contrast between prizes for the Battlefront and GW events is interesting. Battlefront provided prize support, plaques and terrain for the ETC. Games Workshop continue to completely ignore the event.

We had a few minutes to spend at this point so I grabbed what pictures I could of the various pretty armies. The very first shot is the greatest observer team ever.

These are not Flames of War-related but were so nice, I had to include them. It’s a Chaos Dwarf army of some sort. If you look closely, that is some kind of functioning plasma ball in the second shot.

The last morning was marked by the usual Serb efficiency. They loaded us all onto our buses in  record time and we fled the country through an airport swarming with wargamers.

Now go watch the video again.

Nerds To Novi Sad: Results

As the first day of the Nerd Olympics comes to a close Team Ireland are in a strong position in both 40k and Fantasy with FOW yet to start. Scores and comment after the break.

Note: This will be updated at the end of each day with the score.
Last edit; 23:44 for inclusion of 40k ESC and WHFB second round opponents

 Warhammer 40,000

Having beaten both Latvia and Belgium convincingly Team Ireland 40k, ended the day in third position. They are playing Team Spain tomorrow morning, having hopefully drunk them under the table.
Keep up the fire!

Below are the individual 40k results.

 Round one
Round Two

A hearty congratulations to Darragh Cullen for coming a whopping 16th in the ESC 40k. Another big achievement for the ETC and ESC veteran. Showing the Irish are a force to be reckoned with both individually and as a team. Bravo to you sir!!

Full standings from the ESC here.
Take a look at first place; 100/100 and 8625/9250!! Bloody heck!
Thanks to the artist formerly known as Puchadubh for this info I was initially unaware we had anyone in the ESC!


Team Ireland Fantasy are in 7th after 2 rounds having beaten Finland in the first round and a losing draw with Serbia in the second round. (83-77 to Serbia)
Here are Team Ireland Fantasy’s Results from round one;


Big props to Frogdog and JFisher for coming 12th and 11th respectively in the FOW ESC, let’s hope they can continue the good form for their respective teams in the ETC tomorrow.

This post has been overtaken by events, for real-time updates and all results, go to the Novi Sad ETC Facebook page here

ETC 2013: Nerds to Novi Sad

Another year, another Nerd Olympics. We’re all off to the European Team Championship this weekend. The Irish 40K and Fantasy teams (best of luck, chaps) are flying out tomorrow for their three day event, we’ll be joining them on Friday for the two-day, Flames of War event. I can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to keep you updated but I’ll certainly grab as many pictures as I can of the armies, terrain and venue.

 After last year’s “triumph”, the Flames of War team will be looking to “refine” our performance. The 40K team had a strong finish last year and will be looking to break into the very top ranks. The Fantasy team are looking to get back to previous form and match their performance in 2011. There’s been wild talk of playing sober but I can safely assume that madness will pass once people notice that the venue has three bars. I also thought I’d give a brief overview of the preparation involved in attending the ETC. There’s two critical tasks to be completed before I leave. The first is making sure that every piece of the army is packed and every scrap of supporting materiel is accounted for.


The second task is researching the country itself to ensure a degree of cultural sensitivity and, at the very least, pack the right clothes. I found the “Behind Enemy Lines” documentary to be very informative. Based on my research, it seems to be a cold country and a mix of fatigues and tracksuits would be most appropriate. I assume weapons can be sourced at the customs desk.

Some of my less-enlightened teammates persist in claiming that the local temperature is 38 Celsius but they’ll be sorry when they’re freezing to death while I luxuriate in my fine winter coat.

Announcing Team Ireland for Flames of War at the 2013 ETC

The War Altar is pleased to announce Ireland’s Flames of War team for the 2013 European Team Championship.

Brian “Minsk Meat” McKenzie
Comrade Captain
File:RIAN archive 2410 Marshal Zhukov speaking.jpg
Barra “Long Tom” Mac Niocaill
Comrade Vice Captain
File:A I Antonov 02.jpg
John “the Haddington Road Hetzer” Gallagher
File:Василий Блюхер.jpg
Richard “Das Rheingold Reaver” Flood
Padraic “the Konnemara Komissar” O’Confhaola
File:Klim voroshilov.JPG
Ulick “the Donbass Dynamo” O’Sullivan
File:Browning M2HB Normandy.jpg

The War Altar sat down with the team captain for a brief chat about the ETC.

War Altar: Welcome to the internets.  Tell us about this year’s team.  How did you select it?
Comrade Captain McKenzie:

WA: What are your goals for this year?

WA:  We hate to single out individual players but last year one of your players under performed on the first day.  What happened?

WA:  You have four returning members and two new members.  What tips or tricks do you have for the new members?

WA:  Do you have anything to say to the other teams?
WA: Thank you for your time.

Flames of War at the ETC

If you’re reading this on a mobile or third-world internet connection, give up now. This is a long and very picture-heavy article.

Team Ireland went to the ETC and played some Flames of War. Sit, children, while I tell you how it went.

The venue was the Polish town of Gorzow. Lovely place but also home to the world’s most accidentally scatological statue. With a round of shots costing roughly five euro, we took an immediate liking to the place.

The locals are experienced organisers but this was their first year running Flames of War alongside the ETC. They felt had something to prove and just really outdid themselves. Let’s start with the terrain as the tables were nothing short of amazing. Here’s a small sample to show the breadth of winter, desert, urban, rural, eastern and western front tables.

The terrain maker also had an admirable sense of humour and eye for detail.

Aside from the actual terrain, it was all those little touches that warmed my blackened, stone heart and made me think very nice thoughts about the ETC Gorzow team.

On our arrival, we were issued with goodie bags. Aside from the rules pack, brochures and other paper items, we received our custom bidding cards, objectives and commemorative mugs. Cue vicious squabbling about who gets the mug with the best image.

The stall at the entrance were specialist wargaming traders rather than just generic game retailers. This was very clever. ETC wargamers are tournament veterans, they already own everything they need and are not likely to buy basic units. They will, however, go ape at the sight of piles of Microarts terrain, Titan Forge and Puppetswar products being sold cheaply.

The standard of painting was (aside from Team Ireland) of the highest standard. I didn’t run into a single army that had been painted to tournament standard only. They were all little works of art, lavished with fancy bases.

This is the English Panther list. Click it for a larger version, gaze on it and despair.

This is one part of the Soviet Cossack list. Find the soldiers playing a drinking game if you think your eyes can take the strain.

They also went all out on the optional extras. My Russian opponent had his own special objective marker for his Ersatz Engineers. He was not alone.

On to the preparation, training and tactics bit now. We arrived on Friday, dumped our bags in the hotel, visited the other Team Irelands and then swept and cleared the immediate area of all suspect alcohol. By five the next morning, we felt our work was done.

As you can guess, team morale was sky-high going into Day 1. Our glorious captain led us bright-eyed and bushy-tailed into the first round. We eagerly ran through our warm-up sessions, bounding with energy.

Day 1, five minutes before round start.

The judges match us against the Swedes. The three ETC veterans on the team start shifting uncomfortably and muttering about “they’re always really good”, ” remember 2011?” and “I’m scared”.

They turn out to be more casual than their dreaded 40K country-mates.

The mission requires the attacker to break through enemy lines, established diagonally across the board and grab an objective deep in the far quarter. Stalling my attack into the left and centre, Per lures me into a push against the unguarded artillery position on the right. Its all going well until his panzers appear on the my flank. The resulting ambush destroys most of my tanks, leaving the command units exposed and doomed.

My opponent was wily and cunning but he didn’t realise that the dice gods prefer their players drunk and stupid. As the fight goes on, his gunners suffer temporary blindness and my commanders suddenly lose their ability to miss. The flank collapses and I break through to the objectives.

Command StuGs stall the enemy attack just short of the artillery.

A quick scan shows that things have gone well. Three wins, two losses and a draw gets us the round win.

Ireland Score Score Sweden Result
Padraic 4 3 Per Win
Tony 1 6 Simon Loss
Ulick 1 3 Patrik Draw
Brian 4 3 Staffan Win
Joe 5 2 Helge Win
Baz 1 3 Andreas Draw

Eleventh of twenty teams, solid stuff. We exchange relieved looks and go eat bratwurst. We come back to find that our next opponents are the Russians. Instinctively, we feel that this might be a tough match. They’re considered good at the whole WW2 thing.

Tigers wait to pounce.
Kill it. Kill it quickly.

Once again, my blind aggression combines with unbelievable luck as I blunder through Dennis’s careful and measured ambushes, minefields and defensive fire. An ill conceived first attack fails miserably, killing my unlucky unit of StuGs but I have enough to throw in a second assault and hold the objective against all counter-attacks. Looking to the rest of the team, it appears we’ve done it again.

Despite again scoring less points than the opposition in our games, we have managed to record three wins, two loses and a draw. A second round win! We run to the board to see how high we’ve placed.

Ireland Score Score Russia Result
Padraic 4 3 Dennis Win
Tony 1 6 Michael Loss
Ulick 1 3 Ilya Draw
Brian 4 3 Alexey Win
Joe 5 2 Alexander Win
Baz 2 5 Pavel Loss

Huh? We scurry to our rules packs and realise that round victories are actually meaningless.Your score is the total of all battle won across all rounds. Worryingly as our wins were small and our losses glorious but large, we’re also falling behind the other teams on the secondary tie-breaker.

Over bratwurst, we discuss the standings. Even if we have only advanced one spot, we feel pretty good about our chances. Things are going well, we just beat the Russians. Hell, we could still win this thing. We’ve drawn the Slovenians and honestly, how good could they be?

I get a little nervous as he sets up a strong defensive line running the width of the board. Despite dozens of turns attempting to pick apart his position, he’s just too good for me. Every time I try a clever gambit, it turns out that he’s already noticed the threat and taken steps to baulk me about two turns earlier. The game ends with my first defeat. Still, the others will probably make up for it.

Ireland Score Score Slovenia Result
Padraic 3 4 Andrej Loss
Tony 1 6 Matic Loss
Ulick 1 6 Jan Loss
Brian 3 4 Primoz Loss
Joe 3 4 Frazer Loss
Baz 3 4 Tevz Loss

Or not. Poor Tony. As a Sherman player, he instinctively hates and fears the Tiger tank. Demonstrating its inherent kindness, the universe keeps raining Tigers on his battered little tank company.

That’s the end of Day 1, three games played. The last one was rough but we should still be somewhere mid-table…

Second last?! A quick team meeting ascertains that our performance took a dip as we sobered up. I swear not to allow that to happen again. Kebabs, drinking, second dinner, drinking, brief visit to a bizarre Polish squat/house rave, more drinking and an hour of sleep happen, in that order.

The next morning is quite painful but I stagger into battle. I have this strange feeling of being intensely warm. I wonder if I’m running a massive fever or if it’s some new, rare form of hangover.

My challenger steps up and offsets my discomfort by breaking into a nervous sweat once he sees my army/deployment.

It’s only after the match, that I realise that the air temperature is actually in the high thirties, I don’t have a fever and his sweating is totally unrelated to my tactical genius. Damn.

My opponent has a simple plan, sit in his trenches, hit me with anti-tank guns and tank hunters while fighter-bombers scream over me. He enacts it well and I bumble around ineffectively, getting blown up, until an unforced error leaves his right flank vulnerable. Some screams and grinding of tracks later, my armour starts to roll up his line.

But he’s done enough to stop me and the game ends on turn 8 with a deserved win for Memanja.

Ireland Score Score Serbia Result
Padraic 3 4 Nemanja Loss
Tony 1 6 Zoran Loss
Ulick 5 2 Milan Win
Brian 1 6 Milos Loss
Joe 1 6 Stefan Loss
Baz 6 1 Predac Win

Overall, provided the Slovenians have murdered some other team, we should be a little safer. Our captain, Baz, and Ulick begin to preen themselves and give long speeches about their inherent superiority and desire to win. The rest of us eat some bratwurst.

We quickly revise our objective from “win the ETC” to “don’t finish last”. Game faces are put on. People start actually reading their rule-books. The judges pair us with the Hungarians.

We face off across a crowded battlefield. I gently probe into the factory sector. He lures me in and chops up a unit of StuGs. I realise that I’m totally outclassed and start defending. Nothing else much happens as his infantry show no real urge to start standing in the open under my guns. A draw, with my opponent grabbing an extra point.

Having done nothing to get us off the bottom of the table, I go check on the others. Three draws. A loss. A win. And…. Brian gets us a last-ditch win.

Ireland Score Score Hungary Result
Padraic 1 2 Peter Draw
Tony 1 6 Andras Loss
Ulick 1 1 Peteq Draw
Brian 6 1 Andreas Win
Joe 5 2 Istvan Win
Baz 2 2 Zoltan Draw

After some bratwurst, we conscripted a passing Spaniard as the official team photographer and make him take our official team shot. And then it was time to check the final standings.

We rejoice, not last, not even second last. Third last. That’s practically mid-table. Sorta. Nearly. We wipe our collective brows and enjoy the awards ceremony.

ETC 2012 Final Results

Well another ETC has passed and as the dust settles, one thing is for sure: England put a very strong showing in this year, winning the 40K and are rumoured to have come 3rd in Fantasy.

More after the break. UPDATE- now with Fantasy results

Team Ireland have managed their first top ten finish in 40K ETC history. Well done to Mike and the boys for an impressive 3 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses. The final results are here, courtesy of the 40kETC wordpress page.

Congratulations to Team Northern Ireland for finally popping their ETC cherry by beating the Dutch and the Norwegians!

Warhammer 40,000 Results
WFB Final Results

Place – TEAM – VP Total – Actual BP – Modified BP – Penalty
1 POLAND 29978 631 564
2 AUSTRIA 5108 564 536
3 ENGLAND 13102 554 530
4 DENMARK 16917 551 526 -1
5 GERMANY 9381 547 523
6 FRANCE 7874 525 521 -2
7 GREECE 8301 531 518
8 SWEDEN 5835 511 514
9 ITALY 6561 520 506 -1
10 FINLAND 4772 511 504
11 SPAIN 9792 528 500
12 UNITED STATES 1415 490 494
13 MALTA -1746 460 488
14 SCOTLAND 6009 498 487
15 NORWAY 4604 492 485
16 SINGAPORE 1687 491 485
17 AUSTRALIA -81 482 484
18 RUSSIA -6631 481 484
19 BELARUS -1599 468 474
20 NEW ZEALAND -2009 465 474
21 UNITED NATION -7715 444 465
22 IRELAND 887 463 462
23 UKRAINE -7179 457 462
24 CZECH -6923 449 459
25 NETHERLANDS -5609 440 457
26 LATVIA -8494 436 448
27 SERBIA -4364 443 447
28 BULGARIA -3574 424 444
29 NORTHERN IRELAND -10165 429 442
30 WALES -16637 399 441
31 BELGIUM -7529 425 438
32 SWITZERLAND -16728 396 424
33 CANADA -11577 418 418
34 HUNGARY -12761 393 416

Bye, I’m off to invade Poland

The Nerd Olympics are upon us. The 40K and Fantasy teams are packing for/flying to/have arrived in Poland for the ETC. The FoW teams are running a day behind. Best of luck to the Irish and an almost equal but noticeably lesser amount of luck to the Northern Irish teams. The War Altar will attempt some live-blogging from the event but we make no promises. There are likely to be technical difficulties.

Take a moment to share in my joy as my entire army fits in a single foam shelf. As a Tyranid player, my baggage requirements were sky-high. I had an entire KR case specifically to transport the eighty-plus termagaunts I’d spawn in a game. This is better.

With a day of last-minute training planned for tomorrow and all my bags packed, how can I best use my time today?

Yes… research.

Team Ireland Fantasy and the ETC

Our first post looked at the 40K team, now let’s look at Team Ireland Fantasy. We’re operating at a slight disadvantage as none of us have played for Team Ireland Fantasy. Despite the lack of expertise, I’ve gathered some key information.

1) The history of Team Ireland Fantasy starts a year earlier, in 2009.
2) Do not get into a lift with a drunken Woody.
3) Team development has been a slow-burning process.

Four Nations Championship 2009

There almost no information out there on this event but I have the final standings (below) and an artist’s representation of some of the players (above). Majestic beasts from the time before. Not very good at the old Warhammer, though. I’m guessing it was a whitewash.
Nation Game Points
England 611
Scotland 420
Northern Ireland 374
Ireland 195

European Team Championship 2009

Ireland’s first ETC team have a rough first outing, consoling themselves with some points stolen from our Northern neighbours. Despite the relentless beatings, morale remains very high. Sport psychologists trace this mental resilience to the lethal doses of alcohol consumed by the players. Really, this team shouldn’t be alive.

Round 1: Czech Republic 100-60 Ireland
Round 2: Northern Ireland 95-65 Ireland
Round 3: Portugal 100-60 Ireland
Round 4: Scotland 100-60 Ireland
Round 5: Netherlands 100-60 Ireland
Round 6: Croatia 115- 45 Ireland

Team Points
1. Italy 571
2. Poland 550
3. Denmark 529
4. Germany 511
5. Austria 507
6. Slovenia 504
7. Sweden 503
8. Switzerland 494
9. Finland 490
10. Czech 490
11. Australia 486
12. Greece 485
13. Norway 478
14. England 474
15. Russia 469
16. Belgium 466
17. Portugal 464
18. France 461
19. Northern Ireland 455
20. Hungary 448
21. Croatia 447
22. Scotland 437
23. Netherlands 428
24. Ireland 350

Home Nations Championship 2010

There’s plenty of photos out there but very little detail on the round by round results. By looking at the final table, it does not appear to have gone well for the Irish. On a positive note, it can’t be denied that they are closing the gap on the opposition. The Northern Irish and Welsh look nervously over their shoulders.

Because they don’t want surprise hugs from naked, drunken Irishmen.

Nation Game Points
England 471
United Nations 453
Scotland 414
Wales 364
Northern Ireland 361
Ireland 311

European Team Championship 2010

A glorious tournament for Team Ireland. They are awarded the Most Sporting award and score their first win, paddling a probably surprised Welsh team. Their remaining opponents are less gracious but the defeats are not total. Note that they have played the Scots in every tournament thus far. The steady, if slow, improvement continues as they stumble off the bottom of the leader board into 25th place.

Round 1: Switzerland 100-60  Ireland
Round 2: Scotland 93-67 Ireland
Round 3: Latvia 95-65 Ireland
Round 4: Canada 89-71 Ireland
Round 5: Ireland 99-61 Wales

Round 6: Northern Ireland 97-63 Ireland
1 Denmark 568 (240)
2 Italy 565 (282)
3 Germany 527 (94)
4 Australia 511 (116)
5 Norway 511 (66)
6 Russia 509 (54)
7 Greece 505 (76)
8 Poland 505 (50)
9 Sweden 503 (68)
10 United States 498 (76)
11 Spain 495 (16)
12 Slovenia 494 (82)
13 Austria 493 (64)
14 New Zealand 493 (30)
15 Finland 487 (56)
16 England 485 (48)
17 Scotland 484 (12)
18 Belgium 484 (-10)
19 Northern Ireland 480 (-36)
20 Croatia 476 (-22)
21 France 473 (-10)
22 Switzerland 472 (-26)
23 Czech Republic 463 (12)
24 Malta 452 (-48)
25 Ireland (Most Sporting) 445 (-122)
26 Portugal 436 (-76)
27 Canada 434 (-126)
28 Hungary 433 (-178)
29 Latvia 427 (-134)
30 Netherlands 427 (-182)
31 Serbia 416 (-172)
32 Wales 382 (-300)

Six Nations Championship 2011

No photos of the Edinburgh tournament can be found but I think I’ve got the essence of it. The French replace the United Nations team to make it a true Six Nations contest. The Irish may lose most of their games but the results are better than in previous years as they hold close to the French.

Some make wild claims that they might make it out of the bottom quarter at the ETC proper.

Round 1: Wales 86-74 Ireland
Round 2: Scotland 100-60 Ireland
Round 3: Northern Ireland 94-66 Ireland
Round 4: France 81-79 Ireland

Round 5: England 100-60 Ireland
Nation Game Points Victory Points
England 483 48008
Scotland 440 47332
Northern Ireland 404 41153
France 397 38031
Ireland 339 38286
Wales 337 30371

European Team Championship 2011

We’re not sure how it happened but the Fantasy boys become the first Irish team to make it into the top ten. Showboating pricks.

Drinking slightly less than normal, the Irish score three wins, including a heavy defeat of Scotland. Three years of brutal oppression are avenged. Their heaviest defeat comes at the hands of the champions, Poland. It’s all a massive shock and they actually get more cheers for their performance than the actual winning teams. Totally not jealous though.

Round 1: Poland 94-66 Ireland
Round 2: Ireland 89-71 Czech Republic
Round 3: USA 86-74 Ireland
Round 4: Latvia 88-72 Ireland
Round 5: Ireland 94-66 Scotland

Round 6: Ireland 100-60 Belgium
1 Poland 573 (242)
2 Denmark 541 (230)
3 Russia 518 (136)
4 Italy 517 (144)
5 Sweden 516 (144)
6 United States 506 (22)
7 Austria 505 (128)
8 Norway 504 (58)
9 France 497 (48)
10 Ireland 495 (30)
11 Spain 494 (58)
12 England 493 (54)
13 Finland 478 (28)
14 Germany 476 (38)
15 Switzerland 476 (-56)
16 Greece 474 (50)
17 Croatia 473 (-12)
18 Netherlands 470 (-36)
19 Latvia 464 (-14)
20 Scotland 461 (-8)
21 Czech Republic 460 (-40)
22 Belgium 460 (-88)
23 Northern Ireland 450 (-84)
24 New Zealand 450 (-94)
25 Australia 438 (-154)
26 Hungary 417 (-276)
27 Wales 401 (-210)
28 Serbia 364 (-338)

Six Nations Championship 2012

We watched with interest as they marched off to somewhere up North. The unasked question was whether the ETC was a lucky fluke. It was not. Their ETC form continues as the Irish win three out of five games to achieve their best result at the championship to date. Like the 40K team, they win by large margins, reflecting a clear skill advantage.

Only a very strong French team can deny them the top spot but our hopes are raised…

Round 1: Ireland 100-60 Northern Ireland
Round 2: Ireland 94-66 Wales
Round 3: Ireland 88-72 Scotland
Round 4: England 83-77 Ireland

Round 5: France 95-65 Ireland
Nation Game Points VP Difference
France 452 10086
Ireland 419 2028
Wales 417 4969
England 410 4826
Scotland 392 -2788
Barbarians 300 -24121

 European Team Championship 2012

From humble beginnings, Team Ireland Fantasy have built on their experience and gradually improved. I hope that the steady development will translate into steady progress in the ETC. Judging by their form at the Six Nations, I see Team Ireland holding their position in the top ten but I’m not sure if I see them pushing into contention for the medals this year. Happy to be proved wrong, though.

Team Ireland 40K and the ETC

It’s almost a week until the European Team Championship kicks off. This year, Team Ireland have three chances of nabbing a trophy. Our crack teams of hardened baby-killers will be competing in the Fantasy ETC for the fourth year, the 40K ETC for the third year and the Flames of War ETC for the first time.

In honour of the Nerd Olympics, we’re running a two part series on the history of Team Ireland. We’ll look at 40K today and Fantasy this weekend. This should give the uninitiated a quick guide to our record on the international stage. The records are somewhat patchy, we’re definitely missing some team photos but we’re pretty confident that the following is true. Please correct me on any errors.

First up, a brief history of Team Ireland 40K…

Home Nations Championship 2010

The first Home Nations Championship was held in Firestorm Games in Cardiff. Inspired by its Fantasy counterpart, it was considered a warmup for the ETC proper. It was a glorious debut. After triumphing over every other nation, they found time to display the glaring weakness of every Irish sporting team by almost bottling it against the softest opposition. For Team Ireland, their first international event was also their first, and to date only, tournament success. Great things were expected…

Round 1: Ireland beat Northern Ireland
Round 2: Ireland beat Wales
Round 3: Ireland beat England
Round 4: Ireland beat Scotland
Round 5: Ireland draw with the Barbarians.
Nation Match Points Game Points
Ireland 9 490
England 7 509
Wales 7 466
Scotland 4 386
Barbarians 3 386
Northern Ireland 0 163


European Team Championship 2010

Arrogant in their victory, the 40K team spent almost all their training time on the beach, drinking heavily. Although they won their first game, their hubris was their undoing. They suffered their first ever defeat in the second round. Most regrettably, it was at the hands of our ancient enemies, the Vikings. Draws against the Czechs and Welsh left us facing some familiar and vengeful faces. A defeat at the hands of our other ancient enemies, England, and a draw with the Faroe Islands left the team finishing a disappointing 19th of 24 nations. Hungover players trudged home.

Round 1: Ireland 86-74 Hungary
Round 2: Finland 110-50 Ireland
Round 3: Ireland 79-81 Czech Republic
Round 4: Ireland 84-76 Wales
Round 5: England 92-68 Ireland
Round 6: Ireland 81-79 The Faroe Islands
1 Poland 10 (280)
2 Germany 9 (162)
3 Spain 9 (132)
4 Sweden 8 (118)
4 United States 8 (118)
6 Switzerland 8 (16)
7 Latvia 7 (38)
8 England 7 (32)
9 Russia 7 (-30)
10 Denmark 7 (-56)
11 France 6 (52)
11 Ukraine 6 (52)
13 Belarus 6 (20)
14 Italy 6 (-2)
15 Austria 5 (10)
16 Faroe Islands 5 (-28)
17 Finland 5 (-44)
17 Hungary 5 (-44)
19 Ireland 5 (-64)
20 Scotland 4 (16)
21 Wales 4 (-70)
22 Czech Republic 4 (-132)
23 Belgium 2 (-162)
24 Northern Ireland 1 (-414)

There was a short film made at the event, which you can find here.


Home Nations Championship 2011

With the hosting rights going to the champions, the 2010 Championship was held in Cork. Our bid to retain the title ran into trouble immediately. A first round draw with a strangely effective Team Northern Ireland gave those sorry souls their second international point and riled the Irish team into action. They took it all out on some innocent Barbarians and went on to beat the Scots to end Day 1, just behind the leaders. Day 2 was far less successful, a narrow draw against the Welsh prefaced our first Home Nations defeat. The English beat us to claim the title and knock us into third place.

Round 1: Ireland 85-75 Northern Ireland
Round 2: Ireland 106-54 Barbarians
Round 3: Ireland 86-74 Scotland
Round 4: Wales 81-79 Ireland

Round 5: England 93-67 Ireland
Nation Match Points Game Points VP Difference
England 9 529 12144
Wales 8 472 4919
Ireland 6 423 2532
Scotland 4 367 1207
Northern Ireland 3 340 -7000
Barbarians 0 269 -13802


European Team Championship 2011

Following in the proud tradition of 90s-era Irish football teams, Team Ireland open their campaign by avenging themselves on the team that beat them in the previous ETC. Finland are convincingly crushed in what proves to be a false dawn. A disappointing draw with Belgium is followed by a defeat at the hands of those other Vikings, Sweden. The second day sees Ireland unlucky to draw with Denmark, lose heavily to the host nation and smash an under-strength Austrian team. Two wins, two draws and two losses show an improvement on the previous year but no-one is pleased with a mid-table finish.

Round 1: Ireland 91-69 Finland
Round 2: Ireland 82-78 Belgium
Round 3: Sweden 122-38 Ireland
Round 4: Ireland 84-76 Denmark
Round 5: Switzerland 105-55 Ireland
Round 6: Ireland 103-57 Austria

1 Germany 10 (258)
2 Poland 10 (134)
3 United States 9 (140)
4 Sweden 8 (158)
5 Spain 8 (58)
6 France 8 (52)
7 Wales 8 (-6)
8 England 7 (36)
8 Finland 7 (36)
10 Switzerland 7 (24)
11 Latvia 7 (2)
12 Denmark 6 (-6)
13 Ireland 6 (-76)
14 Belarus 5 (36)
15 Italy 5 (24)
16 Scotland 5 (-6)
17 Russia 5 (-26)
18 European Union 5 (-48)
19 Belgium 5 (-120)
20 Northern Ireland 4 (-40)
21 Czech Republic 3 (-50)
22 Austria 3 (-60)
23 Norway 2 (-436)
24 Greece 1 (-264)


Six Nations Championship 2012 

Here’s where it all becomes second-hand information. You’ll see that the competition was renamed the Six Nations Championship. Belgium were invited to join, probably due to the hope that they would bring waffles. The tournament starts badly for Team Ireland with the first loss to a Welsh side. But the Irish avenge themselves on the Belgians and Northern Irish for previous draws and beat the Scots once more. The scope of those wins suggests a team unlikely to stumble against weaker opposition. But the English once again prove too strong and take the gold.

Round 1: Wales 87-73 Ireland
Round 2: Ireland 103-57 Belgium
Round 3: Ireland 118-42 Northern Ireland
Round 4: Ireland 113 -47 Scotland

Round 5: England 89-71 Ireland
Nation Match Points Game Points
England 10 569
Wales 8 518
Ireland 6 478
Scotland 3 294
Belgium 3 287
Northern Ireland 0 222


 European Team Championship 2012

So, that’s Team Ireland 40K. Born in victory, somewhat less glorious ever since. But each year sees new hope as another team steps up.  The Six Nations results bode well for Ireland. If they can continue to mangle weaker teams this proficiently, then we could see Team Ireland 40K finishing within the top ten for the first time. The first round will tell us a great deal, the Latvians are one of the top ten teams and a good result would be excellent.

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