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Category: Irish Tournaments (page 1 of 6)

Report from the All Ireland Flames of War tournament

This past weekend we travelled up to the All Ireland tournament in Belfast.  This was a single day 1780 point, Late War affair.  It was sponsored by Battle Front so we were all eager to put on a good show.  The three missions (in order) were: Dust Up, Fighting Withdrawal, and Breakthrough.  The venue was the Masonic Hall in Belfast (for those keeping track this is the second FoW tournament we’ve attended–the first was in Birmingham–in a Masonic Lodge):

The tables were excellent–some will complain about the airfield but no matter.  Coffee was at hand and everyone settled in to Game 1.  Floody and Ulick had to play under the watchful eyes of Brother Braithwaite.
This game resulted in a draw. Ulick’s 12 platoon strategy weathered the storm of naval guns.
Padraic’s 2ID defeated a German mechanized list.  Brother Swathmore, a distant relative of Padraic, approved of his no-155, 2 veteran TD gambit.
I played Chub who was a victim of a five platoon list in a 1/2 on mission.  My Razvedki platoon zoomed up the road and seized the objective on the third turn.
Daniel defeated Jonny on the airfield.  Jonny’s look of realization at exactly how shitty the Soviets are in tournament play resembles that of Brother Didsbury when he heard that the Austrians had been defeated at the Battle of Sadowa.
The airfield had a great looking supply depot:
After the first game we enjoyed an affordable pint and soaked up energy from a nexus of power.
In round 2 my Forward Detachment was pummelled by Daniel’s naval guns.  Trained tanks truly stand little chance against them.  I was happy to walk away with a 4-3 loss and I even shamed Daniel into buying me a beer.  John played on this fabulous desert table:

In Round 3 Padraic played Daniel for all the marbles.  After six turns Padraic was bruised but victorious completing a three game sweep of the tournament.  This was an excellent tournament.  The venue was great; the tables were high quality, and the entry fee provided a huge lunch, spot prizes, and a goody bag which included a really nice resin bunker among other treats.  My game 3 timed out for a draw and I do think that increasing the time of rounds would be better for the game.  Congratulations to Scott “Vapusa” on hosting an excellent tournament.

Chubby Bowl I: Review

The first Chubby Bowl ran last weekend over two days in Dungeons and Donuts, Galway. If you missed this one, no worries, it’s now a quarterly event. The next event (Chubby Bowl II) is running from 6-7 April, 2013.

Did it go well? Yes, it did. The organisers ran into the issue of flaky players but the reliable half appeared on time and eight players sent their teams into the melee. The venue was the Dungeons and Dunots store in Galway. It’s home to the world’s only gaming themed doughnut stand which sports the Super Munchkin, one of the few doughnuts that comes with a bacon topping.

The White Isle Star Bowl tournament rules were used which meant that teams were slightly more developed than in a normal tournament. The Orcs proved massively popular and everyone went with the maximum number of Blitzers and Black Orcs but the Star Player requirement, extra skills and extra cash meant that no two teams were alike. All the Elf teams also went straight to Jordell Freshbreeze as their special character but again, the rest of the team varied massively in composition and skills. The Khemri team was the dark horse of the tournament and proved very potent. The decay nega-trait was less punishing when teams regenerated between rounds and those Tomb Guardians proved to be excellent Orc-hunters.

 I grabbed some team photos and the less horrifically blurry are presented below.

Gaydar (Pro Elf)
Shampoo Gorillas (Orc)
Uruk Hai Skool (Orc)
King Tut’s Waagh Waagh Hut (Khemri)
Blorcs (Orc)

The timetabling was relaxed and games ran until completion and the Illegal Procedure rule wasn’t enforced in any of my games. Like most niche tournaments, the atmosphere was friendly and people were chatty throughout. Wins and losses were taken in equal good humour and the soft drinks/doughnuts flowed like wine. All in all, a disgusting display of human decency.

Here’s shots of a few games underway. For the record, in the fifth shot, Morg didn’t actually knock any of those opposing players down, he just stepped into that spot when he spotted the camera. But the ability to take credit for the work of others is what separates the superstars from the journeymen.

A lot of the players had spare teams with them and I took the opportunity to grab some shots of the more eye-catching examples, apart from the first image, these are largely the work of Sean Nee and Ronan Murphy. Check out the Connacht emblem on the first Dark Elf and watch for the use of green stuff to make runes, numbers and team logos throughout the photos.

Two Irish Blood Bowl Tournaments Announced

We’re getting totally spoiled here. After all my quiet hoping, we’ve got two Blood Bowl tournaments in the first quarter of the year. I’m liking you, 2013, keep this up.

Chubby Bowl I (Galway 19/20 January)

This is shaping up to be a well-sized tournament with a strong local scene likely to push numbers into the double digits/ mid teens. It’s a two day event which is fairly unprecedented and I’m quietly optimistic about it.

The rules set is very interesting, based on the White Isle Star Bowl system. The game doesn’t change but the weaker teams get more starting perks to even out the odds. The mandatory inclusion of Star Players and higher starting gold make for some unique starting teams. I also feel the rules level the playing field between the teams as some Blood Bowl races (Amazons…) can field starting teams that outclass most of their counterparts.

Check the details here.

All-Ireland Blood Bowl Championship (Bangor, 17 March)

 I know, I know, it’s on Paddy’s Day but that just means you probably won’t be working that day. It’s a NAF-approved event which means that those funky custom block dice and memberships will be available on the day. The North may seem far away but it’s also very very cheap. There are sixteen tickets available and it looks like almost half are gone at this point.

The rules set is standard NAF which means that your normal starting team will work just fine. I’m also going to take the chance to point our Nordie brethren at NIBBLE, a forum for Blood Bowlers in Northern Ireland. I believe the tournament idea was spawned over there.

Check the details here.

Rankings HQ: Bait and Switch

Today, I was not very surprised to hear that Rankings HQ are switching to a fee-based system. I won’t replicate the entire letter here but it runs some like “case for sympathy, blah, blah, if you don’t find a sponsor for your national rankings, then each player must pay a $12 fee, blah, blah, hard regrettable decision”. It’s the classic bait and switch gambit that, let’s be honest, we were warned would happen when the decision was made to go with Rankings HQ.

I’m curious as to whether an alternative Irish rankings system will be created, some poor sucker convinced to sponsor the Irish page or whether it’ll mark the death-knell of the rankings system. I’m leaning towards the latter. It was originally intended to be a fair method of ETC team selection (despite claims otherwise) in a charged atmosphere. It’s fair to say that a lot of the heat has gone out of the selection process over time and this year, some captains are more likely to be troubled by a lack of potential players rather than an abundance of volunteers.

There is the possibility of a retailer taking the hit and sponsoring the page but I suspect that it will be hard to justify the cost as it’s not exactly going to boost their profile or sales. I’ve seen several other ranking systems sputter and die which suggests that a home-grown system might not succeed.

Personally, I’m now a staunch convert to the “rankings are evil” camp and will be hoping that this will prove a badly needed death-blow which will end the era of the rankings and let us all return to happy, simpler times.

Battlefleet Gothic Ireland: Braycon

It turns out that Graham painted some of the models in the BFG Armada rulebook.

As tournaments go, this one was excellent fun. No stress, no rushing, just a chilled out day of gaming. Despite half the players dropping out in the final few days with excuses ranging from the feeble “I have a thing” to the far more impressive “I’ve started coughing up blood”, the determined survivors got to play in Ireland’s first Battlefleet Gothic tournament.

After a pleasant night in Dicey’s (required to prepare me for the noise and confusion of miniature space combat), I woke up early, grabbed a plucky Eldar pirate captain from Maynooth and headed to Bray. The venue was the Methodist Church Hall, which bore a certain resemblance to the average Imperial Navy cruiser. The players shuffled around for a few minutes, looking at each other’s toys and the battlefields.

Round 1
I focused heavily on nova cannons with the smaller, 750 point, fleet bringing two Dominators. They were backed by two Tyrant class cruisers. This proved a touch unwise as Eldar holo-fields laugh at nova cannons.

 My first game was a small-scale battle against Graham’s Craftworld Eldar. This was a cagey, close run affair that saw no ships destroyed but a handful crippled. I managed to corner his fleet briefly and deal some damage, he pulled off a close-range bomber strike which did awful things to its target.

 
With the game on a knife-edge, both players disengaged and planned their next strike. Unfortunately for the Imperials, disengaging just left the Eldar with an easy path into my rear arc.

Had he managed to get those bombers into the air again, it would have gone very badly for me. But his luck was poor and by the time he had re-armed, we had reached turn eight. My rational caution and his damnable cowardice saw us score very few VPs and creep into the bottom of the table.

Elsewhere, Tau and Imperials clashed in what appeared to be a head-on collision. The Imperials triumphed, as is right and proper.

 The Eldar Corsairs suffered a mauling at the hands of their Dark cousins who used their lightning speed to good effect to catch the hapless good guys off-guard.

Round 2

Another game, another new fleet. This time, it was the Tau. After my experiences with the one successful Eldar bomber strike, I was quite terrified by the number of launch bays I faced and used nova cannons to suppress his carriers. His deflector shields protected him during the initial clashes and my dispersed fleet didn’t really inflict enough harm at range.

Shots were exchanged, bombers were shot out of the sky and his escorts proved to be awesome. I know that the Tau aren’t exactly veteran of space combat but the Warden class is a great design. Our fleets managed one good pass before the game ended and we counted our losses. I had lost one ship, he had lost a less expensive vessel and taken some damage. Victory to the blueskins.

Elsewhere, it was civil war as Craftworld and Corsair Eldar fleets met, with the pirates losing out.

The Dark Eldar and the more effective Imperial fleet fought it out with the pointy-eared gits tasting Imperial justice.

We all popped off for a leisurely lunch at the Porterhouse before returning for the last two rounds. The fleets now scaled up to something akin to normal Gothic with each player bringing 1500 points of vessels and a transport flotilla with 120 points of upgrades.

Round 3

Ah, the Dark Eldar. This game reminded me why I adore BFG, it’s just so fluffy. The Dark Eldar used their speed and mimic engines to sneak three raiding parties aboard my battleship in the first turn, taking out its steering, setting it alight and killing my commanders.

 
The mission involved delivering invasion transports to the target planet. The Dark Eldar took full advantage of the chaos and snuck their transports into the shadow of the planet. My tranports lurked nearby, unwilling to advance into range of the raiders.

Suicidal strikes by his escorts kept my fleet at bay until his landings had been completed. The cost was high but it did completely stall the advance.

His cruisers had taken the longer route and appeared behind my fleet. Bombers took to the air (space) and my crews could only watch their approach and brace for impact. After the initial strike, the enemy switched back to Impaler-borne raiding parties.

The rain of assault boats continued throughout the game but they are a little too eager as the raiders constantly hit the wrong targets, taking out prow/dorsal weapons control or lighting fires when their own ships are being raked by the starboard weapons. I put it down to the heroic crews defending critical sectors of their ships.

But he gets close enough to maul my transports and vanishes, having taken some surprise hits from the plucky rearguard. A close run game but the damage inflicted on the Dark Eldar outweighed the bonus points for his successful landing.

The Tau and Eldar fly straight at each other with amusing consequences. See below.

The Craftworld Eldar narrowly lose to the Imperial Navy as they get run down like roadkill.

My favourite shot. An Eldar battleship is destroyed and its core detonates with the largest possible explosion radius. The first picture is John measuring the extent of the explosion. The second is what remains of his fleet afterwards.

Round 4

The last round was against my oldest adversary, John’s Eldar Corsairs. My Retribution class battleship enjoys this match up.

The early clashes go my way as a brave strike against the Retribution fails to cripple it (very unlucky dice) and things continue along those lines. The Eldar are harried, hunted and smashed on my right as they are trapped in open space.

It all going well, with his escorts being forced into the open and wiped out. After the initial firefight, he used the asteroid fields on my right to bypass the guns of the fleet with his largest ships. His battered capital ships move against my transport flotilla with surprising results, they deal damage but some transports survive. An honourable mention goes to the Q-ship which delivered the final blow to his battleship as it closed in. Unfortunately, the crew of the up-gunned transport did not live to receive their giant medals.

The Dark Eldar do terrible things to the Tau. The transports are shredded and much of the fleet lost. Elsewhere on the battlefield, the surviving Tau ships chase off one cruiser and hide.

Conclusion 
While the organiser was disappointed by the drop-out rate, I’ll argue he can be pleased with the result. The event ran, the fleets were pretty and the players had a fantastic time. In my own case, I got to play three completely new fleets for the very first time. Now, if we can avoid any Necron players finding out about the next one, we’ll all be very happy.
 
Name Fleet Game 1 VPs Game 2  VPs Game 3 VPs Game 4 VPs Total VPs
Graham Craftworld Eldar 55 547 880 2100 3582
Ugo Tau Protection Fleet 250 220 1650 475 2595
Padraic Imperial Navy 80 152 795 1201 2228
Conor Dark Eldar 257 0 519 1348 2124
Lloyd Imperial Navy 445 245 940 0 1630
John Eldar Corsairs 170 160 150 215 695

And with a venue like that, there should be a next one. There were also rumours of a Blood Bowl or Epic event in the future. As a massive fan of both, I’m ecstatic.

Conspiracy: Steamroller Tournament Report

As a Galway man, spending the weekend in Kilkenny was… interesting. The convention itself was amazingly good fun. There was a friendly, open vibe to the whole event and I spent a very nice Sunday morning and afternoon, playing various board/card games with pleasant folk.

The Saturday saw Ireland’s first German-style Warmahordes tournament, named after the German-style points limit. Each player brought two 42 point lists. The rules pack was the ever reliable Steamroller 2012.

I represented the True Faith with two Protectorate of Menoth lists. The second list is pictured above.

First Menoth-Blessed List

High Exemplar Kreoss
-Reckone
-Vanquisher
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Daughters of the Flame (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Holy Zealots (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Holy Zealot Monolith Bearer
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
Paladin of the Order of the Wall
The Covenant of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
The classic pop and drop list, brought along on the off-chance someone hadn’t run into it yet. It saw no play as there was a distinct lack of bunnies at the event.
Second but Equally Good List
Grand Scrutator Severius
-Blessing of Vengeance
-Reckoner
-Vanquisher
-Hierophant
Avatar of Menoth
Choir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts)
Daughters of the Flame (Leader and 5 Grunts)
The Wrack (3 wracks)
Vassal of Menoth
Vassal of Menoth
The actual game list, a jack wall with support elements and the ever-excellent Daughters of the Flame. Sevvy spent the tournament racking up a seriously high body count with his spells.

The terrain bore all the hallmarks of a talented craftsman. My favourite has to be this majestic if slightly barnacle-infested shipwreck. Nice one, Brian.

Game 1: Paul’s Legion (pVayl, Close Quarters)

Close quarters is not an easy mission to score in, it requires you to degrade the enemy to the point where they can’t defend their zone. The other option would be to pack some manner of push-pull ability, which my Menites lack. I based my plan on a half-remembered quote from the internet, “Legion beasts are pillow-fisted”. The heart of the enemy list was a pair of Ravagores and a single Carnivean.

The Daughters peeled out to tie down the Hex Hunters for the duration of the game. An early charge by the Avatar fell short and he was lucky to survive the counter-charge using Enliven to duck away from most of the potential attackers.

It turns out that the internet lied. Incite makes the Legion beasts hit with very respectable POW 20 and 18 weapons. Coupled with the Carnivean’s animus on all the beasts, this resulted in a bruising encounter. The Vanquisher and Blessings both fell but both Ravagores joined them in the aftermath.

I managed to take a two control point lead but was not confident of taking a third without exposing my caster to some serious bodily harm. The end game saw two damaged heavies trying to stalk a single slightly injured beast without great success. The timer gave me the win, had we played on, things could have soured for the Menites.

 Game 2: Noel’s Cygnar (Siege, Process of Elimination)

A quick glance at his lists showed that playing the scenario would involve sitting under his guns and dying. The bloody Stormwall simply scared me. With no notion as to it’s capabilities, I decided to rocket my jacks at it and see what came to pass.

Noel managed to predict my cunning and subtle plan and clogged the approaches with Boomhowlers. The Daughters moved in to clear a path but got zapped by the combination of Stormsmiths and Lightning Pods. I found my attack stalled, Nyss threatening my right flank and my jacks seemed unlikely to make it through another turn. With no other option, I went for the last-ditch assassination on the caster.

Severius moved in to deliver his buff to attack and damage, committing me to either instant victory or certain defeat. The angles were kind, the intervening models were knocked down and some spell-slinging bought Siege to half his health and killed a lot of the support units. A freed up Vanquisher lined up a shot and rained fiery doom on the heathen, killing him outright.

Game 3: Merlin’s Skorne (eMorghoul, Restoration)

This struck me as a winnable scenario. Merlin had a light fast force, I had a clunky heavy force suited to taking the central zone. I figured a run at a scenario win would draw him into a battle of attrition that suited my list.

As things turned out, the semi-final match turned out to be a soft run. It was a simple lack of experience against Menoth which led to a fatal error in placement on Merlin’s part. Under-estimating the reach of the Avatar and Reckoner left three warbeasts dead by the end of turn 2. The Gatormen did what they could, killing my arcnode but the main battle was clearly lost.

He fought manfully on, trying to get his Totem Hunter into position for an assassination attempt and when that failed, Morghoul made a last-second run at Severius. It just gave him the honour of dying at the holy man’s feet. The heroes were the many support pieces who gave their lives that I could arc Ashes to Ashes onto high DEF targets. We must never let the names of Choirboy #3 and that Hierophant guy be forgotten.

 Game 4: Bob’s Khador (pButcher, Supply and Demand)

This was never going to be anything other than a bloodbath. Bob had enough infantry to rack up quick control points so I had to draw him into a stand-up fight and smash him before he remembered how my army worked.

And that’s how it went. The overly-clumped Iron Fangs, Kazazy and Winterguard fell to the unholy combo of massed Ashes to Ashes, Vanquisher blasts and the luckiest unit of Daughters to ever fight in Menoth’s glorious name. Beast 09 went down under a flurry of blows from the Avatar. Even Butcher couldn’t swing matters around as Severius’s feat left him without focus during his counter-attack. The Menites closed in, giant clubs were raised and the Butcher went down.

Sorry, Bob. That’s his third defeat in a final in as many tournaments. He is now officially due a win.

With the sound of heartfelt booing echoing through the hall, I ducked a smallish volley of spoiled fruits and took my very familiar looking prize.

Battlefleet Gothic Tournament Lists

Morning.

As previously mentioned, Ireland’s first Battlefleet Gothic tournament will be held in Bray this October. I’m very happy to see an actual Specialist Game tournament in Ireland. The organisers had space for twelve players and they have gotten their twelve with a minimum of effort. Amusingly, that makes it bigger than the famous BFG tournament held every year at Adepticon.

As part of our new “other wargames” campaign, we’re sending three Warheads to this event. Or to be more accurate, two fully fledged Warheads and a body servant called John. Or Mary.  Honestly, who can keep track of the help? But with no prior experience to draw on, our lust for victory is sending us haywire.

It’s generally acknowledged that winning requires good list design and we’re operating in the void of zero match-day experience here. Yes, yes, we know that the battles themselves are only a portion of the overall score and the tournament boasts a strong “soft” scoring element. But still… good list design demands information. How can we find tournament lists to base our theories on? The best place to start is Adepticon. The Irish tournament seems to be following their lead with a very, very similar rules set. Let’s look at the strongest finishers from the 2012 tournament.

Space Marines
Venerable Battle Barge,
3 Strike Cruisers w/ extra shield
3 Strike Cruisers w/ extra shield and extra bombardment swap

When we strip away all soft scores and examine the actual battle results, this list finishes well ahead of the rest. What do we see? A list playing to its strengths. They’re all large ships with good armour and upgraded shields. He has bet heavily on light to moderate enemy lances and trusted in his armour. He’ll need it because he has to close to make best use of his bombardment cannons.

Really, it’s Wargaming 101, build in redundancy and focus on enhancing your strengths. His ships simply go for a stand-up fight. You will notice the lack of escorts. That’s because most escorts are terrible.

Craftworld Eldar

Flame of Asuryan
Dragonship with Weapon Battery and Launch Bay
3 Wraithships with Lances and Launch Bays
3 Shadowhunters w/ Weapon Batteries
3 Shadowhunters w/ Phantom Lances
This list falls behind the Space Marines in raw battle scores but is still well clear of the chasing pack. Some will not be familiar with this new fleet list, which is distinct from the traditional Eldar pirate lists. The Craftworld Eldar have slightly stronger armour on their ships but the main strength is the ability to customise their ships as they wish. This player has gone for an even mix of weapon batteries and lances to threaten all ship classes.

You might think he’s skimped on defensive air power but this is deceptive. The Shadowhunters have special rules which boost his anti-ordnance ability. Like the pirates, it’s all about using asteroid fields and gas clouds to choose his battles, launching strikes against isolated elements of the enemy fleet.

Chaos 
Despoiler, 
2 Devastation
Acheron
2 Murder, 
3 Iconoclasts

This falls well behind the two previous lists in battle scores. The Chaos player has focused on one thing, long-range (60cm) lances. There are some launch bays and weapons batteries mixed in but this is clearly a stand-off list. It could run into serious difficulty against a holofield-equipped opponent but will murder slow, heavily armoured fleets. In theory.

I’m guessing he didn’t draw the Space Marine list above as it would have been an interesting match-up. The flaw here is that all the long range firepower comes at a cost. The list can’t output enough shots to win a short range duel. If a canny opponent can use celestial phenomena to close without crippling losses, he’s goosed.

Imperial Navy

Emperor
2 Vengeance
2 Lunar w/Nova Cannon
2 Endurance light cruisers

This list finished similarly to the Chaos list above. A quick glance shows it to be an all-round force, based on some of the best classes in the Imperial fleet registry. The Emperor is a solid, all-round battleship that finds it way into most fleets. The Vengeance grand cruisers support it by adding some long range firepower. The dual nova cannons give the fleet even more reach.

The list designer has attempted to patch the weakness of the Imperial Navy at long range firefights with some success. The price is less actual hulls on the table and less potency at close range.

Tyranids
Hive Ship w/ 2 Prow Pyroacids and 3 Side Launch Bays
Hive Ship w/ 2 Prow Bioplasma + 2 Side Bioplasma + 1 Side Launch Bays
8 Bio-drones
6 Pyro-drones
8 Feeder-Vanguards
6 Claw-Kraken
4 Pyro-Kraken w/ 1 Feeder-Kraken

After all those stand-off fighters, someone has gone with the blunt club approach. This list came close to the Chaos and Imperials in battle scores. A single brawling Hiveship and one stand-off Hiveship form the heart of a true swarm fleet. The Feeder Vanguard are designed to swarm into the enemy fleet and provide targeting buffs. The rest of the escorts are balanced between close, medium and stand-off combatants.

This player is going to have a lot of fun. His list is solid and has every threat vector imaginable, from boarding actions out to 45cm pyro-acid batteries. His main vulnerability is the amount of VPs given up by those swarms of escorts as they inevitably explode into goo.

Back to the local scene, the fleet composition of the Irish tournament is as follows. It’s a mixed bag although the various forms of Eldar are probably happy to see no Necron players. We’re also lacking Tyranid and Ork players this time out. The classic fleets make a strong showing with six Imperial and Traitor fleets.

(3) Chaos

(3) Imperial Navy 
(1) Craftworld Eldar
(1) Eldar Pirates
(1) Dark Eldar
(1) Tau
(1) Space Marines
(1) Space Wolves
The key issue, as I see it, is to strike the correct balance between lance and battery type weapons. The former are strong against heavily armoured ships and the latter are best against average and lightly armoured ships. With five heavily armoured lists and seven lighter lists, it appears that weapon batteries might be the slightly better option. The players will have to weigh the benefits of an all-rounder force against focusing on one element and hoping Lady Luck is kind.

Personally, I’m going with an all-rounder force while maintaining my “no escorts, ever” policy.

Irish Wargaming Tournaments Update: 12/08/12

Ireland is a cold, dark, unwelcoming place for non-GW wargames. The tournament scene is held in a death grip by the twin monoliths of 40K and Fantasy. Every convention features one or both, with mere lip service being paid to other systems. So it has been, so shall it be.

But there are some green shoots appearing. Tournament organisers are beginning to run events focused solely on one non-mainstream system and in other cases, allotting reasonable amounts of time and space in their events to such systems.

The massive rise of Warmahordes over the last year has played a large part in this. Infinity saw more play due to the evangelism and hard work of Quozl. Flames of War is beginning to take hold in the North and a certain southern club. We’ve even been informed of Malifaux and Battlefleet Gothic tournaments running later in the year. I thought it would be nice to look at some upcoming tournaments.


 August Assault
26 August 2012
Gamer’s World, Dublin

Ireland’s longest running series of Warmahordes events continues into August. It’s a 35 point tournament played with the Steamroller 2012 rulespack. The main draw is the guarantee of a good player count as it’s a firmly established event.

Click here for more details.

 The Irish Open
 8/9 September 2012
Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny

The first Irish Open, timetabled for the Saturday, is shaping up to be quite interesting. With players from Leinster, Munster and Connacht attending, there’s going to be an interesting mix of meta-games. It’s also following the European standard by bumping the points limit from 35 to 42 points.

There’s also some manner of doubles event on the second day for those who like teamwork and sharing. Dirty communists. Only sixteen spaces for the Open (of which three remain) so consider preregistering.

Click here for more details.

 Round 5
13 October 2012
Gamer’s World, Dublin

Quozl has announced the 5th round of the 2012 All-Ireland Infinity Cup. This is the latest event in his successful bid to establish Infinity as a regular tournament game. For anyone waiting to take the plunge, I played in the 2nd round with no prior experience and had a blast. It’s an excellent game system and the cost of assembling an army is low.

This event is a 300 points/6 SWC tournament which is an average sized game of Infinity. I also must warn that there’s only ten spaces available so if interested, you should move quickly.

Check here for full details.

 Winter in Minsk
 10/11 November 2012
 Ballymena, Antrim

Now to a popular choice in these parts, Flames of War. This is actually Ireland’s first Flames of War tournament and it’s looking good. Expect a reasonable crowd, including yours truly. It’s quite standard in format, following the traditional 1750 points and Late War setting.

With the Plastic Soldier Company making the buy-in cost for an army extremely low, it’s worth considering. With UK attendees, a strong Northern FoW presence and a big chunk of the Warheads attending, I think it’s going to go pretty well.

Click here for full details.
 

 N.W.G.
31 August 2012
Grand Hotel, Wicklow

I’ll have to admit that I know nothing of Malifaux. I’ve heard it’s big in Cork and I know that the models are very pretty (just google Death Marshals). Since it’s running on a Friday as part of a larger convention and the sign-up sheet is looking healthy, this is your best chance to get some competitive play against shiny new opponents.

Click here for full details.

Braycon BFG Championship
7 October 2012
Bray

And finally, a very very rare event. There’s a Battlefleet Gothic tournament on in Bray this October and the organisers do expect it to fill quickly. We’ve got three players from the small burb of Maynooth alone, so if you’ve got a fleet lying around, this is your chance to dust them off.

The organisers are using the 2010 BFG FAQ which made some beneficial changes to the core rules. With two 750 point and two 1,500 point battles, we’re looking at smallish to average sized fleets.

EDIT: This tournament is now full.

Click here for more details.

If we’ve missed any upcoming events, let us know.

Street Bowl at Hobocon

Hobocon ran Ireland’s first Street Bowl tournament last weekend. Street Bowl is the smaller version of the famous Blood Bowl. Rather than representing professional teams from the big leagues, these are the back-alley, half-witted, drunken amateur teams. It’s more fickle than its big brother but still immensely fun. More of this, please.

Street Bowl uses a narrower pitch, about seven hexes wide. This makes it feel a little more congested than regular Blood Bowl but with only seven players per side, it actually works out much the same. The IGA provided four of their homebrew pitches. They do give the feel of a rougher pitch and they’ve added some terrain to show that this is true street ball. In this case, it’s a small town in Albion.

Grabbing my team as an afterthought on the way out the door, I lucked out. It turns out that playing on cobbles makes injury more likely so the well-armoured Orcs proved quite resilient. Team-building is similar to the main game with some limitations, you have a total budget of 600k to buy 7-11 players and your allotment of positional players is halved. To reflect the lack of training, rerolls are twice as expensive in Street Bowl and you really have to scrimp to afford one. I managed to pay for mine by creating a bare minimum team of seven players, which left me with no subs. I also had to sacrifice a positional player for a less capable lineorc. In the end, I chose to go with one black orc blocker, two blitzers, a thrower and three lineorcs. Say hello to the Red Starz.

Before kicking off, I had a quick look at the other teams playing nearby. We had two Dwarf players battling their way to a bloody stalemate. And probably quite relieved to avoid playing bashing teams, a Wood Elf and Pro Elf player duked it out.

My own opponent was another Orc player. Very similar to my own team, he was packing a reroll and two black orcs which gave him a strength advantage but he lacked blitzers. He also had that luxury, a substitute.

The kickoff saw the ball drop just behind my scrimmage line and an almighty scuffle ensued all down my left flank, engulfing the ball. My thrower managed to retrieve it but couldn’t find a safe path out of the melee. Blue’s black orcs gradually smashed through the line and with most of the Red Starz knocked out, my thrower was forced to break for the right wing. He was quickly locked down by the enemy but risked it all to break out and fire a pass to a waiting blitzer. He took off with the ball underarm and the Blues didn’t have any defenders in position or the pace to catch him. 1-0 to the Red Starz in a half which probably should have gone the other way.

The second half saw the ragged survivors step out onto the pitch. The lack of subs was beginning to tell on the Red Starz as several players remained concussed from the “incidents” of the first half. With only five players facing off against seven, it would be difficult to hold out for the win but a draw was looking likely. My only consolation was that my opponent would not be able to press the numbers advantage while also protecting the ball. As expected, he caged up and began feeling for a gap in my line of scrimmage. The Red Starz refused to get drawn into a brawl and focused on delaying the drive.

The third quarter saw his advance stalled around the midway point as the Red Starz line continued to hold. This was more due to luck than skill as the line was dangerously thin at times. But my opponent had used his reroll, which meant the chances of a game-changing turnover were high. I played cautiously and hoped for a lucky break. A screening player stumbled during a tackle, leaving a path to the ball carrier and the Reds pounced. A quick hit on the enemy thrower and the ball was stolen. My thrower fell back deep into my own half with the ball to try and buy time. The Blues moved up in pursuit but the Reds had committed themselves and most of their team were now trapped in a melee. The thrower waited to the last second before throwing a long pass into the opposing end zone. My loose blitzer took off uncontested as the Blues found themselves tied down. He arrived with seconds to spare and… failed to pick up the ball. But wait, a re-roll. Failed again. Game over.

Still, 1-0 and a casualty inflicted. Good start.

The last two games saw Orcs vs Dwarves on both pitches. The kick-off table for both games saw a stray pony running onto the pitch and across the line of scrimmage. Oddly, the slow stunties managed to dodge the worst of it while the quicker greenskins were trampled under his small but deadly hooves. I hope he ends up in a hot-pot.

Apart from my own opponent, the other dwarf player was the main contender for first place. To my relief, I glanced over at half-time to see that he was 1-0 down. Dwarves are not noted for their quick scoring game and that score meant that he was likely to lose and would be lucky to come away with a draw. Good news for my chances.

The idea of fighting a dwarf team proved more fearsome in my head than in actuality. He had a sub to spare and better odds in the melee. Or so theory would have it. After some lucky hits, the game became a whitewash. My black orc tore through the middle of his line and once the numbers went my way, I took the time to really cripple the opposing team. The shot above represents the state of play late in the first half. Two orcs per downed dwarf, waiting for them to stand up and take more punches. On the top right, we see the ball-carrying thrower relaxing by the end zone. By the time the whistle blew, two dwarves were dead and one knocked out.

The second half saw a vengeful, angry but woefully understrength Dwarf team line out. They had sworn mighty oaths of vengeance but it gave them no joy. They were brutally mangled again as the orcs quickly broke through to the ball-carrier. One touch of ultra-violence later, a greenskin pried the ball from the runner’s lifeless grasp and ran in a second touchdown. With that, the game was decided and only the fighting remained. The last quarter descended into blood-soaked madness as both teams just stood on the scrimmage line, exchanging punches and kicks. Even the death of my heroic blitzer didn’t dampen the mood as the solitary orc fan taunted his dwarven counter-part.

2-0 and overall tournament victory.

The prizes were of the “someone trying to empty their closet of random junk” variety so I donated them back to the con. This seemed to unnerve them so I assured them that winning was prize enough for me. But to leave me with something tangible, the con director awarded me the “Winz Hobocon” page thing. I feel so honoured.

The War on Two Fronts

So the North Down Gamer’s Hub up in Northern Ireland has run a couple of ranking tournaments recently for both Warhammer 40,000 and WHFB. We decided to catch up with Tom O’Reilly from Unite All Action to see what makes the North Down Gamers tick. Below we’ve included a few shots from last weekend’s tournament as well where Chris Britton (Warheads) grabbed first place and David McHugh (Warheads) nabbed third with their Grey Knights and Orks respectively.

3rd Place David ‘Jiggy’ McHugh (on the right) with Team Northern Ireland Captain Jonny Fisher (left).



Tournament winner Chris’ Grey Knights dominated the day.

A.J., Y U SO SLEEPY?


We caught up with tournament organiser and NDGH member Tom O’Reilly for a few questions after the event and interspersed it with some pretty pictures:

War Altar: Hi Tom, hope you’re not too exhausted after the weekend?

Tom O’Reilly: No still plenty of energy 😉

WA: This is the 2nd ranking event you (The North Down Gamer’s Hub) have run this year, will we be seeing more in the future?


TO’R: I think for us we are still trying to find our feet, but yes we hope to do regular events on a monthly basis.

#David Attenborough voice: “The…wild Ork stalks a Rhino as its prey. A feast of this magnitude will surely get his Ork mistress off his back for at least an hour and a half.”


WA: This was a real club effort to get these events off the ground but some good advertising and smoothly run events seem to draw a returning crowd, what made your club want to get into running ranking events?

TO’R: Well that’s just that were not a gaming club as such, it’s mainly just a couple of guys that were inspired by other local events that we attended. And we thought we could do something very similar, and for me it was just an extension of my hobby.


The nibbles


WA: Once you start hitting numbers are the events going to become more than just one day or are one-day events what make running tournaments so plausible in quick succession?

TO’R: Ultimately you have to get the feeling on what gamers want, that’s first and foremost so 2 day tournaments is probably the way we will go at some stage, but like anything you can not take it for granted that you will be guaranteed to get people back.

North Down’s Michael Brough, a tough opponent with a great eye for painting. You may remember the name from his Sisters of Battle taking on my Imperial Guard way back during Round 1 of Q-Con last year.
 The trophies 

WA: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Tom and congratulations on another well run event.
TO’R: That’s not a problem and we would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone that has made it so worthwhile to date, we certainly do the easy bit by organising the day to be as much fun as physically possible. But it’s the gamers out there locally that really do make it so worthwhile when you see them travelling as far as Dublin and Derry, to have a good day out, meeting new people and rolling some dice, after all that’s the number one rule; it’s all about having fun. So once again a big thank you to everyone.


“Hey can you guys tell me what way to the objective?”

 “Over there!”

Congratulations to Recent Warheads addition Pat came 5th with his Tyranids!



That’s all for this time folks thanks again to Tom for the brief interview and the photos and congratulations once again to everyone who attended especially tournament winner Chris (Warheads), 2nd place Jonny (NW) and 3rd place David (Warheads). Do take the time to visit the NDGH’s Facebook page and, if you haven’t already, the War Altar’s Facebook page =D

– Joey



All photos courtesy of NDGH, used with permission.

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