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Category: Team Ireland (page 1 of 2)

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.

Last?!
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.

ETC Team Report: Rounds 5/6

The last two rounds shall now be detailed and the series concluded. Huzzah.

What? Ireland win the roll-off? Victory shall be ours. Or not.
They bid Space Wolves and our Dark Eldar are sent out. The attacker loses 5-15.
The Eldar are chosen as the first defender and the Swiss choose their Blood Angels. The Irish list is smashed 0-20.
The Swiss send their Imperial Guard into the fray and our Tyranids move in. The attacker wins 18-2.
The Irish Grey Knights are bid and met by Chaos. 7-13 defeat.
They throw out their Eldar and our attacker is Space Wolves. The Swiss defender wins 8-12.
Our Chaos list is the last defender and is jumped by Dark Eldar. Wiped out for 0-20.
Their Tyranids face off against our Orks in a horde match. 7-13 defeat for the greenies.
The champions are the Swiss Orks and Irish Blood Angels. A straight 10-10 draw.

Round Overview

Again, the Irish are outplayed. Just as with the Swedes, only one attacking list manages to buck the trend of defeats. The attacking match-ups are solid but the Swiss prove the better players. The Irish defenders face an up-hill struggle but have perhaps pushed their luck too far. Overall, the defending lists buckle heavily, suffering two full massacres.

The first two results reflect the fact that two Austrian players had run for home, to the severe annoyance of the judges. The pairing system was conducted as normal with 20-0 being given after the process finished. The first two match-ups turned out to be the missing players. This left our Orks and Grey Knights without opponents.

The first actual match sees the Austrians bid Imperial Guard and the Irish attacking with Tyranids for a 15-5 victory.
Our Chaos defender saw off their Space Wolves for a strong 14-6 win.
Their Orks were jumped by our Eldar and a 10-10 draw left honours even.
We bid Space Wolves and they sent in the Chaos, a great 15-5 win for the Irish defender.
Their Grey Knights were attacked by our Dark Eldar, who went down 6-14.
The Champion’s round went heavily against our Blood Angels as their Blood Angels worked their way to a 3-17 consolation for the Austrians.

Round Overview

Entering their game with a massive lead, the Irish team racks up some comfortable wins and put any chance of a comeback beyond their opponents. Without that massive lead, it would likely have been a narrow victory but shading dangerously close to a third draw.

The End… thankfully.

ETC Team Report: Rounds 3/4


So, we move on to the middle section of the ETC, rounds 3 and 4. We face the Swedes in the last round of Day 1. Sweden winning the roll-off.

We bid our Chaos list and they counter it with Eldar. Our defender is utterly wiped out, 0-20.
They send out their Space Marines and our Dark Eldar respond with a kicking, 18-2 to Ireland.
Our Eldar are bid second and they choose to attack with Dark Eldar. The defending list suffers a solid defeat, going down 5-15.
They bid their Grey Knight list and we choose our Blood Angels, the attacker crashing to a 1-19 defeat.
We present our Orks and they mirror it with their own Orks. It goes badly, 4-16 to the Swedes.
The next Swedish defender is the Imperial Guard and Ireland sends in the Tyranids, the attacker fails, scoring 6-14.
Next is the reverse of an earlier match-up with the Irish Grey Knights facing off against the Swedish Blood Angels. It does not go as well and the Irish lose 1-19.
The champions round sees a second mirror match with Space Wolves featuring on both sides. The Irish list suffer a 3-17 defeat to cap a disastrous round.

Round Overview

One Irish win makes up nearly half of our score as player after player collapsed in the face of those damned Viking raiders. Really, they demonstrated their superior skills, winning regardless of bid position. A round to forget for almost all concerned. By and large, the attackers and defenders fail equally with margins of defeat ranging from solid to utter.

As is traditional, our glorious captain loses the roll-off. Frankly, he should have practiced a little harder in that area. Recognising his failing, he falls on his sword.

We bid Grey Knights and they reply with Tyranids, the game ends in a 10-10 draw.
They bid Grey Knights and our Space Wolves pounce for a 13-7 win.
We volunteer our Chaos to be met by Witch-hunters, the defender scores a solid 13-7 win.
They throw their Space Wolves to the … wolves and our Dark Eldar step up … and promptly flip upside down and catch fire. 1-19 to the Danes.
We choose Orks as our defender and they are targeted by Chaos, they grind out a 8-12 defeat.
The sixth round sees the Irish Blood Angels attacking the Danish Blood Angels. Honours even due to a 10-10 pub draw.
The Irish Tyranids are assigned to the Danish Orks and scratch out a 12-8 victory.
The Champions round sees our Eldar score a convincing 16-4 win over the enemy Imperial Guard.

Round Overview

The Irish finish three points short of an outright win, leaving every player wondering if they could have snatched a few extra points in their own games. The teams were closely matched in ability, with the Irish running slightly ahead. Barring the anomaly of the fourth match-up, games were close and points rather hard-won. It comes as no surprise that the final standings saw both teams finish side by side.

Entirely subjectively, I believe the differing results in both rounds give a fair idea of the standard of the Irish player. Slightly ahead of the Danes but falling well short of the Swedes.

ETC Team Report: Round 2

Round 2: Belgium vs Ireland

The Finnish bidding process was well-practiced, from this point on, the captain (along with the players) had a handful of minutes to consider pairings. The sheet was filled out incorrectly in this round. Ireland should be on the left.

Belgium win the roll-off and the Belgians must make the first bid.

1. We bid our Chaos list and the Belgians reply with Eldar. An 11-9 win runs ahead of expectations.
2. They bid their Imperial Guard and we attack with Space Wolves. A 10-10 draws drops us behind the curve.
3. We bid our Grey Knights and the reply is Blood Angels. Again, the defending list performs better than hoped for. 11-9 to the Irish.
4. They bid their Grey Knights and we send in our Tyranids. A severe 4-16 loss leaves us increasingly low on points.
5. We bid our Orks, they allocate their Space Wolves. A remarkable 16-4 win for the defending list.
6. The Belgians send out their Dark Eldar, we give them our Eldar. Another severe loss for the attacker. 2-18 to Belgium.
7. The remaining matchup goes well. Our Dark Eldar is met by their Tyranids. A badly needed 20-0 massacre.
8. The champion’s game sees their Orks face our Blood Angels. A 8-12 defeat for Ireland.

Overview

The theme of the round appears to be defending lists performing above expectations, massively so in the case of the Ork list. The attacking lists do not perform well, failing to win any of their games.

Although the Irish are within 4 points of a round win, almost a quarter of their total score comes from one very favourable match-up. Whether the fault lies with the skill of the players or the nature of the match-ups cannot be said but certainly a poor round for half of the team.

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ETC Team Report: Round 1

With the release of all the match sheets online, the War Altar presents a round by round breakdown of our ETC performance. The ETC using a bidding system whereby teams take it in turn to put lists forward. This leaves the list put forward vulnerable to bad match-ups.

This year, the Irish team attempted to mitigate this by bringing three “shield” lists, designed to limit the potential loss when bid. These were the Ork Kan Wall, Blood Angels Raider Spam and Eldar Seer Council lists. We also attempted to maximise our gains by bringing two “sword” lists designed to take advantage of the ability to choose your matchups. These were Tyranid Stealer Shock and Dark Eldar Venom Spam. The remaining three lists were generalist in nature, Chaos Lash, Grey Knight Standard and Space Wolf Standard.

If I refer to a list/player failing in their role without mentioning the mitigating circumstances (if any), I hope they will not take offence. As I believe my own failings in this area were greatest, rest assured that I will be suppressing strong urges to excuse them. This is a strictly mechanical review of the results, feel free to expand on them in the comments.

Round 1: Ireland vs Finland

We were relatively confident of a good result in the first round. Prior to the tournament, we had run through several mock bidding sessions and realised that whether going first or second, the correct order of bids would leave the Finns with poor matchups.

We lost the roll-off and had to bid first.
1. We bid our Blood Angels and were countered by their similar Blood Angels list. Our defender fulfilled their duty exactly, scoring a 10-10 draw.
2. The Finns bid their Tyranid list and we replied with our Dark Eldar. Our attacker scored a respectable 16-4.
3. We bid our Orks and they put forward their Chaos Space Marines. Again, our defender scored a 10-10 draw.
4. They bid Space Wolves and we threw our Eldar into the fray. He won 16-4.
5. We bid our Grey Knights and they countered with their Black Templars. Once more, a 10-10 draw.
6. They bid their Imperial Guard and we responded with our Space Wolves. A third 16-4 win.
7. The remaining list was our Tyranid player and the opponent was Grey Knights. A 3-17 defeat for the Irish.
8. Their champion was the Orks player and ours was the Chaos player. A 10-10 draw.

Overall
Three defending lists managed their perfect results garnering 30 points. Three attacking lists managed solid victories securing 48 points. This was a great result considering the very equal opposition. Our initial belief that attackers should aim for 20-0 was shattered in the face of very good players who didn’t feel like assisting in their destruction. A 16 point win came to represent a solid win rather than an average win.

Thus, the exacting performance by those six lists left us requiring 8 points from two games for a round win. The Tyranids collapsed to a 3-17 loss but the Chaos drew the Champion’s Game to grab an additional 10 points.

Conclusions
As you can see, the sword/shield division wasn’t strictly upheld when it came to the actual pairings and attempting to force our lists into their pre-determined roles would have led to a worse result. Both teams were evenly matched in skills, comparable in list quality and so it was the pairings decided the victor.

I’ll restate that for emphasis, this round highlights the critical importance of generating the best possible match-ups. While never guaranteed, bidding exercises involving the actual ETC lists can help identify certain combinations which the opponent cannot unlock.

After last year’s ETC, the Irish team concluded that the Irish tournament scene could provide players of the calibre required but that an over-arching list design philosophy would be required. This was implemented. For 2012, bidding practice must take equal priority alongside game practice. This is not a task for the captain alone, he needs a variety of opponents to hone his skill against. One man cannot identify all possible combinations.

ETC Week! Final Practice – Blood Angels



So my final practice night against Barra MacNiocaill’s Blood Angels, great list for the ETC by the way, Barra’s list was the four Land Raider shield list Team RoI are bringing. We also got our dice and t-shirts from Captain Richard Flood (for a price…):


The list I’ve shipped out with is at the bottom of the post but should be familiar to most as the list I used last year. It’s a real workhorse list for the ETC team in that it can be bid against most opponents and while it doesn’t tend to get twenty points off any list at all it tends not to give away twenty as well.
The matchup tonight was one I’m comfortable with, lots of high priority targets that my Obliterators can target and make their points back right away and a list with few scoring units in an event where scoring units are almost a dime a dozen (Tervigon spam, grey knights, imperial guard, space wolves, Orks, etc.):
Player 6 Player: Barra Mac Niocall, Army: Blood Angels

HQ1: Librarian (100) with Shield of Sanguinius and Bloodlance: [100]

Elite1: 5 Assault Terminators (200), 5 Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield (25) [225] in Transport 1

Troop1: Assault Squad with removed jump packs (100) with Flamer (5); [105] in Transport 2

Troop1: Assault Squad with removed jump packs (100) with Flamer (5); [105] in Transport 3

Troop1: Assault Squad with removed jump packs (100 with Flamer (5); [105] in Transport 4

FA1: 1 Land Speeder (50), with multi-melta (10) and heavy flamer (10): [70]

FA2: 1 Land Speeder (50), with multi-melta (10) and heavy flamer (10): [70]

FA3: 1 Land Speeder (50), with multi-melta (10) and heavy flamer (10): [70]

Transport 1: Land Raider Redeemer (240), with Extra Armour (15): [255]

Transport 2: Land Raider (250) – 35pts for assault squad discount: [215]

Transport 2: Land Raider (250) – 35pts for assault squad discount: [215]

Transport 2: Land Raider (250) – 35pts for assault squad discount: [215] Total 1750pts

Played by the masterful MacNiocaill however it wouldn’t be quite so easy. Barra is experienced at not only “gypsying” opponent’s key objectives at the last minute but also at estimating where his Land Raiders need to be to claim two simultaneous objectives. It really is a pleasure to watch but uncomfortable to plan against someone so crafty.
Sorry to have to cut this short but I have to go pack now for the flight! So that’s me signing off from this brief journey into ETC hell, hopefully I’m enjoying pints over the corpses of our fallen enemies by the time this is put on the War Altar by good Mr. Kroon.
Good luck to all four Irish teams attending this year!!
Bua nó Bás,
J
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Player 2: Player Name: Joseph Cullen, Army: Chaos Space Marines

HQ 1: Daemon Prince (110) Wings (20) Lash of Submission (20) Mark of Slaanesh (5) total 155pts

Elites 1 Terminator Squad 3 x Terminators (90) 3 x combi meltas (15) total 105 in Transport 1

Elites 2 Terminator Squad 3 x Terminators (90) 3 x combi plasma (15) total 105 in Transport 2

Troops 1 Chaos Space Marine Squad 5 x Chaos Space Marines (75) total 75pts

Troops 2 Chaos Space Marine Squad 5 x Chaos Space Marines (75) total 75pts

Troops 3 Chaos Space Marine Squad 5 x Chaos Space Marines (75) Icon of Chaos Glory (10) total 85pts in Transport 3

Heavy Support 1 3 x Obliterators 225pts

Heavy Support 2 3 x Obliterators 225pts

Heavy Support 3 3 x Obliterators 225pts

Transport 1: Land Raider 220pts

Transport 2: Land Raider 220pts

Transport 3: Chaos Rhino 35pts Total 1750pts
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