The third day of SMOGCON was always going to be busiest for me. First up it was the Dropzone Commander tournament and later in the day the Golden Thrall. The Warmachine Masters was also a distraction but sadly I wouldn’t be able to take part in the Speed Painting final as it clashed with the DZC tournament. I believe Ken was trying out Bushido and Tim was in the SMOGPIT but I think there may have been a High Command tournament in the mix too – all a bit much to remember at this stage!
Anyway, the Dropzone tournament was a three game affair and I was really looking forward to seeing if my numerous games at the Big ‘Uns had prepared me for playing ‘outsiders’ effectively. First game I played none other than Hawk Simon so I could immediately get a feel for whether we had been playing the game in the right style. Simon was playing Scourge and had a lot of the new models in his list. I noticed the list contained a lot of infantry and a lot of aggressive flying units, but was light on armour. As you might expect Simon played quickly and he targeted my anti air early leaving me unable to deal with his flyers. The game revolved around getting objectives out of buildings and he managed that rather better than me so won convincingly. It was a good game and perhaps what was better was the reassurance that my knowledge of the game and style of play was sound.
The next game I got to turn the table on the Scourge. I played a chap called Mark who was playing a very nicely painted army heavy with armour. In this game I had a lot more luck with the objectives and my PHR outgunned the Scourge menace with ease. Unfortunately no specific pics of this game but here is one that captures the atmosphere nicely.
In the final game I played a new scenario which involved five bunkers as focal points in which infantry were protected from fire apart from Flamers and CBQs. Across the table a PHR force including a Hades. This turned out to be a fantastic game that went right down to the wire. I dropped my Heavy walker ‘Death Star’ in the middle of the board and got my Sirens and a group of Immortals into the pivotal bunker at the centre of the board. However I left my home bunker very lightly defended and in the final turn my opponent made a daring raid down a flank putting just enough points within scoring distance to take it in the final moments. Great stuff – this scenario was a real corker and I would like to play it again.
So, I finished 1/3 but had a great time. Would be much more confident in my next tourny and I would need to take more infantry. I think the heavy walker ‘Death Star’ is too inflexible as well so would be keen to mix in some if the new lighter walkers for variation. To finish a rare shot of me playing a game!
Posted: March 2, 2014 in Gaming, Tournaments
A combination of still suffering from a cold, the rugby and the need to paint my PHR Hades for the Golden Thrall saw me sneaking back to the hotel room for a couple of hours in the afternoon. This was a feature I really enjoyed about SMOGCON : there was always something going on but it was possible to retreat for a bit and chill out. Anyway, I got a rest, saw England beat Ireland and painted the Hades. Result!
In the evening we went for a curry and met a nice bloke called Mark who had put a fantastic Retribution ‘jack into the Golden Thrall. Ken got experimental with his curry which looked as though it had been contaminated with necrotite, while we kept a close eye on Tim and his shandy consumption for fear of having to carry him home.
After the curry it was back to the hotel for a few beers and King of Tokyo. This was great fun enhanced by Tim’s authentic Manga cries of ‘Kraken’ and ‘fist him’ every time he got a chance to go on the attack (he had moved from shandy to lager by now). Towards the end of the session Nepalese Ninja, Conrad Gonsalves no less, joined us and there was much hilarity as he struggled with the dilemma of whether or not to ‘come out’ when in Tokyo City. Great game – I’ll be on the look out for a copy.
Posted: March 1, 2014 in Gaming, Tournaments, Trollbloods
Day 2 kicked off pretty early with Tim and I in the SMOGPIT while I believe Ken continued with his High Command adventure.
I played two games in the morning. Both were 50 points and with Gunnbjorn. Game 1 was against a friendly chap playing Convergence. He helpfully told me that the key to beating his list was taking out the Clockwork Angels. The Convergence army looked intimidating lined up across the board, particularly as I had no idea what the models could do. Early in the game I was surprised when my opponents ‘caster whizzed across the board and landed pretty much in the middle of my army. It was a high risk strategy brought about in desperation as I had taken his advice and concentrated on successfully taking out the Clockwork Angels. Gunny, a Bomber and the Mountain King opened up, and although it was close thing, took the ‘caster down.
In the second game I played a delightful Spanish guy with Ravyn and a Retribution force. This was a real war of attrition on a bizarre scenario table with a huge tower that was an arc node in the centre.
Eventually the Mountain King faced off with Ravyn in one of those epic gaming moments but he didn’t quite have the capacity to take the ‘caster down. Fully furied up Gunny had no where to transfer and he was shot down by an arc noded spell and a Retribution ‘jack. This was a fantastic game and the best of the weekend for me even though I lost .
Posted: February 27, 2014 in Gaming, Tournaments, Trollbloods
After playing a couple of games of Warmahordes, the cold I had, a bad nights sleep plus early start and lack of food, got the better of me. I grabbed some lunch then retired to bed to regroup for the evening session.
By this stage Ken was looking for a game of Warmahordes so we decided to have a 50 point game in the SMOGPIT over a couple of pints. Ken’s dirty Menoth frustrated my Trolls and he looked likely to walk away with an easy win. Unfortunately for the Menites eKreoss came a bit too close to the action while attempting to maximise his feat bubble. A Bomber stepped up to the mark nailing him with a couple of well placed shots. It was a good game and a nice change to be playing at a casual pace amongst so many like minded gamers over beers. A quick look around the venue showed it to still be alive even though it had gone midnight. A real pleasure to be finishing day 1 like this.
Posted: February 24, 2014 in Gaming, Tournaments, Trollbloods
While Ken and I had been painting I believe Tim was playing well in his tournament. He will correct me if I’m wrong but I think he went 3/1 narrowly missing qualification for the Masters.
Ken made his way to the High Command release event and I decided to enter the SMOGPIT. It was easy to register and within five minutes I had picked up a game with a chap from Pigmar playing Skorne. I played Grim but looking around the tables my usual favourite Warlock wasn’t going to cut it as the scenery was thin. Nonetheless I pressed on and about 90 minutes later I was beaten on the scenario. It was a good game and my first for a couple of months against an experienced opponent so happy to have hung in there without being throttled.
As soon as I finished this game a familiar face from the Bristol Hardcore tournament I played sometime ago rolled up with a fresh challenge. We noticed the Barge Scenario table was free so jumped on in a flash. This was going to be a crazy game!
Both forces stood almost toe to toe but displaced a few inches on their respective barges. Each turn the barges moved a random distance alongside each other literally putting the warriors face to face. I decided to go with old favourite Gunnbjorn as I could see him, his bazooka, and a pair of Bombers wreaking havoc in the small space. To finish off I put in all the template bearing models I could shoehorn into 35 points. Looking across to the other barge there was a horde of tightly packed Cygnarian infantry. This was going to be messy …….
The game only lasted three turns with the Trolls smashing through the Cynarians with their crude but effective explosives. It was a real bloodbath and a welcome change of pace to the classic Warmahordes scenarios.
And that took us up to mid afternoon on the first day. More to come …..,
Just got back from SMOGCON and a damn fine weekend of gaming it was. I’ll kick off part 1 by saying a big thanks to partners in crime Tim and Ken for driving and organising the accommodation respectively.
When we arrived we registered got our goody bags and had a wander around. Ken and I took part in the speed painting and then had a long chat with Jon Webb (SMOGCON organiser and painter of no little ability) about basing techniques. My speed painted Winter Guard was deemed to be best of rather small bunch and I qualified for the final on Sunday.
Much more to come ….
Posted: February 3, 2014 in Dropzone Commander, Gaming
1500 point game this evening and a chance to get the Hades on the table. We played the first scenario from the book and I was a little disturbed to see there were more Shaltari infantry than PHR.
The Hades marched onto the table and had a long road that spanned the whole table to make its advance on. At 6inches per turn it made reasonable progress and by the end of the game made it into my opponents half of the table. As it went it knocked a few buildings around and destroyed a couple of enemy tanks . However, once it made it to the other side of the board the massed fire of the Shaltari took it down.
But what really mattered was the battle in the buildings between the infantry. There were a number of complex CBQs during the game but the Shaltari were always ahead on numbers and their superior armour saw them grab a couple of objectives and hold onto them to the end.
So, the end result was a 2 – 0 win to the Shaltari. It was a good game and there were a few lessons to learn. First up 1500 points is a bit much – this game took 4+ hours to play. I’m beginning to think the sweet spot might be around 1250 for DZC. That gives a decent number of options but doesn’t make the game so complex. Secondly, the Hades is good but I wouldn’t say it is broken or invincible. I think it needs to concentrate on taking out slow moving targets. It struggled against skimmers and without demolition weapons it’s not a building squasher. Finally, the key to this game was very much the infantry. In the early games of DZC I always took loads of infantry and found I could dominate the objective game. I need to take more in the future. Oh, nearly forgot – I played a couple of Erobos. They were nice. Relatively fast moving debuffers so something a bit different for PHR and they did quite well.