My most awesome game to date…

This is a recollection of a very singular game at the Rumble on Route 66. The last round was the one round that I dreaded the most. The mission was Biotechnovore. If you’ve played it, then you probably understand my dread, even if you don’t share it. For those familiar with Infinity, but perhaps not familiar with this particular mission (p. 34 in the ITS mission pamphlet for a 300pt game), it’s a typical 4’x4′ board with an 8″ deployment zone. No big deal right? Wrong, because there’s a cloud of death that hangs out over the first 16″ from every board edge. Most figures move 4-4, so even if you could line up on the exact edge of the 8″ mark and spend an order token on each and I’d still be screwed as you’d still, most likely, be in the very edge of the zone. So, the trick here is to use command tokens and use coordinated orders. The best way, at the time of the Rumble, to do that was to go second and use a command token to remove the ability to use more than one command token. If you only have 1 command token, instead of 4, then you’re limited to the number of coordenated moves you can make and then things go downhill from there. At the end of each player turn (within each round), any troopers still left in the Biotechnovore zone make a roll versus BTS and, at a strength 14, it’s not easy to beat. Two rolls if your trooper is a remote, TAG or anything with structure points instead of wounds. If you fail, it’s straight to dead for that trooper. Any trooper left in the Biotechnovore zone at the end of the third round, is also considered dead. As I’m mostly opposed to my troopers being considered dead, through any means, I did not like this mission at all. Every time I’ve played it, I’ve lost. I had a pretty great time losing, most of those times, but I still lost.

 

Round 4 of the Rumble was decided and I was gathering my gear for the last game and settled down at the very cool “Mesa Table”. That’s just my name for it. It was an 8’X4′ themed table based on Ariadna. We were on the wilderness side of the table. There was this really cool wall down the middle of the 8′ table, seperating the civilized side from the wilderness side. The table really felt like a canyon. There were standing stones and mesas all through the table. Whoever built it (I used to know, but can’t remember right now) put in a lot of thought and effort into building it and it was awesome on both sides.

 

I sat down to gather my thoughts and decide on the list I was going to play. The dude who sat down across from me looked very tired, but in reasonable spirits. He said he’d been up for a long while, or was up late the night prior. Turned out that he was playing JSA. I want to love Yu Jing and both of the current Sectorials that are in the game. I’m having a time finding my niche right now, but I was stoked to play another Yu Jing player and was gleefully ready to die to ninjas and fireteams.

 

We rolled for initiative and I think I won and chose initiative. He chose to stay on the side he was on and we set up. I was to set up first. One of the guys I travelled with was using Shaolin Monks as well and told me, right before the last round, about the success he was having keeping them in a bunched group. So, heeding his advice, I put all of my Monks on one side of the board, choosing to run them up to hunt with chain rifles and CCW weapons, using smoke to cover each other.

 

The first thing that struck me about Liam was the fact that when it was my turn to go first, he said that he was not going to limit my orders, nor would he take away my use of command tokens. “It was a dick move,” he said and so I proceeded to use my command tokens to move all but two of my units out of the biotechvore field. During my turn, we had a pretty good time talking about the game. But the fun really started on his turn in the first round. My Shaolin had moved, as a group, pretty far into the field, thanks to some coordinated irregular movements.

 

There were appparently a line of TO camo tokens that were just on the edge of the 8″ zone in hidden deployment. He moved them a bit and then revealed one to be Kitsune (Deadly little Kitsune)! I was so excited. I think I bounced a little bit at the thought of my favorite space ninja fighting my kung fu warriors. The scene was already starting to form in my head. I could see Kitsune revealing herself at the very last second to the Shaolin and the fight would be on. As soon as he revealed, he engaged using her long distance engage to get in CC range with my Monk. I think I forgot to ARO! I didn’t want to, really, partly because of how cool the maneuver was and partly because I wanted to see Kung Fu versus Ninjitsu right there on the table! It was the first time I had really seen serious hand to hand fighting in Infinity, most people want to shoot my Shaolin before they get a chance to shake hands and here was someone who could handle what the Shaolin could dish out. I want to admit here, that I fully expected to die. Shinobu Kitsune is the best Ninja in the game. She has a 25 CC stat, a level 5 Martial Arts skill, and a Monofilament Katana to go with her skill. She’s a killer and I knew that my little Shaolin Monk was about to die a glorious death in mortal combat with a ninja, but it was going to be awesome. It was totally awesome!

 

After some debate, we figured out that we would each use MA level 3. I would use it, because it would help me out the most (and was the highest that I could muster), he would use it so that it would even everything back out again, out of defense. (Would’ve been Shaolin 26 to 22 Kitsune, unless he used his MA3 to counter, bringing the total back to Shaolin 23 vs 25 Kitsune) We rolled, I knew I needed to roll a 17 or better to crit, but I just wanted to do well. He dropped his die, rolling a 10. I dropped mine and rolled…. a 20! I was shocked. This game has a lot of great moments in it, but one of the best is the crit. There’s nothing better than being an underdog and critting a higher skilled model. This moment was crazy weird for me, because that was the turning point, in some regards. Shinobu was his Lieutenent. He immediately made all of his units irregular, which in hindsight I don’t think is right, but in all honesty, I was trying my best to keep track of my rules and trusting my opponent to know his rules too. If I had thought for a moment, perhaps I would’ve realized the error, but I didn’t and for that, I’m sorry Liam. Due to his units becoming irregular, some of his troops didn’t make it out of the 16″ Biotechnovore area, but that isn’t where the fun of this game was.

 

When it was my turn, I started with my impetuous troops, my Shaolin. As soon as I moved the first one, Liam revealed an Oniwaban and then declared that the Oniwaban was motioning my Shaolin toward his Oniwaban. I was giddy with the coolness that was happening! The Oniwaban was challenging my Shaolin to a fight! Then we rolled again, using MA3 (I think it was Shaolin 23 vs 24 Oniwaban) and I rolled another 20. We repeated this until all of my Shaolin had matched up with the rest of his TO camo guys (which I think was at least 1 more Oniwaban and then a Ninja). Each time, my Monk would move and another TO camo marker would reveal a new opponent that was beckoning for the Shaolin to meet in mortal combat. Each time the request was answered. The whole game to me was this skirmish. Each move was cinematically met with a fun and dramatic reveal. The hand gestures of the oniwaban (or ninja) beckoning the Shaolin) were like a roleplaying game. When I think of this game, it really comes down to the Ninja vs. Shaolin fight for me. I could’ve lost every Shaolin I had to Kitsune and been happy. I mean that. I had so much fun that this game inspired a very small short story on the official forums.

 

Everything about this game was fun, but it came down to 8 models (4 from each side, approximately), some lucky rolls, and a good sport who was having fun in the game and in the moment. This wasn’t about the win for me. Because really, the scenario defeated my opponent, not anything that I did tactically. This game, for me, was about learning that enjoying your opponent is just as important as enjoying the game. I had a great time playing Liam. I can only hope that I get to play him in future Rumbles. I can’t thank him enough for changing the game for me. I’m not sure how I’m going to alter my play style, but I know it’s going to happen.

 

– Jake out.

RRRRumble!

(Note: Pictures to come later, as I’m not able to get those right now)

As I may have mentioned before, I’ve played miniature wargames for a goodly number of years. I believe, off and on, it’s been over 25 years. The results have been the same almost each time. I paint miniatures, using my fairly expensive paints based on what I come up with in my imagination, and then I set my miniatures up across the table from someone and it all falls apart. I spend my time removing painted miniatures from the table while the guy across the table from me usually has some unpainted “deathstar” that he’s cobbled together with fully unpainted figures. It usually felt over by the second turn and was most assuredly over by the third or fourth.

I went to the ‘Rumble on Route 66′ with mixed feelings. Mixed because I really enjoy this game, but tournaments and I don’t usually get along well. I don’t usually enjoy myself, because I usually run into “that guy”. The one who thinks he’s entitled to win the entire thing, but complains about this rule or that rule or this thing is “OP”, but the deathstar he’s brought is totally legit and fair and then has a meltdown worthy of a two year old because he came somewhere in the middle. I just kept reminding myself, I did enjoy the last Infinity tournament at my LFGS, so I thought it’d be alright.

Originally, I planned to drive out to Amarillo by myself, but one of the guys in my group said that there was an extra seat in his car and he’d be glad to let me ride with. I, happily, accepted. There would be a few trade-offs, but I thought it would be better than driving alone to a town that I’ve only ever driven through from the highway.

We got to the hotel by mid-afternoon and stowed our gear. I had brought a table’s worth of terrain, so that stayed in the car, but clothes went to the various rooms that we were using.

After that, we grabbed our miniatures and were off to the Table’s Edge to check out the venue and see what we were up against. I’m not a local, so I don’t know what the store looks like normally, but the store was very nice. The staff were smiling and friendly. The people there were clearly excited and everyone was talking Infinity. It was amazing. I put my terrain box on top of the table space that I wanted to put it on, which was really far away from the super awesome tables that were brought by other people.

If you’re reading this, and you were on my table, I feel like I should apologize. I saw the table density of most of the tables and felt like my table was a bit sparse. But, I was going for a decidedly more “European” table. Partially due to finances, but mostly because I don’t believe that every building needs to be 4-ish inches from the other, nor does it have to be a labrynth of corridors in order to be a fun game. Those games are fun, to be sure, but I wanted to make sure that there were open areas (with cover) to fight over, etc. I only talked to one pairing that played on my table and they said they had fun, but offered that it was “very open”, which I took as a compliment, though I’m not sure if it was intended that way. Apparently, it was great for bikes, though.

After checking out the tables that had been brought, we gathered at the Big Texan and had a great time eating. I like to eat and I enjoy a good steak. While mine wasn’t quite done the way I wanted (Medium should have some pink in the center, I think), it tasted great and the company was awesome. I got to meet a lot of people that are movers and shakers in the Dire States and Infinity community. I got to meet Darren, who apparently used to own the Table’s Edge (current venue for the Rumble on Route 66) and I got to meet Dexter (of ‘The Krug’ Podcast and Shark Mounted Lasers). Later I met Tom (from ‘MayaCast’) and Carlos “Bostria” Llagur (from Corvus Belli). It was great to meet these people, put faces to forum monikers, shake their hands and talk about this game we all enjoy.

Then, back to The Table’s Edge, for Beerfinity! There was more general wandering about, as more tables had shown up. There was beer about, but I didn’t bring any, so I didn’t ask for any, though I was graciously offered a raspberry beer that wasn’t bad. I played a guy from New Mexico. He was pretty cool to play. I learned a lot from that game. He played Nomads and I realized that they have a lot of tricks in their lists. That game taught me that I need to put more deception in my lists and figure out how to get enough figures on the board to lull my opponent into thinking that everything is deployed. As has happened to me, every time I’ve played Nomads.

After Beerfinity, it was back to the hotel and sleep. Sleep came easy for me that night and I was up by 6:00. I went downstairs and had breakfast with the Truckers and an elderly couple. I had a nice relaxing morning. I lounged about and was ready to go when we decided that it was time to go. We showed up a little before 8:00 and we were under way by 8:30-ish.

My first game was one that I asked for. The first round of the Rumble on Route 66 is open for challenges. You certainly don’t have to challenge, but it’s fun and I wanted the entire Rumble experience, so I challenged a guy from the forums. He is a Warcor (someone who’s supposed to promote the game and understand it well), so I figured there would be a high chance that I’d lose the game, but I thought I might have a fun time doing it and I thought that I’d avoid meeting “that guy” on the first round. My predictions were correct. I lost the first game and I was OK with it. The guy I played offered a little bit of advice, which I took to my next game. I thanked him for the game after shaking hands with him.

My next game was, by and large, a remix of the Beerfinity game, with slightly different models. Needless to say, I lost, but I had fun moving miniatures around the board and this game was closer than the score ended up being, but I got my classified objective, which was a small (yet pyrrhic) victory as was the fact that I kept him from getting max points. Afterwards, I shook his hand and thanked him for the game.

Had an awesome BBQ lunch from someplace local in Amarillo. The smoke was good. I enjoyed the ribs and the brisket. The sides were fair, and very edible. To be fair, the flavor was there, but they had a texture like they had sat out for a bit too long (preparation, buffet line, etc). But it was very good. Some unsweetened iced tea to go with it and a slice of bread.

During lunch, Bostria (Carlos Llauger Lorenzo) himself gave a small presentation about the coming items and answered a lot of questions. The news was really cool and there are some really nifty things that we learned that are coming for Infinity. Though I can’t say anything about the really cool stuff or Bryant dies. True story. I’m not sure how that will work all the way from Spain, but I’m not going to push it. A good majority of his presentation was already released stuff anyway.

After lunch it was time for round 3. Not so surprisingly, it didn’t go well for my little band of metal army dudes. It was a good game, but there were a few things that just didn’t go my way. Had a lot of fun with my Shaolin Monks, though. They rolled up and almost took out an entire NeoTerran Link team. 5 Medium Infantry with decent weaponry. They took out mines (drop bears) and generally ground his flank run to a halt. They were great fun to play that game. But, yet again, the score didn’t go my way. I didn’t get the objectives that I wanted and didn’t get to keep the objectives that I got. I shook hands and thanked him for the game.

I’ll be honest, by the last round, I had pretty much decided that I was just going to play like I was out of my mind. I was concerned that I was going to come in last place. To be clear, it wasn’t that I wasn’t having fun, but there’s a point where losing every game you play (as has happened so far in N3), gets a little old. I was doing my best to keep it together. I think my pat answer when someone in my group would ask me how I did after the round was, “I had fun”. Which was true, as I did have fun. I just wasn’t enjoying the loss at that exact second in time, which was usually the exact moment they asked me how I did. But, yet again, I digress.

The fourth round pairings were announced and I played a guy I believe was from New Mexico. He was awesome to play. The game was fun. There were a few things that happened that turned the whole game on its head, though. He attacked me with his lieutenant, which was bold move, but at the same time it was fairly safe because he’s attacking a 5 point Shaolin monk which should’ve been a no-brainer and I think, in any other game system, would’ve been a quick “murdalation” of one 5 point model, by a 47 point model and that would’ve been that. But, as most of you readers know, there’s always room for crits. I don’t know how, but all of my monks rolled crits in their fight. The first was with Shinobu (best MA skill in the game and one of the best CC numbers too) and then there were 2 or three other fights that, basically, took out the majority of his army. He was awesome to play and gave me my first really cinematic game. The monks doing something other than taking a model out and dying really made it exciting for me and, as I look back on it, if I lost that game it would’ve been worth it to see that 5 point Shaolin take out a 47 point named oniwaban (my absolute favorite oniwaban, to be frank). I shook hands with him and thanked him for the game.

After that, we all gathered for the awards. I started to tear down my table as quietly as possible, while they announced the winners and a little bit of question and answer from Bostria. Most of the people I came to the Rumble with placed in the top 25 and one of us came in first place! That was pretty cool. The prize support was amazing. I’ve never been to something so large before. Even though I came in 41st, I somehow contributed to our group winning an entire table of awesome stuff from impudentmortal.com. The guy’s stuff looks amazing and I’m probably going to get something of his very soon. I just need to decide.

At any rate, after that, we went to a place called “I don’t know” Sports Bar. The IDK was really good. I don’t know if it’s because of the very fresh cattle in Amarillo, or if it was because I was, essentially, on my feet for 12 hours, but the burger was awesome. I found out later that the burgers we had, awesome though they were, paled in comparison to whatever it is they normally make at the IDK.

Many thanks to the venue ‘The Table’s Edge’, all of the companies that gave prize support to this thing, the guys who ran it and all the great people I got to meet. Overall, I had a really great time. I can’t wait to do it again next year.

 

(Note: Pictures to come later, as I’m not able to get those right now)

Overall Impressions of the ITS Tournament

As this was my first ever miniature/wargaming tournament, I thought I’d take a moment to take down some of my impressions of the event and the day in general. My experience was a positive one, mostly, and I really enjoyed a day of gaming with the new friends that I’ve made in the community that has been built. Enjoy the pictures of the tables. They were awesome and rather than stacking them all at the end, or beginning, I thought I’d mix them in. (Basic descriptions of the tables underneath, in italics. Also most, if not all, of the table pics provided by Woody)

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Warsenal Table

From my last experience, I can say that I’d like to make sure I pack everything in the car the night before. I had everything I needed in a specific spot inside my house, but as I was running late, it took a little longer for me to pack everything in the car, which lost me some time to be able to get there and take a “lay of the land” and relax a little. Instead, I showed up, checked in, paid my money, and went to my first table to play my first game. It happened pretty much in that order and, seemed to me, almost as fast. This sent my nerves through the roof and really affected me throughout the day.

I hadn’t experienced anything like this. Speaking personally, I’ve never been one for public speaking, or “mingling”, but I genuinely try to be friendly and a good sport when in competition with people. But, partly due to the fact that I was a little late and really nervous, it was hard for me to get started. The first guy I played seemed to be nervous too, but was very cool to play and very understanding of my lack of knowledge. This was a theme throughout the day. One of the coolest things about the Infinity community is the wiki. In a game and have a rules question? Go to the wiki. If it’s not fully explained there, go to the forums. Someone will, ultimately, give you an answer on the rule in question, or perspective that should allow you to resolve your rules question. But I digress. I think my first, and maybe second, round would’ve been a little more fun if I could’ve figured out a way to be a little less nervous.

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Shark Mounted Lasers Table

I grabbed a meal on the way, ate it during my first game with the soft drink it came with, but really, I think I should’ve brought a couple of water bottles (packed the night before, of course). I really think that would’ve helped the headache that I ended up having in the later rounds. I think that snacks would’ve also been useful. Something like peanuts, pretzels, or something healthier, perhaps. But, definitely a little something to keep my stomach at bay as by the end of the 8 hour tournament, I was very hungry.

I would like to take a moment and thank the guys who brought tables full of terrain to the tournament. We actually ended up needing 5 tables at any given time, but I think we had 7 in total. Which meant that if you were picked to go to table 5, you might go to any of 3 tables. There was a full urban landscape, replete with city tiles and Sharkslide buildings from Shark Mounted Lasers. There was an entire Warsenal table. The Warsenal table was expertly painted, with finishing touches that were amazing. The Sharkslide table was a work in progress, but had a lot of really awesome detail pieces. There was a really ingenious table that was a whole bunch of containers from a national hobby store. All of the plastic containers fit inside each other making for easy cleanup and storage, but the coverage was really nice on the 4’X4’ square area. There was another table from Texas made of foamboard that was really detailed. Turned out, the guy who made that table was an artist (or art instructor, maybe) who used his skill at cutting matte boards to make well put together buildings. Then, there was a table that was challenging for my second game, using the terrain from Operation Icestorm. A little sparse, but still a formidable table. There was a Micro Art Studio table that was a lot of fun to play (4th game for me), good coverage and well thought out. The last table was dubbed the “Haqqislam table” due to it being a desert layout with buildings that looked to be made of sandblasted stone. This table was the property of the FLGS. It’s a fun table to play, but I would’ve preferred if there was another player supplied table in its stead. All of the tables looked fun to play on, I wish I had time to play on them all. But, the tables I played on were fun, challenging and really well put together for the most part. By the end of the day, ok once I recovered sometime during the next day, I was inspired to make my table better for the next gathering.

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Awesome Foam-core board table

In the weeks leading up to the tourney, I was trying to decide what troops to take. I play Yu Jing, which gives me 3 options for sectorials, “vanilla” Yu Jing, Imperial Service (ISS), or the Japanese Sectorial Army (JSA). I had no experience with the JSA, nor did I have enough models to build a “tournament ready” army, so they were out from the word go. I had enough models to do an ISS army, but I didn’t feel like I had enough specialists. So, the only group I could use that would give me the 4 to 5 specialists I thought I needed, was Vanilla Yu Jing. This meant that I had the choice of any model in all of the sectorials, but couldn’t use link teams or have some of the numbers that are allowed in the more specialized versions. I had only recently tried an ISS list, so I was ok with that, though I knew I was going to miss my Celestial Guard link team. Inspired by Kip’s (of Mayacast fame) stories of using “Penny” in various ways on the table, I wanted to use a bike. This meant using impetuous forces. Some of you probably know what that means, for those that don’t, I’m going to try to break it down in my own way.

Basically, impetuous troops have to use some of their movement (I believe it’s the first portion of their impetuous order), to move toward the nearest enemy. In the game, it’s explained as their lust for glory, or their lack of discipline. In a nutshell, these guys (and/or gals) are crazy and want to die in a blaze of glory, taking as many of the enemy with them as possible. It’s really interesting to me that “disciplined” or regular troops get an order they throw into the pool for all to use, impetuous troops get, essentially, two. One that they have to use, and then another they can use, or they can throw it into the pool, at least in the case of the bike. My other impetuous troops, my Shaolin Monks, were not only impetuous, but they were also irregular, which basically added that they were going to use the second order, if they used it, only on themselves. But, they still got two orders each.

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Micro Art Studios Table

So, with all of that info, plus several months of “trying things out”, I decided on my lists (described in my previous entry), with an attempt to make sure I had units to do jobs that I thought I’d need. I had total reaction remotes (this means that you get your entire burst, instead of just one d20 when in ARO), spitfires (4 dice, strength 14), HMGs (4 dice, strength 15), Combi-rifles (3 dice, strength 13), Chain rifles (large teardrop template), heavy flame thrower (large teardrop), mines (small teardrop or circular template) and on one list, a multi-sniper rifle as well as a CC specialist with TO camo who was an infiltrator. I had a remote that had 360 degree visor, which means you can’t attack it “from the rear” (as I understand it). I made sure I had a bike as the full movement on that is 14” (8-6), so in very few orders, I could be in the opponent’s end of the board, wrecking the place, providing he wasn’t shot first. I wanted the Monks so that I could have a wall of smoke to move through, though I forgot most of that to start and only used smoke in defense, so to speak. I had an engineer, paramedic, doctor, hacker and a forward observer so that I could perform the classified objectives, no matter what my roll on the charts were. Utilizing this method, it meant (to me) that the other specialists would become cheerleaders as necessary. Cheerleaders, in case you don’t know, is a way of describing models that don’t move during the game. They usually hold down a corner somewhere, and contribute their order to the “all-stars” of the team. However, this can change turn by turn (for me, anyway) and as opportunities arise, cheerleaders can become stars and vice versa. The impetuous troops were, by and large, for extra mayhem (smoke, chain rifles, CCW if necessary), except for the Aragoto Biker, he was a fast weapons platform. I intended to move him up (while covering him with other models) and wreak havoc wherever possible. Honestly, that only really worked once, maybe twice. But, when it did, it was a lot of fun. Basically, I think as long as you like the models and the abilities of those models, you can make any squad work. I tried to make an all-in-one”der” list that could do almost anything and didn’t matter what I rolled on the Classified Objectives lists. To that point, I wasn’t ever in a position where I couldn’t perform the CO that I rolled. I didn’t perform them for other reasons. But I could have.

Walking in, I didn’t know what to expect. Walking out, I felt awesome. Not only did it feel like I made some new friends in the hobby, but it also was a lot of fun to play these games. There wasn’t a lot of negative smack talk, which is refreshing. There was little to no confrontation about rules disagreements. If there was a difference in interpretation about the rules, the players would either call the Tournament Organizer (TO) over, or they’d look it up on the Infinity WIKI. In most cases (on the tables I played), the disagreement was resolved before either were really necessary. But in all cases, one or the other was brought to confirm the agreement. Everyone was very cool throughout the event. They all seemed to be very encouraging to everyone else. At the end of the event, everybody seemed to get something for whatever place they came in. There was even leftovers for those in the top ranks to get an extra item.

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Plastic Container Table (Ingenious)

It was a great event and a lot of fun. I know I keep saying that, but it was true. I had a pretty good time overall. I can’t wait to do it again. After one tournament, I’m in the top 300 in the US (at the time of my typing this, I’m sitting 299), which is pretty funny to me, but really awesome too. I’ve never been nationally ranked at anything. So, it’s a novelty that I enjoy. I’m looking forward to N3 and the ITS missions that they bring. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to do a good campaign with our group, I’d enjoy seeing what happens with something like a campaign in this game. I also want to try to make some missions and some “one-off” silly missions, just for fun. I also want to help our group bring in an awesome “Dire States” event next year. It should be fun.

 

 

Jake out.

First ITS Tournament… Mini Battle Reports.

My very first ITS tournament ever. Holy crap, was it fun (mostly). There were 11 of us in total. I was the last to arrive, due to some poor planning on my part. For which, if any of the guys in my meta or the guests from Texas read this, I am truly sorry. I got up with plenty of time, but by the time I got everything loaded and headed to get money and food (lunch), I was already late. So, driving as fast as I could stand, I got there and got everything in place.

Check in was easy. I walked in, and spoke to the TO, who took my ITS info into his tablet and, after spending my 10 bucks to the venue (awesome FLGS called Games HQ), I was set. All in all, check in might’ve taken 10 minutes.

At this point in the day, I’m still very nervous with the possibilities of the day. I hoped to have fun and wanted to win. I brought two lists, with Spec Ops (per the Tourney requirements), and I knew my lists abilities, but the game still is a little fuzzy to me. So, I nervously waited for the first game to be called out.


 

My lists were as follows my “Monk Swarm” list was : Army4 (copy the list below into the link) –

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Group 1

Gui Feng (Zhanshi Spec Ops) – Hacker, -9 BTS, Combi Rifle
Tiger Soldier – Paramedic, Combi Rifle, Light Flame Thrower
Celestial Guard (LT) – Combi Rifle
Celestial Guard – Multi Sniper Rifle
Yuriko Oda – Engineer, Combi Rifle, D-Charges, Mines
Guilang – Camo, Infiltration, Forward Observer, Combi Rifle, deployable repeater, Mines
Aragoto – Mimetism, Spitfire
Lu Duan – MSV1, Holoprojector2, Mk12, Heavy Flame Thrower
Shinobu Kitsune – TO Camo, Superior Infiltration, Combi, Nanopulser, Monofilament CCW, Smoke
Zuyong – HMG, Automedkit

Group 2
4 Shaolin Monks with Chain Rifles, Shock CCW, Smoke


 

Second list was my “Spec Doc” list: Army 4 (copy the list below into the link) –

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Group 1

Gui Feng (Celestial Guard Spec Ops) – Doctor, Mines, Spitfire
Tiger Soldier – Paramedic, Combi Rifle, Light Flame Thrower
Celestial Guard (LT) – Combi Rifle
Celestial Guard – Spitfire
Yuriko Oda – Engineer, Combi Rifle, D-Charges, Mines
-YaoZao (engibot)
Guilang – Camo, Infiltration, Forward Observer, Combi Rifle, deployable repeater, Mines
Aragoto – Mimetism, Spitfire
Lu Duan – MSV1, Holoprojector2, Mk12, Heavy Flame Thrower
Zhanshi Hacker – Combi rifle,
Zuyong – HMG, Automedkit

Group 2
Yaokong Husong – Total Reaction, 360 degree visor, HMG, mines
Pangguiling – Total Reaction, Combi Rifle


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First game, far left flank – Aragoto Biker, Lu Duan (with Holo Echos), Shaolin Monk and a Zu Yong in the pill box

 

Of the two lists, I had the most fun with the swarm, but I basically set the swarm for two mission sets and the Doc list for the other two. As this was my first tournament I sort of “hard set” both lists for this. I think in future, I may continue with the “fun” list, regardless. There were at least 5 guys from Texas there that day. I met 4 of them… Well, to be fair, I think I met all of them, but I played two and talked to two others, so I’m sorry if I forget your name in this piece. All of the guys were really cool.

First game called out and my opponent was a guy I’m going to call “E” on a mission called Lifeblood. “E” is from Texas and was pretty cool. I am not sure what I looked like, but I felt kind of weird. I’m sure I was very nervous. We rolled for initiative (I won and chose initiative), he chose the side he was on and that I would deploy first. After deployment, I said that I’d go first. The game is a bit of a blur, but I tried to stay true to the spirit of my list… With 5 impetuous troops, I moved almost everything forward every active turn. I was in his side of the board quickly and my favorite little ninja (Kitsune, deadly little Kitsune) was in his backfield by turn 2. Evan was playing Yu Jing as well. He had his Kuang Shi, the human bombs) lined up with a Zhanshi (LI). Basically, 2 Kuang Shi with 1 Zhanshi, “conga-lined” together, very nearly base to base. I found that I had LoF with one set and shot a Kuang Shi, it died, exploded and took the Zhanshi with it. The other Kuang Shi made his armor roll to the explosion! It was so cool! (I mean, I wanted it to explode, but it was fun to see the lone thing survive) I brought in my Tiger Soldier, who moved up, shot another “conga line” of Kuang Shi and Zhanshi, only this time, I got all 3 for one shot. With that, I grabbed some objectives with my Guilang and Paramedic (Tiger Soldier) and then ended up blowing up (with my DA sniper) 2 boxes. I think I had 2 boxes by turn 2 and he had 2 boxes by turn two. Top of turn 3, I spent orders facing off with his TAG. After spending the majorty of the bottom of turn 1 and 2 being very afraid of his TAG, it was a rather nerve wracking experience. But somehow, through a combination of lucky rolls for me and (un)lucky rolls for him, the TAG ended up dead, then the pilot met it’s end when it popped out of the shell of the TAG. With the immediate threat gone, my Guilang moved around and sync’d with a third box. During my turn 3, I ended up removing the last of his specialists, which ended up winning me the game 7 – 3. I couldn’t get any Classified objectives on this mission. Well, I didn’t see any opportunity to do so anyway. Perhaps I just missed it. I shook hands with him and told him I had a great time playing (which I did) and stumbled off with my win.

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Still first game – Set up on the Warsenal table.

Second game called and I got to play “C”. I have played “C” several times on our Saturday gatherings. Each game has been more difficult (for me) than the last and always a challenge. This game would prove to be no different. Quadrant Control with the swarm list, was a lot of fun. Playing with smoke and the like against Ariadna was interesting. The only thing that made it less than fun for me was the fact that “C” and I played on the exact table that he and I had played on two weeks prior. It was a different mission, though, so it made it alright. Once again, the swarm list proved to be more fun than I thought. I had a great time running forward with my impetuous troops and covering their advance with my regular troops. I moved up and around the board, but in the end it was a tie (3 to 3, I think).

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By the third game I had a raging headache in the upper part of my neck. The game was called and I would play “T”. I couldn’t move my head very well and my eyes were fairly sensitive to light. It doesn’t change what happened, though and isn’t intended as an excuse. I got stomped, plain and simple. There are no two ways about it. Everything I tried was expertly countered and, when I needed a roll, I got nothing. It didn’t seem to matter if I was active or reactive. I could not catch a break. I played the Spec Doc list and, in retrospect, given the terrain density, might’ve had a bit more fun with the swarm. But, regardless, I ended up with a 0 – 9 loss. At that exact moment, in the heat of frustration and my headache, I mentioned that I could walk away and be perfectly OK with that. I feel very bad about saying this, because “T” didn’t do anything wrong, I was just very, very frustrated and should’ve just kept my mouth shut. “T” was an excellent opponent and a good human being showing genuine compassion and concern for my frustration. Given the opportunity, I’d like to play him again as it was the first time I had ever played Nomads.

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Fourth game was back to amazingly awesome. I was playing “B”, another dude from Texas, who was a fun guy to play. The mission was Annihilation, which means you kill as many of theirs without getting all of yours killed. More fun than I thought it was initially. Perhaps, due to the nature of the game, perhaps due to the “mindless” nature of the mission, perhaps due to getting some liquids in my system, I felt a little more at ease. I played the Spec Doc list, just for the 3 spitfires, 2 HMGs and 4 mine-layers. Had a blast playing “B”. Great banter back and forth. We really created a narrative and it was a lot of fun to play. My “man of the match” was my Aragoto biker with spitfire this match, because he ran up the board and took out around half of his orders. That was a great run and caused the best surprise for me, at the end of his run, he was shot by a Cutter TAG. Well, it wasn’t going to be the end, but it was ended by the really awesome entrance when the TAG uncloaked. It was a pretty crazy and fun match, ending in a 4 – 4 tie, after the dust settled and points were counted.

Ended up 8th out of 11. Which is a pretty good result, in my opinion, considering I’ve never really played on any tournament scene.

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I’d like to thank all of my opponents for the lessons I learned and the good sportsmanship they showed. I hope, for my part, I showed at least a similar level of good sportsmanship. I hope to play them all again very soon.

 

Jake out.