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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

What I Did On My Summer Holidays...

It's been a LONG time since I updated this blog, which is really quite inexcusable even with how much I've had to do from both a gaming and real life viewpoint. However, I seem to have a relatively quiet week ahead of me so I guess I've got time to touch on some of the highlights from the last few months.

Star Wars - The Card Game

July saw me heading down to Exeter for the regional championship for the Star Wars LCG. I'm a huge fan of the game but as with anything CCG/LCG related I really struggle to find opponents locally for either casual gaming or tournaments so I decided to combine catching up with family (my brother lives in Exeter, as does my 18 month old nephew) with another crack at a regional championship (I came 2nd in the event held in Sheffield on May 4th).

The tournament consisted of 4 rounds of swiss, in which I managed to win all 4 (a couple by tiebreaker and a couple by luck) which meant I finished in 2nd place at this stage. We then went to a top 4 knockout stage. My opponent in the semi-final turned out to be the guy I'd just beat in the final round of swiss and our rematch went much the same way which put me into the final. At which point my Sith deck decided it had had enough and didn't want to play any more - I saw none of the cards I needed and was beaten in fairly short order. I managed to win the second game with my Jedi deck (each round consists of 2 games, light side vs dark) but my opponent got the tiebreaker and the win. Second place again. Still, I'm starting to believe I may actually know what I'm doing with this game.

I can thoroughly recommend Clifton Road Games in Exeter, where the tournament was held. Great shop with a wide range and a huge gaming hall out back, the staff and regulars were all very welcoming and I wound up hanging around after the tournament to play Mansions of madness until past midnight. Great start to a holiday.

Judge Dredd Miniatures - Heroes of Mega City One

This was the second ever JDMG tournament held at Mongoose HQ in Swindon, I went to the first one as well and had a blast despite finishing somewhere mid-table. This one was a slightly different format, you had the option to field higher level heroes this time round (up to level 5) which opened up some options, or you could field mobs of minions. This made it hard to predict which way the meta would go and I had to hedge my bets a little, I wound up settling on a squad of 3 Judges, all boosted to level 5 and with a range of talents to take on heroes or mobs as necessary.

Adrian from PWC and I left Peterborough at silly-o-clock in the morning, making it to Swindon just in time for the start. I'll admit that I've not retained a great deal of detail from this event. I remember a battle against a robot force, all armed with sniper rifles and lined up against the back of their deployment zone an a massive table with a nice killing field in front of them; I lost that one. I wound up playing against Ady's renegade robots (naturally, you always wind up playing against the chauffeur) and won that one largely due to the fact that I knew exactly what he was going to be taking and had tweaked my force to take it into account. Otherwise I had a number of games against other Justice Department forces, all of which had more models than me but were lower level so I was able to take them apart bit-by-bit. When the dust settled, I'd wound up in 2nd place overall which was frankly astonishing. Looking forward to the next event Mongoose put on, there's no way I'll be missing it if I get any say in the matter.

Warhammer 40K - Club Campaign

I'll be brutally honest, this campaign has done more to send me into a general wargaming funk than anything else that's happened recently. I'm doing well (6 wins out of 6 games, some more by luck than judgement) and no disrespect meant to Dan (the campaign organiser) or any of my opponents but I'm really getting fed up of the mess that is the current 40K ruleset. Some of the new stuff they've put in there is great, some of it needed a lot more playtesting/rewriting before it was fit for release, and some of it is blatantly just there to sell new models (they're not even trying to hide it any more).

But what's really got my back up (and this may sound petty) is the new Space Marine codex, specifically the Centurions. Can somebody please explain to me what GW were thinking with these? Why bother with veteran company terminators when all the regular companies have access to these which are just better? Just retcon them into the background material and throw most of the existing stuff out at the same time. Plus they just look stupid. Prime example of rules being driven by the need to sell models (they're damned expensive as well). [/rant]

Anyway, the end result is that I've sworn off 40K for a bit. I've dropped out of the campaign, which thankfully is structured to allow people to do this with minimal problems, and won't be playing again for the foreseeable future. Which of course means that my Grey Knights have been put on the back burner indefinitely as well.

Judge Dredd Minatures - Club Campaign

This continues to bumble along, we're all having a lot of fun and eventually somebody's going to win it. In the meantime we all get to play some games and not take much of it too seriously. My Judgement League are now getting to a scarily high level without actually becoming all that competent in game, which makes things interesting to say the least. We haven't yet quite decided what to do about the imminent release of the new edition of the rules.

Bolt Action

I've been playing a lot of this recently, if anything it's taken over and filled the hole that 40K left behind. Great ruleset, much less fiddly than some other WWII rules I could mention and makes a lot more sense in game as well. It's a ruleset where you can just worry about tactics and let the rules pretty much take care of themselves, which is probably why I like it so much.

I went to my first BA tournament at Rushden a couple of weeks ago and will be posting a full tournament report in the next couple of days.

Judge Dredd - Necropolis 2 Tournament/Campaign Day

Somewhat scarily, this was the first time I have ever organised a tournament of any kind. Again, I'll be posting a full report soon but in short it all went surprisingly well. And while I didn't get all of the zombies painted in time, I did get more than enough done.

So anyway, that's what's been occupying my attention over the last few months. I'll try to keep this more up-to-date from now on.

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