A ranking of 1225 in the world and 602 internationally makes me a scrub of the lowest order. If this was a game of darts I wouldn’t even make the team for the local pub, forced to look on in envy while nursing a flat pint of Carling as Fat Mary and John ‘Hawkeye’ Harris from the Hairy Bush take on the Cock Inn at a game of ‘chuckin’ arras’. It doesn’t help that one of my regular opponents, James ‘Gribbley’ Newman, AKA ‘Murkage’, is number 8 and 2 respectively, and, even more annoyingly, is a really nice bloke, so I can’t even hate him for it. Determined to ruthlessly claw my way up the rankings no matter who I had to dislodge to get there, I was invited to my first proper 8-person tournament last Saturday, at the Hemel Hempstead Wargaming Club.
Struck down recently by a mystery illness I’ve had a fair bit of time on my hands, which I’ve completely squandered by sitting and painting little metal models in my garage whilst watching Marvel films. Concentrating on my NCA, I managed to add colour to a good chunk of my accusingly basecoated forces and this would be their first outing in their blue, white and red glory. I also wanted to take this opportunity to try out a couple of new lists before my first real real tournie in Bournemouth at the end of August.
Game 1 – Antenna Field – NCA vs. Corregidor
I drew one of my good friends and regular opponents, Matt, and his twin-Gecko Corregidor list, in my first game. Going with list A, I won the WIP roll, opting to go first. Things went well for me in my first turn, critting a Wildcat missile launcher in a 5-man link with my HMG ORC, before establishing central board control. Failing to read the mission was a slight hindrance however, as I failed to get any of my specialists in B2B with the objectives, mistakenly thinking that OPs were totalled up at the end of the game.
In Matt’s turn the Geckos rampaged aggressively up the board, reaching my lines and my invitingly placed Fusilier link in a rough teardrop-template shape behind the building. Fortunately for me the Gecko’s chainrifle succeeded only in putting my Hexa Hacker unconscious, with the link, and most importantly, my Lieutenant, diving out of the way or making their armour saves.
With the TAG-storm weathered it was pretty much game-over by the end of my turn 2, with the Nomad offensive capabilities completely blunted by the death of the Geckos and the majority of their specialists. When my Swiss Guard managed to outroll a 5-burst spitfire with one dice from his multi-rifle the writing was firmly on the wall, Matt conceding mid-way through his second turn. Major victory in the bag, an early finish allowing me to grab a sandwich from Greggs, and top of the leaderboard! Take that, Fat Mary.
NCA 8 – 0 Corregidor – 3 TPs
Game 2 – Supplies – NCA vs. Ariadna
A victim of my own success, game 2 would be against James ‘Murkage’ Newman and his order spam Ariadna list who had also secured maximum tournament points in his first outing. With 20 orders to my 11 [I again went with list A] this was going to be a real challenge, although I did win the WIP roll again, taking first turn in a desperate attempt to avoid the Ariadnan surpise shotting alpha strike.
To cut a long, bloody and slightly embarrassing story short, I was completely murked, failing to secure a single supply box or complete a classified. I did at one point have a supply box in the hands of an ORC, but apparently Hardcase tactical bows are better at short range firefights than a boarding shotgun. Who knew? Crits against your Swiss Guard don’t help either.
It wasn’t a completely wasted exercise as the Fugazi sniffer remotes did well for me. Yeah.
NCA 0 – Ariadna 10 – 0 TPs
Game 3 – Firefight – NCA vs. Nomads
Bitch-slapped down to the bottom of the leaderboard it was imperative I take something from my final game if I was to place in the top 3. Time to bring out list B, B for BAE – my new favourite secret weapon – the Squalo! Raining speculative fired grenades with a 45% chance of success at all but the remotest parts of the board is an almost sexual experience. The only dark cloud on the horizon was the worrying amount of hackers on the other side of the board and the fact that I don’t really know how hacking works. Another concern was the Spanish accent of my opponent – perhaps it was my nemesis, Logan, and the chance for me to take the greatest ITS scalp! [it wasn’t, it was a lovely chap called Fernando, from Malaga, also in his first tournament].
Winning the WIP roll Fernando put me in to bat first.
Things began inauspiciously for the Hyperpower, the Squalo squandering two of my precious orders, his grenades landing well wide of target. Switching to his trusty HMG the monstrous TAG advanced up the board, giving every dirty techno-punk Nomad in sight 4 of the best. Getting cocky the armoured robot managed to wander in range of a repeater, and hacking happened. I’m not really sure what, but he ended up spending the rest of the game being isolated, immobilised, and, most distressingly, possessed.
The successful Overlording of the Squalo by the tricksy Nomads with only a couple of orders remaining at the bottom of turn 3 cost me big-time as he was considered to be in a null-state at the end of the game, contributing bugger all points to my remaining total. The Swiss Guard with missile launcher failing all 3 of his armour saves on turn 1 against an HMG despite being in cover didn’t help either, and nor did Fernando having to tell me what my hacking AROs should be. At least the REDRUM by my Hexa caught one of his hackers by surprise, satisfyingly exploding his skull.
NCA 2 – 4 Nomads – 0 TPs
Joint sixth for me after a very tiring but very enjoyable day, and as well as winning a USAriadna patch sure to make my mate Tom jealous I got to go to the pub afterwards, so all in all I’m chalking it up as a success. My meteoric rise up the rankings may have to go on the backburner for a while though after that performance. Like the gaming equivalent of Kanye and Kim Kardashian, Murkage and his missus Laina came top of their field at first and second place respectively. Perhaps in order to get better I’ll have to start a relationship with a high-ranking tournament player? Logan, I’m here if you want me; whatever it takes…
Other piccies from the day.