Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hordes of fun

This Sunday past, I was able to get out to the local club for a Hordes of the Things Tourney. I have been a bit reluctant before because the majority of the games played are either with rules or in periods I am not really interested in. But I ponied up my membership fee and got stuck in.

Well let me back track a bit. Friday I realized that I didn't have a stronghold to put on the table. With a DVD coaster, a re-purposed paper clip holder and some Das clay, I made up a burial mound that I hoped would suitably impress my opponents. After the clay dried I added a base coat of brown then acrylic medium and flock. Sunday morning I awoke early to do the final dry brush and found that I had used gloss acrylic medium. What was meant to be an imposing barrow was in fact a sparkly fairy hill. The only matte varnish to hand was an ancient pot of Tamiya flat base - which has a tendency to go white when applied with a brush - but I was feeling lucky so on it went. Half an hour later I had a barrow that while no longer sparkly was now suitable for deployment on the Siberian steppes in winter. Several fast washes and some dry brushing later, I managed to get something not entirely laughable for the table.

So to the tourney. Today was to be a relaxation day and that means a Kilt day! I topped my camo kilt with a Hobgoblin t-Shirt and Marc was decked out in his Hung like a Norse T and jeans. The club (Ottawa Miniature Gamers) recently moved its game space to a local Freemason's Hall. The building is quite beautiful and well maintained. To keep up with the costs, the Masons rent rooms to many different groups. This being our first time there, we went through the front door and right into a Charismatic Christian Church service. I don't know what they made of us but we were definitely in the wrong place.

We went around the back where ruffians such as we are more likely to be welcome and found the proper place. We were given a hearty welcome by both club members and a couple of Masons there to observe a Poland 39 game. There may have been a raised eyebrow or two at the kilt but s*d 'em - the Celts are here!

There were 5 of us playing:
  • Mike - High Elves
  • Brian - Undead
  • John - Undead Hordes
  • Marc - Gallic Behemoths
  • Me - Ulster Cycle Irish
A quick set of rolls saw me facing Marc and his coffee-ground monsters. This time he managed to get his god on the board and pummel C├║ Chulainn to a pulp. In return I managed to rack up a pretty good body count though. As one of the losers, I was tagged to sit out the next round but was able to see the other games and act as a floating ref. This was actually pretty cool as anyone who wasn't playing stuck around to help out rather than wandering off.

Lunch was called after the second game. Not knowing the protocol, I had packed a lunch (bacon sarnies and a thermos of tea) but others bulked ordered pizza at $7 a head - a pretty good deal I need to remember in future.

Lunch eaten, it was back to the fray. Next game was against Mike's Elves. We had more or less stopped rolling for terrain placement. The board we were on had a river on one side and as defender, Mike had set up his Elven spear on the other side of the river from his stronghold. I took advantage of this split and massed everything on one side with Ferdiad my hero general on the far flank. The centre locked pretty tight with the Elven spear slowly moving up toward the ford so they could get into the fray. Ferdiad ran out on the flank until he was menaced by some Elves in a small wood. I left him there while we contested the centre - me grinding down the Elves while Mike hurried his spear up. I got a 6 for pips and moved Ferdiad towards the Elven stronghold then another 6 getting him into contact. My first attack on the stronghold failed with a stick result. Mike rolled very poor pips and couldn't intervene. The second attack went through ending the game.

My third and final game was against John's Undead Horde army. He had chosen an alternate list wherein all
his troops except for the necromancer general were at -1 to Magicians - Cathbad the druid in my case. We got stuck in pretty quickly and my double depth warband ground away at bone while Cathbad sniped away at undead knights. John's list allowed him to bring back any undead lost in combat on a six, but he failed to retrieve a single casualty in the whole game. I moved a hero general into overlap which combined with the warband's impetuous follow up was enough to punch through the undead lines. John tried repeatedly to ensorcel my hero but again the dice were against him. In the end I killed 12 AP for the win.

At the end of the day, despite only playing three games and losing one of those, I won on points for casualties caused. They may not be flashy but those warband really grind away at the enemy. However, I didn't get to face Brian's undead with fliers - that would have been a very different fight.

Having some time left, Marc and I hung around to watch some of the Poland game - very tempting and the Lardie's rules have some very interesting mechanics.

A good day.