Monday, 6 June 2016

NiCon 2016: My First 9th Age Tournament

This past weekend I attended my first Fantasy Battles The 9th Age tournament, which was held at NiCon 2016 and hosted by the Hamilton Immortals. This was only the second 9th Age tournament in New Zealand, with the first one being Mini-Guardcon, which was held the weekend prior in Auckland by the Auckland City Guard.

NiCon's The 9th Age tournament originally was to sport 14 competitors, all of which had travelled from across the North Island to compete. Sadly, at the final moment, one competitor had to withdraw, forcing the tournament organiser to also pull out to keep numbers even.

The calibre of players on the tables was strong, with a vast age group in attendance. Most if not all of the players were former Warhammer Fantasy players, and ranged from casual garage players to high end competitors.

My first match saw me face what was to be the first of three elven armies I fought over the weekend, as a young lad bought out his Highborn Elves cavalry bus list. As many may know, I have a certain hatred towards facing Highborn Elves, as I seem to alway play against them. This game was a great first game to the tournament for me, was fast paced, and my opponent was a really enjoyable person to play against. As it happens, this game landed me a massive win, which put me right onto table one for my next game.

Table one was a scarey place to be so early on, and my opponent definitely proved why. It was here that I fought one of the ETC NZ Team players from last year's trip to Prague, as he took me on with his version of a Highborn Elves cavalry bus. My opponent here was extremely knowledgable, and I managed to learn a lot from him, as I barely managed to avoid being completely tabled by him.

Round three saw me move away from Elves, as I went up against Empire of Sonnstahl, an army that in 8th ed Fantasy I only ever played as, never against. This was an interesting game, and was very close. Unfortunately, we were unable to finish the game in time, which I feel hurt my end result from that game, giving me only a minor victory.

My relief from facing Elves was not long lived, as my final game on day one was against a very strong Sylvan Elves player, who had this time bought along an almost full forest spirit army. It was great to get a game against a different style of SA army, and although I was so tired, it was a good way to end the first day. I cannot recall entirely, but I believe I secured either a draw or minor win in this match.

Day two saw me up against one of the local boys, and up against a Saurian Ancient list that I had helped design. Before heading into this match, both myself an my opponent believed I had the game, and it was just a case of how many points could he get out of it. We were wrong. From the get go, my dice completely turned on me, and after a lot of failed leadership checks and charge rolls, along with poor impact hit rolls, I stormed off to the store on site to buy some new dice. But by this stage it was too late, and my opponent managed to get a major win out of me.

The final game for the tournament saw me face the brother in law of the Empire player, and my Beast Herds got to battle it out against the armour cavalry of the Kingdom of Equitaine. This game, again, saw my luck turn sour early on, with failed leadership checks, poor to wound rolls, and a cavalry bus that charged through with Curse of the Wild Wood on them, and didn't even fail ONE dangerous terrain check on a 1 or a 2. But in the end, I was able to bring the game back into my favor, leaving my opponent which just a unit of peasants on the board. By this point however, I had bled too much, bringing us to a draw.

It was a great weekend and Brian, the TO, did an amazing job. I was disappointed with my final standing as I feel I could have played a lot better, and placed a lot better, but that is the joys of playing a game that involves relying on dice.

So to the final scores:

1. Tom C      102BP
2. McCrae L  98BP
3. James B     96BP
4. Nick I        90BP
5.Basil L       86BP
6.Simeon H   80BP
7.Tom D        79BP
8.Richard B   75BP
9. Ethan P      69BP
10. Luke E     64BP
11. Chris S     42BP
12. Curtis T    18BP

And the awards were as follows:
1st:              Tom C
2nd              McCrae L
3rd:              James B
Best Paint.:  Ethan P
Sports:         James B

Yep, you read that right. 4 weeks of none stop painting, late nights, and nearly throwing paint pots at walls, I walked away with this:
All in all it has been a great weekend. I shall post photos of the army in my next blog case.

Until then,

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