It is currently 6.30am as I start writing this, with my first hot brew of the day in hand. Why so early you may ask? Well that is a mystery even I want answered after a sleepless night!
In just under four weeks, the physical journey begins again for the final time this year, as we make the drive to Auckland for the first ever New Zealand Invitationals tournament. And with such a long drive, I am glad I have great travel company to go with me!
But the adventure to a tournament is never just the drive there and the weekend whilst away rolling dice and drinking more then planned, but it should be the weeks leading up to an event, as you play around with list ideas and play test your army and tweak the list whilst madly rushing around to finish painting that half a dozen miniatures you need in your list because of those tweaks.
My journey to Invitational almost came to an end before it had really began. With the release of Version 1.2 to the rule set last week, between the change in rules and points itself, along with Invitationals adopting the recommended points level of 4500pts, I was absolutely stumped.
Now, do not get me wrong, I am not complaining one moment about the new rules or recommended points system. I do agree with everything that has changed, but I do believe it is for the betterment of the game as it progresses and comes into its own.
Adopting a new rules system so close to the most prestigious event in the year was not a call I would have wanted to make, and I do not feel it was the right one either. In saying this, it was driven by the competitors for the event, and now as many are in the same boat I was in up until late last night, I think many are regretting that choice.
With the changes, I was finding it almost impossible to create a list that I could easily adapt to the play style, that I had the miniatures for without having to spend excess amounts of money, and the time to paint only a few handfuls of models. Even with the list I finally compiled and am happy with, there is more work to be done.
I argued with the decision to take my WDG (which was the easiest to flip my V1 list into something workable with V1.2), and finally decided against it, as I wasn't enjoying playing the list and it was hugely designed around the way a Path of Magic could influence the list, a Path which now in V1. no longer exists.
I also play tested my new Dread Elves list. I pulled off a major victory with this list, in my first time ever playing Elves, and enjoyed every moment of the game. The synergy of the list worked well, and with change in the Path of Magic used, I feel the list could easily become a standard style list I would take to tournaments. The issue was, I do not have the extra money to drop into getting all the models needed, nor the time to paint an entire army within 3.5 weeks.
The biggest struggle of them all, was a moral struggle. I have played my Beast Herds in every event I have been to since T9A hit the tournament scene, and I love them. But morally, how could I leave t home the army that helped me get to 9th place on the New Zealand rankings? That wouldn't be right!
So I tossed around a few lists, screwed up a lot of paper, and walked away from the list building to relax whist enjoying a cancerous habit. And as my alcohol infused brain was pretending I was being Smaug and blowing smoke, it hit me. And I started mentally drawing a list, watching the mechanics of the list, and seeing what it looked like on the table.
The list is written. My toys are ready.
The Beast Herds have heard the Call. The Blood Hunt is coming to Play.
Run and Hide, Run and Hide. For come the Break of Day,
Blood will run as we catch our Prey.....