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Monday, November 18, 2013

AAR: Warstore Weekend Mid War Tournament!

By Throckmorton

In early November a group of us had a chance to head up to New Jersey for Warstore Weekend. The big ole table top gaming convention hosted by (you guessed it) The Warstore.

Battlefront was there hosting a meaty five round, two day mid-war tournament for Flames of War that added a little extra spice by allowing mid-war monsters. Our fine historical gamers were joined there by events for Fantasy, 40K, Infinity, Malifaux and Warmachine.

Needless to say, we were the coolest cats in the room *cough cough*
Right... well...

As I mentioned in a previous post, I haven't had the opportunity to play a ton of mid-war, with my only real experience being a sound shellacking at NOVA Open this year - so I was excited to see what the tournament might bring.

Four of us from my local group got the opportunity to go up and we each brought wildly different lists. I brought a (fated for doom) Schnell Schwadron from Eastern Front, forumite CrazedLoon brought OSS from Burning Empires and our other two buddies threw down with an Armored Rifle company from North Africa and a Grenadier company from Eastern Front.

Wait... which front did this guy fight on?
Read on to check out a ton of pics, a mild rant on Red V. Blue paring and more!

The space: we were in the center of a gianormous ball room. A great perk of this was that most everyone who walked in saw the flames gaming. 
Table Porn:
You may recognize some or many of these from your own experiences with battlefront hosted tournaments. 

As a man running a snow themed army I was glad to see there was one (but only one) snow table.

Hey look, a tree line running right across the table. Yeah, when I drew this table turn five and had to defend a short table endge it was a real bummer for the attacker. Of course, when I drew a similar table at nationals and had to attack the short edge with the trees all the way across it it was a real bummer for me. 
Note 1 to my beloved friends at Battlefront: Trees across the entirety of the table (in either direction) make for a poopy game in a 2 1/2 hour time frame. It compartmentalizes the action and, if the defender chooses wisely, gives them one hell of an advantage.

As you can see the tables ranged from sparse to dense.

Coming in for a landing.

The convention was excellently organized with discounted room and parking rates, schwag bags and cool looking badges.

Badges? Yes I want your stinking your badges!

My schwag bag, which included a ton of GW bitz (because it's GW they have to use a "Z", it's how they roll), resin bases, some space ships and Warmachine thingies. Up there in the upper left hand corner is a 1:144 Sherman tank. I'm just saying, all the other big guys got actual stuff for their actual games, could we score something in the right scale at least?

Not a whole ton of vendors. This makes some sense as this is to showcase the Warstore. But, we were all in one huge room which was actually really cool as you could chat and cavort with table top gamers of all stripes and peek in our their games when you had down time. 
Army Porn
CrazedLoon's OSS, for the partisans he based them as if they were all in the same building. 

The guerrillas he based as if they were on a factory floor. 

I thought it deserved to be pointed out because it's a pretty cool concept!

Hey look, who's army is that? Oh wait... It's mine :)

Would you like a TOG with that?

Or how about some Panzer 1F's?

And then some more Panzer 1 F's

While not technically a "Mid-War Monster" that Elefant is from MidWar and is indeed a monster. 

How about some T-14's?

Or some T-55's? 

Or maybe some more Panzer I F's?

Though some folks went with the old stand by's. 
Time to throw down.

Note 2 to my beloved friends at Battlefront: Please, with all my heart, from me to you, don't stick to a near strict Red v. Blue pairing in a 5 round tournament. We all knew by round 3 that most of the Germans were doing poorly (thanks for reminding us we "couldn't get our heads out of our asses") so all it does is pad the lead and further skew the results. As a personal example, my 1 win 1 loss 9 point record should never be paired against a 2 win 12 point record. There were certainly other 2 win players and certainly other folks with 10 or 11 points. That's just a silly stretch to keep Red v. Blue going.

It's a competition, it makes no sense for the the top ranked guy to play a mid table guy.

Friends, feel free to flame me on the boards [Editor: Oh, they will!] :)

The boys get briefed before the fight.

My first fight involved 3 TOG's in an infantry company, in a fair fight. And of course, as infantry on infantry in a fair fight it ended in a 3-1 tie, with me getting 3.

They're SO HUGE on the table. In fact, my opponent had a hard time hiding them from my PaK 40's on an open board like this one...

...and got wiped out.

Sweet looking British Stuarts

Alan's Wespe Battery

In my second round I came up against some Fearless Vet Para's. Once again, ambushing PaK 40's make the ouchy. 

Just doin' some slow rollin'

Armored rifles having a very bad day.

"Feldwebel, are you sure we're supposed to be all lined up like this?"
"JA! Shut it and Fire! Schnell!"

Of course, in round 4 I played my former room mate and fellow Team ThrockOfWar member Crazed Loon. I beat his OSS list in our practice game. Here... it was another story. 

Oh... your tanks won't come on until last. Well, we'll just sit here and take a nap. Crazed Beat me solidly, 4-3.

The fine gentleman who painted these up for his Fallschirmjager Company won best painted. 

The hotel restaurant was named Cafe Restaurant... Worst restaurant name ever.

My final opponent was a British infantry company with 6 Churchill tanks on a table with a line of woods across it. He attacked. 

My *ehemm* shrewd deployment

This is my tree line, there are many like it, but this one is mine. 

Sometimes, a Churchill just has to climb a tree to get a solid shot. Know what I mean?

Overall it was an OK tournament. The group of guys I got to play were all awesome. Special shout outs to the dude playing paras and my final opponent with the Churchills. It was a blast. The venue was great but prize support seemed quite lacking with the winner getting (I think) $30 bucks in credit towards the Warstore and a plaque. Battlefront, give us your product, we love your product, we want your product and giving us a little will make us want to buy more. I'm not a fan of near strict Blue on Blue in my tournaments. I mean sure, do it to the best you can, but don't skew the pairings so wildly when one faction is on its knees.

"Throckmorton is a reclusive cactus farmer living somewhere in the frosty northern climes of Alberta, Canada. When not pricking himself on pointy caryophyllales, he occasionally deigns to climb down from his northern 'Cactus Throne' to play some Flames and very occasionally writes about his adventures on Throck Of War, his personal blog."

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