So at the weekend just gone I attended a gaming Tournament for my latest gaming addiction, A Song of Ice and Fire (or Game of Thrones if you seen the TV series and not read the books). This was a 1 day even held in Leeds (UK) so about an hour drive for me at a gaming venue called Leodis Games
This was a great venue, big enough for the games, good stock of models and paints, really friendly staff serving good quality coffee and snacks, a really up market gaming experience, and even free parking! I had never been there before but I’d happily go to another tournament there.

The day was a 4-game event, with each game being 1 hour and 45 mins, 2 before a lunch then 2 after. I must admit this is what made me really question going to the event, that 1 hour 45mins got me worried it would be to short and I would not finish with me only going to 1 event prior to this one. But actually, I think 1 (perhaps 2) of the games did not technically finish (its normally first to 10VPs, or end of turn 6) but they all got to the point where the winner was clear. I was surprised at just how smooth the system is and how fast it can flow. It did however mean I did not take as many photos as I could of 😦

My first game was against Psychoste who I actually played in round 1 of my first Tournament, so that was nice as we got chatting straight away. Psychoste was also in a really good mode as apparently he had won the last event and as such the organizers had named him one of their Kings Guard and made a little Lego model in a frame that looked like him dressed as a Kings Guard, which was just amazingly thoughtful of the organisers! Psychoste was using his Starks but a different list to the last time I played him, he had 2 infantry blocks with swords and shields, a unit of great axe chaps and a unit of heavy cavalry, and it was the heavy cavalry that made me come unstuck!

I was using my list with 1 unit of Sworn Brothers with great swords (on my left flank with a Watch Captain leading them) some vets on my right flank being lead by the leader of the nights watch, and my 2 ranger units more central one on horse back one on foot. What I was not expecting was the very early charge (Turn 1) that Psychoste managed to pull off into my light cavalry, I had simply moved them just that little bit too far up the field and Psychoste being the very good player he was exploited it. And light cavalry really do not like being hit in the face by heavy cavalry!

After that the game simply tipped further and further into Psychoste favor. I really enjoyed this game, I found Psychoste to be good to play against, as much as his name may suggest otherwise he is really friendly, and very helpful when trying to figure out if something is possible or not. I did however get some victory points so for game 2 I was on table 12 (out of 15, as it was a 30 player event). This sorry me face off against the dreaded Greyjoys!

Liam was playing these and I had not met him before, but seemed like a sound chap and we got talking about some of the more scenario style games he had being playing which sounded really fun. He also had some really nice “add-on’s” for the game, what I mean by this is that there are lots of markers, for coins, negative affects on units and one to show a unit has been this turn. These are standard coloured cardboard affairs normally but Liam had gone all out and got all sorts of cool speacial ones, metal coins, wooden markers for effects, and these amazing brass style squids for when a unit had activated (squids are the symbol for Grejoys).

I played the same force as the last game with my heavy infantry on my left and my more mobile troops on my right, Liam played his archers on the left, then his heavy infantry next to them, followed by 2 units or hard hitting infantry. This is the game with hindsight I felt just got out of my grasp, lots of things I planned worked, I moved my ranger infantry away from the right flank, leaving Liam’s in a bit of a pickle early game, stay on the object and take no part in the fighting (this was elite hard hitting infantry) or run in and lose the objective. Getting a charge off really early with my heavy infantry on his archers. But I made some little errors that cost me the game while Liam played it cool and consistantly made the correct choices. One issue I had was that when I charged his archers my unit had to cross over some Stakes that hurt the units going over or fighting in, I had seen that and sort of accounted for it, what I had not seen was that the back of my unit was just touching the Stakes, and as such every time they fought it hurt them as well! So I managed to kill the archers but was done to a single man and just never ended up trying to heal the unit before Liam took it out. I also did a somewhat desperate charge with my horse archers at the end of the game, which looked like it was going pull off until I realized I had a “weakened token” on them making me re-roll all my hits in combat 😦 So that saw my drop back down the tables.

After lunch I was against a some Targaryens fielded by Daniel, again a new face, always nice to meet new people at these events! This was a great game and one that Daniel played really well, I used a list with a bolt thrower and 3 infantry units and my wolf, while Dainel had 3 units of cavalry, early game saw me push my left flank and Daniel mirror me. It felt really tight and nervy as he moved his cav around looking for the best spot to charge from while staying just out of reach of my bolt thrower. In the end he managed to get in and break my right flank without me doing enough damage in return. There was however a great moment on the other flank where I left Khal Drogo on a single wound from attacks by my rangers. In the end I managed to kill him but little else and Daniel took a well disserved win.

So the last game saw me with no wins on the second to lowest table, and I was up against another Stark player, fielded by Matt, he was relatively new to the game and was using a friends (or at least a friend painted it for him) amazing looking Stark infantry force. He also had some of the worse dice I have ever witnessed, and unfortunately this probably meant this was the least enjoyable game for me of the event, Matt did make a couple of move that I think might have been tactical errors as they ended up allowing me to do a fair bit of damage to his force, but the moves he pulled off that should of done something did nothing. On the right flank he had a unit of berserkers and pulled off a charge against my Sworn brothers, he also used an effect to make them attack with the most dice they could (being berserkers that normally only happen when they are almost all dead) and did next to nothing, kill 1 person (I think) all just down to bad dice. I then attached back and destroyed his unit, he failed every save then went on to fail his moral. It was to be honest disheartening to watch the dice Gods give up on someone that much!

So the end of the event rolled up and I was sat on 1 win and 3 losses, not what I was aiming for but ok, and more imporatantly a lot of fun. I even came away with a pack on models as a prize and a great little chunk of “dragon glass” for having the most themed Night Watch lists. One thing I did realis is this was actually the very first even I attended on my own, normally I go with my long standing gaming pal Ben, but he could not make it. Now it was not a problem at the event, I’m a big boy now and can talk to people and as I say everyone was really friendly, but what I did find really odd was the drive back home. Normally we end up chatting about how the event went and the good bits and the mistakes in the games, I did not realize how much this was a part of an event until I was driving back in a car on my own not doing it!

Lat thing to say really is a massive thanks to the organisers Paul and Thomas, great event really enjoyed it and I’ll be at the next one!


10 thoughts on “To take a Winter Sword

  1. Sounds like you had a good time even if the results weren’t as good as you hoped.

    I’ll keep an eye on the sahop to see if there are any events I’d be interested in as it is not too far from me.



    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice, I always love to read a tournament report. I feel sorry for both you and your opponent in the last game, it’s disappointing when dice decide the game completely. Now thar you’ve played 8 games in tournaments with this list pair would you change the composition? Or do you think that you could now pilot your force better with the experience?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its a very good question.
      I think I currently have 2 major challenges, firstly dealing with opponents heavy cavalry, I find this very challenging, the list with the bolt thrower deals with them better than the first list and I feel it may be a problem with the 1st list (one without the bolt thrower).
      The other issue I seem to have is not getting much out of my fast cavalry unit, and I currently can not tell if thats just me playing them badly, them being a bit rubbish, or just not working in my list.
      As such I’ve been thinking about changes to the lists, I have some friendly games coming up so hopefully going to try those ideas out.


  3. That sounds like a great day of gaming to me! Its funny but I know exactly what you mean about having a friend at a tournament. Entering by yourself isn’t quite as much fun as if you have a friend or two there to see how they’re faring and to swap stories with them too.

    Liked by 1 person

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