The weekend saw me attend a 1 day Tournament at “Just Play” in Liverpool for the Miniature game A Song of Ice and Fire (based of the Game of Thrones books). Firstly thanks for the nice messages from people wishing me luck after my last post, really appreciated. Now I took no photos 😦 and don’t have a great memory so I’ll just give a broad overview of it all, rather than try to go over each game in any sort of detail.

So the first mistake of the day was not planning where to park, I drove me and my mate Ben over and just put the place in the sat nav, assuming I’d find some parking, and I did and my word it was expensive. So note to future self plan where to park before not while in the car outside!

Getting into the venue however was much better, I’d not been before so did know what to expect, but it was really nice place, downstairs did coffee and snacks and had loads of paints and models for sale, upstairs was where we were and there was loads of space with good tables. The organizer was really friendly, and we saw a few people we knew from a previous tournament and had a chat, its was 14 players in total, so nice size felt really friendly. The first game was opponent at random, but done so you don’t play people from the same club as you, hence I could not play on game 1 against Ben.

I suppose I should say a little about the tournament form, it was 3 games with “swiss chess” style system, i.e. game 1 is random draw, game 2 you are put in order of how you did, i.e. the people that did the best in their first game end up on the highest table, while the people that did the worse end up on the bottom, then game 3 is again done the same. So at the end the top spot should be going to someone on the top table and the wooden spoon going to someone on the bottom. Also you took 2 lists from one faction and then picked which to use after seeing you opponents 2 lists and hearing what the mission is. So I took Nights Watch as my faction, and had 1 list lead by Ser Dany (that I just finished painting) this was a fairly mixed force infantry heavy and light and some fast cavalry, while My second force was lead by John Snow and I had my Scorpion (bolt thrower not an bug).

So my first game I was up against Colin, and we both had Nights Watch, but rather different lists. I took my Ser Dany list he took a John Snow list that had some conscripts in and he won, rather connivingly. I’d love to say it was the dice or a bad match up etc. but no he was just the better player. He deployed heavy on one side I heavy on the other and hence we clashed first in the center and he took out my commanders unit early turn 2 perhaps. After that it was clear he was going to win, but we played it out and it was a nice game. Colin was very good player but really friendly and it was a nice game. We did have a bit of a laugh when my light cavalry unit made saved armour saves from 3 dice all needing a 6! toughest light cavalry man ever. I also felt better at the end of the day as Colin went on to win all his games and win the tournament, so being beat by the number 1 play on the day seemed fine!

Game 2 saw me on table 6 out of 7, as I had taken such a heavy beating on round 1, this saw me up against James who had only played 1 game prior to the day. He had Greyjoys so I took my Ser Dany list as Greyjoys have no monsters or cavalry and that is my John Snow list works best against. This game went the other way with a decent win for me. In part I think this was down to James’ lack of experience, I was going through some of the rules as we played trying to be as helpful as I could be, but this game system does seem to benefit knowledge a lot, so it was always going to be a bit of an uphill struggle for him. Also his list seemed a bit week, and we did have a chat at the end of the event about some things he could change up. I just hope he felt ok, he actually ended up wining the placing last but did get a nice book as a prize for coming last which I thought was a really nice touch.

So my 3rd and final game saw me on table 5 (out of 7) and up against Sophie and her Stark lists. So I chose my John Snow list, in part because I had not played it, and in part because she had cavalry in both of her lists, and she picked a list with 3 units of cavalry. This game was great, it was tight all the way through, I managed to put myself on the back foot in the first turn by moving one of my units up near some hunts with dogs that could shoot when you move near then send there dogs at you. Sophie had literally just explained how they worked (I’d not played them before) then turn 1 I go “I’ll move my really hard hitting but easy to kill unit just inside your shoot range of that hunter/dog unit” needless to say it was painful for my Ranger that I put there and they did not live past turn 2! But somehow after making that blunder I managed to slowly pull things around, I had some nice saves, while Sophie had some poor attack dice, and I got the cards I needed at the right time! So I ended up killing her last unit with only half an unit of Sworn Brothers and a wolf on the table! Amazing game great fun throughout and I really please see that Sophie won the most sporting play award and won a doorstop with the word Hodor on (those who know will laugh, those that don’t go watch Game of Thrones, its worth it!).

So after 3 games, with 2 wins and 1 loss I ended up 3rd out of 14 players which I was very pleased with. After playing this tournament I think you can really see a massive differences in games when skill levels are matched or not. The game I was out classed on I lost hands down, likewise the game where I had a lot more experience felt equally biases, while my last game where I think we were more evenly balanced was very close throughout and hence a really great game. I’m sure this happens in other games as well, but this really showed over the day.

The other point to mention was that the organizer ran a painting competition as well, and I thought this was really nice way of doing things everyone could submit a single unit and then all players voted on which one they liked, all done by numbers so less chance of mates voting for mates. He did this rather than a vote for best full army (which I’ve seen before) as its a very beginner friendly event and hence some new to the game had more chance of painting up one unit than a full army (your army could be unpainted). What I felt was interesting was going into the room with the models there and voting. So I think there where ~8 people that submitted a unit (really should of got a phot of this) and when I walked in 2 units stood out to me, one was a Baratheon heavy cavalry unit, so 4 big horses with yellow tabards and barding on a green meadow base with flowers really stood out. And the second was a unit of Greyjoy (the settings Vikings), it was however there water affect bases, they looked like they were running through the shallows. From that initial look these 2 stood out above the other units (including my own light cavalry unit) and the Baratheon looked the most impressive from the table top view. However when I started to look much closer it was the Geryjoys that looked better, the models which were somewhat dull from the table level had loads of details including rusts on their gear and the level of painting was just very high. While the Baratheon looked a little worse close up, still really nice models and one I would be proud of but just not as clean as the Greyjoy, little bits of slightly over heavy dry brushing and the like. Interestingly the Baratheon heavy cavalry unit won the players vote, that really showed to me how important a good colour scheme really is!

So a great day out, so great games and amazing atmosphere. I will definitely be tryin to go to the next one!


14 thoughts on “Fighting at the Pool!

  1. Sounds like a lot of fun! Painted minis for the screen versus in-person is definitely interesting. I’ve painted some that look pretty good when I take pics of them, but on the game table they are horribly boring. Which sucks when you sink a lot of time into them. Because of that I’ve tried to get into the habit of taking a break during painting and holding them at arm’s length. That way I can see how interesting they would be on the table. I’ve heard about this practice for years, but it took me a long time to actually start using it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Awesome write up Elliott, and well done on the 3rd place… Particularly like Colin winning connivingly!!! (Sure you mean convincingly, but I think conniving suits him too!!!) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Third place is an excellent result and your thoughts on how experience level seems to affect the results is interesting. I could definitely see that being the case with any tournament game though I rarely enter in any so I’m probably not the best person to judge. Most importantly, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it (minus parking, of course)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks mate, I think you are correct and this is indeed always the cases in any game system, it just seemed so obvious from 3 games that I had never had like that before!
      And I did indeed have a grand time, I’ll try to take the parking as a lesson to learn!

      Liked by 1 person

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