End of the Road: My Trip to Miniwargaming!

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Well, here I am!

It was quite the early start, leaving at 6:00 am, and after our 3 and a bit hour drive we arrived at the Bunker in Welland, Ontario. When we eventually got there, my excitable nature took over and I didn’t take a lot of pictures, so you’ll have to take it on faith that the Bunker is amazing. It really feels as if nothing was done cheaply, and the whole ambiance of the place screams 40k.

My first opponent was Vito, his Thousand Sons vs my Guard. It is a very interesting feeling, knowing your being filmed, and the game does take quite a while longer to do as we would discuss our moves, then film them. Other then my first hour or so of jitters, you really do end up just playing a game of 40k, albeit against an opponent who plays the game for a living, and therefore really knows their craft. I will say, despite what the Youtube comments tend to suggest, the game IS fair, and there is no sense of it being rigged; I used the same dice as my opponent, and it really did come down to him just being the better player. I won’t spoil the game suffice to say that I lost, and that it will be in the MWG Vault. As soon as it goes up I will notify you good folks so you can see it, if you have a membership that is! The free trial is a thing though!

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Sorry for the blurry photo; that happens when your super excited! Lots of LOS breaking terrain on mine and Vitos table.

You do take a break for lunch, and they do order food from the local tavern for the guests, and I enjoyed a plate of wings each day! After the break I completed the game, and I decided to look at the attached store, run by Max Aggression Gaming out of Niagara. I got the MWG T-Shirt, as you do, and then talked to my opponent for the second day, Steve.

Steve “The Mountain” noticed immediately my rather crazy amount of flyers, and suggested something a bit different then your usual 2000 points, matched play game. We decided on something with loads of aircraft, and using the Death from the Skies rules from the back of the 40k Core Rulebook to do so. This little known game-play variant adds a dogfight phase, and reintroduces the idea of leaving combat airspace and coming back. As well, during the dogfight phase, aircraft have arcs, and you get modifiers to hit depending on your angle to the target. Our demo game, not filmed, did not go well to say the least. We used a double table, which meant filming in the Studio was out of the question…

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Not pictured: every plane leaving combat airspace!

Without a ground based objective, the game-play variant simply doesn’t work. We then decided to do the mission it suggested. There were 5 objectives, each Toughness 6, with 10 wounds and a 4+ armor save. I needed to kill 4 for a major victory. Flyers got an additional +1 to hit and wound the objectives.

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2000 points a side, on double tables. Was a blast to play.

I won’t spoil the outcome, but it was a fast and brutal game. If the video does go up, it will be in the Vault. We played in the tournament hall, an amazing gaming space.

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As for accommodations, they now have onsite facilities. These rooms are fantastic, and are either 40k of AOS themed. I forgot to take pictures, to my detriment. But they are amazing, beds being incredibly comfortable, and with free Netflix on the provided HD TV. Best part was being able to roll out of bed, shower, and then immediately get stuck in playing.

The hosts, and to be frank, everyone at the Bunker were amazing people, really easy to talk to, and perfectly happy to play pretty much whatever you want in terms of list building. The feeling that it is a competitive only environment is entirely wrong; I brought on both days lists that were not hyper-optimized,  and they brought a list that would make for a fun video, not a complete smashing of my face in.

I learned a lot, and I am very happy to have gotten the chance to play there. I do intend on going again, and it may even be with something different, an AOS army or even a Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game list. I never felt out of place, and the friendly environment had everything to do with that.

Now, to be entirely fair, with all the practice games I did for 40k in preparation for this…I’m a little burnt out on 40k. This happens sometimes, and so, for a change of pace, I will probably be featuring alternative content until the burnout passes. If you don’t like that sort of content, that is perfectly OK, you can come back and chime in when I come back to the 41st Millennium.

But, that is all for today…so Ave Imperator, and  happy war-gaming, wherever you might be!

The Road to Miniwargaming: Part 2….and a detour to 1944…

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They may look majestic, but keeping these mighty stallions of the air on the table is a game unto itself!

Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel. A hurried rush to get everything painted before the big day, but…its done. My list is painted, varnished, and safely ensconced in protective foam for it’s long journey to Welland, Ontario.

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The last stragglers cross the finish line. I ran out of my preferred brown paint, Army Painters Oak Brown, and had to use GW’s Dryad Bark; Similar, but not the same! However, they still rank up nicely with the rest…so I guess its fine?
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Ready to roll poorly, at my command, at the worst possible time…now on Youtube for all to see!

This has been a hectic last week, as the clubhouse was a hive of activity. I managed to get another practice game in. I decided before that game to remove one Lascannon squad and Ratlings to bring in a Leman Russ Annihilator, a unit I’ve had for a while. It saved me one squad of painting, and its durability and firepower paid off; It was the right decision to amend the list. I’m still not bringing the best possible list in the world, with my Imperial Navy assets still front and centre, despite the FAQ making them far harder to use. I don’t want to spoil who I’m facing; Suffice to say, I hope to make for good sport!

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The last practice! I lost, but learned some tricks and tactics to use for later, and learned I MUST fly in careful patterns or risk losing the 300+ point model in a very embarrassing way…

This whole thing has got me terribly excited! If I am allowed, I will take as many pictures as I can, and I’ll try to keep you guys informed as to what is going on.

Now, I would end here, but a rather surprising turn of events happened at the Clubhouse this week. During the middle of my practice game, Paul, the owner, walked in, hands full of Warlord Games Konflikt 47 starter sets! Turns out, while not a fan of historical gaming, the simple addition of “weird” elements has convinced him….it was all downhill from here. The Clubhouse, while having a couple of lapsed Bolt Action players, mainly played 40k and AOS, and we didn’t have the drive to play that we would normally have. But suddenly, at least 4-5 people have committed to playing Konflikt 47, purchasing starters and assembling in mad haste. And with Konflikt 47 being an offshoot of Bolt Action, using much the same rules, us WW2 fans found ourselves suddenly experts. At least two of the new players want to do Bolt Action as well! I helped run a demo at the Giddy Goblin in Hanover, Ontario, and played a few games at the Clubhouse as well.

Unfortunately my primary Bolt Action force is the British 8th Army, specifically in the North African campaign. Being a 1941-1943 force, they lack heavy armor by 1944(and onward!) standards, and also lack firepower. Luckily, I did just happen to have a British Airborne starter army just sitting on my shelf, and a plastic Sherman to temporarily give them a wee bit of a chance against any Tigers or the like! One frantic day of assembly gave me 1000ish points of plucky British Paras, ready to take the fight to Jerry!

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A plucky British Paratrooper, freshly assembled.
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Major Allison Digby Tatham-Warter, a real life paratrooper who fought at Arnhem, 1944 . Known for his distinctive umbrella, which he carried because he couldn’t remember passwords…and figured no British soldier would mistake him for a Jerry, as they were sensible enough not to carry umbrellas! He’ll be acting as my Major in my army, granting significant buffs to my Paras.

Now, none of my WW2 stuff is painted; why would it be? No-one locally played at the time, and my only opponent was my friend in the city, and at least he had started on the painting part. However, I now find myself in the position where I need to paint up my British 1st Airborne for engagements in 1944-47, and so begins yet another intricately detailed miniature army to paint. The cycle continues! As I finish work on them, I will post updates!

Until I post again, Ave Imperator, and happy war-gaming, wherever you might be!