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!
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…
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.
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.
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!