Saturday, April 25, 2009

Geek Day Diary Entry #1: "Drowning in Humility"

Dear Diary,

Geekly supplies packed and ready

The open road and geekly possiblity lies before me.

The Church - for some a house of worship, for us, a house of war.

Today was the day we had been waiting for - our first unofficial "official" tournament as a group. For the most part, we have always confined our gameplay to our personal gamerooms and basements, in the comfort of our own homes, within earshot of wives, girlfriends, and children. For the past while, I've been planting a seed in the ears of those who would listen; let's take the game out of our houses, and in time, bring others on board and begin something that resembles an honest to goodness gaming group.

We had, on rather short notice, invited some other guys to join our inaugural geek day, but with unexpected work commitments and such, it was just the five of us. We decided to make a go of a Warmachine tournament, as it is the one game we all play and have models painted for. Chris H. (the Khador player) had a grand total of 27 points painted up, so we all decided to match this total and appear with lists in hand. The idea was to make up one list and to take all comers throughout the day with no changes.

As for scoring the games, I came up with a simple system which the guys seemed quite fond of. In short, the winner of a battle received a number of victory points, depending on which turn the enemy caster was taken out in. Simply put, a caster kill on turn one earned the victor 6 points, a kill on turn two earned 5 points, 4 for turn three, 3 for turn four, 2 for turn five, 1 for turn 6, and if both casters were still standing after turn six, it was a draw, with each player earning zero victory points. The reasoning was two-fold. First of all, I wanted to encourage risky and aggressive play, hence the awarding of a higher score for winning early in the game. Secondly, if neither player could take the enemy down in six turns, no victory points were deserved.

The Competitors and their Lists:

Our group currently has four Warmachine players in the St. John's area, and we have been lucky enough for each player to choose one of the four main factions. This was not engineered in anyway. Everyone just happened to have different tastes. The "secret" 27-point forces were revealed after we all arrived this morning.

Cryx: (Marc)
Asphyxious w/Deathripper, Harrower, & Deathjack
Mechanithralls x 6
Necrosurgeon & Stitch Thralls x 3
Necrotech & Scrapthrall
Gorman Di Wolfe

Ranking: 1st place (8 VP)

Khador: (Chris H)
Sorsha w/Destroyer
Kovnik w/Berserker & Juggernaut
Widowmakers x 4
Eiryss the Magehunter

Ranking: 2nd place (4 VP)

Menoth: (Ken)
Amon Ad Raza w/Crusader, Reckoner, Revenger, Repenter, Redeemer
Choir x 4
Choir x 4

Ranking: 3rd place (3 VP)

Cygnar: (Jason/JET/Me)
Major Haley w/Squire, Ironclad & Lancer
Journeyman w/Charger
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages x 6
Mechanik & Bodgers x 2
Stormsmith x 2

Ranking: 4th place (0 VP)

Match One: Loss to Cryx

First match of the AM was against Marc wielding the Iron Lich Asphyxious. This game was certainly the worst of the three I played (in terms of my performance I mean). I started out by trying to deal with the necrosurgeon and thralls. Haley cast Time Bomb and actually killed the necrosurgeon outright. I had hoped to clean out the unit, but it never quite panned out. The mechanithralls charged my lancer and totalled it. I still felt that I was in a good position.

Marc had been moving Aspyxious around an impassable cliff, and I had line of sight. I unloaded gun mages (with Temporal Acceleration cast on them) and the charger's fully-boosted dual cannon. Unfortunately, I was sloppy in placing my models, and Asphyxious benefited from cover from most of the shots. After failing to kill him, Haley was more or less in the open, and thanks to the extra focus granted by his feat, the Iron Lich took Haley down in turn three; four victory points for Cryx, zero for Cygnar.

Match Two: Loss to Menoth

I had just recoiled from Cryxian defeat. However, I had fresh tea in hand, and was ready to go to war once again. Ken's strategy was obvious - get those five jacks moving and swarm me with superior heavies. Early in the game I had a couple of really great moves. During turn two, Haley cast Domination on the Redeemer and sent it into the deep water, thus removing it from the game. I also managed to lock Ken's army with my feat while doing considerable damage to the other jacks.

Unfortunately, Amon Ad Raza is quite a customer when it comes to running warjacks. Using Synergy, Ken got the jacks moving, killing, and getting more deadly. By the time his Revenger charged Haley, its MAT was effectively 10, and it was lights out... again. Three victory points for Menoth and a big 'ole zero for Cygnar.

Match Three: Draw vs. Khador

By the time I took to the field against Chris H's Khador army, I was determined to get at least one win before the day drew to a close. This game was definitely my best-played. Highlights included dominating both the Berserker and Destroyer to turn around and kill their marshall, and using the Ironclad's quakehammer to keep the Khador heavies on the ground for most of the game. The rest of the match became a game of cat and mouse, as Sorcsha kept running away, while Haley's lancer and the charger kept pursuing. Some damage was caused by Time Bomb and the charger's dual cannon, but by the end of turn six, Sorscha had successfuly evaded Haley and was still standing.

So, the last game ended in a disappointing draw of zero VP for Khador, and zero VP for Cygnar.

A Great Facility; We'll be Back!

The church's attached hall has numerous areas with gaming potential, and we were able to rent a space for a very reasonable cost. Tables, chairs, and a full kitchen were at our disposal. Needless to say, we drank lots of tea, talked lots of trash, and ate lots of health food.


I had a wonderful time in spite of my endless string of defeats. There's something about getting out there for the day, away from the expectations and responsibilities of life, and geeking it up hardcore. The day was a great success. However, I learned a few lessons which I will apply to future events.

First of all, timers are absolutely required when playing in a setting like this. We had been using a chess timer until quite recently, having stopped while Chris H. got the hang of the game. Now that he knows what he's doing, it's time to bring back the timers. The game is far more gripping when there isn't time to plan the perfect move every turn.

Secondly, the next event will be planned well in advance, and fees will be collected prior to the game day. We would really like the next Geek Day to have double the number of guys taking part.

All in all, I think everyone had fun. Oh, and you're probably curious where we all stood at the end of the day:

Cryx: 8 VP (3 wins)
Khador: 4 VP (1 win, 1 loss, 1 draw)
Menoth: 3 VP (1 win, 2 losses)
Cygnar: 0 VP (1 draw, 2 losses)

Oh yes, your day is coming "Captain Cryx!"

Thanks for reading,

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