Sunday, June 21, 2009

Geek Day Diary Entry #3: "Sector 10034.07.998 Secured!"

Dear Diary,

Before I knew it, that time was here again - the monthly Geek Day. For those unaware, our small group has recently started getting out into a rented space about once a month. It allows us to play all day long in an environment devoid of interruptions.

Our first two geek days were primarily Warmachine tournaments, so we had vowed to shake things up this time. A Battlefleet Gothic tournament was the order of the day. BFG is an epic-scale spaceship battle game from Games Workshop Specialist Games. Very few models are required and all of the rules and resources are free for download from GW's BFG Resource page, so you really can't go wrong.

We had originally planned for four tables with eight players. However, we had two guys decline at the last minute, so we dropped one table and plunged forward with six players. Each player brought 1000-point fleets from the faction of their choosing.

Last minute preparations.

The tables set-up and ready for the first of three matches.

Play Schedule

I created a play schedule which specified who fought who and on what table for each game. However, the players on the chart were simply identified as A, B, C, D, E, and F. After everyone had arrived, an envelope containing the six letters was passed around and players randomly chose their positions. The players were:

  • player A - Martin - Space Marines
  • player B - Chris H. - Tau
  • player C - Marc - Imperium
  • player D - Chris E. - Eldar
  • player E - Ken - Chaos
  • player F - Jason (i.e. me) - Imperium
And the schedule of play proceeded as follows:

*Table 1Table 2Table 3
Game 1A vs. BC vs. DE vs. F
Game 2D vs. FA vs. EB vs. C
Game 3E vs. CB vs. FA vs. D

Game One: Battling the Chaos Fleet in High Orbit

Ken's Chaos fleet was matched up against my Imperials for the first game. We were on table one, which was set up as an area of space near the orbit of a large planet which encompassed a large asteroid belt. By the time the games were called, Ken and I had done a relatively small amount of damage to each other's fleets. However, Ken more than doubled the amount of damage that I caused (in points) and was declared the victor.

Even as I started approaching the chaos fleet, I was reminded of their horrifying range.

I tried to use the asteroid field to cover my advance.

Ken's fleet unleased waves of bombers...

...and they took their toll on my fleet.

Towards the end, I tried to cross the T.

The chaos cruisers used weapons batteries to punish the Imperial flag ship.

When the game ended, my fleet was standing up to serious ordnance fire. If the game
had continued on, I think it would have been more of a crushing victory for Ken.

Game Two: Black Hole Ambush

For my second game, I got to fight Chris E's Eldar pirates on Marc's fancy new nebula gaming mat. This little number was created my the lovely Angie (a talented seamstress, as well as a baker. What the hell she's doing with Marc is anybody's guess ;) )

For this table, the black hole caused an additional 5cm movement when moving towards it and a -5cm adjustment when moving away. More importantly, there were no real places for Chris to run and hide (the classic Eldar tactic). When all was said and done, I had annihilated the Eldar fleet, scoring a full 1000 points.

The Imperial fleet advanced towards the black hole.

After a swift attack, the Eldar fleet fled from the Imperial cruisers.

Eldar cruisers made another attack run...

...and took out three Sword class escorts. Ouch!

With nowhere to hide, an Eldar cruiser fled behind my fleet.

The swords unleashed their batteries and crippled one of the cruisers.

Meanwhile, the Imperial fleet closed in and took out four out of five Eldar escorts.

The fleet closed in on the Eldar from all sides, leaving no escape route.

Chris made one last attack run.

In the end, the Imperial fleet destroyed the entire pirate fleet.

Game Three: For the Greater Good!

The final match pitted my Imperial fleet against the cruiser-heavy (and ordnance-heavy) Tau fleet of Chris H. Chris was on a time limit and left before the full game duration. However, the Imperial fleet seemed to be standing up to the majority of the combined torpedo-bomber assault and was getting in position to cause some major damage (I think). When all was said and done, Chris had crippled one of my light cruisers, but I had done more damage to one of his and scored almost double points. This match was my second victory of the day.

I send the Sword escorts sling-shotting around the planet in preparation for an attack to the rear.

The Tau fleet unleashed massive amounts of ordnance.

As the game ended, I had just started dishing it out. If I survived
one more turn, I think I would have caused massive damage.

The Rest of the Day

Although it's difficult to concentrate on what others are doing when you're in the process of playing your own games, I did stick my nose in here and there and grab some shots of the action.

Marc's Imperials vs. Chris's Eldar

The Imperial Battleship Intolerance

Martin's Space Marine fleet

The Eldar lay the smack-down on the Space Marines

Marc's Imperial vs. Ken's Chaos

Absolute interstellar mayhem

A whale chewing on Martin's head

Geeks in action

The damaged Eldar leave the Space Marine fleet noticeably down-sized

Apparantly, the Sunday-school children were aware of the impending space battles

A freakish Eldar outcast presents me with my prize.

At the end of the day, the final ranking was...
  • 1st: Imperium (Jason) - wins x 2, loss x 1, 1310 pts
  • 2nd: Space Marine (Martin) - wins x 2, loss x 1, 1135 pts
  • 3rd: Imperium (Marc) - wins x 1, draws x 2, 457 pts
  • 4th: Eldar (Chris E.) - win x 1, draw x 1, loss x 1, 815 pts
  • 5th: Chaos (Ken) - win x 1, losses x 2, 663 points
  • 6th: Tau (Chris H.) - draw x 1, losses x 2, 265 pts
Since the top three spots were held by the Imperial forces, I think we can assume that the sector was cleansed and secured.

All in all, yet another successful geek day. We got to meet another fine geek from the area, and I think he (as well as everybody else) thoroughly enjoyed themselves. This event encouraged all of us to finish our fleets and to build some deep space terrain. In fact, one of the great side effects of these geek days is how they light the fire of productivity as they give concrete goals for painting and modelling projects. Continuing in our space gaming theme, the next Geek Day will be a full day of the boardgame Twilight Imperium.

Until then, thanks for reading,


OttoMunoz said...

When I saw the pic of your Imperials ready to fight the Chaos I thought, oh those Chaos are gonna blown to bits. ha as I scrolled down, it looked like the opposite happened. Those Chaos are deadly!

Good pictures man. Really sharp.


Ruarigh said...

Excellent report. That nebula mat looks really sweet. If you run out of storage space for it, just send it my way! ;-) Can't wait to read how the Twilight Imperium game goes. I have been considering getting that for a while now.

JET (aka Jason) said...

Thanks for the comments gents.

I appreciate the vote of confidence Otto, but those darn Chaos cruisers have two big advantages over Imperials - more speed and more range. Ken also chose two different carriers that allowed him to launch a total of 10 bases of attack craft. Very difficult to deal with.

And yes, the mat is really that sweet-looking. It's Marc's pride and joy (well, next to the lady who made it, of course). All you need is one piece of spacey-looking material (from Wal-Mart), some felt-backing, thread, and a spouse who knows how to sew ;)

Buckaroo said...

Great to see some battle reports from this underrated gem of a game! Nicely done!

JET (aka Jason) said...

It really is a gem of a game, and I look forward to playing again soon.