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Author Topic: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"  (Read 391 times)

Dru

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My TO thoughts and games from WinterCon 2019.

This was my first time as a Tournament Organiser for MeG.

I wanted to create an event that was positive, fun, well run and full of swag: something that gamers would walk away from and be pumped for the next tournament. Moreover, an event that spectators and those playing other games that weekend would be encouraged to give MeG a go. Hopefully both were accomplished. I heard of a good number of spectators teeing up demo games and more rulesets were sold at the local distributor (Olympian Games) over the weekend. CanCon in Jan 2020, our ‘Nationals’ for MeG, might just be a new record setter! Fingers crossed!

Before I get on to my games, four quick thanks:

1.   To Will Denham, who checked all the lists and chased people to fix errors on time. Thanks mate.

2.   To Canberra Gaming Society for putting on the convention. Especially Tim S who handled the day to day inquiries.

3.   To the amazing players who came to the event. There was a lot of laughs and the 2 days were played in great spirits. Many of the attendees travelled from interstate too – thanks for supporting the event. Hope you had a great time and enjoyed your games as much as it appeared, and were happy with the prize swag.

4.   Which segways nicely into the other thanks: THANK YOU to the amazing sponsors. Every single player walked away with a special MeG WinterCon 2019 deployment ruler (9BW) AND a great prize. In addition, place getters and minor award winners received trophies and/or additional prizes. This was only possible due to the epic support of these wonderful sponsors. THANK YOU.  Please remember to support the companies that invest in our events:
•   Module-R terrain and trophies
•   Cigar Battle Box
•   Forged in Battle
•   Lurkio Miniatures
•   Olympian Games
•   Essex Miniatures Australia
•   Baueda Wargames
•   Will Denham designs (The Wooden Spoon!)
•   Eureka Miniatures
•   Battlefield Accessories
•   Mike Elliot terrain


Attachments:
1. Runners and Riders
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 11:54:53 AM by Dru »
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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2019, 08:09:00 AM »
Gaming

With no time for practice games, I did my usual thing and took an army I have never played before. Nothing like the crucible of a tournament to learn a list! Ha!

My army was Early Imperial Roman with Early German (Chatti) allies. I took all average Romans, with 3 imbedded bolt throwers.  Most folks take at least some superiors, and not the bolt throwers. So, I threw conventional wisdom out the window. The Chatti were to give me more boots on the ground. Their front rank was superior, to give some initial punch. I hoped to get some shatters on charge. (Spoiler: in 4 games I got ZERO shatters. Yeah. Wow).

A copy of my list is in the pictures below.

Attachments:
1. My list
2. My legions forming up on the carry tray
3. The German allies doing the same. Blood stained bases indicate Superiors to my opponent (the front rank of the Chatti).
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 10:07:30 AM by Dru »
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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2019, 08:10:07 AM »
Game 1: Phil N with Early Imperial Romans (Armenian Allies)

First round was matched up based upon date. So we had a civil war! Phil had a rather excellent list (given me some good food for thought next time I run EIR). He had a mediocre floating general. Clever way to keep points down but did mean his PBS cards were lower than mine. So I should be able to win a terrain battle.

With Armenians, I figured he’d have strong cavalry, so some terrain to restrict his options seemed a good plan. I won the dice off and picked Mountains. Ended up in Dense, with Mountain/Forest flank. Awesome! I then put down a village! He rolled a 6 and took it off.  Infact every single piece of terrain I took was either “6” off or hit the flank with mountain/forest and unable to be placed. Every. Single. Piece.  He got all his pieces down. Hmmm. So much for that plan! The only piece I got to leave on the table was the woods on my far right, as part of the required flank terrain. Ruh oh.

I out-scouted him slightly. We ended up having a central core against each other and then each had a right wing. Quickly seemed like a swinging gate line would be the order of the day. His exceptional troops were in 2 blocks of 4 at the rear left of his line – they would be excellent reserves. I had to hope to engage him piece meal before his quality could make the difference.
His cataphracts and superior troops were a concern to deal with initially. We both pressed forward, and I used the 2 BW move of the Romans (bolt throwers attached) to buy time for the Germans to start swinging around slightly. My two cav reserves moved to play interference on the flanks. I had deployed them to keep them away from his cataphracts – my foot had a better chance, and with the bolt throwers I hoped to slow/wound them and break his line.

As we pressed forward, the bolt throwers managed to remove a base from his superior cataphracts! It also slowed his advance, as planned. Eventually his skirmishers provided the screen they were intended for but I had done enough to disrupt the plan.
Getting closer, I baited with my bolt thrower shooting. The cataphracts came in. The extra turns I bought from slowing equalled no further kills though. Uh oh. The Romans held, as planned, and I got my flank unit of romans into the average cataphracts! Plan had worked. Now to pop the unit and prepare for the rest of his troops. Annnnnnd I proceeded to do zero wounds across the entire combat… Even on the flank. Le sigh. Sometimes the dice just say “Nah bro”.  Hmmm. 

I sacrificed the left most cav reserve to tie up his two units that would otherwise flank me. The other cav played cat and mouse with one of his exceptionals (a trade I’ll take). My Germans ended up having to charge his romans (integral shooters, oww) and then one of his exceptional reserves arrived.  Fortunately being large units the grind was slow and I only lost one unit. 

When time was called, we’d each lost a unit. 4-4. A bloody affair but neither of us doing enough wounds in any one spot to crack each other’s line.

I was unlucky to not pop the cats with my flank and overlaps and he also rolled poorly with his legions against my Germans (the Germans were losing, as once they lost their superior front rank, the odds turned drastically, but the dice were such it was a slow grind rather than an explosion).

A great game against a great guy with a really cool list. I learnt a lot about my own army (being first game with Romans ever) and knew where I needed to push harder to get a result and where my weaknesses were (many)… 

I grabbed a Gyro for lunch from the sole food vendor. He ran out of lamb! I was sad. I had chicken. I suspect the chicken was sad about that too.

5 players were on max 15 points. I was firmly down near the bottom. Quite a few of us on 6, 4 or 3. Only way was up!

Attachments:
1. Phil's list
2. Terrain final resting spot!
3. My village (before a 6 was rolled and it was taken off. It never made it past terrain deployment all convention...)
4. Scouting cards.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 10:07:18 AM by Dru »
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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2019, 08:10:22 AM »
(more photos from game 1)

Attachments:
1. Our deployment (from my perspective)
2. Our lines prepare to contact
3. The epic flank charge... where I did no wounds across the entire combat...
4. The Germans line up for battle. The Superiors are marked with the bloody bases. Also, 2 random dudes butts, apparently.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 09:18:02 AM by Dru »
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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2019, 08:11:38 AM »
Game 2: Andrew W with Picts

Andrew and I have played before. He is such a great guy. At CanCon he also had his Picts. I recall that I had to pressure his chariots and not let them gain too much space to back pedal and shoot me up!

Terrain wise, I wanted very little terrain against a Pict horde! (I was about to find out it was even bigger than I thought!)
It ended up being a nice open plain. Happy with that! As Instinctive generals get screwed on PSB cards, I was able to save 2 of mine (both red) for scouting. That paid dividends as I outscouted him by 30% despite him having 5 cards to my 2. Yay for expensive Professional generals!

Then he deployed 7 units. As 30%. Ohhhh. The way outscouting works is something I think doesn’t really give enough advantage. It should be 30% each, and then 4 from then on. As it stands he did his 7 of chaff. I did my 7. He did 4. I did my final 4. And THEN he put out another 9 UGs. Suffice to say outscouting was worthless. We took a photo of all his stuff still in his tray after I had fully deployed… pretty funny, if odd.

So, Pict skirmishers up the wazzoo. I pressed forward. I engaged his skirmishers and tried to get within 1BW whenever possible to allow for the bonus for shooting unprotected SUGs. The SUGS started to break. Towards the end of the game I finally started to get into his foot TUGs but not soon enough to break them. The Pict skirmishers had died doing their job.
On my right, the Germans, with a Roman legion with bolt thrower and one of my cav played with the chariots and jav cav. I caught one jav cav with my cav. Managed to also catch a unit of Superior light chariots and a unit of regular light chariots with my foot, as he skirmished backwards (he rolled 1 twice!). Alas, I had both units on one wound from breaking and they broke off without a KaB test, and went 5 BW away still facing me. Break off rules are just silly. Its free conservation of mauled units and is very disheartening after all the work to catch and damage them. At a minimum every unit should require a Kab to break off (so break off early or risk it if at break point) OR face away from the enemy. I think there is a rule tweak coming for this but it is just a -1BW. Won’t help in these instances at all. Anyway, a minor rule gripe. Otherwise great rules.

Eventually I keep chasing that flank with my infantry. Cause his superiors to break (they hit a table edge and KaB for that final wound). My cav died from 100 javelins. (Took 1 skull and 1 wound on their first charge against a light horse, and took I think 2 skulls on the charge when they tried to take a chariot unit!). My cav on the other flank did pop his other light horse. 

I really like playing Andrew. A great guy. I played much better this game and the right flank went as well as I could of expected against a shooty, faster opponent. (Those two ‘1’s’ helped!). Andrew didn’t have good luck at all this game except when shooting at my right flank cavalry.

Andrew succeeded in slowing me with his skirmishers. I used shield cover a lot. It meant my units were mostly intact when we got close to his fighting line, but it slowed me enough that there was only 1 round of combat there. My flank charge on an unprotected unit even did nothing (check photo, le sigh).

In the end, a bloody affair. Many Picts dead but not many of those that count for break point, so no chance of a 15. Score was 11-4 to me.

End of day 1 and I am in the middle of the pack. With a respectable 15/30.  I recall that three players were undefeated at this point (30/30) and a bunch in the 20s. It would be a tough climb to get back into contention, but I was just enjoying myself.


Attachments:
1. Andrew's Pict list
2. The scouting cards! I win!
3. After I have finished deploying. This many Picts left to drop. Whaaa?
4. Our final deployments
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 10:07:03 AM by Dru »
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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2019, 08:11:53 AM »
(more pictures from game 2)

Attachments:
1. My right flank prepares to sacrifice itself to deal with the skirmishing cav and chariots
2. The Roman/German battle line pressing forward, dealing with skirmishing screen from hell (or France)
3. 2 wounds (a kill) and the chariots pop. Check the dice for the result...
4. Flank charge on unprotected unit!  Check the dice for the wound result...   (see a theme here with my flank attacks?)
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 12:52:57 PM by Dru »
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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2019, 08:15:07 AM »
Day 2

The coffee vendor didn’t show up. The pie guy did and his food was awesome. He didn’t bring drinks though so no water available at the convention…

Fortunately I brought a drink bottle and 2 spare as I drink lots of water. I ended up giving one to another player who had no water, since there was none available. Not the best thing to happen at a con with heaters cranking. Hopefully they sort that out for next year!

Game 3: Carl T with Late Republican Romans

Carl is a mate who travelled up for the event. He travels up for most of the comps and is a top bloke. He’s had wooden spoon a few times but was determined to do better at this event and it was showing in his performance.

So more Romans. Hmm. Mostly a Superior and Exceptional army. This will beat me in a grind. Even his cavalry was better (as they had melee expert). Where I had the advantage was in numbers. I had to make that count.

Terrain wise, not much happened, except we had a coastal beach on one flank, which we were both ok with.

My previous Roman opponent had a Mediocre Commander in Chief. Carl was the opposite with Caesar himself! A legendary professional general!

He had 3 scouting cards to my 2. I saved a yellow and a green. Carl threw down 2 reds and a yellow! Oh. Out-scouted me by 70%!!

Figuring I had to try and get to his flanks and envelop, I formed the centre of my deployment on my Germans as bait. Unfortunately Carl didn’t fall for it. He mirrored and then went towards the coast, effectively protecting that flank. His arty was deployed behind his line and skirmishers along the coastal flank. I then dropped my cav on my open right flank and he mirrored. I hoped to use my larger cav units to hold up his and get some flanks into his legions. I also planned to pop those skirmishers, exposing his legions flanks on the coast side.  I was a bit concerned by his 4 arty. If allowed free reign, they could disrupt and whittle my lines. I couldn’t win an arty dual, as I would be 1 dice lower for shooting SUGs, while he would not have that issue hitting my legionary bolt thrower units.

I ended up getting GREAT cards and was also able to force Carl into committing first. He pushed forward hard with a 5-legion block move. I then moved my bolt thrower legions just into shooting range. As he’d already moved his skirmishers, there was not the cards left for his own bolt throwers to move. They were effectively out of it for the game. (Given his army, he’d have been better off using those points on more units or bigger cavalry IMO – about the only flaw in a really well constructed and run list).

I did no kills (1 wound which was recovered) but mostly the bolt throwers were there to disrupt his lines. They did force one of his legions to hang back due to speed, which helped me further (numbers). That was the plan and rather than keep getting shot, he came forward, again having to leave the bolt throwers behind. His skirmishers and my troops engaged but I fluffed a lot and by the time I had popped them, his battle line had moved past and into my line. My German TUG had to charge forward to pursue a breaking TUG and effectively too expensive to turn around and slog back towards the line. I kept pushing them forward hoping they’d get to his camp. Took too long and didn’t make it. Ahh Dev. Chargers can be a pain. Also, no shatters. At all. Still.

I got a flank charge on a legion with one unit of cav, while I sacrificed the other to hold up his two smaller units. This helped me start popping units. My sacrifice cav did die but so did one of his (being only 4 bases to start). Then with KaB tests we both started to bleed units. In the end, he broke, but if he caused a kill and a wound on two of my Germans on the final KaB tests(yellow dice), it would be a mutual break and a bloody 10-10 draw…. he failed to wound either unit! (Tough luck there Carl).  Lucky me.

An absolutely epic game.

Quality vs Quantity in all it’s glory with the final dice rolls of the game making it a 15-10 instead of 10-10 mutual implode. Doesn’t get any better!

I lost several Roman units but the Germans and the Cavalry were the stars for my side.

I gotta say, Carl has improved leaps and bounds and really had me worried. Caesar was thrown into combat with his exceptional guard and causing me fits. My weight of numbers of my cavalry was probably what decided the game. I just cannot see the value in Average cav in 4’s. Especially in an elite army where loosing any TUG is so important. Carl’s army and play was excellent. Except his bolt throwers. I doubt he’d take them again, if our game is any indication.

Phew, that was such an awesome, tense game.


Attachments:
1. Carl's LRR list
2. Scouting. Dang it.
3. Deployment from my side. Coast on left flank.
4. We watch the bad Romans approach...
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 10:52:13 AM by Dru »
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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2019, 08:15:24 AM »
(more photos from game 3)


Attachments:
1. Prepare to shoot the LRR
2. Shooting result...
3. End game shot. A blood bath.
4. Standings and match ups heading into final round.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 10:53:46 AM by Dru »
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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2019, 08:18:09 AM »
Game 4: Rob M with Early French 100 Year War

So. Finally I meet one of the knight lists. Eeep.

**waiting on list checker to send me this list to add to post, when he is back from holidays**

I won the terrain off, but had to save cards to see where he was deploying, so he managed to get it back to fairly boring terrain. I got a woods on the flank and I think that was it. Rob got 2 pieces of ‘magic terrain’ that meant my troops had to be loose (disadv against Cav) or be affected by terrain (disadv against everything). Both pieces annoyingly in the middle. I managed to shuffle one back into my deployment zone so I could at least step my front line past it but not ideal. Good terrain for Rob. The ‘magic terrain’ continues to be almost the only thing cav armies place down. I need to think of a counter to it. Still didn’t get to place my village :(

So I out-scouted rob by 60%! He placed 7 UGs. Lots of shooters and cheap rubbish. No knights. Oh. I placed my Germans in the gap between the woods and the magic terrain, as bait. Cav on each flank and to the rear, as reserves. I kept my bolt thrower legions for 2nd drop, to see where his cavalry went. It was pretty clear where they were going. I didn’t expect to see THREE units of 6 Superior super tooled up knights, plus the other cav.  Oh.. dear.  The German bait seemed perhaps a little optimistic. Auxilia and a legion on one flank (near woods) to try and get to knights flanks and keep him honest. Other 2 legions and the final Auxillia on my open flank. Here is hoping I get good bolt thrower shooting (spoiler: I did not).

I must say, this was the best game I played all tournament. Rob came thundering at me with all his cav, as expected. It was going to hurt. So I started disrupting my own lines to create flank opportunities.

In the end it was a titanic struggle in the middle. I managed to flank a unit of knights and pop them.  I got a second unit later. But his 3rd unit smashed through 4 of my units by the end! KaB tests were hurting! My 6 cav lost a fight against his 4 cav (quantity lost to quality there) but I’d brought the other unit around behind my lines in the meantime and set up a flank charge on his CL cav when they broke through. That cav unit then played RUN FAR AWAY as his longbow men chased them (did 1 skull and 1 wound on their first shot!).

His other average 4 base unit of cav stayed for 4? Rounds of combat against Auxilia and then also the Germans who had broken his superior cav and charged through. In hindsight it was funny but at the time I was not amused at my dice. This held up my right flank and blocked several units from doing anything for the game.

Eventually I broke through to his softer infantry. Final turn it came down to if I could break a unit, I’d win. If not, I’d cop knights in the rear and lose. Luckily the dice were in my favour and the Germans broke his crossbowmen.

Another very tense, epic, bloody battle. 15-10 to me. If I didn’t break his unit, 10-15 to Rob. It was that close.  Special shout out to Rob who took the loss so well. 9 times outta 10 he would of tea-bagged me in that match up.

Rob is a very good player with a really well designed army, so I was stoked to get the big win. Easily the best I played, as I started to get a handle on how to run my troops and anticipate. I still bottlenecked however when that cav vs Germans and Auxilia battle went weird, so still need to get better at my What If planning.

Attachments:
1. Here comes the knights...
2. The German allies begin to suspect their role in this battle plan...
3. Armies smash together
4. (list to come)


« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 11:48:57 AM by Dru »
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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2019, 08:18:23 AM »
(photos game 4)

Attachments:
1. My unit stuck by mm's. Opponent can angle a unit a tiny bit to make it so my lines compress and units get stuck.
2. Stuck stuck stuck. Seems poo.
3. These cav wouldn't die. They almost won the game for him, but I finally got past them into his softer infantry. Phew.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 11:55:14 AM by Dru »
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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2019, 08:21:00 AM »
So, two 15’s on the final day! In the greatest submarine surprise since a man with a Scottish accent captained the Red October, I nabbed 3rd overall!

Very happy with that. Good luck probably more than skill, but I’ll take it!

More importantly, everyone at the event seemed to enjoy themselves. I know I loved all 4 games, against 4 top blokes with great armies.

Thanks to everyone who attended and especially the lads I had the privilege to play.

Here is a picture of a few of us award winners. I'm the surprised muppet kneeling at the front (probably still surfacing the sub).

That’s it from me as WinterCon 2019 TO and player.

Reminder that Andrew W is organising MOAB 2019 in Sydney in October. Simon Hall (MeG rules author) is attending! Get your tickets soon as the convention is selling fast.

CanCon 2020 is the Nationals. Would be great if we can have the biggest event yet. Please give your support to whomever is TO by signing up early when that goes live.

Lastly, thanks once more to the AMAZING sponsors.

I’ll do a separate post on FB with general games in progress shots from people’s games I captured during the weekend.

Cheers,
Dru the lucky and grateful!


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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2019, 10:28:35 PM »

Nice report.  So having played a few games, what's your assessment on the bolt-shooters?


Dru

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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2019, 12:13:34 AM »
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. Lots of writing!

The bolt throwers. Hmmm. They didn't DO a lot. Based upon that, prob not worth the points (better to have upgraded one unit to Superior). I do wonder if the THREAT they posed was worth it though.

A couple of games they did give me the ability to disrupt the opponents lines and stagger their charges, or force them to play cards to overcome the slow. In that regard, perhaps worth it.

Overall, I'd likely not take them again. I really missed not having at least one of the Roman legions as Superior.

I tried to buck the conventional wisdom. It was a fun experiment and with some merit, but I can see why folks go without the bolt throwers, and with some Superior legions.

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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2019, 06:08:05 AM »
Hi,

thanks a lot for this nice reports ( very detailed !!)

Kind regards.

PUNCH

Dru

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Re: WinterCon 2019 - TO and player ramblings. Aka "Luck > Skill"
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2019, 01:00:41 PM »
Glad you enjoyed them, sir!

Dru
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