The best part of the event was the people. Asside from getting to know some of the local and regional guys better (in that road trip kind of way) I got to meat several folks from the forrums and put real faces to fake names, including various "Forum Personalities," like CrazyIvan, General Zod, Mike McMann, Bressiadies, and more. With almost 50 of the central US's most dedicated gamers out for the event, from as far away as Illinois, Kansas, Georgia and all points in between, how could you not have fun? See, look here, this thing was huge!
NOTE: I had my new camera with me, so these pics link to some BIG versions.
The tables laid out for the event were pretty good -- none dipped below the "good" mark, and several were offically designated Way Cool. Some belonged to Pet Shop, but many were set up by the local guys. Check it out -- these are pics I took of the tables before a bunch of unrully gamers made a mess of the place.
Game 1 - Encounter
The morning started off spastically, as I tend to do when asked to think before all the coffee sets in. This ended up being one of two training missions I operated on, as my opponent was new to the game. This isn't a bad things -- when you have world class players in the same tournament with folks who don't know the rules, what you've got is a healthy game system with a growing community, which is a Good Thing. And for a new guy, Dave just about kicked my ass! I ended up with a marginal win, just because I killed more stuff -- no one took any objectives in this pointless, non-decisive blood bath. The only reason Dave didn't take it for the win was that I still had more platoons on table. And by "platoons," I mean officers, as I was mostly down to command stands. It was fun, and the bloody indecisiveness of the fight was to set a tone for my day. In the end, no one could take an objective but I killed slightly more (hay, officers still count as platoons as long as they pass that moral check!) and walked away with a 3-2.
You can see here the high cost of stupidity. I didn't have to let him take that side shot, but I did.
Game 2 - Break Through
Sliding my toys over to another table, I got to meet another new player, Shelby, who was there with his dad. Again, new blood is always good and I enjoy teaching. On the other hand, its hard to do at a tournament. Meaning, its hard to teach the rules without giving the other guy hints you wouldn't give a more experienced opponent. You feel bad pulling the woll over their eyes. So I didn't do that, I just played. And Shelby won.
Game 3 - Fighting Withdrawl
Game 4 - Free for All
This may have been my best game of the day, in no small part because of my reckless, devil-may-care attitude and tactics, as well as a really great guy on the other side of the table. I think his name was Mike -- but if I'm wrong, I blame the swiss cheese effect of time travel on a person's memory.
On my left, we had us a gun fight! He had AT guns and infantry along the crest of a hill, I had halftracks and MG teams in the village. At about 15 inches range, we spent 3 or 4 turns seeing what we could get out of small arms. The fight on this side of the table was mine, despite the burning halftracks. At one point, the crest of that hill was full...
On the way home, we decided to check out the Patton Museum. Hay, how often do you find yourself with a major armour collection about 20 miles out of your way? It was cool. The tank museum we saw in Diekirk, Luxumberg kept their stuff in better condition, but the Patton folks just had so damn much of it!
I'll let the pics speak for themselves here. But if you ever find your self in Kentucky with a few hours to kill, check it out. There is simply no other way to really appreciate the mass and bulk of WWII armoured fighting vehicles. The things are beasts.