You down with OTC?

OTClogoI make no bones about  my not being a tournament player. I play in leagues all the time, but my head just isn’t wired for competitive play. Having fun – and helping my opponent have fun – is much more important to me than winning. This is a game we’re playing, and life is full of enough serious stuff with consequences and ramifications that can impact all aspects of our lives, so having an escape like tabletop wargaming, someplace where I can just relax and have fun is important to me. The tournament scene, with its calculated matchups and pairings and clocks and stress just isn’t something that generally appeals to me.

Nonetheless, this past weekend, in the name of supporting some local guys who wanted to try to kickstart something, I ended up playing in the Ontario Team Championship. I didn’t put together a specific team, because let’s face it, I was going to drag my teammates kicking and screaming to the bottom tables, so we became a mish-mosh. Gotta say, though, it was pretty awesome.

Team Will Accept Bribes started out with two Retribution players, two Cygnar, and one Protectorate. A few weeks back we lost one of our Cygnar, and our Cryx alternate stepped in. Then, the day before the event, our other Cygnar player fell ill, and our Cryx player similarly dropped. Thanks to the amazing power of ringers, our team ended up being:

  • ME! – Retribution (half out of the photo lest my countenance scare passing babies and pregnant women)
  • TODD! – Circle (designated Team Captain because of his neatly brushed hair)
  • OTHER CHRIS! – Retribution (it’s a Chris thing)
  • DAVE! – Protectorate  (the only member of the team I’d really spent any time strategizing with)
  • IAN! – Trollbloods (Super champ for joining the team last minute)
  • Not Pictured: Justin, who popped into Ian’s spot when Ian had to leave after round 2.

80 players, 16 teams, four rounds, a bloody long day under flourescent lights.

Broken Egg tray: Check.
KR Multicase accessory case: Check
Models looking resplendent on Dragon Forge bases: Check

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First round, I got paired up against Kevin. Super duper nice guy, even if he was playing Khador. This set the tone for the day – four pairings, four opponents who were just plain fun to play against…

.. even if he did drop Butcher3 on me. In the end, Butcher’s gotta butch, and despite everything I poured into him, Vyros’ crew just wasn’t able to seal the deal. End result, 0-1 for me, 0-1 for Will Accept Bribes.

Highlight of the game for me? First turn the Widowmakers move up, try to pop a Sentinel, are *just* out of range. I ponder. Guardians of the Gate gives my Destor Thanes +2 SPD first turn. One of my two Thanes calculates, nods, rides forward, levels his lance, and…. PEW PEW PEW PEW! One Thane activation, four dead Widowmakers.

Granted, I used all my luck for the game right there, but it was still super duper fun times.

Pause for nommage between rounds. Menu is menu. Sorry to guys trying to shift their spare tires.

Round two, and Will Accept Bribes gets paired up against Combo Smite! I’m a fan of these lads, and since Nick has spent some time in Ios, I was chuffed to be paired up against him, despite his currently dabbling in filthy, filthy Legion. He’s still an awesome dude, he just has terrible taste in evil elf factions. 😉

Lylyth2 lined up across from Rahn, bringing with her three Ravagores and Zuriel… some other stuff too, but let’s face it, it’s just chaff outside of the heavy warbeast loadout 😉

Nick poured damage into Imperatus, hoping to remove the threat from the table, but the Phoenix Protocol kept him on board. Bonus happy plus fun side, we switched the flat discs that were put on the table for objectives for my two resin Broken Egg ones. Much easier to remember that they’re actual models, when… they’re actual models.

Some rolls are just worth sharing. Seeking revenge for the damage done to Imperatus, the Sentinels surged forward, blades flashing. A solid, palpable hit on a Ravagore… only to have the blow completely negated by its armour. Or, ya know, amazingly crappy dice roll 😉 Four Templecon purple sparkly dicefails, yet the Maelstrom dice given to me several Templecon’s ago has no problem dropping a six for me. Fie!

Sadly, in the end, Scather’s gotta Scathe. Rahn’s immune to blast damage, but a direct hit is a direct hit, and the game ends with my personal record at 0-2. Team Will Accept Bribes follows my lead, and also racks up a 0-2 record at this point. On the plus side, the bottom tables are inevitably full of guys who are more interested in playing for fun, so for the next round…

Chris from Team Here For The Beer! There were no pretenses here. These guys were here to have a good time, and enjoy the beer while having some games between rounds.

Chris brought Sorscha2 to the table, hiding behind a Conquest and forgetting a number of times throughout the game that Vyros has Birds Eye. One Doom Reaver did kill four Sentinels, but the rest of the unit evaporated under a hail of Thane fire and Sentinel choppery. Deflection + Defensive Line makes for ARM19 Sentinels, which goes a long way towards interfering with the Winter Guard’s ability to wreak havoc on infantry models. That and, again, Thanes being Thanes and happily removing Winter Guard with aplomb.

Taking hit after hit from the Hydra despite trying to shelter behind the Conquest, Sorscha eventually forsook any pretense at cover (since, really, it wasn’t doing bupkiss for her) and then…

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! My opponent timed out. We finished the game anyway to see where the dice would have fallen, and some decent rolls from the Winter Guard my just have spelled the end for Vyros, had he five more minutes on the clock. I apparently activate my models quite quickly… 36 minutes left on the clock for moi.  Personal record 1-2, Team record 1-2. Huh.

Final round, and OMG IT’S BEN! He’s so damn cool! I didn’t care what lists were on his team, I was determined to be paired up against Ben. Let the mind games begin!  I had our team captain put my lists forward first, and then through an intricate web of psychological mind tricks and the subtle use of Secret Australian Sub-Verbal Suggestion completely fooled the opposing team into putting their Bradigus player out in the first pairing. YOU’RE WELCOME, MY TEAM!

Of course, this had nothing to do with Ben and I having been keen to get a game against each other since, well, last GenCon when we actually got to meet in person.

Ben dropped Kromac against me, and I immediately knew I had to remove his ability to teleport ASAP. Careful application of Imperatus and a Mage Hunter Assassin did the deed. The Banshee died to the Warpwolf Stalker, Imperatus went down to Ghetorix, but vengeance was sweet…

I’ve killed Stryker1, Haley1 and Deneghra1 with Menite Choirboys. I’ve dealt the final blow to a Judicator with a Soulless Escort. Now I can add to that list of improbable victories bringing low Ghetorix with a charge from Sylys Wyshnallyr.

And then, as the attrition war raged on, Kromac found himself beset by a multitude of circumstances. Specifically, a Mage Hunter Assassin and two charging Dawnguard Sentinels. I have no idea why I rolled the location dice in that handful, but a POW12 Weapon Master charging and rolling 21 on 4d6 against a wounded Kromac with no transfers…

Personal record: 2-2
Team record: 2-2

STANDARDS MAINTAINED!!!

Cheers to the Party Foul lads for putting it together, to Tim and Agatha for their judginess, and to Team Here For The Beer for having the loudest shirts of the day.