Laughing, whining, celebrating, commiserating, agreeing, arguing, queries, answers, smells, worse smells, air-con, less smells, sounds, silence, dice, luck, swearing, eating, drinking, conversing, hugging, more hugging, more hugging, restraining ordering, contemplating, calculating, spending, boasting, sulking; the list of activities which took place over the weekend of the 28th & 29th January could go on and on, although I have run out of suitably descriptive words, so maybe it actually can't.
Winter Invasion, that's of course what I'm referring too! As is always the case, the OB boys landed (no walk on grunts in this force, we strictly travel by dropship; it's built into our cost) in the war zone of Croydon bearing our war grimaces, primed and ready for the ensuing two days of battle. Well, most of us were, I was instead deployed in a 'war reporter' type role, as I wasn't in the mood for a tournament but did want to re-engage with the community and Hawk Wargames.
The regular theatre of Croydon Conference Centre seemed a lot more sparse than it had in 2016, with 38(ish) generals turning up to do battle. This was likely down to a mixture of fellow Europeans not able to make it across the ocean, January always being awkward, the late confirmation of Invasion's dates and of course disgruntled gamers from the last six months, but I am happy to report that amongst all the regular faces a new crop of commanders were down, and made up approximately a third of the field too!
Over the course of the day and after chatting to more people than my brain would care to remember, I began to gather a general feeling from all the commanders. None seemed to have played in months, but hosted a very real enthusiasm to start putting more hours into the game again, with the adrenaline shot of Invasion really beginning to take affect toward lunch time. It felt good to be amongst everyone and the
cardboard cityscape's of the Cradle Worlds again.
Talking about cityscape's, on display were some of Plastcraft's the new plasticard, 'uniquely' shaped buildings, which looked great on the table. I think perhaps they are a little pricey at averagely £15 a house, and possibly a bit awkward to play on too, but I won't know until I get to play with some (wink wink, nudge nudge, Plastcraft, hit me up).
|Apologies for the bluryness PHR players, camera wouldn't|
focus through the glass
As for the tournament, the missions were (in order);
- Bunker Assault
- Ground Control
- Command and Control
- Military Complex
- Take and Extract
I wasn't particularly enamoured with the selection of missions, but the order in which the room played them was very well put together. Kicking an event of with Bunker Assault is straight up mean, and I think helps set up the field a little fairer than perhaps a mission like Targets Of Opportunity. All the boys seemed to enjoy the missions, so really that's the main thing.
And speaking of my boys, I'm proud of each one of them, with the team performing up to the harsh standards which we instill into each other!
1st) Mike Burch - UCM - OB
2nd) Simon Edwards - Resistance (Feral)
3rd) Joe Whiddett - Shaltari -OB
4th) Ed Neale-Scullion - PHR - OB
5th) Stephen Downes - Resistance (Allied)
Best Painted (and the wooden spoon) - Steve Perry of Dark Ops
Best Sport - Kanan Nallainathan (from our local club) - That's two tournaments in a row for him, he's such a nice guy!
Best Team - Red October (Simon Edwards and Guy Hiddleston) - OB was second - only 1.3 points down
There was an incredibly weak showing of Scourge, I think maybe for a couple of reasons. Firstly, a lot of the usual host suspects weren't playing (like myself) or were using a new army. I also think for as good as the Overseer is, it sucks an amount of fun from the army. But there you go, who knows, maybe we'll end up with sixty Jellyheads in September!
And that's pretty much it I'm afraid. There will be bits I have missed, but you can look forward to hearing about all of that in the podcast being recorded (if Odin wills it) this Sunday!