Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Techs on Tour - Attending a Necromunda Tournament

Last weekend I attended the very first Necromunda tournament at Warhammer World (well, certainly the first GW-run event using the new game). This was a free event that I'd built and painted my tech gang, the Data Kings, to use at. Prior to attending, I'd had my models cleared by the events team and GW archivist, mainly because I was fully aware that the age, obscurity and conversions on some of the models might raise suspicions!

The rules for creating and using a gang in the tournament pack followed a well-established model, commonly used in Blood Bowl tournaments. We were allowed an elevated credit limit (1,250 creds) and a package of skills and stat increases that we could scatter amongst our fighters. We were also able to access trading post weapons, hired guns and hangers on. As a resurrection format event, the gang reset after each game, so there were no advancements or lasting injuries.


I sent these images into the events team to help rubber stamp use of the figures

I used the Van Saar list from the Gangs of Legend pdf:
Leader -boltgun, laspistol, trick shot
Champion - heavy stubber, stub gun, +1 ballistic skill, trick shot
Champion - plasma gun, laspistol, fast shot
Specialist - grenade launcher, laspistol, +1 ballistic skill, munitioneer
Ganger - boltgun, laspistol
Ganger - lasgun
Ganger - lasgun
Ganger - lasgun
Ganger - plasma pistol, axe, stub gun
Juve - 2 stub guns, club, sprint

The list was designed around my preferred shooty type of gang, with a couple of combat fighters just in case!



The Event

I arrived at Warhammer World at around 9.40am on Saturday morning and quickly registered, being handed my attendee badge and scorecard.



The Necromunda tables had been relocated from the usual far corner into a more prominent location near the stage and entrance to Bugmans. The tables were a mix of the excellent Sector Mechanicus boards, Zone Mortalis boards and standard gaming tables, along with the lovely Mining Facility 42 feature board.

Sector Mechanicus at the bottom of the pic, Zone Mortalis in the middle.

'Standard' gaming table
The Sector Mechanicus Necromunda tables were great to play on, but the Zone Mortalis tables were provided with no doors, barricades or other scatter cover. As for the standard gaming tables, these were really difficult to use, with models effectively being either out of line of sight, or completely in the open. Happily the events guys were looking for feedback and took on board the need for more scatter terrain.

I was a little disappointed to see how few players there were at the event. On the day, just 18 players took part, with 40 tickets allocated. I chatted with Elliot from the events team, and a 50% attendance at free ticketed events is expected (much lower than attendance at paid events). Free events are used to trial formats, so there is good justification for the approach. The shame is that I know several other Necromunda players who were unable to get a ticket and who would have attended (and probably could have if they'd known about the dropouts).

Of the 18 players, I think there were 4 Genestealer Cults, 2 Van Saar gangs and 1 Chaos Cult. The remaining gangs were either Escher or Goliath at approx. 50/50 split. I was surprised to see I was the only player with a metal gang of any sort.

Game 1 Stand-Off v Ian (Escher)
My first game was versus an Escher gang. Ian was new to Necromunda and had only had a couple of previous games. He was using a gang made up from the pre-generated gangers in the boxed game, which meant his gang was probably over-equipped.



We ended up in a bit of a firefight, which was weighted towards the Data Kings with their greater firepower. In the end I'd managed to remove most of his gang, with only the loss of one of the Data Kings in return, so took the win.

The Painting Competition
After the first game, it was a break for lunch and the painting competition. I duly put the Data Kings into the cabinet, but the very deserved winner was this beautiful Escher gang (photo does no justice to the gang whatsoever!).


Game 2 Border Dispute v Russ (Genestealer Cult)
This was my first game versus Genestealers, and I confess I was a little worried about his Aberrants and grenade launchers. I managed to focus firepower on one Aberrant, and luckily took out a grenade launcher from a dominant firing position early on.


Russ had a poor bit of luck when his other Aberrant failed to leap over a 2" gap and fell 7", taking itself out of the game. This left his combat fighters isolated and after the final tally I'd taken out more of his gang and took the win.

Game 3 Stand-Off v Will (Van Saar)
Will was using what I would consider a pretty extreme list, with a small but heavily armed gang including 3 heavy stubbers and a grenade launcher. We were playing on one of the open 'standard' tables, which included a nice tall building in his deployment zone. Sensibly he set up his heavy stubbers at the top of the building and proceeded to shoot me to pieces!


I changed my tactics and closed in to Will's gang, using the big buildings to deny him line of sight. I managed to take out his grenade launcher and enough supporting fighters to force his gang into a bottle check, which was promptly failed. From that point onwards it was a race to see who could remain standing longest!


I ended up failing a bottle check also, and we entered what would prove to be the final turn with just 3 fighters left - Will had a heavy stubber champion, I had a lasgun fighter and my leader. I won priority attempted a lasgun shot, which missed. Will them promptly blew the ganger away. I attempted to activate my leader, who failed his Cool check and fled the table. The Data Kings had been handed their first loss.

Game 4 Border Dispute v Mike (Escher)
Mike was an excellent fun opponent who was severely hampered by the merciless fire corridors of the Zone Mortalis tables. The game followed a pattern which seemed to involve an Escher fighter emerging from cover and missing with a snapshot, only to be blown away by return fire from 2 or 3 of the Data Kings.



Mike was upbeat through the whole thing however, even though he finished the game with a single, seriously injured fighter on the table.

Awards Ceremony

After all the tallying had been done, I ended up with a creditable 3-0-1 W/L/D result. We all handed in our scorecards and waited to see the results.



I was delighted to be awarded 2nd place (which a very canny observer suggested makes be the second best Necromunda 2017 player in the world under current rankings!).


Summary

Overall I had a great event. I had 4 fun games against 4 different gangs and very different opponents. It was also great to be able to chat with the events team and hear about their plans, and to feed into the development and refinement of the format for future events. Plus I got my first ever ranking in an official tournament! I'm looking forward to doing something similar over the summer with a group of friends.

36 comments:

  1. It must have been a surprise for the staff running the event to see a Confrontation era Tech Gang rock up for the tournament - what was their reaction?

    Did they recognise the minis?

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    1. About half of the events team recognised the figures, although all of my opponents were of the required vintage to know what they were!

      It was a real treat at the start of the second game to have the events team bring John Blanche across to have a look at them (he was in the hall with some of his gaming friends). We had a quick chat - he said he'd seen them on Facebook and reminded me that he'd drawn the original concepts :)

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    2. I would have been in 7th Heaven with an acknowledgement and compliment like that from John Blanche himself! That is truly awesome! And well done on that 2nd place finish, and representing us, the old schoolers.

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    3. It was pretty much a day full of high points!

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    4. Christ - John Blanche!

      I've never been to Warhammer World, always wanted to, but never managed it.

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    5. Warhammer World is certainly worth a visit, especially if you have some mates to play games with.

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  2. Looks like a cracking day.

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  3. Dropping your techs on the table. I like it.

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    1. Getting them on the table is what it's all about :)

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  4. Awesome write up! Out of curiosity what was the other Van Saar player using for his gang?

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    1. Figure wise? He was using converted Elysian drop troopers from Forgeworld (shortly yo go out of production apparently).

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  5. Woah. You deserve a standing ovation for all the achievements you got in a single day!

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    1. Thanks Suber! It really was an excellent hobby day :D

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  6. Stupendous! Looks like a great time out, and of course your gang looks amazing. How are you planning to expand it? Or will you be moving on to another gang/hobby effort?

    And how fun to be the #2 ranked player in the world ;)

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    1. I already have a couple more gangers in progress. I'll certainly be adding in some more with Van Saar weapons when the next book comes out. And of course there will be other gangs too ;)

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  7. That sounds like a blast Axiom. Shame about the turn out, but at least you got to play against a good mix of gangs anyway.

    You must have been pretty excited, after spending so much time and effort converting up your minis to finally have used them in a game. They really do look great and I'm glad that they didn't get blown to bits all day long. Now THAT would have been depressing :D

    I like your short and to the point batrep too.

    Congrats mate :)

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    1. If I'm honest, I'd rather play a small event with some good opponents in a relaxed atmosphere, than at the highly charged and over-competitive atmosphere that you sometimes get at big tournaments.

      It was a real treat to get the fellas onto the table too :)

      Cheers!

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  8. I'm really surprised the events team ran something having not painted any of the actual Necromunda terrain, and were just using existing boards suitable only for the bigger wargames. A good solution would have been to ask players to bring, say, 18" of waist-high barricades to break up the line of sight. Maybe we should learn from this for our pre-BOYL Necromunda games and made it requirement to paint terrain with the gang?

    Glad your Kings got a wealth of games under their oldskool belts against a variety of new opponents!

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    1. It was a surprise to me too Curis. Note that they weren't just using existing boards suitable for bigger wargames - we were using the WHW 3D and 2D Necromunda tables plus some additional tables. There are at least 6 existing tables which are perfect for Necromunda with no additional terrain needed, and the Zone Mortalis Necromunda boards are fine (as long as you bring the barricades/doors from the box). I'm in full agreement about the pre-BOYL games. I can of course bring my stuff, but the more the better.

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  9. Fantastic getting in those games with your new gang. I love your pictures detailing the gang in both game and conversion terms. Honestly, clearing my figures with somebody is why I don't bother playing in GW stores. I have too many non GW figures in the mix.

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    1. I am usually happy to mix and match figures myself. I prefer playing without restrictions, but I don't mind playing by the rules either ;)

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  10. Very interesting. I have always liked "extreme" army lists myself (I prefer to think of them as focussed lol) and small elite forces, so I am intrigued by the 3 heavy stubber list. Sounds like a fun day anyhow!

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    1. Extreme lists are ok as long as they aren't perceived as gaining an unfair advantage in my view. But there's potential to push boundaries in any game that allows free choice selections. It certainly was a fun day!

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  11. Shame about the turn out. I was gutted that I missed out on getting a ticket and even more gutted to find out so many people squandered theirs.

    Sounds like a good day.

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    1. Sorry to hear you missed out Andy. I know several other folks in the same boat. That's the downside of a free event - there's not the same commitment that you gain from having to make a purchase.

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  12. Ooooooooooooooo ..... noice! Congrats man!!! :)

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  13. 2nd place! Congrats! AND John Blanche popping by... Glad the 'Kings got a really good run for their first outing. Hope they'll be featured again soonish mate.

    As for WHW - am seriously considering my 1st visit when I'm back home in July. You'd have thought that growing up in the UK for 20 years that I'd have at least visited there once? Nope, went to Nottingham, but never to see the HQ.

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    1. I've got several more additions planned now that the full Van Saar list is on the way. I think I need a rad cannon!

      I can recommend a visit to WHW if you get the chance :)

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  14. 'I'd had my models cleared by the events team and GW archivist"

    One of the sadder things I've read on a wargames blog.

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    1. Do you think? I have no issue with GW requiring attendees to use their models and only their models at their events venue. The pre-requisite for having models checked is primarily to ensure that heavily converted models are easily interpreted by opponents. I voluntarily contacted the events team to avoid any issues on the day, when it was probable that opponents and possibly the events team themselves might not recognise 30 year old figures.

      A much sadder thing would have been if I wasn't allowed to use them.

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  15. I really would have loved to make it to that event. I must keep an eye out for the next similar event.

    Well done on the several achievements that you had on the day.

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    1. I know that you attending was a long shot...on the cards for a short time, but ultimately not practical. Fingers crossed there's another future event.

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  17. I just looked at this blog for the first time in AGES and noticed Max Data. "He looks like the gang I played at Warhammer World," I thought to myself. And it turns out I was right. I even voted for your in the "best gang" competition as I loved the retro look.

    (I had the genestealers on the ugly yellow bases that I did not have time to redo. I actually think you beat me when we played as you positioned carefully and well, and I was not able to pull of any useful infiltration shenanigans. But the aberrant taking himself out certainly did not help!)

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