Its 2006. Heavy Metal Dayz 2. The last game. My choir boy (I played Protectorate of Menoth back then) battled a Cygnar-employed Rhupert Carvolo. It was a fierce battle, the details of which escape my memory. What I do remember was that this battle between two minor characters on the battle field would decide who won that game and who lost. The loser would go on to get a trophy… the one for last place.
You can see the trophy (and thus the result of that battle) on the left in the photo below. For those very few of you who don’t understand German colloquialisms – Kacknoob just means “Shit noob”. I am still proud of that trophy and still display it in my appartment. My attitude towards the game has changed a bit and now I am trying to chase more trophys like the other one in that photo.
Much like Sergio Garcia finally won a Golf Major this past sunday at Augusta National after 18 years as a Pro (more on that in a later post) it took me nearly as long to win my first tournament in Warmachine.
Its October 2003. Alex and I are walking through the halls of Spiel in Essen. Spiel is the biggest trade fair for board games in the world. Over 150.000 people are coming to that show each year. We ran across a small booth in hall 6. There are some miniatures in a display shelf – and our jaws dropped to the floor when we saw those. The company of course was Privateer Press. We bought 2 starter boxes (Protectorate for me, Khador for Alex) and a rule book on the spot. In 2004 Alex and I founded Page5.de. That year and in 2005 we worked at the PP booth in Essen. In 2005 we met Tim there – who made us come to the Heavy Metal Dayz a week later.
And the rest as they say, is history.
April 1st, 2017. We play a small, 16 man Steamroller in Gelsenkirchen, deep in the industrial area Germans call the “Ruhrpott”. Its an appartment under the roof of a normal residential house, converted into a gaming club. Despite being 16 people, we only play 3 rounds. It is DC: 0, so I only bring my Haley 2 list (which I shamelessly stole from CourageofCaspia.com).
Haley 2 – Heavy Metal – +25 WJ
* Squire – 0
* Stormwall – 39
* Thorn – 13
* Charger – 9
* Hammersmith – 12
Junior Warcaster – 0
* Charger – 9
Allison Jakes – 0
Arlan Strangeways – 0
Bonus: +2″ Deployment Zone, solos for free, solos get 3″ Reposition
First round sees me paired against a Protectorate player who has brought High Reclaimer and Anson Durst. He doesn’t want to play HR, so he drops Anson Durst into me. With 12 Dervish light jacks and the Creator’s Might theme force. We play Entrenched.
I go first. The plan here is: Get up there with everything. Feat, take out as many of those Dervishes as I can, feat and take out more next turn. Part one works. In my turn two, the Stormwall goes in, my dice run hot and 3 Dervishes die despite having DEF 15 in base-to-base. I feat as well. Part two is where it seems to fall apart.
I manage to score up to 4-0 – but stupidly expose Haley to do it. To add insult to injury, my own Charger clips her for 7 damage on my turn. I fully expect to die now.
And my opponent tries. 2 Dervishes go in – first one misses his 1 attack. Second one hits, leaves her on 2 boxes and misses the second attack. I live.
Time is running out. With a few seconds to spare I can clear that zone and score a 5-0 victory.
Holy crap that was way too close for my comfort. I did some dumb stuff, especially going in with Haley without having secured the final point yet. It was pure luck I surived his assassination attempt.
Game 2. I get Convergence. For some reason he doesn’t drop Axis, but Lucant. We play The Pit.
Bottom of 2 he goes to his flag, knowing full well, that he is in range of the Stormwall if I can TK him. He puts 2 Servitors in front of him to deny me the attempt.
A few days after the game I put the following 2 assassination attempts through OddsMachine. First one is slightly below 40% – IF I don’t include removing the Servitors. Second one is around 15%.
First attempt. A Charger is barely in range for the first Servitor. It dies. Second Servitor is dug in – I try to hit it with an Arcance Bolt. Double 1. I think for a second and decide to Future Sight it, because I then can reroll the whole thing. I roll a casual 6. Servitor dies.
Lucant gets TK’d, Stormwall goes in… and leaves him on 3 boxes. Crap. I feated, so he is slightly restricted in his options. He manages to beat the Stormwall to within 5 boxes of his life. He heals Lucant back up to 11.
Second attempt. Stormwall has 1 arm left. Thorn is put into a position to go in as well, if the ‘wall fails. But the Stormwall hits 1 hard 8 after another, damage rolls go my way as well and I kill Lucant.
Oh boy, now I am 2-0. Alex and Bartek win as well, as does another Khador player. After round 3, two people will have 3 wins and SOS decides who wins the tournament.
Game 3. I get paired up against Bartek. He brings Strakhov 2 (we were allowed to proxy stuff) and Vlad 3. We had played Strakhov 2 vs. that Haley list a week earlier. So he played Vlad 3.
I go first and run up, putting Thorn out of sight of his Eiryss 2, but having the ‘wall run as far as possible. He starts his round by asking me if I had any repair options in my list. I pull up Arlan Strangeways’ mini behind the ‘wall and show it to him.
He then casts Dash, Windwall and Infernal Machine and moves his army up.
I start my 2nd turn by asking him “DEF, ARM and how many focus does your caster have?”
“DO YOU HAVE MAGICAL WEAPON’S?” came the shocked reply. I asked about his stats again and then showed him Arlan Strangeways.
Thorn moves up. I TK Vlad, put a Time Bomb on him and feat. Stormwall shots kill him.
And I am 3-0.
Alex sadly loses the other finals game and its down to SOS to determine the winner between me and the 2nd Khador player. I have to wait about 90 minutes until other games are finished and the SOS shakes out in my favor.
It has been 13 years since those minis awed us at Spiel. 13 years, over 70 tournaments and countless kilometers travelled for playing, recording and streaming games at Heavy Metal Dayz, ClogCon, SmogCon, WTC and numerous other events all over Europe. I travelled far, met countless people and made new friends all over Europe. I have placed last in more tournaments than I can remember and I had taken a hiatus from the game for 5 years in between. I am a terribly slow painter and only managed to paint about 20-25 minis in that whole time. It has been 11 years since that choir boy lost his battle with Rhupert and I got that last place trophy.
Now I finally got that other trophy that has eluded me for so long.
This last paragraph may read like the beginning of my retirement speech.
Far from it.
I am just getting started.