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Caledonian Deathwatch Network

Tales of the Singular Gamer – Part 6

Popping the Cally Cherry

Or

How to Make Sweet Sweet Hobby Love in Stockport

In my time of being involved in 40K, dear readers, I have been to a number of tournaments Dark Millennium, Bad Decisions, Rapid Fire, Stronghold, Scottish Takeover, Northern Warlords, Throne of Skulls….done singles, doubles and team events…one day events, weekenders…travelling up and down the fair land always chasing the 40K dragon.

Now hardcore tournament gamers will have lots more tournaments to add to that and probably go to them on a far more consistent basis than I do, all for a variety of reasons. They might be looking to get practice in or to hone a list for a mucho mucho grande tournament further down the line. They might be looking to improve their game or become a better player. They might be social outcasts and the brotherhood of 40K events is their chance to be with likeminded people who understand their insatiable hobby needs. They might be trying to harvest precious ETC or ITC points to improve their rankings to perhaps even get into Team Scotland, England, etc etc. Or they might just be skanks for the 40K and can never get enough.

But I always heard about a big tournament that I had never managed to get to before for a number of reasons, money being a main one, the tournament is held in January before pay day and January is always a fraught month for money due to the bank account running away from home crying, seeking counsel, looking for a safe secure environment after the horrific abuse it has suffered from Christmas and New Year touching it in all the bad places that made it want to screw its eyes shut and think of its happy place of being in credit with a healthy balance.

Logistics was another reason, I knew that the tournament was in England so that would a weekend away and with a young family weekend passes for gaming are precious things, not to be just spunked away into the first tournament chaffing sock that comes along, add on top of that the extra day required for travelling, you start having to be a bit selective as that requires time off work, which may or may be looked on favourably depending on what latest catastrophe that has befallen my team.

 

But this time the decision was taken out of my hands a few months before the turn of the year The Greatest Lover In The World Commander O’Shea decreed that I would be going to the tournament and no excuses would be tolerated, no debating, no negotiating end of conversation, give me my red box Noel Edmunds ya Mr Blobby loving beardy bonce I have made the deal with the banker. And that was it, as simple as that, I was on my way to this big tournament, the one I had never managed to get to…I was off to Caledonian Uprising, or Cally, in a mythical land known as Stockport, where the dice always roll hot and the targets are always in range, to take my rightful place as one of the many people that have ventured forth looking for conquest and glory.

The war pilgrimage was on.

Commander O’Shea commandeered a rhino for our uses, though he really should have gotten a wave serpent seeing as how he has fallen from the grace of the Emperor to the strange and stink funny ways of the weird Eldar xeno folk. He sent out the orders for transportation via carrier servo pigeon letting us know where myself, Sean Morris Systems and Innes ‘The Chairman’ should be, and when we should be there, to get picked up to proceed on our voyage to the land of Stockport where the streets are paved in grey plastic and there is a hobby shop on every corner.

After delicately making sure our armies were safely aboard the vehicle by a generous amount of ramming them in we were off, the geek road trip had begun. The chat was the standard fare for geek road trips, sharing different experiences in the hobby, discussing tactics for our armies, going over what our first round opponents had in their lists. We made the ever mandatory podcast then before we knew it….we were still nowhere near our destination. But Commander O’Shea powered on with no concession given to any further breaks…so if you were on the motorway that day and your car suddenly got hosed by a wild, uncontrollable gushing of a coloured pungent liquid then don’t blame me for drinking four bottles of Irn Bru but blame Liam for not letting me go to the loo for the 13th time, but if it’s any consolation the wind chill factor on Captain Winky was quite horrendous.

Then we arrived at the hotel and after a quick dumping of the bags we got our army shit together and headed across the road to the venue for some practice gaming, beer drinking and finishing off the army painting.

Now for the tournament Innes ‘The Chairman’ was using his tried and trusted Nids and now that I have my own Hive Fleet underway I understand that when he’s talking about Old One Eye he’s not meaning his Japs Eye…which certainly clears up the confusion I was under when he kept saying his Old One Eye is perfect for ramming with. Sean Morris Systems had forgone his Tau and was using Death Guard allied with Nurgle Daemons, Commander O’Shea was using his unholy trinity of Eldar, Dark Eldar and Harlequins and I was using House Fudge Imperial Knights of the round table because in war they are tough and able.

Having never actually played Imperial Knights of the round table who are quite indefatigable, a practice game was just what was needed, so me and Sean Morris Systems duked it out just so I could familiarise myself with the basics I needed to get myself in reasonable steed for the next day when the real gaming would begin. The smelly Nurgle fan boys won the battle in the end but I was given a confidence boost in that I managed to score some points in the game, not many points mind you but enough to reassure me that I’d be alright over the weekend. With the game out the way it was back to the important stuff of drinking and planning on how to deal with my first opponent…

Who was Marcus and he was using a cunning combination of Knights, Guard and Ad Mech. We both had Castellans in our lists so going first would have a big say in the outcome of the game. Needless to say I did not go first and the game swiftly went downhill from there until it was so far under the hill that it was poking its head up in China. My pleas for a show of Knightly brotherhood fell on deaf ears as Marcus systematically dismantled my own Knights, showing me the awesome potential of the Paragon Gauntlet (basically a big Knight sized super power first), turning the noble House Fudge into House Fucked. Marcus stomped his way to glory taking the full banquet of tournament points leaving me with just the dishes. After the game though Marcus did give me some pointers for future and I was comforted by his assessment that during the game I didn’t really do anything strategically wrong, except to go second. Marcus was a great opponent, great game and I was sure he would do well in the tournament with his list, which I aim to plunder for ideas sometime in the near future.

Me and Marcus played on table 6 and the only thing about playing your first game on a high number table and taking a bigger pumping than Summer MacStuffins did in Meat Pushin’ in the Seat Cushion Vol 43 is the long walk all the way down to the lower end tables, dancing and dodging your way through all the other movers and shakers. And who did I find waiting for me at the table…

I found Tom who was using Death Guard. He had pox walkers, blight haulers, plague burst crawlers, plague marines all the usual Death Guard grottiness you’d expect to find in a list…even some singular bits of forest as well, I’m guessing for Papa Nurgles tree houses. This game was cracking, really close and Tom was a great laugh as well. He introduced me to the Plague Bomb, in which a bunch of plague marines all pick their noses, ears, belly buttons, arses and helmet cheese then flick their puss ridden body gold causing massive gross out damage. So after they killed a Knight with this tactic that shit got put down with extreme prejudice. The Castellan did me proud in this game crippling and destroying tanks, making up for the distinct lack of crippling and destroying things in the last game. The game was close to the very end, closer than brothers and sisters are from deepest darkest Ayrshire, when the last dice was rolled there was no clear indication of who won. The points tallied up looked close, time to get the fingers and toes out to do some counting…which resulted in my loss of the game by one victory point which when processed through alchemy inspired procedure to convert victory points to tournament points we ended up with the purest green since Sir Percy in the first series of Blackadder, we also discovered that Tom had won the game 11-9. But I wasn’t downhearted by this as it was an amazing game, I got to roll dice and shoot stuff and kill stuff and drink a lot of beer during it, so all good.

And thankfully this meant I would only have to travel a shorter distance for my next opponent, see you’ve got to look at the positives with these things. Sure you could say that if I was winning all my games then I would also have…less….moving to do…amongst the……top tables…………but that’s beside the point as the top tables were further away from the bar, so there you go. Score one for the shite gamer that likes to drink a lot.

Next up was Matt who was using Harlequins and for the first time so far I was getting to go first, we both set up our armies with Matts Quins hugging the only piece of line of sight blocking terrain in his deployment zone like they were some kind of tree hugging space hippies in a vain attempt to stop the oncoming industrial onslaught of mass firepower from my Imperial Knights of the round table who dance whene’er they are able, that was just about to come their way to blow them out of their pointy bellended boots. Sadly this glorious display of righteous xenocide didn’t come to pass as Matt proved how much of a spoil sport he is by seizing on me…dirtymotherfuckingspaceelfhippiesdiamondlovingpointybootwearingspaceclown arseholes. As you can tell I took this seizing of the first turn on the chin like a true champ, I think I also hid my sobs of despair like a true champ as well. This was another great game, with things being blown up, squishy xenos being squished and Knights being destroyed, annoyingly, by space clowns. Once again, for the second straight game, when it was all said and done it was a very close call to see who won. After getting the abacus out it was eventually discovered that this time I was beaten by two victory points so once again turning those victory points into tournament points of the purest green it was another 11-9 defeat…on the outside I was very noble and gracious saying how I had three great games, three great opponents and that was the main thing but on the inside it was more like…FUCKING BIG PILE OF RANCID HORSESHIT!!! I FUCKING HATE THIS GOD DAMN HOBBY!!! I DON’T WANT TO LIVE I DO NOT WANT TO LIVE!!!

So, that was the first day down surely the second day would be better.

Now over a five game, two day event I always find the hardest game to get through is the fourth game which is the first game on the second day. Simply because your burst from all the drink that was consumed the day/night before, tired from getting little sleep as you were desperately fending off somebody you were sharing your hotel room trying to make you be the little spoon or tired from little sleep from spending all night trying to force the person your sharing the hotel room with to be a little spoon or you have spent the whole night looking for a beastin’ for a pound.

It was in such a tired, groggy state that I found my next opponent Steven who was using Thousand Sons I knew I was going to need all the help I could get in my current jaunty angle ways so it was a good dose of hair of the dog and we were off. Off to the scrap heap, I made a royal arse up of the deployment, so instead of me dicking big Ultra Magnus right in the hole where he used to keep the matrix of leadership he dicked me, dicked me hard. I did manage to blow Magnus up eventually in a sea of feathers, gore and red hair but by then the damage was well and truly done. It didn’t help either that I kept getting the opposite of good maelstrom cards, the ones that you need to go over and get an objective that’s over the other side of the table meaning wading through an army worth of twats just to get to the objective which is already surrounded by miserable arsetards…then the next card is, just for the extra fuck you trolling, is to defend that bloody objective that’s already mired in model shittery. That’s how the game pretty much went, I struggled to score points whereas Steven managed to keep his ticking over just one of those games with no ill will or hard feelings to Steven he was a good guy having to put up with a fanny that was as flat as a pancake.

Last game was against Sandy and his horde goff orks. I had mixed feelings with this game as I have played horde orks before with a small model count army, the first game I got a draw out of it and then second I got hammered from multiple angles from multiple bodies much like Summer MacStuffins in scene eight of the aforementioned movie. The game started off much as to be expected with swarms of orks hoofing it forward, or bombing forward in their trukks, battlewagons or by the magic of da jump…orksies be up in ma grill so I be blowin ‘em away. No matter where my Knights looked on the battlefield there was a greenskin to be shot at…so they did just that. In fact so many greenskins were blasted that House Fudge has now set up its on genuine ork leather goods store, ork skin boots, ork skin belts, ork skin jackets. But the greenskins had a kunnin’ tactic up their sleeves, a stratagem that lets a depleted unit of boyz come back on again at full strength, bugger me never mind the finest guns that the mechanicum can create just give me some weed killer to put these maniacs down once and for all. The game was close heading into the last few turns, with Sandy edging the lead but that would all change when I would pull of a plan so cunning that you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel, a plan more cunning than a fox that went to Oxford and got a degree on cunning, a plan so cunning that you could brush your teeth with it. The orks finally managed to lay low a Knight which is where the steps all feel into place. First I used the stratagem that lets you bring a Knight back from the dead on 4+ with D3 wounds left I managed to successfully do this and get the added bonus of having it return with 3 wounds. Then I used the stratagem that lets you use the top line of the damage chart for the Knights profile…I could feel the chubby of victory rising in the battlefield of my pants. This Knight moved and claimed an objective then proceeded to unload its full arsenal on threatening units of orks in the vicinity. My other Knight then managed to clear out other stubborn orks nearby whilst also claiming the primary objective, with the cherry on the cake being the Castellan which also claimed an objective and finished off the remaining orks that could put claim to these three objectives I had just secured. We rolled to see if it would continue and it was finished and with the maelstrom cards and these extra objectives scored in the last turn of the game I was victorious, the last turn snatching a win from the jaws of defeat and releasing my nerd splodge all over the battlefield. Sandy looked devastated not only had I robbed him with my tactical genius but I had also made putting his models away an unsavoury affair with them having a coating of my hairy sacks of magic victory goo.

And that was it tournament done. Great tournament, really enjoyed it lots of dice rolling, lots of pew noises and lots of drinking, magic. The Imperial Knights of the round table who impersonate Clark Gable were a blast to use, so big thanks to Commander O’Shea for letting me borrow them. Big congratulations go to Tony Chew who won the event, needless to say because he was at the top tables all weekend I got to see him when he went up to collect his trophy. Congratulations also to Sean Morris Systems and Innes ‘The Chairman’ for winning their best in factions. A big thank you to everybody involved in running and organising the event and all the bar staff for managing to keep up with my incessant demands for drink drink drink DRINK!!!

Next stop is Dark Millennium at the end of February and I had intended to take pictures for this article but if I wasn’t moving models or rolling dice, I was drinking and if I wasn’t drinking I was ordering drink and if I wasn’t ordering drinks I was gushing the drink out from my bladder to make way for more drink. So if you are lucky enough to draw me at Dark Millennium don’t be scared if I start taking pictures…unless you’re taking a piss at the time or sitting in the cubicle, you can be scared then as I like the sweet scent of fear to be in the air in such circumstances

Until I get that restraining order I shall see you all next time.

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