Friday, December 8, 2017

The Rend 4 Club's Winter 2017 Tournament

Happy Friday everyone!  Today I wanted to cover a recent one-day tournament I attended hosted by The Rend 4 Club based in Northeast Ohio.  The event was held at their local store, Battlegrounds, in Ravenna, Ohio*.  The store had an excellent set up with their product centralized between two separate rooms for Board and Card games on one side and Dedicated, specially built tables for Warhammer on the other.  The shop was about a three-hour drive from my home, but I was joined by my good friend Aleks for the trip and a day of great games as we represented our club, Ligonier Legion Wargaming.

If you read the recent interview with Neil you will know he organizes The Rend 4 Club as well as most of their events.  Neil really invested a lot of effort into his first Matched Play Tournament with Awards for Best in each Grand Alliance, Best Overall, Best Painted Model, and Favorite Opponent.  He even brought in the Club Trophy where he has the winners name, from select events throughout the year, engraved.  When Aleks and I walked in we were greeted by some familiar faces we know through the clubs Facebook group as well as everyone else we ran into as we settled in for a day of gaming.  While this was an Ohio clubs event we had great representation from the Pittsburgh area with Mike and Roger from Steel City Sigmar attending as well.  It was great to have locals to cheer on and talk tactics with as we attempted to invade the Ohio scene.  The atmosphere was great and the credit goes to all the players.  We all brought lists to be competitive but throughout the day it was evident that fun was everyone's goal.

Neil added a very nice touch with nameplates for each player and the club they are most associated with.  It really showed how different clubs can grow together and form a larger and more diverse scene to play Age of Sigmar.  I plan to use this idea for my events going forward.  The other great touch as one of the players traveling from farther away was how the local players brought in snacks and Neil had a basic lunch planned out as well.  Neil event tested out brief post-game interviews with the players after the first round and I really enjoyed participating and watching these on their Facebook page the day after.  All of this, as well as a club Shirt and Dice for the entry fee, made the event worth the drive.  Playing Age of Sigmar and meeting new players was the cherry on top of the day!  

While not the most competitive list I could have brought I had my heart set on taking Blades of Khorne to their first tournament and see how I faired.  I took the Gore Pilgrim's Battalion along with lots of bodies and Heros to capitalize on a few of the scenarios.  I felt confident early in my games, in part to my opponents fearing Skarbrand, but then would quickly watch my army melt before my very eyes.  I have dived into my Hobby Journal to review the game notes to hopefully improve in the future with the army.  We were using Scenarios from The Generals Handbook 2017 as well as some fun Secondary Objectives themed toward each army.

My first game was not a walk in the park as I faced Tzeentch being run by Tyler of The Rend 4 Club.  The scenario being used was Duality of Death and my higher Hero count gave me hope.  Tyler had an exceptionally painted army with beautiful blending and transitions.  My poor photo skills do not do it justice, but playing with two fully painted armies really took the game to a new level.  I began very aggressive and took priority at the top of the turn.  Sadly I would not win another priority roll in this game which really hurt.  I was able to stay in the game into the final rounds with some unfortunate casting rolls on Tyler's part and careful use of my Blood Tithes points, but losing the priority really kept me on the back foot after my initial push.  Tyler played cautions and it paid off as he was able to take the Major win in the final rounds.  He was a great opponent who made the game fun exciting and fun and I was very happy to have an opponent like him to begin my day win or lose.  Thankfully I was able to score my secondary to keep myself on the mid tables in the next round.

After judging for the best-painted model and some lunch we went in to round 2 and much to our surprise Aleks and I squared off in Battle for the Pass.  Aleks had brought his custom Free Peoples "Halfing" army.  Up to this point, my Khorne had never beaten his Free Peoples and sadly this day only continued his streak.  Once again I took priority in the first round and pushed very aggressively striking him hard and fast.  While up on points his shooting, as it typically does, began scything through my army with abandon.  While I had some poor dice rolls on my end the biggest was my failure once again to win any of the priority rolls seeing my windows of opportunity close quickly.  I admit there was a moment in this game I got a bit salty with my luck, but Aleks being the true friend he helped me get back on the right mindset to enjoy the game and my day.  Aleks took the Major win and held me from taking any of my secondaries promptly kicking me to the bottom tables.  It is always great to play Aleks and having him around to cheer me, along with the other Pittsburgh crew, was a blessing to help me through a rough day os losses.

The last game was using the Starstrike Scenario and I typically do well with this type of objective as my mindset is more adept and adapt and overcome then plan ahead so I was hoping to salvage part of my score with a win.  My opponent was Matt, who was bringing a strong Clan Skyre list.  While it felt odd I had a good feeling about having many more bodies on the board them him.  He openly joked that one of the requirements for playing the list was guilt for what it does.  His attitude was jovial and relaxed through the whole game and it was an enjoyable game.  Matt had the choice of priority for the first round and he offered it to me.  I stayed a bit cautious as I waited for the comets to fall and it was a mistake.  While I did have a few emphatic victories, like finally winning a priority roll, his shooting and dishing out of Mortal Wounds had taken out my protection and biggest combat threat in turn two.  Admittedly he bet heavy and put his force on one side of the board prior to any comets dropping as he tried to take me out as soon as he could.  His bet paid off as the comets fell right into his lap.  I managed to score my secondary again this game but winning the scenario slipped through my hands very early on.  Matt and I really got into the game as we cheered for each other and lamented each other's failures, but he had the Major win at the end.  While my third loss it was a great game to finish the day.

While my performance was poor I managed to stay out of dead last due to my secondaries.  Roger from Steel City Sigmar took the day and it was great to watch his results and cheer him on as he battled it out to take home the top spot for Pittsburgh.  Aleks managed to come away with Best in Order and it was great to see another win for our local area!  Everyone had a great attitude and it made for enjoyable games for all.

The painting award was also claimed by Mike from Steel City Sigmar, who you might remember I interviewed recently as well.  He puts in maximum effort into each model of his Stormcast Eternals army.  His Stardrake took the prize, but I am confident he could have out any model from his army to compete and still be very likely to have claimed the prize.  There was a lot of exceptional models on display for the award this day and it was a great line up as the judging happened.

The first event for The Rend 4 was wonderfully run with opponents I hope to play again sooner rather than later.  Congratulations to the winners and to Neil as well for organizing the event and getting the groups together for a day of merriment and Age of Sigmar.  Neil plans to have more events going forward including mixing up the formats to keep it fresh and fun.  After we gathered for a parting shot we headed over to grab a drink.  While my performance on the table was very poor it only made the drink with friends, both new and old, that much better.  it was great to have local friends there as well to cheer each other on chat with one another throughout the day.  Aleks and I parted for our three-hour trip home and chatted for a good portion of the drive about the fun we had, how I could improve my list and play, and excitement to Hobby and play even more!  Be sure to check out The Rend 4 Club's Facebook Page for even more pictures from the day.  Until next week, Happy Hobbying.

*As a fun side note that got me excited was that this town was full of Black Squirrels.  I am not sure why but these little critters really brightened my day as it was something I had never seen before.  I was informed they were everywhere and are a breed from England that was being studied and ultimately released by a local college.  If you are ever passing through Ravenna, Ohio keep eye out!