Last weekend was Smogcon 2015 at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Heathrow Airport. 400 excitable Warmachine & Hordes players from around the UK, Europe and a few further afield descended on the hotel for 3 days of gaming shenanigans. Here’s my story of the weekend:
We travelled down on thursday evening, after following some twitter posts throughout the day of people already there hanging out with the Privateer Press staff that had come over the pond, we finally arrived around 9.30pm, checked in and started the cross country trek down the longest corridor in the world to our room situated at the very end.
The room itself however, was pretty nice!
As was the hotel with it’s strange walkway/water feature room.
So, after a beer or two in the bar and a night’s sleep, Friday morning rolled around and we were all up and ready to go early. After a spot of breakfast my first port of call was the competitive arena to ensure the guys running the show knew what was what with Tiebreak. Before long the big screens were going and things were going smoothly!
From there I had a mooch around, finding the Iron Arena and the PP shop. It was time to get stuck in though and kicked things off with a game of Colossalmania – a scenario created by Lee over at BleepUpProductions.
From there I went on to have a number of games with a bunch of people, some of which I don’t usually get to play which was cool. I had my eye on some Iron Arena wall templates so that was the goal for the weekend.
As far as competitive play was concerned, I had pre registered for the Iron Gauntlet on Saturday. During Friday’s gaming however I came to the decision to go for Midnight Madness instead. Not only would it be a more relaxed event, it was also a 30 minute deathclock rather than the usual 60 minutes – so a good opportunity to get some practice in with a single list.
Friday night also saw the much anticipated Privateer Press keynote too!
So, after a curry and a couple of beers, midnight rolled around…
I knew I had to play something I was fairly used to and didn’t have too many activations. I settled on Runes of War. It was a 2 list event but the 2nd list was optional, and I saw this as an opportunity to get 6 intense practice games in with one list. Runes of War is kind of an all comers list anyway, so should be able to handle most situations.
Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of the games, but here’s a quick summary.
Game 1 was against a Retribution list with 2 colossals. My opponent borrowed the list for the event and it wasn’t his main faction. I was able to take the colossals down and then push for the win.
Game 2 was tough, came up against a Cygnar list which came right down to the wire. Unfortunately for me forgetting to feat when I meant to allowed his caster to clear a flag and take the win on CPs. He used so much focus to do so though that under my feat he wouldn’t have even considered it!
Game 3, probably due to the late night I currently can’t remember! It was a loss though so at this stage I was 2-1.
Game 4 I came up against another Troll player. He was using eDoomshaper with a Mountain King, Mulg and an Earthborn. So a fast and intimidating battlegroup, which was pretty devastating when it got stuck in to my army! I was able to cover more of the board though with my higher model count. Runeshapers were able to pick off stone scribes and eventually help assassinate.
Game 5 was a friendly face – Joe from my local club. We’ve played many many times and he was using a very jack heavy Cryx list. I was able to ride the storm though and pick off heavies one by one to take the win.
Game 6. One game to go and I was 3-2, I was feeling good and pretty happy with 3 wins and so win or lose on the last game it had been a good night. The final game was against another Cryx opponent. This time with a more traditional Cryx build with more infantry. This proved too much for me in this case and I lost, finishing on 3-3.
Overall a good night, but man was I knackered!
After breakfast it was bed time. Around 4 hours later I awoke refreshed and ready for more gaming! Back in search of more “Skulls”. I had a couple of games and then 4 of us got together for a big one – 75 points each 2v2. A total of 150 points on each side of the table! This was pretty crazy, myself a Kurt both using Trolls – we had 2 Mountain Kings and lots of light beasts knocking around. Our opponents, Jack and Joe, were using a mix of Legion and Cryx. A swarm of Banes caused us so many problems – there’s a reason Death Shroud isn’t available to Legion usually. Me and Kurt got massacred but it was such a good laugh.
Saturday night we ordered some Pizzas and chilled out for a bit, before heading back to the Iron Arena around midnight for a game before bed.
Sunday was here and it was time to cash in. I grabbed myself a couple of Iron Arena wall templates for my efforts and then decided to chill out for the rest of the day.
The P3 painting awards were announced, which were very critically judged! They didn’t give out many Gold, Silver or Bronze coins at all. I was disappointed at this however I took this opportunity to have a chat with Ron Kruzie about my entry. The advice he gave me was simple but probably the best advice I’ve ever been given about competition painting – and I’ve tried with ‘Eavy Metal painters! I will definitely be back with an entry or two next year taking his advice on board with the hope of at least one Bronze award!
For the remainder of Sunday myself and Mark (another local Troll player who I’d travelled down with) started discussing new lists. One that stood out to me was a list for Hunter’s Grim which seemed pretty cool. After this we had a few hours to kill before the event wrapped up and the Masters were completed, so I took this Hunters Grim list and had a couple of games with it. The results were promising!
I’ll put up another post soon about the list and it’s progression. Since Smogcon I’ve tweaked the list a few times and had quite a few games with it.
So, that’s it. Smogcon 2015. It has to be one of the best wargaming events I’ve been to and an experience I would recommend to any Warmachine & Hordes player (competitive or not). There’s so much going on the whole weekend, and so many cool people to meet and chat to. All that’s left is for me to post up the rest of my random pictures from the event. Looking back I probably should have taken so many more!