The next game was against El Presidente Sherwin with his army of pigs, again a loss but with a few enemy models being taken off and the game lasting a bit longer. This was then the theme of the day, more models being taken from the opponent and games lasting longer, a sign I took as progress.
By 12:30am Saturday I had played my 5th game. Off I went to hand the scores in and then toddle off to bed, actually very eager for more games of Warmachine in the morning. Whilst in the Smogpit there was Rid, just finished a game and tidying up his pigs and Carver. After a bit of a chat, he challenged me to a game, after a short pause, I thought where else can you have a wargame at 12:30 in the morning in such a grand setting, so we sat down and started deploying.
As we faced off across the board I saw a very nice hill to sit my errants on, and ran them there with defenders ward on, I was planning to make the pigs pay for every inch (or half inch normal melee) that they took. After lots of blood shed and an epic failure in tough rolls for Rid he finally went in for the kill, but this didn’t happen and somehow it was my turn and a victory in sight. I’ll be honest I can’t remember if it was the Crusader or Kreoss that finally beat Carver down, but one of them did, and that was it, I had a win in a 50 point game. To be fair Rid had helped with tactics and advice throughout the game, and his glazed look was one of someone who had a cold and no sleep due to children all week. It did give me a boost though, and as we saw it was 2:30 in the morning decided to head off to bed. I did enjoy Rids shock, having lost all track of time he thought it should be around 12:00 and we had started at 10 ish.
Crawling into bed, I set my alarm for 9, allowing me quite some sleep otherwise I would be grumpy the next day, but also up in time for breakfast … otherwise I’d be grumpy the next day.
Breakfast or Carver ... I forget ;)
The next day I played four more games, including one against someone I didn’t know, not from our meta. I had a much firmer grasp of the rules and my models stats, but in the spirit of Smogcon, my opponent was more than happy whilst I added focus I’d obviously forgot to do in the maintenance phase, re-route models I’d ran straight through opponents melee I didn’t know had reach etc… and provided some advice of how Cygnar play and what to watch out for.
As an extended Essex scene we went for a curry in the evening, and there I found myself joining in about how my boosted jacks cleared charge lanes for my weapon master Paladins … I had assimilated, I had a new, extremely tactical and well imagined game system in my repertoire. I had grasped the basics and a little more of. This was almost the end of Saturday all that was left was for me to half drunkenly try to explain the rules of Kabaddi to Paul but that’s a different story, probably for the Kabaddi-con event.
Holding Hands = b2b
Then it was Sunday, two days had somehow passed by. I had a much more relaxed day, only playing two games but chatting to all and enjoying myself.
My first game of the day was against Grandads Circle and eKromac. Kromac ended up creating a very fine red mist with my models, but I managed to headbutt some big goats out the way and get a beating on him, my daughters of flame leaping in for a few cuts from their knives, I ending my turn with Kromac on 1 box but on fire.
The deciding turn began, roll for the fire, still on, I believe he was amour 19 or 20, so an 8 or 9 would do it for me, holding the dice in my hands, I gave them a quick shake and released them to fate. The end result was a double 1, if you’re going to fail, fail big! Kromac then ate all my daughters of the flame, getting lots of health back and went on to beat Kreoss to a pulp.
My final game was against Harvey, who had Khador and a colossus, wow they’re big and look impressive. After some initial shooting and moving, and lots of dead errants from a conquest sweep attack it was my turn and I could see Harkevich.
I feated with Kreoss, knocked the Iron Wolf down, and although he had +3 ARM due to his feat; a Reckoner shot and a few errants had taken his health low. Then in came the Paladin and left him with one box, I nearly cried, but then I spied the extremely battered Repentor, with no M left he staggered across the wasteland ordered on by the Bastion Seneschal controlling him. Limping just within range and running on fumes he managed to belch out one last jet of flame, the heat was too much for Harkevich and I had my second win of the weekend in my last game. It was the little cherry on the very big cake.
Then all too soon, it was over and a new found love for Warmachine gained. I had one list that I knew what it did and how it did it, units had been added and lost along to way to allow me to use most of my models, and I finally got what the game was about. I’ll repeat it again though, the advice given to me to use the same list over and over again made this for me. I started to think less about what the units can do and more about how they interact with each other and how the individual components complement the whole. I felt Menoth around me, I had been accepted to his embrace and it was time for me to wreak righteous vengeance on the non-believers of my club.
Then, that was it. Smogcon carefully rolled me off its arm, gently kissed my forehead and whispered ‘See you next year’ and left me in a half dream like sleep, a large smile on my face, the anticipation and nerves I had felt was just warm pleasure with no regret.