So I've only mentioned it a few times over the past couple of months, but this past weekend I traveled west to Phoenix to play in the Battlefoam Wild West Shootout 40K Indy GT. I was lucky enough to be a guest of Romeo and the Battlefoam crew, which meant that after flying me out there Romeo picked up from the airport, along with the other guests, Scott and Chipley (and their significant others) from 40K Radio.
From the moment we (the guests) arrived on Friday we were treated right and given a tour of the Battlefoam facility where we got to see a couple of new products in the works, and the mighty piles of cut and uncut foam!
We then stopped for some dinner, and then headed over to Empire Games in Mesa, the host store for the event. As soon as you approach the store it becomes incredibly obvious that the manager of the store used to run a pretty big GW store (the LA Bunker to be precise). Kyle has really pushed all the ideas of a GW Bunker to their next level. The picture above says it all.
Empire Games carries a larger range of GW items on the shelf than any GW store in the country, plus a bunch of boardgames, Flames of War, Warmachine, Hordes, cards, paints and hobby accessories, and a range of Battlefoam bags. All this product surrounded the more than 50 GT players and dozens of onlookers without the store feeling crowded or too funky. Pretty cool really.
Anyway, on to the tournament itself! On Saturday (after waking up at 4:30am local time, stupid time zone change) I registered for the event and proceeded to my first table where I played against Jason Witt and his Space Marines. I've known Jason for a bunch of years and he's a very strong 40K player, so I didn't hold out much hope for my success in the game. It was a modified Kill Points mission (most units counted as 2 KPs) and although I thought I had a pretty sound strategy I lost the game 16 Kps to 2. It was, however a great game and fun to learn the strengths and weaknesses of my choices.
Game Two was against Ken Riggio (above). Ken posts on DakkaDakka as AbsoluteBlue, and has been working on a Vraksian Renegade army over the same time I've been building the Blood Pact. Ken was there with his gaming buddies Ryan, Shaun, and Pat (Shep, Gitmack, and Somnicide respectively on Dakka) and was fielding one of the three IG lists there, Ryan had the third. I was worried when I saw the wall of steel in front of me. Eleven vehicles - three Hydras, four Chimeras, two Devil Dogs, a Demolisher and an Executioner. As the scenario was objective based (grabbing the objective and running off the opposite table edge with it) we both kind of settled into pounding the crap out of each other. The game was a lot of fun, but ended in a draw.
Game Three was against Dean Vuckovich and his Dark Angels. Dean helped me out in '08 by running the LoTR component of the Las Vegas GT, so it was great to catch up with him again.
The mission was right up my alley, an old school victory points game with a spearhead deployment and table quarters worth 250 VPs. After some of my lucky shots early in the game, Dean struggled to come back. Another fun game, and a victory for me!
I stayed up late on Saturday night, grabbing a few beers with the Battlefoam and 40K Radio crews. Unfortunately it didn't help me, I woke up at 3:30 a local time.
Game Four was the surprise mission! Another VP mission, but taking into account our location in the desert, the table was cleared of all terrain. I think my opponent was a little worried about the lack of terrain, but he needn't have worried. Joel Reyes (who's father placed 2nd overall) plonked down his Nidzilla army and proceeded to surgically tear my army limb from limb. After he seized the initiative with his six Carnifexes and his outflanking Genestealers ignored my Officer of the Fleet I had lost 50 men and two tanks before my first turn. Although I avoided being tabled by two models (Pater Sin and one of his charges) I took down 1000 points of Joel's army before losing.
Game Five was a Seize Ground mission with five objectives. Instead of facing something I've played against before I got to play a Chaos Daemon army. Chris Saraga and his son Dante had traveled all the way from Chico, CA, to play in the GT, their third for the year. Chris's army was tough to contend with, two Soulgrinders, a Bloodthirster, Bloodletters, and Bloodcrushers in the first drop. Luck swung back and forth throughout the game, but favored Chris when it came to rolling saves for his Greater Daemons, his Bloodthirster making more 5+ saves than I had dice to roll. After another fun game Chris was victorious, three objectives to one.
So there it is, I finished the weekend at 1-3-1, and won Best Painted! Very exciting as Shaun Hausmann (Gitsmack) brought a fantastic looking Ork force that picked up Player's Choice!
A great weekend, and an event that I'm sure will grow over the coming years. Kudos to Romeo and the Battlefoam team, Kyle and the Empire Games crew, and the many gamers who traveled from near and far!
Over the past few weeks I've been slaving away on getting the vehicles built and up to spec on their paint jobs so that I could debut the Blood Pact. Here are the command squad Chimera and the Hellhound. Enjoy!