I’ve been meaning to write a report on CGW’s “Summer Tournament” for a while now but whenever I sat down to write it something would come up and prevent me from doing it. Well I shall dally no more and now I share with you my impressions on the first tournament I attended this year.
As I had previously announced here on the blog on the 27th of January I travelled to Porto Alegre (the capital of the Rio Grande do Sul state in Brazil) in order to attend the latest tournament concocted by the friends from the “Clube Gaucho de Wargames”. I’ve probably mentioned elsewhere this is the second of their tournaments I have attended which has prompted some questions from my friends as to why I’m going through the effort of travelling 2206 kilometers (that’s 1370 miles for those of you who do not use the metric system) in order to play Warhammer 40K.
Well, I could start answering that by once more highlighting that Brazil is a huge country (it is the 5th biggest country in the world) and that the wargaming community is spread thinly all over it. In my hometown, for example, which is a capital and has a population of over 500.000 inhabitants there are 6, yes SIX, Warhammer 40K players and I only get to play regularly against two of them once a month (And that’s when I’m lucky. I’m not getting any games in February for instance). That must sound baffling to most of you out there right? Believe me when I say there are guys here in even worse situation when it comes to finding other players to game against.
If the scarcity of opponents wasn’t excuse enough for me to tour around the country with little plastic soldiers in tow there’s also the fact that, over the course of last year, and specially after I attended their 1st “Winter Tournament”, the guys from CGW have become very good friends with whom I chat often, not only about the fantastic universe of miniature soldiers, but also about the tons of other common interests we share, so I’ve come to cherish every opportunity I have to get together with them and share a few beers and laughs and collect new war stories to reminisce about when I’m back home. I often talk about how nice it feels to be amongst like minded people when one attends a tournament and cite that as one of the reason we should strive to take part in them. Well my friendship with the guys from CGW stems from the camaraderie shared over two days of gaming and I believe it does prove the point.
My reasons aside I believe anyone who had attended CGW’s 1st Summer Tournament would feel as welcomed as I have and have a nice time to boot. I arrived in Porto Alegre around noon on Friday and was picked up at the airport along with two other players from Sao Paulo (Streem from the ReLOAD vlog and Eneas) by two members of the club. We were taken for lunch at a local restaurant where we could taste the local specialty: The world famous “Churrasco”, also known as “Brazilian Barbecue”. Having sated our gluttony, the rest of the day was spent in friendly conversation while we waited for other members of the club to join us for evening drinks before the weekend of gaming ahead of us.
I arrived early on Saturday at the events venue to find the tables already assembled and some of the club members milling around and getting ready to unleash carnage. There were 10 enrolled players but two of them would arrive late which delayed a little bit the start of the first tournament round giving people some time to chat about armies, strategies, miniatures and even get a couple pick-up games against the guys from Sao Paulo who were visiting the club for the first time (“there’s nothing like a pick-up game to know your enemy” I might have heard someone say).
I took advantage of this time to have a closer look at the tables presented and must admit they were on par with the ones the club had shown on their first event or better. Some scenery was already familiar to me but at least two tables were completely new, the eldar one with its wraithbone structures and the “mushroom table”, inspired by Blue Table Painting’s “Fungus World” gaming table (which can be seen on this video).
I particularly liked the “mushroom table”, albeit presented in an unfinished state at the event, because it added a different element to 40K than what I’m used to, with its multiple levels and passages. When I got the chance to game on it the table actually made me feel the need to stoop over and have a “model’s eye view” in order to check for line of sight thus providing me with a bigger immersion in the game so kudos to Monty for accomplishing a great gaming table that offered people something different from the usual most of us are accustomed to.
As soon as one of the latecomers arrived we were ready to start. I was paired against one of the club’s “bogeymen”, namely Bitten and his Space Wolves. I didn’t get a game against him on my previous visit so I didn’t know what to expect. His list sported all sorts of Space Wolves shenanigans but the consensus amongst those who had gamed against him before was to watch for his two Rune Priests and their deadly psychic powers. In the end we had a very nice and open game which could have been won by either of us, but, ended on a fair draw.
For my second game I was paired against Eneas and his Eldar. He plays a list popularly known as “foodar” which sports a lot of eldar walking around the battlefield but almost no tanks. He had at least 4 huge units of guardians and relied upon his avatar to make them fearless trusting in numbers to defeat the enemy. It could have been a nice game but we had an argument on this game, as I believe my opponent had an erroneous interpretation of the rules, which pretty much spoiled the fun. He proposed he wasn’t obliged to start his turn by making compulsory moves, specifically by not taking a test with his falling back guardians at the beginning of his turn. He would start his turn by moving his Avatar to within 12’ of the broken unit automatically regrouping it because it made the falling back unit fearless. Suffice to say the disagreement over the rules made this a very stressful and tense game but thankfully I was able to pull a victory at the very end by holding on to my objective while contesting his.
This concluded the first day of gaming and I headed back to the hotel for much needed rest. Some people stayed behind for the traditional “board game night” they always have, but as I had no ride back to the hotel I declined their invitation to play more games.
The warfare began anew on Sunday morning where I got to face an army I fared horribly against in the “Tropas Polares” club’s tournament last year: Daemons of Chaos. I must admit I was afraid of fighting the daemons in a straight up fight and so I left most of my army off the table for the first couple of turns. Turns out I was able to shoot most of the army into oblivion but my neglect in engaging the enemy earlier on in the game cost me an important victory by a mere wound on the sole remaining daemon prince of the enemy army which contested the objective I held earning its daemonic master, Phantasma, a well deserved draw.
On the fourth game I got to face Erico and his Dark Eldar on the aforementioned “mushroom table”. I had a great game against him but one where my inability to finish off some of his units again cost me dearly when one of his leftovers (three meager trueborn kabalites) contested me out of my objective. I also failed to destroy one of his units I had named earlier in the game as a target thus robbing me of some precious points in the secondary objective of the game.
On my final game I was paired against Streem and his Salamanders. He’s a good friend and one I enjoy gaming against whenever I can. I had faced his army before and knew what to expect from it but by then Lady Luck had forsaken me. I got to face him on a game which was extremely difficult to me, a kill point game which awarded extra kill points not only for Elite, Heavy Support and HQ choices but the same amount of KPs for their dedicated transports (choices which I had a lot off in my army). It was an uphill struggle for me made all the more difficult by my inability to destroy his units. One of my tanks, a Predator Annihilator, shot at his dreadnought for the best part of the game, slowly tearing it apart but unable to destroy it. Streem pulled out a great victory in the end playing like a true gentleman and bagging himself a well earned second place.
I ended up in third place for the “Best General” award and Erico and his Dark Eldar took home the trophy for 1st place “Best General”. I also managed to win the trophy for “Best Painted Army” with the Black Templars I presented there, being followed by Streem and his Salamanders in second and 4irw4lk3r and his Dark Angels in third place. “BLACK TEMPLARS???” I hear some of you asking. Well as I had already won the “Best Painted Army” prize with my Eldar on the “Winter Tournament”, and as I hadn’t added anything to that army in a while, I felt it would be nicer if I presented an altogether different army in order to compete for that prize thus I borrowed my mate’s Black Templars which I had painted for him under commission last year.
I’m pretty happy with my results even though I realize I could have placed a lot better if I hadn’t made so many mistakes over the course of my games, namely engaging the Daemons early on in the game instead of cowering in fear and focusing a little more on my game against Erico and his Dark Eldar. Still I believe third place was an excellent result given that I had never played the Black Templars, more so when you realize their codex is one of the most outdated ones we have right now.
Overall I had, as I expected from the onset, a great weekend devoted to the hobby I’m so passionate about with the added bonus of being amongst friends. I should mention that Vitor’s (from the “Vamos Ver no Pano Verde” Blog) and Alex’s absences were noted but both of them had very good reasons not to attend the tournament this time. We’ll grab some beers next time for sure!
Before we say our goodbyes I should thank every single member of the CGW club present at the event for their awesome reception and the attention they treated me once more. I should also thank Eneas and Streem for delaying their “evening activities” in order to help me search for my missing cell phone and my good mate Ismael for waking up to find it lying in his car.
In closure I’m adding here Streem’s brilliant coverage of the event on the 7th episode of his ReLOAD video log (video is in portuguese but the footage speaks for itself):
Over and out!