Better late than never, here is my report from my first ever South Coast Grand Tournament.
We set off on Friday evening, we being myself and my friend Elliot, who had also never been to a SCGT, having both decided to take the plunge after the switch from WFB to AoS.We were both apprehensive, would we enjoy the independent scene?, would we enjoy our games?, would we win a game? would we come back next year? Spoiler Alert, the answer to all is a resounding Yes!
We got to Portsmouth in the early evening, and decided to check out the venue and sign in before we went hunting for our hotel. We arrived to find a variety of games being played, items for sale and generally a good social atmosphere on the eve of the tournament. We signed in but didn't hang about as Elliot had some wings to stick onto his Stormcast and some last minute basing to do; it also turned out that we'd buy some food from a suicidal Subway employee, who we hope didn't burn down his store as he had told he would do that evening...There was nothing in the news, so I think he's OK.
Fast forward to the morning, and after a hearty breakfast we returned to the venue which was beginning to fill up with games of all shapes and sizes. After a brief hello from the hosts and the obligatory health and safety announcements, it was on to game one.
My first game was against James Brown, from Cheltenham Warchiefs who had a monster heavy Lizardman army. The objective was to capture any of the four objectives, and as monsters could capture, this army was perfect for this scenario.
With the board set up and the forces deployed we got our first game underway. The Slaanesh took the first turn and crept forward inviting the monster mash charge. The Lizards obliged, but a couple of failed charges meant that the impact wasn't as big as expected.
The big Lizard creatures showed their close combat ability but were slowly worn down and with 20 Daemonnettes taking out three monsters in three rounds of combat, it was a close run thing. The lizards had a minute advantage as the turns ran on, and they held on for a victory as a Mystic Shielded Bastiladon held off relentless attacks.
A first round loss for me, but I did get my secondary objective of keeping my General alive, but a great game that came down to the wire. Evan though it wasn't a win, it was a good start to the tournament.
With lunch up next, everyone put their army on display for the judges to award painting points and everyone to get an idea of what they might see in the future rounds.
Game two found me moving to the second room to face Phil Ashley and his Stormcast. I had played against Elliot's Stormcast in the build up to the tournament, so had an idea of what I would be facing.
Six objectives this time, so both forces were spread thinly across the board, with Phil having his Prime and some other units ready to drop into the battlefield. Three units did this in the first turn, but with a few failed charges, things began to fall apart from the beginning for the Stormcast.
Phil had poor dice throughout the game, and to be honest I didn't have great rolls myself, but they were better than his so I managed to pull off my first win of the weekend.
I once again managed to get my secondary objective as one of my chariots zipped down the flank, avoiding combat. Although he had a game where nothing really went right for him, Phil was a great opponent, and I gave him my best game vote at the end of the weekend.
Final game of the first day was against John Barr and his Undead. No Nagash, but two Teroroghiests and lots of infantry on the board and ready to be summoned.
This game was one sided from the outset, as soon as I got multiple first turn charges right up the middle, John was not able to summon enough to stop me running rampant.
His Terrorghiests struggle to overcome my Bravery of 10, and were shot off the board, and I was able to claim more of the scenery than he was as his force depleted very quickly.
We both managed to get our secondary objectives, I killed three units in one comabt phase and he garrisoned a number of buildings with what he had left.
Speaking to John the next day, he was considering giving up AoS, I hope this is not the case, as he was a gracious player on the end of a one sided battle.
Day one was over and I had two wins and a close loss, it had turned out to be a great day. Elliot had one win, one draw and one loss, and had also had a good day of gaming.
We had some food, and spent a bit of the evening playing some Fluxx and Luchador Mexican Wrestling dice, joined by Phil from my second game. We then retired to the hotel to rest our weary legs, arms and eyes.
Day two began and those that had been drinking were hoping for a quiet game or two. I fought Bryan Hatchett, who was losing his voice, who was my second Stormcast opponent of the weekend.
I actually forgot to take any pictures of this game, but they would have only shown me struggling to compete. I didnt really pay attention to the deep striking capabilities of his force and let him drop behind my army and harass me from the outset.
I did manage to hold on for three turns, but then it was all over. For the first time, I didnt get my secondary objective.
After the game it was time for a Sunday roast and judging of the best painted army competition, which included my next opponent.
Next up was Adam Elford and his beautiful Khorne army, featuring a massive Forge World beast, that scared the bejesus out of me.
Evan more so when it was in combat in turn one!
The massive beast surged across the board and was met by a massive unit of daemonnettes who surprisingly for me and Adam took out the beast in a round of combat. They were boosted by the ability to get extra attacks on a 5+ to hit and being able to attack twice. I was shocked when I found out it would then blow up and leave only four Daemonnettes standing!
After the big brute was killed the Slaanesh speed showed and my force was in his back line in no time ripping into the Khorne warriors. Adam had horrific dice, and I couldn't fail anything. So much so that the game was over in record time, as Adam's force just crumbled in front of his eyes. It was a shame that it was over so quickly as Adam was a great sport throughout.
And so it was onto my final game, and this time it was Nagash. The game was over by the end of turn one, with Nagash and and his companion (whos name escapes me) in my back field after one turn. With 2+ saves and rerolling 1's ignoring rend there was nothing I could do.
Sadly this was the least enjoyable game of the weekend, and one of those forces that I had hoped I wouldn't face and feared I would in every game.
So the gaming was over, and I had finished with three wins and three losses. The whole weekend had been great fun, a lot more fun than I had expected and I will definitely be back next year.
Apart from the last game I managed to avoid any of the 'bent' forces, had 3 really close games, and played six really nice people. Everyone at the event was great, there were no conflicts and everyone seemed to come away with a smile on their face.
I finished 61st out of 130 players, and had one more win than I had hoped for. Elliot finished 75th with two wins, two losses and two draws.
A big thank you to Dan, Wayne, Russ and all the other people who made the weekend possible.
See you next year!