Captain’s Log Part One
“Mark Fry, a Man with a single instinct, Survive Boot Camp!”
Yes, dear readers, the weekend of the 20/21st May saw the annual FWC Boot Camp event, when the sanity of ‘normal’ historical gaming is thrown to the winds and we descend again to the 1:300th scale (6mm to those of you of the metric persuasion) and the world of miniature sci-fi mechanised combat. For info on the FWC rules go to: http://www.blitzkrieg-commander.com/
This is the 8th year we’ve held this event at Slimbridge (The Tudor Arms) and it just seems to get bigger & better (& even bigger) each year. The event is not a competition, but as the name suggests an opportunity for participants to hone their skills, test new armies, exchange rules interpretations and advice and play a load of FWC games. Held over two days the players are engaged in a series of scenarios – some are tried and tested, others are … well how can I best say this … still under development!
We started off Saturday morning with our now infamous warm up multi-player game Mad Max Fury
Road – Gas Town Run.
All players are limited to 1,000pt armies (a small amount in FWC terms) taken from the Hunter-Scavenger list. These are primarily low-tech (primitive), blood-thirsty, fast moving, clannish armies, with bikes, buggies, armoured trucks and a few gyrocopters but each Scavenger Clan also had to also include its own custom build “War-Rig”. The game is played on parched desert terrain and the objective is to get your War-Rig to Gas Town, fill ‘er up and get her back home intact. Needless to say, this is an “every clan for themselves” type game and some players are simply just not interested in filling their War-Rig – “wadda-yu wanna do that fur, when there are vendettas to be prosecuted!”
Charlize Therton – “well, you just would, wouldn’t you!” ( editor’s comment- I just did!😳)
But this year one of the Clans did actually make it to Gas Town and got fuelled up. But the rest just fought each other to stand-stills around the periphery. As always a great ‘ice-breaker’ and a chance to convert a few interesting models – maybe we might see a few ‘pole-catz’ and ‘’war-boyz’ next year?
Mad Max Gas-town Run in full flow … and with all those tape measures out somebody has started to cause trouble!
Game 2 on Saturday afternoon is traditionally a 1:1 Encounter game (Scenario 7 in the rules book). This year was no exception with each player producing 2,500pt armies from the standard rule book army lists or the list from the FWC forum. The match up for armies and terrain was as follows:
1). Imperial Guard (Hoth Defence Force) v Hunter Scavengers (probably Gommorians)
2). Eldar v Droids
3). Pax Arcadians v Cybernetic Species (Tau in the GW 40k universe)
4). Space Marines v GZG Humans
5). Kraytonians v (my very own) Cyber Undead (Necrons)
The terrain is pre-set to speed the game and we had the following ‘worlds:
Ice World Infected World
Apocalypse World Deserted World ( based on Cardiff’s Trade street?)
Mega-city World Cyber Undead (by any other name)
Players were graded based upon their technology ratings (Advanced, Contemporary and Primitive) and pair up accordingly to fight it out.
I used my Cyber Undead (Necrons in the GW 40K universe) – which are very high-tech, small and deadly (this is primarily a close assault army in FWC), but I was paired up against Steve Price with his ‘infamous’ Dark Realm Kraytonians , in their distinctive pink livery (for the uninitiated Kraytonians are a vicious, advanced tech, spacefaring member of the genus Geoemydidae or sci-fi Ninja Turtles … nasty!). Our game was to be played out on a high-rise urban Mega-city table, with a large river running through the midst.
Historic shot of Steve’s Kraytonian Gunships from a 2013 Boot Camp Cyber-Undead Slaughterer
Being Advanced Tech both our armies were small and both had special high-tech capability, such as teleport, stealth, adaptive camo and shields. My Cyber-undead also had Adaptive armour on one of my Massive armoured vehicles, which negated some of Steve’s nastier longer range weaponry. We both opted for Static deployment – that turned out to be a mutual mistake (see below) – but made the game last a little bit longer. Needless to say, the game mostly consisted of each of us manoeuvring for advantage and using the tower blocks as cover. For me it was all about getting my command or reconnaissance units into position to spot Steve’s elements and then Teleporting units in for devastating close assaults. Whilst for Steve it was about manoeuvring his massive gunships with long-range weaponry into a position to inflict maximum damage before he teleported out of sight.
The Encounter scenario allows for a maximum of 8 full game turns per player and the minor game objective is for each player to inflict at least 25% damage on his opponent to to achieve a major objective and win the game, but a player must break his opponents army completely. So this is not a game to hang back and corner sit!
Needless to say as Steve’s massive armoured gunships cruised amongst the sky-scrapers shooting up my drone swarms (which were more of an annoyance to him than any real danger and as expendable units had no effect on my break-point) my Super-heavy tank unit (Slaughterer) dropped out of Teleport and started massacre his smaller armoured Grav units and infantry which were dug-in in the built up terrain. Things looked to be in my favour as Steve’s army moved inexorably towards its break-point, however I took a risk and as my command ranking dropped (turn by turn) I had to choose between either continuing the combat (& potentially winning the game) or teleporting back out to safety. I took the gamble … but I failed my command role … leaving my Slaughterer exposed in the open to Steve’s predatory aerial weapon platforms.
My only hope was that Steve would roll high and either fail his own command roll or even better inflict a command blunder on his own army. But lady luck was with Steve and with his commander bolstered by his own recce vehicles spotting activity; he manoeuvred to catch my Slaughterer (with its shields down from the earlier combat) in a devastating cross-fire and blew it to pieces! This left the Cyber Undead with no significant offensive combat units left, and whilst I could have drag the game out for a draw by playing hide and seek amongst the buildings with my remaining infantry and pyramids (keeping away from Steve’s gunships lines of fire) that was not really a game I wanted to play, so I conceded the game.
Both of us subsequently realised that had either of us gone for Mobile deployment, we could have Teleported into assault in go one and possibly taken out one of our opponents Massive units even faster.
This was the first run-out of my Cyber-Undead – so whilst the dreaded pinko Krays still reigns supreme – I was very pleased with how well they’d performed, so in the words of Arnie … “I’ll be back”.
That was Saturday over and done with and feedback from the other games was all positive. Sunday would see two more scenarios – “A Stargate too Far” and “Woken Furies” … the good news for yours truly as organiser, was that we had all agreed to keep the 5 terrain tables as they were for the Stargate scenario, so I would get a lie in rather than having to rearrange them all.
To be continues …
Additional photos can also be found on another Boot Camp participants blog: http://twomarshals.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/…
The ‘Stargate too Far’ scenario in full swing Be prepared for the unexpected …!
Mark Fry is associate writer for the Despertaferres publishing house. Fan mail and requests for maintenance can be forwarded to the editor. Another brilliant piece of journalism from the very epitome of wargaming chic.