So this weekend is NiCon and there are a few Wellingtonians venturing up to Auckland to battle the northern barbarians.
Looking through the field I’ve worked out that there are 60% of participants that I have not played before and only two of the non-Wellingtonians I’ve played more than three times. Therefore I’m hoping to get some games against new opponents over the course of the weekend.
My target in Skaven tournament games is always a 14 point average. At Runefang I failed to get there while at NatCon I managed to achieve it. This average is realistic given that Skaven aren’t generally a combat army so struggle to get the big 20-0s you need to average higher. Scoring 84 points over the 6 games puts you in the mix to achieve a Top 5 finish.
So who do I think will be there or thereabouts at Nicon?
Well my Top 5 in no particular order are:
Dan Butler – using Skaven and needs to show some form going into the ETC. The pressure is all on Dan and this is his chance to show that he can do more than roll 5s for Daemonic Saves and six-dice monkey the Dreaded 13th Spell. Will try to tell people that the Jezzails are a fluffy choice but they are in the list at the direction of his ETC captain so you can judge that for yourself.
John Willenbruch – I’ve never played John (in fact never met him). However he is coming off some very strong form winning both Over the Top and The Wandering Orc with his Brets. Hoping we get to play at some stage over the weekend.
Reid Pittams – Nobody will get many points off Reid. His Vampire list is the ultimate bus with accompanying support units generally hard to harvest. On top of this he is NZ’s premier Fantasy player of the past ten years. He is my favourite to win the event.
Sam Whitt – Sam will have learned a lot after a horror Day 2 at The Horned Rat. Sitting on Table One going into Round 4 he endured little luck in his battles versus Ogres and Empire. I suspect that he is less likely to repeat the errors he made that day and with his combination of Destroyer, Taurus, Warmachines and Metal Magic he has the tools to hurt a lot of his top table competitors.
Tom Dunn – this list is speed personified with the bonus of the all-encompassing 5+ Ward Save. Sporting a Bloodthirster, Tom doesn’t want to see cannons and with only one Dwarf, two Empire and bugger all Ironblasters I’m sure he is very happy. Coupled with that the presence of seven Wood Elves in the field is going to only increase his smile. More than any other army in the field this is the one that can get the big wins.
Of the rest of the field, I think the most likely to force their way into this group are Phil Wu (High Elves), James Page (Dark Elves) and NZ’s ETC Dwarf player Thomas van Roekel. Ross Hillier-Jones won’t lose a lot of points (given 2000+ points in three units) but I suspect that he will spend the weekend being re-directed and chasing shadows. Rory Finnemore was fast finishing at The Horned Rat but here he is using a new army.
There are seven Wood Elves playing and I think that any of them will be doing well to make the Top 10. Why? The preponderance of armoured units and/or deathstars will hamper their ability to gather points. With the need to average 13 points/game to make the Top 10 I think it will prove a target too difficult.