Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Guest Post - The Guardcon Experience

Today we have a Guest Post from James Milner on his experience at Guardcon over the weekend. James has just returned from two years in the UK where he attended a lot of events and even found time to represent NZ twice at the ETC. He is most fondly rememberedon these shores for beating some muppet with Vampire Counts 20-0 with his Beastmen as well as the deplorable incident regarding basing of his Bloodcrushers. Here are James' thoughts:

 James Milner here, everyone’s favourite far-wandering wargamer , and television celebrity. (see what you’ve all done!!!)

So on the weekend the Cityguard club in Auckland held their annual convention, Guardcon. Having not seen any of the guys up there for quite a while now, I thought it would be good to head up and say hi, and play some toy soldiers (also, Phil Wu wouldn’t stop badgering me about it until I finally caved…).

I’ll just give you all a brief rundown of the event as a whole, rather than my mostly terrible gaming results, which I might pass to Pete when I’ve pondered my High Elf list a bit more…


The event was well organized and on time. There was good relatively cheap food put on, though I wish we had bars on site for tournies in NZ. Phil getting Pizzas for everyone on Saturday was a nice touch.

The Players pack only being released two months before the event despite being advertised and asking for money 6+ months out is a big fail (16 dropouts is kinda telling…)

The Warmachine/Hordes tournament being hidden away to the point I forgot there actually was one was a bit disappointing. I know space is an issue but it just felt bad, and I’d have liked to have a look in.

The Painting Competition, I know it was added on late but for a trial NZ Golden Daemon type event, I feel it deserved something a bit more than it got. It felt very tacked on and unimportant.

Comp Pack:

Bit of a debacle in my opinion. Armies comped needlessly and others allowed free reign (I honestly don’t think you could make a much stronger Ogre list in a non comp environment than what you could take at Guardcon).

But mainly, Look out sir vs. magic basically told everyone to take Deathstars, which they did and I don’t think that’s a good thing. Games basically devolve into avoid the Deathstar for 6 turns, which isn’t that fun

Ban the Crown of Command, period, and make people suffer for their poor gameplay!!! (and yes, I include all armies in this ban, seriously noone needs it at all…). Can’t believe Ogres could take it when lots of other races couldn’t…


I had 6 great games, but I heard tales of some heated games on the top tables, particularly one involving [redacted] vs [redacted]. I didn’t see it but based on the description it sounded like lots of fun! (Note: Noone actually got sports hit that I recall, so it wasn‘t table flipping or anything)


From what I saw, the overall army standard was very good. NZ has amazingly high painting standards compared to what I saw regularly at UK tournies, so good work guys!

Wrap Up:

Oh and since there was an interesting debate re. scenarios on the Cityguard forums last week, I’ll just mention, that yet again I found scenarios had little effect on any of my games, mostly as they basically all devolved into “deal with the big character deathstar or lose regardless”. Though, at least they were better than the 40k ones, which from what I was told, all involved skipping to T6 and rolling a dice to see who won…

To sum up I had great weekend of drinking with some gaming in between. Unfortunately though, given the cost, my attendance next year will rely a lot on some much improved army comp…


  1. James it was a great pleasure to play you at the tournament. I was lucky in places where you weren't (having 10 plus White Lions nuked by a miscast didn't help your cause!).
    I totally agree with your above comments, the pack encouraged "deathstars" (guilty) and the inclusion of the CoC was ridiculous ( I would have won that last game if not for that item!). Ogres still require the least amount of skill to play. In the last game I had a double charge off on an Ogre bus (with my bus and the unit of Gryph's) won combat by 12+....meh...
    Anyway, James your list was an inspiration and I have drafted up some MSU lists for Empire for more synergy.
    Meet you on the tables sometime soon, cheers mate.

    1. Cheers mate, I had a great game too, and you're right, that miscast cost me the game, I think. 10 more White lion attacks and I'm pretty sure I'd have got you... but alas we shall never know!

      Look I'm not trying to attack Ogres as a skill-less army (I personally am 2-2-1 against them, including some very, very good players in that list), and everyone else can do the same if they have the option of a CoC, but they are tough to beat in the first place and they did not need the extra bonus over everyone else that they got.

      Glad I could help encourage you to think outside the box! Unfortunately it does mean you have to think a bit harder about the game, but I find it much more rewarding when it works than pushing a 1500pt unit at the other guy ftw... Though I admit, in NZ that appears to be the way forward

    2. Yeah I really only took the big bus because the player pack allowed for it, however I usually run two largish knight units, with 2 auxiliary units of 5x knights with muso and some demigryphs. My list for Horned Rat V was by far and away my most synergistic list that I've produced (was without steam tank!), the only problem is I can never stick to one list and get to know it really well!

    3. By the way it was quite funny watching my demigyphs trying to beat up 18 archers over 5 turns of combat (and failing!).

    4. I'm sure you have showed all your gaming skills in the last round :)
      After my maneater destroyed your warmachines then wiped out your crossbowmen then combat reformed to expose my rear to your steam tank's side, ready to charge your knight bus in the rear.

      With your Superb gaming skill, you somehow able to charge your steam tank into my maneaters in the rear because I didn't know it has random movement. I'm sure it was all part of your Genius gaming plan.

      You must be an awesome player to be able to do that :)

      I'm just surprise you still couldn't 20-0 me after that.

    5. Takes lots of skill running two stubborn units aye mate ;-) I hope you understand the random movement rules and that a miscast takes place on a roll of a one or two - not three! Didn't matter that I charged your maneaters in the back with the tank because their stubborn goodness was always going to save their bacon! Until we meet again!

    6. I do fully understand the random movement rule indeed.
      Yeah, I was such an idiot in the last game, even though I told you I have never read the steam tank rules and asked you to explain to me what it does, from my bad memory the "random movement" special rule was never mentioned.
      I'm sure you must have accidently forgot to mention it and I honestly believe an awesome player like you would never do it deliberately. :)
      I’m also pretty sure you had no idea what I was doing when I was checking the front arc of your steam tank to make sure my maneaters couldn't get charge by it.
      Anyhow who do I have to blame but myself? It was my stupidity for not reading the rule and trust that you would remember to tell me all the important rules. :)

    7. Hilarious levels of passive aggression floating about in here...

  2. The reason i didn't go to Guardcon was the player pack.As yourself and the poster above have stated the pack just screamed "bring a death star"

    That being said it sounded like Phil ran a tight ship and everyone had a blast

    1. Yep Phil ran a fantastic tourney! I just think the players pack was more applicable to the Warhammer paradigm of 6-12 months ago, where everyone was "6 dice-ing" Dwellers!
      The overall atmosphere of the tourney was great. The canteen was epic (thanks to Derrick and his wife, there was an abundance of vegetarian sandwiches!) and the B.O was at tolerable levels!

  3. I ran the CoC on my warboss in the bigun star purely for the frenzy baiters out there. The main problem with the savages is being pulled out of position by an unlucky failed frenzy check, and being flanked and run down. If I can take an item that stops this, then why wouldn't I? Although I only used the stubborn crown once in all 6 games. It won't be in my DE list for Skitterleap.

    I agree that the pack promoted deathstars, which isn't a good thing. I think Phil ran a really good tournament and the atmosphere was great all weekend.

    The only gripe I have is that we are still waiting for a basic email or post with the full results. Every Other tournament I have been to, we have had a full results email either that night, or early the next mourning. I mean the 40k had full results Sunday night.

    Or maybe I am just being impatient?

    Oh and thanks so much to Rory for the awesome accommodation, and Hamish for the rides and company on the Sat night. (Even if you went 5k in the wrong direction on the motorway on the way to the airport on Sunday :))

    1. At least we got to see what was on the other side of the bridge =P

  4. I am disappointed my missions did kill such a good weekend it ran so well and all the guys where awesome even with my crap missions i heard very little complaints and they understood i had f**ked things up. had spent months planing for this year to top last years mistakes. Though i had everything sorted, i guess not. I had a few people put there hand up for help with missions so that should be sorted now and have a few people in mind to try and break them before 2013.

    Sorry for all that where disappointed i hope it does not deter you from coming again. It is only my 2nd event so still fixing all the issues what can come with it. Having 6th come out after i had completed my players pack saw me spending the next 2-3 months fixing it what was a bit waste of time.

    I will strive to make things better for the next year. For any issues i am happy to reply to your emails like i have done to some people who have already.

    As far as results i am organized i guess thats what Phil always says.

    1. Mate, you are not the first nor the last TO, to to get tournie missions wrong, and 6th being brand new makes things even worse from a TOs perspective. As long as you learn from your mistakes I don't think you should feel bad at all, and glad its not gonna deter you from running tournies again. In future, I would just make sure to go with "simpler is better" from a mission perspective.

      Anyway despite all that, it sounded like all the 40k players had fun, that I talked too at least.

  5. Thanks for the support guys and also for coming to Guardcon.I guess this is the perfect time for me to share that my busy time table and also drained enthusiasm for running events over the last 6 months may have had an influence on this years GuardCon. It's most likely due to having to run continuous events for quite some time now without a break. Resources are a little thin and with the ACG having been mismanaged to a fashion that required huge amounts of work when I picked up the presidency to make sure it actually survived and not go into iminient bankruptcy. I'm glad to say that the club has been managed back into the black and we will continue on stronger and better for it.
    Here's my story if you're interested. I had volunteered and was fully prepared to sacrifice my time to run tournaments last year and was a little stunned that it was required for the running of more events this year as well. It's not that I don't enjoy running events and putting on a good show for all attending.It's more that I have other commitments such as a Job and other interests and basically a life(I know I actually have one). The Players pack was pre-launched on the City Guard for months in advance and a sos was issued for a TO to take over. I was way more willing to take a back seat and actually play for a change. None eventuated to take on the TO's role and as a last ditch effort I retook the responsibility of running the event and the pack may have suffered a little because of it. The Guardcon pack has a big lean towards the NICON pack and it was pretty obvious.
    just a prelude to my round up of the tournament I don't like CoC but it had no bearing in the tournament as far as I could see and the people who were against it at GCon should just play better ;) Ogre's being the new flashy filth is no surprise and it's more a get use to playing against them more or the players who drove the armies were actually good players. Improving on both and you'll get better results. As an observation all the players who were top tables understood their armies well and had obviously tested them frequently. Which is the formula to winning a tournament I guess and i'll have to take a leaf out of their book.
    For those wanting full results the next day, you won't be getting them for this tournament as I've not been home and will be home tomorrow afternoon. I'll have everything uploaded then for your viewing pleasure. Cheers,Phil

  6. Oh by the way I've just read a bit more.
    James milner, you came because you enjoy Warhammer and don't flatter yourself I didn't badger you,I don't fancy you that way bigboi :P
    As to the 16 dropouts there were pretty real life reasons and also work reasons. For the two comptrolling muppets who cancelled because they couldn't take their favourite crown then I guess they lurked at home and we had a cool as tournament weekend and glad you enjoyed the Pizza. By the way I ran the whole tournament which was a brilliant success with 140 in attendance which is the biggest GuardCon on record.
    The Painting Competition was tacked on and that was the plan. We need a kick starter to get it recognised and some sponsor support. The official Competition will be at Equinox and it will have the full backing of sponsors. Equinox will have the very first official "NZ Miniature Showcase". I hope you guys are all going to support it and it also gives you about 6 months to decide on and paint your winning entry (also me time to get graphics and flyers out). Big thanks to the guys who brought their work from around the country for the intial kick starter.

    1. We both know You do fancy me that way, Phil, denial is the first step to acceptance ;-) it's not wrong though, it happens to everyone :-D

      Anyway, maybe it was just the awards for the painting comp that hit me about it, but I think everyone should have been together for that. It would've made it much more prestigious.

      As for the tournament as a whole you did a great job given the aforementioned Cityguard shenanigans... And lack of enthusiasm from that isn't too surprising. Hopefully next year things are abit smoother up north...