So it looks like we have entered the phoney war before the event.....which is now less that 48 hours away.
Certainly a lot of our northern visitors have gone very quiet....their mouths have been writing cheques that their talent can't cash.
I'm looking at the various teams and I think that there is a clear division between what I perceive to be the top seven teams (including the von Trapps) and the other three. This is based on list construction and race selection.
Between those top seven I think the playing field is quite level. I certainly can see any of them on the podium. With that in mind I'm going to pick my top three in no particular order:
Grumpy Old Men - Wealth of experience and good mix of armies (and the only one of my top seven with a Dwarf to throw under the bus). I think Reid's GUO will scare the bejesus out of a lot of expensive lords. Mike's ability to pass miscasts and force miscast re-rolls will also scare those reliant on magic. Raymond is a wily old dog whose army will shred others if he gets the right matchups.
NZHammered - Another team with solid players in all slots. They have a good set of armies and are certainly not lacking in confidence. Apart from Antony, and to a lesser extent Glen, these guys have little experience with their armies. You can't help feeling they have been directed in their selection by listening to UK podcasts. The armies may be good but they need to marry that with solid gameplay. Questions have been raised by other teams as to their mental strength. Feel they will make the podium by jumping some on top tables in last round.
Nerdymen - Solid team with good army choices. Rory has been running his VC bus for the past six months and had some success. Thomas is an excellent player representing NZ at the ETC in 2012. I played Graeme's High Elves last year and though the list was different I remember a very hard fought game. Paul is driving Daemons and no-one will be lining up them by choice. I do feel they may be hostage to whether Rory and Thomas can get big wins but fully expect them to be there or thereabouts.
My unlucky team is Shaken Not Stirred representing the South Island's hopes. I rate Tim as one of the best players in the country and Chaos Dwarfs are a real top tier list (surprised the Omanis didn't take them). Damon has a very good Lizard list that will test anybody's ability to score big points. The reason I have listed them as unlucky is largely due to the missing Doom Divers in Mike's list. There are a lot of players with armour breathing easier.
In the end both Team Oman and the Kapiti Krushers will be there or thereabouts. I'd also not write the other three team off outright. However I think they may struggle to score consistent points.
So much is going to depend on matchups.