Three teams of Zombies descended to the UK Team Championships in Milton Keynes and
this is how Evil Dead 2 got on.
Warning: Before reading further this article contains a sprinkling of strong and offensive language in order to articulate one of my team mates tactical musings in his own words.
On the other hand my other teammate was a mild mannered South African of which we have a gentleman’s agreement for me to not mention the words ‘Japan’ and ‘Rugby World Cup 2015’ in the same sentence if he does not mention ‘England’ and ‘Rugby World Cup 2015’ in general. We fell out a bit in the afternoon about the difference between the pronunciation of macaron and macaroon. I got close to getting on the Great British Bake off this year and had been on a macaron making course. Subsequently I had to pull out of the Team England X-Wing ETC final qualifier just in case. Having watched this year’s offerings it seems they were looking for people who could not cook.
Guardians of Tyr who ran the event did a great job of running it all on schedule but after six games it was 9.30pm by the time we bundled back into cars and midnight as I stepped through the door back home. Being on a Sunday it was a long day with setting off at 6am to get there and pick up team mates. Staying in a hotel on a Sunday night was not an option for most people.
As a side note whoever is in charge of the Jurys Inn in Milton Keynes needs to have a long hard look at their business management to maximise profit. Personally I would take them outside and shoot them. We were on the first floor with a shiny bar outside of the hall. Closed and no staff in sight. The only open bar was on the ground floor staffed by one person.
With in the region of 170 people in the hall if they had a bod or two on the bar outside it serving beer, coke, (the liquid stuff not the white powdery stuff that keeps the entertainment industry ticking over), snacks and coffee they could easily have stashed about £1500 to £2000 behind the tills. I would have had two coffees, a pint of coke, a nibbly thing and something else, an easy tenner. I even had to have a vanilla latte when I did venture downstairs as they had run out of caramel syrup. The bastards, vanilla latte is so 2015 for me.
My team, Evil Dead 2
The basic concept of the event which had 51 teams of three entered is that each team has one rebel list, one Imperial and one scum. The total points of all three lists determine who decides on team initiative for selecting the match ups. The team with initiative picks one of the opponent’s lists to play against one of theirs then the other team determines the remaining pairings. Depending on your school of thought it either is or is not vital picking first.
Evil Dead 2 Lists
Onicun with Expose, Ysanne Isard and experimental interface 53 points
Kath Scarlet, veteran instincts, Mangler cannon and engine upgrade. 47 points
100 points total.
Moralo Eval: Heavy laser canon, K4 securtiy droid, Zuckass, Latts razzi. 47 points
Dengar: Push the limits, Title, unhinged astromech, engine upgrade 53 points
Total 100 points
Poe Dameron (PS8) T-70 X-Wing: Veteran Instincts, weapons guidance, R2-D2, Auto Thrusters
Biggs Darklighter T 65 X-Wing: R4-D6, Integrated Astromech
2 x Tala Squadron Z 95s: Concussion missiles, guidance chips
Team Total 300 points
All lists had to be submitted two weeks before the event and were published so that everyone could see them and do some homework on pairings. I made my own spreadsheet and then traffic lighted each of our lists against the others, green for easy, yellow for average and red for bad. Oddly despite being on 300 points we got favourable squad match ups in all our matches, according to the spreadsheet at least, we just needed to win those match ups.
Part of the tactics for match ups is to identify an opposing list that will be hard work for everyone and put your least competitive build for the other two options against it. Throw it under the bus so to speak. I had set a pre-tournament target of a total of two wins for my team with three being the exceptional medal haul.
Match 1 Crimson Aces Omega
We both came in at 300 points and we got the initiative. We instantly paired Peter off with the Soontir, Carnor and Inquisitor list and then both Graham and I got to play against our respective factions. We won 2-1 with Peter taking out Carnor and the Inquisitor before biting the Soontir bullet.
Halfway to the target and the exceptional target within reach.
Match 2 186th Pod Cast
Zombie Squadron was born from the ashes of the old Woking First Founding games club and that meant taking some of the assets which included our resident Cave Troll. Peter whilst a lovely guy is a loud, sweary, grumpy old builder who takes personal offence to rules mechanics that appear to him unfair like Tie X7 whilst giving a running commentary of the game. As they had initiative they paired Peter with Mike Dennis and his triple X7 Defenders in a kind of Yin and Yang match, Mike’s cheerful, polite and precise demeanour against loud and sweary.
Graham dropped the ball over the try line at the end against Alex and I bungled my initial approach and failed to realign it for the engagement against James’ Scum. This meant Poe was not effective and I lost him cheaply when I should have cut and run with him. Peter disappeared loudly under a barrage of accurate firing and a bag of evade tokens.
If we played better we could potentially have come away with a 2-1 win in another universe but sank to a 0-3 loss.
I can’t remember the expletives but it was along the lines of “those Defender things are silly.”
For those not familiar with the term ‘dropping the ball over the line,’ here is a quick video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNCIu4zbTuU
Match 3 Darth’s Divas
On paper not bad as we paired off Dengaroo with Peter, cue more swearing and befuddlement. I then got a Rexlar and four black crack tie mini swarm whilst Graham got the double ghost and Z 95. Although I won 100-0 Graham and Peter both lost and we went down 1-2.
Peter’s quick tactical note for tackling Dengaroo: “I should have killed the Bitch first.”
Match 4 NASA
After three games of relative under the bus work we thought we would be kind and give Peter a game he could win versus a near mirror match of a Party Bus and Kath scarlet list. Graham and I also had winnable games but consequently we all went down narrowly to a 0-3 loss. I presume narrowly as Graham disappeared first and he had a delightful phone conversation with his wife to discover that her macaron making had led to the death of the dish washer.
Having seen the photos of the macarons between the first two rounds I was suitably impressed with the end result of the cooking. Graham not so with the end result of the dishwasher. Back in X-wing I had a really entertaining close game with Ryan Toone and his rebels but kept over thinking where Poe should go to snag a one hull Garven Dreis whilst running away from a Zeb Phantom.
Match 5 Enfield Wargamers
They had initiative and paired me off against Tom and his scum list of Ventress, Contracted scout and a Dorsal turret Thug. Tom made two mistakes which was made worse by not burning his dice. Mine on the other hand decided that modifiers were for wimps and I romped away to a 100-0 win.
Peter got to play a Whisper, Vessery and Omega leader combo to highlight how broken all three of those ships are to everyone within earshot, (about a range of 20 foot), whilst Graham took on a ghost, phantom and Arc list and rounded off a 2-1 win for us.
Match 6 Meeples Blue
Our Olympic target achieved, we now could achieve the next level of medal count and get a third victory. Meeples chose to pair Graham against a Han and Jake build which I had as a green light match up for us. Of the two remaining lists I had helpful input from Peter.
“I don’t want to play those ye olde Quims again.” He said pointing to the triple defender list. Okay, ye olde quims is not in his vocabulary but I’m not sure if writing cunts is acceptable or not on the site as it does not translate well with our Atlantic friends as it has a slightly different meaning.
“Okay, you can play the two jumpmasters,” I replied, pointing to the Dengaroo list.
Peter followed his own advice earlier and double stressed Manaroo and blew the bitch away with Kath Scarlet before helping Oincun bump Dengar to death, whilst Graham and I fouled up. Tom must have swapped dice with me when I went to the toilet after our game in the previous round as my alpha strike faded like a damp squib and the blank symbol on the red dice was prevalent throughout.
We went down 1-2.
Overall standing: 43rd out of 51
We were actually two individual game wins off coming top of the 2-4 win records in 35th place. Peter mentioned that in two games he was one round of firing off winning whilst Grahame and I should have closed out a game each in matches that we lost as a team 0-3. These small margins could have transpired in hitting as high as the lower reaches of the 4-2 records in the low teens or the upper echelons of the 3-3 bracket around 22nd.
With my list I learned that yet again a small foul up in the approach and I’m undone. Also if the alpha strike from the Tala’s falls short it will be hard to push the damage through after that. It’s hard to say whether taking three strong lists or a more tailored synergised selection of lists designed to destroy a particular type of build would be a better approach. If taking a more tailored approach you would have to build in a combined initiative bid of 292 or 293 points to protect you from a particularly bad match up and to cheery pick the sure fire win.
For this year I had seen it as more of a learning event overall in terms of composing our teams and next year we will sit down and think harder about team composition and list combinations within. Overall everyone enjoyed themselves and we are looking to do it again next year.
As we strolled out to find lunch and ended up at a local supermarket after surveying our options some of Graham’s wise words came back to me from a previous event.
“I figure that a man can only eat a certain number of Macdonalds, before exceeding that limit kills him.”