Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Winter Invasion 2017 Round-up

Laughing, whining, celebrating, commiserating, agreeing, arguing, queries, answers, smells, worse smells, air-con, less smells, sounds, silence, dice, luck, swearing, eating, drinking, conversing, hugging, more hugging, more hugging, restraining ordering, contemplating, calculating, spending, boasting, sulking; the list of activities which took place over the weekend of the 28th & 29th January could go on and on, although I have run out of suitably descriptive words, so maybe it actually can't.

Winter Invasion, that's of course what I'm referring too! As is always the case, the OB boys landed (no walk on grunts in this force, we strictly travel by dropship; it's built into our cost) in the war zone of Croydon bearing our war grimaces, primed and ready for the ensuing two days of battle. Well, most of us were, I was instead deployed in a 'war reporter' type role, as I wasn't in the mood for a tournament but did want to re-engage with the community and Hawk Wargames.

The regular theatre of Croydon Conference Centre seemed a lot more sparse than it had in 2016, with 38(ish) generals turning up to do battle. This was likely down to a mixture of fellow Europeans not able to make it across the ocean, January always being awkward, the late confirmation of Invasion's dates and of course disgruntled gamers from the last six months, but I am happy to report that amongst all the regular faces a new crop of commanders were down, and made up approximately a third of the field too!

Over the course of the day and after chatting to more people than my brain would care to remember, I began to gather a general feeling from all the commanders. None seemed to have played in months, but hosted a very real enthusiasm to start putting more hours into the game again, with the adrenaline shot of Invasion really beginning to take affect toward lunch time. It felt good to be amongst everyone and the 
cardboard cityscape's of the Cradle Worlds again.

Talking about cityscape's, on display were some of Plastcraft's the new plasticard, 'uniquely' shaped buildings, which looked great on the table. I think perhaps they are a little pricey at averagely £15 a house, and possibly a bit awkward to play on too, but I won't know until I get to play with some (wink wink, nudge nudge, Plastcraft, hit me up).

The new Dropfleet Commander Corvettes were also on display, and I got a few piccies of these too! They look much nicer with some paint on them, although Hotdrop Studio are so good they could probably paint up a turd and make me want to buy it! Hang on, I'm not saying that these minis are turds- Ah, forget it.

Apologies for the bluryness PHR players, camera wouldn't
focus through the glass
Weirdly on leaving the tournament I felt about as tired as I would have if playing, but on reflection it was probably because I was pretty much in 'meetings' all day with the Hawk boys! And here comes the stuff you really came here for, the juicy, dripping gossip! Well actually I don't really have any for you.

Don't be discouraged however, as although the shackles of an NDA render me speechless, and are so heavy on my wrists even charades-less, I am happy to confirm we have some news to look forward to this year, and it's got me pumped! One of the newsings that I can share relates to the new Rota-Thing for the Resistance, sculpted primarily for the special character Rodriguez (featured in R:P2), but will also have a general rules release too following the trend of past fabulous commanders. It sounds like it will be a troop transport / gunship, sporting a host of missiles, which may end up being shaped charged (I suspect not even the alpha draft exists for those rules yet, so heap generous pinches of salt on that rumour).

The only other rumour I can bring you, kind of, is the following series of avatars on display, including a Scourge warrior being penned by the very talented Mr Patrice at the event. These avatars are for... well, I can't tell you that, but they're for something exciting!

As for the tournament, the missions were (in order);

  • Bunker Assault
  • Ground Control
  • Command and Control
  • Military Complex
  • Take and Extract

I wasn't particularly enamoured with the selection of missions, but the order in which the room played them was very well put together. Kicking an event of with Bunker Assault is straight up mean, and I think helps set up the field a little fairer than perhaps a mission like Targets Of Opportunity. All the boys seemed to enjoy the missions, so really that's the main thing.

And speaking of my boys, I'm proud of each one of them, with the team performing up to the harsh standards which we instill into each other!

1st) Mike Burch - UCM - OB
2nd) Simon Edwards - Resistance (Feral)
3rd) Joe Whiddett - Shaltari -OB
4th) Ed Neale-Scullion - PHR - OB
5th) Stephen Downes - Resistance (Allied)

Best Painted (and the wooden spoon) - Steve Perry of Dark Ops

Best Sport - Kanan Nallainathan‎ (from our local club) - That's two tournaments in a row for him, he's such a nice guy!

Best Team - Red October (Simon Edwards and Guy Hiddleston) - OB was second - only 1.3 points down

There was an incredibly weak showing of Scourge, I think maybe for a couple of reasons. Firstly, a lot of the usual host suspects weren't playing (like myself) or were using a new army. I also think for as good as the Overseer is, it sucks an amount of fun from the army. But there you go, who knows, maybe we'll end up with sixty Jellyheads in September!

And that's pretty much it I'm afraid. There will be bits I have missed, but you can look forward to hearing about all of that in the podcast being recorded (if Odin wills it) this Sunday!


  1. Thank you Dan! Was it any limited model to buy this time..?

    1. Nope, nothing this time. Salute is the release day for those I think? Either way, I'm thinking of this Invasion as a 'reset'.

  2. I was one of the weak Scourge! :)

    It was my first time using the Overseer, so I can't say I've got bored with it. Even though it wasn't exactly all-conquering. I'm not sure what I was expecting... I did miss the feeling of 'I can nuke you' with the Despoiler. I didn't miss the feeling of 'well, in theory I could have nuked you but instead I've done far more damage to myself'...

    Anyway, I had a great time. It was my first time playing since... Ooh, probably Critical Engagement. And I had five great games, if not very many (any) wins. And it was great seeing old friends again as well as making new ones.

  3. Awesome. Thanks for the write up, Dan, and the pics!

    NDA, eh? Hmmmm.... Lucky you! 8^D

  4. I still managed to get 7th with my Scourge! Though, it can't be said I was going for a conventional list...