Last weekend I went to House of War in Ringwood to participate in The Winds of Winter, the first A Song Of Ice And Fire (“ASOIAF”) tournament in Melbourne. The tourney was run by Kevin, and we had a great turnout, with 10 players competing over the three rounds.
House of War
I hadn’t been out to House of War before, the store is large, and has a well stocked retail section with all the ranges you’d expect across miniature and board games. In addition, there are areas to paint, significant amounts of play space and some couches and armchairs to chill on also. I was quite impressed with the space.
The tables were pre-set by Kevin, which led to us having a wider range of terrain than I’m used to (I’ve found we default to palisades, corpse piles and Weirwood trees with the occasional bog). The tables all looked great, with 3D terrain on all, and there was plenty of space between tables to move around as well (always important when you’re gaming for eight hours straight).
I took my House Umber themed Stark force along, as I’ve been really enjoying playing them and feel it really complements my playstyle. I only ran one list for the day, which perhaps was a handicap, but I felt comfortable taking on each scenario with this list.
Greatjon Umber (commander) in Umber Berserkers
Umber Berserkers with Robb Stark
Umber Greataxes with Bran and Hodor
Arya Stark (NCU)
Sansa Stark (NCU)
The first round was A Clash Of Kings, and I came up against Justin and his well painted Lannister force consisting of:
The High Sparrow (NCU commander)
Knights of Casterly Rock
Warrior Sons with an Assault Veteran
2x Lannister Crossbowmen
The Mountain That Rides
Tywin Lannister (NCU)
I deployed Greatjon Umber on the right flank and the Greataxes on the left flank figuring they’d rush forward for the respective objectives. Justin responded with his Warrior Sons and Knights both contesting Greatjon Umber’s flank. In round two, Umber got the charge on the Warrior Sons and came very close to destroying them, leaving only the Assault Veteran alive. I sacrificed both direwolves in an attempt to keep the Knights from charging the Berserkers this round, and figured this would also work as I had both copies of The North Remembers in my hand to get Umber’s berserkers to activate again. The first wolf was killed and I played but was Counterploted however when the second wolf was killed I forgot the second one. Needless to say, the Warrior Sons commenced their healing over round three and quickly got back to almost full strength while dispatching Umber and his berserekers.
I ran Robb up onto the centre objective in round three, however he was flank charged on one side by the Mountain and on the other by the Knights which saw his unit wiped due to some great rolling for the Knights.
After those two things I wasn’t able to come back and ended up with a loss 12 to 3 in round four. Justin went on to win overall, so I feel less bad about getting completely outplayed here!
Next up was A Feast For Crows, and I faced Ash, also playing Lannisters, but a very different list, comprising:
Gregor Clegane as commander in a unit of Bastard’s Girls
Sandor Clegene in a unit of Bastard’s Girls
Knights of Casterly Rock
Brienne of Tarth in a unit of Mountain’s Men
Tyrion Lannister NCU
Cersei Lannister NCU
The game got off to a shocking start, with an opening charge from Summer on the Knights of Casterly Rock causing no wounds and triggering Lannister Supremacy, which of course I rolled snake eyes for.
Early in round two, I managed to get a key charge off, with Greatjon Umber’s berserkers charging Gregor’s unit, and I was lucky enough to wipe it out. This was offset by my Greataxes charging the Knights but falling short by mere millimetres, the Knights proceeded to counter-charge and wiped them out with some good attack rolls and a terrible Panic Test result for me.
Despite these setbacks, I was able to hold the middle and clean up Sandor’s Bastard Girls unit and Brienne’s Mountain’s Men with limited losses, putting me in a commanding position and ultimately seeing me win after destroying the Knights nine victory points to five.
I think that Ash got unlucky this game and didn’t see any of the cards that would have allowed him to string together some attacks and charges. The Bastard’s Girls struck me a real glass cannon unit that also didn’t perform during this game.
On to round three, which we played The Winds of Winter for, and I faced off against Michael, who I’d previously played at Good Games Melbourne some time ago, again running Lannisters! His list consisted of:
The High Sparrow as commander (NCU)
Jamie Lannister (Kingsguard) in a unit of Warriors Sons
Sandor Clegane in a unit of Mountains Men
Preston Greenfield in a unit of Bolton Bastard Girls
Crossbowmen with a Guard Captain
This was a tense game which required a lot of focus (given the secret missions and it being late in the day) and so I didn’t take any notes. One of the key deciding factors in this game was round two seeing the open mission being four victory points for having a unit in the opponents deployment zone. I trigger Arya’s ability and grabbed the horse to get Robb’s berserker unit into Michael’s deployment zone and giving me an early lead. Michael played well and caught up, but in the fifth round I got lucky with the draw of cards and ended up getting five or six points from holding only one objective, claiming the horse and letters on the tactics board and activating the Greataxes on the objective they held for a point leaving me with 12 to Michael’s seven. I had a lot of fun this game, it was a really tactical and tight game given the secret objectives and an excellent end to the day.
My first round opponent Justin ended up undefeated for the day and took out first place, Monkey came in second, and I ended up fourth (sorry I forgot to write down everyone else’s placings). I was super happy with that outcome (although would’ve liked to have placed higher than Monkey hahaha), as I was expecting to come towards the bottom of the standings.
Here’s a bunch of other photos from the day as well:
I had an excellent day, augmented by getting to play three new (or non-regular) opponents and seeing a variety of different lists. House of War was a great store, with plenty of stock, plenty of playing area and even space to crash, which is super important to me. Kevin ran a great tournament, it all went smoothly and was nicely laid back, and we all got plenty of prizes with two game night kits and gift vouchers on offer. With my winnings (and several other people’s) I picked up the Hellboy Board Game so expect to see my thoughts on that once I’ve had a chance to look through it, get it painted and also to the table.