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  • Writer's pictureFreeDwarf

A Bit More Bull

Last Year I attended a lot of Tournaments, if you count the ones I ran and the One in Madrid I flew out for I was at 21 Tournaments Last Year, 21 Weekends of wargaming ! A lot of them blurred together to be honest, but a few of them stood out. Amongst these were the two Tournaments run by Newbie Tournament Organiser Steve Hildrew, the Bullrun Tournaments, Steve pushed the boat out for his first two events and it showed, the scenery was top notch and the venues were spacious and well-appointed and both events were well attended indeed, so when Steve advertised the next event in the series “The Third Birmingham Bullrun – A cock and Bull Story” both myself and my long suffering partner, Jan AKA Trollette, jumped at the chance to attend.

So, having made the decision to attend and the realisation that, due to domestic issues and a distinct lack of nearby events being run, this would be the first major tournament of our 2023 season, so we are looking forwards to a great event.

The event is a one day , three game, 1995 points tournament with a choice of two Special Characters ( the Cock & the Bull of the title) the previous special characters had been a cavalry Hero and a Large Monster Hero – in this event the choice was between an infantry Character and a Cavalry Character as below

The questions I now had to answer were 1. What Army to take? and 2. Which Character would be best to take with that Army? and 3.Which Character do I have the best modelling Idea for ?

The Bullrun is unusual amongst UK Tournaments in a couple of ways – The Bullrun uses a scoring system that rewards scenario play more than army attrition and uses non-standard scenarios to mix things up a bit AND the Bullrun has a larger Hobby Element to scoring than is usual in the UK. The Painting and Sportsmanship scores are determined by a system of Peer voting at the event, each player leaves his Army out on the Table at lunch time and the players walk around and vote for their favourite armies, so a lot relies on the visual impact of the Army as a whole rather than just the technical quality of the painting on show. The Sportsmanship score is determined by each player ranking their three opponents in order of how much they enjoyed their games so as being nice for a day is not beyond me, I should not suffer too much at the hands of my Peers. The Bullrun has an Overall Champion, who is not necessarily the highest scoring General, the Champion is the player with the highest combination of Game, Painting and Sportsmanship Scores. So this presents me with a bit of a Dilemma , My best painted army is my Free Dwarfs , however this is the Army I took to the last event and it struggles a bit with the scoring system, it didn’t do too badly but I would like a shot at the top when all is said and done. Regular followers of this Blog ( if not WHY NOT ?) will know that my ”new” Abyssal Dwarf Army is in the middle of a complete overhaul and has only had a handful of practise games. Or do I try and get one of my other Armies up to Speed, bearing in mind there are Only 8 Weeks left to the Date of the Tournament! 8 weeks to practise and bring up to a decent standard an army I haven’t used for upwards of two Years? Veteran participants on the UK scene will know I have the reputation for churning out decent painted Armies in short periods of time but then not being able to perform due to a lack of practise. Also it appears that I will need to invest in the creation of a “BaseBoard” in order to elevate me to the level of competition I expect to face at the Bullrun. It will need to be big enough for the Army I choose, small enough to store and beautiful enough to bring home the points. So another element to factor into my decision making paradigm, hmmmm.

There is also the factor that over the last couple of months we have been watching painting tutorials to try and “up our game” a bit. Trollette has commenced her new Salamanders Army using Zenithal priming and Speed/Contrast paints and I must admit the latest “SlapChop” method of painting looks like it could be suited to fast finishing an entire army in short order. So could it be possible that one of the Armies I currently have sitting around in boxes, Halflings/Goblins/Ratkin/Northern Alliance, could be burst painted using one of these methods? Would the standard achievable be enough to score highly at a competitive Hobby Tournament? Tests will be run and further Bloggery will be triggered, I have no doubt of this!

Could it be that a Theme or Gimmick Army might clinch the votes of my Peers at the Bullrun, I know that the TO, Steve, has himself been running a Goblin army using Gungan Models from StarWars and my recent acquisition of 50% of a Resin 3D printer might facilitate some sort of project along these lines, but what project to do? More things to ponder over the weekend it would appear. Also would this increase in Painting points come at the expense of playability? Would there be a need for an accelerated practise with blank bases and proxies until the masterpiece army is ready? This is certainly a viable option to attempt to get a leg up on the Hobby ladder for this new season.

Luckily being a Member of the Golden Troll Team has its advantages, one of which is access to the gaming table at Chez Troll, to which various opponents come to test their mettle against the Trolls. So practise games should not be too much of an issue. Also being part of the online KoW community helps with the ability to ask advice and (constructive) criticism of army builds is a great help. I watch Youtube battle reports and have a lot of experience of commentating on Livestreams myself, this is always a good experience with the sharing of ideas, knowledge and opinions from the panel and some of those guys have a lot of experience to share. There are also some excellent players in my Local gaming groups that are happy to share their wisdom with the creation of battle winning armies. What is certain is that there will be several more of these “MiniBlogs” to chart the progress of whatever is decided over the next couple of Days.

So the questions remain unanswered for now as My Grandaughter is here for the weekend and Poppa duties trump wargaming, but perhaps I will be inspired this weekend to pull out some stops for the first Hobby Tournament of 2023 – tired yes, exhausted maybe, but inspired none the less!!

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