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Something to Brag about

This past weekend I attended the 2-day Battles of the Undercroft III: Divinity and Destruction Tournament in Carlisle, England. As the title suggests this is the third such Tournament and the second that has been put on as a Two-Day Event (Or Grand Tournament for our Ex-Colonial Reader). As this Tournament is not too far away from where I live, even by UK standards, it is a regular on my Tournament Calendar, indeed, my more loyal reader may remember that the Free Dwarfs won the inaugural Battles of the Undercroft Tournament two years ago when it was a one-day event, and it is a very nice venue indeed.

 The Tournament format is a Two day, five games of 2300 points and the Scenarios and maps are included in the rather professional looking Rulespack along with all the details of the venue, round timing and extra rules for the event, but more of that later on. The Venue is a part of the Carlisle Cathedral complex and is situated in a Medieval monastery building, complete with cool vaulted ceilings and arches, however there is a very modern café situated just up the stairs from the Undercroft and all the facilities are very modern indeed, for all those Connoisseurs of wargaming venue toilets out there in KoWland, and even has WiFi!

For this Event I took my Standard 2300 point Free dwarfs Raven Clan Army list (standard because I have exactly 2300 points of Raven Clan painted 😊) as below

When the Army lists had been collected in the Trolls at Troll Manor invited the Tournament Organiser (TO), Dan to come onto our Podcast and do his draw on air and then Dan and the Trolls discussed each players lists and the match ups and tried to predict the outcome of the first round games. As the Trolls and Dan have a large collection of wooden spoons between them, any Tactical analysis had to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

The Tournament Day dawned bright and early as the Ribble Warriors gathered to travel up to the event, a journey of about 90 minutes on the UK’s execrable road system, the journey proceeded without any drama and pretty soon we were ensconced in McDonalds Carlisle for the Traditional pre–Tourney Warriors Breakfast and Banter. Once this ritual had been observed we made our way back to the venue (we had previously turned up to deposit our armies before breakfast but nobody was there) and greeted our fellow Tournamenters. All the Tables had been set up the evening before and we all had our names printed on a little board so we could easily see where we were supposed to be, a nice little touch indeed!

I already knew I was on table one, playing the Nightstalkers of Ian, I normally face off against Ian on the bottom Table for the last game of an event and so I decided to pre-empt this by issuing a challenge for game one, which Ian accepted (no idea if he accepted it gladly or not) but he is always a fun opponent to play against, however his list for this event was not his usual and showed a definite lean towards being competitive. Considering the Scenario for this game was Kill I wasn’t looking forwards to trying to beat the Nightstalkers.

I won’t go into the Blow by blow of each game but suffice to say that 5 Double ones in critical combats ( I had killed the Bloodworm legions three times over but still they endured)and the inability of the Dwarf throwing mastiffs to inflict any significant damage (apparently Nightstalkers taste bad) resulted in my first defeat of the event, but it was an extremely enjoyable game as always , more like a friendly club game than a tournament.

My second game of the Tournament was in my more natural environment of the bottom table against the Ogres of James, he was a new Kings of War player and this was his first tournament

James was an affable fellow and we had a good chat as we set up and commenced to play, he was unsure of his dispositions and so we spent more time discussing rules and tactics during the game. The scenario was plunder and James’ Ogres turned out to be a tough proposition and a further three Double one nerve checks served to close the game off at a Draw, a result which we were both more than happy with, I think.

James and Dan plotting my Downfall

The Draw resulted in me staying on the Bottom Table(because my attrition points were appallingly low due to my Free Dwarfs seeming becoming pacifists all of a sudden) and I was to face off against the Nightstalker Army of Rick. This was a completely different kettle of gribblies to the army I faced earlier , but it was no less scary !

This was another cracking game with a very relaxed atmosphere, the scenario was control and luckily I had enough speedy units to take the win, although Rick was having a nightmare tournament (Pun completely intended) and was on his third loss. Despite ANOTHER Double one in this game( I was now on Nine over three games) I also managed to kill a fair amount to increase my score.

So I ended the day with a Win, a Draw and a loss, what the UK Masters website calls a “Thanos” because it is the perfect balance, While the majority of the players headed off for an Italian Meal the Ribble Warriors sought their AirBnb ( a replacement for the previously booked one that cancelled our original booking without reason leaving us bereft of accommodation n the morning of the Tournament. Luckily an alternative was sourced at a caravan park called “Camelot” a few miles North of Carlisle, bearing in mind that a “few Miles North of Carlisle” is Scotland, we did wonder if our lack off Passports would be an issue)

We found a Chip Shop for Tea/Dinner/Supper depending on what region of the Country you come from lol and a convenience store provided copious amounts of alcoholic beverages, we then retired to our stately caravan “Blenheim” for an evening of Tactical discussion and Bent army list production, thus forming the Ribble Warriors Round Table for Bent army lists (well we were in “Camelot” LOL)

These diversions went on well into the wee small hours, indeed one Troll witness the sunrise over Cumbria from Blenheim’s Veranda, a sublime experience whilst drinking Cloudy Cider at such a late(early) hour!

Day two dawned (for some) and the Trolls bid farewell to Blenheim and Camelot and headed back into Carlisle for Day two of the Battles for the Undercroft III

My first game of Day two was against Nick, anyone on the UK Kings of War Scene will know Nick because of his last-minute army painting scrambles and excessively detailed baseboards. He is also a very good player and I was able to sit and watch my army melt away during a game of Salt the Earth as everything in Nicks army that Crawls, flies or squats in the mud killed my Dwarfs and used their eyes for Ju-Ju beads.

For all that, and despite Another TWO Double Ones (For a total of eleven) I enjoyed the game immensely AND I actually managed to kill one unit.

So, into the last game of the Day, this turned out to be a game of Dominate against my Round two opponent James!

James had obviously been picking up the rules and some tactics and his Ogres proved to be an even tougher proposition than in Game 2, although because the scenario was different I was able to use my fast movers to envelope the Ogres and punch through into the centre , No Double Ones at all in this game and I had changed my dice which appeared to have worked as I managed quite a large win in this final game.

A Quick note about the Undercroft Event, in the Rulespack there is a side game, this is the Loud Mouth Braggart award and consists of choosing various game events and boasts of deeds from a list and betting that they will occur during your game, for every one you successfully predict , you score points and the highest scorer at the end of the event wins a trophy. This Troll didn’t attempt to do this ( it is an optional extra) as he struggles enough without diverting brain processing time to another game during the tournament.

Once all the Scores had been totted up the results were announced. There was also a Special NEW award created for this event, the new “Bob Aspland” award to be given to the player that rolls the most Double Ones in the Tournament. Needless to say, This Troll won this award and is happy to mention that this is the second award inspired by this Troll at this event – the Loud Mouthed Braggart award was created in honour of me winning the “Biggest Gobshite” award at the first Undercroft, have I mentioned I also won that event outright? Well, I did!

If you get chance to go to next Years event, DO IT! you never know you might get chance to play me with my purposefully bent army list and my brand new Dice !




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Brian McGonigle
Brian McGonigle
29 avr.

Eleven snake eyes 🤣 Geoff will be jealous you're stealing his rep...

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