This year was (I think) the beginning of a resurgence for Flames Of War in New Zealand. Going back a few years we could comfortably count on 45-50 attendees to a FlamesCon, but as V3 became more convoluted and bogged down with contextual rules and clarifications the numbers began to drop.
The release of V4 certainly saw the event (last year) take another hit, much like other events around the world as there just wasn't enough Mid War lists to make the period interesting.
This year the organisers decided to run Late War, with (hopefully) an eye towards Mid War next year. It was really heartening to see so many players coming out of the woodwork to see what V4 was like. Best of all, everyone had good things to say about the new version. The numbers were still down on the days of old (with about 30 players across Flames Of War and Team Yankee) but I finished the weekend with a good feeling about the turnout for FlamesCon 2019.
Team Yankee is taking its own good time to build up momentum in New Zealand (looking forward to Panzerschreck 2019!) as there are plenty of people with armies but not as many coming out to play. One positive of this was that with an 8 player event, I got to play everyone except the eventual winner, Andrew Duncan. It was quite nice to face off against almost everyone over the course of the event.
I can say without shadow of a doubt it was also one of the most enjoyable events from a gaming perspective. I really enjoyed all my games, felt like I had a chance of winning, felt like I had a chance of losing, and thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with my opponents. I cannot recall the last time where I finished an event and could honestly say that.
Two thumbs up!
"I starting building my Canadians before they were cool" was my catchphrase for the weekend. Long before Free Nations was on a writers schedule, I was planning to build the army. Sadly, is an indictment on how long it takes me to finish an army these days that I was doing the final painting and varnishing at 11.30pm on the Friday before the tournament. My list was simple (click the image for a bigger version) and built around a lot of Leopard 1 tanks, some infantry and anti-tank assets. It was a blast to run!
The Leopard 1 tanks were awesome at killing things and burnt so brightly when they got lit up by anything (Carl Gustavs, Milans, 120mm AP rounds, as well as the odd HESH round from a Scorpions 76mm gun). The ADATS was fun, but tended to be targeted quickly once people realised how good it was! My star performers were probably the infantry, mainly because;
- I like how they turned out (paint job wise),
- they are fairly useful on the table,
- and they are great for taking (and holding) ground when the Leopards couldn't brave the enemy RPGs and Charlie G's!
The Final Word:
Great event, great opponents, middling result (5th, I think, out of 8), but with a Best Painted award! Believe me when I say that has been a topic of much good-natured abuse around the office.
Roll on FlamesCon 2019 I say!
If you want to check out my photo dumps from the event, including army shots click the links below.
Team Yankee Armies...
Flames Of War Armies...
Day One Gaming Shots...