Berks Spring Assault 4!

Berks Spring Assault 4!
Berks Spring Assault 4! Warhammer 40K tournament

Berks Warhammer 40K Group

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Preparing for the Mechanicon GT.

The Mechanicon Grand Tournament for Warhammer 40,000 for 2012 has combined their resources with The to create a single weekend full of gaming, tournaments, and fun.     This will be my 4th time attending the Mechanicon and the first time I look to bring something other than my orks.

Back in 2009 I attended my first ever large Grand Tournament.   I brought my Orks of Waaagh! Karnage and finished 23rd overall, winning 1 game, losing 2, and drawing on 2.      But what I got out of that weekend was well worth the price of admission.

Meeting many gamers from all over the area, and in  what has been referred to me as a "Throwback" style tournament to what the Grand Tournaments of Yore were like.    This was a relatively laid back event that acknowledged ALL aspects of the hobby we so much enjoy.      It wasn't just all about Winning and Losing like many of the WAAC style events are (Win At All Costs).    While those type of events do have a place in the competetive community, it doesn't not particularly appeal to my tastes.

The Mechanicon opened the doors to me on laying the ground work that would eventually become the Berks Spring Assault sereis of tournaments.    Focusing on Sportsmanship and fairplay an also recognizing painting and modeling all appealed to the reasons I am involved in this hobby.     It was refreshing to me to see an event that provided an atmosphere that celebrated ALL of these aspects of gaming.

While I didn't do great in my first big tournament debut, I made many new friends and had a great over-all gaming experience.    Being able to sit back and socialize with your opponents and friends after the games and off the table over food and a beer or two really made for a nice time.

It is weekends like this that give adult gamers a chance to get out, enjoy our hobbies and enjoy our time with our friends.    I recall my first night there, I got a pick-up game against Steve Smith from P.A.G.E. in a game of 40K, with my orks and his Chaos Marines.   I won that battle, but more importantly, I made a new friend.    Just this past year at Dakkacon at Showcase Comics, Steve and I would meet again on the field of battle in a tournament that feature "MY" format, the 1000-point tournament that is Berks Spring Assault!    We had a classic battle, and again my orks defeated his Slaanesh-loving warriors.    

We also clashed at Mechanicon last year in the Battlefleet Gothic, with my Ork ram ships hammering his cruiser in ramming attacks, allowing my Warlord to board his vessel and destroy it.    Steve went on to win 1st place in that tournment, but my antics managed to get me 2nd place.       We chat online and have invites to get together on occasions with our clubs to meet and play 40K or Battlefleet Gothic.   It is developing friendships like that is the reason I enjoy going to the Mechanicon GT so much.

My second year in 2010 I did slightly better, finishing up around 16th overall.   Still not very good, but again, having more fun, making new friends and reconnecting with old ones again.    I got my first time in battlefleet gothic, placing 2nd and just having a great time with my friends.  More of our club members attended and even ran a 40K Kill-Team tournamenet.   I took 2nd place in one of those events too.

Last year was my 3rd time at Mechanicon.   Our gaming club ran 40K Kill Team tournaments again.    My son Ethan, now a growing gamer, was able to play on his own using his Imperial Guard army.     I took my orks again, my army list now honed to a solid and formidible force.    My army based around the theme of two large mobs of 20-stormboyz each, and everything else there to support them.      I won 3 games, lost 1 and had a draw in the end to another formidable Ork army.

The last battle was the most classic.   We agreed to have an Ork version the Thunderdome....Two orks enter, one ork leave.   Both Warbosses entered the central structure......winner take all.    If one of us survived the game was over and we were going to go drink some beer.     Both warbosses took each other out and we duked it out for 4 rounds before agreeing that we were at an impasss and the game would end in a draw.     It was my best performance ever in a Grand Tournament.   I took 6th place overall.     What got me more was that I was voted Best Sportsman overall!    That to me was just as good as winning 1st place.    Our gaming club prides ourselves on sportsmanship and I had just given a speach about that to everyone as we promoted Berks Spring Assault 3, our tournament for April 2012.    How appropriate it was that my friend John Tinney took 2nd best sportsman and I took 1st, just really sealed the deal and emphasized everything I had just conveyed to everyone.

This year I'm torn between running my son Ethan's Imperial Guard army or my Lamenter space marines, that are a variant of Blood Angels.    I am still currently working on finishing my Lamenters, but with lots of work to do as of the time of this posting, I may not have them finished.    If not, I have a solid list of Imperial Guard with Space Marine allies for 6th edition that I have been doing very well with recently, having defeated Space Marines and Tyranids with.     If the Lamenters are not finished, the Guard will come to play.

If you are out there looking for something to do that weekend of October 26-28th, come out and see what the Mechanicon is all about, and also that there are many other events available to you at the Warstore weekend.  Come out and enjoy it with us!

There will be other games besides Warhammer 40K, such as fantasy battles, flames of war, Battlefleet Gothic, Warmachine, and of course, Heavy Gear by Dream Pod 9, which has become a new favorite game in the Berks club, a growing element of players are looking to get more and more involved with.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Time Gaming

(My son Ethan playing against Tucker in a game of 40K)
Spring has come and Summer is here and it is a great time to reconnect with friends who went to college and are home as well as finding other ways to get the general gaming community together.

Recently I opened up my home to my fellow gamers and we had a day of Gaming as well as picnicing.   We fired up the grill and cooked up some hot dogs and hamburgers, everyone brought something to eat or drink and we had a fun day of it.

(City fight board in my Man-Cave)
I'm fortunate that my home is roomy enough for me to set up several gaming tables.  We had three full 4'x6' battlefields in the Man-Cave (basement), one on what normally is my dining room table, and a smaller 4'x4' desert board that we used for smaller point values of Warhammer 40K as well as Heavy Gear.

(John & Tucker playing a game of 40K)

(My Nucoal forces in Heavy Gear)
We also were preparing for a convention called Dex-Con, that was held up in Morristown NJ, and while it featrued many RPG and LARPs, there was a growing contingent of Wargaming.

It was nice to see large floor-battle style Apoc Games with huge Ork Gargants and Titans, and a Space Hulk Game, a 40K tournament, Battletech and other games featured.

(Floor battle Apoc game at Dex-Con)

A number of us from the Berks-PA Gaming Club went up specifically to support the Heavy Gear tournament as it is a new hobby that many of us have expanded into.

(Heavy Gear battle at Dex-Con)

Our club is also running a narrative campaign for Warhammer 40K which has featured some fun missions all based upon locations that exist in our local area.     They are fun and anyone is welcome to try them out for themselves.    If your in the Berks area, or want to jump in at any time, all you need to do is visit our facebook page and start posting away.

(Myke & DJ playing the Mission 1 for the 40K-campaign at my house)

Berks Narrative Campaign for Warhammer 40K:  Cataclysm Prophesy
Mission 1:  Assault!  Air Drop on Reading Airport
Mission 2:  Ambush along the Road to No-Where
Mission 3:  All-around assault at St. Joseph's of Holy Terra, Medicae Facility

(Heavy Gear tournament at Dex-Con)

So I hope the rest of you are having fun this summer, and look for upcoming events from the Berks-Gaming club, as I plan to host some tournaments and Apoc Games as time allows, so we can enjoy the summer indoors and out.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Berks Spring Assault 3! Warhammer 40K Tournament

Berks Spring Assault 3:  
April 21, 2012

Date: April 21, 2012
Time: Registration 9:00am-9:45am
Location: Riveredge Banquet Center, 2017 Bernville Rd, Reading PA 19601
Warhammer 40,0000 tournament: 1000 points. 4 rounds of Warhammer 40K,  Catered Lunch is included.
Entry Fee: $45.   Pre-registration discounted price: $40 if pre-registered by April 10th, 2012.
Berks-PA Gaming Club Elite members get an additional $5 discount with club member card shown.

We are planning on being able to host 70 players, but can expand to more if needed.  Based upon last year's attendance, that could happen.

Tournament Packet Available for download by clicking here:  Berks Spring Assault 3 Rules Packet

We here are Berks-PA Gaming Club will be hosting our third round of Berks Spring Assault.  Each year this event grows and becomes even more of a fun party than the previous year.
Sportsmanship will be key to scoring this year, as much as last year. Details will be posted once we finalize all tournament information. One thing we pride ourselves on, especially with this tournamaent is having FUN! Sportsmanship is a MAJOR part of overall scoring.
Armies do NOT need to be painted, but having painted armies will help as Appearance will be minor part of overall scoring.   Appearance will be scored by tournament judges on a very simple scale.

1,000 point Warhammer 40K armies from all Standard Codecies.   Currently, IMPERIAL ARMOR AND CHAPTER APPROVED LISTS ARE NOT PERMITTED (Please see below)
We want you to come and have fun and enjoy yourself.  This is the perfect environment for new players as well as veterans trying out new lists or new armies.     If you are not sure of a list or have a special request, pitch it to us, and we may approve if if it is theme and fluff based and not so much a power-gamer list.     
* Black Templars
* Blood Angels
* Chaos Daemons
* Chaos Space Marines
* Dark Angels
* Dark Eldar
* Eldar
* Grey Knights
* Imperial Guard
* Necrons
* Orks
* Sisters of Battle (*White Dwarf Version)
* Space Marines
* Space Wolves
* Tau Empire
* Tyranids
***If you want to use special models or custom "counts as" models, please have them WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), and make sure that they are clearly able to be distinguished amongst other models.   If you are not sure, contact the tournament organizer and submit a picture so we can approve or disallow your model.

ALL Games will be played on 4' x 4' tables, so expect a lot of bloody action! This is Berks Spring ASSAULT!

You will need Six (6) copies of your army list: 1 for the Tournament Ogranizer, 1 for you , and 1 copy for each of your opponents. If your list is not legal, you will lose points, be asked to leave, or have your scores adjusted as we see fit.

You will need a copy of the 40K rule book, your codex, all dice and templates and rules associated with your army.   If you do not have these we will make sure that some are available for purchase from one of our vendors.

We will play 2 rounds, break for lunch and play 2 more games.

Lunch will be included with your entry fee.  If you have special dietary needs or are a vegan, please contact us directly so that we can make special arrangements.   Catering will be done on site.

We will have 13 prizes available: Best overall, (1, 2, 3, 4), Best Sportsman (1, 2, 3), Best Appearance (1, 2, 3).  Best Youngblood (under 16), Best Youngblood Sportsman, and a special award:  Player's Choice for best overall army and theme.

We will also recognize Army Domination by best in each codex with a minor prize from one of our sponsors.  This will be by codex, not by lumping all space marines into one category.    You paid for a seperate codex, so we feel that you should be rewarded by codex.

We will do our best to operate on a tight schedule this year.   Last year's event went pretty smoothly, and with more space we are hoping for better transition of movement.
There is a Quality Inn attatched to the Banquet Facility and we are right down the road from the Reading Municipal Airport, and there is a Holiday Inn Express there for those travelling from out of town.
We are going to have around or over 20 sponsors this year and are dilligently working on more swag to hand out to our participants this year.    Almost all of our sponsors from last year have returned and are offering even better support as our event continues to grow.

FORCE ORGANIZATION CHART will be modified as follows:
* 1-2 HQ   (up to 3 for space wolves)
* 2-6Troops
* 0-2 Elites
* 0-2 Fast Attack
* 0-2 Heavy Support
We will again be hosting our Annual Golden Grot Painting competition.    Categories will be listed officially soon but we are looking at:  Individual Model, Squad, Vehicle/large creature, and Open Category (anything goes).    Winner in each category will receive a small trophy and prize.   Models do NOT have to be Warahmmer 40K, but can be from any game system.   This is just a chance for you to show off your hobby.   The only limitation is that they can not be in your current army list, because they will be on display until round 3.
* Another category this year will be BEST CLUB TABLE.    We are inviting all of the participating gaming clubs to assist in supporting the event by 'sponsoring' some tables.    To sponsor a table, all your club needs to do is agree to bring terrain to cover 2-4 tables.   Show off your club's goods, put up club banners and flags, participate in the event.    By helping out, we can fill 35 tables with everyone chipping in a little bit.   Some clubs did this last year and it was a great help.   This year we will offer a prize to the best presented table by attending clubs.
We will also be having our Basket-Raffles, as that was a big hit last year.    Raffle tickets will be available for a variety of prizes donated from our sponsors as well as club members.    Last year some of the bigger prizes were a Baneblade tank, and a 1000 points of Grey Knights, and an Imperial Guard Battleforce.    Look for similar fun prizes this year
More details to come, so check back on this page often.
Schedule of Events for Berks Spring Assault 3:
  • 9:00am Registration till 9:45am.
  • 10:00am - 11:30am Round 1 games (90 minutes to play)
  • 11:30  Break for 30 min.
  • 12:00pm - 1:30pm  Round 2 games.
  • 1:30pm - 2:30pm  Lunch Break
  • 2:30pm - 4:00pm  Round 3games
  • 4:00pm - 4:30pm  Break for 30 min
  • 4:30pm - 6:00pm  Round 4 games
  • 6:00pm - 6:30pm Raffles/drawings
  • 6:30pm  Final awards and prizes.
PRE-REGISTRATION OPEN UNTIL APRIL 10TH.    Discounted rate is $40.    AFTER April 10 (11:59pm) price goes up to $45, same at the door.  Seating: 70 slots (though if we sell out, I may be able to fit more).

Pre-Register on PayPal sending payments to this email:  Or you may make arrangements to pay me in person.



* KR Multi Case
* Showcase Comics & Games
* RAR Studios
* podcast
* 1-Up Collectibles
* Chapter House Studios
* The War Store
* Gale Force Nine
* HazeKnight  Custom Pre-Made Wargame terrain
* Terran Scapes
* Mechanicon Grand Tournament Series
* Iron
Secret Weapon Miniatures
* Red Dragon Terrain
* Northeast Gamers Hub
* Linglestown Paintball
* Spikey Bitz
* FTW Games (Richmond, VA)
* Litko accessories:
* Dream Pod 9:   (makers of Heavy Gear game)
* Turn-8 podcast
* Hooters of Reading (Wyomissing).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mechanicon 2011 Wrap Up

Well, I'm a little late in reporting, but the Mechanicon 2011 Grand Tournament and Convention was a wonderful experience this year.      This has been the third year for this event and it has grown each year.

The Main Event was of course, the Warhammer 40,000 Grand Tournament that is on the Games Workshop's Throne of Skulls tournament circuit.    There were other events running all weekend, including (but not limited to), Battlefleet Gothic, War Machine, Blood Bowl, Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Hero Scape, Heavy Gear by Dream Pod 9,  demo games of Robotech Battles and more. 

Members of our club at the Berks-PA Gaming Club ran three sessions of Warhammer 40K Kill Team tournaments at 200 point teams.    This went over very well and we had a good turnout.

Friday I planned on competing in the Battlefleet Gothic tournament.    Three of us from our club participated along with the player who won the event in 2009.     I went to war with my ork fleet, decked out at 1500 points.    I had 2 Kill Kroozers, 2 Ork Terror ships, and 16 escorts, with 10 of those being two squadrons of 5-Brute Ram Ships each.

My first game was against Alex, a young Space Wolf player in our club.   Alex has built up quite a rivalry against me and has become one of the toughest competitors in our club.     We had a very tough battle that left a lot of carnage in its wake.    Nothing as near as bad as our first practice battle before the tournament.    We both managed to cripple a couple ships but essentially the game ended in a draw.

My second match was against one of my best friends, John Tinney.   John has a very effective wolf-pack style fleet that uses three space marine strike cruisers and a large number of escorts.    As John had taught me how to play BFG, I at least had a clue how to handle him this time around.    The mission called for deployment of ships being a minimum of 15cm away from each other and 30cm from an enemy.    This allowed a more spread out deployment and I made sure I had ships in positions to strike right away.

This was a bloody affair, the Orks vs. Star Dragons (Space Marine) fleet.   We exchanged a lot of fire from the beginning.   I was even able to pull off a raming attack with a ram ship taking out one of the Gladius escorts.    Several Gladius fell to boarding torpedoes as well.   When the smoke cleared all that was said and done the marines scored 291 to 320 for the orks.  As the numbers are within 10% of each other, this mission too was a draw.    Still, it was a lot of fun and a lot of shooting.

Game 3 of the BFG tournament was against Steve Smith, who had a very beefy list.   He had a large Battleship, and 4 big cruisers: a Tyrant, a Mars, and 2 Gothic cruisers.    I wasn't sure how to handle him, but I figured I'd give it my best shot.   Instantly I fired off boarding torpedoes and deployed ork fighta-bombas.    I really got lucky as the first 2 rounds of shooting with several Nova Cannons, my opponent missed almost everything.  

By turn 3 my ships were finally in range.   I concentrated fire upon one of the Tyrant cruisers.   The gamble worked and the big gunz of the orks actualy score 2 hits when they hit a vessel.   I was also able to get 2  of the Brute Ram ships in range to pull off a ramming attack against one of the Tyrant cruisers, enabling the orks to actually cripple one of the Tyrant ships.    The next turn the Mechanicum fleet moved to shoot at my flagship, the Terror Ship: Steel Thunda.    The Steel Thunda weathered a violent round of firepower as the Mechanicus ships concentrated their fire into the Ork Terror ship.    I was very good on saves and braced 5 out of 6 hits (or 7 out of 8).   

Having "braced for impact"  The Steel Thunda could not do much offensively.   I looked around and I was just in range to attempt to pull off a boarding assault.   I had already crippled one of the Tyrant ships and it was trying to break free to make a run for it.     Orks are very effective at Boarding attempts and pulled off an amazing 8 hits!   The vessel only had 3 left, so it was reduced to a Flaming Hulk.      The orks also managed to cripple another one of the large vessels.     It was enough to not only give me a tie, but score 1 more battle point than my opponent.

Steve would go on to win the tournament with a score of 2 wins and 1 draw (thanks to me),  and I took 2nd place with 3 Draws!     I was very excited to do so well and won some prizes as well.


The Warhammer 40K Grand Tournament was a hoot!   Each year it gets better, and each year I make new friends.    Now, I'm pretty competetive but I love to have fun.   Win, Lose, or Draw I tell my opponents that I am here to have fun and give them a fight.     This year I even went as far as to make up little tokens to hand out as trophies.    I had Golden Orks that read  "I Beat Waaagh! Karnage" for my opponents who defeated me.    For any draws, I made up Silver Orks that read on the base:  "I tied Waaagh! Karnage" and of course for my opponents I would beat, I made up bronze grots that read: "I lost to Waaagh! Karnage".    I also had several custom dice made up by Chessex that had our club logo on it for the number 6.   I gave out dice to all of our club members to hand out to our opponents as a token of good will.

I don't want to spoil anything but I do want to give battle reports as I have time to write them up.   However, I will recap briefly my experiences in the event.

Game 1:  was against David McGarvey's Imperial Guard.   He was a fun opponent who actually showed up with a Deathstrike missle launcher!   I have never seen one in tournament play and was just excited to see one.    He made a few mistakes with forgetting to use his orders and such, and I helped him out, letting him get to go back in the turn and do them.    My ork horde has had a lot of experience against Mechanized guard thanks to Ed Mlynar (Waaagh! Aki) of our club, who has been a wonderful opponent to train against.    My army this time did exactly what it was designed to do and I ended up dismantling my opponent soundly.    I scored a Massacre and got the full 20 battle points for the victory.

Game 2:  was a humbling battle vs. Mike Hoskins from Kentucky.    Mike was another fun opponent and his group drove 10 hours from Kentucky to attend the event.    (I scoff at our own club members who whine about an hour drive, LOL).   Mike brought Grey Knights with Castellan Crowe and Purifierers.   Orks HATE Purifiers.   My initial plan was sound and I actually had him slightly nervous as he saw how fast my army was and that I had 150 orks.     Sadly, some moves didn't work for me, like difficult terrain rolls into assaults and I found out just how bad Psykotrope grenades are.     I gave him a fight, but in the end, he got a massacre or near massacre against me.

Game 3:  was against a new Elite member of the Berks Club, Paul Parke, a very cunning Tau player.    Paul had won 2nd place in the Berks Road to Mechanicon tournament as well as winning the same event at the Adventurer's Guild in Harrisburg.      Paul castled to his far left corner, forcing my army to come across the table (spearhead depolyment).    However, my 2 mobs of 20-stormboyz each rolled 6's on their jumps, moving 18 inches, plus 5's and 6's on their running rolls, getting some orks into assault range on a Tau Devilfish by turn 2.    In the end my army delievered and I pulled out a Major Victory.    Paul went on to go finish 7th or 9th overall, I gave him his only loss.

Game 4: was on sunday and I faced off against Brad Park of the Warm Fabric Nationals club.    Brad was the only Necron player and was a fun opponent to face off against.    He had 2 monoliths, immortals, a C'Tan Deceiver and lots of troops.   I'm not one to fight Necrons much so this was a good experience and the last "hurrah" with the old codex.     I almost forced a phase out, his number was "9", and I had him at one point down to 10 models.    I made a couple of mistakes that cost me some points, but I still managed to pull out a Minor Victory in the end.

Game 5:  Was the Thunderdome Match.   Ork vs. Ork.   My opponent had a very similar list to mine.   Where I went with 2 mobs of stormboyz in my units and a unit of Kommandos, he had dumped points into more mobs of boyz and also a large mob of Nobs.      We detatched Ork bosses to fight unmolested in the center of the board where there was a large ruined building, "The Thunderdome" and we were going to hang the battle's outcome there.     Both Warbosses ended up taking each other out.   We played out the next few rounds and found out that by turn 4, any chance of me pulling off a win failed once he cut down Boss Snikrot and my kommandos, who were threatening his Lootas mob.     As the mission was Capture and Control, we realized no one could do any better than a draw, so we ended early to share in more beer.      We were both tied for battle points, running 5th into the match.

I finished the day with 3 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw.    I had fun and had very good opponents.    One thing our club really preaches is Good Sportsmanship above all else.   I was very excited to see that our own John Tinney won 2nd best sportsman and I took 1st Best Sportsman, and I finished 6th overall.    Due to computer glitch, Army Domination awards were given to other players, as the program didn't give 2 awards to any one player.   Technically John also won Best Dark Angels player an I best Ork, tied for battle points with my opponent Colin Jones.    I edged him out in the finals due to my bonus sportsmanship points.

This was a wonderful event, and Yes, I took home some prizes.    I also was able to share the weekend with my son who competed in all three of the Kill Team tournaments, himself winning 2nd place in 2 of those events.   Our club was well represented and I can't wait for 2012 Mechanicon November 2-4!