And so comes to a close my stint as captain of the Scottish ETC team in any meaningful manner, from now on I'm just an admin junkie to help the guys get out there, though to be honest pretty much everything is in place.
The 6 nations was over in Northern Ireland and was one of the most fantastically well organised events I've ever been to. Similar to the EDGT which pash put on there were free drinks & snacks throughout, there was an all you can eat chinese dinner and a few other bits. All for the cost of £29 which is cheaper than most normal UK events which won't include free drinks, nibbles and dinner.
The event itself was a great laugh, plenty of the guys have been on the teams for years and know the ropes by now so were over early on the Friday and found propping up various bars. We caught up with the welsh & Irish on Friday evening and carried on the merriment!
Saturday saw the 'serious' side of the event kick off, though in reality it was still a pretty relaxed atmosphere. We had the traditional favourites of England up first which was a bit disappointing as traditionally it had been us and them for 1st & 2nd so felt like the decider came too early going into the event, boy did that prove to be wrong! We did reasonably well out the matchup process and the games were going to plann barring a couple of disasterous results we were exactly where we'd aimed for. The disasters unfortunatley were partly due to experience and were leasons learnt in the harshest of environments. Overall the round ended a 72-88 loss, but it was a pretty good score as I've a feeling they expected to win bigger.
Next up was Northern Ireland, the hosts with some interesting lists, but not ones we thought were that good. This turned out to be the case as only one of our matchups was unfavourable on our pre round scoring and we ended up wining this with a maximum score 100-60. I was the biggest loser of the round going down to a dwarf list 5-15. It was annoying as I really felt I played it right and it was dice that cost me but thankfully not the team, at the end of the game I'd killed a master engineer and a cannon (both killed by a single terradon), his organ gun had survived an onslaught from most of my army and lived to tell the tale with a single crewman holding off several of my units.
Finally came Ireland, historically a bunch of drunken chumps but seeming to build into a good team the last couple of years they were leading the event at this stage. Here the pairings went badly, ireland were slow to get started and that put a bit of pressure on me and think it got to me, also not helped by a very drunk team member generally shouting down the room. So we got a middlish set of matchups but still overall probably just favourable. Unfortunately it didn't come through in the results, 2 big disappointments lead to us giving up the round 72-88.
After that all rivalries were forgotten and off to the chinese buffet we went before then heading back to the pub for a quiet half before bed...
Day 2 opened with France. Now France have what we all consider the most unusual lists, simply their style is slightly different to the UK, they design them to work for the ETC and play them to death. Overall they're all very good lists with good players behind them, just 'different'. Our pairings went really well here, we had 1 unfavourable matchup, 3 close and 4 favourable per our pre event scoring. Then the dice started. This round saw everything that could go wrong happen. There were two mirror matches - daemons vs Daemons and Lizards lizards. The daemon off saw our player pressing as he had the better list in that match, the keeper of secrets got the siren song on the thirster and lost combat by 1 (about average), this was then followed up by double 11'ing his breaktest when he had a unit to charge in the flank next turn. Gutting. The lizard off saw a T6 failed LoS to a purple sun and dropped down a pit, our skaven player triple 6'd his bell and blew up and a string of other disasters were described. This resulted in giving france the full 100 (uncapped the score was 101-59 making my T6 disaster all the more galling) and catapulting them into the lead.
Finally we had Wales. Of the lot this was some of the toughest pairings, we had to sacrifice a couple of lists to get the good matchups. Overall it worked out and we won the round 88-72 but there were a few touch and go games which could have put it back at a draw and also a mistake by the welsh TK player which resulted in him probably swinging the results by something like 10pts on the round. Annoying to miss out due to a rules error but I wasn't about to get on a high horse over it and just accepted the game score, could have pushed for an adjustment if we'd really cared but as we won the round I just accepted it.
Overall we came 5th as a result which was rather disappointing, giving up the 100 to both France and Ireland didn't feel like justice for how we paired them up and the relative strengths on the teams but it's a dice game at the end of the day and them's the breaks.
It was a great fun weekend and it was my pleasure to captain the team through it.