Monday, May 18, 2015

How I survived RPC Open 2015

Greetings everybody!
Well the weekend is over and while I am still quite tired, I will try to write down my experience and impressions from this years RPC.


 For those of you unfamiliar with the subject, most people go for some reason to the RPC (Role Play Convention) ... to admire the great costumes and have fun with other LARPers.
For me there was another reason for the trip to cologne: the RPC Open Infinity Tournament.

But before I start with the event itself, let me start a little earlier. 
I am no big tournament fan. "Back in the days" I was wearing the red shirt, people went to tournaments as nice, polite and fluffy gamers and came back as cold hearted, ruthless rule-lawyers that had lost all sense of story and fluff.
Last year I was invited to the RatCon Infinity Tournament and I realised, that tournaments can actually be fun. When they are Infinity Tournaments.
So my "meta" decided to go the RPC Open and I decided to stick along. And since we were 3, we had enough to build a link team. Here is shot of us:
But since we wanted to be recognised as a team, we created some shirts, that looked like this:
Since I am a pretty "irregular" gamer, I had a tactic bootcamp with M and Argent and the convinced me, that, although I am collection since one year only nomads, I did not have enough miniatures to have a list, that would stand a chance. So I had not only to make new models for the ones I had proxed so far (I will spare that rant about this here, but believe me, I was pretty pretty angry about this.... nope... I still am...), but full up these units, I didn't have enough of.
My best friend these days. Jewlerysaw with 0,3mm blade. Perfect for cutting off metal parts that have to be used elsewhere again.
I literally painting to the last minute. But why should a tournament be different that any other big hobby event? I guess, I just need that pressure... If you want to see the steps I have made, check the in the international Infinity Forum here.
Here is another tip for everyone going to a tournament for the first time. Make sure, you have played the missions beforehand. I really helps to get a nick on the mechanics behind the different scenarios. And when the adrenalin-rush makes rational decisions close to impossible, you can always think back to that games.
Here is the burial ground of my Mobile Brigada Link Team... ehm... I mean the table we played the testgame for "biotechvore" on.

The Tournament

The main organisation for the tournament was done via T3 and the german Infinity Board O-12 , namely by ApokalypseTest and the famous Harlekin. I won't comment on how much sense the ITS rules, the scenarios and all that makes, since I have no clue about all these things. I am happy to play the scenarios I get served. I have to add though, that the choice of scenarios ApokalypseTest has made was discussed rather controversial. Someone stated even, that choice was of such odd quality, that we should make Tshirts, sporting "I survived RPC Open" (hence the title of this post :)).

Sunday morning, 5:15, I woke up, unable to sleep again, I got up and painted the pieces I needed for the tournament. At 8:15 we took off, a car, filled with three almost hysteric post-pubertal, namely M (aka Der M, or M-just M), Argent, and yours truly, Hydra. We arrived at about 9:15 and though we were way too early (pick up time for the tickets was 9:45), someone was waiting and handing over the entry tickets to the con. It was quite funny to walk past all these patiently waiting LARPer and their likes, waving our tickets :)

Early in the morning busy people were setting up the tables.
Playing at a Con:
The designated gaming area could not have been better. The whole area is rather dark (dark ceiling and dark floor swallows a lot of light), but we have been close to a big gate open to the medieval market outside. So we had fresh air and the smell of meat on a BBQ in our nose all day long. Another bonus for our location was, people were strolling in and out through the gate, which meant,m we had a goo view on a the great costumes strolling over the Con. With a nice chat here and there.
So, atmosphere: top!
One of the joys of playing Infinity is the cool terrain. The table in the front was for the other tournament, where atmospheric terrain was replaced by cut-out blue paper. It might be joy to play, but it was horrible to watch.
The tables are being filled...
Everybody was ready to go. Dices were heated, last advices traded...

Everyone threw a dice and the first pairs were made. Sadly, we were an uneven number and I was the one with no opponent at the beginning. Luckily, Norman, a very nice chap from Ulisses jumped in and we had our go at Biotechvore.
My first battlefield. A great mix of Laughing Jacks containers, some MicroArt Stuff and "other" terrain.
For those unfamiliar with the mission, here a short summary: Clash with the opponent in the middle of the board or die a horrible chocking death by Biotechvore-Virus in your deployment zone. Short: fun in short ranges.
Next to my table, Curundil, an old friend from  almost forgotten times. Playing also Corregidor. And also the as "pain Train" know Mobile Brigada Link Team.
A view along the ile.

My opponent played Haqqislam and his strategy pretty straight. He deployed several Impersonation Marker in my zone (Impersonation means "Hey Jonny! Have you been in the sun? And working out?" until suddenly "Jonny! What do you need the knife for? Jonnnnnniiiiiiiiiieeeeehh...."), which did good in killing two models of mine quite quiet. Sadly the whole thing swallowed so many orders, that my opponent had not enough orders left to bring anyone into a save zone. So, after I popped some shots at him quite harmlessly (his one Fiday dodged 2 Crazy Coalas, 2 LightFlamethrower Templates, 2 HeavyFlamethrower Templates and 2 shots from the Boarding Shotgun)...

Johnny the dirty Dancer
... the Biotechvore attacked everything in its reach at the beginning of my opponents 2nd turn. The dancy Fiday couldn't dodge the hazardous fog and died.
In the tactical display of my lieutenant quite a long signals turned from red to green. No one complained about that...

...aside from Betty. She felt discriminated. But she always felt discriminated, so no one cared.
 As did a good deal of the big link team and some others. Those left standing tried to attack my Mobile Brigada Link. I said tried and I mean tried. Running into the waiting gun from someone who needs a 19 on a D20 to hit is suicide. And I thought the Haqqislam had left those times behind...
Anyhow. I was blessed with a 9:1 and quite surprised of how well this went.

"Hey boss." "Yep?" "Do you think there will be more coming?" "The green fog looks rather thick. I don't think so..."
The 2nd Round
My opponent was another blast from the past, a guy I know from the time back at GW. We had the joy of playing Beaconland (Harlekin, if you are ready this, think about the bacon-marker!). The mission objectives are pretty easy. every specialist hast a beacon. And the further you carry (and deploy) these beacons from your deployment zone, the better. 
To the right, S's Neo Terra units packed with beacons and eager for action. To the left, my nomads, sporting 2 Intruder and a bag full of crazy coalas.

My opponent, let's call him S for now, had a pretty nifty idea. His Fusilier Link Team, packed with specialists, darted forward, dropping these beacons as if being the Easter bunny. Sadly this bold "onwards" led them straight into 2 coalas, resulting in a pretty decimated link. The rest was pretty quickly mobbed up by my beloved Lunokhod and the beacons were turned into my own.
This all was the left flank. 

A quick look to my team mate M, showed, that I wasn't the only one doing good...

On the right, my Link Team was scrubbeling through the garbage mountain (dirty nomads, that they are...), pushing onwards and forcing their way into the enemy territory.

With the assistance from the Intruder Sniper, there was little that could stand against a well filled order pool.
In the end I managed to gain a 10:1.

After a quick lunch and stroll over the Con (again... some of these costumes are really really awesome. Others make it hard to concentrate on small miniatures...) my beloved enemy M and myself had managed both to get the ticket to the finally.
M is normally not bothered, when he has to play against me. But my brand new dice had brought me this far, he had to discuss his tactics with other wizards.

So, the FINALE!

We played Nimbuszone, a fairly common concept of an scenario for Infinity. Run to the middle of the board, activate/hack/manipulate some consoles/antennas etc. and survive as long as possible (you find very rarely a mission that simply states: Kill the enemy. If you do, play something else :D)
After a already long day, this was probably the most exhausting game of Infinity I have played so far. It was not, that we were highly competitive, but we didn't want others to have the impression that we were giving away anything.
So, we did our best.
It started with M loosing his Garuda (a heavy armed robot with a jump pack) to a critical hit. We traded blows, M trying to evade my coalas, me trying to evade his Fusilier Sniper. It is already a hard to remember game, since so many things happened and I won't bore you with details.
In the end, we counted victory points and realised, that it was a tie.
So, after victory points 5:5, with M killing slightly more points than me (158 to 167 in his favour).
The two tournaments I have attended so far have ended the same way. With a trophy table. But where elsewhere medals or the like are handed, here you get stuff you can actually use for something...
Ulisses sponsored the miniatures and Infinity stuff. But have a look at the Laughing Jack Containers. There was easily 300€ in products lying on the table. IIRC everyone could at least score some nice piece of scenery for his/her table.

Harlekin announcing the winners.
The cheerful crowd.


First of all I want to thank everybody. Starting with my team mates (Kuhattrappe...), the Tournament Org (ApokalypseTest and Harlekin), my opponents, the other participants, the sponsors and everybody who helped to make this day so enjoyable.

I had a great day. Well, winning 2 in 3 games has helped a lot, I guess. And placing 2nd on my 2nd tournament probably too. But in the end the UNDO Link Team did pretty well as a team and I would always stand at your side again.

And to everybody, wondering weather to participate in an Infinity tournament or not. Do it. It is great! :D

Until next year!