First up was the 350pt Warmachine/Hordes Multiplayer event. Each table was set up with a control point in the middle and a 10"x10" deployment zone in each corner. Players were placed completely randomly for 3 rounds. We had 12 total players so there were 3 tables, for 3 rounds with each game lasting 75 minutes (at which point it was strictly dice down. Only VPs mattered, and in addition to scoring VPs for killing stuff, 1 VP was awarded for each successful power attack against an enemy model, and 15 VPs for having a model completely within the control point area at the end of your turn if no enemy models were on the control point (starting round 2).
I played a pretty well tuned list for this match. I had Broadsides Bart, a Mariner, a Freebooter, Gudrun and a Bokur.
Round 1 went very well. I won the initiative and went first. By my second turn, Gudrun was on the control point (a small spiral staircase) and was pretty much dug in. Bart had charged up and feated which pretty much locked down the middle too. Gudrun then proceeded to ward of complete destruction for 2 additional rounds. In the mean time Bard was busy slaying an Avatar and clearing out a Protectorate menace to one side while Circle and Trolls clashes on the other side. I scored a whopping 53 VPs that first game.
Round 2 also went well. I came up second in the starting rotation and thus was able to secure the same point again with Gudrun. This time I had the Bokur attached to him and the two of them once again held the point for 3 rounds worth. You can see in this shot how Gudrun mercilessly taunts the Behemoth, shaking his fist at it, right before falling down drunk at the top of the stairs (to prevent being shot at).
Eventually they cleared Gudrun off the top, and by then I was down to just Bart. The center of the table turned into a nasty little scrum between Hexeris, Bart, and the Old Witch. At the end of this one I came up with 47 VPs, again mostly due to Gudrun who was the real star of the show. I should also mention that the other players on this table were very cool and this was probably the most fun of all 3 matches that I played.
Round 3 I didn't fare so well. At this point I was the clear leader in the tournament with 100 VPs (19 ahead of the next player) and was instantly made a target. This map also had a small sump in the middle instead of a staircase which made for a bit more challenge. Gudrun was only able to secure the center for 1 round before being mercilessly ganged up on. However, the Bokur and the Freebooter both rocked the house in this game. The Bokur slammed an Ironclad, knocking him down in the water and putting out his hearfire. Then the Freebooter, taking advantage of a knocked down Avatar, proceeds to trash it pretty heavily and then chain attack throw it into Mulg, where it lands in the water, also extinguishing its heartfire as well. At that point the control pond was clogged up with inert jacks, blocking all attemts to control the point. Sorry there's no good photo of it, every one I took was blurry except for this one of Bart in melee with Striker, who he failed to kill by exactly 1 point! In the end I scored a mere 15 VPs, unable to actually get the credit for killing anything.
At the end of the tournament I had scored 115 VPs and (amazingly) placed 1st! I was as shocked as anyone, as I rarely even place at all. The multiplayer event was awesome, and the format with 75 minutes (which was kept secret) really kept people playing fast and rushing to the middle to punch face. Seriously, two thumbs up to the TO Jimmy for putting this one together.
After all this (and then dinner) I cruised down for the painting awards. Without belaboring the point, I had entered eSeverius, eSkarre, and the Cephalyx Drudges. eSeverius and eSkarre placed as bronze, and the Drudges placed as silver! I was extremely happy and quite honestly surprised about the Drudges since I didn't think they were that great. However one of the judges actually spoke to me right after the ceremony was over to tell me how good he thought they were which blew me away. Needless to say I am invigorated with a new sense of excitement to paint.
I should note that I entered the "Open" category rather than the Masterclass. Quite honestly I don't consider myself that good, and I also wanted to get a baseline for how tough the judging would be. In the Masterclass category there were a few entries and Ryder Gaddis took the best of show award (quite deservedly) with an Anima Tactics model that he'd painted (which apparently will appear as the studio paintjob). Perhaps next year I'll put one entry in the Masterclass level.
The new open judging system is great, and there were many awards given out to models that really deserved them. Hats off to Wayne for doing a great job with it. Next year is the 10 year anniversary of KublaCon and Wayne is pushing everyone to enter to have a big showing for the competition. I'm determined to spend a good chunk of my painting time over this next year working specifically on models for next year to make a really good showing.
Well, that's it for KublaCon 2009. I had a great time and am seriously looking forward to next year. Now it's time to catch up on home stuff and continue practicing my painting skills. To all of you painters out there, I hope the inspiration of the brush strikes you and that you continue to paint like you have a pair!