When I read the reports from Eirini (40K ETC team coach) and Yiannis (Captain) I immediately knew that I had to post them on my blog. It's becoming sort of a tradition anyway, with Leonidas posting his extensive battle reports last year. Check their ETC experience in their own words after the jump. Enjoy!
One woman, eight men, or “…Where are you heading, little Eirini, with such a bad weather” (paraphrase of Greek rhyme)
In the beginning I smelled a trip coming…Then it also started smelling of work (piece of cake, as they used to tell me and it was at that moment that I remembered the ol’ Asterix catchphrase “Join the army they said, see the world they said…”). I began feeling very anxious a month before (the tournament), that I still had no idea what I would have to do... Would the wardrobe especially requested by the others be enough? Nah, guessed not… I had to do something and I did… I went to a spa, to make nervousness go away…
A day before leaving for Poland, I discovered the great happiness of cutting and sewing forgotten since primary school. My tournament shirt was at least three sizes larger, but with a bit of imagination and the kind exhortation of the other team members, a new one was made. The others were gathering armies and I was trying to fit into my bag the tools for the perfect frappe coffee, that was about to become one of my vital tournament chores. My main consideration, a different hairdo each day.
When I held the coach card in my hands, I felt I was leveling up as a woman, as a human being… I knew then that everything had to be done perfect! And I acted… Sometimes with a smile, most of time with threats (you have to admit for me that I haven’t kept any of them), I was trying to push the players to do the impossible…possible. Strangely, they managed to do it fine. My talent was acknowledged and I have now invitations from all over the world, which I am not seriously considering, though…yet…:P I also declare here with no hesitation, that (my) frappe coffee has also been known to the very ends of the world. Oh, not to forget…The team had very good lists, very good players, a very kind captain and the most attractive coach (The others said that, not me)
Far from joking, that was one of the best parts of the trip, the whole experience was incredible! I have never expected that I would be able to feel so good in a team, whose members I hadn’t gotten to know well enough and all of them were of the opposite sex. So, I had to face some “Eurotrip” scenes, when I was desperately trying to explain that I am a girl. The most unbelievable thing however, was that they made me feel a team member from the very first moment and they all encouraged me. Without your support, guys, I wouldn’t have achieved anything! Thank you for always having a good word for me, but as I have told you face to face…these things only and always work both ways…
The other teams’ players were all fine guys! More than fine, I have to admit…Little misunderstandings happened, but all was solved in the end and at last…these are not the things you hold a grudge for after something like the ETC. In the end, there was all of us eating together, talking and laughing. Ok, I have a special thing for Austria, because they were (with no exceptions) very kind and they brought me sweets. (Are you listening? Yeah, you! My team!) A special word for the Netherlanders who were fully mad (always in the best way), so we got on really well. I would like to see the English and Australians again (the misunderstandings I mentioned before). The Finish were gentlemen, with their coach bringing water in an endless friendly rivalry against me about who was going to bring the best (yep, from the same machines) and the most. The Swiss impressed me the most! With their chess clocks, with little signs for the deployment line…
Playing terrain could have been better. Some hills, rivers and generally, a little variety wouldn’t have harmed anybody.
All together and each of them separately, I would like to thank:
Vasilis Apostolopoulos, aka Billap, Captain of the team, who trusted me and gave me this role. For the endless times I took your cigarettes (I bought you some back, though), the difficult pairings and being a fireman defusing all explosive encounters. For the team inspiration and feeling of teamwork, there’s one thing I have to say: Billy! I love you!
John Adamopoulos, aka Ianos, team trainer who played with formation and self-control and was always there for me to explain all those things that needed (and those that didn’t need) explanation and who convinced me that I could do it.
Konstantinos Lekkas, aka Chronomancer, team uncle, with a great sense of justice and always with something nice to say.
Antonis Christou, aka Anubis, the most cooperative player that I, as coach, have seen, who managed to do it, even when he couldn’t do it. I wish you play again next year, and this time with your favorite army, with as much training as you want!
Gerasimos Stavrides, aka Cegorach, who always knew where he was standing and always cooperated in the best way. His calmness was calming us all.
Konstantinos Koltsakis, aka Dregoth, who –lost in his own world sometimes, sometimes in ours- always played, even when he was looking at the girls next to our table. My coming enhanced his argument for me being a man. I hope the things you heard Kostas, have convinced you for the opposite.
Stefanos Spyropoulos, aka Gorget, the baby of our team, who did the best he could, even since training in Athens.
Panagiotis Perakis, aka Monodominant, whom we found there and he gladly undertook to explain everything concerning Poland, many times in the role of guide-translator.
Even if I had to be there a million times, it would always be with you! Thank you all!
Song (remixed) for coaching: «Boys, I ‘m gonna make you sweat, sweat until you sweat no mooore, and if you cryyy, I ‘m gonna tell you to push some more» Push because we‘re losing! (And losing is not an option; D)
|Yiannis in the middle|
My first time in the ETC has indeed been interesting and fed my mind so it can become more productive and analytic both in regards to the tournament and to the Warhammer 40k game in general. It was a valuable experience and one that I am happy to have lived through with a team of friends and in the company of fellow players.
Indeed the ETC is a large fellowship, in which despite our differences and any misunderstandings that might emerge in the heat of the moment, we can all play a strong and fair as humanly possible game. So yes, it is overall the biggest and best tournament I have ever attended and I would love it if it would become bigger and better. I would also really like if more tournament organizers provided us with little cheat-sheets and guidelines like the mini-rule pack we acquired in Poland.
On the bigger and better part, ETC 2012 did indeed grow, with more countries attending than ever before, as well as people that support the teams. Amongst them, the tireless and impartial referees, always beside us to help us with our games. I also enjoyed the presence of war-gaming related companies close to the areas of play and I hope to see more of them in the future. The Polish organizing of the event could use some polishing though, so on to the hard part.
We were set to play in an area within a football field, in a relatively small space created by a plastic tent. Needless to say that in the peak of the summer, such a construct becomes very similar to a greenhouse and that it was very hard to compete properly, especially when combined with unavoidable circumstances such as heavy background noise.
To make things worse the terrain was hardly appropriate for balanced tournament play. There were two main table sets, one close to the entrance of the tent and one close to the back. The tables on the entrance’s side were more or less balanced filled with all terrain types. The ones towards the back though were a different breed. At first gaze, I thought most of the pieces I saw were divided equally between hills and impassable rocks, with some forests here and there (which is imbalanced but perhaps manageable). After we started the pairings I was informed that ALL those pieces that looked like hills were to be considered LOS blocking impassable terrain (my guess is this was done not because it was intended from the start, but because arguments arose from the players. Of course our assault oriented opponents were happy to agree with the ruling and enforce it when terrain was discussed). Needless to say our essentially first timer, shooting oriented team had to fight an uphill battle in such tables.
I however accepted our severe drawback and proceeded to enjoy my games hoping at least that we would get to play evenly on the assault oriented tables (were we started) and on the balanced ones. What really happened is that we played on a normal row of tables only once; in our last match (In fact we were actually placed on the same impassable table twice). Despite our strength giving up on us after 3 days of playing under the above circumstances, we tried to enjoy our last game of 5th ed. as much as possible, but that would not of course recoup for the 5 games we played in the other tables.
As a final detail on the table setup, it seemed awkward to me that there were not even small gaps in the table rows for the players to go around. This not only forced players to have to move all the way around the entire row to get to the other side but it also made it very hard to check the view and LOS from the short table edges, which will be even more important in 6th ed. matches.
Overall I loved being in the ETC 2012 and I will do my best to attend in the years to come. I would also like to thank the Polish who despite the aforementioned issues provided me with my first international war-gaming experience, and that is enough for me to always remember them in a positive manner.