Well, all the dust has settled on Northern Invasion 4, and planning has already started on number 5, plus hopefully an event up here early next year. While the event was generally a success, with most things running as planned, there were as always some teething issues. I will say now, lack of planning and preparation was not one of them, as all the tables were set up properly and all the paperwork was ready to roll, but in an effort to make it as friendly as possible, I think they went to far and it distracted from the fact that this was still a tournament.
My main grip I suppose is that fact that you didn't have to submit a list before the event, which lead to some issues at the start. These were mostly due to some of the younger participants, which while I am more than happy to encourage, turning up with a box of models, dumping them on the table and saying "what have I got? How many point is it?" is not really the way to start a tournament, especially when your already late. One of them had enough models to form an army, a reasonable one at that, the other didn't not have nearly enough, and despite our best efforts to repair models and sort a list out, we couldn't get near enough to the 1500 points to make it worth while. At the time I was quite annoyed but it all, but looking back I'm equally annoyed, sorry we couldn't do something and relieved, as by other accounts the youth in question was a bit of a pain, going to to quite the magic draft as he got bored and also quitting an rpg as it was taking too long. While were on the subject of youths, the other young lad, who was playing decided half way through his first game that he was going to nip off and play the magic draft, not quite sure how he thought he would do that but I guess not having done a draft before he might not have understood what was happening. It was a shame that he abandoned his game,as it made life difficult for both the other player and the tournament organizer, trying to figure out points for the game. In the end they worked it out fairly well, and the score seemed to tie in with the general score for the day.
All this ended up putting us over an hour late in starting, which combined with the fact 2 participants got there late, through no fault of the own but due to late running ferries, it meant that we were still playing at gone 11pm, well those of us staying at the venue were!
Now, I doubt want this to sound like I'm anti youths playing the game, I had two very good and entertaining games against some other young players,where I tried to impart my knowledge to them, whether they listened or not is a different matter! I think getting young players along to tournaments like this is great, however they need to realise it is a tournament.
Anyway, now I've had my moan ill carry on with the good bits! The venue was very good, and as we were staying on site, we could keep gaming into the night. The original idea was to try and play a few kill team missions, but we never got around to it, as explained above, but it was great just playing and having a laugh without having to worry about what time it was, a rare luxury for myself and many others I suspect. As I said at the top, the tables were great,with lots of good scenery and theme, not just a collection of scenery thrown on a table. It really enhanced the gaming experience.
Next we come to the food. Have attended a few tournaments in my time, this being the 4th, but the food here was by far the best yet. The home made soup was excellent, and I thoroughly enjoyed several helping of the chicken and vegetable curries, also home made.
The organizers all did a brilliant job of organizing the event and for us players there was little we needed to worry about, apart from playing games. So good infect that I've already signed up for next year and somehow I've also been roped in to help organize it! Ok itdidnt take much persuasion ("do you fancy helping next year" "yeah, why not"). I think my main input will be getting lists reviewed pre the event and I think that will help iron out the only down points.
So after the mamouth moan at the beginning i will end with this, if you fancy a tripup north for a few games of 40k or AoS or even magic, look out for Northern Invasion 5, you want regret the trip!
Oh and here's a few more general pictures.....
Tables 2, 4 and 6. I ended up playing on 2 and 4.
Table 1, 3 and 5. First game was on 3 and I then spent all of day 2 playing on table 5, closest to camera.
One of the many little details found on the boards. There was graffiti, posters and other little bits like this scattered will over the various boards.
Necrons vs Nids,
Chaos vs marines, the chaos player withdrew half way through this game to go play the magic draft.