On November 2, 2008 the Nerd Night crew converged on my apartment on Maplewood to engage in our first Nerd Night Apocalypse bash. A few of the guys had already experienced a few Apocalypse scale games, but this was my first. To be honest, I felt ill prepared. I was so busy with other things in my life during October that 40K was seriously the furthest thing from my mind. Normally I'd be scurrying around, trying to finish this model or that model, trying to build something grand, and hurriedly completing a new terrain piece. Instead I spent an hour or two watching TV the Thursday night before throwing together a battlewagon I knew I'd never even finish converting in time and totally lacking the tunnel vision mode I need to barrel through any type of project.
The night before I was out especially late and I was up before 7am getting the furniture moved and the tables set up. Arrival time was set for 9:30am so I had to hustle to get the house organized and get the dogs walked and fed. I had great energy early on and felt excited despite feeling unprepared. Eric called just as I finished getting everything into place, letting me know he was ready to arrive early to help set-up. Whoops! I guess I wasn't the only person bent on being pro-active so things went as smoothly as possible.
Somewhere after 10:00am the players had fully arrived and we got our usual chatter out of the way and made last minute changes to army lists etc. We were using approximately 9000 points per side and we played on a 6' x 8' table. Also, we only had one small super heavy on the board which resulted in just masses of troops flooding the table. It took us 7 1/2 hours to deploy, play a couple of turns, eat lunch, and then complete a couple more turns. At about 6 hours in my head started to pound from the sleep I neglected to get, but I had felt good about how well we paced ourselves, how way stayed to task once we got settled in, and that we managed to get in 4 full turns despite the enormous amount of models and the distinct lack of any sort of templates larger than an ordnance blast save for a couple of Orbital Bombardments. A little after 5:00pm everything was cleaned up, the furniture was back in place, and the dogs were once again lords of the living room - they were getting pissed being penned up all alone in the kitchen.
I did learn a number of things from the experience. Everything Jervis had written about being organized was spot on. Having a loose plan for the food, roughly having our crap together, and getting the tables set up ahead of time were all time savers. In the future I think we could get this all streamlined even more, ensuring we got more turns in. Additionally, we needed to scale back the points slightly or make sure we all made use of Datafaxes and Super-Heavy Vehicles. Not only was our killing potential greatly reduced at the expense of our turns being lengthened, but I think we missed out on some of the grandeur that comes from dropping a 10" template on your opponents forces. We also picked our Strategic Assets randomly from a hand picked selection Eric chose out of the book. Assets like Flank March and Strategic Redeployment were left out of the mix and though part of me thinks the idea of 20 Sentinels picking up and relocating to another section of the board mid game is completely ridiculous, our huge number of models and lack of massive kill power resulted in a pretty much the center of the board being one giant fight that just largely stalemated, especially since we reached a point where we had tons of models that couldn't do anything because they were blocked by other friendly models.
I love the idea of the massive battle and it was a great excuse to gather and have a light hearted game with lots of chatter about what's going on in our lives. Nerd Nights have been scattered at best the last couple months and it was just nice having everyone in the same place for an afternoon so we could catch up. The only two things I felt the day lacked was a story to tie it together (see my last post) and a bit more fully painted models. I'm really all about aesthetics when it comes to wargaming and I think a slightly smaller fight would have resulted in a prettier fight.
Regardless, it got me jump started once again and the last couple weeks the paints and brushes were dragged out, the new Space Marine Codex and Imperial Armour Masterclass Vol 1 were bought, the blog has been added to, and a couple of models are nearing completion. I am pretty sure its done the same for some of the other guys, so not only was it a successful day in terms of fun had by all amidst quality company, but it was doubly successful because it got a few of us a bit more motivated.
Thanks to everyone for a great day. Extra special thanks to Eric for making it happen.
PS. The Orks won the day against the Space Wolves/Ecclessiarchal contingent. Waaghh!