The British event was held at Wollaton Hall in Nottigham, which is where the exterior scenes for Wayne Manor in the Dark Knight trilogy were filmed. The venue was an excellent and atmospheric choice and also proved central enough for pretty much every corner of the U.K. to be represented (although one guy who'd come down from Scotland had had an epic journey the day before). The event was run by Animosity Games in conjunction with the admins of the Arkham City Limits Facebook group, and despite some of the curve-balls that seem to have been thrown at them during the run up to the event, the day was brilliantly organised and run. The tables that had been arranged for the day were simply breathtaking, there lots of excellent city scenes, but some tables were worthy of special mention.
|Gotham Rogues' Stadium - post Bane|
|The Frickin' Bat-Cave!|
|Arkham Asylum - one of these was the top prize|
|Wayne Manor - the top table|
As you may remember, I'd taken a slight variation of the crew that I did well with in the Titan Games event in the summer featuring:
Arkham Origins Batman
Agent Ron (with a Magazine)
Male Cop (with a Med Pack)
Female Cop (with a Whistle)
Game 1 vs Joker Gang (James) - Skirmish
When I realised I would be playing the Joker, my heart sank a little. Mainly because it's a crew I've played with and against several times and I was hoping to get games in against crews I hadn't yet faced. However, I was pleased to find out that James' crew was a little bit different from the norm:
James' Joker Crew
Joker (Heath Ledger)
Triston (with Bat-Claw)
2 Asylum Lunatics
I'd never played against Heath Ledger Joker before, and although Deadshot is fairly common, I'd also not come up against Croc in competition either. This would be interesting. In addition, we were playing on what was probably the most terrain heavy board, with very few clear lines of sight. Something I was hoping to use to my advantage.
|See the bottom of what looks like a crane on the right?|
|Now look at the top of it!|
|Batman punches clowns whilst Catwoman grabs loot.|
|Deadshot and Joker go looking for someone to kill.|
|Red Hood fighting 'defensively' against a ticking clown.|
|Agent Ron eyes the biggest collar of his career.|
Unsure how to use him and his short ranged attacks without getting him killed, I'd held Agent Ron back in the sweeper role to hopefully do something about the inevitable appearance of Killer Croc in my backfield. Sure enough, up popped the monster, right next to an ammo crate and Ron set about emptying clip after clip into Croc. I had better luck with my shooting and over two rounds, Ron's attacks enabled Batman to put Croc on the floor, and when h got up again, Ron finished the job.
|Batman steals the limelight, but it's Ron that finishes the job.|
Although I feel I played this game well, pulling of a bait and switch to allow me to dominate one flank, I'm under no illusions that a combination of the terrain, the scenario and James' poor luck with his dice (he also failed to get any points from two riddles) really helped me to do this.
Game 2 vs Gotham Sirens (Sam) - Patrol
The second game saw me pitted against Sam's wonderfully themed Gotham Sirens gang in the patrol scenario.
|The Sirens in all their glory.|
Poison Ivy (Comics)
Harley Quinn (Classic)
High Security Prisoner
|That's a very open street.|
|Batman spots the Sirens in the car park.|
|This fight isn't as uneven as it looks.|
|His face is that red under the hood.|
As the game wore on, I was singularly failing to inflict damage. Batman did take out the Spore Plant and inflicted some hurt on Ivy, but I kept just missing out on points here and there. It became apparent that Sam would reach my deployment zone so I dispatched Female Cop through the sewers and sent Red Hood running up the street to reach his.
With the last activation of the game, a gasping Red Hood staggered into the scoring zone, but it was too late. The final score was 16-10 to Sam, one point away from a draw.
I'll admit to being a bit annoyed with myself for this one. Even with a bit of bad luck on shooting, I could have at least pulled off a draw if I'd had my head in the game a bit more. Getting drawn into a fight I didn't need and not getting anything out of Catwoman during the game was foolish. Sam did pretty much everything right even though the terrain really didn't suit him at all as it subjected his crew to a dash across the open ground, risking Batman's hit and run attacks.
Game 3 vs Joker Gang (Jack) - Plunder
A win and a loss found me smack bang in the middle field playing against Jack's Joker crew. His was another Heath Ledger Joker gang, but featured a miniature I'd not actually seen in the flesh before, Lobo.
Jack's Joker Crew
Joker (Heath Ledger)
Master of Cermonies
Both of us sighed when we saw the terrain we were playing on. I saw a lot of open ground and nowhere to use the bat-claw, Jack saw lots of places for Batman to snipe his goons from the shadows (I saw that too).
|Batman vs Joker in Feudal Japan?|
|Notice the tiny gap? Jack pointed that out to me, I thought he'd made it.|
Batman used his remote batarangs to frustrating effect, trying to knock henchmen off the loot counter to prevent Jack closing the gap. He knocked one out, but couldn't stop the others. Sniggering failed to hot Batman when he had him lined up for a full blast from his assault rifle. At the end of the game, both Red Hood and Batman made a charge on Joker's bodyguard in an attempt to sneak extra points, but both failed.
This left the score as 27-25 to me. A draw. In fact, this felt like a draw all the way through. Nobody had any outrageous luck, which could have swung it either way, but this result seemed sort of inevitable. On such an open table, I couldn't risk going out to fight Jack, and he couldn't risk splitting up to hunt my models. It was a very cagey game, but enjoyable for that.
That left me with a win, a loss and a draw for the day. If what Batman says is true, "It's what I do that defines me," I'm defined as utterly mediocre as I finished 19th of 38.
Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day playing a great game, on great scenery, with great models against nice people. Despite my misgivings about KM's decisions in the run up to the event, the actually organisation of the day was fabulous and the overall atmosphere was excellent. I'll definitely go again next year.
The only criticism I have of the day is that of the four lampposts I took...yes, those lampposts...two of them broke. One before the first game started! I proper hate them...
Other than that, cracking day!