And so it came time to pack up my cast and my board and drive down to Board in Brum, a great little gaming store in Walsall, or the day itself. Once there I preceded to set up my section of New York City.
I’d decided that there needed to be a bit more cover in the middle of the table, and so I took along a few more vehicles and set up a bit of an accident with a spilled load in the middle of the crossroads.
Whilst I was doing this, others were arriving and setting up their own dizzying array of boards, with themes that included spy-fi, post-apocalypse, gothic horror and even Action Force.
Take a look at these...
Mike, who organised the event had set up a storyline based in the studios of Barron Productions in which each game featured special rules that reflected Sidney Barron’s lack of investment. Lights on the blink, a labour dispute and food poisoning in the catering van would all have an effect on roceedings.
On top of this, we were all given slogans for popular consumer brands in the 70s and had to force them into the game with gratuitous product placement in order to gain the benefit of additional plot points.
All of this silliness in the studios set the scene for each of us to develop our own narrative throughout the day. We didn’t even have to worry too much about who won or lost as there were no prizes for such meaningless concepts as victory.
Therefore, I present my TMNT spin-off mini-series...
Episode 1: Hostile Takeover
Having had an agent in deep cover in Baxter Stockmsn’s former employers, TCRI, Shredder became aware of the company’s further experimentation with trans-dimensional mutagen, and decided to break in to steal their secrets, and enable him to generate a horde of hybridised monstrosities to flood the sewers and finish off the Turtles once and for all.
However, having discovered the Foot’s infiltration, Dugo Hrax, the CEO of TCRI decided that not only did he want the spy killed, but he also sought to use the Foot Clan as a test of his latest creation...the Apetopus!
As Hrax looked on from above the action, Foot Clan ninjas swept out of their dojo and down the street towards TCRI.
However, they apparent ‘accident’ in the road was a trap and a monstrous primate-cephalopod hybrid slithered it’s way across the wreckage towards them, followed by SMG toting minions that unleashed a barrage of fire that ended Steve, the ninja who’d been undercover in TCRI’s HR department.
Undeterred, the ninjas swept forwards and shuriken whipped through the air, dropping minions left right and centre.
The minion commander found himself suddenly attack from the rear by Baxter Stockman’s Mousers. As they were powered by Energizer Batteries, they kept going and going until he was dead.
Meanwhile, Shredder leapt fearlessly into the fray with the Apetopus...well...fearlessly until he got close to the tentacular terror and despite using an ancient sushido choke move to temporarily incapacitate the beast, his caution prevented him getting too close to finish it off.
Determined to record the Apetopus’ performance accurately, and also because he minion bodyguards had just been killed by well placed exploding eggshell, Hrax used his jet-brogues to hover down for a closer look, and was delighted to see the octopoid-baboon regenerate its wounds and seek to engulf Shredder.
However, the Master of the Foot Clan eventually mastered his fear and sliced and diced the creature into something resembling a bush-tucker trial, leaving nothing to stop the Foot entering the TCRI research labs.
However, Hrax has seen all he needed to see and after a few parting shots, jetted off to refine his Apetopus formula for future applications.
Episode 2: The Splinter Cell
Having infiltrated TVCI, Baxter Stockman wastes no time in locating the mutagenic samples he would need to unleash formless spawn into the sewers, and the Foot Clan were on their way out of the labs with their prize.
Suddenly, figured seemed to flow out of the shadows ahead of them. Shredder recognised them as agents of SHIVA, a worldwide secret organisation the Foot Clan has once been part of, and they were led by non other than Kali, the Daughter of Death.
Ninjas swept forwards towards Kali. It seemed impossible that they’d be able to defeat SHIVA’s most deadly assassin, but as their Adidas sneakers flashed briefly on screen, Shredder shouted to remind them that impossible is nothing.
However, it turned out that impossible was actually something and they both died, leaving the two martial arts masters facing each other.
The titanic showdown never came, as Shredder saw that his ninjas were outgunned and in what can only be described as a Jedi-leap, pounced on the SHIVA minions and began to slaughter them.
Meanwhile, Baxter Stockman was lurking behind machiney keeping the mutagen safe, but found himself attacked out of nowhere by Kali’s acolyte, who made short work of the mutated scientist and took the deadly research.
Realising that they were being out-ninja’d, the Foot Clan began to back away.
Any attempt to fight back saw them cut down.
This left Shredder isolated, and as he closed on the final minion, he was struck from behind by Kali and left for dead. The agents of SHIVA made off with their prize, certain to wreak more havoc with it than just flushing amphibians out of the sewers.
Episode 3: Foot Race
Shredder and his men woke up in a cargo container somewhere in the mid-west. Emerging into the light, Shredder realised that Kali had planned a fate worse than death for him as he looked to horizon and saw that SHIVA had unleashed a gibberish horde of Apetopi in heart of America that were even now slithering towards the Foot.
They would have to run!
What’s more, the Turtles had been on the trail of the missing Foot Clan, and Shredder could see their hated green forms closing in. And yet they too were were now facing the same Apetopocalypse.
The day could still be a success if Shredder could feed his mortal enemies to the advancing horde whilst saving himself.
Baxter Stockman buzzed to the roof of a diner, reached into his pocket and used a device that encased Michaelangelo in a bubble of energy that plunged him back towards the gibberish horde.
Aware he could not outrun his fate, Mikey decided to sell his life dearly, and with a defiant ‘Cowabunga!’ disappeared amongst the tentacles.
Meanwhile, Shredder and the ninjas were running for their lives when one of the ninjas tripped over a fuel can, spilling gasoline everywhere and bringing the other ninjas down on top of him.
An exasperated Shredder turned and shouted, “What are you waiting for? A Polaroid picture? All you have to do is keep up with me. It’s a simple!”
At that moment a loose katana scraped on a stone, creating a spark that ignited the gas and set all of the ninjas’ robes on fire. In the ensuing panic, all of the ninjas fled back towards the encroaching Apetopi and were lost...although the air was filled with the pleasant smell of fried calamari.
Aware they were being tracked, the remaining Turtles flung a variety of missiles in BCter’s direction, but none of them hit.
Shredder and his remaining henchmen closed in on their quarry and took down some of the Turtles companions from the local police force.
Baxter Stockman saw an opportunity to take out another Turtle and spat acid at a departing Raphael.
Furious at this and the loss of his brother, the notoriously bad-tempered amphibian halted his flight to deliver a solid beating to Baxter Stockman, leaving the scientist at mercy of the Apetopocalypse.
Only Shredder, the three remaining Turtles and Channel 6 reporter April O’Neil made it to safety. At least she’d been filming and now had a story for tonight’s show!
And that was it. A great day’s gaming where the focus was more on the gaming than being gamey, which is as it should be.
A quick shout out to my opponents Andy, Alistair and Matt for fantastic games, to Simon and Mike whose excellent boards I played on, to everyone else for being really friendly, to Wayne for bringing a lucky dip of miniatures for everyone who took part (the tally is now: Painted 6 - Acquired 9), to Simon and Jez at Board in Brum for hosting an excellent day, and especially to Mike for organising such a fantastic event.
The next one is in September. I’ll definitely be there.