Phew! I've just got back from the HOTT tornament at MOAB. Eight of us took part, four of which were myself and my family - it was us versus the Rest of the World really ...
The format was matched-pairs, and despite a few reservations it worked well - each player brought a matched pair of armies, and in a given round they would either use their own pair or that of their opponent. Whoever didn't own the armies chose which of the two they would use for the game. It was then played as normal. The draw was set up, wherever possible, so that in four rounds a player would use their own armies in two and those of another player in the other two.
There were a couple of rules modifications in play as well. The usual Shooter/Warband movement swap, of course. Sneakers were given a boost by allowing them to break off by moving forward through the enemy element they were contacting, and also by allowing them to 'friction kill' any enemy element. And finally Clerics were boosted (slightly) by being allowed to move into contact with Gods.
I took my Inuit matched-pair, which features a Sneaker, a God and Cleric, giving us a couple of opportunities to try out the changes. Catherine too a Redwall pair - the Defenders of Redwall Abbey against Cluny's Rat Hordes. Cei used his medieval Ceidonians against some Dwarves, whilst Maya opted for the legenday Pumpkin King's Halloween Hordes against some Elves. The other pairs in use were Dwarves vs Celtic Barbarians, a Greek/Mycenean match, Dark and Light Elves and Arabs against Normans.
The first round gets underway. I was drawn against Geoff, using his Elves. My head said to go for the Light Elves, a safe mix of Shooters and Spears, but my heart wanted the Warbands and Sneaker in the Dark Elves. I let my heart rule my mind.
In the foreground Caesar and Kaleb played Maya, beyond them Catherine played Peter and Cei was playing Martin.
Cei used his Dwarves against the Ceidonians.
Here's Geoff, waiting for me to stop taking pictures and make my first move.
Early on I popped out a Lurker and took out a Spear which had foolishly strayed into bad going.
I spent most of the battle working at his right flank Spears with Warband and a Sneaker, trying to kill his general. I got him, on a very, very lucky combat roll, to take the game.
Catherine played with Peter's Arab/Norman pair, but was defeated.
Here's my family in one shot, albeit the back of Cei's head.
Maya concentrates on her game.
Peter's Arab/Norman pair in action.
The Ceidonians and Dwarves.
In my second game I played Peter, with my own pair. He opted to use the Inland Dwellers of Etah; a tricky army to use, but with a God. The God came on early.
I tried a flanking move with Riders and a Behemoth.
The God and Etah's Behemoth stopped it.
They even finished off my polar bear between them.
The battle now switched to my line of archers. The God got caught up in a duel with a Shooter, and couldn't quite finish him.
Eventually I got my Cleric into action, using the rule change allowing them to contact a God, and with the help of a few overlaps drove the God from the table. A few more AP picked up from killing Beasts, and a lucky kill on the enemy Behemoth, gave me the game.
So there I was with two wins, and two games to go. I faced Martin, and went for a Celtic Warband against his Dwarves - a combination of Blades and Artillery. I avoided his Artillery by attacking on the flanks.
The dice weren't with me though - my first Warband charge swept away one element, but I had no success after that, and my brave warriors were slowly cut down. Martin picked up his third victory.
Meanwhile Catherine played Caesar and Kaleb, in the one drawn game of the event.
Maya used Peter's matched pair, and lost.
And Cei lost with the Dwarves again ...
... when Geoff's Behemoth recoiled over a Hero and another element.
The final round. With both of them on three losses, Cei and Maya ended up playing each other. At the other end of the table Catherine, with one win, was playing Geoff. I drew Caesar and Kaleb - they had two wins and a draw against my two wins.
We used my Inuit, and again my opponent selected the Inland Dwellers of Etah - the giant head, Kajutaijuq, and the God seemed to be a very enticing lure.
The Inland Dwellers of Etah charged.
Their Beasts smacked into my Shooter line. My general was in danger of being killed in a couple of combats, but I survived and steady archery drove the Beasts away.
I worked my dog-sled Riders around the enemy flank, assisted by the Cleric shaman.
Catherine beat Geoff to pick up her second victory of the day!
Caesar and Kaleb brought on their God, and he took on my trickster hero Sneaker, who fled through several enemy elements.
The end - Kajutaijuq was surrounded and cut down, to give the Inuit another victory. In the distance my Sneaker was heading towards the enemy stronghold.
That left me with three wins, but Martin had three as well - only Catherine had beaten him. Ties were decided by enemy AP destroyed, and Martin had 45 to my 39, so picked up first place. Here he is with his trophy.
Victor awarded a prize for the top-scoring member of my family, though, so I went home with a set of paints - very useful.
The final results were (taking into account tie-breaks):
1 Martin - W3, L1 - 9
2 Alan - W3, L1 - 9
3 Caesar/Kaleb - W2, L1, D1 - 7
4 Catherine - W2, L1, D1 - 7
5 Geoff - W2, L2 - 6
6 Peter - W2, L2 - 6
7 Maya - W1, L3 - 3
8 Cei - L4 - 0
Many thanks to Victor for organising a great day (great couple of days in fact). I did pick up some wargames show loot, but that can wait for another day.