Team Talk - ROC review part 1

Saturday, 12 April 2014 08:00:00 Europe/London

This past weekend saw the UK heroclix community descend upon Burton Upon Trent for the first real National sized tournament we've seen in some time. A lot of credit has to go to the hard work put in by Chris here at BlueRat for organising the whole event and to all the team at Portal Wargaming Center who hosted the event for 32 players over the weekend.

The weekend kicked off with a fun event on the Friday evening dubbed 'The Kryptonite Factor'. It was a pretty laid back format which helped everybody meet and greet whilst rolling some dice and having a bit of fun. This was followed by drinks (£8.50 for a JD and coke?!) and card games (Louis is always a werewolf!) in the hotel bar before we all headed to bed ready for the festivities to start Saturday morning.

Saturday morning saw everybody registering and getting their participation goodie bags which featured custom ROC dice and action tokens, a random LE and relic/special object as well as their lunch voucher and joker card for use during the event. We then got stuck in to the first of the days qualifying events, a sealed tournament using two boosters of Superman and The Legion Of Superheroes. The top 7 players would qualify for the Top 16 finals to take place on Sunday but a few of the players had already qualified via local events which meant anybody in the top 10 could potentially have a chance. I ended with a 2-2 record which meant I was left having to qualify via the evenings constructed event, my good friend and Team Cheap Thrills teammate Kelvin Makepeace was rather unfortunate to first be told he had qualified before a human error meant he too was left out and having to take part in the constructed event.

After a break for lunch we all gathered again for the 300pt constructed qualifier and there was a nice, diverse selection of teams about. I usually write the Team Talk articles here at BlueRat so you're probably wondering what unique, original and exciting team I played? I went with Shuma-Gorath and Mole Man. Original, huh? There's a rather long and uninteresting story about how this came to be, but the simple answer is that in a competitive environment you play competitive teams and for all the lack of complicated combos or team synergy this is a competitive build (as we'll see from my results).

In the first round I played against Felix Hughes' team of ASM Man-Thing, SLOSH Bizarro (50pts), GG Mole Man, Book Of The Skull and a bunch of bystanders. Felix had already qualified for the finals and so was playing a fun team and in a laid back style, it was actually a great way to start the evening as I picked up the win fairly easily (despite lots of time spent chasing Bizzaro only for him to Shape Change out of my attacks) but still enjoyed a good game.

In round two I got paired with Edward Bentley's White Witch/Brother Voodoo/Lydea Mallor team. Interestingly he elected to use Lydea's trait to remove Skadi's Hammer from my resource rather than the expected Angrir's Hammer, I assume this was to try and get penetrating damage through on Shuma. This would be the only game I lost with Shuma all weekend and frustratingly I can pin point the mistakes that I made, but that's how the game goes sometimes. Shuma died and Mole Man was left to fight, rather valiantly, on his own and even threatened to KO Brother Voodoo for a short time.

Round Three saw me face off against Matt Pendleton's Avengers team of IIM 001 Iron Man and AVX Scarlet Witch. A couple of good hits saw him knock Shuma down his dial before he came the beast awoke with Quakes and Flurries to Steal Energy and finish the game in turn three. A particularly nasty results for the Avengers after such a promising start.

In the final round of the qualifier I was paired with Alex Crow who had already qualifier by winning his local stores qualifying event so he chose to concede and give me the victory. This left me feeling a little cheap as I needed the win to get through but it was his choice and a very kind gesture.

Kelvin went 4-0 during the qualifier with his Armor theme team to also secure his place in the finals on Sunday. Our team mates Louis Sice and Andy Collier went 2-2 and 1-3 respectively which unfortunately left them short of the finals.

On the journey back to the hotel there were a few jokes made about how on earth we'd ever manage to fit all the prizes in my little Toyota when Kelvin and I inevitably met in the finals but serious talk had us both agreeing that a good draw in the Final 16 would get us both in the top 8 and win a Convention Exclusive each making it a successful weekend. It turns out that jokes can sometimes be somewhat prophetic.

Sunday morning bought the top 16 main event. I spent much of the night debating whether to stick with Shuma or to change to my Monster theme team but Louis and I agreed I should stick with what had got me qualified. In the first round I was paired against Anthony Booth's team of Malekith, Madame Web, Splitlip and the Book Of The Skull. The combination of Outwit, Quake and Flurry saw Malekith fall in turn two and Anthony decided at that point to concede as victory looked all but impossible for him. To say I felt cheap doing that to somebody during the first game of the finals was an understatement but in these events we play to win and I've no doubt Anthony would have done the same to me if the tables were turned.

The quarter finals saw me paired with Ralph Redfern's team of Takion and Dark Phoenix with the Power Plant. Ralph won map choice and his positioning meant there wasn't a single square on the map that would protect me from a second turn Pulse Wave so I chose a spot, dropped Angrir's Hammer and awaited the hit. A good, solid die roll saw me take 5 damage on Shuma, then my turn saw me miss my Quake and three of the four Flurry attacks making me worry that this could be game over. Fortunately I was able to get Shuma back up his dial and take out the dual deities but not without Splitlip falling victim to the Dark Phoenix.

I was paired with Elliott Weights' Fantomex/Shatterstar team in the semi-finals. Elliott had spend most of the week telling me via facebook that he had a plan for Shuma but a couple of errors on his part fortunately allowed me to pick up the win. His initial positioning meant that when he needed a prob control to hit Shuma with a big Fantomex attack Scarlet Witch couldn't actually get line of sight and this went on to play a big part in the way the game played out.

Amazingly throughout all of this Kelvin had also picked up victories over Felix Hughes' Hellfire teambase, Tino Cazzato's Solomon Grundy, and Alex Crow's White Witch team. We had an hour and a half to relax and prepare for the ROC Super Qualifier Final, playing against each other as we do every week back home at Cheap Thrills (best venue in the country, now semi-official). There's only one good way to unwind and prepare for something like that so we joined Andy and Louis in playing a battle royale before shaking hands and starting the final.

We had discussed the final briefly during the break and had both agreed that the second turn of this game was going to decide it and that's exactly what happened. I won the map choice and chose Realm Of Death, I positioned Shuma in the middle of the map and gave him Angrir's Hammer, Kelvin then went for broke and used Skadi's Warbot and Blue Beetle to shoot out walls before Iron Man took a shot at Shuma and missed. Next turn Shuma based the whole team, took out the Warbot and Beetle and then it was just a case of wearing down M10 Iron Man and his rather annoying Adaptive Armor.

Fitting all those prizes for the top two spots and our Heroes Of Albion trophy into the car for our long journey home was certainly a challenge but well worth it. The weekend was amazing and it was great to meet players from so many other venues. There was a lot of talk about future events at various locations and many faces I'll look forward to seeing again at the Nationals next month in Birmingham.

This felt like a great way to kickstart the large scale competitive heroclix scene in the UK and with Nationals now back on the calendar hopefully we'll now have two large scale competitive events each year where we can meet up and roll some dice. I'll be back later in the week with an article looking at the top 16 teams and how they played, until then take care and get play testing for Nationals.

Sam hails from the Isle Of Wight and has been playing Heroclix since early 2012. His most prized piece is the Dr. Fate convention exclusive he finally got his hands on after two lustful years. He is the current UK ROC Champion. Sam judges weekly at Cheap Thrills ("

Posted in Team Talk By

Sam Grieve

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Ian King

posted on Monday, 19 May 2014 20:26:35 Europe/London
Congrats! How big were those prizes?!?!?!

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