Dire States: Burque Blitz
I could tackle this by simply reporting the winners, the losers, the numbers, the battles, and so on. But that’s not really what I see as the heart of any large tournament. The heart of an interstate tournament like this is getting to meet and play against people you either have never played before, or only play once in a blue moon… in events such as these.
So instead let me tell my story.
I’ve been playing Infinity for all of seven months now. I have been a miniwargamer for decades though, so I’m not unfamiliar with such events. I attended the very first Privateer Press Invitational back before they did Lock & Load, so I’ve been around. However, locally, in the Albuquerque, N.M. area, there are very few large tournaments. In the past year there have been two. One Warmachine / Hordes event (that I ran, thank you), and the mind-blowingly cool Burque Blitz event organized and managed by Magno.
I’ve been to a few smaller Infinity tournaments. There were fun and I’ve always had a good time but this one was special. I missed out on going to the Rumble on Route 66 in Amarillo which was the first of the Dire States events this year. Since this was local there was no way I missing it.
I had preparation to do. I bought minis, built, and painted minis; not for one list, but for three. I could not decide what to take. Should I try out something new like my brand new Morat Aggression Force? Should I give my Assault Subsection a second go after it failed me so badly last time? Or should I fall back on my tried and true Qapu Khalqi? Every list needed some paint as I do not play with unpainted minis if at all possible. I did bring two unpainted minis this time out; my TAGs; Scarface, and an Iguana. I need to rebase them to 55mm since that is going to be what Corvus Belli requires in ITS 2015.
Eventually I went with Qapu Khalqi, as blatantly hinted at by my use of two TAGs, one Merc and one Nomad. I was more familiar with their play style, I love their ease of access to specialists, and for Annihilation I was very confident in my build. I had my primary list built with seven specialists, and my secondary list had five.
I made my army choice less than a week before the tournament was to be held. I had painting to do. I cracked my knuckles and settled down to paint. Half the list was already done, but I cranked out the rest of the models with a day to spare. I was ready.
What I was not ready for was getting rolled my first round out. I was expecting something a bit more even, a good struggle. I made a few mistakes that my opponent, graciously, pointed out to me after the battle. In my first round game, against vanilla Haqqislam, I learned that there are times to break your fire team, that a Hafza masquerading as deadly Djanbazan does a really good job of holding point, and that Kum Bikers are excellent delivery boys. So, it was a learning experience, and that was just my first round.
I ended the day doing better than I expected, taking 11th place overall. I won two games soundly, one against vanilla Ariadna and the other against vanilla Pan-O. I also lost two games just as soundly, one against vanilla Haqqislam and one against vanilla Aleph. I got to play against people from out of state, players that I otherwise would not have been able to play. I played against people from different metas, people who knew the intricacies of the game better than me. It was loads of fun, and in the end I think I was able to up my game with the lessons learned.
The day did not end with the awards ceremony. Afterwards we went for pizza at a local pizzeria and discussed the battles of the day, celebrating the triumphs and commiserating the failures. It did not matter if you won or lost, every game was a good memory and worthy of discussion over pizza and beer.
Sadly, I had to call it a day due to prior commitments. I know that after pizza and beer many of the Dire States crew moved on to bowling. Why not end a day of competition with even more competition? I can see no better end to the day; it is simply too bad that I could not have continued on.
This wet my appetite to participate in even more of these events. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next Dire States tournament, so I’ll see you there.
The Top Three:
1st Enduro Joe, Tohaa
2nd Leper, Aleph
3rd Darren, FRRM
Photos by Joe Hill