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You want me up HOW early?

At the Blood Bowl Tournament the night before, George asked if I would help him set up tables again this year:

"Sure George. What time?"

"I'll be in the hotel lobby about quarter to six."


Now, George knows I live on the west coast. 5:45am Alabama time equates to "Waaay too #$@!ing early" my time. But hey, George is my buddy, and The Kalm is not about sleep anyway. So I roll myself outta bed at o'dark thirty and I swear I can still hear the crickets chirping.

I stumble downstairs like a drunken zombie with a peg leg, and the front desk attendant has some breakfast ready. That woman is a saint! I grab a danish and some orange juice to keep me on my feet, load up the car, and we're out the door a few minutes later following George up the hill to start setting up for the event.

The Venue

Knucklehead's Pub in Huntsville, AL is one hell of a venue. It's like a classier version of Hooters with better food and nicer folks. The owner and his crew were in there, waaaay before their regular opening time, and helped us get the place ready. Paddy (who would later go on to win 'Biggest Bar Tab) bought a round of drinks for everybody and we got to work.

As we were setting up the tables and terrain, the Knucklehead's crew laid out quite the breakfast spread on the bar. They had eggs, pancakes, hash browns, ham, bacon, you name it. To Koshig and the ladies, thanks again. You guys took really good care of us.

Breakfast on the bar.

Table 1 was seriously cool!

And the terrain?

Well, check it out for yourself. George's local gaming group, the Rocket City Gamers, has a good selection of terrain to pull from; but folks from all over the area came together to lend George terrain and really made the tables something special.

Have a look at the image on the left, and some of the pictures of my games further down the page, and you'll get a pretty good idea of what the terrain was like. I didn't see a single table where folks would have to fight over "planet bowling ball".

After 3 hours of busting our butts setting up, and a mighty fine breakfast, it was time to throw down...

My Army List

Big Boss Dawg's Reddnekk Renegadez

Here's my army list for The Kalm 2012. When talking on the phone before the event, George says to me "Bring something other than your usual tournament army."

Hehehe. You asked for it, George! Da TATER TITAN is coming your way! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Game 1

Da Army Uv 'Ardness

Opponent: Shawn Lowrey
Army: Tau

  • Commander
  • 3 Crisis Suit Teams
  • 2 Fire Warrior Teams (1 in a Devilfish)
  • 3 Squads of Kroot
  • Pathfinders in a Devilfish
  • Broadside Suit Team
  • 2 hammerheads w/ Railguns

Shawn Lowrey is a good guy, and one hell of a player. The dude won WAR Games Con last year so he's definitely a hardcore competitor. The fact that he also plays in an event like The Kalm says he also knows how to just hang and take it easy as well. Shawn is also known as Prodigalson and posted his thoughts on The Kalm over on his own blog.

At any rate, on to the game. The mission was Army Uv 'Ardness, which was basically a Pitched Battle deployment with 3 objectives across the centerline of the table. One of the objectives was the real one, while the other 2 were fakes that would blow up in your face when touched. The real kicker?

The objectives were shot glasses, which I promptly had filled with Maker's Mark. There were some other objectives in the game as well... something about killing the other guy. blah. blah. blah. Point is... there were three shots of whiskey on the table, and my goal was to grab all of them, hehehe.

I win the roll to go first, and set up my Orks heavily in the center, with my guys under Force Field cover from my Big Mek just in case. My plan is to hit the center objective and the one in the trees on my left early on.

Shawn wisely sets his army up between the two opposite corners to catch me in a crossfire...

... and then proceeds to Seize the Initiative on Turn 1. Oh peachy.

Tau getting first turn on me with all that firepower. Not. Good.

Turn 1 -- Seized!

Orks doin' what dey do best...

... krumpin' an' dyin' :)

Luckily for me, I was pretty handy with those Kustom Force Field saves and all those Tau guns pouring into my line accounted for one dead Killa Kan and some shaken results on my Battlewagons. I can live with that. I roll out with my Orks straight toward the Tau lines and grab the left-hand objective in turn 1 with my Trukk Boyz.

Boom! The thing blows up in my face and I loose a couple of Orks. No worries, I got a Battle Point and a shot of Maker's out of the deal. Fair trade.

Over the next couple of turns, things go about as expected. The Tau fade back shooting the crap out of me. I charge forward, taking the guns on the chin, grab the center objective (the REAL one), while catching and slaughtering what few Tau stragglers I can catch. That is until turn 4...

... when Snikrot's Kommandos, with my Warboss attached, ambush right into the backside of the Tau firebase on Shawn's right flank.

In the end of turn 3, Shawn had jumped his command unit a bit too close to the edge of the board. When Snikrot and Da Boss rolled on the field, that was it for them as well as a whole squad of Kroot. The Kommandos took a horrendous amount of firepower in return, but when the smoke cleared, Snikky and Da Boss were still standing.

The Tau did end up wiping that unit, but not before the firebase was basically gutted and the Orks had secured the win. In the end, the Orks were victorious 16-4 in Battle Points, and I gave the last shot to Shawn since I had slugged down the first two.

Oh the pain!

Some internet monkeys out there may say Tau have lost their edge, but in the hands of a good player, they can really lay down the pain. Thanks again for the game, Shawn. Good luck at WAR Games Con this year, and I'll see you at next year's Kalm.

Game 2

The IG is 'Winning!'

Opponent: Shawn Williams
Army: Imperial Guard

  • Company Command Squad in Chimera (w/ a $#@!-load of plasma)
  • Marbo
  • Psyker Battle Squad in Chimera
  • 3 squads of Veterans w/ Meltaguns, riding in Chimeras
  • Infantry Platoon (Cmd. squad and 2 Infantry Squads) in Chimeras
  • Vendetta w/ a Special Weapons Team riding inside
  • Leman Russ Executioner
  • Manticore
  • Squadron of 2 Hydras
  • Armored Sentinek w/ Plasma Cannon

For game 2, I go up against Shawn Williams and his Imperial Guard in the Winning! Mission. This mission was a blast, based on the very public meltdown between Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards. Some of the highlights of the mission were two opposing HQ's being named 'Charlie' and 'Denise', whose sole pourpose in the mission was to kill one another for the 'Domestic Abuse' objective. Among other funny bits were your most expensive Forge Org Slot being named the 'Crazy Guy' and having the ability to go nuts and attack the nearest unit, friend or foe. Also, the player nominated as 'Charlie Sheen' could say "Winning!" as many times as he liked during the game without taking a hit for Sportsmanship. Too. Damn. Funny.

Shawn goes first in this mission and lays into me big time with the IG firepower. My 'Ard Boyz get wiped before they're even able to move, and Da Tater Titan doesn't last much longer either. The funniest part of the game was when the 'Crazy Guy' units went berzerk and attacked themselves. Shawn and I were spot-on with the rolls, and I don't think there was a single turn where either of us had control of our nutcase units, hehehe. My most expensive FOC slot was my Meganobz with the dedicated Battlewagon. The Wagon was immobilized and shaken in turn 1, so the Meganobz hopped out, went nuts, and killed it. They then rampaged through the Vendetta and some IG guys during the later turns.

Shawn's 'Crazy Guy' was his infantry platoon. The entire platoon. The Chimeras basically spent the game firing away at each other with multi-lasers. When the vehicles finally blew up, the infantry squads themselves were killing each other with lasguns and flamers. It is hilarious in the extreme to watch an entire IG platoon self destruct like that!

Since Shawn and I were both running large armies, we only made it to turn 4. By the end, Shawn had 9 Battle Points and I had zilch!

I think the most humbling moment was when my Warboss, 'Denise', caught a whole bunch of plasma shots from 'Charlie' and his cronies. Talk about an ignominious way to go down.

'Denise' catches it from 'Charlie'
Game 3

Facing down the IG guns

Opponent: Shane Grubb
Army: Imperial Guard

I can't find Shane's army list, so this is from my whiskey-adled memory :)

  • Creed
  • Command Squad in Chimera
  • A couple Veteran Squads in Chimeras
  • Infantry Platoon, some squads in Chimeras, some not
  • Leman Russ Executioner
  • Squadron of 2 Hydras
  • 2 Vendettas w/ Veteran Squads

For game 3, I faced down a similar army to what I faced in the second round. I'm hoping things go a bit better for me this time around. The mission, Victory is Mine!, is an old-fashioned Victory Point slugfest, where you try to lay down as much hurt as you can on the enemy, while preventing them from doing the same to you. I win the roll to go first, so I load up in the middle, and Shane lines up pretty much opposite to me in a typical IG gunline fashion. After 'Scout-moving' one of his Vendettas, it's time to get rolling...

... and Shane Seizes the Initiative on me. For the second time in the day, I get seized on by a firepower army. Eh, no biggie. I have a fresh drink on the table to drown my sorrows, hehehe.

To my surprise, The IG shooting didn't cause too much damage. I was doing well with the force-field saves and the front armor of my Battlewagons also helped quite a bit.

I started rolling into his line, ramming vehicles with my Deff Rollas and basically making a big mess. By mid game, I had my 'Ard Boyz into the building in the center of his line and was laying waste to all and sundry...

... until I ran out of guardsman to kill and the Chimeras opened up on me with their Heavy Flamers. Ouch.

Rush 'em Lads!

Da Orks tighten the noose!

Snikrot's Sneaky Gitz, with my Warboss in tow, ambushed into the back of the IG line and boxed 'em in. With all that Orkiness coming down around their ears, the IG ran out of places to run.

In the end, I out-kill the IG by a margin of almost 1000 Victory Points. My score for the game is 13 Battle Points, to Shane's 6.

Shane is a really good guy, who runs a game store fairly close by, and hosts all kinds of events. He and I shot the breeze a lot about the logistics of running events and what a pain they can be. Shane, my man, it may seem like a thankless job at times, but I want you to know that there are those of us who really appreciate the trouble you go through. Hats off to you buddy, you really make the hobby what it is.

The Awards

At the end of the day, I came in 9th out of a field of 74 players. Not too shabby, considering how hard it is to score points in George's missions. If I would have payed more attention to the objectives in round 2, instead of ordering more drinks, I might have broke the top 3. No worries, there's always next year...

... where I'll probably do the same damn thing: party more than play! :)

This year, Paddy again won 'Biggest Bar Tab' with a grand total of $273. My buddy Mike wasn't far behind him, but if he had posed a serious threat to the title, Paddy would've just starting collecting other people's bar tabs. The guy is HILARIOUS.

I think my favorite award had to be the 'Best Sportsman' Award won by Donovan, also know by his alter-ego, 'Slickback'. I played Donovan at The Kalm back in 2010, and he richly deserves that award. The dude gets dressed up in a purple suit with an orange tie, and plays 40k with a lady on each arm. Donovan, you da man! I can't wait to see your antics next year, bud.

'Slickback' - kickin' it like a boss!
At the End of the Day

The Kalm is always a blast. You don't sleep well, you drink waaaay too much, and you think about some of your tactical errors and go "Why the **** did I do THAT?!" Four little words:

Too. Much. To. Drink. :)

As exhausting as it is, I defy anyone to say they have had a better time at another tournament than they have at The Kalm. It is so much fun, I travel over 2000 miles every year to attend. And I don't plan on quitting anytime soon... unless George throws in the towel.

Every year, George says it will be the last Kalm. It is quite the logistical headache for he and his crew to throw this event, and he's just dead tired by the end of it. It takes him about six months or so to forget the pain and remember the fun. So George, long about Thanksgiving or Christmas, we'll talk again and get things ironed out...

... and I'll see ya next year ;)


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