Sunday, 5 February 2017

ValleyCon - after the dust has settled

The Hutt Club hosted its annual wargames convention - ValleyCon this weekend past at Expressions Event centre in Upper Hutt and what a weekend it was. We had our largest ValleyCon attendance yet - 123(ish) gamers from around the country. As usual we had great support from our sponsors, visit them - they're awesome (you'll have to pop into the Beachfront Pharmacy in Paraparaumu to visit the Hobby Corner):


People traveled from as far afield as Auckland and Balclutha to play toy soldiers for a couple of days. We expanded the range of games on offer again this year and will probably keep it to this list next year as we did a good job of filling the hall comfortably with enough room left for some of the games to expand:

  • Warhammer 40K (14 players)
  • Age of Sigmar (22!!!)
  • Flames of War (14)
  • Warmachine/Hordes (16)
  • Lord of the Rings (10)
  • DBMM (18)
  • Infinity (7)
  • Bolt Action (14)
  • Malifaux (8)
Club members, and some of the visitors, rallied around on Friday evening to get the tables set and terrain ready for the early kick off on Saturday morning.

Then at 8am the hordes descended! I'm not going to give a blow by blow of the event but each TO has provided a small writeup and some pics below:

Demo games

Gates of Antares

A really nice looking table put on by Scott Bowman from The Hobby Corner

Wings of War

some WW1 biplane action


This was the first time that someone has attempted to run a multi-day Infinity event and I was more than a little nervous about it, particularly as 5 of the 7 players travelled down from Auckland! Thankfully they were all great sports about it and saw it as an opportunity to show Infinity as a great tourney game with loads of great table eye candy and try to draw in a few more players. The eye candy factor definitely worked with loads of interest coming from other competitors and Joe Public walking through. 
The Infinity scenarios are split into three groups:
  • Direct action - scenarios more focused on causing casualties or otherwise dominating the tablespace
  • Special operations - you'll need lots of specialist troops to interact with mission objectives
  • Combined Ops - scenarios with a mix of the two play styles
To keep things interesting over the two days, I used Direct action scenarios for the first day and Special ops for the second and allowed players to swap lists to suit the scenario types.

Auckland has a very active Infinity scene, most players getting in a couple of games a week so they were all going to be stiff competition. All of the players were great sports and everyone ended the weekend having thoroughly enjoyed themselves and promising to get back next year (well, I took it as promises anyway.

the results at the top of the table were very close:

Jed Stanton
Jason Farley
Luke Brimblecombe
Matt van Dam
Isaac Nannestad
Chris Parkin
Dave Fraser
and some pics of the games:

Age of Sigmar

Age of Sigmar made its debut at ValleyCon this year and managed to attract the biggest field at the event with 22 players! We have a strong traveling group with 4 from Auckland and 2 from Hamilton. The tournament was 2,000 point games with 5 rounds played over 2 days. The games drew a number of spectators with questions and comments. While Age of Sigmar has been out 18 months the tournament system is only 6 months old. There was a great mix of armies with 8 Order, 6 Chaos, 5 Death and 3 Destruction. 

The tournament ran smoothly with no drama and only positive feedback. It was won by Matthew Britton (The Champ) with his Destruction list. This is Matthew's first tournament win after 2 previous strong finishes. Congratulations Matthew this was well deserved! Best Army (Paint) went to Matt Watkinson, who recently arrived from the UK. Best Sports went to new on the scene Joel Taylor who corrected his opponent interpretation of how a scenario worked which meant Joel lost the game then and there, great sportsmanship!      

Age of Sigmar is still in its infancy and the next 12 months looks to be a very exciting time with a number of events taking place in Hamilton, Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. This will be capped off with Masters in Wellington at the end of the year. For more information on the Age Of Sigmar scene in New Zealand, check out contact/ It has a number of useful links and upcoming tournaments. 

Warmachine / Hordes

So a motley crew of 16 competitors rolled out to play an Iron Gauntlet Version of the Warmachine Steamroller rules at Valleycon 2017.

Some beautiful armies competed across 6 rounds to find a champion worthy of the title. Each player had three lists of 50 points and the last round would be made up to 75 points from the lists they had used in the previous rounds. Some players only used two lists and restricted themselves in the last dash for glory.

Our final standings saw 
1st Place  - Mike Thorn (Cryx)
2nd Place - Rob Van Der Wal (Khador)
3rd Place - Scott Wyngarden (Mercenaries)

Best Painted - Rohan Prince (Mercenaries)
Assassin - Scott Patterson (Trolls)
Butcher - Scott Wyngarden (Mercenaries)
Best Sport - Rohan Prince
Wooden Spoon - James Braid (Minions - Pigs)

Bolt Action

14 players went to war at ValleyCon, playing Bolt Action, the WWII wargame. There were seven Axis armies (4 German, 3 Japanese) against 7 Allied armies (2 American, 2 Soviet, 3 British).
Four missions were played over the two days. Best Sport went to John Fletcher, who fielded a very cool US army and suffered appalling dice. Best Army went to Russell Briant - this was a tough choice, as there were some really well painted armies (all the armies were well painted, and Bolt Action is very easy to field a fully painted army without too much hassle), but Russell's Japanese army was not only well painted but had a lot of really cool conversions. Third place went to Reg Newell, who fielded a vanilla regular British army - it is a sign of how the rules are pretty robust when an ordinary army can be pretty tough and competitive. Second place went to Haydyn Hitchcock, who fielded a very cool US army mounted in halftracks. And the winner was Heath Hitchcock, who had a very nasty Japanese army, with two big squads of bamboo spear armed conscripts, two squads of elite Japanese marines, a bunch of "human bullet" suicide anti-tank troops, an ex-British armoured car, and a heavy howitzer mounted on a light tank.
I played with a German Luftwaffe Division - a formation of middle-aged men, reluctantly thrown into battle. They were all classed as Inexperienced (i.e. rubbish!), but were stiffened by the presence of a mighty Tiger tank! To my amazement, the presence of the Tiger tank seemed to mesmerise many of my opponents, which meant that my poor quality Luftwaffe infantry were able to survive most games. This is a good example of how in Bolt Action there is a lot of variation in your armies if you want it.

Warhammer 40,000

We had 14 participants who played 5 rounds of Warhammer 40,000 7th
Edition. Each round was a mixture of eternal war and maelstrom of war missions from the main rulebook. We had armies from various factions including Blood Angels, Eldar, Ultramarines, Necrons, Black Templars, Space Wolves, Tau, Genestealer Cult & Tyranids, Harlequins, and Grey Knights. Seems like the ‘bad guys’ were outnumbered pretty heavily – or are there any such thing as ‘good guys’ in the 40k universe? Competition was fiercely fought across the weekend with only a single point splitting the first and second places on overall points in the end. The armies on display were a joy to look at and everyone seemed to enjoy the weekend.
Here are some pics of the battles below.

Flames of War

Flames of War has been a stalwart for many years at Valleycon. 14 players made 1000 point Early War armies, representing Russians, Germans, British, Kiwis, French and Italian armies.
With seven games over the weekend and with an hour and a half for play, all of the players had their work cut out for them! And to their credit, every one of them did their absolute best at following the first rule of sportsmanship (don’t be a dick). And of course, every tournament organiser loves it when you only have to look in the rulebook all of four times to help people out...

Points were based on how many wins each player had, and then used the Battlefront victory points for a countback. On to the results. As you can see, it was a closely run thing, with every player losing at least two games!
McBeth managed to sneak away with the win in the end, squeaking past Tank and Bede who were snapping at his heels! The trophy for first place commemorates our great friend, and Regiment Stalwart Nick Garden. You can read more about his story here ( Suffice to say, it is always a special point of remembrance to have the trophy presented.
















Best Painted army went to Richard’s lovely 11th Hussars (better pics here: , and Best Sport went to Andrew, because anyone who can run horses at tanks with a smile on their face game after game deserves a damn medal!
Thanks to all who provided terrain, especially Kreative Scenery who not only supplied two gorgeous tables, but also prizes for 1st 2nd and 3rd! Check out the different things to buy at their website ( And another big thanks to our other sponsor, Mighty Ape for their generous prizes.

Lord of the Rings


28mm DBMM comp at Valley-Con 2017.

John Van Den Hoeven ( Umpire/Player) ran a vary successful 400/450AP comp. 18 entries was 2 more than previous year. The odserver interest was  high & I think that we may have at least one returning gamer and one new gamer interested in playing DBMM in 28mm.

Going into the last round we had 5 gamers in a position to take out the comp. Made it all the more interesting .

Top 3 finish were;
1. Allen Yaxley ( Buyid of Baghdad)
2. Graeme Starkey ( Selucid)
3. Peter Noble ( Summerian)

Very high standard of presentation from all those attending. great looking figures & terrain. John's terrain from Mighty ape looked great.
Alastair & Gary had beautiful Greek armies.

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