Now it's time for playoffs!
But we can't jump into the playoffs without posting about the killer game we had on Saturday as the final game of the season and a bit of a wind up celebration for the 8 month season.
Leading up to this final battle, players battled through 7 different scenarios to gain a few different types of points. League Points (LP) were the "sports" equivalent scoring system. A simple 2 points were awarded for each win and 1 point was awarded for each draw. LP are the critical points for seeding the top 8 players from the League who will battle in the playoffs. But more on that later...
The other important score from Beer League is Faction Points (FP). These were accumulated throughout the season as "secondary objectives" in each Mission. But FP became the front and centre scoring system for the Apocalypse game. There were a ton of FP up for grabs in this game because this game was all about finding out which Faction would reign supreme. With the 8 playoff qualifiers determined the night before the game, this Apocalypse game was all about trying to win the narrative element of the Beer League. Specifically, we call the award Campaign Winner.
With way too much to type about already, I will not be doing a full battle report. Also, I was just using my phone for pictures. I saw some people with some pretty fancy cameras, so maybe someone got some better pics than I did. But, I will provide a brief synopsis...
The prologue to the game was as follows:
The Empire of Octarius has been consumed by the warp storm, turning the sector into another massive Chaos realm and most of its planets into Daemon Worlds. The Orks have been extirpated and the Tyranids have moved along to the next source of biomass: the nearby Maiden World that was unveiled when the storms removed its cloak. The Eldar have fallen back to protect their precious planet, pursued by a small fleet of Chaos forces bent on utterly dominating the entire Sector. The Eldar have found themselves fending off two enemies as the campaign to protect Ishar Deh comes to a bloody finale. Thought to have been completely eliminated along with the Orks, the remaining forces of Space Marines found a small breach in the warp storm along the outer rim of the Empire. It did not take long for the Imperium to send a massive fleet through this safe passage and reinforce the Space Marines in Octarius. With a host of reserves in tow, the Angels of Death descended upon Ishar Deh to bring an end to their enemies once and for all.
The Eldar, Chaos, and Tyranids had been engaged in battle with one another upon the lush landscape of Ishar Deh. Then, they saw the skies turn black with drop pods...
The game took place on the Maiden World of Ishar Deh. Something a little bit different than every other Apoc game I have played, there wasn't a single piece of sci-fi, city, ruin, or wreckage terrain. The whole board was a lush landscape with forests, rivers, jungles, and plains. Highlighting the board was some amazing Eldar Maiden World pieces graciously provided by Mechani-kon (thanks guys).
As you can see, the board was also an interesting shape. Not your typical rectangle, the zig zag board made for a neat deployment zone that spread forces around and made for some fun engagements.
Greg already posted the teams in a previous post, but just a quick recall... It was team Angels of Death (5 players) versus team Enemies of the Imperium (6 players: 3 Eldar, 2 Tyranids, and 1 Chaos). Kind of a strange arrangement, it made for some interesting twists forcing Eldar, Chaos, and the Nids to fight alongside one another.
Following the standard rules for Apocalypse, forces had to control Strategic Objectives to gain Strategic Victory Points. There were 5 of those awesome Eldar pieces on the table, so each one counted as an objective. We also allowed SVP for the bonus points criteria listed on page 23 of the Apocalypse book. Now, to bring some imbalance to team Enemies of the Imperium, bonus points would not go into the pool of SVP for the team, but rather, into individual "sub-pools" that could only be claimed by the players in the Faction playing in team Enemies of the Imperium. Say that sentence 3 times as fast as you can... At the end of the game, all Strategic Victory Points were converted into Faction Points (1 SVP = 3 FP) to bring the game in line with League Scoring. But that's not all. Each Faction was given Secret Objectives to gain FP. Only the players in each Faction knew their objectives, which added for some sneakiness and a little bit of good old treachery.
Angels of Death were tasked with killing the 7 Warlords on the Enemies of the Imperium for an award of 2 FP per Warlord destroyed. In addition, they would earn 10 FP if they had more points on the board than the other side at the end of the game. As the only team that was a single Faction, these criteria were something everyone on the team could commit to.
Traitor Legions were tasked with trying to make sure Chaos models were used to claim objectives for team Enemies of the Imperium. You know, cause Chaos does not like sharing Glory... They got an extra 2 FP at the end of a Session for each objective that was controlled by a Chaos unit. Also, they were tasked with killing Azrael (the team Angels of Death Warmaster) for 10 FP.
Tyranids were tasked with smashing vehicles. Being all excited to start making biomass salads of out the great Maiden World resources, they were pissed off to have big tanks and drop pods get in the way of their dinner. They would get 1 FP for every vehicle destroyed, and 2 FP for every Super-heavy vehicle. And trust me, it added up quick when the Marines decided to hammer their ranks with drop pods full of Dreadnoughts. Pretty damn hilarious...
Craftworld Eldar were tasked with holding the centre of the board where there was a rather large Eldar tower. They would get 3 FP for every Session where there was an Eldar unit that held the objective. They would also be given 10 FP if there were nothing but Eldar units within 18" of the tower at the end of the game. But wait, how would they do that if they are on a team with Nids and Chaos? Well, because they were given the secret option to split off from their team at the start of Session 3 and become a third team. And of course being the assholes that they are, they decided to do that... Go Eldar.
But then Chaos just shot them up...
The Outcome. Based on purely SVP, the Angels of Death won the Apocalypse game. They did an amazing job of getting on objectives and playing a classic game of Apocalypse. In terms of the impact of Secret Objective and the total FP earned in the game, the Traitor Legions scored the most FP in the game.
But, when you add it all up to the rest of the standings from the rest of the Season... Craftworld Eldar won the campaign. Congratulations to the Eldar players: Fabio Fiorentino, Wes Szmaglik, Sean Thiessen, Dave Violago, and Mike Major. You guys fought together to maximize FP in your games and managed to bring Craftworld Eldar to victory.
So, we have our campaign all wrapped up, and our 8 players ready to do battle in the playoffs:
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Since Eldar won the campaign, the top two players from Craftworld Eldar got to choose their opponents in the quarter-final of the playoffs. The rest of the participants were seeded by Standings leaving a clear playoff picture for this post season:
Once the quarter-final is complete, the winners of round one will be matched up in the semi-final based on season standing seeds. The two winners of the semi-final will then face each other in an epic final for the title of League Champion.
There is one final trophy available in the Beer League, and that is Player of the Year. The Player of the Year is awarded to the player who showed the most passion for the League while making games enjoyable for their opponents and making an imprint on the club overall. This award was decided by a vote from all the players in the League. We are more than happy to announce that Jordan Nykolaishen was presented with the award. Stupid me, I forgot to take a picture of the trophy... It's gorgeous, so I hope Jordan posts a picture of it.
It is now time for the playoffs. I will email the players the rules for the playoffs, but the players should begin to arrange their games. The quarter-final round should be arranged on your own terms, but we will hopefully hold the semi-final and final on single evening somewhere. That's what we did last year and it was a lot of fun.
Finally, a special mention to Garth Bowman, Greg Ritchie, Charles Janke, Jordan Nykolaishen, Fabio Fiorentino, Sean Thiessen, and Mario Rocha. What did these guys do? They all have a big shiney number "8" beside Games Played in the Standings. In other words, they played every single Mission. Thanks guys for being a part of the whole season and seeing it through until the end, one game at a time. But, thanks to everyone, really. All 24 players with a special "props" to the 11 guys that showed up for Apocalypse. You guys are the reason I put the work in this year and the reason why this League exists.
Here are some more pictures of the Apoc game. But please, add a post if you got more. It was a wild game with some of the most beautiful models I have ever seen.