I wrote a blog post earlier in the year, (or perhaps it was late last year, the beginnings of this year is all a blur to be honest) about the Line Breaker event we ran last year and made a pretty bold assertion that Line Breaker, together with Masters, is my favourite event we have run to date. It is a pretty big claim but more than that it set this year’s Line Breaker up to be a disappointment. I absolutely loved last year’s Line Breaker, not the event specifically but the weekend as a whole and I was worried that this year wouldn’t live up to last year’s memory or expectation. The pressure was on!
Last year we had 19 players start the event with M as ringer so all up there were 21 of us, including M and I, and towards the end of round 1 a player decided that rather than continue with the competition element of the event they would instead continue with that game and learn as much as possible from the experience. I think that game lasted about 6 hours. I can’t remember how many of those were Perth based players and how many were Albany players, I think it was roughly 11 Perth players and 8 Albany boys. This year we had to limit it to only 28 players because we just weren’t sure we could fit any more than 14 tables in the Albany Scout Hall. It was a good call, 14 tables was max capacity. There were familiar faces, both Albany and Perth players who attended last year and came back down for the rematch in 2017, there were players who sadly couldn’t make it this year and we had a host of new faces, Albany players (including one female player – woo hoo!) who had never been to an ObSec event before and Perth players who had heard about this trip after last year and decided they needed to be a part of it this year.
I certainly felt a lot of pressure this year, given how much fun last year’s event was. That pressure was further cemented when a player (R) said ‘I only came because D spent all year saying how awesome this event was, I didn’t think it could be that good but it really is!’ which was fantastic to hear.
So did the event live up to the expectations? Good question! We had 28 players plus a few wives along for the ride, although I think only one other than me was brave enough to enjoy the hospitality of the dorms! We ran both 30k and 40k this year to offer some options to the players with 12 playing 30k and 16 playing 40k. M and I arrived a few hours later than anticipated as we stopped on the drive to Albany to help out after seeing a road accident and that put us behind so it all felt a bit rushed when we got there but within probably half an hour the 30k boys had a pre-event game up and running (which I believe was for the Australis Ultima 30k Campaign but I didn’t fact check that, I just believed it when someone told me so I could be wrong – it has been known to happen, just not often :p).
Before the first official Line Breaker game started 20ish strangers shared a meal together, with very much an us and them feel to the group with Perth players sticking together and Albany players sticking with Albany. Then match ups for round one and the event was off and running. I have no idea how the games actually went, just under half the players lost, a few drew and just the rest won their rounds. While I can’t remember who won (exceptions being Matt and Matt played each other and since they made me guess who won and who lost I was tempted to give them both zero :p, and Linda who had been nervous about facing Hugh’s Tau army came out with a draw! Way to go!) what I do remember is that by the end of the first game the feeling of us and them completely disappeared! There was no Albany/Perth segregation, just a group people sitting together playing card games and laughing and good naturedly making fun of themselves and each other. Some of the Albany players went home after the games, some of the Perth players went to where their wives were staying, some of the Perth players were slightly more sensible and had early nights so they were in good form for day 2, and those who stuck around up at the gaming hall shared a drink or several, shared a laugh and a joke, talked tactics, and generally had a good time, it is driving me crazy trying to remember who adopted the grasshopper, put it on his shoulder and wanted to keep it as a pet so if that was you please let me know!
Day two there were more games. Again some people lost, some drew and others won. Who won and lost really was immaterial. Perhaps immaterial is the wrong word (especially to those who won), who won or lost really was second to the whole experience of the weekend. We held the awards ceremony outside, I’m not going to lie, 28 men (and 1 woman) in a small hall with very little air circulation, we needed to hold the awards outside! Congrats again to 40k players; Matt Davey (Best Overall), Ryan Buck (Best General), Matt Bell (Sportsmanship) and John Gill (peer judged painting), 30 players; Sam Horler (Best Loyalist), Troy Keally (Best traitor), Rhyan Cross (Sportsmanship) and Don Crick (Peer judged painting).
Zone mortalis 4×10.
Then night two started. I think the less said about night two the better. Things that were seen can never be unseen, things that were heard can never be unheard. Needless to say it was a fun night. Games were re-hashed, new ideas were thrown around (one of which is a Lords of War event that we will be running at SHO!), armies were reviewed/revised/developed, politics were dissected, much alcohol was consumed (Oh SO much alcohol! M) and many stories were told!
This year’s Line Breaker was different to last year’s event. We not only had an us and them start out between Perth and Albany, there was also the 30k and 40k divide, we ran the event over a day and a half instead of 1 day, it was on a long weekend. It was different. It was great fun! The divides went down, we chilled out, we laughed, we played, we joked, we told stories, we didn’t freeze our a#$es off (in fact it was positively warm) and there are again mental images that will sadly be with me for many many years to come (looking at the boys from Armadale at future events will be difficult for sure! M – Ill be happy if I only see their faces at future events – E).
Line Breaker is still my favourite event that we run (it may have even edged out in front of Masters). I hope you can join us for it next year!