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My 2018 CAVCon After Action report is finally here. After a couple days to decompress and process everything, I thought I’d jot down a few notes, share a few photos, and do a few battle reports as best I can. So I was able to attend Thursday evening, Friday evening, and all day Saturday. I live over an hour away, so it’s close enough to drive, but with two small kids and being butted up to Labor Day weekend, I wasn’t able to really attend all day on the two weekdays or Sunday. Had it been a non-holiday weekend, I would have taken off at least Friday, but as a teacher, four day weekends are frowned upon and might have someone checking in on me. So ReaperCon/CAVCon was held at the Denton Convention Center which is also attached to the Embassy Suits. While I didn’t stay there, it would be cool to have a room, be able to shamble down to the Con areas, then shamble back up. The facilities were really nice and it seemed like everyone was having a good time. There was a lot of staff cleaning up, serving food and drinks, and security, so it seemed to run pretty well. I do feel bad for the wedding reception party that came in on Saturday and was passing our tables at the CAVCon tournament. They were a bit weirded out and didn’t realize there was going to be a big event going on at the same time! Opps! CAVBoss was a bit short-handed on Thursday and wasn’t able to get the demo terrain or tournament table terrain set up, so MiniAdict, his son, and myself all sat around and painted. CAVBoss came over after the retail hall shut down and talked with us for awhile and then I had to call it day. I came back the next evening, and the tables were set up. When I got there, MiniAdict and his son had a game just set up so I hopped in and took over one of his son’s sections, a fire support section. The lists looked like this: Malvernis-flavored Mercenaries 4x Chieftains Archer Nomad 2x Naginatas Poltergiest Nomad (my squad) 3x Spector B’s Spider Templar (MiniAdict) Centurion Crusader 3x Duelists 2x Spartans 2x Claymores For this game, there wasn’t a ton to really report on. My first strike point drifted onto a Duelist so I took off three damage tracks, next turn, I drifted one inch, so stayed on the Crusader and messed it up really good. MiniAdicts son lost almost all of his Chieftains in one turn as two of the Duelists and Centurion made short work of them. If you want to run Templars, Duelists can take care of your low armor vehicles and CAVs lickity split with it’s SIX light MAC’s! While this looked to be a nail in our coffin, the Poltergeist finished off the Crusader after another round of indirect rocket loving from myself and the Naginatas put a hurt on the third Duelist who was, well, dueling them. I hurt one of the Claymores pretty bad and the remaining chieftain killed the other one. Our Archer helped tip the balance back with it’s Active Phased Array 2 and insured some good solid hits. One of the Naginatas and the Poltergeist (this guy is scary too!) softened up the Centurion and my fire support section finished it off. In the end game, we lost the Archer, but he only had a damaged Duelist and Spartan left, so I feel fairly confident my fire support section and the Poltergeist could have finished the game. We had six or seven people wander over and start asking us questions, so we had an impromptu discussion about the game and did our best to sell! I arrived bright and early to register for the CAVCon 2018 tournament after stopping by and friends donut shop I don’t get to stop by too often. We got our forces set up, printed out, and verified and got down to business. Due to real life issues, we only had three of the six participants from last year, so the tournament got me two games with a break in between. I went first against MiniAdict’s son and his mercenary force: Section 1 Revenant (CO) 3x Starhawks VI Section 2 4x Chieftains Section 3 2x Poltergeist 2x Nomads My force, drawn from the 5th Marienburg Brigade of the Ritterlich Republic, was ready to do battle! Section 1 3x Rhino’s (one of which was the CO) Cougar Section 2 4x Lion II’s Section 3 Catamount (proxied by a Jaguar) 3x Puma We started deploying and I waited to deploy my big Rhino section till the end. I wanted to see were his stuff ended up, mainly the Poltergeists. I didn’t want them really engaging my little stuff or Lion IIs until I absolutely had to (aka, as close as possible!). This also allowed me to deploy my Rhino’s on the far right side and on turn one, my card came up first and I launched six medium guided missiles at his Revenant and took off a few tracks with some GREAT rolls (maybe two?). Other than that, we shuffled around and moved forward. I got another set of snipes on the Revenant to push it to four damage while also lighting up a Starhawk VI for a few. My Lion II’s moved up behind the central mountain while the recon squad spread out providing ECM coverage all over my half of the board. He got some pot shots on a Puma with the Poltergeists but didn’t kill him. The Revenant slunk away out of LOS of the Rhino’s while the Starhawks moved in, taking a beating along the way. They’d wage their own personal war on that side of the board for the rest of the game with the Rhino’s coming out on top and only suffering two damage. The Chieftains jumped the mountain top to kill a Puma, but in turn, my Lion II’s and one of my Rhino’s killed all four Chieftains, and pop up shots on the Poltergeists kill both of them. The Revenant topped the left side of the mountain and took the fire of four Lion II’s and a couple of Rhino’s before it expired, while one of the rushing Nomads was cut down. He had a Nomad race off the board for a Breakthrough point, while I claimed the Head Hunter point for killing his CO. All in all, the Rhino’s heavier armor, range, the Catamount’s Active Phased Array, and three rotating ECM fields blocking target locks on my forces helped to squish the Starhawk VI’s on my right side. The Revenant concerned me because he healed up a few tracks from early attention, but eventually couldn’t stand up to heavy PBG fire and attention from my three Rhinos. The Lion II’s were great midfielders hiding in the mountains. Their high armor helped the one that ended up getting shot at by one of the Poltergeists (only suffered a single damage) while their insane damage output coupled with an Advanced Targeting Computer 2 and APA 2 sliced through the opposition. So MiniAdict and his son then set about to play their game. While I had been finishing up against his son, a father/son were watching and asking questions. I offered to play a demo game using starter forces and so we played for a while. I wish I could say I “let him win” but my dice decided to land a strike point on both the Terran Talon off a drift, and dead on the Starhawk VI twice. From my Tiamet. The Talon disappeared in the drift and the Starhawk survived due to my horrible rolls, at least the first time, then I mauled him the second. They had to get to their painting class, but I had a fresh Rhino against a half-tracked Thunderbird, fresh Raptor, and track eight Starhawk. Sorry!!! The dropship was also rolled out to the awe and amusement of everyone while the terrain and prototype miniatures were out the whole con. I saw, then it was time to rumble. My second game was against MiniAdict’s Templars. Force looked like this: Section 1 Centurion 3x Duelists Section 2 Centurion 2x Spartans It’s a little wonky because he was trying to get the fully painted bonus points and changed his list a couple times before deciding on this one. I was still worried about the Centurions. If they get close enough, they have four medium PBG’s that have been Pierced so they hit at 7’s instead of 6’s in the pristine track along with an ATC2 and Wizzo. That can really ruin any unit that gets their attention. As with before, I waited on my Rhino’s, but had to place them before he placed his main force. One of the Spartans was hanging out at 62 inches or so. Two of the Rhinos had line of sight and sent some missiles his way, taking him down some while the third ran out twelve inches. Next turn that Rhino went before the spartan section and snipped the Spartan dead, removing one of the ECM counters. Honestly the rest of the game just came down to dice, and MiniAdict could never turn off my APA2 as the dice just didn’t work for him. Ever. Every turn was "and now my Spartan will try to shut down the APA" and we'd roll and, yeah, wouldn't happen. The Lion II’s were again brutal and did a good job punching massive holes in anything that tried to move around the mountain (while being able to pop up and shoot stuff that was a little farther out. The Rhinos did their thing, sending long range fire down range and severely maiming anything unfortunate enough to come into line of sight. All in all my dice rolling went well and I was able to stack several bonuses at a time to help push through a lot of damage. Talking after the event, we both agreed it wasn’t his best list and that hurt him in the end. We all kind of vegged after that sitting around and near the demo area and explaining the game to anyone that came by with questions. I talked to several locals I know from here in the DFW area and we finally set in for the awards show. I received a bronze (I guess I got worse from last years silver?) for my Ritter section of a Cheetah, two Silverbacks, and a Panther. I have plans for next year. Whether I get to them or not I don’t know! I managed to win Best Painted CAV group (and a 100 gift certificate) as well as a 50.00 gift certificate for winning the Tournament! I’ll have some more CAV’s and paints in my near future! At the end of the day I’m hoping that next year we’ll have more people turn out for CAVCon and really get things moving. I think this year was a great point as there was a lot of talk and activity about CAV (and a lot of people buying large amounts of miniatures) so hopefully we’ll see this next year!
Some thoughts on The CavCon tournament. The Good: The tournament was well organized. The terrain looked great. Jon and Tim were available to answer questions and explain the reasons behind various decisions at any time. I've never had more one on one time to interact with a game developer ever. Jon went out of his way to walk me though several parts of the game that I didn't understand and he was open to feedback to improve the game for me (and hopefully others). The veteran players Todd Farnholtz, Ross Hines, and Brandon Baker were friendly, open, and available to explain both the rules and their thoughts about the 'meta'. Todd and Ross are also fabulous painters with lots of experience in the niche of painting giant robots to look like giant robots. They shared tips and feedback with me which I appreciate a lot, The Bad: The tournament terrain looked awesome but it's nature and layout limited the kinds of forces that were viable in the tournament. The tallest piece of cover on the boards I saw was a level 3 hill. That is it in the background of the photo where my figures - in red and grey - are learning the meaning of the phrase 'shock check'. :) The deployment zone of my opponent (Ross Hines) had an elevation 2 hill just outside of it. All Ross had to do was walk forward for one activation and then his CAVs - in blue and black - were at elevation 4 which lets him see over the highest elevation terrain on the board. On his first turn he could fire Guided Missiles 6" deployment + 7" Move + 64" Extreme range = 77". The playing area is only 72" long. [Edited to correct the Silverback's movement from 5" to 7"] I literally had no where to hide from his fire. Additionally, being at elevation 4 allowed him to see over the intervening 'woods' which are only elevation 3. I could only gain the benefit of cover by hugging against it within one inch. The trees did serve to slow down my forward progress as I had to either go around them or spend extra movement to go through them. I've only played about a dozen games of CAV so I may be missing an aspect of the terrain rules or some strategy that mitigates the lack of LOS blocking terrain. The Excellent: The people. The models. The game. No better example of good people than Jeff my second round opponent. He is a veteran CAV player who helped me through the rules I was unfamiliar with and shared numerous stories about the history of the game. The new Firedrake model is beautiful. I love it's angular lines and the compactness of it's rocket launchers - I bought 6 of them. :) The game plays fast once you get several games under your belt. The rules flow logically and I found by the end of the tournament I rarely had to ask how something worked. Perhaps the last and best compliment that I can give is that I'm already planning my next force. I have the paint scheme in mind and plan to experiment with heavily weathered CAVs. I hope to meet and play CAV with all of you at the tournament next year.
July 29th-31st, 2016 CAVCON 2016 Reaper World HQ, Denton TX Our official website for the show is www.cav-con.com and is up with all the information on the show and events. Including the new CAV Kickstarter II beginning July 10th, 2016! Make sure and check it out. Please note that there is no registration for this show. The show and any events at it are free to attend and we hope to see you there!