So one day my friend Scott came up to me and said "We're doing another Big Game a year from now."
I don't know how to describe what I felt next because it was a new feeling. But it was awesome.
Here's some history. Our old gaming group, Studio 40K, used to play in Mary Mayo hall. Every once in a while, we'd put on Big Games. The first and second Big Games took place on the floor of a pole barn on my friend Jake's parent's christmas tree farm. It was huge, but painful as we knelt on concrete for twelve hours. The third was on the 4th floor of the MSU Union, and then the fourth was back in the pole barn (because it was free). Players were divided onto the "good" and "evil" sides.
I had mixed feelings about the earlier games. In the first I wasn't able to do much besides make Andy's Necrons phase out, and one of our players was kind of screwed over. His name was also Andy and he played Dark Angels. He was told to take a 100% deep striking force, but was forced to deep strike within 24" of an objective, so his army was essentially deployed randomly, piecemeal, in a useless place. He lost two units to the Perils of the Warp. We never saw him again. There was no fluff for this game, people just played.
In the Second big game, I was face-to-face with an outnumbering force of Eldar, and I had a mounted force ready to assault. Sadly, I was not allowed to move on turn 1, essentially turning my vehicles to tombs. The scenario also favored the "evil" side, as we had a Titan that was supposed to "march" to a city to liberate it. Unfortunately you can't march if there's an enemy within 48" and the Evil side had John, a Tyranid player. His Lictors kept the titan from marching. This game had a backstory by Joe, that an evil artifact allowed Chaos to control other evil armies.
The third was essentially twelve small games going on at once. I faced John's Tyranids across a "cornfield." These were essentially forests that you could see 12" into instead of 6" like normal. However, John's Tyranids could assault MORE than 12". Half of my force retreated to help another board, but we had a lot of bad matchups. Guard vs. Necrons in the city could not pop Monoliths because they were hull down, and the Monolith blasted everything. Dan's Tau marched (stupidly) right up Andy's Necrons' throat. Dave (former 21C manager) ran across a death field at an artillery heavy Iron Warriors army. Comedically there was ONE mismatch the other way. Brian's Orks were trapped on the other side of a huge trench and were pounded by Damon's Guard. Sadly the good guys had one guard plauyer whose name escapes me, and he was a huge cock the whole time. In this story, the evil sword from the first story continued to control the bad guys. It was now wielded by an Ork Warboss!
In the fourth, the game was much more balanced. In the end, Brian's Ork bikers turned a Good Victory into a tie. I remember my knees being sore, and Scott almost died. The good guys really did not deserve to win, as we made several mistakes like deploying our Thunderhawk in the middle of the goddamn board. The evil sword was now in the hands of the nefarious Victor Kalan. His brother, Inquisitor Angmar Kalan, led the forces against him. To break the tie, Victor and Angmar fought close combat. They killed each other! A true tie!
So that's where I thought it would have ended. Then Scott said that wonderful sentence. It led me to a year of some of the most intense creativity I have ever experienced. It also encouraged me to finish every little thing for the Azure Flames, including a bevy of named Captains.
Details on Big Game 5 to follow in a later post.