Hey hey, everyone. A bit late coming off of the weekend of the Open, but here's the rundown of my experience. I went in with my Lizardmen ready for an uphill fight. I wanted to win at least half my games on Saturday, but depending on my draws, I was ready to be fed a steady diet of my own teeth all day.

Here's the gist of what I brought:
Slann - Lore of Life, Cupped Hands, BSB - Banner of Eternal Flame, Loremaster (I forget the real name of the Discipline), Becalming Cognition, Magic Resistance (3)

Skink Priest - Level 2, Cloak of Feather, Plaque of Topek

Skink Chief - Ancient Steggadon, Steggadon War-Spear

Core choices were 2 x Saurus Blocks of 20 with full command, 22 skinks with banner and muso. along with 2 kroxigors, and a small 10 man skink unit with blowpipes

Specials looked like 17 temple guard with full command, razor standard and the mask of EEE! on the champ, 3 Terradons, 6 chameleon skinks. I only took 2 sallys for rares.

I felt pretty confident with my list, because I had been testing it a lot. Worked in some solid blocks with annoying units while trying not to do a lot of repeats.

Game 1 - Chaos Demons: First time I had played against demons in the new edition. If someone told you that Demons got nerfed in the new edition, someone lied to you. The guy brought a pretty balanced list, which I was glad about. The Masque - definitely the MVP. I had a chance to charge her in the first turn with my steggadon. 2D6+1 impact hits would have settled that out-right, but I whiffed the charge. Needed a 6 to make it, rolled a 3 (nice going, Jeff-Rey). From there on, I could not make a leadership test to save my life. Chain panics and the Masque making thing complicated doomed me. Overall though, I had a great time playing against my opponent, Josh. He had a gorgeous jungle themed army, and we were both in the right mood for the first game. Result: Loss

Game 2 - Wood Elves: I was looking forward to this match, because not only did I just transfer from Woodies to Lizardmen but my opponent also brought strips of steak for each of his matches. Best Hangover fix: Warhammer and steak. I challenge you to find a better one. The game was pretty back and forth for a while. The Wood Elf movement phase is just as impressive as it was before. The climax of the game was when I flank charged a 38 block of archers with three heroes in it. If I could crack it, it'd be game over. My temple guard did what they could. All three heroes make-way, fend me off, then re-set for the next attack. Moving at the speed of "elf" is no joke. They might be a little stringy, but when they squeak something like 13 attacks through, best give respect. He also showed me a really crazy way of equipping an eagle riding lord with Eternal Guard stance, maybe a post for a later date cause that guy can hold it down. Result: Loss

Game 3 - Orcs and Goblins: This was one of the weirder match-types: Fortitude Points. If you hit 3 or lower, game over immediately. You count your banners, BSB, and the general counts as 2. I had about 6, my opponent had 9. The winner was determined by who had the best ratio at the end. This was the first time against a Savage Orc boy list. There wasn't too much to comment on this one except that went the TG's pick on a weaker unit while they have the regen spell up, its not even funny. I managed to get my Skink Priest behind a unit and pushed it almost into the TG's with Wind Blast. Wind Blast is a really underrated spell. Getting units out of position is a great advantage. I broke Grimgor Ironhide's unit twice with some combo charges and both times he got away. I ended up winning by chewing up his night goblin unit which had a BSB (2 points) and 2 more of his Savage Boys. By the end, I had 5 of 6 remaining, he had 5 of 9. Result: Win

Game 4 - Lizardmen: Its a cold-blooded grudge match, people. We both had really similar builds with only slight variations. He brought two steggs, I had one; I brought a Level 2 priest, he didn't have one; he brought more chameleons and I had my TG's. My opponent had a really interesting build for his Slann but also had Becalming Cognition, so neither of us were banking on getting the double 6's to cast. That actually kept things really close, until I got Comet of Cassandora off. It took 3 or 4 turns to come down and made a total mess of the board. The game ended with his ghost Slann locked in combat with two other units chopping away uselessly. Great match, its interesting to see the difference in play styles with similar armies. Result: Win

So I hit my goal of going 2 & 2 for the weekend. since I lost two games I got my name in the random raffle, and ended up with some ChessEX Dice. The real highlight was during the award ceremony for me:

I was awarded the "Heart of Gold" for Sportsmanship in Fantasy. My mind is still blown. No joke, its extremely humbling to get something like that in a competitive situation. All the guys I played were great opponents and the Fantasy community there was fantastic (pun intended) to pick people's brains. Playing at that level, you learn a lot very quickly from very experienced people. I told myself that I was going to take a break from Fantasy after the Open, but coming off the weekend, I'm already neck deep into my new project.

If any the guys from the NoVA Open see this, you guys put together a tight tournament that was a blast to be a part of. To the players, everyone had a great attitude for the whole day and I think I heard people laughing at least once at every table. Thanks for the weekend and the games. Until next time, keep rolling high.