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The Road to Mechanicon

Berks Gaming Club members attempt to hone their skills as we all make our way with this learning curve of 6th Edition rules for Warhammer 40,000.

Our friends who run the Mechanicon Grand Tournament have joined forces with The to combine into one weekend of events and activities.    Even the Berks Gaming club is hosting 3 separate Warhammer 40K Kill-Team Mini-tournaments that weekend.   The Warstore Weekend.

Some of our club members are going for the main feature:  The Mechanicon Grand Tournament.    This is a "throw back" style Warhammer 40K Grand Tournament that features ALL aspects of the hobby.    This is the 4th year for the Mechanicon run by Tony Spino and the crew from the Gaming Garage L.L.C.   

These guys sure put on a great show.   The event itself lends to a more relaxed yet competetive atmosphere with gamers who apprecaite all aspects of the hobby.   It isn't all just about winning and losing, but includes Sportsmanship and fair-play, painting and appearance and  the modeling aspect of the hobby.    For true game-enthusiasts, this is THE event to be at.    

For those of us who attended the GT last year and plan to again, we appreciate having fun, yet competetive armies that are fully painted and look well.    Nothing is more satisfying than playing a fun and solid game against someone else who apprecaites the hobby as much as you do.   Fully painted armies, nicely made battlefields with lots of wonderful quality terrain to play over, this IS why some of us got involved in this hobby.

The atmosphere is also laid back and friendly.    We have built up friendships with many gamers from all over the USA at events such as this.    Berks players are always looking to make our impressions on and off the battlefield and last year, two of us took Best Sportsman and 2nd Best Sportsman in the Grand Tournament.   

There are also many other events to look into for the weekend that are included with your weekend pass, such as the Warhammer 40K Kill Team events, Battlefleet Gothic, Heavy Gear by Dream Pod 9, Flames of War, Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Warmachine and much more.

With the growth of Heavy Gear in the Berks club, some of our members plan on attending and playing in the Heavy Gear tournaments as well, run by the Mid-Atlantic Pod-Squad, who always put on fun events.

If you're looking for something to do the weekend of October 26-28th, we strongly recommend attending the Mechanicon Grand Tournament.   Even if you can not play in the 2-day main event, there are plenty of 1-day events to take advantage of, meet fellow gamers and of course, the Warstore will have products available for purchase.

Summer Camp-aigns!

Summer time is here and we bring in a new edition of Warhammer 40K along with that.    To get thigns started off in our Gaming Club we have decided to launch a new Narrative Campagin with the help of Eric Bates, (Known around our club as "Apothecary"), as well as helping 2 locations launch small escalation leagues to help folks take baby steps into the new rules of 6th edition of Warhammer 40,000.

Of course there are many more activities happening this summer around our club.   Some of our club members have been getting more and more involved in Heavy Gear by Dream Pod 9.   This is a very fun game that to me seems like a nice blend between Warhammerm 40K and Battletech.

There are also more folks in the Berks Club delving into Warhammer Fantasy Battles, and we've had some folks recently log in more games with their fantasy armies.    All in all, it looks to be a very fun summer.

Locally in the Berks area we have been fortunate to pick up 2 more locations to play games publically.    The franchise union with 1-Up Colletibles in West Reading, franchising with Humungo Comics in Pottstown has now created 2 linked store locations both with growing terrain and space to play.    Expect to see some smaller in-house tournaments and special events held at either location.

Currently both locations feature a "Paint Night" on Tuesdays from 5pm-close and Open Gaming pretty much any day of the week.
So, what is happening with the Campaign and Escalation Leagues?    We have links on both our facebook page as well as follow up information on the Northeast Gamers Hub, but we can review it all right now and here.

Berks Warhammer 40K Narrative Campagin:

Cataclysm Prophesy.

This is a Narrative campaign being run for the Berks-PA Gaming Club by Eric Bates.  This is primarily for club members and friend associated with our club who plaly games in Berks county PA.   

This campaign will use actual locations and maps to represent tactical locations with potential game-altering effects.    During this current installation of the campaign, ALL games collected by report will have been considered played for the west reading sector narrative to follow.

To Join the Berks Campaign:
  1. Choose the Army or Force you will represent, by Army Codex.  You may play more than one Army, as some veteran gamers may own more than one army, but 2 is the maximum limit.  (NO MORE THEN 2 ARMIES TO START PLEASE)

  1. Based upon your Codex, you may then select the faction you are affiliated with. 
  • Good Aligned Xenos:  (Tau & Eldar)
  • Evil Aligned Xenos:  (Necron & Dark Eldar)
  • Greenskins  (Orks)
  • Loyal Imperial:  (Imperial Guard, Space Marines, variant Space Marine Codicies).
  • Chaos:   Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Daemons, Traitor Guard, Renegade Space Marine Factions (variants of other codex books, like Blood Angels, ect)
  • Tyranids  ( and affiliated options such as the Tyranid Cult list)

  1. Find an opponent and choos to play either that Week’s Selected Mission Objective OR choose any standard mission or Battle Missions book scenario.

  1. Record your battle with Apothecary (Eric Bates) on the Berks-PA Gaming Club’s facebook page or via email to Eric.   ( )
How To Record A Battle:
  • Name of the Winning army
  • Player’s Name
  • Force Name, Codex, and Affiliated Faction
  • Number of Points Played
  • Type of  Scenerio
  • Please Post your results to the Berks-PA Gaming Club main facebook page OR email your results directly to Eric Bates at:
Campaign Scoring:
  • A win is worth 2 Campaign Points for every 500 Army Points played  (Kill Team games are wortgh only 1 point)
  • A Loss is worth 1 Campaign Point for every 500 Army Points played.  (Kill Team loss is worth Zero.)
  • Victory Points will be used to sort out tie breakers.    If the game is a draw and within the 10% margin of victory by Victory Points, the army with the Most models that are completely painted wins.  (We want to encourage folks to get their armies built and painted.
  • In the result of a draw where both armies are completely painted Victory Points will cut below the 10% margin of victory to decide a true winner.

This Campaign is all about Bragging Rights for now.    This is the Beginning stage of development.   Some Campaign situations and criteria may change with the advent of 6th editions rules upon us.

Results will be posted on Sunday or Monday night for each week.  

Games for a particular week will run from Friday at 00:00 hours (Midnight) till the following Friday at 23:59

Fog of War:  If your information is not in on Saturday morning by 00:00 (Midnight Friday that week, same thing), than your battle will NOT be counted towards final victory conditions.

ALL Games must be actual games played with actual models.    Not virtual games using any type of internet or computer connection.   (No Vassal Games!).  

Narrative will kick off shortly after players all register.    The first week will start June 22nd, 2012 and will run into August 23rd, with a new mission and special rules coming out each week.  You can play any mission, but the Campaign Specific missions may generate bonus points for the event.

* Mission 1:   Clear the Drop Site
* Mission 2:  Ambush!

For more information on the Escalation Leagues, follow the link to our facebook page here:
* 1-Up Collectibles Warhammer 40K Escalation League in West Reading, PA
* Humungo Comics Warhammer 40K Escalation League in Pottstown, PA

Ground Zero: Apothecary's view of Berks Spring Assault 3!

Ground Zero:  Apothecary's view of Berks Spring Assault 3!

The following post is from "Apothecary" our club's own real-life paramedic, Eric Bates, who called forth a Black Crusade going into Berks Spring Assault 3!, leading his Chaos Space Marines.   His call was heeded as Chaos Marines were the most prevalent army represented this year.

Apothecary (Eric) is a veteran gamer and Elite club member of the Berks-Pa Gaming Club.   He plays Chaos Space Marines (The Heartbreakers) of a Slaanesh bent, Salamander Space Marines, and Blood Angels.    He is responsible for getting me (Club president Mike B) into the hobby and his son also plays 40K with us with a growing Necron Army.

Apothecary has played now in a variety of local tournaments and is truly a fun sportsman to play against.   Win, lose or draw, it is hard to not have a good time playing against or with him no matter if you are at a Grand Tournament, local hobby shop, or at home in his game room slinging dice.
(Edited: Mike Biancone)

Okay, now here is Eric's take on Berks Spring Assault 3!

Ground Zero.....

Just to touch bases with my fellow club members and gamers,  I was ground zero and thought it would be good to hear from the war front.

Gaming at BSA3 was an experience. This being my third time on the floor and tossing dice I want to point out the highlights and then the critiques.

Highlights this was the most spacious tournament that I have ever played in. In most tournaments your bumping into people during the entire game. I do not recall any incident of running into someone for space.

My games were all well played and I did not face any gamer that I would not play again. This was from (facing players from) multiple clubs and I did not play against any one army of same codex in each of my games.

As for the scoring, I thought that each of the scoring systems was well done, though some people did not play the scenario and had trouble understanding that it is not capture and control or annihilation games. (The missions were non-standard)

The catered lunch was good, all you could eat sandwiches and salads. for me this is lunch fare. if I am jumping up and down and yelling and screaming, I do not want heavy lunch food or there would be fresh terrain added to the tables.

The Golden Grot Painting Competition was fun and listened to people you hear a mix of what art is. A few folks did not like the pimped rides with pinup art and prefer the basic Heavy metal painter look. to each their own. there was a lot of artistic impressions on those tables. I was happy to take third with the open.

I at least felt like I am moving into the artist ranks.

Finally prize support there were thousands of dollars given away from raffle and top prize for people playing with little plastic men. There were a few that were overwhelmed when they won not one but 2 prizes. (ok I did not win anything, but got fead and blew up Bob Evers Land raider. My day was complete. )

A few future critiques to touch base:

Lateness and timing: there was a lot of down time were we could have almost played an additional game in between scoring and pairing. Mike was aware of this and I am sure we can get this better organized for the future

A wonky scenario with a troop swap (Mission 3). Even trades would make sense but some people were able to take heavy weapons and apothecaries from troop selections. One guy got a grey knight termie apothecary, a value close to 100pts for a 6 pt eldar warrior.

Model swaps would have to be more closely regulated if similar scenerios are used in future events. I was fortunate in that I lost a power weapon for a melta gun sgt salamander in squad of CSM slaanesh troops. (they promptly run off the board from a land raider crusader's shooting the next player turn. Yes that's 7 inches and yes they failed on a 12 on their leadership check and 11 on fallback. And no they are not fearless.)

These were my only problems in the 12 hour day.   After that there were beautiful models and some really well converted armies.

alpha legion CSM

Dark angels strutting

Blood angels deathcompany (AKA ANGRY MARINES!!!)

Space marine Master of the Forge with 4 dreads.

In closing, this was a great event went off with little difficulty. Players had a blast. There were no major squables and most people ended the night laughing and having good time. I ended up middle of the pack with great scores for sportsmenship and just above average painting score. i did turn out 0-2-2 on the day (not very good).

I can not wait for next year and ready to start touring east coast to promote next event bsa4.

Berks Spring Assault 3! Results!

Well we pulled it off, sorta.   The Largest Warhammer 40K tournament to hit this area ever, perhaps even the region.    We had 77 players show up for our local club's 1-day event!    77 Players!!!!   All having fun in one location!   It was crazy, it was fun, and it was a logistical nightmare, but we had fun despite all of that.
Berks Spring Assault has been growing as an annual 1000-point format with the idea of keeping the event friendly and fun for newer players, yet challenging enough for veterans to also participate.   Addmittedly we as a club are "Noobs" at running tournaments, and this is only the 3rd time we ran an event of a large size, but the first time ever with something of this magnitude.
As a club we had a few mistakes and situations we could address, and we are working dilligently with other experienced Tournament Organizers who participated in this event.   Their input has been very valuable and very positive.    So, despite some logistical setbacks and time delays, we still had a very great turn out and a wonderful time.
We had 22 sponsors for this event.   They donated a variety of prize support for us, from KR Multi-Case with miniature cases, to Secret Weapon Miniatures with custom resin bases for handouts to put into our swag bags for pre-registered players along with our custom-made Berks Dice from Chessex.    Our local game store and supplier, 1-Up Collectibles was very supportive in prize support and really helped us out a lot as well as providing space in their 2 stores for local players to meet and play games at.  
We held the event at the Riveredge, a nice banquet hall center located just North of Reading, PA near the Municipal Airport.   The room we had was very large and had ample space for all of our tables.   Lunch was included and was a NY deli style buffet.    One of our club members is also a baker for Jebbie Cakes and had made us a full sized sheet cake for the event.  That provided a nice snack and much-needed sugar rush between games 3 and 4.  
All in all we had 77 players show up to play 4 games of Warhammer 40K.   Our ref's rotated around as our "ringer" army with Brian Zhu of Brave New Worlds taking the Tournament Organizer's son Ethan under his wing for the last round, game 4.    We had a variety of armies, with all 16 codex books being represented.   The missions were non-standard, and while some seemed fun in play-test, perhaps one or two were not quite so balanced ona larger format.   But we are learning and will make the proper adjustments for our next event.
In addtion to our normal awards, we had 20 special bonus one-time-only achievements for fun with a box of tokens and 40K-styled stickers for the winners to select from.    We also had over 40 raffle prizes for a basket-style auction and that was a huge hit with everyone.  
So, despite the crazy turn of events we had, 77 people is a lot to handle.   To think BSA1 had 38 players, BSA2 had 50, and now we hit 77!!!!   Our club is getting busy on fixing the issues we had so that BSA4 in 2013 will be an even better event than this one!

Army Domination Awards:

  • Black Templars:  Jon Kissinger, Berks-PA Gaming Club: 43rd
  • Blood Angels:  Chris Smoker, Mohnton PA: 8th
  • Chaos Daemons:  Jae Jesudason, Alternate Universes:  3rd place
  • Chaos Space Marines:  Eric Cacase, 11th Company Podcast:  5th
  • Dark Angels:  Jon Sullenberger, Lancashire Wargaming: 7th
  • Dark Eldar:  Phil Heinz, Brave New Worlds: 38th
  • Eldar:    Matt Defranza, Alternate Universes:   1st overall
  • Grey Knights:  Ross Famous, Lancashire Wargaming:  2nd
  • Imperial Guard:  Samuel Duguid, Brave New Worlds (Imperial Guard): 4th
  • Necrons:  Dustin Zachman, Mohnton PA: 40th.
  • Orks:  Colin Galen, Lancashire Wargaming (Berks): 14th
  • Sisters of Battle:  Erik Lydon, Humungo Comics: 10th
  • Space Marines:  Bob Evers, Grimm Open: 15th
  • Space Wolves:  Dave Setzman, Brave New Worlds: 9th
  • Tau Empire:  Dave Scarlatela, Brave New Worlds: 19th
  • Tyranids:  Lovell Harmon, PAGE:  23rd

Top Overall Winner:  Matt Defranza, Alternate Universes  (Eldar)
2nd Overall:  Ross Famous, Lancashire Wargaming (Grey Knights)
3rd Overall:  Jae Jesudasen, Alternate Universes (Chaos Daemons)

4th Place:  Samuel Duguid, Brave New Worlds (Imperial Guard)

Top Sportsman:  Thomas McCole, PAGE  (Chaos Space Marines) 24th overall
2nd Best Sport:  Bill Olstein, Snake Eyes Gaming (Space Wolves), 25th overall
3rd Best Sport:  Dave Scarletela, Brave New Worlds (Tau), 19th overall

Top Appearance:  Chris Smoker, Mohnton (Angry Marines/Blood Angels) 8th overall
2nd Best Appearance:   Eric Cacace, 11th Company Podcast (Chaos Space Marines): 5th overall
3rd Best Appearance:  Andy Miller, Brave New Worlds (Blood Angels): 54th overall

  • Best Youngblood: Issac Nohr, Lancashire Wargaming (Black Templars): 45th overall
  • Best Youngblood Sport:  Nick Fitzpatrick, Brave New Worlds (Chaos Space Marines):  52nd overall
  • 2nd Best youngblood sport:  Alex Fulmer, Lancashire Wargaming, (Orks), 66th overall

Berks Spring Assault 3 Rankings:
4 missions, 20 battles points max.  10 sportsmanship max.   Appearance: 12 by judges.
* bonus: up to 4 max bonus sport, 8 max bonus appearance, and up to 2 Judge Discressionary points.   146 highest maximum possible.

#:         Name                          Army                           BP       VP       Sport   App.  Total
1.         Matt Defranza              Eldar                            76        7200    41        14        131
2.         Ross Famous                Grey Knights                74        5796    41        7          122
3.         Jae Jesudason               Chaos Daemons           68        6860    42        7          117
4.         Samuel Duguid             Imperial Guard              58        5400    40        13        111
5.         Eric Cacace                  Chaos Marines              51        5230    42        17        110
6.         Mark Van Horn            Eldar                            56        4558    40        12        108
7.         Jon Sullenberger           Dark Angles                 52        4100    42        14        108
8.         Chris Smoker               Blood Angels                46        3776    41        19        106
9.         Dave Setzman              Space Wolves              58        5200    39        8          105
10.       Erik Lydon                   Sisters of Battle            55        5180    41        8          104
11.       Michael Kiesling           Sisters of Battle            58        4738    40        6          104
12.       Steve Smith                  Space Wolves              54        3858    41        9          104
13.       Gary Klinger                 Grey Knights                56        3328    41        7          104
14.       Colin Galen                  Orks                            60        6113    39        4          103
15.       Bob Evers                    Space Marines             47        4171    41        14        102
16.      Brandon Waldon           Space Wolves              52        4598    41        8          101
17.       Mike Mirobelli              Space Wolves              52        4770    42        6          100
18.       Myke Moll                   Grey Knights                51        4180    40        9          100
19.       David Scarlatella           Tau Empire                   49        3878    43        7          99
20.       Chris Opdyke               Eldar                            50        4460    38        10        98
21.       Todd Roy                     Grey Knights                56        4300    38        4          98
22.       Ben Leisey                   Chaos Marines              51        4075    40        7          98
23.       Lovell Harmon              Tyranid                         50        3844    36        12        98
24.       Thomas McCole           Chaos Marines             38        2067    44        16        98
25.       Bill Olstein                    Space Wolves              38        3908    44        15        97       
26.       Derek Aspche              Grey Knights                47        3944    41        8          96
27.       Darryl Hartman Jr.        Dark Angels                 48        3475    41        7          96
28.       Marc Smith                  Space Marines             39        3129    43        14        96
29.       Colin Kielick                Chaos Marines             40        4100    40        11        95
30.       Nate Snelbaker            Orks                            49        2235    37        8          94
31.       Travis Stauch                Orks                            47        4700    39        7          93
32.       Patrick Joseph              Space Marines             45        3700    41        7          93
33.       John Tinney                  Imperial Guard             41        3503    42        10        93
34.       Jared Kunz                   Blood Angels               46        2710    39        8          93
35.       Jeremy Webb               Blood Angels               38        2300    43        12        93
36.       Liam Power                  Space Wolves             46        5740    39        7          92
37.       Paul Parke                    Tau Empire                  44        4086    40        8          92
38.       Phil Hienz                     Dark Eldar                   46        3621    39        7          92
39.       Jason Santiago              Grey Knights                49        4978    40        2          91
40.       Dustin Zackman            Necrons                       44        2623    41        5          90
41.       Wilson Badillo Jr.         Chaos Marines              39        3415    39        10        88
42.       Jeffery Michel               Dark Eldar                   34        2180    42        12        88
43.       Jon Kissinger                Black Templars            44        1778    37        6          87
44.       Kevin Troost                Space Marines             48        4190    36        2          86
45.       Issac Nohr (Y)             Black Templars            44        5342    37        4          85
46.       Justin Harmon               Space Wolves              44        4176    36        5          85
47.       Jason Bushore              Necrons                       36        1615    40        9          85
48.       Corey Roth                  Dark Eldar                   37        4787    39        7          83
49.       Eric  Bates                    Chaos Marines            30        3030    42        11        83
50.       Tucker Stienmetz          Chaos Marines            36        3011    40        7          83
51.       Patrick Stelmach           Orks                           33        2910    42        8          83
52.       Nick Fitzpatrick (Y)     Chaos Marines             30        3368    40        12        82
53.       Tony Spino                   Chaos Daemons          35        3000    39        8          82
54.       Andy Miller                  Blood Angels               30        2410    37        15        82
55.       Scott Thompson           Necrons                       33        1408    41        8          82
56.       Forest Dougan              Orks                           38        2350    41        2          81
57.       Micha Allen                  Imperial Guard            27        1950    43        11        81
58.       Daniel Collision            Tau Empire                  38        1452    39        4          81
59.       Ben Collins                   Space Wolves             30        1380    41        10        81
60.       Billy Shoellkopf            Space Marines             38        2819    34        8          80
61.       Jeffery Ziggler               Eldar                           36        2724    41        3          80
62.       Rob Morris                  Orks                            33        2043    39        8          80
63.       Jack Rosen                   Imperial Guard            32        1036    39        9          80
64.       Mikael Neville             Eldar                            45        4000    31        3          79
65.       Pat Sachse                   Chaos Marines             34        2210    39        6          79
66.       Alex Fulmer (Y)           Orks                            33        3380    38        4          75
67.       Lorenzo O’Branty        Grey Knights                27        950      39        9          75
68.       Akil Harmon                 Dark Eldar                   34        2510    37        3          74
69.       Andrew Di Rondio       Tau Empire                   27        802      40        7          74
70.       Tyson Wise                  Tau Empire                  32        2342    37        3          72
71.       Paul Bates                    Necrons                       30        3950    36        5          71
72.       Tom Lazareck              Eldar                            27        1430    39        4          70
73.       Buford Culver               Space Wolves              30        2180    33        6          69
74.       Brandon Blizzard          Chaos Daemons           24        2638    41        2          67
75.       Jayson Locke               Space Marines             24        100      38        5          67
76.       Eric Shirk                     Space Wolves              27        985      36        0          63
77.       Bret Kieleck                 Orks                            32        2499    19        5          56

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