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My ETC experience

sep 16, 14 My ETC experience

Hello everyone,

My name is Jacky, I live in Gent Belgium and work for McDonalds. I have been collecting for the past 12-13 years and been playing for just over 2 years. I was asked to write down my experience as a first time player at the ETC and let me tell you what an experience it was!

It all started last year in 2013 when a friend of mine asked me to go with him to a team.be training day. Me being the guy who generally says yes to things I went along with him. Not a long time after that first meeting the team and the community I started becoming friends with those guys and it all got started. I went to every training day and tournament I could just to play, to better myself and to try and better my playing level. I can tell you my boss sometimes got grey hair from me asking for days off in the weekend , me switching shifts with colleagues so I could go. A lot was learned during the year and I felt myself developing my skills and the way to think about certain things. I’m still learning, always learning. In march it was time to choose the rest of the team so we came together and the remaining guys were chosen and I didn’t make it…

Several months passed and I kept practicing. Some things changed in my personal life. I kept going to tournaments and training days when I could. In June I went to Leuven to help the guys with the organization of the 4NC event. In this event 4 nations would face each other as a practice for the ETC. that day I was just helping out with the food but little did I know that Tom Adriany (the ETC captain) would be asking me a big question later in the day. So at some point I was walking past the tables and tom walks up to me and asks “you still willing to go to the ETC?” and without thinking I agreed. I just didn’t realize it fully at the time I think that he just asked me to go and play at the biggest 40k event in the world… At the time I also had something going with a girl so she was surprised when I told her but she was supportive and excited for me so lucky me.

So now that I was going I had to get my vacation in order, train with a list, paint the list, … in short get everything in order. With so little time left and with 7th just having hit that already was a challenge. What list should I play? Ok, grey knights for sure but what kind and in what way? There were so many possibilities. In the end Jeroen, one of the members of the team, showed me the centurion list. I liked it and tom liked it so that would be the list. What was not to like, it had mister Draigo in it!

Before I knew it, it was time to book the tickets, get the hotel in order and get a move on to Serbia! The night before we left I didn’t sleep at all as I was so excited. I got on the train to the airport, met up with friend and team member Davy, the master of puns. We had a very long trip ahead of us. We would be arriving in Belgrade at 19.30 that meant a travelling time of over 12 hours!! But being excited it passed by really fast! After we arrived we went for drinks in the center of Novi Sad, about an hour from Belgrade, the place where the ETC was held. There we already met some of our opponents, really cool guys so I had a good feeling about tomorrow: if we would be facing them, everything would work out fine!

Well the day arrived: ETC 2014 was about to kick off! I can tell you it really is an overwhelming feeling when seeing all those tables and all those people ready to play. First up Denmark, my opponent played almost the same list as I did so I knew this would be a game decided on who went first. She went first but then…I seized….in the end I wasn’t able to take as many points a I though I would as I had some bad luck with my scatters. Most of the time I just ended up where I started or scattered right on top of the only building on the whole battle field. Second round was vs Scotland and oh boy I got to go up against daemons. I asked the captain how in the hell do I deal with that 2 units screamers and a unit plague drones? And don’t forget the summoning! He told me and I quote “dude you’re a grey knight: you have preferred enemy daemons you can reroll everything!!!” Even now I’m not sure if he was joking or not…I tried my best but everything went wrong. Going from all of my razorbacks deciding that they’d be fine on top of the sky shield and immobilizing themselves to not reaching anywhere with the centurions. I lost horribly. In the evening we went out to eat and have drinks: it was time to party. We had lots of fun and lots of beer was consumed perhaps even a little too much.

The next day I woke up ready for the next round. The body didn’t feel the same way though but I soldiered on and got ready for some more. Round 3 we saw our arch nemesis Holland! Go figure going all the way to Serbia to end up against our neighbor. We had to win this one! I got the pleasure of playing Dennie with his spawn list. So much fun! I ended up taking 5 points or something after a very good game. Dennie had so much bad luck…he even lost a sorcerer to a tank shock…
By this time my painkillers had worn of so I went to the bar to ask the very friendly bargirls if they could help me. I put on the charm and yup it worked! At the time I was also mentally having a problem because of my poor performance the previous 2 battles: I started thinking I was letting the guys down, I thought they were expecting me to take more points. So I voiced this and luckily the guys they told me I was doing fine that they were happy with every point I brought in as apparently I was being used defensively. At this point I didn’t understand the pairing system. It’s something that for me was really hard to get a grasp of. It’s so abstract when you read it. Now with my head back in order, my mental state restored and the good vibes going again I was ready for Northern Ireland. This time I faced Astra militarum with Eldar allies. I had never faced this army in 7th but in 6th my buddy played it so I had some idea of what it did. Again the dice gods where not really with me and because I could not stop the Eldar portion of the list I took some heavy loses. In the end it was a very enjoyable game.
With day 2 coming to an end and me feeling a whole lot better we once again went into town to have some fun.

Well the last day, day 3 we were not doing too bad I was told by the rest of the guys. We were on track to make it a great year. Round 5 saw us throwing down the gauntlet against the Czech Republic. Opponent of the day ? Well it would be Necrons with some CSM thrown in. I knew how to handle this. I got this I thought. I even told the guys ‘I got this’. Well we set up, I went first and had all the powers I wanted. So here I go. I use gate on Tigerius … he perils … rolls result 2 … I lose one random power … there goes gate and it changes the whole battle. I end up not losing to badly still taking some points but I must say I was not prepared to have so much bad luck at the ETC. Was this a return of my 7 months of bad luck I had last year? Please dice gods let it not be so!
Last round saw us facing Malta. This was strange as half the guys were wearing team Iceland shirt. As there had been some talk of requesting team Iceland as a last opponent I thought that they just mixed the teams together I was so not following what was happening. Turns out there is a tradition of switching Tshirts with some of the great opponents you had during the tournament. Battles got underway and as it was the last battle we were all pretty casual about it. There was this whole mind set of whatever happens we’ll see. Now the dice gods chose to grant me some luck and I did better than I had hoped and I must say that my opponent was one of the best sports I had had the whole tournament.
And as with all these things they must come to an end and so it was for the ETC of course this was accompanied with the prize ceremony. Hands where shaken, probably tears were shed and good byes said.

The last thing I want to touch upon and perhaps the most important of the whole ETC experience is this. It is more a great group of people coming together to celebrate, have fun, play some good battles and challenge each other. It is not, like some people sometimes make out any tournament to be, a collection of the biggest d**** going head to head. I had in my 6 battles not one opponent I would not gladly play against again. They were all nice and enjoyable people that I learned a lot from. The vibe on and off the table was one of pure enjoyment. Play your game, do the best you can, if you missed something then sure we can all make mistakes. Don’t know a rule? Let’s look it up. I have in 6 battles not ones had to call a judge to clarify something. It was better than I expected, it was more than I had hoped it to be it was to put it simply a celebration of the hobby we all enjoy and love.
So if you ever wonder how it feels just try to go, make your team, put in the effort and go! You won’t regret it!

Jacky

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