I just returned from a trip to Chicago for Adepticon. I played in the Mid-war 1750 Flames of War tournament.
It was the worst tournament that I have ever been to. The first round started half an hour late, and they took the time out of our lunch. That by itself wasn't that big a deal, we just had to hurry and eat the overpriced and not that great hotel concessions and rush back. However, when we returned, we discovered that we had hurried through lunch so that we could sit around for half an hour while they did the paint judging. Awesome.
In addition, the terrain for the tournament was awful. Don't get me wrong, it looked great, but it was extremely frustrating to play on. My first game was on a desert board that had almost nothing that blocked LoS to vehicles, and 3 giant wadi's running the entire length of the table. In essence, this meant that my light tank company had to try and cross 3 bands of difficult terrain while being pretty much completely in the open. Luckily, my opponent's armored infantry were just as hampered, and I barely pulled out a victory.
My round 2 game was against an Italian light tank swarm on a city board. This board was 85% covered with huge ruined buildings, and the terrain was very frustrating to play on. My opponent was got to defend long-ways and that, combined with the terrain, pretty much neutralized any advantages I had. I lost that round.
Round 3 was on a board that was sharply divided by rivers, with only 2 bridges in pretty much the same location. The mission was breakthrough, and I somehow managed to muddle my way to victory. While my opponent was busy crushing my entire army, I managed to get my reserves onto the objective and shoot up the only platoon close enough to contest. Another victory.
The 1st day ended with all of us in low spirits.
Round 4 started with me fighting on another desert board with wadi's running the entire length. The mission was cauldron, and there was nothing to hide behind. The game pretty much consisted of all my stuff getting shot and dying for no gain without there really being anything I could do about it. Extremely frustrating.
Round 5 saw me playing the only fun game of the whole tournament against some panzer pioneers. The board was actually pretty reasonable, with some hills in the corners, and buildings in the middle. There was terrain to hide behind, but not so much that it was impossible to see anything. The mission was free for all, so that was a plus as well. Unsurprisingly to me, without the mission and terrain screwing me over at every turn, I completely crushed my opponent, losing only a handful of tanks, while nearly tabling his army.
Round 6 initially shaped up to be a real fight, until I made the critical mistake of engaging my opponent's forces. I exposed my tanks to take some shots at some of his stuff, and had my fighting strength completely crippled in his return fire for almost no gain. Awesome.
Anyway, despite winning half of my games, I still finished 31st out of 36, because the FoW victory point system is retarded. All of the terrain was EXTREMELY infantry-centric, and I feel like the TO may as well have just banned any vehicle capable of moving more than 8".
But whatever. Screw that game.