Moonrakers' Review of 2022


The end of another Kings of Wear year and everyone is doubtless awaiting with baited breath the Moonrakers review of the year. So, here it is.

The year started with the now-traditional opening tournament, Stane of Blood/War, and the equally traditional announcement of the part-time retirement of the Fox from tournament play. Andy and Jon attended Stane of Blood with Andy piloting his Varangur to 4th place and Jon coming home 7th with his Goblins. At this tournament we were also treated to a display of sword fighting techniques by Danny Graves, with Steve Hildrew as his unfortunate crash-test dummy.

The next challenge was the UK Masters in Daventry where Andy and Jon both finished in the bottom half of the field.

Two weeks later it was off to the seaside for Beachhead in Bournemouth. Jon deployed a cunning Abyssal army that was seen off by almost everyone, including some opponents playing their first tournament resulting in a 16th place finish. Ouch. Andy fared better, coming in 6th with a Kingdoms of Men army and winning the Best Army award.

The end of March saw a return to the seaside, this time to Entoyment in Poole for a weekend of gaming covering several Mantic game systems at Explode-a-Con. On the Friday, Andy and Jon competed in the Vanguard tournament, and with sickening inevitability, had to face each other in one of the rounds.

Jon’s Abyssals emerged victorious and went on to win the tournie with Andy’s Rhordian Halflings picking up the best painted award.

Danny Graves also attended the event and seemed quite pleased with his award.

On the Sunday it was time for Kings of War.

Jon took another new army, Undead, and finished up with 2 wins from 3 games in 10th place. Paul emerged temporarily from retirement and had a good tournament with 3 wins for his Elves, finishing second. Andy’s Basileans had a couple of bad match ups and after winning his first game lost the last 2 for a 14th place finish.

Fast forward to Easter and it was time for the Entoyment Easter Endurance tournament. Jon was suffering with Covid and could not attend but Andy piloted his Elves to a 5th place finish.

The only international tournament we attended this year was in Cardiff for the Welsh Clash Qualifier. Andy’s Elves had an epic tournie, finishing 2nd and winning the best painted award. Jon’s Goblins finished 9th.

A week later, Andy was brought back to earth with a bump when his Elves finished in the bottom 3 at Plymouth Pirates.

June saw us on an odyssey to the frozen north to take part in the Northern Kings GT. This event included an Overall Champion award which included points for hobby and sporting endeavour. Display boards were a must and at one stage it appeared that, after loading Andy’s display board, there might not be room for Jon in the Moonmobile.

Fortunately, Andy’s board fitted on the roof rack. Andy’s Elves returned to form, finishing 7th overall (out of 38), while Jon’s Goblins came home 12th helped by the extra points awarded for his burning tavern display board.

Andy won the best unit award for his Drakons on a waterfall while Jon won a magnificent raffle prize of a game mat and a complete set of terrain modelled by Nick Williams. This was by far our favourite tournament of the year and we will undoubtedly be back next year.

On to July where Jon attended the Southern Crown, the London qualifier for Clash. Jon’s Goblins went berserk, headed by the Groany Snark that destroyed many things that it touched. Until the final game that is, when Danny Graves’ Dwarves caused upset at the RSPCA by hurling defenceless Mastiffs at Jon’s army. Mastiffs may be defenceless but they can still chew through De 4+ Goblins at a rate of knots. Despite this set back, Jon went on to claim victory.

In the summer, Jon also fought his way through the 9 battles in the Brokenwall islands Campaign which combines Kings of War, Vanguard and Armada. The battle reports are avaialble on the Kings of War Forum.

July also saw Southwest Clash in Bristol. Jon deployed a Green lady army while Andy took his Kingdoms of Men. We were again drawn against each other in one game, with Andy emerging victorious this time. However, this set Andy up for 2 tough games to finish and Jon submarined for a 5th place finish with Andy 8th.

Acclaimed fantasy author Rich Massie attended the event and channelled his inner Paul Fox in creating hordes of Earth Elementals.

Leo joined Andy and Jon at Pride of the Shire in Oxford. Prizes were again available for display boards and Jon built a board featuring an effigy of the Dark Green Lady, only to drop it on arrival at the event and for the effigy to break.

Despite a long lay off from gaming, Leo proved to be the most-valuable Moonraker, coming 6th from 30 attendees. Jon finished 10th and Andy 26th. Andy also won the award for the best display board.

With the UK suffering with a heatwave, what better way to spend a weekend than indoors playing Kings of War at Swords of Summer. Moonraker Andy and Jon headed up to Nottingham, on a very hot day, stopping off at Mantic HQ as Jon had apparently been appointed as head of the Northern Kings procurement department and they wanted us to stop and buy them some bits.

After booking in to accommodation and to the event, it was time to join TOs Jan and Bob at the Playwright pub, or was it the Playhouse pub? Who knows? Sometime during the evening, the Northern Kings got banned from Facebook. Some atmospheric problem caused by a full moon, I believe.

Three games at 3,000 points was hard going, particularly when staying in hot accommodation with no air conditioning.

Eventually, Jon’s Green Lady finished 7th while Andy’s Kingdoms of Men came home in 13th place.

On then to Battlemasters where Andy’s Rift Forged Orcs finished 2nd and Jon’s Green Lady 8th.

In September, the Fox came out of retirement again to join us at Mean Squeaks in Bristol. All 3 Moonrakers attending won 2 and lost 2 games with Paul being the most valuable Moonraker, taking 8th place with his Dwarves. Andy’s Forces of the Abyss finished 10th and Jon’s Twilight Kin came home 12th. Jon also won a £20 voucher in the post-game raffle.

A week later it was back to Entoyment in Poole for Warborne 2022. Jon’s Green lady managed a second place finish.

Andy’s Free Dwarves finishede 7th, but won the best painted vote.

Another week later it was off to London for Clash of Kings. With only 2 Moonrakers attending it was time to find some new team mates and so 2 players, Matt and Michael, from the Warborne club joined us in forming the War Rakers team (not the Borne Mooners as suggested helpfully by the Fox).

If we were looking for a boost in ranking points we were to be disappointed as our results were less than inspiring.

November saw us heading to a local-ish tournament in Farnborough, Kings of Warfare. This event coincided with a large wargaming event and trade show. Andy’s Halflings came home 6th with 3 wins and 2 losses while Jon’s Green Lady had better results, 3 wins a draw and a loss, but finished 9th. A great venue and event which we will certainly attend again next year.

The Mooraker Invitational for 2023 was held in the autumn with Alaric Hart and Rusty Shackleford joining the Moonrakers in running thorugh the new rules in the Red Book.

November also saw Jon and Andy attend the King of Herts 12 doubles tournament with a cunning Goblin and Ogre army that proved particularly adept – at rolling Double 1s, consigning us to a bottom half finish.

December started with Slay Bells at Entoyment in Poole. The Fox again came out of retirement to join us at a tournie, and, inevitably, Jon was drawn to ot play him on the top table in the final game. The Fox went on to win a tight and cagey game and the tournament while Jon dropped to 3rd with Andy 4th.

With Christmas looming, there was just the chance for one more tournament, this time Battle for the Dwarven Ale in Gloucester. Jon’s Green Lady finished 5th and Andy’s Halflings 8th.

So, with the year over, Jon and Andy have both qualified for the UK Masters. Andy also gained best in race for his Kingdoms of Men while Jon was this year’s Top Gob and just missed out on best Green Lady by 0.22 points. Both Jon and Andy also gained 31 Achievements out of a possible 34.

Best wishes to everyone for Christmas.

See you across a gaming table in 2023.