Bolt Action, Gaming & Collecting

Tournament Tales: Three Good Men

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Warlord’s Bolt Action tournament team once again had their ambitions set on triumph. Check out their writeup on the Three Good Men tournament at Southend and Shoeburyness Wargaming Club…

Three Good Men

Max: The Warlord Tournament team was at it again!

The 25th and 26th of January the team was at the Southend and Shoeburyness Wargaming Club (SSWG) for the Three good men tournament. 10 teams of 3 from all over the world came together, taking on the role of the plucky allies or the dastardly Axis. Teams would then be paired off and over the weekend 5 games were played, always playing Axis vs Allies so no Blue on Blue that weekend (Unless we count the FUBAR’s!).

SSWG’s newly expanded setting provided 18 lovely new boards highlighting all the environments seen during WW2. The tournament was well organised by Russ, and the whole SSWG team was very welcoming and great hosts, with great organisation and fun scenario selections that were chosen to compliment the team mechanic.

Here are some thoughts from our intrepid team:

Marcus “The Captain” Vine

Following a sleepless night at the painting table (and many hours of regretting my decision to play a camouflage-heavy Waffen-SS list), Max, Nick, and myself made the long journey down from Nottingham to Southend to represent Team Warlord at the Three Good Men team tournament, hosted by the wonderful SSWG. This would be our first outing as a team, and we were determined to make a good showing (or in my case, determined not to lose every game!).

Arriving at the clubhouse, we found a wonderfully welcoming environment, with an enviable array of fantastic tables – I quickly identified a couple I was absolutely desperate to play on. The club soon filled up with wargamers, some familiar from previous events (including SSWG head honcho Russ, who has the proud track record of thrashing me soundly at every tournament we’d played at), as well as plenty of new faces.

The setup was quick and professional, and we were soon ready to get underway – it was time to unveil my not-so-secret weapon. Where most people had elected to take sensible, balanced lists, Nick and I had decided to go all-in on our late-war theme, building our armies around Veteran Tiger II‘s – 666 points of terrifying armoured might! It was my fervent hope that this behemoth might go some way towards compensating for my rather sub-par generalship and occasionally rotten dice luck.

Sadly, this was not to be, as my first game saw my opponent hold his nerve, before taking out my King Tiger with a point-blank shot from a 25pdr, having cunningly baited me into exposing the weaker side armour. This left his forces free to mop up the rest of my rather small platoon, handing me a defeat in short order.

Letting Max and Nick get on with the business of actually winning games, I proceeded to maintain my fine track record by getting absolutely annihilated by Brad from Team Pegasus with his US Army force. In hindsight, I should have realised what I was in for when his first move was to rush his M7 Priest into point-blank range of my Tiger II and let fly with high explosives! Almost before I knew it, my army had been expertly dismantled, leaving me with only the big cat, almost buried under an avalanche of pin markers. Try as he might, Brad couldn’t quite crack it, but this did nothing to detract from his utter rout of my forces.

For the last game of the first day, I found myself matched up against a really interesting early Finnish list, with none of the usual toys, on a fantastically sculpted steppe board, which provided plenty of cover for my small infantry force. I felt confident going in – I had a plan, and even what might be considered a cunning trick up my sleeve. All I needed to do was make sure my Officer survived… Naturally, he suffered a direct hit during the preliminary bombardment, and failed to issue even a single order, being blasted straight back to my figure case before turn 1 even began. For all that, the game developed into an incredibly tight affair of close-range firefights, reckless assaults, and long-range tank shooting. The absolute highlight, however, was my King Tiger, surviving no less than three (!) flamethrower hits, two Panzerschreck hits, and a volley of panzerfausts to the rear armour! Anchored by my armour, I was able to cling on grimly until turn 6, which saw the game end in a hard-fought draw.

With the first day done, many of the teams headed into Southend for a lovely Chinese buffet – a chance to refuel, as well as socialise away from the gaming table. Afterwards, a few of us headed out to the pubs, ably guided by Leigh, to whom great credit must go for making sure we both had a fantastic time, and avoid getting lost!

The next day (with some of us nursing rather sore heads) saw two more games. My first, against a Soviet list with some rather worrying cavalry, initially looked like it would go poorly for me. My opponent (who had rushed up that morning as an emergency fill-in for one of the SSWG home team) had me right where he wanted me, with his horsemen poised to strike and claim my objectives. My only hope as the game drew to a close lay with my Tiger II, which had been frankly a little pillow-fisted all tournament. Just when I needed it most, it came through, laying a 3″ template squarely in the middle of one of the cavalry squads, and all but wiping them from the board. While I was swiftly able to mop them up with my infantry, that still left the squad on my other flank, easily in range to charge, and ready to wipe out my one reduced squad holding the key objective. With only a single pin, it seemed certain that they would pass their order check, and sweep to victory. To my total surprise, they failed, deciding that the best course of action was to stay put, and go down! With this being the final turn, I breathed a sigh of relief – I had (by the skin of my teeth) pulled out a win, and maintained at least some honour for Warlord!

For my final game, I came up against Tom, who had driven all the way from Belgium (along with the rest of the excellently-named Brogue Squadron), with a very mobile Polish list. As we were playing Sectors, the game was all but decided from the start in his favour (the downside of playing a low-dice list!), but to his credit, we managed to make a really good game out of it, with some fantastic moments of overkill as my Tiger II attempted to destroy his tankettes with its main gun!

When the dust settled, and all the points were added up, we emerged with a respectable-ish position somewhere between the middle of the pack and the bottom – but, more importantly, having had a fantastic weekend of Bolt Action with some cracking people. The long journey back up to Nottingham was mostly occupied with excitement for the next event, and we look forward to many more tournaments of such high calibre!

Max “The Talent” Ayson

We’ve featured Max’s DAK army before. for a closer look at his fantastic army – look here -ed.


I bought this army on a whim at the start of November, the plan was to take my time and enjoy the painting and try to improve as a painter by trying to go maximum effort and paint them to the best of my abilities. I lovingly paint up one squad taking my time and then get told I’ve been invited to a tournament and the teams playing the Axis. Oh dear. This was going to be a hectic few weeks getting this ready, and it was! I am very happy with how this army ended up, but a lot of late nights were spent getting it ready, but (unlike some of my companions!) I didn’t have to pull an all-nighter to get the force table ready! So with a full nights sleep behind me we headed down to Southend!

I had a great time at this tournament. The terrain was excellent and I had some really visually striking boards to fight over. All 5 of my opponents were cracking folks and I had some really down the wire games that were insanely fun and where anyone’s game right until the last tense rolls of the dice. I also received one absolute kicking, where my DAK army got lost in a city fight and taken apart by a Soviet army that was ready for city fighting after Stalingrad; evidently, the DAK wasn’t ready!

I think my highlight for the weekend was the game I played against Dave from team Brogue Squadron from Belgium! The game was using the Sectors scenario so both of our forces had to outflank each other and get to our opponent’s deployment quarter. This added to the fact that our forces were an odd match-up between a Belgian Force that contained no transports and only light vehicles vs a fully mechanised and armoured up DAK army. This led to a weird standoff-ish game that had me scratching my head trying to figure out how to make it work! By turn 5 the board was absolute chaos with any semblance of a battle line completely eroded away, with units everywhere. In the end, the game was a hard-earned Draw, which given how much fun it was I’d call the perfect end to that game!

As for the weekend, I had 2 wins 2 Losses and 1 Draw, which rather worryingly is still the best record out of anyone on Team Warlord this weekend…

Nick “The Wheels” Elliot

The guys in Southend threw an excellent weekend with a very friendly atmosphere. I’ve never been much for competitive gaming but everyone’s attitude and sportsmanship were excellent and I had a blast, even managing to win a game. I was a little pushed for time getting an army together, having no complete Axis forces in my collection yet. To that end, I wrote a list with as few models as possible. At 4 dice and 18 models, this was the stupidest 1000 points army I’ve ever tried to play.

My first game ended in disaster, as I realised that no matter how good my mutual support formations were, a veteran Tiger II just can’t address the huge numbers disparity I was going to face in every game. I resolved to play a little less aggressively. Game 2 was a scenario dreamed up for the event, “Warhammer 1940k”. Every conceivable method of scoring victory points was in play simultaneously, and I fully expected to be left bewildered and defeated. To my surprise, the King Tiger did its job spectacularly during this game, removing my opponent’s support elements and denying objectives so effectively that I barely noticed the loss of over half my infantry. Having won a game, one of my two personal objectives for the weekend was complete.

I have only been attending Bolt Action tournaments since last summer, but after an incident with a Churchill AVRE at the D-Day tournament, I have a personal tradition of killing at least 1 building every competition. Game 3 allowed the perfect opportunity for this. British defenders made a solid and reasonable decision to conceal themselves behind a small stone house. Unfortunately for the house, the Tiger II wasn’t in the mood for a game of hide and seek and drove straight through it. The game ended in a draw as I recall, with local real estate agents being the only real losers. After a long day the players and organisers gathered for a meal and to sample the delights of the town. This left several sore heads for day 2.

My final 2 games were entertaining, but fundamentally an exercise in handing tournament points to other teams. Charity is its own reward, however, and I had a great time regardless So overall a very fun tournament, and a big thanks to the SSWG team for running an excellent event and to everyone who showed up and played for making it such a good atmosphere In the room, we hope to be playing back on those boards very soon next time SSWG runs a tournament!


Check out SSWG’s write up here, lots of photos were taken at the event which have come out very nicely!

If anyone has a tournament they are running and want to tell us about it, or just want to chat about their hobby works then Max and Marcus both work for Warlord customer services, so please don’t hesitate to shoot us a message at:

Dan Hewitson
Dan can often be found contemplating the mound of unpainted minis building up under his desk. He has a tendency to roll lots of ones. He also has a tendency to complain about rolling lots of ones.