Saturday 9 September 2023

Turnip on the Docks


It's been a muddy, rusty, horribly twisted time for my wargaming recently. It was all about Death Guard recently, and then last weekend I had some Turnip28 fun! I took my 69th Mordby Mudcrabs to the Turnip on the Docks event, and had a very rooty time.

The event was held as a rather cool venue in Grimsby I'd never heard of before - The Great Escape, actually found on the docks themselves. Apparently it's a bit of a community project with help from all sorts of places, which is cool, and there has been a lot of work going on to make this weird old building look, well, weird and old? It's very cool.

Having played a game against Chris, who was somewhat responsible for this event, I kind of knew what I was doing going in. Luckily it seems there's a lot of people who also have lovingly built armies of horrible little turnipmen and also have not played many actual games of it before. In fact it was a very newbie friendly vibe, with very little emphasis on the tournament aspect of things.

In Turnip28 there are no points costs, you just take a number of units of set sizes based on the number of Snobs (officers) you have - each one brings a unit apart from your 'general', the Toff who brings two. You then get to select a 'cult', which is the equivalent of a faction, giving you bonus rules and sometimes special units.

I took the cult of Stranglin' Harry's Wretched Recruits - which feels kind of like the 'default' faction. They get tougher snobs and a bit of a bonus for doing a series of tactically sound things like shooting units that can't shoot back or taking an objective. I took a unit of Brutes (heavy infantry) a unit of Fodder (pretty much what you'd expect) and a pair of units of Chaff (skirmisher/snipers.) With hindsight I think I could have done with an alternative unit than the second Chaff that had a bit more staying power, but that is all I had built.

The gaming itself was made up of five games, roughly an hour each, with a couple of 'basic' scenarios followed by some extra silly ones. I shan't go through too much detail, but once we'd all got a grips on the rules the games really fly by, I was finished early in all five games having been largely wiped out!

Game one was against the cult of the Leech Lovers - they get to heal from killing in melee, and every turn both sides take a load of damage, presumably from all the leeches. It was a monumental failure for my boys, after the Brutes charged a unit of Bastards (heavy cavalry) in the flank and all died to the return attacks.

Game two was against the Uprising of the Louse - they get a huge 'Tall Man' effigy that influences the game in weird ways and can summon a rabble to fight for them. Fortunately for me this had no effect on our game. Unfortunately for me my Toff lost a Toff Off (duel) and a unit of Bastards cleared their way through most of my lines for another loss.

Game three was against some... worm guys? They were using the rules for The Feast of Charybdis - normally a force of crab riding burrowers but here that was represented by a giant mole. This was a special scenario, the Siege of Piss Castle, which may or may not have been inspired by a local landmark. I was able to knock the enemy Toff off his seat on the 'castle', but the rest of my forces struggled to keep on top of the worms and their mole, leading to a third loss.

Game four was against a pig themed March of the Proboscis - normally they get an elephant, instead they had a giant pig. The scenario featured a giant root monster that wanted to kill both players, was super strong and represented a special victory condition - kill the beast to win! I cunningly allowed it to savage the pigs and managed to charge in at the end to finish it off and win a game! During the game my Toff won a duel - part of the rules for this suggest you should put your Toffs on the highest point of the board for a dramatic fight, so they stood on the monster's back!

The final game was against the Slug's Lament, who focus on their heavy infantry and get an extra unit that turns up late and weary. We were fighting over a giant root-whale that had vomit us up, meaning the forces arrived in stages in the middle of the board, meaning the fighting started instantly. Once again my poor lads were out-muscled, but they did manage to kill off all the enemy geese!

So after all that I had won just one game out of five. However I did pick up some bonus points for rooty things like winning a Toff Off or having a Snob fail a dangerous terrain test. This meant I managed a respectable eighth place out of twelve, and (as with everyone) received a little bag with a selection of Napoleonic and 3D printed bits for the next Turnip project. Hurrah!

Overall it was a really fun day, both in playing a lot of this intentionally silly (but surprisingly deep) game and meeting a load of interesting, creative people. I really hope I can do more of these in future - I understand it was well enough received that a sequel is in the works for February 2024, so hopefully you'll be able to read more about it then.

Thanks for reading and stay safe out there!

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