Greif 2021! After a year of forced hiatus, tournaments are back! Finally!! The desire to see old friends again and to remove the dust from the miniatures is great. So, although summer is the time of year when I am busiest ever, I manage to carve out two days to participate in the tournament. My adventure begins on Friday afternoon when I leave the cave, the refuge and Mount Fenera: immediately after lunch I take the path to go and get the car (no I’m not a hermit, it’s because my profession as an archaeologist takes me to work in “special” places and conditions …), then a sprint to Turin to recover my Army and the good Bruno Patella who will keep me company during the journey to Verona. Arriving in Verona in the night we meet Andrea, another boy from the Micca group who had the good heart and the perseverance to find us accommodation for the night. After an invigorating sleep (for me the first in a real bed after two weeks!) The three of us get in the car ready to reach the tournament venue. The place chosen by Luca Dune Garlaschi lives up to our wildest expectations: good beer, good food, friendly staff and fully air conditioning! After almost a year I can see all of Dust’s old friends again !! The tournament attracted all the hard core of the community! In short, I find a lot of people with whom we immediately start talking about the rules, the new tournament pieces and how absolutely everyone we are worried about the possibility of being up against the new Japanese mega robots! Meanwhile, the good Caz (as a skilled engineer) projects on the mega screen all the statistical data on the composition of the armies of the participants in the tournament: to my great regret, I discover that no one has brought the Marines! What a tragedy, they are my favorite army (in my opinion one of the strongest in the game) and I betrayed them for the Russian Steel Guard “Cans”. I promise myself not to abandon them anymore! But the time to prepare the army was short and the miniatures of the “cans” are infinitely less than those of the marines.

On the big screen appear the pairings for the first match of the tournament, I went very badly… my first opponent is Max G.! As a good Piedmontese Max is an honorary member of the Micca group but more importantly he is a lethal player and his NDAK army with the strength of numbers alone can seriously put my Steel Guard in difficulty. The game is very tight, my few units disappear in the mass of cursed NDAK soldiers! Max ranks everything (stacks of infantry, anti-aircraft, anti-tank and a good number of mortars) and also good. However, if he has the power of numbers I have the Steel Guard super cans, I can always count on their improved saving throws and their devastating close range firepower! At the end of the third round we both end up with the decimated armies and right at the end, Max has a carelessness and grants me a sweaty side win. Well but not very well, the victory of the first day of the tournament is compromised but who cares! I had a blast with Max, dusted off the miniatures and played a truly epic game!

It’s time for lunch, so with Max, Bruno, Andrea and Matteo (all the Miccas who attended the event) we grab a table and taste the excellent cuisine and more than anything else the excellent local beer! Max and I are making peace between the Soviet bloc and the axis by sharing a good plate of fried food fraternally! Then a good coffee but I don’t have time for my usual Tuscan half-meal at the end of the meal that call us back to order, we are late on the schedule, so, a shortened lunch break !! The scoreboard tells me that I will have to play the second game with the patron of the event: Luca Dune Garlaschi, and I will have to face his Blutkreuz Germans. The map foresees a desperate race of the two armies towards a house at the bottom of the map! The first who exclusively controls the house wins! The game is decided in the first round, Luca tries to lure me into a battle at the bottom of the map in order to make the most of his gorilla teams equipped with charge and flammfaust. I do not take the bait and although indifference costs me the loss of some important teams, I “run” towards the house while my helicopter takes a team directly over the target! The second round opens with my close combat squad burning its rockets and moving into the house, hence the game is mine! In short, even Karl the Hammer enters the house and with the help of the airborne team I manage to close all the accesses available on Luca’s side. Meanwhile outside Guai-lo and his anti-infantry squad do their job wreaking havoc among the enemy ranks. Primary victory and finally I can smoke my half Tuscan! This is followed by the awarding of the winners of the first day of the tournament and then a nice dinner based on grilled meat and all to bed!

The next morning around 10 we are ready to continue the tournament! The pairing roulette starts again and this time fate is merciful. I am paired with Gaetano Grande of the Black Sheep group of Rome, he plays Luftwaffe. To be honest, of all possible armies, he plays the army that gives the least problems to my cans! Steel Guards are super tough and ultra-devastating if they come in close range but have the same mobility as a cast iron block. On the other hand, the peculiar feature of the Luftwaffe lies in being able to parachute at close range and attack the enemy with a mountain of dice! But against the rank 4 armor of the cans, the mountain of dice turns into a mound and thanks to my double saving throw its attacks in depth do very little damage! In short, I take control of the entrenched camp and the game is over! However, this match was also really fun and relaxing! Then as usual with the boys of the Black Sheep of Rome we have a lot of fun !!

We are at the end! Three games and three wins… two primary and one secondary! But now it’s time to eat, another lavish lunch in the company of the boys from the Black Sheep and the Bivouac, the beer and grilled meat begin to try me! But after a good cigar at the end of the meal, I’m ready for my last game… against Freeman of the Bivouac! Russians against Russians, Steel Guard against KV47 an epic duel! On paper the battle promises to be very balanced, his KV47s armed with flamethrowers can really hurt my teams! On the other hand, if my teams don’t die instantly they can really hurt the airborne KV47s! The tension at the beginning of the game is cut with the knife, Freeman is a great player and puts down the pieces with wit and tactical effectiveness! But you can’t control your ass! His KV47s land and: either they don’t activate or they do very little damage! For my part, I save practically everything while the good Freeman does not save even half the damage. Bad luck runs powerfully through his veins! Despite everything, the game is super tight, Freeman fights like a lion but against bad luck there is no remedy and in the end he is forced to give up the field !! Very nice and fun ending and with less bad luck on the side of the good Freeman it could have ended quite differently! Anyway, primary victory for me! Which makes me jump to the top of the tournament leader board!

It was a great two days! I met a lot of friends and met a lot of new dusters! It has been a tough year and I hope to see you all as soon as possible! Special thanks to Giulio Cazzoli and Luca Dune Garlaschi for managing the tournament and a warm greeting to all participants and in particular to Max, Andrea L., Giorgio (with his fearsome gorillas), Freeman (and a heartfelt thanks to his bad luck), Adriano, Barbara, Jacopo, Matteo, Bruno, Andrea, Marco, Claudio and to the Luxembourg players, to all the others whose names I don’t remember right now … (sorry but I’m old for certain things … !)