Monday, August 27, 2012

Interview with Vasilis Apostolopoulos ETC captain 2012

The Greek ETC team got back for about a week now and as promised we have a small interview with the team's captain Vasilis Apostolopoulos, Vasilis played also in the 2011 ETC Greek team and he was the only player to come back for the 2012 competition, this time as the team captain, quite the responsibility.

Let's see what Vasilis has to say about his experience.

1. How long are you playing Warhammer 40000 and with what armies.

I am in this game for almost four years now but I have studied it and knew about it for far more, so my adaptation to the game was easy. I can easily play a lot of armies but at this point I play Blood Angels, Chaos Daemons, Space Wolves and soon I will have my own Grey Knight army, of course don't get troubled if you see me play Orks.

2. You just got back from ETC 2012 in Poland, what was this experience for you in general?

As far as the level of the game (playing) since it was the second time for me playing in the tournament i got even more experience since I think that each time that you participate in it you accumulate experiences and new ways to deal with different situations, it is important to play with the best because then you become better yourself.

As an experience I have to add that the participation of nine Greeks in the team was very important and it also added a unity within the team, as a captain I think that I accumulated also a lot of experience in team management, apart from that - regarding the event itself - you have to be there to see what I am talking about.

3. Who were the other team players and what were the armies that they were playing.

The other players were:

 Adamopoulos Ioannis - SW, Koltsakis Konstantinos - NC, Lekkas Konstantinos - SM, Gerasimos Stavridis - DE, Antonis Christou - IG, Stefanos Spyropoulos - GK, Panayiotis Perakis  - BT And of course our coach - Irene.

4. Was the gathering of the 2012 team difficult? what was the problems that you had to face to find players for the team?

It was really very difficult, it is my personal opinion that the players in Greece must learn about the ETC and the way they treat our hobby doesn't help in that matter. Another big problem was the economy and another one was the way that we would choose the players to be included in the team, at first there was some differences and while I did a lot of attempts to gather players most of them didn't responded.

The "one man show" doesn't help in situations such as this and this year was too tiring for me because of it, i consider it a success for me that I managed to gather a team for this year's team, to take them there and get them back. We have to organize better ourselves for the next year.

5. What should a player know if he wanted to take part in the ETC team?

He must be able to collaborate - this is the most important thing, to be able to work as a member of a team - to play for the team and not for himself - and to give his best. He has to be patient, mature, sangfroid - really what a team sport requires from a player, even if that seems strange to you (it doesn't)  the ETC is a team sport and goes far away from the usual 1 vs 1 player, it looks like playing in a football team - we can play altogether, not each one on his own.

6. What are the criteria to choose a player for the national team?,  I mean, after two participations in the ETC what do you see that a player needs to correspond?

First of all I have said quite a lot of times that for me it is a team - not a national team, because for the team to be national it has to have national acceptance, So to reply to what a player needs is ... lots of hours of training with high level players studying the game's strategy and now that the system has changed (6th edition) we will need even more practice.

Even if a player doesn't have the talent he can reach a very good level - there are a lot of examples of such players.

7. How was the trip to Poland

Tiring but very nice because of the wonderful companionship of our group and of the wonderful climate we had during the time we passed together.

8. Poland, how did you see the country? how was it for you?

To tell you the truth, I didn't paid much attention to see the country, it is just a country like all the others, of German type without a lot of mountains, it wasn't anything special.

9. Our team managed to end up in the 21th place out of 28 teams, we can say that since it was quite close to the middle of team rankings it was a good result regarding the circumstances - mostly inexperienced in this tournament, what was different this year?

Basically the result is more or less unfair, for whoever doesn't know we were unlucky to play with the overall champions in our first round (England), after that the cup system that is followed in the tournament didn't helped as at all. We played only once with a team that was below us in ranking, and this happened because each time we were at the top in scores regarding others, in the second day we were at the 14th place and this forced us to play against Australia and Finland who were 2 places over us regarding ranking. 

10. So we could have gone better? and if so, how?

Sure we could, in our two draws we lost the victory because of inexperience, and the loss from Switzerland was a matter of strategy since i choose to take a risk that didn't came up as I wanted and the pairings didn't worked, we just didnt had experience.

The rounds, how did we played against each of our opponents and how did you saw each team separately.

11. First team, England.

The result proves their worth, Worthy champions and while they also said we were tough opponents some of our players didnt managed to adapt to their gaming level since for the most of our team members it was their first experience on the tournament.

12. Second team, Austria.

Very enjoyfull players, not anything special and because of a small mistake we didn't win them.

13. Third team, Switzerland

The match ups were to their favor and it was me to blame that for, even so the players who were there will say that luck played its toll, I wasn't impressed by them.

14. Fourth team, Holland.

Inexperienced team like ourselves, good players thought but we were all ready for our first victory and so we took it.

15. Fifth team, Australia

First time in the ETC for them and quite a strong team, because of a misunderstanding with two of our players i can say that they messed up my good impression that I had for them, they were very lucky because once more we didn't accumulated victory for just a little.

16. 6th team, Finland.

For me it was the best team, better even than England, remarkable skill and abilities, they won over us fairly but we were also very tired at that point.

17. Did you noticed if the other teams had in general the same players as last year? this is important - if they did - does we also have to find our best players and send them all of the time on the ETC so that they also accumulate experience in the tournament?

There were lots of players from last year and lot of new players, I don't think that we should form a closed group of players because a player should be able to play constantly to keep himself in shape, in a particular year a player might have done more work than another and the player with the better preparation should have the opportunity to play.

A closed group could have better chances to bring results in a shorter amount of time but who can say who is the best player? I think that the new plan for player selection that our new captain will announce is a good continuity of my last year - failed in a way - attempt.

19. I can guess that there will be some kind of tournaments and/or you will take into account the results that the players will get into the tournaments with the most participation (mostly those from shops and guilds), by the way, who is the new captain?

For the first question I can say that I wont take too much part in the organization part of the team. After a vote we selected that the new captain will be Adamopoulos Yiannis, we all decided that he is the most capable for the next year, apart from that he knows best and I can assist him in whatever he needs.

20. What team made to you the most and the best impression? should we follow their example?

Regarding organization skills - the English, they came to win, as players: the Finish, from the big teams I was also impressed by the French.

21. How did you fare personally as a player in the ETC? how did you saw the games, how much difficult is to play in this tournament?

As I said, the personal part doesn't play a role in a team championship such as this but I did very good and I am overall satisfied by my results, if you except my game against the English player, overall I think that I gave my best.

I believe that it is very difficult to play in the ETC because it is like playing in the world championship (indeed 
with teams such as the United states and Australia the tournament starts to not look European, not a bad thing at all but I am dying to see team Japan in the ETC)  it is very competitive - sometimes this is for the best and sometimes for the worst.

22. The future, what we should do so that the team can go better in the following championships?
We took some decisions that will be officially announced by the new captain and this is the best thing that we can do.

23. Are you planning to participate next year?

I will try to.

24. Do you believe that the moral compensation from participation in this tournament is enough for a player to get in this small adventure? what are the personal gains for a player who will participate? 

I think that for some it can be a life's dream, it is a wonderful experience that is worth trying for, other players who also participated can also talk about that.

25. The Warhammer fantasy battles tournaments follow to the letter the ETC format, in the 40k this doesn't happen, do you believe that some tournaments in Greece should be played with the ETC format in part or totally following the ETC rules?

That would be good but because of the small amount of players this is difficult.

26. As of this moment the 40k rules look like they are geared more to the fun part of the game than on the competitive part of it (like 5th edition) I think that the ETC will give some guidelines so that they will bring the game to their needs (for example they might rule out allies, fortifications and random terrain effects) do you believe that the local tournaments should start taking into account the ETC guidelines?

I believe that we too should follow the ETC and the ETC should follow us, if we become more active in this competition they should take into account some opinions we had for the game.

I haven't studied too much 6th edition but I can say that it is a very big improvement and sadly I don't agree - it think that it is geared for competitive playing.

27. The tournament regarding organization, how did you see it?

I can say that the Swiss last year did better, the Poles did a fine work too but as a team we have some complaints regarding the terrain pieces and the team pairings.

28. Something that you wanted to say.

First I would like to thank all of the team members that supported me from the beginning to the end, they know that i did the best i could, the support from the guys from the Boxes of War online shop and from Pirounakis (a guy who produces t-shirts and other memorabilia in Thessaloniki) who gave us a lot of help like tape measures, dices and t-shirts. The guys from Battle Bunker who lend us some models, Antonis Christou brother and Snake (player's nickname - not the lizard) who gave us their armies to play with them and Danai for her Ipad, Romek for the reservations in Poland

I would like to say so many things about each player personally and for our wonderful coach but as you understand i don't have the time for it.

I think that we should thank Vasilis and his team for the time they spend in the preparations and the tournament itself, they did real good this time and we can only except even better in the years to come.  

For the Invulnerable


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