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Our Second Journey to Wargaming Mecca, aka Adepticon

For the second year in a row, the Outlanders braved the 7 hour journey to Chicago to play in many different events at Adepticon.  If you’re not familiar with Adeptcion … well I don’t know what to tell you.  Despite the fact that we run a GT ourselves,  Adepticon is truly the major event that the rest of our gaming universe revolves around.  Our winter paint and play was timed to build up to Adepticon.  The March Hare point values were matched to Adepticon’s instead of the Bugeater.  All of this is for a good reason – Adepticon is an amazing experience.  This year, we have several folks attend: myself, JT, Russ, Billy, Adam, Jon, Matt, and Dan S.  A slightly smaller contingent but still a nice group (there were a few other Omaha groups that made the trip out).

My Plan

Last year I played in the 40k championships and the fantasy championships, and I was going to play in the BFG tournament on Sunday but ended up missing out because I couldn’t get a fleet put together in time.  This year they adjusted the schedule and made their primary events 2 day instead of one day.  This bummed me out at first because it meant that I couldn’t participate in as many events – I only get one personal day a year (which is used for the Friday of Adepticon) so I won’t be able to play in the Warhammer 40k championships because they’re on Thursday.  So I decided to play the 40k Gladiator on Friday and the Warhammer Championships on Saturday/Sunday.

That plan changed quickly.  however.  I realized I wouldn’t have 2500 points of 40k to paint up, so I dropped the gladiator and put myself on the waitlist for the Warmachine hardcore tournament.  At this point in time, I had all of 9 games of Warmachine under my belt … a trial by fire :).  My plans changed again, when a member of our group’s 40k team tournament had to drop out.  I had never played in the team tournament before, but I had heard such wonderful things about it and I didn’t want the other team members to have to cancel their plans.  So the Empire stayed at home.  The added bonus in terms of pre-tournament hobby stress was that I was going to be using the dropped player’s models so I didn’t have to worry about getting my 40k together and presentable.  I did have to quickly get my Cygnar painted to minimum standards.  Warmachine hardcore is above the usual 3+ color minimum standards, so I was going to have to put the actual base dark colors down for each area of the model.  No time for highlighting or anything, so my models looked  really dark.

That was more difficult than I thought because I was inundated with debate work, teaching AP for the first year,  and some negotiations work with the union.  But I pulled it off.  Because I couldn’t take Thursday off, my crew left in the afternoon.  I borrowed my in-law’s van and five of us made the trek across Iowa and Illinois.  We had the most bizarre weather possible: it was snowing in Omaha, flash flooding in Illinois, it was nuts.  But we made great time and got into the hotel around 9:30 Thursday night.

The nice thing about warmachine is that my 50 point army all fit into one case.  I brought my full paint, files, glue, etc. in case I had a hobby emergency or got in the mood to do some work.

The nice thing about warmachine is that my 50 point army all fit into one case. I brought my full paint, files, glue, etc. in case I had a hobby emergency or got in the mood to do some work.

 

Arrival

We were smarter about one key thing this year: we stayed in the tournament hotel.  Last year we stayed in a very close by hotel, but there was something psychologically weighing about having to hop back in a car to get to my bed at the end of the day.  This year it was simply a nice elevator trip back up.

The convention had already begun when we arrived since the 40k championships started on Thursday.  I did a quick tour, said hi to some folks I knew, and checked out the store operating outside of the 40k hall.  I browsed through the bitz boxes but didn’t find anything special.

I had hoped to meet some of the podcasters from around the world, but by the time we arrived, the Point Hammered and Bad Dice crews were epically sloshed at the end of the 40k hall and hanging out.  Another day, then.

After unloading our gear (the wind was so strong that one guy’s Terrorgeist literally floated up out of the box because of its wingspan), we grabbed our swag bags and checked into the room.  Upon taking our trip up to the 14th floor we looked in our swag bags – easily the best item was the army starter box for Warmahordes.  I got Ret, others got Trolls, Everblight, and Circle.  I had to laugh at the people trying to sell them at the event, because apparently they though a wargaming convention would be immune to the laws of scarcity.  Those boxes were going for as cheap as $10 by Saturday night.  There were the usual bases and armorcast bits in there, a complete starter rulebook for flames of war and a couple of tanks.  There were a lot of coupons, and the Adepticon exclusive miniatures as well.  Pretty comparable to last year, although I missed the washes from secret weapon miniatures last year.

This almost recoups the cost of my ticket for the weekend....

This almost recoups the cost of my ticket for the weekend….

Friday: Warmachine!

So I was a little nervous about Warmachine for a couple of reasons.  1) I was still on the waitlist, so a spot wasn’t guaranteed.  2) I’ve only played 9 games of Warmachine and this has 7 minute timed turns.  You can afford to allocate zero time to thinking during your turn, so you have to have your sequence of events already pre-planned during his turn.  I managed to do this pretty well, but just rolling the dice and resolving my actions took me right up to the time limit.

My list was as follows:

eHaley

Stormwall

Squire

Stormblades w/ UA

Arcane Tempest Gun Mages w/ UA

Boomhowlers

3x Stormcallers

Junior

I ended up going 1-3.  In round one I played trolls and was so concerned about not timing out that I didn’t really care about tactics.  Unsurprisingly I lost but I held my own for a few turns.  I then played trolls again game 2, and lost because I forgot to pop feat which cost me a perfect charge and allowed his beatstick of a warbeast to run in and blow up my line.  Game three I won versus Khador on dice down, but I played that game pretty well.  Game 4 I played Everblight.  I never played Everblight before, and this caster’s feat basically allowed each model to shoot twice instead of once.  Suffice to say, my stormwall went down and I was playing uphill from there.  I actually lined up a decent assassin attempt after fighting for survival, but lost on dice down because he had more models in the control zone.

But it was cool playing a Warmachine podcast guy (that tweet was about my game 4).  Although I lost three games, I had a hell of a fun time.  I enjoyed how action packed the tournament was, and the timed turns and speed was a really different pace than either warhammer system.  I thought I had found a new primary system.  Being done at 3 pm was a nice perk when I went to the warhammer halls and saw they were still on game 2 when I had finished game 4.

Adam (closer) and Billy trying to finish 3-0 in the team tournament.

Adam (closer) and Billy trying to finish 3-0 in the team tournament.

I did go visit the fantasy hall because four of our guys were playing.  One of the teams was having a horrible day and ended 0-3.  The other team of Dark Elves and VC (running a graveguard horde and execution horde) was on a 2-0 run when I saw them playing the TO of the fantasy championships.

Watching this game completely erased my thoughts about warmachine being awesome.  Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy warmachine, but watching this game of fantasy reminded me why this is my most favorite game system.  Normally warhammer is not a spectator sport as I’m sure many of you know, but this game was so back and forth I couldn’t walk away for more than a few minutes.  The Grave Guard bus got stuck alone on an overrun without hydra support, and got munched by warriors and a beastigor unit.  On the right flank Adam’s ghouls killed the pumbagore and got the narrowest of overruns off into the warriors.  So I thought they had a good shot.

But then the knights on the far left flank rolled an 11 and charged the executioners, tying them up and allowing the gor horde to charge the front of the executioner horde.  Bye bye executioners.  I think for sure they’re done at this point, but then the warriors get wiped out and Adam’s hexwraiths wreck havoc on the chaos knights and gor.  At the end they win and go 3-0.  They finished pretty high despite their average painting.

That night I met up with Gareth from the Bad Dice Podcast, and I showed him and some other guys from his crew and ours Portillos for the first time (if you ever go to the Chicago area and don’t eat at Portillos you have committed a cardinal sin).  It was a total blast, and I quickly learned the easy way to identify British at a tournament: look for the guys walking around with wine glasses.  Americans drink beer or consume shots.  British drink their wine.

So that was the prep and day one of Adepticon.  Next up: the warhammer 40k team tournament.  But that’s for my next blog post.  In the meantime, see some pics of the awesome armies in the fantasy team tournament:

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