Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Preparing for Storm of Vengeance at Adepticon

Hey all, been a while since i've done any real modeling lately and its time to change that!!!! I signed up for Nicks 'Storm of Vengeance' campaign at adepticon this coming year and choose Chaplain Boreas as my commander. Decided to re-read the Purging of Kadillus to make my army list as close to the 'fluff' as possible. Starting with the chapter 'The tale o Boreas' I now submit my progress so far.
Here is Chaplain Boreas...

Here is tactical squad Peliel, lead by brother sergeant Peliel.

In the next couple weeks, will have devastator squad Herman and Assault squad.. xxx... haven't read about any assault squads yet.. but had 10 DA assault from adpeticon a few years ago.
Thats it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What Are You Doing At Adepticon 2012?

My first Adepticon was in 2005. I was living in Washington, DC and my friend Anton from Chicago who had just gotten into 40K found out about this 40K convention and wanted me to fly out for it. I looked over the event schedule and ended up signing up for all 3 of the big 40K events – the Gladiator Tournament, the Team Tournament, and the 40K Championships. I remember the stress of trying to prepare for the Team Tournament and having two of my teammates flake on me last minute and the frustration of having to find 2 substitutes to fill in for us the weekend of. It was a whirlwind weekend of gaming… Way too much gaming! In the years that followed I dropped the Gladiator Tournament, then I eventually dropped Team Tournament, and last year I didn’t even do the 40K Championships. I came to Adepticon exclusively to shop.

This year I am taking a whole new approach to Adepticon and eschewing 40K overkill for a mix of seminars and events. This is my game plan for this year:

Thursday night I will be attending the Introduction to Mold Making and Casting seminar. Over the years I’ve made countless pieces of scenery and a few of them I would have loved to have reproduced. Additionally, the idea of making molds of custom pieces I build to make even cooler pieces seems way too cool to pass up. This could turn out to be a whole separate hobby I have within the hobby or I could hate it, but it’s something I’d like to know how to do so I’m really excited for this seminar.

Friday evening I will be joining in one the Warhammer Fantasy ‘It’s How You Use It Tournament’. At this exact moment this is the event I’m most excited for. I haven’t played the 8th Edition of WFB nor did I play the 7th Edition. It feels almost like I’m starting over fresh. I bought the Tomb Kings book this week and as I’m looking at some of universal special rules I realized I have never heard of some of them and have absolutely no idea what they do. You would think this would be frustrating but I’m not a hardened WFB player so it’s actually kind of fun and exciting. It feels fresh and fun. Hopefully people participating in this event are as relaxed about it as I am. Another nice thing about this event is that I already have 1500-2000 points of Tomb Kings painted from 5th/6th Edition when they first split the Undead into “wet” and “dry” armies as they were termed at the time. If at any point I find I don’t have time to complete my 1000 point army list I’ve just written up, I can always fall back on what I have.

Saturday morning I’ve given myself the opportunity to sleep in a little. I probably won’t but the option is there. At noon I will be taking a class on Painting Weathering Techniques. I think I do fairly well at weathering but my techniques are pretty rudimentary and some of the things people do now are really evocative and dynamic so I’d like to see what I can glean from this class.

Saturday evening will be fun. I was considering signing up for the Combat Patrol Tournament and though I was still on the fence while I was picking events I discovered via Facebook that some of my friends were also signing up for Combat Patrol on Saturday night. That sealed the deal for me. All 5 previous Adepticons that I’ve played in 40K events I always brought my Angels of Absolution and my Redemptors of Gholinar Imperial Guard force. Never have I brought my Orks because they are my smallest army. Well this year, the Orks are coming with and getting some game time. I’m worried that I’ll regret that choice when things come down to the wire and I don’t have a good selection of models painted but I can’t worry too much about that. It’ll be fun to throw down with something different and maybe get some games in against my friends.

Sunday though is the big day for me and will be the subject of a column in and of itself. This will be my first time running an event at Adepticon. The Battle for Piscina IV is my adaption of the Storm of Vengeance campaign pack fused with the Purging of Kadillus novel by Gav Thorpe. Over half of the slots have already sold out and we haven’t even put up the rules yet which is both exciting and terrifying. I’ll talk more about that later though.

What are you doing at this year’s Adepticon?

PS. Sorry for all of the recycled photos.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Catering to More Relaxed and Narrative-based Players

There has been a lot of talk about narrative vs tournament gaming recently in blog-land and though nothing has or even can be "resolved", I've been trying to come up with ways to make tournaments more fun for casual players and for narrative events in a convention type setting to be more involving and that really push the limits of our hobby skills. These are some of the ideas I've had over the last year.

Handicapping Codexes

This is an idea I haven't put much thought into the nuts and bolts mechanics of it, but since so many people are collating data these days on the major tournaments it seems like it would be feasible to rank the codexes themselves and implement a handicap system similar to in bowling. The idea being that if we perceived each codex as our team mate, and some team mates perform better than others, we can rate the quality of our team mate (i.e codex) and give a marginal benefit to those who willingly bring a weaker codex to the tournament. By giving good players a bonus for going into a tournament with an inferior codex it might increase diversity. Sure, it might just expand the pool of net lists as people scramble to exploit every advantage, but you might see some of those top rung competitive players taking a chance on a weaker codex rather than selecting the power codex of the week. It'd have to be fleshed out and it wouldn't take into account the nuances of different builds but I think the idea has merit. If in 2009 I hadn't born witness to 5 tables in a row at Adepticon where every player was playing leaf blowers except me I might have actually played in one of the tournaments at Adepticon 2010.
Variant Tournaments

I've mentioned before in a previous article that the most fun I've ever had at a tournament was playing in a Cities of Death tournament several years back in Kenosha, WI (KWars: The Consuming Darkness run by Equinox). I liked how using a variant rule set turned things upside down. Suddenly the 3rd Edition Ork Codex was viable again and no one had all of their tricks and strategies all worked out. This tournament also sticks out in my mind because it had a narrative that linked each battle to the last and the scenarios were all really unique with random elements - the sort of thing the hardened tournament player often dislikes unfortunately.
All the way back in 2nd Edition I ran a tournament at a gaming store in Buffalo, NY that used the Arid Terrain Rules written by J. Michael Tisdel (Citadel Journal 16). Some people were irritated that they weren't well versed in the unique rules and had a hard time with how little cover was used, but the games I played in 2nd Edition using those rules were some of the most memorable games I played. I actually revamped these rules for the current edition but have yet to give them a whirl. Variations like these can really refresh a stale gaming environment in my opinion.

I would love to play in tournament that used alternate FOC's, used Attacker/Defender scenarios, or that used other restrictions, sidebars, or unique special rules. Some would argue that these types of alterations tamper with 40K, the tournament dynamic, and army balance making things too unpredictable. I think they make them more interesting and force you to adapt to a host of environments and tactical challenges. To each their own I guess but its these sorts of changes that really keep you on your toes.
The Narrative "Play"/Historical Re-enactment

After Adepticon 2010 I realized that since I wasn't happy with the tournament events taking place and the environment they created, I needed to step up and start running events that correspond with what I would like to play in. Originally I was going to just run a tournament akin to what I described above. I had worked out a lot of the ideas in my head and thought I had a winner of an idea, but it was still just another tournament to have its restrictions exploited for the sole purpose of victory. I decided to look into what types of narrative events other conventions like WargamesCon were doing, but it seemed like they were basically just huge Apocalypse games that featured any hodge podge of armies. I wanted something with more depth and attention to detail.

There are close to 1000 40K players who will converge in Chicagoland for Adepticon, maybe with an event of that size its possible to re-enact an entire campaign in a day and do it in the most lavish way possible? No proxy armies, no counts as stand ins, and no competition - at least not in the traditional sense. What if we ran a campaign and treated it much like a play where each person has a named character and their forces to control; where each person tries to emulate the story in the most spectacular way possible with their best painting and conversion work to most accurately capture the most minute details? Would that appeal to others the same way that it appeals to me? This is often too difficult to pull off in a game store or at a small convention in grand scale, but the sheer size of Adepticon could make it possible and with enough interest could really put a spotlight on a different aspect of our hobby that stays in our houses or appears on Dave Taylor's blog. (He has done fantastic work capturing the forces of the Gaunt's Ghosts books if you've never looked there.)

I pitched this idea to Matt Weeks, one of the Adepticon organizers and I'm going to try and pull it off this year with a well known and recently resurrected tale. I've spent the last month dissecting the 2nd Edition Storm of Vengeance campaign pack and The Purging of Kadillus by Gav Thorpe to find the best way to break up the scenarios and characters so that participants can select a role and spend the next 5 months painting and converting 750 points of models to represent the Dark Angels, Piscina Free Militia, Goffs, or Bad Moon Orks that took part in this classic conflict. The details still need to be worked out but rewards will be given for painting, accurate detail, and spirit. Each person would play 4 games of various sizes and pairings utilizing adaptions of the original scenarios as well as others developed from other areas of the novel and color text from the original campaign. This is all assuming people respond to this sort of uncharacteristic event. Hopefully there are enough people interested in re-enacting this conflict, because if it goes well I'd love to try and flesh out other novels and classic conflicts to really challenge people's hobby abilities (as well as my own!) and really promote narrative play.

I think all of these ideas have merit but its really up to everyone who wants to see something different let your organizers of your regional events know what sorts of things you'd like to see or volunteer to run something yourself that embodies the kind of gaming experiences you crave.

On a final note: This post breaks our personal record for the most posts in a single year of blogging. Way back in January I set the goal for 50 this year t0 clearly crush our previous 46. This is post number 47. Congrats to us!