Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Adepticon 2009, Part 3

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

While Adepticon is an awesome time and I've watched it double in size since the first time I showed up as lurker, back in 2006. I think there are a whole bunch of things that need mentioning from glowing praise to some criticisms mainly about Games Workshops involvement (or lack of.) but I want to start out with the GOOD!!

The People

The Staff- Across the board the people who run and organize Adepticon should be singled out and thanked. This is fan run convention and one that has surpassed Games Workshops own events to such a level that have readily admitted they cannot compete with this and have competely abandonded the tournament scene for the near future. The countless hours the Adepticon team put into the event start many months before the event occurs not to mention the hours of setup and teardown during the event itself. So here's to all you people from the staff to the volunteers that run this awesome event for us. Thank you for your hard work and dedication...I know you all get thanked alot, but let me thank you all again.

The Players- I am in awe of the awesome people I meet at this thing..from the guys always at the top the tourney circuit, to the golden daemon winners, the black library authors, the game design authors, the bloggers, the speciality product manufactures all the way down to the guy you've never met before from another state who sits down in front of you for a game and turns out to be an awesome dude. I met some really great folks this year. I like to play as much as the next guy but for me this event is about the camaraderie of the people dedicated to this hobby... its not about the tournaments they are just the vehicle for the greater purpose.

As you all know Fantasy is my main game and I was pretty busy this year I didn't get to any 40K coverage I wanted to get so you'll need to look to others for that, so my apologies. I'd like to mention a bunch of people here I feel are instrumental to the success of the events and hand out a little praise from a guy who appreciates it. First up the people on, These folks run the Fantasy Events and many of volunteer to help with the Fantasy tournament at Adepticon. All the theses event were very well attended and well run..there are a few outstanding issues with the Championship tourney that I will get into in a moment..but let me stress any criticism I have is minuscule in comparision to the great time that was had. To the all the folks at know who you are...thanks again. Second up, the Lord of the Rings crew who congregate on the Adeptus Windy City Forums, I've seen the LotR events at Adepticon go from a half dozen tables outside in a cold wet tent at the Marriot a few years back to where it is now with no signs of slowing down...congrats to those guys for making it happen bigger and better every year, and now they have War of the Ring to work with as well, it will be great to see what they bring to that. Next up I need to mention the guys up in Minneapolis who are affiliated with the Warbringers club, your artistic talent, gaming skills and sportsmanship are second to none it was great hanging out with you guys and if there was a best club award you would
have gotten that too!. Ok Last but not least a shout out to both Rich Nelson ( for the Hirst Arts Seminar, all the Terrain he brought this year and for spearheading open gaming at Adepticon) and Tim Kulinski for not only for his LotR input but running WAB and the other skirmish games including writing that Legend of the High Seas book we all love. remind me to buy you both a drink the next time I see you LOL!..

The Venue

Its pretty much the general consensus that this was the best venue yet for the event. I've already run thru the main points in part 1 of why it was so much better and there tons of threads on all the forums about the hotels successes. I look forward to Adepticon being here for a good awhile. The Lombard Westin was all good, great decision whomever made it and it paid off.

Ok with all that ass kissing out of the way..lets move on to the BAD stuff!!!!

Composition Scoring-

While this applies only in the context of the fantasy events it continues to be a continued thorn in the side of many organized events. Personally I love Comp Scoring for me the game isnt about how many 6's you can roll at the Opportune time but about the whole package. Not only can you play, but does your army look kick ass and are you a good sport ?. Can you look outside your own ego to graciously lose and still promote the hobby with own stuff and still have a great time? There are ton of people at these events who can handle that, but unfortunately many that can't. Composition Scoring this year was a player and judge scored 25 wopping points. you got 5 scores and the highest and lowest dropped and the middle 3 averaged.
Why some people would want to bring there stupid broken crap to an event like this is beyond me, You can't win anything and all you get is the disdain of countless players there. I understand many of these people are trying overcome their personal shortcomings when they bring an army with 28 power dice but seriously go see a pychologist first, then come to the tournament second. Debates are already going here locally about how to fix comp scoring for next year.

If your unfamiliar or don't quite get what I am talking about Let me give you an analogy.. Imagine the Fantasy Championships being a boxing match.. you're told the rules, you're told how the event will be scored. You agree to the conditions and you show up at your boxing match with your gloves on and ready to go for a fairfight...however your opponent steps into the ring and instead of Boxing gloves he comes in with a AK-47, on top of that some of other boxers are one- armed and they get matched up against the AK-47's guys because AK-47's don't the get spirit of the event or aren't honest with themselves about the kind of army list they are showing up with. Even thou a system has been created so that they supposed to play other guys with AK-47's, many dont because they aren't honest, don't know any better or because they just aren't sure there AK-47 can handle the other AK-47's so they really want to fight the Boxers. I say lets the Boxers Box, the one armed Boxers try to hang in there and the guys with Automatic Rifles blow each other away...that's they why I see it, actually I'd prefer that everyone just brought their boxing gloves but figuring out how to get there is a difficult road...Well see how it works out next year...but alot of people didn't have the best time this year because some people just suck period. I can't talk about Comp for more 5 mins without getting into an argument so I am not the best guy to debate about this...I figure since GW admits they don't write rules for Tournament Gaming...I figure that Tourney Organizers ought to be able to adjust the rules to create a fair playing field..alot of people don't see it that way...but Comp Scoring remains an outstanding and negative issue this year. I only had one crap game and it really wasn't that big a deal....others were not so fortunate. My motto on comp is never bring an army you wouldn't want to face yourself..stick with that and you are usually ok.

The 40K Team Tourney-

The 40K team tourney is biggest thing at Adepitcon. Its the biggest event and should be treated as such..however its not and that is creating problems. Team Tournament displays have just gotten out of hand...when players from the 40K team tourney are setting up displays on open tables of the Fantasy Tourneys while the tourney is still going on..its time for a reality check 40K people, I want to say these guys didn't realize what they were doing and...even if someone told them to do it, they should have had the common sense to figure out it wasnt cool.
40K displays need there own dedicated area to set up and do their thing they need to removed from the gaming hall during the events because they've just gotten out of hand. Its cool- I love the art and creativity, but when its becomes a negative element on the other events it needs to get put in check..sorry. I'd love to see all these large displays set up in one ballroom the night before the event so late friday you could cruise thru the gallery of all this awesome stuff and take photos..then the next day you take your models to the tables on smaller trays for the games.
Well maybe next year...

Ok now for what you've all be waiting for THE suprise here...

thank you, Games Workshop.

There were no shortage of current and former GW employees running around at Adepticon this year. I heard all kinds of scuttlebut from various people, what's true and what's not, I don't know but this weekend was a public relations disaster for GW. Lets start with continued fallout from the recent GW downsizing. The firings...all the guys involved in US GW events are now gone including Allen who ran the Chicago Battle Bunker forever, He was promoted twice since last yeat only to then be summarily fired. Canning Allen anywhere around Adepticon time of year was idiotic....I don't know the guy personally but he was a staple here has lots of fans, getting unceremoniously fired from the company he loved after accepting a couple big promotions doesnt go over to well. You'd think they find another spot for him but the news of his termination spread around like wildfire compound with even the bigger NEWS..that there were going to be NO GT"S this year Great time to announce it guys..during the biggest indy tourney of the year! when everyone is in the same room so the new spreads instaneously, way to pump people up about tourney support!

Speaking of GT's I also finally got the skinny on the Dave T's termination that freaked everbody out last summer. After last years Chicago GT we were all commenting while it wasn't as well attended as some would like it was was a very well run tournament. Apparently Dave wasn't fired for anything he did but his dipshit boss was of the opinion that since TOURNAMENTS RUN THEMSELVES (can you freaking believe that?) they were over staffed and he (the boss) was told to cut one of the two tournament organizers loose to save money. Guess who got the short straw?. Of course a few months later Mr "tournaments run themselves" gets canned as well. Thats three in events management right there, and there are whole lot more..I guess up in GW Canada's pink slips were fast and furious as well, and now the guys in Baltimore are trying to figure out how to oversee the large amount of stores and people through the great expanse of Canada and realizing its not going to be easy being a 1000+ miles away. I won't go around naming names...but GW is seriously having an identity crisis...taking loyal employees who are life long hobbyists and throwing them to the sharks isn't winning the Company any new fans among us adults out there. Getting a promotion from GW is now akin to the scene in "Goodfellas" when Nicky finally gets "made "and they take him down the basement for "The Party"- no good, I feel for several of my friends that are currently employed by Games Workshop, hopefully these black days at GW will pass soon.

The other complete disaster was after all the saturday tournaments where complete but before the Big Awards where announced. GW was allowed to run its new product slideshow just like they did after last years Chicago GT, only at the Chicago GT they had the brains to do it AFTER the Awards not before...I know they need some time to get the awards together but announce a time and let people go to the damn bar already, and comeback when your ready. Last year I went to bar and had great laugh..came back for the problem. IF they even did the slide show last year it somehow was pulled off without being as hamfisted and dumb as this one was. This time we get Josh , GW midwest regional manager who puts on the lamest new product demo..I've ever seen there was nothing new...they bring out out same old stuff that has been everywhere on the internet for the last 4 months, War of the Ring and Imperial Guard.. I've had the same pictures he ran at the slideshow on the blog here since February 8th!. All while he's trying really hard to rile people up to be excited and you could basically hear crickets chirping. Imagine this- its Saturday Night of Adepticon, the days tourneys are done and people are tired they want to hear the awards and go party or even go home. but he's holding the room of 500 people captive for over an hour rambling on about how awesome the new Ratling Snipers are...the amount of people that gave a shit about this I could count on one hand, while the amount of middle fingers I saw pointing his way was at least a couple dozen before I stopped looking around. Please, please Games seriously need to hire some professional public relations people...what's going on right now companywide in the last couple months is a comedy of errors.

Let me clarify thatI have no problem with Slideshow, In fact I like the slideshow but considering the god awful, tackyiness and bad timing of this one..he needed to drop a bombshell to get over on this crowd. and he didn't....I was going to say a few words about the lopsidedness of GW's input at Adepticon versus their expectations but am not going to bother, Besides watching my pal who works for GW's face when I told him there were at one point 320 something games going on at Adepticon this year says it all. I like Games Workshop and I am not trying to be cruel but they need to cure themselves of this "foot in mouth" disease, and quickly.

Earlier today I looked back over the last month and realized I've played 18 games of WFB in the last 30 days..that is ton of gaming for me, I average about a 5th of that normal so I am going to take a break. I will be back later in the month with some focus on some other games and bunch of new terrain I've been working on.

Ok that's a wrap on my 8000 words on Adepticon 2009, I know, 8000 words!!!!!!?? ( I dropped all three posts into MSword and did a wordcount) .Anyway I'll shut up already, but hey! thanks for reading.


Bill Sullivan said...

It is important to keep in mind that Josh Wimberly is a shrieking jackass. His job (and Adepticon, actually), exist because of the former owner of the OP Hobbytown.

I know that you and I have different views on composition, so I'm not going to try to convince you, but I feel as though your analogy was a little off. To keep the boxing analogy, I think it's less a matter of armament as letting people pick their weight class. They're all in the same sport, but some people choose to sign up for a heavier or lighter class than they should be in. I think there is something wrong with people that the people that sign up for a weight class that they're fifty pounds over. On the other hand, there's also something ot be said for the fact that Adepticon is the premiere event, and there ought to be a place for the heavyweights. If someone wants to bring an all-Gnoblar Ogre Kingdoms army, and then whine about losing, they're a featherweight signing up to box with Ali, and they deserve every black eye they get. Maybe WHFB needs something like the Gladiator or 'Ard Boyz? Personally, I would like to see a format that rewards the very strongest lists available in the codex, as most of the top Gladiator builds require some truly daft armies that don't look anything like a standard force. I think making a differentiation between WHFB Escalation and the Championship might be the way to go, as that way the Championship would truly showcase the best play, painting, and army building, where Escalation rewards strong play in a variety of different army sizes and missions.

Felix said...

Does GW even need to do anything for PR at this event? People travel miles to showcase ridiculously awesome stuff and play games with their models. GW folding its arms and letting the volunteers do all the work seems like a good investment of resources to me.

John@Plastic Legions said...

Hey Bill, actually that was one of the complaints was that the Championships were becoming the Fantasy Gladiator..the 25 pt comp system was good when combined with the bidding battle point system- people just didn't get it, or didn't care, there way too many OTT lists and then those people didnt bid..thinking they'd get easier match up not dawning on them they people like me would be throwing out "2" and "0"'s out of 25 points on there conp...also believe it or not many of the OTT lists didnt do that well .I know a couple of the very top guys and guy that won best overall had Average comped armies...many OTT's were one trick pony's that veterans could beat problem was once in the basement they got matched up with all gnoblar army and those people were bumming (there wasn't an all gnoblar army, but you get my point)
BTW Devastation on Friday is the anything goes tourney..No complaints about that, people got what they expected...The issues with the Championship..not sure how they'll handle it next year.

Yeah I don't know the Josh guy
but man!...if you know him and were there you probably would have been laughing your ass off.

Felix..there is obligatory mention in WD...but yeah they dont do some demos..sell stuff.

Peter said...

Although I didn't attend adeticon and I haven't been to a tournament since I restarted the hobby I can really see what you're going on about here, you could have a soft list, which did avrage in it's games but could win because it scored all of it's comp! that's a bit ridiculous and comp should be toned down a bit or even only used as a Tie-breaker...

and there goes 15minutes... I don't mind reading though :P

Gerg said...

I'll agree with Bill about Josh. He is a shrieking jackass. For some reason GW likes shrieking jackasses. Sadly enough, he was the best regional manager the St. Louis store had before they murdered it.

To the downsizing. Ed Spettigue, the head of US Retail is also known as the assassin. Before he crossed the ocean he had no problem depopulating whole stores or even regions in the UK if he didn't like how something was going. That probably accounts for some of the wave of firings going on right now. Also, based on emails and meeting some of them, alot of the upper management for GW in the US are people that I wouldn't normally want to hang around.

Barjack said...

Most of the conventions that i have been are voulenteer run and they always seem to be the most enthusiastic and well thought out, I agree that GW needs some kind of corporate do all the major events public relations hit team of super stars for getting the public hyped.... im think a PR A-Team.

Bill Sullivan said...


I was having a conversation yesterday about precisely that point. The old GT's (and I believe Adepticon) do actually have separate awards for Best General, which is purely wins/losses (and in the case of Adepticon, the points wager for round 1 seeding), and Best Overall, which takes into account performance, composition, sportsmanship, and painting. Best Overall is more of the "complete hobbyist" sort of award.

Here's a puzzle, using 40K forces because i know them better: You have three players in front of you. One is playing a strongly themed, weakly built Dark Angels army. One is playing the classic double-Lash, too many Obliterators Chaos Space Marine army. The third is playing an Inquisition force that is just sort of thrown together, no real cohesion, with one of the weaker codices available. In a 3-2-1 scoring system, who do you give the 1 to? The guy with the win at all costs army, or the guy that doesn't seem to have any damn idea what he's doing?

John@Plastic Legions said...

Although you need to differentiate some what between WFB and 40K when it comes to comp ..I would say...the DA guy is getting a 3...and the difference between the Chaos and Inquistorial list would boil down to appearance and balance...despite not know what he's does it look?, is there a theme..if its a mish mash..that screams nothing but noob so be it..But in a way that WAAC Chaos list scream noob to me too. A better player will bring a balanced list and try to win with that. I'm not saying shouldn't bring a list comparable to the environment your put in, but always to keep it within the theme of your army. The reason I used the AK-47/ boxing analogy that while I thought of the very analogy you describe it wasn't accurate..some people in WFB Championships brought some list that were so over the top
Karios, Blue scribes, 2 Tzeentch heralds, 4 blocks of Horrors..3 units of 4 Flamers..AK 47 was the only way to describe it. hell I could have brought 4 cannons and two steam tanks...(there actually was a knucklehead with 4 cannons)
but would never shame myself in such a manner..I am curious to what Peter thinks give he comes from a different scene..UK.

Bill Sullivan said...

Part of being a strong player is knowing that the uber-builds exist, and having a plan to try to deal with them, whatever your force. I give the guy with the thrown-together army the 1. If there was an option for rating whether or not someone is a netlisting smacktard, I score the Chaos army lower, but I would rather play against a very strong build than a completely half-assed one.

Corrollary: Two players- one is using Dark Angels, one is using Ultramarines. Both are extremely well-themed (We'll say Dark Angels 3rd Company, Ultramarines 2nd with Sicarius). Do you score the Ultramarines player worse just because he has a "better" codex?

John@Plastic Legions said...

in that case UM and'd need to be able to award a good or average score across the board..comp scoring really can't be linear (as we are hypothetically discussing) both well themed armies should be able get a good scores based on each s relative difficultly to the environment..if DA can make a competitive list that's not OTT with an admittedly inferior codex, personally I would give them the slightly better score as Ultra Marines seem more cut and paste
but honestly I am not familiar enough with either to give you a good comparison you want to talk VC/ Empire..sure.

Hey check the forums boards will you I have a question for you.

Peter said...

sorry bout that, I didn't go on my laptop yesterday, playing a lot of resi 5 :D

I would definetly give the strongly themed one top points, then give the weakly build, weakly themed one second and the the jack-ass making the entire game terrible for anyone playing him and should be suitibly jeered if he loses last. I always create mine to a theme and very rarley realise if I make it perticularly nasty.

Over here in jolly old england we used mostly themed armies and start off with the units we WANT to put in and change it accordingly to put in the units we NEED. It brings a lot of even games seeming as people often include decent units but also broken units (bad ones not stupidly good ones) to keep with a theme, and assuming you belong to a local gaming group with people you know if there list is too competitive they'll change it to make it a little less deadly

Jason Dyer said...

hey John
Great write ups as always.
I think i may have sat down with you (and Elliot Vigil) on the Saturday to moan about the demise of the GT circuit.
Hopefully I can actually introduce myself next year!

John@Plastic Legions said...


LOL!..yes you did!!..I sat down after you guys were already into I never got a chance to introduce myself..then we got distracted and wandered off. You were the one the one guy..I thought to myself..who was that guy??..small world.. yes next year..we must commiserate GW's latest shenanigans at the bar!!

Slicksauce said...

Some good points in your post! Let's hope the price mistake on the empire stuff is actually true.


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