Monday, April 27, 2009

On the price increases...

OK, I got good dose of the latest internet outrage doing the Blog and Forum surf this weekend. Everyone seems to be pissed off about the GW price increases to the point of several people have started organized boycotts of GW product. While the boycott isn't anything that will have any effect..organized boycotts do not exactly spread goodwill in a time when all you have done is create Ill Will among your customers over the last 6 months. It's one thing to increase prices over time, in fact its pretty much a business necessity but Games Workshop seems to go about in their own special way. First they announce a price increase on metals and some plastics late last year, then they announce another price increase on the plastics this year within 6 months of the last one. Sort of a "we screwed up and didn't raise prices enough" (I'm seeing that as a general theme here) Then several high profile products had their prices increased after being advertised at a lower rate. (Realm of Battle, Valkyrie) Now we have the fancy new Empire Release in June featuring the "new" plastic prices. People in general have spitout their morning coffee when they got a look at that one. As an Empire player I am not happy, not so much because the prices are crazy expensive but because there is no rhyme or reason to the price increases. The 10 man Greatsword box, that I assumed was going to be $22, (the same price as 5 metal ones) is now $41.75! Apparently there is ton of stuff in the box as in its three or four sprues so it was intended to be a $35.00 box, which is a 19.3% increase..that better be the case otherwise its almost 100% increase and how do you justify this? this kind of kills the kit for me. While I am not one to quibble about price on something I want...considering I already have 15 Greatswords and 4 converted ones I really only need 5 I am better off just scoring some old metal ones. The 10 man archer up from $22, to $24.75..that seems like the only reasonable price increase at 12.5%, If they had stuck to a 12.5% increase across the board..I don't think we would have heard much complaint. But then we have the Steam much for the big savings over the metal $57 and change its now $7 less then the old metal one, granted its a much better kit and I am buying this despite the 15% increase. That's 15% IF this was originally a $50 kit. Well its allot less plastic than say a Valkyrie which was initially a $50 kit reality its on par with Stegadon meaning the new Stank should have been a $40 kit so its probably an over all 40% increase!!!!, when you slap a 12.5% increase on one new product you predict is not going to sell as well as another product then put a 40% increase on the one that is going to be more popular..this doesnt let your "times are tough we need a marginal price increase across the board to help support the company" argument stand up to scrutiny

Point being here, GW is all over the map with the price increases. When you are not consistent, it comes off bad, as either price gouging or blatant taking advantage of customer loyalty. There was a rumor a week or so back regarding the now Chinese manufacturing of GW product..if that's true, isn't the point of going to China to lower costs? letting that cat out the bag at the same time as the price increase announcement, will most certainly rub people the wrong way.

This "Screw you" mentality that GW puts forth toward its customers is just another in a long line of serious head scratchers in the last 6 months..from the mysterious and inept canning of the official tournament scene, the botched product releases, the staff and store management shake ups, making it no secret of purposely trying alienate hobby veterans, the shenanigans during Adepticon and now these nasty arbitrary price increases- these guys seem to be their own worst enemy. I understand they are public company and liable to stockholders but when you start treating your loyal fan base of customers in the "us" versus "them" the stock price is eventually only going to go one way. If I were a stock holder of any magnitude I'd be demanding GW's CEO resign out of utter incompetence or least as a result of signing off on having a public relations department that operates like a bunch cast extras from "the Road Warrior". I hate to seem to always be writing negative things about GW, but I have to call them like I see them...I'd love to talk about something "great" they did...but they seem to be working extra hard to toxify their relationships with their customers..well at least thats working!!!

Edit: I just read that there is speculation that the new Empire Heraldry book and they Greatsword box got their prices accidentally swapped on the website..which makes one hell of alot more sense meaning the greatswords and archers are the same price with a 12.5% price increase. The Stank is still very expensive...but if this is the case...GW gets a pass on this one...there are still numerous issues..but the price increases for the most part are acceptable. although, you think they would have caught the error by now?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Spanish Main

Here are some more shots of what I have been working on post-Adepticon. After the success of our last club meeting. Legend of the High Seas has really hit high gear. The smaller Historical skirmish games are much easier to get started with than say Warhammer Ancient Battles due that you only need 10 models or so..There are a plethora of great miniatures by a whole bunch of companies out there for for both Legends of the High Seas and Legends of the Old West...we will be playing both here at Plastic Legions, but LotHS has won priority.

You saw Rich's awesome Pirate Castle last week, and here is some of my new creations. The Spanish round fort and tropic vegetation are converted from the "Weapons and Warriors" pirate toy set..long out of print from pressman games in the mid 1990's. You can get lucky like I did and find a complete one on ebay for around $25. there is ton of useful props included about a dozen ship cannons, several boats, the fort, the trees, artillery, all scales up well in 25/28mm. (The Spanish flag is from the WFB Empire State Troops box..I always hated the standard that came with that box and I finally found a way to convert it make all kinds of useful banners)

There square building is the sand series by Miniature Sceney Aus I have four of these buildings the rest are still on the paint bench by should be done by the weekend. I'm not sure why these kits are not more popular, as of right now there are my favorite terrain piece to work on...I have quite of bit of their stuff and you'll be seeing it show up everywhere on my tables. From the stucco style buildings here (coincidentally perfect for Old West) to their Pantheon Series which works from everything as San Juan Prison to the Walls of Osgiliath.

On may 15th I am hosting a one day Campaign for LotHS...unoriginally titled "The Spanish Main" It will be four rounds as up to Eight Crews try to gain the wealth and experience to go after Blackbeards Treasure, all the while trying to outwit or outright kill the competition while avoiding the Royal Navy, Cannibals, and whatever else I throw at them. Where using 6 scenarios from the rule book over about a dozen games concluding with a huge FFA version of "X" marks the spot at the Pirate Castle on a 4 x 8 with everyone involved "The Spanish Main" has its own blog for the players of the campaign and will layout the narrative any special rules and basically track the goings on until the event. results will be posted there and I will leave it for awhile until we do another one. We may run something similar on our club night...This one day, one shot campaign is an experiment for this type of event as long as you've got lots of terrain and the space..I can see it happening for several of the skrimish games..Old West, even LotR SBG. This first one is on a friday that means we are breaking out the Ale!

I'll you guys with some shots of the my Pirates...I have about 40 or so...
sadly only the crew you see here is painted..but I am working on that.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Give it up for the Pirates!!

Plastic Legions -Club Night 4/14

We had a great turn out tonight for our 1st meeting of Tuesday club night since we were excommunicated from the store. Head count was 8, We were missing some notable characters from the group, but hopefully we'll see them next time. A couple notable local bloggers were in attendance Rich, who brought his awesome Pirate Castle terrain over (that many of you saw at this years Adepticon) and we threw down with some Legends of the High Seas, and then Jeff put his foot in water playing Hordes with a couple of the guys..Of course we had our obligatory Warhammer Fantasy games...Chaos vs Wood Elves, and Chris G. and I played a crazy 1250 pt match Daemons vs Wood Elves as the final match of the evening. Definitely had plenty of room and I think we can easily go to 12 people and not feel crowded. Lots of talk going on about doing some events, a Campaign and alot of interest in Historical gaming which is cool. Next meeting is in two weeks. Three cheers for the basement!.

One my pirate crew "ol savage" keeps an eye out for rich's sea dogs.

Some of Rich's Privateers guard the prisoner

My Pirate ship on the beach head, lots of work to still do on it -

Two of my crew attack one of Rich's men, a pistol in the face works.

My Captain "Lucky Jack" wasn't so lucky, after using up his Fame during the fighting
I used my 2 re-rolls (Lucky-archtype) on two courage re-rolls...finally I fail his Courage test and the rest of his men routed
the end of our third game this evening.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Adepticon- WFB Escalation scores.

I noticed when the scores were released on the Adepticon website, that Escalation final scores were not sorted and posted in the normal manner. Instead they were placed by Battle Points instead of by player overall score and then using Battle Points as the tie breaker for identical scores. (The way its posted may be the intent I am not sure) Anyway I re-entered the data and properly sorted it. So if you played in Escalation you can see your overall final ranking here instead of slotting it by how many Battle Points you earned. This changes the posted list quite a bit as the original scoring isnt taking soft scores into account.

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.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Adepticon 2009, Part 2

Saturday 4/4

Warhammer Fantasy Championships

Despite definitely regretting the shots of tequila I had the night before at the hotel bar the Championships got rolling without a hitch. The Championships are a 2250 event with full points for player judged Sportsmanship, Appearance and Composition...the later of which many people must have overlooked because there where some seriously ugly lists going on that just were not cool...this isn't a no comp GT. There are wide variety of people who attend these events for different reasons..if you show up with a barely painted army and a win at all cost list you pulled off of Warseer, you are not in for a good day, even if you go 4-0. That's the bad part, for the good part let me say that this year this was the most awesome display of artistic talent I have seen at an event yet..If I made the top 25 in paint scoring I will be a very happy man (I don't know yet, I haven't seen the scores) This event is the premier Warhammer Fantasy Event for North America.. Alot of great people were here coming from all over country and it showed. With that introduction on with my games.

Round 1- Empire Vs Dark Elves (Tyler/ Chicago)

I didn't think with the Battle Point bidding* going on I'd pull DE 1st round but OK, fair enough. He had a pretty decent DE list, Corsairs, Executioners, Blackguard, 2 units of Crossbows, 2 Bolt Throwers, Dark Riders, a Hydra and 10 shades fronted by Dreadlord with two Sorceresses, I had to figure he had 2 assassins in both elite units and I was right. The scenario here was called the Deceiver and I had played it in a practice game, Objective- to kill the enemy General..easier said then done. We were on one of the new Citadel Realm of Battle tables for this game so we both had hills for our artillery with a woods in my backfield and Watchtower close to his...set up was pretty standard..I knew his shades where going into my woods so I had my flagellants right there ready to go after them. Game starts out ok..I hit one BT with Cannonball but only kill the crew and roll a "1" on the machine..too bad you only need one guy to operate the BT as he just moved a crewman over to man it. We traded a lot of back and worth shooting...he has his Dark Riders on my right flank and they where a serious pain in ass, I couldn't convert on any of the chances I had to kill them I am forced to use my Knights to protect my Artillery dodging spells the whole time..Tyler runs his General and Executioners in the Watchtower and leaves them their all game, which was fine by me..That way I didn't have to deal with them..My Swordsmen and Characters are dancing around with the Hydra the whole time...I do hit it with a cannonball but only get 2 wounds..the shades eventually take down my Flaggants and I only kill 5...(my dice in that combat where awful). Eventually I see a chance for my Inner Circle Knights to Charge the Corsairs..I do blow thru them and into some crossbows with a sorceress and I go right thru them barely missing hitting one Bolt Thrower on the overrun (damn) now am sitting right next to it on the far table edge.
At this point I am looking good..he leaves his shades in woods to hold the quarter...but my swordsmen are below half and I am taking alot of breath weapon damage..I am shooting at the Hydra every round but can't get a wound. ( I had to give up cannons in round three when I went after the corsairs..(Dark Riders swooped and got them) I should had my Arch-Lector and BSB come out of the unit then spin around so he couldn't avoid both but oh well..My Greatswords eat bolt thrower and magic fire but I have them and their detachment in his D-zone ready to mop up..then the worst thing happens..Bottom of 5 both my Knights and Greatswords Both fail panic tests from shooting both with "double sixes" my knights run of the board and my Greatswords turn around and by the time I can rally on the top of six I lost my chance to grab some easy extra points going thru both BT's and hopefully into the crossbows round 6...instead I get charged by the executioners and the assassin wastes most of the unit. Without getting the hydra or Shades to below half...I only killed his Corsairs and Crossbows and one Sorceress, while he got full points for Cannons, knights, Luthor Huss, my swordsman and Greatswords plus detachments...additional points were a wash..but he was up +500 VP in the end so he won. I did manage to pick up + 5 battle and +2 objective points for a "12" (5 for loss + 7_ which is pretty good as good as I was fine with that.
I gave Tyler a pretty good comp score for that list too. It could have been, and I have played way way worse against Dark Elves.


* Battle point Bidding. For those that don't know let me explain- when you start the tourney you are asked to assign yourself a number 0-5 and that number you bid is used to adjust your score either +/- the amount you've bid at the end of each game and against your rounds point if you won a game were you'd get normally get 15 points, if you bid 5, then you'd get 20. If you lost you'd get 10- these extra points only applied to the best General Award and this also what they used to figure out the seating round for instance if you brought a kill em' all list and were painted to a 3 color standard you needed to bid 5, you'd be matched with other 5's round 1. If you were looking at high soft scores you want to bid 0 as losing a game would only hurt your overall score, ( I bid Zero.)

Round 2 Empire Vs Empire (Lance/ Indiana)

Now I am going to be pretty critical of Lance here, and its not because he wasn't a cool guy...He was, I liked him personally quite a bit..and we chatted throughout the event but I am very critical about his list and how he played against me. His list was just awful,
Arch Lector on the War Altar, Plus a Steam Tank plus the Rocket Battery, then 10 Outriders , two hochland long rifles, Pistoliers, Two Level 2 Wizards, another Warrior Priest, Inner Circle Knights with Great Weapons, Core Knights with Lances...20 Swordsmen, and two units of 10 free of which was NOT a detachments but a regular unit. That was the biggest bullshit right there..if you are dropping all that shooting the table, as least drop some infantry putting down 10 free company as a core choice is really- really cheesy I mean with all that magic and shooting he should have just put a Land raider on the table it would have been the same thing. His entire Core came in at 374 points..which is patheticly low for Empire. This was literally like bringing a sword to a gunfight he had a ton of magic on top of that. Ok the list sucked, but I get why he did it..its designed to take on VC and Daemons..unfortunately Lance played Jon Cash first round and lost to his Empire with Dogs of War he gets me next with Empire again..I am sure he was frustrated by this so in retrospect I can cut him some slack..but I wasn't happy about the game. besides the lopsidedness of the armies I did something dumb that ended up making things worse- I put my Cannons both on one side to make protecting them easier but left myself a blind spot to shooting..Little did I know he would hide the War Altar and Stank in that blind spot most of the game...I mean at least give me a chance. I spend most of my time trying to move around and avoid getting flanked by the tank..which my Greatswords ended up failing at anyway. I did kill some of his stuff. The Pistoliers, 1 unit of Outriders, his Core Knights, and I did blow up the War Altar Late game. He even hid his ambassador behind a building in the D-Zone so I couldn't ever get to it even thou its designed to be in your generals unit..(I realize being on the War Altar he couldn't but give me a break will you) Anyway my biggest gripe as Lance played me like I was running a Bloodthirster and Three Heralds when he was actually playing an mostly infantry Empire Army, he could have brought it to me gave me a chance and still crushed me, instead he played way too defensively just shooting/casting at me waiting to charge the tank in....Needless to say I got Massacred with no bonus points- I score a "5" for the round. I was pretty brutal on Lances player judged comp score giving him a 2 out 25. Should Lance somehow read this...Nothing personal guy..I like you but this was my least favorite game of the weekend.


Round 3 Empire Vs Vampire Counts (Randy/ Memphis)

After the last game I was in dour mood, and surprised that now that I am down in the basement (the bottom tables) that I draw a VC player. Meaning this guy is 0-2 as well there must be a reason. I quickly saw why..the guy had massive unit of Blood Knights as in 10 including two characters one being the 400+ pt VC lord the other being a 250+ pt Vampire BSB with the Drakenhoff banner. so we are talking over practically the Entire Army's points in one unit, other than that he had two other Vampire Characters, 2 Units of 20 Zombies, a Corpse Cart, 4 bats, 10 ghouls, 12 Grave Guard and a Vargulf..that the whole army. only 380 points of Core Troops I knew there wasn't a damn thing I could do about that "death star" unit..out side my cannons so I split them wide and deployed to one side figuring he put the sickness on the weak flank and he did...I did have my Knights and Flagelants the end of my linee just in case I needed a speed bump from that freight train. Another problem Randy had is he didn't know his own rules that well thankfully I play VC alot and have the book, he put his list on the table right in front of me while we were setting up and when I glance down at it to get his name spelling as I saw he had the Crown of the Damned..and while I didnt say anything I was annoyed that he didn't bother to test for stupidity until I reminded when it really mattered at the bottom of turn three. (more on that in second) also Randy seem unsure of how to pull his kills from negative combat resolution like it had never happened before. I'm not saying it was malicious..but you expect a bit more in an enviroment like this.
Ok with all that aside let me tell you how I won this game...Top of turn three after hitting a brief speed bump call empire crossbowmen the VC Freight Train overruns but is to the right of my Cannon on the flank. The overrun is far enough that the unit ends up behind my cannon. I spin around a drop a grapeshot Template.. on the unit I have 3 fulls and 5 I never do squat with grape shot 9 times out 10 when I do I I am not that optimistic, however I somehow roll an Str 8 hit!, 5 partials -I get them all...8 shots..roll to wound NO "1"'s every body takes a strength 8 hit. Randy's Lord has a 4+ ward and 4+ regen..everyone else get just the the Regen...his regen dice are bad...I kill 5 blood knights right there. On his turn...I bring up the Stupidity thing..he apologies rolls and gets BOXCARS..he's turn I do the grape shot again again I roll an str 8 again but this time I only kill two more Blood Knight..I know have 1/2 points for the unit. Meanwhile I killed one other vampire running about alone with the other cannon...My Knights eat up his 4th Vampire, the Graveguard and his Ambassador (for Scenario points scoring)..In the end with extras I had only lost a cannon, 2 detachment, some handgunners and my crossbowmen..while I killed half his Blood Knights, His Varghulf, his Grave Guard, Two Vampires characters, his Bats and plus 1 raised unit of Zombies, plus I had a captured banner. I was up by around +700 points more than enough for the win also picking up 3 Battle and 3 Objective for 21 total points..

Fun 3, Sports 3, Comp 1

Round 4 Empire VS Ogres (Todd, Michigan)

Todd was an older fellow like myself..when I saw he had Ogres I was Ogres/Empire is a fair match up I knew where in for a good game...He had the hardest list Ogres can field..Scrag, 3 Butchers, 2 Gorgers and 2 Scrap Launchers, the amry was filled out with Bulls, 3 Leadblechers a Bloclk of 20 noblars..and 10 of the noblar skirmishers..part of the scenario was about holding terrain I went immediately trying to grab as many as I could from the get go and it saved me in the end...not only did I end up with an extra 200 VP from that it saved alot of my Core units which I picked an extra battle point from and my Knights managed to handle Lead blechers, a Gorger, a 4 Bulls by themselves plus grab a table quarter and terrain feature by themselves (my Inner Circle Knight were tourney MVPs for me, they let me down running away in game 1 but were otherwise solid all weekend) The game boiled down to huge multi combat with everybody involved... My bound and his Gut spells were everywhere .I had unbreakable going alot, Todd had his beefy Ogres spells going alot, In the end he didn't break my Greatswords or My Swordsmen..he got 1/2 for both, one cannon and my BSB....It was just under
a 300 point difference and Draw thanks to the extra points I picked..I end with "12" total points
(10 for a draw + 2 battle) and I was happy..this was my Favorite Game of the day..Todd was a great guy...I hope I get to play him again one of there days. For an Ogre list its was a tad unbalanced (all magic)..but its Ogres and they arent really capable of being that competitive..I think I comped him a 14 or so...but I'd call the list fair for this environment.


Overall Results 1-2-1 Battle Points 50 , Soft Score 79!!! (one of three with highest score of 79)
129...a 5 way tie for 24th place out of 120 overall points and 28th place individually.
I seriously can't believe how well I did!!
I did better than I expected Saturday and worse than I expected Friday ..par for the course I guess

Here are some more photo's from Saturday

My game 1, Vs Dark Elves..say what you want about the realm of battle but it sure looks good in photos.

I loved this Chaos Army by a fellow named Adam (One of the Minneapolis guys)
the tones are definitely in the painting style I work in, the army conversions with awesome
particularly this Chaos Warshrine below

I also loved this Wood Elf army..I'd seen this before the last few years it looks better than ever
the Treekin from the Citadel Trees is a no brainer...these are the first ones I've really liked.

This converted forest army by Dietrich Stella was so off the wall I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be Wood Elves or Beasts or what. In fact it turns out it "counts as" Warriors of Chaos...the Fairy Forest theme here was the best...this was one of the top armies there.

(Above )Jeff Schlitgen's Plague Bearers..the Ogres converted to Daemons theme
was well presented here and perfectly executed with that and a 4-0 record on the day
netted Jeff the overall on Saturday as well. Huge congrats to him .Winning best overall in two events is something else. (Below) A shot of most of Jeff's army , note all the conversions of the Juggernauts and the furies made from bloodletters and Forge World Tyranid parts..

Ok that's my Saturday wrap up...unfortunately this year I had two tourneys which boiled down to 7 games in about 36 hours.. made it tough to check out any 40K or LotR or specialist games like I did last year, I just didn't have the time...I couldn't be there on Sunday this year....but I wouldn't be suprised if Adepticon eventually becomes a 4 day event. Next year I am going to make the extra effort to cover more stuff outside my own games. I will finish this year up with overall write up on the Best and the Worst Adepticon had to offer..including some GW achievments and blunders.
Coming soon.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Adepticon 2009!!

Here is the first of my three part write up about the event. Friday and Saturday tourney reports and a third part with general observations and commentary regarding Games Workshop and the now National Premier Event for the hobby- Adepticon.

Adepticon Part I

Another Adepticon has come and gone for me, while its still going on today..for me the 2009 experience is over as I am sitting (today) sunday out. Let me start with the preliminaries before discussing my tourney reports. This is my fourth Adepticon, my third as a blogger and each year this thing just gets more and more massive. The venue change from the Rosemont Omni to the Lombard Westin, was a great decision as this hotel was about perfect. Free parking, tons of great food in the hotel and withing walking distance, a courteous staff, the ballrooms and accommodations where great. My only minor complaint would be in the layout of the event. The second ballroom room where all the Specialist games, Historicals, and Lord of the Rings were being held was far enough away from the main ballroom that I barely ever got there, I couldn't even find the rooms where the events and seminars where on Saturday as there was a different event going in the hotel and it looked like stuff was moved around .In my limited time away from my events it was enough of pain to get over and find all the rooms that I didn't get to see all the people I wanted this point if I could I would go back tomorrow just to BS with the people and bloggers I never caught up with. Regardless the Westin was top notch out of 5 stars for convention venue I'd give it a 4.5...that's the antithesis of the previous location.

Friday 3/3

Warhammer Fantasy Battles - Escalation.

Although the Escalation tourney didn't have check in until noon with dice rolling at 1pm..I was as pysched to get there as the next guy. Despite some delay getting out of the house and bad traffic on the way out I still got there around 10 10:30 I had hooked up with my partner in wargaming crime Felix and we were making the rounds, checking out the vendors and running into various people we know. Felix who is a serial poster and moderator on the Dakka Dakka forums knew a lot of out of town people..and we both at this point know of alot of people between our metro area gaming scene and people we've both met thru the net There was no shortage of people to meet and talk to.

Escalation came in at about 40 people (Devastation too.) so we had 40 tables of Warhammer going on lunchtime friday. A cursory tour of the everyones display before round 1 was eye opening..there were so many kick ass mouth was on the floor not only the painting but the conversions and displays..I knew immediately my work was more than cut out for me if I wanted to accomplish my meager goals this year, which were A) Win a few games because last year I went 0-4., and B) do well enough on my Soft Scores, specifically appearance that I could hang with the big boys, specifically that coveted appearance check box that reads " this army is in the top x% percent of all armies in the event" with my ego firmly in check I sat down to roll some dice on game 1.
Game 1 1000 points- Empire Vs Empire, (Jeff from Atlanta.)

Ok, I must admit I have been playing Empire for going on three years and never played against my own army. This was the 1st time. Odd I thought I don't know any local guys that play Empire, whom I've actually ever got to play. Because when you want a friendly just don't want a mirror match. 1000 points in unsual format and I brought a pretty tough list for 1000 points....Jeff's list was:
Warrior priest
20 Swordsmen, detachment of 10 Halberdiers,
20 Swordsmen detachment of 10 Free Company
1 units of 5 Core Knights
1 unit of 5 Inner Circle Knights
Great Cannon.

This game was pretty straight forward...I lost first turn and immediatley got hit dead center on my block of Swordsmen with the Mortar- OUCH...not only that but he did it again next Swordsmen where completely nerfed by my turn 2 and I had to change my strategy. fortunatley my combo of Flagellants., Pistoliers and Knights with Great Weapons was pretty Flagellants over ran thru the unit of Jeff's core knights then overruns right into the Cannon, while my detachment and BSB ( who charged out of the depleted Swordsmen) hit his detachment blew thru them into the Pistoliers rode up shot the Halberdier detachment to hell, they panic run away never coming back. The following turn My Knights came up charged the front of parent block of the detachment that ran off, and then I charge my pistoliers into the flank..we break them easy run them down and hit the other block in the rear and flank...who again breaks and is killed...Jeff's remaining Knights tried to make a comeback but
they had units coming at them 3 ways by the bottom of the end he had two knights left period I had lost 19 of 24 swordsmen....I also picked 2 extra battle points and 5 objective points...for a score of 21, ok great! I won, but getting 21 out of 25 points round 1 was going to get me a tough match up round two as I'd be probably be in the top 10 tables. My opponent Jeff was a good ole' boy from down south and it showed-he gave me the "5" for sports which makes you explain on the scoring sheet "why" you opponent was your "new best friend" Jeff explained it was because he wanted to buy me some Tequila shots later (which he did)...nice and I'll take it but not necessary...the obilatory "4" on sports was more that good enough for me and that what I gave him...but props to Jeff, a stand up guy..(and good player, he guess ranges were aces and it was a closer/ tenser game than my write up here probably sounds)

If you remember from last years write up, I have personal scoring system I use for my write ups about games in tourneys, Fun/ Sports / Comp rated 1-5. These have nothing to do with the actual tourney scoring but are certainly representative on how I scored my opponents soft scores. Jeff gets max from me here....FUN 5, SPORTS 5, COMP 5.

Game 2- 2000 points- Empire vs High Elves ( Bryan from Chicago)

I'd never played Bryan before but have seen him around tons, he's a regular at the Chicago Battle Bunker...and we chit-chatted occasionally at last years, Chicago GT, and our local Core Competency tournaments...I've seen Bryan tourney armies before and they are always pretty nasty. This time I felt luckly as soon as I heard the guy on the Dragon wasn't an I wouldn't be dealing with brutal magic as well. Bryans full list was -

Price/ Star Dragon
level 1 mage
Noble- BSB

11 Archers
10 Sea Guard
9 Dragon Princes
3 Bolt throwers.

Not alot of models, 44 to my 124...I out number him 3 to 1 but he hits way harder. pretty straight forward game, the Sea Guard captures a building and turtles up there....I stupidly think my 20 Flagellants get them out and move around behind, either into back of the Dragon Princes or into the Bolt throwers, but somehow the 10 Sea Guard hold up the 20 crazed madmen all
game due to my wretched dice....I also spend way too many resources trying to kill the damn eagle..none my shooters can hit the broadside of a barn. by the time I do kill it the Bolt Throwers hurt me a bit. The dragon flew the up towards my second cannon gets held up a round by my
crossbows there to protect it. I get a chase to fire a cannon at it and cannonball his Prince, who fails his save and takes 6 wounds.. The Dragon is now riderless running around via the monster reaction table Frenzied with Hated....great.(sigh) but at least I did kill his general. The rest of game came down to a huge combat between all my infantry and the Dragon Princes and the lasted Three Rounds and I had 2 Chances to break him with huge static res's on both sides. But he has the High Elf bane of my existence the "Battle Banner" Both rounds I win but the banner gets me with it's D6 bonus addition to the rounds CR, in fact the second round he needs a six not to lose combat and rolls a "six".. Round Six the Dragon is in my Flank and my large block of Swordsmen finally break with my BSB Greatsword stick with the Dragon Prices but the Dragon cuts down the rest of Fleeing Bryan the easy +300VP with addition support from Banners and my General, If had my Flagellant around to block that flank and potentially tarpit that frenzied Dragon, I probably drew or even could have won this shit dice early hurt me bad, killing the eagle bottom of one with my pistoliers would have invaluable but I flubbed 12 shots...only needing three wounds..getting 1 and then end up eating bolt thrower fire and I losing the second cannon which would have a dragon in its sights the rest of the game...too bad that's not what panned out. Cest la vie.

Bryan is fun laid back guy and fun to play despite the hard list ( I realize he is a good player so he needs to compete with VC/Daemons and DE)...but I thought for 2K escalation the list was I have to ding him on comp a little but otherwise he was all 5's.,


Game 3- 3000 points. Empire vs Orc ( Alex N. from Chicago)

When I saw I was playing Alex I knew I was screwed...I had faced him in round 3 of our local "Core Competency" tourney last September with his Dark Elves and I got schooled by the master. A 20 year vet of the game, this guy knows what he is doing. I was somewhat optimistic when I saw he had Orcs and not DE...I play Orcs alot and only ever lose to one guy (my bud Anthony ) but outside that I basically beat Orcs up the rest of time including two Orc armies at last years GT. This was a tough Orc list for me, I've never played Orcs at 3K and the Wall of Orcs with 4 Shamans, One level 4 and 3 level 2's was brutal. I thought I could deal with the wall of Orcs...but Alex feinted me, just like he did the last time I played him and I fell for it again!

Last time I played Alex and his Dark Elves..he baited me by stacking his Cold One Knights and Lord on the flank with some fast cav backup.. I responded by putting stuff that could handle it on the same side..he ran 15 witch elves and 10 Black guard up the middle..I thought his Cav was my main threat and my huge blocks could handle 25 models coming at my 60...the DE book was new and I had no idea the pain the Witch Elves could dish out with cauldron and the BSB in the unit..meanwhile my heavy stuff is waiting for a fair fight that never happens while my infantry gets slaughtered and then my cavalry and remain units gets caught in the pincer from both sides.
During this game he drops the giant early my right flank, and I am of course worried about that because a Giant on your flank is hell. I drop my Inner Circle Knights that bust Giants up plenty as a counter plus I have shooters over there as the game goes on the Giant is hiding behind a building just sitting there I cant get an angle on it to charge with setting myself up for getting flanked charged..I should have put my Flaggies there and forgot about it..instead I end up worrying about the stupid giant and I am getting hammered by spells and the wall of 4 blocks of 20+ orcs is coming at me...I don't have Karl Franz to turn that wall around (echoes of previous game) So when the wall comes crashing in I am not set up properly and decimated...In the end I get tabled in a 3K game- brutal!...., one of the worst beatings I have ever taken, props to the master. As for Comp It is a 3K so your Characters should be a bit out of balance, this list was "ok" I think but a little less magic would have been just fine for all comers in this event.



Althought the final results so me at 41st out of 52..its actually an error on the person who put the list together.its listed in order of battle points with no soft score reflection you should take the total scores and list ties in battle point order .if you check my score of "98" you will see that I finished somewhere in the top third, someone pointed that out me so thanks!

Ok best part about this was all three of the guys I played were great guys and great players, I really appreciated all three games and the good time that was had. I went 1-2 for the tourney and it could have easily been 1-1-1 with change of a die roll or two. I knew my Soft Score, which some of us jokingly now call "The cool points", was going to be pretty up there so my meager battle points should get a big boost to my overall score . I also knew my appearance was pretty high because I had numerous painting judges coming back for the round 3 visit. I found out before scores got released that I made the "top 5" armies of the tourney in appearance along with my pal habitual tourney champion Jeff Schiltgen and multi Golden Daemon winner Dylan Gauker (of the Minneapolis Warbringers club -more on these guys in the part 3 write up) and two other guys whose names are escaping me...(pretty sure Jon Cash was in there top 5, if not he should have been) so I did get that coveted appearance boost from the "this army is in the top x% percent of all armies in the event" bonus I wanted. When the results where posted Saturday morning I saw that I had the Highest Soft Score of the entire tourney with a "64". In many tourney's there is an award for that...unfortunately not here...but just doing it is more than good enough for me, so Mission Accomplished...anything positive happening at Saturdays Championship was all gravy from here on out for me.

Here are pics of some great armies I took on Friday.

From Escalation Game 3, Alex had a really great looking Orc Army...from the Giant all the way down to the perfect checkerboard patterns everywhere..really great job.

I loved Jeff Schiltgen's Empire army of the last couple years and he came back with a knockout Daemon Army this year. Tons of great conversions and master paint..Jeff took the best overall award going 3-0 with stellar appearance awards.. Congrats Jeff. .

Jon Cash's awesome Empire with Dogs of War "Conquistador" style army..tons of great scratch builds and conversions.

Last but not least by any stretch Elliot Vigils awesome aquatic themed Daemon army this army is so converted you could probably run it a more than just Daemons. look at these converted Bloodcrushers these guys are riding giant hermit crabs with Ogre heads!!.

My favorite pic of the day, Elliot's version of Spring Break at Adepticon for us wargamers. This was the closest thing we saw to any ladies flashing us their lovelies all weekend.

I have plenty of pictures of all theses Armies and more...I will post more in the Saturday Wrap up and then the bulk to my Adepticon 2009 Gallery ...Thats it for now, Part 2 soon.


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