Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Adepticon 2010 Report – Part 1

Adepticon 2010 has come and gone, its was great time with mostly highs and few lows. Got to reconnect and meet some great friends old and new. 3 days of great gaming at the best Wargaming event in the country hands down.


Coming in Thursday if you’re from out of town is a great idea. This year’s registration was open Thursday night so you could pick your swag and badge then. I live in the area about 25 miles away but having 4 events I obviously had a ton of stuff. And since three of them start very early in morning .I figured staying at hotel was good idea. Considering this is my yearly “game-cation” I sucked it up for the three day stay, got all my stuff up into the room in 4 trips and headed down to register and get my badge and swag bag. This year’s Swag bag was something else if you were within the 1st thousand people to register. 3 very cool miniatures, promo sprues from Mantic and Warlord Games, 3 novels (one hard cover) a copy wargames illustrated (awesome mag) a free rule set (Samurai Wars)magnets, bases, assorted other bits, coupons and a T-Shirt. What more could you ask for.The swag bag is always cool, this year it really out did itself.

I quickly hooked up with Tim K and Jamie W and we hit the bar for Burgers, beers and some conversation. Tim and I followed that up with a game of LotR on one the tables we’d be using in the event Friday. We were both super rusty neither of us having played in sometime, so it was great to get a practice game in and hang out with Tim because I barely got to see him the rest of weekend (other than our coincidental match up round 3 in the tourney, but more on that in a moment) This is the second year as the Westin and I hope the event stays here, Adepticon had a lot more space this year and is a great place for the convention


(40K Hall, early Friday morning)

Got up early and hit the main hall to see what was going on, 40K Gladiator got underway early, Registration was bustling and the vendor hall was packed. There was a ton of great stuff for sale this year, from bits sellers to Battlefoam. A strong presence by non-GW manufactures this year brought some great product to display. I got to see some Old Glory stuff I had been hesitant about buying due to being disappointed with one purchase already. Being able to see these products close up first hand is awesome for the manufacturers. I’m not sure some of people realize what a presence at Adepticon can do for you sales wise., Example- I have had customer service issues with both Old Glory and Battlefoam in the past, but seeing all the new products on display and how they improved over time, will definitely have me buying from both again, not sure I could say that if I didn’t get chance to see the kick ass stuff on display by both. Anyway I picked up a box of 28mm British Paratroopers for some WW2 Skirmish went and grabbed my stuff and headed over to the Lilac Ballroom.

Lord of the Rings Championships-

The LotR Strategy Battle Game is pretty much a GW Specialist Game now, being eclipsed in support and popularity by its inferior big brother, War of the Ring, This is the second year Its now over in the Specialist Games hall and that was fine as it was quiet with great tables and I got to see some of the other cool stuff going on over there. I’ve talked in the depth about the game and my positive feelings on it for while now and it’s a drag its not more popular but so it goes. I think the turn out was pretty good at 22. I checked in got a table assignment and I got rolling with Gandalf and The Grey Company.

Game 1 VS Dwarves- Philip.

Gandalf, not leaving himself anywhere to go, this Gimli isnt so friendly.

Philip had a smaller army also, slightly bigger than mine but not by much. He did have Gimli thou, who is a terror in close combat. The most important stat in LotR is Defense. Dwarves with Shields have a basic defense of 6, meaning my strength two bows are always needing 6’s. This was going to be a tough game, I was breaking on 8 kills to his 12. We were using objective markers for the scenario objectives. His was in his back field, I put mine in the center on table in a ruin that had high ground and choke points figuring it’d be easier to defend. I split my guys into three groups with Gandalf and 5 Rangers in the middle, and 5 Rangers on each flank. Each group of Rangers, had a Ranger of the North (minor hero) having Might, Will and Fate. So I had enough juice to Get something happening. Phil basically charged his guys up the middle with Gimli, leaving a couple guys in the backfield guarding the objective and broke a few guys out to cover his flanks. I got good start with a hot dice streak that made some head way on the flanks but in the center I wasted way too much Might on using Sorcerous Blasts, trying to kill a few Dwarves, when I should has just tried to “Immobilize” Gimli the whole game.

Immobilize goes off on a “3” and I could have just used my free point of will to cast and then an extra might to bump the die roll if I needed to. A rookie mistake I won’t make again. Anyway I started collapsing in middle, moving Gandalf up a staircase where he had great view but was trapped unless I want to jump off the building and take the chance at 4 wounds. As my middle got soft, Phil could pull his rear guard on the center away to support his flanks and I there still just too many Dwarves, once Gimli got into Gandalf I was trapped, so I was taking double wounds from that monster, wasn’t long before my Fate ran out and game over.- Major Loss, No objective points. Good game thou and Phil was a nice guy, Dwarves are the Daemons of WFB, so it was pretty much a “win at all costs’ lists which didn’t make for the best game, but good enough.


Game 2 VS Mahud- Chris

Rangers Vs Mahud!

I had player Chris before at Bilbo’s Birthday Bash when his Grey Company ripped my Orcs and new one, he’s a good player and I had my work cut out for me, especially since this scenario was absolutely horrible for me. I had to defend my objective which was easily destroyable against charging infantry, Cavalry and a Half Troll. I shot the Cavalry up good and things where going pretty well, I had a chance to break Chris before he got to me with a big Sorcerous Blast from Gandalf, unfortunately my dice were shit and I didn’t have enough might left to bump it up, so I was two guys short when the Hammer came down, I had plenty of guys left, Gandalf even surrounded was holding his own, but I could protect the objective and Chris destroyed it with a good roll on the first attempt, (he needed a 5, rolled a 5) and that was it, Game Over.- Major Loss, No Objective points.

This was good game despite, Chris is great player and I like the army and his paint


Game 3 Vs Numemoreans – Tim K

Isildur is a mean SOB with or without the ring

Tim K brought Isildur with the Ring of Power and a bunch of men of Numenor to the table. A good Army that I was fortunate to know what it did as I played him the night before. This time the scenario was also advantageous to me. It was about splitting your force in half and then rolling for the reinforcement deployment. I was able to split my force up in a good way and got a bunch of early kills and soften Tim up a bit, Terrain was also highly in my favor. While I liked all the tables, I thought for the this particular game- they were a bit terrain light, this table had a bit more than the others and I used to my advantage. Good dice of course helped, and knowing what he was capable of, I wasn’t engaging Isildur unless I was forced too.. Fortunately I broke Tim’s army before that happened and his guys started leaving the battlefield, The game ended shortly thereafter.Major Victory, 5 Objective.

Tim’s the man, and it sucks my only big win was against him, of course Tim was all 5’s In my personal score department and I gave him Favorite Opponent as well.


Game 4 Vs Cirith Ungol- Chad

I’d met Chad before as he’s local but this is the first time we have played. Chad brought Gorbag, and Orc Drummer and a Horde of angry Orcs. I was out numbered 3 to 1, and no matter of fancy footwork was going to get me out of this, as the Drummer gives them an extra 3” of move a turn so he was on me that much faster. I had bunch of guys on the roof of a building with only one point of egress; Chad did have 6 Archers that could shoot me. In retrospect I should have put Gandalf on roof with 8 guys (my break) sent the rest to kill his Archers…that way I shoot and throw spells at him from the roof try to kill the drummer to slow him down, when he got to me he have to engage me 1 at time coming up the ladder, I could have had Gandalf and two guys defend the ladder while other guys thinned the herd shooting off the roof...I could have probably won that way but that’s not the way it went down. I did not put enough guys on the roof…instead again trying to get off Sorcerous Blasts on his flanks to get the big kills from knocking down chains of guys. I got about 12 of guys (I needed 11 more so he has 46 models) before he swarmed me and I was quickly broken and my guys started fleeing too spread out from Gandalf. Major Loss, No Objective, not the most fun game because I realized what I “should have done” early on and there was no getting back there, That’s no fault of Chad’s thou.


Haradim Cav, Nice paint here!

So in the end I had a measly 29 battle points going 1 win, 3 losses. I did get max sports and paint scores. I thought I was a shoe in for Best Appearance, there were only two other armies there I really thought were in the running one was a guy who ended up winning the whole thing with some of the new Orc models with a cool display and a bunch of good conversion work and other was this guy Jeremy’s Haradim Cav. Well it turns out there was a Dwarf Army there that was amazing. But I just didn’t notice it -either it didn’t pop as you walked by ( no display base), or I just stupidly missed it, anyway I heard it was great and this guy had 31 points the same as myself (max was 30 but you got extra points for favorite army votes from fellow players) I was bummed I only got 1 favorite army vote but then again, so did the Dwarf guy. I am assuming the majority of the favorite army votes went to the Orc guy who won the overall ( I voted for him, it was very nice)

So in the end it was down to the Dwarf guy and myself, but the tie breaker is battle points, not sports (for appearance, odd??) so I lose. Then to add insult to injury I am also tied for Best Sportsman, but the tie breaker is the guy with the lower battle points! So I lose there are well! LOL!, kind of funny- but not really- as I worked my ass off on that Army and display. Anyway I had a lot of fun and Jamie who ran this is a great guy, .but can’t say I wasn’t disappointed to walk away empty handed, especially after knowing the details. Anyway with LotR concluded I was off across the hall the Nighttime Warhammer Fantasy Warband Tourney, and I’ll talk about that tomorrow!.

These guys won the whole enchilada..cool orcs!


Dean said...

Very Nice write up, looking forward to reading Saturday and Sunday.

For the goodie bags, my son received Samurai Wars like you, but I ended up getting Cowboy Wars in my bag. Not sure I'll be playing it, since I have LoTOW.

Also, regarding the LotR Championships, last year it was also in the Specialist room. It was nice to have a separate room for the event. This year they separated Fantasy from 40K and moved Fantasy into the Junior Ballroom.

It was good seeing you again this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Agreed - a very good accounting of your LotR experience! When I saw your army list though, I was pretty skeptical that you would win games - it's a small and "soft" force.

You're right - DEF is the most important stat, but Uruk Hai, Gondor and Dwarfs all have excellent DEF, and they're popular armies. Bowfire in LotR doesn't do much killing, unless the table is really wide open.

And I hear you on how fewer people are playing it these days - but the ones that are still playing, are really good. I've stayed with a gaming system as long as I had ONE other good opponent to play against.

rpthomps1111 said...

I agree, nice writeup. You have me getting interested in Lord of The Rings. I never found that system too exciting but your "army" has me inspired. It's too bad you had bad Customer Service with Battlefoam, I have had one experience and it was positive.

Ryan Thompson

Tim Kulinski said...


Thanks for the scores man, I am glad I could let you get your win, although if you would have let me win you might have won something LOL!

I also voted for your army as my foavorite (there was your one vote) and I think your Grey Company was much better than the Orcs that won. I have seen better Black Orcs at GitD and these IMHO did not hold up to them or your army.

It was great hanging out with you and look forward to seeing you make it out to GitD next year man. Of course I will be back to Adepticon and we (you & I) need to get that LotHS campaign thing going!

Conspyre said...

I'm curious where you're getting the idea that the SBG is getting less support than WotR. All of the figures that have been coming out for WotR so far have been filling holes in the line from the initial rulebook release, and they've all been followed up in White Dwarf with rules for using them in the SBG. I would be shocked if that pattern doesn't continue with the new book for WotR.

Quality of the game is obviously subjective, but I've found that upwards of about 300 points, the SBG gets interminably dull unless you've got some seriously high-powered heroes on the table to mow through the zillions of infantry. As Battlemind mentioned, DEF is clearly the key stat, and it is what makes the SBG run so slowly- the dreaded rubber swords. I really enjoy the speed with which a WotR game gets interesting- the key thing to remember is that it has a LOT more in common with Warmaster than WHFB.

John@Plastic Legions said...

Hey Bill,

All boils down to the way they are handling event support, I can fill you in when I see you next..

Conspyre said...

There you may have a point, though again, I think it may also be because the game is better suited to it. I've been playing the SBG since quite literally the day it came out, and they were very, VERY reluctant to even really present points-match games as an option- it was originally designed as a very old-school, scenario driven model. Legions of Middle-Earth and the later "army book" style supplements (Harad, etc) really felt like they were put out as an excuse to make plastics of some of the weird stuff (i.e. my Corsairs), and to put out a proper army list system for the people (myself included) that wanted a more balanced way of running big infantry-based forces rather than the smaller infantry groups supported by Big Damn Heroes. Just looking at the original 3 rulebooks, you can see the system getting weighed down by the time they were writing rules for Helm's Deep and the Pelennor Fields- arguably that would have been the point when either they needed to maintain support for Battle of Five Armies (not going to happen ever, since it's 10mm) or go over to a proper mass-battles system like WotR.

TL;DR: SBG and WotR are comparing apples and blenders, but WotR is more suited to competitive play with time limits and points match play, where SBG has all of the flavor and the baggage that goes with it.

Even Shorter: WotR sells more figs.


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