Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Adepticon 2010 Report- part 3

Top of the mast of Chris Birkenhagen's Dark Elven Corsair display. Winner of player choice "Best Display" award for the event. photos below are of some of my favorite armies of the day and not necessarily of my opponents.

Saturday- Warhammer Fantasy Battles Championship.

I arrived bright and early Saturday morning ready to go, despite my head still foggy from much beer consumed the night before. This was the biggest single Warhammer Event I have seen yet, Round 1 was set up with 75 tables or 150 players, not sure about the no shows, or people who dropped but 124 players finished all 4 games at the end of the day,still making this the biggest Adepticon Championship yet. I’ll a do a brief recap of my games, the much talked about WPS comp requirements, and a host of other things, including why this was the worst event of the weekend for me.This will be somewhat long, but if you’re interested please read on!

Game 1 VS High Elves – Travis

High Elves at WPS 2!

As I carried my stuff over to my round 1 Table assignment..I got about 10 feet away and stopped in my tracks. There was Travis 2000 points High Elf army, with a Elf Prince on Star Dragon AND, a Level 2 Mage on a Fire Dragon That’s right two dragons at 2K, coincidentally this list was also a WPS “2” that’s right 2, 2 and 2…well I had two words for Travis and you know what they are. (just kidding) Fortunately Travis was a good guy from Minneapolis', Warbringers Club of which I know quite a few of the guys. So I wasn’t taking it personally, Some people just don’t understand if you put all you eggs in one basket..its very easy to lose the game and them tournament. I had some good opportunity to actually win this game, Unfortunately I had a cannonball stick in the mud at the feet of the star dragon, which would have let me kill it much earlier. As it stood the dragon after taking a few wounds lost a close combat and failed his break test and flew into a building and died..lucky break for me, but I just couldn’t capitalize on anything I did. The rest of Travis' list was 5 Dragon Princes, 2 units of Shadow Warriors, 18 Spearmen, a big group of White Lions, and an Eagle and some Archers. Anyway..I shot the living crap out of the mage but just couldn’t the enough of the randomized 5’s or 6’s I need to get enough dice on him to fail his save and I couldn’t so the o mage lived only taking 1 wound, I could not break the White Lions (Stubborn) and got rear charged by the Spearmen, I got the White Lions down to just one guy but couldnt clear them the rear charge broke me, and my Generals unit got run down and that was it. Despite the Dragons, I held my own in this game, but winning was going to boil down to luck and luck I didn’t have.



Loss, No Bonus Points.

Again Chris B's Dark Elves which where modeled so they could easily double as Vampire Counts as well, an awesome idea and he pulled it off.

Game 2 VS Orcs and Goblins- John

Ok this game is going to haunt me for a long time, there is no way in hell I should have lost this game, when I saw johns army, I was like, whew..well this shouldn’t be too bad. John had, a Big unit of Black Orcs, with Warboss kitted out as a death machine, another Warboss on Pig in a unit with three Trolls. 2 Units of 25 Night Goblins with two Fanatics Each. A, Goblin Boss,A pair of Bolt throwers, a Giant, some spider riders and that’s about it. This the kind of army I eat for lunch on top of that, John had apparently never played Empire before. Didn’t know how the Stank worked or Detachments work, etc, etc.. The game started out fine, I grabbed the objective positioned my stuff, started shooting him up, drew the fantatics out of both unit early, they weren’t an issues. My spells were getting some kills..his bolt throwers were doing much of anything. I put my flagelants into the giant early after missing 2 chances to cannon it. (misfire, and overshot). He walked his stuff across the center of board Exposing the flank of his Black Orcs to the Steam Tank, a unit of Night goblins was Drafting him just far enough back that his flank was sticking about inch,Just enough to put the stank there and only get two Black Orcs Striking back at it. I only used 4 Steam Points to charge Not wanting to gamble on such a juicy target. I hit him with 11 (out of 15) strength 6 impact hit and roll 7 freaking “1”’s doing only 4 kills…unfortunately his unit champ is on the corner so he can strike back with a great weapon and manages to do one wound, because I fail my save. . I negate his ranks and but with 4 kills and a Flank, I am at +5 he’s got numbers, a banner and 1 kill, so he only loses by 2 and makes his break check. After that shit just went horribly wrong in that combat..even with only two guys being able to strike back, since the hit me at S6 he wounds me on 4’s. Then he put the Night Goblins with a Goblin character in the Flank getting another 8 or so attacks that all hit and wound on 6’s but still, then I fail a couple of steam generation rolls, next thing I know the Stank is useless just taking wounds. I put my block into the front of the black orcs, but basically bounce off with bad dice, I flee, rally and come back for another try but the game ends locked, bottom of 6, I fail one save on my last wound on the Stank, and it dies

I lose 300 points and john wins the game by 76 points. (+376) moral of the story..I had too much confidence in my crutch, the steam tank, and when things went wrong I got rattled and didn’t do what I needed to do the get back in the game properly. There was a lot of I did wrong here, that I won’t be doing again. John got some key dice rolls I didn’t get, but whatever, he was good guy and got the win. I get sentenced to bottom tables for the rest of the event and was not too happy.

0-2 Loss, 2 bonus


Game 3 VS Goblins Kevin-

One of the few shots of Kevins Goblin Horde that came out..thats 30 ranked archers, who will make your wizard standing on a hill soil himself.

I take a deep breath and am now out in the hallway at bottom tables. Thankfully I meet Kevin from NY, who was an absolute blast to play..He had an insane WPS 25 list of all Goblins lead by Grom the goblin special character. Now special character, were not allowed without approval, no one was going to deny Kevin , Grom with a 25 WPS. Kevin had every wacky goblin unit in the book including things like ranked squigs that explode that I have never faced before. His model count was in the 250 range..and he had ranked units as much as 50-60 goblins. This game was closer than you’d think. I had bad turn where my whole right flank collapsed because of a my handgunner breaking from squigs and it caused 3 panic checks in other untis that I failed all off. Some the stuff came back..but it created some problems. Kevin did some crazy stuff to try to get close toward the end of the game including taking 28 kills from running a full unit thru a wall of fire to get into close combat to support some other stuff. In the end I pulled it off With max scores but it was three hour game and we were the close to, if not the last table to finish the round. Again Kevin was a great opponent and sport, I’d play him again any day.

1-2 Win, Max (or close , don’t recall) Bonus points.


Alex Davy's awesome converted Ogre Bulls for his Cult of Ulric themed Empire Army, one of my favorite of the event.

Game 4 Vs Empire – Jim

Last Game , I’m pretty tired and I’m hoping for a good, at least fun match up and I get, Empire. Damn..nothing worse than Empire vs Empire. Jim basically had a gunline, with the Popemobile, . 2 Cannons and the Helblaster., 30 handgunners.Two blocks of 30 swordsmen and 20 flaggies. He also had wizard. I thought this game would be a draw as soon as I sat down and it was. I had to hide the Stank from his cannons, so I didn’t get into combat until late game. I managed to nerf his artillery, kill his wizard..he put his flaggies in the Objective , the one scenario of the whole tourney where the object was a building that was captureable, and he puts 20 flaggies in there, (which I don’t think you can do..I think its 5 per story) but he was insistent, and I didn’t care as it put them out of the game.. I made a last ditch effort to kill his Arch Lector by flank charging the War Altar with my Block with my Characters…he challenged me with the Speculum and ASF weapon…I figure maybe he’d kill me but I could give up my General and still draw (fortunately I lived, but I was right) in the end I was up +176 he won the Objective, but I got the Bonus Battle, Jim was a good guy, and his list pretty standard Empire tournament stuff. I’ll knock him a couple on my personal scale because Empire vs Empire just isn’t all that fun, and his army was almost all proxies historical models with no cohesive themes or anything.

1-2-1 Draw 3 bonus.


Jerrod Horstmans Nurgle Forest Daemons, this guys stuff never ceases to impress me.

So at 1-2-1 my same damn record as last year, except, I had a lower comp score this year (WPS 18) versus my maxed out, nuclear soft scores in 2009…I finished with 7 less points this year but finished 65th out of 124 vs 28th out of 119 in 09”.

I had two big issues with this event this year. First of all being- they should have seated round one games based on the closest comp score. That’s just the way most events do pairings these days in a comp event. I totally get Marty’s (tourney TO) rationale behind not doing that however it just didn’t work. In my case I got a shit match up. Which was still ok Because if you're going to lose a game, the first game is the one to lose. But that loss set me on a path that I was not too happy with. I played HE, O&G twice and Empire? Three lousier match ups I couldn’t have asked for. I spend all my time practicing and winning games againt, VC, DoC, WoC, DE, and Lizards, everything but Skaven ( I tried) and I get those match ups? Not the games I wanted to play, despite my great opponents…(all my opponents were great despite any army or list issues)

It's my own damn fault for losing game 2, which really dictated my matches rounds 3 and 4, but if I just had a better match up game 1, I would have been on a different path the whole event. I had such a great time Friday, this event was somewhat of buzzkill for me, in comparison to the year before. Don’t get me wrong, I still had good time But I felt like I took a step backward, as I had a much better army competitively, and hell, I won the damn local primer for the event. Not that I had even the slightest delusion of winning, but coming almost 40 spots below last year just wasn’t where I thought I’d end up, disappointing.

One of Alex's banner from his Cult of Ulric, Go White Wolves!

I need to take few moment to discuss the much maligned WPS composition for the event. Having used it in practice before in two real events now, my guess was it was going to be a win /win for the event, and as a far as I can tell it was.. In post event discussion with a bunch of guys, including some naysayers and some middle of the roaders (like my pal Jeff, who again won the championships) everyone pretty much concluded the same thing, WPS works because peoples WPS scores where extremely similar to last years player judged comp scores, except you determined your own comp, so you could not hold it against your opponent. Example. My game 1, I would have given Travis a player judged comp score of ‘2” one for each dragon, his WPS score was a 2, I would have given Kevin a 25 for his goblins which was a WPS 25. Outside of slight discrepancies of a couple points here and there…WPS score were spot on with potential judged compositions scores but it takes the supposed player bias out of the equation, thats the key. Of course people tried to milk the loopholes for all they were worth but in the end WPS did do its job and reign in OTT /WAAC lists and WPS scores kept people honest. Again Travis had one of the lower WPS scores I saw at a “2” and in the end he placed far below me in the standings (20 something spots), a lot of the low WPS score players finished bottom 25 because they were bidding battle points so as soon as they lost a game and had a WPS scores less than 5 you can’t really come back from that even at 2-2 if you were bidding battle points. With average scores you were coming up with way less that 100 points.

Finally got a good shot of one of James Wappels Stegadons, James showed me how you could play and an actually full 2000 point game on his 2 x 2 display board in a manner similar to 3D chess it was pretty impressive. Mr Wappel once again gets "Best Appearance" for the event, although honestly I wasn't loving the neon aquarium plants on his display, its matters not as every unit in the army is a Golden Demon entry

On the flip side of WPS really helping you in the event. One fellow I know, brought a 21 WPS Lizard list and bid battle points (crazy I know, but like he said “I’m a gambler”) he lost one game but won his next three, so made the loss up (+15 pts) from bidding and with a 21 WPS comp, he finishes top 10 out of 124…crazy! And well deserved. In short WPS comp worked, and while we all admit its got some loopholes, they are fixable. So if you want Warhammer to be more of a chess game and and lot less of just a straight dice game, you’ll join me in backing WPS as a standard composition requirement in events. If something else better comes along great. Until then..this is the 3rd event I've been with evidence that it works. Like I predicted on local forums and even here..the overall winner Saturday would be a 0 point bidder, with a WPS in the 10-15 range with good paint and that’s who won. My pal Jeff from Minneapolis won the Adepticon Fantasy Championships for the 4th time in 5 years, and proves once again he is the best player in the game by winning regardless of what rules or restrictions are thrown his way, He shows up to play to the event , is a stand up guy and does what he does best, win! and with a beautiful army to boot.. In fact I think most of the top guys were WPS scores above 10. As a result even the guy who won the coveted "Best General" award (which some people seem to think needs to automatically be the runner up award which it's not) came in at 30 points below the over winner at 42nd place!!! Why? he might have won the most battlepoints, but the rest of his scores must have been shit. (I'm making some assumptions here based on his overall score, if I'm way off base or missing something I'll clear it up for sure.)

Now if he could have repeated his victories with a better list, would have placed a lot better? would he still have won Best General with a comp above 10? I know a lot of folks who like to crow. “soft scores should never be worth more than battle points” well they were'nt. But clearly the guy here voluntarily gave up a ton of points in order to take the nastiest list possible and then comes in 42nd place. He gets the Best General award…but I have to ask. was it worth it? (well I guess considering Adepticon's prize support, the answer was yes ) again I ask could you have won it with a better list? My overall point being- Chess is about the being best player, Craps is about who throws the best dice…what game do you want to invest your time and money in?

In end I know you'll hear complaints from people that didn't do well about the Comp or the Battle Point bidding or the scenarios or even the pre set Terrain, but in the end its all about the fact that 150 people flew from all over the country to be here, so take the complaints, Including mine. with a grain of salt, and realize this is the premier Warhammer event in the USA.

Adam Sammon's, magnificent Wood Elves, I think because of the general neutral earth tones across the board this army didn't get its due. It one of the better Armies, I've seen- ever. the details from the converted recurve bows on the Glade Guard, to the Warpaint on the faces of his Wardancers..or how about that Treeman carved out of a piece of wood! no less...EPIC.

Anyway, that’s my take on Saturday. Next up the Sunday’s Team Tourney and Adepticon 2010 final thoughts.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Adepticon 2010 Report- Part 2

my appearance award for Warbands, and example of the quality they put into
every detail at Adepticon even the trophys are cool.

Friday Night- Warhammer Fantasy Battles Warbands

So I rolled over to the Junior Ballroom put my stuff down and the ran over to main ballroom to enter my 2 entrys in the Rogue Demon painting competition (more on that later) and I was rolling dice in round 1 of the Warbands tournament.

Game 1 vs Lizardmen- Sean

Sean was a good guy and fun to play he had good list nothing crazy but like mine, something that covered all the bases and could get the job done. The Scenario required that we each assign a unit to carry some intelligence and keep it from the opponent for the duration of the game, I gave mine to my Huntsmen bunkered up in some woods with the idea of getting them the nearby building as soon as possible. Sean gave his to some ranked Saurus Warriors. When we rolled for magic we both rolled 6’s Sean totally surprised me by taking the Comet in which he needs boxcars to get off, since he took such a gamble I said like, if you’ve got the cojones to take the comet with just two dice, I’ll take Wall of Fir Since I am throwing 3 dice (due to an item) and you’ve got two (or three every other round with the diadem, which I figured he had and did. Things just went bat shit crazy for me 1st turn, my wizard miscasts, takes a wound. Next turn I miscast AGAIN, this time it’s the result on the miscast chart where your opponents spell automatically goes off So he gets the comet going off automatically, he drops it on my Huntsmen carrying the objective, they get obliterated, drop the intel, which his skinks run in, pick up and run away. My Handgunners get pasted by the terradons drop rocks and then my blocks of troops totally whiff in combat with Saurus, and I get skewered by the spears with tons of kills, I break and game over. Loss, No Bonus points. I was like first game, heads foggy from LotR, Sean was a good dude and I chatted with him again when I could through out the weekend

Game 2 vs Chaos Dwarfs – Joe R – Ringer.

With rock bottom points round 1, I get the ringer army round 2. I've seen Joe at events before, he's from the Wisconsin crew over at the Wisconsin Warhammer forum. I know he’s good player and in my opinion this damn ringer army is way too tough to be a ringer army in warbands. The army was 10 Warriors with a Sorceror, ok fine, a Stonethrower, ok cool, 5 Bull Centaurs, ouch too good and too cheap for what they do WS 4, S6, T4. and then most broken thing ever the Blunderbuss. which isn’t as bad as it could have been being only 10 guys..but the box pattern it shoots in is just too over the top. Luckily I avoided that best a I could. I had to put all my fire on the blunders early so the Bulls charged my Handgunners turn 2 and where too close for a stand and shoot so they got mowed down, wizard in tow., my block hung in there after taking two big stone thrower hits and thankfully only a S3 shot from the blunderbuss. I ran down the blunder guys , next turn but was behind his sorcerer and warriors and didn’t have enough time to turn around a come back to engage. The bulls where on the far side of the board out of it after killing my wizard and handgunners and holding the quarter. I got a lucky break late when the Stone thrower misfired and popped. But I had no option to get any more points and joe just moved his guys over the another quarted to pick up two quarters and a win.
Loss, No Bonus Points. Joe played the ringer very relaxed and casual ,unfortunately for me he’s an expert range guesser, and army was a bit too tough for a ringer army. (Ringer should have been Orc or Ogres or something)

Game 3 vs Vampire Counts- Chris

I end up playing my pal chris, who’s in my club and the guy who I did a most of my warband practice list with. Although I only played this list once before, It was just bad match up for him. I’ve got a 3 die Burning Gaze doing S6 hits to him, While I never actually got the spell off this match it didn’t matter , I thinned up his black knights with shooting, got his ghouls tied up in the woods with some misdirection from the huntsmen…shot the zombies down. He had a spirit host locked in with my Handgunner but I kept winning with only +1 combat res with outnumber as he kept wiffing. He eventually got his black knights and his Vampire on the flank of my block, he had a chance but just didn’t get enough kills, I got lucky and got a couple wounds tied and with a musician I won the combat. Now he wasn’t canceling my ranks, Got a kill and was up by 5 or so and his vampire and 2 knights just burned away. Every thing else crumbled that turn. Win, Max Bonus. I felt bad because Chris is the man but only one of us could win.

Game 4 vs Wood Elves- Sean

Different Sean with Woodies, he had a Branchwraith, with 5 dryads, 6 wardancers, 3 units of three archers and an Eagle. Once I saw the scenario, I knew I was going to win because it required holding the center of the table, and I have block of 25 guys and he has a bunch of unless he ran my block off, He was in trouble, I thinned him out too much early with my own the time he charged me with everything he had, it was to my front…I pulled a guy off with the stand and magic was hurting him and he just couldn’t get the kills. I broke him and he ran.he got away and rallied but I’m in center with about 30 guys and everyone alive minus a few shooting casualties. Game over. Tough match for Sean coupled by and equally tough scenario. I felt for the guy but was a good sport Win, max Bonus
2-2 FUN 5, SPORTS 5, COMP 5.

Game 5 vs Orcs and Goblins- Chad.

Last game, my ninth game of the day, I am dead tired. Now I am 2-2 and feeling good about things..I just want to give Chad the best game I can. The scenario involves assign an objective (we called it the "football" )to a unit and getting into the enemy deployment zone. I gave it to my Huntsmen of course because they can deploy closer to his D-zone. Chad’s army was a Chariot, a level 2 Shaman, 4 units of 4 Savage Orcs and bunch of small units of 3 Spider Riders. Deploying my huntsmen as far forward as possible was a good move because it forced chad to keep his chariot back and out of combat to hold his d-zone otherwise I’d run my huntsmen right in. He gave his object to some spider riders who pushed hard and fast on my right flank. My block started in the middle but when I saw the flank push I immediately rotated and started moving my block horizontally toward the short table edge and behind a forest so they couldn’t be shot or cast at. My wizard and Handgunners are in a building and they and my huntsmen are shooting everything they can and doing ok, Chad’s taking more losses than he wants for sure, he send a unit of Orcs to charge the building they break my Wizard and Handgunners, who run away but rally, His guys leave the building And my huntsmen drop back and grab it. Meanwhile I still putting a fireball and 15+ shots on his stuff a turn. My block is pushing toward the flank and he has two units of spider riders in woods on my flank, one is down to one unit from shooting, the other three carrying the foot ball, I charge my Captain (out of the unit alone) (WS5, 3 attacks , Sword of Striking, hits on twos, kills on threes at the three riders with the football) inot the woods after the Spider Riders. They run, drop the football (objective), This also forces the shaman to panic, he fails, and both run right out into the line of fire of all my shooters. At this point Chad has two units of Orcs left, one full at four orc and one at three, The unit of four charges my huntsmen in the tower, and I get crazy lucky on the stand and shoot and kill the whole unit (all sixes) he then charges my block, but my static combat res is too high even without my captain. the following turn I kill one orc, the others break and are run down. My shooters and wizard cleaned up the rest and all chad had left was his chariot ,that was out of the game the whole time. So I never got the football in his D-zone but I got everything else. Win + 3 Objective points. Chad was a good dude, thanks for the Guiness guy! and this was probably the best 500 point game, I have played..I look forward to playing this guy again.

So I finish 3-2, a great comeback and I finish tied for second place. Best part was I also won the Best Appearance award for the event, which was great because there was some other awesome stuff in the event. The difference was I built this army for the event, had my own display base, etc, I'm sure that carried some weight. The prizes this year were incredible..for Best Apperance Warbands, I not only got a a trophy, but a whole bag of stuff containing- the WFB High Elf Dragon Box, and bunch of hobby tools, 3 feet of green stuff, some 2 part apoxy Some Vallejo inks, some round resin bases and a bunch of weathering powders…Holy Crap!, easily Over $100 in swag alone plus the trophy…I’ve had won either Sport or Appearance at Lord of the Rings I would have cleaned up. Normally for Best Appearance I get some blisters or whatever GW promo crap is laying around.

Anyway a great way to end the day a bunch of us hit the bar for some beers and crashed ready for the Fantasy Championships bright and early, and that will be part 3 of my Adepticon 2010 reports.

Saturdays WFB Championship, write up coming soon......

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 orcs!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pre-Adepticon Report # 2

In roughly 60 hours my time at Adepticon 2010 starts, so this is my last blog post until after the event, I highly doubt I'll have time to do any online reporting during the event so my post Adepticon coverage wont begin until next week, until then just a few thoughts on my Saturday and Sunday activities and Adepticon as a whole

Saturday- Warhammer Fantasy Championships

With over 120 players this is biggest and best Warhammer event in the USA. This is my 4th time playing and it's outshined every GT, or other event I've been too. The caliber of players here is top notch, my goal is only best my score and standing from last year (28 out of 119).The big curve ball this year is WPS compostion scoring, after cries of last year from people who brought broken, shitty lists and got tanked on their player judged comp score. This the event returns with 3rd party composition system, you know you own compostion score going in. so no complaints right?. Wrong. Alot of people don't like WPS because it heavyily penalizes them bringing the ridiculously overpowered and broken lists they are accustomed to. WPS is designed for 2000 points so you also have the additional factor that alot of people just can't handle being taken out of their comfort zone at 2250. This event is going to be anybody's match this year and best overall will really be the best player of the day. As Battle Points and Hobby Scores will have a big impact on the final outcome as they should.

Personally I like WPS, its best 3rd party comp system I've seen that fixes the GW problem of writing rules to sell models NOT for competitive play. IF you want to include all Army books you need system to balance out the armies, while I like the UK/AUS Masters system as well, WPS is what we've been using here. Not to say it doesnt have its loopholes. A friend recently pointed out some exploits within WPS among older armies you just don't see that much for instance Wood Elves can take 20 waywatchers (special scout, Killing bow,BS 5) without penalties making a seriously broken, but high scoring ,WPS army .(seriously who even has 20 waywatchers they are\ 24 points each!) There are others that I wont bother getting into.

While I hope people will play to the spirit of the event, inevitably some wont and will to try to loophole or exploit WPS with nonsense like above. The only player judged score this time around is 48 points of Sportsmanship. Even thou the rules specifically say not to- you can bet people will use these 48 points punitively against people who might be very nice but just "aren't very sporting" we'll see if sportsmanship becomes the "Comp" of this years event..I not saying it will be, I just see the possibility. In the past I have been highly critical of Sportsmanship point giveaways and the same holds true here. If this event had a simple Favorite opponent ranking system that'd be a great system that offered a "real" Sportsmanship score. As it stands I am really curious to how Sports scores play out in this event.

Overall I am going in with best attitude I can and look forward to having a great time I expect very hard lists, but I expect fair lists..WPS is about give and take, playing 2K is about give and take a great time, whether this WPS experiment works on this big a level we will see, I look forward to writing about it post event.

my full display for this years Championships, again I have three wizards out but am only using two depending on what lore I choose, the also a sign that goes in front with relevant info it just wasnt done at time of the photos.

Sunday- Warhammer Team Tourney

The team tourney is a new one for me, I haven't gotten around to this one yet although for many folks I know it's their favorite event of the weekend. Out of the blue a couple weeks ago my friend Jeff from Minneapolis, (of Warbringers club). called me up and asked if I could fill in for his partner that ended up not being able to make it to Adepticon this year. Given Jeff has won the WFB Championships 3 of the last 4 years as well as winning just about every event he plays in, who am I to say no?. I was like, you bet!. (Regardless of Jeff's Warhammer pedigree I would have done it anyway because he's just a great guy). Given no time to build anything from scratch we're left with just using our existing models. So we are Going with Empire and Bretonnia with an all Cavalry theme. Just when I though all those Empire Knights I have were not going to see no action this year, along comes this! Since theme and army design do play such a big role in the TT final scoring, I don't expect us to score highly in theme/painting department as our stuff individually looks good, but its doubtful without the usualy "build to suit" planning thatr we'll meet the "cohesive force"criteria of the event. This is just going to be fun one for us and we are looking forward to the good time, this is a no pressure event for us and with Jeff driving the bus we are bound to win a few of our games. Once its over, I'll be sticking around for the final awards, picking up my Rogue Demon entries and heading home.

(my first TT army 22 models plus a stank..not something I'd normally run at 1000 points ever
but in combination of similar Bretonnia force it works, or so we think.)

I have recently gotten emails with a couple great suggestions for articles, expect them both right after my Adepticon Reports. Thanks for reading people!.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pre-Adepticon Report #1

9am Friday, Lord of the Rings Championships

I return with Gandalf and the Grey Company for my third Lord of the Rings event. Its a crying shame this game isn't more popular these days, but what can you do. GW is trying to push its large format LotR game, War of the Ring, and if it wasnt for the strong community of the few diehard around here I think we'd probably be seeing that. Fortunately for me WotR, hasn't taken off here among the Skirmish game crowd, I'll see some kids playing it from time to time at the Bunker, but thats about it. The skirmish game is extremely tactical, and while its an easy game to learn, its very hard to master. Thankfully for me, I play alot of games with the ruleset, and while I have not put Gandalf and crew on the table since last year, I know the system well enough, its just the LotR specifics I get fuzzy. I know how to play my army its lack of experience against other armies that's going to hurt me. Scrambling to find the time and opponent for a last minute game this week..nothing finding your Sea Legs, round 1 of the tournament! Gulp!..I'm also entering my whole Army and display, in the Open Category in the Rogue Demon this year, as a Fangorn Forest Diorama. Looking forward to just rolling some dice and having fun with this one.

5pm Warhammer Fantasy Battles - Warbands

Into familiar territory with some WFB warbands, I'll be immediately jumping from one tournament to the next. I've played a bunch of games with my warbands list and a very comfortable with it, (they're all units in my championship army for saturday). The great thing about Warbands is every casualty is a big deal at 500 points and games can turn around multiple times depending on events. These games are all scenarios and I have no idea what they are, so there is some mystery there..It's really going to dependon the scenarios and my matchups on how this goes.
I am going in confident as small point games are win/win for the Empire not to mention I am have three years tournament experience with the Army under my belt. I'm showing the army here with three different wizards as I am bringing three and will which ever model coincides with whatever Lore I take.
I have been working on this simple display board for these guys on and off for the last week. the Shellac I used caused the paper to bubble up and if I had another week, I'd redo it..its probably only noticable to me anyway..I like the concept of what I did here with wood, paper, stain and varnish..and want to do some more stuff along these lines in the future.

So this is my Friday, I'll squeeze in some trips around the vendor hall and meet some folks between games, after 10pm or so I'll just be at the bar in Harry Carays

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mighty Empires VI- Round 8

Final Standings, Wood Elves just squeak out the Campaign Win.

13- Wood Elves- Chris
12- Warriors of Chaos- Rich
11- Empire- John
8- Vampire Counts- Bill
7- Warriors of Chaos- Aaron
4- Lizardmen- Nate
4- Orcs and Goblins- Anthony
2-Dwarfs- Billy


Billy- War Tax
Aaron-All or Nothing
Chris- Heroic Battlefield (Acropolis)
Nate- Raid
Bill- No Guts, No Glory
John- Headhunter
Rich- Diplomacy @ Wood Elves
Anthony- n/a (forfeit)


Dwarfs VS Lizardmen
Massacre Lizardmen - Concession

Warriors of Chaos (Black) VS Empire
Massacre Warriors of Chaos (Black)- 5EP

Wood Elves Vs Vampire Counts
Solid Victory Wood Elves- 4EP

Warriors of Chaos(Brown) VS Orcs and Goblins
Massacre Warriors- 5EP (forfeit)

Final thoughts- Another campaign comes to an end, this one dragged on a bit long due to weather and absenteeism that forced extensions of the campaign sessions. We were rock solid up to round 5, and in retrospect and by the core rules we could have ended it there, with the Orcs and Goblins winning with 10 Empire points..we had a predetermined goal of 8 rounds so we soldiered on, unfortunately our O&G player never made it to another session and gave up three forfeits that really reset the map. Empire, WoC (Black) and the Vampire Counts battled for dominance. As of round 5 The Wood Elves are at the bottom of the standings but used the forfeits against the Orcs to put him out of the running and get back in the race.Wood Elves then snuck in the back door with Chris wisely taking Heroic Battlefield as his strategic event because by winning he could get himself an extra Empire point by capturing the strategic map objective. Taking on Bill's Vampire Counts in the last round The Wood Elves did prevail and Chris's map tactical thinking won him the Campaign! Rich and I had the throw down we had been waiting for, unfortunately for whatever reason, I made some critical mental errors and my dice paid me back for it, no excuses..I got pounded and grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory! a finely played game by Rich, as another campaign comes to an end..we are going to reconvene in April for some open gaming and what's motivating us for our next event.

Mighty Empires VI- Round 7

Standing at End of Round 7

13- Empire- John
11- Warriors of Chaos- Rich
10- Vampire Counts- Bill
10-Wood Elves- Chris
7- Orcs and Goblins- Anthony
4- Lizardmen- Nate
4- Warriors of Chaos- Aaron
2-Dwarfs- Billy


Billy- War Tax
Aaron- Raid-Empire +50
Chris- All or Nothing
Nate- Scouts
Bill- No Guts, No Glory
John- Heroic Battlefield (Holy Relic)
Rich- Disaster @ Empire..No Losses
Anthony- All or Nothing (forfeit)


Dwarfs VS Vampire Counts
Massacre Vampire Counts- 5EP

Warriors of Chaos (Black) VS Warriors of Chaos(Brown)
Massacre Warriors of Chaos (Black)- 5EP

Lizardmen VS Empire
Massacre Empire- 5EP

Wood Elves Vs Orcs and Goblins
Massacre Wood Elves- 5EP (forfeit)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Photo Studio!

(My GUO, ol fatman here will never be "done" but he's well on his way..if ever get him and a DoC army that works with him in it on the table I'll probably finish him up and dullcote )

So I have been playing around a bunch with my Photography lately. While I do get some good results it takes me alot of time to get the results I do. Mainly poor lighting in a relatively dark basement. I use a combination of a 1/2 dozen clip on lights with Camera's aperture usually all the way open (F2.8) to all as much light in as possible. There is no, "hey let me snap a quick few shots of this to put on the blog". Its more like "we'll do I spend all my hobby time today setting up and taking a couple a decent posed photos." (and that's not even with editing some of them later) I have a decent digital (Canon Powershot A640) which a has a decent lens and the screen flips out and rotates, which is insanely handy for miniature photography. Its no SLR thou, and when I get myself financially a bit more stable I'll probably move to a Canon EOS 400 D or similar.

I've been scoping out these pre made "photo studio in a box" kits out there, I spotted this one awhile back from micro mark (a great hobby tool supplier) this ones portable and comes with Lights, a stand, panels, carrying case, etc. I set the thing up in 5 minutes and it took me a few minutes to figure how to get good results, and boy was I surprised. Couple "trial and error" caveats here. 1) I started out using a white background I had thinking it would work better than the blue/gray background it comes with. BZZZZ. Wrong. the white contrast with diffuse panels might be ok for some stuff, but I guess it was diffusing too much light(?) but the pictures seemed drab and I started to have to front light stuff with a hand held (which you should NOT have to do in this set up). Once I switched to the blue back ground, it was like WOW..ok.. this why you get the blue back drop. Also while the kit comes with two lights, I really needed a third light up top, If were using this in a decently lit space you could probably get away with the two lights..but I'm in a basement and definitely need the third light.

I finally get to change my camera settings too..with the light box in place there is enough light to close my aperture all the way (F8.0) meaning I've got way better depth of field and less blurry spots in my photo. In a lot of my pictures many of the unit shots really only showcase a figure or two or at best a full row, the rest being blurred out. I changed my AWB (average white balance) setting to Fluorescent as the room it totally lit but Fluorescent bulbs, and that also made a big difference. All of these photos I have posted- Are totally untouched. All I did was save them as high quality JPEGS. The setting for all these shots was ISO 80, F8.0, Macro, neutral or +0 light was at 1/10th of second. AWB is as I mentioned and I set all photos on a 2 second timer.

One of my entries for the Adepticon Rogue Demon this year "the blessing of Sigmar"

You've already seen these guys a bunch lately, I just wanted to show the difference between this and the old shots. Also this is the one photo I also front light with a hand held light. The front light really isnt necessary and I think it washed out the color a bit, again I havent been able to get this kind of depth before where the whole unit is in focus. again not retouched in any way!

Moving to a very large miniature, my Nazgul here wingspan was hard to frame and he is large enough to have need to reset the lights and I dont think I got them just right yet. but I took all these photos in about 20 mins, normally something like this would take me 3 hours for amount of photos I got with all the different miniatures.

Here what the full set up looks like.

Anyway, For less than $100, this is so much more worth it than screwing around with homemade light boxes and white panels like I was in the past. There are ton of tutorials out there for making your own quickly set up like this cheap, but for me I wanted something substantial that solved my problems and my light projects in the past were garbage. I am psyched to start shooting all my stuff and redoing a bunch of stuff in my galleries. I'll also be hosting some events this summer so its great to have a portable setup for taking quick shots of all the armies!.

Stankage, just wanted to add this one too.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Adepticon hacker thwarted!

Adepticon registration is closed. a good week + early this year because of a cyber theft attack on the registration cart. Apparently some lowlife working from the EU figured out a way to divert funds from the Paypal cart to his own account. It was over the course of last weekend and if you didn't use the cart over that time period, you have nothing to worry about. I wouldn't bother mentioning this except for two things. I was one of the people whose money was stolen, and I have recovered the funds back from this jerk.

The other day Matt, who runs Adepticon, sent me note that my information from the Adepticon cart may have been compromised. Although I had long since signed up for my core badge and other events. I recently decided to play in the WFB team tourney as well (more on that later) and just last weekend signed up for Sundays Team Tourney, last minute. After a round of coversations with him I found only my cash was gone and nothing else was compromised. It turns out the good folks have lost three days of paid registrations due to this attack, and although they caught it quickly and have secured the site. They decided to be safe further testing was needed and being this close to Adepticon decided to just close registration early (you can still register at the Adepticon and open tickets are posted on the site.) Acon staff honored all tickets purchased even thou they were out the funds and alerted Paypal to the theft.

I myself contacted Paypal as well informing them of my situation. Just today I was informed that they located my funds and returned them to me! I just checked and the money is there, the best part is they transferred directly back from the account in question. Now how this guy/gal thought they were going to get away with this a whole other topic, but point being Paypal did right by me and since I have been vocally critical of some policy changes since eBay bought them, I wanted to say -Thanks Paypal for stepping up here, and quickly too.. I can only assume that if I got my money back the others did as well. I will of course offer this to Adepticon even thou they implied I didnt need to as concession for the hassle. I figure, no harm , no foul.

As for the hacker, what is wrong with people?, if you have the brains to do something like this
go hack somebody that deserves it like "JP Morgan Chase" ...those vermin have been robbing me blind with no recourse for years. Go after the people that deserve it and leave people that work for a living alone!..WTF!.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The tale of two black shirts

Last weekend word was all over the net on the latest round of shake ups at Games Workshop stores. While talk of these changes is normally framed around their impact on us, the gamer. This time I thought hard about the implications of these changes on the employees of Games Workshop. So today I bring you the "Tale of two black shirts" some anecdotes from my conversations this week with a couple friends of mine who work for the company.

First the facts:

Games Workshop Stores are now open 35 hrs a week to the public with employees on a flat 40 hour employee schedule (rumors of all employees being considered part –time as some kind of Wal-Mart style benefit denial scheme are unfounded, and Battle Bunker hours and staff remain unchanged.)

All retail locations are now only staffed by one person. period. The obvious customer services deficiencies aside, some of these 1500 SF locations with a half dozen tables seem to be impossible to manage by one person, but that’s the way it is. All employees have to reapply for these one man “Hobby Store Operator” positions, regardless of tenure so everyone is nervous as they are cutting a ton of staff.

So what does this mean if you’re a GW employee who loves his/her job and is facing 10% unemployment with 1/5 of the total layoffs in our current economic slump coming from your industry (retail)?

If you read this blog with any regularity you know I am friends with a bunch of guys that currently work for GW. These guys are over my house to recreationally game often and I speak to them via phone or internet on a weekly basis Two of them specifically currently run retail outlets in our metro and as guys I consider my friends- this time its about them and not the customer. That’s what the following anecdotes are about I’m not going to use their real names or specific personal details as they are irrelevant. (and if you know me , you already know them) but their stories go something like this.

Meet my friend Tom. Tom started out at GW awhile back, 05 or 06’, early twenties, longtime gamer, was moved around a few retail stores before getting the a spot at hot new metro (my nearest) location with yes, three! full time employees. This shop started churning big numbers and was only second to the Bunker in sales for the first year and half it was open. That being the case the stores manager was quickly promoted to the field, and the number 2 man was put in charge. Number 2 had an opportunity to get a spot in a shop with much better commute and took it, leaving Tom in charge of the hot GW store of the moment. I was here running our club during all this, I see how hard a worker Tom is , and that he’s the full package, from customer relations, sales, to uber hobby modeling and painting chops. In fact Tom is exactly the kind of guy, I myself look for in my own business when I take new guys into the field. I know that GW would have to be idiots not to see the potential in Tom, I figure If he wants a career at GW, he’s golden. I know Tom’s old manager, now regional manager knows this too.

Along come the first round of big retail shake ups in late 2008, staff gets cut, hours get seriously cut back, no more Club activity, A hardline focus on new hobbyists (kids)“get them hooked, and get them going out to bunker” was the company line. Future events all had to do with intro activity for kids. Veterans get the "what have you done for me lately" treatment. Getting a extra curricular game at the shop basically boiled down to if you were free weekdays and could be in the shop by 4pm or so. Needless to say sales at the shop took a dive. The club was gone. Lots of guys lost motivation to buy there- either by lack of convenience or spite. Tom keeps plugging away as manager doing a good job, introducing the new direct order system and what not. He keeps a straight face with corporate, but knows that company policy is making his job harder, not easier and its an uphill climb. Then we have a recession coming along with inventory problems with keeping certain key products stocked. Eventually Tom gets relocated to Battle Bunker as a staff guy during some mid level reorganization there and GW brings that former Bunker manager over to our shop to replace Tom. Eventually, Tom is out at Bunker, doing his thing when he gets a break- He's offered the #1 spot in his own new store opening in the Chicago metro, Tom's now a black shirt and some autonomy to run his own store the way he likes and gets to bring some of his own people from the company to work for him. Things for Tom are looking good.

Meet my friend Tim, Tim is much different case than Tom but equally as important. Tim’s a bit older and worked in construction full time and was a valued member of our club at the local shop. In late 2007 the construction bomb had already dropped here and everybody was looking for work. Unemployed with nothing but odd jobs ahead of him, Tim decided he go with what he loved, his hobby and apply to Games Workshop. Tim is a tough as nails , hard working guy He brings that tenacity to the hobby and what he may lack in pure artistic paint skill he made up for in his modeling, terrain building and passion for the game. Tim’s first job was as noob staff guy at the Battle Bunker. Tim didn’t have a car and would commute taking two trains and a bus, each way, every shift routinely spending 4+ hours round trip making the 20 mile commute. Tim owned his house in the city and his wife has a city job so relocating wasn’t an option. Tim was absolutely hardcore, pulling this commute in the dead of Chicago winter and he never complained. GW noticed and appreciated this and Tim quickly was moved up the ladder After the fallout from 1st big shake up in late 2008, Tim found himself relocated to his local store as the number 2 behind the new Veteran Manager (let’s call him Bob) who had replaced our friend Tom above. As the year went on, the malaise at our local store continued. Bob did a fine job but again company policy wasn’t doing him any favors. Our local store still did well enough that lots of other GW metro stores were really in the toilet in comparison. Tim is well ingratiated with the locals being he was first a gamer there and The kids absolutely love him. (he’s probably the best one on one tutor with the kids I have seen). Manager Bob eventually gets moved to another location to try to help fix the problems at that store. and “poof” Tim now gets his own Black Shirt and is now in charge of the very store he used to game at. (how cool is that?)

Tim’s now in charge but as 2009 comes to a close the Holidays are over, sales are bad, due to the economy…Tim’s got some flexibility to do veteran events but with my club locked into Tuesdays at my place (when the shop is closed) off week events just don’t seem to take off as they should. Things seem to be rolling along OK, with Tim firmly cemented in what community now exists around our local store when this current news hits. Tim's just worked his ass off for the last two years gotten a taste of success and now finds himself filling out an application for his own Job, same for Tom.

Barring any problems I am unaware of, I am sure you all see the idiocy of these guys having to reapply for their own jobs given their back stories. It's a bitter pill to swallow and one that has surely dimmed the luster that Tom and Tim both have for the company and even the hobby. Both want to of course keep their Jobs. Tom knows he can take whatever they throw at him at make it work. The one man shop thing. no problem!, yeah it will suck.but I’ll figure it out.” But he also knows to well that no matter how good you are, at Games Workshop you are always expendable.

Tim on the other hand is in a tougher spot, a longer narrow store with more kid daytime traffic its nigh impossible to do what Tim does best and still do the other things required there. If Tim gets rehired, the one man shop thing will limit him to being baby sitter ( instead of a mentor) over the large group of kids that frequent the place. Not to mention dealing with nuisances like loss prevention. Tim’s in tough spot and hopefully GW will make an exception that this shop needs to be a two man store. (somehow I doubt it)

Just looking at these two stories, you really have to question GW’s behavior. What they want from their customers and what their customers want from them are just not in line these days (at least here in the US) The retail employees ( guys like us who just dared stick their foot in the door) are caught in the middle. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of presence GW has at Adepticon this year with the introduction of other companies events and if they can advert the bad press they continue to give themselves by always doing something utterly stupid around Adepticon. When everyone in country who's in the hobby is in the same room and can talk about it. At least this shake up was brewing a month early this time…I have no doubt this will be a hot topic of conversation over the weekend. And to Tom and Tim, I salute you bros, best of luck!.


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