Sunday, March 22, 2015

Adepticon 2015 - Bolt Action Recap

 Pegasus Bridge

Adepticon 2015 has come and gone, it was a great time as usual. this year I dont have much to report on other than Bolt Action, I do have some overall comments on Adepticon 2015 and its new venue which I'll share at the end. I was there all 4 days, but at this point its become as much as a social gathering with people I see once year as it does about playing games so I only played Friday and Saturday during the day and spend Thurs /Fri/Sat evenings socializing, Sunday I brought my kids and finally got around to checking out everything in the vendor hall.

La Rochelle Sub Pen
Friday - Bolt Action Doubles

Jeremy and Chris run a great tournament..the local guys that ran all the LotR tourneys for  close to 10 years have this tournament thing down to a science, amazing tables, great prize support, good scenarios, no wasted time etc. The Axis outnumbered the Allies 2 to 1, so we had no problems getting all our games in against Allies, in fact all of our games where against Americans. Aaron and I ended up winning the Axis Side as Best Axis Generals, which was a surprise for us. The Best Allied Generals where the great guys we played in Game 2, Mike and Mark, from Michigan, a close game where we barely bested them . Oddly enough in the end, it was the round 2 game that was the game were the finalist ended up facing off. I've got nothing to say negative about the TT, 5 stars on all levels, that second game was certainly one the best games of Bolt Action I have played to date.

 Utah Beach

Saturday- Bolt Action Singles

I was back early Saturday morning for the Singles, that were run by Warlord Games themselves  you'd think that company making the game trying to promote sales at the biggest miniatures convention in the US would run an ace tourney right? Hell, they have there own tourney pack and everything ready to go, what could go wrong??....

I brought out my British Red Devils for the day , the same army  I have run with since I started playing the game.. It appears I must have learned something in that time as I went 3-0 with the Brits for the afternoon!

The only other time I went 3-0 in a tournament  (LotR singles 2012) I won the thing by about 25 points over the next closest player, because my soft scores are always pretty close to maxed out. Well if you have been into the competitive gaming scene for any length of time, you know "soft scores" have been getting marginalized over straight competitive play for a long time now. So there where no soft scores in this tournament, only simple pass /fail on your sportsmanship. and a player voted "Best Army"  that being the case I had no allusions about winning the tournament even with a 3-0 record because of the insane scenario scoring. I'll elborate.

 There was a 12 order die cap for the event, Most armies had somewhere around 10  as the average order dice. In a kill point type scenario scoring ( which all three of these scenarios had.).you got 1 point for each unit killed in the if we each had 10 order dice and one of us had 2 units left on the board and the other player had zero ( all his units were destroyed) the score would be 10-8 in scenario 1, there was an objective in the center of the board you had to capture and for some silly reason it was worth 13 points!!!!??? ( I was told this was because it was the 13th Adepticon, -seriously folks) The objective was very hard to get off the table especially with Night Fighting rules in effect for turns 1 and 2,  in fact only 2 people in whole tourney managed too and it was no surprise one of them won the tournament! because if you got it off the board it was as if you scored as if got to play a 4th game.



Scenario 2 had a crazy point spread based on how many units you could get off the table 1 point for a kill, 2 points for reaching the enemy deployment zone, and 3 points for getting a unit off the board thru the enemy lines Now this was a fun game, I had knock down drag out nail biter with Michael from MI , (from the doubles on Friday) that probably the best game of Bolt Action I played to date where I won on the last turn with a score of 14-12.   The problem in Game 2 was just there were to just too many potential points possible considering that Scenario 3  was then just straight vanilla points , nothing extra so the maximum  points you could get where the number of order dice your opponent had. In my case the 3rd game I played  was versus a super nice guy from Cleveland who just had worst luck with the dice..(literally hit my Humber Scout 3 times with big Anti Tank rounds and failed to destroy it with terrible dice rolls) he called the game after I was up 6 to 1, and I sure as hell wasnt going to be like "Hey man, I hope you dont mind, I know you're having a crappy day but I have to keep beating up on you to score your last 4 points"..I would never do that but, that is was what these scenarios asked you to do. I had already heard at that point that people were scoring 30+ points in game 2, so I could have cared less.

To recap the event


The obvious lack of tournament running experience, basic things like  No dead zone between tables for models, or books. 
The match ups were totally random every round no winners playing winners, clearly not swiss match ups as detailed in the rules as pairings were determined before results were turned in each round.
 The scenario scoring: no variance for Win/ Loss or Draw, even thou it said on your results sheet you needed to win by 2 points to claim a "Victory" there was no variance between W/L/D in scoring  in the end it was straight point count, in fact my pal Jeff won  Best Axis player going 1-2 because he had a monster blow out in game 2. I'm not usually one to gripe about this stuff, but when I go 3-0 I should not be losing to the other 3-0 guy by 30 points!!!.

The scenario rules: were confusing and overly wordy. The TO did his best to explain these  in pre round "mission rundown" group huddle  but he didnt have things like the Night Fight rules printed out on the scenario sheet which had people scrambling for book with the rules...that very few people had with them, (we had take a picture of the rules from an opponents table with one of our phones)

The Prize support - (more on that later)

           All my games where good games against fun people whom I never  played before 
           Free "Futy Brad Pitt" look alike Miniature
          TO and WG staff were super nice guys
          Things proceeded mainly on time 
          The Players -  who kindly awarded me Best Army on straight player vote for the second year in a  row!, for that I am very appreciative.

As it turns out  WG was very impressed by our local folks ability to run an event, in fact it was clear they were a bit embarrassed by their own shortcomings.. Especially when it came to prize support. Where in the doubles event  every person walked away with something. there were not only gift certificates from WG but all kinds of other models from other manufactures and the proper Adepticon trophys.

In the singles you got a gift voucher for the Online Warlord Store and color copy of award sheet in a .50 cent frame (what they usually give the people in events where the TO forgets to order the trophy's) This would be one thing if this was some side event but Bolt Action was promoted as one of this years  main events, one in which they sold a 4 day ticket too. While I have no idea what went down with Tank War today, even if it was flawless...I would be pissed if I bought a 4 day event pass for Bolt Action on top of the Adepticon ticket, forget about the organizational snafus between the various TO's, I say this just solely on the prize support.  Especially considering SAGA was in the same room and had they most epic loadout of prize support I have ever seen in my 10 years of coming to this convention. Everything from Beer glasses and laser cut themed templates as freebies just for showing up to Huge Trophies, and custom viking drinking horns that are easily in $200 range,,on top of blisters ,models, etc...

If you were a casual passer by, and saw the awards announcement of both be looking over at us Bolt Action guys and thinking "why the hell is anyone playing this game?" look at whats going on over here (SAGA)

Now this isnt just  a Warlord Games problem (  They seem to get it  they were immediately talking about correcting it) but also an Adepticon problem.  They have to figure out the prize support in regards to consistency . These up and downs with has been going on for years and years now and it almost inexcusable given Adepticon size and tenure as a major convention. The disparity in prize support for anything that is not a 5 dollar event is just atrocious, You have to get the proper trophys and proper prizes for events consistently its just looks terrible when your giving away xerox online only vouchers, models from the Adepticon promo pile and not models from the game you playing to pay and paper awards on one table for $20 event and while on the $20 event right next to you. they have everything they are supposed to from special trophys for all awards with custom extras prizes and then tons of freebies for everyone just for showing up. This is especially off putting  when you are selling a One price  four event tickets for single games for both events going on in the same room. That, at the minimum needs to be consistent. This just looked terrible this year. (the disparity between BA and SAGA prize support for a similar ticket)

Overall the move to new venue is pretty cool, way more space overall, I thought the hotel bar was pretty reasonable pricewise but I heard the restaurant was not. The lighting in ballrooms we were in is pretty bad, I really didnt see alot of stuff I would have liked because I didnt know where everything was, its just big enough you wont stumble into stuff just walking about.

The Vendor Hall was bigger than the last couple years filled with all the usual players for some reason It didnt seem to me that people, like Mantic, and most certainly Warlord Games did not bring alot of product -which doesnt make alot of sense to me.. There seem to be no more 4 hour lines for Forge World product either I am missing them on day 1, or sales are just down....At any point that I popped in Fri-Sun...there was no line..not sure what thats about . I also wondered what Cool Mini is even doing there anymore,  (they run they're own convention now) They were in the vendor hall but as I far I heard where not or barely running any events? Maybe some Demos? it just seemed odd. Reaper was there for the first time they were loaded up with Bones figures, looked pretty busy too from what I could tell, my kids went over and bought some stuff.

I really didnt get much time in the vendor hall because it closes at 6pm everyday which is kind of a hassle it would be great if one night they kept the vendor hall open till 9pm. I am sure I would have actually bought more stuff, If I had couple hours post tournament I could have went over there and actually browsed and talked to people, Instead, it was run over and buy some dice, or go grab the Tank War book so I didnt forget..there really wasnt time for shopping because as soon as I was "free" it was closed. except for Sunday but then I had my kids running around and most the popular stuff is sold out. I really wanted to pick up some bases from Secret Weapon, but never found the time.

Despite my griping ,overall its just a few bumps in the road on an all in all  great weekend, I had 6 really good games  won 2 awards and drank a whole lot of Guinness with a bunch of great people. I really shouldn't complain, I guess really just so I can look back next year and remind myself what I am getting myself into.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Off to Adepticon 2015

The Vintage filter in my photo program gives miniature shots great effects especially for WW2  scenes

So I wont bother with excuses on why I havent posted in 6 weeks, life is hectic.  we're  moving in a couple of months and that's kept me hopping along with everything else in life. I did manage to complete my team for the Bolt Action team event this Friday, Aaron and I even got a handful of practice games in with our German forces.  

I spent a ton of time on these guys, and I look forward to finishing them off to 1500-600 points or so
where I can run an armored platoon and as well as two other regular platoons. I had hoped to finish off my Panther Ausf A, for the singles but time wouldnt allow it so its my Brits in the singles and the Germans in the doubles. I'll surely keep working on these guys thru the fall so I run some version of them at this years Operation Sting.

As for Adepticon, it is bigger than ever this year, at new location with alot more events. I ma really looking forward to new digs and see what it all about, I certainly will make an strong effort to do some write ups on the goings on there this weekend as personally I love the fact the Adepticon has expanded to full on gaming convention not just the Games Workshop fan convention it once was, huge showing by Warlord, Mantic, Privateer Press..etc as well as games like Infinity and Saga with multiple sold out tournaments. I am sure I will find time to comment on the various goings on this year as there is alot new going on that is interest to me

My Sniper team needed perch for haivng such a big base, so I had to make a whole building to match for the display

Vintage shot, they're undoubtedly looking for Aaron's Soviets...
Adepticon for me has become just as much about catching up with people I now see once a year for almost the last decade as it is about gaming, With my relocation about 2 hours away from the new venue site this is my last year being a local, I'll be fighting for hotel rooms with the rest of the folks
after this year, I expect no less of the late nights in the bar, and the prerequisite gaming, but this year I do aim to get in some demos of games I want to try as well as checking out two big games on the schedule, Fistfull of Seamens, epic Pirate game, and Rich's Battle of Arsuf. The latter featuring some of my terrain and models, but both games with gigantic amount of figures, terrains and of course amazing Pirate ships. This also the first year, my kids are old enough to come out for a day and check things out they are dabbling in gaming a home already..I hope to get them in a demo of something kid friendly and get the bug in them.

I'll leave it here for now with shot of my Waffen SS, heading out to meet their fate on the battlefield, Im thinking they'll be meeting their well deserved historical fate, based on what I am hearing, and reading about army lists. As the game becomes more popular the tournament meta becomes much harder. So where Aaron and I initially thought our list was perhaps too tough, its pretty clear we are going to just be hanging in there, I really have no idea how we are going to do, other than he and I have spent the majority of our gaming time the last year playing this game, we will see how that pays off.

As far as gameplay,  SdKfz 7/2 the Quad Flak is a must have in German lists as it actually does shoot down enemy planes as well as shred light vehicles and infantry, its not worth the Tank slot in 1000 point singles, but in bigger point lists or even as a static artillery piece alone or with a Tow, for sure!


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