I recently spent four days near Chicago attending Adepticon, a major miniatures con. It was my first time there, and I had a blast.
First up was registration. I arrived at about 10 am on Thursday, which would have been after the main rush. I had splurged and gotten the VIG badge, which gives you a tshirt and other fancy bits in the swag bag. I ended up with starter boxes for Dropzone Commander, Wrath of Kings, and Hordes, plus a bunch of individual minis.
My first event was a seminar on building scenery. Marcin Ignasiak, the instructor, did a nice job of corralling people through making a foamcore tower. I have kind of a catch-22 situation with terrain. I don’t have any, because I don’t play at home, because I don’t have terrain. Maybe I can get myself out, or at least make some pieces to donate to a store.
I then had a little time to check out the vendor hall, redeem some vouchers from the swag bag, and learn about some of the games on display. I got a demo in for Aetherium, which is a minis game with a Matrix/Tron setting with a very interesting mechanic around manipulating the board.
My first game event was Combat Patrol, a rapid fire collection of 400 point 40k games. I brought my Deathwatch, which was chosen more around models I had painted than what I thought would be good at 400 points. I ended up pretty low in the rankings, but had three fun games.
My main event for Friday was the 40k Friendly. I brought my Dark Eldar for this, which I only had one game in with the not-so-new codex. They split us up into teams of about 15 players, and it had a camping theme, complete with merit badges. During the breaks, I helped win the pie eating contest for Team Pink. This was another fun three games, although my Reaper got its gun blown off all three games, and managed to immobilize itself between table quarters, making it completely useless. I brought a bunch of small Reaver units, which were awesome. I miss my drive-by attacks, but D6 S6 Rending hits on the charge are pretty nice.
I had a bit of time, so I learned a bit about Wreck Age, a post-apoc skirmish game. I also demoed Broken Contract, a skirmish game which pits exploited miners against The Man (reminds me of Red Faction). It just launched a Kickstarter for its miniature starter set.
In the evening, I went to a seminar on green stuff. It was a nice introduction to actually sculpting. Joe Orteza, the instructor, was clearly experienced at giving the class. My one criticism would be that he would sometimes work on your piece without being entirely clear on what he was doing. I’m hoping to put these new skills (and tools) to work.
Saturday morning I ran into Matt Stanley of Nova Open fame. Once I said I was playing Malifaux, he went into sales mode. Sadly, flying to just one game con this year is already pushing it a bit.
The main event of the day was the Masters of Malifaux. I played Neverborn, and played all three of my masters across five rounds (Lynch once, and Lilith and Zoraida twice each). I lost the first three rounds, although not by much. The highlight for the first set was in game three, with Breakthrough and Deliver a Message in the pool. I managed to Leap a Silurid to deliver to Seamus early in the game. At the end of the game, there were a bunch of dudes converging on Zoraida. I decided to Animal Shape her 15″ out of the way. My opponent saw an opportunity. He managed to walk Sybelle out of engagement with a Silurid to get close to Zoraida. He then Called a Belle from across the board, who activated to Deliver a Message right back to me. Even though it cost me the game, it was well played and exciting to see.
Game four I managed to pull out a win with Lilith vs Rasputina. I threw Lilith into the fray, which got her killed. She did manage to keep my opponent’s crew bottled up in a corner, though. I had Waldgeists holding both Stash markers all game, and other models running around accomplishing schemes.
Game five started out rough. I was so fried from playing all day that I could barely put a crew together and didn’t end up having a good idea how I wanted it to work. It was my Zoraida vs Lilith. He brought the twins, who messed up my left flank, while the rest of his crew advanced up the middle. On my right flank, however, I was able to send a Silurid forward to get Breakthrough and Power Ritual scheme markers down. The Performer ended up being the MVP of the game. She pulled off the pseudo-Expunge trick pretty well with the Voodoo Doll and Nurse. She also used her Siren Call to pull models into and out of position, foiling plans. In the end, we managed a 5-5 draw.
All in all, a really fun set of games, although five rounds is rough. Surprising enough. the 105 minute round time worked pretty well. I finished all games except one.
I then had just enough time to shove some food in before heading into my final seminar, Blood, Pus, and Guts with Michelle Blastenbrei. This class was largely showing a few techniques and materials, then a chance to play. I was pretty worn out from Malifaux all day, so wasn’t able to get as much out of it as I would have liked. I also managed to forget the handout in the room.
I had signed up to do the Malifaux Story Encounter on Sunday, but I wasn’t feeling it. My schedule had been full enough, and the Masters the day before long enough, that I wasn’t really interested in another full day event. Instead, I spent more time in the vendor hall and attended the Crystal Brush awards ceremony, plus I actually ate lunch outside the convention center. I got a demo for Dropzone Commander. The apparent focus on mobility is very interesting, plus I have a army starter box now. I also got a Wild West Exodus demo, although it didn’t grab me. I think the demo may have glossed over enough of the details that it was hard to get a real flavor for the game. Wreck Age and Deep Wars both look interesting, but I didn’t get a chance to demo them. ModCube is working on customizable counters in a cube, which seems interesting for damage markers and the like.
I ran into the Swag Wagon just before I was about to head out, and got handed a $25 voucher for one of the vendors, Toledo Game Room. They had a ton of new and used minis for sale. I considered getting some beat up vehicles to use for terrain, but in the end decided on Malifaux and got a shiny new The Kin Ophelia box.
I scheduled myself for too much. I wasn’t completely exhausted, but I ended up being happier skipping my Sunday event. Even still, I didn’t get a chance to demo everything I wanted to.
Part of why I didn’t feel like the second day of Malifaux is that I didn’t feel like playing Neverborn again, even though the different masters mix it up. So I should pick up another faction. As luck would have it, I already have the Somer box and the Nightmare Whiskey Golem, since I’m a sucker for limited editions. Combined with the Ophelia box, I should be in business.
I didn’t take enough notes or pictures. I had a bunch of great games, but I can’t tell you too much about them, or even the names of most of my opponents.
By the time I decided to go (which was well before actual registration), the actual con hotel was sold out, and I ended up at the Embassy Suites a short walk away. It was okay, but it meant I was hauling stuff back and forth, and didn’t really have an easy way to ditch my stuff and go be social or whatever.
I kind of wish I had opened my wallet a bit more in the vendor hall. I resisted buying a bunch of things for a bunch of good reasons (how am I going to get it on the plane, con discounts aren’t any good if you don’t actually use the item, you can always buy it later from the FLGS or mail order if needed, plus do I really have time for another game?). Still, I kind of regret not picking up the Aetherium base game. Or some terrain from Tri-City Laser, which had some really neat stuff. Or maybe something from Forge World.
All in all, I had a great time, and hope to go again next year.
It’s almost the new year, so I think I’m contractually obligated to write up some kind of retrospective. I started tracking my backlog (and therefore all hobbying) in January, and blogging in May, so I actually have a pretty good record. In the last few weeks I’ve caught up with all the projects I completed in 2014 but hadn’t yet written up.
I started the year pretty deep in hobby debt, with a significant backlog from a store closing sale, and went deeper after buying a Space Marines Strikeforce for some Inquisition War projects. I dug myself out, though, and worked all the way through the backlog.
The Warzone Harat three-part campaign finished up in January. The finale was an apoc-style event, which got me to buy and paint up a Revenant Titan, my first experience with Forge World. The other big ongoing event was the Inquisition War campaign at Endgame, which gave me the excuse to paint up old Necromunda models as the Inquisitor and retinue, and finally do the Deathwatch Kill Team I’ve been considering for ages.
In addition, I had a pretty large backlog to work through, which meant quite a bit of Ultramarines, Dark Eldar, and Eldar got hobbied.
I’d been contemplating adding a second miniatures game into the mix, but had never pulled the trigger. Early in the year I got a demo of Malifaux. Then, Wyrd’s summer painting contest convinced me to pick up and paint a box. Once that was done, I had no choice but to play.
Since then, I’ve built up a decent selection of models. I still don’t really know what I’m doing, but I get more confident with every game.
I participated in the first Reaper Bones Kickstarter back in 2012, which was delivered in 2013, and I finally started painting in 2014. For a while I was trying to do one per Thursday (Random Rursday), but that stopped being fun, so I stopped. I’m still painting them when the urge hits me, and keep a couple primed on standby.
I got back into miniature wargaming a few year ago through scale models. The nice thing about wargaming is that it has a built-in excuse to show off your work. I only found a little time for it this year, but like the results.
Malifaux is occupying most of my miniatures brain these days. I’ve got a pretty decent backlog already which will probably take me through February or so.
I’m going to Adepticon in March. I’m signed up for a mix of 40k, Malifaux, and hobby seminars. I haven’t decided what, if any, hobby goals I have ahead of the con. If I want to do anything special (build out my Deathwatch for Combat Patrol, maybe?), I need to get serious about it soon.
Beyond that, it’s hard to say. I have a hard time imagining myself starting a new 40k army at this point, but I can see myself building my existing ones out. I have an desire to complete the Neverborn faction in Malifaux (well, the plastics, anyways). I get to play few enough games that I worry I won’t understand all the rules, much less actually play with them. Or maybe I should collect masters instead of factions.
I’ve also got my eye on both Dropzone Commander and Firestorm Armada, but I’m pretty sure I already have too many games…
I painted these Scourges in May, before the new Dark Eldar codex was released. I wasn’t sure how much I’d use them (and they didn’t too well in the one Kill Team game I took them to….), but they sure are nice looking models.
I magnetize the shoulder joints of all my Dark Eldar infantry. This lets me swap out equipment without trying to figure out who the special weapons guy is. It also lets me have an armory of blasters, heat lances, splinter rifles, dark lances, and whatever else, ready to go on whichever unit. The weapons in the pictures were just thrown on randomly.
The legs on these guys really sell the whole flying around concept.
I like how the fluids in the vials on the backs came out. I was pretty worried about them, but I think it works pretty well. These particular arms, though, aren’t quite so nice.
The huge wings makes transporting these guys a pain. For the next unit, I may try to put magnets on the wings, although then I worry that they flop around the table.