Category Archives: Battle report

Adepticon Wrapup

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.

Some of the VIG swag
Some of the VIG swag

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.

My watchtower, slightly damaged on the flight home
My watchtower, slightly damaged on the flight home

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.

Friendly sash and merit badges
Friendly sash and merit badges

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.

Green stuff, plus some tools
Green stuff, plus some tools

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.

Playing with Blood
Playing with Blood


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.

ToMB2: First game with Zoraida

I got in my first game with Zoraida last week at the FLGS. This was also my first game against my opponent, who goes by Yoritomo Jiriki on various forums. I had to cheat the ToMB rules a bit, since it was nominally a league game at 50ss.

  • Close deployment
  • Reckoning
  • A Line in the Sand, Outflank, Bodyguard, Breakthrough, and Make Them Suffer

My crew:

  • Zoraida with Crystal Ball and Hex Bag
  • Bad Juju with Eternal Fiend and Fears Given Form
  • 3x Silurids
  • Terror Tot
  • Depleted
  • Doppelganger

The Terror Tot, Depleted, and Doppelganger are all outside of the ToMB format, but I needed to get to 50ss somehow.

His crew (roughly):

  • Von Schill with Shirt Comes Off
  • Steamtrunk
  • Taelor
  • Lazerus
  • Librarian
  • Hodgepodge Effigy
  • Sue

I took Bodyguard and declared Breakthrough. My opponent did not declare any schemes.


My thinking was to use the Silurids and Tots for Breakthrough scheme markers, and Eternal Fiend on Bad Juju ought to make Bodyguard reasonable. Hopefully, the Depleted would help to tarpit somebody, while being a bit difficult to take down for Make Them Suffer or Reckoning. I failed to consider what I would do with the Doppelganger.

Bad Juju about to get smacked
Bad Juju about to get smacked

First turn, two of my Silurids and a Tot ran up the flanks to put down Breakthrough markers.  Zoraida summoned a Voodoo Doll who Hemed the Steamtrunk, and loaded it up with Poison.  Most of the rest kind of bunched up in the middle, and my other Silurid got murdered.

Bad Juju ended up charging into a furball in the middle of the board.  He did some damage, but as much as I wanted.

Turn two, things started really going badly for me.  My opponent first killed a Silurid, revealing Make Them Suffer, then took down Bad Juju.  That left only a final Silurid and Zoraida as possible targets to bring Bad Juju back.  I over-focussed on the Hemmed Steamtrunk, and took it down.  On the plus side, I got a lot of Breakthrough markers down.

Turn three, I brought my final Silurid into combat.  I wanted it to die, just to get Bad Juju back out.  My opponent obliged, but managed to Paralyze Bad Juju with Von Schill’s shirt before he could activate.  Zoraida summoned another Voodoo Doll, but failed to Hem anything.

Through turns four and five, my opponent just took my crew apart piece by piece.  In the end, all I had was Zoraida.  At least he was unable to remove enough scheme markers to deny me Breakthrough.

The game ended with a solid loss, 3 to 5+.  There was some uncertainty as to how many Make Them Suffer points my opponent had achieved, but he definitely had a good win.

I made a number of serious mistakes in this game:

  • I took a Doppelganger without any real plan for her.  That’s 7 stones that weren’t put to use.
  • I had too many scheme runners for my schemes
  • I didn’t have enough Swampfiends to keep Bad Juju going
  • I got excited about the Voodoo Doll, but didn’t consider carefully enough what to use it on.  Furthermore, when I was in a bad position, I stuck with it and essentially wasted my AP rather than moving to a new one.
  • In this strategy and scheme pool, I really should have taken another heavy hitter, and fewer little guys.

Hopefully I can keep these lessons in mind next time!


Malifaux: Rapid Growth League Week One Report

I played in the first week of a Rapid Growth league at Game Kastle Fremont today.  I had a great game with Jennifer, a player I had seen around but hadn’t ever actually met.

As this is the first week of Rapid Growth, the game was played at 26 stones.  We both declared Neverborn.

  • Deployment: Standard
  • Strategy: Reckoning
  • Schemes:
    • A Line in the Sand
    • Murder Protege
    • Protect Territory
    • Distract
    • Plant Evidence

Even though I know it’s not always the best tactically, I decided on most of my crew before I left the house.  I recently finished painting up my Lilith box, and I figured this kind of small scale game would be the perfect place to learn it.  I figured I’d swap out the Cherub for Primordial Magic, though, to save another stone for upgrades.  In the end, I decided on:

Jennifer chose a remarkably similar crew:

  • Lilith
  • Cherub
  • Barbaros
    • Nephilim Gladiatus
  • 3x Terror Tots

We chose schemes, and ended up revealing everything: Murder Protege and Protect Territory for me, and Murder Protege and Line in the Sand for Jennifer.  Barbaros (both of him) was going down!  Unfortunately, the Nephilim Gladiatus was going to be pretty useless, since Primordial Magic was the only non-Nephilim model on the table.

Jennifer deployed first, and bunched up in the corner on my left.  I went more towards the middle, with one Tot and Primordial Magic hiding in the far right corner, ready to pop out late game and take care of Protect Territory.

The first turn we just kind of moved in a bit.  Jennifer’s Barbaros started going towards my Tot/Puke Snake pair, while the rest moved towards the center line along the left flank, ready to pop scheme markers next turn.  I moved towards the center, and tried to Tangle Shadows on an enemy Tot, but failed to consider the double-mask target number and fizzled.

On turn two, things got ugly.  Jennifer moved her Lilith closer to try to Tangle Shadows one of my Tots, but didn’t get it off.  This left her close enough for me to Tangle Shadows (using a stone for the second mask) her Lilith in retaliation, pulling it into my web.  With the two AP left I was able to Severe and Red Joker on damage, killing the enemy Lilith.

Lilith vs Lilith
Lilith vs Lilith

Meanwhile, Jennifer’s Tots laid a bunch of scheme markers on the center line, and her Barbaros kept moving towards my Protect Territory buddies.  My Tots moved up to try to interfere, and my Barbaros took out a Tot, netting me a point for Reckoning.

Turn three, I was able to trap her Barbaros with another stoned Tangle Shadows, putting my own Barbaros into base contact as well.

Somewhere in turns three and four, her Cherub hit my Lilith, pulling her out of position and making her slow.  Her Barbaros managed to Bull Rush my Barbaros to pull me totally out of position.  The following turn, another Tangle Shadows (with a high mask card this time) pulled them back in, and Barbaros went down, netting me three points for Murder Protege.

With all the heavy hitters down, I was able to mop up, killing all of Jennifer’s models and removing enough scheme markers to keep her from getting A Line in the Sand.  I did lose one Terror Tot in the process, although I was able to use Brood to keep her own Tot locked down.

Final score was 9 to 0 (3 for Protect Territory, 3 for Murder Protege, 3 for Reckoning, including one on turn 7 after Jennifer was tabled).

I had a lot of fun this game, and I certainly hope Jennifer did as well.  Tangle Shadows really pulled a lot of weight for me this game, once I realized what I’d need to put into it to get it done.  Barbaros has enough speed to come back even if it ends up putting him pretty far out there.  I think Primordial Magic was a good choice, but the Cherub’s shoot-slow-push can be pretty scary, too.

It turns out we both had recently bought the Zoraida box, so we’re talking about doing another mirror match in a couple of weeks.

Malifaux: Scheme and Brilliance Cloud Markers plus Celesticon Recap

These markers are the final models I wanted to get done ahead of Celesticon.  All told, I was able to bring a fully painted 50 soulstone crew with painted markers to my first non-demo Malifaux game.

Scheme markers
Scheme markers

These are pretty simple scheme markers.  They are Armskeeper resin crystal put on 30mm bases, with a little sand and grit to fill out the base.  These should be nice faction-neutral markers, with different colors to potentially indicate different things.

Scheme markers (all)
Scheme markers (all)

The package came with 12 crystals, which I think should be plenty.

Brilliance clouds
Brilliance clouds

The Illuminated have a power to leave 30mm Brilliance Cloud markers behind.  I decided to make specific markers for them, since I expect to focus on Lynch for a while.  It also gave me an excuse to play with Armorcast cinematic effects.

As for the casual play event itself, I was paired up with Steve, who has been playing for a few weeks and brought Ramos.  I had fun, but I got smashed pretty badly.

I was pretty comfortable with the basic mechanics, though I had a difficult time remembering all the things my crew could do.  By the end of the game, I was getting a lot more comfortable with it, although I still don’t think I’ll be able to combo too well.  Steve had come with a handy cheat sheet, with suggestions of combos, and powers he could get off with certain cards in his hand, etc.

I think I need to try to get in a few games learning each model before adding new ones to the mix.

I’m looking forward to playing more.  I’m confident that the next game will go smoother.

Updated October 2016 with improved images.