Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Adepticon 2017!

Another year and another amazing Adepticon has come and gone. This is an event I always look forward to and it was even better then last year! More tournaments, more games, and even a meeting with Games Workshop themselves!

I can already tell this is going to be a longer post then I originally thought. There's just so much to cover. If you're not already aware, Adepticon is one of the largest conventions in the US for everything hobby related. They have AoS, 40k, 30k, and every other miniature game out there you can think of. I, of course, went for the AoS tournaments. My friend Adam and I got there Thursday night and didn't do much besides play a round of Silver Tower since we had to be up early for the Team Tournament the next day. Luckily, we were just staying in a hotel about a mile away, but next year I think I am going to book a room at the Renaissance where Acon is held to make it even simpler.

Friday - AoS Team Tournament

For our Team army I took my 1,000 points of Nighthaunts and Adam brought 1,000 points of Khorne Demons that he finished putting the final touches on the night before. The display board was actually loaned to us from a club mate back home, but it looked great and fit both of our armies pretty well. Our first game was against a pair of newer players who we helped learn the game a bit. There were actually quite a few new players there, which is awesome to see since it means the community is growing. We were more then happy to help teach them a few things as we went along. They were fielding a Pestilens/Nurgle demon army which proved pretty hard to budge. My Mourngul launched itself into the heart of the army and started tearing through the Plague Drones, but even he couldn't get through them easily. Meanwhile Adam's large unit of Bloodletters was slowly taken apart through Plague Catapults and a Vermin Lord. We fared pretty well, but in the end we couldn't secure the objective in the time needed and the win went to our opponents. We did end up scoring a few points though since each scenario had secondary and tertiary objectives.

This is from the first game because I forgot to take more pictures

Our second game was against a Death alliance of Flesh-eater Courts and mixed Death. We did better in this one and were able to collapse one of their flanks while holding the other. Once their one flank collapsed we were able to shift the pressure and push through the other one, claiming all of the objectives and a major victory. It was a really fun game and our opponents were great.

Again, from the first game

The third and final game for the day had us facing an Order alliance of Stormcast and mixed Order. Let me tell you, Phoenixes are brutal. Their Anointed on Phoenix was able to tear through Adam's Bloodthirster with ease and the right flank slowly advanced towards us. The mission was a variation on Gift from the Heavens and our comets landed in opposite corners from each other. Luckily for us the corner that our comet landed on only had slow moving foot troops opposing it, while I ran my entire army towards their's right away. I don't know how we would have fared against the full might of their army, but my Spirit Hosts and Hexwraiths were able to disrupt their comet and prevent them from scoring for one turn while we held onto ours the whole time, meaning we scored a major victory. Like I said, if the game had continued on, we may very well had lost due to attrition, but luckily we were able to pull out a victory finishing the day 2 - 1.

This was my first Team Tournament for AoS and I loved it. It's different enough from playing regular games of AoS that it provided some diversity from the games I was about to play over the next two days. For a team that only practiced playing together once before this tournament (we did test out our 1,000 point lists against each other multiple times though) we did pretty well, finishing 22nd out of around 60 teams. The rest of the night was pretty chill and we ended up playing another round of Silver Tower, this time with Tony P. from Scrollbuilder. It was awesome getting to meet him in person after talking online for so long. David Griffin was kind enough to be our impromptu game master, reading all of the story bits and controlling the adversaries for us.

Before I go onto the games of the AoS Championship I just want to say how incredibally awesome it was to meet so many people this year. A ton of people I have only talked to on Twitter and Facebook came up and introduced themselves and I also got to see a lot of returning faces from last year like Dan and Wayne from Heelanhammer, Dave Witek, Greg Dan, Kelly, David and Cale, Martin, Vince and Thomas, and way, way more. In fact, I didn't even have enough time to talk to everyone there since I had to squeeze in time to eat food and such. I think that's my biggest regret from this year. I would have loved to had more time to just sit and chat with everyone and I feel really bad that there were times I had to cut conversations short that I would had loved to continue just due to time constraints. Next year I think I am going to try and go for the full time, mostly just so I have more time to mingle with everyone.

Saturday - AoS Championship

For the AoS championship I brought back my Tomb Kings, using a slightly different version of the list I won the MI GT with. I had:
- Settra
- A King on foot
- A Liche Priest
- Khalida
- A Tomb Herald
- 2 units of 3 Chariots
- 15 Tomb Guard with Halberds
- 30 Warriors with Spears
- 20 Archers
- 3 Sepulchral Stalkers
- A Tomb Scoprion

I basically just swapped out the Catapult and Necrotect from my old list for five more Tomb Guard and Khalida. I also brought along my Unofficial Tomb Kings Battletome, my personal printed version, to use for the event. I didn't use any of the unofficial rules obviously, just the already existing warscrolls from GW. A lot of people came up to talk to me about it and I let everyone who wanted take a look through it.

Kenny moving models as GW photographs our game

For my first game I was up against non other than Kenny Lull of the Combat Phase podcast fame! It was awesome to get to meet him in person and this was also my first game against Fyreslayers which was exciting. The scenario had us deploy diagonally and each place two objectives in each other's deployment zones. I hung my archers and spearmen back to guard my own objectives while I pushed the rest of my army forward. I got so caught up in the fight that I almost forgot about the objectives, but then I retreated some of my chariots out of combat onto the objective and used Settra's flying prayer to put my Tomb Guard on the other one.

My spearmen did a good job at repelling the first wave of tunneling Fyreslayers, while the second wave was able to grab one of the objectives, but it wasn't enough and I managed to get a major win out of it. This was a really fun game and I loved playing against such an AoS-y army. The Fyreslayers are a lot tougher then people give them credit for. Those Hearthguard are like hitting a brick wall. Kenny also managed to kill Settra, but not before he carved a fairly large Settra sized hole in the army.

My second game was against Mitch, or Mc1Gamer as you may know him. I really love the look of his army. It's an undead force based around the cursed city of Mousillin in Bretonnia. I particularly like the Carrion Pegasus Knights. This scenario was pretty much like Blood and Glory from the General's Handbook I believe. It was a tough game and ha managed to launch a chunk of his army, including a Mourngul, into my lines turn one. Surprisingly the Mourngul didn't do much damage the whole game, but it did manage to tie up a few of my units. On my turn I counter charged everything and came within one wound of killing his general, a Coven Throne, which probably would have swung the game in my direction, but in the end it came down to a lot of last minute maneuvering and retreating onto objectives, giving Mitch a minor win.

There was some poor dice rolling on my part too, and at one point I rolled four attacks for my Tomb King, only needing a 2+ to hit, and rolled four ones. It was actually quite impressive. I did manage to pick up some points though with the minor loss and my secondary and tertiary objectives.

My final game of the day was against, I believe Travis, I'm sorry if I got your name wrong, please feel free to correct me if you're reading this! He has a Disciples of Tzeentch army with a Bloodthirster in his summoning pool. This one was pretty close to Gift from the Heavens and both of our comets landed in opposite corners of each other. There was also a secondary comet that came down for both of us, which was your tertiary objective to control. This was a tough game, and I forgot to bring in my Stalkers and Scorpion two turns in a row. Skyfires are just as mean as you think they would be, but luckily I was able to weather his Tzaangor charge by piling my Spearmen, Tomb Guard, and Tomb King into them. I held onto my objective the whole game and launched all of my chariots forward along with Settra to disrupt his objective. They were able to slam into his flank and stay alive long enough to deny him scoring for a turn, which meant I pulled out a major victory. I almost got my tertiary objective too, but his Enlightened were nearby it and the last model in the unit hung on with one wound remaining. To be fair, he had his Bloodthirster poised to take my objective the next turn if we hadn't have run out of time, which probably would have resulted in a draw or a minor victory for one of us instead.

I also used this day to check out the Crystal Brush entries between rounds. Man, there was some awesome stuff in there, with the Nagash that took second really blowing me away. So much detail and atmosphere packed into the model.

Eddie and Rob from Warhammer TV were also there the whole weekend, broadcasting a game each round. It was awesome to have GW there live streaming the whole thing, and funnily enough, on Saturday and Sunday they were covering 40k games but still had everything set up in the AoS hall. In the picture above you can see all the empty cups they put right off to the side on their table so you can't see them during the broadcast. The magic of TV. It was really nice catching up with them a little bit after meeting them in person for the first time when I was at Warhammer World the other month. They were crazy busy the whole time though, so they didn't have much time to talk unfortunately. During my first game against Kenny, Duncan came over and took a look at my army. It was great to get feedback from the master of two thin coats himself. Robin "Tomb King" Cruddace also got a chance to look at my army and the two of us got to chat a bit about the desert monarchs. Considering he wrote their army book for 8th edition and was heavily involved with their rules for AoS it was a fantastic opportunity. I had met him at WHW and actually played a game their using his Tomb King army, so I was very happy to get to show off my own models to him.

The Games Workshop Meeting

On Saturday night, myself and other members of the American AoS community were invited to a chat with the Games Workshop team that were at Adepticon. It was an amazing opportunity and after we all crammed into the hotel room we got down to talking about the hobby and game between bites of pizza and some beer. Ben Johnson, Pete Foley, Robin Cruddace, Jes Bickham, and Andy Smillie were there from Games Workshop and I have to say it was a pretty awesome conversation. Games Workshop is definitely doing everything they can to reach out to the community and invited feedback from us on the game itself, tournament play, further outreach, and pretty much everything else you can think of. There was a lot of talk about how to organize the American scene since they realize the American community is a lot more fractured than the UK scene based on the size of the country alone.

They are also looking about better ways to approach and promote Narrative Play in the same way that they did with the General's Handbook and I think you will start hearing some pretty cool things coming of that from the community pretty soon including the Coalescence One Day Global Narrative Event, which I may or may not be a part of. One thing that was pointed out to us that no one realized, is that there is a global event calendar on the Warhammer Community page, so that's worth checking on every now and then to see if anything big is coming up near you. A few exciting things I learned is that, yes, GW is coming back to Twitter to round out their social media profile. It's already in the works but may still be a ways off before we see anything there, but get your GIFs ready to start tweeting at them now. Most excitedly for me, and I'm sure many other people out there, is that they are looking to bring the Golden Demons back to the US! This is something I have been wanting since the last US Golden Demons in 2013 and you better believe I will be painting up and entering a couple of things in the first new one whenever they announce it. This isn't the end of their interaction with the US AoS community either, so even greater things are still to come guys. GW is really doing a fantastic job at making us feel heard and I'm excited to continue working with them in the future.

Sunday - Day 2 of the AoS Championship

Sunday saw us playing the last two games of AoS to round out the championship. My first opponent, who's name I can't recall, (Sorry! Again, please let me know if you're reading this and I'll update it) had an almost pure Bloodbound army. The only non-Khorne thing in there was Sayl the Faithless. This was my first time playing against the Chaos auto-include and I probably could have deployed a little smarter. I also underestimated his Skullreapers and on turn one he flew them right into the face of my army killing Settra before I could do anything about it. After that it was an uphill battle for me as I just couldn't budge that unit. The scenario was again a variation of Blood and Glory, and I tried to hang onto my objectives and eke out a minor loss, but I just couldn't do it. Once the rest of his Khorne units reached me they decimated my already shrinking lines and I ended with my only major loss of the weekend. It was a super tough game I won't underestimate Khorne again. I do hope with the new upcoming Blades of Khorne Battletome that we may see a little less of Sayl in these forces.

Between the two games I wandered over to the 40 Team Tournament games to chat with the GW crew of Ben, Jes, Pete, and Robin. I'm a little disappointed that I will most likely have to wait a full year before hanging out with them in person again, so I made sure to get in some time to chat. I was lucky enough to be able to take a first hand look at some of the Studio and 'Eavy Metal models too since those were the Ultramarines force they were using. I saw them at Warhammer World, but it was behind a pane of glass, and holding them in your hand is something else entirely. The painting and blending on this is so insanely crisp, the pictures you see don't even do them justice.

My last game was against Walter (again, let me know if I got that wrong), who had pure Ironjawz. We both agreed this game looks super cinematic since we were playing on a desert table and both had desert basing. We spent the first couple of minutes taking a bunch of pictures of the game. The scenarios had three objectives along the center lines which you could pick up and move with you starting on turn two. You also scored points for controlling them at the end of each turn. He raced his whole army forward to land them directly on top of the objectives but either couldn't charge because he ran or failed his charges. On my turn I promptly ignored Gordrakk in the center of his lines and started attacking all of his other units. My Stalkers and Scorpion popped up behind him to pick on his Warchanter and Shaman.

I managed to whittle down both units of Gore-gruntas that he had and my Tomb Guard took out half of his ten strong Brutes units before being completely decimated in return. My Spearmen also managed to take down about half of his 'Ard Boyz. He countered by charging Gordrakk into Settra and the Herald, but luckily, through a combination of poor rolling on his part and good rolling on mine, Settra survived. After he and one Chariot unit struck back Gordrakk was left with only one wound, which I then picked off with my shooting in the next turn. The entire left flank of his army had collapsed to my Chariots, but the right side of it had an objective and was moving away from me. I was able to catch up with my Chariots though, and through combat and shooting I claimed the other objective securing a major win.

It was an awesome tournament overall and I ended up finishing 22nd out of 104 players. Not bad if I do say so myself. Most excitingly though, my Tomb Kings won Best Painted nabbing me one of those cool new GW trophies and an Adepticon medal! I was super stoked about this, especially since they had to ask Duncan for help in the end to choose the winner, which means my army is officially Duncan approved! :)

Brad, Jake, and Shaun, also from my gaming club, nabbed a few trophies between them too, including Best Destruction General, Best Death General, Overall in the Team Tournament, and Best Mixed in the Team, meaning between the four of us we came home with five awards! I, of course, am just there to shore up the hobby side of things. ;)

I had such an amazing time and got to talk to so many amazing people. This was even better then Adepticon last year for me and I am already looking forward to Adepticon 2018. I hope to be there longer next year so I can really just kick back and chat with everyone and maybe fit in a few more gaming events too. If you're able to come to Adepticon I highly recommend it, it's an awesome event, and the AoS events run by Alex are particularly awesome. A huge thanks to him for putting in all of the effort required to run these tournaments. I know there is a bunch I probably forgot to mention or kind of glazed over, and I apologize if I left you out, there was just so much going on. I also need to remember to take more pictures next year, I don't even have any selfies with the GW crew, luckily Domus had me covered when it came to Duncan and managed to snap one of me nearby him.

All in all this event is the hobby highlight of the year and GW continues to impress me with their community interaction. I'm super excited about the future of GW and their future in America particularly. I can't wait until the Golden Daemons make their glorious return here in the states.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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