I've been to a couple of gaming cons. Gencon a few times, some conventions in St. Louis, and even ran a small convention for the Fantasy and Science Fiction Appreciation Club I was an officer for back at the University of Dayton. Adepticon is no where near as big as Gencon, but it's big for a convention with such a narrow focus.
The focus has broadened away from GW properties. Warhammer 40K still dominated about 50% of the floor space, but Privateer, Catalyst, Wyrd, and Battlefront are starting to eat up all the space left over. There's so much going on at Adepticon there's almost not enough room for it all. The vendor area was claustrophobic, and companies had to have their demo tables clear on the other side of the building.
The tastiness of the swag bag this year, with the inclusion of the Adepticonstruct, and a free Battle Foam Shield Bag for the first 500 attendees created a congested registration line that wrapped around the building and took hours to parse through.
|The registration table is around that corner and 50 yards away. This was an hour and half before registration opened, and it took me an hour to get there once they started.|
|This is the line wrapping into and through the grand ballroom.|
There is a need for some updated registration organization next year. They could do it the way Gencon does and mail out Badges. Preferably with a guaranteed ticket for your swag bag. But I can't complain too much since I got a free battle foam bag myself. If you plan on going next year, the ViG upgrade to your ticket is worth it if you can get it. That line only had 100 people and they all got to be registered first.
|Of course there are other ways to cope with long lines. Yes that is a keg hidden in a BF bag.|
One thing missing that they should have had was a convention program with a map. For a first time attendee, it was hard to figure out where things where and what was going on. If they plan on adding more events beside the big 40K tournaments they really need to have one.
The Lombard was fairly nice hotel, but everything was on the expensive side. They are also pretty much out of room to grow there. There's no room to add another vender or another big tournament for a new game system. Hopefully they can secure a bigger location in the future. The restaurants in the hotel are nice, but a bit overpriced. I would not have gone there if I wasn't taking my wife out to a nice Birthday dinner.
I would like to go again next year. It was nice to have my wife along, but I felt like I missed out on a lot of the convention. Hopefully Adepticon doesn't fall on her birthday next year.
The championships where a lot of fun. I didn't do as well as I hopped, but I wasn't expecting to take home the championships with Tau. People liked the colors on my Tau, and it got a little attention. Blue Table Painting did a little mini-interview with me 1:30 into one of their you tube videos from the convention.
I went 1-2-1 for the day. I beat a Demon Fatecrusher list in the first round. She was a too aggressive with her drops and lost 3 units to mishaps. My second game was against Wolves and I tied. The third game as against a Foodar list, on a table with too much LOS blocking terrain. He reserve denied his army and had plenty of terrain to completely block units(even wraith lords) from my shooting. I didn't try too hard in my last game, and I also had a pretty crappy run of dice.
The format was OK, but I think it needs to improve on a few points. Some of the mission objectives are still kind of cheesy. They would be OK, if every army in 40K had an equally stocked tool box, but we all know that's not the case. The objectives to get across the table and put an HQ within 3 inches of the table center are impractical for some armies, and almost a given for others. Table quarters needs to move to the nova style. Being able to contest with a single unit is a little lame. The marked target objective was the only one that was on its face stupid. Mostly because you could reserve the marked target and deny your opponent the objective. A better way to do it would be to chose the marked target at the end of the first or second turn amongst units on the table. Accounts for armies that have to enter the game from reserve, and makes sure someone actually has the ability to get the objective.
Terrain was OK. I prefer using radial symmetry and more smaller pieces, but the 6 piece setup Adepticon uses is good enough. The exception where a handful of tables in the corner that where made up of random pieces that where left over. I had the unfortunate experience of playing on one of these tables against Footdar. It had at least 10 large city fight ruins with very few window pieces. My opponent was able to effectively hide things like wraith lords and war walkers from my LOS. My opponent took every advantage of that board and the mission, and I was a pretty impossible fight for a static shooty army like my Tau.
Spag had some trouble with his opponents and some sportsmanship chipmunking, but in my experience all my opponents where fun and fair. Adepticon this year went along way towards reminding me about what I like about the game. Mostly it's the way you can express yourself and build great interesting armies. Flame of War and Warmachine might have tighter rules, but have you ever seen something like this in anything other than a 40K or Fantasy tournament?
|And this person didn't win players choice! A crime I tell you!|
It's made me want to start on another army. Unfortunately this is where GW screws the pouch again. I can't seem to reconcile an army I want to build with an army capable of winning. 40K exists because of its passionate players despite GW. Adepticon is a shining example of that.
And Now for Something New
I picked up one of the last copies of Dust Warfare from the Fantasy Flight booth. It's a pretty solid rules system. It definitely reads like a potential 40K killer. It plays at a similar scale with tighter rules. It's also pretty cheap with units costing 15-25 dollars. You could build a decent army for $150 dollars. It lacks the flair of 40K that I was talking about earlier, and I'm pretty board of the weird war II genre. But it's got the one thing that every other 40K killer has failed to produce so far, cheap cool vehicle kits. Those heavy walker units are boss. The actual unit miniatures could look better, but that's a side effect of the way they are produced, and the price is right.
The rules system is a basic 2 action system where units can move, attack, double move, or double attack. You use the same roll for everything in the game. Essentially you need to roll a 5+ to hit or save; what varies is the number of dice you roll. The moral mechanic is also very interesting. Units gain suppression markers as they take wounds. They actually increase your cover, but too many causes the unit to break. Speaking of cover, it works much more intuitively and less abstract than 40K. You can only assign wounds to models you can see, and you have to assign wounds to models outside of cover first.
I'd like to give it a try. It would be cool if another Indy local would like to also buy in.
It would also be a pretty fun project to try and convert 40K armies to use the this rule system. There are enough special rules in the core rulebook that I think you could make it work without having to introduce new ones.