Thursday, April 1, 2010

Adepticon: Loved it. Mean it.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I loved the convention. It was amazing. Full stop. Of course, there’s much more to say than that. Adepticon advertises itself with the slogan “For Gamers By Gamers.” Also true… and the proof is certainly there to be seen by anyone even tangentially aware of the blogosphere. But I wanted to finish this series of “follow ups” with a quick synopsis of my (admittedly only introductory) experiences at Adepticon. To do so, I compartmentalized my impressions into three distinct categories: Cool People (self explanatory), Inspiration (hobby-wise), and Tournament Play (which addresses my nervous hesitation toward competitive wargaming).

COOL PEOPLE: I sat down this morning prepared to write a post about one team competing in the tournament that both epitomized and exemplified the experience I had at Adepticon, a team that simply nailed all three categories.

But let me back up for a moment. While strolling through the tables on Saturday, I spotted a Wolves army that caught my eye/ I shuffled over and asked permission to photograph some elements of the army, which were in post-battle disarray. Two really sound guys, Sam and Wyatt, did me one better. They re-arranged the army to make it easier for me to photograph, and were quite happy to talk about everything that I was looking at. They were really kind and friendly and sensible and just generally good guys. I know that tournaments are meant to be quite rigorous and stressful, but here we were three games into the day and these guys seemed like they were just hanging around at their FLGS on any given Saturday. For me, it was genuinely refreshing to see people that obviously enjoying themselves in an environment that others (including me) might find a bit intense.

And then, while sipping my coffee this morning, I stumbled over this on BoLS. Yep. Same Wyatt -competing in the previous evenings Gladiator Tournament. EVEN COOLER!!!

Wyatt also mentioned that he does commission work from time to time. You can reach him at If you are as impressed as I am by what you see here, I highly recommend giving him a shout. I should also say that some of these photos don't even really capture the subtle coolness of this army. It was amazing to see.

INSPIRATION: The army is pretty much “by the numbers” Wolves, painted both cleanly and precisely, but also sporting some really splendid conversions. As with any Wolves army, the Heroes are the matter at hand, and these figures are simply terrific.

The “Rune Disks” are a brilliant idea, and they looked just stunning in person. And here’s the rub with genius. It doesn’t take over-complication or aggressive innovation –merely a keen eye and generous serving of creativity. Sam and Wyatt have that in spades.

Previously, I made an effort to describe the hobby adrenaline I’ve felt coming off of this convention, and mentioned the two different seminars I attended: Green Stuff and Casting. And here’s the detail that really grabbed me about these Wolves. The Frost Hammer and Frost Blade were originally sculpted in Green Stuff and then Sam cast them in a clear resin for the Ice Effect. Again, brilliant. I’m absolutely beside myself with eagerness to try something similar and wouldn’t you know –the two seminars fit that inclination as if I’d planned it that way. Result.

And again, the inspiring pieces in question are not overstated –just a few blades and hammers to round out the model with a really sharp and appropriate engagement with the Fluff. What more can I say other than that I’m quickly running out of superlatives.

TOURNAMENTS: I should say that Sam and Wyatt were not the only two people I met that could have outlined these three categories, but they were certainly the most impressive. And to learn now that they are also quite competitive players, well…

All this has convinced me that I’m almost ready to give this whole tournament malarky a shot; I think something like the Team Tournaments that I saw on Saturday, mostly because I don’t think my gaming is up to the challenge of a one-v-one competition, but also because it looked like tremendous fun –like all the facets of this hobby that appeal to me most: cool people, fantastic hobbying, and dynamic strategy.

And there we have it.

Tomorrow we continue with the third installment of “Hailed vs. Hated” with some modest progress on the Fateful Squad from last week –and in particular the Banner Encarmine. See you then.


Da Masta Cheef said...

Hmmm, those runic disks around their weapon arms remind me of the artwork in the Warmachine books.


wyatt said...

Thanks for your kind words. I would love to have my email address up there for anyone who has any questions about how I made those characters, or questions about commissions. I am really psyched that we convinced you to play the team tourny next year. I've been 3 years now, and each time we make dramatic improvements. Its a great motivation to get better at all aspects of the hobby.


Spacecurves said...

Thank you for the kind words about our army! My wife and I are the other members of team Pink Shirts. We all worked hard on the army and it paid off both in compliments we got, and in gaming karma, we went 6-1-0 in the tournament, came in 3rd overall and won best sportsmen!

Hephesto said...

Sounds like it was a blast, if only I wasn't on the wrong side of the globe ;-)

That SW army is indeed a looker, those guys did an amazing job. Those rune disks are a very nice touch, but visually and for identifying your special characters.

Brian said...

@Cheef. I've not seen the books. Do you mean the newest releases?

@ Wyatt. Thank you. I'm already looking forward to next year. I hope to see you (an another brilliant army) across the table.

@Spacecurves. I'm sorry that I didn't give a mention to you and your wife, as I only met Sam and Wyatt. Congratulations on a fantastic run at Adepticon, 3rd overall. Nice one. Look forward to meeting you properly next time.

@Heph. If you can make it, I highly recommend the experience. Having said that, I fully understand that geography can be a serious obstacle.