Friday, April 8, 2011

AdeptiCon: The Killzone

Because of the space between the time when I had submitted the missions for printing, and the time I finished the tables, there was a woeful lack of playtesting for the first two tables. This showed almost immediately and repeatedly in all three events; unfortunately, by the time I had realized the problem, it was simply too late to change a word. So it goes, and lamentably Missions One and Two were at best extremely challenging, at worst impossible, for one faction on the table. That was unfortunate for those that cared about such things. Thankfully, few let a bit of imbalance get in the path of a roaring good time.

Now, let me first note that Killzone is a game dynamic completely apart from manner in which 40K was designed. As such, it would also be fair to say that the game dynamic requires a particular and specific disposition, and I will admit freely, even eagerly, that I was depending upon that disposition from the players on the day. It is a lot to ask. I know.

Almost without exception, you –the gamers- came up trumps. Take, for example, Papa JJ of diceRolla fame who, when confronted with a marginal loss on account of the aforementioned imbalance, was immediately able to see the narrative fun in the scene and could imagine his opposition (DH stormtroopers and an Assassin) expending the grist of its force in order to escort an Assassin into the Mission parameters. That’s the stuff! Who cares about the Mission Points? The narrative and cinematic spectacle triumphed on the day. It is hardly a wonder that he won “player’s choice” as an opponent on Sunday.

Or consider Chris Borer (yes, the very same) who when given the opportunity to exploit the Scout rule to tip the scales quite dramatically in his favor, opted to play to the opponent's Secondary Mission instead -a decision that probably cost him "victory" but wonderfully improved the game for all concerned. That's the stuff again. The table worked. The Mission worked in its goal to invoke an impassioned narrative from the players. The weekend was rife with similar examples of sport brilliant and earnest play.

Of course, there were two, perhaps three, unfortunate souls over the course of the horde of games across the entire weekend that mistakenly thought this event was, in fact, a tournament event and tried to use an outdated codex exploitatively in an already and deliberately compromised game system. Sure. These rare individuals won a broken game or two; however, I feel quite strongly that they ultimately succeeded in little more than making rather large prats of themselves. No more. Certainly no less.

For the 65+ other gamers that enjoyed the events on the weekend, all proceeded swimmingly.

…which I believe is a tremendous testament to the hobbyist-gamer who I am pleased to report is both alive and well within (or perhaps adjacent to) the otherwise demanding tournament scene. The forces that the gamers brought on the day were invariably interesting, dramatic, fluffy, odd, compelling, and inexcusably quirky. I must also say, beautiful. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

As I have said before elsewhere, Matt from AdpetiCon was quite keen from the very outset that Killzone should be a fun, frivolous counterpart to the competitive atmosphere surrounding it. Moreover, sandwiched between the Crystal Brush (so intense!) on one side and 400+ raving competitive madmen on the other, I believe quite sincerely that Killzone accomplished that task with good manners and dignity. Though I would love to take credit for this fact, I cannot. The gamers on the day, however, can and must.

Thank you, fellas, for breathing the life into this crazy Killzone gambit.


Big Jim said...

Outstanding, I am so very glad that the events went so well. I really wish I could have been there but real life takes precedence over toy soldiers. There's always next year!

Here are the Killzone Adepticon Missions

Simply Glorious!

Student Teacher said...


Mr.Esty said...

Sounds like fun!
That's exactly the kind of environment I'd like to game in :)

Porky said...

Very well done, to Big Jim too. You guys are exemplars. To get these tables done in that short a time and to such a high standard, and the new cards and missions as well, and run the thing so successfully on site is outstanding. Even daring to do it is something quite special.

beat ronin said...

Well done, that sounds like it was a a great event.

And especially well done to all those players who sacrificed victory points for the narrative, that's what I like to see! It can be hard to do in the heat of the moment I know, but it always makes for an outstanding and memorable game.

Loquacious said...

I'm not far from you and I have heard nothing but lovely and warm commentary about your event, tables, demeanor and so on. everyone I talked to WANTED to be as awesome as possible to live up to the KZ idea =)

Leslie said...

Awesome! Got to do that one next year if you have it. Tables looked great and to play some narrative and fun amidst all that competitive play would be a welcome oasis of gaming.

Papa JJ said...

Thank you again for providing a truly outstanding gaming experience! With such splendid tables and compelling missions to play, dramatic games seemed to me a natural result and perfectly matched to the spirit of Killzone. It was a marvelously good time and I am grateful to have participated... thanks!

Brian said...

@ Big Jim. Cheers in general, as ever, but also for posting those.

@ Student Teacher. Thanks.

@ Mr. Esty. Next year. You won't regret it.

@ Porky. That is a kind compliment from an inspirational individual. Cheers.

@ James S. Indeed.

@ Loquacious. That is tremendous news. Thanks you for your kind words. And thanks to those others as well.

@ Leslie. We will be back. See you next year!

@ JJ. You are a good man. It was great seeing you again this year and hope to get that game of blood bowl in sooner rather than later! ha. Failing that, next year will do.

TJ Atwell said...

Ha, just noticed myself AND SeerK in the last photo - that makes two hung over folks playing in seperate events in a single image. Kudos.