I made it through the weekend, and had a complete blast. I was able to get the Hardcore army fully painted by the time we left early Thursday. The BoLS Party Bus was definitely a one of a kind experience. I volunteered for the very back row, and ended up sitting with luggage the whole way. At one point towards the end of the drive, I was so asleep that as we stopped for tolls luggage fell on me, and I snored right on through it.
Walking around the con Friday morning was insane. Having never been to Adepticon, it was pretty awesome to see an entire gaming horde descend upon a hotel. Getting my schwag-bag had a nice surprise, as well – the bag contained a full starter box for a random Warmachine army. I think this was marketing genius on Privateer’s part. They also setup demo stations right out side the 40k room. I saw more interest drummed up in the game that weekend than any other time. It was brilliant.
On to Hardcore…
I made my way to the Privateer Room and something struck me right away: the mood in the room was relaxed and welcoming. Unlike the frenzy of the 40k area, the Warmachine/Hordes room was like going to a party. You would have thought we were all in a hobby event and not a serious tournament.
Suddenly all my stress about 7-minute turns went away, as everyone in the room had the same anxiety. There is something freeing about knowing you have no time… you stop worrying about mistakes and just push through to the next step. You have no time to waste, and thus, no time to dwell.
The army I brought:
2X Vassal of Menoth
The Covenant of Menoth
Visgoth Rhoven and Honor Guard
I read up on Hardcore strategies and one thing came through over and over… people take fast, caster kill oriented armies to end the game quickly. GentleBen, SpankyHarrison, and I all felt it was a good counter to bring heavy attrition. We thought it would be successful against a speed army. I still think it would have been, if I had ever faced one.
Turns out, everyone else thought the same thing. Of my 5 games Friday 3 were against heavy attrition Khador, 1 was against Retritibution and the final against heavy Gatormen. No amount of practice could have prepared me for this. The local Austin meta is lacking in Khador specifically, so I had to learn on the fly how to beat them. Turns out, I’m a slow learner. I went 1-4.
Game 1: He brought the Butcher and a wall of 8-wound medium based infantry. This was like two rocks slamming into one another. Eventually my caster got caught in a spot and couldn’t get away. He was murdered.
Game 2: My opponent laid out a Retribution Mage Hunter Strike Force. This was a great game of maneuvering and maximizing Vindictus’ feat to minimize my casualties. Eventually I was able to corner his caster and clear a path for a Cinerator/Devout caster kill.
Game 3: Vlad is a jerk. Seriously… just wore me down with more Beserkers than I knew what to do with.
Game 4: No really, Vlad is a jerk.
Game 5: Gatormen are stout. This game came down to me running out of time and not being able to activate the Covenant. I couldn’t get my army protected against knock-down, and my opponent took advantage and went for the throat.
So What did I learn? That I know nowhere close to enough to feel like I can ace a tournament. I have a ton of reading and strategy absorption to do. It was illuminating to see so many tactics play out as the games went on and realizing that, for the most part, I was ignorant of the subtleties of this game. Some of the comment trolls can call Warmachine a boring game if they like, but they have no idea the complexity and depth the game has once you get past the initial rules learning stage. There is so much to learn and understand to be a good tournament player. I’ve only scratched the surface.
The rest of the weekend:
It’s kind of a blur. I played in the overnight Mangled Metal and had similar results, posting 1-4. Again… Khador out my ears. Saturday, after a bit of sleep, Spanky Harrison and I went down for some casual games. We ended up getting into a 100-point per side EPIC team game. It took 6-hours and was worth every second. In another genius move from Privateer, for all the games you played you got tickets. Those tickets allowed you to buy schwag at the end of the weekend. Spanky Harrison walked away with a beautiful Centurion print and I got more tokens to replace a lot of lost ones.
All in all, it was an AMAZING weekend. I met a ton of people from the Illinois/Wisconsin area and had a blast. Every game was illuminating and fun, and there wasn’t a bad opponent the whole time. In 20 games over the weekend, I played the same opponent only twice, both times in casual games. The Press Gangers who ran the event did a great job keeping the atmosphere fun and lively while making sure that everyone had a good time.
All in all, the work to get the army ready for the weekend, and the 20 hours crammed in the back of a van to get there was worth it. I walk away from Adepticon 2011 knowing that I have a lot to learn, and I can’t wait to do it again.
Any tips and tricks to help me deal with Khador the next time I face them? How did you enjoy Adpeticon this year?
A note from The Girl: we weren’t able to add photos of Rabscutle’s army to his painting post, so I took some at the tournament…