Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Adepticon 2011, Part I: The (Bumpy) Road to the Adepticon 2011 Team Tournament!

*takes a deep breath* Man, I survived Adepticon. Again. The feeling is so exhilarating. All the pressure, all the excitement, all the good and bad feelings, emotions, all the stress. Gone. What's left is pure awesomeness.

So this post I want to dedicate to the "hobby" part of the little plastic dudemenz-building hobby we all seem to enjoy around here. Especially the things that worked and did not work for our team. I'll talk about our ideas and what we hoped to accomplish and even cover some of the things I'm definitely going to try and change for Adepticon 2011. So, without further ado..

Team Razorback Spam's Road to Adepticon 2011

Da Originul Plan: The decision to start this whole thing was made very fast during the Summer of 2010. We all wanted to give the whole tourney scene a shot and I must have been pretty annoying with my "Dudes, Adepticon was so fraking cool.. We should do it!" stories. Eventually my teammates agreed and from the very start we knew that we wouldn't win by having the best painted army and that we were not mean and competitive enough to be the best army Generals. So our first and original idea was to go for Da Headhunterz award. We played around with tons of ideas that involved Sargent Tallion, the Sanguinor and just a crazy smorgasbord of different Space Marine chapters and combos. You know, like Sanguinary Priests giving Thunderwolves FNP and Furious Charge, etc.
Da Problum: We realized that if we were to run different chapters we could only get one named character. Then we also remembered that none of the crazy combos that we were trying to abuse were actually legal due to the fact that unique equipment only affects the original chapter. So blood-drinking furious Thunderwolves were out.

Who let the dogs out? Woof. Woof. Woof.

Da Wolvez: THEN we saw Mr. Dandy's Thunderwolves and decided to be a bunch of silly kids and just unleash the furry fury of Fenris upon any and all challengers. The lists were supposed to be pretty straightforward and simple, yet very brutal. Also, we were supposed to have only a few models to paint..

Da Problum: In the end it turned out that I was pretty much the only member of my team that actually was really excited to play Space Wolves. Even though everyone had a lot of fun during the tournament I could feel that they just never embraced the army. Which is okay. Space Wolves are not for everyone and I can't, shouldn't and won't point fingers at my teammates for not liking the Sons of Russ as much as I do. Unfortunately this was probably the most crucial blow to our hobby process. My teammates were painting and playing an army they really didn't care about and as a result there were many delays, skipped hobby nights and just a general lack of motivation. In the rush to run a themed army we forgot to stop and think if we REALLY wanted to all play Space Wolves.
Make sure everyone is okay with the theme of the army or decide upon a theme after everyone has stated their preferred army.

Da Painting: Our Space Wolves paint scheme was simple and we were not expecting any difficulties. We even had a bunch of ideas, including some free-handing. For example, Sleipnir (My Rune Priest's Rhino) was supposed to be covered with glowing runic symbols.. I didn't have the chance to even officially write down the name of the vehicle.. What got me was that I was actually painting 2,000 points of Space Wolves, because one of my teammates is more of a player than a painter. I'm also buying the models off of him pretty soon... Well, that wouldn't have been that bad, except he decided that Thunderwolves were not his mojo (again that whole "being okay with the theme" thing), so he decided to be our Troops choice guy. And KABLAM, a 1,000 point list with x3 Grey Hunter Packs in Rhinos with a Rune Priest, 6 Long Fangs and a Vindicator. This really, really slowed me and my team down. Partially I was expecting a lot more help from the others and while I received some, it really wasn't enough.. Painting 40+ power armored dudemen WITH the amount of detail that Space Wolves are so proud to have is just mind-wrecking.
In this department, special thanks go to Frozencore Joe who drove from Adepticon around midnight on Thursday, March 31 to help me with the highlight on the vehicles. He was one of my teammates at Adepticon 2010 and I really want to invite him again for Adepticon 2012. Thanks for the help, Joe!

I spent ~30 hours awake before the convention just trying to get things done and 5 hours just going over the power armor, then basing tons of guys with slate and snow from Baking Soda. Took forever.. and nothing got completely finished on time. The infantry models all need work on their pelts, faces, facial hair and final highlights. The Thunderwolves need tons of work and so do all the vehicles who got primed in the cold, airbrushed and highlighted in the same day!

My teammated Vince who had way more time to work on his guys and pay attention to details even had the time to paint some pretty cool images on the roof of his Rhinos. You hafta check 'em out. Hengorot and Fangir, the dynamic Rhino duo! 

"Fear me, for I am Fangir, the Legacy of Russ"

Our humble display board!
 Da Display Board:  Now this is just when things get a bit silly. Bear with me.
We wanted to have a snow display board with plenty of pine trees and a gigantic lake in the middle from which a kraken's tentacle was battling the brave Space Wolves. We wanted it to be very scenic.
- The tentacle was supposed to be so detachable and like a foot long.
- The frozen lake was supposed to have a wrecked Drop Pod in it, with Grey Hunters trying to resurface above the deep blue waters..
- A tall cliff with a Rune Priest on top of it who was going to use Jaws of the World Wolf to split the cliff and the lake in half.
- "Smoke" effects from dry ice coming out of the cracks in the cliff and lake. 
- Blue glow sticks in the cracks to give Jaws of the World Wolf that scary warp-glow.
- An Tankbusta Ork using a Bomb Squig for some ice dynamite fishing.
- Hills, tracks in the snow from the vehicles, Thunderwolves and infantry models.
- Speakers that were to play a loop of howling wolves..
Da Problum: The lack of motivation. None of these things got accomplished. The ideas were there but the actual planning and execution fell through. Many trips to the hobby supply store were postponed and eventually never happened, so the cliff, pine trees and other jib-jabs were never purchased or used for our display board. A shame, I know. We had the time, we had the money, we had the skill.. No motivation.
I don't think we were aiming too high.. we just never bothered to take the shot.

The Game: This was also based on motivation. Yes, we did play a few games with our lists, but even if something did not work out, we never got around to changing it. Our lists went from alpha.. to beta.. to omega without ever changing. Getting a Vindicator for the extra Heavy Support slot should have been replaced by a second unit of Long Fangs. Everyone needed at least a squad of them to guarantee 2-3 Long Fangs on the table. Instead, only I and another teammate had a squad, which meant that in one of the games a Coalition had absolutely no long range shooting. Thunderwolves are amazing, but even they need some support! Also, having one of the players not run Thunderwolves in the list meant that in two of the games there was only one unit of them on the table. A huge fire magnet... Too huge.
We were so confident in the straightforwardness of the list that one of our teammates played his first game with the Space Wolves during game 1 of the Team Tournament!
Yes, bum rushing, always running and assaulting with Thunderwolf Cavalry is pretty easy to do, but there are many tricks to using their 12'' assault range and knowing when to commit, how to position them, etc. is soooo crucial.

This first part of this coverage may sound somewhat bitter and filled with laziness, fail and just lack of motivation, but it is important to know that I'm trying to find out what went wrong in order to make things better for the next Team Tournament I go to. I did have crazy lots of fun at Adepticon 2011 and despite all the hardships, trials and tribulations I believe that every second spent (and every second wasted) was worth the experience. Hopefully you'll be able to learn from our mistakes as I have. The next articles will cover the cool things I got, the cool games we played and the cool game of Killzone! 

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