Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Road to Adepticon 2017 : Part 3

We have at last come to the week of Adepticon 2017.  This will be the first major Wargaming event I will be attending and the excitement is incredible.  Games Workshop will be out in force this year with event support and hobby seminars galore.  It is going to be big and I cannot wait for Thursday to arrive!


Over the past few months, you could see a few posts about Adepticon preparation appearing in your social media feeds.  As we grew closer more and more appeared as the Hobby Crunch time swung into full effect.  I personally experienced this crunch for other hobbies and conventions, but it was very unique this time around and that is due tot he community.

My Lists to hand out

As my Stormcast army was changed with the release of the new book I kept struggling on what army list I would bring to the Championship  (spoiler it will not be Warrior Brotherhood).  I had no idea what else I needed to paint, but along the way, I received lots of support from the Twitter Community as well as my close friends.  They would constantly tell me "You can do it!  We believe in you!" and it is heartwarming to hear those words from the people I call friends.  To top it all off every picture I posted via Twitter on hobby progress for Adepticon was met with words of encouragement and a plethora of likes (hearts?).

Which Gryph-Hound made it into my list? (Digby or Becky)

I found myself searching for those prepping for Adepticon to offer my own words of encouragement and support.  It has been great to see how a community can bond and keep pushing itself more and more while keeping the fun.  From finishing my army to working out some giveaways to my opponents I have enjoyed every minute, even the stressful ones.  We have a very unique and close-knit community and we cannot forget how great a thing that is as we continue to grow in the future as a game and a hobby.

Who will prevail? Only the Faithful!

I don't believe I will accomplish everything I intended for Adepticon, but I will be ready enough with the few hours remaining to prepare.  I look forward seeing some of you at Adepticon and please do come up to say hello and chat for a bit!  If you are not able to attend keep an eye on my Twitter as I will post up as many pictures as I can for everyone to see all the fun!

Until next week Happy Hobbying!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Steel City Sigmar's First Event


This past weekend I was able to attend the first event for The Steel City Sigmar Series.  The event was hosted at Legions Hobbies and Games.  Organized by Bill Souza and acting as T.O, Mike Ryan.  I wanted to run down my games and give some of my opinions from the event.  I took Stormcast Eternals to this event using the Hammerstrike and Thunderhead formations.  I do want to mention that this club is separate from the local scene that I am trying to grow within my immediate area that has been the focus on my "Building a Community" Series.  Steel City Sigmar is where I simply show up to play and compete.  It is vastly different from the local group I am struggling with currently.

The event consisted of three matched play games at 2000pts using the ITC format.  Entry was $20.00 with prizes for First, Second, Third, Painting (although painting was not a requirement), and Smoking Boots (i.e. Last place).  As I mentioned above Legions Hobbies and Games hosted the event and we had plenty of tables and space to play.  All prize money was given in the form of Store Credit and everyone was scoring ITC points for attending as well as our own in-house point system for Steel City Sigmar.  I feel the entry fee was a bit high for a local event, but there were thirteen players who show up to play so perhaps it is what the local scene sees as reasonable.  After a bit of banter and coffee, the games got under way.


Game 1

My First game was against a club mate Roger who brought a  Tzeentch army with Archaon at its head.  While I have known Roger for a bit, we have never faced off one another across the table so I was very excited.  The first Scenario was "Three Places of Power".  Roger had more heroes than I did, but my shooting kept all but Archaon cowering in the back for a large portion of the game.  I took an aggressive move early to try and rack up the points before Archaon and his magic began to remove my heroes.  The game had a lot of back and forth and stayed tight until the initiative roll for turn four.  If I would have won, I would have been able to shoot off one of his scoring heroes.  We rolled and he came up with the big roll to seal the game.  It was a great game and I learned how to handle Archaon on the table as well as the power Tzeentch is bringing.  My big mistake in the game was attempting to drop my Prosecutors from the heavens on a 3 up in order to allow my Hammerstrike Force Paladins to attempt to alpha strike his line.  They did not arrive until turn five.  A harsh lesson learned to start my game with the Prosecutors on the table.


Game 2

Game two was Gift from the Heavens down on the bottom tables after my loss.  I was paired off against Pat who was new to Age of Sigmar, but a long time Fantasy player.  Pat had a good humor about him and seemed excited to be playing.  Pat brought an Eight Edition Dispossessed Army with lots of artillery and shooting.  Pat did his best with an underpowered army, but I quickly neutered his army by baiting his killing units away from the objectives and shooting off his artillery crew.  I did my best to give him a proper game and we made it through four rounds despite the primary being wrapped by me up in the first few turns.


Game 3 (My terrain error is easily seen)

I was going into my final game as 1-1.  I knew I was most likely out of the running, but I was ready strive to place as well as possible.  The last Scenario was "Border War", and I was playing Tom and his Stormcast Army.  Tom was new to gaming, and despite a few of the bad habits we all had when beginning he was a good opponent.  This game I made my biggest mistake.  I am sad to say I did not give Tom a proper game.  I took myself out of the game after I realized my mistake.  That mistake was that after deployment began I realized terrain had been pushed to the edges by the person before packing up their army.  I was stuck deploying on objectives with no cover to be seen.  I should have been more aware before deployment or called the T.O. over to rectify the situation, but I mentally took myself out of the game.  We threw dice, we did have some fun, but by turn three it was all over.  I did my best to give my opponent a good game, but I am sure my attitude wasn't as sporting as it could have been for the game.  Tom played very tight and clean and I hope to play him again in the future and have a better experience on the table between the two of us.

I placed 12th out of 13 at the end of the day and while the gaming experience wasn't all that great I did learn quite a bit about my army.  It didn't work well with how I wished to play.  I am currently adjusting in preparation for Adepticon and still considering running Warrior Brotherhood, but more and more I feel the Stormcast Eternal Battalions are too much of a point sink and a strong list might not need to include any.  I also got to experience a bad day of gaming and reflect on how I can handle it better in the future as well as look inward to improve myself.  Overall what I took away from the event was immensely more valuable than a podium.


Club Shirt (Front)

Taking a step back to view the event separate from my personal experience I would say it was a good first event.  It was organized well and we did great as a club to get the word out to ensure a good turnout.  However, I feel the $20.00 entry fee was too steep for the drive and the potential to have a lackluster day.  My other concern was the lack of soft scores.  The ITC is known to be very competitive, but this kills hobby and ultimately can kill the enjoyment of the game.  Only three armies, one being my own, were fully painted and based.  I didn't get to play against a finished army that day, which added to me wondering if the drive and entry fee were worth it to me.  One bright spot of the day was receiving my Club Shirt.  While the first event didn't go all that well for me the next one could be much better and I intend to continue supporting and growing with the club.  The turnout was great and I hope it grows to improve the wider scene.  Hopefully even my own, more local, group.  Bill and Mike did a great job and I have expressed my views of the first event to them both prior to this article.  Open feedback will help improve the next event and I am always happy to share both the positive and negative.


Club Shirt (Back)

Until Next week (Adepticon week!) Happy Hobbying!

Edited by Grudgegamer

Friday, March 10, 2017

What is your level of competitiveness?

I was chatting with my friend about our preparation for Adepticon that is rapidly approaching.  An interesting topic came up on where we saw ourselves in a level of competitiveness.  I thought it could be a good talking point to discuss how someone might see themselves in the various levels of competition.

So much to do and so little time...

I see myself as a very competitive player.  However, Adepticon will most likely change my perspective on the matter.  In my local scene, I hang around the top tables with a high level of consistency.  I developed my taste for winning during 8th edition Fantasy and found enjoyment in developing new competitive lists and testing them on the table.  When I found that list I would play it for months constantly refining it, and committing the play style and stats to memory.  It may sound dull, but if you mix in the background and the story it can feed into a competitive style of play, at least for me it has.

I can look at my past and feel proud of my accomplishments and awards.  Recently, however, I have been challenged and it is very refreshing to get your teeth kicked in once in a while.  That may sound odd, but it is the truth. In a few short games in which I lost has given me more info about how to improve then all the wins combined.  Always ask why you lost and be honest in self-critiques.

My hobby space with my local event trophies sprinkled about to keep me motivated!

It is easy to say that your dice went cold or your opponents dice were hot.  We all know this is a dice game and there is a level of luck involved, but when you build and play your lists you should be working to minimize how much luck affects the game.  There is always something that you could have done better.  Maybe you made one wrong move or buffed the wrong unit that swung the game against you.  Being able to see your mistake and work to correct it will make you a better general.  A good strategy I have used in the past is to play a game with a like-minded individual, but remove as much of the dice as possible.  Instead of rolling to hit, wound, or save use the average of what your dice can produce.  Same for Battleshock, running, and charging (this one can be difficult).  The only dice that I feel needs to stay random is the Turn Order roll.  Keeping that random helps you prepare to be double turned while taking advantage of gaining the double turn.  This type of practice is not for everyone, but I find it invaluable.

Getting out of your comfort zone and playing new people is an exciting a scary idea.  I like the group I play with and I do well in the local group.  I could leave it at that and be content with my current status, but what is the point.  I want to climb the next mountain no matter its height always reaching for the impossible.  I am about to go to Adepticon and I have the confidence to show up and do well, but I also know there is a good chance this mountain will kick me off its rocky slopes.  Honestly, I am not afraid to fall as I will learn from my failure and when I stop falling I will stand back up, spit the blood from my mouth and start climbing again!  Ever forward!

It would be amazing to bring home one of these beauties.

Dramatism aside, I look forward to Adepticon and I am going in with confidence.  If I win every game I will be over the moon, but if I lose every game I will enjoy the process of learning while meeting and playing new people.  I am competitive by nature, but I always see more opportunity to learn from my defeats.  Look forward to my post-Adepticon article that will most likely be titled “Big Fish, Little Pond”.

Until next week Happy Hobbying!

Edited by Grudgegamer

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Building a Community : Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of my "Building a Community" Series.  If you have missed Part 1 and Part 2, please check them out in the links below.  Today I want to talk about my local club’s tables, terrain, etc...

I need to be honest with myself.  Building and painting terrain can be a chore for the common hobbyist, with the exception of a few notable exceptions.  When I go home to hobby I would rather build lists, paint, or convert models while catching up on Warhammer TV streams.  I could go on and on about the parts of the hobby that I love, but it would take some time until I mentioned building and painting terrain.  I am falling short in raising the bar in that regard for my local scene.

When I took over the leadership position of my local club, I inherited a ramshackle assortment of terrain and gaming mats that the club has collected over the past decade.  Most of which has been donated from less hobby enthused patrons, to say the least.  It is the same terrain in service today.  While it is great to have anything to put on the table when you are just starting out, our club has been around for a number of years.  Despite my motivation to take the club beyond where it currently stands, I have not managed to rectify this situation.

A classic piece of terrain, but it has seen better days...

When we show up for Club Meets, we begin by setting up uneven tables in the basement of our local library.  Old felt mats, not even cut to the proper size, are then laid out.  Terrain, that has seen better days, is then spread out among these felt mats.  It is time to correct the situation. My goal has always been to motivate others to play and enjoy Age of Sigmar, and that must include playing on quality tables.

Basic field at my local events

Many hands make light work, and building and painting does not require a high level of hobby skill, but it does require a time commitment and perhaps even a few dollars.  Hopefully, I can get the club on board with taking a few of our standard Club Meets throughout the year to spruce up our tables.  My goal isn't to have Holy Wars or Realms at War level of tables, but I would like our club to be able to host a small size one-day event without the feeling that the playing area is lessening the experience of the players.

While I need help from my club to improve the tables, I realize I will have to take on most of the responsibility myself to make it all happen.  I have worked with my FLGS owner to purchase some Games Workshop terrain for use at the club so each table can have a few high-quality pieces.  I need to motivate myself to paint these up quickly to inspire everyone else to put in their effort, so we improve our club as a whole.  It won't be an overnight change and it might not be very easy, but it needs to be done.

A beautiful table by Steve Herner One day I hope to play on it myself!

Luckily, I have a few stalwart friends that I know I can count on.  Others I may have to drag along in this process, but that is part of being a motivator.  My hope is everyone steps up to help, even if it is only in a small way.  The fear is that there are a few who feel they are above this endeavor or do not feel like it is a good use of time.  No matter who is on board or possibly not on board, I will give it my all to inspire and motivate others within my club to create the best playing experience possible.

A lovingly crafted table by Ming

Another thing to keep in mind is that our club currently shares terrain between 40k and Age of Sigmar.  While this is great for starting out it will have to change so we can theme our tables wholly within The Mortal Realms.  While hills can easily pass for both games I doubt a High Elf Dragon Prince would land next to a power generator and a chemical plant any time soon.  As a club, we will need to acknowledge and sort our terrain between the two games to prevent unnecessary damage and keep it thematic.  I have seen firsthand how players from other systems can be careless and downright abusive to terrain that they know is not theirs.  Hopefully separate tubs will be enough.

I have fallen short of my goals for this club so far, but I will work to correct it with their help.  Currently, I am striving for having 6 tabletop standard tables with 8-10 quality pieces of terrain for each prepared by the end of this summer.  I would like to invite anyone who has advice on the matter or from anybody who has been in a similar situation.  I will continue to keep everyone posted on my progress on this topic.


Until next week, Happy (Terrain) Hobbying!

Building a Community Links:

Edited by @Grudgegamer