The Road Back from Adepticon 2012: So, yeah, that happened…

Got back from Adepticon.  Can’t say I really had a great time.   The folks that put on the con were fantastic as always.  The con was arguably bigger and better than it ever was before, but I can’t really say I had fun BECAUSE of the con.  More like I had fun, kind of, around it.

The popularity and prevalence of Grey Knights was astounding, but that wasn’t the problem.  I’m a Grey Knight player myself.  I have been since 3rd, and Emperor knows that the Grey Knights have been waiting long for their time in the sun.  I happen to be one of those few people who doesn’t think that the codex is broken.  Yes, there are some easy overpowered builds there, but people choose to play it that way.  I could easily field Crowe and 50 purifiers, but that kind of list isn’t fun to play and frankly, isn’t fun for a potential opponent.  I chose to field a ‘softer’ more fun list of Mordrak and some Ghost Knights, I nicknamed “Haunted Highlander” (though at 1850, it isn’t the true Highlander list it is at 2000pts).  [For those who are curious the list I ran was 1850 pts.  Mordrak + 3 Ghosts, 10 Purifiers, 10 Terminators w/ Thawn, 10 Strike Squad, a non-teleporting Dreadknight, and two psyflemen).

Many would say that I deserve to lose if I didn’t bring the most ‘broken’ list I could field, that it is my fault for not fielding 50 purifiers or a crillion Paladins and Draigo.  Trouble is that I’d had decent results with a 2000 pt variant of the above mentioned list at last year’s Feast of Blades.  So what was so different about the Adepticon Championship?   I think it was the win/loss format coupled with a codex where it is very easy and financially affordable to make very powerful ‘broken’ lists.  (Out of the 4 games I played in the Championships, 3 were against Grey Knights).  There wasn’t anything wrong with the missions themselves, in fact, I loved the missions Adepticon ran for the Championships this year.  I think it was the overall win/loss format of the tournament over margin of victory format.   I’ve heard both sides of the debate for and against MOV versus Win/Loss and I really didn’t care which one.  Until I noticed that people in the Championships weren’t really playing to win, for the most part, they were playing not to lose and that sucked the fun out of the games.  It took me a bit to figure out what was wrong, but then I heard a lot of other people making the same observation.  That, combined with the staleness of 40K 5th Edition made the Adepticon Championship tourney a waste of time, I’m sad to say.   Unless 6th edition changes things radically, and the Championship changes format, I won’t be participating next year.

I was supposed to attend the NOVA tourney later this year, but since it is win/loss, there doesn’t seem to be any point in going.   Unless, 6th edition comes out early enough for the NOVA to run under 6th edition, which doesn’t seem likely.

Luckily, the Team Tournament on Saturday redeemed Adepticon 2012.   I had a great time with my team fielding Necrons against Grey Knight after Grey Knight army.  (again, 3 out of the 4 opponents were some variation of Grey Knights).  We only had 1 bad game of people playing some seriously “broken” stuff and then apologizing the whole game for playing “broken” stuff.  Stupid politics.   Luckily, immediately afterwards, we played a great group of “blokes” from the South East London Wargaming Group.   It was a fantastic game, one of the best I’ve had in a long time and ended up in a very close draw.

Since I’d had fun during the Team Tourney, I decided to go out on a high note and instead of playing in the Gladiator tourney, I decided to sleep in.  Yeah, exactly, what’s wrong with that picture?  Here I was at the biggest Warhammer 40K event in the world, and I’d rather sleep in!  Something is very wrong…

At the end of the weekend, I realized that aside from 2 games the most fun I’d had was not at the convention at all, but before it started when my friends and I were playing pickup games at the Chicago Battle Bunker, or afterwards, when we were overindulging in expensive steaks at Harry Carry’s.  So was it worth driving 32 hours and spending over $1,000 in hotel and kennel fees? Sad to say, not this year.

Here’s hoping Feast of Blades 2012 is a lot better experience.

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