Stranger in a strange land

Or, My brief adventure at Adepticon 2014

By Chris Hahn

Due to work and other previous commitments, I was unable to attend the Thursday and Friday events at Adepticon XII. I know, I know — I really must get my priorities in order. Due to feeling a bit under the weather on Saturday, I was only able to spend a couple of hours — if that — walking around the scores of tables set up in half a dozen locations. Regrettably, I was not able to  observe any of the Warhammer Ancient Battles — singles games or either one of the scheduled big games of WAB. Evidently, Friday night’s fight was between Persians and Macedonians and Saturday night’s struggle involved hundreds of Crusaders and Saracens. Then again, it seems painfully obvious that historical miniatures and historical games are not the main attractions of the annual Adepticon gathering. Fantasy, Science-Fiction, and quasi-historical gaming (for example Dust Warfare) is the main draw of Adepticon. From what little I saw in my brief time wandering through the multitude of tables and making my way through the multitude of like-minded gamers, these branches of the hobby are alive and well in the American Midwest.

Pleading ignorance to the intricacies of Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40K, Battletech, Wrath of Kings, Space Hulk, Rivet Wars, and others listed on the concise convention program, I thought a few pictures (well, eight actually) might serve to speak for me. I apologize for the general quality of the photographs and for not having concrete details about the models and “period” or genre, but would hope that this sample of “eye candy” whets the viewer’s appetite. Perhaps there is a Lone Warrior out there who is more versed in these realms than I, or a real-life Fantasy enthusiast who can explain the attraction and expound on the again, obvious success of Adepticon?

Picture 1

Picture 1

Picture 1 shows, if cold-medication-affected memory serves, some modern/fantasy contingent of warriors. There are wheeled  AFVs, in addition to soldiers on wolves(?) or some other four-legged beasts. What caught my eye was the background. This was a large-scale church — at least I assumed such due to the intricate stained-glass windows. I never cease to be amazed or impressed at the level of talent possessed by people in the hobby.

Picture 2

Picture 2

Picture 2 shows some kind of modern/sci-fi motorcycle “regiment,” I think. There is aerial support in addition to a rather powerful looking AFV. Some  idea of the wide  variety of terrain viewed on the dozens, if not hundreds of tables, can be seen as well.

Picture 3

Picture 3

Picture 3 offers a  poor view of the Legion of Hashui(?) — a formation that fights in and around lava, apparently. In addition to being a part of a tournament, I believe this collection was also entered into one of the many painting competitions.

Picture 4

Picture 4

Picture 4 shows a Star Wars-based game in progress. The X-wing fighters and their arch enemies were well represented on several tables in one of rooms being used during the convention. This game involves, based on what I could observe, status cards, order discs, maneuver templates, and other play aids.

Picture 5

Picture 5

Picture 5 is  a close-up of another fantastic looking fantasy display. These fellows look very much like British Colonial soldiers of the late 19th century. Problem is, they have armored fighting vehicles in support and are carrying a wide array of modern or futuristic weapons. I don’t think they were being attacked by Zulu aliens, but the assaulting force did look a bit green and quite foreign.

Picture 6

Picture 6

Picture 6 shows another “army” that caught my eye. Evidently, this force included “blue beasties” in addition to a variety of chariots. There was also a very large and scary looking purple arachnid in attendance. Certainly not something seen on an Ancients or Napoleonic  battlefield!

Picture 7

Picture 7

Picture 7 shows just a portion of the vendor area. This was located in the main ballroom and from what I could see, was doing a brisk business on Saturday afternoon. I walked around and looked at the displays, amazed at the creativity and imagination involved. (To give myself a little break, I wandered around the Flames of War shelves for about 10 minutes. Tempted by the display of old issues of WI (Wargames Illustrated), I purchased the one which entertained the theme of the English longbow during the Hundred Years War and other conflicts.)

Picture 8

Picture 8

Picture 8 is a general photo of the main gaming area. It doesn’t really begin to capture the number of tables, games, and gamers in attendance, however. One can, though, get an idea of how close  the gaming tables were. I would guess that each “battlefield” measured 4 feet by 4 feet.

The preceding was not intended as a review of Adepticon XII. As I am not an aficionado of Warhammer Fantasy, 40K, or any other similar product, it would not make any sense for me to pass judgment on the four-day event. As a member of the larger hobby, however, it seems quite apparent that it is very much alive and enjoying a robust existence in the American Midwest. At the risk of being labeled a planner (or worse), I have already placed a post-it reminder in my calendar regarding Adepticon XIII. I certainly hope I have better luck with this convention in 2015.

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2 Responses to Stranger in a strange land

  1. Ran The Cid says:

    Hi Lone Warrior,

    In most years, I help coordinate the historical events at Adepticon. I’ll admit we are a small corner of the larger event, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find a handful of historical events mixed in with the 500+ player 40K team tournament.

    In prior years, we’ve had a strong turn out for WAB, but the system seems withering away. 2015 may well be the last shot at keeping this game viable as a tournament system. From the turn out this year, I would say Saga will be replacing it as the main Ancients/Medievals rules system.

    Please send me an email if you’d like more information, or would like to be involved in next year’s events.

    Rich

  2. JAird says:

    That certainly is a packed hall of gaming. I would guess that this was for a WH40K competition ? It’s an impressive number of gamers for certain.

    Like the Victorian style troops in Picture 5 – for some reason the quirky juxtaposition of Victoria’s armies and clunky mega tanks is very pleasing on the eye.

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