Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Adepticon 2017 (Part 1)

Flying into Chicago
Adepticon was a blast this year.  I was so glad to hang out with friends and acquaintances, both old and new -- gushing over miniature art; busting our guts, either from laughing or eating; learning from the top European talent; discovering (and buying!) new, shiny treasures in the Vendor Hall; and even playing the occasional game.

My first taste of Chicago deep-dish pizza.
My general goal for this year was to schedule a pace that would keep me occupied and entertained, but with enough time to casually see the sights and spend quality time with people.  I scheduled 2 seminars a day; prepared to play my first game of Confrontation; and planned to play demo games.

Watching a beautifully painted Tzaangor army in an Age of Sigmar game.

I decided to not enter a piece in the Crystal Brush, since I didn't want to apply that pressure on myself.  Not the pressure of competition, mind you -- just the time-pressure to paint something to my highest standard.  It's a been an intense year at work, so I didn't want my free time to feel strained.  Instead, I made it a goal to paint a warband for Confrontation.

Inspiring terrain in the Warmachine/Hordes room.
For the most part, I succeeded in my goal to have a casual pace at the convention.  I was surprised to discover that my schedule was still very busy, to the point that I had to rush through each of my three passes at the Crystal Brush.  I didn't have anywhere near the time that I wanted, to study all my favorite pieces.  It was also a challenge to find a time-slot to play Confrontation.  All the effort to paint the models and all the risk to transport them to Adepticon was almost for naught.  Luckily, the Confrontation guys were gracious enough to be flexible and patient and to squeeze me into their busy schedule.

A late-night game of Frostgrave.


I still have a little more work to do on my Orcs of the Behemoth (I hope to post a pic of the finished warband in my next post), but I got them to a good enough level to make a good impression on the tabletop.  I was even torn whether to play with them, as planned, or maybe enter them into Crystal Brush, after all.  Luckily, when I saw the Crystal Brush entries, my decision became an easy one!  My guys are definitely tabletop standard, next to the Crystal Brush entries in the 'Unit' category.

My Orcs of the Behemoth (bottom) face off against the evil Dwarves of Mid-Nor.

The Facebook group, 'American Confrontation EVO Society', organized a proper Confrontation tournament for Friday night.  I swung by the tournament to meet the players and introduce myself, in the hopes of arranging a pick-up game later in the weekend.  Luckily for me, the gents were patient and accommodating, and they squeezed in a game with me on Sunday.

It's always a pleasure to see such well-painted miniatures across the table.
In studying the rules over the last month, in preparation for the game, I suspected that I would not be overfond of the game-play, actually.  As it turns out, the game-play met my skeptical expectations.  I found the game overly-complicated, and the tactics are embedded in the minutia of the individual melees.  The combat mechanics are so heavy-weight, that I don't think the game will flow well at the squad level.  All that said, I surprised myself to discover that I had a very enjoyable time with it, despite its weaknesses in game-play.  I can't put my finger on why it was so enjoyable.

My gracious opponent kindly offered me tactical advice on how to roll up the flank and isolate his command group.
The good news is that there are two movements afoot to streamline the rules.  One avenue is the continued work that the Italian EVO group is doing to modernize the game.  A second avenue is the promise of the French company, Sans Detour, developing an official relaunch of the game later this year.  I'll definitely be keeping my finger on the pulse of Confrontation, and I hope that a community develops around a format that checks a few more squares for a more modern skirmish game.

This Warrior of the Wind weakened the Mid-Nor leader so that my leader, Kolghor, could finish him off.
I'll be posting a formal "family portrait' of my Orcs, when I finish painting the final touches on them.

Crystal Brush

Crystal Brush was astonishing.  What an amazing forum to attract such a bountiful sampling of the best artists in the world for our hobby.  Sure, Monte San Savino and the other European shows have more panache and participation, but they're pure art shows.  One unique aspect of Crystal Brush that sets it apart from the European shows is more general accessibility to the artists by the gamer population -- the opportunity to mix and mingle the professional artists with everyday gamers and hobbyists.

By Raffaele Picca of the Massive Voodoo studio and blog.
 The Hobby Lounge amplified that opportunity by collocating the seminars with a large, general-use painting area, wonderfully supplied with lamps, paint, and water.  This area formed a central, social hub, which provided even more opportunities for casual interaction and impromptu teaching.

The Hobby Lounge.  Where masters and novices could paint side-by-side.

 My two favorite entries

These were my favorite two pieces at Crystal Brush, due to their powerful theme, original concept, expert sculpting, superb composition, brilliant color theme, and masterful technique.

Original sculpture by Michael Kontraros, painted by Francesco Farabi.

"Deus Ex Machina"
Scratchbuilt and painted by Fabrizio Russo.

The gallery

Next Post

  • The Gallery (continued)
  • Seminars
  • Demos
  • Friends
  • Next Year!

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