Wednesday, April 24, 2013

play : adepticon 2013

In the weeks leading up to Adepticon 2013, I was debating whether this year would be my last. I've made the 15 hour drive five consecutive years now and, to be honest, I ended Adepticon 2012 on a particularly bad note (Through no-one's fault but my own). For that and other reasons, I've been eyeballing the potentially greener pastures of other conventions - GenCon, WargamesCon, DuelCon, etc. Now that Adepticon 2013 is over, I find myself reinvigorated - jazzed on mind-blowing displays of hobby, gaming and friendship. Sunday night, while chatting post-con with friends who came into this year's con with a similar mind-set, we resolved to once again make the pilgrimage to Chicago next April.

Highlights of the convention, and things that swayed me into coming back include, in rough chronological order...

  • "Give me your muffin!" - Celso
  • X-Wing Miniatures Game - Ran several folks through demoes of this one and most bought in by con's end. It really is a fantastic little game, even without the 2nd set of ships. I definitely learned the value of a Y-Wing equipped with an Ion Cannon! Depending on schedule conflicts, I could easily see playing in a tourney of this next year.
  • The William Wallace Burger - a nice, thick hamburger with a sausage & beef patty, gently breaded and fried, topped with a fried egg. Serve it quartered, pulled to the edges of the plate with a heaping helping of beer-battered onion straws drizzled with ketchup and a side of blue-dyed ranch just big enough to dip half of each burger in. (Doesn't exist, but MightyTim and I think it should. Makes more sense than Tilted Kilt's "Braveheart Salad.")
  • Cards Against Humanity - Yes, it often devolves into racist, sexist, sexual or grotesque humor... but I'm okay with that. I laugh too damn hard not to enjoy the game. I particularly liked when, "Life for the Native Americans was forever changed after the white man introduced them to scalping," and "White people like smallpox blankets." were played within cards of each other.
  • Dreadball - Fast paced game with crazy simple mechanics. Played in the tournament on Friday and had an absolute blast. I plan to do a better write up of the tournament later this week, but the short of it is that I'm dying to get the local guys into it and start a league. Teams are cheap, and I think they'd love it if they gave it a try.

  • "Slaanesh!" - Damon... at first. Then e'rybody.
  • Display boards - Always inspired, often inspiring, these monuments to gaming and hobby never cease to be a highlight of Adepticon for me. One of these days, one of 'em will be mine.

  • Roman - anyone looking to go from gamer or hobbyist to artist needs to watch this guy in action. His build process is downright Bob Ross-ian in it's flow - he's got a general idea of what he wants to do, but lets it come out organically, ebbing and flowing with each new addition to the base. His paint style isn't much different and provided my biggest "Holy crap! Mind = blown!" moment of the con. What he does is amazing. And it's art - not the rigid process that Games Workshop uses (for better and worse) to get people into the hobby. I'm already looking through models to see what inspires me to work in a similar fashion.

  • The people - I got to catch up with old friends (Celso, Damon, Fish, Rich, Tim, etc.) and make new ones (Loopy, Starminer, Jen, et. al.). I got to hang out with folks whose work I've been wowed by for years and they got to be wowed by my "Rice Whiskey Treats with Bacon." No matter how much time I spend with these people, when Sunday rolls 'round I'm jonesing for the next year to get here so I can hang out with them again.
  • Portillo's - Between the Italian Beef & Hot Pepper sammich literally dripping with au jus and the diabetic bliss of a Cake Shake, it's probably for the best that I don't live anywhere near one.

  • BootaTown - MightyTim did a stellar job taking the abandoned reins of BootaTown and putting together a fun, laid back event for Sunday. Fun people, fun games, amazing swag. The fact that he's already soliciting advice for next year makes me confident that BootaTown is in fantastic hands for the foreseeable future.
  • The atmosphere - The Adepticon council made several changes this year (separate vendor hall, changing order and length of some tournaments) that I think drastically improved the overall vibe and feel of the con. I've been coming for 5 years straight, and I don't think it's ever felt this relaxed and accessible. Big thumbs up to Hank, Greg, Matt, Jeff and the rest of the crew.

For the above reasons, and many more, I had an absolutely fantastic weekend. The doubt is gone. I'll be queuing up to register for Adepticon 2014. Can somebody save me a spot in the VIG line?