Convention

All posts tagged Convention

It starts tomorrow!  Today, I’m in the car all day with Mugu and friend, Ken, as we traverse the east coast to Warwick, Rhode Island.

For those that want up-to-the-minute coverage, I highly suggest staying tuned to Lost Hemisphere.

G’day and the rest of the LH crew will be about in full force, and they’ll have some fantastic convention coverage, just like last year.

My goals for the convention are to focus on seeing new and original conversions, nicely painted models, and thematic armies.  There are plenty of people out there that will cover the PP panel, or the high-stakes games in the tournaments.  Since I’m more of a hobby and modelling type person, I’m going to focus on those things.  I think so many people put loads of effort into being fully painted for the convention, but it always seems the models themselves get overlooked for something else.

 With any luck (hoping for camera batteries that last), I’ll have at least one post a day with loads and loads of pictures of models.  Since I’m also running the Iron Arena table and some demos, I’ll be sharing any fun stories I hear and experience.

If you’d like your updates in any sort of real-time, I’ll probably be making some use of my Twitter account, @Plarzoid.  Feel free to follow.  I don’t tweet often, but for something like this, it’s a great way to get small bits of info out quickly.

If there’s anything specific you’d like to see, please leave a comment here, or on any of my Templecon posts.

Hey folks, here’s the follow-up to Mugu’s post on Monday.  Remember as you read this, it was written almost a week ago.

Welcome Back to the Madness!

In my last post (in addition to lots of demotivational posters) I told you how  tressed out I was about the upcoming TempleCon and what I thought I needed to get done prior to that date.  Well, since writing my first post over a week ago, I was able to take stock of what minis I needed to get painted as well as two army lists that I wanted to use at TempleCon.

First the easy and good news – I played the Deneghra1 (Tier 3 – Witching Hour) list and won.  My opponent, Ron, was kind enough to take pictures and wrote a small battle report on his blog, here.

For those who look at the pictures, I forgot to bring my other Brute Thrall and my Scavenger, which were represented by the Ogrun Bokur and armless Helldiver respectively.

What I learned:

The game went better than anticipated as I was really wary of not having any heavy warjacks in my army at all.  I also did not have anything that I felt could shield Deneghra if Ron’s warjacks got too close.

As Ron points out in his blog (in the comments section) my army is vulnerable to Area  Of Effect (AOE) weapons and I knew going into the game that it would also be vulnernable to shooty armies as well.

What I can do about those weaknesses:

My standard approach to AOEs is positioning. I to try to spread my army out as much as possible to try to minimize the damage to any single unit/warjack.  This also has the added bonus of causing some folks to panic when they see the wave approaching.

As for shielding Deneghra, I’m still trying to figure that one out.  During my game with Ron, I kept her as far back and away as possible, but still within support and control area range.  It just happened to also work out during that game that I kept the Savenger and Necrotech between her and the opposing warjacks.

Army Selection:

The army performed well overall despite my abysmal dice rolling.  I may still replace the Scavenger with a bonejack with an arc node, just to have something a bit more untilitarian. Though the Scavenger’s 7 MAT and other abilities make it worth the points, seeing as its my first time using it, I wasn’t impressed (but that’s through my own fault).

I’m on the fence about the Ripjaw.  It performed well enough, but after missing with my initial charge attack by rolling double ones (I should know by now to always boost the roll to hit when I really need it ::sigh::). I couldn’t use the armor piercing attack, but if I had a Deathripper, it wouldn’t have mattered for my second (purchased) attack.

The Mechanithralls and attached Brute Thralls worked better than I could have hoped for – killing the Great Bears of Gallowswood and all but one of the Iron Fang Pikemen! They were the MVP’s of my army.

The Defiler and Warwitch Siren spray attacks were really handy and the Defilers’s arc nodes were really useful for arcing spells into Ron’s models as soon as they were within range.

The Pistol Wraith distracted Ron more than doing anything else, as Ron didn’t have any models other than Vlad with magic weapons that could attack it.  It didn’t really damage many (any?) of his models, but it definitely distracted him.  The Scrap Thrall spent the entire game running around warjacks and trying to make a beeline to Vlad.  The Stalker got too close to Vlad, who was happy to carve it into little pieces.  The Skarlok slung Crippling Grasp around mostly and managed not to get killed.

Painting the Models

After checking my models the other night, it turns out I *only* need to paint the Scavenger and Brute Thrall for the Deneghra list and six Soulhunters & Darragh Wrathe . And only a week to paint it all in. [At the time of writing the article – P]  ::sigh::  Possible, but not likely, especially since the Brute Thrall and Darragh Wrathe need some conversion work.

Speaking of Darragh Wrathe, I have a really nice undead mount from another company that I want to use in a conversion to mount him on, but its going to take too long to finish and so I’m going to mount him on Epic Alexia’s horse with Darragh’s deathpony’s head and tail.  It’s the easiest and quickest conversion I can do and still maybe get him assembled and painted by TempleCon.  I’d just use his old horse, but I chopped him up into many pieces.

Darragh's Parts

 So here’s my plan:

1.  Finish painting the Scavenger.

2.  Assemble and prime the Brute Thrall (who’s getting the IK Bridge Troll’s head).

3.  Reassemble the arms and legs that have come off of my Soulhunters.  (Re)Prime as necessary.

4.  Assemble Darragh Wrathe and horse.  Even if I don’t manage to get him painted in time for TempleCon, I want him to be assembled to use.

Final Thoughts:

Hopefully mine won't be this painful

I’m still a bit stressed, but the win helped boost my confidence in the Deneghra list. The relatively small amount of models that actually need to be painted doesn’t leave me feeling too overwhelmed, either.

However, since last Thursday was my last chance to get a game in, I’ll be heading into the crucible at TempleCon to see if I can master these two lists.

Several of my local players are gearing up for their first tournament, or convention (Templecon!), and in a few cases, both.  As I’ve been talking with them, it seems the list construction article a few weeks ago really helped, but they’ve had some follow-up questions.  Primary among them:  How do I prepare for a tournament?

Practice

Play as many games with your tournament lists as you can.  Ask local players to bring specific lists you want to try your lists against (magic heavy, infantry heavy, heavy armor, shooty, melee, Hordes vs Warmachine, etc).

Play under the time limit you’ll be playing under during the tournament.  Two of my locals started all of two months ago, and they’re headed to Templecon for a tournament.  Right now, it takes all evening for one 35pt game.  You need to know your army left and right, up and down so you can do your activations as fast as possible.  At 35 pts, you have 7 minutes a turn, or if you get Chess Clocks, you have 38 minutes for your half of the game.

Practice your deployment, and your first turn.  Know how you’ll deploy, and know your first turn’s order of activations.  If you need to, take your time and plan it out – writing your steps down.  Then, use the cheat sheet to do it a few more times.  See if you can do it without the instructions.  Take them anyway, and have them on hand if you need to.

Do the same with your feat turn if it’s something intricate like Hexeris, Amon or Rhyas with Swordsmen with UA.

Knowledge

If you read the List Building article, hopefully your two lists are tailored to approach opposite types of armies (or perhaps one is anti-Warmachine, and the other anti-Hordes).  You’ll want to know what sort of things will decide which list to put on the table.  Remember, all you get to decide which of your lists you will bring is a quick look at your opponent’s two lists.

Memorize your model’s stats as best as you can.  I can rattle off a Khador heavy’s statline, but that’s primarily from playing Khador for years.  The faster you can respond to your opponent, the better.  The more confident you seem, the more confident you’ll feel and you’ll put your opponent on defense.

 If you play lots of games with your armies, you’ll have a good general knowledge of other faction’s models and abilities.  Always remember that you can ask for one of your opponent’s cards at any time.  Take your time before the round starts to read their cards, and look at the models on the table that the card goes with.  Try to remember one or two key things about the unit so you can make decisions quicker:  “High Def, low armor – apply AOEs”; “Slow, High Armor so ignore and outmaneuver”; “Stealth, so run to tie up in melee”, etc.

Good Practices at Tournaments

At large tournaments and conventions, there are a few things you might not think twice about, but are considered bad form or even cheating.

If your opponent didn’t see it, it failed.  This goes for hit rolls, damage rolls and measurements.  Get your opponent to see and acknowledge everything you do.  If they didn’t see the roll, you failed to hit.  If they didn’t see the roll, you failed to damage.  If they didn’t see the measurement, you failed the charge.

Don’t, under any circumstance, bend your tape measure.  Here’s why.  It’s entirely possible to accidently give yourself several inches of movement.  Always measure and move in straight lines.  It’s how the rules are written.

If you have to ask for a Judge, be sure to stop the clock if there is one.  Also, don’t leave the table.  Raise your hand, find the judge, and try to get their attention (unless they’re in the middle of helping another table).

Sportsmanship

Always shake hands before the game, and wish your opponent luck.

At the end, shake their hand and congratulate them on a battle well fought, win or lose.

Always answer questions as quickly, precisely, and truthfully as possible.  Pause the clock (or flip it to your side of the clock) if you don’t have the answer on hand, and need to look it up.

Live by Wil Wheaton’s motto:  Don’t be a dick.

Logistics

Before the game starts, run over all the terrain on the board and agree beforehand what it all is (forest, obstructions, water, linear obstacles, etc), and what it gives (cover, concealment, etc).

During the roll-off for who goes first, remember that whoever wins gets to choose who goes first and who goes second.  As of the latest SR2012 Beta, the loser of the die roll-off gets to choose what side of the board they deploy on.  Usually this is pre-determined as you walk up to the table, but remember it’s your right to switch sides if you loose the roll-off.

Bring a tray for transporting models.  I use an old cookie sheet, but there are some nice ones out and about.  Packing and unpacking your entire army each game is too time consuming.

I like to roll the column when I roll damage on a warnourn.  I usually use an off-color die, or a die with numerals rather than pips (dots).  If you do this, let your opponent know, so they don’t think you’re rolling an extra die for no reason.

That’s all I have for you right now.

This is a new segment I’m going to try to do regularly.  It may be a huge tutorial, it may simply be a link to an article elsewhere.  No matter what it is, I hope you’ll learn something helpful.

 – Plarzoid

I don’t know about you, but I’m gearing up for Templecon 2012.  Templecon 2011 earlier in the year was my first convention, ever and I’ve been looking to repeat the experience at every opportunity.  Templecon 2011 was an adventure since I went on a whim, and made that decision far too late in the game.

I’m hoping this article will help you learn from my mistakes and make the most out of your next convention experience.  After all, the point is to have fun, so be sure to make that happen!

Don’t Over Extend.

One of the biggest mistakes I hear about is trying to do too much.  Most conventions offer around the clock tournaments and events, and while that’s fabulous, it’s way too easy to over extend yourself.   I suggest picking one event a day.  Whether that’s a tournament, a seminar or a social party, just pick one for the day.

Balance Cost and Comfort.

At Templecon 2011, we had 5 or 6 in our room with two beds in it.  We all figured since there was stuff going 24-hours a day, there’s no way everyone would be in the room all at once sleeping, right?  Wrong.  I got a spot in a bed two of the three nights, and was on the floor the third one.  I slept OK in the bed, but I didn’t sleep at all on the floor.

By all means, split a room, but don’t get caught in the “more people = lower cost per person = more money for toys” spiral of doom.  This year, we’re splitting a room 3- ways, and that’ll be about $100-120 a person for the entire weekend.  That’s a fantastic nightly rate if you consider that it’s all of $35 a night.

Food at conventions can be rough.  Usually it’s not the greatest (unless the hosting hotel has a restaurant) and it’s typically expensive since it’s the most convenient option.  Don’t fall prey to their scams!  Find a place nearby that has better food for lower costs.  Have pizza or subs delivered for you and your room mates.  If you drive, swing by a grocery store on the way in, and grab sandwich materials (pre-made ones if nothing else) and fruit / vegetables.  A great example would be baby carrots or celery and your favorite dipping medium (Peanut Butter for me).  It’ll be cheaper and it’ll be stuff you know you like, so you’ll be happier all the way around, plus it’s a shorter break than if you had to wait on delivery, so you can get back to the gaming sooner!

Take Care of Yourself.

Gamers are notorious for smelling bad and completely ignoring their personal health for the sake of not being interrupted during their game.  There’s a motto for conventions:  3-2-1.  It’s pretty basic, and describes what you need to do every day:

  • 3:  Hours of sleep per day, minimum.  Yes, a human can survive for several days without sleep, however you have no excuse for doing so.  You paid for a room.  Use it.
  • 2:  Meals a day.  Remember to eat!  If nothing else, bracket your sleep time with food.  It doesn’t take long, and you’ll have all the energy you need to get right back in the game.
  • 1:  Shower a day.  Usually right before or after you go to sleep, preferably both.  I usually like to unwind from a long day with a hot shower and cold beer (Thx PolarBearCub).  I also find a hot shower in the AM helps wake me up and give me energy for the day.

Try Something New.

My last piece of advice for you is to be sure to stretch yourself a bit.  Conventions usually have people running demos of games, and this is a great chance to try something new, and it’ll only cost you time.  At Templecon 2011, I let myself get talked into playing Civilization, the board game.  I’d never really cared much for Civ the video game, but my feet hurt and I was a bit burned out on Warmachine, so I gave in.  By the time we finished our first game, I had no idea we’d been playing for four hours.  I ended up playing another game because I had so much fun the first time.

So, what conventions are you attending, and what’s your favorite part of a convention?