Wednesday, April 16, 2014

AdeptiCon 2014 Recap

So another AdeptiCon came and went, and here are my $.02 on the experience.

As usual, I loaded up the Highlander with a couple of buddies and a ton of miniatures and embarked upon the 12-14 hour (depending on stops) drive to Chicago on Wednesday.
Random Cracker Barrels were visited

Arriving Wednesday night, we all got together at the nearest Giordano’s (best Chicago style pizza in the Chicagoland area according to many in the know) and talked life, love, and the pursuit of better tournament experiences. There’s more to come on that in the future.

Much good pizza and beer was consumed.

At some point I went back to the hotel and crashed. This was the first time I’ve stayed at the Westin where the actual event is held, and I gotta say it was pretty darned convenient. That said, it was also pretty darned expensive. Mixed feelings … I wish AdeptiCon could figure out a way to negotiate the hotel deal down. Paying $120 a night makes me feel pretty good about the $89/night at NOVA in a comparable hotel.

More after the jump ...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Heavily Revised Independent Mission Catalog - Sample Tournament Packet

This weekend saw the first widespread use of the Mission Catalog ( in a large-format tournament, the 5-round Delawarr Open.

The sample packet for player/TO use can be found here:

Here are some short notes to the changes:

1) The missions that were already out there are now revised and improved, with a lot of input from the community. I want to give special shout-outs to Bill Kim and Neil Gilstrap, both of whom were very active in comment/posting/etc within the google docs group. Anyone who would like to join in participation and is not already linked in, just let the missioncatalog know via comment, or ask me via mvbrandt@gmail

2) The approach to secondaries was scrapped and improved. Instead of having the 3 basics every round and requiring you to "change" one into a sort of half measure escalated version, we've gone with 9 independent secondaries. The three book secondaries plus 6 new ones. If you prefer book mission, the 3 secondaries from the book are ALWAYS in every mission, plus 2 other ones chosen from the list as a whole. TOs can select whichever pairings they want, but we encourage always having the three presented in the rulebook plus two others. In play this weekend, it was noted that plenty of people chose to just "play book," selecting the three book secondaries and the primary that most resembled book missions ... which is totally great to hear! It's probably unintended, but a consequence of the catalog mission design is players can choose to play very in-line with the standard 6th Edition book missions by custom-tailoring the round to that style for purposes of their score.

3) Simplification of each mission by presenting the majority of the how-to rules in the front as a guide.

4) Addition of new missions, bringing the total in the catalog at present to five.

Take a swing at this, and please continue to provide feedback - these will change and refine with time.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Charitable Foundation First Raffle is Tomorrow! Don't Miss Out on Free Stuff!

So for anyone who doesn't know, the Charity Raffles are bigger and better than ever. In addition to the major drawings at the end of the year at NOVA, there'll be drawings for $25+ gift certificates and other goodies from the charitable sponsors every week. Winning one doesn't render you ineligible for the big raffles - it just gets you more cool stuff!

This week's is a $25 gift cert to Secret Weapon Miniatures (thanks Justin!) ... check out the press release from the Foundation below!

Even if you aren't that interested in the charity armies, do a little good, contribute a little wargamer love, and drop a few bucks into a few raffle tickets. The worst that happens is you win $25 of cool stuff ... the best that happens is you've contributed a few bucks you didn't entirely need to one of the charities supported by the Foundation - all of which give well over 90% of their inputs directly to the charitable work (the NOCF chooses wise ... no wasted funds on inflated salaries here!).

Press Release: April 11, 2014

The NOVA Open Charitable Foundation (NOCF) is currently selling tickets for the 2014 charity army raffle season.  Visit and join the “Compassionate Force” by taking chances on winning one or more of the amazing armies being offered this year and supporting deserving charities in the process!

NOCF weekly drawings begin tomorrow (April 12, 2014).  This week’s prize is a $25 online gift certificate to Secret Weapon Miniatures. Anyone who has purchased tickets in the raffle before midnight tonight is eligible to win as the winner will be drawn from the pool of raffle ticket holders.

Winner will be announced at tomorrow.

Remember to check the Foundation website ( ) every Sunday between now and August 17, 2014 to see which of our amazing sponsors is offering a gift certificate for the weekly Saturday drawings!

The NOCF is a non-profit organization operated by a Board of Directors in accordance to charitable organization by-laws.  Donations are tax deductible; purchase of raffle tickets is not. If you have any questions, comments or ideas, please send them to:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Adepticon Team Tournament Time

It's been a great week and the weekend's big event is upon us. With nearly 500 players, the adepticon team tournament is the largest 40k event on the planet!

Our team, Business Athletic (pix to explain later), will be running quad fire dragon / hawk / jetbike / serpent eldar. We all played in the two front doubles event along with 38 other teams yesterday (80 players, many quite good) and collectively went 12-0, securing both best overall and warmasters (Kurt and Tony edged me and Neil by two battle points out of a possible 195).

On the way for Neil and me, our toughest match came against Aaron Aleong and Hans Krueger, two mighty GT winners in their own right, but we were able to eke a win over them, 54-40.

The team tournament is so huge, with so many variables and so many great people, all you can do is sit back, roll some dice, and enjoy the ride.

So here we go!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Classing it Up at AdeptiCon 2014

Writing from a mobile hotspot as we make our final 30 minute run into AdeptiCon 2014 in Lombard, IL.

This year I'll be teamed with Tony Kopach, Neil Gilstrap, and Kurt Clauss. We're calling ourselves "Business Athletic," a play off "Business Casual." We'll let attendees and forthcoming photos explain why.

I'm tempted to slip into the 40k singles after all tomorrow .... presuming the inevitable wait list evaporation. Despite the likely struggles it'd face, I'll bring a slimmed version of my BFS Eldar/Space Wolves list should participation occur.

On Friday I'll be participating in the Two-Front Doubles along with Neil, while Tony and Kurt team up as well. For this event I'll likely be fielding ....

5 Wave Serpents, Servo Inquisitor, 3 Hawk Squads (yup, pretty boring, but it's what I've got models for at 1500 points)

Meanwhile I think Neil will be running some form of mini-Ovesa.

In the team event we're running serpents and other goodies, four easy to play identical lists that should be competitive enough without yielding a stressful weekend experience.

I can't personally bring myself to play any of the Bro-stars, but that doesn't mean I won't play decent lists :)

AdeptiCon is always a really fun social experience, and an excellent one for making positive contacts within the hobby. Snag me if you see me ... look for the vest :) ... I'll be at Giordano's talking with other hobby names and TOs about the state of the game while enjoying good pizza (the Giordano's closest to the Lombard Westin).

That'll do for typing from the car for now ... I'll try to update photos and results and the like as the weekend goes on, but never any promises when at AdeptiCon, always one of the best events on the annual calendar.

In other news, take a gander at the concept art for the Virtue, the unique race generated and built as part and parcel of the NOVA Open Narrative over the past several years. Artwork by Cedric Debled.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NOVA Open Charitable Foundation - 2014 Raffles Open - Information! BATTLE FOR MACCRAGGE CHARITY ARMIES (plural!)

Press Release: March 31, 2014

The NOVA Open Charitable Foundation (NOCF) will open its 2014 charity army fundraising raffle season tomorrow, April 1, 2014.  Visit and join the “Compassionate Force” by taking chances on winning one or more of the amazing armies being offered this year and supporting deserving charities in the process!

The NOCF was created to assist international miniature painters and artists who produce armies as fundraising vehicles for charitable causes.  Recognizing the immense generosity of the worldwide tabletop wargamer, the NOCF was formed to bring this “Compassionate Force” together under a single banner with a broad international outreach.  Every raffle ticket purchased in support of these charity armies will contribute to causes which address the needs of humanitarian emergency relief, children’s concerns, medical research and the military.

In 2013, the worldwide tabletop wargaming community’s support of the NOCF charity army raffles raised over $10,000 which was donated to Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres, The Fisher House Foundation and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The three charity armies from 2013 were shipped from Washington, D.C. to winners in Washington State, Missouri and as far away as Tasmania, Australia!

*A Consortium of professional and award-winning artists from within the tabletop wargaming community has come together in support of the NOCF Macragge Project. Learn more about each HERE. The proceeds from these two armies will support Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres.

The NOCF expanded the work of the Consortium to two separate armies in 2014, representing Battle of Macragge, the epic clash between Tyranids of Hive Fleet Behemoth and Ultramarines led by Marneus Calgar. Both of these armies are full 1850-tuned armies, including numerous extra models for force flexibility.

     ARMY #1: Battle of Macragge Ultramarine List
o      Marneus Calgar and Honor Guard
o      Chief Librarian Tigurius
o      Chaplain Cassius
o      5 Tyrannic War Veterans
o      1 Drop Pod

o      30 Tactical Marines with a variety of weapon load outs
o      10 x Scouts:  5 w/ Sniper Rifles and Camo Cloaks, 5 w/ Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons
o      3 Storm Talons with Skyhammer Missiles
o      3 Thunderfire Cannons
o      1 Knight Titan
o      3 Centurion Devastators with Hurricane Bolters and Heavy Graviton Cannons

     ARMY #2: Battle of Macragge Tyranid List
o      Flying Hive Tyrant w/ 2 Twin-Linked Devourers
o      5 Tyranid Warriors w/ Magnetized Weapon Options
o      1 Tyranid Prime w/ Norn Crown, Magnetized Weapon Options
o      60 Termagants
o      2 Mawlocs
o      1 Carnifex w/ Magnetized Weapon Options
o      20 Gargoyles
o      2 Lictors
o      1 Deathleaper
o      1 Venomthrope
o      3 Tyrant Guards (expected magnetized options for either tyrant guard or hive guard)
o      2 Hive Crones
o      8 Genestealers

*Stiff Neck Studio, under the leadership of Capt. Wesley Cogdal, is once again donating an exceptional army for the NOCF charity raffles. This year, they are expanding our army range to include the first NOCF Fantasy army, lovingly entitled “Man Eaters of the Great Maw!” The NOCF proudly donated funds from last year’s Stiff Neck Studio army to The Fisher House Foundation, and we hope the Compassionate Force will come together in 2014 to double those funds for this charity.

     ARMY #3: Fantasy Ogre Kingdom List

o      1 Ogre Tyrant
o      6 Ogre Bullz
o      5 Ogre Iron Gutz
o      4 Lead Belcher's
o      1 Stone-horn
o      1 Scrap launcher

*Built by a combined force of hobbyists associated with the Penny Arcade forum, the Deathwatch Army has been donated to the NOCF with the request that it be raffled as a fundraiser for Child’s Play Charity. Forty pages of forum posts followed this army from musings on a “general 40K” thread to each model being painted by a different person over the course of a year, culminating in the most recent post which announced, “The army is in the care of the Nova Open Charitable Foundation. . . .” The handler, who wishes to remain anonymous, recognized that a lot of people had given of themselves to create this Deathwatch Army, and it had a lot to give back to the community. A staff member of the NOVA Open Tabletop Wargaming Convention, Martin Bagley, has agreed to take on the task of repairing and restoring this army to its original grandeur over the next few weeks.

     ARMY #4: Deathwatch Army List
o      Full List Can be Found HERE
NEW IN 2014:
NOCF sponsors have once again exceeded all expectations of generous giving. Each Sunday alternating sponsors will donate a $25 gift certificate for raffle; the following Saturday, the NOCF will draw from the pool of raffle ticket holders and announce a winner. The more raffle tickets you purchase, and the earlier you acquire them, the better your odds of winning a gift certificate you can use toward the purchase of any item at our sponsors websites.

2014 Sponsors:
Remember to check the Foundation website ( ) every Sunday between now and August 17, 2014 to see which of our amazing sponsors is offering a gift certificate for the weekly Saturday drawings!

KR Multicase is once again donating customized KR transport cases to safely nestle each of our amazing charity armies for their travels.

 TheWarStore contributed dozens of models to the two large Macragge armies and the Ogre Kingdom army this year.

Secret Weapon Miniatures stepped up again in 2014, providing all bases and Masterclass scenic products for the Macragge armies.

Powered Play Gaming joins the NOCF charity efforts in 2014 to offer products for the lighting of models and, more particularly, for the full-on 4’x6’ Macragge Project Terrain Table being created by Michael Frazier.

NOVA Open also donated the dozens of models necessary to complete the Macragge and Ogre Kingdom armies.

Special thanks to the 11th Company who will podcast the drawings internationally during the NOVA Open Tabletop Wargaming Convention, August 31, 2014.