Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Take a Deep Breath

Over a year ago, Jervis Johnson wrote an article in White Dwarf (rest in power) about FAQs and how great a job the FAQ staff had been doing, but he was going to tell people to "roll it off" from now on when he answered rules questions.  Fast forward to today and we still haven't had a substantial FAQ since then even though there is a shooting/wound allocation FAQ which literally contradicts the rules.

Part of me believes that was a parting shot from Jervis... a little joke he can chuckle about.

Either that or I'm hopelessly paranoid.

Whatever the case, the time has come to calm the heck down about the new edition and just get zen about it because we need it.  Reece wrote a great article about the very subject of why we need a new edition.  I just have a few things to add.

Keep in mind that this thing hasn't been released yet and there's a whole lot of IFs involved here.

Monetizing FAQs

I really think that this was inevitable.  They had to find some way to monetize the process of applying FAQs.  Well, okay... they had to either monetize the process or modernize the process.  I think it wasn't too hard to guess which one they'd do.

The process as it was had been extremely labor intensive. Customers submitted questions by email and telephone.  It's unknown how, after that, the questions were collected, but it was a manual process involving an email account which was not devoted entirely to FAQs.  I can't imagine the workload involved in collecting and categorizing FAQs.  It must have been a nightmare.  Then, the most-asked questions had to be distributed to those responsible for answering the questions.  Judging by how the Black Library Digital Editions folks fielded rules questions, it seems FAQs go directly to the production team. So, that team had to take time out of their day to pour over a stack of FAQs.  These responses, then, had to be merged with a flat-file document with the changes marked in red.  Then, these documents had to be sent to a translator.  Heavens knows how long that takes or how much that costs. Then, the translated documents all had to be uploaded individually to the website in GWs dev/QA/prod window.

This has all the makings of a costly, time-consuming business process.

Once Again, Giving Us What We Want

Games Workshop, of late, has been committing the sin of actually giving us what we want.  Namely, they've been releasing content and they've actually been talking to us through the Black Library Digital Editions Facebook page.  Sadly, that Facebook page got nuked.  One can imagine it was due to the internet doucheratti... sad, but true.

I must admit that I have been one of the biggest complainers about the FAQs.  I won't go into too much detail because I don't want to sound like I'm whining, but my opinion, in a nutshell, is that regardless of who you think good FAQs benefit and whether or not it's "only for the competitive community", maintaining a good set of FAQs should be the hallmark of a gaming company that cares about quality and customer service.

For this reason, when Games Workshop tries to monetize this process (assuming, of course, that I am right and that's what this is about - I certainly could be wrong),  I just have no place to complain about it.  I would just have no leg to stand on.

They Are, However, Also Trying to Get Me Killed

I have the best wife who ever walked this earth.  I really do.  I can't imagine any other female putting up with the stupid shit I do on a daily basis.  Having said that, I just can't justify a $75 doorstop of a book right now.

GW and I will be real chill if they sell me a mini rulebook this go-around.  Real chill.  But when my FLGS owner asked me if I wanted to pre-order the new rulebook, I told him to call me when he had the details because if it was another $75-$100 book, I just can't do it.

Yes, I do understand that this is an expensive hobby.  Yes, I do plan on buying a giant, hardback, pointlessly cumbersome Ork codex when it comes out for $50, but not another core rulebook.  That just has to stop.

I really just can't justify the cost of another enormous core rulebook.   It's like flushing money down the toilet.

So, We'll See

I'm excited to see what happens!  We'll find out really soon.  Hopefully we all get what we want when Christmas comes in May!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Background - Who Is Mad Doc Drillteef, D.D.S?

Who is Mad Doc Drillteef, D.D.S.?  I wrote an article when this Blog started about my Warlord and I felt it was time for an update.  I also wanted to introduce some of my new subscribers to this character because they'll be hearing more about him and his Boyz as time goes on. My hope is that this will be a regular feature on the Blog where I talk about the different units and warbands who've joined Mad Doc on his crusade.

About fifty years ago, a Ork named Grubbin emerged from the ranks of brainboyz in WAAGH! Grok (on the Galactic North side of the Eastern Fringe) as a truly talented individual. He wasn’t quite as unstable back then, of course. He was ingenious in his execution of bionik replacement surgery. Wealthy Nobz and even Warbosses from other clans who had joined the WAAGH! paid plenty of teef to subject themselves to Grubbin’s whims. Who in their right minds could pass up over a fifty percent success rate with only a twenty percent mortality rate?

Over time, Grubbin’s avarice began to drive him further. He jealously guarded his collection of teef. He’d spend hours admiring them and sorting them by size, shape, and color. He was so rich that he began to hire bodyguards, his own group of Nobz whom he called the Doc’s Klaws. Grubbin actually began to research (through trial and error) on how to improve the quality of his customers’ teef.  Many Gretchin gave their lives in the pursuit of these goals.  Also during Grubbin's rise through the brainboy ranks, he became increasingly paranoid of losing his status or being slain in battle which is how he began enhancing his performance with combat drugs of all varieties, both looted from Imperial enemies and home-made concoctions.

In time, Grubbin had become quite long-lived thanks to the fact that he was so useful to the bosses, and was wealthy enough to always eat well.  He became quite large and fierce. He began demanding that the Orks in his clan care for their teef in the ways he’d researched. Toof-polishers made from squiggoth hairs and flosses made from squig-guts were required equipment for all. Grubbin soon began collecting fees for his services... often with a hammer and sometimes even in the thick of battle. Fortunately, iron gobs were usually included at a nominal fee. His powerful addiction to all manner of chemical substances soon began to affect his mind and he became well-known for wild mood swings and delusional decision-making.  Grubbin had become a rather habitual abuser of Nitrous Oxide and would often take more pulls from the gas mask during surgery than his patients.  The Boyz began calling him by his new moniker... Mad Doc Drillteef.

When Grok got wind of the strange behavior coming from the camps surrounding Drillteef, he became enraged. What right did this upstart brainboy have fuddling his boyz’ brains with matters of hygene? It was downright un-orky, it was! What's more, a Grot informant had said that some of Grok's underbosses had gone missing near Drillteef's camps.

Grok himself, accompanied by his biggest Nobz, visited Drillteef’s camps where he found three minor Warbosses had been killed that very day, their teef knocked out of their heads and their bodies heaped unceremoniously in a squig pen, motes of spores lazily dancing in the bright, midday sun.

The furious Grok stomped towards Drillteef's shanty hut and found him standing outside talking jovially with one of Grok's underbosses, Wagonkrumpa.  By this time, Drillteef was a hulking Ork fitted with the most advanced teknology including a dead-killy drill fit for a Deff Dread where his left hand used to be. There was a mad look in the Drillteef's eyes. Surrounding him were almost thirty nasty-looking Nobz and three Painboy assistants, all grinning with pearly-white teef and bionik implants.  Drillteef took a long, delighted, breath from a face mask attached to a Nitrous tank he had strapped to his back.  "'Ey, boss.  Howz fings?"

The battle was decisive. The Nobz who Drillteef lost in the fight were replaced by the smart Nobz on the other side who turned against their Grok when the fighting went bad. In the end, hundreds of boyz watched on with delight as Drillteef drilled into Grok’s quickly-widening eyesocket.  The Doc cackled with glee  as Bone, blood, and meat sprayed. He earned not only the respect of Wagonkrumpa and the rest of the underbosses that day, but the allegiance of the entire WAAGH!

Early Days of WAAGH! Drillteef

Shortly after, the WAAGH! spread mainly in the sparse stars between two spiral arms near the Ultima Segmentum in the Eastern Fringe. The wide variety of opponents (and teef!) was appealing to the still-gathering WAAGH! Their momentum was being fueled by conflict mainly with the Blood Angels Beakies, Ultramarines, Chaos, and Tau forces.

Although Drillteef's original trajectory would send them directly into the heart of the Tau empire, it was suddenly halted. It is whispered that the Tau had negotiated a deal with Drillteef, promising him teef or teknology he would otherwise be unable to collect in exchange for an alter of course for the WAAGH! Judging by the Mad Doc’s previous weird behavior, this is probably likely.

WAAGH! Drillteef today

Since then, WAAGH! Drillteef has been marching to the galactic south.  Instead of allowing the WAAGH! to fan out and claim resources throughout a vast region of space, Drillteef and his commanders have focused their efforts in a pinpoint strike towards Ultramar.  The WAAGH rolls through one system at a time, conquering and enslaving it, before moving on.

Although Drillteef has found himself, recently, beating his spearhead against a figurative iron wall of resistance at the very edge of Ultramar, he is still a threat to the Imperial forces in the region.  The worlds which Drillteef conquers are not razed to the bone, but continue to process materials under great duress.  Drillteef and his brainboyz have set up a fairly sturdy supply line between all the conquered worlds and the battlefront.

Drillteef's simple, but effective, strategy is to continue grinding at the borders of Ultramar in a massive war of attrition.  Warp Roks full of Boyz are hurled at the warzone one after the other in the hopes that eventually the Imperium will run out of nearby resources to throw at the problem. There are always more Boyz, after all.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Review: Games Workshop Website

Since its release, I've heard some uniformed, negatively-themed armchair reviews of the new Games Workshop website on various forums and in comments sections throughout the Internet.  Of course, this shouldn't rankle me so much... it is the internet after all.  Uninformed pontificating is the delicious, fatty sauce over the open-faced hate sandwich that is website comments sections. Someone in the comments section of BoLS actually had the audacity to say that BoLS are corporate shills for GW because the author of the article dared to say the website wasn't half bad.

For that reason, I feel compelled to actually do a review of the site since I actually know what I'm talking about in this case as I am a front-end web developer. (Please don't judge me based on my blog... I chose to use Blogger so I don't have to put a lot of thought into the design... I do enough of that at work!)  Also please note that web design, even though people try to make it a zero sum game, is still a bit of an art and these are just one man's opinions.

Remember, this is a review of the site, not a discussion on Games Workshop customer relations policies.

Audience and Purpose

Before commenting on a design, it's important to gauge a website's actual purpose; its reason for being. This will help you define the parameters with which you will gauge the success or failure of a site. Granted, I don't own a copy of the requirements document for this site, but I think I can make a very good guess as to what it contained.

Who's the audience?  Games Workshop customers.  Who are Games Workshop customers?  People who buy Games Workshop products around the world from the website, retail shops, and independent retailers. What is the purpose of the site?  The purpose of the site is to sell Games Workshop products.

With that in mind, the site must do two things and it must do them very well:

  • Inform customers about the Games Workshop range
  • Sell Games Workshop products

Anything else is peripheral.  The peripherals include

  • Support current Games Workshop products which are not new releases
  • Communicate with Games Workshop customers

Inform Customers About the Games Workshop Range

Informing customers about new products can be tricky.  On the web, users are able to bookmark specific pages and sometimes glimpse past selling suggestions.  It's important to gently suggest products using visible, but non-obtrusive methodology.  Some websites have a terrible habit of slamming an advertisement or product suggestion in your face while your trying to get your business done.  This is very bad practice. Maybe a whitepaper somewhere describes the fact that it generates clicks for the product, but it alienates customers and you want to avoid that whenever possible. Besides, it forces many customers to install anti-ad software which completely defeats the purpose of the ad.

The first, primary vector is the home page.  In today's age of Google Search through the address bar, many users tend to just type a site there rather than using bookmarks.  Others simply bookmark the home page because they know sub-pages have a nasty tendency to disappear from time to time. New customers will, invariably, use the home page as a starting point when exploring a product range.  The home page is important for pushing new releases and communicating, at a glance, what products are available and how to find them on the site. After that, it's also important to also add new product information on the landing pages which many users will bookmark.

Home Page Feature Slider:

This is a rotating feature in the main body of the home page which rotates through new products.  The images are big and there's enough room to communicate the information a customer needs to make a good purchase decision.  This is a cool feature and it does help communicate the new releases well.

However, I must say that I think the slider will move too fast for many users.  The fact that the section is very big and can contain a large paragraph of copy should make this apparent. The controls should have a clear "pause" or "stop" button, especially considering clicking the controls doesn't stop the slideshow. Sliders are usually a detriment to people with disabilities. Also of note is the fact that the slider uses <div> tags.  I'd have used a <ul>, but that's more of a personal quibble.

Home Page Bottom Feature "Postage Stamps":

This is a natural methodology to use for additional new products. These features present good information about the products in a clean and efficient way. Unfortunately, the huge Feature Slider does push a lot of this below the fold for many users, but at the same time not everything can be above the fold.  As long as the admins keep something interesting and fluid in the top spot of this section to keep people scrolling when they come to the site, it should be fine.  Also, let's be honest, web users have gotten used to scrolling especially since parallax and other scroll type layouts have become something of a fad of late.

My one quibble with this section is the use of the phrase "View All" for the button which gives you more information about the product.  That's a little confusing, as if it's going to show you the full range that the product belongs to instead of all the information about the product. I'd have gone with "View more", "Read more", or just "More", or something descriptive like "View More Information".

Product Line Landing Pages:

When you click "Warhammer 40,000" in the main menu, the site takes you to a landing page for that line of products including a product picker and a features area.  Again, we're given a product slider which has no pause control and does not stop when you scroll through it manually. This should be changed whenever possible for disabled users and because it's just plain annoying.

Having said that, the images are lovely and the paragraph space below is generous enough to really tell you a great deal about the product with the price featured prominently.  Below that are more postage stamps, but laid out in a very nice alternating left and right aligned image format with a simple line separating each one.  It seems like these are chosen manually by the administrator which is a good idea. You want to be able to push specific products when needed.

What's New and Pre-Orders on the Product Filter:

This is a hugely important feature.  With a lack of "New Products!" selling points on the individual product pages (this is a good thing, but the fact remains), it's important to have a place beyond the home and landing page where users can keep an eye on what's new.  The fact that this can be tied in to a price point, miniature type, faction, and other factors is a great bonus.

Sell Games Workshop Products

The most important thing about selling products online is to make sure customers can find the products they are looking for.  If they have a hard time finding something, they're more likely to either go to another site, use Google to find your product, or just not buy it at all.

Product Search:

It is very important to have a search which is visible and intuitive.  The Product Search is located in a prominent location with a large font.  Suggested results are quick to appear with prices included and have "Add to Cart" functionality included. If you know what you're looking for, you don't even have to navigate the site.  If you are looking for a generic item, such as a "Warboss", it gives you the choice of either going to a specific set of results for each section of the site which meets the criteria: "Warhammer", "Warhammer 40,000", or "Painting and Modeling".  It's clear from how the site search works that the main purpose of the site to sell Games Workshop products.

Your Cart Widget:

An interesting design decision has your running cart at the bottom right of the page, floating with you. When you click on it, the cart pulls up and displays a detailed list of products inside. This is actually a really nice feature. It saves space on the header while keeping you informed about your purchases.

Product Information Page:  

Each product boasts a clean page with a big image of the product (zoom is enabled for the newer products when available).  A quick-loading, easy-to-use image picker below controls the picture featured in this section and includes shots of the sprues for the modern models which is a great bonus. This top section communicates everything most users will need to know in order to get them to click that "Add to cart" button.  One small quibble is that the "Quantity" drop-down should be next to "Add to cart" instead of the price and the maximum quantity is only 10.

Below that is peripheral information about the product including a paragraph of descriptive copy.  Next to that, is a "Customer Service" section with Games Workshop's Delivery and Returns policy which is a nice feature. Below that are selling suggestions for the tools and paints for building and painting your model as well as other models related to the one being featured.  I'm a bit surprised, but pleased that the Customer Service section features more prominently than the suggested products. With the awesome product filter tool, these suggested products sections are not as necessary.

Product Filter: 

As I touched on earlier, this is a really nice feature.  It's not completely innovative, of course. Other companies have done this, however it's not always necessary or useful.  In GW's case, this feature is executed about as well as I've ever seen it.  The filters really help the user find what they want. The designers could have just sorted the products by banal factors like price point and product range, but there's far more here than just that.  You can sort by Force Org, Infantry/Vehicle, and army as well as price range and product range. There's also a "Special Availability" section with the Web Store Exclusives listed as a metric. The different sorts at the top of the list as well as the option of two views is also well-executed.  It's clean and helpful, though the addition of a text blurb on the list view would have been good; right now there's a lot of white space between the image and the order buttons.

This tool proves how important meta-data is to a website, particularly one which sells as many products as the Games Workshop website.  Other companies should take notice of this.  Sure, having a fancy site can be expensive, but it really doesn't take much to get your products categorized in a way which makes it easier for your users to narrow down.  I really applaud the inclusion of this tool.  Even someone planning on buying from their Friendly Local Game Store can use it to window-shop and get an idea of what they want and how much it will cost them before going to the store.

Note that my opinion here is also colored by a standpoint that too many filters are not a good thing. There could have been more granularity, sure, but I think it would have been too cluttered.  With too much granularity, you get to the point where you're filtering down to one product.  It's fine to have three or four products at your most granular level. That's enough for a user to find what they're looking for.

Support Games Workshop Products Which are Not New Releases

Of course, the priority must be to support new products and make sales, but there also must be good support of those which came before.  It doesn't seem as if all of the functionality are available for older products, even ones for the newly-released Codex.  These products are, however, fully integrated into the Product Search and Filter.

The FAQs and Errata have been moved to the Black Library site.  This is a curious decision.  Since the Search on the Games Workshop site (and the Black Library site for that matter) is a Product search, there's no way of finding the FAQs without knowing what you're looking for.  Woe to the new player looking for these documents with no frame of reference to tell them where to go.  Their Google fu might help, but that's a bit of a cop-out.

Communicate With Games Workshop Customers

One of the biggest criticisms of Games Workshop is their lackluster communication with their customers and fans.  The site does make a bit of a half-hearted attempt at this as it always has.  Of course, the site has the perfunctory "Contact Us" link, newsletter subscription link, and (adittedly nice) store finder map at the bottom of every page.  However, very little has been done to facilitate real communication with Games Workshop's customers.

The layout of the What's New Today Blog page seems like an afterthought.  The main body in the center is separated by the "Latest Posts" navigation to the left by a line and crowned with sales suggestions for issues of White Dwarf and Warhammer: Visions while the suggested products on the right are not separated. It's very easy to miss the fact that there is a navigation (or a Flickr pool) at all.  This page is in desparate need of a redesign as it is, from what I can tell, the only real web presence Games Workshop has to communicate on a fundamental level with their customers besides the YouTube channel.  Even the placement of the link to the blog, although at the top of the page, seems a little like an afterthought.  It's just a picture of the White Dwarf with no visual queue that it's a link until you hover over it and no real explanation as to where it leads.

I almost feel as if Games Workshop needs to separate What's New Today and the FAQs from their sales sites and just merge them together with links to their YouTube content on a separate customer communication site of some kind.  A Games Workshop Fan Portal of some kind would be an awesome addition to their web presence.

Independent Retailers

My local store owner told me that the website has also been very good for them.  It allows them to make orders for almost anything and many of the things that were once site exclusives are now available to independent retailers at a reasonable rate. I'm glad for this because, in the past, that relationship has been a bit rocky.

Other Quick Notes

I have a few other quick notes as I am running out of time to post this:

  • The shopping cart is very nice.  It's clean and easy to manage.  I wish there was a way to export the cart and for some reason there is still a weird maximum of 10 available to purchase multiple items.  I can't see a way of ordering more than ten of anything.
  • Really impressive mobile experience.  I'm very glad Games Workshop didn't spare the expense of making sure their site was built with responsive design in mind.
  • The H tags on titles are a bit wonky.  They seem to be set up to have the lower-numbered tags on the top headings and the higher-numbered ones on the bottom.  This is often how they are laid out, but not always.  Case in point are the headings on the front page postage stamp features.  The "Astra Militarum" heading above the Taurox tank is an <h2/> while the "Taurox" heading is an <h3/>.  Since the Taurox is the only thing in that box, and it does appear to be the focus of the section, not the Astra Militarum, the product title should probably have been in the <h2/> tag. That's a subjective opinion, though.
  • The horizon lines on the products are a bit weird.  They almost make the background images look broken.  I'd probably had the fade start at the bottom and work its way up into white rather than fading back into gray and a hard horizon.  That's just a design opinion on my part, though.
  • Site explodes in IE7.  Good.  It should, in my opinion. Let's be honest, Games Workshop's target market probably don't use IE7.  Having said that, I'd have put a message to IE7 users that they should upgrade with helpful links to browsers.  
  • I like the use of repeating imagery on the site for different functions. For example, the purity seal for the Customer Service sections is pretty cool.
  • The whitespace isn't too much.  Some sites are so desperate for a clean look that they over-do it with the whitespace.  I think this site is, overall, spaced pretty well and it's easy to see what goes where and which objects refer to which products.  The only exception is the What's New Today Blog.
  • The site uses a serif font.  I'm not as afraid of serif as some other designers are, but there's something to be said for using sans-serif on titles.  For my money, I quite like the fonts chosen for this site. They fits the Games Workshop brand. Many others would disagree, however.

In Closing

Well, that got long! In summary, I really like the new Games Workshop website. I think they put a lot of effort into taking their web presence into the 21st century.  In all, great job.  I just hope they work on their customer relations and product support in the near future.

I hope this helps folks understand the site a little better. Again, I don't have any insider information.  I just wanted to get a slightly informed and (mostly) positive viewpoint out there.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Masters of the Forge, and THANKS to the Servitors and Quartermasters

You might have noticed that the new Masters of the Forge podcast has dropped its first episode today. Some of you may know that I am one of the hosts of this new podcast.  You can imagine my surprise when, a few months ago, Snorre contacted me to be a member, citing my Codex: Star Eagles document (which he'd helped edit) as one of the things that made him think I'd be up to the task.  I'm honored that Snorre and Kamil would have me and I really look forward to working with them to help promote the hobby.

The main focus of the show is to bring the world of 40k to life on your tabletop.  While the old Deepstrike Radio Podcast (of which Snorre and Kamil were both members) was focused mainly on the 40k fluff in almost a lecture or round table discussion format, this podcast focuses on taking that fluff and bringing it into your games.  The formats will consist of (but not be limited to) the following:

Black Library Novels:  We'll read a Black Library novel and discuss it on the show while, at the same time, describing how you can bring this novel to life in your games of Warhammer 40,000.  We're also going to try to create supplements full of 40k characters, scenarios, and other rules to help you along the way.

Games Workshop Supplements:  We'll look at the information provided in published works and discuss how to use them in your narrative games.  We'll also try to help expand upon the rules in the Supplements to better match the fluff or fill holes where Games Workshop is unwilling to do so due to a lack in official models.

Original Material:  We'll also discuss our own original content (or your original content).  This will usually be on the topic of Campaigns or Fandexes.

Again, we're not limiting ourselves to these formats, but I think these will make up the lion's share of our shows.  Of course, we'll have the usual banter about the hobby and discussion on our own personal 40k experiences.

You can find the podcast at the following links....

iTunes Page:

Feed HTML Page:

RSS Feed:

Thanks to My Servitors and Quartermasters

I've struggled with a way to thank all the folks who have been so generous to me this year.  I don't know if they want a shout-out or not.  I know privacy is an issue and I don't want random people asking things of them, but I also want to give them credit for being awesome.  Of course, most people do things out of the kindness of their own hearts and may not want too much recognition.  For this reason, I'm going to be posting their names on the sidebar of my Blog and mentioning them on the Podcast when I can, but only either their screen name or their first name and last initial.

There are some folks who have donated their time to the Masters of the Forge scenarios, sometimes painfully so.  I am calling these people our "Servitors" because it really is a thankless process going through other people's very raw and sometimes very bad rules.  It is only through playtesting do rules become genuinely good... or at least playable.  I cannot thank these people enough.  They lend credibility to the content we're producing.

Please contact us if you're interested in becoming a Servitor. I'm going to try to keep the size of this group manageable, but please let us know if you're interested.

Other people are also very generous with models and other material goods.  I can't even count how many beakie heads the Freebootaz and the ICs forums guys have given me!  Folks who have so kind to me as to send me presents or give me great deals on models, I dub "Quartermasters" and shall also appear on the sidebar of my Blog and a mention (again, with anonymity) on the Podcast when I can.

I have a feeling I'm missing one or two people... PLEASE alert me either for yourself or on behalf of another who has been so kind.  There have been so many wonderful individuals who've helped me out this year that I haven't been able to keep perfect track of all the names in PMs and E-Mails.

Thanks again so much.  I'm really floored by the generosity of this community.  I really do intend to pay it forward whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Adepticon 2014 - Part 4: Game With Aaron, Ruminations, and Eye Candy

The Battle of Con Refuse Plain!

At some point, Aaron suggested that we have a nice pick-up game before the weekend was out.  I concurred and, so, on Sunday after the prize drawings were over, we slogged over to the side hall and took a table.

Of course, even before the awards had been handed out, the hotel had quickly wrapped itself in its chrysalis and was beginning its transformation back into a safe haven for normal people.  I had no terrain with me this year, which is strange because I usually bring at least a table's worth for just such an occasion, but I'd forgotten.

We were not about to let that stop us!

White Dwarf Handshake FAIL.

We rolled The Relic with Dawn of War deployment.

The Gretchin advance past the stage towards Codex Hill with the Nob Bikerz and Flash Gitz in a support position.

The Electrork Mayhem is annihilated by the Doomscythe and the Nob Bikerz lose a few orks to another.  The Gretchin set themselves up for a ruinous charge!

And  by "ruinous", of course, I mean ruinous for them.The Flash Gitz can only watch in horror from their position inside Waterbottle Woods.

The Wraiths assault the Meganobz and Big Mek through the Cola Spiceufactorum.

The Bikerz and the Flash Gitz make quck (and by "quick", of course, I mean "slow") work of the center unit of Wraiths and Destroyer Lord.

The boss finally arrives from Outflank thanks to his Warlord Trait.

This was the last picture I took because the hotel staff had to finally clear away our area, but I am certain that, in the end, the day belonged to Aaron... he did hold the Relic very far from my units by the end of the game, after all.

Ruminations of the Con

I had a wonderful time at Adepticon as always.  I did feel a bit older this year, as I do every year, though I'm sure I still have a lot of piss and vinegar left in me for many years to come. I am a bit concerned about the possibility of an earlier date for 2015 since my vacation accrues in April and I don't think I can hold on to that much time for that long.  I'll have to wait and see because I'd really hate to miss the excitement, the fun, and all the great people I've gotten to know.

For next year?  More time with friends across the board.  Perhaps WAAGH! Tuska! for either the Friendly or, even quite possibly, the Team Tournament.  That seems like a lot of work, though, considering I still have a Sisters of Battle list, a Necrons list, and two Titans to complete.

Oh, right.  And a forthcoming 6th Edition Orks codex.

Thanks so much for following along.  Also, a big thanks to my wife, Wendy for making this all happen for me. You rock.

Eye Candy

Here's the photo dump of all the armies I captured with my phone throughout the weekend.  If any of these armies belong to you, please contact me and I will give you the due credit.

To save everyone's load times, I set the images to small.  Please feel free to >CLICK< the images to see the larger versions.