Adepticon 2019 Reflection
I feel like, now, I finally have a chance to look back on Adepticon and figure out what I thought about it. This was my first jaunt up to Schaumberg’s convention center, and my first time in a 4-round Infinity tournament. The convention was dense, the attendees fantastic, and the recovery hard.
While I was there, I got the chance to play a BUNCH of Infinity:
- 3-round Escalation Event (200, 300, and 400 point rounds)
- Yo Joe! Narrative Event
- Spec-Ops Prison Break
- 4-round ITS Championship
- TAG Deathmatch (though, sadly, I had to duck out before it was finished)
I would love to write-up a full review of each of these, which may or may not happen depending on how well they stick in my head. Overall though, I don’t regret signing up for any of the events.
In aggregate though, my eyes were bigger than my stomach.
I should have paced myself
Having been to several multi-day events before, I thought I was ready for Adepticon. What I wasn’t prepared for was the brutal pace of events: signing up for full day events, then also signing up for evening narrative events meant I had little-to-no downtime.
Major multi-round events (like the ITS championship) rarely gave me enough downtime between rounds to do more than get something to eat. The Escalation event itself had a generous lunch break (which I was thankful for!), but the rest of the weekend was jam-packed.
For me running hard through the ITS Championship, then missing dinner to jump straight into the TAG Deathmatch was more than my body could handle. It’s hard to say which I would have skipped, but I definitely should have picked one or the other in retrospect.
The Corvus Belli booth had a bunch of fun toys thanks to the Daedalus Fall release, and there were great booths full of fun-looking toys.
My one complaint was that it all felt… small. In many ways it felt to me more like a local ‘con in terms of vendor footprint, just with bigger names (which was kinda cool). I hate to compare it to GenCon because of the behemoth that Indianapolis is, but I was hoping to see some more of those ‘features’ at Adepticon.
To me, selling a game relies on a few things:
- Small-scale demo to show core mechanics (Corvus Belli’s booth had this down pat)
- ‘learning’ games with limited rules and objectives. This is what the 2-player boxes are best at, and what the sectorial/starter boxes are designed for. It would have been nice to see some organized pick-up games at this scale, perhaps using Recon rules
- Pick-up games for friendly competition. Having the ability to get a single game in (between other events), or play someone specific that you wouldn’t normally get to see, is one of the big joys of an event like this. (I can only imagine that there are foot-print concerns around this idea)
- Organized play. Adepticon’s events here were top-notch, and I want to commend the volunteers/Warcors that helped make it happen. William Thomsen and Scott Tipsword appeared to play high-profile roles, but I’m sure there was a small army helping them out!
Adepticon had the first bullet and last bullet secured. The middle two felt like they were missing. To me, this leans towards the ability to do ‘something small’ between other events and still be involved in the community.
A 12-hour ITS event can be fun, but having the ability to drop into and out of an event without feeling ‘locked-in’ is my key to enjoying my time at a major convention. Without a large vendor hall, 1–2 hour events, walkable sightseeing, or some kind of community organization I got worn out quick.
During the events themselves, I had a blast. I played against factions and army comps I haven’t been exposed to yet, and got to play against opponents that stretched my thinking while providing an upbeat atmosphere.
The tables likewise were fantastic. Time, attention, and care clearly went into each of them, and it felt like each table had its own personality. I don’t have a top-tier table of my own (yet?), and it was a solid argument for how great the community can be in providing for each other.
If I do build a table, this raises the stakes for me on the quality of construction and the thought that will need to go into the firelanes, scatter, theme, and detail elements.
Do I recommend it?
I would say there’s three great reasons to go:
- You’re looking to play a lot of Infinity against a lot of great opponents. The 4-round ITS can be long, but it will push your play to improve. Other events are far more digestible and easier to show up for.
- You have a group of people going with, and are going to be going to events together. It’s a very social atmosphere.
- You want to meet everyone.
It’s a very accessible convention and, while it was crowded, never felt overwhelming. And, as a bonus, you get to meet Carlos!