Convention Report: Kublacon (or what I ended up doing instead of Fanime)

So it’s been a week or so after I went to my gaming convention (Kublacon) in lieu of Fanime. Just goes to show that while I love anime my soul belongs military history and war gaming. While the event was roughly a week ago I just handed in a 5 page paper last week and mulled over my humiliating series of defeats for one game and surprising success in another. This is about the only time I get in a good number of games given how college has been chewing me up and spitting me out into a gutter. Seeing as how there is nothing scheduled I might as well throw up a post even it will bore half of you to death. I was in despair that Charles Sharp had a last minute issue and had to cancel all the lectures on WWII Cavalry, Panzer Division Organization, and Organization of American/Soviet Armored Formations.

Laugh if you must but this guy can run you through with a claymore faster than you can catch your breath.

It was not a total loss though since the lecture on the Scottish Jacobite Soldier of the 18th Century proved quite interesting. After hearing about the Scots and the Highlander’s risings which took place within 50 years of each other, I feel that Code Geass has lost some of its luster. I have said before how Britannia is not a very competent Imperial Power, but after hearing about how the Hanoverian government dealt with the ferocious Highlanders I am beginning to realize just how dangerous IKnight’s ancestors were. I have to say by comparison what the Jacobites went through to restore Stuart rule makes the Black Knights look like bunch of holiday excursionists on their way to the beach. It takes a special kind of deviousness for the British to crush the Rising of ’15 be lenient and let most of the rebels go while conducting a “hearts and minds” campaign that led to the formation of the famed Black Watch. It takes even more guile to beat the same bunch of kilt wearing independent minded warriors in the Rising of ’45 massacre a lot of them and then proceed to persuade them into fighting for the creation of the British Empire.

That native fellow can scalp a man faster than a Black Knight can cry for his Zero. Ain’t war hell?

I was rather surprised to learn that the same Jacobite Rebels that fought so hard in the Rising of ’45 would then go on campaign against the Natives in North America, the French wherever, and even in the American War of Independence. Admittedly the British did find ways of ensuring compliance in ways that Lulu could not even begin to imagine, nevertheless bringing the fierce Highlanders to heel is a feat in itself. Though for a bunch of “losers” they did a pretty good job of earning the respect of the British, Native Americans, French, and the Colonials. Notably they even rejected their battle honors for fighting in American War of Independence citing that Battle Honors should not be granted for war against kith and kin. This only highlights how kind of spoon fed we are in regards to the moralistic platitudes of Britannian colonial brutality and ruthlessness. It seems that there can be no substitute of greater scope and grandeur than original that was the British Empire.

He plays that instrument just to annoy people especially poncy blokes who ain’t got the nerve to tell him to stop. Ironically enough Amu-chan also likes her tartan.

Its mostly a personal gripe since after evolving into a miniature hobbyist from a CCG player its been harder and harder to not wince every time an anime series throws around the term “great/genius strategist and tactician” I guess that is why I much prefer Macross over Gundam/Code Geass in these recent incarnations. At least with the former I can sense that the team knows aviation and share a passion for fighter planes and tactics, with the latter it is clear that no one doing the writing has so much even read a field manual. Now I can only wonder how these Britannians could have been so daft as to not bring the Scots with them to build their Empire. Alas a bunch of badly disciplined nobles fill in the elite category these days. I am pretty sure that if there was no mention of real places I would probably never even bother to ask, but such is life and I still can’t help but wonder what the Scots are doing. Well at least we have gratuitous amounts of fanservice and Lulu Keikaku magic, and ultimately that is what matters most, Cecile in evening gown.

The last conversion I made.

I got three more guys to modify. I was thinking converting the far left guy to look more like a Konig Monster with the remaining blokes to look more like VF-25 Battroids.

Panzer Grenadiers, and the MBT that never failed to join the party in Round 1.

The whole kampfgruppen.

As for my games In Warhammer 40k I was better able to implement fire and maneuver tactics coupled with the use of two small infantry squads as bait to lure in the faster elements that my opponents had. I lost my first game when the opposing assault elements launched an early coup de main and proceeded to camp out in my staging areas, my reserves arrived rather piecemeal with by heavy armor support being absent or other wise firing wildly enough to not even hit a barn door. The next two games went better and I did grasp victory in both mostly because my opponents lacked enough heavy anti-tank fire power and over invested in assault elements and light vehicles. One of them infiltrated too close to my starting line and got shot to pieces, it also helped that his primary AT forces were exposed and earned themselves the honor of being at the top of the list for extermination. All in all while both of my later opponents went straight for the two static infantry squads and a lone artillery unit, my heavy armor and panzer grenadiers were better able to pick off isolated elements and trash their anti-tank firepower that was left vulnerable once their assault elements rushed head long to my infantry which in Soviet fashion I was prepared and expecting to lose. In the end out of 46 players I came in along with two others in 9th place, a big step up from last year where I was quickly massacred while running a more infantry heavy formation.

Justin K.’s Eldar

I have a better grasp about how to employ my mechanized forces better but still have not quite gotten the employment of my own airborne assault element. In terms of infantry deployment I did much better as I could use one squad to lead the enemy by the nose for a bit while the other gave them a few good volleys before the marked squad made one last close in firefight before getting assaulted. Thus far running a mechanized Tau army is proving to be a more successful adventure than I anticipated.

In Warhammer Fantasy I am still learning the ropes of my High Elf army I did poorly with their last incarnation and this time I did little better. I ran more infantry than I am really use to and only having one heavy cavalry unit my tactic of stacking the flank wasn’t doing much good as my lack of mobility made my entire formation rather ponderous. My first games was a massacre as I went in without so much as a clue to what my opponent’s army could do as it was given a new rules set. Suffice to say I was stuck in thinking that they were still in their old incarnation and I paid dearly for it as the units I expected to just run over proved to be bigger tar pits than I imagined and that allowed him to turn my flanks and defeat me in detail. My second game was a mirror match and while I was doing well mid game ultimately his superior numbers of artillery and archers took their toll and obliterated my ponderous infantry units as my heavy cavalry and close support hero were knocked out early on. My last game went much better as my opponent was also scarcely more numerous and scarcely faster than me. I won narrowly though by then I needed to seriously re-think how I am going to re-build this army. The points level was much lower than I am accustomed to and the cuts I made in supporting elements really did me in. I came in 33rd out of 36 players.

Ananda S.’s Nurgle Army (yes they are supposed to look diseased)

I think that next time I need to support my infantry formations with more mobile elements. The lone hero on flying mount (my close air support) did poorly as it was the first thing targeted by all my opponents. Next time with a higher points level I can add some screening units and a scout element to mug opposing artillery crews. All in all my infantry blocks did well, but they just could not carry the day while my heavy cavalry unit was hard pressed to deal with multiple threats. Overall it’s always good to take time in anything to reassess our failures and successes hind sight is 20/20, all that is left for me is a couple more field trails and to complete my half finished projects so I don’t get dinged on paint scores again.

All in all the convention was good fun and I did learn a lot. I was able to sell off most of my unwanted stuff at the flea market and re-coup 130 USD from the convention bill and having stocked up on snack foods and scouted out the local restaurants before hand also helped me keep the cost down. I was much more discriminating at the dealer’s room this time around only purchasing discounted tools and such as I had enough modeling projects going on that adding more would have been unwise. Having a camelback to keep hydrated also kept me from burning out, as well as a handy place to store candy bars and miscellaneous purchases. I live about 15 minutes away from the hotel where it was held so commute was bearable. As Kublacon is an old convention they were able to again work with the hotel to get 5 USD a day validated parking so I could keep my car close enough to be a storage locker for my tons of miniatures. I was also able to park near those sweet security cams. I wish my younger brother and cousin would have gone with me, but the former was dragged off by his girlfriend and the latter has be sabotaging his own life.

Some guy’s Dearth Wing army who did not leave his name with his models. Yeas I suck at photography.

In hindsight while Fanime would have been interesting the costs would have been much more as I would have had to pay for a hotel room and commute 2 hours down there. I have been to smaller local anime conventions in ages past, but never once felt the sort of common camaraderie with my fellow convention goers than at Kublacon. I am probably an old guy at heart since if find discussing warfare, military history, and miniature gaming with fellow enthusiasts more stimulating than discussing EVA. It also helps that most of these guys are aged nerds who have seen this and done that. I guess it’s a consequence of the community being so small and the mandatory face to face human opponent that goes with it that allows for more polite human interaction with the same old faces and some new ones. I got a second hand experience of Fanime from the club vice president and his crew who were able to go as press to Fanime and they spared me much of the more lack luster skits to bring me the gems. Kublacon is also in a different dynamic than Fanime since it was much more family oriented with a legion of kids following around the convention mascot for kids’ activities.

Wood Elves by Justin K.

Another guy who did not leave his name with his army. Though the bloke did work hard on his Bretonnians.

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  1. Posted June 3, 2008 at 10:37 pm | Permalink


  2. justam
    Posted June 3, 2008 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Tau ftw. But in the 40k universe, the Necron are legion. Frik, I mean, they can’t DIE!

  3. Myu
    Posted June 3, 2008 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Wicked. Though if I had any, I’d probably have a panic attack every time anyone got near mine. Those figurines look fragile.

  4. Posted June 3, 2008 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    W00t… Tau ftw… tau player myself though i usually only go 40K serious in the summer months, after exams XD

  5. Posted June 4, 2008 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Indeed and they take forever to paint for some people, though it makes each army unique.

    For some reason in the meta-game there are few Necron players locally, lots of Space Marines, and the only Necron guy came in 12th after 9th and 10th were both split 3 ways. Strangely enough the overall winner was a guy who ran lots of infantry with no armored support.

    For the most part they are sturdy if you build them right while a good coat of varnish is essential if you want to preserve your hours of hard work for the paint job.

    Mein Komrade do you run infantry or mechanized? The transition from gun line to mechanized was a boon for me as my losses were no longer so great. Summer is coming…hope you will have fun then.

  6. Myssa Rei
    Posted June 4, 2008 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Excellent work on the Tau force, and given my tactical procilivities (infiltrate, then set up corridors of cross-fire) the sight of those hammerheads and devilfish automatically gave me the shivers (armor has always been the weakness of my list, since I have very VERY few vehicles myself). Doesn’t really take much to take out devastator squads and assault marines, ESPECIALLY when it’s Tau, and really those are my only dedicated anti-tank.

    Going to rectify that when the boxed sets that come with 5th come along though. The new Dread looks especially solid, and I might finally be able to get a (hopefully recut) trio of speeders.

  7. Posted June 4, 2008 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    As a rule of thumb, any formation in the British Army which isn’t English is automatically better; the Scots are no exception, though even they pale in comparison to the Brigade of Gurkhas.

    I never really had the money to get into 40K, though I have always enjoyed how the built-for-endless-warfare game world is essentially a collection of all that is grim and terrifying. I do like the blue paint-scheme on your Tau – if my memory serves me correctly they’re traditionally a sandy yellow, is that right?

  8. Myssa Rei
    Posted June 4, 2008 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    IKnight: Indeed, the T’au Sept’s common colors are sandy yellow and shades of brown. Which is fitting, given the Tau homeworld being originally mostly savannah… Do take note though that each ‘Sept has their own color scheme, as much as Space Marine Chapters or Imperial Guard regiments have theirs.

    I have to ask Crusader, how many Wraithlords did you have to destroy to give your Crisis Suits their upgrades? :P

  9. Coaxen
    Posted June 4, 2008 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    @blissimo: Yep, and that’s why they are so friggin expensive. And an average game could take more free time than you’ll ever hope for, if you want to be able to earn money for those figures.

    I still remember how hard it was to paint Morgiana Le Fay. And her patterned coat… it was worth it.
    BTW. She is one of the best characters. I mean, it’s pure pleasure to turn Nagash into a toad.

  10. anne
    Posted June 4, 2008 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    oooh. where are these classes you are taking?
    i think i drooled on myself a little.

  11. Myssa Rei
    Posted June 4, 2008 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Coaxen: Well, not exactly time-consuming (I certainly found that the assembling and actual painting of my army took far FAR longer than the average battle I’ve played, and that’s just the basic three-color tabletop standard), but if you’ve got a busy lifestyle it’s going to be hard to fit into a schedule, doubly so if you’ve got OTHER hobbies (I myself have amateur writing, anime, and reading) competing for your attention.

  12. Posted June 4, 2008 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    @Myssa Rei
    Thanks. Over the Summer I hope to get more of my IG done as well as finish up my Tau. From the look of things it seems that 5th is going to bring back a lot of old things and nerf vehicles and skimmers in particular. I guess we shall see what they have concocted come July. There also seems to be a major revision of IG along with 5th, Marines are also getting a new codex as well…according to the rumors.

    Marines are still dangerous if used correctly however the biggest mistake that most Marine players make is rely on that goodly 3+ save to keep them out of trouble some times it does, but more often or not if I pour on enough fire power I can kill a good number.

    I got a bunch of old Wraithlord models right around the Eldar Codex came out. Suffice to say I had a bunch of whole models but I ended up using them mostly for bits.

    Sure the non-English regiments are much more renowned, but in the end they still work for you. If you can’t beat ‘em lead ‘em. ;) I still think that South Korean Marines are in a crazy league of their own. I am glad that they are on my side. There are elite English formations though they aren’t exclusively English, aren’t the SAS some other kind of elite as well? :)

    Myssa is right it is usually a desert camo scheme but I had lots more blue paint when I started. I got most of my modes at discount during sales and scouring Flea Markets for cheap stuff.

    For me painting a single model is much easier than a whole regiment. I am somewhat nitpicky and it takes me forever and a day to finish a single squad.

    There are no classes, but there are plenty of people willing to help you along, though in the end there is not substitute for practice.

  13. Some Guy
    Posted June 4, 2008 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    FOR THE EMPEROR! Grey Knight Terminators all the way!

  14. Posted June 4, 2008 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    @Some Guy
    GK Termies are beautiful models but are hard to convert being metal and all. Too bad the latest Daemons Codex made them more of a liability than an asset.

  15. Myssa Rei
    Posted June 5, 2008 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I agree with the fact that the Grey Knights are very nice models to play around with. Unfortunately (at least where I live in), not only are they metal (making it time-consuming to customize them), they’re also extremely expensive, and we’re not talking about the average point cost of a GK Terminator when compared to your DIY Chapter termie.

    I’ll stick with the standard termies, thanks, and just modify their helmets to give them the GK-ish look, strap a vehicle stormbolter on a termie sarge arm, and voila. Still cheaper by far, according to my computation (pity for the vehicle lacking the pintle mount though. XD ).

  16. Posted June 5, 2008 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Plastic is easier to work with, but judging by the final product modifying GK Termies can still look grand.

    If the do make all defensive weapons S4 then I expect to see more pintle weapons for the humans. A pity that just about every one else loses out.

  17. Sam
    Posted June 5, 2008 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    For me, I’ve always found metal models to be the way. Since I started really early on the hobby, literally my whole Imperial Guard army is metal. This was the days of $40 AUD 10-man Tallern Desert Raiders box sets. Lead is a easy metal to play with compared to the ‘white metal’ they use nowadays.

    Thank god for that, I think you can only get them from Forgeworld now, seeing Imperial Guard has become Cadians and more Cadians.

    As for tanks, I have to suggest kitbashed WWII tanks – not only can you literally get two tanks for the price of one Leman Russ, they have more little bits, details, and actual tracks.

  18. Mars Attack
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Ah Tyranids all the way
    Hate bloody Terminators

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