Adepticon Vibe Check
I went to Adepticon, and it was very fun. For those who don’t know, this is a convention focused on miniatures games and attended by about 10,000 people annually. This was my first time at a gaming convention of any kind, and I’ve got to say it was a bit stunning in both good and bad ways. There were some beautiful pieces of artwork. There were terrain tabletops that blew my mind. There was beautiful creativity everywhere. I particularly enjoyed a squad of space marines with hello kitty heads standing at attention on an aircraft carrier. There were huge dioramas of tiny soldiers in epic confrontations. One of these featured worshippers of a blood god beneath a continually flowing, fourteen inch blood fountain. I liked it. I assume it was not real blood. But I didn’t check.
There were also a few things I bumped against. There were also middle-aged men griping bitterly about how their toy soldiers performed. There were grumbles about toxic opponents. There were some folks at the Con who didn’t seem like they got out much. There were surly dudes who were definitely not there for the lols. I’m not out here judging these people, but they were there and I think you’ve probably met some. I have a certain amount of respect for these guys (and they are guys), but I’m not really keen to hang out with them a ton. I’m not sure how many of the folks at the Con were like this. I get the sense that they were a small but substantial minority. Honestly, I wish them well. I hope they got what they were hoping to get out of the experience.
And then there was the Godtear area! That was the happiest place in the Con! Obviously I’m biased, but that’s how it felt to me.
I played in two tournaments, and all of my opponents were lovely. Jokes were cracked and smiles exchanged. Everyone was trying their best to win, but the vibe was friendly and mature. The games were highly enjoyable both because Godtear itself is highly enjoyable and also because it seems to attract the type of person who enjoys games and plays them well but doesn’t live and die with every win and loss. It was a gregarious group who valued the chance to enjoy something together.
The tournaments were fairly small, but the demo tables! Oh, the demo tables. SFG put a champion expansion in everyone’s swag bag, so there were a lot of curious folks stopping by. There were demos running at all stations all day. Curious gamers were continuously stopping by to watch the tournament games because they were waiting for a chance to get a demo. The Adepticon crowd was intrigued. Jamie Perkins told me that they ran over 150 demos. Godtear has some real buzz.
It was also encouraging to see how many folks stuck around to pick up a few games AFTER their demos. My favorite of these was a dad and his daughter. I’m not sure how old she was, but definitely middle school age. The two of them were having an absolute blast. It was positively adorable. They stayed at the Godtear tables all day. At one point, this tween girl was playing against a guy who had to be in his fifties or sixties at the spot next to where I was playing. She beat him soundly as the two of them had a lovely chat about how annoying it is to have braces.
Godtear doesn’t have the huge, elaborate terrain tables. It doesn’t have any eighteen inch high minis with hundreds of nearly microscopic details. It doesn’t have decades of lore and IP. No blood fountains (yet).
What it does have is an extremely thoughtful design paired with beautiful and iconic miniatures. For those of us who aren’t deeply committed to gluing together hundreds of tiny pieces night after night, Godtear offers a rich and accessible gaming experience out of the box. For those of us who’d rather not growl at strangers over a half inch range measurement, Godtear offers clarity and player agency. For those of us who’d rather not spend 40 minutes on setup and deployment, Godtear offers the chance to be quickly immersed in interesting tactical decisionmaking. For those of us who don’t have thousands to spend annually on minis, Godtear offers full-fledged tournament lists for around $115 US. Godtear is a game that offers depth and excitement without taking over your life and budget.
This was my first gaming convention of any kind. Godtear is the only the second miniatures game I’ve played more than a handful of times. My love of this game blossomed during pandemic lockdown, so I’ve mostly been an online TTS player. Attending this event has really helped me to understand our community a bit better. I now get the aversion to over- competitiveness a bit more. I can appreciate why the SFG 4 is a good format for in-person play. I understand a bit more clearly now why the Godtear community is sort of special. Forgive me for not knowing that all along, but I did not previously have a frame of reference. Now I do. I played Godtear for two days straight and had uniformly joyful interactions with each and every person I talked to. It was amazing.
I still like TTS, drafting, competing, and all that. I’m still me. The in-person event experience was definitely enlightening, though.
This game will grow. It’s simply too good not to. I hope for the game’s sake that it eventually attracts a large enough following that the inevitable jerk or two shows up. When they do, they’ll be no bother. The rest of us will be having too much fun.
Oh yeah… I won both tournaments! Almost forgot.