A Coda Abroad: Road To Adepticon

Hello friends!

I’m intending to make my Road to Adepticon a bit of a travel blog about backpacking half way around the world with your hams to play some games with internet friends. So if you’re interested in watching someone tackle topics like “travelling internationally with hams” and “backpacking around the USA with a 2000pts marine army” then look no further.

So with that out of the way, I’m traveling from Australia to the U.S of A for Adepticon and I’m bringing the Swords of Davion with me. It’s going to be an awesome 40k filled roadtrip of good times!

Swords of Davion Astartes
Swords of Davion, mustering for Operation Road Tripicus Americus!. Painted by Tyler “Coda” Moore

The main reason I’m doing this is meeting the awesome folk in the Goonhammer (and flight sim) community. I also want to show off my army to the world. However there are a few problems with this, namely:

  • I’ve been recently informed by my fellow Goonhammer(ers) that Australia and the US is separated by a rather large body of water called the “Pacific Ocean”.
  • This means (sadly) driving 16000 Km from east coast Australia to Chicago in my little rally car is not an option.
  • As I’m not Bill Gates levels of rich I can’t afford a super yacht to sail over in.

This means that air travel is the only option. 

So. A few questions need to be answered.

  • How do I get myself and a 2000pts Marine army over the pond intact and in a backpacking/road trippable state, while still allowing me to be mobile on foot during a 3 week long backpacking trip?
  • What list do I run at the friendly?
  • Is the army ready yet?

PROBLEM 1: Getting the army ready for a trip across the pond.

Well, I did the adult thing. I asked around for advice, even hitting up the WHTV team during a hang out and paint. I’ve also seen what checking your hams can lead to, when Corrode travelled to NOVA.

The advice was consistent. Do not check your hams at any cost.

So I need a solution that allows me to bring my hams as carry on, along with some spare clothes and sanity restoring devices. My first step was to google my airline’s carry on rules and get the dimensions written down. This gave me my max limits. The second was figuring out a bag/mini storage combo that would work. Given that we are talking about a 2k army, that rules out GW cases.

Enter KR Multicase.

Above: As you can see the KR fits the army with room to spare for a few alternative models. My massive thanks to Josh and the rest of the KR team for their sage advice. Also fuck yeah green foam!

I went with KR for a few reasons. The biggest? They published really good dimension details on their website. Why does this matter? Well, see below:

I think I made 2 or 3 of these plotting on various options for bags/cases. I found this helped me visualise the space I had to work with. It also killed a few really boring days at work. Credit: Tyler “Coda” Moore

KR also have an excellent product, customer service and came highly recommended. Their site is somewhat hard to navigate at first but once you get an idea of the system it ‘clicks’ and works fairly well. Once I figured out the foam I needed, I emailed KR with my requirements and what I thought would work foam wise. They quickly emailed me back their suggestions and I placed the order. The product worked as advertised and I can’t recommend them enough based on the last month of going back and forth to my local FLGS with it and I’ll totally be buying a shitload of foam for the rest of my hams when I’m back from the States.

Above: As you can see I can jam a 2k Marine army, full change of clothes, a jacket, laptop, Switch, Kindle and power pack/charges into this backpack. Solving this puzzle was tricky but a lot of fun! 

I could have just picked one of the reportably great KR backpacks and left it there, however I decided that this wasn’t easy enough so I found a third party backpack to shove the models in. Naturally this bag wasn’t available in Australia but luckily I was saved by fellow Goon and all round legend badaBlack.

The models were only half the problem. I also had to consider dice, tape measures and the insane amount of books required to run Marines in 8th ed. These I was way more comfortable checking in with my other dufflebag. So that’s dice/tape figured out.

The books however are a bigger problem as they take up a lot of volume and are quite heavy. I’ve decided to be a bit naughty and take copies of the bits of the books I need in a folder. If I get really stuck fellow Goonhammer editor at large Condit has offered to spot me with the books at Adepticon. That said, anyone reading this for travel advice, I would recommend getting a tablet for your ham travel needs, which is what I will be doing before my planned 2021 UK trip.

I’m going to review the KR product and detail out a general guide to backpacking with Hams after my trip so I can really drill down into lessons learned/things to do and the like. So keep your eyes peeled for that! In the meanwhile, keep on clicking on this series if you enjoy seeing the problems crop up and be (hopefully) solved in real time!

PROBLEM 2: What list do I run at the friendly. 

So I’m taking 2k points over. The friendly is 1.5k pts with a hard limit on one detachment only and the force has to be at a ‘not insane’ level.


The Swords of Davion arrayed for battle
The Swords of Davion arrayed for battle. Credit: Coda

So what do I take?

I ran a 1500pts list with a battalion and vanguard detachment at my local’s last tourney (which I won!) that looked like this:

It’s pretty close to the requirements for the friendly. I think I could run it as is in a standard battalion and deal with only having 5CP at the start of the game. The biggest take away is that it’s also good fun to play, with plenty to do in each phase of the game.

PROBLEM 3: Is the army ready yet?

Well, almost! I have to finish up the fancy Vanguard, one Intercessor sergeant and the two Dreads. Also 3 thunder hammer models to sub in if people don’t like my count as conversions.

I’ve had a little bit of painting burn out with the combination of Australian fires causing me to nearly evac a few times, Cancon going rather south for me and work being crazy due to the aforementioned fires. I’m hoping to have the army done by the end of Feb so I can finally work on something that isn’t green Marines.

If you have any questions about this article, throw up a comment or shoot us an email at contact@goonhammer.com.

As for me you can find me personally:

Twitter – Where I post models and like things!
Insta – Where I forget to post models and sometimes like things
Twitch – Where I stream painting models and make a fool of myself for fun.

Have fun