Goonhammer Historicals: Mugginns’ Days Out At AdeptiCon – Sharp Practice, Chain of Command, Lard America, Bolt Action!

As most wargamers will know, AdeptiCon 2023 took place last week / weekend and it was a great time. Over 6,500 gamers played in 735 events – it certainly felt like the biggest ever, with the parking lot full every day instead of just Friday / Saturday. I’ve been preparing for this since January, looking forward to it with immense anticipation. This year was our second time doing a Lard America event at AdeptiCon and it went very well! While I think we have some room for improvement it was a huge effort and made me feel really good afterward.

Your hardworking author taking a needed rest during the best four days of wargaming.

I wanted to talk about a few things – the con overall, the historicals area, vendors, and then talk about each day that I spent doing Historical stuff.

The Con As A Whole

AdeptiCon is the big one and it was even bigger this year. The parking lot was constantly full with people parking on the grass. The badge line was longer than I can ever remember it being. It’s great that it’s growing – truly it is. I know they’ll have some logistical challenges with this. I would love it if they could have badge pickup at the offsite hotel where Historicals and other games were. This would save players a lot of time trying to park etc at the main place if they’re going to be at the offsite hotel all weekend or whatever.

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I enjoyed the vendor hall immensely – always good stuff there, new things and old reliables. Some of the coolest new stuff I saw was: Huge Miniatures, a company that makes all kinds of basing materials and now paints; SioCast, a new way to cast resin minis that is more environmentally friendly and seems a lot crisper; and SnapShips, a toy that you can put together much like Legos, but you also get rules for each add-on etc and you can play wargames with them.

If we’re still going to be offsite for the future with historicals, I would love it to be more structured. I know our Historicals director does his best but some more resources would help a ton. Big AdeptiCon signs letting people know where to go. Badge pickup in the offsite place. Better signage for the game areas – this is the Bolt Action area, this is the Team Yankee area, this is the Lard America area, etc.

We had something like 25% to 50% of people drop out of our sold out games on Friday and Saturday – it’s hard to tell exactly why, but I think it could be a combo of things:

  • They didn’t know where our games were
  • They got stuck at the main site hotel and didn’t want to lose their parking spot or wait for the shuttle
  • They got into something else and the $7 entry fee was too little to keep them from skipping it

A comprehensive table plan before the event starts would be great, as then they could put a map in the app that shows where each table is etc.

Germans advance up the ridge in Denmark. Credit: John Emmett

Thursday Night

I actually didn’t have any games on Thursday, so I spent the day going through the vendor hall and then setting up for Friday. We played through a game of Chain of Command that two Lardies were running over the weekend. Caleb ran his Infamy, Infamy game (I missed the sign up for this one, but really wanted to play) and it looked great.

Infamy, Infamy at AdeptiCon. Credit: Caleb Gutshall.

Infamy, Infamy at AdeptiCon. Credit: Caleb Gutshall.

Infamy, Infamy at AdeptiCon. Credit: Caleb Gutshall.

I love how different this game plays than Sharp Practice and Chain of Command – I need to get all my guys painted up. We also hit Portillo’s that night for the first Italian Beef I had that weekend.

Liam sets up the Lard America intro table.


Friday was my big day for Lard America – I ran my Sharp Practice game set in coastal North Carolina late in the Civil War. I had run this before and made some changes to it so it would hopefully run better. The Confederates gained an artillery piece and the Union gained some more troops. The Confederates got lucky early and moved their artillery up and managed a bunch of shots against closed column federals – it was tough. The Federals did manage to get their troops up the board to block the boat, and did manage to kill a bunch of Confederates.

The Confederates had to get their spy to the boat and almost managed it – we ran out of time but I ruled it a Confederate minor victory. It seemed like all four players had a great time and really learned about the strategy of Sharp Practice and how to use your troops and avoid morale damage. I was very happy how it turned out.

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I also played in a Chain of Command game run by Patrick and John that replicated the fighting of the Netflix movie April 9th. I played as the Danes and controlled a number of weapons teams. We focused on trying to hold back their armored cars with AT rifles and AT guns, and did a pretty decent job of it early and mid game. Eventually the Germans managed to flank around with their infantry and take out our teams with close fire, grenades, etc.

I really liked how Patrick did a lot of work pre-game by creating the roster files etc. to make it easier for us to know who to activate and when.

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It was a beautiful table and the minis were great – they won the Lard America Shermie award for Day 1, a bust of William T Sherman.

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Ed ran a Chain of Command game called Defending the Hexenkessel and had a huge table with a ton of minis. It looked amazing and I’m sure the players had a great time.

Bruce ran a game of Sharp Practice called Ensign Noseblower in the Caribbean! The players had a great time and he actually won the Shermie for Saturday with his great looking game. The Friday game ended with a chapter end where the house and the boat both burned down!

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Bolt Action Friday

My buddy Paul tagged me in for one game of the Bolt Action team tournament because our buddy was on the sick roll for the day (feel better Jeff!). Paul and Jeff were playing Germans in the early war so I rolled up with one unit of pioneers with a flamethrower, two units of infantry, a lieutenant, a truck, and a PZ38t. We had a great game – I haven’t played BA in a bit but I was able to get back in really quick. Our opponents were really nice people from Nashville. I asked them if they had Hot Chicken all the time, of course.

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Saturday & Other Games Around the Hall

I was a game-traitor and actually played Warhammer Age of Sigmar on Saturday but did manage to get some pics of the games put on Saturday. Ed ran a big Rourke’s Drift game using Sharp Practice. I did manage to join the Lard American club at Shaw’s for seafood dinner which was amazing. I truly enjoy being with these pards and having a great time.

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I also took a bunch of shots from around the Historical area of Team Yankee, Konflict 47, Oak & Iron, Gunfighters’ Ball, and Blood & Plunder. Check it out!

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Wrap Up

I had a lovely time at AdeptiCon 2023 and really enjoyed commiserating with all of my historical pards. I was bummed that I did have to skip out early and miss the SAGA tournament on Sunday; I had to finish some work before Monday started so that meant a ride home.

If you get a chance, I definitely recommend a visit. The Historical hall is only getting better each year and you won’t be let down. The tournament games like Team Yankee, Bolt Action, SAGA, Konflict 47 are going strong and the participation games are absolutely worth it.