Cancon 2014 in Review

I’ve finally recovered enough from Cancon 2014 to be able to put some thoughts down on paper. For those not in the know, Cancon is an annual 3-day celebration of gaming and gaming culture; everything from board games, miniature games, role-playing games and cosplay is there to be enjoyed and bought. It has been around for years and years and is arguable the premier convention in Australia.

This year Warmachine & Hordes had it’s biggest ever presence with approximately 130 registrations; we even qualified for an Iron Gauntlet qualifier and a Masters tournament. As a local Pressganger, I offered my services to help the tournaments run smoothly; which involved 2 x 12 hour days of administration, clean-up and the occasional game in the Iron Arena. I would have been there for all 3 days, but I was distracted by Meg Maples’ painting class.

Rather than give a blow-by-blow, I thought I’d pull out some of the memorable events.

TL;DR version – I had a blast!

Iron Arena

This was an idea that we tried last year; but went off this year. As well as participating in tournaments, players were able to play pick-up-games against anyone, at any points level, and they could take as long as they wanted. Each game earned you points that you could spent on prizes such as dice, tokens, posters, alternate sculpts, painting services and so forth. It was so popular that I was actually asked if someone could use an unused tournament table because there was not enough space!

Among the crowd of patient (at one point I recorded game results for 30mins straight because of the queue) and fabulous players, three people stood out for me. Ian Bennett worked tirelessly to collect as many achievements he could get to earn an Extreme Juggernaut, and I believe he got it. Josh Bates squeezed in games whenever he could; between tournament rounds, in the mornings, etc to earn enough points for 20 black focus tokens for his Nemo2 list. And Zach Jones worked like a dog to get enough points to earn himself a Bombardier Bombshell – it was a pleasure to hand it over to him as he was super excited to get it.


My skills have steadily been improving and I thought this year I had a good chance of placing. Little did I know that not only was Meg Maples’ entering in some models, but that a bunch of OzPainter forum guys were also entering! Take a look at some of these… (make with the clicky to embiggen them)

cancon-painting-3 cancon-painting-2 cancon-painting-1

I was blown away by the strength of the competition this year. Fortunately I was able to place second with my Archangel (first placed Hyperion was super cool); and scored a nifty shirt from The Sound of Machines. Kate was super nice and when my shirt did not fit she game me some dice as compensation. Even better, she liked my model enough to want a couple of extra shots of it!


I’d be remiss if I did not mention Meg‘s painting class. Plenty has been said before about the other classes she’d held around the world and I won’t reiterate the praise here. Suffice to say, this time around two-brush blending “clicked” with me and I learned to get over my fear of painting eyes with Meg’s “6 easy steps to painting eyes”. I even got some great colour theory out of the other classmates and will be working on that part of my game this year.

I took two models, but this is the one I did the most work on.

Dwarf Lord

I want to call out Mark Soley from OzPainters for bouncing both colour theory and base design off me (I’m sure I’ll translate his advice with some more experience) and for Elena Petrou in independently supporting the colour theory from Mark.

Bring on next year!



Cancon 2014 in Review

Raven Eyes of the War Dragon

I think it’s established that I enjoy theme forces. Quite a few years ago I posted an idea on the Lost Hemisphere forums about how “well” Lylyth2’s theme force (Ravens of War) gels with her Shard from the faction book (Eyes of the Dragon).

As I look at my mountain of models, it re-occurs to me that finishing off the theme force that actually got me interested in the faction may be an excellent way to re-invigorate the faction, add focus to my painting, and get a list that I would like to play for a while.

Lylyth, Shadow of Everblight (painted)
– Seraph (painted)
– Seraph (painted)
– Stinger (painted)
Blighted Nyss Striders + UA (painted)
Blighted Nyss Striders + UA
Strider Deathstalker (Fysel) (painted)
Strider Deathstalker (Kaevan) (painted)
Strider Deathstalker (Shaness)
Strider Deathstalker (Treyfal)
Blighted Nyss Raptors
Annyssa Ryvaall, Talon of Everblight (painted)

I have 2 Deathstalkers, Raptors and a unit of Striders to paint – should be doable by May (given I have other things on my plate in Jan/Feb/March

Raven Eyes of the War Dragon