Thursday, February 8, 2024

Under the Dice Fest: Day 1

Under the Dice Fest Day 1.

On the last weekend of January, we were fortunate to be able to attend Under the Dice Fest 2024, a small festival in Massachusetts celebrating miniature-based tabletop wargaming. The festival was designed to appeal to those who shy away from the mainstream iterations of the miniature wargaming hobby, focusing on those who want play the games on their own terms, sometimes outside of the scope of the game rules as written, or those who want to play old games which are no longer supported by their publishers. It is highlighting those who are more concerned with telling a story with the miniatures they build than with creating something that would be optimal in terms of a game’s rule system. Last week, we reported on the day prior to the event (Day 0). Now we want to showcase some of the photos we took from the first full day of the fest, including pictures from the second annual New England Mordheim Open (NEMO) event. This year we didn't actually play in NEMO, as we didn't have new warbands to use and wanted to just hangout and talk with people (and take photos!). Learning from last year, the organizers reduced the number of games played during NEMO to three (a multiplayer game was not played this year). This allowed all the games to be comfortably played throughout the day without anyone rushing. In addition to NEMO, we also recorded interviews with some of the attendees of the first day, which you can listen to here!

Under the Dice Fest had a host of amazing trophies! From left to right: kit-bashing trophy, best warband, best board, and finally best in the overall event.

Curtis Fell designed these amazing trophies for the kit-bashing event on day two of the event.

Dylan set up a photo booth with a wonderful piece of terrain to put warbands on.

The event had upwards of fifty Mordheim boards, including this incredible multi-tiered board that Grant built!

Hive Scum Phil created his first board for the Mordheim event, a ruined temple in Lustria.

Phil’s board contained an assortment of statues and stone edifices created by Trent Holbrook (Miscast).

Favored Terrain created one of the coolest boards at the event, complete with street lights lit with LEDs. Later that day it took first place in the best board competition!

Eric (Eric’s Hobby Workshop), Alex (tabletop.wizards), and Jonathan (Legends of the Tabletop) chat about Mordheim.

Gage and IIII discussing the finer points of miniature wargaming.

Matt (totally_not_panicking) prepares to crush his enemies in the City of the Damned.

Evan and Mike prepare their warbands to venture into Mordheim.

Blerz is no stranger to the forsaken streets of Mordheim. He even won second place in the best board competition later in the day!

A skaven verminkin deftly leaps into a skiff to retrieve a shard of wyrdstone.

A horde of mauradering zombies shamble through the dilapidated streets of Mordheim.

The buildings in Mordheim continue to crumble, as warbands continue to scour them for anything of value.

Martin McCoy ( brought a selection of prints of his artwork, including copies of his Vastarian artwork.

Steve’s mech game, Flames of Orion, was on full display, enticing people to take part in the tournament the following day.

Greg and Gage are excited to be at Under the Dice Fest!

Greg conducted an extensive array of interviews throughout the weekend for Dragged into Turbolasers, including one with Terry.

The awards for NEMO 2024 are handed out!

Martin McCoy’s daemon possessed dwarf warband.

Chris Griffin’s Carnival of Chaos warband.

IIII's necromancer and band of ravenous zombies.

Brian’s amazing Arabian Tomb Raiders warband.

IIII sets down ominous beats as Ryan intones portents of our doom as Basilisk!

Massachusetts dungeon synth band Sombre Arcane inject an impressive amount of theatrics into their performance.

The final musical act of the night was the Springfield, Massachusetts sludge metal band, Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean.

Steve was clearly enjoying the Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean show.

"Walk into the room with nothing to lose. Watch how fast I fade. Watch me fucking seethe. Walk into my life then walk right back out".

Day 1 of Under the Dice Fest was amazing, filled with lots of exciting games and even more amazing people. It even ended with some incredible live performances, culminating with a brutal set by Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean. Look forward to more photos from the final day of the fest soon, including some awesome Vastarian photos!

- Eric Wier

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