The Imperial Truth’s Scorched Earth Heresy event has been and gone, and was a huge amount of fun! Greg Dann put on a great event, and you can hear about it at his excellent podcast, The Imperial Truth, here. The event (I use the word ‘event’ rather than tournament, as Greg was keen for it to not be seen as a hyper-competitive tournament) was held at Firestorm games on the 8th and 9th of August and was attended by around 30 players. Firestorm is a great venue – I had previously visited their old site in an old machine shop, which was rough, but well run. The new venue is excellent, with plenty of space, and is clean and well lit, which as many gamers will know is not always standard for gaming venues! They have a well-stocked store attached and serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the day. They also provided lunch both days. The scenery there is generally very good – but then I would say that as much of it was built and painted by Jay Goldfinch of Bristol Vanguard!
Greg’s rules pack featured five missions, adapted from the missions in Forgeworld’s various Heresy books, which caught some people off guard. Fortunately, I’ve played most of these missions, so had a much greater idea of what to expect! I think alternative missions like these are a great way of testing people’s skill at playing the game, as you have to deal with situations not experienced before. I think Greg’s intention was to introduce some variation so that accepted ‘winning’ army lists might be thrown off course, in keeping with his plan of not being a ‘competitive’ tournament. In addition, he had plenty of non-gaming awards, for painting, most sporting, originality and just generally being cool. I regard myself as being pretty good at the game, but there are definitely better than me out there! In the end I finished in the top third, winning three games and losing two. I was quite happy with that – it seemed representative to me. One of the things I like most about gaming weekends like this is getting to meet new people who might have different approaches to the hobby and building and painting armies, and learning from them. I wasn’t disappointed this front! I played against five different armies, including Sons of Horus, Night Lords, Ultramarines, Salamanders and Death Guard. Armour 14 was a definite theme however, facing against three Typhon Heavy Siege Tanks (I destroyed two) and four Spartan Assault Tanks (smashing three). The main lesson of this was that anything that can have melta bombs, must have melta bombs! As I say, it’s great learning from these events – it’s by far the best way of getting better at these games. I did much better on the painting front, winning the figure painting competition and the judges’ award for best army. A fantastic Frontline urban gaming mat was my prize for this, along with a resin kit from Curious Constructs. The prizes were superb at this event!
The other great thing about this event was that it really felt like a Heresy event. Everyone came in the right spirit, with armies they’d made a real effort to make look right and feel like they belonged in the 31st millennium. One thing I occasionally see is obviously 40k models put into service as proxy models – mk7 Space Marines in a Heresy army. Whilst there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, it can’t beat seeing an army modelled and painted specifically for the Heresy. And it doesn’t need to be expensive resin – Jason Gaylard’s excellent Night Lords (which won the players’ award for best army), feature many plastic Chaos and Space Marine parts in order to keep costs down. However, through careful choice of parts and a bit of converting, it still looks and feels like the Night Lords you read about in Forgeworld and Black Library’s Heresy books.
There were only a couple of (very) minor gripes: We had been told that bacon sandwiches would be available first thing Saturday morning and many of us planned accordingly – when these failed to materialise, there were some extremely hungry gamers! Also, whilst Greg had intended for it to be a relaxed, less competitive event, the format meant that it still felt a lot like a tournament. A well run tournament to be fair, but not exactly what was planned. Things like adding a narrative (and naming the missions, rather than simply calling them ‘Game 1’, etc.) and trying to match traitors against loyalists as much as possible would help here. Maybe adding a team format would go a long way here. However, as I said, these are very minor compared to some events I’ve attended. Overall, it one of the best gaming weekends I’ve ever been on and I’m looking forward to future ones that Greg organises!
Here are some photos below!
Sergeant Amarok’s Despoilers receive a charge from Sons of Horus. Obviously their skulls were taken and a pyre made of their Spartan transport (this game was a win).
The World Eaters advance over the bridges of Ultramar, into the teeth of heavy weaponry.
The Heavy Support Squad gives supporting fire to cover the advance. Sadly, there just wasn’t enough CHOOM and the Ultramarines heavy guns were too much for the poor World Eaters. Despite early gains, the pesky Ultramarines took two out of the three bridges, winning the game. Stupid Typhons!
The World Eaters’ guns bear down on Crysos Morturg’s loyalist Death Guard.
The reason for this odd formation is to try to avoid the line of sight of yet another Typhon. It didn’t work.
Speaking of Death Guard…
And finally, a bonus action shot of Chris Gent’s Word Bearers Fire Raptor. Didn’t get to play Chris (he won the overall event on gaming!), but managed to capture this on the board next to me.