Last weekend (2nd and throd October 2015) I went to the Heresy Throne of Skulls event at Warhammer World – it’s the first time I’ve been to Warhammer World since the big renovation recently and it was as much a chance to see what’s changed as playing awesome games of Heresy! They’ve slightly reduced the number of gaming tables in order to fit in two new stores – Black Library and Forgeworld. They’ve also moved the ‘traditional’ Games Workshop store in order to fit the new display exhibition in. The exhibition is superb. At £7.50 each, entrance tickets seem a little steep at first, but it’s well worth it in my opinion. There’s a great mix of old ‘Eavy Metal models, the current range (including all Forgeworld’s lovely painted models, which I’d never seen before) and some stunning dioramas. The Ultramarines battling the Daemonic incursion actually has to be viewed across multiple floors to see it all, it’s that big. Heresy fans will also appreciate seeing the Iron Hands being massacred by the Emperor’s Children, complete with the Primarchs duelling in the centre.
But, that was wasn’t the main reason for attending! Five games of Heresy against other Heresy enthusiasts was the plan, and it didn’t disappoint. I went up with Will and Ben; together we are the Centre for Crusading Excellence. I had my World Eaters, Ben his Ultramarines and Will loyalist Death Guard. It was great to see so many nice Heresy armies all together and with so much effort put in – the organisers said this was the first event they’d seen where there was not on unpainted model. This seems to be a mark of Heresy events – see The Imperial Truth’s Scorched Earth event as well. The format was interesting – following the standard Throne of Skulls format, the winner is the person with the most ‘best game’ votes, with Victory points being the tie breaker. Whilst this might not be the competitive tournament some are looking for, it does ensure that everyone comes in the right frame of mind. And it seems to work – it’s the only event I’ve attended at Warhammer World where I’ve not heard complaints about people’s opponents. My only concern is that they don’t use a ‘Swiss’ system for pairing evenly matched opponents. As the three of us are reasonably good players, it led to Ben and Will winning all five games and me winning four and drawing one. Good for the ego maybe, but not a huge challenge. Obviously, there were plenty with the opposite record that weekend. The Warhammer World organisers state that they’re trying to avoid ‘top table syndrome’, which leads to otherwise nice people becoming quite unpleasant as game start to matter more (or at least as much as a game of toy soldiers ever matters). Having run events in the past I can relate to this – it does lead to some unpleasant situations. However, I think there are ways of matching opponents without leading to the over competitiveness that causes ill feeling. My own preference would be to use a Swiss system after the first game, but randomise the tables so that no-one knows where the ‘top’ table is. But fair play to them for trying to do something, and everyone I spoke to had a good weekend, so they must have done something right.
Anyway, I had five great games against a wide variety of opponents (It was good to see so many different forces at the event), comprising Death Guard, Mechanicum, Imperial Fists, Ultramarines and Iron Warriors. I drew against the Ultramarines, but beat the remainder. Special mention has to go to Drake Seta of the Battle Bunnies. My World Eaters had previously featured on their site and it was great to actually play a game and get to chat. Drake’s Iron Warriors are a very cool army and unusually feature a stronghold, which replaces one of the realm of battle board sections – its 2’ x 2’! What ensued was an amazing game as the World Eaters stormed the Iron Warriors fortress (or ‘playset’ as I insisted on referring to it), supported by Dreadnoughts and jetbikes. It was very atmospheric – hopefully this comes out in the photos below.
We had a great weekend, and Will and I are scheming for next year’s Heresy doubles event – it’s probably going to involve a lot of very evil Space Marines…