Horus Heresy Throne of Skulls at Warhammer World

October 16th, 2015

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.


An unstoppable combat monster. No, not Mortarion – Brother Contemptor Jalbrak tore him to shreds, using his chainfist to capture a particularly prized skull.


Sigismund of the Imperial Fists with his surviving Templars prepare to sell their lives dearly. His skull is now a hood ornament for my land speeder.


The World Eaters 121st Shock, supported by a Titan War Engine from Legio Fureans defend themselves from Mechanicum attack. Poor skull taking opportunities, but much destruction was wreaked


The 121st recon units advance ahead of the heavy guns.



Jetbikes advance.



Brother Deredeo Astrman Judd supports his unhinged brothers, despite his disapproval.



The World Eaters’ Heavy Support. No chain axes here, but they still get their share of blood letting via Volkite Culverins and their habit of literally exploding their target.



Preparing to assault Warsmith Drake Seta’s fortress



The Iron Warriors ready to repel attackers.



“World Eaters have entered the base! World Eaters have entered the base!” Not the message you wish to hear over the Tannoy on any day of the week.


The World Eaters, now accompanied by Amarok, Master of Skulls, storm the Iron Fortress.


Amarok, Master of Skulls, reaps a mighty tally of skulls. They shall all be counted.



The surviving Iron Warriors fall back to their war machine sunder the World Eaters’ onslaught.

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…


Forgeworld Lucius Pattern Warhound Titan

September 29th, 2015

So this was a bit unplanned. I bought this Titan as a present for myself after I got my first job from university, back in 2002. I had painted it yellow, as it was planned to accompany my original Imperial Fists army, but never got much further. I lacked the skill and confidence to do it justice back then and did bits and pieces to it over the years, but was never really happy with it and it’s mainly sat in a box.

I’d been thinking for some time now of trading this Warhound in for a newer model (I think I prefer the Mars pattern one) and I might still do – *however*! I realised that with the Heresy Throne of Skulls coming up that the 2250 point World Eaters army that I took to Greg Dann’s Scorched Earth event would become a great (and legal) 3,000 point army with the simple addition of a Warhound Titan! It needed an overhaul, but after I flushed the plasma reactor and re-wiped the Servitors’ brains (and applied a flaming paint job), I think it’ll be ready to go!   It’s now a Legio Fureans Titan, which means applying the Eye of Horus to it. Once I’m at Warhammer World this weekend, I’ll pick up a set of the new Legio Fureans transfers as well.

It’s therefore a bit of a collaboration between Matt aged 20 and Matt aged 33. As my friend Will said, “I bet you never expected that thing to wind up as a Traitor Titan!”

Anyway, the info (hopefully this Titan will be on the excellent Titan Owners’ Club blog shortly) :

Number: 141
Name: Calvarium Canis
Pattern: Lucius Pattern
Armament : Turbo laser Destructor and Plasma Blast gun
Princeps: Jaxxor Han
Legio: Fureans (The Tiger Eyes)
Location: Bristol, UK
Battle Honours: Due to its troubled inception, Calvarium Canis has yet to receive any formal honours, but hopes to rectify this during its first engine walk at the Throne of Skulls, alongside the World Eaters 121st Shock Brigade.


Legio Fureans Warhound Titan_01

Calverium Canis having just had a coat of varnish

Legio Fureans Warhound Titan_02

The Legio Fureans’ classic flaming paint scheme

Legio Fureans Warhound Titan_03

The Eye of Horus, signifying allegiance to theTraitors’ cause

Legio Fureans Warhound Titan_04

Eye of Horus and void shield generators

Legio Fureans Warhound Titan_05

Weapons Servitor

Legio Fureans Warhound Titan_06

Back in the day when Pat and I put hinges on everything. These are made from brass rod.

Legio Fureans Warhound Titan_07

Princeps Jaxxor Han and Moderati

Legio Fureans Warhound Titan_08

Turbolaser Destructor – ‘D’ weapon goodness

Legio Fureans Warhound Titan_09

The weathering to the leg armour is visible here.

Legio Fureans Warhound Titan_10

Plasma Blastgun


Heresy World Eaters Legion Attack Bikes

September 5th, 2015

These boys actually got built and painted last year, but I only just realised that I hadn’t posted about them! I think Attack Bikes in Heresy are underrated. They’re cheap for what they do and get a good range of firepower and assault options. Mine are equipped with Autocannons, Melta Bombs and, of course, Chain Axes. It’s often a bit of a surprise for opponents when these guys charge into combat, getting Hammer of Wrath and then five attacks each (2 base, +1 for Bolt Pistol and Chain Axe, +2 for Rage). With Melta Bombs they can also take out vehicles with ease.

To maintain the Heresy aesthetic, I based them on Forgeworld’s Outrider models, which are really nice. But rather than add a sidecar, 40k style, I went for a rear seat with a gunner on the back of each bike. This was inspired by old background text, where it describes the Legions as using a variety of vehicles in this role, including quad bikes, sidecars and reinforced chassis with extra crew.

The Autocannons are simply Forgeworld’s Legion Autocannons repurposed, whilst the gunner’s legs are, oddly enough, the original RTB01 plastic legs as they were the only ones small enough to fit. I don’t think you notice that they’re a little small though!

The base and gunner were also magnetised so that if I ever feel like using them as Outriders, I still can!











The Imperial Truth Scorched Earth Heresy Event

August 29th, 2015

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.


World Eaters Heresy Quad Mortars / Thudd Guns

August 17th, 2015

Last unit completed for the Imperial Truth’s Scorched Earth event! These are my World Eaters artillery. According to the background, all the Legions maintained units to suit any style of war, although obviously each had their specialisation. So although the World Eaters will maintain an artillery formation, World Eaters being World Eaters, nobody is ever going to want to serve there, behind the lines and away from the thrill of close combat. Not when there are units that get given chain axes. So I figure only Marines that have done something wrong get sent to the artillery – it’s a punishment for failure or for upsetting the wrong officer. These crew have been stripped of their chain axes and blue shoulder pads and have been relegated to artillery crew. They’ll get their axes back when they redeem themselves.

Obviously these are the Krieg Thudd Guns rather than the new Heresy guns released by Forgeworld, but I rather like that they look more primitive – it fits with the World Eaters neglecting units they care little for and maintain only because they have to.

I’ll post a report from the event soon! But you can hear about it at Greg Dan’s excellent podcast, the Imperial Truth.