Hello again, fellow denizens of the warp. Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about a Horus Heresy event I recently attended, and some more 30K stuff that I’ve got in the pipeline.
The particular event I’m talking about here (The Desecration of Beatha’sath) actually occurred somewhere between the announcement and first WIP post about my Warhound Titan, on the 18th of May. Yeah, I know, I’m a little late in posting about this, but I had my reasons, dammit.1 This was my first ever Horus Heresy event – so a whole lot of meeting new people – and the 5 games (spread across 2 days) were my 2nd to 6th games of 30K ever, so you could say I was well out of my comfort zone for this one. Nevertheless, the weekend was an absolute home run for both myself and the Horus Heresy as a whole in Scotland.
The event itself was organised by a couple of guys from the frozen norths of Inverness, took place at everyone’s favourite Scottish tabletop venue and not only proudly used the official ForgeWorld 7th edition ruleset as set out by their weighty collection of hardback red books and leatherbound tomes, but presented itself as less of a tournament but more of a narrative event. This meant that while army lists were not pre-screened or anything, players were encouraged to bring along fun and fluffy armies instead of rigorously fine tuned theoryhammer lists designed to stomp face. In addition, there was a branching narrative that unfolded between games, the direction of which was dictated by how the Traitor vs Loyalist factions fared on the day. As a mostly hobby-oriented tabletop gamer who finds themselves playing in a lot of tournaments as mostly a means of cramming a bunch of gaming into a single day/weekend, this appealed to me immediately. After about a year of hobbying, converting and painting models for my VI Legion Space Wolves, amassing somewhere in the region of 5000pts (comfortably) of painted minis and several weighty hardback rulebooks, here was an opportunity, finally, to get it a good chunk of it out on the table and play some games. And I finally got to field my Leman Russ, god dammit. What a time to be alive.
I ended up winning one of my games, drawing another and losing narrowly in a third, which is a pretty good innings all-things-considered for my 2nd through 6th games of Heresy ever. The event was book-ended by a couple of, unfortunately, very one-sided games.2 My first game was against a World Eaters army, to which I rejoiced as it’s nice not to have to stare down a gunline for your first game. Sadly, by virtue of being my first game of the event, I fell folly to a lot of the key mechanical differences of 7th and 8th – completely forgetting how things like wound allocations and “Look out, sir!” work, which led to Leman Russ taking several lascannons to the face before promptly getting his teeth smashed in by Angron. In a similar vein, my final game of the weekend – against Iron Warriors this time – started with me not taking advantage of some special scenario rules that let me outflank D3 units – I then proceeded to deploy my army as standard and get my Spartan blown up turn one by a very lucky shell from my opponents Typhon – and a slow, foot slogging Russ got himself and his unit shot to pieces while he limped across the battlefield to his doom. D’oh.
Fortunately for me, this was not a competitive event, and my other three games were a little more forgiving to my clumsy ham-fisted tactica. My other opponents were Alpha Legion (win), Death Guard (draw) and Sons of Horus (loss), and all three of these games were an absolute blast. Highlights here including Russ putting the smackdown on Mortarion (and managing to kill him just in time for the last battle round), clawing back a victory against Alpha Legion after losing a full unit of Grey Slayers to a Typhon shell turn one, and my Legion Veterans outflanking and blowing up several vehicles with their melta bombs.
Where this particular event really shined was the incredible turnout of some beautiful looking Horus Heresy armies. Up until recently, my knowledge that the Horus Heresy tended to attract a special breed of wargamer has been based on what I’ve read on internet message boards, as well as some common sense (when you consider the premium we pay for quality ForgeWorld models), but I’m happy to report that it was indeed my experience that the scope and variation of armies, the attention to detail and the quality of painting and hobby at this event was nothing short of spectacular. There are a tons of photos of the armies floating around on Instagram so I won’t photo spam them here, but there were some pretty awe-inspiring armies on display.
All-in-all, I had a great time at the event. Aside from the games themselves, it was great to meet so many like minded and friendly hobbyists and gamers, proving finally to myself and I think to Scotland on the whole that 7th Edition Horus Heresy is indeed alive and well over here. And it really set a fire under my ass to get some more stuff done, which is what want to talk about next.
So, what’s new with the Wolves?
First and foremost was my Titan project, which I’ve discussed earlier. Once that was finished, the event had made very clear to me that my Space Wolves were in no way finished – there’s nothing quite like playing five games with an army to motivate you to EXPAAAAAAND! One thing I never quite felt like I had enough of was anti-tank – my main source of heavy weaponry came from the Spartan and Fire Raptor, neither of which were 100% reliable – the Spartan’s primary focus was on delivering it’s Primarch Deathstar contents where they needed to go, and this meant that the arc of fire for each sponson wasn’t always pointing where I needed it to point. The Fire Raptor and Veterans (with melta-bombs) came on from reserves (and the latter risked getting shot or charged before they could assault), so I had very little in the way of heavy AT to amass on turn one and my small, inexpensive Heavy Support squad lacked the weight of fire to reliably bring anything heavier than a Rhino down. Another problem I faced was that the Grey Slayers, as I had them configured for those games, were not the kill-everything Death Star that I wanted them to be – the rules of 40K prioritising models on the front lines getting killed first meant I had to be fairly careful with how I charged my units (shields in front, power weapons 2nd rank), and once things like my power axes and fists got killed, my power swords were entirely ineffectual against things like Terminators. This is less of a criticism of Grey Slayers though, more a coming to terms that a big scary killer like Leman Russ needs to run with a unit better suited to hunting high value targets, as that’s the direction you’re always going to throw Russ.
The solution here was an age-old, time-tested one – GET MORE MODELS. Deciding that my Grey Slayers could do an admirable job of killing other power armour (and anything squishier), I bought another 5 Tartaros Terminators to bulk up my existing Squad of 5 (with the fist/combi-bolters loadout), sticking a chainfist with another heavy flamer on one, and four power axes to add a little more Terminator chompibility to the unit at a budget. I went for Tartaros here over Cataphractii as I often find myself running the Bloodied Claw RoW and – if I’m entirely honest – I believed that Cataphractii weren’t allowed due to the slow and purposeful rule3. Whoops. It’s not the only reason though – beyond the limitation which doesn’t actually exist, the ability to sweeping advance with Tartaros armour works quite nicely with the Bloodied Claws +1 to combat resolution while in your opponents deployment zone benefit, and from a hobby standpoint, it keeps my Legion Terminators visually distinct from my Varagyr Terminators, who do wear Cataphractii, which is a nice aesthetic benefit. One could argue that Cataphractii are perhaps better suited to Terminator hunting than their more nimble, less durable Tartaros cousins, but as far as I’m concerned units like my Fire Raptor and Grey Slayers have power armour hunting on lockdown already.
Secondly, after seeing just how devastating Primaris Lightning Strike Fighters and their Kraken Penetrator Missiles were (as well as how great the model itself looked), I picked up one of these to assist in my anti-heavy armour roles, as well having something to put in the all things considered quite empty Fast Attack slot in my VI Legion. I decided that I liked the fluff and the crunch of having a servitor-pilot for this rather than an Imperial Navy pilot, and proceeded to lobotomise the poor pilot.
Speaking of the fast attack slot, I decided to keep an eye out for any bargains on eBay that would fit here, and managed to stumble upon a unit of 6, mostly unbuilt Legion Jetbikes, including all the weapon options. Lovely. The plan here will be to stick a unit of 6 down with a pair of Multi-Meltas and charge across the board to pop some more pesky tanks or walkers. That, or load them up with a couple Plasma Cannons. I haven’t decided yet. Compared to the (almost mandatory) Lightning, these were less of a must-have addition from a gaming perspective, and more from a modelling and collecting standpoint – there’s something so inherently 30K about the famed Legion ‘Dickbikes’ that it felt like something of a shame not to have some in my collection. And in a force the size of my Space Wolves with 5+ Troops and 7+ Heavy Support options, having 3 Fast Attack slots filled seems a lot healthier than my solitary unit of Seekers (who, to be completely fair, aren’t really all that fast). I managed to snag these guys for about 60% of the ForgeWorld price, and were in great shape barring a few snaps in transit (easily fixed) and a couple of air bubbles that needed repairing. I don’t have any photos of these guys, because they’re still mid construction – I know I want to magnetise the jetbike weapons, but I’m still figuring out what to do with the riders, so here’s a photo of some additional Grey Slayers and Plasma Guns I built to round out my Infantry.
I don’t want to dwell too long on unbuilt models, but the Last Chance to Buy scheme forced my hand, and I added a few other models were added to the army. Not wanting my 5-man MKII Missile Launcher squad to go unsupported forever, I picked up another 5 MKII Missile Launchers to boost the unit to a healthy 10-man (which will hopefully have a little more impact), as well as picking up 5 MKII Lascannons – 5 instead of 10 in this case due to the considerable extra points cost in 30K, and also to replace the Missile Launchers for my Long Fangs unit in 40K, as the extra point of S and AP is pretty handy for the same points cost and I so rarely find myself boring with frag missiles. While I was there, I took advantage of the ‘free dreadnought weapon’ deal, and bought myself a FW Contemptor Dreadnought – my Wolves currently have two plastic Calth Contemptors, and neither are exactly crown jewels in my collection. My first was converted with a bunch of Space Wolves bits, and a twin-lascannon converted from a Razorback. The latter is a straight up, standard Khres-and-fist Contemptor in a kinda boring, stiff pose. Nothing much to report on the new one, but I opted to go hard on aesthetics and decided on a Twin-Volkite Culverin for his weapon this time. Rule of cool, baby. I used the free Dreadnought weapon to pick up an extra twin-lascannon and have since magnetised my Lascannon-dread’s power fist, giving me the option to run him as a (slightly asymetrical) Mortis Dreadnought now, should I so choose. I plan on doing the same for this new one so I have a contingency plan, should the Volkite prove to be not-super-useful (as I suspect may be the case).
Coming to the end of my recent additions, I have one more thing in the pipeline for my Wolves – a Deredeo Dreadnought. I actually picked this model up a reasonably long time ago with my Fellblade, and it’s been sitting in a drawer since, awaiting it’s time to be built. NO LONGER! While I never had the pleasure of dealing with other aircraft in my games at the event, the Deredeo is just another one of these quintessential Heresy models like the Contemptor or Jetbikes before them that I’ve always wanted in my arsenal. And here it is.
So.. yeah. A lot of new additions to an army I claimed to have drawn a line under weeks (months?) ago. And this is just what I’ve got on my plate at the moment! I’m hoping to add a few more HQ choices to keep up with the rapidly expanding force org – I’ve got another Speaker of the Dead, a Vigilator conversion in mind for running with my Seekers, a Forge Lord/Iron Priest, and I’m theorizing some plans to convert the ForgeWorld Space Wolves Praetor mini into a Caster of Runes in Cataphractii plate. Beyond that, there’s a few more small projects here and there to take on – meltaguns for my Legion Veterans, I’ve been eyeing up some Mk V Assault Squad models just to get a little Heresy armour representation in the army, and so on4. Watch this space!
That about wraps up what I’ve finished recently, or have in the pipeline for the Vlka Fenryka. It’s been a bit of a long blog post this time, but there’s still some more to cover – what about this Iron Warriors army I’ve been dropping heavy handed hints about?
Well, it’s coming together. I can say that much.
Iron Within, Iron Without
To date, I have somewhere in the region of 2500pts of Iron Warriors painted up, and I’m getting really close to being able to take these guys out for a game. These are:
- Siege Breaker
- Master of Signals
- 3x Quad Launchers
- 2x Contemptors with Assault Cannon/Fist
- 1x Dual Assault Cannon Mortis-Contemptor
- 30x Tactical Marines
- Basic loadout Sergeant
- 2x Rhinos with pintle Multi-Melta
- Leviathan Dreadnought with Storm Cannon and Grav-flux Bombard
- 10 Tyrant Siege Terminators.
Next up on the to do pile is a Typhon Heavy Siege Tank and a Primus Medicae, which will take my army to a total 3000pts and, I think, be relatively playable (if not particularly finely tuned). Beyond that, the next additions include Perturabo himself, with a pair of Iron Circle bodyguard, 10 Iron Havocs (5 missiles, 5 lascannons), 10 Cataphractii Terminators and a pair of Legion Medusas which brings my total army size to roughly 5000pts and gives me a little flexibility over what I’m going to bring.
The speed at which this project is coming together tends to ebb and flow a bit. If I can get focussed on the project, I tend to blast through units fairly quickly – Iron Warriors aren’t particularly time consuming to get the base coats down on, and my tabletop standard isn’t usually too time consuming to get through either. With that being said, I have no particularly pressing need for this army to get on the tabletop in the short term, and the recent resurgence of my Space Wolves has had them on the backburner a bit lately. I’m aiming to find some time to paint the Typhon and Primus Medicae models sometime between my Deredeo/Tartaros Terminators and my Jetbikes, but best laid plans, etc.
Anyway, I think I’ve waffled on for long enough. This has been what I’ve been up to and what I’ve got on my plate. Hopefully you enjoyed this little glimpse into my WIP units, and the first look at my Iron Warriors project.
Cheers for reading, happy wargaming!
1 Let’s face it, for all that this particular event was momentous and invigorating in it’s impact on both myself and the Scottish Heresy scene, it’s hard not to be de-railed by something as as Terra-shatteringly exciting as building and painting a God Machine.
2 Neither of which, however, were the fault of my opponents who were very pleasant people, as well as being gracious and forgiving regarding my learning-as-I-go-along, and clear about their own.
3 Turns out, the Cataphractii Terminator armour just has a lot of effects similar to the Slow & Purposeful USR without conferring the rule itself. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
4 Maybe by then, ForgeWorld will finally release the Deathsworn miniatures?