Throne of Skulls - a retrospect

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Well, it’s been a week since our first tournament at Warhammer World; time to reflect…

Duncan emptying his desk now that Citadel Contrast is being released…

Duncan emptying his desk now that Citadel Contrast is being released…

We completely failed to comment on our first night…the highlight, other than buying things, was seening Duncan in the flesh! Albeit from a distance, and walking away from us….he was holding a bag…maybe contrast has indeed ended the reign of Two thin coats.

We also spotted a minion crossing from the main building to the office carrying a stack of older GW texts, including the 54mm Inquisitor source book….what on earth could that mean….

First off, any mild/minor sourness about lists/tactics/competitiveness has dissolved. (Brother Handro: Speak for yourself!) I enjoyed all the games, and on reflection I wish I’d enjoyed the last game more. I feel that the sudden appearance of two Primarchs and their terminator fan boy squads made me dread the game and that carried on. But the Heresy is all about hordes of guys, and their badass Primarchs. The chance to fight two of them on the table, see the awesome power of Magnus, and to see first-hand the power they bring to their legions is epic! Hell, Der H even got the chance to go one on one with Magnus with a Delegatus and STRIKE FIRST thanks to the epic IIIrd legion Initiative buffs.

Secondly, the opportunity to play against some competitive lists highlighted the bits that are missing in our own Legion forces. Our lack of anti-psyker, anti-air, army-wide buffs, (Brother Handro: Is that all?) and failing to play to strengths were all punished - hard.

For Der H, the fact that initiative bonuses to the IIIrd can mean even a lowly, non-combat ready Delegatus could go toe-to-toe with Magnus (Brother Handro: He did get mulched though, right…) is awesome. By this point Magnus was on one wound. The guy we were playing could have hidden him, denied the challenge, avoided the fight, but even in a competitive event there is that little voice in our (heresy players’) heads that says… it, it’d be epic….two hits, could easily have made one wound, and a lucky rend could force an invulnerable save. (Der H: I mean, it didn’t…. but hey!). In my next event, I’m going to try and utilise the initiative buff to better effect. I usually have a unit of Phoenix terminators or Palatine Blades to do my cutting, I think I’ll go back to that and see what else they can do. The Kakophoni as troops in a IIIrd company elite RoW are a thing of beauty, but with my next list planning including an Army of Dark Compliance I’m not sure I’ll get the chance!

For Brother Handro the main highlight was the event itself. Good people, good games, good atmosphere, and some beautiful armies. Equally, having an event to attend usually generates vast amounts of progress. Nearly 1200 points’ worth this time! As a not particularly competitive player (Der H: you do surprise me!) I was pleasantly relieved to find games played for the most part in great spirit, and equally pleasantly surprised to find that our lists were vaguely competitive. We were in with a shout approaching the final turn in all bar the last game. The revelation that we came mid-table in our first ever competitive event, and that people actually liked our armies, and us as players, was really heartening. With a bit of luck, list-tinkering and experience (Der H: so not much then…) we might even challenge the top half of the scorecard one day!…

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In the end the event was fun, not as gamey as anticipated, and was a good opportunity to meet people. We had the joy of meeting the awesome couple that are Wrights Adventure Guild with their nomination for best army (Der H: They were robbed in my opinion…) with an Emperors Children/Alpha Legion combo. Great army, and James’ IIIrd put my guys to shame! Lucy won Icon of Legend with her Alpha Legion Contemptor and James’ Storm Eagle is my new favourite thing ever….(Brother Handro: Is that why you bought one?) We were also privileged to play against the tournament’s most popular duo, Iron Talon. These guys won more events than sin with at least 3 awards including a new one just for them having won a best game and best army vote from every opponent they faced - this put them 3rd with a gaming score of ‘only’ 12! Great guys, great army, great fun!

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Speaking of results…. we weren’t as shit as we thought! With the results published on the Facebook Warhammer World page, we can see our team The Bolter Wanderers placing 37th out of 65, 6 points for wins (Brother Handro: That’ll be 1 then….) with 3 favourite game and 4 favourite army votes! This means that of our opponents, only one didn’t vote for our army, and 3/5 thought we were a fun game!

Invigorated by this news, and the feeling that we aren’t completely shit, we shall push on toward our next event, The Purging of Melos, in July… many thousand points shall we paint in order to do this…..well, let’s find out!

Brother Handro & Der H

Throne of Skulls - Day 2


After a fun-filled quiz, in which we did poorly, the Hobby Butterflies returned for a second day of battles in the Age of Darkness. 

Game 4 saw us come up against an opponent who, it turns out, was a crowd favourite! The Boys of Iron Talon, Raven Guard and Iron Warriors, brought a gorgeous list. A deep strike/outflank Raven Guard force with Fire Raptor and an armoured Iron Warriors force with Medusa and Minotaur!


The diagonal corners deployment that everyone hates came up, and we squeezed into our edge. We quickly immobilised and weapon destroyed the Medusa, reducing it to a glorified tarantula. We moved up the board and tried to head towards the objective.


The Iron Warriors were the main played turn 1 with some movement up the table and some early fire from the Minotaur. The Raven Guard Dreadclaw arrived and started to cause its usual havoc in our back field. 

Some lovely destroyed markers!

Some lovely destroyed markers!

Meanwhile the Kakophoni took great joy in killing most of their own! 


The last few turns saw a pair of fliers arrive and wreak havoc in our lines. An outflanking Javelin hit hard and the Fire Raptor was a machine!


We had a brief moment of tactical genius when two empty Rhinos rushed up the board causing much confusion for Iron Talon (Der H:  I did tell them before they assaulted! Especially considering they were being very sporting in considering how gamey it would be if they charged it at the table edge....true gentlemen! )


In the end we couldn’t hold the objective, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable game! Iron Talon went on to win 3 awards (Brother Handro: at least!) including one made specifically for them winning every favourite game possible!

Game 5 was an interesting matchup given our 1 win and 3 losses; a dual Primarch list with Pertuabo, Siege Terminators and cataphractii representing the Iron Warriors and Magnus with two squads of Sekhmet.


Null deployment meant a useless first turn for us. Perty landed and blew our Predators off the table, and the Terminators hit the volkites hard. Our return fire didn’t really hit home. Our Kakophoni and Vets rushed the objective in the supposed opponents’ deployment zone.


Then Magnus happened...a long psychic phase later and all but one Rhino was destroyed and most squads took 2-3 casualties. 


The rest of the game was an excercise in our remnants trying to wound an army with buffs galore, invulnerable saves, multi wounds and long psychic phases. Nothing stuck. We managed to get Magnus to one wound, and despite not being a close combat list my Delegatus got a charge. Thanks to Emperors Children shenanigans, and a charnabal sabre, I got to strike first with two hits and no wounds being punished by a stern punch to the neck from the primarch of the Thousand Sons.

We weren’t tabled, but lost on VPs with two slay the warlords, attrition and fewer units on the objective.


We ended the weekend on 1 win to 4 losses, and a last game that was simultaneously awesome (going up against two Primarchs) and tedious (not being able to take part in a phase of the game and being completely out matched).

The weekend showed us that our tactics and list planning were evidently consistent with a pair of gamers who, despite being in the hobby for years, have only been really playing since December!

Some quick impulse buys, an award ceremony and a 2 hour drive home saw our first Throne of Skulls complete! 

Now we just need to play for the next phase of the Melos campaign in July! 

(Brother Handro:  To the painting table!) 

Der H & Brother Handro