Saturday, 5 July 2014

Events: Wartorn UK 2014: Post-Event Update

Everyone loves trade shows and events. Nerds across the country have a place to convene and discuss their favourite pastime, and spend a bit of money on cool stuff and second hand bargains at the same time. This year’s Wartorn UK show was one of the best they have done so far.

The demonstrations and participations games were truly top-notch this year. I liked the fact that it wasn’t just historical games, there were some sci-fi games and newcomers; including a pretty epic looking game of mad max. 

All the cars were custom-built, and were near replicas of the cars and styles of the well-received films.

In terms of vendors, there was a lot to choose from. Historical, sci-fi, new and used. It was all there, and in all scales and budgets. I managed to bring back a hefty haul, and I managed to (just) keep it in double digits. Overall, I bagged:

·         A new KR case for the Vraksians
·         New-in-box Ogryns/bullgryns set
·         New-in-box Bragg the Gutsman
·         Avatar’s of War Corrupters of the Apocalypse set (with exclusive lord model)
·         Bolt Action command team
·         WWII Artizan German Mortar Team
·         Urban Construct miscast tractor thingy
·         Big bag of bits (Space Wolf arms, guns etc)
·         Chaos Marine backpacks.

I made some great savings across the board. Including discounts, I’d say I saved about 25% over the RRP, plus another £20 to £30 on the bits over if I had bought them individual pieces, bringing my potential savings to about £60. I was most surprised by Bragg, who was almost half price, despite being a near-perfect new-in-box model.

The plans for my buys are for, the most part, straightforward. Bragg and the Ogryns will join the Vraksians as an Ogryn Beserker unit. I’ve started these models, but you’ll have to wait until next week to see them. The WWII stuff will be added to the Bolt Action Germany force, and the miscast tractor will become terrain. For £2.50 it makes for a cheap and effective wreck.

The corruptors of the Apocalypse will receive a lot of attention. Combined with the arms and a few extra bits, they will become Chaos Space Marines. shown above are a couple of prototypes. The plan is to make at least one Thousand Sons squad, and maybe a Tzeentch-marked squad as a cheaper option, if not more Sons. I might make a display with the remaining models that are too mutated/warped to become Thousand Sons and too Nurgly to be in the Tzeentch-marked unit.

If I were to pick out one negative from this year’s show, then it would be the bring and buy. Nothing really grabbed my (for my friends’) attention, but that’s hardly the fault of the event organisers. Only covering three school desks, it didn’t really offer much. But then again, I had a list to stick to.

The tournament on day two was certainly better than last year, with double the number of participants. And no Grey Knights! I found myself having three games throughout the day.

Game one was against a Space Marine army, with Astra Militarium attachments and Battle Cannon emplacements. I thought the game was set and match at the start once my Vindicator got blasted, but things turned around fast. I was incredibly lucky with my Relic Predators: both survived at least a dozen large blast hits plus Lascannons, passing every single cover save asked of them. They certainly paid their dues, with the conversion beamer Predator blasting up infantry, and the plasma Predator taking on both marines and tanks. My cultists also made their points back too: sure they only killed  three marines and a couple of guardsmen, but that’s not the point. Overall I won the kill-point based match 7-4. This was easily my favourite game, not because I won, but because the opponent was great, and the game proved to be fairly matched; it was only near the end when I grabbed up those three points.

Game two, Against a pure Astra Militarium list, was a disaster in comparison. I thought I would do well with the conversion predator, seeing as the game was played lengthways. But I guess I got unlucky. All I managed to do with it was immobilise a Manticore. I had lost two of my main tanks (Vindicator and plasma Predator) within a couple of turns, as well as the Heldrake (who at least brought down a Vendetta). I will tell you one thing: the new Pask is scary. Not only does he have an order which lets you both pop smoke and shoot, but also gives his 20-shot Punisher cannon (which is already BS4) Rending. I did not like that thing at all. By the end of the game, I still had one objective, but I only had a single cultist and the Warpsmith standing out of my entire 1500 points. Brutal.

Game three against the Space Marine player started off the same way as turn two. I never want to see another Thunderfire Cannon and their toughness 7 2+ save shenanigans again. One is bad; two of them are just plain mean. About 95% of shots were on target and they decimated my troops (before anyone suggests weighted dice I let him use my normal blue scatter dice, maybe Tzeentch was playing tricks on me…), and combined with two Storm Talons, I ran out of troops fast. Tellion was a pain too, as he sniped my Warpsmith with a Lascannon defence turret in the first turn, meaning I couldn’t repair my Plasma Predator.  I did manage to take out him and his 2+ cover squad with a vector strike from the Heldrake and a lucky Conversion Beamer shot. All I had by turn six was the Heldrake. But it proved to be my saving grace. It survived several units’ worth of fire, and skimmed on top of the enemy objective by mere millimetres, changing a crushing defeat into the luckiest draw of all time.

Overall, including points scored for secondary objectives, I managed to achieve a respectable third place finish. All I wanted to do with my non-competitive list was to not finish last, and I managed that and then some. I was happy with that result, and I’d certainly recommend the event to others. It’s not like your usual tournament: in all three games, I didn’t see a single ‘power-play’ list. Sure I saw stuff like double-talons and double Manticore/double Vendetta stuff, but neither of those lists was pure double-cream cheesecake. The players were also great sports too. The event has given me some ideas for next year. The thought of double Spartan and 50 Cultists has been playing around in my head, but I doubt I’d run anything quite so odd. Tempting though….

All in all, I had fun at the event. I got a pile of cool stuff from the vendors, and I didn’t do too shabby in the tournament. By the sounds of early rumours, 2015’s show will be better yet, so I advise everyone to get saving up for another fantastic show. For more pictures from the day, check out this photo album. 

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