The Black Blow Fly is back after a trip to the UK to play in a Horus Heresy Campaign!
I traveled over to the UK a couple of weeks ago to play in a Horus Heresy campaign played down in Southampton. I really wanted to see what it’s like to play there and it was well worth the time and money to travel back and forth. Everyone was very friendly and I enjoyed every game.
The event was run by Escalation Painting and they did a fantastic job. I received a set of objective cards and a special trait for registering which were mailed to me. The objective cards were you’re secondary goals each game and you could use the trait for one unit one turn each game. There were objective cards and traits for both loyalists and traitors which made it even more interesting. Some of the tables also had special missions which kept you on your toes. There were five rounds and the overall goal was for your side (loyalist or traitor) to score the most victory points over the course of the weekend.
I decided to bring my Sons of Horus First Company which included the Warmaster himself, Horus. The army uses the Pride of the Legion rite of war and is composed of several Justearin terminator squads mounted in land raiders and a Spartan, some support characters and also special units such as Mortis Contemptor dreadnaughts and a rapier laser destroyer battery to round out my army list. Army lists were 3500 points and there were no restrictions. I saw several super heavies over the course of the weekend and there were plenty of other Primarchs as well.
Every army there was beautiful. The weekend turned out to be more about the narrative and making friends rather than a hard core competitive tournament like we are so used to in the US. This type of format is a lot more appealing for me and I see a lot of hobbyists headed in this direction. There was never any issues about rules or any disputes that I know of so it was pretty much a perfect weekend in many ways. All of the tables were awesome as well with plenty of nice looking terrain.
Game 1 vs. Imperial Fists
My first match was versus Imperial Fists lead by none other than Sigismund for the old school Templar theme. Imperial Fists just happen to be my favorite loyalist Legion and the army I am currently building so I know all their tricks. My opponent had a solid list composed of many tanks including several land raiders Proteus and the dreaded Typhon super heavy siege tank. I hid Horus and his retinue in their Spartan behind a big piece of terrain along with another squad of Justearin in a land raider Phobos along with the laser destroyer battery. The pictures below tell the story of the game… my dice were smoking hot and I was able to quickly pop one enemy tank after another over the course of the game. Sigismund lead a valiant charge versus Horus and company supported by a large squad of Breachers but the first Emperor’s Champion was no match for the Warmaster. It was nice to win the first game then it was time for some lunch and cold British beer.
Game 2 vs. Blood Angels
My second match was versus Blood Angels fielding the special rite of war called Day of Revelation. As it turns out Blood Angels are my favorite Legion and I’m also very familiar with their rules as well. This rite of war perfectly suits Blood Angels featuring lots of deep striking assault squads. My opponent’s army was beautifully painted with lots of really cool conversions and he ended up winning one of the highly coveted painting awards for his Warlord. This was an absolutely bloody brutal game with lots of melee throughout the course of the game. Horus was up to the challenge issuing a challenge to the non existent Sanguinius, Primarch of the Blood Angels. Many a good Marine died in his place for the Imperium and I ended the game with another win (2-0). This game was one of the special missions and the primary objective was to rescue a Seneschal and his crew so they could be returned to his Knight Titan. The first turn of the game Horus ordered his rapier battery to blow them to dust. One of the TOs asked me why and I said “Horus isn’t here to rescue anyone, he’s here to kill the enemy.” I was awarded with a special objective card for this bit of our narrative.
Game 3 vs. Iron Hands
The final third game of the first day was versus a very tough foot slogging Iron Hands army lead by Ferrus Manus and included three Leviathan dreadnaughts plus a squad of six Castellax from the loyal side of the Mechanicum. I knew this would be a tough match and it was. Some of the Iron Hands characters are battle smiths and can restore lost hull points and even wounds. I lined up on my back line and kept firing lascannons and destroyer lasers into the ever advancing tide. I was really concerned about the Leviathans since they strike at initiative and can quickly mince terminators. I’d strip some hull points then the Iron Hands battle smiths would restore them again and again. I kept the majority of my fire power trained on the dreadnaughts and was finally able to one shot two of them right before they were ready to charge into my battle line. My Mortis Contemptor dreadnaughts were able to strip the last three hull points from the last Leviathan on Overwatch. This game you had to control sections of the battle field and it was looking like I’d lose since my entire army was parked on the back line most of the game. One land raider Phobos transporting a squad of Justearin survived a late game smash attack from the Castellax and managed somehow to make its way to the other side securing a victory the last turn of the game. Horus and his retinue then made short work of the six Castellax finishing them all of on a savage charge from their Spartan to secure the middle of the battle field. Ferrus Manus was very much alone towards the end of the game and another squad of Justearin ripped through a large squad of enemy tactical Marines to secure my side of the battle field. This in turn meant I was 3-0 at the end of the first day.
Game 4 vs. Ultramarines
My first game of the second day was versus Ultramarines lead by a Praetor. The army also had a full squad of Fulmentarus terminators and a Shadowsword super heavy tank. There was also a Siege Breaker tucked away with a quad mortar battery slinging barrages of the deadly Phosphex. You had to deploy in a triangle along a short edge of the table and there was not much terrain in the middle. Luckily I was able to seize the initiative… Horus and his crew surged ahead in their Spartan then flatted out racing straight at the enemy. Sure enough the Shadowsword destroyed the Spartan… the Warmaster and his retinue leapt out from the burning wreck straight ahead again. They were then hit by a Phosphex barrage from the quad mortars but were able to come out largely intact. The next turn Horus split off solo to hunt down the enemy Warlord while his retinue made short work of the Fulmentarus. The Shadowsword then one shot Horus only to be destroyed by my pair of outflanking Mortis Contemptors the following turn. The quad mortars rained Phosphex down upon the large squad of Justearin again but to no avail… they were gutted as well the following turn. It was then a simple matter of chasing down the Ultramarine tactical squads racing forward in their rhinos in a lost attempt to reach my deployment zone. So I was 4-0 going into the final fifth round. I’ve never lost with this army and wanted to continue the streak.
Game 5 vs. Blood Angels
The last game was versus another Blood Angels force also featuring the Day of Revelations rite of war. This army featured a Warhound Titan that was also destroyed by my outflanking Mortis Contemptors. The ensuing explosion went super critical and the gigantic blast marker just missed Horus and his retinue by less than an inch! The only survivor on the enemy side was a lone Fire Raptor tasked with reporting the battle upon its return to their orbiting battle barge. Power armor seems to be not much of a match versus terminator armor and my second day ended with a perfect 5-0 record versus the loyalists.
The Mortis Contemptors and laser destroyer battery always pulled their weight versus enemy super heavies and flyers. Obviously Horus and his posse was my best unit slaying many loyalist enemies over the course of the campaign. I was hoping to see how the Warmaster would have fared versus Leman Russ, Primarch of the Space Wolves but that battle will have to be fought another day. I did happen to see him versus a supped up Magnus the first day… there were lots of amazing battles for everyone there and plenty of other stories to be told.
I’d recommend attending a campaign if you’re into the Horus Heresy. You won’t be disappointed!