Takaan-Reva: Drowned in Flames was a two day Horus Heresy narrative event 6th & 7th August 2016 – organised by Greg Dann of the Imperial Truth podcast. This was to be both my first outing with my completed warp cult force and my first time playing Horus Heresy!
The event was located at Firestorm Games in Cardiff, which is a great gaming venue:
- Just 10min walk from Cardiff Central station.
- Large selection of GW and other gaming products.
- They do food on site, snack machines and have a bar.
- Very big space available for gaming: there were around 60 attendees at Takaan-Reva, but there was plenty of spare space so they must have capacity for perhaps double that if needed.
Five 3,000pt games were played out over the two days. All armies had to be fully painted and being a narrative rather than a competitive event, prizes were given on the basic of hobby & narrative excellence rather than purely winning games. All players were split into Loyalist & Traitor factions with the overall game results feeding into the narrative to determine which side won the overall conflict.
Essentially there were 5 different narrative scenarios representing different warzones on Takaan-Reva, which would grant some small buffs to the dominant controlling faction in subsequent games. For example, if the transit hub was controlled by the Loyalists then in subsequent games they would have the ability to re-roll a failed reserves roll, etc.
As an additional side mission to the scoring conditions for each of the scenarios, there were additional ‘relic objective’ markers. The number of these controlled by your faction at the end of each round determined whether your faction had managed to scavenge for a relic which could be given to buff your independent characters for the remainder of the event.
Additionally to add some further spice, two special characters: ‘Ghost’ and ‘Crow’ would drop into different games through out the event. Essentially both of these special characters acted as Agents of the Emperor/Warmaster using rules based on the Knight’s Errant HH rules.
Here is a quick summary of the games I played and my loose recollection of the highlights:
Game 1 – Sons of Horus
Forces: Praetor in Cataphracti, Spartan, Justaeryn, Rhinos & Tactical Squads, Deredo, Typhon, Scarab Venator, Kharybdis Droppod with Plasma guns, Lightning Fighter.
Scenario: ‘Rorenburg Spaceport’
Deployment:Dawn of War
Objectives: Place one objective in the middle of the table, the remaining four are to be placed 12” away from the central one to form a cross horizontally and vertically across the table. Primary Objective: Each objective is worth 2 points. These points are scored at the end of each full turn and so a running score must be kept. Secondary Objectives: Attrition, First Blood, Linebreaker Slay the Warlord, The Price of Failure.
How it played out:
I did surprisingly well in my first game as I got luck & managed to quickly neutralise most of the armour which started on the table, allowing me to then focus fire on the Kharyndis and Lightning as they came on from reserves at the late stage of the game. My Malacadors and Baneblade managed to focus fire onto the Typhon to quickly destroy it. The highlight of the game for me was a multi-round slugfest between the Praetor & Justaeryn against my militia, summoned plague bearers backed up with the ogryns which finally turned the tide. The ogryn were then free to help finish off the Spartan which had already been glanced by the Malacadors and then finally chased off and run down the Venator before it could do me any serious damage.
Final result was a win for my warp cult.
Game 2 – Dark Angels
Forces: Praetor on Jetbike, Breachers, Sniper Vets in Rhinos, Las-cannon heavy support squad, heavy bolster support squad, Mortis Contemptor, Typhon, Whirlwind Scopius,
Rapiers with Las Destroyers, & Garro.
Scenario: ‘Rorenburg Spaceport’ (played this again as I was very concerned about finishing all my games in a timely manner and so I decided to ‘camp’ and stay on the same board for another round).
How it played out:
This proved to be a much easier match-up for me as the Dark Angels were more foot heavy and lighter on anti-armour which meant that my super-heavies were pretty free to rain down blast templates to full effect. Also the Dark Angels player was very unlucky with his reserve rolls which meant that I could focus fire quite effectively in the early game. The highlight for me was actually on the turns where luck really didn’t favour me. The breachers managed to get a double six on their charge to reach the Malacador on my left flank and quickly reduced it to hot slag with their melta bombs; I then managed to fluff a 4 inch counter charge out of terrain with my cultist militia so the Breachers then managed to charge into a second Malacador the following turn with a similarly devastating effect. However, by this stage I had not only managed to destroy the Contemptor, Typhon and Scorpius, but also had managed to whittle down the heavy support and rapier squads to the point that they lacked any real punch.
Final result was a win for my warp cult, which became extended by the Dark Angel’s special rules which further penalised their loss.
Game 3 – Mechanicum
Forces: Krios Battle Tank squadrons, Thallax, Thralls, Ordinates Sagittar & Atrapos.
Scenario: ‘The Mustering Grounds’
Deployment:Search and Destroy.
Objectives: None. Pure victory points!
Lords of War (5pt), Headquarters (3pts), Heavy support (2pts), Elite (2pts), Troops (1pt), Fast Attack (1pt), Fortifications (2pts – Captured or Destroyed).
How it played out:
This was the game that I really felt on the back foot before I started playing! The Ordinates Sagittar is a complete beast to deal with and is just about indestructable unless you have access to destroyer weapons (HP14; armoured ceratite, flare shield, Dispersion shield) and additionally fires out destroyer weapon blasts. The allied Atrapos Knight is equally not to be under estimated as it has a high strength ranged template attack as well as a short range destroyer weapon as well as having destroyer close combat attacks. Additionally the Krios tanks have a formidable amount of firepower that they can dish out too – I was completely outmatched in terms of firepower. The table corners deployment was also a bad one for me as all my tanks and infantry were simply far too bunched up meaning that a miss with a blast template was still likely to stray into killing something else. By the end of turn the game I had lost 2 Malcadors, my Baneblade and my Plasma Obliterator fortification. The ogyrns and cultists had weathered too much fire that they were just a few scraps by the time they hit the tank line and just didnt have the numbers to be effective so so they got bogged down with a melee with the Thralls.
A fun game, but a decisive loss for the warp cult, albeit I was grateful that I scrape by and managed to not get tabled. Highlight for me was managing to bog down the Atrapos using a milita squad as a speed bump – if I hadn’t pulled that off then I probably would have lots all of my tanks and been tabled!
Game 4 – Blood Angels with Warhound
Forces: Jump pack Praetor, Plasma support squad in Drop pod, Leviathan Dred in Pod, Contemptor in Pod, Tacticals in Drop pods, Fire Raptor and Lightning Fighter and Warhound.
Scenario: ‘Transport Network Control’
Deployment: Vanguard Strike.
Objectives: The players take it in turn to place D3+ 2 objectives. Where possible these must be placed in or as close as possible to a piece of terrain. They must be no closer than 12” from another objective marker and no closer than 6” from any table edge.Primary Objective: Players score 3 Victory Points for each objective they control at the end of the game. Secondary Objectives: Attrition, First Blood, Line Breaker, Price of Failure, Slay the Warlord.
How it played out:
Again, I felt a bit on the back foot at the start of this game. My opponent only deployed the Warhound initially and then reserved everything else. The deployment was also very cramped for me and I expected to get pelted pretty badly by turbo laser and plasma blasts from the warhound – missed again were just likely to scatter and hit something else from my side. The dreds dropped in at the early stage of the game so I focus fired on them to kill them quickly so they could rampage through the middle of my tanks. In hind sight this was probably a mistake: I should have focused on the warhound as it was simply doing me too much damage each turn and I simply wasn’t close enough to be able to bring my Demolisher cannons to bare on it.
Again, a fun game, but a decisive loss for the warp cult. Highlight of this game for me was that the ‘Ghost’ special character made an appearane and I managed to tie it up along with the Blood Angels Praetor with a combination of the ogryns and plague bearers. In the end one of my own stray Demolisher cannon shots missed the Fireraptor and scattered into the melee resulting in the death of Ghost, the Praetor and my remaining ogryns!
Game 5: Salamanders
Forces: Spartan, Praetor, Cataphracit, and various classical, Contemptor and Leviathan dreds.
Scenario: ‘Convergence on the Plains’
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil.
Objectives:Place 1 Objective marker in the centre of the table and 1 halfway between the first objective and each short table edge along the centre line. 2 relic objectives dividing the board into thirds along the mid-line.
Primary Objective: At the end of the game the player holding the Relic objective receives 5 Victory Points. At the end of the game each other objective is worth 3 Victory Points to the controlling player
Secondary Objectives:First Blood, Last Man Standing, Slay the Warlord, The Price of Failure.
How it played out:
This was probably the most fun game of the event as the army was so different in theme and play style. In most cases my infantry couldn’t do much again the dreds, but they could act as speed bumps and tied them up at key points leaving me to focus fire on the ones in the open.
There was a great multi-round fight with the Praetor and cataphracti against the usual trio of ogryns, plague bearers and cultist milita which lasted for 3 rounds, but which my weight of numbers eventually won out. My Rogue Psyker managed to perils and come back as possessed daemons which then ran into the combat in the final round.
In the end I managed to force the dreds to come to me as I outranged their devastating, but short ranged shooting, letting me pick a couple off each turn. The highlight of the game for me was that when close combat contemptor finally managed to get to my Malcador and knock it down to a single remaining hull point, I decided to respond in the only way that a warp cultist pilot would by firing a suicial point blank demolisher cannon which blast both the Malcador and the Leviathan to dust.
Final win to me, giving me a 3 games to 2 losses for the event as a whole. Great fun and I couldn’t recommend that you keep an eye out for the next Imperial Truth narrative event in 2017!
Overall the Loyalists just squeezed out a victory overall for the event, with the surviving Traitors fleeing the blasted devastation of Takann-Reva with the few relics that they had managed to steal at great cost.