The London Heresy consisted of a two day / 5 game narrative Horus Heresy event run alongside the London Warhammer 40k Grand Tournament.
My final list in the end consisted of my Dark Mechanicum/House Atrax themed Questoris Knight’s list. I won’t go through the minutiae of the list, but to give a broad brushstrokes idea:
Archmagos Draykavac of Cyclothrathe
2 x Castellax with Mauler Bolters.
1 x Castellax with Darkfire lance.
1 x Questoris Knight Atrapos.
1 x Questoris Knight Styrix.
1 x Questoris Knight Paladin.
1 x Questoris Knight Crusader.
3 x Vorax
1 x Questoris Knight Warden with Stormspear Rocket Pod & Arblaster upgrades.
I know lots of players don’t like playing against Knight lists, but with a 40 person event and with 20 people to each team, I had assumed that there would probably be quite a few lists which would easily be able to deal with the Knights i.e. another Knights force, armour breakthrough tanks, titans, etc. I deliberately picked Draykavac as he is a ‘squishy’ HQ choice for a Knight list and he unlocks the Castellax and Vorax to be included in the list and so it isn’t a ‘pure’ Knight list.
Game 1 – 1,500pts vs Salamanders
My first game was against Secret Geek, whom I have been following on Twitter for a while and is simply an amazing hobbyist (and justifiably won the award for best painted army during the event). The goal for this mission was essentially to kill the enemy HQ – with one player winning automatically if they managed to kill the opposing HQ with their own. We had a gentleman’s agreement to get our HQs to face in close combat. This probably wasn’t a favourable option for Draykavac as he is more of a buff for the army rather than a particularly beat face character. We had a suitable knife-edge game with game with the Salamander Praetor just managing to pulp Draykavac with his Thunderhammer as the Arcmagos’ liquification attack failed to hit home.
Game 2 – 3,000pts vs Loyalist Mechanicum
Second game was the traditional War of Lies mission versus internet famous Brendan Hickey of the Sons Of Heresy Podcast. We had played before at the Geno Five Two Podcast’s Tarsiss event last year: back then I had only just started on my Knights and so I was using a hybrid list with my Warp Cult Militia and I had only just about squeeze a pyrrhic victory by sacrificing all of my Knights in order to hold the single primary objective with my last few surviving cultists. This game represent a significant evolution of both of our armies: I have moved to a pure Knight/Mechanicum force and he had refine his force to include Vultarax and Peltasts. The game was close run until the mid-way point and then it turned against me – the volume of haywire shots meant that I lost three Knight in quick succession and by then things rapidly declined and I was tabled in the end.
Game 3 – 3,000pts vs Custodes
Third game was a custom mission which involved capturing and holding the enemy deployment zone. I haven’t read the rules of the Custodes, let alone played against them and so I really had no idea what to expect. The core Custodes force was build around a Constantine Valdor lead deathstar, with the option of all of the units being able to deepstrike. Custodes are able to do wound allocation shenanigans along the lines of 5th edition 40k Grey Knights which makes them very tough to deal with as they also have multiple wounds combined with 2+/5++ saves for the base troops. I ended up spending most of the game running away from the Valdor lead deathstar & trying to whittle down the scoring units. It ended up being a very close game, but I still ended up loosing by a point in the end. Poor old Draykavac was mercilessly gunned down once more and since there were narrative penalties in subsequent games for named characters dying repeatedly, he wasn’t in good shape for the last two games on the final day.
Game 4 – 1,500pts Dark Angels
This game was supposed to be a ‘meatgrinder’ style scenario with troops respawning when destroyed and both sides tallying up kill points. The Dark Angels force was an incredibly tricksie Jetbikes & Flyer list and so most of the game they would jump in assassinate some of my infantry, and then jump off back into reserves before I could properly hit them back. Knights were ruled not to re-spawn so I was on the backfoot after I took a casualty. My opponent was perfectly pleasant, but this is the one game that I felt was a little frustrating as I don’t really this there was anything I could have done to drastically effect the outcome of the game. Draykavac died yet again due to a jetbike assassination run.
Game 5 – 3,000pts Salamanders
The closing game of the event had the simplest mission – victory points for destroying enemy units. A different opponent, but conceptually a similar type of Legion list to what I played against in Game 1 – the difference being that a 3k a Mastadon could be wheeled out! Again, similarly to game 1, we both came to a gentlemanly agreement to manoeuvre our HQs into a final showdown at the middle of the board with a suitably apocalyptic conclusion. The now heavily beleaguered Draykavac was again Thunderhammered to death by the Salamander Praetor, but at least this time I was able to get revenge by getting my Styrix Knight to retaliate by stomping the Praetor in return. All in another close game and a narrow loss to me.
Despite loosing all of my games, I had a great time. No one tends to be too competitive in narrative events and that is what I like about them: most people are pretty chilled and open to playing to set-up fun narrative battles between characters. There is no prize for being first/biggest dick kicker/winning all of your games. Sadly of course in the overall narrative the Traitors lost (which I think significantly contributed too – oops!). I did actually win the ‘Despoiler’ Award for taking on some of the hardest match-ups 🙂