Monday, 6 January 2014

Journey to a Throne of Skulls: Holy Shitake Mushrooms

Throne of Skulls just Escalated.

A week before Christmas and all was not well.  I happened across a link to the updated warriors code, (part of the rule pack for Warhammer world), and the changed tournament rules. Throne of skulls is going to run all data slates, escalation and bunker assault rules although only super heavies in the escalation book may be used. I then received an email from Warhammer World events on Monday 16th December confirming this.

Now if I were preparing for an escalation tournament this would  not be a problem but seeing as I have a month, of which Christmas and New Year will rip a big chunk out of that, it leaves very little to no time to alter and paint adequately for the event. With all the excitement going around about the new supplements to the core rules and having some time to digest it all I figure that tournaments will diverge down to either core rules only, (rule book plus codices and codex supplements) and to Escalation events, (everything including the kitchen sink and maybe formations).  Warhammer world have clearly decided or been told that they have to run everything.

This is fine but I feel that, like in 30K, Lords or war should probably only be available in games of 2K or above. It suits a higher point level and would also make a higher point level play faster. You have to plan and build your list to face these things and at 1500 points this is tricky especially if you are also planning on possibly facing a ‘normal’ opponent. I expect to see a smattering of the things just due to the fact of the size of the event and where it is held. The lower age range of the participants makes it hard to guess the volume but judging that Christmas is round the corner, (at the point of writing this paragraph), Santa might be dropping a large plastic or resin kit down the chimney.

Of course I felt obliged to send the following reply just to stir:

Dear Sir Or Madame

I Purchased two tickets to this event when it was advertised as core rule book and supplemental codices only. My friend and I are not too sure if we want to go to an event if the rule pack has been changed to allow Dataslates, Stronghold assault and Escalation as the army I have spent the past six months painting and preparing would not be suitable against some of the possible army builds now available in those supplements. Especially something like a Revenant Titan as at 1500 points and against most armies without a dedicated unit or three to take it down it would lead to a very negative gaming experience to play against it.

I am disappointed that Warhammer world has taken this decision so late in the day, especially at the time of year as it leaves it near impossible to alter an army to make it viable at an event with the possibilities of facing super heavy vehicles. If I wanted to go to an Apocalypse style of event I would have bought tickets for such.

While I am debating the matter I would like to inquire if a refund would be possible if we decided not to go as the event tickets or ‘goods’ originally purchased has been changed without consent of the purchaser.

Yours Sincerely

Ian Courtney

To which I got the following reply:

Hallo Ian,

Your Tickets can be refunded if you wish to, as the T & C are “Refunds for tickets will only be issued if a refund is requested 14 days or more prior to the date of the event.” And you are well within that window. We would need to know the email address used when making the purchase, to track the order for you.

As we need at least 14 days notice, you still have a bit more time to mull over your options and decide if you want to forge ahead with a weekend’s gaming.

Firstly I am not an GW basher by any means, (price rises in everything are a fact of life, deal with it internet whiners), and frankly I was not entirely sure what I hoped to achieve other than sticking one up them just to see what the response would be. I was always going to attend but I was curious as to what the company line would be. The terms and conditions also state that they retain the right to alter the event at any point without prior consent so I have no leg to stand on anyway. I guess I was hoping that the response would be fluffier and more gaming orientated and would have contained the phrase, “we feel that these new exciting supplements really help to forge the narrative of the game,” and so on. So it that respect I am bitterly disappointed with the reply, especially "Hallo,” although I guess they did get a ‘Forge,’ in there.

My main beef with the whole issue of a last minute change to the rule pack is just that. I have toyed with making alterations to the list, (all include buying stuff), as well as digging out my 4th edition elder army and finishing off the Revenant hobby project. I bought it as a display piece and as such never finished building it but now there is a bit of impetus but I don’t really want to completely stomp kids with it all weekend. I can just about on average strip nine hull points off a super heavy in one round but throw in cover and invulnerable saves and possibly holo fields and it becomes reliant on getting a good explodes result off a las cannon or two.

One upgrade I would throw in would be the void shield generator instead of the hunter/stalker. Interestingly as there is no official model yet and due to the rule pack not allowing proxies, on the face of it players will not be able to use the pipes or void shield generator in the event. The main issue is I just do not have the time to build and paint changes which may or may not be effective. The bigger question is will I even play against a super heavy?  I suspect unlikely.

Escalation does nerf the small elite armies like mine so thus I am whining a bit about a rule change effecting my purchasing, time assembling and painting although it will be interesting to see how the mechanics will work if drawn against a lord of war or some big fortifications. Granted throne of skulls is not a good measure of what to expect to see from a meta point of view but I expect to see some of the stuff from the new releases around. I just have to cross my fingers and hope not to get drawn against a revenant.  

Personally I feel at 1500 points it will turn it into an alpha strike game if one or both players bring D weapon fun to the game. From a point of view of seeing a big cross section of armies potentially playing with all the trimmings bar forge world, it will be interesting to see it all going off. How it affects their tournament system and players enjoyment of it will also be a curious observation. it will just be squeaky bum time if a Revenant starts opposite me.


  1. Me and my friend were discussing this when we heard the T of S rules had changed. Tbh at 1500 points I don't think we will see many Eldar titans as at 900 points they will just swallow up too many points from the titans army. However how would we counter this Titan? I'm not really sure, as an ork player i don't really have the tools to take it down at range so I would move up into assault range. Problem with that is that it can move 36" a turn so keeping up with it might be hard. What will be easier is to take down his remaining forces quickly so he can't achieve his objectives but again if he's a canny player he will just keep them in reserve for as long as possible.
    We think it's more likely to see imperial guard players with super heavies like the storm lord which can spam out 15 shots a go or 30 if it stays still and still transport 40 troops safely inside but I guess we will wait and see.
    It seems to me GW haven't really thought this one through, but when your paying your cash to attend I think they should have been a lot clearer with dates and given players more time to adjust their armies if they wanted.
    Good Luck with the Tournie

  2. It is true that the revenant does swallow a lot of points but a flying monstrous creature list could smash it, even if going second and absorbing a casualty or two. clever positioning of flyers and then charging in the subsequent turn could deal with it as it could be at best 18 inches away from the attacking vehicles or creatures with correct positioning.

    The rest of the super heavies are manageable although I could struggle against a Aquilla strong point. I plan to have a scout sergeant with a melta bomb. Thanks for the best wishes.

  3. At this stage there's not a Ltd you can do other than pray that you don't get drawn against one! From what little I understand from the scoring and pairing, the event is pretty random anyway and relies heavily on factors outside your control to determine your final placing. If it were me I'd just go to get some games in at a great venue, and learn what you can if you do come up against a titan!

  4. Now forge world has been added including forge world lists and experimental rules. Only thing missing is homebrew rules but I guess they would be reasonable and play tested. I don't mind forge world being in the event but a week before... time for another letter?

  5. Very interesting that they now include FW. Looks like it's becoming harder and harder to argue that FW isn't 'standard' 40k!

  6. Escalation kind of bridged the gap. Personally if you are going to use escalation rules I feel it hard to argue against the forge world approved lords of war. They bring more variety.