This weekend there was a Warhammer 30k tournament, called “Horus Heresy Bash“, played at Spelens Hus here in Malmö. Seeing the event pop up in my social media feed a couple of weeks ago I thought I’d try to shoehorn my 40k guard into the ‘Imperial cults and milita’ army list, but as the 30k Imperials seem to rely alot on the emperor’s blessed tanks, I quickly realized that, unfortunately, I had to pass this opportunity down since I didn’t have enough models. As the list of participants grew, and I knew some of the players, I just had to check out what this heresy was all about – and why the hell an Egyptian deity would give a damn about a silly space crusade!?
I attended the tournament during it’s first game and the ‘armies on parade’/’best painted’ show of each force. Oh Emperor was this a delightful sight for my plastic crack-addict eyes! If seeing twelve fully painted, awesome looking forgeworld armies all in one place isn’t magic – I don’t know what is. The TO had split the participants into an equal amout of loyalists, traitors and un-aligned (Adeptus Mechanicus?) which formed two sides during the tournament. If they managed to play red on blue throughout the entire tournament I have no clue, but it looked like every table had an army from each side bashing it out. Kudos for keeping to the lore here! The atmosphere also seemed alot more casual and friendly than I was prepared for, given the amount of crazyness and ‘extremity‘ in the plaethora of 30k units. Lo behold, making each and every army have their own set of powerfull units might actually be the way to go for balance and getting rid of complaints about underpowered unit choices, thus turning our player culture towards the better!? This really got me interested in the 30k format and hopefully my steel legion host might get some love over the next year to form a small auxiliary militia force.
I had planned to videolog an interview with Oskar, the TO, but since I forgot to bring my microphone we had to do this the ol’ fashioned way. A big thank you to Oskar and all the players for letting me elbow my way in front of your games to take pictures and to have a look at the beautiful paintjobs!
Me: First of all, why 30k?
Oskar: Well, 30k is, for me at least, and I think for many others in the 30k community, a way to get back to the fluff of Warhammer 40k and to avoid what many see as the “WAAC”-attitude or the “bigger and better”-way of making rules that seems to be coming more and more to 40k. For me personally it’s mostly two things: The first is that the Horus Heresy has all the things that make the universe of warhammer interesting for me. It is so rich in background, characters and emotion. War, treachery, intrigue and politics. All the makings of what seems to make up a good tv-show with the exception of sexual content. It seems to give me, the reader and player, a choice between good and evil but is blurring the lines of who is good and who is evil. It is entirely up to me to see the world as I want to, to invest into whatever ideas and factions I want. In 40k, as a comparison, there is no longer any depth to the stories and people are riding giant wolves and go comic book super-hero in the fluff but die horribly on the tabletop against anything. The Horus Heresy is, in my world, what 40k could and should have been.
Me: This is the first Horus Heresy tournament we’ve had around here, so given the popularity of other games such as 40k, Infinity, Warhammer Fantasy and so on, how has the response been from our community – both locally and online?
Oskar: It’s actually the first Horus Heresy event in Sweden at all. There are a couple of bigger ones coming up next year (notably Gothcon and Lincon) and I have another 3-4 planned as a continous campaign here in Malmö but I believe this was the first one in Sweden overall.
The support from the community has been great. 30k is still pretty small compared to 40k and as a small community it really steps up to support it’s members. We have a small but growing group here in Malmö that have been my constant supporters for this event, working as my testers for ideas and formats. So that’s great, as it also gives inspiration when you can talk to likeminded people not just over the internet. The global 30k community, mainly through the forum at http://heresy30k.invisionzone.com/, have also been a great help. I’ve got a lot of the ideas from there as people put up event plans, pictures and stuff from events around the world as well as podcasts and stuff like that. Shoutouts on podcasts, people putting up information etc. on local FB-groups or stuff like that has been ways the community really helped getting the event going. We had people fly down from Stockholm and come from Borås and Denmark on the morning of the event, so it’s really cool that the online community can bring people together like this.
Me: In what way can we expect more from the 30k scene in the future, like tournaments and other events?
Oskar: As I said there are two larger events coming up at GothCon and LinCon next year. I’m also planning a campaign style string of events for next year in the same location (Thank you, Malmö Figurspelsförening and Spelens Hus) in Malmö. I think it will just grow. GWs new management seem to be making the company more customer-friendly and they have also realized that many gamers really like the 30k-stuff FW puts out. The Betrayal at Calth is a good example of that, and I think and hope that it will bring a lot of new players into the 30k scene. I plan on making the first event for next year a low 1500-or-so points event to make people able to play with just the BaC-box and maybe a single vehicle or a couple of rhinos. Hopefully that will interest people and then put them on the path of larger armies and a growing interest for 30k in general.
Me: What is your top advice to a hobbyist that could potentially be interested in 30k but has no idea where to start?
Oskar: I’d say that you should buy the Betrayal at Calth-box. No matter what Legion you want, it’s a great starter deal. If you dont want to go for any of the Legiones Astartes however, I’d recommend to have a look at the Solar Auxillia, Mechanicum or Cults&Militia army lists. They are great fun for people who dont want to play marines.
After that first buy it’s mostly a matter of choosing a legion. Read some fluff for the different ones (just google Space Marine Legions) and pick the one you think is most interesting, or have a look at the FW books and models and pick whatever looks the coolest. As I’m a huge fluff-nerd I have chosen both my Legions based on that, but my Mechanicum (now my largest army) comes from the pure love of the models.
Me: Lastly, loyalist or traitor-heretic?
Oskar: Well, the Emperor betrayed us all by handing over the Great Crusade to tax-collectors and state officials, leaving the true warrior-kings out to dry, so Loyalist. To the Warmaster and the Primordial Truth that is the Word of Lorgar.
In all fairness my Mechanicum is strictly non-aligned and I have both Word Bearers and Ultramarines. But I find myself being the heretic more often then not nowadays.
My coverage of the tournament in a montage with tense muzic.