Recently, two teams from Brush and Boltgun took part in the Throne of Skulls: Doubles weekend at Warhammer World in Nottingham. This is the tale of how Adam and Dave, aka. the Astra Militarum team ’21 Command Points!’ got on….
So what is it?
The Throne of Skulls: Doubles tournament weekends are held fairly regularly at Warhammer World, Nottingham. They feature games of Doubles (clue is in the name!) against other teams. Whilst the points, allies matrix, scenarios and army composition rules change, a few things also stay the same.
Firstly, you get five games of 40k across the space of the weekend: Three on Saturday and two on Sunday. Secondly, it’s a ‘fun’ tournment, so the cheesier lists are usually conspicuously absent. There are always rules to ensure that, as well as winning games, playing in the spirit of the game and with a nicely painted army can net you just as many points.
This plays straight to our game plan anyway. You may have noticed that there are no ‘how to build a killer list of doom’ posts on this site, because we are all too busy converting and painting and building thematic lists! We want a fun game, and we hope you do too!
So what did you take?
Originally, we were meant to be bringing an alliance of Orks and Guard, themed on a WW2 Panzer Grenadier company. Unfortunately life got in the way and we had to resurrect an old favourite, the Britannican 64th Rifles and Videssian 65th Grenzinfantry.
The Britannicans and Videssians are a Mordian-themed army, based around British and Austrian Napoleonic armies from the early 1800s (1805 edition uniforms, if you’re really interested!).
This giant infantry horde serves two purposes: it looks great (there are, at last count, 36 different regimental uniforms represented), so people enjoy playing it, and they get to wipe out vast swathes of troops, win, lose or draw. It also has 178 models and generates a butt-load of command points (21, as you may have guessed from the team name), so has a lot of resilience and flexibility. Sometimes we even win games!
I promise, we’ll do an Army Showcase on these boys soon.
So what were the rules?
Fairly simply, each army was 800 points, split across a maximum of two detachments. Less simply, especially for this army, you could only take three of each datasheet across both armies, with each individual army being able to include a maximum of two of the same sheet. For most forces, this wouldn’t be an issue, but with our 31 unit selections, it was challenging indeed. This excluded Troops units, thank god, as our army had nine Infantry Squads alone (in five different uniforms, may I add!)!
After hours of splitting hairs, I managed to do it. I won’t bore you with the details here but in short it was:
Army 1 (Adam, Videssians) -Brigade Detachment
Army 2 (Dave, Britannicans) -Batallion Detachment and Vanguard Detachment
The scenarios were all drawn at random from the 2018 Chapter Approved on the day, and, I must say, I enjoyed these much more than the standard Rulebook missions. To ensure fair play, all groups played the same mission at the same time. Games were allowed 2.5 hours from start to finish: hence our force is all on movement trays!
Go on then… how did it go?
Rather than do reports for each game- let’s be fair you haven’t got enough time for that- I’ll just sum up each and add a few pics for flavour!
Game 1- Necrons (Draw)
This game was all about defending Intelligence Operatives who could claim victory point by being within 6″ of the centre of the board, or by surviving. Each needed to be a character model. The game ended up being a draw because nobody killed any of the operatives!
The centre of the board was a complete killing zone, so nobody could venture out to grab the objective without losing the characters we had to defend.
A great game against lovely opponents with a nicely painted army. Highlight: was definitely charging a C’Tan and winning combat with Rough Riders!
Game 2- Guard and Custodes (Loss)
This game was basic tactical objectives. The game was pretty even – especially as half their army was a Guard Horde too! They were unlucky with their Custodes reserves, which arrived too late in the game to be much use. However, when the dust settled, they had more high value objectives than us which, when it comes down to it, is what it’s all about!
The Vostroyan’s ability to add 6″ to the ranges of their weapons was a definite plus, as they could force us to move forward and take the fight to them whilst getting pummeled with lasfire.
This was a fun game that, until the Custodes arrived, looked like a Historical game, fighting against bearskin wearing Vostroyans! Sound the charge!!
Game 3 – Thousand Sons and Space Wolves, ***Inquisition note- pure heresy*** (Win)
Two more lovely guys and a nice looking army. We had started to have a few beers by this point so there’s getting to be less pictures, but from what I remember we were incredibly lucky in this game!
We were playing lengthways down the board and so they had a very narrow front to attack, in range of all of our guns.
A flukey first turn wiped out a number of their vehicles, so they had to come at us on foot.
Highlight: the Charge of the Thunderwolves wiping out a good 20 Guardsmen in one fell swoop, before being taking the full fire of half the army… and almost surviving!
Game 4- Harlequins and Space Wolves (Win)
This was the first game we’ve played involving a super heavy. It’s so scary, and a massive weight of resin (The guys we played kindly let us have a hold. of the tank that is).
We were lucky in that their army was built to combat elite forces. For every guarsdmen they killed, it could just as easily have been a Space Marine. Eventually we managed to kill the super heavy through sheer weight of fire and begin advancing down the board to claim the objectives.
We also benefitted from the terrain and the Mordian order ‘Form Firing Squad’ whichallowed us to effectively target their characters who were hiding behind troops to buff them up. Just look at that table setup, nowhere to hide…
Highlight: Watching a super-heavy explode, killing four harlequins, a jetbike, fourteen guardsmen and a commissar.
Game 5 – Custodes and Guard (Win)
You might recognise these guys… we did, from Game 2! The tournament allowed people to play ‘grudge matches’ against people they wanted to play, which unfortunately cocked up the people-randomiser and threw a few people playing duplicate games.
We didn’t mind, it was time for revenge! This time we played lengthways, and the Vostroyans’ range was even more telling. Fortunately, the objective cards were kinder to us and we managed to get enough points to clinch the win, albeit by only one point!
Highlight of the game: dropping multiple demo charges into deep-striking Custodes. They’re tough, but not THAT tough!
So what does that all mean?
Well, we came in a respectable 10th out of 128 teams.
This was partly down to out gaming score (20/30) but also down to our Sporting score (24/30).
As we said before, the Doubles tournament tries to reward army painting and fair play, so you get 6pts/win, 2/draw, 0/loss, but then each opponent also votes for 2 favourite armies and 2 favourite games at 3 points a piece.
If you are wondering if you should try it out, I would say go for it. You just need a good buddy and to be up for a laugh. Who knows, you might meet us for a game!