That’s right, I’m writing Horus Heresy again (and not because I met not one, but two, Goonhammer members in person and felt I couldn’t now not do it). Well, technically Horus Heresy, but this time in the context of enormous fighting robots. Some would say that is the right context.
This weekend (12/13 February 2022) I had the pleasure of attending the Maximal Fire Podcast “Beachhead 2022” event, held as part of the wider Beachhead 2022 Convention in Bournemouth.
The format was straightforward – five games over two days, with missions generated from the excellent Open War deck of cards, and pre-set in advance.
You had two teams (Traitor and Loyalist, of course), and each team could have a 1,750 point Battlegroup. For those unfamiliar with Titanicus, check out the extensive and excellently written range of Warlord Wednesdays articles. A 1,750 point game is more or less “standard size”.
My Battlegroup – Battlegroup Hellion
I went with the Traitors on this occasion, taking my Legio Surturvora (aka Legio Infernus) force – modelled after the Titans who burned Calth in the great Betrayal there in M.31.
My force was a lesser-seen Maniple – the Ignus Light Maniple:
- A Corrupted Warlord Titan, “Inner Truth”, which had a close-combat kitout of Macro-Gatling Blaster, Power Claw and Apocalypse Missile Launchers. It had all sorts of Corruptions, designed to auto-pass Charge Orders and do harder Smash attacks.
- Two sets of two Warhounds – a pair of Plasma/Inferno and Megabolter/Inferno Engines, named “Hopeslayer”, “Ashbringer”, “Dreamtaker” and “Indifferent Stars”.
- A trio of Acheron-pattern Cerastus Knights.
The Warhounds and Knights were in a Maniple together, supported by the Warlord. The combination of rules meant I had 2” range torrent Inferno guns which hit with Ordnance and extra +1 Dice, and did multiple hits if they hit more than one target. Its quite a fragile Maniple, but a fun one to run! The combination of speed and reliable, hard-hitting multi-dice Inferno guns could really do a number on the enemy, particularly if I flanked them.
For my Strategems, I could technically choose each game, but generally I took War Lust, Bloodthirst and Warp Displacement – to allow me to rush up the board turn 1, and then get the melee Warlord into the thick of the foe somewhat reliably.
The event was held in the Bournemouth International Centre, in a pair of huge halls which backed onto the (quite turbulent) ocean – which made for a nice, dramatic backdrop! In the other hall was a large set of independent stands, mainly run by Entoyment, and the always-amazing Titan Walk from the Titan Owner’s Club – 28mm scale Titanicus (!)
As outlined above, it was 5 games over two days. You got points for primaries, secondaries, and tertiaries (if you picked those as Stratagems), and then weighted points depending on your win/loss/draw. This added onto Engine Kills, which everyone of course keeps track of!
At the end of the event, you had 1/2/3 place Loyalists and Traitors, and a Best Painted with a Best Sportsman. Spoiler alert: The Loyalists utterly dumpstered us.
As an additional point, the terrain was gorgeous. There was a lot of custom Battlebling and GrimDark Terrain pieces on display, as well as stuff from Vanguard Miniatures. If you are into 6/10mm scales, check these places out – they are simply incredible. Every table was a joy to play on.
Game one was against the very friendly Joe and his Iron Spiders Extermigus – a pair of Warlords with a subbed-in Reaver, and supporting lighter engines.
I hadn’t played my own list much, and somewhat surprised myself with it. The Warlord yeeted forward (a technical term in Titanicus) with War Lust, and got ripped apart by shooting, but everything else moved 14-20” on turn 1 (enormous in Titanicus), and meant the Inferno guns were shooting from turn 2. Absorbing the enemy firepower was important here, as the Warlord might have died, but it took up the enemy activations doing so.
Poor Joe got backed into a corner and outflanked, ultimately turning his Warlords in a “back to back” style as the hunting pack surrounded him. A dirty Warp Displacement from the Knights into his lines (killing one of them in the process, I might add – a sacrifice to the dark gods), and I tore into his heart, triggering the Rube Goldberg Machine of Titanicus, collapsing his forces. I only had a few engines left, but it handed me the win.
Game two was versus George and his loyalist Fureans (we had a few “swaps” due to numbers). A real gent (my best Sportsman), with an amazing Instagram – go check this out if you like Necromunda – he had the dreaded Offensive Surge on a Regia maniple (2 Warlords, 3 Warhounds).
This was another game in which the 14”-20” inch Warhound push showed its quality with War Lust. The Warlord, once again, got annihilated by the Offensive Surge, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Warhounds closing the gaps. Flanking S 8 Inferno guns doing x4 autohits were too much for him to bear, and I managed to rip down the Warlords and close down the game. A second victory!
Game three was against Jonny, of Battlebling fame. He was using the amazingly painted Gryphonicus of the organiser, Alex.
I feel I may now be banned from the Battlebling store after what I did to poor Jonny. He was running a nasty Ferrox with multiple combat Reavers. He picked his “Honour Target” for his Princeps as my Warlord – something I was only too happy to oblige in single combat.
He won Priority for the first two turns, allowing him to bring a pair of combat Reavers in and line up the charge. It looked all over as he moved his Princeps in, preparing for a 9” charge + all the rest with his Chainfist…
Until I used Warp Displacement to pull my Warlord back, interrupting the charge and opening him up for a counter-charge on my activation, slamming the Warlord into his Princeps and utterly evaporating it in a Catastrophic Meltdown, which instantly killed the other Reaver next to it at the start of turn 2. To his credit, Jonny took it in perfect humour, but I think they FAQ’d the “interrupt” part of Warp Displacement after that!
If you ask Zach though, it definitely works how I said it did… Goonhammer are always right, right?
After that, it was still a tough game – I ultimately took the win, but the Gryphonicus sure as hell went down fighting.
That evening we had a nice dinner and some drinks – nothing major.
Game Four was against Stu and his Legio Krytos (another Loyalist Traitor… sensing a theme on the top tables?). He ran a Corsair maniple, with the special Quake missiles which ignore shields if he uses a specific Stratagem.
I got utterly, entirely, brutally slaughtered. I’d never seen anything like it. With a smile, he calmly Quaked half my army turn 1, sending them hobbling and limping up the table. Against his massively manoeuvrable Reavers, I could do little.
My Warlord failed its Warp Displacement to try to get into melee, and by turn 3 I had a single, injured, red-hot Warhound who then went on a tear, killing a Reaver and doing a 12” charge to headbutt another with Smash – but it was all in vain. I damaged a few of his Titans; he damaged my dignity.
A true gent, I very much enjoyed this game – although I think I’ll think twice about facing Krytos again! Check out his painting Instagram for commissions.
Game five was against the – by this point in the day – infamous Psi-Titan list run by Dan. A tricky little list, as it ran a Ferrox combined with a Psi-Titan, but with no Legio of its own, meaning you only had 3 Strategic Points to his 5, due to how the Titanicus rules work in giving out these points.
2 SP down, I was already at a disadvantage – the Psi-Titan was also s12 against my Warlord, and could auto-hit with its psychic weapon. We faced off in the nuclear power themed board (very apt), and I made use of the terrain turn 1 to advance up.
Turn 2 was all to play for, and I managed to get my Warlord up the table and kill his Reaver, before falling to a hyperactive Warhound.
Sadly then, due to a combination of failing Machine Spirit rolls on two unlucky occasions (denying me crucial, arguably game-winning flanking actions), and never once winning Priority (which is fatal with the Psi-Titan able to annihilate your engines with ease), I was ultimately tabled.
The end result was closer than the points made it seem, as Dan had every Titan badly injured, some dead, and the Psi-Titan escaped by the skin of its teeth as I tried to close the trap.
A very fun game, and Dan is a fearsome player who knows his rules inside and out!
Overall, somehow, I won the first place for Traitors despite going 3-2 – a combination of high scoring on Day 1 and a lot of Engine Kills cinched it! Unsurprisingly the Krytos list won 1st Loyalist, and the amazing Atarus painted by Peter won Best Painted (which have been featured here on Goonhammer already). The full results are on the Maximal Fire Instagram, which also has loads more pictures.
Overall, a superb event – I can’t wait for the next one. The Maximal Fire and Battlebling chaps were great guys, and I strongly recommend you check out their podcast and store! I’ve got nothing but praise for the tight organisation, good timekeeping, and great terrain.
Keep your Reactors hot, and kill some Engines!
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