Colin’s Road to the US Open Seattle – Part 1 – I Have Almost No Idea What I’m Doing But It’ll Be a Lot of Fun!

When Games Workshop announced their US Open locations and dates, I was firmly on the sidelines of 40k. I wasn’t playing very often at all, and the last organized event I had been to was in August of 2021 when I attended the ‘Wargames for Warriors GT’ in Lehi, Utah (which is a fantastic event for a great cause that you should definitely check out if you’re in the area). A couple of my friends had attended GW Open events last year and spoke very highly of them, so I was excited when it was announced that there would be one in Seattle, WA this year. Living in Boise, ID, Seattle is a very manageable trip for me.

I was also excited when a few local friends bought tickets and some friends whom I’ve chatted with for years but haven’t met in person said they’d be attending the event as well. I’m really looking forward to a great long weekend with friends rolling dice and playing a bunch of 40k.

I knew I was going to get a ticket for the event, the only question was for which event: the Narrative, or the GT? As I hadn’t been playing and I was a little disillusioned with where my armies stacked up against the current powerhouse codexes, I decided to grab a ticket for the narrative event. The question of which army to play was never in doubt: I would be taking my Blood Angels to Seattle.

Credit: Colin Ward

As I waited for the player packet to drop, I had the opportunity to attend a great event here in Boise: The Boise Quest GT, put on by my friend and TO extraordinaire Aaron Albert. This event was a comped event that awarded no ITC points to the participants. People were encouraged to bring lists with models that didn’t see play often and that would get dumpstered in a comp scene. I took a ridiculous Knights list with an Acastus Asterius, Knight Lancer, Knight Valiant, and Moriax and had a blast. It was a great way to ease back into playing 40k after a long hiatus and it got me fired up to attend the Narrative event in Seattle.

When the Player Pack for the Narrative Event dropped a few weeks later, I had some reservations. The schedule wasn’t what I was expecting, and with three 50PL games and three 100PL games on the schedule it just didn’t seem like there was as much value with the Narrative as with the GT. The GT offered 8 rounds of 2,000 point games (and for $25 less!). I decided to refund my Narrative ticket and purchase the ticket for the GT instead. I pushed the thought that I hadn’t even read all the missions in the Nachmund GT pack, let alone played them, out of my mind and windmill slammed that GT Premium Ticket.

I have to mention that one of the things that made me feel much more comfortable playing in the GT was the format of the event. The fact that after the first 4 games we would be broken up into pods to play other people with similar records/capabilities sounded great. I’m very much looking forward to playing in what will be the largest (and longest) event I’ve ever attended!

This brought me back to my earlier reservation about playing in the GT: which army to play? The two I had to choose from were either my Blood Angels or my Imperial Knights. Both presented me with challenges. At the time, Blood Angels were woefully underpowered compared with the last year of books, and still sinking into the mire. On the other hand, my Imperial Knights list of 13-14 Armigers/Moriax had improved significantly since gaining ObSec! Blood Angels are easy to fly on a plane with, my Feral Knights are incredibly convoluted and have a ton of stuff that could break off during travel. My Feral Knight Dominus is a great example of “There’s no fucking way that’s not going to break”.

‘Inaana, Queen of Heaven’ – Credit: Colin Ward

Thankfully, GW swooped in with some rapid fire balance updates mere weeks before the event and made my decision much much easier! Thanks, GW! Enter the Balance Dataslate to extend a hand to Blood Angels with Armor of Contempt while delivering an unnecessarily vigorous kick to the balls to Imperial Knights by removing ObSec from Armigers. And just like that, the 30 Sanguinary Guard on the middle shelf of my cabinet started to shine just a little brighter that day.

Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard – Credit: Colin Ward

Three weeks before the event, the die was cast. The Sons of Sanguinius were heading to Seattle (Tacoma) afterall! Now all I had to do was relearn my army rules after not playing them since Boise Cup in June 2021, come up with a decently competitive list for them, play that list a few times, learn the Nachmund missions, learn a little about what other armies might do, and of course paint a few models because 16,000 points to choose from just wasn’t enough apparently. Piece of cake! In part 2 I’ll cover my first couple of games with my Blood Angels, settling on a list and what my goals are for the event.

Thanks for reading and I hope to meet some of you in Seattle! If you’d like to see more of my Blood Angels or learn how I painted them, you can check out my Patreon or find me on Instagram @legalizedmischief.

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