Hello, dear readers, it’s Gunum again, and welcome to the second part of my Games Workshop Narrative Write-Up! (Part 1 here) Today, we will be finishing my exodus from Denver and talking about the actual location and the event itself. Now I realize for those of you who are following from my previous article, I didn’t cover much 40K before, but I think it’s very important that I set up that entire narrative before I stepped into this one because it set the tone for a lot of this event. I was exhausted, tired, angry, and maybe even a little intoxicated as I stepped off the aircraft. Campbell and his wife were also in a rush to make it to their rental car and get to the event as soon as possible. We wanted to make sure that we didn’t miss a single beat. I don’t think there has been a time when I felt as relieved as I was when I was reunited with my army that I had last seen almost two days prior, coming around the baggage claim area. I quickly retrieved my crown world, and I was soon off to meet my chariot to deliverance.
As I had said before arriving, I had some friendly neighborhood interlopers offer me rides to the venue. Unfortunately, due to it being incredibly early in the morning with my arrival time, and the event very soon starting, I waved off their offers, instead asking them to prepare for the day of war ahead. I was met by one of the Goon wives, who was an absolute delight and was able to deliver me to the location, even giving me a bit of a tour of the area before arrival. Once she delivered me to the spa, I did not have very much time to get myself pointed in the right direction to unpack and get my army ready. I went up to the front desk, shouting the first name of the person that I had been staying with and essentially charming my way into that hotel room. The clerk had so casually handed me the keys to the room of the person that I was staying with that I could only imagine that my exasperated pleas and disheveled appearance were proof enough of the validity of my claim. They didn’t ask for ID, no call to the holder of the room; just my passion, and my need to check that my army was OK must have seemed desperate enough that I had to have been telling the truth.
Upon arrival in the room, I hurriedly opened my army case and prepared my 50-power level list that I had been thinking about for the past two days and was unsurprised to find my army was in pieces. My Doomsday Ark had broken in half, I had multiple troops that were cut in half from the vicious loading courtesy of the wonderful people at United, and my Triarch Stalker was missing both of its front legs. Undaunted, I pressed forward. Making sure that I was able to build a quick 50-power-level list that was not broken: That’d end up being my overlord with a tachyon arrow, my psychomancer, wraiths, bikes, and scarab bases. Also, the Night Scythe that I had brought along as a just-in-case model, suddenly became a key part of my army builds. One of my Skorpekhs had lost his arm, but the other five were in perfect condition. It was then that I decided that regardless of who I played in my first game they would feel the full wrath of the Hear Me Out play style. I was going to Dimensional Breach the Skorpekh on top of whoever dared stand in front of me, and there was nothing they could do about it.
Upon my hurried advance to the event hall, I was greeted by multiple familiar faces. Enter the Goon Hammer team. A group of handsome-looking guys and gals if I had ever seen one, and saviors of myself and my sanity during multiple points during this weekend. I hadn’t seen Rob for about three years, so being able to see that guy, give him a nice firm handshake, and an Atta boy for everything we’ve accomplished over this time was very cathartic for me. I was also introduced to Enzo, the man who had sent his wife to rescue me from the hell that was at the airport, and Mr. John Condit himself, Iron Hands, master supreme, who was also playing Emperor’s children for this event. He was dressed like what I would expect Mozart to look like if he was late getting his Dorian Gray-esc painting done. These were just the first of many interactions I would have with this team, but I had a game to get to.
Leaving the Goons, I was introduced to the wonderful leader of my faction, the Eldar Corsair Ilthalech Starblade. As I approached Miss Starblade, I’m sure she saw me as someone that seemed a bit exasperated and confused. I was missing every briefing that we had had so far, I didn’t know what any of the rooms meant, I had no idea what I was even doing there in the first place! I felt more lost than I’d ever really felt lost before. What did Starblade say to me to help me feel better?
We execute those who are late.
Welp. That didn’t help at all. Though, it did set an appropriate tone for where I was. The fact that she was able to stay in character after listening to my worried ramblings showed a type of poise that I’d come to appreciate at this event and set an incredibly high bar. She pointed me to a line of people who were going to be entering an area that I couldn’t even begin to try to pronounce, but I can only have assumed those within were friends and enemies alike.
My battlegroup was assigned to Sermona Magnificat, a dimly lit room with citadel-ESC Church feels. Organs were playing, skulls and candles everywhere, and a man dressed as a priest in service of the Emperor of Mankind began to preach at us the moment the doors opened. The vibes were immaculate; the room was smoky, there was a man dressed up like an ork in a skintight suit, and the actors – our ministorum priest and Miss Starblade – all set such an incredibly high bar that I was immediately happy with all my decisions, despite all the trouble I had gone through getting to the event. This is also when I was truly introduced to my team for the weekend: Battle Group 16, the Junta of Szabryne.
One note on the staff before I go on: The GMs at the entire event Showed a breathtaking passion that I was incredibly impressed with from the very moment I started at this event. They all did a wonderful job interacting with their warriors. Please, please check out the Instagram of the amazing couple Fred and Elle, who were the Imperium and Eldar leaders, respectively, here.
The Junta was a group of people who I had little time to get to know before the event, even though we shared a discord server. Some discord groups were very, very familiar with each other, and were able to jump right into the feelings of teamwork and narrative immediately, whereas others, like mine, were a bit slower going as time went on. All of that felt immaterial as I stood in this church with my team, who had no idea who I was at the time as they had all had a chance to meet each other prior. Immediately, A person who went by the name of Neophyte Ganesan began to assign our group to tables to battle The Imperium who was also in that room by name of the army.
“Ynnari! Table one. Tau! Table Two….” etc.
After he had assigned pretty much everyone, he and I were alone, standing there, as he looked at me with slight confusion. I simply said, “My name is Psychomancer Gunum.” I was suddenly met with a slight bit of relief from a lot of people in the room, along with comments like “You made it! We’re so happy you’re here! We didn’t think you were going to make it!” We’re so happy you’re here! We didn’t think you were going to make it!” and that kicked off a camaraderie that I appreciated as I started to be able to identify the Xenos in the room instead of The Imperials. I took up my place at an empty table across from a man who had an army that looked like imperial fists, but upon closer inspection, it was seen that all his models were based on beer caps, and his army was themed after a local brewery. I was given some tokens that said Take and Hold and Assassinate. Though I didn’t know what either one of these things meant in this narrative environment, I’ve played enough of this game to know what assassinate means, and to have a general idea of what Take and Hold may mean. I did exactly what I had set out to do in this game, I used my Night Scythe to dump my Skorpekh destroyers directly on top of my opponent’s leadership team, a wonderfully painted captain and tech priest. They were shortly cut in half, but my Skorpekh had also paid the price. By the end of this mission, the only model I had left on the table was my stalker at a single wound left in the depths of my opponent’s deployment zone, his leadership all destroyed except for one unit of Deathwing Knights. After the game, I was told that I achieved both of my objectives because my Stalker had survived, and my opponent failed on his as he was trying to keep me out of his deployment zone. I noticed that I was the first one in my room to finish, and I shook my opponent’s hand, thanked him for the great game, and then ran back to my room at the speed of light to begin to repair all my models. GUNUMNOTE: Our team completely crushed this room. 5W – 4L – 1D. Crushed.
I walked around after the game and ran into another member of my team, Will S, who had three books in front of him. All Necron and crusade-focused. I was delighted and may have uh, aggressively introduced myself as the guy he tried to rescue earlier, and asked for help doing Crusade. And to Will’s credit, from the moment I told him I was playing Necrons he was excited about helping me through the situation. We talked about our games, swapped little war stories about how we got there, and he helped teach me to play Crusade and to do the bookkeeping.
Speaking of bookkeeping! We were broadcasting our Crusade app, Administratum, to anyone who’d listen, including in the faction Discords. Administratum is an app that helps you keep track of crusade rosters and upgrades that your units gain during a crusade and I couldn’t imagine doing this event without it. Huge props to the Living Saint, Pendulin, and everything he and our team managed to do with this app in a relatively short amount of time. As someone who had never used Crusade before, the app was absolutely necessary.
My second game was in the jungles of Tzalikar North. I’d been excited to play in this room ever since I first walked past it and saw the vines, leaves, and camouflage used as decoration. Our Game Master for the room was a Catachan jungle fighter who gave us our assignments and walked around flexing. After we were assigned to our tables he took the liberty of swapping some of our opponents around.
During our off time I got to know our group a little better and that’s when I think some of my knowledge of the game became more apparent to the team. As a result, I was able to help out and assign some of our matchups – not something I was asked to do, but a role I stepped up into as there was a bit of structure missing in that regard at the event, and we were left to find our own opponents. As a man who had spent enough time waiting to play I wasn’t in any place to wait for my team to pick tables so I looked at what was available and tried to optimize our matchups to the best of our ability. An example: I swapped tables with one of our Necron players, giving him a Dark Angels 2v1 matchup while I took on his Custodes opponent – a matchup I’d fare better in thanks to the mortal wound output on my Psychomancer. I also approached our leader in the previous room and asked him about his mortal wounds output; he told me it was amazing, and so I paired him against the Dark Angels with our other Necron player for that 2v1. You can put pressure on Dark Angels with mortal wounds, letting you bypass their (mega lame) Inner Circle benefits.
Once again my plane and its inhabitants ended up being the reason I won the game, dropping off my boys at the right location to start racking up points. The Custodes player put some pressure on me and as the game was only 50 PL/1,000 points I felt like I was a bit outgunned and outclassed in durability in the matchup. But thankfully I accomplished my mission goals – taking ground and assassinating. I was also told about opportunities to score Fame and Infamy at this point, which could apparently be achieved by doing other different side objectives. By having my Warlord unable to escape from the battle I was given an infamy point, and my opponent snagged a fame point when their Warlord escaped. I had no idea what any of this meant. I felt very immersed in the fog of war. GUNUMNOTE TWO: The Junta ran into a 5 – 5 room draw here, as we did end up losing the 2v1.
I won my game, had a blast fixing my models, and then went on a hunt to find the other members of the Goonhammer crew for some games. I was able to play the renowned Yugioh master Rocco, as well as Enzo, the hero of my deliverance from earlier in the day. Both had brought Astraeus Battle Tanks to the event, and both were felled by my destroyers. The onslaught of chopping blades and four-damage axes. Getting four games of 40K in a day at 50 power level felt comfortable and was fun, and I can’t adequately explain the amount of sleep I needed by the end of the night.
Day 2 ended with a little debrief from Mike Brandt and the Faction leaders and we got a little taste of what to look forward to the rest of the weekend as we were told. The Interlopers were taking a slight lead in the event. I could only assume this was via wins and objective completion, as it had never been spelled out to me at any point.
Regardless, dear reader, thank you for taking the time to read through all the words of my first day. Thank you so much for sticking through to me while I go through this epic tale for an epic weekend. Next time I’ll talk about Day 3, and one of the 100 power-level games. When I chose the interlopers team, it was with the hope that I would slam face-first into some other Goonhammer authors, and I could enhance their gaming experience. By crushing them of course. We’ll see some of that next time.
…wake up…… your plane… 5 minutes….
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