After attending the Grand Narrative in Albuquerque last year, I knew I wanted to come back again this year. I think it’s one of the best events GW puts on each year, with six games spread across three days being a pretty optimal amount of Warhammer. None of the games feel stressed, and there’s plenty of time to hang out with old and new friends. While I’ll miss the fantastic resort from last year (particularly the firepit to roast smores every night), I’m writing this from my hotel room in Atlanta and it seems like another great venue.
Last year I ran my Blood Angels, which are my oldest army – my Dante is from third edition – but have never been an army I particularly focused on, so I ended up running a very wonky list. While that can work in a narrative event, I felt like all my games were uphill battles. This year I’ve got my Imperial Fists, fresh off winning best painted at the Tacoma open, with a few extra units and flourishes specific for this event.
First up was finally painting a squad of aggressors. While I’d painted a unit of them for my Blood Angels back at the beginning of 8th when they released, I haven’t touched them since, even for my Imperial Fists where they’re incredibly thematic. They needed a ride, so ended up in a phobos pattern land raider from the Horus Heresy line converted up to be armed as a redeemer. While the new kit is nice to build, I definitely prefer the appearance of the classic land raider (please nobody start in about how this is technically the classic one from a million years ago). Sadly, despite hunting for one all summer, I haven’t been able to find a single redeemer for sale in America.
While that was all I needed to paint new for my core 2000 point list, the narrative is played using crusade where we have a 3000 point roster to swap units out of. I figured a unit of jump assault intercessors and a phobos lieutenant with combi-weapon would be the perfect extra units, as they let me sub in some pretty distinctly different roles than what I typically have in my list. I think I’m likely to want a unit with extra mobility in at least one unit, and one mission is scored entirely by characters, so I needed to be sure I had enough to pull that off (plus his abilities are useful in virtually every game).
I also added one visual flourish to all my sergeants and characters – custom printed nameplates on their bases. I think it adds a fun detail that’s perfect to narrative campaigns, and doubles as a huge help to crusade tracking. Rather than having to guess at which unit of heavy intercessors is which, they’ve each got a separate name, and I named the units in Administratum. It’s going to make my life a whole lot easier doing my homework between games.
I’m aiming to run the Anvil Strike Force detachment. While it hasn’t seen much competitive play, I’m hoping that this will be where it shines, as tables are likely to have more firing lanes to let me make use of my detachment rules. If they don’t end up working out I can always pivot over to one of the others, likely either Gladius or Ironstorm.
Core to the list is a terminator captain, Jago Lytanus, who returns from the old Astradus campaign. He’ll be leading a unit of terminators, while an apothecary biologus leads my aggressors. I’ve also got a couple units of heavy intercessors, some gladiators, and a brutalis dread that are likely to see play in every game.
All of my games last year were incredibly fun, and I’m looking forward to things kicking off later today, particularly with the World Championships going on in the other room – the energy there is exciting with the best players from countries all over the world competing.