Warlord Wednesdays Tournament Report: Beachhead Brawl 2022 Titanicus Event by Maximal Fire

The Maximal Fire Podcast team hosted and organized a Titanicus event of 26 players at Beachhead Brawl in Bournemouth, a larger event with a 40k and AoS, Historical wargaming, Star Wars Legion, Kings of War and more. 

This wasn’t taken this weekend, it’s just a really epic pic of titan combat.

Maximal Fire’s Format

This was a Traitor vs Loyalist event with 13 either side playing 5 games across 2 days, 3 games on the Saturday and 2 on the Sunday as is pretty standard for a lot of events. Army lists were 1750 points with a few restrictions:

  • No vortex missiles
  • Acastus Knights can only be taken in Knight Households (there weren’t any)
  • Vox Blackout doesn’t stop turn-1 Stratagems if used in the first turn (ie Mortis’ March of the Dead)
  • Blast weapons fired but not in range don’t randomly scatter at max distance, they just miss.
  • Beam weapons will only “hit” a terrain feature if it would incur a hit penalty (25% or more obscured)
  • Dawn Attack and Dusk Attack stratagems – only one can be taken, not both (ah yes the oft taken Dusk Attack)
  • Crusade Legios were restricted to a single Custom Legio in a battlegroup, couldn’t select Tracking Gyros as an upgrade (can still buy like everyone else), and can’t contain corrupted titans. 

Legio Interfector Reaver. Credit – @Gonders (twitter)

All of the Optional Rules in the rulebook were not in use so no destructible terrain, no power transfer, no stray shots and no overloading void shields. I’m in agreement with not allowing overloading voids, it’s something that can end up being completely insane on an almost-dead titan and I don’t think many people have ever even used stray shots. I understand for ease of an event to just not use destructible terrain too, it can slow things down but does give a big advantage to forces with more knights/Warhounds too. 

A note on Warp Displacement as well before I get too far into it here. This is the only stratagem in the game that doesn’t specify a trigger point to be played, it’s very open-ended being played “in any phase”. As written it can be played as an interrupt to move one of your own Titans before it gets hit by something or even better after it was charged but before any dice are rolled to be hit. It is however also very random, you first roll 2D6 and choose a direction, moving that number of inches in that direction, no more and no less. Of course you cannot measure that before moving either. If this means your Titan ends up in a piece of terrain it suffers D3 S7 hit bypassing voids and then destroys the terrain. If it would end up overlapping another unit then it stops at its base and causes a collision instead. 

I used the strat only once and to get some of my own guns in range and to be closer for a charge the next turn but I know others were using it as an interrupt to avoid being charged.

On the second day the TO was called to the table next to mine because of this interaction and ruled that Warp Displacement does not interrupt and can’t be used to avoid a charge. This has started a bit more of a conversation whether this should be ok to do or not. 

So…should Warp Displacement allow an interrupt or is that too strong? I’m firmly in the camp that it’s not too strong, it does cost 2 Stratagem Points to take and comes with other risks as well and is far more often used in a way to get your own Titan closer to the enemy to get off a long-bomb charge. Now the argument against this is that setting up a charge isn’t easy and shouldn’t be easily stopped, that it can create a “gotcha” moment in the game and create a negative play experience for one of the players involved, which is understandable. 

At the same token though we have to look at other stratagems and abilities that can cause similar effects, however less immediate and maybe less “gotcha” but no less game-changing or disruptive either:

  • Loyalists can take The Long Retreat – it’s played in the Strategy phase as opposed to interrupting anything and requires you to be activating your Titans to use, however, if played at the right time it can stop multiple charges from occurring as opposed to just one while your Titans all back up or sidestep at full speed. It’s also only 1 point instead of 2 – loyalists, always take this unless you’re just running Corsair. 
  • Legio Ignatum’s stratagem can neuter a charging Titan once per game, stripping off its melee weapon before it hits or potentially even killing it if it was already damaged. 
  • Vox Blackout can just stop all charges and all other orders for a turn, which can hamper more than just charges as well, stopping emergency repairs can be just as good if not better too

There’s a lot to consider here, but as I said I really think it’s fine as an interrupt as it is. I don’t want this to detract from the fact that the weekend was fantastic with great games played by great people. 

The games 

Each of the games used Open Engine War cards for deployment, mission, and secondary objectives. The primary objective and deployments were pre-arranged in the event pack and the secondaries were chosen each game by rolling two dice and choosing one of the results. The Open Engine War missions are a long way better than the standard book ones, especially since many actually include objectives on the table, and I was happy to see them used. Princeps Seniores traits were chosen at the start of each game. 

My List

I took a Vulcanum Fortis maniple with 2 Warlords and 2 Reavers, with the Warlords both acting as Princeps Seniores’ and twinned together with the Reavers twinned together as well. For the most part I took Iron Clad Tyrant and Favoured by Fortune as my Princeps traits to help with orders for one and with shield saves/hit rolls for the other. 

As far as stratagems went I took Profane Blessing on each of the Reavers (aside from game 3, more on that later) in case they rolled an early awakened machine spirit when I needed them to move, or to re-roll a bunch of 2’s on a particularly bad roll of shield saves. Also Concealment Barrage because I was running melee Reavers and it’s incredibly useful to help them get into melee, and then either Warp Displacement or War Lust depending on my mood, both really just for more movement down the table. 

It’s a list with only 2 activations because of the squadroning, which means I’m always getting out-maneuvered but I’m also shooting with a lot more at once and able to pull off coordinated strikes making all of the guns hit that much harder, taking engines down quicker before they get a chance to shoot back. It’s a really fun list to play with for me and much quicker usually too! 

Vulcanum Fortis Maniple – 1745 pts

Warlord Titan – 540 pts

  • Apocalypse Missile Launchers (Janus Pattern Missiles)
  • Sunfury Plasma Annihilator 
  • Macro Gatling Blaster
  • Tracking Gyroscopes 
  • Twinned Machine Spirits

Warlord Titan – 515 pts

  • Apocalypse Missile Launchers (Janus Pattern Missiles)
  • Mori Quake Cannon
  • Macro Gatling Blaster
  • Tracking Gyroscopes 
  • Twinned Machine Spirits

Reaver Titan – 345 pts

  • Vulcan Mega-Bolter
  • Melta Cannon
  • Chainfist
  • Bastion Shielding
  • Twinned Machine Spirits

Reaver Titan – 345 pts

  • Vulcan Mega-Bolter
  • Melta Cannon
  • Chainfist
  • Bastion Shielding
  • Twinned Machine Spirits

Game 1

My first game was against a local to me, Henry; we even had a practice game just the week before with our lists. He was running an Astorum Extergimus of 3 Warlords with a support Reaver with chainfist to act as a closer-ranged threat in case something strayed too close to the Warlords. One of the Warlords even rocks a power-claw too, maybe the best loyalist legio for it considering their ability for extra movement in the first 2 turns. 

Hilariously and in true Titanicus fashion I didn’t directly kill any of his engines, instead causing collisions via concussive from my quake cannon and his titan deaths chaining across causing untold carnage in his own lines. 

He was able to take my Reavers out pretty quick and we both thought that was it for the game, but thanks to shield sharing and coordinated strikes with my Warlords I was able to dish out enough hurt without losing either one of them while sitting on the central objective, taking the win. 

Game 2 

Next up I got to play against Jon of Battlebling, with his Xestobiax titans playing as a custom Legio running: Vanguard Fighters, Engines of War (Reavers), Scouting Run, and Vindictive in Death. He ran a full Venator light maniple with a Reaver swapped in for one of the Warhounds and 2 banners of 3 Lancers. A very good list for sure and he played it very well, hiding Knights behind terrain as they advanced up avoiding quake shells left and right the best they could. 

In another great example of Titanicus play though, I killed a Reaver and 2 Warhounds with a single charging Reaver. After killing an enemy Warhound on the charge, it stumbled and fell into another of his own Reavers and Warhounds, causing a surprising amount of damage to the Reaver after hitting it in the side arc, and then fell hitting both the Reaver and Warhound again, killing the Warhound which then suffered a Magazine Detonation and killed the Reaver behind it within void range. I love this game. That string of luck for me is what really tilted the advantage and I went on for a victory, taking out the remaining engines and knights while only losing 1 of my own Reavers. 

Game 3

The last game of the first day was against the first person I played in my first Titanicus event at the 2020 Warhammer World narrative event , Dan, and it was great to get the chance to again. He brought a Psi Titan with a Ferrox Maniple of titans not belonging to any legio and this really threw me too since it meant I only had 3 stratagem points to play with instead of the “normal” 5 that you expect at 1750 points. That Psi Titan is no joke too; I hadn’t had the chance to play against it before, and only piloted one a handful of times, but I knew it was deadly. My first mistake was not taking Concealment Barrage; instead I took War Lust for speed and Last Ditch Effort which in retrospect was real dumb. My second mistake was deploying “normally” with my Reavers in base contact, just waiting to be hit by the psychic quake power turn one, absolutely neutering their movement for the first 2 turns of the game. I pushed up as best I could with Full Stride orders but couldn’t dodge the shots coming from the Psi-Titan and took a loss. 

Game 4

Day 2 of the event, and in the opening game I had the pleasure of playing against Peter’s gorgeous Atarus (which won him his 6th? award for best painted this weekend). We played at the Ascot Warfare event a few weeks back which I took my Mordaxis to and it was great to get another game together. 

He also had a Fortis maniple this weekend, with his Warlord toting double plasma and laser blasters he upgraded with Venerable Machine Spirit to get BS2+, which is nasty with all those high strength shots. Alongside this he had 2 Reavers, a support Warhound outside the maniple, and 2 banners of Knight Lancers as well. The best moment here was when I made a charge turn 2 with both of my Reavers, causing some damage to his engines which were all grouped together along with a banner of Lancers. Pushing for movement on one Reaver pushed my reactor into the red, and in the damage control phase I used Warp Displacement to move my other Reaver away from the blast; its journey through the Warp allowed it to narrowly dodge the catastrophic meltdown  of its twin, which killed the Knights and caused a chunk of damage on each of Peter’s engines.

I managed to hide the surviving Reaver for a turn, going on emergency repair orders twice to raise shields to get back into the fight, Meanwhile my Warlords pelted shots at his titans trying to move onto the objectives, and did just enough to stop him from scoring, giving me a narrow win. 

Game 5

Last game of the day and of the event, and I was back on table 1 playing against Stu with his Krytos Corsair maniple. He was one of the traitor players asked to move across to the Loyalist side at the beginning to even players as he didn’t have any traitor specific upgrades or mutations on his engines, and was clearly doing well with them having not lost a game yet. I was surprised to see that none of his titans had a melee weapon, the Corsair often being a great opportunity to take a lot of melee focused titans to push down the table. Instead he had two longer-ranged Reavers sitting back chucking templates and missiles across the table and 3 mid-ranged Reavers with gatling and melta that pushed up the field. The game had 3 objectives in each deployment and you had to get your Titan to the enemy’s objectives to remove them and score. It was a tough game against Stu’s shooting-heavy list, and my main mistake was trying to play the primary objective and pushing up too fast with my Reavers, putting them in the crossfire of most of his force to be removed by the second turn. That left my slow Warlords behind, unable to cross the table in time to reach the objectives while taking a beating from all fronts. It was a great game well played and a win well deserved by Stu.

Closing Thoughts 

It’s always great to go to an event and see friendly faces and meet new ones as well, and this was no exception. It’s also nice being able to put a face to online usernames and see in person some of the awesome work people have been posting online the last couple years. 

For me, events are as much about the community and the social aspect as it is getting to play a bunch of games with good players and roll some dice all weekend. Titanicus is my favourite game and has been since it came out, and getting to play more of it and see so many other people enjoying it too is a great feeling.

In the wider event, the Loyalists took a pretty sweeping victory overall; not a single Traitor force won more than 3 games! Because of the Loyalist vs Traitor format I even came 2nd for Traitors, placing 8th overall! I even won a box of Warhounds (which will definitely be Honorum engines) and some cool bits courtesy of Battle Bling. 

Great event well run by the Maximal Fire team, I’ll definitely attend future events by them!