Warlord Wednesdays: Warfare 2021

Welcome back to Goonhammer’s series for aspiring Titan Principes. We here at Goonhammer’s own Collegia Titanica know that Adeptus Titanicus can seem intimidating to players unfamiliar with its particular quirks, but this series aims to equip you with everything you’ll need to play out epic clashes on the battlefields of the far future with your very own Titan Battlegroup.

This week the UK contingent of the Wednesday Warlords went to an Adeptus Titanicus event at Warfare 2021, in lieu of our regular programming, read on to see how they fared.

The Event

Warfare is an annual event held by the Wargames Association of Reading, which hosts a wide variety of events for different systems, with a particular focus on historicals. Adeptus Titanicus is future historicals if you think about it, so it fits.

Bair: I bought these tickets months and months before the event, strong-armed (not that strong) into it by Peter who’s Titans you’ll recognise from the Atarus focus (go check them out, they own). Swiftly after, I strong-armed Soggy into getting a ticket so he would go too (and drive me there). 

Soggy: I have my uses, I suppose

Neither of us knew what this event was, so we went in with no expectations. This year Warfare was held at the Royal Ascot Racecourse, a massive venue packed with different systems spanning as many floors as they did settings.

The Titans (some of them at least)

The Tournament

The main attraction for us was the Titanicus event, so let’s get down to business. Originally this was a 22 person event which sold out pretty quickly. Sadly, due to many attendees and the TO themselves catching Covid this number dropped down to 12. The fill-in TO did a great job with what he was given, including a change in floor to the other event he was meant to be helping while also playing as a spare-player on the first day. 

The tournament pack advised to take a Confrontation force, so a Battlegroup between 1250-1750 points – effectively meaning everyone takes 1750 point lists, which is a lot easier to squeeze out any spare points thanks to universal Wargear and corruptions. Beyond that it was a matched play tournament rather than a narrative event spread across five games.

On the day the games were a bit fly-by-wire, with no official setting of what missions to use. It was up to the player’s choice to use open engine war cards or the default Matched Play scenarios. In theory this could lead to some people having easier paths to victory depending on what mode or objectives they were pulling. This is where we need to underline that Adeptus Titanicus generally isn’t a competitive game in the first place and if you want to curb stomp people you might want to look elsewhere. 

Soggy: I think most tables opted to use the Open War Cards where available, mostly because people are sick to death of the standard Matched Play scenarios. I did for all of my games at least.

Bair: That was true for my games, I only played the Matched Play book missions once because I didn’t think to bring my cards with me day 1 and neither me or my opponent had a set to use. We just played Engage and Destroy anyway. 

The loose nature of the weekend meant that despite sending in lists in via email before hand, you could in theory take a different force the next day, or even each game – which emphasises how chill the vibe was. The terrain though was appropriately dense using the Dropzone Commander card sets there was definitely not a lack of buildings. 

Bair: The only change of which I’m aware of was one player that switched from a “too cheesy” Extergimus maniple to instead have a Warmaster backed by 3 Custom Legio Warhounds in a Ferrox (swapping the Reaver for a Warhound for points). 

Soggy: I was very tempted to change list and battleplan midway, but did soldier on.

Bair’s Games

Credit: bair_paints instagram
  • Venator Light Maniple:
  • Reaver Titan – 395
    • Princeps Seniores: Proud Protector
    • Apocalypse Missile Launcher; Melta Cannon; Gatling Blaster
    • Upgrades: Singular Purpose
    • Mutations: Frozen Soul; Chitinous Carapace ; Pestilence Cloud
  • Warhound Titan – 285
    • Plasma Blastgun; Vulcan Mega-Bolter
    • Upgrades: Singular Purpose
    • Mutations:Frozen Soul; Chitinous Carapace; Pestilence Cloud
  • Warhound Titan – 285
    • Plasma Blastgun; Vulcan Mega-Bolter
    • Upgrades: Singular Purpose
    • Mutations: Frozen Soul; Chitinous Carapace; Pestilence Cloud
  • Warhound Titan – 275
    • Turbo Laser; Vulcan Mega-Bolter
    • Upgrades: Singular Purpose
    • Mutations: Frozen Soul; Chitinous Carapace; Pestilence Cloud
  • Support Units:
  • Warlord Titan – 510
    • Apocalypse Missile Launchers; Mori Quake Cannon; Mori Quake Cannon
    • Upgrades: Singular Purpose; Tracking Gyroscopes
    • Mutations: Frozen Soul; Pestilence Cloud

With the traitor book out I really wanted to lean hard into mutations with my Mordaxis Legio just to see how it would really go. With very limited practice beforehand I wanted to keep it very simple just taking the same mutations on every Titan (aside from the Warlord for the sake of points). Chitinous Carapace makes it so you cannot push your reactor for more speed, slowing down your Titans, however Mordaxis already can’t do this meaning you just have tougher Titan bodies instead. The Warlord sitting so far back didn’t need the upgrade like the front-line Warhounds did. Cause a -2 to armour rolls on the body actually does a lot more than I’d first thought. Of course the Titans are tougher from random location shots that hit the body, but also means that targeted shots are better off aiming for the Legs instead which might slow them down but means there’s not a VSG Burnout to worry about either to reignite shields. Frozen Soul is no joke either, on Warhounds especially, paired with the Mordaxis once-per-game stratagem Unstoppable they got 2 dice just for heat and 4 more dice for general repair work all of which had +1 to the results. Pestilence Cloud is a very cool little upgrade but on slow slow Mordaxis I can count on a single hand (using 2 fingers) how many times an enemy was in range of even the increased 6” Techno Toxin rule and both times only affecting a repair roll, not causing any damage. 

All that being said though, that’s a total of 305 points in just corrupted titan upgrades (between mutations and Singular Purpose which actually never even did anything either). I could have had a whole other Reaver in my list if I also dropped Toxin Nodes off of the one there and the -2 modifier on my command checks repeatedly meant I was failing commands I would have otherwise made too. 

The idea behind the formation of the list was to give the Reaver lots of free melta shots. Between the Venator maniples’ ability for the Reaver to make a free shot when the Warhounds drop shields on an enemy Titan. The Reaver’s Princeps’ trait, Proud Protector, adds to this: whenever a Mordaxis Titan within 4” suffers a Direct, Devastating, or Critical hit then the Reaver can push its reactor to make an attack with 1 weapon out of sequence. This is best used generally to get some extra shots in to knock void shields so is actually better on a Warlord, but still solid on a Reaver. I took Experimental Lomotors every game on the Reaver to be able to use boosted move and keep pace with the Warhounds which were always run as a single squadron of 3. I usually either took Cursed Earth and Unstoppable or 2 Profane Blessings, Cursed Earth, and a tertiary objective. Cursed Earth is great for a Venator maniple, forcing extra shield saves for extra Reaver shots. 

The Games

Game 1

First game was against Peter’s gorgeous Atarus, I was really glad to finally get to have a game with Peter after having met at the Titan Walk event at Warhammer World in Feb 2020 and chatting about Titanicus over the last year and a half. We were using the Open Engine War cards for Deployment, Primary, and Secondary objectives for some variation from the simple matched play book missions. The deployment had us set up in small squares in opposite corners of the board from each other needing to get to the other player’s battlefield edge to score, the closer any of our Titans were to the other side the more points scored!

The game finished in a win for the Loyalists despite me taking Dark Pledge and killing his Warlord for 10 Victory Points in the second turn. What was left alive though scored him enough for the win, especially one very crafty and sneaky little Knight Lancer which I could just barely not kill before it got behind my Warlord, stabbing its weapons off turn after turn.

Game 2

I was paired up with Soggy which was pretty amusing but not too unlikely given the small number of players. Again using the Open Engine War cards we had 1 objective each placed near the centre of the table to pick up and hold with our Titans, forgoing an activation to pick it up in either the movement or combat phase. In hindsight choosing to pick mine up with a Warhound right in front of enemy Titans was not the best move as it exploded a turn later, dropping the objective further away from any other Mordaxis titans. The Ignatum Warlord stood on his own objective, securing it unless the large titan was destroyed. Loyalists took the win here once again despite taking incredible losses (with only the Warlord left alive after sustaining some damage!).

Game 3

After 2 losses I was really starting to think I’d made a mistake in taking so many mutations and upgrades…especially after failing order rolls I would have passed without the corruptions and Singular Purpose not giving me even 1 free shot on any Titan yet. Next up was Rich and his fancy Fureans Mandatum + support Reaver. Rich is also a local(ish) guy to me and Soggy but we hadn’t really gotten the chance to play before! Neither of us had Open Engine War cards and just played Engage and Destroy for a simple fun game: kill the enemy Titans. And we sure did do that! He had 1 Corrupted Reaver with a chain fist and Overwhelming Rage so that it wouldn’t have to make a roll to go on a Charge order and get an extra attack with its melee weapon.

Mordaxis saw its first win of the weekend, taking out all but the enemy Warlord while only losing my Warhounds.

Game 4

First game of Sunday and got to play against Angus’ Interfector. I hadn’t played against them before and they looked great, set up as a Ferrox with 2 Reavers, 2 Warhounds, and a support Warlord supported by a banner of Knight Lancers as well. Angus had played about 8 games before the event and we had a nice chat before getting down to business and were able to take the game nice and slow too. I took along my Open Engine War cards so used them for the mission which was a simple kill and destroy primary while I needed to protect a piece of terrain in my deployment zone. One of his Reavers made a massive long-bomb charge turn 2, using Warp Displacement first to move 7″ and using the Traitor ability to move up to 11″ move before slapping a Warhound for a total of 7 chainfist attack on one of my Warhounds but as luck would have it the Warhound survived (only just) but died very very shortly after in the Combat phase, blowing up and causing damage to the two others in its squadron in a magazine detonation of its plasma gun!

In the end though the victory went to Mordaxis, with the Warlord able to suppress the advance of the rest of his force with quake cannons keeping them further away and from getting to effective range sooner.

Game 5

Last game of the event and on the opposite side of the table from me was Toby’s (totally not corrupted) converted home-made Legio, playing as Laniaskara for rules in the shape of a Corsair maniple with 3 melee Reavers, 1 shooty Reaver, and a support Warlord. Playing Open Engine War to get to the centre of the table, and for me to keep my Reaver alive, this was going to be a tough game and very bloody! He had very cool looking force and was very hard hitting. We talked a bit the day before about squadroning and how he’d usually run Warhounds on their own so it was fun to show him something entirely different with a squadron of 3 Warhounds instead, which were able to tear apart 2 of his Reavers (killing one in the first turn and a second in turn two!) before being blown to bits! My Warlord an Reaver worked together to dismantle the third melee Reaver but weren’t without damage, my own Reaver hanging on by a thread with multiple critical damage to both body and legs before failing the command check for an Emergency Repair, dooming it soon after.

Despite the early bloodshed I was left with only a Warlord nearer the back of the table which wouldn’t be able to get close enough to the centre to score points before the game was over, spelling one last loss for Mordaxis.

Soggy’s Weekend

Legio Ignatum. Credit – Soggy

My Ignatum project started earlier this year when I felt it was finally time to start a new Legio. Initially I painted up the new starter set, followed up by the Warmaster and then eventually the Precept Box. The issue is I changed how I was painting them when I got the Warmaster. Even though it’s minor, it means that my nicest looking God-Engines were a Warmaster and the contents of the Precept Box.

I did muse on getting over it and taking a double Venator; which would make great use of Ignatum’s We Loyal Few’s rerolls, or taking the Warmaster Titan with a Lupercal maniple for the lols. Instead I went with the rule of cool and took my shiner looking titans.

Yes, I went all out on a fancy printout list

The game plan with this list was pretty straight forward:

  • Punk the largest target with the Vortex missile turn one. Ideally against a first-fired Warlord with my own First Fire issued aftwards, which then means that the Vortex template would hit them in the end phase as they cannot move. This First-Fire Order then would be changed into Full Stride with Adaptive Tactics to get into charge range. Spoilers: this situation never happened, but we’ll get to that.
  • The Warhounds to go up, drop voids and hold targets back while the Fire Support Titans rain death from afar.

As far as gameplans go it’s not particularly clever at all, but it’s straight forward and means I shouldn’t forget anything. Spoilers: I forgot to use We Loyal Few for four of my five games. 

I blame it on doing a load of intro games recently without Legio traits.

The Games

I did originally intend to try and do some proper battle reports but I quickly forgot to, just like half of my rules. Quickly going through my five games though:

Game one

As we got to pick our first opponent, my game one was against James (@cheesehammer40K), who we met at the WHW Titan Walks event just before Covid hit. He was piloting his new Legio Metallica force as a Ferrox backed up with a Brawler Lord and some Lancers. My first dice roll of the game was for a Precept backed First Fire requiring a 2+ to pass, I naturally rolled a 1. This set the theme of my dice for the rest of the game sadly. 

The Vortex Missile was slung into the Warlord, only doing a single direct hit to the legs before fizzling away. I very quickly lost my Reavers and a Warhound by the close of the second turn due to poor rolling and positioning on my part.  

The table was incredibly dense with DZC cardboard buildings, which made it a bit of a struggle for my Fire Support Titans to engage. The highlight of the game for me was when James hid a Reaver, which had lost voids, behind a building with a Warhound next to it. My Warbringer on split-fire blew up the building with their Volcano Cannon and promptly hit the Reaver with the Quake Cannon – bowling them into the Warhound behind them. Sadly the resultant damage was low, but it could have leveled the score in addition to the battlefield.

The Machine-God was not with me this game and I lost this one pretty convincingly.

Game Two

Game two had me paired up against Bair. Bloody typical. This was the only game where my Vortex Missile didn’t immediately piss off, but failed to do anything of note. I’m not sure what I did to annoy the dice gods, given both Bair’s Primary and Secondary Objective were tied to the Reaver standing in the middle of the template.

Despite being pretty much tabled (a common theme this weekend) I managed to beat Bair on objectives and pull out a cheeky win.

Game Three

Game three was against Will, who was piloting a very clever list made of up two Arcus maniples. The Warbringers were both packing Belicosas and the Plasma Generator stratagem was in play to help keep their reactors in check. He was running as a custom Legio which suited the Battlegroup perfectly:

  • Vanguard fighters – the singleton hounds use this to stalk their prey to get more accurate Megabolters to drop voids and first fire without command checks  for extra shots.
  • Scouting Run – to get those singleton hounds into position
  • Masters of Defense – the hounds can act as bait for chargers and get event more free shots with their Megabolters to drop voids

It’s a neat voltron of abilities that combines into a force that plays very well on a dense DZC table, as you are continually popping voids with the stalking hounds and dropping templates on targets regardless of their position into armour.

Will was a great opponent and played this one well, it came down to the last turn and I needed to get my Warhound onto an objective to pull another pyrrhic victory like my last game – alas he broke his legs and it was not meant to be.

On a side note, it was on the third and final game of the first day that I finally remembered We Loyal Few, while explaining my list.

Game Four

Fortune smiled on me and paired me up with Peter Martin (@waagh_uzgub) for Game four, who like James we had met earlier on and I had also been meaning to play a game with. He was fielding his award winning* Atarus Battlegroup of an Axiom supported with a full banner of Cerastus Lancers. 

This game was also played on a very dense DZC board, so priority number one was to level it and deal with those Lancers before they got close. Peter had deployed the lancers well within cover, but was not quite ready for both of the fire support engines on split fire to level the Battlefield so I could land the vital Quake cannon shot onto the Banner – leaving them dead in the water.

Peter had put his Brawler Lord on Full-Stride on the Flank, heading right for my Warlord deployed in the corner. With his activation advantage, I was waiting as late as possible to fire the Vortex missile so I could tap it with the landing shot and end phase. This is where the first turn got messy due to a few forgotten abilities which Peter had forgotten to use, like Adaptive Tactics to change to Split-Fire orders instead on the Brawler – which I let him rewind as it would be rude not to. This would have changed the sequencing of the turn a little, as my Reaver had one void left by this point – I would have fired it straight away in the combat phase if I had known it wasn’t going to move. The Warlord then killed the Reaver after it had unloaded it’s cargo – it had done a single direct hit to the legs. We did roll up the ensuing end-phase Vortex blast which destroyed the Warlord rolling boxcars to the body. It was at this point we realised that Peter could have also used Unconventional Thinker to dodge out of the way of the end phase Vortex – again, it would be rude not to give him the chance to doge this given I had nullified nearly 400 points of Lancers this turn. He managed to doge out of it and the Warp Storm immediately dissipated. 

Sadly, this what-if scenario was the only time my Vortex missile would actually achieve anything.

Peter’s Brawler would go on to make short work of my battlegroup, leading to a convincing win for him.

Game Five

For my last game I was paired with Ben, the standin player for the second day. He was piloting a borrowed force as he had been playing in the 40K event the day prior. His Vulcanum battle group consisted of a Corsair and Arcus maniple.

Statistically, It was bound to happen, this game my dice rolled hot and my opponents did not at all. Ben was a good sport about it and I think we can all agree that games of AT can be good fun when you’re getting stomped compared to competitive 40K. This was a solid victory for me and my first game of the weekend when most of my God-Engines were left standing.

This put me at 2-3 for the weekend, which because I was playing AT was really a 5-0 in my book.

Soggy: In hindsight, I should have really remembered my rules and probably taken the double Venator I was considering. The super dense DZC layout wasn’t doing my fire support any favours. My stratagem selection was also a bit poor, if only just due to a lack of recent games. I could have prepared a bit better by refreshing my memory ahead of the weekend.

Legio Ignatum Venator/Ferrox Maniple. Credit – Soggy

Game Over Man

Soggy: It was great to slam Titans in flesh again, seeing the phenomenal hobby which people had been doing over the lockdown and just being in the same room with a bunch of people who love the same game – with frequent calls of “Engine Kill” putting the most ardent Ork players to shame.

I’d definitely go again for Warfare, it was a relatively-local massive event with loads of interesting vendors. It was a shame that Covid wreaked a bit of havoc on the AT event, taking half of the attendees and the original TO out of action. Here’s hoping next year that it has settled down a bit (pretty sure I was saying the same thing this time last year)

Bair: This was a great weekend, lots of fun and was great to meet new people that love tiny titans like we do! I’m definitely up for going again next year. I was really happy to see the direct effects of taking so many mutations in back to back games. The fact that I only failed the command check on a single awakened machine spirit result, despite pushing the reactors more than I should have, was insane and wish the Singular Purpose effect came up more often for free shots. Oh well.

I think taking a mix of some corruptions will be the way forwards for me. It feels so thematic for Mordaxis and is a lot of fun but definitely comes with a lot of costs past just extra points that definitely made my Legio suffer.

Soggy: I was the only person who took a Vortex missile and I got a trophy*. Proof that they are OP and need nerfed.

Vortex Missles OP. Plz nerf
*for best sport

Soggy: After recently helping host the UK Goonhammer Open 40K event and going to this I really, really want to host a narrative AT event. Watch this space..