Horus Heresy Weekender Day 1

Good morning, Admirals!

So, I know this isn’t an FSA article but seeing as I am also a massive 40/30k fan as well, it would be rude not to put up a couple of articles detailing my experiences of the Horus Heresy Weekender in Nottingham a while back (yes, I know this article has taken ages!). It was an absolutely amazing experience and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested into the Heresy from both a Black Library and Forgeworld stand point. If you are going to go I would recommend planning ahead and would definitely recommend staying in the Belfry Hotel where it is based, you get a lot more out of the weekend by doing so but it is a little more expensive at £190 for 2 people for 2 nights. Today we’ll cover day 1 with a future article covering day 2 as there is just far too much to talk about!

I headed up Friday straight from work at about 3.30, picking up 2 vagabonds on the way in the forms of my mate Dan from Bournemouth and Lex from Didcot before hitting the M40/42. We knew that some of the other members of the Crusade and Heresy group from Facebook (check it out if you haven’t already, great community with lots of nice looking armies) were playing games and having pints at Warhammer World on the Friday night so we went straight there to meet them. This really kicked off the weekend in good style as we got into the spirit of it all with some small pointed kill team games and a couple drinks, if this option is available to you and your mates then definitely go for it! You’ll probably bump into us Crusade and Heresy lot there.

After getting to the hotel around 10ish Dan, Lex and I decided on a quiet couple pints at the bar before retiring. This plan went out the window very quickly as we ended up sat at the bar until 3.30am drinking Scotch and explaining to the barman about the Heresy! Thankfully the young lad was actually interested in it and wasn’t just mugging us off while we got more and more hammered…

Awaking to a surprisingly light hangover (Dan did not feel the same way…) we headed up to breakfast which is included in the price of the room and is an all you can eat style buffet, perfect for keeping a growing gamer on the move! By the time we left breakfast around half 8 the sales stand was already 4 people deep so we ploughed in and grabbed our first purchases of the weekend; the event only Navigator model, a Mk IV weapons set, Sedition’s Gate and the £30 Crusade Army List book for myself. Again, this is where the planning comes in handy, find out the opening times and get there at least 15 minutes before (this also applies to any and all seminars/workshops, they fill up quick!).

The Group

Our first purchases in hand we raced to the opening seminar to find that we had front row seats (always a bonus) and spent the next hour and a quarter with Tony Cottrell, Laurie Goulding, Alan Merrett and Alan Bligh talking about about the Heresy and the weekend ahead including this timeline:

Heresy Timeline

All those blank spaces are books they have planned from a Forgeworld and Black Library perspective so there is still a LONG way to go!

Following on from this we had a 1 hour session on Sedition’s Gate, the event only anthology of short stories, from the authors. This gave them a chance to drop some hints on where they might be going next, fill in some of the blanks and generally give away a couple secrets. I’m a fair way behind on the audiobooks so completely missed all of Garro’s exploits across the galaxy so I had a fair few shocks during this session but I’ll not spoil it here… I would definitely say they have become required listening though!

After this was lunch where most of us piled into either the bar or the hotel restaurant for some food; they do put a deal on for the weekend for those attending the event but it is a little steep for what is essentially a packed lunch. Just round the corner from the hotel is a garage where you can grab a sandwich and some crisps for much more standard pricing and in the future I would probably go here instead unless I particularly wanted hot food from the bar (oddly not the restaurant…).

After lunch we separated to try and get the maximum we could out of the weekend, this is one of the major benefits of being a part of a group as there are 5 streams of events that are pretty much concurrent with little repetition. So I headed off to painting characters with Keith Robertson while Dan and Lex went to the seminar on Book 3, Extermination as Dan is starting an Alpha Legion army and Lex has a sizeable number of Imperial Fists! I will likely do another post about this seminar as I don’t have the guys notes on hand to give you the accounting of it!

The character painting was interesting but seemed a bit unprepared. The angle the camera was aimed at the desk was a bit awkward to see what was going on, the front row was typically filled with the ‘larger’ members of the crowd and Keith didn’t really convey his techniques that clearly. That said, the pre-painted examples were beautifully done and made things a lot easier to follow (Horus in this case). The overriding message was, unsurprisingly; take your time, go slow and think before you paint as you want your characters to stand out far more than a trooper on the table/cabinet!

After this I stayed in the modelling workshops to see battle damage and detailing with Stuart Williamson. This was a far more educational session, picking up a lot of different tips, some more easily implemented than others! This probably deserves a post all of its own as there was a lot of information thrown about but I will endeavour to piece something together soon! Needless to say, these guys are the masters of this stuff showcasing everything from shell holes, peeling plates of armour, bullet damage and one example that could realistically be used for melta/las burn entry. Very cool stuff!

The penultimate session of the day was the new models from Forgeworld, this was understandably one of the most packed sessions of the entire weekend as we all get very excited over new resin/plastic crack! I understand that by now all this information has pretty well saturated the web but I’ll post up the photos all the same for your viewing pleasure:

Vulcan

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After all this running around Dan and I were pretty broken so decided to chill out during the last session (Meet the Creators). We had a quick chat with a couple of the authors and model makers wondering around but by the time the day was done we were just fried, it is a busy one!

If you do decide to stay in the Belfry, or decide to stay late then head to your accommodation, then you get to experience the wonder of the Evening Entertainment. Hosted by Laurie Golding (who I think definitely wanted to kill most of us by the end of the weekend for the shouts of Garro and Tarvitz) it consisted of a Heresy pub quiz with a mix of questions from across the various bits of canon that have been produced over the last few years as well as a modelling competition judged by none other than the one and only ADB (sans beanie hat, much to the surprise of… well everyone)! The modelling contest was certainly novel; provided with a block of school grade plasticine and a bag of assorted Lego pieces we were instructed to create something heresy-ish! Overall the Crusade and Heresy team came 4th I think in the quiz but took 1st place in the modelling with our quite ingenious “Puttyrabo” including Forgebreaker!

Puttyrabo

And with ADB for scale, plus proof of the lack of beanie:

ADB!

That about wraps up day one, head back soon for the accounting of Day 2’s seminars, workshops and how I justified buying myself a Fire Raptor….

Until next time,

Matt

Dindrenzi Patrol Fleet Unboxing

Good Morning, Admirals!

Today brings you an “Unboxing” article, today looking at the Dindrenzi Federation Patrol Fleet, probably the second best starting point for a Dindrenzi fleet after the Battle for Valhalla set. So, why is it such a good purchase? Simple really:

  1. It contains everything you need to play barring the rulebook and dice (tokens, turning template, battle log etc.)
  2. It is a self contained legal fleet for Patrol Fleet level games (hence the name)
  3. It has the option to upgrade one of the cruisers to a heavy cruiser which can be used in any points limit or form the start of a dedicated heavy cruiser squadron

With that in mind, let’s have a look at the contents:

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The box comes in the standard Spartan Games Firestorm packaging, a full colour printed sleeve with some text and ship renders on the reverse and a solid cardboard inner box protecting all that resiny goodness.

 

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Spartan don’t mess about, the box is pretty much chock full of stuff. All the different ship types are individually packaged by class with the non-bubble wrapped package being the Murmillo upgrades, flight stand holes and battleship thrusters.

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Everything laid out. You get a full set of TACs, templates and tokens which is a nice touch as the ones from Valhalla aren’t quite enough when you get up to large point games and they are bound to get lost/torn/battered during the course of a few games.

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All the ships from the set. The Nausica isn’t quite as impressive as the Praetorian but it will still put a significant dent in what ever you aim it at! For some reason it comes with flight stand holes but you don’t need them, the Nausica has the holes pre-moulded into the bottom of the engine block.

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A fair bit of flash on the Thraex but nothing unexpected or difficult. A decent pair of clippers and a hobby knife sorts it right out. I did also have a few air bubbles to deal with but again, easily fixed. I use GW liquid green stuff but there’s a myriad of options available these days.

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All in all a cracking kit and a brilliant way to either start or build up on a Dindrenzi force for a relatively low financial investment. Plus the additional benefit of extra tokens, TACs and templates helps a lot too. I would still recommend splitting the Battle for Valhalla set with someone if you’re keen on getting into Dindrenzi, primarily because of the Praetorian but also because you get the rulebook and all the other toys with it too.

Up next, painting the fleet! Tyresius and his Captains get a lick of colour!

Until next time,

Matt