The galaxy burns. For ten thousand years the fires of war have ravaged the Imperium and they show no signs of relenting. As the realm crumbles, agents of the God-Emperor scramble to protect His sprawling domain. These men and women will commit any action; condone any atrocity, to preserve His legacy. They are the Inquisition.
Welcome to the Inquisition Wars. This is a review of the first campaign event since WHW was remodelled. So get reading after the jump!
So what is a campaign? A campaign is a series of linked story based missions and games formed by two factions. The factions are sorted in a sign up phase on the registration morning on Saturday, where you could find yourself fighting for the side your actual army may represent, or in order to balance the factions for even game players, may find yourself turn traitor. Or you may be hired by some other purpose and make allegiances to some other higher power!
In this campaign the two factions were “controlled” by the WHW events team, Nick Bayton and John Bracken as ever. Each took the “character” of Inquisitor Coteaz facing his rival Inquisitor Karamazov seeking something strange on a particular world. As the weekend games evolved, more of that was revealed keeping us all in suspense. At the beginning of each game, each faction was separated into two different rooms (staff canteen and the gaming hall) ready for their briefing. We had Nick for ours as we had signed for Karamazov’s faction. The briefing was in two parts. First the situational brief then an in character brief as Karamazov dispatches his agents (us players) accordingly! Then we take the mission scenario sheet, draw a table number and prepare for war.
Nick Bayton begins Karamazov’s briefing
Enthralled players get their orders
For our happy gang of regular campaigners from GW Staines, we typically all sign for one faction so we don’t have to play each other. We often form the core of a faction and can get quite rowdy 🙂 This weekend was no different. With 22 of us all attending, we formed 25% of the entire weekend attendees! As said, we were all on Karamazovs side.
Each campaign weekend comes with an event pack, and this was no different. Here is the link:
This details the background of the event, the setting, the awards available (most sporting, best painted per category and so on), the points you need to take and so on.
Additional mission information came online prior to the event as well and for the first round of this campaign a special mission had been devised. The mission primary rule being restricted as each faction would have different ones that were completely secret.
Now although the usual mission rules applied in most cases (night fight, slay the warlord, line breaker (in some cases), first blood, and tactical objective cards, the aim of the game was to achieve the specific primary mission. Anything else was a fail. This meant the result of the game could be a win/win/ win/lose, lose/win or lose/lose. However, victory points over the weekend stacked up and started initially to buff your warlord. 10 vp’s seeing him gain a wound, 20+ seeing +1 leadership, 30+ gaining eternal warrior, 40+ gaining hatred(everything). But as Inquisitors rise in rank, bad things and paranoia started to set in. 50+ saw your warlord give 2vps to the enemy if killed, 60+ the enemy gained hatred (your warlord), 70+ your warlord can no longer join units, and finally 100+ reaches the rank of Inquisitor Lord, would be executed after the final game but would get you a special certificate of merit. Given its an average of 20vps per game to get, that was a tall order.
Conversely the 5 knight list I would field actually would offer me very little in a bonus. Just hatred for or against me and the 2 vp’s against. This was intentional of course for those bringing potentially dirty army lists. It also gave something extra to aim for!
First game review
The first game was as you could see above, but the primary goal was revealed to us. This situation was to kill more units of the enemy than they killed of our army. Deployment was determined by deep strike to represent all the armies forces from both sides landing from exploding ships and escaping via saviour pods. Each player taking it in turns to deploy one unit at a time, resolving any mishaps, and the player finishing first, got to go first on a 3+. Given I just had 5 models, this was me in this situation.
Up rocked a guy called Edward for my first game and had Necrons. His army consisted of 2 Doom Scythes, 1 Night Scythe, an Annihilation Barge, Monolith, 2 units of Immortals with Lords and Crypteks and 2 units of warriors. So with the rules set, everything deployed, flyers included, I rolled up a 3 and started to fire 🙂
The game went entirely in my direction here. Although I lost 2 knights in the end, I tabled the poor guy.
The Doom Scythes begin their attack run
A lonely Necron Lord faces some trouble
Second game review
The first round went very well for Karamazovs side with more wins than the enemy. This presented a small bonus in the next game for those who did win their game, with your entire army gaining Stubborn. Again intention bonus for those without silly armies like mine.
The second game I faced off against a nicely balanced and fluffy Dark Angels list. It consisted of 2 Ravening biker units with attack bikes, and a speeder, 2 units of DW terminators with one lead by a Chaplain, a Land Raider, Contemptor with Kheres and missiles, and the Predator Annihilator formation intended to help v’s those with Knights/Riptides/other super heavies. It proved useful as he rolled up first turn, and proceeded to slice a knight off the board, forcing 2 more to take D strength hits and take hull point damage! Thats the downside of the formation of knights. To get the bonus rules, you have to fight close, and if you lose one, expect another to get damage too!
This game went to the wire. My mission was to take and hold 3 objectives and ensure i had at least 1 more than he did. This meant i had to keep 3 knights alive, and lost 1 on turn 1. Tough going! It was all going so well leaving him just a contemptor and a single biker for the last turn alive. I had 2 objectives, and in my final turn would easily be able to claim a third. But alas! The contemptor, on just a single hull point, let rip with his rending Kheres assault cannons, causing 2 hull points on a Knight on just 2 points. 2 4+ shield saves to make, 2 50/50 rolls, just need to make 1 to win, but my dice failed me! The result was a lose/lose but so damn close even though he was tabled 🙂 Great game to go to the last dice rolls.
Predator Annihilation squad eyes up the Knights
The inquisiton “questions” the Dark Angels Land Raider driver with extreme prejudice.
The Interrogator Chaplain meets “McJock”, the gun platform Knight
Third game review
The third game pitched me against the Imperial Fists, tooled ready to take on a Knight list specifically, so he was very happy. His force consisted of Lysander, Coteaz, 2 units of Assault Centurions, 2 units of 5 Devestators with 4 lascannons each, 3 units of scouts with combi-melta, meltabomb, 2 units of which were in scout speeders. A Thunderfire completed the list.
This game saw our faction overall in the lead, but the mission became ultra tough. Our primary mission, to take and hold all 6 objectives, and at the end of THEIR turn if we still held it uncontested, would destroy it on a 4+. In the mean time they just had to take 3 objectives and would destroy them on a 6+ increasing per game turn (5+ on T2, 4+ on T3 etc).
First turn went to me, and i took out 3 of the objectives in T1, 3 knights on 3 objectives as his force closed in, while I killed Devastators or at least forced them to go to ground. 4+ rolled on each. Not too bad a start. Then the assault centurions began to advance. Led by Lysander with a bonus wound, eternal warrior a 3+ invulnerable save and boosted by Coteaz to have 2++, he was tanking all my big gun shots. It made advancing on the next objectives very daunting. A charge from them was 3 attacks S10 Armourbane at initiative 4. So I held back, probably too long. He achieved his mission with ease while 95% of our side epically failed!
The Imperial Fists scout the ground ahead
The Assault Centurions prepare their siege drills for battle
Scout Speeders give away first blood. One of only 2 VP’s I actually got in this game!
Fourth game review
The first game on Sunday was v’s a Tau and Eldar combo. However the mission this time favoured our faction after game 3 really favoured theres. This time was an ambush attack. The Tau/Eldar were required to deploy with in 24″ of the centre of the board. The attackers could deploy along either short edge unto 9″ on. His force consisted of a WraightKnight with 2 D cannons, 2 units of jet bikes, a unit of spiders, unit of Swooping hawks, then a Riptide, Ethereal, Pathfinders, Warriors, Missile Broadsides, and rail gun broadsides.
We also got the first turn. I deployed split units with 3 Knights on side and 2 the other. The added bonus we had was on a 4+, your dead/fleeing units could be recycled back into on going reserve! So…with the knowledge that would happen, the knights ran full pelt for the middle of the board where his forces were hunkered down. With just 20 mins till the end of the round, the final unit (Riptide) who was trying to stay alive – their primary mission was to have one model remaining) took 6 rending hits from a Gatling cannon, and failed to save/feel no pain. A tough game for the defenders, but not as tough as the game 3 was for our side! This also saw me table my third opponent.
The siege begins on the Tau camp
Eyeing up a Wraith Knight
The Tau/Eldar firebase
The knights get in close
So close, they own the firebase
Fifth game review
The final game of the weekend had a secret element as the purpose of the war was revealed. Coteaz was seeking the Ebenclaw – some arcane tech. Or was it? Neither side knew exactly what it was. The enemy players had to roll a dice per objective they held. on an 11+ they got a “fragment”. 3 fragments would mean calling over a faction leader to reveal the Ebenclaw.
I faced an Eldar list containing a Revenant titan, a Wraithknight, 2 units of jet bikes, 2 farseers, a unit of Harlies on little transport thing, a Solitaire, DeathJester and Shadowseer.
With invisibility case on the bikes, and a fear of the Revenants guns and Knights D sword, I tried to keep back a little, which meant he easily got the 3 fragments. We were the first table to reveal the Ebenclaw, which was a daemonhost. It possessed the Shadowseer and buffed him enormously into some Monstrous creature with initiative 9, 2D6 attacks, 3++ save, and so on! However, he is uncontrollable and depending on who’s turn it was, you got to use it. His movement was infinite. So that turn he killed a Knight, then I used it to mostly kill the Revenant, then he killed another knight, then I killed the Revenant, then his Knight killed mine, but the explosion killed him. I was tabled, and he had 3 bikes left. But the mission…I had to deny the Ebenclaw arriving, or kill it. He simply had to summon it. To be honest I played the mission very very badly. Maybe an element of tiredness was kicking in. But the guys who did win the game basically sent the Ebenclaw in to something capable of doing Str D damage and hoping a rolled up on Stomp/D Weapons in combat and thus kill him outright. But as the Ebenclaw manifested in a number of different guises, from Coteaz himself, to Sgt Telion maybe it was easier to do in some games over another. But it was still very very funny!
Squaring up to the Eldar Super Heavies
The Harlequins sneak by
Ah…problem! But at least in his death throws the Wraith construct died too
A menacing Revenant eyes up juicy targets
As the dust settled the final game would determine the victors of the weekend. As it happened it went 19-17 in Coteaz’s favour. However, in the final debrief, Coteaz was not who he said he was and in fact was a Lord of Change…dirty WITCH!
The award ceremony was then done. There were a number of prizes available that you submitted your models for the public vote. Best unit of 3-5 models, best single figure, best big critter, best vehicle, best army (short list of 6 selected by Warhammer World staff), most sporting player on both sides, those that got 100vp’s or more and those that achieved all 5 primary missions per side.
My store did rather well. We achieved 4/6 best army nominations including my Knights. Another guy from my store taking the big award though of best army with his Emperors Children. We took most sporting with a buddy of mine, 2 achieved 5/5 wins, and each of us took the individual painting awards. My Inquisitor Knight attaining best Vehicle (it was the only one I could enter of course!) The other winning entries were a Wolf Lord, a unit of Castellan Robots, a converted Dark Eldar Wraith Knight, and my Knight.
Once again GW laid on a great weekend. The missions and bonuses etc really helped balance any over powered lists and presented interesting challenges for all players. The ability for all players to win or all to lose made it more fun!
Nick and John were great characters once more and ensured everything ran smoothly throughout.
One minor gripe was that when I purchased my ticket at the Open Day were were told “no quiz” this time. The quiz is a highlight of the weekend in Saturday night, but instead was told we would get access to the new Exhibition hall included rather than £7.50. This turned out to not be the case. So for the price, its more expensive than before, does not include a quiz or dinner on the Saturday.
However, campaign events still continue to make for a completely awesome weekend of fun games with twists that for me make a far more immersive experience than pure WAAC type events like Throne of Skulls or Battle Brothers etc. If you want more narrative and fun, then these are for you!
Quotes like this were seen through out the weekend on the big screen as the game enters the final 9 minutes.
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