July 21, 2024

Show of Force 2024 Results and Coverage

War Head Show of Force 2024 gathered a number of thematic, inspiring and brilliantly executed entries we were privileged to display and judge, big thanks go to all of our participants! We hope the event has been a driving force in the hobby motivation of both the entrants as well as the crowd - hopefully new ideas and miniature painting enthusiasm will spark as a result!

Below we present the Show of Force 2024 royalty! The four category winners each claimed a certificate and an assortment of brilliant hobby supplies graciously sponsored by our supporters AMMO by Mig Jimenez and AK-Interactive! This year we saw a total of 196 public votes given, increasing last year's tally by more than 30%!

Best Historical:
Jaakko Siitonen, Spain 1813

Best Sci-Fi:
Niilo Kalakoski, Space Dwarf Cossacks

Best Fantasy: 
Henri Vesanen, March of the Mad Count (Empire)

Fan Favourite:
Mikael Laaksonen, Space Wolves

+ Show of Force Facebook Picture Gallery +

Big thanks for putting on a show for all of us!

Show of Force was arranged for the second year running as a part of the Saturday program of Ropecon.

July 1, 2024

Force Recon - 308th Void Assault Infiltrators

The World Eater Recon Marines were one of the new units completed in time for the No Retreat: Horus Heresy tournament event in Gibraltar. The infiltrating Line Troops ticked many boxes that were previously missed in my game plan and a Recon squad proved to be a great addition to the roster! These were built with the army thematics, Legion culture and modelling opportunites in mind, so the popular Nemesis Bolters were left at the barracks. These are run (in the World Eater way) as a ten-man unit with chainaxes, a shotgun and a power fist sergeant.

Recon Squad for the 308th Void Assault
Veteran Sergeant Kolos's Recon Squad has a very specific boarding task - escorting an Astartes trooper infected with a lethal Machine Virus to be detonated at the heart of an enemy vessel, corrupting its Machine Spirit and paralyzing several defensive functions as a result. Carrying the fatal virus is a twisted gesture of reverence bestowed on the waning veterans of the brigade. Both the sergeant and the infected trooper were built a bit hunched over, I imagined the weight of the virus bringing the shambling patient down during the boarding mission.

The plastic power armour parts were combined with Necromunda Corpse Grinder Cult legs for the light infantry feel. The legs in the kit only come in a couple of poses with most of them being a complete standstill - not ideal for a mobile and dynamic scout unit. I ended up cutting some for reassembly and was surprised how straightforward it was in the end - the pants are quite easy to sculpt back on to make up new folds and cover any gaps. The point for me was to introduce more momentum and to have the warriors interact with their scenic surroundings.

Hazard stripes everywhere is a bit of an old inside joke within the crew, but the yellow brings in a neat contrast fitting to the palette and I quite like painting them. What I tried to avoid was to have them in completely same style and hues on both weapons and basing - they wouldn't be painted in the same factory after all!

June 30, 2024

The Red Butchers

The Red Butchers, the mad World Eater Cataphractii Elites are perhaps my favourite unit in the army list, ever reliable and always a proper battlefield terror element! I have had the official Forge World models painted up but felt for a long time I wasn't quite happy with the cast or the paintjob - with the spring's No Retreat preparations underway it was finally time for an upgrade.

With the conversions I wanted to emphasize the weight of the armour mark as well as some of the late war cultural vibes creeping into the heraldry of the plate. The idea of "facelessness" as a part of the concept of implacable murderers felt scary and the shiny black domes behind protective grills suited the Void Assault theme as well. I decided to build a few models without gloves, somehow makes the overall feel even more brutal (coming to kill you with their bare hands)!

I thought about making the squad's armour completely blood-soaked going all out with splatter, but finally settled on the basic battlefield chipping and grime. This is the Red Butchers right before they bite deep into the enemy formation, still a bit disoriented from their teleportation, combat drugs flowing and the Nails screaming in their cranium.

When I had a couple of the mandatory wysiwyg twin axes modelled, I had the chance to add some variety with differing wargear conversions - usually this is filed under the "rule of cool" as long as there's no danger of confusing your opponent. It's also more interesting to your own hobby not having to produce copies of the exactly same model just in different poses. Random gear fits the late war Heresy feel, and is a cool way to personalize squad members. Each of the regular Butchers has two shoulder pad markings - the Legion symbol and a personal icon (a chain, an axe, a buzzsaw blade or a set of spikes).

I often try to have some elevated bases within the squad for added "display dynamics", the assembled unit is more fluent to view and photograph when the models in front don't block the view to the back ranks. The essential conversion parts are from the Necromunda Corpse Grinder Cult, random selection of 40K Terminator arms, 3D-printed legs and green stuff sculpted details.

The Terminator Ogryn serves as a stand-in replacement for one the Red Butchers. This kind of "unit fillers" are often super fun to put together as creative one-offs and are a great way to develop the narrative of the unit or an entire force. In the later stages of the Horus Heresy the World Eaters would have turned to abhuman population for new recruits, mustering fierce fighters from many of their conquered cultures. This Ogryn had served as a towering training contestant for Legion's Rampagers and later earned the honour of receiving the Butcher's Nails implantation. Now he serves as an Inductii of the 308th Void Assault, attached to the Red Butchers division.

The conversion is a kitbash of many GW products, with Necromunda Servitor Ogryn, Contemptor Dreadnought torso armour and Blackstone Fortress Ogryn head as the core essentials. I liked how the armour made him appear a bit like a regular Cataphract and sits in the squad quite well, with exposed parts and mechanical bits giving that improvised and battlefield-repaired flavour.

The conversion was surprisingly straightforward with the Contemptor parts locking on the Ogryn frame almost without any actual fitting. Some tinkering was done with the mechanical features, cultural detailing and the slightly larger shoulder pads to match the unit's Cataphractii silhouette. This is where I really appreciate 3D printing being able to play with the scale of things a bit.

I'd imagine him being a rather tragic character swallowed by the madness of the galactic civil war, with the World Eaters providing a sense of purpose to the poor creature's violent existence.

Additional photography angels and musings in our Instagram feed!

June 2, 2024

Breaching the Rock - The Invasion of Fulgur

I still catch myself thinking back on the massive SN Battle Reports: No Retreat V experience we had a couple of weeks ago, enjoying the hobby and tabletop gaming in its ultimate form! The five Horus Heresy battles against magnificent armies on a luxury yacht sparked a proper gaming flame for the summertime and I can't wait to get back to the workshop desk for some new army and event schemes. The friendly discussions, inspiration and recognition will fuel these aspirations for a long time - the War Head World Eaters were commended with a SN Award (TOP5 exemplary Horus Heresy armies chosen by the event team) and with the Best Army Award (as voted by the participants). My big thanks for all the kind feedback, army votes and brilliant hobby chatter go to all of the skilled co-participants, hardworking event staff and the esteemed judge panel! This is a world class event with so much thought and effort going into it, and also seems to attract the best kind of people as participants.

My 3000 point army shared a lot with the previous iterations when it comes to the theme and playstyle, but it had been updated with many new units and additional XII Legion Culture. To complement the Jump Pack onslaught I added some skirmish elements, proving useful for countering Infiltration and providing me with an option of dividing the attack force into separate Deep Strike and Outflank detachments. I'd also completely redone the list's workhorse Red Butchers unit, retiring the Forge World models with new personalized scratchbuild conversions. There were also many narrative story hooks hidden within the modelling work and split between this main list and the optional one for Zone Mortalis games. More on these later!

Player: Teemu Valve
Army: XII World Eaters 308th Void Assault Brigade
Rite of War: Crimson Path
Allegiance: Traitoris Perdita

HQ1: Warmonger, Berzerker, Twin Lightning Claws, Warlord: Butcher's Claws [140]

HQ2: Master of Signals, Chainaxe [95]

HQ3: Delegatus, Falax Blades, Jump Pack [120]

HQ4: Command Squad, Jump Packs, Power Lance, Power Fist, Lightning Claws [145] 

ELITE1: The Red Butchers, 6 Terminators, Thunder Hammer and Power Fist [310]

ELITE2: The Red Hand, 7 Destroyers, Jump Packs, Chainaxes, Thunder Hammer, Artificer Armour, Lightning Claw [225]

ELITE3: Rampagers, 7 Falax Blades, Excoriator Chainaxe, Barb-Hook Lash, Jump Packs, Artificer Armour, Power Fist [370]

ELITE4: Rapier Platform, Quad Heavy Bolter [40]

TROOP1: Despoiler Squad, Chainaxes, Power Axe, Artificer Armour, Power Fist [130]

TROOP2: Assault Squad, Chainaxes, Power Axe, Plasma Pistol, Artificer Armour, Power Fist [185]

TROOP3: Recon Squad, 10 Recon Marines, Chainaxes, Shotgun, Power Fist [160]

TROOP4: Scout Squad, Chainaxes [65]

FAST1: 2 Javelin Attack Speeders, Chainaxes, Multi-Meltas, Lascannons [210]

FAST3: 2 Proteus Legion Land Speeders, Chainaxes, Multi-Meltas, Graviton Guns [190]

FAST3: 6 Sky-Hunters, Volkite Culverins, Chainaxes, Vexilla, Fist, Artificer Armour [265]

HEAVY1: Caestus Assault Ram "Commodus" [350]

Battle 1: Alpha Legion Headhunter Leviathal 

My first go against the Alpha Legion resulted in a tense deployment period as I was trying my best to avoid Headhunter infiltration wiping out my ground forces before the cavalry had a chance to arrive! I tried to block precision shots to the back lines with Recon Marine counter-infiltration which worked ok and bought the necessary time. Just as I had rolled my initial deep strike scatter a narrative event put a massive spin on the game - Horus' fleet was performing electronical jamming and all my opponent's Augury Scanners and Intercepting was turned off (as well as any following deep strikes scattering an additional dice). This left poor Jason's army completely at the World Eaters' mercy and I was able to wipe out most of the Alpha Legion board presence. The rival Dawnbreakers and Assault Marines arrived and performed a valiant counter-strike, but there was no recovering from the Kill Point deficit suffered on the initial onslaught. Jason took the misfortunes like a champ though and we had a good chat about our armies, tactics and the hobby in general.

Battle 2: The Primarch of the Imperial Fists

A rock-hard Imperial Fists Phalanx was led by Dorn himself in a scenario where three midfield objectives were used for progressive scoring. All Imperial Fist units were so incredibly robust that I found no easy targets, deciding early on to go for Line hunting. In the initial drop I was able to remove one Tactical horde and the Praetor's Command Squad, but made a mistake destroying the Spartan instead of the more mobile Leviathan that proved harmful later on. The Imperial Fists struck back, wiping out many of my elite units but left me in a position to kill off the last hostile Tactical Marines on my following turn. The maneuvers were done in very close quarters however and as I tried to reach the charge ranges Rogal Dorn stepped out, using the advanced reaction and clipping the wings of my ambitions. It finally took a long charge from the Huscarls to remove the World Eater Rampagers from another objective and the VII stood victorious with a couple points' margin. Fun, eventful and friendly game and it felt that with a bit better playing on my part the World Eaters could've gone for a result even facing the Sire of the Imperial Fists himself!

Battle 3: Dark Angels Castellans

Incredibly stylish and thematic Dark Angels deployed in a fortified battlefield third that also hosted all of the five objectives, setting up a defensive perimeter around their castle. This game saw waves of foul traitors crash against the knightly defenses in an epic and bloody contest, with the World Eaters gaining the upper hand thanks to fortunate rolling on the randomized victory points, leaving burnt objectives in their wake. While I made short work of the First Legion's scoring capacity, the intercepting Melta Leviathan was absolutely terrifying and Corswain with his Companions refused to give any quarter protecting their central keep. The game naturally concluded in the duel of the Warlords, with the Paladin of the Ninth Order beheading my Warmonger with ease. Splendid game against a most gentlemanly opponent, who also got my vote for the Players' Player award.

Battle 4: White Scars Chogorian Brotherhood

A rematch against Tim from No Retreat III - and a table full of eye candy in his magnificent White Scars. The scenario was a challenging one for my reserve based list, as we scored points from table segments at the beginning of our turns. Thinking back I probably should have kept some of the Jump Infantry on board to keep Tim on his toes, but lacking the experience decided to drop most of it. White Scars took the field and went way ahead in points, with World Eaters arriving late and attempting to mount a comeback. Turns two and three were absolutely brutal with most of the White Scars' strength swept off the board in a true Traitor shock assault, but Tim's masterful playing made sure I didn't really shake his faith in victory. The Rhinos were a menace once again, blocking movement and driving some of my units back, an absolute steal for their points value! Tim's special Destroyers hunted down my Outflanking scoring elements which meant that I couldn't complete the VP sprint in the end - the Loyal Scum ultimately took the game by a couple of points. Great study in sharp and calculative Heresy again, I'm always up for another lesson! 

Battle 5: Raven Guard, Host of the Shadowed Lord

The Raven Guard had an absolutely terrifying list with a murderous Corax + Dark Talons Deathstar, but absolutely superb gaming conduct to perfectly balance things out. Playing the Primarch in a rather reserved way Steve let me into the game and even after my disordered Deep Strike graciously placed my entire army in a way that we managed to have a proper scrap in the end. I had great time trying to conquer the battlefield center, watching Corax wreck my entire flank and backline and learning about the background story of the Deliverers, who proved to be more than worthy opponents for the many World Eater elites. Thanks to my list's mobility and Steven's gentlemanly attitude I managed to claw my way into a narrow victory in the end after triumphing against Raven Guard's MVP Tactical Marines on the final turn. What a fitting way to end the terrific wargaming weekend!

All of the games were quite evenly matched and I felt great using the newly-finished roster. I'll be tinkering with the Troops side of the list going forward, but I think most of the list is nailed down for the time being. With Ropecon's Show of Force and War Head's Civil War event in the distant horizon, it'll be a busy Summer!

Picture courtesy of SN Battle Reports. What a venue, I didn't think they could improve from last time but they outdid themselves once again!