The Emperors Legions Horus Heresy Tournament – Wash up

Posted: April 6, 2014 in Competitions


Hello everyone!

Its been ages since my last post and I’ve been anxiously wanting to put this post up for some time.  However due to life etc I’ve not had the time.

Let me assure you, it’ll be well worth your wait.  You’re all in for a very special treat today, the wash up of my 30k Horus Heresy comp that I ran at the beginning of March.  The Emperors Legions.

So a little bit of back ground.  I’ve wanted to run a comp for quite some time, however for many reasons I haven’t.  Mostly due to terrain.  Also, the main reason is I want to run an event.  As some of you reading this know, I’ve been playing 40k since 1st ed, waaaaayyyy back in the late 80’s, early 90’s.  Let me assure you when I say I’ve been to my fair share of comps.  I’ve seen it all, ‘con’ style comps, shop comps, stand alone comps, the list goes one.  Well one runs, and one that had plenty of room for improvement.

The one thing that I’ve always wanted though, is for a comp that also includes the hobby and fluff side of what we do.  Also one that caters for just guys wanting to get together and just enjoy the hobby, meeting new players and enjoying themselves.  The ‘comp’ side of things is really just an after thought.  I wanted the event to be really high quality.  An event where the scenery was 1st class, same with the venue, everyones armies were well painted and effort had been put into creating them.  I also wanted to create a bit of back ground to the event too and the games that would be fought.  ‘Forging a narrative’ if you will…

So thats what I did.  It took a lot of effort, let me tell you.  But the first time you try something new it generally does.

The basic format of the event that I programmed was

Two teams (traitors v loyalists), 5, 1000pt games of 30k.  2 in the morning, 3 in the afternoon.  The event was held in a hotel on the south side of Brisbane, the event was fully catered, with lots of prizes (I’ll get to that later) and at the end of the games, there was a 30k triva night.

The first step I took was set up a website for the event.  This doubled as the ticket purchasing portal, terrain brief host (more on that later) and registration and players pack location.  I did this because of my aim to make this event to distinguish it from other competition style tournaments available.  It was a massive learning experience making it, and in the unlikely event that Jen is reading this, thanks again for showing me the ropes on doing this.

My next thank you goes to the 10 brave and courageous  souls that parted with $139AUD of their hard earned to come along to a wargaming event format that had never been tried or tested before (that I’m aware of anyway).

Thanks guys, it was very humbling that you all had that belief in me and without your support the day would never have happened.  Below is a pic of those handsome devils who came along and from all accounts, had a great day.


As a thank you to everyone that came, I made (free of charge) a set of 30k Objective markers that were exclusive to the event.

Something that I wanted to try out for the attendees was to actually send them terrain briefs on the tables they’d be playing on.  I thought this would be an interesting twist on the usual format and also enabled me to incorporate rules that you wouldn’t normally see in a game (especially a tournament) due to the players just not having time to consider them before their game.  This just meant that the attendees would have exposure to more scope in the nature of the terrain they’d be playing over, rather than just the usual ruins, or hills and craters etc.  Yes its more complicated, however they had the time to consider how their army would best perform over the terrain etc.

For the five weeks leading upto the event, each Monday the attendees received an email with a link to the next terrain brief.  Below are the 5 tables that got used, along with a (now declassified) link to the brief.


Table # 1 Industrial Sector #8

Table 11

Table #2 Industrial Sector #2Table 22


Table #3 Abandoned Adeptus Mechanicus Research Station 
Table 33

Table #4 Adeptus Mechanicus Underground LaboratoryTable 44

Table #5 Air Strip OneTable 55


The big day arrives.  I’m as nervous as ten nervous things.  So below are some photos of the set up and the play.

photo 106

The medals for ‘Lord of War'(Overall first place), ‘Magos Reductor’ (Best Painted Army), ‘High Remembrancer’ (Best Army List Presentation) and ‘The Mournival’ (The winning team of the trivia comp)photo 207

The calm before the stomp.  All the tables and admin areas set up and ready to go
photo 308 photo 409 photo 510

Play under wayphoto 611

At the last minute I also had (donated) the five etched glass mugs that went to the winning team.  They were kindly donated by Dragonfly Engravingphoto 712

Ok, so the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  The pics of the day.  Brace yourselves.

Gaming 501 Gaming 813 Gaming 914 Gaming 1010 Gaming 1111 Gaming 1212 Gaming41 Gaming102 Gaming203Gaming304

In case you cant tell the calibre of the armies present was exceptional.  The best I’ve ever scene at a tournament actually.  Here are the photos of each army, plus your opportunity to cast your ‘peoples choice’ vote

Army #1 – Traitor Mechanicus

Army 101

Army #2 – Loyalist Blood Angels Army 202

Army #3 – Traitor Death Guard
Army 303

Army #4 – Loyalist Imperial Fists

Army 4a05

Army #5 – Traitor Sons of Horus Army 506

Army #6 – Loyalist Iron HandsArmy 607

Army #7 – Loyalist Dark Angels
Army 708

Army #8 – Traitor Emperors Children Army 809

Army #9 – Loyalist Mechanicus Michael Keep army small15

You’ll notice that the 10th army is missing.  Thats because at the last minute I had a cancellation.  In the spirit of the event thought, the attendee who canceled donated their ticked.  Big respect to John M.   So the 10th player got to use my World Eaters.  You’ve all seen enough pics of them so I’ve spared you more…

Have you’re say on who you think has the best painted army.  I’ll announce the winner of the pole on Monday the 14th of April. The owner of the army will be notified and they’ll receive their next ticket to The Emperors Legions FREE.  So get voting!

So overall, the day was a huge success and everyone had a great time.  One or two players may have over indulged at the bar after the event (Danny I’m looking at you) however everyone had a great time and lots of good times were had.

So the results!

The Lord of War – M. Keep (Loyalist Mechanicus) – taking home a badass Fell Blade kit

Magos Reductor – M. Cantrell (Loyalist Imperial Fists) – taking home a Spartan kit

High Remembrancer – T. Coupland (Traitor Mechanicus) – taking home a Sicaran battle tank kit

The Mournival – The Loyalists – all taking home the Legion Praetors models

Battle competition winners  (hadn’t thought of a cool name) – The Traitors


Where to from now?  Well I plan on running this event again.  Not sure when though.  The format next time will be a doubles event with two teams of six players, two players to a team.  Three games and 2500pts over one or two FOC’s.  I may announce the date of the next event when I announce the winner of the peoples choice prize.

Well thats it folks, hope you’ve made it this far.  Thanks for dropping in.  It’s always a pleasure.

John Sutton

  1. Aaron Bailey says:

    Great wrap up and awesome tournament John, thanks for putting it on, I had a great time, and the manner and spirit in which it was played was exceptional. The armies were some of the best presented I’ve had the pleasure of playing against ever, and the terrain was sublime, you pictures don’t do it justice.

    All the players were stand up guys, no bitchiness, back stabbing or rules arguments all weekend. I look forward to the next one and only hope I can make it uni permitting.

    Congratulations on the perfect start to you TO career 🙂

  2. ulfast212 says:

    Wonderful event, wonderful terrain and wonderful armies. Seems like a great event. Sadly I live on the other part of the world but it does indeed looks awsome. Thanks for the report.

  3. Geoff says:

    John, looks like a really great event, I presume the smaller size made for nice quick games and a tough choice during army selection. The armies all look fantastic, throw up some more shots if you have them. Arrghh! So pissed now I couldn’t make it – Maybe next time.

  4. corublo says:

    Hey John, Tim here. One correction: My army is Loyalist Mechanicum, Keepy’s are Traitor Mechanicum.

    Awesome tournament, can’t speak highly enough of the whole thing!

  5. Hobby says:

    Great to finally see some pictures, heard all about it from the guys at Battlestation but words alone don’t do justice. I was hoping to join myself, but I don’t even have a playable 1000pts yet. Working on the Raven Guard now though, especially now I have the rules leaks for them, so I hope I can make it to the next one, or the one after that.

  6. Rictus says:

    Been waiting for to see these pics since Sheep linked me to some taken by one of the attendees.

    I always enjoy seeing pictures of tournaments where the people running them have really made an effort into the boards being played over, but these far surpasses any other I have seen.

    As I said to Sheep I have never been tempted to take part in a tournament before but something like this I think would be a delight to take part in.

  7. Thank you so much for such a fantastic Tournament. Easily the most high level for both painting / hobby standards and that of gamers. By far the best idea was having it at a pub! I made a few new friends and was well worth the effort of traveling South for.

    Really looking forward to what The Painting Bunker comes up with next


  8. VoltRon says:

    Whoa, the terrain and armies here are absolutely amazing! It’s hard to pick a favorite heh.

  9. migsula says:

    Stunning terrain, staining armies and a great report. Thank you very much for sharing this. I just forwarded this to a bunch of studio folks. This deserves a WD article or two…

    • John Sutton says:

      Hey Migsula, glad you liked the pics. It was a really good day after all and everyone put in 100% into their armies but also in making sure the day was enjoyable for everyone too.

      Cheers, John

  10. v1ct0ry88 says:

    This is just stunning. Looks like everything an event should be. I was so disheartened when I went to my first event with a standard ‘3 colour minimum’ rule, I’d say over half didn’t even have that. For me this hobby is about creativity, the lore, the fun and comradery – looks like this event epitomised all of that. Seeing armies and terrain like this is great inspiration for me not to not be lazy, and really put everything I have into my models. Absolutely fantastic, hope you don’t mind sharing this post on my own blog – I think everyone in the hobby community should read this!

    • John Sutton says:

      Hey Victory (Orwell reference?)

      Glad you like the post. I agree, the hobby is so much more then just competing. Ppl loose sight of that and it puts a lot of new ppl off. Like your blog btw too

      • v1ct0ry88 says:

        Cheers John, just getting started myself and sites like this are definitely what I aspire to! Nope, the reference is to my Granda – Vicotry was his online handle. His surname was Nelson, who’s flagship was HMS Victory, so that’s the connection

  11. VoltRon says:

    Reblogged this on Miniature armies, huge time sink. and commented:
    I know I don’t typically post a lot about Warhammer, but these models! And terrain! WOWZA!!

  12. gnoks says:

    Just brilliant! Awesome terrain, gorgeous models.

  13. fleshandmetal says:

    Reblogged this on Rise of Rlyeh and commented:
    This is a fantastic article on “30k”. The gaming tables and armies are simply fantastic!

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