2014 Epic Winter Warmer

This Saturday I headed ninety miles up the road to Vanguard Wargaming in Bristol, for the Epic UK Winter Warmer. This is a slightly laid-back tournament with no restrictions on army lists so all sorts of experimental stuff can turn up.

Due to misjudging the length of the drive I arrived about 15m late so it was pretty much straight into the first round against Ben's Black Legion Chaos Marines.


Round One


Generally excellent scenery. This game was really an uphill struggle all the way, which turned out to be expected as I'd got paired against the winner of most of the previous Winter Warmer events. It eventually went 3-0 to Ben at the end of turn 3 but would presumably have been 5-0 if I hadn't managed to rally the remaining Plaguereaper, both Plaguehounds and a fourth formation, I think one of the Death Guard Retinues.


By the way, my list looked like this:

Death Guard Retinue 500pt (Warlord/Daemon Prince, Havocs, Daemonic Pact, Icon Bearer)

Death Guard Retinue 400pt (Havocs, Daemonic Pact, Icon Bearer)

Zombie Infestation 175pt

Plague Engines 400pt (Fifth Contagion Engine)

Defiler Pack 275pt

Plague Reaper Company 550pt (biggest formation for the Break Their Spirit objective, 2 x Plague Reapers, 2 x Defilers)

Daemonic Pool 150pt (2 x free Lesser Daemons, 6 x Lesser Daemons, 4 Daemonic Beasts)

Plaguehound Titan 275pt

Plaguehound Titan 275pt


My main mistakes were being too eager to advance up with lone formations and not concentrating enough on the two Decimators with their ignore cover MW barrage guns - weapons almost custom-specified to bypass all the strengths of my Plague Marines. Although fighting off the Terminators who landed in front of my artillery and then failed to win the first-player roll-off was a high point as the Terminators never to rallied again during the game.

Some poor dice rolls didn't help, of the 3+2d6 Zombies only seven turned up which really didn't help with the planned assault. Plus I forgot to summon Daemons on to the two Death Guard Retinues in the first turn, leaving them relatively weak in numbers.


We then stopped for lunch and army judging.


Painted Armies

Not being familiar with the players and there having been no name signs out I can't tell you which army is which. :-(


Apart from the bright green ones being mine, of course...



Round Two

As expected after that first game I was right down at the bottom of the rankings. Game two was against Cai's armoured company list:

Three Leman Russ tank companies.

A Warhound Titan.

Two single Shadowswords.

Three Manticores.

As we were treating the ruined areas in the middle as tall LoS-blocking area terrain this really wasn't a good table for Cai's forces, but even taking that into account it wasn't an enjoyable game for either of us, going 3-0 to me at the end of turn three.

With Cai's Manticores being the only barrage weapons in the opposing army they were my main target and the Plague Zombie Infestation headed in to deal with them. Thanks to supporting fire the Manticores won the assault but were down to two models, one of which was suppressed. The zombies then retreated forwards to block the advance of the black tank company.


The mistakes Cai made during the game were spending too many activations whittling down the broken zombies, didn't spread the tank companies out enough so they really suffered from all my Disrupt barrages and finally his biggest formation including his Supreme Commander got a bit too ahead on his right flank, the results of which you can see in the last photo - wiped.

Each mistake was only minor in itself, but combined with poor dice rolls it felt to both of us as if everything I did went well (apart from the Defilers bouncing off a tank company in assault) while everything that Cai did went badly. Like I said, it wasn't enjoyable for either of us.


Round Three

Having clawed my way back up the rankings a little, I then faced Orks (I think this was James) and the only aircraft of the three rounds, a Landa full of Boyz. I only remembered to take one photo but it shows how nicely painted his forces were:

This was almost as one-sided as the game against Cai through a mix of James not knowing the Death Guard list at all, being a relatively new player (even compared to me) and all those Disrupt barrages causing havoc amongst the massed infantry.

Due to slow play by boh of us and a misunderstanding about when the round had started, we got to the end of turn two thinking there was 40m left when the five minute warning was called.

Ryan (the TO) left it up to us to decide whether to tot up VPs or discuss what would have happened in turn three, and give him some kind of result. As it was we went with VPs, not realising it would count as a draw rather than the massacre that turn three would have resulted in. Due to some poor rallying, James only had three unbroken formations, one of which was the now-empty Landa, while I only a couple of my formations were broken or destroyed! Anyway, that was my own fault for not looking at the EpicUk tournament PDF closely enough.


Overall I came ninth out of twenty which isn't bad for my first Epic tournament. Ben (from round one) went on to get second place.