Right… first off, I’ve had quite some time out of blogging… I have managed to do a fractional amount of hobby but that has also been a pretty shameful effort, we’ll see that over the next couple of posts. This post however, is almost a year old. Its been left rotting in its digital “Drafts” cell for so long… I almost just deleted it, but it appears I’ve already half completed it. So I’m going to finish it up now and if some pieces of information appear to be missing its because I’m constructing half of it from my garbage memory. Oh and also worth noting, this was done during the first lockdown of the 2020 pandemic, so it was the 8th ed rules. If you dont want to read the whole breakdown of the rounds and matches, feel free skip to the overview.
Obviously, everyone’s ability to get out there and enjoy a game with friends has been somewhat hampered by the lockdowns covering the world to protect people from the pandemic. Fear not though, for there are some ways to still enjoy a game with your friends remotely.
Some of you I assume will immediately be thinking of tabletop simulator which I have yet to try but I hear can be quite successful with a bit of research and the right resources for your game. That’s not what I’m talking about right now though. This option came about when I saw @Hobbyvices on twitter announce a game he was playing with his friend, Quarentine Cagematch.
The jist seemed pretty simple, two HQ options thrust into combat, no shooting, not psychic powers… just raw neck punching and eye poking. They would play remotely, rolling their dice and recording the results, then post those videos to show who one. It was quick, interesting and looked like a bit of fun. So I got in contact with fellow blogger @warbringer to see what he thought and we decided to offer the idea out to the UK Hobbyist Network Discord group, and we had a bunch of takers. We did Tweak the Rules though, we did tweak the rules though as we didn’t want to restrict people too much on what they would take, these are the rules we came up with.
- Choose any unnamed HQ choice from a Codex or index.
- Roll off initiative with 1d6 each turn to determine who’s turn it is.
- you can only use “beginning of YOUR turn abilities, psychic powers or fire pistols on your turn from turn 2.
- The first turn starts in the Assault phase, resolve charge abilities and Overwatch.
- After both players have fought each turn, roll initiative again to determine who controls the next turn.
…And thats it! we played over Discord with a digital dice roller bot so that everyone was using the same “dice” and made it fair. So many people wanted to play that we got 16 players together and played a knockout tournament… it was so much fun. People were hanging out in the online chat for the first time, talking about the games as they played out over the text chat. People rooting for different characters and sharing successes and losses. These were the Characters taking part:
Round 1 – The First 16
My fellow blogger and co-admnistrator for the UK Hobbyist Network discord server randomly drew pairings from the entries and this is what the first table looked like…
- Group 1 Muzzatroll’s Primaris Gravis Captain, Da’zel vs. Scapegoat Ste’s Primaris Captain, Quintus
- Group 1 Warbringer’s Chaos Hellwrite, Honsou vs. Hikaye’s Primaris Gravis Captain, Leonidea
- Group 2 Gonders Thousand Sons Exalted Sorcerer Teepok vs. Maddie’s Necron Lord on Barge, Imhotep
- Group 2 Pandora’s Bitz Box’s Abominant, The Hulk vs. Rich Donnie Mutant’s Succubus, Kherissa
- Group 3 Talos’s Dark Apostle, Voice of the Host vs. Poke the Bear’s Lord of Contagion, Malignus
- Group 3 Sabine’s Tank Commissar Lady Meredith vs. Roth’s Chaos Lord on Juggernought, Xaos
- Group 4 Groltag’s Jump Captain, Raphael vs. Helterskelter’s Lord Discordant, Hektor
- Group 4 Almiriad’s Warboss, Krozhok vs, Krakendoomcool’s Wolf Lord, Engir Krakendoom
I was super looking forward to these rounds. I am not a crunchy game player, I like flavoursome armies over you know… successful ones. Which probably explains a lot about my success rate with games but maybe I’m just making excuses for my terrible strategic choices… Anyway! So I dont have an in depth knowledge of all the units across 40k, or even in my own armies. So it was really funny to see how many mounted units there were, and when I say mounted… a Juggernought, a Daemon Engine, a Tank and a Battle Barge where obviously a really fun addition for this line up, I’m still laughing thinking about it almost a year later.
The game that christened our barely tested system was the Voice of the host (Dark Apostle) verses Malignus the Wretched (Lord of Contagion). I probably don’t need to tell you how this game went, but for the sake of those players out there who, like me, have no clue what the potential power over any of these units is, I will. It was BRUTAL. This would be a theme across many of the games that were played but this really did set the tone for how outmatched it was possible to be and I guess, very much in keeping with the grim dark theme of the far future. The Voice had some very cool tricks up his sleeve, prayers that buffed his attacks and he had a nice 3++ (invulnerable) save… but the Malignus had his terminators 2+/5++ with the 5+++ Disgustingly resiliant SatS (Save after the save) and regeneration. Both weapons had great output but, what would turn out to be a very important theme of the game, Malignus had multiple ways to inflict Mortal Wounds, bypassing that 3++ the Voice had. Malignus took this match.
The next pairing found Leonida (Primaris Gravis Captain) facing off against Honsou (Chaos Hellwrite). This was the second match to sort “the men from the boys” or “those models that could throw out an emetic volume of mortal wounds from those that had no SatS”. Honsou was an pretty scary, his pistol shot twice and caused MW on a 2+, but it was his defences that shined. An infantry character with Toughness 6! then after that he had a SatS to back up his save and regeneration. Leonida had no Mortal Wound and there was no way way to stand against Honsou’s staying power. Victory went to Honsou
This match saw the first mounted unit, and what a mount it was. Raphael (jump pack captain) had to hold his own against Hektor (lord Discordant) riding his huge daemon engine. Raphael had SatS and in addition to the phenominal amount of attacks Hektor had with his mount, he was absolutely chucking out mortal wounds. I think this match was the shortest, the Chaos lord had decent saves, lots of wounds and it was like watching a wolf charge down someone with a gatling gun… Raphael was quickly overpowered and utterly destroyed. Hektor went through to the next round to find another victim.
This was an interesting match and one that I hadn’t really considered how it would play out. Comissar Meredith rode her Leman Russ Battletank into battle against the Chaos Lord, Xaos on his Juggernought. This battle was long, and even though it looked like there was going to be a clear winner after a few rounds the dice are always fickle. Because of the rules in 8th edition, the tank could only fire if it was being charged and then would only hit on 6s, so was clearly not a melee specialist. Xaos on the other hand was a chaos lord, and no matter what flavour they come in, they LOVE riding that wave of destruction directly into battle. Well the tanks high toughness and wounds and SatS meant that it just was not an easy morsel to crack open, but eventually it did and Xaos was able to to get to the soft Commissar inside. Xaos went through.
Marines vs Marines in the next one as Da’zel (Primaris Gravis Captain) took on Quintus (Primaris Captain). In this match there was very little in the way of ranged attacks and no SatS or Mortal wounds, so this was a good old sluggin match pretty much. Unfortunately for Gravis Captain though, Quintus was sporting some power Fists and SEVEN attacks. with all the reroll buffs this meant that the regular Primaris Captain had the potential for 21 wounds each round and missing a single save still meant 3 damage. Quintus crushed Da’zel and went through to round 2.
This match was interesting, even if it was pretty one sided. The Necron lord Imhotep was riding a battle barge while Teepok, the Thousand Son Sorcerer was the only character in the tournament taking advantage of the psychic phase. Teepok took the initiative in the first round and demonstrated that he was not messing around, and got through the necrons saves and quantum shielding taking the Necron down from 8 wounds to 5 with a single hit. Another round like that could finish the Necron off, except Imhotep’s arsenal was nothing to scoff at. While he only had 3 attacks compared to the 5 on the sorcerer, Teepok had to rely on his invulnerable save to stop the hits which were doing d6 damage. Not to mention, that if he didnt get off his psychic powers which were only available every other turn, he was considerably less powerful. Teepok fell to the Necrons superior technology and Imhotep went though.
Angry Warboss Krozhok against fearsome wolf lord Engir Krakendoom. Warbosses are no joke, In addition to the flamer he carried, Krozhoc was chucking out a load of high damage attacks but Engir had a storm shield which with its 3++ save provided a lot of stopping power. In return, his thunder hammer did not go easy on the ork in return. It was kind of close but the numbers were in the Wolf Lords favour and Krozhok could not get enough wounds through that shield to come out on top. Engir went through.
Our final match of the first round saw two strikingly different opponents, she Hulk (Abominant) verses Kherissa (succubus). The Abominant isn’t valued for its in game use but The Hulk was carrying all sorts of stopping power in the form of Toughness 5, a 3++ save, reducing incoming damage by 2, a 5+++ SatS. However one of the most horrible opponents for the Hulk to face was Kherissa, as the Hulks weakness was weight of attacks. The succubus didn’t deal huge amounts of damage unlike every other contender, but had 9 attacks… and each of these could do 3 hits. A potential 27 hits. This was an obvious cause for concern but despite regularly doing over 12 hits, she struggled to do enough damage to keep the hulk down as the hulk regenerated d3 wounds on its turn. The Hulk had the opposite problem, while it had the stopping power of a plane landing on his opponent (Strength 12, 3 – 6 damage each)… he had thethe worst chance to hit of any of the characters in the game. No reroll buffs, 3 attacks hitting on 4+ meant that turns would go buy where he hit with nothing. However as each failed save for the Succubus was at the very least, near lethal… Kherissa finally fell to the monstrous blows. The Hulk went through.
Round 2 – Quarter Finals
- Wolf Lord Engir Krakendoom vs. Lord Hektor Felhax
- Lord Malignus the Wretched vs. Lord Xaos
- Captain Quintus vs. Hellwrite Honsou
- Lord Imhotep vs. The Hulk
A very appropriate match up here, the Spacewolf Monster hunter takes on the Chaos Lord riding a Daemon Engine. Even though this was just a quick bit of fun and dice rolling this seemed like a really fun narrative battle. Engir put up a good fight, doling out 3 damage for each failed save, but his storm shield couldn’t do anything against the Mortal Wounds that Hektor threw out. Compounded by the fact that he was more likely to score 6s against the space wolf for his rerolls against Imperial enemies! On top of the other plethora of attacks, he finally overcame the proud Spacewolf. Hektor went through to the Semi Final.
Xaos the Bloodied locks in viscous combat with Malignus the Wretched, a battle between chaos lords, Iron Warriors vs. Death Guard. Xaos took a similar tactic as he did with the Leman Russ battle tank, opening with his maximum number of attacks but then switching to smash attacks in an effort to cause maximum damage for the few hits that get through, Malignus’s armour and regeneration held up, unlike Xaos’s own defences. The Lord of Contagion’s Axe did 3 damage for each failed save and the mortal wounds couldnt be stopped and his defences proved to great. Malignus would Face Hektor in the semi final.
Next we had Captain Quintus take on Honsou of the Iron hands. As mentioned before, Honsou some impressive survivability and Quintus in another display of opposites had a terrifying output of damage with all of his rerolls, number of attacks and consistent damage. Thanks to Honsou’s huge toughness of 6 though, those powerfist to wound rolls were letting Quintus down and Honsou’s SatS and regeneration softened some of the blows that got through. It seemed as if it was in the bag for Honsou but in the end his defences failed him as he could not deal enough damage before Quintus could get enough hits through his defences. Quintus was victorious.
Advanced technology took on brute force in the last semi final as Imhotep would take on the the Hulk. Both of these combatents had huge damage potential, the greatest in the tournament topping out at 6 each. There was a lot of dancing around as while the Hulk had a higher Damage average, Imhotep was far more consistent with his hits. Fortune did not favour the Necron though as those hits that did get through were not able to cause enough damage to force multiple SatS on the Hulk and any damage sustained was regenerated. It was only a matter of time before the Abominant finally landed multiple blows and Lord failed those much needed saves. The Hulk went through to the semi final.
Round 3 – Semi Finals
- The Hulk vs. Captaint Quintus
- Malignus the Wretched vs. Hektor Felhax
After his previous match, Quintus was pretty prepared for a high resistance opponent. The Hulk was another level of unkillable though to an opponent that lacked mortal wound output. Quintus had to solely rely on his impressive consistency of hits but due to the -2 to incoming damage, was reduced to a maximum of 7 wounds a turn! this coupled with having to get through the impressive defences of the Hulk meant it was a struggle to chip away at him and he eventually fell under the colossal hammer blows of the Genestealer Cult beast. The Hulk would be going through to the next round to face the greatest thread to its damage resistance, one of two opponents that rained mortal wounds…
In an interesting turn of events, the two competitors with the most unstoppable attacks faced off against one another. Malignus the Wretched, a Lord of contagion who’s armour punished with mortal wounds, those who successfully injured him and whose mere aura was similarly difficult to suffer. Lord Hektor Felhax, who atop his huge daemon engine he had His axe, blades, tendrils and an injector, all of which were capable of of dealing near unstoppable damage in the form of mortal wounds. The Lord of contagion had his Disgustingly Resilient SatS but the Lord Discordant had more wounds and a much higher potential for damage. This was a close call and could have gone either way, but in the end the Malignus’s SatS and regeneration were enough to keep him afloat while his high damage and reliable Mortal Wound output were able to Lay Felhax low. Felhax would Face the Abominant Hulk in the final.
Malignus the Wretched <<< VERSES >>> The Hulk
For the final round we did the best of 5 rather than 3 matches to try to iron out any of the fluke dice rolls that could suddenly destroy a champion or and save an underdog. Both opponents had seen the potential of the other across the the matches and knew this would be no easy battle, every miss and every save would be relevant. So far in the competitions the battles had been getting more difficult to distinguish the likely winner, even the short battles could have gone either way very easily, but when it came down to the final, the last 3 games were one in succession by the same competitor. The Hulk had an impressive potential for damage and its ability to shrug off the blows of his enemies had made him the focus of everyone’s ire. However Malignus was one of the opponents that posed the greatest threat to the Hulk, who’s high toughness, damage reduction and invulnerable save normally protecting his 5 wounds were made redundant in the face of Malignus’s Mortal Wound capability. In the end though, fortune did not favour the Lord of Contagion. The Abominant’s superior regeneration meant that it required sudden and immediate death rather than attrition and Terminator armour proved insufficient to protect the Lord of Contagion from the great hammer blows that the Hulk was able to land. It was a surprisingly short and brutal bout that crowned the Hulk as the champion of the 40k Deathmatch Tournament.
This was a pretty fun project. It was born of the lack of games available during the height of lockdown during the Covid 19 pandemic that started in April 2020. Events were cancelled across the board, local stores shut their doors and eventually people were discouraged from visiting friends or even leaving their houses. People had more hobby time than ever before but a lot of players lacked motivation to paint their minis without any games on the horizon. So when I saw Hobbyvices post on his twitter about a friendly HQ cage match game that he ran with a friend over the internet I thought… that seems like a lot of fun, and something to pick people up.
Myself and fellow blogger Warbringer are administrators for the UK Hobbyist Network discord group, so I ran it by him and we decided to run through a few playtests there were largely like the one that Hobbyvices played, but included overwatch and psychic powers. The only restriction was it had to be a painted, unnamed HQ option, to encourage people to just be able to grab one painted leader from their collection and throw them into the fray. It wasn’t a flawless system, since I started writing this months ago, we actually ran a second tournament with the 9th ed rules which was a lot of fun and would have changed the game for a few of the characters such as the tank that could have shot its hull mounted weapons into combat! My favourite thing to take from the game wasn’t actually the game content but what happened as a result. While the games were going on, we opened a thread for the combatants and spectators to chat while the game went on. Until then, no one really used the chat, but the game really provided a focus and helped generate a draw for the community to come together. based on peoples freedom certain days became preferable and then once the tournament was over, a reoccurring chat appeared quite naturally as a result. So now every Wednesday the discord hosts a very social chat/video hangout of anywhere between 10 – 20 people! All because we organised this silly little tournament to entertain a few people.
I hope you enjoyed that little write up, I’m not used posting about things that aren’t paint jobs or conversions. Sorry if it didn’t contain enough crunch detail for you for you but if you do have any specific questions about the characters or rules then feel free to ask and I can see what I can do!
I hope to return soon with some more of of my usual mini content now that I’m getting back into the swing of things. Thanks for reading!
~Pandora’s Bitz Box~