Champs and I recently attended the Malmo Wargaming Weekend 3 event in Sweden. Read on for a full summary of how it went! (Spoiler…it was awesome)
“MWW is the largest miniature game only event in Sweden, and this year is held for the 3rd time. Over 150 participants are expected. This time the event venue will be the brand new Malmö Arena Hotel! You can expect a lot of people, amazing games, free coffee, goodie bag, all in a classy venue!
It will be a weekend of hobby, games, inspiration, new meetings and lots of fun”
Champs and I had met some of the MalmoFigurspel team (the gaming club who organise the event) back at No Retreat 6 where we’d first learned about MWW. They were top guys with a real passion for the hobby and Champs and I made up our minds that we’d be heading over to Sweden when the time came! Exciting times – our very first 40k GT.
Malmo is a short hop across the border from Denmark and can be easily reached via train from Copenhagen. The train ticket was around £10 and took 20 minutes. We’d arranged to meet some of our 40k friends at Copenhagen airport so booked an early flight which would allow us to spend the day sight seeing (via Segways 😁) before getting the train to Malmo later that afternoon. For some reason we decided to “stop for a burger” precisely 3 hours after “stopping for a full English” at the airport so it was safe to say the Segways were a handy way of seeing the City.
The flights to Copenhagen from Gatwick were good value at around £50 return each through Easy Jet. We booked a twin room at the Best Western which is located at the same complex as the event, so super convenient. The total hotel cost was around £275 between us for the 3 nights. The flight time from Gatwick to Denmark was around 1.5 hours. I won’t speak too much about the Cities themselves here (this isn’t Tripadvisor after all :D) but I will say that neither Champs or I wanted to leave!
Although I’d been to No Retreat before, I knew that being an ITC major, this would be a very different proposition in terms of the lists we’d come up against. NR is a brilliant weekend but very focused on solid armies that look great and are built from a single codex. I knew that in Sweden we’d be up against some revolting soup and that there would probably be an ‘edge’ to the games that I’d not experienced before.
In terms of my list building, I felt that being a complete tournament novice actually took some of the pressure away from me needing it to be hyper competitive. That’s not to say my final list was poor, as it really wasn’t, but I knew before we left that I could have made it much stronger (*cough* House Raven Castellan).
Not taking the best possible list/units available probably sounds a bit weird to an experienced tournament player, but for me I felt it was a bit like giving my Nan an F1 car and expecting her to win a GP 😁.
So I set my sights on building a House Mortan, mono-Knight list. The House fluff is brilliant (Knights fighting giant monsters in total darkness for hundreds of years) and the livery really jumped out at me from the codex
So my original plan was to run a Valiant, 2 Gallants, a Crusader, and a Helverin. I play tested this a few times with pretty mixed results. The Valiant is a beast when at short range, but in the majority of games he’d die before having the chance to reach the mixer. In one practice game, he was killed by a House Raven Castellan turn 1 (and that was with the Ion Bulwark and rotate ion sheilds – Absolutely mental).
Taking a Dominus also meant that I would only be able to run 5 Knights in a single SHD. That’s 9CP, -2 for my extra relic and WT so I would be starting games with 7CP. Knights are hungry beasts when it comes to CPs so I felt that this would hamper me – especially when I would probably need to rotate Ion shields on the Valiant at 3CP a pop to keep him alive long enough to do sufficient damage. The obvious solution would have been to take the loyal 32 as it gives a bit more board control (even more so if you take Scions instead of guardsman) along with the 5 extra CP that a Battalion provides. As I say, I know it probably sounds daft not going down this route but I did have my heart set on a Knight only list.
With my confidence in the Valiant shaken I went back to the drawing board and decided to drop the Dominus completely and go with an additional Crusader and Helverin. I’d definitely miss the Character targeting missiles, but felt the list needed more balance.
This meant I could now run two SH detachments which increased my CP to 12 (6 for 3 x Questoris, 3 for 1 x Questoris and Helverins and then 3 for BF). That’s not a bad CP haul for a mono knight list. The few points I had spare were thrown into an Iron storm rocket pod on my warlord for softening up any stubborn units hiding out of LOS.
House Mortan provides +1 WS army wide buff on any turn that you charge, are charged or heroically intervene.That’s pretty decent as it means the Gallant (who has base WS2 anyway) is hitting reliably even when fully degraded. It also means the gauntlet is hitting on 2s rather than 3s.
Give one of the Gallants the Knight Seneshal WT and you have a unit doing 6 Gauntlet attacks hitting and wounding T8 on 2s with -4 and flat 6 damage each. Make that a Paragon gauntlet and that becomes flat 8. Theoretically, you could charge charge two full wound Knights in one round of combat!
Mortan is by no means the strongest Knight House (it’s probably not even the best melee House) but it’s no slouch and defo my favourite.
My biggest issue now was whether to re-paint over my old Emperors Children Knights or buy new ones as the loss of the Mortan Dominus meant I was two Mortan Questoris short of a picnic! I couldn’t bring myself to trash the paint jobs that I’d spent so long on previously so decided to run them “as is” but under the House Mortan banner. I wasn’t super comfortable with doing that but didn’t have the time to buy, build and paint two new Knights.
Relics and Warlord traits could be changed on the fly before each game, but the loose strategy I was planning to stick with was…
Deploy Helverins in each corner and use the House Mortan Slayer of shadows and Skyreaper protocol strats to try and take out the inevitable Eldar flyers.
Start one Gallant as far forward as possible on the board. Give him Armour of the Sainted Ion for the 2+ and Knight Seneschal for the 6 attacks (18 stomps) advance up, try not to die and then punch an appropriate amount of dick.
Outflank second Gallant turn 2 if the map/opponent made sense. If not advance up turn 1.
Make one crusader a warlord with the Mortan trait to give him -1 to hit over 18”. Hold back field with the Helverins and move where needed. Give one of the Crusaders Endless Fury because Dakka.
Move second Crusader up behind Gallant to secure midfield and provide covering fire and stomps where needed.
With the extra WL and Heirloom it meant I’d be starting games on 10CP before deciding whether to outflank the second Gallant or not. Total cost was 1999 points.
I’d probably go as far as saying that the Malmo Arena was as close to perfect for an event of this size as you could get. It had a clean and comfortable hotel on site with a bar and restaurant 30 seconds from the gaming halls. The two large halls that had been designated for 40k were spacious and free teas and coffees were supplied throughout the weekend. There were also 30k, AOS, Malifaux and Saga tournaments happening so it was great to have a wander through and see what was going on during the 40k down time.
Everyone I met was polite and friendly, everything ran smoothly and it looked like all the players were having a great time. I really can’t speak highly enough of the event and venue.
The scenery the MMW guys put on far exceeded our expectations and there was plenty of space around each table for your books/dice/models etc. There was a clear presentation given by Gustav (one of the organisers) at the opening of the tournament which focused on everyone being gents and ensuring that all players had fun.
It’s pretty easy to take it for granted, but everyone we spoke with over the course of the weekend switched to fluent English when realising we weren’t local which was really appreciated.
If you don’t know the format, the games were effectively scored on Primary and Secondary missions. Primary would be Maelstrom cards (3 in play at any time) and the secondary is chosen from a set of pre defined objectives. You chose 3 secondaries from a list and then try to achieve those for points each turn. It sounds complicated to a newcomer but fine when you get the hang of it.
Having walked around the arena before kick off I started to wonder if it was too late to try and scratch build a Castellan or three MacGyver style. The other armies on show looked suitably brutal and I knew that there were some tough games ahead.
(From what I could see browsing the lists in the Best Coast Pairing app I was the only mono Knight list attending – screw you loyal 32 😆).
My first ever GT game loomed and I was nervous as hell!
I started the day on table 5 vs Martin Meijer who is part of the Alliance Armoury team https://www.alliancearmoury.net/en/.
These are the guys that run the Alliance Open GT in Amsterdam that’s happening in a few weeks. On a side note I’d love to make it out to that event next year – the whole team were top lads.
It was a really enjoyable match that went 6 turns vs a very well painted and converted Dark Angels army. In terms of match ups, I probably couldn’t have asked for a better list to play turn 1 given it had relatively few high Strength weapons along with multiple flyers for my Helverins to target. The final score ended up a close 31-28 to the Knights with one marine scout remaining on the board turn 6.
I was up and running! Martin was a great guy and gave me plenty of advice after about how I could have done things a little differently.
Again, I was lucky with the pairing. This time I was up against Johan Barrander and his Blood Angels/Catachans. I knew from looking at his list that if I could weather the initial wave of Death Company Thunder Hammer and Smash Captain attacks then the wheels would probably fall off pretty quickly. And weather them I did in an almost embarrassing fashion.
Giving the Gallant a 2+ save meant I had an outside chance of pulling off an obscene amount of -3AP saves. The fact the Gallant was still standing after being attacked twice at the end of that fight phase probably tells you how many 5+ I ended up rolling. I had to apologise to Johan as we’d all been on the end of those rolls before and it’s painful to watch!
At that point the game was pretty much over given that he had no other threat to my knights. It ended up in a max point win for me in turn 4 after I’d mopped up his awesomely painted Rambos. Things definitely could have gone differently if I had been less lucky with those saves.
Going into game 3 I was in the top 5 and had only lost one Knight so far. This definitely wasn’t in the script!
Due to the Swiss pairings system and my fortunate match ups in games 1 and 2 I knew that my luck was very likely to change – and change it did 😁
My final opponent on Saturday was Kim Rasmussen who was running Ynnari and an Alaitoc air wing detachment. Someone had already told me Kim was a very strong player and would be a contender for the podium come Sunday afternoon. I should have brought a black board as I was about to get schooled! I had decided to Outflank my Gallant to get into his back lines as quickly as possible, but due to his unit placement he actually came in further back than if I had run him on the board from turn 1! Lesson learned there….
Using his Wave serpents, Rangers, seers on jetbikes and Hemlocks he displayed a master class of complete board control while dooming the heck out of my Knights and whittling off wounds with his reapers each turn. The final score ended up in 26-25 win for Kim which didn’t reflect the balance of the game in any sense as it was a real ass whipping.
Another really enjoyable game though and I ended the Saturday very happy at 2-1. My target before the tournament was to win 1 game and try to learn as much as I could which I’d achieved so anything that came on day 2 would be a bonus. Champs ended Saturday with 3/3 wins and was in a shout for a podium! What a day for RFWs first ever GT showing.
Due to the price of beer in Sweden there was a distinct lack of hangovers Sunday morning, so Champs and I hit breakfast bushy tailed and checked out who our opponents were for game 1. I was pleased to see I was playing another one of the Alliance lads, CJ, so I knew it would be a tough game, but no doubt lots of fun. I was spot on as this turned out to be my favourite game of the weekend. He was running a Drukhari/Alaitoc list with 23 Grotesques, 2 Hemlocks, far seers on Jetbikes and a smattering of Wracks and Rangers.
I made a few tactical howlers here. Firstly I met his Grotesques head on with my Gallants rather than just keeping my distance and shooting the hell out of them with my Crusaders. They have a high attack output and even with me leaving combat and charging each turn, 20+ grotesques really hurt with re rolls to wound (via Doom). Having 33% of my models slogging it out and not scoring points each turn was a bad move. My cards were pretty dreadful and I think I managed to achieve 2-3 Maelstrom points over the whole game. I ended the game with 3 Knights still alive but a 31-15 loss.
It was a match that I feel I maybe could have won given that I took out both Hemlocks turn 1 using my Helverin and the slayer of shadows strat on a Crusader. If I’d done a few things differently and played the mission instead of panicking about the tide of Grotesques I may have been in with a shout. I made some silly errors too which didn’t help as it derailed my thought process. I wasn’t too disheartened as CJ is a superb player (and represents Holland’s ETC team!) and I managed to learn loads in the process. So going into the last game I was 2-2.
My final game of the weekend was against a mixed Daemons list that roughly consisted of 3 x Scorpius, Khorne DP with Skull Reaver, Blood letter bomb, Tzeentch DP, 60 plague bearers, Nurglings and some Nurgle HQs.
This was probably the worst game of the weekend for me, which is absolutely nothing to do with the opponent who I faced – he was a good player and friendly guy. The issue was that the dice gods completely abandoned me. Payback for those 5+ saves in game 2!
I went second and lost a Helverin turn 1 to the Scorpius. Not having a screen available I knew i wasn’t going to be able to stop his Khorne units getting their charges off and that his unit of 30 Plague marines at -2 to hit would be tricky to shift. The Khorne DP with Skullreaver hits like an absolute train and although it was unable to finish off my Gallant it left him on one wound (although I did interupt killing him before he could hit twice). The Scorpius were a real nuisance and managed to stay alive for longer than usual due to my consistently dire rolling.
I’ve lost the score sheet but think the game ended up in a circa 30-18 loss.
So at the end of the tournament House Mortan were W2-L3 which placed me 38th out of 60. Two of my three losses were against players who ended up in the top 6 so my Strength of Schedule score was very high.
Now if you’d told me that result before we left Gatwick on Friday I’d have been delighted but having started so strongly I did end up a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to get that elusive 3rd win.
Things I learned:
- I need to play more games vs a wider meta. You don’t need to know every factions codex inside out, but in 3 of the 5 games, I had no real clue what each unit was bringing to the party. My opponents kindly helped when asked specific rules, but having a broad understanding of strengths and weaknesses is essential for building pre-game strategies. I frequently watch bat-reps to try and learn more but can’t replace game time.
- Keeping cool when things didn’t go my way, or when I made mistakes. I was always going to make errors but I found that in a tournament setting these rattled me. I deviated from my basic strategy and ended up reacting to my opponent rather than keeping to the basic plan.
- Losing site of the mission and objectives. I need to get out of the mindset of needing to table opponents and always play the missions. In all but one of my losses I finished the game with 50% or more of my army still on the board.
As you will read in Champs report (to follow), he had a terrific tournament….I won’t say anymore here suffice to say we both really enjoyed our first ever GT.
We gathered in the main hall for the presentations which is when my weekend got even better…my Knights only went and won “Best in Show”! I was absolutely gob smacked as had been admiring all the excellent paint jobs over the weekend. Being a painter first and player second this meant a huge deal to me. I won an awesome trophy and a load of GW scenery which will make an excellent addition to the board at home. What a day!
Thanks very much to all of the MWW team, my awesome opponents and all of the other great guys I met over the weekend. It’s a hobby experience I will remember for a very long time.
RFW are now booked in on Warmaster 1st December at Darksphere in London, WHW GT Heat 4 16th Feb and NR GT in March. We have also applied for NR8 in September – Fingers crossed!