Horus Heresy – The Age of Darkness – A Year in Review

What a year for heresy. While the community was aware that SOMETHING was coming, thanks to a cheeky leak of some very grainy box art in the summer 2021, there was still not much excitement (and certainly no gaming) for the Age of Darkness coming into 2022. Covid really hit our community (and obviously, many others) pretty hard in terms of motivation for hobby and also gaming (once people started getting out again). But it’s worth noting, Forge World was certainly no help in inspiring confidence or giving any reason to want to play. Stagnation had hit pretty good and for the last months of 2021 and pretty much up until the marketing teasing began in mid 2022, it was just radio silence. All we had was that slim glimmer of hope that something was finally due for us because of that blurry leak.

Nothing brings nerds together like piecing together various random pics in photoshop

But then it came. First an amazing full CGI trailer at Adepticon, and then months of previews and rules snippets until the game itself dropped. The community was very quickly fired up by all of this, especially when it was clear this wasn’t just going to be a pump and dump by GW and that the game itself was getting a nice makeover too instead of copy and pasting what we had already been playing for a decade.

For me personally this meant excitement to finally get back to work on my Emperor’s Children, which had been sitting in the case now since the doubles event the Boys of the Golden Throne put on in the summer of 2019! The only growth that force had seen from then until 2022 was 1 rhino and a destroyer squad.

When the game finally dropped in June and we all got our hands on the rules we were eager to get games in as quick as possible. Once nice thing about a new edition when you already have a large collection is you don’t have to sit and wait to paint and build a bunch of new things! While sadly my EC army became a bit unplayable due to Rite of War changes (I ran them as 3rd Company Elite which let your noise marines become troops and thus capture, but in the new edition while they became troops they not longer could hold objectives) my Iron Warriors had lots to work with.

Local hunk and Heresy Hero, Big Jon, setup his gaming table in the yard and we got to enjoy some drinks and slow learning games. We played a few games over the next weeks and while I was loving the new edition, I really couldn’t wait to play with my Emperor’s Children. We also had our first big event planned which would take place at Kipper’s Melee in October, so I had something to strive for.

After playing a few games I did figure it would be a good time to break out my entire Iron Warriors painted collection and snap a few pictures.

I got started on the marines from the new boxset, as my army had no tacticals at all so far and thus no way of ever securing an objective! I also did up 10 sunkillers with lascannons and a few more characters for good measure. As usual I found myself mass painting, doing all these marines at the same time. After airbrushing I painted the 20 marines all in one go, which was insanity. But it sure felt good when they were done!

We had our first mini event around this time up in Nanaimo at Drop Zone games, being run by another Heresy Hero: Tao. He also works there, which makes thing quite convenient.

It was my first time running this army in the new edition and I had a blast. I don’t remember how I ended up doing.. I think I lost 2 and won the last one against the World Eaters thanks to a lucky break check causing his 20 man assault squad to run off the table..

Next up was working on a 15 man assault squad, and also going back to add decals on some of the original models for the army which I never got around to until now. I also built up another 10 tactical marines so I could run 2x 15 man squads.

This took me right up to the big event in October at Kippers, and I am happy to say I got everything finished in time. I was still painting the Friday evening before finishing off some eye lenses, but hey that else is new. At least I could go to bed at a reasonable time.

Below is a smattering of photos from the event, including all 5 games and what we got up to in the hotel late at night (and fell asleep to, only to be woken up multiple times by the INCREDIBLY LOUD opening theme music). You can see all the awesome armies (26 in all) here: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=511981607607176&set=pb.100063860221304.-2207520000. – Sorry to have to link FB but it was a few too many to reupload here!

Like every huge event, it was a blast. Everyone there was freaking awesome. I got to play 2 people I had never played with before, Bob from San Fran (Mechanicum) and, while his name escapes me, a fellow Canadian who came all the way from Edmonton (Dark Angels). I also played some of my favourite people, Cam from Vancouver (Iron Hands), Jason from Vancouver (Imperial Fists) and Kailis from right here in Victoria (Ultramarines).

I only ended up taking a single victory, which was against Jason. And that just came down to the very last turn and a pass or fail regroup roll on his part. Had he passed he would have got into the objective and snuck a win, but sadly for him, it was the opposite and he ran the other way.

But the real win for me came at the end, which I was not expecting. I ended up taking away best painted at the event for my army, which was a huge honour. It was nice to feel that all the effort, lessons, and hard work I put into this army is paying off. I push myself on this army more than any other that I own, so it is a real labour of love.

In another post later I’ll do a proper gallery of the army so far with better photos.

This wasn’t the end for the year either, as we had 1 more event back up in Nanaimo doing a 3 game day again! I ended up against the brutal Iron Hands twice over (Phil and AJ) and finished the day playing one of our newcomers Tony with his Ultramarines.

I also managed to finish a few more models, a mighty leviathan siege dreadnought (the new plastic) and a couple of characters (a banner buy and librarian). I have to say the plastic leviathan was annoyingly tough to assemble compared to the simplicity of a few chunks of resin. Some parts like the feet and legs just have so many parts. But in the end it did look pretty good.

This brings us to the end of 2022, and one very long blog post!! If you made it this far, I respect you.

2022 was a real game changer for the Horus Heresy. And writing this now in 2023, about 1 hour away from the Las Vegas Open preview where we will get even more Heresy goodness, it shows 0 signs of slowing down at all. We’ve had weekly news, tons of new kits, FAQ’s (though could use those a little faster FW..) – It’s really the first happy time’s I think since Bligh’s run so many years back now. Let’s keep it going.

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