Readying for War (and Warhammer 40,000) at the London Grand Tournament!

The UK Tournament scene is going through something of a renaissance at the moment, with events across the country expanding their player counts and system offerings considerably. One rapidly growing event is the London Grand Tournament, a relatively new tournament that allows players to test their skills in the heart of the UK capital. As gamers across the country prepare themselves, we caught up with Daemons of Slaanesh player Tess Garrud:

Tess: I have to admit that I am a relative newcomer to the world of Warhammer 40,000, and to tabletop gaming in general, having only played for about a year. I was always a keen gamer, whether it was staying up until the early hours of the morning playing computer games, or having board game evenings with my friends. But in my mind, Warhammer was that game that geeky 13-year-old boys played at the weekend in their parents’ attic – not something that I envisioned spending my precious spare time doing.

However, all it took to get me engrossed in the world of Warhammer 40,000 was a friend getting me my first box of miniatures and teaching me how to play. I was not particularly keen at first, but one evening I was staying up late to watch an American sports game and needed something to occupy my time. Those first models, painstakingly painted at 2am, began what quickly turned into one of my favourite pastimes. I fast discovered that I love painting, and it became a great way to spend my time doing something fun that was also productive. I’m a scientist during the day, so it’s nice to be able to do something more creative when I get home. Over the past year, I have worked hard to improve my painting skills and learn as many new techniques as I can, so one day I can become as good as Duncan! And of course, to anyone who appreciates the glorious artwork of the 41st Millennium, there is nothing better than a tournament filled with beautifully painted armies fighting to the death.

My first foray into tournament gaming involved attending some doubles tournaments, including a Throne of Skulls event at Warhammer World last year. Any fears I had about feeling out of place in a room full of hardcore gamers quickly subsided as I experienced first-hand how welcoming and friendly the Warhammer community is! Since then, I’ve been to various events, including the No Retreat V tournament hosted by SN Battle Reports in Gibraltar. Whilst I enjoy the gaming aspect of the hobby, I have to say the number one attraction is just the awesomeness of having a building full of painted armies showing off the best of the setting. What attracted me most to the London GT is the fact that it has become such a massive event – hosting 350 players in the Warhammer 40,000 tournament alone! It’s an amazing opportunity to share in the hobby with so many different people – people I wouldn’t get to meet in any other situation – and, of course, a great opportunity to show off the many hours of painting that have gone into my army!

The LGT weekend is set to be spectacular, and so I need a spectacular army to accompany me. My first ever models were a squad of Seekers of Slaanesh, chosen entirely because I love the daemonic steeds, and from there I built my entire Slaanesh army. I firmly apply the rule of cool to how I paint and play – if it looks awesome, then it’s going in the army. I started with some basic units, including Daemonettes, Seekers, an Exalted Seeker Chariot and, of course, a Keeper of Secrets leading them all into battle. Since then I have collected and painted as many daemonic servants of Slaanesh as possible, such that the daemonic incursion now boasts several Hellflayers and Seeker Chariots, Fiends of Slaanesh, Daemon Princes, and Heralds in all shapes and sizes.

When I first started painting, I picked a fairly simple and classic Slaaneshi colour scheme – grey, purple, black and silver. Once I was confident using these colours with each other, I was able to utilise this fairly simple scheme to great effect on all the different units of my army. I always wanted to incorporate an ice theme into my army, and so I have also added icy bases to all the models – the bright blue of the ice creates a great contrast with the dark colour scheme and makes my models immediately identifiable. The most recent pieces I have finished are another squad of ten Seekers. I wanted to develop my painting skills further and attempted some new techniques to create the spotted and striped scales you can see on these models.

Of course, it’s all well and good having an army that looks great, but at a tournament, I also want to be able to inflict some pain on the opponent! Having a Slaanesh army means one thing – speed. My entire army is built around being as fast and as deadly as possible, making brutal charges from across the battlefield. The biggest weapons here are my two squads of 12 Seekers. With a 14″ move and the ability to run and charge, these beasts are a formidable tide to throw at your opponent’s lines. If you add in an Instrument of Chaos, they can add 1″ to those Advance and charge rolls as well – scary stuff! If you correctly utilise the army’s Characters to buff these units, they become even more effective – a Herald improves their Strength, whilst a Daemon Prince allows 1s to hit to be re-rolled, and a Keeper of Secrets lends its Leadership characteristic to nearby units. The new Locus of Swiftness means that a lightning-fast charge can also come from your Chariots and Daemonettes. Daemonettes can make effective use of those Character buffs as well, and are great at holding objectives or whittling down opponents (those mortal wounds can really stack up).

The other nasty part of this army is the numerous Characters and Psykers it employs. If you play your cards right, the first turn Smite can be devastating – in one game, I destroyed a Land Raider in the opening turn with Smite alone!  When it comes to taking down big opponents, the Keeper of Secrets can dish out some serious pain with its witstealer sword and the new Mark of Excess allowing it to rack up additional attacks. With one of the new Slaaneshi Warlord Traits, your Greater Daemon can become a Character assassin of epic proportions. My Keeper of Secrets (nicknamed “Brynn”, for reasons unknown) has taken down many an enemy Vehicle and Warlord, all for the glory of Slaanesh! Daemon Princes also make a great addition as they can seek out any enemy Flying units as well as support your foot soldiers.

As always, I am excited to bring the might of Slaanesh down on my unsuspecting foes, but I am especially excited to see how the new Codex: Chaos Daemons fairs in the tournament setting. But above all, I’m excited to get to share this awesome hobby with as many people as possible in what is going to be an absolutely spectacular event!

Thanks Tess! If you’re looking to get involved with the London Grand Tournament, check out our previous preview for more information or read their website.

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