The Horus Heresy at Blood and Glory

There are events for every kind of gamer at Blood & Glory. As well as a range of competitive tournaments – including the world’s first Grand Clash Shadespire event – there’s plenty on offer for narrative players too, including, in a first for Blood & Glory, a narrative-focused Horus Heresy campaign running over the weekend. Curious? Organiser Greg has all the info…


Greg: Firstly let me introduce myself. I am Greg Dann, and I host The Imperial Truth – a Horus Heresy podcast with Slayer Sword winner Neil Hollis. I also host After Ullanor, the Horus Heresy book review podcast with David Witek of Garagehammer fame. I think it’s fair to say I am a Heresy fan. Alongside reading, playing and podcasting, I also run events around the UK.

The chance to be involved with Blood & Glory was an easy one to accept – conventions are great experiences and there’s no way we can have a Games Workshop convention without including the game that tells the history of Warhammer 40,000, right?

As stated earlier, I run narrative events, and this is no different for Blood & Glory. The Horus Heresy game is released in a series of campaign books that are based on the events that occurred in the history of the far future. That means it feels like a historical game to the ‘current’ Warhammer 40,000 and these tomes from Forge World are our history books, which sit alongside and often question the Black Library novels as if they were themselves personal accounts of the time. I created a whole system in which to place the event so as not to create too great a contradiction with the timeline that we know and love:  

This is the second event I have run in this system and will follow directly on from First Blood, which took place in September and told the story of the opening stages of the war, in which the Loyalist forces drove all before them. Not all is going their way, however, as the first reinforcements to enter the system bear the marks of the Traitor Legions and instead of pushing forward to deliver a killing blow to a broken enemy, the Loyalist forces have had to secure their position and prepare for a much longer conflict.

The fate of the Mal-Raen system will be decided by the players at each of the events, and the narrative will be derived from the actions the players take and the results on the tabletop. At Blood & Glory, the games will be fought in a tree-style format, this means that the story and missions played have been worked out for each round based on the result of the one before. If the Traitors win the first round they will push the Loyalists onto the defensive and so the scenario will reflect the nature of that. If the Loyalists then manage to win the second round, they will rally or maybe counterstrike. However, if they lose again, they will be forced into a less organised retreat, or maybe pushed right back past their carefully laid fall back positions. There are 16 possible scenarios for round 5, but the players will only use one. Each round tells the story the players have created, leaving a host of ‘what-ifs’ that will never be explored. (Well, maybe later by the players over a cold drink!)

You may have realised that this event is not run like a tournament. Each player is trying to achieve victory for their faction, rather than for their own personal glory. Additionally, the narrative that runs through the event means that, as an organiser, I can throw extra story points into games as and when required. These can be anything from characters suffering consequences after repeatedly being killed, through to discovering powerful artefacts from the Dark Age of Technology that can be put into use on the battlefield. There may even be additional support elements from Knight Households that hold no specific Legion loyalty. All of these can be used to create story notes or to provide a boost to armies that may find themselves outgunned by their opponents – the players are encouraged to feed into these story elements as well, whether they seek a desperate measure, a cunning ploy or just because that’s what their warlord would do. As it says in the event pack: ‘Environmental effects, the machinations of the enemy and even the ground you are fighting on can influence the tide of battle. Your job is to fight no matter the odds – the fate of Terra may depend upon it…’


The Blood & Glory Horus Heresy event takes place on the 4th & 5th of November at the Roundhouse Derby and tickets cost £40. There will be 5 games at 2500 points. Find the full details here.

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