Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Throne of Skulls Doubles Tournament Feb 2018 Review - Part 1 - The general experience

As you may know from our Twitter updates or our last post HERE Rich and I (James) attended the Throne of Skulls Doubles tournament at Warhammer World in Feb 2018. It was to be our first tournament since 2012 and seemed like a good one to enter because of the focus on enjoyment, it was in February which is a fairly quiet time for us two dads and that it was at Warhammer World of which I haven't been since it has been refurbished.
Warhammer World Entrance
The build up to the tournament was quite fun and interesting from my point of view as I was like a kid in a sweet shop - just totally giddy for the two weeks prior, not being able to contain my excitement for much of the time! We had decided to reprise 'The Emperor's Feth' our Astra Militarum army from 5th edition and Rich set about making it work in 8th. After a few weeks of Whatsapping lists to each other we finally settled on one (you can see it HERE) and both had to paint up a few new units - 3 sentinels, a Tempestor Prime, a Scions squad and a Taurox Prime. I managed to finish the Taurox on the Friday morning we were due to leave - typical!!!

The Emperor's Feth

The doubles tournament is organised really well and the times of the games and check in times are much more sociable than they used to be. The first game didn't start until 10.30am both days with check in being 9 - 10am on the Saturday morning. On Saturday 3 games are played - the last finishing at 7.30pm and on Sunday 2 games are played finishing with a presentation at 5.30pm.
I liked these times as it gives people time to travel in the morning or sleep in a bit if they've been out for a few beers (ahem!) the night before. This means that we were at Warhammer World till later in the evening but there are worse places to be!!

Check in was well organised and announcements (via the mic or info on the big screen) and dinner (provided with the ticket) were on time and easy to hear or see. Some people may think that tickets are a little expensive (£85) but this is for 2 of you and includes 2 meals each (1 on each day) plus free entry to the exhibition hall for both too so it is pretty reasonable - plus it is Warhammer World!
We actually went on the Friday night and stayed at the local Premier Inn until Sunday, playing a game on the Friday night in the games hall before the tournament on Saturday. (We got beaten in the last turn by Chris (@ChrisFrosin on Twitter) and Dave (@errantwolfdave on Twitter) but what a great game.
Our Friday night defeat to Chris and Dave
Basically what I'm saying is that the staff really know what they're doing and it shows. At no point was I unsure of what was going on, which table I was playing on or what time things were happening.
The playing area is smaller than it used to be with the expansion of the shops in the gaming hall but it seemed like there was more room around the tables than 5 years ago somehow. I didn't hear that terrible noise of armies being dropped once during the whole weekend!!

Warhammer World
The Mecca of wargaming! It's a great place to go. Our ticket gave us entry to the Exhibition hall (See a future post) but the shops, staff, tables to play on and the gaming hall is just great. The standard tables in the hall have some amazing scenery to play on and are set up so that you wish you had them at home and then you have the feature tables which are at a different mouth-watering level!
Even the drive into the place and the walk up the stairs and through the shop is awesome! This sounds like a love story - and it totally is! If you've been before you'll understand, if you haven't then you need to!!
The events hall
The Tournament
As I said before the Doubles is aimed at fun and enjoyment with a friend and playing some great games. However, it is also competitive and Rich and I were making no bones about the fact that we definitely were going to have fun but try to win!!

Now there is a big difference between trying to win and being a dick (sorry) and trying to win and also being friendly and having fun along the way (See the LVO incident!) - being a professional golfer for many years in the past I've seen both sides of this believe me and I would like to think that I can be competitive but also stay relaxed too so that everyone enjoys themselves (hopefully our opponents agreed with this!!).

I am pleased to say that all (maybe our last game was on the line but still ok) of our games were awesome and played competitively and in a great spirit. No-one wanted to lose but everyone was fantastic. I think that the doubles format really complements this as if one of us is getting a bit stressed the other can give them a nudge and tell them to take 5 mins and go get a drink. Also it allows one person to play while the other chats to the opponents which doesn't always happen when the time limits are so strict.

I'm going to go off on a tangent here and add to that last point as we do see some weird behavior at the doubles tournaments sometimes. Rich and I have been friends since school and we have built our armies and painted them separately but when we play together the whole army is one. This means that both of us move all of the models, roll all of the dice and remove all of the models from the board regardless of whose model it may be. It always surprises us to find that no-one else does this! A few times one of us will be getting a beer or going to the toilet and our opponent will say "i'll wait until he comes back". "Err no it's fine, i'll roll the saves - it really doesn't matter!" The look of shock always makes me wonder how or why other pairs won't play with each others toys. (don't get me started on dice and how people can be so precious to only use their 'special' dice...)
The view from the top - not for long as they had disappeared in the time it took me to get drinks for everyone! Damn Rich and his poxy save rolls!
Quite often we'll be chatting to someone or taking a well needed break to wander around and watch some other games and just let our partner play for a bit. I do it quite a lot and usually come back to see that half of our army has disappeared!! At least I didn't have to go through all of the stress of taking a hammering! In fact in one game it was our last turn of the game and our shooting phase would decide the game with 4 units of our opponents needing to die for us to win. All of our army had to shoot but I just couldn't watch so Rich did it all with myself and one person of the other pair stood at the far end of the table, turned away having a beer and hoping for the best! *A future post will cover this game - it was epic!

In my mind this attitude of wanting to win desperately but being able to have time to chat and switch off while your partner plays really makes this kind of tournament enjoyable, open and friendly. There has always been a good atmosphere throughout the weekend and even though I do like single player tournaments this is a good one - especially for anyone who hasn't been to a tournament before.

In conclusion
We had a great time. there was lots going on, loads of new people that we met that were really nice and great to have a beer with afterwards and some great games against some well painted armies on great looking battlefields. Oh and it was at Warhammer World - did I mention that?!

If anyone went to this tournament or has any views, positive or negative, about tournaments or Warhammer World in general please get in touch. I always love to hear about people's experiences.

All the best

James – A blog about Warhammer 40k and the Horus Heresy by four Dads


  1. went to a doubles at WW once - one of the guys i was with had forgotten some modles for his black templars... and GW went away and opened the black templar cabnet and gave him what he needed!!! amazing!!!!
    we were down from north wasnt going to be a thing easily replaced at the time! :D
    top marks GW

  2. That's a great story!! In my experiences the staff have always gone out of their way to make sure everyone has a fun time.
    That's also a hell of a drive to get to Nottingham, you deserved a prize just for that. Our first game in this tournament was against a pair of great guys from the Aberdeen area so it's obviously worth making the trip!

  3. Glad you had a good time and looking forward to future posts about it. I have only been over once and I loved it. Quite the atmosphere to take in.