Joel, Paul, Lawrence, Alan and Neil of the South London Warlords have created an extraordinary sci-fi game to demonstrate the appeal of Warhammer 30K

It is rather apt that I am writing this article on 21/10/15, as you will be reading this in April 2016, about a game set in the future; but we have to go back in time to where it all began. To be precise, we need to go back to 15th August 2015. The South London Warlords has a forced hiatus every August which gives members a chance to be with family and put down our dice and paint brushes for a while... Yeah right, who am I kidding? In reality it means we need a ‘fix’ of our chosen genre of the hobby that is wargaming. With that in mind Paul, Lawrence, Alan and I (Joel), all diehard 40K fanboys, decided that a jolly boys’ outing to Games Workshop’s “Warhammer World”, followed by a curry night in Leicester, was in order. A few messages later, and with our ‘permission to play out’ slips in hand, we were off. Paul ‘volunteered’ to drive and if anyone has been in a car with him, they will know you need to do something to take away the fear. With that in mind, the talk somehow turned to the current Horus Heresy range of miniatures by Forge World and how cool it might be to collect these figures and start gaming in the 30K and not 40K universe. A quick show of hands, except Paul who had both hands on the steering wheel, and we were all in agreement. For the record, Paul vocalised his support. Every Salute, members of the South London Warlords put on games to showcase the diversity of our club. Our creative juices were flowing and we started to get excited about how even cooler it would be to put on a 30K game for Salute 2016. A voice of reason (you know who you are) pointed out that we should maybe cool off and not get too carried away. It’s fair to say we were getting very enthusiastic about something that only a couple of us had any miniatures for. The voice of reason (you still know who you are) was quickly dismissed and we were into full planning mode. A day out to Warhammer World did nothing to diminish our planning ideas. To be honest, it just fanned it. Even a spectacular curry that evening did nothing but keep the talks flowing.

At this juncture, I must highlight how good Leicester is for Indian cuisine. That particular restaurant (Feast India) is worth a visit to Leicester for that alone. Fully sated with curry, beer and ideas, we then slept it all off and awoke to still have the ideas and living proof that we had all eaten curry! Special thanks must go out to Jo’s (my better half’s) mum for letting us all crash overnight in her house. Thank you Jo’s mum. A house full of gaming geeks is a hell of an ask. By the time we got home, we were all agreed. We would approach the South London Warlords’ Committee and propose to put on a game for Salute 2016. It’s here that I would like to extend a massive thank you to the Committee for not only taking our proposal seriously, but also for giving their wholehearted support to our project. Without the Committee, the game would never have got a step further – thank you chaps. So, onto the game itself. We wanted it to be big and completely reflect the ‘fluff’ of the 30K universe. It needed to represent how brother can turn against brother, friend against friend, son against father. This, in a nutshell, is the premise of The Horus Heresy. A civil war beyond comprehension and scale. We decided that the game would show a small part of the campaign fought on the red planet: Mars. We chose Mars because of its importance as the main weapons producer for the Imperium of man. Whoever held the forge worlds of Mars may hold the key to domination overall. Plus, who could ignore the lure of gaming over the battlescape of a war-torn Mars; not us, that’s for sure. The Warmaster Horus launched his treacherous campaign to take Mars in early M31 and successfully managed to get a significant portion the Mechanicum to play to his tune. The loyal Mechanicum and the Imperium of Man responded and what followed was a clash of Legions and Titans on an unprecedented scale. How did it turn out? Well that’s for you to find out. The game you see today as you walk round Salute is the culmination of many months of hard work, long nights, lost weekends, the shedding of blood and not least a really good laugh. Paul, Lawrence, Alan and Neil and I have enjoyed every part of the journey to get to where we are today.

We hope you enjoy its scale and the Legions and war machines that are arrayed for you. You will see the Imperial Fists, World Eaters, Mechanicum, Imperial Knights and Titans. If you look really closely you may see the dust of an approaching Warlord Titan. I don’t want to give too much away, but please keep coming past our table and as the dust clears, you may be in for a real treat. If you are reading this article but didn’t get to Salute (shame on you), don’t fret as we will be taking the game on the road over 2016/2017. Venues and dates will appear on the South London Warlords’ website and Facebook page. Come and say “hi” and ask us questions about the game and the South London Warlords. We will be only too happy to share our time. In fact you may have to shut us up.

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