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 Warhammer 40K GT

A Games Workshop Tournament Down Under

by Michael Withington

In case anyone was wondering, one reason I have missed the last few HKSW meetings is because I was frantically preparing an army for the WH40k Grand Tournament in Sydney in March. Games Workshop now runs these GT's in several countries, and they have become fairly prestigious. So I duly got up at 6.00 am in order to secure a ticket from their mail order people (they sell out very fast), and then began the arduous business of getting an army done.

Games Workshop's GT's are funny things. Although you'd think it would be a straightforward matter of taking a powerful army and grinding every opponent's army to dust, in fact there is rather more to it. Army composition and painting is very important, as is sportsmanship, to the extent that it's possible to win overall without winning every game.

A trend in recent years has been novelty armies, which take one of the prescribed army lists then give it an unusual twist (such as having an Imperial Guard army composed entirely of dwarves). I already had such an army underway - the Greenmarines, which are basically Orks in power armour. I won't bore you with the background, but the idea is that a new Space Marine chapter became tainted by Orkiness, and the result was an army of Marines with green skin, big teeth and a bad attitude.

This sort of army involves a lot of work, because everything is converted from the basic models, and it has to be painted to a high standard or it just looks lame. I was therefore still painting them on the afternoon I left for Australia - indeed, I was still going until late the next day at my parents' place in Sydney. The finishing touches were applied at 1.00 am the night before the GT started. I should add that I got some invaluable help from Wayne, who gave up a few afternoons to paint plastic men with me (thanks Wayne!).

The GT itself proved to be very enjoyable. It was held in a large room under the Sydney Town Hall with 60 gaming tables (30 for WH40k, 30 for Warhammer), all covered in a variety of well finished terrain. The Aussie players were, as you'd hope, fairly relaxed, and there were some impressive armies there. With all the pressure of getting it finished, I had never actually got around to trying my army out, so my first game at the GT was the first time the Greenmarines saw battle. They were rather a small army, and I didn't think they were terribly competitive in a GT environment, which tends to involved large numbers of troops. To my surprise, they beat a much more numerous opponent, and (after being utterly annihilated the next game) went on to win another 3 games, giving me a total of 4 wins and 1 loss - not a bad result at all. More importantly, I won the Best Painted award, and the People's Choice (where all the players vote for their favourite army). With the additional points these gave me (plus a good Sportsmanship score), I came 4th overall. So I was very satisfied.

I'm hoping that GW will hold a GT late this year in Hong Kong. Anyone who's interested in either WH40k or Warhammer should pester them to get it organised!

Here are some photos of the army, click on the images below to view them in detail.  

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