For those of you who couldn't afford to go to Uprising Adelaide (myself included), the "40k Friendly" ran at Cancon in Canberra. It's been quite the fall from grace post-pandemic, to the point where there was no ITC-equivalent event (2k points, standard missions, etc.) running.

But, I was hell bent on playing at CanCon, and so I deathmarched 1,500 points of Salamanders - so when I rolled into the venue at 9:00 from my park on the other side of EPIC, I felt an overwhelming sense of being at home, and amongst my people.

I saw a lot of friends I haven't seen in ages, talked about my primary hobby, and generally speaking, had a great time being present.

The event was just that - an event. We did not use Leviathan or Leviathan GT missions. In fact, most games played exactly the same - Dawn of War deployment, with random, Maelstrom of War cards that had been custom printed by the TO.

I appreciate the effort he went to, as they were very nice.

Here's the list that I went with:


Adrax Agatone [85pts]: Warlord

Apothecary [60pts]: Champion of Humanity

Apothecary Biologis [70pts]: Forged in Battle

Captain in Gravis Armour [100pts]: Adamantine Mantle
-Relic Blade

Lieutenant in Phobos Armour [55pts]

+ Battleline +

Assault Intercessor Squad [10 - 160pts]
-Thunder Hammer

Intercessor Squad [5 - 85pts]
-Astartes Grenade Launcher

+ Infantry +

Aggressor Squad [6 - 220pts]
-Flamestorm Gauntlets

Eliminator Squad [3 - 75pts]

Eradicator Squad [6 - 190pts]
Eradicator Squad [3 - 95pts]
Eradicator Squad [3 - 95pts]

Infiltrator Squad [5 - 100pts]
-Helix Gauntlet

Infiltrator Squad [5 - 100pts]

This is mostly what I had painted, the army list, but it was also an extension of the "triple threat" list I use in 1,000 points, which is mostly centred around a unit of Bladeguard, a unit of Aggressors, and a unit of Eradicators.

I added in some more stuff to play the board, but as it turns out, I shouldn't have bothered. The way the games worked, I would've been better off just taking more power.

Game 1 - v Caleb (Ultramarines)

Caleb was very new to the game, playing his first game of 10th edition against me. He was using whatever models he had, which was a collection of pretty nice stuff - Bob G, Hellblasters, and a Vindicare assassin.

Unfortunately for him, despite Bob G's stature as a heroic master and commander, he doesn't like melta guns. My Eradicator brick invited "big blue" to take a seat, whilst my deathball of Assault Intercessors pitched a tent in the center of the board.

It didn't all go my way, but the amount of stuff that did go my way meant that the game was long over by the time we called it at the bottom of turn 3.

Result: Salamander Win

Game 2 - v Dad (Grey Knights)

I've done this dance with Dad a few times, but normally at home, in peace and quiet, where the stakes are a lot lower. He had his normal list of two terminator squads, one paladin squad, two squads of strike knights, BC Stern, a Librarian, and two Dreadknights.

The board was also a lot lighter than we are normally used to, but it is what it is.

The Grey Knights were very aggressive, pushing both Dreadknights onto the right hand side of the board.

They did some damage, but nowhere near the amount they needed to, and I responded pretty brutally, removing both with spare change.

His next wave of units included the three Terminator squads. They did more damage, but again, not enough to seize momentum away from the men in Green, and I did what I do best in Firestorm, which is to utilise the triple threat to kill absolutely everyone.

Again, the game ended at the bottom of turn three, with the Grey Knights routed and the Salamanders in control of the board.

Result: Salamander Win

Around the grounds, there were plenty of beautiful armies:

Day one was pretty good - I got to say hello to a lot of people I haven't seen for a long time, and generally soak up the atmosphere. Certainly because of the nature of the event, I wasn't playing to win games of little toy soldiers.

I went home, got some sleep, took some cold and flus to deal with some post-viral rubbish I'd been trying to shake off all week, and headed back out the next morning.

I did have a pain point when the EPIC parking attendant tried to wave me off toward the parking lot again, even though I'd gotten there a full hour ahead of time. But I managed to duck and weave my way into a spot fairly near the venue, and was happy with the fact my walk back would be a lot shorter.

Game 3 - v Paul (Tyranids)

I made the cardinal sin of underestimating my opponent. Another young lad, this time playing Crusher Stampede Tyranids. He had a bunch of shooting bugs, some fighting bugs, and was generally very well prepared.

As per usual I lost first turn, and he did his very best to absolutely shred me with the volume of firepower from his Zoanthropes, Exocrine and Tyrannofex. Not that there was much of a place to hide any of my units.

I clawed my way back in terms of kill count, easily removing a unit of Von Ryan's Leapers in overwatch whilst mumbling to myself about "teaching him a lesson", and my Gravis Captain even killed his Broodlord in single combat.

But, as it turns out, it wasn't nearly enough - I'm seriously bad at math, and underestimated the amount of work I would need to do in order to kill his Exocrine with my Eradicators, and Big Adrax and friends proved that they were not, in fact, Bladeguard, and fell very short of killing Paul's Hive Tyrant.

As it turns out, he'd collected all the mission cards, too, and so the end result was a very convincing win for the young sir. Very well played, too, I might add.

(Dad would make him concede in the next game. What a bully.)

Result: Salamander Loss

Game 4 v Nathan (Death Guard)

Nathan, much like Caleb, was very new to the game. He was still learning his way through 10th edition. To his credit, much like Caleb, he played very well, his army was nicely painted, and together, we conspired to have a good game.

Nathan was running a pretty standard Death Guard force. No indirect mortar carriers, but Mortarion, Plague Marines, and a unit of Deathshroud Terminators with a Chaos Lord in reserve.

Unfortunately for Nathan, I offered Mortarion a tasty snack of vulnerable Infiltrators, which he was more than happy to gobble up, only to realise that had drawn him into the middle of my army, and he perished soon after.

Elsewhere the Eradicator brick did its job, and removed all the vehicles it could see, and Adrax and friends used the counter-attack stratagem to murder the incoming unit of Deathshroud terminators.

We got all the way to turn five, but it was pretty clear that the Salamanders had won the day.

Result: Salamander Win

Game 5 - v Mark (Chaos Space Marines)

Mark was running a baby version of the very meta-relevant Forgefiend list. Two Forgefiends, a Vindicator, some Havocs, Terminators, and some traitor guard.

I saw this list, and ended up having to play that list on this table:

There isn't much more to say. I tried my best to claw it back, double-bluffing my opponent to kill his Vindicator and one of the Forgefiends, but half my army disappeared turn one, and there wasn't much else to be done after that.

Unsurprisingly, I lost. Badly. I finished the game with models on the table, and that's about the only positive thing I can say about the last game.

Result: Salamander Loss

So, 3-2 overall, but results weren't counted, so I waited for presentation, packed up my stuff, and left. In the end, I was pretty chuffed to have painted 1,500 points of dudes - and will be pushing hard to make 2,000 for Capital Clash.

A big thanks to Archer for running it.

Catch you next time,

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+++Content Warning+++

It's been awhile since I've done one of these. You're about to get raw, nasty, sweary, vitriol, pumped directly into your eye sockets.

Those of you who aren't prepared for some pretty forceful, red blooded commentary, should scroll back up to the sign-off, and stop reading here.

Last chance.

Alright. I fucking warned you. And if you come at me on my facebook page, you'll be damn sure I'm not going to cop any devil's advocate horseshit.

Let's talk about what it means to be "friendly". Here's what the dictionary definition of "friendly" is.

How fun! Words! Definitions! Oxford!

I had a number of discussions with Scott, the TO, in the leadup to the event.

I asked about what missions we were going to use. I was led to believe there was an "open" component, where players would play something similar to normal, boring 40k.

This was in between jabs about "tournament packs being bad" and "wanting to turn up and rail people."

As it turns out, what that meant was "here's a deck of Maelstrom of War cards, and you'll deploy the same way every game.". So the iPad I bought to scorekeep was useless, because we didn't use the Games Workshop missions or secondaries.

The Maelstrom of War cards didn't really work, some of them were impossible to achieve, some of them were needlessly complicated, and some of them were just fucking stupid.

And I'm sure some smug dickhead will read this and go "hurr hurr hurr, the tryhard showed up wanting to rail people and got railed himself, just desserts!"

Listen, shithead, I didn't show up to do anything. I wanted six games of 40k in the shed. 40k, not some strange ruleset which uses the main gameplay that doesn't use half the stuff to make the game interesting. I got five, I had to figure out deployment, and the boards were so light on terrain we may as well have been playing on the moon.

The coverage on some of those boards would've made 4th edition ultraviolent. GW has even acknowledged this and made terrain layouts. If you can't get boards to that standard, ask for help.

And if you think the game giving you layouts to make a game fun and less of a shooting gallery is "too competitive", get fucked. My Dad's last game was spent on this board, against Imperial Knights:

No description available.

Let me be very, clear. "Tournament" is not a dirty word. "Organised play" is not a sin. Games Workshop gave you the resources to play normal, boring 40k.

Do you know what makes a game friendly? You and your opponent. The manner in which you conduct yourself. Your willingness to be sporting, and chivalrous. 10th edition is reasonably well constructed as a ruleset. Don't be a dick, and the game will do the rest.

You do not need to insert yourself, and start cooking up stupid shit which doesn't make the game better, and actively interrupts the enjoyment of the game for the two players.

And if you don't know enough about the game to make a judgement call about how strong or weak an opponent's army is (which you definitely don't, because some guy was running around in the friendly with five greater daemons), don't split the event up.

I started the weekend enthusiastic for 40k in the shed, and left with an axe to grind. There were more players in 6th ed, Infinity, Bolt Action, and obviously AoS pulled your pants down and did a victory lap with your dignity.

40k at CanCon used to be the biggest event on the calendar. 150 people, when that was an impressive number to reach. Now it's a safe space for people who think the word "Tournament" is simply unbearable.

I want so much better for 40k at CanCon. The old yellow lady deserves better. And if it weren't for the fact that my second little one was on the way, it may just be me next year, trying to make a difference.

Uprising this year had 300 people. You aren't even a blip on the radar. Do better.