Chaos Unleashed – Throne of Skulls Event Review
On April the 15th and 16th I journeyed up to Warhammer World to take part in the Age of Sigmar Throne of Skulls event called Chaos Unleashed which was an open play event using the open play battle pack found in the core rulebook.
Let me start of by explaining what a Throne of Skulls event is, Throne of Skulls events are a more casual event held exclusively at Warhammer World and unlike most other events these events score players based on not only their gaming score but how many favourite player votes and favourite army votes they get. You get a maximum of 3 points for a major win for a total of 15 and 3 points for each favourite player and army vote you get which again is a maximum of 15 per category for a total of 45.
Now I haven’t played open play since Age of Sigmar’s inception back in 2015 so I was a little bit excited to see how it differed from the usual matched play events I’ve been to which I’ll get to at the end of this article.
The event staff very kindly sent out the missions, deployment and twists ( yep twists are a thing in open play) about 9 days before the event so that players could see what they wanted to bring and had enough time to plan for the event which was nice and a well thought out consideration from the event team.
With the event being open play we didn’t need to submit army lists a head of time instead the event wanted us build 1500 point armies at the beginning of each game. For me I new this would be a bit of a pain a head of time so I just wrote a 1500 point list before the event and just used that for day 1 and wrote another list for day 2, in all 5 games my opponents did the same so we never had to build our armies the way the event said to; one player would pick a unit then it would alternate with the other player having to put more points down than you did previously until both players had 1500 point lists.
I chose to build my list like this simply to have more time playing rather than building an army.
Registration was super quick and easy on the Saturday morning as it always is with Warhammer World events which for those who have never been is located in Bugmans Bar, the event team gave players a piece of card that had all the missions, deployment maps and twists on for easy reference which made the event run very smoothly for me.
I decided to take my Blades of Khorne army down to this event having painted it back in lockdown in 2020 and never played a game with it. I love adding a little twist when I go to events so with my faction decided I came up with a fun aim for the event, basically I would keep track of the amount of unspent blood tithe points I accumulated over the weekend and depending on how many unspent points I had at the end of the weekend would determine what I could buy as shown below.
Little things like this make events fun for me even if I’m losing all of my games which is why I go to events … to have fun.
On day 1 I took the following list :
Lets jump into the games.
Game 1 vs Arthur (Nighthaunt)
The mission in this game was to loot the objectives on the opponents side of the table and if one player was able to loot all 3 they automatically won the game if not it came down to who controlled the most at the end of turn 5, my opponent Arthur mentioned that at the beginning of the game that this was his first ever event at Warhammer World so the pressure ( there was no real pressure obviously ) was on to give a good first game.
There were a lot of silly moments in the game, the Bloodcrushers killing the Mourngul after I dropped a brass meteor with blood tithe points on it was awesome but the highlight for me was the Scriptor Mortis killing the Bloodthirster turn 3 with its “Sentenced to Eternal Torment” rule which on paper does not look good at all but worked in this game and hey it was a blood tithe point. At the beginning of turn 5 we both had 1 objective left each and whoever won the role would loot the objective, the game ended with Arthur winning a major victory by winning the turn 5 priority role.
Game 2 vs Jack (Slaves to Darkness)
This game focused around just killing more stuff than your opponent but in order to get the major you had to get a least double the amount of kill points your opponent did. My opponent Jack had a very cool list with a big block of slaanesh chosen with the ability to run and charge and a big block of Nurgle warriors with all his heroes being wizards in the cabalists subfaction.
Khorne proved to be the superior chaos god in this game with me getting 1455 points and Jack getting 930 points although I did have to re-summon the Bloodthirster which ultimately made a big difference to what I could buy at the end of the event.
Game 3 vs Grace (Idoneth Deepkin)
Game 3 was a brutal and bloody game which for Khorne means a great game, there were four objectives on the table and each player got a number of points a turn equal to the number of objectives they controlled… simples. Ultimately the objectives played very little in the outcome of this game as most of the khorne army was dead by the end of turn 2. Still playing Idoneth was fun, they are quick and have a lot of tricks at their disposal and by the end of the game I had a decent amount of blood tithe points so khorne kind of won too ?
With the event being open play players were free to change their army ( not faction ) in between games and with me driving home on the Saturday night I decided to try out a different list which had 8 drops… Khorne’s number.
The list I took on day 2 was :
I added One-Eyed Grunnock in simply because I have never used him in a game and I took Karanak instead of Skulltaker because the event organiser Steve made me ( he didn’t, he said he was fun so ).
Game 4 vs Josh ( Stormcast )
Game 4 was against Josh and his amazingly painted Hammers of Sigmar Stormcast which had a nice mix of thunderstrike and sacrosanct units in which I haven’t seen on the table in a very long time, the mission was to try and capture 3 objectives that ran across the length of the board. If one player controlled all 3 they got a major victory, if one player controlled 2 objectives they would get a minor victory and any other result was a draw
The game was as you would imagine very bloody, the Bloodthirster charged into Yndrasta and splattered her in one round of combat thanks to some bad ward saves on Josh’s part which for me was the highlight of the game as Yndrasta is a huge pain whenever I play against her for my Sons of Behemet, in the end I had to summon a Bloodmaster onto on of the objectives in order to squeak out a minor win which in all honesty I did feel a little bad about as I would have gladly taken a draw in that game.
Game 5 vs Matt ( Daughters of Khaine )
Going into game 5 I was on 27 blood tithe points so I was very nearly able to buy a vanguard box or equivalent so when I got paired against Matt and his daughters I had no doubt I would get the 6 blood tithe points I needed. Matt had taken a big unit of 15 Blood Sisters which with all the bonuses were insane in combat not to mention that after they fight they do mortal wounds on a 2+ for each model in the unit.
The mission was to control 2 objectives on the board but like game 3 the objectives got forgotten about very quickly as my entire army was killed by the end of turn 2 by pretty much the Blood Sisters themselves.
By the end of the event I had earned 35 blood tithe points which earned me either a vanguard box or 3 units which is roughly the same as a vanguard box, had I not summoned the Bloodthirster back in game 2 I would have had enough blood tithe points to get Skarbrand or another Bloodthirster instead I went for a box of Wrathmongers and both versions of the Deathbringers as I love the models and mortal wise I don’t have a lot of mortal khorne models.
Playing open play was really fun and a nice break from playing matched play games, the missions I could tell could be a bit swingy and there were definitely players who had tailored the lists to try and win specific missions but I thankfully did not play any of these players. Ultimately it’s the games you have that determine if an event was good or not and thankfully all 5 of my opponents came with similar mindsets to me… to have fun.
Winning my games was a secondary mission for me, I went down to the event just to roll some dice with an army that has sat unused for far too long and I did that, the event team were as always fantastic and had put a lot of thought into making the event as enjoyable as possible. My only minor criticism was the time given for building an army ( 30 mins ) kinda ate into my game time which is why I wrote a list a head of time with that said though I loved being able to change my list in between games and 1500 points was a great size for a game.
So in conclusion I had a lot of fun playing at this event, I had 5 amazing opponents which made the event for me. Would I play open all the time … no I wouldn’t as I think the missions are very basic which is good but not incredibly balanced although as I type this matched play missions can also be a bit like that at times , in short though I loved the event because it was something a bit different to what I am used to and it was incredibly well run and relaxing most importantly; I would 100% go to another open play event in the future.
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