In the last few months we've had a few brilliant training games for Ollie's Night Lords - the Traitor performances in our campaign demanded some practice in the finer nuances of the Horus Heresy... Kidding aside, our games are not competitive in nature at all, and the gaming sprees in good company are most about enjoying the visual and narrative sides of the hobby. There's something special about this rules edition that I think will stay with us forever - it's the classic that we've grown up with and have the fondest memories of. Awesome battles like this always leave us inspired to paint more figs and to plan new gaming occasions in good company.
That being said, the games are often much more vivid and enjoyable when a player has got the hang of their army and knows how to use the troops in a tactical and efficient manner. This is not dependant on the final results really, just the feeling of playing the game and expressing oneself as the general of a personal collection. Therefore we've taken pleasure in arranging a couple of "training sessions" to test out new unit types, deployment ideas and combat tactics. I think me and Ollie both have got a lot of new ideas (and reinforced some of the old ones) on how to play our armies and learnt what we can expect from some of the more specialized units. The Night Raptors are a great example of a squad that lives and dies depending on how it's maneuvered, starting right from the deployment. Lots of little things with great impact one can do with model placement and movement. Taking these lessons with us I think we'll do well as our Thracian Insurgency campaign story progresses!
I've been so happy with our 1000 point campaign games and how well the Horus Heresy system has worked for us even with smaller armies. The custom scenarios combining Age of Darkness missions, Maelstrom of War card objectives and vanilla Eternal War scenarios have been very entertaining. We've only required a single Troops choice and this has given just enough room for balanced list building - 1000 points accommodates a nice combination of infantry, elites, characters and war machines. No space for much unit duplication either!