Huge narrative megabattles have been happening near Limoges, France, where massive and highly detailed tables are stomped every year by thousands of points worth of models at the same time!
Les Batailles Fantastiques is a community of storytelling Warhammer gamers, who organize regular events that bring together players for giant megabattles. The NEOs (Narrative Event Organizers) act as Game Masters and allow for coordinated player efforts across tables, full of special rules and affecting enemies from all across the hall.
Their next event is right around the corner, on Friday May 12th through Sunday 14th, 2023.
Stay tuned as fantastic photos will likely pop up on their public FB page.
At ‘Les Fantastic Battles’, we will be running our annual event.
We decided to make a crazy event.
A titanic encounter representing the final battle in Ghur at the Excelsis Headquarters.
The clash between the Hammers of Sigmar chamber, and the host of Archaon, on the plains of Thondia in front of Excelsis.
The titanic duel between good and evil is about to take place.
Order against Chaos.
Destruction and possibly Death might show up in troublemaker mode.
Will you be behind SIGMAR or ARCHAON?
4 themed mega tables, equivalent to 15 harmonized 4’x6’ tables.
The organizing event team of NEOs consists of Hervé, Grégoire, John and Julien. We chatted with Hervé and Gregoire about what players can expect from the event and the community.
Q: Please tell us a bit about your community in France, and how you approach the narrative philosophy.
Hervé: We are here to tell stories of battles in a fantasy world. Enjoyment and friendliness above all!
We have been organizing large narrative play events since 2012 (originally under Warhammer Fantasy Battles rules).
We play in an unoptimized format, prioritizing diversity, all accompanied by leveling the lists so that the game lasts 5 intense rounds.
The hobby is a passion above all, with people from a thousand horizons, accompanied by goodwill.
On our Facebook page we ask players to show off their “fully” painted armies, tables, and their non-competitive games. To facilitate communication between players, for meetings and discussions, we also have a Discord server.
Q: What can players expect from the upcoming Les Batailles Fantastiques (LBF) 2023 event in May?
Grégoire: It will be a Titanic clash with 100,000pts of painted models, harmonized and scripted for the confrontation between good and evil. Every time, we try to organize bigger and bigger battles.
We start on Friday at the beginning of the afternoon.
Depending on the arrival time of every player, several pick-up games at 1500pts (leveled and drawn from the main list) are played to get acquainted and get back into it and allow less experienced players to learn tips and experience against a more seasoned benevolent player. Like a warm-up.
Hardcore gamers will be able to play 4 or even 5 games (my record ) on Friday, the less experienced will do 2 and will have the opportunity to take their time to discuss hobby at the bar.
On Saturday, the Titanic clash happens in a crazy space until its conclusion.
There will be 4 large themed tables representing the 4 locations of the confrontation (the equivalent of 15 harmonized GW gaming tables in total).
The main confrontation will be the clash between Sigmar and Archaon. On a table in Ghur, the clash is in Gallet: composed of 4 GW tables painted for the occasion, we will be putting 20,000 pts of Slaves to Darkness vs 20,000 pts of Stormcast Eternals. It’s going to be 280 warriors of chaos against 200 liberators / sequitors / vindictors… in short, excess.
Another big battle will take place in Excelsis: 7000pts of valorous forces coming from the Cities of Sigmar will do everything to protect the city against 7000pts of Skavens led by Tanquol himself.
There will be two other parallel BIG tables: one with 4 lava tables set in the Eightpoints, with 4 armies of each chaos god (3400pts each), facing against Order; then another BIG table in Ghur made up of 4 tables (it will be crazy) with Order against Chaos, again armies are 3400 pts. Everything will be painted and very well harmonized, i.e. 100,000pts in total.
At the end of round 5, the armies of all players MUST be sent to the Ghur table. Those unable to teleport will arrive in reserve, within 9” of the edge of the table. The players will take control of the Stormcast or Slaves to Darkness units on the table, and continue either the titanic confrontation of 20000 vs 20000 pts or the fight in the city of 7000 vs 7000. There will be also a confrontation of 1 vs 2 alongside (which will not go at the same speed as the big battle) and which also awaits the arrival of players from the other tables to start. This way, even a defeated tabled player without miniatures left will continue to be an actor in the game.
Theoretically our system allows us to finish in the same day: the game will start at 9am and will finish until its conclusion in the evening, or on Sunday morning.
The location of the event is in Blond, near Limoges, to facilitate the reunification of the whole community. As usual, it’s an all-inclusive format, costing €90 for the event Friday to Sunday, with barbecue meals + spartan accommodation + drink at will (beer and coffee) + participation in the LBF.
I remind everyone food is sacred at the LBF, especially when our 4-person staff weighs more than 400kg together, so it’s all barbecue and vegetables from local farmers.”
Q: What Narrative innovations and special rules do you generally deploy in these events?
Hervé: The players engage in their battles using our custom rules. With more than 30 megabattles to our credit, we manage this type of event very well by now. I’ll give you a very quick summary.
Players start in 1vs1 games at 3000pts on a 44×60” table, until the end of round 2 like a normal game. At the beginning of round 3, we open the borders to adjacent tables: phases are now coordinated (initiative roll etc.), from round-to-round, the players can shoot across, moving from table to table on their respective kingdoms, etc.
Rules that affect the whole table only have effect on the 44×60” table wheref the player’s model is located, and they must choose one table if several possibilities are available (example, khorne blood tithe).
Armies will have a new Heroic action, THE BIFRÖST: a Hero and all units in 9” can teleport anywhere on any Kingdoms, more than 9” from the opponent (with 8” from round 6, 7” round 7, 5” round 8). It goes without saying that the teleport/reserve rules from round 3 onward can go anywhere.
Concerning the rules for each table, it’s a management case by case, and players can ask to talk to the Games Master.
Q: When it comes to list-building and pairing players, you have a number of protocols that you ask players to take in mind. Could you tell us a bit more?
Hervé: We ask players to bring “benevolent” lists. By benevolent, I mean a list without multiple optimized units seen recurring in tournaments. The objective is to have lists with diversity (I validate the lists before the event).
In 1500pts warm-up battles, I prioritize putting a beginner player against an experienced player, who will guide their opponent to remind him of the rules and possibilities of the game (anticipation, defensive organization, choice of priorities and preparation to undergo a double round). 1500t games with leveling allowing exchanges and facilitating the setting up of the next day’s battles.
On the plains of Ghur, in front of the besieged city of Excelsis, will be fought the most terrible battle since the Realmgate Wars.
Archaon leading the Legion of Chaos, steps over Excelsis City to take possession of his Allgate and break the light of Sigmar on Ghur forever.
But Sigmar won’t let the city down without a fight: stormcasts from the Hammers of Sigmar’s full chamber will be facing them.
In all memory, never have so many troops clashed on Ghur.
Meanwhile, in the city of Excelsis the fighting has been raging for months with the skaven led by Tanquol. But the city stands thanks to the valour of reinforcements coming from the many towns of Sigmar led by Lord Gregloire of Gridunor, commander of Sigmar himself.
From everywhere come reinforcements, demonic hordes, warlords, long time allies. They all responded to the call of their respective suzerains.
Lords of War, you will act in this confrontation, you will lead your troops, there will be only two possibilities: perish or survive, for the prisoners will pass on the sword’s thread.
But the Beast refuses to let order or chaos rule his kingdom by doing nothing……..
Thank you, Hervé and Grégoire!
We will be following the event online, so please post lots of pictures on social media!
You can find the Event details in their FB community page here.
What do you think about this event?
Do you have any questions for the NEOs, and how they manage to maintain such a large group of narrative players coming back year after year? And managing a team of organizers?
Leave your comments below!