The Badman Chronicles, Part 3: The War for Miltner’s Docks

Dear Reader, I bring news. Somehow, the Badman Chronicles has returned.

And what a return it’s going to be this time, gang. In my last installment, hobby progress was stalled by painting Havocs and Elden Ring, and I summarized the whopping five games I’ve managed to squeeze in with the Arks of Omens GT pack. I’ve got a GT event happening very soon, so we will be getting plenty more Arks of Omen GT action, but right now it’s time to take those matched play rules and toss them right over your shoulder. This installment of the Badman Chronicles is all about Crusade, baby.

Oh, and hobby progress of course. Can’t skip that.


Maybe somewhere out there, someone is wondering to themselves “Did Dan finish those Havocs yet?”

Nope. Nada. Negative, Ghost Rider. Still need to finish edge highlighting black power armor.

This time around, I did some heavy kitbashing on 5 more possessed, and broke out of my painting slump by painting up 4 Legionaries and 5 Chosen to my “Battle Ready” standard using one of the biggest time-saving tricks I’ve ever tried in my time painting models.

First, the Possessed. Last time, I didn’t include pictures of the five Possessed with headswaps. Since they were simple kitbashes, I figured people will see them when I get it painted. These next five were more involved, as now I wanted to lean in harder on the Slaves to Darkness Chosen elements I added to the previous Possessed. This time, I extended my kitbashing to include a few arms from the Chosen Kits and the Aspiring Champion kit as well as bits from a few others. Those were pretty simply swaps to do, sometimes I did need to cut away an arm that was previously there but all and all, it was not biggie. Some arms from the kit I left on, but trimed away the claw to replace it with something else, like the one model in the squad that has a hand from the new Daemon Prince kit instead of a Crab Claw.

The converted Possessed, after priming

The biggest conversion in the squad is the model with two crab claws. This model normally has spider-like appendages growing out from their right arm and a normal left arm, and honestly I don’t really like it. The spider leg arms just don’t look very dangerous. So, for this model I decided to chop off both arms, careful to make sure I left the pauldron the arm is attached to intact. Then, I picked out some arms from the Fiends of Slaanesh kit and some chaos marine arms. I chopped the Chaos Marine arms at the elbow, and greenstuffed the fiend claws onto the arms. I didn’t have to do too much crazy greenstuff sculpting to make this work, and honestly my sculpting skills still need improvement. Despite that, I’m really excited with how all of these came out after priming, especially the fiend claw guy. My brain worms about having a bunch of Possessed that look different from one another can rest easy.

On the painting side of things, I needed to get some models done for my Crusade order of battle quickly. Greg “Klobasnek” Narro, who’s been putting together the rules and organizing for the Parasbine Secundus campaign, has a rule in place that unpainted models can be used in Crusade, but can never get XP from agendas and cannot be marked for greatness. I like this ruling, but it does mean that I need to make sure the unpainted models in my Order of Battle get painted quick. The models that I need to paint to at least a battle ready standard were 4 Legionaries with the new free wargear options, and a little bit later 5 more Chosen. I managed to knock these guys out in record time, I think it was maybe a week of painting in the evenings start to finish for all nine models, with a day or two where I didn’t paint at all in between.

Credit: Swiftblade

That’s really fast for results this good. How did I do it, and not get lost in gold trim painting hell? That’s where my big time saving secret technique comes in.

When I paint my Chaos Marines, the fastest way I’ve found to paint the models is to paint the trim first, where I base Retributor Armor, layer Liberator Gold, and go over it with Guilliman Flesh. Then I put a base coat on all the model details and shade them as well. During this part, especially while painting the trim, I don’t worry about being too messy, and just focus on knocking out these features. This prevents me from losing my mind while painting trim, but the tradeoff is that it does mean there’s a lot of mess to clean up on the panels of the marine’s armor. I’ve found in the past that Abaddon Black is actually really bad for covering up mistakes unless you glob it on, so I switched to Army Painter Matte Black which was at least a little better for coverage. Even with that change, the longest part of painting my Chaos Marines is cleaning up the black panels and making sure no gold or any other color is peaking through. It’s a very tedious process I don’t love doing.

I was holding out for a hero to get me out of this painting nightmare. I got my hero: Andrew, Hero of Team Imperium and apparently Hero of Painting Black.

While chatting with Andrew one day, he told me something he had tried that blew him out of the water. If you find yourself often painting black, I suggest you sit down in preparation for this awesome power I’m about to share with you.

Andrew mentioned he had used Black Legion Contrast to paint Black, and it was so good he was never going back.

I was a little unsure until I tried it myself on the Legionaries. It was like watching water turn to wine.

The new Contrast line released last year can be categorized as “ultra-pigmented” contrasts. These paints, like Doomfire Magenta or Baal Red, don’t create many highlights or lowlights like regular contrast does but instead are just crazy dense with pigments, and create a very vibrant flat color. Black Legion is one of those “Ultra-Pigmented” contrast paints. So, with only one or two quick coats of Black Legion on the black panels of my models, I could wipe away most mistakes in record time while still keeping the paint nice and thin so these flat panels look nice.

Here’s a quick pic of before and after a coat of Black Legion on one of the Chosen.

Before and after a coat of Black Legion Contrast Paint

One coat, maybe two to make almost all the mistakes I made while painting these models up disappear. Mind blowing. If you paint lots of black for your army, open your heart to Black Legion Contrast.

Credit: Swiftblade

The Parasbine Secundus Crusade

Before I go too much farther, I want to give a shoutout again to Klobasnek and the Goonhammer team. The work Klobasnek has done for the Parasbine Secundus Crusade and the work put by several others into the Goonhammer Global Campaign that Parasbine is a part of is impressive, and playing in these campaigns has been a blast.

With that out of the way, we go bravely into the War for Parasbine Secundus, and catch up with my force in the Crusade “The Warhost of the Soulbinder”.

If you have not already, I suggest reading this article here about the Parasbine Secundus campaign. Not only does it give a rundown of the forces fighting in the crusade, but also it touches on the way we are doing teams in this campaign. I’m a big fan of how Klobasnek has done the team system, and judging from just how active the crusade has been most of the other folks in the crusade are fans as well.

This is the first cycle of the crusade, meaning we are running 750 point incursion games from a 1000 point order of battle, as well as having the option to do boarding actions. I’m running “The Warhost of the Soulbound”, a warband of former Word Bearers who have joined the Black Legion under the command of my Warband Champion, Dark Apostle Malioch Soulbinder. In keeping with his heritage as a Word Bearer and status as a big bad guy of Parasbine, I’m going to make Malioch just the most conniving, gleefully evil villain possible. Channel my inner Starscream. Toss in a dash of Kurgan, Dio Brando, and Scar to really get ourselves a wicked stew going for Mr. The Soulbinder.

Malioch Soulbinder and Master of Possesion Kor Ta’keph, up to no good

In building the order of battle for the Warhost of the Soulbound, I wanted to put an emphasis on running units that best take advantage of the Word Bearers rules I’ll be using as well as trying to keep thematic. So, at the start, it’s a Dark Apostle, Master of Possession, Cultist Mob, Legionary squad, 2 units of Possessed, Chosen with the Black Rune, Venomcrawler, and Autocannon Havocs. Lots of melee nasties to take advantage of Word Bearers viciousness in combat, while staying thematic to being former Word Bearers and running the daemonic forges of Parasbine.

Most lists I put together from this order of battle are fast and mean as hell in a fight, and between Chosen with the Black Rune as well as multiple buffs I can hand out from the Master of Possession and Dark Apostle it can be durable to boot. It’s not perfect though, I don’t have much in terms of serious shooting threat in my order of battle at the outset and many of my defensive buffs rely on my characters staying alive. Plus, in such small games, if any of my nasty combat squads get knocked out early I’m going to feel it.

The Warhost of the Soulbound are a part of the larger team, “The Soulbinders Cabal”, in the Parasbine Secundus campaign. For the first cycle, The Cabal has been paired against the Adeptus Astartes forces of Strike Force Gladius, as Gladius launches multiple drop pod assaults on the orbital port of Miltners Docks to establish a beachhead on Parasbine Secundus. The Soulbinder’s Cabal won’t suffer the indignity of letting the Astartes have any ground on Parasbine, and fight to repel the Astartes. I’ve managed to get four games in so far, which I’ll give some battle reports for.

GAME 1- “Tip of the Gladius”, versus Grant’s “Strike Force Pilum” (Ultramarines)

Mission: Spearhead, from Plague Purge

Game one against Grant’s Ultramarines is the very start of the assault on Miltner’s Docks. The forces of Strike Force Pilum have made landfall and launch a lighting strike against the port. They don’t expect to find the Warhost of the Soulbound, forewarned of the Astartes arrival through daemonic prophecy, waiting for them there, ready to halt the attack. Can the Ultramarines break through the Chaos lines?

In Spearhead, the scoring objectives are based on holding objectives and having forces in the opponents deployment zone at the end of the game. Grant has bonuses on the first 2 turns to advances and charges, and I have free overwatch. The combat units Grant brings don’t worry me too much, he has Outriders that I can comfortably deal with using Possessed, Chosen, or a Venomcrawler. His Captain and Lieutenant are also tooled for combat, but I can deal with them if I need to.

What’s going to be a problem for me is Grant’s shooting capabilities. He has a Redemptor and Devestator squad with mixed weapons. In a game as small as this, their shooting can reasonably kill enough of my forces fast enough that I won’t be able to stop him from breaking through. I deploy defensively out of LoS, and Grant deploys Infiltrators ahead on an objective and the rest of his army poised to push forward.

I get first turn, and my Havocs step out and open fire on an Intercessor squad in the open. I roll some hot dice, and the Havoc’s take the first kill of the campaign. Good for them.

From there, the Possessed take out the Infiltrator squad, but are almost completely wiped out from shooting by the Redemptor, and charges from the Outrider and the Redemptor again. The Possessed are dumb lucky for surviving, even with just one guy alive. The Devastators fire on the Chosen to little effect, and now a brawl has started near one of the objectives.

Kor Ta’keph tries to punch out a Redemptor, gets punched out instead

I have to commit almost my whole army outside the Havocs and Cultists to try and push out the Redemptor and characters, which isn’t easy and costs me my Master of Possession and Chosen. The Havocs try to remove the Devastators with another shooting round, but Grant nails his saves on the squad and in return blows away my Havocs. In the end, it’s Malioch Soulbinder himself who is able to drop the Redemptor thanks to Omen of Potency,  who also survives to march up the board and kill the devastators with help from the Possessed, which have a guy brought back by the MoP before he goes down.

It’s a bloody battle, but when the dust settles by turn 4 Grant’s been taken off the table, and the Soulbound take the day. A great game with Grant, we both had a bunch of fun and it was a delightful start to the crusade.

Game Two- “Fell Omens”, versus Christian’s “Strike Force Fervent Rebuke” (Dark Angels)

Mission: The Ritual, from Core Rulebook

Game two is against Christian’s Dark Angels successor chapter, the Angels of Vengeance (Note: Christian is using regular Dark Angels rules here, not successor chapter rules). Malioch has prepared dark rituals at Miltner’s docks to further his schemes, and with burning judgement pounding in their twin hearts the Angels of Vengeance have come to stop him.

The Soulbound must protect that artifact which is most precious: Badcast objective markers

This game is going to be a brutal combat affair. Christian’s attack force for this list is three Deathwing Terminator squads, and a bike chaplain as well as an interrogator chaplain to boost the charge rolls of the Deathwing and hand out combat rerolls, while also being beatsticks themselves. Fortunately, he doesn’t have the banner to reduce my damage against the Deathwing Terminators in his list, and with the baleful icon on the Master of Possession, Illusory Supplication, and the Black Rune I can maybe, maybe hold him back when the close combat starts. If he gets to Malioch, I’m hosed. I don’t think he can survive a round in combat with any of this lists nastiness.

Christian keeps two units of Deathwing in teleport strike, and I deploy close to Malioch to keep him safe and try to deny getting a squad of Terminators dropped in from behind me. He gets first turn, moves up, and prepares for his big attack next turn. I send a squad of Possessed south to perform an action the objective for my agenda as well as hold it, and move my Chosen north with as many defensive buffs as I can fit on them with my other squad of Possessed right behind to strike as a second wave.

The Deathwing gets ready to rumble

Christian brings in his extra two terminator squads from deep strike, and charges two terminator squads and the Bike Chaplain into the Chosen and the Interrogator Chaplain and last terminator squad crashing into the Possessed to the south. I catch a huge break here when he selects the Bike Chaplain to swing first at the Chosen. The Chosen right now are as terrible a target to attack as I can make them: with all the buffs on them they currently have transhuman to be hit, are T5 at -1 to be wounded, and no rerolls allowed at all from the MoP’s baleful icon. The Bike Chaplain wiffs. I spend CP to interrupt here with my Possessed to the south, and also have enough CP to give my Possessed full wound rerolls. With horrible mutant claws and weapons they drop the Interrogator Chaplain as well as 3 Terminators. It’s a huge swing for me, if that squad had been wiped out I would’ve had to had to stop Christian from both the north and south. Now, I just need to clean up the Terminators and stop him from the north.

The Chosen survive the attacks from the Terminators, and they hold the line admirably as both the squads of Possessed I brought and Legionaries get to work trying to deal with the remaining terminators. The Legionaries get killed pretty quick and pick up a battle scar that they cant be targeted with stratagems, but the Posessed and Chosen eventually eat through the rest of the Terminators and Bike Chaplain.

The Soulbound comes away with another victory here and Malioch completes his ritual, while the Angels of Vengeance swear their revenge. We agree to try to get a rematch in the not so distant future, and it looks like the first grudge match of the crusade may be beginning to develop. Christian is good people though, and what good is a bad guy without a good nemesis?

Game 3- “A Deadly Halo”, Versus Sam’s “Strike Force Angelos” (Blood Angels)

Mission: Entrapment from Plague Purge

Game Three against Blood Angels is the hardest fought mission of the four I played this cycle. In this mission, my Chaos Marines are surrounded in an ambush from the sky by the Blood Angels. It seems like Malioch has developed a reputation, and now I need to hold on to vital supplies until I can be evacuated from the ambush.

It’s not gonna be easy, that’s for sure. Sam’s list is full of melee nastiness with Vanguard Veterans, lightning claw Asault Terminators, and Sanguinary Guard all led by his Librarian Dreadnaught. Plus, my Chosen are sitting this one out as I work on painting reinforcements I plan to add to the squad, so my beefiest unit to try and stall the Blood Angels charges won’t be participating.

We score points on this mission by holding one of the two objectives and holding more than the opponent, as well as killing an enemy unit and killing more. Not too much tactical nuance here: I’m surrounded so I deploy in tight groups around both objectives with one of the two Possessed squads close to the middle to flex, and I really hope I can go first.

I don’t go first. Shit.

The Possessed brace themselves for a charge from the Sons of Sanguinius

Sam wastes no time committing his forces: his Terminators and Sanguinary Guard charge my Master of Possession, Cultists, and Possessed on the southern objective and rather than attack my northern objective that contains my Legionaries, Havocs, and Malioch, he goes after the Possessed squad in the middle with both Vanguard Vet squads. Sam has smarty surmised that if he takes both of these squads out early, I’ll lose a lot of my offensive power.

The Sang Guard swing first to drop the Master of Possession and two Possessed. The Possessed squad in the middle see their chance, and I interrupt with the squad and drain the rest of my CP to get wound rerolls on them as well, then split my attacks between both Vanguard Vet squads. Another whirlwind of mutated flesh and claw later, and one Vanguard Vet squad is killed as well is three members of the other. While one of my squads of Possessed gets cleaned up nicely by Sam the following turn as well as the cultists, I still have another squad alive and only down one member. I still have a sledgehammer.

Things are still real bleak for me though. Sam manages to score 15 points in round 2 to my 5, as he consolidates behind the wall on the southern objective while the Sanguinary Guard go back in deep strike, and I cant reach anything to kill that turn. I spend the turn moving south as fast as I can. The next turn I catch a break as Sam plays defensively with his Sang Guard and redeploys them back behind a wall, to come in and charge next turn. I speed my possessed over to contest the southern objective, and since neither of us hold it and nothing dies this turn I get 10 points for holding the north objective to his zero, tying us again.

The rest of the game has us trading combat pieces to keep up the scoring. Sang Guard kill the Possessed, Malioch kills the Sang Guard, and the Librarian Dreadnaught would’ve killed Malioch too is I hadn’t gotten lucky and rolled well enough on the Dark Pact stratagem to bring Malioch back after dying on a 4+. What ends up really winning the game for me is the Legionaries, who move to control the south objective thanks to the fact they have obsec. The Terminators nearly kill the squad, but thanks to Illusory Supplication the Aspiring Champion survives and passes a morale check on turn five, then manages to fall back out of combat and hang onto the objective, pushing me ahead on points as the game ends.

It was nailbiter game, one that hung in the balance on just a few dice rolls. The Soulbound escape with their lives and supplies, by the skin of their teeth in an excellent game with Sam.

The hero Aspiring champion bravely hides from the Terminators to hold the point

Game 4: “Decisive Blow”, Versus Adam’s “Strike Force Praxor” (Ultramarines)

Mission: “Sabotage” from Core Rulebook

Man, lots of Ultramarines in Gladius. More Vengeance for Monarchia for me!

Malioch has been very successful in the defense of Miltner’s docks so far, but now Strike Force Praxor looks to deal a crippling blow to the forces of the Cabal by sabotaging key data terminals at the heart of the port. It won’t be a simple task for the Sons of Macragge, as the Soulbinder awaits there to meet the Astartes in battle.

This game is the debut of the new and improved ten man squad of Chosen, now with Mark of Slaanesh, an icon, and four combi meltas. The Master of Possession has also picked up Mark of Slaanesh, as the Dark Prince’s influence takes hold on the Soulbound. With this in mind, my gameplan is simple: Adam needs to reach my backfield to sabotage at least two of my objectives, and this big Chosen brick will be the immovable object to prevent him from doing so.

Meet me in the pit, Warhammer 40,000 edition

It ends up being a very one sided affair, Adam is shaking off the Warhammer cobwebs and commits his forces to marching down the middle rather than trying to outflank the Chosen. The Chosen take plenty of fire from Redemptors and Aggressors, as well as eating a charge from both squads, but only lose a few models and wipes the Redemptor and all but one Aggressor in return. The Master of Possesson smites away the remaining Aggressor, and the chosen march up the battlefield to take out the remainder of the Ultramarines. The Chosen squad ends up personally killing every unit in Adams army save the Aggressors, who were smited to death. Adam is a fabulous sport about it though, and was stoked about the cinematic photos we took during the game. I provide advice on what to do about units like Chosen in the future (namely, ignore them as much as possible and play the mission), and we put this game into the books.

With four games under my belt, the Warhost of the Soulbound has had a very successful start to the Crusade for Parasbine Secundus. The fate of Miltner’s Docks will be decided soon as the other forces of the Cabal and Gladius clash, and I look forward to talking about it’s fate as well as the rest of the war for Parasbine Secundus here on the Badman Chronicles.

Next time, it’s back to the GT world as I attend the Heroic Scale Gamers GT with my Chaos Knights, and Chaos Gods willing I will also finish painting these Havocs. See you then!

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