Like the prodigal son, the Badman Chronicles returns once more to follow the hobby and gaming journey of ya boy, Dan “Swiftblade” Richardson.
Previously, I wrote about my time at two GT events that happened nearly back to back: the Heroic Scale Gamers GT, and the Clutch City GT. I brought my Chaos Knights and had a good time at both events, with the Heroic Scale GT being an event marked by wild success contrasted by Clutch City being an event where I scraped up against “too much Warhammer in too short a time”, and left early with a respectable 2-2 record.
This time, we once again are leaving the world of the Arks of Omen GT pack and returning to the Parasbine Secundus crusade league. In the first cycle, my Chaos Marines, the Warhost of the Soulbound, helped lead a very successful defense of our operations at Miltner’s Docks against the Space Marine Forces of Strike Force Gladius (which you can read all about here!).
We pick up the narrative in this article following that successful defense. While my crusade team, the Cabal of the Soulbound, was successful in repelling the Space Marines, the other Chaos team had less success. Makarios’s Shock Troops tried to launch an attack on the last holdout of Imperial defenders, the hive city of Kephistrone. It’s beleaguered defenders rallied to it’s defense, and pushed out the Chaos threat. Now invigorated with their victory, the Defenders of Kephistrone have pushed out into the nearby suburban outskirts of Kephistrone called Spall’s Hill to liberate or purge the workers of the Soulbinder’s Daemon Forges.
I’m a simple Chaos Warlord. I like to make daemonic weapons of war, and I like my suburban soap operas. My team will need to push out the Imperial attackers so I can keep living this simple dream.
Before we get into the games from this cycle, let’s talk about the leader of the Warhost of the Soulbound, Malioch Soulbinder. He’s been doing prettywell for himself, and gotten some attention and favor from Slaanesh. I like the cut of the Dark Prince’s gib, so the Warhost has been steadily falling further and further under Slaaneshi influence and seeking greater glory in the name of perfection, excess, and the Warmaster. So much glory in fact, that Malioch earns himself a little upgrade and undergoes the Dark Apotheosis into a Daemon Prince.
Lets talk about that here in Hobby Progress.
Hobby Progress- Painting Ascended Malioch
One of our local guys was looking to sell or trade one of the new Daemon Princes early on in the cycle. I do already have one Daemon Prince painted, but I’ve painted him to be a more generic daemon prince that I can use for any god in any game. Since this is Crusade, I’m excited about the chance to make a bespoke Daemon Prince model for Malioch and take him up on the trade.
I end up building Malioch with all the Slaanesh upgrades, two claws, and no wings. The two claws and no wings isn’t a very optimal way to build a daemon prince, but with the crusade upgrades and abilities I plan to have on ascended Malioch my goal is to have him be a model that just vomits out as many attacks as possible with bunches of rerolls, so the extra claw is fine for that. Plus, I like the look of the backpack and claws, and if there’s anytime to pick style over substance its right now in crusade.
Painting the model follows much of the same steps I’ve used in painting my previous Black Legion stuff. The real treat to paint on Malioch was his skin. Most schemes I see for Slaanesh Daemons are either a mostly grey shade with a touch of purple, or very bright purple coloring. I want to paint Malioch’s skin to be a compromise of these two styles.
To do this, I base with Daemonette Hide and then I layer on Kakophoni Purple, avoiding recessed areas that will be blended through shading. I shade with thinned down Magos Purple contrast paint which gets pretty much the exact purple I was looking for. A bright purple, but not so saturated that my highlights using Warpfiend Grey and Slaanesh Grey will contrast too hard. With those highlights applied, Malioch’s Slaaneshi daemon flesh came out beautifully.
I tried to incorporate a few things from Malioch’s Dark Apostle design here into the design of the Daemon Prince form, to do my best to make nods to his mortal incarnation. I do this by painting his loincloth the same white as the cloth on Malioch, using the Green Glow effect on Malioch’s backpack and daemonic runes, and giving the new Daemonic Malioch red eyes just like his mortal form. The only thing I may add in the future is a book for Malioch, to visually represent the fact that he still has his priest powers through crusade upgrades, but that kitbash will come later if I can find a good way to do so.
The completed Soulbinder looks great, but now we need to roll back the clock a little bit to before Malioch’s ascension and talk about the four games I got in during this cycle.
Crusade Cycle 2- Souls for Fire
Game 1- Vs Andrew’s Sons of Ash (Space Marines)
Mission- The Stilled
There are few names that hold the weight which Uriah Hercules and the Sons of Ash carry. Just looking at Andrew, I know I’m staring down my toughest opponent yet in this crusade.
Chaos Gods, help me.
We play the Stilled, as Andrew’s Space Marines push into Soulbinder Territory to try and liberate some of the enslaved workforce there, and I’m a humble Chaos Lord trying to keep these factories functional and need these workers to do so. Its an interesting mission, since the objectives can move depending on who wins dice rolls in sort of a tug-of-war. Andrew’s space marines are from the Salamanders chapter, so his short range shooting from his eradicators is going to hurt. With my Possessed and Chosen in the list, my game plan is to try and close the distance early and focus down the melta shooting. The Aggressors can provide a little bit of counter punch, but I’m so much faster than those aggressors that I should be able to be the one making the charge to kill them before they kill me.
I’ll take a little overwatch on the way in, but its just some fire I’ll walk it off.
The game gets going, and I go first and push up the middle while giving him very limited shooting options. He cautiously advances, and sets up an orbital bombardment near where I will likely charge that’s buffed from his Master of the Fleet upgrade. Turn two I make a good charge with Possessed and Chosen and knock out the Aggressors early, and most of one Intercessor Squad. Remember that, most of one.
Then the dice start going badly for me. Andrew rolls hot on lone Intercessor Sarge with a thunder hammer, and then wildly hot on the orbital bombardment to kill my Possessed squad without taking a scratch. His Eradicators then open up on my possessed, who despite having Illusory Supplication, toughness 5 from Mutated Invigoration, and -1 to be wounded from The Black Rune of Damnation get nearly wiped off the board. I think like three melta shots missed total.
What really ends up being a massive problem for me is I start failing a lot of charges. My second possessed squad are ready to come in hot to finish off an eradicator squad, but roll double snake eyes on a four inch charge. I make it on the reroll, but that means when my Legionaries fail their 7 inch charge I don’t have the reroll handy which I planned to use on it, and they also cant get out of the way of the orbital bombardment they’re just on the edge of. Said bombardment murders the hell out of them.
Despite these bad luck rolls, it stays a very tight game. It all ends up hinging on Andrew making a 4+ roll for his Captain to stand back up after I kill him (for a second time): if he stays down this time, I’ll hold enough objectives at the end to swing the game for me and Andrew really won’t have the gas left in his list to do anything about it. If the Captain stands back up, he’ll take an objective from me since the Captain has Obsec due to Never Give Up.
Andrew rolls it, and makes the 4+.
Damn, I wished he would just give up one of these days.
After a four game winning streak, the Warhost of the Soulbound suffers it’s first defeat of the Crusade. Heartbreaking.
Game 2- Vs Eddie’s Astra Militarum
Mission- Supply Cache
Well the Sons of Ash decided to go and liberate some of my beloved workers, who are now being guarded by Eddies 108th Vallhallan Motor Rifles. Its time to go into that camp, smash up the place, and get my workers back.
I’m a little worried about this one at the start. I don’t have really much long range shooting to soften up the two tanks or basilisk that Eddie brought on the way in, and even with my tough as nails Chosen brick or speedy Possessed walking across the table is a dangerous prospect against Guard shooting. I feel pretty good about my chances if I can make it there, at least.
I get lucky and Eddie’s initial shooting doesn’t quite kill the squad of Possessed on my right flank I can’t really hide when I move up the board. I’m able to use my Master of Possession to resurrect a guy closer to Eddie and tag the Tank commander in melee, which gives my Chosen an extra turn of protection as they hustle up the board with Malioch providing prayer protection.
Eddie takes care of the brave possessed who touched the tank with the help of some Ogryn, but that’s when two things happen on my turn:
- The Chosen arrive at Eddies Lines
- The Chosen go off
The Chosen just start picking up unit after unit with their combi meltas and accursed weapons over the next few turns. It was like watching a John Wick movie, but it was ten Keanu Reeves and they were all in Chaos-warped power armor. By the end of the mission, they claim seven unit kills in this game. Eddies 1000 point list has ten units. Savage stuff.
Eddies doesn’t go out without a fight though, his Basilisk takes out a Squad of Possessed in one go and his other Leman Russ easily takes out the Venomcrawler I throw at it to slow the tank down. And then there’s the Taurox.
By the end of this game, I was rooting for the galaxy’s bravest Taurox. IT was pretty beat up from some shooting by my Venomcrawler early on, but thanks to Stratagem support was able to stay in the fight at full bracket and throw some shots out. By the end of the game, the Taurox makes a glory charge into the cultists holding one of my objectives just because he doesn’t like the look of my cultists, all smug over there.
The little Taurox that could doesn’t make it to the Cultists, but it does survive the whole battle and does run over a guy or two. It’s a moral victory for the Taurox crew, at least.
But the day is mine. I gather back up all my lost little factory workers and return to my base with a W, and a pat on the back for my Chosen that I can only assume are just drenched in Guardsmen blood. Good for them.
Game 3- Vs Oscar’s Sororitas
Mission- Methodical Eradication
In this mission, deep in the suburban warzone, Oscar’s Order of the Unyielding Stand makes an assault on the Soulbound with a simple goal in mind: make them bleed.
If these Adeptas Sororitas want blood, well, then they got it.
In this game, Oscar goes first and makes a careful advance with most of his force, but since his Immolator is able to make a pregame move he goes in aggressively with it early on. The Dominions and Dogmata pile out, and Oscar makes a misplay here by putting the shooting of the three units near me into a unit of cultists he can see, and not the nearby Possessed. The Cultists survive with two models left, but the Possessed are unscathed.
I also made a mistake here, though. When I move up with my legionaries and freshly-painted Chaos Lord (remember? From the last article?), my meltaguns are out of range and I don’t kill the Immolator with my shooting from the Havocs. I really don’t want to endure another round of shooting from the Immolator or Dominion squad, so the possessed try and make a long bomb charge on the odds I roll boxcars or something.
I roll a seven. Damn. Well, I’ve got CP, might as well reroll.
BOXCARS, LETS GO.
The Possessed pick up the Domionions and pile into the Dogmata and Immolator. The squad is able to pick up the Dogmata next turn and keep the immolator busy the rest of the game. Now, the rest of Oscars force is carefully advancing, deciding to play defensively rather than try to initiate the trades. I go all in, with my Chaos Lord and the second Possessed Squad into Sacresants and Mortifiers, respectively.
The Possessed pop off, like they tend to do, but the Chaos Lord turns into a murder tornado on his first appearance on the battlefield. Since he is equipped the The Black Mace, he chews through the Sacresants in one round of combat. Oscar’s Retributor squad, wisely, puts plenty of melta into him and kills the Chaos Lord. I use the Dark Pact stratagem to have the Chaos Lord stand up on a 4+ at the end of the phase, and my good dice luck continues when the Chaos Lord sits back up like the Undertaker at the end of the Shooting phase. The Chaos Lord survives the rest of the attempts to kill him from Oscar’s characters and Battle Sisters, then takes the Characters out in return while the Possessed take out the Retributors after cleaning up the Mortifiers. Oscar didn’t go down without a fight though, his Retributors roll fire on the overwatch and nearly wipe the Possessed on the way in.
It’s not enough to turn the tide, and Oscar is tabled and I’m victorious again. One more game to go in the cycle.
Game 4- Vs Thien’s Sororitas
In the final mission for me this cycle, both the Warhost of the Soulbound and Thiens Order of the Sacred Ashes have been entrenched for days at a stalemate. Now, both sides are attempting a desperate push to clear the other one out from the area.
This mission marks the introduction of two new members of the Soulbound. First, is Ascended Malioch Soulbinder, who retains many of his priestly abilities thanks to the Crusade Relic Book of the Reviler and CSM relic Epistle of Lorgar, so he still knows the same prayer tricks. I’ve built him to just throw out tons of attacks with his claws, buffed up by Omen of Potency (if the Prayer goes off) and his Warlord Trait Flames of Spite. He also has Frenzon Injector and a battle trait that combine dalso toss on 2 additional attacks on the charge.
So, if the prayer goes off, Malioch makes 13 AP-3 Str 7 attacks that do mortals on 6’s to wound, rerolling all hits and wounds on the charge. Spicy.
I also brought a Helbrute. Crusade seems like the perfect time to break out these goofballs.
Thien wins the roll off and elects to go second, I assume because he doesn’t want to advance his forces up and give me opportunity to turn 1 charge. I also don’t want to give him early charge access, so I make a very conservative turn 1 move. This forces Thien on his turn to either do the thing he didn’t want to do, which is move into my threat range and let me start the combat trades, or keep hanging back and let me gain a big early points lead. He decides to move up, maybe a bit too much.
On my turn, I go in with Legionaries, Possessed, and Malioch, and it’s a massacre. Legionaries also get some Havoc support and pop the Rhino full of Repentia. No Repentia die on the way out, but it does mean Thein won’t get the threat extension from disembarking.
Thien turns his focus on killing Malioch, and if it wasn’t for Hexogrammic Ward being able to nullify one attack on the Daemon Prince Malioch would’ve likely gone down. He survives though, and the Helbrute flames away a straggler squad of battle sisters.
The Repentia pick up both Legionary squads I have on the other objective, but I expected that. At least they didn’t get battle scars. I charge in with Malioch into the Paragon Warsuits Thien has just brought from strat reserves, and then with Possessed into the Repentia. The Repentia are down to five now, and I think as long as one or two Possessed survive I’ll be able to pick up his chainsword murder ladies and be okay.
Malioch handily dispatches the Paragon Warsuits, but the Repentia roll hot on their attacks and its suddenly looking real bad for my possessed. I have ten saves to make on a 5+.
I fail three saves, and one Possessed bites it. Even I’m stunned.
Had the Repentia managed to take my Possessed out here, I think Thien could’ve swung the game back in his favor, but with that very lucky set of saves I pick up the Repentia in my attacks back and Thien decides if he can’t win, he’s at least going to take out Malioch Soulbinder.
The Soulbinder takes fire from the rest of Thien’s army and eats a charge from a buffed up Dogmata, but does not go down. Now, it’s time for the Helbrute to shine.
My Helbrute is hungry for glory, to prove to Helbrutes all over the world that they deserve to see the table, dammit, not just sit on a shelf. The Helbrute blasts away the last battle sister of a squad with his Heavy Flamer, and makes a long charge into Thien’s cannoness to claim a third kill in combat. With three kills under this Helbrutes belt, Nul-Gurraq might win the award for the most any Helbrute has ever done in a game of Warhammer 40,000, and I win the game with Thien.
With these four games done against four great opponents, its time to move onto the next Crusade Cycle in the Parasbine Secundus campaign. In cycle three, it’s Chaos versus Chaos as Makarios’s Shock Troops and the Cabal of the Soulbound duke it out!
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