The Badman Chronicles, Part One: Warhammer Improvement

Hello, reader! It’s a brand new calendar year, which means it’s time for new beginnings and new goals. Most folks on the street would take this time to try and exercise more, start a new diet, or get back into reading books before bed. But why should I worry myself with inconsequential goals like that? Damn self-improvement. This year, I’m all about Warhammer improvement, baby.

So welcome to the start of a new year of Warhammer misadventure, featuring yours truly, in The Badman Chronicles.

A Brief Background

As someone who has been friends with and regular opponent of Rob “TheChirugeon” Jones for a few years now, I’ve been able to see firsthand how Rob’s efforts to track his own gaming and hobby efforts here on Goonhammer has helped him improve as a player and hobbyist. He’s been able to carefully track his games and notice his consistent mistakes and correct them, and his already excellent painting skills have only gotten better as he has shown off more of his collection here on the site. As it turns out, being able to set goals with this sort of personal blog and recount trying to reach those goals seems like a great way to keep yourself accountable to trying to improve as well as being a great platform for sharing hobby joy.

Unfortunately for me, being Rob’s frequent Warhammer opponent as he’s pushed the competitive envelope means my terrible record against him is very public. Turns out, Rob kicks my ass on the regular. It’s bad enough that in 2021 when I met Goatboy at the New Orleans open, he recognized me as “The guy who loses all the time in those articles”.

This is not how I wanted to become internet famous. 

Clearly, I could benefit from setting some goals and improving as a player. Sharing my hobby in the process as well? Icing on the cake. And so, the idea for The Badman Chronicles was born. 

My Hobby Goals for 2023

Let’s get started by setting some 2023 goals. I want to set goals that push me, but are also something I could realistically do and are manageable with my time. As much as I would like to become some Warhammer goblin that slams hams as often as possible and dreams in plastic soldier guys, my wife may not like that as much.

  • Play 60 Games

According to my hobby tracker spreadsheet, last year I played 95 games across various systems. Mostly, it was 40K, but I got some Necromunda in there as well. While I could maybe push myself and hit that sweet sweet 100 games in a year, 95 games felt like I was starting to fly a little close to the sun. On average, that’s about two games a week, which doesn’t seem like a lot on paper but my free time goes much quicker than I’d like. Sixty is closer to one game per week on average, so lets stick with that more manageable number.

  • Paint 4000 Points

Honestly, I didn’t keep track last year of how many points of stuff I painted, and using points painted as a metric really isn’t great since those values change all the time. The main upside is that using points as a metric for this goal means that if I paint a big model like a Chaos Knight that takes more time, it’ll count more than a squad of cultists that I’ll paint faster. I think last year I soared over 4000 points painted if I had to guess, so lets go for the repeat.

Chaos Terminators Credit: Swiftblade

  • Have a winning record at a GT or larger Warhammer 40k event

This goal is where it gets trickier. Right now, the best I have done at any two day event is four and four at the GW Austin open. If I look at my win record, I tend to lose when I’m matched up and win when I’m matched down. I’m the statistical average player.

This isn’t too bad if you ask me, it means I’ve got a good jumping off point for trying to push into having a winning record at one of these events this coming year. I’ll think carefully about my practice games and see what sort of terror I can get up to later this year. 

  • Win best painted at an RTT event

In the last eighteen months, I’ve really improved as a painter. While I don’t need an award of any sort to prove this to myself, I sure would like one. Getting best painted at a large event may be a bit of a pipe dream, but at an RTT? I think I can pull that off.

As long as Rob doesn’t show up of course. Or some of the other excellent painters in the area I know. Shit, this’ll be hard.

  • Get back into Age of Sigmar

I went pretty hard on 40k in 2022, so hard that I missed an entire year’s worth of Age of Sigmar while I focused on the grimdark future. This year I’d really like to get back into it and paint some AOS models, play some games with my Daughters of Khaine. Maybe even dabble in some Slaves to Darkness.

Meluasi Ironscale. Credit: Swiftblade

I’ve heard the Mortal realms are having some issue with Incarnates? I bet I’ll figure out whatever that’s about as it dumpsters my snake elves.

  • Be an active participant in our local Crusade league

This year, my gaming crew is having a Crusade league now that most of the codexes are out and we’ve grown quite a bit in the last year. Even cooler, our Crusade League and FLG will be partnered with the Goonhammer global campaign. We’re all pretty hyped for it in my local gaming club, The Astros Militarum.

My Warlord, Malioch Soulbinder. Credit: Swiftblade

 I’ll be bringing my Chaos Marines, led by Dark Apostle Malioch Soulbinder. I’ll be running them with Word Bearers rules since we already have a Black Legion player, with some fluff that these are all former Word Bearers who have joined up with The Warmaster. Crusade rules, and I’m looking forward to getting a chance to really sink my teeth into it and participate in the Goonhammer Global campaign. Expect plenty of very cool updates about this!

  • Make the RTT’s I help organize as great as possible

I’m really proud of being an organizer for my local game store and Warhammer community, and last year was the first full year of RTT’s I helped run. This year, I want to keep making sure these events are a great time for new and veteran players alike and help our community grow through these events.

  • Get my Escher ready for Ash Wastes

I know at some point this year I have a buddy that wants to organize an Ash Wastes or Cinderak Burning campaign. So, I’ll need to get my Escher Gang, “The Clashettes”, ready to rumble with new vehicles and some Cutters too. 

  • Lastly, play a second game of Titanicus

Guys Titanicus rocks. My favorite Legio is literally called THE MURDER LORDS. That’s metal as shit. I should play a second game of it. 

Credit: Swiftblade

Hobby Progress

With the new Arks of Omen detachment stuff coming out, things are looking pretty spicy for Chaos Knights. Being able to fit a whole bunch of War Dogs in a detachment with no penalty to my CP? Hell yeah I’m in. 

Knowing that, I think I’ll focus on getting my Chaos Knights ready for some RTTs and tournaments coming up in February and March. This means that I need to get my last two executioners painted, for sure, and then also touch up my already painted models as well as magnetize my War dogs for better chances competing in the hobby and gaming arenas respectively.

I’ve managed to get one of the Executioners done in my Magenta and Black House Vykir color scheme. After painting so many knights last year, that goes together pretty quick. Then I focus on the highlights and what I want to do with those. Rather than just doing a basic edge highlight, I experiment with more of a blended gradient and I really like the effect it has on giving the model more depth.

I also focus on adding more freehand, using the technique that Rob and Charlie B lay out really well in this article. The only thing I have to add here is that I like to make the initial outline of the freehand with small dots and then connect them. I find this easier to make the freehand design look a bit more clean, and more forgiving of mistakes if I need to paint over the odd dot or two. I love how the model ended up, so I’ll take some time to add these effects to the other War Dogs already in my collection.

Finished Executioner. Credit: Swiftblade

Magnetizing the War Dogs is a pain in the ass, but all magnetizing is if you ask me. I wish I had done this when I first assembled the models, as in the course of all the drilling and cutting I had to do on my painted models I realized that there are much easier ways to do this when the model is in the assembly process. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve I guess. 

Complaining aside, I got it done over a weekend and I’m happy that it means I have more flexibility in building my Chaos Knight lists, especially since War Dogs are hard to find right now and I didn’t have any Brigands before. Now I can have as many as my heart and magnets desire. 

A brief glimpse of my magnet nightmare.

Battle Report!

With Arks or Omen just around the corner, my local gaming group feels like it’s in limbo. Once the new stuff hits, I imagine things will kick into high gear and everyone will be scrambling to get practice games in using the new ruleset, but for now the crew is pretty quiet. I was still able to get one game in with a Necrons player of the group, David, as I finally had time in the new year to take part in what he calls the “Dawnbreakers Club”. 

For brief context, David is an extremely nice guy and has been working hard to improve as a Warhammer player. Over the course of knowing him for about a year now, it’s been nice to see him go from some pretty regular crushing loses to winning tight games. Unfortunately for David, he’s also had a very busy couple months at the end of the year, so he hasn’t been able to show up much to any RTT’s or get any evening games in. However, when you are really hungry to play Warhammer, it turns out that Warhammer, like life, finds a way.

David came up with a simple idea to get around his lack of availability in the afternoons and evenings to still get games in. All you gotta do find some weirdos willing to get up early as shit to get a game in at his home around 5AM. Turns out our gaming discord has a few weirdos like that, and I like David enough that I’m willing to be one of those weirdos and wake up at the ungodly hour of 4AM to go play him.

I’m not a morning person, so waking up this early sucked so bad. People who get up this early to take a morning jog or eat breakfast are sociopaths. I can’t overstate how awful it is. David had tasty Voodoo Donuts and plenty of coffee ready to go when I got to his place though, so after catching up a bit I feel mostly human when we start the game.

The vibes and the coffee are immaculate at least

MISSION: Abandoned Sanctuaries

MY LIST: (Click to Expand)

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [107 PL, 2,000pts, ]+++ Configuration+ Battle Size [6CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)
Detachment Command Cost Game Type: 4. Chapter Approved: War Zone Nephilim
Legion: Creations of Bile+ HQ +
Daemon Prince with Wings [11 PL, 180pts, -2CP]: 5.-6. Twisted Regeneration, Aspiring Lord, G’holl’ax, the Decayed, Gifts of Chaos, Hellforged sword, Mark of Nurgle, Warptime, WingsLord Discordant on Helstalker [9 PL, 175pts, -2CP]: 1. Flames of Spite, Aspiring Lord, Baleflamer, Chaos Undivided, Stratagem: Relic, Techno-virus injector, Ul’o’cca, the BlackMaster of Possession [7 PL, 120pts, -1CP]: Gifts of Chaos, Liber Hereticus, Mark of Slaanesh, Mutated Invigoration, Pact of Flesh, Warlord+ Troops +
Accursed Cultists [3 PL, 75pts] . 5x Mutant: 5x Blasphemous appendages . 3x Torment: 3x Hideous mutations Cultists Mob [2 PL, 50pts] .9x Chaos Cultist w/ cultist firearm: 9x Cultist firearm, 9x Frag & Krak grenades . Cultist Champion . . Autopistol and brutal assault weapon Cultists Mob [2 PL, 50pts] .

9x Chaos Cultist w/ autopistol and brutal assault weapon: 9x Autopistol, 9x Brutal assault weapon, 9x Frag & Krak grenades . Cultist Champion . . Autopistol and brutal assault weapon

+ Elites +
Chaos Terminator Squad [19 PL, 365pts, -1CP]: Mark of Slaanesh . Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter . Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter . Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter . Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter . Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter . Chaos Terminator: Combi-bolter, Power fist . Chaos Terminator: Combi-bolter, Power fist . Chaos Terminator: Combi-bolter, Power fist . Chaos Terminator: Combi-bolter, Power fist . Terminator Champion: Accursed weapon, Black Rune of Damnation, Combi-bolter, Trophies of the Long War

Chosen [15 PL, 265pts]: Mark of Nurgle . Chosen: Bolt pistol, Boltgun . Chosen: Bolt pistol, Boltgun . Chosen: Accursed weapon, Bolt pistol . Chosen: Accursed weapon, Bolt pistol . Chosen: Bolt pistol, Boltgun . Chosen: Bolt pistol, Boltgun . Chosen: Bolt pistol, Boltgun . Chosen Champion: Bolt pistol, Boltgun . Chosen w/ power fist: Bolt pistol . Chosen w/ power fist: Bolt pistol

Possessed [7 PL, 140pts]: Possessed Champion . 4x Possessed: 4x Hideous mutations

Possessed [7 PL, 140pts]: Possessed Champion . 4x Possessed: 4x Hideous mutations

+ Fast Attack +
Raptors [6 PL, 105pts]: Chaos Undivided . 4x Raptor: 4x Astartes chainsword, 4x Bolt pistol . Raptor Champion: Astartes chainsword, Bolt pistol

Venomcrawler [6 PL, 105pts]

Venomcrawler [6 PL, 105pts]

+ Heavy Support +

Havocs [7 PL, 125pts]: Chaos Undivided . Havoc Champion: Astartes chainsword, Boltgun . 4x Havoc w/ autocannon: 4x Havoc autocannon

++ Total: [107 PL, 2,000pts] ++

DAVIDS LIST: (Click to Expand)

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Necrons) [71 PL, 1,180pts, 3CP] +++ Configuration +Battle Size [6CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]Dynasty Choice: Circumstance of Awakening: Relentlessly Expansionist, Dynastic Tradition: Eternal Conquerors, Dynasty:Game Type: 4. Chapter Approved: War Zone Nephilim+ No Force Org Slot +

Canoptek Plasmacyte [1 PL, 15pts]

Canoptek Plasmacyte [1 PL, 15pts]

+ HQ +

Chronomancer [5 PL, 75pts]: Aeonstave

+ Elites +

Flayed Ones [2 PL, 50pts]
. 5x Flayed One: 5x Flayer Claws

Flayed Ones [2 PL, 50pts]
. 5x Flayed One: 5x Flayer Claws

+ Fast Attack +

Canoptek Wraiths [12 PL, 175pts]
. 5x Canoptek Wraith (Claws): 5x Vicious Claws

Canoptek Wraiths [12 PL, 175pts]
. 5x Canoptek Wraith (Claws): 5x Vicious Claws

Canoptek Wraiths [12 PL, 175pts]
. 5x Canoptek Wraith (Claws): 5x Vicious Claws

Ophydian Destroyers [8 PL, 150pts]: Ophydian Destroyer (Reap-Blade)
. 4x Ophydian Destroyer (Thresher): 4x Hyperphase Threshers, 4x Ophydian Claws

Ophydian Destroyers [8 PL, 150pts]: Ophydian Destroyer (Reap-Blade)
. 4x Ophydian Destroyer (Thresher): 4x Hyperphase Threshers, 4x Ophydian Claws

Ophydian Destroyers [8 PL, 150pts]: Ophydian Destroyer (Reap-Blade)
. 4x Ophydian Destroyer (Thresher): 4x Hyperphase Threshers, 4x Ophydian Claws

++ Supreme Command Detachment +2CP (Necrons) [21 PL, 400pts, 5CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [2CP]

Dynasty Choice: Dynasty: Szarekhan

+ Primarch | Daemon Primarch | Supreme Commander +

The Silent King [21 PL, 400pts, 3CP]
. 2x Triarchal Menhir: 2x Annihilator Beam

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Necrons) [21 PL, 420pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Dynasty Choice: Circumstance of Awakening: Relentlessly Expansionist, Dynastic Tradition: Eternal Conquerors, Dynasty:

+ HQ +

Technomancer [5 PL, 70pts]: Canoptek Cloak

+ Troops +

Immortals [4 PL, 80pts]: 5x Immortal, Tesla Carbine

+ Fast Attack +

Canoptek Scarab Swarms [6 PL, 135pts]
. 9x Canoptek Scarab Swarm: 9x Feeder Mandibles

Canoptek Scarab Swarms [6 PL, 135pts]
. 9x Canoptek Scarab Swarm: 9x Feeder Mandibles

++ Total: [113 PL, 6CP, 2,000pts] ++

-Psychic Interrogation
-Specimens for the Spider
-No Prisoners

-Purge the Vermin
-The Treasures of Aeons
-Ancient Machineries

Abandoned Sanctuaries is a good mission for me, but for David it’s pretty rough since he won’t be able to take advantage of his pre-game move from Relentlessly Expansionist. Additionally, the only real shooting threat that David’s list has is from the Silent King, so I can deploy on the line here without much worry. David does so as well, and we both walk into this game with similar game plans to brawl on the middle objectives with scary combat stuff. David’s stuff is generally a bit faster and everything has Obsec, but I’ve got some stuff that is tougher to shift and some bigger combat threats. Plus, Bile’s fight on death here could be a real pain for David if he wipes a scary combat unit.

We roll off, and I get first turn. Hell yeah.

Turn one deployment VS David

Turn one neither of us make big commitments with our armies. I use my raptors to string out and grab two objectives while I shuffle up with the rest of my stuff, and David sends out scarabs to do some damage to the raptors and toe in on the objective to my right. He also almost manages to kill a Venomcrawler with the Silent King, but the little bastard hangs on with one wound like a champ. Going into turn two, its clear that there’s enough combat blenders on both sides that whoever commits to the middle first will eat a whole bunch of deadly charges. David scores quite a bit of secondary points on his turn one though, so it’s clear that I have no other choice than to fight him off objectives here and try to keep his primary down. So I get the Terminators, Chosen, DiscoLord, and a squad of Possessed stuck in while the raptors fall back into a different table quarter to try and deny some points of Purge if he doesn’t send something over there.

David does exactly what I knew he would do and he gets in there with his Ophydians, Wraiths, and the Silent King himself. I try to interrupt with my possessed to keep them alive a bit longer but they wiff, and the Chosen don’t do very much damage with their fights on death. The Terminators lose a couple of dudes, even with all of their survivability buffs in place. It’s a big hit for me, and I don’t pick up nearly enough stuff in return as I wanted to. The discolord murders his way out of combat unscathed though, so it’s not all bad for me at least. I’ve taken a big hit from my damage capabilities without doing much back in return, turn three looks dire for me.

The sun has risen at this point, and it starts to rain. It’s pleasant to watch as David’s Necrons thrash my Chosen.

I make the call to get my Daemon Prince into the fray, instead of just hanging back and scoring Interrogation for me. He needs to clear out the left flank objective so I can keep David’s primary scoring under control. I send in the second wave of possessed after the havocs have a pretty good turn of shooting into some Ophydians, and my Discolord Blendo McMayhem goes after the Silent King himself. Additionally, my two Venomcrawlers move up to get some charges as well, now that its turn 3 and my sixes to hit in combat generate extra hits. It makes these adorable spider machines surprisingly deadly in a fight. I bloody David’s nose just as badly as he bloodied mine, taking out all of my charge targets aside  from some wraiths in the middle and a lone Ophyidian near the daemon prince. He does take out the terminators in combat, but David doesn’t have enough combat threat left on the board to take much off anymore.

David tries to charge the wraiths into my accursed cultists in the back and kills all the mutants, which is fine since three more stand back up the following turn. I spend the rest of the game cleaning up combat threats still around and being careful to kill one Cryptek a turn in order to max out Specimens and Interrogate.

In the end, I win 95-70. It’s a great game between two combat armies, and David is a lovely opponent. We talk about the game a little bit more over one last coffee cup and I make my way home as a certified member of the Dawnbreakers club.  


That’s all for my first update of the new year! Join me next time as the Crusade League and Arks of Omen kick into high gear. In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at