The Corroad Goes Ever On and On: How do I still have more Drukhari to paint?

With the dubiously-merited end of all lockdown restrictions here in the UK, tournaments are springing into life again, with a mix of new events dreamed up while trapped inside and rescheduled ones from 2020 which have been hanging over the heads of their organisers contributing to a highly-charged atmosphere where it is very possible to get to a GT or major on basically any weekend you care to do so. Adding to this we have our very own UK rankings now, effectively the ITC but restricted just to these cursed islands.

I’ve played in a couple of small RTT events so far this year already – a 4-player slam in a friend’s garden skirting the very edges of what you can reasonably call a “tournament,” plus an 8-player one I ran a couple weeks ago at my local store. I have, happily, won both, thanks in no small part to the extremely well-balanced and not at all unfair Drukhari codex, and also a fairly fortunate run of opponents, in the sense that they’ve mostly consisted of Space Marines, which are the traditional prey of Blasters and Dark Lances, The Army.

The most fun in competitive 40k comes from a proper weekend tournament, though. I do have one big block here, in the form of a currently 9-week old baby girl who arrived in May and has immediately taken over a sizeable chunk of my free time and a disproportionate amount of the square footage in my house. It remains unbelievable that a person can be as small as she is and own so much stuff. Owing to a very forgiving wife, though, I am still making it to a fair number of tournaments over the next few months:

  • Vanguard Tactics Grand Tournament #2, 31 July/1 August
  • London GT, 24-26 September (including both the Friday RTT and the weekend major)
  • Coventry GT, 5-7 November
  • Leicester GT, 4-5 December

I’m also running a rescheduled edition of the Bolter Drill RTT I was organising in May last year, now taking place in late August, as well as TOing the Goonhammer Open in October which we’ll hopefully see a bunch of you at. I’d like to pick up one or two more to play in if I can, but I’m probably already pushing my luck.

Unless something truly drastic happens it’s likely I’ll be playing Drukhari for all of these – despite the suggestion that Goonhammer hates them they are in fact my favourite army (and were my most-played in 8th with just a hair under of half my total 8th edition games being with the Dark Kin). I also, frankly, need all the help I can get to win games. Despite having played them for 10 years and having an extensive collection already, I somehow find myself facing down the VT GT at the end of the month with mounting trepidation – the new codex coming out inspired me to revisit the army, and I decided that most of it looked, frankly, shit, especially the newly-reinvigorated Raiders which weren’t painted that well in the first place and have endured most of their lifetime being carted around in a fashion which didn’t really respect how fragile they are. One thing led to another and I’ve ended up repainting essentially all 2,000pts I’m putting on the table; really more, since I’ve chopped and changed what I’m taking a few times already, too.

More than likely what I’ll be running at the end of the month is this:

Vanguard Tactics Drukhari - Click to Expand

Kabals Patrol – Obsidian Rose – 985

HQ – 85

-1CP Prizes from the Dark City
-1CP Tolerated Ambition

Master Archon, splinter pistol and huskblade – 85pts – Tolerated Ambition: Ancient Evil, Prizes from the Dark City: The Djinn Blade

Troops – 180

10 Kabalite Trueborn, 2 blasters, 1 dark lance – 135pts
5 Kabalites, shredder – 45

Elites – 160

5 Incubi, Klaivex with demiklaives – 80pts
5 Incubi, Klaivex with demiklaives – 80pts

Heavy Support – 140

Ravager, 3 dark lances – 140pts

Dedicated Transports – 420

Raider, dark lance, chain snares, shock prow – 105pts
Raider, dark lance, chain snares, shock prow – 105pts
Raider, dark lance, chain snares, grisly trophies – 105pts
Raider, dark lance, chain snares, grisly trophies – 105pts

Covens Patrol – Dark Technomancers – 565

HQ – 145

Drazhar – 145pts

Troops – 40

5 Wracks – 40pts

Elites – 75

5 Mandrakes – 75pts

Fast Attack – 80

5 Scourges, shredders – 80pts

Heavy Support – 245

3 Cronos, 3 with spirit vortexes, 1 with spirit probe – 245

Cults Patrol – Cult of Strife – 430

-1CP Tolerated Ambition
-1 CP Prizes from the Dark City

HQ – 135

Master Succubus, razorflails – 75pts – Warlord: Precision Blows, Relic: Dark Lotus Toxin, Combat Drugs: Adrenalight
Succubus, agoniser and archite glaive – 60pts – Tolerated Ambition: Competitive Edge, Relic: Triptych Whip, Combat Drugs: Adrenalight

Troops – 125

10 Hekatrix Bloodbrides, Hekatrix with agoniser – 125pts, Combat Drugs: Grave Lotus

Fast Attack – 170

5 Hellions – 85 – Combat Drugs: Adrenalight
5 Hellions – 85 – Combat Drugs: Adrenalight

Points: 2,000/2,000
CP: 8/12


If you’ve been following along with Competitive Innovations you’ve probably seen all this before. I’m following our own James Kelling in adapting to Ad Mech world with a couple of shock prows on the Raiders, hoping to drift into a pile of Skitarii and kill 2/3rds of them with the pointy stick on the end of the boat.

Remaining to be painted from all this is:

  • The razorflails Succubus
  • 3 Raiders
  • 1 Ravager
  • 5 Scourges
  • 2 Cronos

That’s a reasonably steep demand for the two weeks I have, even if I am taking the slight shortcut of not painting the Raider/Ravager crews until later. The Ravager is at least 90% done, and the Scourges are a fair way on too, while the Succubus is a 5th edition metal one that I swapped the weapons on and am now repainting – all of them could at least hit the table right now and survive an encounter with a paint judge for the Battle Ready points. The bigger deal are the Raiders, 2 of which are not even built, and the Cronos, 2 of which I don’t even own at time of writing, though at least the latter have a pretty rapid paint scheme and I’m comfortable I can get them both done in a reasonably quiet afternoon; if only such things were available.

The new stuff I have done looks pretty good, at least:

As for practice games, well, I’ve played 14 with Drukhari since the book came out and won 13 – with the loss occurring on an LGS board almost entirely devoid of LoS-blocking terrain, with the incredibly stupid sequence of not 1, not 2, but 3 vehicle explosions on turn 1, including one Raider exploding and killing another which promptly exploded as well, which I am mostly discounting (though it was a good reminder that I’d gotten rusty at playing on bad terrain; I could have backlined in deployment and that might have improved things significantly). That 90% win rate is likely to drop drastically as it starts hitting the bigger events in the calendar and runs face-first into other Drukhari, Ad Mech, and the new Orks, and as ever I’m mostly hunting for a 3-2 or 4-1 to go home happy. What I mostly want at the moment is just to be done painting this particular iteration of the army, so I can go back to painting random grab-bags of things off my extensive backlog – on the desk right now are some Bladeguard for my Blood Angels, a bunch of Sororitas characters, more Incubi, and some Stormcast Eternals from Dominion, and so naturally at the forefront of my mind are my long-abandoned Harlequins and Craftworld Eldar.

Next time, I will report in on how things went at the Vanguard Tactics GT, and try and figure out how to stay sharp in the long gap between that event and the LGT.