TheChirurgeon’s Road Through 2022, Part 13: The Last Hurrah for Nachmund

Welcome back, Dear Reader, to my ongoing series about attempting to achieve competitive adequacy and acclaim in the 2022 ITC season. Last time around, I wrote about my hobby progress and missing the Asgard May RTT due to a combination of COVID and flight delays – an experience I definitely would not recommend. It’s been a month since, and I have much to write about in the meantime.

Hobby Progress

Last time I was all about the Horus Heresy and working on Word Bearers. This time I had to prepare for next game with Thouasnd Sons. To that end, I had a relatively small project ahead of me: A third War Dog Executioner to fill out a Dreadblade Detachment. The War Dogs make excellent backfield objective holders and ranged fire support for the Thousand Sons, who can very much use the 60″, Damage 3 guns for taking down larger targets.

This third war dog – the one in front – completes my trio and sets me on Executioners. In the future I’ll be doing more war dogs, but those will all be karnivores/huntsmen/whatever. If you’re interested in how I made that forgefiend-headed one on the right there, you can find a write-up on him in How to Paint Everything: Chaos Knights.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The other thing I’m working on is painting terrain for the Goonhammer Open US Narrative event in August. You may have seen my series on designing the event. If not, you can find the most recent one here. I’ll have more to say about this in the coming weeks that will make it clear what I’m working on.

The other thing I did was buy some terrain of ebay – I’ve always wanted to build a Dawn of War base to have for games and dioramas. It’s just really cool terrain to have. So I bought some, and I’ve been slowly assembling it and working on converting it to be a Chaos base.

I’ll post more photos of this in a future article.

Practice Games

Although I had a pretty good idea of how my war dog-enabled list would run, I wasn’t 100% sure how they’d play in games, nor was I familiar at all with the stratagems they had. So I set up a couple of practice games.

Before we dive in, here’s the list I brought, and this is basically what I ended up taking to the RTT:

TheChirurgeon's list - click to expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Thousand Sons) [74 PL, 11CP, 14 Cabal Points, 1,510pts] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points) [12CP]

Cults of the Legion: Cult of Duplicity

Detachment Command Cost

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

Sorcerous Arcana [-1CP]: Additional Relics [-1CP]

+ HQ [19 PL, 8 Cabal Points, 355pts] +

Ahriman [8 PL, 3 Cabal Points, 160pts]: 12. Twist of Fate, 13. Doombolt, 21. Presage

Exalted Sorcerer [6 PL, 3 Cabal Points, 105pts]: 11. Tzeentch’s Firestorm, 13. Doombolt, Athenaean Scrolls, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Master Misinformator, Prosperine khopesh [5pts], Warlord

Infernal Master [5 PL, 2 Cabal Points, 90pts]: 12. Glamour of Tzeentch, 5. Glimpse of Eternity, 6. Malefic Maelstrom, Umbralefic Crystal

+ Troops [14 PL, 4 Cabal Points, 280pts] +

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 2 Cabal Points, 115pts]: Icon of Flame [1 Cabal Points, 10pts]
. Aspiring Sorcerer [1 Cabal Points, 21pts]: 22. Weaver of Fates, Inferno Bolt Pistol
. 4x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun [84pts]: 4x Inferno boltgun

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 2 Cabal Points, 115pts]: Icon of Flame [1 Cabal Points, 10pts]
. Aspiring Sorcerer [1 Cabal Points, 21pts]: 21. Temporal Manipulation, Inferno Bolt Pistol
. 4x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun [84pts]: 4x Inferno boltgun

Thousand Sons Cultists [2 PL, 50pts]
. Cultist Champion [5pts]: Autogun
. 9x Cultist w/ autogun [45pts]: 9x Autogun

+ Elites [41 PL, 2 Cabal Points, 875pts] +

Scarab Occult Terminators [21 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 445pts]: 2x Hellfyre missile rack [20pts]
. Scarab Occult Sorcerer [1 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 55pts]: 23. Temporal Surge, Inferno combi-bolter, Rites of Coalescence [1 PL, 15pts]
. 7x Terminator [280pts]: 7x Inferno combi-bolter, 7x Prosperine khopesh
. Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon [45pts]: Soulreaper cannon [5pts]
. Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon [45pts]: Soulreaper cannon [5pts]

Scarab Occult Terminators [20 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 430pts]: 2x Hellfyre missile rack [20pts]
. Scarab Occult Sorcerer [1 Cabal Points, 40pts]: 23. Temporal Surge, Inferno combi-bolter
. 7x Terminator [280pts]: 7x Inferno combi-bolter, 7x Prosperine khopesh
. Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon [45pts]: Soulreaper cannon [5pts]
. Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon [45pts]: Soulreaper cannon [5pts]

++ Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Chaos Knights) [25 PL, -3CP, 490pts] ++

+ Configuration [-3CP] +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ Lord of War [25 PL, 490pts] +

War Dog Executioner Squadron [25 PL, 490pts]: Infernal Household, Warp Vision
. War Dog Executioner [9 PL, 180pts]: Diabolus heavy stubber, Tzeentch – Pyrothrone [1 PL, 25pts], Winds of the Warp
. War Dog Executioner [8 PL, 155pts]: Diabolus heavy stubber
. War Dog Executioner [8 PL, 155pts]: Diabolus heavy stubber

The big changes here are the three war dogs, who unfortunately do not leave enough room for much else, forcing me to cut a third Rubric squad in favor of a unit of Cultists. I’ve also gotta rock Ahriman on foot, but that’s been working out OK so far. That said, I have thoughts about this list given how things have gone, and the RTT will eventually confirm those with finality.

Game 1: vs. Dan’s Chaos Knights

Turn 1 vs. the Chaos Knights

The first of these two games is playing against Dan’s, i.e. Swiftblade’s Chaos Knights. He’s recently started a new army and is eager to try it out. This is good, because I need to practice against Chaos Knights – I haven’t really tested my Sons against anything with lots of bigger vehicles.

Also, I got Dan to write about the game a bit:

Dan: Hello again everyone! Today, I’m letting the Drukhari get some rest and bringing out the new evil hotness, Chaos Knights!

Dan's list - click to expand

++ Super-Heavy Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Chaos Knights) [105 PL, 2,000pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Detachment Command Cost

+ Lord of War +

Knight Abominant [24 PL, 460pts, -1CP]: 4. Knight Diabolus, 5. Infernal Quest, Arch-Tyrant, Character (Traitoris Lance), House Herpetrax, The Storm Malevolent, Undivided – Blessing of the Dark Master, Veil of Medrengard, Warlord, Winds of the Warp

Knight Desecrator [22 PL, 440pts, -2CP]: 6. Aura of Terror, Character (Tyrannical Court), Corrupted Heirlooms, House Herpetrax, Reaper chainsword, The Diamonas, Undivided – Mark of the Dread Knight

War Dog Executioner Squadron [17 PL, 330pts]: House Herpetrax
. War Dog Executioner: Daemonbreath meltagun, Tzeentch – Mirror of Fates
. War Dog Executioner: Diabolus heavy stubber

War Dog Stalker Squadron [25 PL, 450pts, -1CP]: House Herpetrax
. War Dog Stalker: Avenger chaincannon, Corrupted Heirlooms, Diabolus heavy stubber, Helm of Dogs, Reaper chaintalon, Slaanesh – Subjugator Machine Spirit
. War Dog Stalker: Avenger chaincannon, Diabolus heavy stubber, Reaper chaintalon
. War Dog Stalker: Avenger chaincannon, Diabolus heavy stubber, Reaper chaintalon

War Dog Stalker Squadron [17 PL, 320pts]: House Herpetrax
. War Dog Stalker: Daemonbreath spear, Havoc multi-launcher, Slaanesh – Beguiling Majesty, Slaughterclaw
. War Dog Stalker: Daemonbreath spear, Havoc multi-launcher, Slaughterclaw

++ Total: [105 PL, 2,000pts, 8CP] ++

This will be my first game with Knights, and because of that I’m keeping my list pretty simple. 2 big Knights with a bunch of little guys to support, under House Herpetrax to make them all more durable. Ideally, I want to push hard into the middle of the board with the hard-to-kill Abominant and then use the Dessecrator be a second wave after it pops a vehicle with The Diamonas relic gun. My understanding is Knights work best when they are playing a brutal attrition game, but Rob’s Thousand Sons are no slouches when they come to attrition. Plus, they have plenty of mortal wounds in the psychic phase to cause me trouble.

Overall, my plan is to take out the Abominant ASAP, then work on the rest. On the whole I think this is kind of a mistake, in that the Abominant isn’t really all that deadly by itself, and is more useful for buffing other units. I get the first turn, and that helps me take it down quickly but in the future I’ll probably look to remove war dogs first if I can and ignore the Abominant for later when it comes to the mortal wounds. Anyways, I smite the shit out of it, then start picking off war dogs and things fall apart for Dan pretty quick.

Dan: Did you know Knights can’t fly over each other? Apparently, I didn’t.

Yeah that was brutal, I know that Knights are very different from the speedy crafty Drukhari I’m used to but I did not expect to stumble so hard on my positioning and movement. I felt like most of the game that none of my War Dogs were where they needed to be that game and my big knights died much faster than I expected. I still think they’re tough into most targets, but Thousand Sons are no joke with their mortal wound output. Plus, bouncing off Rob’s executioners all game long was grinding my soul to pieces, but it was weirdly a good lesson in maneuvering and using War Dogs to their best potential.

I’m going to need to get in more reps with Chaos Knights before I bring them with me to the Goonhammer Open Narrative event in August. Gotta make sure I can stomp on team Imperium and team Xenos and make sure they remember Chaos Rulez.

As for Rob, I’ll get some practice in with the Chaos Knights and get him next time I swear. Thank you again for having me Rob!

Game 2: vs. Erik’s Hail of Doom Eldar

Another game against a regular sparring partner, Erik brought a relatively standard webway gate-equipped Hail of Doom list. The mission was Secure Missing Artefacts, and we played a very tight, close game on this one. I made a bit of a mistake taking Assassinate in this one, only pulling 6 points off it, and Erik played a cagey game on his end, trying to keep up scoring for Engage on All Fronts. Erik had to leave early when we were sitting on an 81-82 score with the game potentially going either way, so we called it a tie.

The Wager

The Houston locals I hang out with have a Discord we use for chatting and talking shit between games. At some point in late May, I made it clear that I wanted to win the next one, and bring down Carmine, a local Adeptus Custodes players who had been running over the locals at these RTTs.

He read this, and suggested a friendly wager. The terms are pretty simple: If we get matched up at the next RTT, then the winner has to play with an army brought by the loser at the next/an upcoming RTT. If Carmine wins, that’ll mean I have to play his Ultras, and if I win, I’ll saddle him with something like World Eaters or Deathwatch probably. Maybe Chaos Daemons; not sure yet.

On the whole, I think I can make this work – I’ve played against Custodes a few times now and on the right mission I’m confident I can take them down. That said, it’s always a crap shoot against Emperor’s Chosen if they get hot with their feel no pain rolls.

The June Asgard RTT

Then it was time for the monthly RTT at Asgard in Houston. Asgard is a great store and they seriously run the best RTT in town. This is in large part due to the work of Dan “Swiftblade” Richardson and Greg “Klobasnek” Narro, who have helped ensure that the event has consistent, solid terrain setups on almost every table.

This particular event is filled with strong players – Carmine Battista is the aforementioned Carmine, plus Erik and Garrett are there, and both are very strong players in their own right. One of the coolest things about the Astros Militarum group has been watching them develop as competitive players – it’s a hell of a player group to have locally, and they’re all great guys. Everyone I’ll end up playing against at the RTT is someone I know.

Game 1: vs. Luke’s Chaos Knights

The Mission: Tear Down Their Icons

Luke’s running Chaos Knights – a relatively standard list with one Abominant and a bunch of War Dogs. Thankfully I’ve already practiced against it, and I know that Executioners are awesome at taking down knights.

My Secondaries

  • Bring it Down
  • Stranglehold
  • Mutate Landscape

Luke’s Secondaries

  • No Prisoners
  • Stranglehold
  • Storm of Darkness

I’m going first.

I immediately press to the middle, hoping to use a double-move, but Luke denies that cast with a roll of 11 (c’mon), forcing me to spend a CP to double cast and use Sorcerous Facade to move to the middle. I’m not able to take down the Abominant turn 1, but I do put it on its lowest bracket and force it to hold back on turn 1 as Luke tries to make something happen with his war dogs. On turn 2 I basically end the game by taking out the Abominant plus another 3 war dogs, leaving him with only 3 left.

Result: 97-51, Victory

Luke’s scratch-built War Dogs

Luke’s a great opponent and I really like the work Luke has been doing scartch-building war dogs using bits from other kits. I’m excited to see how the army turns out when he finishes adding bits and painting them.

Game 2: vs. Andrew’s Salamanders


The Mission: Tide of Conviction

Andrew’s running Salamanders, and I’ve played him before at a prior RTT, back when I was running Death Guard. I got the drop on him in that game and managed to put things away early. He’s a tougher opponent here, and his 3 Redemptors give him a lot of beef and some melee muscle I don’t want to deal with.

My Secondaries

  • Mutate Landscape
  • Stranglehold
  • To the Last – Scarabs | Scarabs | War Dogs

Andrew’s Secondaries

  • Abhor the Witch
  • Oaths of Moment
  • Raise the Banners

I’m going second.

Andrew deploys defensively, which is a mixed bag – it helps him avoid trouble if he goes second, but his army is real low on ranged damage and he spends turn 1 knocking a couple of wounds off my Executioners. That’s when I notice he hasn’t screened me out in the top right corner – huge mistake, and he had the Infiltrators to do it. I use the Crystal to put a unit of Terminators up there, and Sorcerous Facade to teleport the Exalted Sorcerer over, ensuring my 10 terminators will have the ability to re-roll 1s to hit.

Andrew uses Auspex Scan with his Eradicators to take out 3 Terminators, but that gives me the opportunity to force bringing one back with Warped Regeneration in my Psychic phase, getting me closer for a charge. My Terminators end up killing the Dreadnought and the Eradicators in the psychic/shooting phases anyways, and so fail their charge into the Infiltrators. I also manage to focus down another Redemptor with the War Dogs and the other terminators, while putting the third on its bottom bracket. And that’s pretty much the game. My Terminators will sweep through Andrew’s flank, take him off the home objective, and I’ll manage to max out everything but To the Last, where I lose points for losing a War Dog.

Result: 97-36, Victory

Game 3: vs. Carmine’s Custodes

The Mission: Conversion

Well it was fate I’d run into Carmine. Or just really, really likely we’d both end up going 2-0. Unfortunately for me, this is a really bad mission to face his Custodes on – it puts us only 18″ apart, and that further exacerbates that Carmine has built his list expressly to kill terminators, with three Achillus Contemptors that can toss out half a dozen 3 damage shots.

My Secondaries

  • Mutate Landscape
  • Stranglehold
  • To the Last – Scarabs | Scarabs | War Dogs

Andrew’s Secondaries

  • Stranglehold
  • Abhor the Witch
  • Raise the Banners

I’m going second.

That’s also really, really bad, since it means I won’t score Stranglehold easily (or at all). I probably should have taken Engage here instead, but the mistake is already made. Carmine rushes forward to the center with Trajann, his three dreads, and the Vexilia.

I manage some decent early shots with one of my war dogs but they kind of abandoned me this game when I needed them, and I can’t stop two dreadnoughts from tearing into me. I also make two tactical mistakes:

  1. Castling in my deployment zone
  2. Putting a unit of Terminators on the left flank

For 1, I needed to just box out his units with my Rubrics, then teleport a unit of scarabs behind him to threaten the lower right objective. For 2, I should have teleported them over, or at least deployed them further out – I misjudged his turn 1 LOS (though I was also hurt going second here), and lost more terminators than I could really stand to on turn 1 (5). It ends up being a bit of a rout when the Dreadnoughts live a turn too long, but I’m able to make up some points in the end.

Result: 67-94, loss

The resulting loss on the top table drops me to third place, but I also take home the Best Painted prize – take that, Carmine! It’s a good placing and my second best ITC score yet, so I’m happy to add it. Next time I play an RTT at Asgard, it’ll be with Carmine’s Ultramarines, but I kind of like the idea of a Guilliman list in Nephilim…

Next Time: War Zone Nephilim

That wraps up this particular episode. I tried to get this one out as quickly as possible because well, we’re switching to Nephilim and a lot of the information about games here wouldn’t still be relevant. That said, there were a few key lessons I learned about the army – but I’m saving those for next time. On that note, my next update will probably be practice games for the Lone Star Open at the end of the month.

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