TheChirurgeon’s Road Through 2023, Part 2: Blood for the Blood God

Welcome back, Dear Reader, to my ongoing hobby blog and catalog of goings-on and attempts to become competitively relevant at Warhammer 40k. This year’s updates have been spaced a bit wider than last year’s; part of that is that I had two other authors pitch similar Chaos-themed comp 40k blogs this year (seriously guys, find your own thing, I don’t care how good you were in 7th edition). The other part of it is that for about a month I was working on stuff I just couldn’t write about, playing test games with World Eaters, painting the new models, and playing games of Arks of Omen. But now that we’re comfortably past those releases and once again waiting on the Space Marine version of Malibu Stacey’s new hat, I can resume talking about my hobby progress.

If you missed my previous article, you can find it here.

Hobby Progress

This is a weird one. I’ve made both quite a bit of hobby progress and not as much as I’d have liked. On the one hand, I painted Angron! I wrote about painting him in How to Paint Everything: Angronand he was featured on WarCom, which was pretty rad. I’m incredibly happy with how he turned out.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Any time you paint a big model like Angron half the battle is just forcing yourself through the process. I find that once I get about 60% done – in Angron’s case about a week and a half in – it becomes a battle of attrition to get the model done in time. One way I battle this is to just force myself to paint 1-2 more things each time I’m getting ready to get up and be done painting. Usually these are small – I’ll be wrapping up and I’ll say “OK, I’m going to paint the skulls on this necklace and his wrist chain.” Then I do that before I finish and even though it’s small it’s one more thing I’ve got done.

On top of ol’ Angron, I’ve got a ton of other World Eaters to paint. I got my first glaive guy done:

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

On top of him I’ve been looking at touching up some of the older models and working on all of the newer kits. Right now I’m alternating between painting the Lord Invocatus and making a new unit of World Eaters Terminators.

Invocatus about 60% done

these were some fun conversions.

I’ve still got a ton to do of course; I need to paint another 24 Berserkers, plus something like 15 Eightbound and another 6 Exalted Eightbound. Plus some touch-up work and a trio of Chaos Spawn. But right now I’m looking forward to the project, which is a good thing.

Competitive Practice

The other part I couldn’t really talk about, I got some test games in with my World Eaters. Maybe the most competitive of these was the one I got in the weekend the review went up, pitting my World Eaters against my friend Erik’s Craftworlds Eldar.

Angron spent most of his game on the point

The mission was Tear Down Their Icons and Erik went first. There isn’t a ton to say about this matchup from a play-by-play standpoint – it was a very close game but we had to end early to go to dinner with the wives so we finished at a point where things could have gone either way, though Erik had a slight edge. Some things to note:

  • I deployed a bit too aggressively and Erik got some free shots over the middle and that cost me big. I needed to just hide the Eightbound on turn 1, even with the movement boost from the Invocatus. The big problem I had was there was no way to get across the table without getting shot at least once.
  • Angron came back twice, and probably could have made a third go of it, but that would have required giving up some points on the Blood God’s Due secondary, which requires descarding Blood Tithe points. I wasn’t picking an aura for him in the Command phase while he was in reserves and I think that was a mistake – the rules seem to support being able to do that and it would have made a pretty big difference.
  • The 5-man berzerker units are a bit of a mixed bag. They can mulch things like Harlequin Troupes, but I found them basically unable to do much to Baharroth except die slowly in a way that was very annoying. They really need the boost from exploding 6s and/or a +1 to their hit rolls.
  • The Chaos Spawn are wonderful little treats, able to basically go untouched most of the game and hold the middle objective while Erik had to focus on bigger threats and not give me free BTP. They remain relatively terrible in combat, however.
  • Erik’s D-Cannons continue to be a real problem to deal with, and they’re perfectly tuned to fucking up Eightbound, which is very annoying.

Angron returned multiple times and fought in combat exactly once

On the whole, this game reinforced to me that Angron is just kind of not very good. I love the model and how I painted him but he’s just liable to die a bunch of times in games and soak up blood tithe points that are better spent on something else.

A game that went better was my practice game against my friend Max, whose Word Bearers just had no real way to deal with the World Eaters, and army that does everything they do, but much better. This was a less tuned list, but ultimately against armies that don’t do much shooting the World Eaters just get to go out and have a good time.

Me, taking a land raider. What a time to be alive

In this game, Angron was a value add, but then I just had so much nasty melee stuff mashing into Max’s army that the game was basically over as soon as I hit combat. My guys evaporated everything they touched, save for the unit that was killed from an interrupt by a daemon prince and even that unit used the Fight on Death Stratagem to kill another unit.

This did not end well for Max

I also brought Kharn this game, who was pretty solid until he was killed.

As I prep for my next RTT with World Eaters, my biggest challenge is getting the Lord Invocatus and a ton of Eightbound painted. I’ve been strapped for hobby time, and so whether I have to take Angron to a serious tournament is going to depend heavily on my ability to get the models I need painted. I have a ton of older World Eaters stuff but a ton of it just isn’t relevant or it’s out of the codex now – my bikes and raptors just aren’t in the book, while a lot of my berzerkers are the old models still on 25mm bases. I have a pair of rhinos, a land raider, a helbrute, a Juggalord, some converted possessed using the old models that will work as new berzerkers, and a Heldrake. I’m 50/50 right now on whether I want to just run the Disciples of the Red Angel army at the next event and bring some bloodletters and flesh hounds to fill out the roster. Going to depend a lot on what gets painted.

The Vadinax Crusade

In addition to my misadventures with World Eaters in competitive practice, I’ve been building a force with them for the Vadinax campaign. I’m taking part in the two local campaigns – Parasbine Secundus and Agrippa IV, and so far I’ve played games in both. My force is led by Markarios the Butcher, a World Eaters Lord on Juggernaut. The games have been a mixed bag.

In my first set of games I was waxed by Andrew Corban’s Sons of Ash, losing battles on both Kephistrone and Varghast. Mostly, it’s dealing with his WS 2+ Aggressors, who can just put out insane amounts of damage. In both games I was too depleted on arrival to make the impact I needed, and it didn’t help that I was on game 1 and Andrew was showing up with 11 Crusade Points – when you only have 8 stratagems there isn’t a ton of good that getting 5 extra CP will do you outside of some re-rolls.

I also got in games on Agrippa, against Max in a game of Boarding Patrol that I won despite being tabled and a 2v2 game where Markarios’ forces teamed up with traitor guard to secure the planet’s prison facility by defeating loyalist guard and Custodes. My 5-model unit of Berserkers earned a second battle scar, ensuring they’ll be purged from the roster (they got -1″ movement/advance/charges and that’s a dealbreaker), but my Exalted Eightbound continued to rip through enemy units and murder things. I’m not entirely sold on them for 2000 points, but in Boarding Actions and 1,000 point games they’re the perfect size at 135 points for 3 models.

My most recent game was another Crusade game, this time against Oliver’s Adepta Sororitas. It was roughly a 750 point game in which I hoped to wrest the city of Kephistrone on Parasbine Secundus from Imperial hands. And while my World Eaters were successful, ultimately it wasn’t enough to sway the campaign results this round and Kephistrone was reclaimed by the Imperium. We’ll get them next week.

World Eaters definitely struggle in Crusade, by the way – you’ve got few early options to work with for characters and I had to buy roster points to ensure I could fit the different units I’d need to run OK armies at both the boarding action and Incursion levels. I haven’t done much of anything with the worthy skulls mechanic, either. The whole thing just feels like a relatively unnecessary system, and that stinks.

Next Time: Going Competitive With the World Eaters

That wraps up this recap. By my next update I’ll either have completed my first RTT with the World Eaters or be prepping furiously for it. Either way, I’ll have interesting stuff to write about and another comp game or two. Until then, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comment below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.