TheChirurgeon’s Road Through 2024, Part 15: Testing Veterans of the Long War

Welcome back, Dear Reader, to my ongoing log of personal, hobby, and competitive progress for Warhammer 40,000. Last time around I talked about testing some new Chaos Space Marines lists, taking a stab at Dread Talons and coming away horrified by the result, and working on some Night Lords bikes. This week I’ve got more test lists I’m trying out, plus more Night Lords bikes.

The Test Game: Veterans of the Long War Detachment

Another week, another test game with the new Codex. I’m mostly in a holding pattern right now – the new Pariah Nexus missions go up for preorder on Saturday, and those are guaranteed to shake the game up in very big ways. As a result, I’m still testing things, but I’m less worried about having a concrete list as much as I’m trying to get a feel for things. With Death Guard and Thousand Sons I’ve been playing them long enough to have a really solid feel for how the army plays, what its units are capable of, how to deploy, and what the game plan is. I’m not really there with Chaos Space Marines – I’ve played some games with them, but a lot of those have been in Crusade, and the army plays much differently now that there are more detachments to choose from.

Testing Dread Talons was a fun diversion but it was something I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to enjoy going in. With that out of the way it was time to look at other alternatives. If I’m being honest, Pactbound Zealots is out – playing a worse version of it isn’t something I really want to do right now and so that leaves Veterans of the Long War and Renegade Raiders to look at (though I will admit that Soulforged Warpack is tempting… but that may be a conversation for two weeks from now).

I wanted to get a feel for a bunch of different units, so here’s the list I put together for my test game against Andrew this past weekend:

Rob's Veterans of the Long War List - click to expand



Chaos Lord
– Eager for Vengeance

Master of Executions



Cultist Mob

Cultist Mob

Legionaries x5

Legionaries x5


Chaos Rhino


Chaos Bikers x3

Chaos Land Raider

Chosen x10



Obliterators x2

This is a hodgepodge of stuff but there are a few things I want to play with here:

  • How does Abaddon + 10 Chosen feel?
  • Do the Obliterators still work?
  • How do Forgefiends feel with new Pacts?
  • How does the Focus of Hatred rule feel to play?

We played a test game with Servo Skulls and Search and Destroy. Well, kind of. I’ll talk more about that next week.

I’m playing against Andrew and immediately I realize I’ve made a horrible mistake when he trots out the Ironstorm list he took to the top 8 at the recent US Open event in Dallas. I’m running a relatively elite, vehicle-heavy build against an army with three Redemptors and two Repulsor Executioners. In our first game I misdeploy and Andrew’s able to get shots on my Land Raider and kills it and a Forgefiend turn 1. I concede and we re-rack and I adjust deployment to the shot above.

It doesn’t help a ton. I lose a Forgefiend to Repex shooting (bad saves on my part, but it happens), and then on my turn I press forward with the Land Raider and the other Forgefiend. My goal here is to take out at least one Repex and do some damage. None of this goes to plan – I whiff on Andrew’s storm speeder with both bike meltas, both lascannons, and the melee attacks from my bikers, doing only 3 damage to it. On the bottom of the table I wheel forward with the Land Raider and the Forgefiend, then get out with Abaddon and his Chosen for a short double charge.

Abaddon and his Chosen kill the RepEx and the unit of Scouts on the south objective, then I sit back and hope that their 4++ will carry them through the next round. It doesn’t, and I lose the entire squad to Redemptor Shooting, and then one charges in and drops Abaddon to 3 wounds. Then in a real “bruh” moment, Abaddon goes to fight, fails his 5+ Pact roll, takes three mortal wounds, and fucking dies. Not going to lie, if I end up going back to Thousand Sons or Death Guard, it’s going to be because of this fucking moment right here.

That’s pretty much the game. We get in another round, but I’m not hitting with anything and a Master of Executions has no play against a Redemptor with -1 damage on incoming attacks. We call it after round three.

This was a brutal game but also hammered home that I had the wrong list – I don’t think a vehicle-heavy strategy would have worked better here. Vindicators and Predators just aren’t really the answer to Ironstorm and are more of a liability, but the flip side is that they’re the best tools the army has for dealing with these threats. The Forgefiends definitely weren’t it, especially at their current costs. That’s a shame, because the ones I painted look great.

I’m not sure about Abaddon and the Chosen. It was fun, but it may be more of a play for Renegade Raiders. Re-rolling all hits with the Focus of Hatred was nice, but I didn’t get to use it enough to really take advantage of it. This weekend I’m going to give the Renegade Raiders a try with a more transport-focused list and see how that goes.

Hobby Progress: Finishing My Night Lords Bikes

Last time I had finished the first bike but had two more to go. I was able to get another bike done over the weekend, finishing paint work on him during the weekly Saturday night hobby call I’ve been doing with my friends since the pandemic summer, and then I put in some extra time to get the champion finished, just so I’d have the whole unit done for this article. Let’s take a look:

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

I’m incredibly happy with how these three turned out, and they look great. Putting the finecast wings from the old helmets on the bikes really worked out, giving them some cool extra detail and personalization that really marks them as Night Lords bikes. The conversions on the newer Legionaries kit worked out well enough, and while it was a tremendous pain in the ass, I think the results were worth it. They have a few rough spots you have to really look for to find, but I think those are hard enough to spot I won’t have to worry much.

Next up is painting a couple of Chaos Lords with Jump Packs. I need at least one for some Raptors, and my plan is to do a conversion of Haarken Worldclaimer as a Night Lords captain, possibly using more or less the same armament so he can easily be a counts-as Haarken for my Night Lords army. Is painting Raptors a good use of my time for building a competitive list? No, not really. Am I going to do it anyways? Hell yes I am.

Next Time: Hobby Progress and Pariah Nexus

That’s all for this week but I’ll be back again next Thursday with another update covering another test game, more hobby progress, and, hopefully, something with the new Pariah Nexus missions pack. Stay tuned for that, and as always if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at