TheChirurgeon’s Road Through 2024, Part 17: The Charity RTT Meta

Welcome back, Dear Reader, to my ongoing log of personal, hobby, and competitive progress for Warhammer 40,000. Last time around I was testing more Chaos Space Marines lists, doing more hobby work on my Night Lords, and prepping for a Charity RTT. This week I’m going to talk about the RTT and another game I got in before that, offer a few thoughts on Pariah Nexus, and continue my hobby work.

Game 1: vs. T’s Adepta Sororitas

Last Thursday T and I got together for a day game, testing Thousand Sons vs. Adepta Sororitas with the new Pariah Nexus Missions and the new Sisters points, along with some of the changes for the dataslate and core rules which were revealed yesterday. Games like these are super important for helping wrap my head around what the rule changes actually mean and how they’ll affect games. Here’s the list I brought:

My Thousand Sons List - Click to Expand

Thousand Sons Practice

Thousand Sons
Strike Force (2000 points)
Cult of Magic

CHARACTERS
Ahriman on Disc of Tzeentch (140 points)
• 1x Black Staff of Ahriman
1x Inferno bolt pistol
1x Psychic Stalk

Infernal Master (115 points)
• 1x Force weapon
1x Inferno bolt pistol
1x Screamer Invocation
• Enhancement: Arcane Vortex

Infernal Master (125 points)
• 1x Force weapon
1x Inferno bolt pistol
1x Screamer Invocation
• Enhancement: Lord of Forbidden Lore

Magnus the Red (440 points)
• 1x Blade of Magnus
1x Gaze of Magnus
1x Tzeentch’s Firestorm

Thousand Sons Sorcerer (95 points)
• 1x Fires of the Abyss
1x Force weapon
1x Inferno bolt pistol

Thousand Sons Sorcerer in Terminator Armour (135 points)
• 1x Coruscating Flames
1x Force weapon
1x Inferno combi-bolter
• Enhancement: Umbralefic Crystal

BATTLELINE
Rubric Marines (105 points)
• 1x Aspiring Sorcerer
• 1x Force weapon
1x Inferno bolt pistol
1x Warpsmite
• 4x Rubric Marine
• 4x Close combat weapon
1x Icon of Flame
4x Warpflamer

Rubric Marines (105 points)
• 1x Aspiring Sorcerer
• 1x Force weapon
1x Inferno bolt pistol
1x Warpsmite
• 4x Rubric Marine
• 4x Close combat weapon
4x Inferno boltgun

Rubric Marines (105 points)
• 1x Aspiring Sorcerer
• 1x Force weapon
1x Inferno bolt pistol
1x Warpsmite
• 4x Rubric Marine
• 4x Close combat weapon
4x Inferno boltgun

Rubric Marines (105 points)
• 1x Aspiring Sorcerer
• 1x Force weapon
1x Inferno bolt pistol
1x Warpsmite
• 4x Rubric Marine
• 4x Close combat weapon
4x Inferno boltgun

DEDICATED TRANSPORTS
Thousand Sons Rhino (75 points)
• 1x Armoured tracks
1x Inferno combi-bolter

OTHER DATASHEETS
Scarab Occult Terminators (380 points)
• 1x Scarab Occult Sorcerer
• 1x Force weapon
1x Inferno combi-bolter
1x Warpsmite
• 9x Scarab Occult Terminator
• 2x Hellfyre missile rack
7x Inferno combi-bolter
9x Prosperine khopesh
2x Soulreaper cannon

Thousand Sons Cultists (55 points)
• 1x Thousand Sons Cultist Champion
• 1x Brutal assault weapon
1x Cultist firearm
• 9x Thousand Sons Cultist
• 9x Brutal assault weapon
9x Cultist firearm

Four units of Rubrics this time around, plus characters to back them up. Still going with the Scarab brick, and with the point drops to Scarabs I honestly think they’re a steal at 380. The goal here is to use them as a hammer and keep them mobile with the Umbralefic Crystal while the Rubrics can move around the table and apply pressure from the sides.

T’s List

T’s running Celestine and a huge unit of Seraphim, a second unit of Seraphim, an Immolator, Vahl and two units of Paragon Warsuits, the Triumph, a Castigator, and some other good stuff. The points for sisters came in pretty high, and that really changes up how he was thinking of playing them.

T's List - Click to Expand

All Cattle no Hat (2000 Points)

Adepta Sororitas
Bringers of Flame
Strike Force (2000 Points)

CHARACTERS

Canoness with Jump Pack (95 Points)
• 1x Ministorum hand flamer
1x Power weapon
• Enhancements: Fire and Fury

Daemonifuge (85 Points)
• 1x Ephrael Stern
• 1x Bolt pistol
1x Sanctity
• 1x Kyganil of the Bloody Tears
• 1x The Outcast’s Weapons

Morvenn Vahl (160 Points)
• Warlord
• 1x Fidelis
1x Lance of Illumination
1x Paragon missile launcher

Saint Celestine (160 Points)
• 1x Celestine
• 1x The Ardent Blade
• 2x Geminae Superia
• 2x Bolt pistol
2x Power weapon

Triumph of Saint Katherine (190 Points)
• 1x Bolt pistols
1x Relic weapons

DEDICATED TRANSPORTS

Immolator (115 Points)
• 1x Armoured tracks
1x Heavy bolter
1x Hunter-killer missile
1x Twin multi-melta

OTHER DATASHEETS

Castigator (150 Points)
• 1x Armoured tracks
1x Castigator battle cannon
3x Heavy bolter
1x Hunter-killer missile
1x Storm bolter

Dominion Squad (115 Points)
• 1x Dominion Superior
• 1x Bolt pistol
1x Close combat weapon
1x Inferno pistol
1x Power weapon
• 9x Dominion
• 9x Bolt pistol
5x Boltgun
9x Close combat weapon
4x Meltagun
1x Simulacrum Imperialis

Mortifiers (70 Points)
• 1x Anchorite Sarcophagus
2x Heavy bolter
1x Twin penitent buzz-blades

Paragon Warsuits (210 Points)
• 1x Paragon Superior
• 1x Bolt pistol
1x Multi-melta
1x Paragon grenade launchers
1x Paragon war mace
• 2x Paragon
• 2x Bolt pistol
2x Multi-melta
2x Paragon grenade launchers
2x Paragon war mace

Paragon Warsuits (210 Points)
• 1x Paragon Superior
• 1x Bolt pistol
1x Multi-melta
1x Paragon grenade launchers
1x Paragon war mace
• 2x Paragon
• 2x Bolt pistol
2x Multi-melta
2x Paragon grenade launchers
2x Paragon war blade

Seraphim Squad (170 Points)
• 1x Seraphim Superior
• 1x Close combat weapon
1x Plasma pistol
1x Power weapon
• 9x Seraphim
• 10x Bolt pistol
9x Close combat weapon
8x Ministorum hand flamer

Seraphim Squad (170 Points)
• 1x Seraphim Superior
• 1x Close combat weapon
1x Plasma pistol
1x Power weapon
• 9x Seraphim
• 10x Bolt pistol
9x Close combat weapon
8x Inferno pistol

Sisters Novitiate Squad (100 Points)
• 1x Novitiate Superior
• 1x Close combat weapon
1x Plasma pistol
1x Power weapon
• 9x Sister Novitiate
• 9x Autopistol
4x Close combat weapon
2x Ministorum flamer
5x Novitiate melee weapons
1x Sacred Banner
1x Simulacrum Imperialis

This list hits like a freight train but it’s not super-durable and there are not BATTLELINE units to work with. That’s a big deal, and it means that T can be in trouble on mission that require either battleline units or doing a lot of actions. The answer to most of those problems however will be “just murder things.”

The Mission: A – Take and Hold / Raise Banners / Tipping Point

Terrain Layout 1. Terrain mats courtesy of Objective Ctrl

We decide to play Mission A in the Pariah Nexus Pack, using terrain layout 1. It’s a mission that is not favorable to T’s army – Raise Banners is the worst mission rule for T as it’s free points for me and nothing for him. We both opt for Tactical objectives, and for this game I’ve modified my older decks of secondary missions to work as decks here.

I’m going first.

Objective Ctrl mats used for Crucible of Battle and Layout 1

That’s not actually what I want here – I want to force T to come out so can be the one hitting back with flamers, not the one getting hit. I really hate the notion of a dead turn 1 where I play too coy, and the secondary missions prevent that anyways – my turn 1 draws are Assassination and Extend Battle Lines. I can chuck Assassination (and will) for CP, but I need to draw Engage and so I take one of the two units out of my Rhino and move the Rhino to the top middle objective, leaving the other unit inside. This scores me 5 VP but might have been a mistake. On T’s turn he flies across the table and blows up the Rhino – thought it takes almost all his shooting to do it after I pop smoke. Unfortunately he still gets the Rhino and has enough hand flamers to kill the unit inside, and scores 5 for No Prisoners, discarding Sabotage.

What follows is a deadly game of cat-and-also-cat as I clap back on my end, wiping out one unit of his Seraphim with flamers while also killing Dominion squad, save a single multi-melta. I’ve drawn Defend Stronghold and Marked For Death and that one’s dead – I think it’s a dead secondary in most games if you draw it before round 4, actually – and press forward with Magnus and Crystal over to the southeast objective with the Scarabs. I use Temporal Surge to slingshot the Terminators on a second 7″ move around the south end of the middle objective, then go FULL POWER mode with Ensorcelled Infusion and Devastating Sorcery to drop the three Paragon Warsuits with Vahl and drop her to a single wound (d’oh!). Magnus kills the Mortifactor in melee.

T then retaliates with a haymaker of his own – he draws Cull the Horde (which can be scored of my Scarabs, lol) and Recover Assets. Stern comes out and wounds Magnus, followed by a round of grenades, then fire from everyone in the Seraphim, dropping him to low single digits. Celestine manages to finish him off when I just roll some terrible saves but the good news is he explodes and kills Vahl and damages a few other key units.

The retaliation from T leaves me with a unit of Cultists, Ahriman and a single flamer, a unit of Rubrics with the enhanced Infernal Master, and half the Scarab unit. That’s not a lot, and I struggle pushing through the last few wounds on Celestine, who can tank a shitload of wounds with the 4+ feel no pain from the surviving Gemini. I’m able to get her down and of course she revives, and it’ll take another turn of shooting to take her down. This is an area where I needed more dev wounds and wasn’t getting them quite as often as I’d liked.

It took T two turns to score Cull the Horde when my Scarab Sorcerer survived and he followed that by drawing Marked for Death and spending two turns trying to score that. T struggled to take out my Scarabs with his Paragons, in part because I kept re-rolling saves and blanking him to avoid losing models. Ahriman swings around and destroys the Immolator and I’m able to hold T to 5 primary in the final turn. All said and done I’ve gone 5-5-15-10 on Primary while T finishes 10-10-10-5, so we tie it up at 35 there.

On Secondaries we’ve both struggled all game – I’ve scored 5 each on Extend Battle Lines, and Overwhelming Force, and pulled 3 each on Defend Stronghold and Containment, but T manages to blank me on Storm Hostile Objective by just not being on objectives in the final rounds. For T’s part, he scored 5 on No Prisoners round 1, 5 on Area Denial in round 2, 3 for Recover Assets round 3, and 5 for Cull the Hordes finally going off in round 4, but he can’t score anything for Marked in round 5 and only has one unit left in the final round – the Novitiates on his home objective.

That would give T a 2-point win, but I’ve scored 2 points for Raise Banners, giving us a 63-63 tie.

Result: 63-63, Tie

Hell of a game – just a real back-and-forth, trading haymakers and killing each other while largely leaving secondaries by the wayside. This was partly out of difficulty scoring but also out of necessity – I couldn’t afford to not be killing Sisters units, and T’s army was built to kill over scoring.

There was definitely more I could have done in this game but I’m happy with how it played out. That said, playing down 20 points isn’t really what I want to be doing, and I want to test a few alternative lists. At the moment I’m considering the following:

  • Option 1: Just swap Sorcerer (5) for Exalted Sorc (100), put lord of forbidden Lore on him
  • Option 2: Drop Cultists (55) and Rhino (75), add Mutalith Vortex Beast (150)
  • Option 3: Swap Sorcerer (95) for a third Infernal Master (90), put Ahriman on Foot (+10), drop Cultists (55), for two units of Tzaangor Enlightened (45 each)

Right now I’m strongly considering Option 3, as I really like the Tzaangor Enlightened as fast objective doers but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the Mutalith as a third “big threat” to contend with Magnus and the Scarabs and cause problems for opponents. That said, my action economy is really tight with the Scarabs taking up a big chunk of my points. So keep an eye out for that option 3 list in my next couple of test games. The Exalted Sorcerer is also an option here but I don’t think bringing back a model and getting a 4++ is as good as not being shot and having the killer shooting on the Sorcerer. But it’s also very easy to paint so maybe that’s where I’ll end up.

The Asgard Charity RTT

Saturday was the annual Charity RTT at Asgard, and as I mentioned last time, this was to benefit the Houston Food Bank, with participants able to buy tickets to exchange for re-rolls. After my last post, my buddy Max reached out about lending me a pair of Venomcrawlers, while Norman offered to pitch in $50 for me in re-rolls if I agreed to take Vashtorr. So after some tweaks, this is the list I ended up on:

My Vashtorr List - Click to Expand

vashtorr charity (2020 points)

Chaos Space Marines
Strike Force (2000 points)
Soulforged Warpack

CHARACTERS

Vashtorr the Arkifane (190 points)
• 1x Vashtorr’s claw
1x Vashtorr’s hammer

Warpsmith (95 points)
• 1x Flamer tendril
1x Forge weapon
1x Melta tendril
1x Plasma pistol
• Enhancement: Tempting Addendum

Warpsmith (90 points)
• 1x Flamer tendril
1x Forge weapon
1x Melta tendril
1x Plasma pistol
• Enhancement: Forge’s Blessing

BATTLELINE

Cultist Mob (50 points)
• 1x Cultist Champion
• 1x Autopistol
1x Brutal assault weapon
• 9x Chaos Cultist
• 9x Autopistol
9x Brutal assault weapon

Cultist Mob (50 points)
• 1x Cultist Champion
• 1x Autopistol
1x Brutal assault weapon
• 9x Chaos Cultist
• 9x Autopistol
9x Brutal assault weapon

OTHER DATASHEETS

Defiler (190 points)
• 1x Defiler cannon
1x Defiler claws
1x Defiler Scourge
1x Twin lascannon

Forgefiend (190 points)
• 1x Ectoplasma Cannon
2x Hades autocannon

Forgefiend (190 points)
• 1x Ectoplasma Cannon
2x Ectoplasma Cannon

Heldrake (205 points)
• 1x Hades autocannon
1x Heldrake claws

Heldrake (205 points)
• 1x Baleflamer
1x Heldrake claws

Heldrake (205 points)
• 1x Baleflamer
1x Heldrake claws

Venomcrawler (120 points)
• 2x Excruciator cannon
1x Soulflayer tendrils and claws

Venomcrawler (120 points)
• 2x Excruciator cannon
1x Soulflayer tendrils and claws

Venomcrawler (120 points)
• 2x Excruciator cannon
1x Soulflayer tendrils and claws

I’ve played the Soulforged Warpack last week so I have a decent idea of what to do here. I’m bringing triple Heldrakes this time around and dropping the Helbrutes for two more Venomcrawlers, going all in on Daemon Engines. The Heldrakes are really bad but they will hilariously have their uses, as we’ll see.

The big added element to this event is that I brought my son Bryce with me. He was supposed to help me play and push models around, but ended up getting bored during deployment and doing other stuff. We’re not quite there yet for games, it seems. As a result, I’d end up only playing one game, but buying in for another $150 in charity funds and blowing through EVERY SINGLE RE-ROLL TICKET I had in order to secure that victory. Join in as we meet Mario, my first opponent.

Mario’s running World Eaters and we agree to play a mission from Pariah Nexus since I had the modified decks I’d brought from home. Anyways, Mario’s World Eaters list is the absolute worst possible list to bring against me – he’s running three Maulerfiends, Angron, a Lord of Skulls, three Helbrutes, and two units of Jakhals.

Let’s talk about the re-roll meta: I’m joking but this is something Norman and I talked about last year when he was building his charity event list with Chaos Knights. In the re-roll meta, Mortal Wounds and Devastating Wounds are king, while Feel No Pain and invulnerable saves are invaluable. Your opponent cannot re-roll their saves if you can just take away their saves. Now my list has a pair of forgefiends in it but they’re not there for that reason – I just took all the daemon engines I had on hand – but they make a great unit to have in these situations. But what makes the list so great for me is that it’s VEHICLE-heavy – Vashtorr having Anti-Vehicle 4+ and Devastating Wounds on his hammer means he can tee off on these daemon engines.

And what’s more hilarious are the Heldrakes – they have ANTI-FLY 2+ and DEVASTATING WOUNDS on their melee attacks, with +1 to hit against Flying Targets, which makes them insanely good at killing Angron – they can swoop in to hit him in melee, pact for 7 attacks and SUSTAINED HITS, score 8-9 hits, then trivially put up 16 dev wounds worth of damage. This was literally the time for my stupid idiot sons to shine.

Wings removed for convenience sake

And shine they did. Two of them killed Angron turn 1 while the Forgefiends killed a Maulerfiend and took out the Lord of Skulls. The Maulerfiends were more trouble, as I only had so many dev wounds to go around and as it turned out, other folks in the Astros Militarum had donated some $150 to buy tickets for my opponents to use, and Mario was intent on throwing all of those at me. So I’d end up killing Angron four times as I chewed through his army. That said, Angron also blew up naturally twice, killing Vashtorr the first time it happened.

Most of this game hinged on my ability to throw out dev wounds with the Forgefiends and Heldrakes, taking out key targets as they pressed forward and using re-rolls to pass Dark Pact tests.

By the end Mario just has Angron left and I’ve got the Forgefiends and a Heldrake still and I’m able to pull this one out, 84-30, albeit by spending about $300 in re-rolls.

Result: 84-30, Win.

Bryce isn’t feeling it so we decide to go home after getting some pizza. I’m only playing one game and I’m more than happy to go hard and pay to win it. Charity events are great because you can just pay to win and if someone calls you on it well, why do they hate the Houston Food Bank, huh?

Mario was a great sport and we had a good game and I’m not upset about only playing one game – I wasn’t really in a “try hard and put in the 9 to 5” headspace anyways and was at most only going to play two games. Bryce not having fun made it easy to leave.

Hobby Progress

I haven’t made much progress on my Night Lords, in part because the humidity here has been insane, making it difficult to prime new models. I’ve mostly been working on writing reviews of the new 40k updates, with a bit of time working on Sisters of Battle for an update to the How to Paint article for them. Here’s a sneak preview of that:

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Boy did I hate assembling these models and getting to some of the hard-to-reach areas in there. Still, happy that project is over and ready to work on some others. Oh, on that note I’ve also been painting Votann for their How to Paint, so you’ll see these goobers again soon:

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

 

Next Time: Hobby Progress

That’s it for this week. I don’t have much Warhammer queued up for this weekend, and while I may end up playing another game this weekend, I expect next week will mostly be a hobby update, so check back for that one. If I do get some testing in, it’ll likely be with Thousand Sons again though I’m also liable to test Renegade Raiders soon.

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