Chaosgerbil’s TSHFT report, and “Counts As” philosophy rant

What follows are battle reports so thrilling, so action-packed, you will be on the edge of your seat. Only one molecule will separate you from your seat!

Later on, the “Counts As” method gets a slightly bitchy and hopefully humorous analysis / defense.

TSHFT is a Warhammer 40k event held several times a year in Seattle. It rewards a combination of competition and hobby quite elegantly. 2000 pts., play to win good times.

Good reasoning prevails! is the new official home of TSHFT. The Seattle Heart of Fire Tournament has a real web presence once again. On Zen‘s Bloghammer you can find the final standings and the T.O.’s notes here and here.

Pictures should follow shortly.

Extra official note: The Blood of Kittens version of my blog is the one I will be using from now on. I’m bringing this blog back to life on BOK turf so I can get some comments flowing. I updated the BOK version with my posts from the last year, sorry for the long delay.

Day 1

(Originally Posted on September 3, 2011 by ChaosGerbil)

I’m back from day one of TSHFT. Overall it was a really fun day.  It was great to see so many TSHFT vets and new faces alike. I was fortunate enough to meet Purgatus of internetz fame, who was super nice in person, and brought his kick ass 13th company Space Wolves Loganwing. I gotta say, the models are much more impressive in person. Very spiky and well painted, without being overdone like many other 13th company modeling projects. Purg and I were almost matched up round 2 due to great first round scores, but it was not to be.

My insomnia and sleep schedule damaged my tactical abilities and attention span, but the event was still a blast.


I brought my entire terrain collection, which managed to be TOO MUCH for the entire tournament. Now all I need is a venue and I could host my own event…. We had extra tables and players could choose to use a spare table. It was nice to have so much elbow room since we got the nice looking hanger location this time around.

I tried to talk Zen into reasonable, AbusePuppy approved, balanced terrain, with mixed types on each table and a decent amount of LOS blockers, around 25%-30% of the table. The balanced layout was the case with some tables, but Zen is his own man and master of his own destiny, and some terrain layouts were a bit startling… Very mono in some cases. However, I was proud to see my collection in action once again.

My List:

2000 Pts – The Elect of Tzeentch, Chosen of Magnus “Space Wolves”

This is a counts as army, representing the last Thousand Sons warband unaffected by
the Rubric of Ahriman. Their vessel was in the warp at the time of the ritual and they escaped, only to mutate further. A magical pact with Pink Horrors and Discs of Tzeencth allows their most mutated warriors to be controlled by Daemons and fight on.

1 Rune Priest in Power Armour @ 110 pts (Chooser of the Slain; Jaws of the World Wolf; Murderous Hurricane) I used a pug model for chooser, just like my dog Panda.

1 Rune Priest in Power Armour @ 100 pts (Living Lightning; Murderous Hurricane)

Wolf Guard Pack @ 236 pts

Armour; Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour)
3 Wolf Guard in Power Armour (Combi-Meltagun x1; Power Fist x1) Joins Grey hunters
3 Wolf Guard in Power Armour (Bolt Pistol; Bolter x1) Joins Long Fangs
1 Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour (Combi-Meltagun; Chain Fist) Joins Bloodclaws

15 Blood Claws Pack @ 225 pts (Flamer; Meltagun)

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 190 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Power Weapon; Rhino)
1 Rhino (Dozer Blade)

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 190 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Power Weapon; Rhino)
1 Rhino (Dozer Blade)

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 190 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Power Weapon; Rhino)
1 Rhino (Dozer Blade)

8 Fenrisian Wolf Pack @ 64 pts

1 Land Speeder Squadron @ 70 pts (Multi-melta x1; Heavy Flamer x1)

1 Thunderwolf Cavalry @ 175 pts
1 Thunderwolf Cavalry (Power Fist)
2 regular Thunderwolf Cavalry

5 Long Fangs Pack @ 140 pts (Missile Launcher x5)
1 Squad Leader (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)

5 Long Fangs Pack @ 155 pts (Lascannon x1; Missile Launcher x4)
1 Squad Leader (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)

5 Long Fangs Pack @ 155 pts (Lascannon x1; Missile Launcher x4)
1 Squad Leader (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)

Game One vs. Torg’s Retinue of the Frozen Queen

The mission was to catch 4 objectives in table quarters that scattered D6 each round. A unit could pin itself to stop the objective from jumping. I can see some people hating this mission but I liked it.

Truly a fun game. Torg’s army was mostly wraithguard, wraithlords, and harlequins, led by Eldrad and that big-hair Banshee Queen. Eldrad managed to kill one Runepriest and wound the second thanks to my stubborn casting attempts.  I managed to capture the left side of the board while fighting a losing battle on the right. My Long fangs were the perfect antidote to the T6, 3+ bodies of the expensive Wraithguard. Torg quite skillfully kept them in cover and / or out of LOS, and made liberal use of Eldar witchery to protect them. Those fuckers sent my Havocs (Long fangs) back to the warp with D Cannon mojo.

On the last turn I desperately tank shocked to contest the last objective ju before we ran out of time. The troupe leader’s fusion pistol failed to stop the rhino. Or did it? Once again, to my horror forgotten rules changed the outcome of a game. My opponent was very gracious and generous after the fact and did not wish to change the score, but his characteristic error turned a draw into a loss for him. I feel uncomfortable about it but the show must go on. A mistake last TSHFT also swayed results significantly, I will just have to learn to spot things better. Playing when not sleep deprived would help too. If I would have remembered to roll for my runic weapons’ anti-psychic power during the first three or so turns than that could have swayed the outcome considerably, in my favor. The fuckup did send Torg to face theoretically weaker opponents which was one reason he was chill.

The secondary BPs was to have more fast attack. This was an easy 6 points for me, as I started the game with 3 fast attack choices to Torg’s zero. I stuck them all over in my left to be safe and mop up the incoming war walkers. I have to admit that one contributing reason I have 3 FA choices is just for this particular secondary mission. This is a problem, since vets have an edge on newcomers when they know these kinds of details in advance.  In my opinion the TSHFT scenario system should either be published for all to see and study, or kept so mixed up as to keep everyone guessing.

Game Two vs. Gerry Sunada’s Blood Angels

My 20 points propelled me a little too high… I ended up against the formidable Gerry Sunada, a best general title holder. His list was brutal and efficient, (6 multi-melta bikes for example). His army was professionally painted to a very high standard, and the crisp clean style was an awesome contrast to the chaotic, colorful, and dirty style I used on my Thousand Sons. I see nothing wrong with people using pro painting services, it enhances the experience. Our game was a very tight ship of no rules errors and reasonable cooperation. I was impressed with the smoothness of the game, I could tell I was playing an old pro.

There was a ridiculous amount of terrain on the board, all big TSHFT hills and felt forests.

There were three objectives symmetrically spaced along a 24″ no man’s land, basically my favorite mission. Every turn, one of the  three “spires” would radiate a 12″ no psychic power zone. Ok, this part fucked me over but I had to take it in stride.

Gerry won the roll and graciously let me go first (sarcasm). Zen’s point was made about how effective an all reserve force can be combined with second player privileges.

I deployed my Long Fangs too far apart. This helped me to secure one corner of the board through threat, but ultimately the farthest squad killed nothing. I was too tempted by the double size hill!
I claimed the center and left, and harassed the right flank. Gerry reserved all, but could reroll reserve rolls, so it turned out quite reliable for him. He hung back taking potshots at me with lots of TL Lascannon fire and multimelta / heavy bolter bikes, Which took a toll but left my troops mostly unscathed. His random rolling seemed poor for shooting but deadly for assaults and armor saves, but this was reinforced by the basic nature of the blood angels dex.

I’m not sure what all of Gerry’s plans were but I could tell my army’s claim on territory had him challenged, even temporarily stumped. Flooding the board with efficient MEQs will challenge most lists, they won’t fall over in a stiff breeze like guardsmen or most low model count armies will.

My T-CAV chaos spawn disc riders played cat and mouse with Gerry’s hero led assault marines, as he tried to bait me with a bike unit. The give and take of unit movements and attacks reminded me of a chess match or the baiting and pouncing one sees in a great game of League of Legends.Ultimately I gambled and lost. Once turn 4 crept around I had two objectives with swarms of troops, and by 5 I was contesting a third with an empty rhino and the lurking TCAV spawn. The game was drawing to a close and Gerry could hold back no longer. He advanced his 11 man buffed up jump-pack assault squad (led by Astoroth the Grim) to challenge the center. The bait attack bikes were nearby over clear ground. The spawn surged forward from hiding to charge the very threatening assault squad, but the shortest distance to nearest model was through woods. I rolled snake eyes for move distance. Whee, the 1″ doubled to 2″ through the magic of cavalry, not nearly enough. And, as if in a slapstick film, the no longer stunned vindicator comes around the corner and cleans them out. I should have charged the bikes at that point.

I had underestimated the speed and hitting power of his army. Furious charge was thrown around quite liberally on vampiric marines, to demolish my center grey hunters and sacrificial fenrisian wolves. The melee dragged on and I threw my blood claws into the fray, hoping to outlast Gerry and live to at least contest the center. After the debacle with the TCAV spawn, the rhino was easy prey for the razorback assault squads, although it stood up to a surprising number of shots and punching before exploding. Gerry contested all three objectives at once, claiming the one on my right.

Feel no pain made me feel pain. Furious charge kicked my ass up and down the block. When all was said and done I had one model remaining, my lone terminator (wolf guard) with chainfist. Awesome. The same “wolf guard” killed Astorath single-handedly. He clung to life for Tzeentch, and I got a draw! Saved by that single 2+!  15 blood claws may not be efficient but they are annoying and fun. My possessed models needed a chance to be in some games.

DAY 2 (Sept. 4 2011)

I managed to claim Best Appearance, an award that I have been striving for. I deployed my over-large, heavy-ass display board which helped clinch the win. My other version of Tzeentch “Space Wolves” technically won Best Appearance one year ago, but it wasn’t real. I was actually the runner-up in votes to the excellent CSM Steampunk “counts as” force of a player from Oregon. He also got best overall in class, but the T.O. Zen wisely doesn’t give out more than one prize package to a person. I love that TSHFT rewards hobby and competitive play together, and spreads out the wealth with lots of prize categories.

This time around it was a clean win and I’m happy to finally accomplish my goal. It was a smaller field of competition this time around unfortunately with only 22 dudes. I’ll keep trying to win Best Appearance with as many different armies as I can and see larger turnouts eventually.

I placed 4th, the best I have done in a tournament. My record was 2-1-1.  Considering the mistake in Game 1 and my absence Game 4 this seems a bit high. It’s still great and an improvement over my 7th place finish with Orks last time. To celebrate, I had a few drinks, and painting more of the Changeling model for Tasty Taste.

Purgatus was apparently attacked IRL by Nurgle, but still managed to win 2nd place with his Loganwing. I found a green pen next to his list, abandoned after the event. Perhaps it was left as some sort of offering to ease his cold.

I’m trying to be an idiot savant without the idiot part. Let me know how I’m doing in the comments section. Lol.


Game 3 Versus Chaos Space Marines (Day 1 of TSHFT)

Also on the menu in this section, a (hopefully thoughtful) “Counts As” exploratory rant…

By game 3 I was exhausted and feeling sleep deprived. This game started out fun and jovial, but turned sour. At this point I was befuddled thanks to my sleep deprivation, the rigors of terrain transport, and the mental challenge of the two previous games. I was facing off against a proud wielder of the Chaos Codex.

My opponent took it personally that I had a “counts as” space wolves force that was actually chaos,  and that I strongly disliked the current chaos marine codex. It seems I was mentally labeled as Sir Douchington for my choice of army book, and disrespect to Gav and Alessio’s magnum opus. No offense was intended, really. I happen to like the choices and creativity the Space Wolf book offers, and it works well for my theme and modeling projects. The book has fun units and some room to experiment, with way more viable choices.

Yes, the Space Wolf book is strong. That’s a major reason I brought one of its lists to an event where the idea is to win games. I built my army to place well at TSHFT, which it did. I have played and learned, and come back a better player with a better list. My opponent ended up winning a ton of games, so the concept of taking a strong list should not be unfamiliar. Codex SW is a much more forgiving book than Codex CSM. It doesn’t punish you as harshly for dicking around. You still need redundancy and efficient units as a core, true for any competitive army. I brought a grab-bag Space Wolf list to TSHFT a year ago which seemed solid, but I got my ass kicked. Like everyone that plays 40k I would prefer to win. I spent part of a year making the coolest possessed havocs I could, and used them at a bargain points level As Long Fangs. So sue me. This lets me buy a silly fenrisian wolves that mostly just look cool, and dick around, and still win some games.

I will model what I want, pour my heart and soul into it, but when I put on the ass kicking pants I will try to kick ass.

“Counts as” book swapping is important to the hobby because it expands the horizon for inclusion of concepts and thematic units into the game. Nyhil’s Dark Eldar Skaven is a great example of why “counts as” should be encouraged. Why get on the back of the ambitious hobbyist that lets freedom to choose inspire their projects? If I could I would be taking cultist squads, mutants, daemons, etc.  My true love is the Lost and the Damned army concept, and so  LATD “Grey Knights” are a strong possibility for a future TSHFT. Incidentally I am have been fiddling with the assembly of some Dark Eldar wyches, which could easily be recruited as Death Cult Assassins. This event, I only noticed 2 out of 22 Grey Knight players. Stalwart Steffan the Grey Knight patriot brought his re-blackened o.g. color scheme Ordo Malleus. Tenacious Todd brought a new “counts as” Admech army featuring 3 scratchbuilt Knight titans and tons of cool cybernetic conversions. (Gawd, if only GW would release some plastic cyborg sprues… I know, keep dreaming.)

This raises a curious point. No one found fault with the cool “counts as” Grey Knights Admech army, who are loyalist. In my case I fielded a traitor force of Thousand Sons, using a loyalist book. Apparently this is an outrage to some generals. Do I have to run my army book choice before the inquisition to see if my models are loyal? I just don’t get it. Grey Knights are currently flavor of the month, like every strong new codex has been picked up. The obvious time, money, and skill Todd put into converting and adapting his army shows dedication, not some kind of loathsome WAAC behavior. Our projects are not slapdash proxy experiments that change every two months. Even if they were, innocent models and army lists don’t deserve attack.

Back to the game…

My opponent’s army was designed around the now classic lash of submission / obliterator plasma cannon combo. (3 units of 2 each) This was backed up with 3 man small autocannon combi-melta He also had a warptime Prince. I have used both warptime and lash princes, and I gotta say taking one of each is really smart. They combo well together since the warptime prince can cleanup squad remnants really well.

Objective: Kill points. I’m not a fan of the mission, and also my army’s scoring unit durability means nothing. The mission deployment was short table edges with a 24″ no man’s land, which upset my opponent. I  felt guilty about taking advantage of the mission, and deployed my long fangs in cover away from the board edge, about 8 or 10 inches in. This was a huge mistake. I was already letting emotions dictate my decisions, not a good idea. Also, trying to get cover from 6 plasma cannons is meaningless when faced with a Lash Prince that kites the army consistently striking from 23″ away and in inconvenient LOS spots. Experience using an army trumps inexperience facing that army.

I normally only reserve my FA choices, but for some reason I reserved everything but the Long Fangs. This was really dumb as the poor Havocs had no protection, and the rival chaos marines just stayed away from my reserves long board edge.

My opponent was skilled with his list and capitalized on all of my mistakes. Unchecked from turn 2 onwards his army kills at least one unit a turn, even kitted out 9 or 10 man MEQ squads. I was unprepared for Lash, it is the first time I have ever faced it in a game. I should have known better since I have studied about the lash / plasma combo. I even brought a dual lash list to a 4th edition event long ago. Losing prized units quickly is a harsh but quick teacher. We were neck and neck for most of the game as we raced for KPs and to eliminate big threats.

Eventually we both got crabby and my actual morale was damaged. Basically I failed my IRL leadership check. Combined with my tiredness, this led to me playing poorly and eventually losing. Fatigue equals sloppy judgment. I was forgetting things like which wolf standards and combi-meltas had gone off, which I am sure was annoying. The blood claws sat around uselessly protecting a Sorceror “Rune Priest” that only managed to stun the same rhino three times. I lost the will to play. I don’t think it is appropriate to detail all my frustrations with my opponent so that’s enough. Drama is amusing to watch from afar but quite unpleasant to be involved with. One should watch their tone and practice decency. I don’t always succeed in being a gentleman but I gotta keep trying for it.

Game 4 versus myself

Despite my extreme fatigue, I didn’t sleep properly. My residual nerdrage and a noisy but forbidden slumber party downstairs killed my chances of restful sleep. I slept through my alarm, and Game 4. Fuck. To my surprise, Zen generously gives out 10 points out of 20 for an absentee game, 1 point less than a draw but with no chance of secondary or tertiary points. You also lose out on 2 points from wow factor.  This is more than fair, and it kept me in the standings for best overall. I was expecting 0 points.

I really slept in so that Judge Awesome (otherwise known as Bentley) could sneak in a game as ringer. By the way Bentley, if you can hear this through the inter-tubes, I apologize for wasting your time being corrected twice in a row (or is it three?) on the same multiple assaults question. Keep at it, your rulings are quick, clear, and accurate.

Game 5 versus Dan Root’s Orks

Killpoints, secondary was to get your heavy support into enemy deploym,ent zone (yeah, like that’s going to happen for my mutant “Long Fangs”… oh well.

The terrain was heavy with LOS blocking buildings, but I was able to pick a corner (spearhead setup) for one of my Long Fangs squads to perch in. Combined with two squads on the ground each covering each major approach to my corner, this let me hit where I needed every turn. The rhinos and grey hunters formed a nice screen and deployed to shoot and receive assaults when needed. The rhinos absorbed a fair amount of shots and only lost storm bolters over the course of the game.

Dan had a great list, although I felt it suffered without Loota fire support. Then again, last TSHFT my Lootas ran off the board at ther first sign of trouble more than once.  Dan’s concept was centered around power klaws, fielding 9 killa kans which is a solid choice. He had tons of Meganobz and I was very impressed by his latest plasticard work. Like a dumbass I dropped a tape measure on a Kan, it slid off a box I was lifting. We glued him back together with my Gorilla Glue so he could die like a champ in battle. Sorry again Dan.

There was some great give and take, but ultimately my list and the terrain let me outscore Dan 8 to 6 KP. My shooting was much more effective and my squads can handle certain ork assaults quite well. The Rune Priests performed better than in the rest of my 3 games combined. The Blood Claws proved to be an awesome blocking/tarpit unit especially with the scenario giving them Stubborn. Their charge was lame since only half got into combat, and also I put way too many on a fast moving buggy squad. However, they did their job fighting meganobs and taking out two killa kans, while blocking off a major chokepoint between buildings. They died to a man but their role is to die, something I unfortunately ignored in Game 3. My Long Fangs took advantage and went to work, and the Kans were slowed by their own immobilized->wrecked casualties from the missile fire. I was able to split fire quite often to maximize damage potential. Once the army began to breakup formation from movement and the plentiful obstacles, the main battlewagon / KFF trukk combo protected less units and I hit hard at the fringes.

My giant Tzeentch Screamer “Land Speeder” scared the bejeezus out of Dan’s 3 small grot units, but he had time to disprese their formation. Instead the Screamer killed a trukk turn 4 and then harassed the last surviving Killa Kan. The now armless Kan then tried to kick the Screamer out of the air but fell over in defeat, as turn 5 ended the game. The remaining looming meganobs would never get that charge off. His Warboss had one wound left at end of game, and was locked in combat with some “Grey Hunters,” after the boss executed the living lightning “Rune Priest” and a couple of dudes. Great game, great opponent, and I love Dan’s conversion work.

Possible List fix:

This version isn’t going to look as flashy as the extra gribbly display army I actually brought to TSHFT, but it will probably win more games. It’s very spam, therefore a likely target of hatred and disgust. I would have to make up more “grey hunters” but I have some conversions already started for them involving horrors and possessed bits.

2000 Pts – Space Wolves Roster

1 Rune Priest in Power Armour @ 110 pts (Chooser of the Slain; Living Lightning; Murderous Hurricane)

1 Wolf Guard Pack @ 278 pts (Wolf Guard in Power Armour; Wolf Guard in Power Armour)
5 Wolf Guard in Power Armour (Combi-Meltagun x1; Power Fist x1)
3 Wolf Guard in Power Armour (Bolt Pistol; Storm Bolter x1)

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 170 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Rhino)
1 Rhino

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 170 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Rhino)
1 Rhino

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 170 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Rhino)
1 Rhino

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 170 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Rhino)
1 Rhino

8 Grey Hunters Pack @ 170 pts (Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Rhino)
1 Rhino

1 Land Speeder Squadron @ 70 pts (Multi-melta x1; Heavy Flamer x1)

5 Long Fangs Pack @ 150 pts (Missile Launcher x4; Plasma Cannon x1)
1 Squad Leader (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)
5 Long Fangs Pack @ 155 pts (Lascannon x1; Missile Launcher x4)
1 Squad Leader (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)
5 Long Fangs Pack @ 155 pts (Lascannon x1; Missile Launcher x4)
1 Squad Leader (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)

1 Dreadnought @ 105 pts

1 Dreadnought @ 125 pts (Twin-Linked Autocannon; Twin-Linked Autocannon)

Which list do you guys think is better? Any other brainwaves? The comment box wants your mind thoughts!

That about wraps it up! Thanks for reading! In closing, I dare you to run the following “counts as” list using your favorite hero models from your collection. As a warning, you’ll probably lose to a real player, so this idea is just for fun.

2000 Pts – Space Wolves Roster

1 Logan Grimnar, The Great Wolf @ 275 pts

1 Njal Stormcaller, Lord of Tempests @ 270 pts (Runic Terminator Armour)

1 Ulrik the Slayer @ 180 pts

1 Wolf Lord Ragnar Blackmane @ 240 pts

1 Wolf Guard Pack @ 430 pts (Wolf Guard in Power Armour)
10 Wolf Guard in Power Armour (Combi-Meltagun x1; Power Fist x1)

1 Wolf Guard Pack @ 160 pts (Wolf Guard in Power Armour; Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour)
4 Wolf Guard in Power Armour (Bolt Pistol; Close Combat Weapon)
1 Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour (Power Fist; Chain Fist; Cyclone Missile Launcher)

1 Land Raider Crusader @ 275 pts (Extra Armor; Multi-melta)

1 Lone Wolf in Terminator Armour @ 85 pts (Storm Shield; Chain Fist)

1 Lone Wolf in Terminator Armour @ 85 pts (Storm Shield; Chain Fist)

LOL, run everything you can fit in the Land Raider… see if you can make a sillier deathstar unit. In reality, mixing in combi-flamers, power swords, wolf claws, and storm sheilds makes a bunch more sense than pure powerfist shenanigans.

Cheers and GG

– ChaosGerbil


About chaosgerbil

I'm an artist and hobbyist.
This entry was posted in "The Elect" Thousand Sons, Battle Reports, Space Wolves, TSHFT, Warhammer 40K. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Chaosgerbil’s TSHFT report, and “Counts As” philosophy rant

  1. Zen says:

    Thanks for thinking so highly of me 🙂

    I am glad you had fun and your award was well earned, an overwhelmingly 40 odd votes for Player’s Choice was no easy task. I’ll update the TSHFT info on blog for the time being, until I find a more fitting place. It was a fun read about your battle reports (all sarcasms included).

    • chaosgerbil says:

      And thank you for being a TO with grit and perseverance!

      I really encourage you to keep as the one stable place for Tshft info.

  2. John-Paul says:

    Hey, I just want to apologize about that game. I have the unfortunate task of proving all nay sayers of chaos (Everyone) that they don’t suck and such. I saw the best looking chaos army I have ever seen using the wolves codex and it just hit me wrong. Mainly since that is what all the “Chaos” players around my area do. Damn bloodcrusher thunderpuppys…

    It’s not meant to be an excuse for my actions but it’s where I was at when I showed up to Tshift… I know your army was based as a space wolf army and not just a codex jumper but I couldn’t take it during the tourney… Like you I was tired and ready to fall asleep on the gaming table. But all and all I have no excuse for letting my personal feelings that weren’t even really directed towards you just 40k in general take the better of me. I was rude and apologize for it. I hope we can have some good games in the future.


    • chaosgerbil says:

      Thanks John Paul, I really appreciate that. I forgive you. I wasn’t the best sportsman that game either and I wish I had been more organized and courteous.

      I was impressed with your list and your skill at using it. I think you might have misunderstood my perspective. I was never saying that Codex CSM cannot win games, but I do believe running them is a much bigger challenge than some of the newer books. Just lacking ATSKNF by itself is a big hindrance. It doesn’t help that so many of the choices are over-costed compared to analogues in other books (Havocs vs. Longfangs for example). I feel that the limitations force you into a narrow range of builds if you want a competitive list. Your list was an example of something that works from that narrow range.

      As a long time Chaos player and collector, I felt betrayed and frustrated by the 4th edition book since they ripped out so much of the flavor and options. No cultists. Generic daemons. No chance to play with the force org. Very little interesting wargear. Say I wanted to run 2 chaos lords and 30 spawn, it would just never fly. The chaos spawn, my favorite unit from LATD with tons of cool modeling options, was doubled in cost from 40 points and has no save, down from a 3+. It pissed me off. I love spawn so much I have around three dozen models, and I can really only run them as “counts as” Fiends in a Daemons army (the other overcosted, narrow build book that is kind of a slap in the face). I have even more rants in the blog archives detailing my gripes, including a debate with Gav Thorpe over its merits.

      I was trying to combine hobby, story, and competitiveness to the best of my ability with my Elect of Tzeentch. That’s my thing. Other people like to bandwagon or experiment with lots of new rulesets and I’m fine with that. That’s their thing. As to the players that have one true book and that’s their thing, also fine.

      I would be happy to play you again. This exchange demonstrates why open communication is so important to the hobby. I hope you come back to future TSHFTs. With your kind of win record and a fully painted force you could place quite high. We welcome all the competition we can get. Over time strong players will improve weaker players, and all skill levels increase from experience.

      It’s awesome that people bring unfashionable armies to events. I would hate to show up to a tournament and see nothing but the three or four most popular marine variants. It gives players much needed tactical lessons to fight as many different armies as possible. Next TSHFT your force might see more counters in play-style or army list adaptations as the local metagame evolves. Everyone gets better and the bar is raised. This is why we need variety in the hobby. “Counts As” is an attempt to extend that variety even further.

    • chaosgerbil says:

      Here’s a CSM list that will get some of my other chaos models off the shelf. I can’t figure out how to fit a land raider in it though, and the fluff is all wrong. I could field it and win games with it so maybe I’ll have to attack my friend’s marines with it. It borrows from the last CSM list I faced at TSHFT and your list. If I wanted to strengthen the fluff I could weaken the durability by taking out the plague marines. What to do?

      In this version I took the mark of Slaanesh on the warptime prince rather than Tzeentch, the weaker save sucks but I6 is needed for having any kind of chance against Grey Knights with halbreds. Defeating the increasingly common init 5 on furious charging MEQs and other units like Dark Eldar is also nice.

      2000 Pts – Chaos Marines Roster

      1 Daemon Prince @ 160 pts (Wings; Mark of Slaanesh; Warptime x1)

      1 Daemon Prince @ 155 pts (Wings; Mark of Slaanesh; Lash of Submission x1)

      1 Summoned Greater Daemon @ 100 pts

      1 Chaos Terminators @ 260 pts (Icon of Slaanesh; Terminator)
      1 Terminator (Combi-melta x1)
      1 Terminator Champion (Mark of Slaanesh; Chain Fist x1; Heavy Flamer x1)
      3 Terminator Champion (Mark of Slaanesh; Lightning Claws (pair) x3)

      12 Chaos Space Marines @ 250 pts (Icon of Slaanesh; Meltagun x2)
      1 Aspiring Champion

      7 Plague Marines @ 246 pts (Plasma gun x2; Rhino)
      1 Rhino (Dozer Blade; Extra Armor; Twin-Linked Bolter)

      8 Thousand Sons @ 309 pts (Rhino)
      1 Aspiring Sorcerer (Melta Bombs; Bolt of Change)
      1 Rhino (Twin-Linked Bolter)

      1 Vindicator @ 145 pts (Daemonic Possession)

      1 Defiler @ 150 pts (Close Combat Arm; Twin-Linked Heavy Flamer; Fleet)

      3 Obliterators @ 225 pts

      Validation Report:
      1. Chaos Legions: Chaos Marines; d-1. Formatting: Competition Output; c-1. File Version: 1.24 For Bug Reports/; b-1. Roster Options: Special Characters; a-1. Scenario: Normal Mission
      Roster satisfies all enforced validation rules

      Total Roster Cost: 2000

      Created with Army Builder – Try it for free at

  3. John-Paul says:

    Its cool we both were assholes I think… Anyways Chaos can be a strong army… But yes they dont have the toys Space Wolves and such have… This is why sooo many players run count as armies… Instead of learning how to win with a handycap they take the easy rout and codex jump. And your list looks like a chaos marine army that just skipped codexes. I dont really know you so when I see a list like that I assume just another chaos player who cant win with chaos… And I was tired and crabby and offended on the “Chaos cant play competative” comments… No excuse for me being an ass..
    About todds army counts as thought. HE made that army counts as grey knights, but its not just a space marine army. it doesnt look like a codex jumper.. Its got custom made models everywhere.. Very nice army. Yours looks like Chaos, smells like chaos, feels like chaos…. tastes like chaos.. Be proud to field them as chaos. Death to the faulse emperor. (By the way still the best looking army I have every seeen by the way.. Damn I love that rhino)

    Anyways, nice list. A few things I will point out from my play style and such is never run more then 2 obliterators in a squad… 150 points, can still drop a shitton of damage but doesnt hurt so bad when they get focused and slaughtered… This way your not playing hide the obliterators but more like dropping them up front and center and saying “Hey look at these!”

    If you want to run a warptime prince nurlge and my favorite tzeench do it soo much better. That 4+ invul or 6 toughness help the prince so much more then one initiative.. Most of the time they will strike with IC anyways.

    As for what to run with your Land Raider. Here is what I ran at ard boyz and they stole the show. With the help of my warptime prince they took out 1500 points of grey hunters and thudnerwolves one game…
    235 – Chaos Terminators x5
    Chainfist, Combi-Melta
    Lightning Claw, Combi-Melta
    Lightning Claw, Combi-Melta
    Pair of Lightning Claws
    Pair of Lightning Claws, Icon of Slaanesh
    220 – Land Raider

    Anyways good luck with your chaos..

  4. Anonymous says:

    I realize this board may be dead, but I feel this discussion may be necessary. Despite your self-justifications you give to yourself and others when questioning your “counts-as” army. The fact that you are using the space wolves codex is just distasteful. One of your main complaints is that the new chaos codex lacks the flavor of the old one is well recieved. I long miss the 4 divided gods of the 3rd ed codex. However, using your army as “counts-as” removes even more flavor than what should be. As a former thousand sons player you should know that mutation is frowned upon by the thousand sons and thus was the reason for the rubric of Ahriman. It’s quite obvious that you were not pleased with the current power level of the new codex and you see space wolves as possibly the strongest in existence at the moment. This is disgusting and a betrayal to the hobby. If you truly loved the army so much you would stick to their actual rules and fluff. Mutation shouldn’t be rife among TS, they are dust in armor! You can’t even pass off your army as creative, I see the same copy and paste long fangs supported by copy and paste grey hunters thrown in all competitive space wolf lists. How is this army even fun to play? For you or your opponent? It combines the most generic and power gamed of lists with the most confusing model representations of the incorrect faction of the rules set they are supposed to be representing. I apologize for sounding so rude, but when I see armies like this it makes me wonder what happened to the fun of the game sometimes.

    • chaosgerbil says:

      First a little background, for both myself and my force. I have been playing and collecting since Rogue Trader. I grew up with the idea of Tzeentch being the most mutated chapter and it showed in their models. My force is paying homage to this aesthetic. Where I grew up Tzeentch was also known as a shooting army with lots of psychic ability.

      My warband is a splinter faction from the main body of Thousand Sons, they regard the dust automatons with contempt. They are hunting Ahriman to execute him and claim his knowledge and treasures. They believe themselves to be “Chosen of Magnus” and guided by him, revering him to a similar level that they worship Tzeentch. The Elect were in the warp at the time of the rubric ritual. To survive in the Eye of Terror they have made daemonic pacts with horrors, discs, screamers and other Tzeencth entities.

      To clarify… I didn’t start the army until the Space Wolves book came out. I was a fan of codex 3.5 but barely played it, and then hated Gav and Alessio’s 4th edition book for ripping apart the flavor. I had plenty of nurgle slaanesh and khorne units but for some reason my favorite power was not well represented by models. The Elect warband was designed to use the Space Wolves book from the very beginning. I had been hoping to use it ever since I heard the grey hunters would get the same wargear loadout as CSM, plus ATSKNF. I have never fielded a unit of CSM “Thousand Sons” in a game.

      My list? It’s not very interesting or original to you maybe, but it is my list. It has far more diversity than the netlist you would say it is. I ran an even more diverse list a year ago and did badly with it (1-3-1). Since I spend my time painting and converting and don’t get to play much I chose to take a durable and cost-effective force. Would you like me to bring the weakest force so you and others can have an easier time beating it? That doesn’t seem to be a very sportsmanlike attitude, Mr. Anonymous. For fuck’s sake I brought fenrisian wolves and bloodclaws mostly to show off cool models. You comp people will never be satisfied. Why wouldn’t I have some redundancy in a tournament list? Making every unit a unique snowflake can actually be more annoying and confusing for your opponent. I love mixing in things like cavalry and cool spells into a chaos force. I love playing a chaos force that isn’t the same unfluffy 1 or 2 builds. So sue me.

      Since I have nine armies why is it a betrayal if the other eight sit in the shelf? I have a painted Space Wolves army, half updated but all the transports are old and crappy. I wanted a cool modeling project that would be more fun for my opponents to face.

      You don’t know me very well, so saying my army is not fun to play against is rather ridiculous. If I was running something like Stelek’s razorback spam I could see your complaints making more sense. My list is fluffy for the story that I wrote for it, and it fits very well within the canon… of the fictional universe you and I are so passionate about.

      Get off your high horse and try out some cavalry!

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