[40K OSR/Blood Bowl] Army List Follies

I’ve done some silly things this week. I blame mild sleep deprivation – well, not deprivation, more a dysfunction of the sleep pattern which has led to me regularly awakening at three or four a/m and passing out well before eight p/m. This is my natural sleep pattern, and it has a tendency to reassert itself in the bleak midwinter when the nights draw in. I dislike it.

Anyway, between that and a desire to avoid rewriting a white paper about autism, I have decided to indulge the symptoms of autism and experiment with some peculiar army lists for semi-obsolete wargames. In my defence, Blood Bowl’s new tabletop edition has just hit the shops like a twin-tailed comet stuck up the arse of a bat out of hell, and new miniatures for the Thousand Sons – rather tempting miniatures, too – are soon to follow. There’s some stimulus at work here. Of course, being me, I don’t rush out and buy things, oh no: I commit to theory wank instead. Behold.

The XV Legion First XV

First up – a Chaos Space Marines list. For second edition 40K. Obviously. I mean, who plays the current rules when there’s a version with even more cards, tokens, arbitrary silliness and table cruft out there? (Don’t answer that.)


Disc of Tzeentch

Mark of Tzeentch, Terminator armour with chainaxe and combi-bolter, Psychic Hood

Mark of Tzeentch, hand flamer, krak grenades, plasma grenades, Force Rod

SQUADS – 617

2 with chainaxe and combi-bolter, 2 with chainaxe and reaper autocannon

Krak grenades. 2 with boltguns, 3 with flamers

Krak grenades. 2 with boltguns, 1 with autocannon


Power claw, twin linked autocannon, Coruscating Warp Flame

Since it’s second edition, it has a special character. We all used them all the time, don’tcherknow? (I didn’t, actually, but I’m clearly in the minority, and I did own several.) Since it’s Thousand Sons, it has Ahriman, and since it has Ahriman, I’ve doubled down and made him the general, which restricts me to fielding only Thousand Sons Chaos Space Marines or Tzeentch Daemons.

The second edition Codex is relatively clear about designating various things as Thousand Sons. Obviously, there’s an army list entry for Thousand Sons Marines. One can also designate a Sorcerer with the Mark of Tzeentch as a Thousand Sons Sorcerer, which allows him to lead a squad of said Marines as though he were an Aspiring Champion. One can even upgrade Terminators to Thousand Sons Terminators, if one so wishes.

I might be stretching a bit to say that a Terminator-armoured Sorcerer can be attached to a squad of Terminators in the same way, but I think it’s a reasonable extrapolation from the rules.

I might be stretching it a bit further with the Dreadnought, but I wanted a vehicle in there and I did buy it the Tzeentch Vehicle Reward.

1500 points. Fifteen models, plus the Dreadnought. I’ve seen worse in battle reports (that one in the Battles book with Ragnar Blackmane, Njal Stormcaller, Bjorn the Fell-Handed and Eldrad Ulthran all turning up to a podunk Bunker Assault, plus a Land Raider and Imperial Assassin… that springs to mind). Admittedly those didn’t have models which vanished into the aether if Energy Drain was played, but… actually, I have no ‘but’. I just have a cast-iron grip on the Psychic phase, a lot of autocannons, and no interest whatsoever in taking psychology tests (Dreadnought excepted).

The worst part is, I could build this with one blister pack, two boxes and one Forge World kit. (I could use the plastic Helbrute, but why would I use the plastic Helbrute?) I wonder if it’d work under the new rules?

Zombie Nation Army

Necromantic Team

#1 – Zombie
#2 – Zombie
#3 – Zombie
#4 – Zombie
#5 – Zombie
#6 – Zombie
#7 – Zombie
#8 – Zombie
#9 – Zombie
#10 – Zombie
#11 – Zombie
#12 – Zombie
#13 – Zombie
#14 – Zombie
#15 – Zombie
#16 – Zombie

5 Team Re-Rolls

I didn’t come up with this all by myself – Ravenpoe’s team guides over on Reddit gave me the idea.

It was a really good idea.

When you don’t have expensive, skilful, difficult-to-replace players to fret about, you relax. You learn to take that ‘Both Down’ for the sake of causing a turnover; you learn to foul because who cares if one Zombie gets sent off?

When you don’t have flair players or even positionals to pull off risky plays, you play a basic game. Slow. Steady. You screen rather than scrum; you stand back and you let the opponent come to you and cause their own damn turnovers. You have to play properly, but you don’t feel like you’re wasting potential by not using the skills you don’t have.

When you’re that chill, you learn to take risks. Yes, I just said you don’t have the positionals to pull it off. Who cares? You’re running a stupid Zombie team. Go for that slightly dodgy pass. You never know. If you screw it up… so what? You’re not using your Real Team.

So far I’ve fought Skaven and Amazons to a draw. That’s in the first PC game, by the way, when the first teams you face have a 300 TV advantage on you. I spend my inducements on an Igor (just in case someone actually dies), and then either a Wizard (if I have 150K to burn, but not 200) or a couple of Bribes (because why not put the boot in?) I briefly considered hiring Von Drakenberg for my third game (the token Vampire amongst the Zombie swarm) but I think I’ll maintain the purity of the experiment for now. I’ve even gotten two Interceptions, thanks to my tendency to keep the Zombies near enemy players without actually standing next to them and giving away free blocks. One of them even scored a Touchdown.

I did briefly consider using a Khemri team and Skeletons (slightly more movement and Thick Skull to keep them on the field), but Zombies are just so much more… relaxing, and that’s the point of this daft little experiment: it’s the most relaxed I’ve ever felt while playing this stupid game.

By the way…

I’m still making terrible Let’s Play videos. I think the channel will update on Wednesdays and Sundays, until I forget or come down with the Conniptions or have better things to do.

Author: Jon

Sententious, mercurial, and British as a bilious lord. Recovering Goth, lifelong spod. Former teacher and amateur machine politician, now freelance writer and early-career researcher.

3 thoughts on “[40K OSR/Blood Bowl] Army List Follies”

  1. I like that CSM list, exactly the sort of thing I would dream up myself; light on models, heavy on character, a strong coherent theme and most of all, cheap.

    I think it’s funny too that in recent years you’ve evolved into making purely conceptual armies. And not in a theory-hammer kind of way, like the stuff thrown up on 40k blogs all the time. You’re sitting there, making up fully rounded armies: theory, models, theme, the whole lot. If you can completely sever your concept from any possibility of ever actually making it a reality, then I think you will have reached some sort of weird cerebral mini-gamer enlightenment. “I don’t need to build or play with armies any more at all, man. I just imagine them.”

    1. [Compliments]

      Thanks, man! It is, of course, horribly vulnerable; d6 of the models are guaranteed to evaporate at some point during the game, never mind any who actually get killed. I could have avoided this; instead I chose to embrace it. Tzeentch be praised…

      [Zen and the art of Theoryhammer]

      Funny ha-ha or funny peculiar?

      Either way – I think I’m most of the way there, since the odds of me following through on this are as low as the odds of me following through on the Nurgle WFB army with two Daemon Princes and five Chariots, or the Blood Angels ‘counts as’ Word Bearers from years ago, or… any of it, really.

      You know the theory/increasingly held truism with ref. “talking about something makes you feel like you’ve done it”, that’s often levelled against social media pundits? It’s a bit like that. You know the 48-hour rule for spending money – “wait 48 hours and if you still want it, buy it”? It’s a bit like that too. Most of the list building posts I put up here have gone and will go absolutely nowhere; they are, as you say, in the realm of pure imagination, which is a fat sight cheaper than trying to play proper 40K.

      When a project actually happens, it’s either because of an event (Retribution and Skorne for SmogCon; Revenants from Salute, for the Corehammer chillers, which in turn got me into Wild in the Streets and Frostgrave) or because of a bargain (the only reason I have Oldhammer Orks is because I scored a job lot of them on a Facebook trade, and that’s been an exercise in buying, selling and swapping for other bits; the only reason I have Khador and had Necrons is because mates pretty much gave me the armies).

      I’m eyeing up these gorgeous things at the moment, nominally because the Corehammer lads are talking about a Blood Bowl tournament but mostly because LOOK AT THEM JIMMY, THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL. They’re the sort of thing I’d like to actually collect, just to have them all.

  2. Funny ha-ha, is what I meant. They’re a good read and just the thought of you creating them whole-cloth out of the ether amuses me for some reason. It’s like a conceptual art work.

    And whoa, those things ARE gorgeous. Very cool. I immediately thought of enslaved servo-scribe dudes as decoration for a large Imperial 40k piece.

    Speaking of the talking about something feels like you’ve done it thing: I don’t have the link or anything, but I’ve read that if you are highly skilled in something that requires muscle-memory like athletics or, I guess, music or video-gaming, visualizing the activity has almost as much benefit as actually practicing in terms of skill maintenance and improvement. I think that’s fascinating.

    And speaking of the 48 hour rule: ever heard of the ancient Persian custom? If a decision was made sobre or drunk, before acting on it they would go and get drunk (or sobre), and if it was still a good idea then it was full steam ahead :D

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