40k 2nd Edition ArmyChallenge III – The Rules

Welcome traveller! At last you have arrived on Khardasian Prime! Here the Planetary Governor Tronald Dump is ready to welcome you, and your army is welcome to stay and recover, while you are rebuilding for the next campaign! But be careful who you trust here. The followers of Chaos, the Blood Skulls and the hideous followers of Malal, together with Eldar Pirates, Squat Bikers and rampaging Orks make any sort of existence outside of the big cities a very dangerous prospect. Meanwhile, the 42nd Tallarn ‘Screaming Camels’ together with hosts of Dark Angels try to keep all this mayhem at bay, but it is a hard struggle.

Welcome to The Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Army Challenge. You have most likely come here from Facebook or some other similar media to learn about the challenge or potentially to apply to participate.

Be forewarned: There are 24 seats in this challenge. This number is fixed, and no matter how well you paint, you’re not squeezing in, after the seats are taken.

There have been two challenges before this one, and if you want, you can find both of them here on the page (under archives).

If you wish wish to apply and have a hard time reading long bouts of text, make sure you at the very least read the part about what you are expected to do, and how you enter.

How does it work?

Basically while challenge runs, everyone participating paint a number of models and take a picture and send it to me every month. They add a few words to it, but that’s it really. But let’s elaborate anyway:

The idea is of course to use miniatures from 2nd edition 40k or earlier. This style of miniatures is not for everyone, but if you sign up for a 2nd edition painting challenge, you probably have a soft spot for anything from monopose plastic marines to the Imperial Guard by the Perry twins and perhaps even some of the Gary Morley sculpts. Of course you are free to use whatever you would like in this challenge. No one will judge your choice of miniatures or bases.

Work smart – not hard!

The challenge runs for 6 months. During this time YOU, the participant, must paint a force of 1000 points that you have pledged to paint in the beginning. In addition to your painting, you will write an entry every month, detailing your struggles with/joy of painting. We want to get to know you a bit during this.

You cannot change your starting pledge, after the ‘go’ is given. Each pledge is divided (by you) into 5 slices. These can be divided any way you see fit. You can divide them by points  – say 200 pts a slice… or by models! The main goal is to make sure they’re manageable. So instead of painting 30 imperial guard one month, and a single character the next, make two slices of 15-16 models. With 5 slices and 6 months you effectively have one month “off”.  Everytime you finish a slice your rolling total will be updated with a tasy slice of pizza next to the entry.

Anything you paint in addition to the starting pledge is considered a BONUS, and is cool! But doesn’t count towards the pledge. Your fellow participants will however give you credit and kudos for display of extra energy in the form of bonus entries. If you are EXCEPTIONAL you are allowed to enter a 6th slice… but be careful! Only the bravest go here. The bonus entries are adding beneath your army challenge in the rolling total.

Here’s an example of how I managed my latest entry. I divided my Chaos Space Marine army in 5 chunks that I found manageable as indicated in the diagramme below. Any bonus entries were in the last radioactive slice. With a plan like this you’re going to make it!


All things being equal, some of you WILL fail. But do not despair. That is part of the nature of this beast. However, even those who fail, normally end up with more painted miniatures than they started with. So in a sense everyone wins.

There are many ways to stop yourself from failing. It is perfectly OK to lower your standards, and then go back later and add to it… after all the goal is to get an army worthy of your battlefield. Trust the process.

How to apply

OK. So you’ve read so far, and you feel that you have what it takes? Good. Then here are the guidelines for how to apply:

1) Make a 1000 points army list using the relevant 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000 codex. It does not have to be a legal list with regards to hq, squads and support. Divide the models featured in this list into 5 manageable slices of miniatures, that you can and will paint over the half year that the challenge runs. The slices are “set” meaning that you will have to post a painted slice every month. Keep it manageable. You don’t have to go for 200 points in each slice. Rather you can go for “x models” in each. It is up to you. But once submitted, it is set in internet stone. You are of course allowed to paint and/or pledge more than 1,000 points. But not less.

2) Take a photo of the starting point. This is important and will go along with the armylist in the initial presentation of the project. The photo will be used again at the conclusion of the project, to show the starting point and where ever it ends up.  Please divide your submission in a way that clearly reflects the slices you have made, while at the same time shows all the models. To help you in understanding what makes a good starting photo see below:

Taking a proper photo is vital. The image on the left doesn’t actually show us much… we want to see the groups of what you are going to paint. The image on the right is perfect – the 5 slices of figures are easily discernible.

3) Write an introduction for your entry. We want to get to know you a bit and hear about your motivation. You don’t have to write an entire essay, but at least a few lines. Have a look at earlier challenges if you’re in doubt.

Applications are accepted from now till no later than November 30th 2021: Send both the introduction and the photo to 40k2ndedarmychallenge over there on gmail.com and label the topic “Your preferred name, army, starting point”. If you mislabel the topic the application does not count. Be advised – waiting till the deadline might see you not making it because the seats may have already been claimed. Feel free to include examples of earlier work also to help me understand where you’re coming from.

Example: If I were to send in an email now, the topic would be “Dr. The Viking. Chaos Space Marines, Starting Point”

Selection process

In the first 40k2ndAC everybody who wrote me got in. The 2nd challenge had 24 seats, on a first come, first serve, basis. The third challenge will have 24 seats, with one taken by myself, and the rest will be dealt out on an entirely subjective manner based on merits.

I have received a number of “grey area” entries in the past, and as this is meant to be a 2nd edition challenge I have decided that it is easier that I simply pick the best matches instead of trying to solve it by rules. As the FAQ states below, you are allowed to use models/forces that are not 2nd ed per se. But odds are that you will be at a disfavour in the selection process if you enter a Primaris force or “whatever new Orks” force. I hope for 2nd ed / Rogue Trader style models. At a stretch 3rd ed. Not new plastics.

People who have completed a previous Challenge, are automatically invited for the next Challenge. Firstly, I like the continuity, and secondly it makes it a very slow elimination game in a way. 🙂

Should you disagree with this or find it unfair, then that is perfectly alright. Simply don’t apply. I do this for fun, out of my own pocket and have no desire to please. ;-D

How the challenge runs

A monthly digest will be made on c0wabunga.com and eventually broadcast far and wide on facebook/blogs and so on. But rather than like-hunting this is done to make a trophy for all of us.

We also keep a lively chat going on facebook messenger. You’re free to partake… or not if you don’t need additional noise in your life.

Participants should feel free to blog on their own behalf as well. The first month is December, and the introductions and armylists will go online December 1st. The first month of painted models compiled summary will go online January 2nd 2022.


No later than the LAST DAY of every challenge month the participants must send an e-mail to 40k2ndedarmychallenge over there on gmail.com with the following information:

  1. Each time you must include in the topic: Name, army and month – e.g. “Dr. The Viking, Tyranids, Month 1”. This will help the sorting and work on this end.
  2. A picture (as nice as possible) of the slice you have painted this month. The models may be placed in terrain, on a white backdrop, or even on your workbench. The set dressing is all up to you – although I also encourage going harder. 😉
  3. In the addition to the picture, you must specify how the models fit within the context of the army: How many points are they, what are they, how are they armed.
  4. Lastly, if the participant keeps a blog, page, or similar where the thoughts regarding the project are expanded – please provide a direct link for it. It is your own responsibility to do so, failing to do it will not result in me doing it. 😀

Every month on the 5-7th I will post a summary of how the participants are doing, including the images, the descriptions, any links for further information and a rolling total of what has been painted.

If you are posting on Instagram or similar please use the tag #40k2ndAC.

Special rounds

40k2ndACII introduced a couple of themed rounds. I would like to keep this going as I thought it was rather nice. The themes have no practical effect other than the camaraderie and fun associated with multiple people making an interpretation of the same stupid idea.

The themes for 40k2ndACIII are:

Month 3: The Red Circus round

Any one having played 40k in the ’90s will be aware that red paint featured heavily back then. Anyone completing an entry featuring red colour on unexpected objects will claim this special round goal.

Month 5: pop culture round

In 40k pop culture (bands/films/books) references where often found on banners, in miniature or on vehicles. Anyone clearly stating a reference to some (preferably ’90s contemporary) pop culture can claim this special round goal.

A bit of Q&A:

With regards to the “rules” I think we should go like Led Zeppelin and do it “loose but tight”: The armylist should be 1000 pts, but doesn’t have to adhere to the percentage requirements (we are all going to expand it inevitably).

Q: I have a half painted army – can I use that? .

A: Yes that army is eligible. It is not the starting point that is important, but rather it is the drive and motivation to finish something… whether it start from 0% done or 80%. Just remember the starting picture so people can appreciate the work you put in at the end.

Q: Can I use this or that model that isn’t specifically 2nd ed?

A: I say why not? If you only have latest edition plastic GW models, maybe it is a bit of barking up the wrong tree – to me the nostalgia is definitely part of it, and I will use 2nd ed. exclusive models. But if you feel it is worth your time participating, don’t let me decide for you. If you think it fits the bill then I am all for it.

Q: Can I use 3d printed models?

A:Yes, yes you can.

Q: Can I finish and enter more than one slice in one month?

A: No you can’t. This is not a race, but a stroll together with a group of like minded people. You have to write a separate entry each month. Any additional entries above the slice, is counted as bonus.