40k2ndAC IV: Rules

Welcome traveller! Welcome to the fourth expedition. We have come a long way, and we have seen attack ships on fire of the shores of Melnibonea. We have seen vast hordes of Tyranids raging across Koltus V, and from the jungles and deserts of Pantangya to the beaches of Khardasian Prime the echoes from the dull crashes of Imperial Guard artillery have been heard. Now it is time to go to the Rovedian sector once again.

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

Welcome to the fourth iteration of the challenge. If you are an oldtimer, be advised, a lot has changed. Please read this present document in full and in detail.

Be forewarned again: This is a challenge. Expect to be challenged. If you want carefree existence and an army to breeze through, you have no business here.

This page details the “rules” governing the challenge. You must read them and understand them before applying. There are 22 seats left in this challenge, first come, first serve.

Rules – The Short version! TLDR:

The painting challenge requires participants to commit to painting a set number of models over 6 months and to send pictures and information about their progress by a specific deadline each month. Only 2nd edition 40k models should be used. Participants can choose between the Painter’s Challenge (750 points, high painting standards) or Gamer’s Challenge (1500 points, minimum of 50 models). Participants must also choose 3 subgoals from the list (shown below). Failure to meet any of these requirements will result in disqualification.

To enter the challenge, participants must choose a pledge level (Painter’s or Gamer’s) and 3 subgoals, create an army list using an official 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000 codex, and take a clear photo of their starting point showing the 6 chunks they will be painting. They should also write a short introduction about themselves and their motivation. Applications should be sent to the challenge organizers by December 20th, 2022 with the subject line “Your preferred name, army, starting point”. The photo and introduction will be used in the initial presentation of the project and again at the conclusion to show the starting point and progress.

Rules – The long version…

Painter or Gamer?

When entering, you can choose between two tiers this season: You can commit to a Painter’s Challenge or a Gamer’s Challenge. The details for each are given below:

Painter’s Challenge:
You are the kind of dude who just lavishes Jes Goodwin’s old sculpts, and wants to make single paintjobs worthy of the 90s White Dwarf pages.
To make a Painter’s Challenge select an army of 750 points chosen from an official 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000 codex. You may include any number of models, but each must be painted to your highest standard. You must seek to challenge yourself and your painting skills. You must attempt to go where you have not dared to go before.

Gamer’s Challenge: Every army needs grunts. There’s no time to fuzz around with blending and highlights (lest they be pure white) that can’t be seen at 1.6 yards distance. Leave the painting praise at home – this one is about rolling out!
To make a Gamer’s Challenge select an army of 1500 points chosen from an official 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000 codex. You must include a minimum of 50 models (larger than 25 mm base count as 2, bike counts as 2, vehicles count as 4). You must seek to paint a complete playable army. You must hone the factory worker mindset and be really efficient. 50 is the bare minimum – go above!

In addition to the tiers, you must choose 3 subgoals from the list below. These goals must be completed during the challenge, in addition to your pledge. You choose when. There are goals unique to the Painters and the Gamers, and some common ones.

Painter’s Subgoals

Use a new technique (blending/oils/NMM/whatever)

Paint a freehand banner

Make scenic bases

Make a diorama base for a squad

Sculpt a significant addition to a figure

Include OSL painting

Gamer’s Subgoals

Convert an entire squad

Paint 30 infantry models in one month

Make an army display board

Paint 3 vehicles in one month

Play a game with what you have so far (round 5 or 6 only)

Make a set of objective markers

Common Subgoals

Build a faction specific piece of terrain/objective

Build your own character – stats, points, conversion and all.

Paint a backdrop for your army

Turn a toy/model-kit into a 40k vehicle

Participate in a Discord paint and chat live session with at least 3 other challengees.

Build usable game tokens like a little fire marker for units hit by flamers

Organising your pledge

There is a lot to be said about successfully completing challenge. But by far, the common denominator for those who succeed is structure. Before you apply – divide your pledge in 6 manageable chunks. You could go for say, 250 points or 10 models… or some other divider. But dividing your force into “painting chunks” strongly helps you getting towards the end.

Here’s an example of how I managed my latest entry. This would have been a “Gamer’s Challenge”. I divided my Tyranids army in chunks 5 (here you would have to divide it in 6) that I found manageable. 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. Also, if you should fail, feel free to continue painting along, and cheer the dudes who are still running.

What you must do every month:

Each month a series of posts will be made featuring the models you have submitted. We call these “monthly digests” and they will be made on cowabungajournal.com and eventually broadcast far and wide on facebook/blogs and so on.

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

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 January 1st.word The first month of painted models compiled summary will go online February 5th 2022.


No later than the LAST DAY (that be the 30th or 31st, CET) of every challenge month the participants must send an e-mail to 40k2ndedarmychallenge over there on gmail.com with the following information:

  1. 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 chunk 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. If you’re on the Painter’s Challenge, descriptions of how you painted your stuff is highly encouraged. If you are the Gamer’s Challenge, any thoughts on using the miniatures in the game or tips to churn out the models are highly encouraged.
  3. In the addition to the picture, you must specify how the models fit within the context of the army: How many points (including WYSIWYG gear) are they, what are they, how are they armed. This might seem like an arbitrary requirement, but tallying the points of the challenge brings me great pleasure.
  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. 😀

This is how we roll each month. After six months the challenge is over.

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

How to enter

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 enter the challenge:

1) Choose a pledge level – Painter’s or Gamer’s, and choose 3 subgoals from the list above.

2) Make an army list to the points level of your pledge tier and with the required amount of models, using the relevant 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000 codex. Include what the models have, and not all sorts of extra, in the points cost (no extra wargear, invisible grenades or similar racking up points).

The Painter’s Challenge does not have to be a legal list with regards to HQ, squads and support percentages. The Gamer’s Challenge must be a legal army.

2) Take a clear and precise photo of the starting point. This is important and will go along with the armylist in the initial presentation of the project. Indicate the 6 chunks you’re painting. The photo will be used again at the conclusion of the project, to show the starting point and where ever it ends up. 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 December 20th 2022: 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.

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

Selection process

If you send a starting point email, that abides by the above rules, and are among the first 50 to do so, you receive a seat in the challenge. If you snooze, you lose.

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

Much needed FAQ

What models can I use?

You can use the models you want. But you should use 2nd edition 40k models. That is what this challenge is about.

Am I allowed to do more points than what I pledged?


Does it have to be exactly 750 or 1500 points?

No, this is the minimum

Can I use squats even if they don’t have any points?

You can count it as 4 models every time you break your PR? Ah the models of old! Well, you can use the Battle Bible or the Yellow Squat codex… or whatever you like.

No extra wargear? Does that mean I cannot count the heavy weapons on my squads?

No, it should have said that you can count WYSIWYG gear/weapons. So you can (and should) count the heavy weapons of your Long Fangs or Devastators.

Do I have to use 2nd ed models?

Well, it is a 2nd ed challenge. But if it floats your boat, it is fine for me.

What counts as painted?

If you are in doubt, it is not painted.

Can I use 3d printed figures?

Why not..

What if I break the rules and find a way to circumvent all this building and choosing goals, by making a smart list?

Then you end up painting a “smart” list.

Why did you add all this extra to the challenge?

Well, in honesty it is mainly the subgoals that are extra. The rest is more less just describing two different ways people were already participating. I guess it helps motivating me to keep it going.

If I base my models on larger bases than 25 mm will they count as more models according to your rules?

No… go by what they were supposed to be in 2nd ed.

Will you respect my copyright on the images I send you?

Uh… I promise to use the images for the challenge to spread the joy… on Facebook, Instagramme, HeroHammer Fanzine and whatever else I can think of. When possible I credit to the best of my ability. This is a total non-profit page, with zero adds. So you are not getting ripped off – I am. If you find that concerning, then I think this might not be for you.