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=][= E Tenebrae Lux II =][=

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Welcome to E TENEBRAE LUX, the PCA Forum Challenge. Many of last year’s veterans will remember this as the Dark Angels Painting Challenge. Now things have changed and what started off as an event originating from the Inner Circle of the Dark Angels is now the signature event of the PCA forum! The fact that I’m also a member of the Inner Circle is pure coincidence!

For those who are not familiar with the event here’s an overview:


E TENEBRAE LUX aims to motivate the frater to build up their armies in solid blocks while cultivating faction loyalty and member interaction within individual forums and on a cross-forum level. E TENEBRAE LUX is designed to play down the inherent disadvantage of low vow-count that some forums seem to suffer from, levelling out as much as possible the chance of victory for all.

The challenge here is to paint legal units for your preferred army and add up their points’ value. The faction with the most points wins and becomes “Primus Inter Pares” i.e. E TENEBRAE LUX Champion! Last year Black Templars emerged victorious by a significant margin of more than 10k points from the second – the Dark Angels! They totaled an impressive 45k out of an astounding 176k points of the entire event! Can they retain their title this year? Will the other factions let them? Can each faction beat last year’s own record? All these questions will be answered in this year’s event - but remember: even a last minute hero might tip the balance!!!

If you want to get a flavor of what happened last year here’s the ETL I Final Report





1. ELIGIBLE FORUMS: This challenge involves all the sub-forums that are associated with a Codex officially released by GW. Note that some sub-forums are grouped together to form one faction for the purposes of the ETL while this year 30k armies can also participate (see “Forums and Factions” section below).

2. VOWS: Each participant MUST declare the sub-forum (and hence the Codex to be used) in his/her vow. That’s how his/her allegiance will be defined. You cannot pledge for the Blood Angels sub-forum for example and use Codex: Space Wolves units as your vow. One has to make a choice - it’s all about faction loyalty! So make your choice and support your preferred faction to the bitter end! The vow must be officially submitted in each faction’s Strategium (see “Strategiums” section below).

The format of the vow should be the following:

I [insert name here] answer the call of E TENEBRAE LUX and vow to complete [insert unit here] from [insert Codex of FW publication here] of total value [insert point value here] on or before August 15th. Success will bring eternal glory to [insert Chapter/Legion/Warband/Regiment] and failure will doom me to bear the Badge of Shame until the year-end

3. LEGAL ENTRIES: Each vow should be one or more legal units from your chosen Codex. Units can be upgraded with any legal upgrades but WYSIWYG is required. Also note that upgrades that cannot be physically represented on the miniatures are not worth any points for the purposes of E TENEBRAE LUX. If in doubt of whether your vow is legal or not, feel free to raise the question (publicly or through PM) and you will receive my ruling before you commit (also see “FAQs” section below).

4. TAKING FURTHER VOWS: Once a vow is complete (and not before), a new vow with additional units can be submitted but they should also be legal entries in their own right chosen from the same Codex as described above, i.e. a participant cannot change allegiance during the Challenge. Each participant can make up to five (5) vows in total including the first (see “FAQs” section below). Each new vow must be clearly made according to the same format of the original vow. It should be stressed that a participant is liable for all the vows he/she makes. Failing one is failing all. So think carefully before stepping-up your commitment, if you fail on the second or subsequent vows all previous ones are lost too and will count for nothing!

5. THE WINNERS: The faction with the most completed points (as per relevant Codex) in the end of the event wins. As simple as that. The ETL has an awards system that can be found in the “Awards” section below.





The factions that take part in E TENEBRAE LUX generally comprise of a single forum which corresponds to an official Codex. However in order to make the event more competitive and give all participants as much an equal chance as possible of becoming “Primus Inter Pares” we grouped certain forums together in forming a single faction as shown below:

+ALL sub-forums using the Codex: Space Marines (i.e. Index Astartes, Liber Astartes and Ultramarines) will count as one faction for the purposes of the ETL since they all use the same Codex. Collectively (if somewhat inaccurately) they’ll be known as “Codex Chapters”. However in order to maintain individuality and honour, the origination of each vow will be recorded so the relevant contribution of each sub-forum will be measured.

+ALL sub-forums that use Codex: Chaos Space Marines and/or Codex: Chaos Daemons (i.e. Chaos Ascendant, Legio Morbidus, Throne of Skulls, Planet of Sorcerers, Legion of Excess and Liber Malificorum) will count as one faction for the purposes of the ETL. These sub-forums will be collectively called “Chaos Legios”. If participants so desire, they may dedicate their entry to a Chaos deity (or to Chaos Undivided) – this has no real bearing in the mechanics of the event but I’m going to record it just for fun and see how much the followers of each God contribute to the faction’s final result!

+ALL the sub-forums of the Vive Imperium forum will be counted as one faction for the purposes of the ETL, given their loose connection as non-SM Imperial forces (yes, I know GK are technically SMs). So Grey Knights, Sisters of Battle, the Mechanicum and Imperial Guard will be one faction. This will give the aforementioned sub-forums a better chance of becoming “Primus Inter Pares” and take a successful stand against the more populous sub-forums. They’ll be collectively known as “Vive Imperium”. Much like the Codex Chapters in order to preserve individuality and honour, the origination of each vow will be recorded so the relevant contribution of each sub-forum can be measured. Note that traitor guard and Dark Mechanicum also falls in this category as long as they use the corresponding Codices.

To recap please see table below:

ForumAssociated Codex Faction Black Templars Codex: Black Templars Black Templars Blood Angels Codex: Blood Angels Blood Angels Dark Angels Codex: Dark Angles Dark Angels Index Astartes Codex: Space Marines Codex Chapters Liber Astartes Codex: Space Marines Codex Chapters Space Wolves Codex: Space Wolves Space Wolves Ultramarines Codex: Space Marines Codex Chapters ALL Chaos subforums Codex: Chaos Space Marines AND Codex: Chaos Demons Chaos Legios Grey Knights Codex: Grey Knights Vive Imperium Sisters of Battle Sisters of Battle pdf Vive Imperium Imperial Guard Codex: Imperial Guard Vive Imperium Adeptus Mechanicus Horus Heresy Book I: Betrayal (Mechanicum list) AND Imperial/Chaos Titans (see FW section below) Vive Imperium Horus Heresy Horus Heresy Book I: Betrayal (see FW section below) Horus Heresy





Forgeworld entries are divided in two categories:

1. Those that represent 30k units and are part the Horus Heresy Forum vows.
2. Those that represent 40k units and are part of other factions’ vows.

In the first category (i.e. 30k units) we have a new ETL faction: the Horus Heresy sub-forum. Here all the entries use the list from Horus Heresy Book I: Betrayal and therefore stand together as one faction regardless of the actual Legion the units represent. The faction must abide by the same rules as the other factions i.e. choose legal, WYSIWYG units form their army list and pit themselves against the rest! I know that the two systems are not supposed to be mixed and I know that the points values are not balanced across the systems. But the general rarity of 30k armies and the commitment in what is essentially an alternative Universe is worth whatever marginal premium they might enjoy in terms of points.

The second category (i.e. 40k units) is further divided in two subcategories:

The first subcategory is Forgeworld models that carry the “40k approved” seal. These must be entered as they are presented in the relevant Forgeworld publication and priced accordingly. It should be explicitly mentioned in the Forgeworld publication that the unit can be used by the Codex the participant is entering for.

The second sub-category covers the “count-as” entries i.e. models that although they are non-eligible themselves (i.e. units that do not carry the “40k approved” seal) they are entered as “count as” of an ETL-legal entry. Given that “count-as” is an affair that affects as much Forgeworld miniatures as it does mainstream GW miniatures, please refer to the “count-as” paragraph in the “Important Stuff” section below.

The only exception to the above is Imperial and Chaos Titans! Such is the awesomeness of these models that they are allowed BUT ONLY AS ENTRIES FOR THE ADEPTUS MECHANICUS FORUM. We fully realise that there is a very slim chance that we get such an entry at all (last year we had none) but one can always hope!





Each faction will have its own dedicated thread called the “Strategium”. The Strategium’s are situated in all the relevant forums and serve two purposes: The official and the unofficial.

The official purpose of the ETL Strategium is for participants to submit their vows and for me to post the tables with the list with the names of participants, the originating forum (for factions that encompass more than one sub-forums) the content of their vow, their points’ total and their status. I will also post the weekly updates that will help everybody to monitor the overall progress of the event.

The unofficial purpose is to serve as a place for participants to encourage each other, discuss developments, devise strategies and even for espionage! Experience showed that the more such threads are utilised, the more motivational they become!

Links to Strategiums can be found below:

Black Templars Strategium
Blood Angels Strategium
Dark Angels Strategium
Codex Chapters Strategium [iA]
Codex Chapters Strategium [LA]
Codex Chapters Strategium [uM]
Space Wolves Strategium
Chaos Legios Strategium [CA]
Vive Imperium Strategium [GK]
Vive Imperium Strategium [soB]
Vive Imperium Strategium [M]
Vive Imperium Strategium [iG]
Horus Heresy Strategium






E TENEBRAE LUX wants to encourage creativity so conversions are generally accepted. One has to keep in mind though that the conversion should be easily recognizable as the unit it is supposed to represent. Remember a level of WYSIWYG must be preserved.


Following the above line of thinking and for the sake comparability, scratch-builds are not valid entries and are not allowed. Although some might be excellent representations of the GW originals others might be completely off and, with no intention of passing judgement on modelling ability or aesthetics, it’ll introduce an element of subjectivity that would be open to dispute. Such disputes we can do without and therefore we disallow scratch-build items altogether. See “Out-of-competition entries” later on.


“Count-as” entries are allowed and could be the ticket many of you need in order to paint stuff not included in your selected army list. When making a “count-as” entry, the point cost of the unit will be taken from the Codex’ army list while the model itself could be something different. However please note that this is not a window for gaining easy points… It could be OK to paint a BA Librarian Dreadnought that counts-as a DA venerable dreadnought for example (as the models require roughly the same effort and they are both dreadnoughts after all) but you will not be allowed to paint a standard Marine that counts-as a Contemptor! In fact participants must be prepared to end up worse-off in the value-to-effort ratio but never the other way around – not in a significant manner anyway... A god example is last year’s “Most Impressive Miniature” award winner who entered a Grand Brass Scorpion (550pts) that “counted-as” a humble Defiler (150pts)… So keep that in mind and check with me before you commit, so there will be no disappointment.

Out-of-competition entries

There could be cases that what people want to build/paint cannot be reconciled with the E TENEBRAE LUX rules. It’s just one of those things. For example, some might want to do crazy conversions or scratch builds; others might want to paint miniatures for other B&C compatible gaming systems (BFG, Epic, etc.) or some might miss the deadline for joining in. It’s also a possibility that new models are produced by either Games Workshop or Forgeworld that have yet to become official or legal for the purposes of this Challenge.

We would like to offer motivation for those that want to work on non-eligible projects by allowing out-of-competition entries. These entries would be recorded in the progress tables, they can be freely shown on the E TENEBRAE LUX official threads and a lot of honour and praise will be bestowed on those that manage to finish before the deadline. However no points will be awarded and therefore they would not contribute to their faction’s total. Also note that even the out-of-competition entries should adhere to forum rules i.e. be B&C-legal – if I see any Xenos I’ll have a stroke and it won’t be good news for you either!

Evidence of progress:

Only two pictures are required for each vow – one in the beginning (minis unpainted or primed or in very early stages of painting) and one for the finished vow. You are of course welcome to post as many pictures as you like in your WIP thread (or your Strategium thread) – but just two (one at the start and one at the finish) will suffice! Please make sure that all the models of each vow get a “before” and “after” picture, either individually or as a group.

NOTE: YOU MUST START WORK ON YOUR VOW AFTER YOU HAVE OFFICIALLY SUBMITTED IT. That means that vows should be unpainted or primed or in very early stages of painting at the moment of vow submission. Also you can never make a new vow while the previous one is pending!

Timing of the event:

Opening: May 15th
Deadline for declaring participation: June 15th at 17:00 GMT. Participation is declared by submitting your first vow.
Ending: August 15th at 17:00 GMT.

All participants MUST make their first vow by June 15th (17:00 GMT) the latest. People that have not submitted a vow by June 15th cannot participate in this year’s E TENEBRAE LUX (unless as an out-of competition entry).

Please note that GMT does not change from winter to summer time. Also note that deadlines will be strictly observed and the only clock that counts is the B&C clock!





All those who complete ALL their vows successfully (irrespectively of which faction they pledged for) will be awarded the “Badge of Honor” declaring their success in E TENEBRAE LUX with the amount of completed vows clearly depicted, while those that vowed for the winning faction will additionally get the “Primus Inter Pares” banner and will be declared Champions for 2013! Winners can wear their honour badges with pride until the end of their days!

Those who fail to complete all their vows however will be branded with the “Badge of Shame” until the year-end! See below:


Apart from the above there are some other badges collectively known as “Badges of Excellence” which will be awarded to participants in addition to the ones mentioned above. These are awarded to the following participants:

Badge of [Faction] Champion: This badge is awarded to the participant with the most completed points within each faction – so each faction will have its own champion!

Badge of the Hero: This badge goes to the participant who successfully completed the single largest vow in the event.

Badge of the Martyr: This badge goes to the participant with the largest total amount of points in the event (adding up all his/her vows).

Badge of the Artisan: This badge goes to the entry that impressed us the most in terms of painting quality and modelling complexity. It is based on subjective criteria and can be claimed by out-of-competition entries as well.




So this is it! Keep in mind that whatever you do the B&C rules must always, ALWAYS be observed and the Moderators stand ready, meltas at hand!

Good luck to all and may the best Faction become Primus Inter Pares!


These are the Q&As that of based on last year’s experience and what else I could think of to this point. However it is possible (inevitable?) that new issues might arise that would require a ruling. In that case, once I make a ruling I’ll add it here under a different colored font so that all participants can be updated simultaneously. So before you ask a question check back here first – it might be already answered.

Q: Are Characters who are squad upgrades for units, legal entries in their own right?
A: Yes they are. However they are only worth the “upgrade” points i.e. do not add the points of the miniature they replace when used in a squad. This of course is waived if you do paint an entire squad with the special Character upgrade in which case normal rules apply!

Q: Are dedicated transports legal entries in their own right?
A: Yes they can be entered as standalone entries for the points mentioned in the relevant section of the Codex.

Q: How far do we go with WYSIWYG?
A: As much as you can. Equipment that goes at the basic price of the mini is not really required (but they are most welcome - I love those frag grenades) but everything from the options list MUST be represented in order to count.

Q: What about allies? 40k rules now allow them.
A: But not ETL rules... This event is about faction loyalty and sticking with your faction to the bitter end. In other words, if it’s not in the Codex, it’s not ETL-legal.

Q: How about special rules or items that cannot be physically represented? Some of them are even compulsory like Daemon Princes’ allegiances…
A: Only upgrades that can be physically represented on the miniatures earn you points for the ETL! So Psychic Powers, extra Mastery Levels, Tank Hunters and such will not be counted. Now Marks of Chaos can in principle be represented on a mini through appropriate painting and modelling. So Marks of Chaos are allowed BUT bear in mind that the overriding principle of the ETL is to avoid “getting something for nothing” so you really need to make an effort an produce a convincing effect of the Mark you’re aiming for. We need some common sense and goodwill for that to work – it did last year, so let’s hope it will work again this year…

Q: Can I vow alternative load-outs and earn the extra points for them?
A: No. You must pledge a particular configuration – so choose carefully. There is no benefit from magnetizing, not-gluing or blue-tacking alternative bits on the mini.

Q: I’m vowing for HH and want to use units from the Mechanicum list. Is it possible or do I need to vow for the Mechanicum forum to have access?
A: Strictly speaking, the Mechanicum list is in the Betrayal book so it is definitely legal to use it as part of your vow in the Horus Heresy forums. However, given the lack of lists and support for the Mechanicum by GW, I wanted to give incentives to Mechanicum fans to do their own thing. Yes they have the Titans, but if they want they can have the Betrayal Mechanicum list too. So this particular list can be used by two different factions: HH and Mecganicum.

Q: Can my second vow be an expansion of my first vow? For example if I vowed and completed a 5-strong tactical squad can I then vow for another 3 to bring it to a total of 8?
A: No. Each entry should be a standalone legal unit from the list of your choice. No add-ons on previous vows.

Q: I vowed for Chaos and dedicated my vow to Nurgle. Can I change deity in my next vow?
A: Yes! Chaos is fickle and such swings are allowed. What you cannot do however is change to another faction. You have to remain true to the two Chaos Codices that comprise the Chaos faction i.e. Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Daemons. Pledging your vow to a Chaos deity has only “fun” value and plays no real part in the ETL mechanics.

Q: Why a limit of only 5 vows? Last year some participants managed as many as 10!
A: The ETL is not so much about number of vows but number of points. What happened last year was that there were tons of single-miniature vows (perfectly legal mind you) that took a heavy toll on my time – especially at the closing of the event when time comes at a premium. Now given that the average vows per participant last year was 1.8 I believe 5 vows to be adequate to capture the zeal as well as to deliver the points that the participants plan to complete. Also (and this is important) the limit of 5 vows creates an additional strategic consideration. Participants need to think ahead, discuss with each other, review their stash of miniatures and decide on their commitment when the time comes. I think this will add another dimension to the ETL!

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Semper, what about fortifications? I know last year such things as the Bastion and Skyshield couldn't be added as they had no points cost, but what about this year as they now have a points cost in the BRB.

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A question on "Counts-as".  In my army, I wish to make a counts as model of a Chaplain on a "Cold One" lizard, representing a Chaplain on bike.  I intend to have a Storm bolter represent the bolters at the front of the bike, but have the model effectively be used as if it really was a bike (just artistic licence, rather than anything else) when it's complete. 


Is this allowed in ETL as long as I clarify what it represents when I vow it?

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Great to see the ETL return for a second year. I guess you must know what you're letting yourself in for but you're a much braver man than I, Captain Semper!


As the out-of-competition entries don't count for anything but bragging rights, can I make vows for both my faction and for out-of-competition models? Obviously the 5 vow limit would still be observed.

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@ Cpt Uriel Ventris: Fortifications are allowed. It'll be nice though if you make them as though they belong to your army - instead of generic-looking ones... You know, the spirit of the ETL is to pit forum vs. forum, Codex vs. Codex... Fortifications are generic and applicable to all - so there is no balancing issue, but they are also without character.. If you give them some that'll be awesome.

@ Aquilanus: A Cold One? Really? pirate.gif Bring it on - as long as you 40k-fy it. Remember Fantasy minis are not allowed in B&C - and this has nothing to do with the ETL, it's board rules. So as long as you convert it to some sort of Exodite pet that has room in the 40k Univerese and add all the strorm bolters and bionics - sure go ahead.

@ Grotsmasha: Generally speaking a vow should not change once made. But if it is a fine tuning thing or if it contains illegal items then of course it's no problem. However what I don't want to see is people changing their vows in order to increase their points once they realise they can do more... So general rule is: vows should not be changed once made. But some tolerance will be shown for fine tuning issues or rectifying "illegal" pledges.

@ Cactus: Yes you can. Out-of-competition entries will earn you much honor but as they have no bearing to the main contest you can do both your 5 vows for an official faction and as many out of competition vows as you like. Am I nice or what? biggrin.png

@ Angels Absolute: see response to Grotsmasha

@ Disruptor: Oooops! blush.png I fixed it... The ETL ends on August 15th - like last year. My bad... Good thing you spot it early on..

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Ok so it is late, and I have never done one of these before so I apologize if my understanding of the rules is off. I assume that DIY chapter falls under the Liber Astartes and therefore are thrown in with C:SM. My quiestion is this: When modelling and gaming with my Sons of Retribution, I use C:SW rules. I do not own C:SM but would like to enter the ETL. Since I am using C:SW rules for my loadouts, should I make my vow with C:SW or, since they are technically a DIY, am I required to use C:SM rules when calculating the point for my vows loadouts?

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@ Cpt Uriel Ventris: Fortifications are allowed. It'll be nice though if you make them as though they belong to your army - instead of generic-looking ones... You know, the spirit of the ETL is to pit forum vs. forum, Codex vs. Codex... Fortifications are generic and applicable to all - so there is no balancing issue, but they are also without character.. If you give them some that'll be awesome.



I have an A4 Astral Claw transfer sheet with some large transfers on it. I'll let you guess what I'm going to do with them since the Bastion has some flat areas.


Now where did I put my Bastion....

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@ Captain Cirrius: In the ETL the defining factor is the Codex you're using to "price" your units. If you choose the SWs Codex you play for the SW team and conversly if you choose the SMs codex you play for the Codex faction (where you have to further choose a forum within the faction). A level of WYSIWYG is required so please take this into account too.


@ Cpt. Uriel Ventris: Good luck then! :tu:

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You mentioned that we can't use things that can't be shown on the model, such as tank hunters.... What if we can show it on the model, by giving some sort of symbol resembling a tank or something? Could this rule be broken? Could artificer armor be represented?


In reguards to count as, could a captains plasma pistol be resembled by a ball of fire held in his hand? The intention behind it being that the marine is ment to be a Psycik commander capable of manifesting such energy.....

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The basic idea here is to avoid getting something for nothing and to keep the rules as uniform as possible to have the event running smoothely.


In this respect the plasma pistol count-as is fine. You're doing the work - you're awarded the points. The tank hunters however is an ability and, like psychic abilities, I've made the ruling that it's just too complicated to find a uniform way that's commonly accepted to represent them - so they are just out. The artificer armour can be represented with appropriate painting and/or conversions. Just make it impressive enough!

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What about Fliers?  Some Codex's have access to Stormravens and Storm Talons but they are only found in Death From the Skies.  Could a Black Templar claim one of those as a vow since they are legal to their codex but the rules/points are only found in the suppliment book? 

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@ Brother Darklight: Yes. Supplements do count. You can even get "40k approved" FW stuff. So go ahead.


@  War Angel: Yes he can be a Sicarious "count-as" as long as you make the effort. :) A finished model is what you say is a finished model. There is the general expectation that you paint everything to the best of your ability. I want you to look at your minis and remeber the ETL fondly - not as the reason you ruined your models. The models will remain with you long after the ETL is over! ;)

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So I have some models that I am currently redoing. 2 Stormravens I would like to enter, but its a little blurry. They had their first paint job from about 2 years ago, but I recently redid them all with a new coat of blue (got a new airbrush and am going over a lot of my old army)

So, can I enter a model in a vow if it is not new, but basically has a layer of blue on it? Everything I own has paint on it, but if I just go over it with a new layer of blue that effectively erases everything underneath it, and work up from there, can a picture of a model with the blue eraser layer serve as my before?

Looking forward to bringing honor to the XIIIth!!! 

And Logistics 

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@ karden00: effectively you're telling me they are undercoated blue right? Then of course you can enter them - no prob. The only thing I'm not sure is whether Stormravens are allowed in an UM army. I have the compedium at home - so I'll check and revert.
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I have a question.  More than half the models I want to include in my vow are still on the sprues.  For my evidence photos do I have to show everything on day one?  Or can I add before shots as models get built?  I'll probably work on a squad at a time so it's easier for me to put up pics as a prime them.




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