So, all the Warscrolls for Age of Sigmar appeared this morning. After a bit of painting (the lads turned up for our regular painting day), Alan (Vampire Counts) challenged Andy (Wood Elves) to a fight. James and I were umpires (like any of us knew the rules!) and recorded this battle report.
Alan simply opted for the Deathrattle Horde ‘formation’, which gave him;
Grave Guard x 10
Skeletons x 20
Skeletons x 20
Skeletons x 20
Black Knights x 5
Dire Wolves x 10
Glade Riders x 10
Glade Guard x 20
Dryads x 15
Seemed a reasonable set up.
They began by rolling for random terrain (both presence and effects), then deployed. Andy noted that the undead outnumbered him quite a bit and requested a Sudden Death victory condition, which ended up being Blunt. Alan selected his Black Knights – if they went down, Andy would win the battle instantly.
Andy got the choice of who went first and nominated Alan. Alan promptly summoned a unit of Vargheists on a hill and pushed his undead forward in a general advance.
Andy responded by sending his Glade Riders after the Black Knights, who had taken to skulking behind a forest and rushing his Treeman forward to engage the Vargheists. Everything else shuffled forward.
Two Black Knights went down to the Glade Riders shooting, which caused Alan some concern, while the Treeman’s strangleroots took out a couple of Vargheists, with a bit of help from the Glade Guard and Glade Lord. However, the Treeman failed his charge and there were no Battleshock fails this turn.
The Wood Elves went first this turn, and the Drayds and Glade Guard advanced further while the Treeman moved closer to the Vargheists. The Glade Riders shot another Black Knight, while the Treeman’s strangleroots killed the last Vargheist. However, it failed to charge the Cairn Wraith lurking behind them.
Now it was the Vampire Counts turn, and Alan suddenly felt a lot better about his Black Knights when he realised that, because they had a standard bearer, they automatically regain D3 Knights every turn (pretty much all Undead can do this). One roll later and his knights were back up to full strength! More confident now, he rushed the knights forward, intending to sweep away the Glade Riders.
In the centre of the battlefield, more Vargheists were summoned, while the Dire Wolves and Cairn Wraith ploughed into the Treeman. However, the Vargheists failed their charge on the Glade Lord.
The Treeman’s stomp caused the Wraith a bit of a wobble (-1 to hit rolls this turn), but the Treeman still took a couple of wounds (don’t worry, he had another 10 to go). In his attacks, the Treeman killed 4 Dire Wolves. On the flank with the cavalry, the Glade Riders and Black Knights lost two men each.
The Vampire Counts went first again (and got all their Black Knights back to full strength!). This time, looking for a bit of variety, the Necromancer summoned a unit of Crypt Horrors.
The undead shuffled their units in a vague (slow) attempt to support the black Knights, while the Vargheists charged the Glade Lord and Archers, wounding him and killing two Glade Guard. The Battleshock rolls this turn caused another two Glade Guard to run, while the cavalry duel resulted in just one Glade Rider going down.
In his turn, Andy’s Spellweaver casted Blessings of Life, bringing a single Glade Guard back, while his Dryads abandoned the Archers to their fate and started heading towards some marauding Skeletons. The Spellweaver made a break for it too, and started running for the Glade Riders, no doubt hoping to get close enough to the Necromancer to stop some of his summoning spells.
While the Treeman killed the last of the Dire Wolves, the Dryads failed their charge, while the Glade Riders (or, more accurately, their horses…) killed another two Black Knights and the Glade Lord finished off the Vargheists.
The Vampire COunts had first turn again, and brought back two Black Knights. At this point, the Wood Elves were wondering if the knights were actually unkillable. Elsewhere, the Necromancer summoned a Tomb Banshee to the battlefield. She promptly screamed, wounding the Treeman (who has a very low Bravery score, it turns out). The Crypt Horrors kept the pressure on by charging the Treeman, killing it in one round of attacks.
On the opposite flank, the Skeletons managed to charge the Dryads, and the two units broke into a general, swirling melee that would last for the rest of the battle, without result.
The Spellweaver healed the Glade Guard again with her Blessings, who promptly turned their attention (and arrows) to the Crypt Horrors, slightly wounding one. The Glade Riders (their horses) killed two Black Knights, while the Skeletons and Dryads ground away at one another.
The Vampire Counts gained first turn again and the Necromancer, fancying his luck, tried to summon a Zombie Dragon – he failed, but only just. More critically, only one Black Knight was brought back by their standard.
The Tomb Banshee screamed at the Glade :Lord, but failed to make an impression, while the Skeletons and Crypt Horrors advanced up the centre. The Cairn Wraith charged the Glade Lord and wounded him, but the Banshee failed to support it.
In the Wood Elves turn, the Glade Riders manage to kill just one Black Knight, but their horses (the heroes of this battle, frankly) ploughed in to score six wounds, which went through the Black Knight’s armour, killing the last of them – Major Victory for the Wood Elves!
Summary and Views
It cannot be denied. We liked this game. We liked it a lot, and we were not really expecting to. Yes, the lack of points is an issue and we will have to come up with something to handle our games if Games Workshop does not (kinda hoping for Scenario Scrolls to make an appearance). However, the game itself… we cannot really fault. It is simple, it works, and all the frilly bits are on the Warscrolls. There were no great rules debates during the game, other than those caused by our own ignorance (it was our first game) and those will disappear as we get to grips with the mechanics.
We were a bit surprised at the power of horses (two attacks each!), but they did get lucky rolls and probably reflect the use of cavalry quite well. We don’t see any issues developing there (other than me wanting to get Cold One Knights on the table!). The relative strengths of the other units seemed about right, from the Skeletons to the Treeman.
Undead armies could be quite potent due to their ability to summon, well, anything you have models for but, frankly, it does not seem to be as bad as it could be.
Overall, if you ignore the lack of points issue (and yes, I know that is a biggie), I would give this game a solid A grade.
The guys are already setting up a Vampire Counts vs. Dark Elves game as I type this, and I am looking forward to getting involved myself!