We finally got round to finishing off the final scenario in the Age of Sigmar starter set!
This was Death Knell – basically, the Stormcasts have cracked open the Realmgate and are pouring through in droves. As the battle unfolds, the Stormcast leader, Vandus Hammerhand, sees the Khorne commander (Lord Khul) and remembers him from his past life, where Chaos butchered his village. Khul, on the other hand, is building a big pyramid of skulls and just needs one more to put on the very top so he can become a daemon prince. However, it cannot just be any skull, and he has chosen Vandus as his victim.
So, big forces clashing, but victory will be decided by who gets to the enemy general first; a minor victory if you get him, a major victory if you get him with your general.
The table was set up more or less as per the book (they suggest two Ophidian Archways but I only have one, so a big rock was substituted for it). For the forces, they tell you to use everything in the starter set but if you have more models, throw them in too! Not wanting to go too mad, I added two units of Judicators to the Stormcasts and some Bloodletters and Bloodcrushers to the Khorne Goretide.
The Stormcasts got the first phase of turn one and, seeing that the Bloodcrushers were going to be bearing down on Vandus, I started to redeploy a unit of Liberators to his flank, protecting the Bolt Storm Crossbow-armed Judicators as they went. The Skybolt Judicators were in range with their bows and they opened up on the Bloodletters opposite them, felling two – who promptly popped back into existence thanks to their Battleshock roll and Gore-drenched Icon…
In their phase, the Chaos force surged forward with all units running (pretty standard tactics for Khorne forces on turn one).
The Khorne army grabbed the first phase of turn two and, I must admit, I was kinda hoping my ranged guys would get another round of shooting before combat started. The Bloodcrushers charged into Vandus while, on the other flank, the Bloodletters closed range with the Judicators. In the centre, the Khorgorath and Blood Warriors both failed their own charghes.
Vandus took a wound from the Bloodcrushers charge and seem to be surprised by their attack, as neither he nor his Dracoth did much in return. On the other side of the battlefield, the Judicators killed two Bloodletters in close combat, but lost two of their own number in return – and then their Battleshock roll removed another two, leaving the leader on his own!
This forced the Liberators I had been hiding in the forest (where they would have been getting 3+ Saves, re-rolling 1’s) to head out to help counter the Bloodletters. However, there was good news as lightning struck the ground to reveal a unit of Retributors and Prosecutors descending behind the Chaos line.
The Prosecutors threw their hammers at the Bloodsecrator and, despite being very accurate, were dismayed to see their shots bouncing off his armour. Meanwhile, the Retributors were eager to get to grips with the enemy and charged the Bloodcrushers who were putting Vandus under pressure.
The Judicators armed with crossbows were in a prime position to rapid fire into the Blood Warriors and the display of firepower was impressive (they get extra dice when doing this). The results less so – just two Blood Warriors succumbed to the rain of bolts.
Towards the centre, the Liberators diverted themselves from Vandus and instead approached the Khorgorath, their hammers knocking off three wounds in short order. However, a moan of despair swept the ranks of the Stormcast as the Bloodcrushers managed to find the weakness in Vandus’ armour and toppled the Lord-Celestant from the back of his Dracoth.
Minor victory to Chaos!
I was a bit of a chump in this game. In my head, I saw Vandus sweeping the Bloodcrushers off the table in one charge, but everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Normally there is enough redundancy in a force to mitigate that, but when victory is stacked onto just one model – yeah, that doesn’t work.
What I should have done was kept him back behind the line of Liberators until the perfect time to charge (preferably when Lord Khul is down to just a wound or two – my Vandus is not honourable to a fault!) and scooped a major victory.
However, that would have been less exciting!
We are going to be continuing this campaign with the scenarios found in the Age of Sigmar hardback – we’ll do some battle reports of those as they get played!