Clan Snikkit Swells – and Gets a New Boss

I haven’t managed to get a huge amount of painting done recently, but I did manage to polish off these models, all for the small but growing Skaven force.

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This is a model that has been sitting in the ‘to do’ pile for a long, long time – a Skaven Warlord on Brood Horror. No plans for it to appear in the Realmgate Wars campaign as yet, but it was just too cool not to do, and I figured while I was doing other rats I could just quickly slip it in.

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It uses pretty much the same colour schemes as all the other non-Pestilens Skaven I have done so far, and so was relatively quick to do. It also gives me the option to ‘upgrade’ my Warlord in a campaign if he starts doing really well in his battles.

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I did have a fanciful idea that all separate clans of Skaven should be getting their own colour schemes, especially as there is more distance between them in Age of Sigmar now – but I figured that way lay madness.

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Even the two Clan Eshin Assassins I did draw from the root scheme, dropping the (Wazdakka) Red but retaining the Skavenblight Dirge grey for their clothing under the black cloaks.

While I have no immediate plans, I really like the idea of an all Clan Eshin force, so watch this space!

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Of course, Skaven are diminished without some decent Clan Skryre support, which arrived this weekend in the form of three more weapons teams – a Warp Grinder, Poison Wind Mortar and Ratling Gun. All ready to do as much damage to their crews as to the enemy!

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Finally, some Poison Wind Globadiers, or Skryre Acolytes as they are known now. I was wondering how to do the globes, and started off by using the same colours as for the warp stone on, for example, the Warp Grinder, but then had a brain wave. Over that, I used an old pot of ‘Ard Coat, which I have never used before in my life. However, it gave just the effect I was looking for; swirling warpstone-based gas inside a glass globe!

I need to polish off some more rats before they are ready for their entry into the Realmgate Wars (which will be in three weeks or so, given the way we are getting through games at the moment). So, on my painting desk right now I have a Doomwheel, 20 Stormvermin and 6 Stormfiends!

Battle Report – The Tables Turned

After the truly epic battle we had in the Realm of Life last week, we are taking a short step ‘out of arc’ in the main storyline of the Realmgate Wars campaign to take a gander at what is happening elsewhere in the Mortal Realms.

This will give us a chance to try out some new forces that have been painted up and tackle some new Battleplans. It also has the benefit of giving me some more time to paint up the forces required for the battles in the Realm of Metal that will mark the end of the Quest for Ghal Maraz.

So, this week we are travelling back to the Realm of Fire, to the Fortress of Embers that stands atop Obdisia Isle where the Mighty Lord of Khorne Kaelgor, the Butcher of Obsidia, is in for a nasty shock…

 

The Story So Far

Kaelgor has ruled Obsidia Isle and the surrounding lands for an age, but the Stormcast Eternals are determined to bring his reign to an end. Led by Lord-Celestant Aurgos Trueforged, they fought their way up the skull-paved road to the Fortress of Embers, and Lord Kaelgor gladly led his forces out to meet them.

Waves upon waves of Bloodbound rushed out of the fortress, and the Stormcast Eternals were pushed back from its walls, suffering heavy casualties as Khorne worshippers crashed into their ranks. Lord Kaelgor himself had taken to the field, leading his mighty Skullcrushers, but Lord-Celestant Trueforged feared he would not have a chance to meet the Khorne general in battle, as the Stormcasts had already taken serious losses.

The day looked grim for the soldiers of Sigmar.

But lo, what is that light in the sky?

 

The Forces

This is an interesting battle, as it actually has three armies (though both the forces on the side of Order will be controlled by one player in this game). At the outset, the battle looks laughably easy for the Bloodbound, as their victory condition is to have models on the table at the end of the sixth turn and the Stormcasts are clearly outnumbered.

However, what the Khorne player does not know (because he is not going to be told until the Stormcasts’ first turn…) is that there is a massive comet coming towards the battlefield that will wreck his forces as it impacts, and will then start disgorging a huge army of Seraphon!

This is quite a famous battle in the lore of Age of Sigmar, as it marks the first real contact between Stormcast and Seraphon.

 

Khorne Bloodbound
Might Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut (Lord Kaelgor)
Exalted Deathbringer
Slaughterpriest
Bloodsecrator
Skullgrinder
Aspiring Deathbringer
Mighty Skullcrushers x 6
Bloodreavers x 40 (two units of 20)
Blood Warriors x 25 (two units of 10, one unit of 5)
Warriors of Chaos with two weapons x 12
Skullreapers x 5
Wrathmongers x 5

That is a good, solid force of Bloodbound, however you look at it. The Bloodreavers and Blood Warriors form its backbone, but it has almost all the Khorne ‘royalty’ to lead them, along with the elite Skullreapers and Wrathmongers. And all that is before we consider Lord Kaelgor and his Skullcrushers whom, between them, will hit like the proverbial train.

 

Stormcast Eternals
Lord-Celestant Aurgos Trueforged
Lord-Relictor
Liberators x 10 (two units of 5)
Judicators with Skybows x 5
Retributors x 10 (two units of 5)

Seraphon
Slann Starmaster Zectoka
Oldblood on Carnosaur
Scar-veteran on Cold One
Skink Starpriest
Skink Priest with Priestly Trappings
Saurus Guard x 10
Saurus Warriors with Celestial Clubs x 40 (two units of 20)
Saurus Knights with Spears x 10 (two units of 5)
Skinks with Javelins x 40 (two units of 20)
Stegadon x 2
Bastiladon
Kroxigors x 3

It looks a little grim for the Stormcasts, until you realise all those Seraphon will be on the table before the end of the first turn and while they need to completely wipe out the Bloodbound in six turns to secure a major victory, there is a reasonable chance they can succeed!

 

Deployment

The Stormcast were deployed first, outside the gates of the Fortress of Embers (this is a joy of having a decent Dreadhold – it was not supposed to feature in the Battleplan, but it serves as a great backdrop to the fighting, and may give the Bloodbound some options!). Then the Bloodbound went down in their entirety, and a potent force they looked – 90-odd axe-wielding maniacs!

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This battle would be using the Time of War sheets for the Storm of Sigmar (so both generals could call on reinforcements during the battle) and the Realm of Fire, though we would not be using the blood geysers (there would be enough going on in this battle as there was!

 

Battle Round One

The Bloodbound automatically took the first round in this turn, and they would enjoy a healthy bonus to boot, as they thought they would just be finishing off stragglers (all Bloodbound units were getting a +1 bonus to hit and wound in this round).

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Lord Kaelgor shouted at the Bloodreavers and Skullreapers, driving them into a murderous frenzy then, with a final word, he ordered his entire horde forward.

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Things became packed really fast as the Bloodbound raced towards the patchy force of Stormcasts. The Slaughterpriest obviously had something to prove this day as, when he called upon the Blood God for favour, he was pointedly ignored. Within seconds, the Bloodbound were charging, eager to get to grips with the enemy (just as, coincidentally, Men of Harlech started playing on our stereo – good timing!).

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The Blood Warriors on both flanks were canny enough to manoeuvre around the Stormcasts defences in order to be able to charge the Retributors Lord-Celestant Trueforged had been hoping to hold in reserve. The Aspiring Deathbringer leading them went down quickly to a hammer in the face, as did some Blood Warriors, but Khorne’s finest managed to exact a heavy toll on the Retributors as well.

The Liberators were ground down by Skullreapers and Bloodreavers, while Lord Kaelgor led his Skullcrushers right down the middle, over-running the Judicators with a single charge. Lord-Celestant Trueforged was now right in front of the Khorne Lord, while the Lord-Relictor was desperately beating back Bloodreavers.

The battle had barely begun, and the Stormcasts were already thin on the ground, with just four left standing!

Then, the comet smashed into the battlefield, and a veritable horde of Seraphon piled out, eager to begin their own war against Chaos.

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Saurus Warriors, Skinks, Knights, and massive dinosaurs raced towards the Bloodbound, as Lord-Celestant Trueforged urged his few remaining Stormcasts to hold firm and push back the Chaos worshippers.

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An Oldblood atop a Carnosaur led the Seraphon charge, shattering an entire unit of Bloodreavers in a single blood-filled attack, as the Blood Warriors and Retributors continued to fight one another to a standstill.

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Meanwhile, Lord-Celestant gave a twirl of his cloak, and a hail of celestial hammers struck Lord Kaelgor, before Trueforged charged him. A flurry of sword and hammer blows seemed to leave Kaelgor reeling but, as Trueforged took a step back to consolidate his attack, he could see the Khorne Lord was merely angry. Very, very angry…

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Lord Kaelgor urged his Juggernaut forward, but could not restrain his Skullcrushers, all of whom wanted the glory of taking the Lord-Celestant’s skull. Trueforged’s armour stood up to the punishment they meted out but he was badly injured. Seeing the danger, the Lord-Relictor desperately tried to fight his way clear of Kaelgor’s minions to reach his commander.

Elsewhere on the battlefield, a combined attack by Kroxigors and Saurus Knights managed to finish off the Wrathmongers, but not before Khorne’s madness had taken hold – both Seraphon units had been greatly weakened by destroying them.

 

Battle Round Two

A great deal had already happened in this battle (and we had only finished the first turn!), but there were more tribulations for both generals to face.

The arrival of the comet had cracked Obsidia Isle, and great chasms were opening up in the battlefield, threatening all who would try to cross them or fight near them…

The Seraphon began their steady advance of extermination, intent on wiping out each band of Chaos followers as they came upon them. One Stegadon had become bogged down by a small group of Blood Warriors, but a Fireball from the Skink Starpriest immolated the last one, freeing the great beast to engage more worthy foes. Slann Starmaster Zectoka had already designated the Khorne Bloodsecrator, who had planted his banner and was opened a portal to the Realm of Chaos, as a primary target, but the Stegadon was just a little too far away.

Lord-Celestant Trueforged fought bravely and while his Lord-Relictor managed to slay a Skullcrusher, the Stormcast commander was ultimately doomed…

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A unit of Saurus Knights had managed top break through the ragged Chaos line and charged the Skullgrinder who had decided the Carnosaur’s skull would be a worthy gift to Khorne. Their charge badly wounded him, but his return attacks smashed the Knights apart, and the Skullgrinder roared with delight as his last swing sent the final Saurus Knight plummeting into a nearby chasm.

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The Khorne Lord had a choice to make at this stage; he could throw up lines of defence designed to slow the Seraphon advance down long enough to get an intact force back to the Fortress of Embers – or, knowing he was somewhat outmatched, he could attack.

As it turned out, Lord Kaelgor was something of a traditionalist when it came to Blood God Strategy and Tactics. The order to attack was given…

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Lord Kaelgor selected a Stegadon as being a worthy enemy, leading the last group of Bloodreavers against it, but his Skullcrushers feared to cross the chasm that now separated them from their lord, instead turning towards advancing Saurus Warriors while finishing off the Lord-Relictor.

The Slaughterpriest had finally arrived into the battle proper, leading a unit of Chaos Warriors. Khorne was pleased with his aggression and rewarded his servant by boiling the blood of the last Retributor – the last Stormcast had fallen!

But Slann Starmaster Zectoka did not care. He was here to stop Lord Kaelgor.

The Skullgrinder leapt over a yawning, lava-filled chasm, to swing his anvil at the Carnosaur, but the great monster simply ground the Skullgrinder into the earth. On the other side of the battlefield, a Stegadon was doing much the same thing to Bloodreavers while ignoring Lord Kaelgor’s attacks.

All over the battlefield, warriors were taking their chances in leaping over the chasms that had opened up, while taking the opportunity to push their enemies into them – a surge from the Stegadon he was battling almost sent Lord Kaelgor over the edge, but his Juggernaut managed to get out of the way in time!

 

Battle Round Three

A small unit of Skullcrushers had managed to get a direct line of sight on Slann Starmaster Zectoka as he advanced onto the battlefield but, seeing the danger, the Slann waved a hand and more Kroxigors materialised in front of him, forming a formidable wall.

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Lining up its star beam, the Bastiladon sent a terrifying blast across the battlefield that struck Lord Kaelgor right in the chest, finally ending his centuries long reign. All the Bloodbound had just earned themselves an immediate promotion, but they would have to survive the battle first…

The Skullcrushers charged the Carnosaur but, as it turned out, they had been right to be reluctant in crossing the chasm, as the sheer mass of a Juggernaut proved too much for it to leap across, and both daemonic beast and twisted man fell into the lava far below. The Carnosaur gave a mighty roar, which broke the nerve of the last Skullcrusher, forcing him to flee.

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Despite the (blood-filled) sacrifices of Lord Kaelgor and the Skullgrinder (not to mention the Aspiring Deathbringer much earlier), the Slaughterpriest still had not wetted his axe – and that was just not Khornate policy. When the priest tried to call upon the favour of the Blood God once again, Khorne punished him, boiling his own blood.

Meanwhile, a serious (albeit one-sided) skirmish had erupted on the far flank, between the Exalted Deathbringer and a horde of Skinks.

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Though the little lizards fought bravely, they were clearly outmatched, though the Exalted Deathbringer (and soon to be new Lord of the Fortress of Embers) was furious that the Skinks just vanished when he killed them, with not a drop of blood!

The Skullreapers managed to wrong-foot the last Saurus Knights, and charged straight past them to strike at one of the Stegadons. Their daemon-bound weapons managed to kill one of their own, but they seriously hurt the beast. The Knights they left for the Slaughterpriest and his Chaos Warriors, who dealt with the Cold One riders quickly and efficiently, finally glad to have fought something.

 

Battle Round Four

Both sides had taken heavy casualties by now, but everything was going according to Slann Starmaster Zectoka’s Grand Plan. His losses had been incidental (Skinks could be re-remembered, and he could always find more Stormcasts to talk to). However, the Bloodbound had been dealt a blow from which they would never recover. Now the Slann had merely to finish the task he had set himself.

The Slaughterpriest, finally back in Khorne’s good books, boiled the blood of the nearest Stegadon, killing it instantly.

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Seeing there were few Khorne warriors around to take advantage of his portal, the Bloodsecrator pulled up his banner, and raced to engage the Skinks who were bogging down the Exalted Deathbringer (he obviously knew how to butter up his next general…). Meanwhile, the Slaughterpriest led his Chaos Warriors across a chasm to charge the Carnosaur. Three Chaos Warriors fell to their fiery deaths, but a titanic fight between the Slaughterpriest and the Carnosaur saw both teetering on the edge of the chasm… before both fell in!

A similar scene was enacted a little further away, as the last Skinks piled upon the Exalted Deathbringer and Bloodsecrator, pulling both down with them in the nearest chasm (we’ll call that a win for the Skinks).

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The Skink Starpriest casually tossed a fireball at the last Skullreaper, immolating the madman, just as Kroxigors and a Scar-Veteran on a Cold One surrounded the last Chaos Warriors on the battlefield and slew them.

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As peace reigned, briefly, over the battlefield, Obsidia Isle began to break apart and sink into the lava, the stress of the cometstrike finally proving too much.

Most satisfied with his work, Slann Starmaster Zectoka dismissed his followers and then returned to Azyr.

 

Conclusion

Well, the Seraphon have well and truly arrived in the Mortal Realms! The Stormcasts may have to wait for another meeting before they can establish proper diplomatic relations, but they clearly have an ally against Chaos.

This was a really fun battle, with everything going the Bloodbound’s way in their first round, then the whole nature of the battle changing in the Stormcasts’ round, with the arrival of the Seraphon.

The chasms that opened up after the arrival of the comet really shaped the battle too, with both generals a little unnerved at the possibility of losing models simply by moving but, towards the end, we were both really getting into the idea of enemies battling one another right at the edge of the fiery drops, with some getting pushed in!

The battle was a major victory for Zectoka but, it has to be said, a great element of this was the Khorne player choosing to give him a major victory! The Khorne player knew the forces of Order had to completely wipe him out to win, and all he had to do to gain a major victory himself was have at least one model survive for six turns.

He could have had the Slaughterpriest and Chaos Warriors retreat back to the Dreadhold – it would have taken time for the Seraphon to reach them, and they would have been in a defensive position. However, in the Khorne player’s own words;

‘I worship the Blood God, what else am I going to do?’

So, he attacked!

 

The Story Continues…

This battle was ‘out of arc’ in the sense that it does not impact on the main storyline we are playing through in the Quest for Ghal Maraz. However, we have not seen the last of the Seraphon – not by a long shot. It is rumoured that plague pits of Clan Pestilens have come to the attention of the Slann Starmaster Zectoka…

Review – Grand Alliance: Death

Hot on the heels of Balance of Power and Grand Alliance: Chaos, GW have released a new tome for Age of Sigmar – Grand Alliance: Death. So, should you be picking this one up?

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The first thing you will notice is that it is quite small and, in fact, rivals Battletome: Chaos Dreadholds for smallness – just 88 pages. The second thing you will spot is the amount of money you handed over for it – just £10, a lot less than Dreadholds.

It is also a softback, in the same fashion as Grand Alliance: Chaos and given this, and the price point, three possibilities come to my mind.

  1. GW are intending to replace these books every few years to incorporate new models and Warscrolls, so they are being made cheaply and sold cheaply so no one has to worry about re-purchasing a £30 Codex. You are not going to complain too much if GW ‘make’ you spend £10 or so every couple of years.
  2. GW are looking for a cheap entry point through which people can buy Age of Sigmar books, in the same way as there are high price point new miniatures and low price point re-boxings.
  3. Age of Sigmar books are not selling particularly well and so GW are trying to support their new game as cheaply as possible.

A lot of cynics will latch on to Number Three, but we should remember that these books will have been planned a long time ago (before Age of Sigmar was first released, I would guess) and the campaign books and Battletomes are still hardback. For my part, I would lean towards Number Two.

The proof will come if either the campaign books or Battletomes go softback or a Grand Alliance book gets revised.

Remember, it really is okay to withhold judgement until you know more!

Like Grand Alliance: Chaos, this book features three core items.

 

1. Warscolls

This is the meat of the book, and the reason you would buy it.

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In this book you will find all the Warscrolls needed for all current Death models.

A lot has been made of what has been removed, most notably the Tomb Kings. There has been a little outcry over this on various forums but I think the writing was always on the wall for these guys. If the Fantasy range was going to get re-organised, it would never make sense to keep two plastic sets of Skeleton Warriors and, once you have made the decision to lose them, the rest of the Tomb Kings were always going to follow quickly.

I must admit, I was a little surprised that some of the larger Tomb Kings plastics went as well, but if you have a large Tomb Kings force already, remember those Warscrolls that GW published for free are never going to disappear from your hard drive. This is one of the cool things about Age of Sigmar – you will never have to worry about an army being invalidated (or Squatted) even if the models are withdrawn from sale. Your Tomb Kings can carry on marching for years to come!

Anyway, the Warscrolls are organised into factions based on the keywords used in the free-to-download Undead PDF, such as Deathmages, Deadwalkers and Nighthaunt. Like Grand Alliance: Chaos, some of these are intended to be ‘stand alone’ forces (such as the Deathrattle, Skeletons and related models led by a Wight King), while others are intended to be mixed and matched with others – the Necromancers within the Deathmage faction being a good example.

Oh, and any of the ‘silly/fun’ rules that were in the Undead PDF before? Gone now. You won’t care whether it is dark or not outside, Mannfred still gets his special rules.

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There is just one Battalion Warscroll in the book, for the Deathrattle guys – the Legion of Death. Yes, they could easily have included more, but I think they were probably working to a page count, and I am sure there will be plenty of Death-based Battalions to come (such as in the recently released Balance of Power).

 

2. Background

If you are into the heart of the background and storyline for Age of Sigmar, this is the real reason you pick up the books… and you are not going to find a great deal in this one.

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Instead of hard information that will flesh out the Death factions in the storyline, what you get in this book is a more general overview of each faction. This, I think, will serve to prepare you for the Death factions to enter the ongoing storyline properly (I think we all know they are about to arrive in a big way!). So, you will now know how a Flesh-eater Court is arranged and how the Soulblight Vampires rule their minions.

 

3. Specific Forces

There are a few forces showcased in this book, demonstrating how the factions go to war and how they can work together. There does not appear to be anything linked to the main storyline (though GW may well reference them at a later date, as they did with the Fyreslayers), it seems to be more a kick start to your own imagination to get you thinking about how to portray your own dead people in Age of Sigmar.

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Still, always a good excuse for pictures of pretty miniatures and, if you are like me, it may get you thinking about colour schemes.

 

Conclusion

It would be easy to criticise this book for lacking the Tomb Kings, or Kemmler, or more Battalions… but that is really not the point of it.

It comes down to this, really:

If you prefer your Warscrolls to be collated in a single book, this is going to cost you just £10, which is way less than just about anything else you will get from GW. So get it. You won’t be sorry.

If you are happy with your printed Warscrolls (and all the Death units have had their Warscrolls updated for free download on GW’s web site), you won’t need this book. If you use the AoS app, you won’t need it.

It really is that simple!

 

Event Report: Rise of the Seraphon

This weekend, I was in Nottingham, at GW’s HQ, for their Rise of the Seraphon event.

I thought it might be quite characterful if I took my Seraphon and, being a doubles event, I took along Andy with his Ogres for some fun Age of Sigmar gaming!

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For the Seraphon, I took a fairly modest force – a Slann Starmaster, an Eternal Starhost (three units of 5 Saurus Guard led by an Eternity Warden), 10 Saurus Warriors, 5 Chameleon Skinks, a Bastiladon and Astrolith Bearer. The last I was only planning to use if I thought I was facing a particularly tough army.

This was, on the whole, quite a defensive force. The Bastiladon has quite a nasty ranged attack against daemons and the Eternal Starhost can be an absolute sod to shift (2+ saves for all the Guard!), but I knew actually moving about and getting too objectives would be hard.

Andy brought most his his Ogres along, and I knew we would have to tone down his force for every battle (Ogres have a bit of a reputation for kicking out damage!).

Anyway, for our first battle, we were facing a combined Nurgle and Khorne force that I am pretty sure was being run by two GW chaps.

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This was a battle drawn from the new Balance of Power book (as were several this weekend – every table was set up for its own Battleplan), where the forces of Chaos had to drive through the Seraphon and deliver an artefact to the huge rock you see on the left.

So, Big Plus Point – the Seraphon would be defensive!

Not so good – both Skarbrand and Arcahon were present! Given the presence of those two guys, I was quite happy taking the brakes off Andy’s Ogre force, so both the Stonehorn and the nine Ironguts went in!

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Whenever you see the likes of Archaon and Skarbrand in the opposing army, it is very easy to make all sorts of judgements but this was actually a very good game – in fact one of the best of the weekend!

I was being extremely callous with the lives of the ogres (#LizardLivesMatter), and there were just as many (intended for fun) arguments between Khorne and Nurgle. You can see in the deployment photo above where I got Andy to place his Ogor Bulls…

This battle was a right merry ding-dong as the forces of Chaos tried to break through our line. The Varanguard ploughed through the Ogors, but got tied up against the Bastiladon long enough for the Stonehorn to sort them out, while the Chameleon Skinks popped up in the Chaos rear and managed to assassinate the Gaunt Summoner in a single salvo!

Perhaps funnier was watching Skarbrand get progressively angrier as he was pelted by missile fire, tearing apart a Firebelly, before preparing to launch his main assault on the Saurus Guard – just as he was hit in the side by an Ironblaster, flattening the daemon completely!

Archaon was carrying the artefact, but was distinctly cowardly for the first couple of turns, hiding behind his own lines. When he did come forward, he got mobbed by every Ogor we could throw at him, but he beat them all off with barely a scratch. However they did manage to delay the Everchosen long enough to allow us to claim victory.

This really was a Double A-Plus game.

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The whole event was designed to promote a very relaxed style of gaming, and there were three hours for every round (meaning just four games over the entire weekend). This was a nice change of pace from the normal rush, and allowed even quite large games to get finished.

Our next fight was with a couple of very nice chaps from Salisbury who were running a combined Slaaneshi/Duardin force (got to love the idea of hedonistic dwarfs!). They started with a very limited force on the table but could bring in a whole bucket full of reinforcements if they could just get one of their generals to the dais in the centre of the battlefield.

We all made a couple of mistakes here. The Dwarf player kept his general as part of the reinforcements, which meant we only had to kill the Slaaneshi lord in order to stop all the reinforcements appearing. Our mistake is that we probably took a unit or two of Ogres too many. The result was the Slaaneshi general being killed in turn two and the battle being effectively lost.

However, we didn’t feel that was a particularly good resolution. So, I pointed to the Chameleon Skinks that had infiltrated their fortress and told them that I was pretty sure the Skinks had seen the Duardin General inside the castle, along with a large bodyguard – they duly placed the general and a unit of Dwarfs behind the gate, and the game was off again!

And I am very glad it was, as this was another smashing game. Those Chameleon Skinks had been pelting the Dwarf artillery crewmen, forcing a Slaaneshi Sorcerer on a snake mount to go and deal with them – but the last Skink managed to keep making his saves, turn after turn, until the Sorcerer gave up and rejoined the rest of the battle (the Skink claimed that as a victory!). Meanwhile, the artillery was constantly dropping rocks on the head of my Slann, despite the best efforts of the Eternity Warden to try and catch them.

The game ended with the Duardin General battling at the foot of the dais. He managed to fight off an Ogor who climbed to the top of the dais and performed a power dive on top of him, and his bodyguard fought off repeated attempts to drive them back. In the end, the dwarf only went down when the Bastiladon finally managed to line up and shoot him.

This was another brilliant battle with two great chaps – and I rather got the feeling they felt the same way!

That was it for the Saturday, and we retired to the worst restaurant in Nottingham (the Farmhouse, takes 40 minutes to get your food and you should really avoid the steaks – breakfast is decent enough though).

Come morning, it was on to our first game, and we had a bit of a treat…

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We were playing on Big Castle Table!

This had its own special Battleplan, which involved us rooting out some Nurgle forces in the Bastion, finding an artefact within, and then getting half our force to the opposite side of the (very large) table.

Now, that is a Big Ask.

I had come across the father and son team in a previous event – in fact, I had played the son (Johnny, I think his name is?) before, in a battle where his Bloodbound were assaulting a hill held by my Seraphon. So, we were looking forward to the re-match!

I knew the other team were a but, shall we say, nervous about Andy’s Ogres, but I also knew that a) Nurgle forces are an absolute sod to shift when they are in a defensive position and b) were were never going to get the artefact and cross the table. They had Skarbard on their side and their command ability allowed them to recycle three units every turn, bringing them in from the table edges.

So, we went Full On Ogre.

Even so, it took Andy three turns to take the Bastion from the Plaguebearers, Blightkings and Plague Drones, and another turn for him to find the artefact.

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Meanwhile, I was just trying to get across the table, but a Slann ain’t built for running.

We achieved the objective of finding the artefact but otherwise it was something of a slaughter, at least as far as the Seraphon were concerned. When everything was counted up, they were just a few points ahead of us on the objectives.

The only bad thing about this game is that, after the day before, I was very tired and my feet were absolutely killing me (must take slippers next time, Warhammer World has a hard stone floor!). However, Johnny (apologies if that is not your name!) and his Father are very much Good People, and I would happily play them any time.

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The final battle was an ambush and, as we were in the centre and on the defensive, I was feeling cocky. A little too cocky, as it turned out!

The chaps we were playing were from Stoke-on-Trent, if I recall correctly, and were a right laugh – they were having about as many good-natured arguments between themselves as I was with Andy! They had a combined Nurgle and Tzeentch-daemon force, one of each attacking us from each side. Andy faced Nurgle, while I had Tzeentch in front of me.

I thought I would have it easy, as I placed the Bastiladon in a forest and the entire Eternal Starhost in ruins. I was figuring the Tzeentch daemons would smash against me like waves on a cliff.

Nope!

In the first turn, one unit of Saurus Guard got absolutely nuked by a series of Arcane Bolts, and that was about the time that I thought Andy could probably use some help – so I ran everything except my Bastiladon backwards, which caused the Nurgle player some consternation as he thought he was now going to be facing two armies (which was not my intention – I just knew I could not repel that many mortal wounds and simply wanted to get out of Dodge!).

As far as the Seraphon were concerned, this was another slaughter, with just a (re-summoned) Bastiladon and a single Saurus Guard left on the table at the end. The Ogres fared better and, when we totted up model deaths at the end, it was quite close. Chaos had taken the victory, but we had given them something to think about.

Again, these two chaps were a right laugh, and I would welcome them both to a regular gaming group at any time.

 

Overall, I think this was a really good event. There did not seem to be any of ‘those’ forces or, for that matter, ‘those’ players. It looks like more people are getting to grips with Age of Sigmar and understanding how to approach it. I think this bodes well for the game as a whole, and cannot wait to go back to Nottingham for the Trials of the Everchosen event in a couple of weeks!

 

Battle Report – War of Storms

Well, this is it, this is the big one, the culmination of the campaign in the Realm of Life. The Athelwyrd has been found and Alarielle uncovered. There is only one thing for it – we’ll have to have a massive battle!

Settle in, as this one is an epic…

 

The Story So Far

The Stormcasts had come a long way (especially their leader, Lord-Celestant Gardus), but their quest in the Realm of Life was coming to an end. They had found the entrance to the Athelwyrd beneath the River Vitalis, and Alarielle was within. However, she was not happy and the Stormcasts were confused when they were first attacked by the Sylvaneth. Asking why she was angry, the Stormcasts were answered by Alarielle simply pointing over their shoulders.

The forces of Nurgle had been watching the Stormcasts and had managed to breach the Athelwyrd themselves. They had amassed a gargantuan force and were marching to end the War of Life once and for all. There were not just daemons in this horde, but Rotbringers, Pestilens Skaven and Beastmen, all bringing a tide of filth with them to pollute Alarielle’s sacred vale – the entire Grand Congregation of Nurgle…

This battle would be pivotal in the War of Life…

 

The Forces

This is a big battle. As in, Really Big. Both sides are throwing everything they can into this fight, and the largest battle we have ever done in Age of Sigmar – totalling close to 300 wounds on each side!

The Grand Congregation of Nurgle
The Glottkin
Great Unclean One (Bolathrax)
Maggoth Lord (Morbidex Twiceborn)
Verminlord Corruptor (Vermalanx)
Gutrot Spume
Blightmage
Herald of Nurgle
Plaguebearers x 24 (three units of 8)
Plague Drones x 6 (two units of 3)
Nurglings x 9
Beastlord
Wargor with Standard
Bray Shamans x 2
Ungors x 28 (two units)
Gors x 40 (three units)
Bestigors x 10
Minotaurs x 6
Blightkings x 10 (two units of 5)
Chaos Warriors x 36 (three units of 12)
Plague Monks x 40 (two units of 20)
Plague Furnace
Plague Censer Bearers x 5

Well, that is quite a list! If the Nurgle forces in Kill the Beast were frightening, the Grand Congregation is a nightmare!

As they won their last battle, the forces of Nurgle received a Triumph, in the shape of a Talisman of Preservation which was given to Morbidex Twiceborn. For this fight, the Maggoth Lord would ignore all of his opponent’s Rends…

Stormcast Eternals
Lord-Celestant Gardus
Lord-Castellant
Lord-Relictor
Gryph-hound
Knight-Azyros
Knight-Venator
Knight-Heraldor
Knight-Vexillor
Liberators x 25 (five units of 5)
Retributors x 10 (two units of 5)
Protectors x 5
Decimators x 5
Judicators x 10 (two units of 5)
Prosecutors x 9 (three units of 3)

Sylvaneth
Alarielle, Lady of Life
Branchwraith (Lady of Vines)
Treekin x 4
Treelords x 2
Treelord Ancient
Dryads x 32 (two units of 16)

The forces of Order are heavily outnumbered (very, very heavily outnumbered), but they have some points in their favour. You cab be sure Sigmar himself will be watching this battle, and he is ready to send reinforcements in, and Alarielle (the main target for the Grand Congregation) is incredibly tough to kill. On the other hand, so is the Glottkin, though twenty Paladins is nothing to sneeze at, and the Knight-Venator will be hunting the Chaos general(s) with a very special arrow. Still, the Stormcasts are not going to expect to win this one unless the Lord-Relictor is praying very, very hard…

 

Deployment

Most of the models were actually set up on the table a couple of days before we played, as we figured this battle would take somewhat longer than usual. Upon arrival, the players jiggled their units around a little but we quickly got down to it. Cannon fodder to the front, fast units to the flanks, with the generals buried well within their own armies… no grand strategy there, more am intention for ‘battle management’ once the hostilities start!

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Battle Round One

The forces of Order allowed the Grand Congregation to advance further into the Athelwyrd before striking, as the storm front that marked the barrier between the energies of Order and Chaos rolled towards the Stormcasts.

Among the Nurgle followers, spellcasters chanted their arcane rites to protect Morbidex Twiceborn as he led the vanguard, but there was something in the air as three successive wizards failed – in the end, a lone Bray-Shaman managed to throw up a Mystic Shield around the Maggoth Lord.

As the Grand Congregation advanced, plant life all around the Athelwyrd began to wilt, and the diseases started to spread among the Stormcasts, with Liberators feeling distinctly pale. Then, from above, Nurglings started raining down in a deluge, aiming straight for the Knights-Vexillor and Venator.

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The Knight-Venator was aided by the Knight-Azyros, but nearby Retributors were too late to save the Knight-Vexillor from an ignoble death of being buried by Nurglings.

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All along the line, the whole Stormcast line withdrew to match the rolling storm front that continued to move towards them, but there was cause for good news – high above their heads, another detachment of Stormcasts had finally ended the reign of Pupa Grotesse (see last battle, Kill the Beast) and the waters of the River Vitalis were now running pure.This robbed the Grand Congregation of a little of its power and would bolster the morale of Stormcast and Sylvaneth alike.

 

Battle Round Two

Following the ever-advancing storm front, the Grand Congregation continued to race forward as quickly as their ailments would allow, and the distance between the two forces was rapidly shrinking.

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Among their rear lines, the Great Unclean One Bolathrax shouted for the Bestigors to hold their ground, reminding them of the consequences should they flee, while nearby a Gor succumbed to the fumes leaking from the Blightkings. The spellcasters of Nurgle had still not quite found their stride, though they managed to throw another Mystic Shield up around Morbidex Twiceborn and a Shield of Thorns on Plague Drones.

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Morbidex Twiceborn was in the clear lead among the Grand Congregation, but pulled his Maggot up short when he realised that he had pulled too far ahead of his followers (failed charge). On the other side of the rocky outcrop, a large pack of Warhounds charged the Liberator line, but were quickly dispatched.

The storm continued to roll towards the Stormcasts, vastly shrinking their territory, driven on by the foul curses of the Plague Priest atop his furnace. Not dismayed by this, the Knight-Heraldor blew his horn, shaking a nearby forest and killing a few beastmen and a Plaguebearer, while the Sylvaneth took this as a sign to attack.

They surged forward to attack the Maggoth Lord who had separated himself from the rest of his force, with one fast-moving Treelord putting on a spurt and reaching the accursed Plague Furnace – if it could destroy this contraption, the Grand Congregation would lose its only priest and the forces of Order would be able to push the storm front back towards the Chaos line.

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The Plague Furnace had already been rocked heavily by the strangleroots of the Treelords and was damaged further by the Treelord who rushed it, though the attendant Plague Monks managed to wound the great monster when they retaliated.

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Morbidex Twiceborn fought bravely in the centre of the battlefield, ever mindful that the Protectors and their wickedly sharp glaives were moving ever closer to him. However, the Dryads, Treekin and Treelord Ancient served to disrupt their attack and few wunds were dealt on either side.

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On the rear line, the Retributors dispatched the last of the Nurglings that had fallen from above, their chagrin over being used for pest control now some what mollified.

 

Battle Round Three

As the storm front reversed and moved back towards the Chaos lines, the battle was beginning to really get going. Magic surged from the Grand Congregation, and Drayds and Treelords both were struck by Arcane Bolts, while Vermalanx benefited from the Mystic Shield of a Bray-Shaman. Around the Plague Furnace, the Plague Monks were whipped into a frenzy by their priest, and there was a great cry as the forces of Chaos charged right across the front line.

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With a crash of splinters, the Treelord wrecked the Plague Furnace and then crushed its priest underfoot. The Plague Monks surrounding him were so frenzied they did not even notice as they pulled the Treelord down and gnawed him to death. Not far away, the Plague Censer Bearers whirled into battle and tore apart two Treekin.

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On the far left flank, a brute unit of Bullgors charged the Liberators holding the woods, and the trees proved no barrier tot he beastmen’s massive axes. The Stormcasts were wiped out almost to a man, with just the Liberator-Prime left standing.

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Sigmarite shields proved stronger on the opposite flank as Vermalanx charged into warblade-armed Liberators, and the Stormcast line held.

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Morbidex Twiceborn was beginning to suffer wounds which were slowing him down, but the Dryads who had assaulted him finally broke and ran, desperate to get away from the carnage.

As the storm front moved back towards the Stormcast line, Alarielle tossed a small acorn at a unit of Bestigors that had managed to push through the Stormcast line to get close to her, and it immediately sprouted vines that strangled all of them in seconds. She summoned up her full magical strength, hurling an Arcane Bolt at Morbidex and covering the Treelord Ancient in a Shield of Thorns. A further bolt from the Ancient put Morbidex on the back foot and left him reeling. When Lord-Celestant Gardus twirled his cloak and sent celestial hammers into the Morbidex’s face, the Maggoth Lord finally went down, to cheers all along the Stormcast line.

Meanwhile, tendrils fvrom the Treelord Ancient’s staff snaked out to strangle the Plague Censer Bearers, much to the relief of all Sylvaneth near the centre of the battlefield, while more Liberators moved in to assault Vermanlanx, giving the Verminlord a serious pummelling that left him vulnerable.

However, the Glottkin had now entered the fray, taking the place of Morbidex in the centre – and they intended to push forward all the way to Alarielle, who was now just in sight of them.

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The battle was raging across the entire Athelwyrd by now, but the Glottkin turned out to be the mere harbinger of the second wave of the Grand Congregation, and the next enemies to approach the front line were far more heavily armoured…

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Battle Round Four

The storm front moved towards the Stormcasts yet again, greatly diminishing their territory, and Sigmar’s faithful were all too aware that Nurgle-worshipping Warriors of Chaos were now about to replace the Brayherds and Pestilens they had been fighting up to now.

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Bolathrax moved his great bulk a little closer to the front, seeing no real need to get involved himself while his minions were performing quite adequately. However, the Great Unclean One did see an opportunity to hurl an Arcane Bolt at the Treelord Ancient duelling with the Glottkin, killing it instantly.

Plague Monks rushed forward to where the Bestigors had fallen, intent on being the next to grab the chance to strike directly at Alarielle. However, the leadership of the Hallowed Knights had vowed to protect the Lady of Life and stood in their way. The result was… predictable.

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Vermalanx was finally sent back to the Blighted City with one swipe from a Treelord but, in the centre, the Blightkings approached. Their Sorcerer had enchanted them with both Mystic Shield and Miasma of Pestilence and so when they hit the Dryads and Protectors fighting the Glottkin, none were left standing.

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There was now only a thin line of Stormcast officers standing between Alarielle and the rolling mass of the Glottkin and Blightkings. Sensing the desperate fight to come, the Lord-Relictor prayed hard and managed to push the storm front back a little, while Alarielle hurled an Arcane Bolt at the Glottkin and lowered a Mystic Shield over Lord-Celestant Gardus.

For his part, Gardus raised his hammer high and called upon the God-King for aid. Sigmar was listening and, with a flash of lightning, a new unit of Judicators and Protectors appeared behind him, ready to fight for the remaining purity of the Athelwyrd.

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On the right flank, at least, things were starting to go the Stormcasts’ way. With Vermalanx gone, the Plague Drones were falling quickly and Plaguebearers were proving not much more of a match. A strong unit of Chaos Warriors were approaching, but a unit of Retributors held their hammers ready, eager to smash them apart.

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On the other side of the battlefield, the Bullgors had finished off the Liberator-Prime in the woods and had rushed out to face the massive hammers of more Retributors. The fight quickly became viscous as Retributor and Bullgor hefted some of the biggest weapons on the battlefield at one another. The Retributors paid dearly in this fight, but the Bullgors were coming off slightly worse.

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However, whatever the Stormcasts did, there seemed to be nothing that could halt the approach of the Glottkin and their Blightking followers.

 

Battle Round Five

For once, the storm front held its place, and the Stormcasts took advantage of the momentary confusion this caused among the Grand Congregation to launch a counterattack.

Skybow-armed Judicators moved forward just far enough to get Bolathrax in view, before sending lightning missiles arcing across the Athelwyrd. Though they only scratched him, it was enough to convince the Great Unclean One that he had already waddled a little too far forward.

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Lord-Celestant Gardus led the charge forward to bring down the Glottkin, but the Lords-Relictor and -Castellant were both intercepted by the Blightkings and could not aid him in the fight.

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Despite his bravery and the hideous wounds the Glottkin had already sustained, this was a fight the Lord-Celestant could not win, and he was tossed away casually by the beast. However, a Treelord was close enough to attack while Gardus distracted the Glottkin, and it struck the brothers hard, leaving them reeling (the Glottkin were by now down to just three wounds!).

The Lords-Relictor and -Castellant fared better, having dispatched all but one of the Blightkings, but now they too stood before the Glottkin.

On the right flank, results were becoming mixed for the Stormcasts. The Retributors had moved in with their hammers, but the shields of the Chaos Warriors proved remarkably resilient. Worse, a unit of Liberators had managed to break through the Chaos line to reach a Bray-Shaman and, eager to end at least some of the magical support the Grand Congregation had been enjoying, they attacked. However, it seemed as though the Bray-Shaman had learned some strange mystical fighting techniques as it survived their attacks and then sent two Liberators back to Sigmar!

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The Glottkin attempted to hurl an Arcane Bolt straight at Alarielle, but she blocked the attempt with a contemptuous wave of her hand. However, another Bray-Shaman rushed to the side of Bolathrax and, together, they hurled Arcane Bolts at the Lords-Relictor and -Castellant, killing both with a single move.

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The line thrown up between the Glottkin and Alarielle was getting ever thinner.

A unit of Chaos Warriors joined the Glottkin and surrounded the last Treelord, their axes making short work of the creature. Meawhile another unit of Blightkings rushed as fast as their fat bodies would allow them to join the Glottkin, but as they emerged from the Sylvaneth woods, two had gone missing…

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The Knight-Heraldor had taken to hiding behind  alien-looking trees, knowing that his constant blowing of his horn throughout the battle had marked him as a target.

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Unfortunately, he was found by a Beastlord, Herald of Nurgle and a Wargor Battle Banner Bearer. His end came swiftly.

 

Battle Round Six

The Glottkin, joined by a fresh unit of Chaos Warriors flushed with their destruction of a Treelord, marched towards Alarielle…

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Elsewhere on he battlefield, Gutrot Spume had been surrounded by Retributors and was finding himself distinctly outmatched. However, while the Chaos Lord was suffering, all eyes were on the fight developing on the Stormcasts’ rear line.

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By now, the Glottkin was beginning to heal themselves. The Chaos Warriors and lone Blightking found themselves distracted by a single Prosecutor, and failed to notice when the Glottkin rushed the final Stormcast line, smashing into the newly appeared Judicators.

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This was too much for the Judicators and the few that survived were forced to retreat with all speed. However, this opened the way for the Protectors to launch their assault. Finally, a unit of Protectors had a clear run at their favourite target – a big monster!

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Alarielle tried to throw an Arcane Bolt at the Glottkin, but the brothers were ready and managed to unbind her casting. However, she then threw another acorn which immediately smothered the Glottkin and nearly strangled all three (down to just one wound!).

Then, finally, the Protectors charged. Twirling their glaives, they made short work of the last Blightking and the mortally injured Glottkin!

Alarielle had been saved, but the Athelwyrd belonged to Nurgle. Gathering what remained of their forces, the Stormcasts and Sylvaneth began the exodus from the secret vale and departed from the battlefield.

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The Athelwyrd was lost, but the fight against Chaos could continue…

 

Conclusion

Well, that was a fight and a half!

The Stormcasts had absolutely rotten luck with the storm front and, even when the only priest on the Grand Congregation was killed (the Plague Priest on his furnace), there were still only two turns when the front moved away from them. This constricted their territory and took away their bonuses as the forces of Nurgle advanced.

Other than that, the Stormcasts put up a hell of a fight and managed to blunt most of the thrusts they faced. It took the Glottkin themselves to get close to Alarielle, and the brothers were only put down in the very last minute.

This was a minor victory for Chaos but, on the plus side, it also follows what happened in the novels (the Athelwyrd is lost but Alarielle survives), so we are all set to continue the campaign!

 

The Story Continues…

So, Alarielle has been found, fulfilling one of the Sigmar’s objectives in the Realm of Life, but in doing so the Stormcasts have made her vulnerable and destroyed the last region of purity in her realm. The Grand Congregation will not take long to regroup and Sylvaneth and Stormcast both must move quickly if they are to escape and gather their own forces.

While Alarielle lives and is now active in the Realm of Life, things look as bleak as ever…

We are going to be leaving this part of the storyline in the Realm of Life for a while, until we start the Balance of Power book and we see what the fate of Alarielle may be. Our next two battles are ‘out of arc’ and from various Battletomes (as opposed to the main campaign books), as we explore what else is happening in the Mortal Realms at this time. However, we’ll be back to the main storyline after that, as the Stormcasts go on the Quest for Ghal Maraz in Chamon, the Realm of Metal…

New Table for Chamon

Frankly, my genius knows no bounds.

We have had a couple of games in Chamon, the Realm of Metal, but I was never happy with the table we were using – basically, we had just reversed an existing mat, and it was a bit rank. I had been looking at various gaming mat manufacturers, but no one has yet done something suitable for the Realm of Metal.

Enter my genius.

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I popped down the local flooring company, just a few doors down from the office, and selected a suitable vinyl floor covering. Got them to cut it to size (got a few odd questions about having a very small room) and next day, it was ready!

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They actually have a huge choice there and, though you cannot see it in these photos, this mat has a kind of quartzy shine to it (little flecks that reflect), which I thought suitable for Chamon.

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There is actually a huge array of choice, but I went for a light blue, as I felt that was a little more ‘fantastic’ than dull greys. But I could just as easily have had green, red, yellow, or anything else, all with a slight metallic feel to them.

Total cost? £49, with trimming (and they would have delivered it for free too, but I really am just a few doors up).

Now I think we are finally ready to complete the Quest for Ghal Maraz!

Ten Cool Things to do in the Age of Sigmar

I hate the ‘ten things’ clickbait you see over the Internet. You know the kind of thing, ten celebrities who have turned minging, or ten banned films you cannot watch.

But yeah, I click on them sometimes, in the vain hope something interesting will be on the other side.

Hopefully, this will be of interest. A list of ten random things that you may find very cool to do in Age of Sigmar, in no particular order.

 

1. Create a Unique Force Not Possible Before

In days gone by, you were locked into a single army list, with the possibility of using ally rules to bring in a small detachment of something else – but that rarely happened, as there was always the whiff that someone using allies was trying to get round a weakness in their army.

Power gaming is, of course, meaningless in most Age of Sigmar battles, so that is the first barrier to go.

However, there is a much larger one – no army lists. You really can take what you like in your force in Age of Sigmar and while most people prefer to limit themselves to a single Grand Alliance, there is no reason to do so. This means you can come up with some really unique forces.

One I saw on the Internet was a ‘haunted wood’ force, based around the Sylvaneth but with Spirit Hosts added to represent, well, faeries for want of a better word.

Another I have seen someone come up with was a force of Free Peoples (whether you go Empire or Bretonnian is up to you) whose wizard was dabbling in the dark arts – specifically, necromancy. So, add a Necromancer to a Free Peoples force and have some Skeletons or Zombies on stand by; not deployed at the start of a battle but raised while you fight.

You night try Aelfs who have gotten themselves far too close to Slaanesh, Ogor mercenaries joining, well, anyone, or maybe a Dragon who is leading a force of all things reptilian.

Give your imagination free reign, and see what you can come up with!

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2. Play Hero Deathmatch

Got a bunch of mates and fancy a quick, but bloody and fun game? Play hero deathmatch!

You all select a single Hero from whichever army takes your fancy, and then fight until there is only one left!

If you are boring (!), you may stipulate a limit (say, 5 Wounds maximum) but if there are a few of you present, try playing with no limits. Sure, someone may bring Archaon or Nagash, but you will find everyone else quickly gangs up against him, making for a more level playing field. And just imagine the glory if your hero is the one to bring Archaon down!

A variant of this is to play King of the Hill, where you place a tall piece of scenery and make the victory condition to be the lone hero standing at the top of it after a certain time (whether you make it a number of minutes or number of rounds, doesn’t really matter which).

This kind of deathmatch game is really quick to play, plus it allows you to pull out heroes you might not use too often (just how good would Festus the Leechlord be, eh?). It is also very fast-paced, a lot of fun, doesn’t take long, and there are always backstabbing shenanigans as players make alliances with one another, then break them just as quickly!

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3. Use Dungeon Floor Plans

There is nothing in Age of Sigmar that says you need to play on a standard gaming table. If you have any dungeon floor plan tiles (and you can pick these up really cheap on eBay), lay them down and have an underground fight!

This will suit small forces (perhaps no more than 20 models or so) and small unit sizes, but you will find your battles take a completely different tone as bottlenecks are created and lone heroes try to fight their way clear of crowded corridors and caverns!

If you are feeling particularly creative, try putting together a Time of War sheet to handle dimly lit conditions, damp passageways and low ceilings.

If you want to take it a step further, add in rules for random monster encounters and have one force comprised of just four Heroes on foot – this will give you a bona fide dungeon bash game! If the Heroes achieve their objectives, give then a roll on a Triumph table for the next one, reflecting their accrued experience and treasure.

 

4. Have a Massive Dogfight

If you don’t fancy going underground, how about soaring high above it? Clear your table of terrain, throw down a blue blanket and have yourself a dogfight that will blacken the skies!

Only flying units will be present, of course, so dust off your Demigryphs, give a shout to your Plague Drones, and put feathered cloaks on your Skink Priests.

Things are a bit more fluid in the air, so try increasing pile-in ranges to 6″ and watch your airborne units dance around each other.

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5. Collect Lots of Small Forces Rather Than One Big One

This is one I am very guilty of. While playing Fantasy Battle, I managed to accrue around 8,000 points of High Elves and in Warhammer 40,000 I was giving the entire chapter of Dark Angels a serious go.

However, you can approach things differently in Age of Sigmar. There is no requirement to build blocks of 40, 50 or 60 core troops before getting to the good stuff. Instead, just have 10 or 20 ‘core’ troops, add whatever you like in terms of Heroes and special units – and then move on to another force!

What you have created will be perfectly viable for a great many battles and you will have enough forces to gain many different perspectives of the Mortal Realms, possibly spending less money than you would have done on your mega-army.

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6. Become a Games Master

Age of Sigmar has no need of a third party Games Master or Referee – but there is no reason you cannot add one for more fun!

If a Games Master is present, you can easily add a ‘fog of war’ element to any game, with the two players only knowing a fraction of the Battleplan when they start. The Games Master can introduce new victory conditions as the game unfolds (or alter them completely!), announce special events that are triggered when, say, a unit moves too close to a specific piece of scenery, or even bring a new (but much smaller) force to the battlefield, perhaps the true owners of the territory who are angry that they have been invaded!

 

7. Create a New Warscroll

Here is something that may take a moment to digest – there is no such thing as an overpowered unit in Age of Sigmar. You could have a model with a 1+ save that also ignores mortal wounds on a D6 roll of 4+, all the while dishing out D6 mortal wounds to every unit within 12″ automatically – and, given the right scenario and opposing force, it may be perfectly acceptable.

This means you can create your own Warscrolls.

Go ahead. Come up with a really cool idea for a unit, put the models together and then create a Warscroll. There is no need to make it the killiest thing that ever stalked a battlefield – it just needs to be interesting.

A good place to start is to create your own unique Hero or perhaps, if you have the models, revisit some of the old Regiments of Renown or Dogs of War units that Games Workshop have produced in the past. Who would not want to see Lumpin Croop and his Halflings take their place on the battlefield, or perhaps even Scarloc’s Wood Elf Archers (if you are old enough to remember those!).

You can really go to town here, and create a unit that will be truly memorable. Just follow the Golden Rule: Create a Warscroll because you want to make an interesting unit, not because you want to crush everything in your path.

Warscroll

 

8. Create Your Own Corner of the Realms

We do not yet know whether the Mortal Realms are truly infinite but it does seem that, to all intents and purposes, they are at the moment.

So, create your own little corner in which to fight your battles.

Grab yourself a blank sheet of paper, pick a Realm, and start sketching out terrain. Add some cities and fortresses. Figure out who lives there, and who they are friends with. Who are their leaders? Who do they most hate? What do they eat, and who do they trade with?

If you have run RPGs in the past, this will be right up your street but I would encourage anyone to give it a go. If you fancy doing this with training wheels to begin with, take a look at some of the area maps in the Age of Sigmar campaign books, then pick a place that is just mentioned but not detailed in the text – then add the details yourself.

This, incidentally, is exactly what the designers at GW want you to do when they add those extra places – they are intended to fire your imagination and get you creating your own games!

Above all, remember the Mortal Realms are truly fantastic and mythical, so there is no need to limit yourself to a fantasy version of medieval Europe. We have already seen lakes of boiling blood, floating islands, gravity-and-time warping mini-worlds… This is an area where you can really unleash your imagination.

 

9. Play Through the Official Campaign Storyline

There is a core storyline line running through Age of Sigmar, beginning with the starter set and carrying on with the big campaign hardbacks. And here is the secret… it is actually quite good.

If you are of a mind (quite possibly a demented one, as you will see), play through each of the Battleplans in these books, in sequence, collecting and painting each force required as you go.

I warn you (and I speak from experience!), you will be looking at a lot of models by the time you get to the end of Quest for Ghal Maraz. However, you will also have the core of several forces (see Point 5 above), giving you a truly varied Warhammer experience.

You will also be on the cutting edge of the Age of Sigmar storyline, and have plenty of opportunities to create your own twists and turns, watching your own heroes rise and fall alongside the Big Names such as Gardus and Lord Khul.

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10. Create Your Own Campaign

With all that under your belt, you will be ready to create your own storyline in the Mortal Realms, with your own Battleplans and own Time of War sheets – and perhaps your own Warscrolls as well. Age of Sigmar is a true toolbox system, which you can pick and choose from, or add to, shaping it to be the game you want.

There are many different ways to approach a campaign, but a good start is to do something similar to the campaign books Games Workshiop have produced. Draft the outline of a story revolving around a few characters and their forces, create Battleplans to enact their conflicts, and then take the war to the tabletop for something that is truly your own.

Campaign

Well, that would be my list of 10 Cool Things to do in the Age of Sigmar. What are yours?