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!
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.
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!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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!