This weekend, another Age of Sigmar event was held at GW HQ in Nottingham, so we gathered our forces and took the long voyage North!
The Trials of the Everchosen event, as it was called, was a bit different from the others we have attended.
There would be six games in all over the two days, and players would take two forces along – a group of Heroes and a force of villains. Each game would use one of these forces, and then players would swap around; playing their villains first and then their heroes, or vice versa. So, we were getting 12 games in all!
I decided to take a distinctly middle-of-the-road force for both, and went with:
Festus the Leechlord
Lord of Plagues
Harbinger of Decay
I figured these guys would not kick out a ton of damage, but they could sure soak it up! They also did not include anything that would ‘frighten’ an opponent.
Lord of Tzeentch on Disc
Chaos Sorcerer Lord of Tzeentch
Two units of 10 Chaos Warriors
Again, solid enough, but nothing too hideous for anyone to face.
Game 1: Lair of the Beast
The first battle was a ‘soft’ introduction to the weekend, intended to take just half an hour. One player would have a monster (a Chimera in our case) while the other selected a single Hero to battle it.
As it turns out, the Chimera is quite hard and ended up eating both of our Heroes within a couple of turns!
Game 2: Defenders of the Realm
The first ‘meaty’ game saw all the Heroes of one player set up in a village, while the villains swept forward to destroy them.
I was the villain player to begin with, attacking a mixed force of Chaos Heroes who had set themselves up in a village temple. Things looked a bit doubtful to begin with, as a Tzeentch and Khorne Lord raced towards my Chaos Warriors while spellslingers hurled magical attacks at us. However, a canny reinforcement saw a unit of Chaos Warriors flank the spellcasters, and the Chaos Heroes quickly folded after that.
And then we switched roles!
I holed up in temple and a large Nurgle force with chariot, knights and Blightkings completely surrounded me. However, while the attackers were tough enough to kill, my Heroes (bolstering one another with various abilities) absolutely refused to die!
In the end, I told my opponent to bring along a Hell Cannon (it had obviously not turned up on time!), and the shelling of the temple began, but the Nurgle heroes managed to cling on long enough to claim victory!
Game 3: Race Against Time
The next battle featured the villains in the centre of the table, protecting a wizard as he worked to complete a ritual.
My opponent had Dwarfs, and I had actually played him before at the Oighear event. His force had been a little… potent back then, and the Dwarf King Thorgrim, backed up by the Slayer King and Bugman quickly went through the Chaos Warriors this time round, in about five minutes. Not a brilliant match, and I think he rather felt the same way.
However, when we swapped positions, suddenly we both had a real fight on our hands!
A Dwarf Runesmith was conducting the ritual, surrounded by a large group of Hammerers. The Nurgle Heroes faced a tough fight (those hammers hurt!) and we agreed halfway through that the Runesmith should be able to get involved in the battle (technically, the rules state that he takes no actions but the event organisers are always the first to say that if both players agree, they should do what they want to make a good game – very much a trait of Age of Sigmar). It ended with a one-on-one duel between the Harbinger of Decay and the Runesmith, with the Nurgle Hero just pipping the Dwarf with a final sweep of his scythe!
Game 4: The Trial of Champions
This was a good ‘un and, as weird as it sounds, I don’t think any pair of players did this one in quite the same way!
Both players set up all of their Heroes on the table, but they did not have any of their normal weapons or equipment, just basic abilities. Instead, they could scour the arena floor for random weapons.
Some players used these weapons in addition to their normal attacks, some allowed mounts, some didn’t – my opponent and I agreed to no equipment of any description, and each Hero started off only with the Rotten Club (two attacks, 4+, 4+, no Rend, 1 Damage), which proved to be absolutely useless, and soon had us scrabbling around for better items!
Despite an initial good start, my Heroes gradually got whittled down but the game had not taken very long, so we tried again!
After this round, a few of the tables got together and did 2 v 2, all against all, and monster clashes – I took this opportunity to do a bit of shopping, and popped into the exhibition centre again to see if anything new was about…
After that, it was retiring to the hotel and popping off to the restaurant for dinner – the service had really not improved, but we had figured out we could bypass a lot of the delays if we simply went to the carvery instead!
Game 5: The Enemy of my Enemy
With a bright early start, we dove into the Sunday gaming! This battle would be another Heroes vs. Villains fight, but with a big twist – the Villain player would choose a Hero from the other side and then use them during the game as a traitor! The aim of the Heroes was to bring the traitor to justice.
I was facing a (very nicely painted) Wood Elf force, and was given Durthu to mess around with.
The treacherous Durthu fought hard and while the Waywatcher Lord paid with his life, Durthu was finally brought down by a very nasty Glade Lord on the back of a Forest Dragon.
So, that done, we swapped roles and my opponent chose the Harbinger of Decay to be the traitor (fine choice, exactly who I would have picked). However, then he set up the rest of the army.
Yeah, that is Archaon on the far end of the table. That was the first model to go down after the Harbinger, and my first thought was ‘please be kidding’. Archaon was quite capable of handing the rear ends of all my Heroes to them within a turn or two.
Then a Slaaneshi Lord went down, a Mutalith, and 15-odd Hellstriders. This was going to be a walk over…
The thing is, I knew what my opponent was thinking. He had the nice, big, fully painted Archaon, and wanted him on the table – he doesn’t have to actually fight, of course, he can just hang back and not get involved, just using his Command Ability.
The problem with that is that it puts a big hammer over the head of your opponent – basically, ‘I am going to let you live for now, but do anything I don’t like, and the hammer (Archaon) comes down.’
Which is exactly what happened.
The Harbinger got into a fist fight with Festus, who was joined by a couple of other Heroes when they managed to fight their way clear of Hellstriders. As the Harbinger started to lose wounds, right on cue, Archaon charged in.
As it turned out, with the way the turns fell, it was too late and the treacherous Harbinger was finally dispatched, but with just a slightly different deployment that would have been a battle I simply would have had no chance of winning.
Game 6: Only the Mighty
The final battle was a fun one, and I had a great opponent. The Heroes had to cross the table, and kill the general of the Villains. Simples!
I was the Villain to begin with, and was facing a mixed band of Chaos Heroes. I threw up a couple of lines of Chaos Warriors to slow them down, but when the first unit was utterly crushed in a single turn by a Lord of Plagues, Skyrye Arch-Warlock and a Slaughterpriest, I knew I was in trouble!
My general was the Lord on Disc of Tzeentch, and he started legging it, but was soon caught up by the Slaaneshi Lord on his serpentine mount! There were a few tense combat rounds as my Lord slowly got whittled down but, in the end, he managed to survive with a single wound!
Then the roles were reversed.
Now, this was a brilliant game…
I was facing an Undead horde, led by Krell himself and, being Nurgle, I was not exactly quick in getting across the battlefield. A few ambushing Spirit Hosts did not slow me down too much but, as I closed in, time was running out (there was a turn limit).
The photo above shows the layout of the different units and Heroes as we went into turn 4, and what happened next was a superb demonstration of maneouvre and subterfuge. You see, I knew I could not break through that line in the time I had, so I was trying to lap round the sides, using some Heroes to pull some enemy units in close in order to create gaps others could go through – no tactics in Age of Sigmar? Ha! This one took a lot of thought!
In the end, I did not manage to nail Krell, but I gave him a few wounds and something to think about at least!
End of the Day
After all the battles were done, we were tired but happy!
As the Awards were handed out, it so happened that one of the guys I had travelled up with (Andy) had been the most successful Hero player of the weekend, and was duly rewarded with a certificate.
Amazingly, it turned out I had been the most successful Villain player, and was duly awarded the Everchosen certificate!
The way I see it, that makes me the Everchosen…