Battle Report – Home Ground

Lots of new things for this week – a new Battleplan, a new Realm, and two new armies!

 

The Story So Far

Nagash, the Lord of Death is beginning to stir, angry at Sigmar for stealing souls that rightfully belong to him. In order to become a force to be reckoned with, Nagash would need to bring his Mortarchs back into the fold, even as the forces of Chaos hunted for them to finally break the power of the Lord of Death.

Unfortunately, one of them, Neferata (Mortarch of Blood), was somewhat occupied. Her city of Nulahmia was under siege by the Slaaneshi host of Lascilion. Twelve Chaos commanders had been tasked by Archaon to find Neferata, and it was Lascilion’s ability to sense decadence that had led his army straight to her.

Neferata was proud, but no fool, and when she saw the size of the Slaaneshi force assaulting her city, she sent a plea for aid to the other Mortarchs. They failed to appear, but another force answered her summons, one heralded by forks of lightning that blazed into the heart of the city.

 

The Forces

This looks to be a fun battle, as it will not only be the first time we have used Slaaneshi forces in the Realmgate Wars campaign, but it is also the first appearance of the undead!

Slaaneshi Host
Lord of Slaanesh on Daemonic Mount (Lascilion)
Herald of Slaanesh on Exalted Seeker Chariot
Seeker Chariots x 2
Seekers x 9
Daemonettes x 30 (three units of 10)
Chosen x 10
Chaos Warriors x 36 (three units of 12)
Fiends of Slaanesh x 6
Warhounds x 10

The Chosen, Chaos Warriors and Warhounds, as mortals followers of Chaos, are familiar enough to us but there is plenty of Slaaneshi flavour added with daemons and Lascilion . Speaking of Lascilion, his Wanton Horde grant various battalion rules including free Triumphs for Lascilion himself!

Army of Nulahmia
Neferata, Mortarch of Blood
Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (Lord Harkdron)
Coven Throne (Neferata’s Handmaidens)
Morghast Archai x 4
Skeletons x 30
Zombies x 20

Stormcast Eternals
Lord-Celestant on Dracoth
Lord-Relictor
Knight-Azyros
Liberators x 10 (two units of 5)
Judicators x 5
Prosecutors x 3

This is not a huge force to defend Nulahmia with (you can see why Neferata thought she needed help!), but we can be sure that more skeletons and zombies will quickly replace any that are lost. Neferata is also taking advantage of her Blood-court battalion which, among other things, will make the Mortarch a tough nut to crack so long as her Morghast bodyguard stays close.

Neferata’s big problem is that only half her army starts on the battlefield, and she must reach a summoning portal in the centre of the battlefield to bring the Stormcasts into play – and she must do so without risking her own life, as that hands an automatic major victory to Lascilion…

 

Deployment

The Slaaneshi Host came rattling through the ruined city of Nulahmia at speed, as Neferata and her Blood Court hastily gathered their skeleton and zombie forces.

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Battle Round One

Neferata had hoped to race forwards to grab the summoning portal in preparation of bringing the Stormcasts into the battle, but the sheer speed of the Slaaneshi daemons surprised her as they sprinted, loped and wheeled forward at an amazing rate.

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Lascilion promised all manner of delights (used Inspiring Presence) to his Amethyst Guard (the Chosen) as everyone sprinted forward but a unit of daemonettes were mobbed by spirits reaching out from the Ophidian Archway, halting their progress.

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To counter the Slaaneshi Host’s fast-pace, Neferata spun her Twilight’s Allure across the surrounding area, cloaking her nearby forces in darkness and making them difficult to pick out, even as more spirits of the city distracted the Chaos Warhounds on the far flank. The Coven Throne and Lord Harkdron covered themselves in Mystic Shields, while Neferata raised more Zombies to join the mob she had already created.

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The army of the dead slowly shambled forward but Lord Harkdron, desperate to please his Queen, dug his heels into his Zombie Dragon and soared forward, wanting to demonstrate his prowess by earning the first kill.

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He landed among a group of Daemonettes, the Zombie Dragon’s pestilential breath smothering four of them while Harkdron’s own lance finished the rest off. Unfortunately for the vampire, he was counter-charged by a unit of Fiends who badly mauled his Zombie Dragon.

 

Battle Round Two

The Slaaneshi Host continued to advance, but slowed its pace somewhat as units began to move into charge range of the undead.

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For his part, Lascilion urged his Daemonic Steed round a few ruins to put him close to the summoning portal – he had heard it was also a path to Neferata’s own palace and wanted to see what treasures could be stolen from the Mortarch of Blood.

Lord Harkdron, meanwhile, was getting mobbed by Fiends and Seekers, with a retinue of Chaos Warriors moving up to support them – the Vampire Lord was now in trouble, with the Fiends carving great gouges in the flanks of the Zombie Dragon.

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Meanwhile, on the other side of the battlefield, the two lines converged as Chaos Warriors and Chariots charged into the Skeletons and Morghasts.

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The Skeletons and Chaos Warriors instantly began grinding away at one another with neither side willing to give ground. However, the Chariots might as well have run into a fortress wall as the Morghasts, as the spirit weapons of the undead simply carved the Seeker Chariots apart within seconds.

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Lord Harkdron was, by now, in dire straits, having bitten off far more than he could chew. In desperation, he reached down for the Chalice of Blood he carried and downed its contents, giving him some respite. However, he was more gratified that a contemptuous Neferata had deigned to lay a Mystic Shield over him.

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The Zombies finally managed to stumble into combat to aid Lord Harkdron, pulling apart a couple of Seekers, while the Vampire Lord tore apart the rest. Some ran from the rage of the Vampire, leaving only a single Seeker left, though the Fiends remained and the Chaos Warriors continued to close range.

The Chaos Warriors in the centre of the battlefield fared less well against the Morghasts, who simply carved their way through the Slaaneshi followers, forcing the rest to run for their lives.

 

Battle Round Three

Seeing Neferata’s defences were far more formidable than he had been led to believe, Lascilion called upon whatever forces of Slaanesh were nearby to aid him – and, luckily, he was answered by a Daemon Prince who also wished to see Nulahmia fall. The Daemon Prince was joined by Seekers and Daemonettes, more than making good the losses the Slaaneshi Host had already sustained.

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The Newly appeared Seekers were immediately assaulted by spirits from the Ophidian Archway, but Lascilion left them to their fate as he dived into the summoning portal and gained access to Neferata’s Palace.

It turned out to be a strange and terrifying journey for the Slaaneshi Lord but while he did not find any great treasures, he did manage to avoid the worst of dangers and escaped with his life. Best of all, he reappeared on the battlefield behind the undead lines, close to the single Skull Keep.

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Daemonettes, followed closely by the Amethyst Guard, assaulted the line the Morghasts had created, knowing they were the key to breaking through to Neferata – while her bodyguards remained, the Mortarch was all but untouchable. There was a cry of pure joy as one of the Morghasts crashed to the ground in a splinter of bones, but the Daemonettes had paid a heavy price int he exchange, with six of their spirits racing back to the Realm of Chaos. Neferata leaned down from her Dread Abyssal to finish the rest off.

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The Mortarch then turned to deal with Lascilion and his arrogant rearguard attack. She raised a group of Skeletons close by, then left the front line with a single Morghast to intercept the Slaaneshi Lord, her court of Vampires on board the Coven Throne floating to the other side of the Skull Keep to trap Lascilion.

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However, the heroes of the battlefield were rapidly looking like the Skeleton Warriors who had been battling Chaos Warriors for much of the fight. Bolstered by their own numbers (which never shrinked too far due to their own standard) and the presence of the Coven Throne, the Skeletons were making more than good account of themselves, aided by a nearby Morghast. The remaining Chaos Warriors were quickly whittled down, the last survivor having no choice but to run for his life.

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Behind the Skull Keep, Neferata closed quickly with Lascilion, who found himself unable to fight back due to the presence of the Morghast bodyguard.

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The confrontation went poorly for the Slaaneshi lord, and he limped away, badly wounded.

 

Battle Round Four

Unable to make any significant attempt upon the Mortarch, Lascilion fled as fast as his mount could slither him away, racing back to his own lines.

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However, the newly arrived Daemon Prince saw an opportunity to succeed where the mortal Chaos Lord had failed, and dove into the summoning portal, taking a trip through Neferata’s Palace.

His journey was even more fraught than Lascilion’s, and the Daemon Prince barely escaped with his corrupted soul. He returned to the battlefield right next tot he Coven Throne and immediately began attacking.

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It seemed as though the Vampires upon the Coven Throne had foreseen this attack though as they were barely scratched by his furious attacks while they drained the Daemon Prince’s life essences almost completely.

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Elsewhere, a group of Daemonettes had managed to catch up with the Morghast that accompanied Neferata, in an attempt to split the two up. However, a greater threat had befallen the Skeleton Warriors who were now surrounded by Seekers and the Amethyst Guard. Despite this, the Skeletons continued to fight hard and managed to bring down four of the Seekers for only a few losses.

Meanwhile Lord Harkdron, long written off by Neferata, was still fighting, slaying Chaos Warriors even as his Zombie Dragon sustained ever increasing amounts of damage.

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Battle Round Five

With contemptuous ease, the ladies of the Coven Throne hurled an Arcane Bolt at the Daemon Prince, banishing it from Shyish, even as Neferata summoned more Zombies to replace those who had fallen to the Seekers and now the Chaos Warriors close to Lord Harkdron.

Then, joined by the Coven Throne and a lone Morghast, the mOrtarch swept around the Skull Keep in pursuit of Lascilion.

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However, it was the Coven Throne that reached the Slaaneshi Lord first, and though he was able to parry most of the Vampire’s attacks, some got through, leaving him crippled and at their mercy.

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The Skeleton Warriors seemed to be buoyed by the presence of the Coven Throne and more crawled their way out of the ground to join their comrades in finishing off the Seekers and then starting on the Amethyst Guard, though they were not able to save the Morghast that had been fighting alongside them from the Halberds of the Chosen.

 

Battle Round Six

Lord Harkdron hurled an Arcane Bolt at the last of the Fiends that had been dogging him throughout the battle, and his Zombie Dragon tore through the last of the Chaos Warriors at his feet.

The Herald on the Exalted Seeker Chariot saw an open path to the Vampire Lord but Lord Harkdron was ready. His Zombie Dragon opened its great maw as the chariot approached and swallowed the Herald whole, while its claws tore the Chariot apart.

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With just a few of the Amethyst Guard and some Daemonettes left fighting, the Slaaneshi Host had no choice but to retreat from Nulahmia and explain to Archaon just why Neferata was still alive.

However, the Mortarch of Blood was to have problems of her own, as while the Stormcasts began appearing in the city, the Great Necromancer, Nagash himself, arrived. And Nasgash wanted to know just what Neferata thought she had been up to of late…

 

Conclusion

That was another fun battle, with plenty going on! These were two completely new armies for us, so we did not really know what to expect or how it would go, but somethings were obvious…

Neferata: This lady is fairly tough (especially when the Battleplan and Battalion rules we were using are in effect), but it is her Twilight’s Allure that had the most effect. Its -1 to hit rolls particularly affected the…
Daemonettes: These might well be the most effective lesser daemons of all the Chaos Gods, as they have Rend and when you get a group of them together they can amass a truly sick amount of attacks. However, during much of this battle, Neferata’s Twilight Allure stopped their extra attacks from coming into affect.
Chosen: These guys did not really do a great deal when we last used them in Torglug’s force in the Realm of Life, but under Slaanesh… they seriously carved apart Morghasts.
Morghasts: These guys were the real surprise. The combination of Damage 3 and Rend -2 (with three attacks each) means Morghasts are seriously nasty.
Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon: This is a brutal model, but don’t throw him into the centre of the enemy army! Instead of picking out choice targets, Lord Harkdron spent the entire battle just trying to survive. Then again, with the help of some Zombies, he did manage to stall an entire flank, so it is not all that bad!
Skeleton Warriors: Who knew these guys would be so good? When they have 30 models in the unit and have a Hero close by, Skeletons become better than Chaos Warriors in terms of attacks. However, they die very, very quickly to anything with just a whiff of Rend about it.

If we were to re-fight this battle, I think the Slaaneshi Host would concentrate far more effort on the Morghasts – they really were the key in this fight. While they remain, Neferata can simply not be touched (literally, with the Battalion rules), and getting her is the key to major victory for the invader.

 

The Story Continues…

This is where Balance of Power leaves events in the Realm of Death, and it may be some time before we return to Shyish and the battles taking place there. However, there is still plenty of excitement to come as we wing our way to the Realm of Metal for the penultimate battle in Balance of Power.

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