Sigmar has created a new weapon for the fight against Chaos in the Realmgate Wars – and in this battle, we get to see it in action for the first time!
The Story So Far
Way back in the Age of Myth, Sigmar’s people raised a great city within the Realm of Fire, known as Vellixia. This was a city of art and culture, and Sigmar often visited, through the Realmgate that now bears his name.
Unfortunately, a city like this was not Khorne’s policy and in the Age of Chaos, it was besieged and shattered. Only Sigmar’s Gate, now locked, remained standing. When the Brimstone Peninsula was liberated, the old city of Vellixia was a priority target, and several Stormhosts threw themselves into the fray to take it back.
They all failed.
The leader of the Khorne forces, a mighty Bloodthirster known as Kul’rhex, exalted int he blood and glory his forces had enacted upon the Stormcasts. The Herald Ul’zhark was dispatched at the head of a horde of Bloodletters to track down the few remaining Stormcast Eternals and finish them off in the name of Khorne.
However, events had moved on and the great Godbeast Dracothion revealed to Sigmar that the Extremis Chambers were now ready to be unleashed. Sigmar chose Vexillia to the be the centre of their arrival. The old city and Sigmar’s Gate would be reclaimed.
Led by Lord-Celestant Imperious from the back of his immense Star Drake, the Echelons of the Extremis Chamber crashed into the Bloodletters of Ul’zhark and then sped on to Vexillia itself where they would confront the worst Khorne could muster.
This is going to be a battle with a difference, as it is actually two battles rolled into one – the initial attack of the Stormcast Extremis Chamber, and then Khorne’s counterattack.
Daemons of Khorne
Bloodletters x 50 (five units of 10)
Flesh Hounds x 10
At first glance, despite the number of Bloodletters, this looks like a walkover for the Stormcasts. However, these daemons are only looking to blunt the attack of the Stormcasts and cause as many casualties as possible in preparation for the second battle. This is because the daemons will be able to use the Blood Throne again if it survives the first fight (granted, that is very unlikely), will get all their Bloodletters and Flesh Hounds back, plus get reinforced by:
Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury
Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage
Bloodmaster, Herald of Khorne
Skullmaster, Herald of Khorne
Bloodcrushers x 6
Ouch. With two Bloodthirsters to contend with, plus a whole bunch of Hellblades that deal mortal wounds, the Stormcasts may find the second battle does not go their way at all…
Lord-Celestant on Star Drake
Fulminators x 4 (two units of 2)
Tempestors x 4 (two units of 2)
Concussors x 4 (two units of 2)
Desolators x 4 (two units of 2)
Well, this is certainly the pride of the Stormcasts riding to war! We have gone full-on Extremis with this force, using both the Lightning and Thunder Echelon Battalions.
The Stormcasts might be forgiven for thinking that the first battle is in the bag (it is), but they must be careful not to take too many casualties or the second battle will be a lot tougher. While the Khorne Daemons will be reinforced in the second fight, the Stormcasts must make do with what they have, only being able to bring a Drakesworn Templar into the battle…
I should note that this force is actually a fair bit smaller than I had originally planned – when I first worked out this force, I had three Dracothian Guard in each unit, meaning there would have been another eight of them! However, while I have the models available, it looked dodgy enough back then and when I used the points values in the General’s Handbook, it became very apparent just how sick this force was! So, the unit sizes have been adjusted accordingly but don’t worry, we will have the full Chamber present in future battles.
As mentioned above, this is actually two Battleplans in one. The first details the encounter between the Extremis Chamber and the Bloodletters of the Herald Ul’zhark on board his Blood Throne, whereas the second is the final clash between the Daemons of Khorne and the Stormcasts.
The first battle is not going to go well for the Bloodletters, as they are entirely outmatched. However, the Daemons of Khorne will be reinforced in the second battle while the Stormcasts will be using pretty much what survived the first clash, so the Bloodletters are really just looking to do some telling damage. On top of that, the Daemons of Khorne can, in both battles, heal themselves, summon replacements, and use two Command Abilities every round.
The First Battle
A veritable horde of Bloodletters were milling around a Skull Keep and Overlord Bastion, blissfully unaware that Sigmar’s heavy-hitters were about to strike. As repeated bolts of lightning spiked into the ground, revealing mighty Stormcasts upon the back of Dracoths, the Herald on board the Blood Throne shrieked for his troops to get themselves ready for blood.
With the Lightning Echelon racing ahead and the Thunder Echelon closing in fast behind, the Lord-Celestant landed gracefully on his Stardrake.
As the Khornate Daemons continued to ready themselves for attack, the Stormcast Extremis Chamber raced forwards, the Tempestors peppering Bloodletters with bolts, causing a few casualties and disrupting the others with flashes of lightning.
A little too eager for battle, the Tempestors raced ahead to charge into the Bloodletters, leaving their Fulminator escorts behind.
The Bloodletters were finally ready to launch their counterattack, and they streamed out of the Skull Keep and Overlord Bastion as the Flesh Hounds bounded ahead to charge into the isolated Concussors on the far left flank.
One Tempestor was hacked apart by Hellblades but everywhere else, the Stormcasts carried the day. The Flesh Hounds were smashed aside by the Concussors while the Dracoths of the Fulminators ripped through the Bloodletters they faced, wiping out a detachment in seconds.
By now, the forces of Khorne knew the Stormcast Extremis Chamber had arrived, and forces were streaming from all around to reach the battlefield. The first to arrive were more Flesh Hounds, who appeared behind the Stormcast line.
Another Tempestor fell, this time to the Blood Throne but, by now, the Lord-Celestant had moved his Stardrake into range, along with the bulk of the Thunder Echelon.
The Thunder Echelon hit like a hammer, and Khornate daemons were quickly speared, hammered and trampled by the Stormcasts. At the height of the battle, the Lord-Celestant confronted the Herald on its Blood Throne. The Herald was too eager to claim his skull, and did not realise its peril until the Stardrake smashed its Blood Throne, and then proceeded to sweep Bloodletters left and right with its tail.
An eerie calm settled over the battlefield, punctured only by the occasional shriek of a Bloodletter as the Stormcasts finished mopping up.
Now they just had to await Khorne’s response…
Khorne’s Counterattack – Battle Round One
A third of the Lightning Echelon had been sent back to Azyr, but the rest of the Extremis Chamber were ready to smash the Khorne forces around Vellixia. They did not have to wait long, as a great bellowing echoed across the landscape.
From two different directions, Khorne daemons approached, this time led by a Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury. The Lord-Celestant took one look at the Bloodthirster and the Bloodcrushers thundering under its feet, and directed his chamber to face what he judged to be the more numerous, but weaker, enemy force.
Raising his Celestial Hammer, he sent a bolt of lightning rocketing into the sky and it was quickly answered, another bolt lancing down to blast apart rocks in front of a group of Flesh Hounds. As the smoke cleared, a Drakesworn Templar was revealed – now the Stormcasts had two Stardrakes on the field of battle.
As the Bloodthirster and its daemons tried to make up the ground the Stormcasts had forced them to cross, furious they could not get to grips with Sigmar’s soldiers quickly, Bloodletters and Flesh Hounds, led by a Herald, eagerly sought to claim the skull of the Drakesworn Templar, who had descended from the heavens a little too close to the enemy line.
It did not go well for them. Though the Stardrake sustained several deep scars in its flanks, both it and the Templar hacked the Bloodletters apart, killing all but one who quickly decided to flee the battlefield. To add insult to the injury, the Stardrake contemptuously opened its maw and swallowed the Herald whole, leaving only the Flesh Hounds to hold the flank.
The rest of the Khorne daemons tried to close range with the Stormcasts but a slower than usual advance by the Dracoths meant they were just out of reach.
Battle Round Two
As both the Lord-Celestant and Drakesworn Templar called down a Rain of Stars upon the Khorne daemons, the order was given to charge and, across the line, Dracoths swept forward.
As the Lord-Celestant destroyed a unit of Bloodletters, the weight of the Thunder Echelon descended upon the Blood Throne which was quickly smashed into pieces, the head of its Herald flattened by the hammer of a Concussor. Just a little further away, one half of the Lightning Echelon assisted the Drakesworn Templar with the Flesh Hounds dogging him, though their aid was not really needed.
One entire Khorne army had been destroyed by the Extremis Chamber, with the exception of a small pack of Flesh Hounds who were still skulking near the Numinous Occulum. Seeing this phase of the battle had almost been won, the other half of the Lightning Echelon rode quickly to form a screen against the other approaching force.
Battle Round Three
Once again, a terrible bellowing roar shook the landscape and toppled rocks. With a thunderous impact, a new Bloodthirster, this one of Insensate Rage. As Khorne’s personal representative, it had been sent to blunt the advance of the Extremis Chamber and ensure Sigmar’s elite warriors would be used with far more caution in the future.
Worse for the Stormcasts, the Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury and its Bloodcrushers had finally caught up and they quickly cornered the part of the Lightning Echelon that had been sent to act as a screen.
That fight was short, brutal and bloody. The Stormcasts were caught off guard by this sudden rush and the Bloodcrushers ploughed into their sides, blasting the Dracoths off their feet and trampling them into the ground. The single Tempestor to survive the impacts was quickly hacked apart by Hellblades.
This made the Bloodthirster almost incandescent with anger, as the Bloodcrushers had dispatched their foes before the greater daemon had time to act.
The Lord-Celestant had been hoping to have time to reform his line and present a united front against the new Bloodthirster who seemed a lot stronger than the first. However, the speed of the Khorne daemons meant he now had no room to redeploy his Dracoth riders and he would have to work with what he had. Knowing that the power of Khorne was ascendant across this battlefield, he knew he would have to deal with the large Bloodthirster, and preferably both of the greater daemons, quickly.
Cursing that the lesser of the Bloodthirsters was closer to him, the Lord-Celestant reluctantly gave the Drakesworn Templar permission to charge the Bloodthorster of Insensate Rage, while he led the Thunder Echelon against the other.
The Extremis Chamber threw everything it had at the two Bloodthirsters. Lighting crackled and bolted from the mouths of Dracoths, searing great gouges into the flanks of the daemons, even as a rain of stars pummelled them from above.
The Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage reeled under the impact of the Stardrake’s charge, then turned to hew the Fulminators who were closing in rapidly. Even the Fulminators could not quite believe their luck as the Bloodthirster’s massive axe simply skidded off their armour, and they cried out a prayer to the God-King as their glaives penetrated deep into its chest, skewering the daemon’s heart as it thrashed in impotent anger.
With a crash that shook the entire battlefield, the Bloodthirster fell to the ground before dissolving into black smoke.
Meanwhile, the Lord-Celestant bulled his Stardrake into the back of the other Bloodthirster. Joined by the Thunder Echelon, their combined hammers smacked into the daemon from all sides, leaving it flailing about as each hit battered its armour and flesh. With one, final, powerful swing of his Celestial Hammer, the Lord-Celestant caved in its skull, and another greater daemon was dispatched back to the Brass Citadel.
Seeing their two mighty champions bested in very short order, the rest of the daemonic horde started to slink away into the shadows, hoping to go unnoticed by the Extremis Chamber.
The elite of Azyr had triumphed in their first battle.
Ouch! The Extremis Chamber is hard!
To be fair, we knew before we started that the first half of this fight was going to go to Sigmar’s boys in a big way (it was just a question of how much damage all those Bloodletters could do, and how it would affect the second half) and we kinda figured the Extremis Chamber would have the edge in the second.
They really piled it on during the third round, and managed to dispatch not one but two Bloodthirsters in quite short order!
So, we might have come to this Battleplan thinking the Extremis Chamber was good – and it turned out to be a fair bit better!
However, it should also be noted that, by and large, the Extremis Chamber only appears in the main storyline when something really bad is occurring (normally when Archaon shows up!), so that makes sense for this force – they are the last ditch line, the Chamber Sigmar sends when things are absolutely critical and the job must get done.
With that in mind, the Extremis Chamber is now on their way back to Azyr for a little rest, but I am sure they will be popping up again when things start going south for the forces of Order…
The Story Continues…
We are continuing our Tour of the Realms for a little longer – in fact this has been extended a little since Dominion of Chaos came out, and we’ll be trying a couple of battles from that book very soon.
Before that though, we are going to take a quick trip to the Realm of Death to see what fan-favourite Mannfred von Carstein has been up to…