Battle Report – Beneath Warring Storms

The first clash in the Godbeasts campaign has been fought in the Realm of Fire, but both sides are now gearing up for major confrontations.

 

The Story So Far

Some sort of curse had afflicted the forces of both Khorne and Sigmar in their last clash, but it was only now that its source was revealed.

Both Nurgle and Archaon had plans for the Realm of Fire, and neither were keen for the forces of Khorne to remain dominant. Heralded by the Maggoth Lord Bloab Rotspawned, great waves of flies were released over the battlefields the Bloodbound and Stormcasts now fought over, bringing with them a plague that sapped the vitality of all who were infected.

For Nurgle, this meant that the fires of battle in Aqshy would gutter and go out, allowing the cycle of life to begin once more – weakening Khorne’s grip on the Realm of Fire and allowing Nurgle to supplant him.

Archaon’s plan was far more direct and purposeful. He intended the disease to spread not only across the land but high into the sky where it would weaken the godbeast Ignax – enough for Archaon to enslave it.

Ignax was a dragon so massive that its sleeping form had been mistaken by the inhabitants of Aqshy as a sun for centuries. Archaon was now planning to harness the power of godbeasts such as this, for with these mighty weapons he would be able to crush the forces of Sigmar once and for all, putting him in a position to assault the Celestial Realm itself.

Led by Bloab Rotspawned, the Rotbringers had arrived, spreading the enervating curse wherever they walked. However, the Maggoth Lord soon realised the peril he was in when he recognised one of the warriors among Sigmar’s Stormcasts. Knight-Venator Torsun the Redeemed, once Plague Lord Torglug the Despised, soared across the sky, leading a hunt of Prosecutors and joined by the Celestant-Prime, with just one target in mind – Bloab Rotspawned himself.

It was then that a fireball hurled by Khorne smashed into the battlefield. With a terrible roar that shook the land for miles around, Skarbrand leapt into battle.

At that moment, the cinderclouds of Asphyxia closed in, bringing a sweeping firestorm across the battlefield that immolated everything it touched. In response, Lord-Relictor Ionus Cryptborn called forth a tempest of such fury it clashed against the firestorm, lightning fighting fire.

 

The Forces

Both forces involved in this battle are mid-sized, but both have extremely hard-hitting units – as well as Valkia the Bloody and Lord Khul (in his form of a Daemonic Prince, thanks to The Ritual being won way back last year), Bloab Rotspawned is present, along with Skarbrand and the Celestant-Prime!

Khorne
Valkia the Bloody
Skarbrand
Daemon Prince (Lord Khul)
Bloodreavers x 40 (two units of 20)
Blood Warriors x 10

Rotbringers
Bloab Rotspawned
Blightkings x 10
Plague Drones (two units of 4)
Chaos Knights x 5

The Bloodreavers make up the numbers in this combined Chaos force, but the Plague Drones have just as many wounds between them (and are far tougher to kill), and with three daemonic Heroes and a Maggoth Lord to lead them, this army will prove positively lethal.

Stormcasr Eternals
Lord-Celestant on Dracoth
Celestant-Prime
Lord-Relictor (Ionus Cryptborn)
Knight-Vexillor
Knight-Azyros
Knight-Venator (Torsun the Redeemed)
Liberators x 25 (five units of 5)
Judicators x 5
Retributors x 10 (two units of 5)
Protectors x 5
Prosecutors x 9 (three units of 3)

The Stormcasts have a strong force here, and they will be using the Hallowed Hunt battalion. This makes the Celestant-Prime, Knight-Venator and two units of Prosecutors extremely mobile and allows them to re-roll charges (very useful on the Celestant-Prime!). Added to that, they re-roll failed hit rolls against all Nurgle units (so even the Knight-Venator might actually get to do something…).

 

The Battleplan

The battle is a fairly simple one at first glance – the Stormcasts must kill Bloab Rotspawned to gain an immediate major victory (thus potentially ending the battle very quickly). However, if the general is still alive by the end of the fourth round, victory goes to Chaos.

There are, however, some complications, not least of which Bloab Rotspawned very much has Nurgle’s favour and so not only has all incoming damage reduced but also heals D3 wounds in every one of his hero phases. In addition to that, the fire and lightning storms are constantly pounding the battlefield, putting everyone at risk.

We will be using the Time of War sheet from the Brimstone Peninsula for this battle, as it very effectively covers the environment of most areas in the Realm of Fire.

 

Deployment

The Stormcasts came at the combined hordes of Chaos from two angles and, with mutual distrust, the Khorne and Nurgle armies separated into two forces to meet them. However, Bloab Rotspawned was wise enough (?) to keep Skarbrand close to him.

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Battle Round One

Having advanced to within striking distance of the Chaos forces, Vandus Hammerhand stood up in his saddle and called for his Stormcasts to advance. The Knight-Vexillor hoisted his Meteoric Standard to the heavens, and the clouds parted as a comet smashed into the Bloodbound before him. While the Blood Warriors and Valkia the Bloody were merely scratched by the debris that was thrown out of the crater, two Bloodreavers were immolated where they stood.

Finding themselves out of position on the far flank, the Protectors began a steady march across the battlefield, hoping to find a more suitable target for their glaives, either Skarbrand or the Maggoth Lord himself. Meanwhile, the Hallowed Hunt assembled before the forces of Nurgle, seeking a clear shot at Bloab Rotspawned but they could barely get a glimpse as he hunkered down behind the Ophidian Archway. The Knight-Azyros accompanying them called a halt to the advance, preferring to let the forces of Nurgle come to him as the Judicators let fly with their Skybolt Bows, dropping a Blightking at range.

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Vandus Hammerhand had no such reservations, and his warcry held a note of glee as he sighted his old nemesis, Lord Khul, behind the ranks of the Bloodreavers. Waving his hammer in the air, he led Liberators and Retributors in a full charge against the Bloodbound. His Dracoth opened its maw as it ran, and a bolt of lightning thudded into the Khorne ranks, killing a Blood Warrior and singeing Valkia.

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There was a sickening crunch that could be heard across the battlefield as the Stormcasts hit the Bloodbound at full speed.

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As the Dracoth reared up, Vandus laid about himself with his Celestial Hammer, smashing Bloodreavers apart with each swing. Ten Bloodreavers were blasted apart as the impact of the hammer discharged the full force of Sigmar’s lightning, and the nerve of the rest broke. The few surviving Bloodreavers fled from the battlefield as fast as they could run.

Lord Khul cursed the Bloodreavers for cowards and he piled into the swirling melee, keen to claim kills for the Blood God. Seeking out the Retributors, he swung his axe with his mighty daemonic strength but roared in frustration as the Paladin’s armour proved up to the task. A moment of doubt crossed the Daemon Prince’s mind as the Retributors hefted their hammers and swung back at him.

The Daemon Prince reeled away under the thunderous blows, their impacts snapping even Lord Khul’s thick bones. Barely able to stand, Lord Khul realised he may have bitten off a lot more than he could chew…

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Weaving an enchantment, Bloab Rotspawned threw a Mystic Shield over Skarbrand, and bid the beast rage forward to engage the Stormcasts who were cowering near the woods. Needing little encouragement, the incandescent Skarbrand plunged forward, the forces of Nurgle close on his wake as they closed the gap.

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Bloab Rotspawned nudged his Maggoth forward, and it vomited a stream of acid at the Liberators who had taken position in the woods, melting two of them. Skarbrand roared in fury, seeing two enemies taken from his grasp before he could reach them.

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Raging now, Skarbrand rushed forwards to engage the nearest Prosecutors.

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They desperately tried to gain altitude to escape Khorne’s wrath, but the daemon was too fast. Skarbrand plunged into their midst and tore them apart, leaving only a scattering of shimmering wings in his wake.

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By now, the Blight Kings and Chaos Knights had reached the Retributors, Liberators and Knight-Azyros. The Stormcasts received their charge stoically, the Retributors smashing three Blightkings to the ground before they could lift their own weapons. However, the Knight-Azyros was caught between both Blightking and Chaos Knight, and was left badly wounded by their attacks.

On the far side of the battlefield, Lord Khul momentarily panicked and he limped away from the Retributors as they lifted their hammers up for another series of blows.

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Cursing the Daemon Prince for a coward, Valkia the Bloody took to the sky and then dived downwards, the spear Slaupnir aimed straight for the heart of Vandus Hammerhand.

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Vandus turned in his saddle only at the last minute as he noticed the dark shape arrowing down to him from the sky. Slaupnir bit deep into his armour, and the Lord-Celestant slumped across the back of his Dracoth. Sensing its master’s peril, the Dracoth snapped at Valkia, savaging an arm and forcing her back long enough for the Vandus to recover his wits.

 

Battle Round Two

The sky turned bright orange as the pyroclastic storm raged across the battlefield, sweeping through the ranks of the Stormcasts. A Prosecutor fell from the air, his wings burned beyond repair, and Knight-Venator Torsun was seared by the heat.

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Skarbrand roared with the full force of Khorne’s fury and nearby Prosecutors clutched at their helmets as they blood boiled with his anger. One managed to scream before their heads exploded in a shower of brains, blood and gore.

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Seeing the weakened Knight-Azyros close by, Bloab Rotspawned attempted to hurl an Arcane Bolt at the Stormcast but got a bit too excited, fumbling the spell. His rage drivung him on to find more victims, Skarbrand thundered towards Knight-Venator Torsun.

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Seeing danger rushing towards him, Torsun took to the air, keeping just out of Skarbrand’s reach, much to the impotent anger of the Bloodthirster.

For his part, Bloab Rotspawned saw his own forces fighting the Stormcasts in the woods and decided he could not let them have all the fun. He watched as Plaguebearers on the backs of Plague Drones hurled diseased skulls at the wounded Knight-Azyros, but the Stormcast hero tucked in his wings and rolled out of the way of all their missiles. Smirking to himself, Bloab nudged his Maggoth once more and watched a stream of acid arc through the air to melt through the Knight-Azyros while his attention was fixed on the Plague Drones.

Then, Bloab charged the last of the Liberators in the woods, his scythe swinging low to remove the heads of them all.

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The forces of Nurgle were bringing their full weight to bear on the Stormcasts before them, and Sigmar’s soldiers were beginning to buckle under the strain. However, against the forces of Khorne, the leadership of Vandus Hammerhand was proving irresistible.

Valkia the Bloody got a sense of destiny from the Lord-Celestant she fought and, badly wounded by his Dracoth, she took to the sky, landing a good distance away from the Stormcasts.

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Raising his hammer to the sky, Vandus Hammerhand saluted the God-King and called after the daemonic leaders, making a few choice comments about their cowardice and lack of martial honour.

There was no way that Lord Khul was going to take that from his old enemy.

With a mighty roar, the Daemon Prince rushed back into the fight to confront the Lord-Celestant. His massive axe caught Vandus a vicious blow that set the Stormcast reeling as blood flowed freely from the gap it gouged in his armour, but he quickly recovered. His Dracoth carrying onwards, Vandus swung a terrible blow at Lord Khul that knocked the Daemon Prince flat on his back.

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Scrabbling back to his feet, Lord Khul snarled at Vandus Hammerhand, whose skull he had promised long ago to Khorne, but he knew this was not a fight that would be won today. Though badly injured, Lord Khul took to the skies and departed the battlefield.

Valkia the Bloody looked back to the advancing Stormcast forces, knowing that even the Consort of Khorne could be made to suffer for failure. She hesitated for just a moment too long, and did not notice the shift in the storms high above. Sigmar’s lightning forced back the pyroclastic fury of Khorne, and a bright bolt arrowed down from the clouds to strike Valkia squarely in the chest.

Vandus Hammerhand watched her fall from the sky to land far off in the distance, her impact with the ground throwing up a plume of dust. He doubted either the lightning or the fall would end the reign of the Daemon Queen, but he had no time to search for her.

Instead, the Lord-Celestant led his forces in a rush across the battlefield to support the Stormcasts who were still fighting Nurgle’s warriors, as his Retributors lent their weight to finishing off Blood Warriors who had been engaged with Liberators since the start of the battle.

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While the Bloodbound had been routed, the main target of the Stormcasts, the Maggoth Lord Bloab Rotspawned, was still fighting on their other side of the battlefield – and he was winning. Vandus Hammerhand mouthed a prayer to the God-King for deliverance.

And he was answered.

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In a bright burst of lighting, the Celestant-Prime had arrived.

Stretching forward with his Cometstrike Sceptre, the Celestant-Prime called meteors from the heavens to crash down around the Chaos Knights, Plague Drones and Bloab Rotspawned himself.

Seeing the Celestant-Prime had been sent to aid them, the Hallowed Hunt rallied and flew forward, even though they were all too aware that Skarbrand was still within their midst. They called upon the Judicators for support, and arrows of lightning arced through the air to strike deep wounds into Skrabrand – but they just made him even angrier.

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Leading the way, Knight-Venator Torsun ignored the presence of the Bloodthirster and repositioned himself to get a good line of sight upon the Maggoth Lord. Pulling a thrice-blessed Star-fated arrow from his quiver, he took aim and was elated to see his shot was true…

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Dismay quickly followed as the Star-fated Arrow merely bounced off the thick blubber of the Maggoth.

With the forces of Nurgle almost completely dominant across this part of the battlefield, and Vandus Hammerhand and his Stormcasts too far away to lend aid, chances for the Stormcasts to reach Bloab Rotspawned were fast disappearing. Trusting in the divine power of Sigmar, the Celestant-Prime swept forward towards the Maggoth Lord, a retinue of Prosecutors flying in his wake.

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Bloab had been chuckling away to himself as he watched Skarbrand tear apart Stormcasts, and did not realise his peril until it was almost too late. A flutter of energised wings caught his attention as the shadow of the Celestant-Prime fell across him. Ghal Maraz shown bright with the God-King’s own power as it sensed one of the great Lords of Chaos within its reach and the Maggoth stumbled sideways under the impact of its strikes.

Realising he had been completely out-manoeuvred, Bloab Rotspawned hurriedly cast a spell he had prepared for just such an occasion. Flies buzzed around him, growing huge wings as they latched onto his skin. His Maggoth too grew large fly-like wings and, together, they lumbered clumsily into the sky, desperate to put as much distance between themselves and Sigmar’s vengeance as possible.

With their leaders gone, the forces of Chaos lost their will to fight and started to fade into the wilderness of Asphyxia.

Vandus Hammerhand was victorious.

 

Conclusion

The Stormcasts seem to be on a roll at the moment! The same can not be said for the forces of Khorne, of course, with both Valkia and Lord Khul fleeing from combat being really, really poor. They just do not seem to have much luck!

This was a really short battle, but it certainly did not feel that way while playing – a great deal happened in those turns!

As always in Age of Sigmar though, it could so easily have gone the other way. While the Celestant-Prime and Prosecutors managed to mob Bloab Rotspawned at the end, if they had not been part of the Hallowed Hunt battalion (with all its re-rolls on wounds and hits against Nurgle units) they would have completely failed in their attacks and then there would be every chance that the Maggoth Lord could simply have turned round and clocked the Celestant-Prime in a single turn of combat. If that had happened, the Stormcasts had precious few models in the area and, with Skarbrand on the prowl, Bloab would probably have been safe!

Oh, and needless to say, just before the Hallowed Hunt moved in, the Knight-Venator had failed to so much as scratch Bloab Rotspawned, despite using the Star-fated Arrow with all the re-rolls in the world…

That guy never gets a break.

 

The Story Continues…

Next time we are leaving the land of Asphyxia behind to visit the strange world of Orb Infernia high above it. Daemon Princes of all four Chaos powers, the Tetrarchy of Chaos, have been watching the battles below and are preparing to act. However, have they counted upon the actions of the Seraphon?

Warshrine of Nurgle

Bit of a landmark this week – I have now finished, completely finished, all models needed for the Godbeasts campaign. Which is just as well, seeing as we started the battles on Wednesday!

The last model was this one, the first of the Warshrines (yes, planning to do one for each of the Chaos powers!), dedicated to Nurgle.

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I cannot take credit for the any of the conversions, such as the new priest modified daemon holding up the pillar or rotting body attached to the main symbol, but I did sprinkle some Nurglings around it.

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Painting-wise… dead easy, frankly. While the Warshrine looks fairly ‘busy’, there is actually a limited pallet in play, and I drew the colours from existing Rotbringers models.

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The daemons were painted the same way as my Nurglings/Plaguebearers, the mutant bearers the same as the Glottkin, and the Plague Lord & rest of the Warshrine the same as my Blightkings.

Simples!

So, after all those models done for Godbeasts, what is next?

Well, the next big tome is All-Gates, and painting there is going to be all about the Ironjawz and new Sylvaneth (the latter of which I have already made a start on). However, before I dive right into them, I am going to ‘polish off’ the Flesh-Eater Court. It is not actually needed for All-Gates, but now the Terrorgheists are out of the way the rest of the army is so quick and easy to do, I just cannot resist – I have already base-coated a dozen Crypt Horrors/Flayers & 20 Crypt Ghouls, and I am aiming to get all of them done this weekend. The rest will be completed in between Sylvaneth models, just so I don’t go loopy painting the same colours all the time.

After that, the models needed for All-Gates are few and far between – finally the breadth of my existing collection is beginning to pay off! I think it comes down to just doing a new set of Prosecutors and Knight-Azyros (for my new Stark Hammers Stormhost), a(nother) Skull Keep (after promising myself I was finished with the Dreadhold… sigh) and a Skull Cannon or three.

I also have a hankering to get the models needed for the ‘Abyss’ narrative Battleplan in the General’s Handbook, as I only need one more Herald and Blood Throne of Khorne, and the scenario looks pretty funky.

However, one thing at a time – Flesh-Eater Courts up next!

 

 

Battle Report – Fury Overcomes

After our tour of the realms, we are ready to get stuck back in to the Realmgate Wars, this time with the third book in the series, Godbeasts. While the Realm of Life is now back in contention as Alarielle grows into her war aspect, Archaon has recently gained a massive victory against the Stormcasts in the Realm of Metal and he is now ready to unleash the next phase of his plans – the subjugation of the titanic Godbeasts and the power they command.

 

The Story So Far

Since the Stormcasts first arrived in Aqshy and created a beachhead within the Brimstone Peninsula, defeating the forces of Lord Khul in the process, war has spread throughout the Realm of Fire.

Moving from the Brimstone Peninsula and the Scarred Isle, the Stormcasts launched an attack on the land of Asphyxia, hammering the forces of Chaos in general, and Khorne in particular, wherever they were encountered. The Bloodbound reacted to this with bloodthirsty joy, welcoming battle as the war gathered momentum. Drawn to this immense bloodshed was none other than the Consort of Khorne herself, Valkia the Bloody.

The fight for Asphyxia ground on for weeks, and corpses began to pile high, drawing yet more of the Bloodbound to action. High above, daemons on the Orb of Infernia watched, biding their time and waiting for a chance to plunge into the war.

The Daemon Prince Lord Skinskein reached out to Lord Khul, letting him know his old nemeses, the Stormcasts, were on Asphyxia. He proposed that Lord Khul should attack on one flank of Sigmar’s forces while he assaulted the other, cutting off any retreat. Thus Lord Khul’s vengeance would be complete.

When Lord Khul finally sighted the Stormcasts, his rage was boundless. He paid no heed to the deaths among his own forces as many succumbed to a strange malady, only thinking them too weak to fight along his side. Joined by Valkia the Bloody, Lord Khul unleashed the full fury of his Bloodbound upon the Stormcast Eternals.

 

The Forces

This battle really could be of any size but we are not going to go too mad this early on in the campaign – there are some truly massive battles coming up (and very soon too!), so one step at a time. Both forces are quite ‘representative’ of the types of armies taking part in the fight for Asphyxia, with just enough ‘specials’ to keep things interesting.

Khorne Bloodbound
Valkia the Bloody
Daemon Prince of Khorne (Korghos Khul)
Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut
Mighty Skullcrushers x 6
Bloodreavers x 40 (two units of 20)
Blood Warriors x 20 (two units of 10)

The Bloodbound are relying on the Bloodreavers here to make up the numbers, which is not usually a good strategy. However, they have some seriously hard heroes on their side, not least of whom is Valkia the Bloody, Consort of Khorne herself! For Lord Khul, we are using a Daemon Prince (seeing as, in our games, he completed The Ritual way back last year), but we are adding the Reality Splitting Axe rule from the Mighty Lord of Khorne.

Stormcast Eternals
Lord-Relictor Ionus Cryptborn
Knight-Vexillor
Liberators x 25 (five units of 5)
Judicators x 10 (two units of 5)
Retributors x 10 (two units of 5)

For their part, the Stormcasts are relying on their Liberators in this battle, hoping to hold the tides of Bloodbound back until the Judicators and Retributors can do their work.

 

The Battleplan

This battle is a simple one, as befits the start of a new campaign. It is a straight fight to the death, with victory going to the army who can destroy the most of its enemy! However, there is one complication – a strange enervating curse pervades this battlefield, weakening all combatants. The heroic actions of a general can delay its effects, but few units may fight as effectively as they usually might.

We will be using the Brimstone Peninsula Time of War sheet for most of our battles in the Realm of Fire, minus the rules for the Blood Geysers (those are a bit specific in terms of location, but everything else works as a general Realm of Fire sheet).

 

Deployment

Both forces lined up across the battlefield from one another, with the Bloodbound concentrating its hardest hitting units (the leaders and Mighty Skullcrushers) in the centre.

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For their part, the Stormcasts set up a solid line of Liberator retinues to receive the inevitable Khorne charges, with the two Retributor units a little behind, ‘floating’ to strike at the nastiest things the Bloodbound could throw at the Stormcast – their primary targets would be Lord Khul and the Mighty Skullcrushers, though if they could just pin Valkia down…

 

Battle Round One

Eager to get to grips with the hated Stormcasts as quickly as possible, and ever mindful of the gaze of the Consort of Khorne, the Bloodbound hurled themselves forward.

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Throwing caution to the wind the charge was led by the Mighty Skullcrushers and Lord Khul, but Valkia the Bloody soared across the sky to put herself within striking distance of an entire flank of Stormcasts.

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The Knight-Vexillor lofted his standard and the clouds above parted as a massive meteor streaked from the sky to smash into the battlefield. Even the massive Juggernauts of the Skullcrushers stumbled from the blast, and Valkia was winged slightly by shrapnel. Meanwhile, the Judicators took aim upon the largest target on the battlefield – Lord Khul himself. The Daemon Prince howled with potent fury as several lightning bolt arrows found their mark.

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It had been Lord-Relictor Cryptborn’s plan to hold the line and receive the Bloodbound charge with a solid line of Sigmarite shields, but he changed his mind when he saw how bloodthirsty the enemy was and became nervous about handing the initiative to them. With mixed feelings, he ordered three retinues of Liberators forward to begin tying down the Bloodbound.

One retinue trapped Blood Warriors on the far right flank, while the other two advanced to the centre, right into the teeth of the Bloodbound. There, they pinned down the Mighty Skullcrushers, Lord Khul and Valkia herself, bracing themselves behind their large shields which suddenly seemed all too thin.

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The effects of the mysterious enervating curse upon the battlefield quickly combined with the daemonic shield Valkia the Bloody carried, and the Liberators did little more than scratch her, while her spear sent one of their number straight back to Sigmar with ease.

Just a little further along the line, another unit of Liberators made good account of themselves against the Mighty Skullcrushers, bringing down one of the beasts for the cost of one of their own. However, Lord Khul raged as he retaliated to their charge, slaying three more Liberators in quick succession, leaving just the Prime to hold the line.

On the far right flank, Liberators clashed with Blood Warriors, but the armour of both proved string with only a single worshipper of Khorne smashed to the ground.

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Battle Round Two

Lord-Relictor Cryptborn raised his reliquary staff and called upon the power of Sigmar, summoning a lightning bolt that blasted into the Blood Warriors, frying two of them in an instant.

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The enervating curse was playing havoc with the Judicators armed with Boltstorm Crossbows, reducing their range to almost nothing. However, the Judicator armed with the massive Thunderbolt Crossbow levelled it at Lord Khul and, despite the difficulty of the shot, his aim proved true. A blast of lighting streaked across the battlefield to smash straight into the chest of the Daemon Prince, forcing Lord Khul to take flight and retreat from the battlefield.

Not to be outdone, the Skybolt Judicators unleashed a volley at the Mighty Skullcrushers, sending another one of their number crashing into the dust, never to rise again.

With his forces well and truly committed now, Lord-Relictor Cryptborn ordered his Retributors into the fray.

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One of the Paladin retinues was slow to respond, having intended to charge Lord Khul – with him now gone from the battlefield, their charge was mistimed and they failed to reach the Mighty Skullcrushers. However, their brothers in the other retinue quickly closed the distance, throwing their full weight into the Bloodreavers who had assembled into a rabble in front of them, as well as one of the Skullcrushers.

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With bright flashes of light and the deep rumble of thunder, the hammers of the Retributors set to work, the scant armour worn by the Bloodreavers no defence against their heavy blows. Ten Bloodreavers were smashed apart in seconds, while another six decided that a career in the Bloodbound army was not for them as they ran from the field of battle.

It was not all going the way of Sigmar though, as Valkia effortlessly killed another Liberator while the Stormcasts remained far too weak to hurt her in return. On the far right flank, Liberators continued to grind against Blood Warriors, and the Stormcasts were getting the worse of that fight too.

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The Bloodbound had been stalled on the right flank and were suffering in the centre, but they had yet to commit to the left flank where a horde of Bloodreavers, supported by another unit of Blood Warriors, had yet to charge.

With savage yells, the Bloodreavers surged forward to reach the Liberators, just as the Boltstorm Crossbow-armed Judicators had been waiting for. They levelled their weapons over the shoulders of Liberators as the Bloodreavers closed distance at speed.

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However, the Blood Warriors were not going to let lowly barbarians claim their kills, and the heavy armoured warriors cut across their path to pile into the shields of the Liberators.

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The Liberators were caught off guard by this sudden move, and two were cut down by axes, with another two losing their nerve and retreating to reform some distance away from the battle.

In the centre, the Retributors were set on their bloody work, wiping out the last of the Bloodreavers there along with another two Skullcrushers for the loss of only one Stormcast.

 

Battle Round Three

Seeing the Liberators close to him suffer at the hands of the Blood Warriors, Lord-Relictor Cryptborn took his eyes off the rest of the battle and waded into the melee with his hammer, smashing the helmet of one Blood Warrior before they even realised he had charged them.

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In the centre, the second retinue of Retributors finally reached the fray and they were eager not to let their brothers claim more glory than them. They charged into the remaining Skullcrushers, pummelling all but one with their hammers, while the Retributor armed with the Starsoul Mace thundered towards Valkia the Bloody. Too intent upon slaying the brave Liberators she had faced since the battle began, the Consort of Khorne did not realise her peril until it was far too late. Looking over her shoulder, she twisted just in time to avoid being smashed into the ground with the huge weapon.

Casting a quick glance at the rest of her forces, Valkia knew there were other battles that would see more blood flowing to her lord, and she took to the sky to find them. The Stormcasts cheered as they realised Valkia the Bloody had left the field.

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Meanwhile, the two Judicator retinues concentrated their fire into the closest Blood Warriors, bolts and arrows finding every chink in their armour. When the volleys finally stopped, few Blood Warriors were left standing.

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The nerve of the Bloodbound had clearly departed with Valkia and, across the battlefield, small but growing numbers of Blood Warriors were beginning to flee from the fight.

Seeing he was now in charge of the Bloodbound, the Lord of Khorne stood in the saddle of his Juggernaut and waved the Bloodreavers on – now the only truly intact unit he possessed. Directing them on, he forced them to charge the Retributors from one side while he thundered in from the other. The results of this ploy were telling and brutal.

While two Retributors were ridden down by his Juggernaut, and another fell to the axes of the Bloodreavers, their hammers proved just as deadly as before. Thirteen Bloodreavers met their end at the hands of the Retributors, the few survivors ignoring their Lord’s threats and curses as they fled for safety.

On the far right flank, the duel between Liberators and Blood Warriors that had been fought for so long finally came to an end.

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Only one Liberator now stood beside Lord-Relictor Cryptborn, but the last Blood Warrior they faced was armed with a terrible Goreglaive. The Blood Warrior eyed Cryptborn as he attacked, but the Liberator leapt into breach, putting himself between the enemy and his lord.

A solid blow from his Grandhammer sent the Blood Warrior reeling but, before the Khorne worshipper died, he flung himself at the Stormcast, burying his Goreglaive deep in the Liberator’s chest. As the Liberator’s soul streaked upwards to Azyr, the Blood Warrior fell to the ground, leaving only the Lord-Relictor standing.

 

Battle Round Four

By now, there were few of the Bloodbound left on the field of battle, and the Knight-Vexillor waded into the few Blood Warriors still threatening the Judicators, dispatching one of them quickly.

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Meanwhile the Mighty Lord of Khorne was making a furious last stand on the back of his Juggernaut.

 

Battle Round Five

Desperately trying to fend off the terrible hammers of the Retributors, the Khorne Lord paid scant attention to the Liberators who were also thrusting their swords at him. However, these were the Stormcasts who had fought Valkia the Bloody to a standstill for so long, and a mere mortal held no fear for them.

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As the Khorne Lord laid about all around him with his axe, the brave Liberators crept under his guard and thrust home with their swords, piercing his foul heart.

After all the bloodcurdling warcries of the warriors of Khorne, an eerie quiet now descended over the battlefield. Sigmar had claimed the first victory in the Godbeasts campaign.

 

Conclusion

Now that was a battle where the Stormcasts could just do no wrong!

While a few things went awry for them (the second unit of Retributors failing their charge in the second round, for example), they consistently won the initiative every round, and barely noticed the enervating curse!

The Bloodbound, on the other hand, had massive problems with the curse as it withered away their wound rolls and when Valkia started to offset it (she was killing one Liberator every round in her duel on average – which in itself is far from her optimum level of slayage, it has to be said), the Bloodbound started developing issues with their hit rolls.

It just goes to show, you cannot plan for dice rolls! If anything I would have said the Bloodbound had the slight advantage when the battle started – the Stormcasts had two nice units in the shape of their Retributors but, that aside, their force was fairly unremarkable. The Bloodbound, on the other hand, had a large unit of Skullcrushers (who, even if they had not killed a huge amount, should have been able to withstand a great deal of punishment) along with Valkia and a Daemon Prince, who were capable of ripping through Stormcast lines with relative impunity. Frankly, I was expecting Lord-Relictor Cryptborn to end the battle with Valkia’s spear in his chest.

So, what went wrong?

Well, the Stormcasts managed to tie up the Skullcrushers and Valkia very early, two units which benefit greatly from charging. Then they just… survived, at least long enough for the Retributors to get involved. In fact, to give you an idea of what the Bloodbound had to put up with, there was a moment when Valkia managed to put two hits on the Liberators she was fighting (her hit and wound rolls really were abysmal), which had to be saved at Rend -2. The Stormcasts promptly rolled a double six…

We also ought to take a moment with Lord Khul – since being elevated to Daemonhood, he is rapidly becoming the butt monkey of Khorne, showing up to kill one or two models, and then getting filled in. He is going to have to start proving himself if the Blood God is not going to introduce him to spawndom.

Anyway, a good (but unexpected) start to the campaign for the Stormcasts, with a major victory under their belt. And, to be fair, the Bloodbound don’t really care about such loses. However, I don’t think Archaon is going to find it agreeable in the least…

 

The Story Continues…

Next time, we will find out just what is causing the enervating curse that plagued both forces in this battle, as a new power makes its play for the Realm of Fire…

Stark Hammer Heavies

The Stark Hammers are going to be a minor Stormhost for me – absolutely no intention of growing them into the size of the Hallowed Knights (you saw me write that, please hold me to it!). However, with just a couple of retinues of Liberators and the odd commander, they needed a few other units to make them function well in battle – so, a unit of Retributors seemed the right approach!

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While working on these (and Skaarac, see previous post), I was also finishing off the Devoted of Sigmar with another 30-odd Flagellants, and it was while they were all lined up on the painting table I finally understood how the Stormcasts must appear to mortals…

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Yeah, you would not want to mess with him, eh? And when the novels say that it takes at least three mortal men to pick up their hammers, again, you can kinda see where they are coming from.

Incidentally, the Flagellants, the Retributors and Skaarac formed the penultimate stage of The Plan (to get through all the models needed for the Godbeasts campaign in short order), with just a War Altar of Nurgle left. The latter is about 80% done (would have been completed, but I got a bit distracted by Dragon Age over the weekend…), and should be polished off a little later this week.

Which, painting-wise, leaves me ‘free’ and only sort of thinking about the models needed for All-Gates.

As it turns out, that campaign book does not need all that many. Once the Sylvaneth and Ironjawz are tackled (which, to be fair, I would have done anyway), there is something like 11 models total I need to pick up for the campaign, including 9 Prosecutors for the Stark Hammers.

However, I am going to take a little break from campaign-painting and get my Flesh-Eater Court well and truly on the road – those guys are just too cool not to do!

Skaarac the Bloodborn

I am well aware that my painting is mostly awful but, every now and again, I manage to do something that gets me thinking ‘yeah, that actually ain’t too bad!’

Enter Skaarac the Bloodborn, Great Khorgorath of Khorne…

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This is the first ‘proper’ Age of Sigmar model that Forge World produced and I kinda had it pegged to do when it appeared. What finally motivated me was that he appeared in the Warhammer World-only Ironwarp Citadel scenarios and, planning to run through them as part of our ongoing campaign, it formed the perfect time to add him.

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One thing that became apparent as I was painting this model – while Forge World models have a reputation for being (more) difficult to put together and paint, this chap just… wasn’t.

In fact, I would go as far to say that if you (like myself) have little talent when it comes to painting but have managed to struggle through the Blood Warriors in the starter set, you already know everything you need to do Skaarac.

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I started with his skin, using a Rhino Brown base and all-over Nuln Oil wash. On top of that was drybrushed Doombull and Tuskgor Brown – in fact, the same colours I use on my Fyreslayers!

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The armour came next. This uses a Khorne Red base, washed with Agrax, and then drybrushed Mephiston Red and (very lightly) Evil Sunz Scarlet – this is the same way I did my Blood Warriors and, in fact, pretty much everything from this point on uses the same scheme suggested for Blood Warriors in the starter set painting guide. The gold is Balthasar, washed with Agrax, then highlighted with Runefang Steel.

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After that, the only major portions of the model left were the steel and bone (Leadbelcher and Zandri bases respectively), and a bit of cloth (black, highlighted with Skavenblight Dinge and a dash of Administratum Grey).

The few ‘details’ were restricted to the odd item hanging off his horns (such as the ‘tail’ which I did green, to link him in with the rest of the Bloodbound who also sport the odd tail).

So, if you have been coveting this model but doubted your painting skills – have no fear! If you can do Blood Warriors, you can do this model and, because of its size and sharper edges, you might well find it easier to do. The gold edging on the armour is certainly less fiddly!

As to whether you can afford it (£140 on the Forge World site), well, that is more a question for your wallet and conscience…

Devoted of Sigmar

The last models for the Godbeasts campaign (likely starting in just a few days!) are well in hand, my Big Plan to crunch through them paying off nicely!

At the moment, I am working on an army I have been wanting to do ever since Age of Sigmar came out – the Devoted of Sigmar, the nutters who throw themselves at the enemy (literally) in the name of the God-King.

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As you can see, the army is coming on nicely! Among this little lot are 30 Flagellants, 3 Warrior Priests and, of course, the giant War Altar of Sigmar. I am planning to add another 30 Flagellants (for a total of three units of 20), and then I will probably call it done for a while – it is certainly enough for the battle in the Godbeasts campaign where they go up against a giant Warherd.

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The Flagellants are pretty easy models to do, and I stuck with the deep blue colour scheme you see in GW’s books, as I think it ties in very nicely with my own Hallowed Knights. Simply do the blue robes, a bit of skin, weapons, and the odd bit of gold and flame – and they are done!

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The War Altar, of course, is the real centrepiece, and I don’t think they could possibly have put more bling on it if they tried! It really is the kind of model that says ‘we have arrived’.

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Painting it, however, was not all that more complex than the Flagellants themselves and, after the black was done, followed pretty much the same colours as the men, though in different proportions (a lot less blue and a whole lot more gold!).

On the painting table right now is a War Altar of Nurgle and the biggest Khorgorath you have ever seen, both of which I hope to have done over the weekend. However, I am also aiming to get the last Flagellants and a retinue of Retributors complete over the same timeline as well, which is somewhat ambitious. If I can do it though, that will be all the models done and dusted for the Godbeasts campaign, and I can crack on with some brand new armies (likely a mix of Sylvaneth, Flesh-Eater Court and Ironjawz!).

Battle Report – The Fiend’s Lair

The Fyreslayers have made a foray into the Realm of Death – what are they going to find there?

As it turns out, it is literally raining zombies!

 

The Story So Far

The Vampire Queen Cyssandra ruled a sprawling subterranean kingdom within the Realm of Death, inflicting endless horrors on the Gloom Tribes in her reign of blood. With precious few other choices, the Gloom Tribes eventually handed their stores of gold to the Greyfyrd Lodge in return for ending Queen Cyssandra’s rule once and for all.

This offer was accepted by Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir, and he quickly gathered a force to march into the underworld realm of forsaken ruins and the walking dead. All had pledged an oath to attack the Overlord Bastion Cyssandra called home and restore a measure of peace to the region.

From her Bastion, Cyssandra watched the progress of the Fyreslayers with pleasure, savouring the nightmare they would soon face. As they approached, her cabal of necromancers began raising large numbers of the dead and, with a screech that shook the entire cavern, her Terrorgheist took to the air, even as zombies tumbled from the darkness in a constant rain of corpses.

 

The Forces

Two medium-sized forces are being used in this battle, but enough special units are present to keep things interesting!

Deathlords
Vampire Lord (Cyssandra)
Necromancers x 3
Terrorgheist
Crypt Ghouls x 20
Zombies x 30
Skeletons x 40 (two units of 20)
Overlord Bastion

Aside from the Terrorgheist and, of course, Cyssandra herself, this army does not have many hard-hitters. However, those Necromancers will be able to ensure a constant wave of undead hits the advancing Fyreslayers and, so long as they can be protected, the undead will retain the upper hand.

Fyreslayers
Runefather on Magamdroth (Hursgar-Grimnir)
Runesmiter on Magmadroth
Grimwrath Berzerker
Battlesmith
Hearthguard Berzerkers x 10
Auric Hearthguard x 5
Vulkite Berzerkers x 30 (one unit of 10, one unit of 20)

Aside from a handful of Heroes, the Fyreslayers are coming loaded for bear, with every model in the collection! While they are superior fighters compared to the undead, plus have two nasty beasties compared to Cyssandra’s one, once a Fyreslayer is dead he usually stays that way – this battle is going to be an exercise in managing casualties until they are able to assault Cyssandra’s Bastion.

 

The Battleplan

This battle sees the Fyreslayers picking their way through the gloom, gradually encountering more and more undead as they push forward. Cyssandra starts the battle holed up in her Bastion and, if all goes ill for the Fyreslayers, may not need to appear at all! This means the Fyreslayers have the advantage of engaging the undead piecemeal, but the summoning capabilities of the Necromancers may be enough to shift the balance.

The Fyreslayers will gain a major victory if they can end the reign of Cyssandra while they still have at least half of their models on the table – otherwise, it will be a minor victory. For her part, Cyssandra gains a minor victory for wiping the Fyreslayers out; a major victory if she can do so without making an appearance!

 

Deployment

With the Vulkite Berzerkers leading the way, the Fyreslayers moved cautiously into the darkness of the cavern.

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The screech of the Terrorgheist echoed from the blackness, but the Duardin could detect no movement as they slowly moved forward. Hearthguard retinues flanked the Vulkite Berzerkers, with Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir and the Runesmiter following up on the backs of their huge Magmadroths.

 

Battle Round One

The Vulkite Berzerkers moved ahead, using the flames of their Magmapikes to help light the way. One cried out ‘movement!’ when he saw Skeleton Warriors staring back at him from a sickly growth of vegetation. Behind them, he spied the human form of a Necromancer, already starting to chant foul verses to summon more undead to his aid.

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Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir ordered the Duardin to maintain a Steadfast Advance, even as the Battlesmith regaled the retinues around him with stirring tales of how the Lodge had defeated hordes of the dead in ages past. Then, with enemies sighted, the entire Fyreslayers warband bellowed their warcries and raced ahead, the Runefather urging his Magmadroth on to lead the way.

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Bright, fiery light lit up the cavern briefly as the Magmapikes burned the front line of Skeletons away, then the Runefather’s Magmadroth opened its maw to unleash a torrent of flame upon them, vaporising bone and setting light to the trees.

Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir prepared to urge his Magmadroth forward into the remaining Skeleton Warriors, but was cut off by the over-eager Auric Hearthguard who raced in front of the big beast to reach the undead. Cursing the younger Duradin, he prepared to make the charge once more but, with a bellowing cry that shook the entire cavern, the Grimwrath Berzerker raced forward, causing the Magmadroth to rear up in alarm.

Seeing the Auric Hearthguard engaged with the Skeletons, the Vulkite Berzerkers put on a burst of speed, and sped for the lone Necromancer deeper within the woods.

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As they neared the wizard, the Vulkite Berzerkers hurled their shields, several burying themselves deep into the Necromancer’s body. Painfully, he straightened up, ready to hurl spells at his attackers, but the Duradrin were quicker and an axe buried in his head put an end to any plans of retaliation.

Skeleton Warriors were smashed apart by the Grimwrath Berzerker, but the trees they were taking cover in broke the charge of the Fyreslayers, and many were left standing. Even as they fought, some of the broken Skeletons on the ground started knitting together and standing up to fight once more.

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A member of the Auric Hearthguard was the first to fall to the spears of the undead but, seeing the Skeleton Warriors had been greatly reduced in number, Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir ordered his force to swing left to proceed deeper into the cavern, letting the Auric Hearthguard and Grimwrath Berzerker finish off the few remaining Skeletons.

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Battle Round Two

The Hearthguard Berzerkers took the lead this time, already angry that they had missed out on the first clash against Cyssandra’s minions. Their determination was rewarded as spied more movement in the gloom in the shape of Crypt Ghouls and the massive Terrorgheist, all clustered around an Ophidian Archway. Skulking behind them was another Necromancer, one clearly keen not to meet the same fate as his comrade.

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Seeing a more powerful target, Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir grinned as he waved the rest of the Fyreslayers onwards, listening to the Runesmiter’s boasts as the two Magmadroths advanced side by side.

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The Hearthguard Berzerkers were closer, however, and they rushed the Crypt Ghouls, their axes keen and ready to sever limbs and heads even as the Magmadroths immolated three with spouts of lava.

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The Hearthguard then set to work with their axes, hewing their enemies and buckling the line. When they had finished their first flurry of attacks, six Crypt Ghouls lay dead at their feet, while another four scampered back into the darkness. However, one of the Fyreslayers’ own number had also fallen.

 

Battle Round Three

Corpses began falling from the top of the cavern, striking the hard rocky floor in a disturbing splatter. Horrifyingly, the bodies began to stir, ignoring broken bones as they staggered to their feet – it had started to rain Zombies!

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From the lofty reaches of her Bastion, Cyssandra surveyed the course of the battle through the eyes of her minions. The Fyreslayers had enjoyed a string of successes, but now the Vampire’s own creatures were beginning to gather in force, and she was certain they would be whittled down long before they laid eyes on her fortress.

Taking temporary control of the Necromancer, Cyssandra empowered the Crypt Ghouls with the Bloodfeast, turning them into ravening maniacs seeking only to feast on Fyreslayer flesh. The Necromancer shuddered as the will of his mistress departed, but he retained enough wits to raise a fresh unit of Skeleton Warriors from the bones littering the cavern, summoning them to form a wall of bone between himself and the Fyreslayers.

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Taking a few steps forward, the Terrorghiest opened its wide maw and shrieked, the unnatural sound threatening to burst eardrum and boil brain. However, the Hearthguard Berzerkers were staunch in their defence, and they shrugged off the worst effects.

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It then rushed the Hearthguard Berzerkers and between it and the Crypt Ghoul, Duardin began to fall at an alarming rate. The ominous presence of the spirits surrounding the Ophidian Archway broke the nerve of one of the Hearthguard and, shamefully, he ran for the cavern’s exit.

Seeing quarry still fighting and eager to get to grips with Cyssandra herself, the two Magmadroths lumbered forward while the rest of the Fyreslayers sprinted to keep up.

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Shaking the ground with its heavy footsteps, the Runesmiter’s Magmadroth thundered towards the Terrorgheist, lava erupting from its open jaws to stream over the heads of the Hearthguard Berzerkers and immolate the last of the Crypt Ghouls. Now they could all concentrate on the Terrorgheist, the most fearsome of Cyssandra’s pets.

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As the Runefather’s Magmadroth crashed into the newly raised Skeleton Warriors, smashing them apart in a shower of bone splinters, the Runesmiter’s Magmadroth and Terrorgheist fought tooth, nail and claw, the Hearthguard Berzerkers desperately trying to keep from getting crushed underfoot by the two massive beasts.

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Both creatures sustained minor wounds, but none were deep or crippling as they continued to fight.

 

Battle Round Four

More Zombies fell from above, and while some were annihilated by the impact, still more rose to join the others already stumbling towards the Fyreslayers, rapidly developing into a substantial horde.

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Thinking the Terrorgheist might be fighting at a slight disadvantage, Cyssandra once more dominated the mind of her Necromancer, channelling the power of the Bloodfeast into her favourite creature – now the Terrorgheist’s eyes glowed a deep red as it was both strengthened and quickened by her will.

The Vampire then idly raised a retinue of Skeleton Warriors to slow down the Fyreslayer’s Runefather before releasing the Necromancer. Seeing how close the Magmadroths were to him, the Necromancer then promptly used his own magical strength to raise yet more Skeletons before taking cover behind them, doing his best to look like bone in the hopes he would not be noticed.

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The Terrorgheist shrieked at the Runesmiter, but he proved to be made of even sterner stuff than the Hearthguard and, with some semblance of fury and bloodlust, the Terrorgheist launched itself once more at his Magmadroth, Cyssandra’s Bloodfeast driving it with unrequited violence.

Magmadroth and Terrorgheist battered one another, cracking bones and shattering armoured scales, but neither could launch a telling blow. Tumbling out of the way of the Magmadroth’s claws, the Hearthguard Karl sprang to his feet and, seeing an opening, buried his axe deep into the rib cage of the Terrorgheist. The creature screeched again, this time in pain, and it backed away. However, it had clearly been dealt a crippling blow as rotting innards fell to the ground.

Leading the way, Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir led the Fyreslayers into the deeper darkness of the cavern, spotting another Necromancer and retinue of Skeleton Warriors deployed around a set of Arcane Ruins. The Vulkite Berzerkers followed in the footsteps of his Magmadroth, feeling that they were now getting very close to Cyssandra’s bastion.

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The rest of the Fyreslayers followed up, the Auric Hearthguard pausing just long enough to launch a stream of lava from their Magmapikes at the Terrorgheist. Focused on defending itself form the Hearthguard’s Karl, the creature did not notice the incoming fire until it started burning through its wing membranes. More lava smashed into it, the final volley caving in its skull. The creature fell to the ground, and the Hearthguard Berzerkers roared as they charged onwards into the Skeleton Warriors that had assembled behind it.

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However, their charge was a little disorganised and only two Skeleton Warriors were smashed by their axes.

 

Battle Round Five

The Fyreslayers continued to march into the darkness until, finally, they saw the immense structure of an Overlord Bastion looming ahead. Knowing their foe was close at hand, one of the Vulkite Berzerkers shouted out and pointed as he saw the sinister form of Cyssandra herself staring down imperiously at them from the highest reach of her fortress.

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His Magmadroth spitting lava, Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir charged into the Skeleton Warriors that blocked his path, sending bones flying outwards in huge arcs.

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Staring down contemptuously at the remaining Skeletons, his intense glare unravelled the magic animating them, and the rest simply collapsed tot he ground, now completely lifeless.

The Vulkite Berzerkers had created a new flank in the advance but their progress was disrupted by the Numinous Occulum they found in their path. Their hornblower out his instrument to his lips and blew a loud, harmonious set of notes that gathered the Berzerkers and directed them forward. Finding a horde of Zombies in their path, they charged.

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Fully half the Zombies fell in this rush, the Vulkite Berzerkers shrugging off every injury dealt to them in their maddened fury.

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Zombies continued to fall from above but they all hit the ground awkwardly, and none rose to carry on fighting. The Necromancer near the Ophidian Archway hurled an Arcane Bolt at the Runesmiter, while the other raised a new retinue of Skeletons to trap Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir before taking cover within the Arcane Ruins.

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Cyssandra could see her minions were about to fail her, and knew it was up to her to reverse the Fyreslayer’s advance. Gathering her will, she empowered the Zombies with Bloodfeast, hastening their normally slow movements, while placing a Spiritblight upon the Vulkite Berzerkers, sapping them of their fighting skill. Not yet done with the Berzerkers, she called upon the ancient power of the Overlord Bastion and bright rays of ruby red light lanced out, vaporising two Fyreslayers in an instant.

Then, with a hiss, she drew her blade and left the Bastion.

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Moving with lightning grace, Cyssandra joined her Zombies, who were already dragging one Vulkite Berzerker to the ground under a tumble of flailing limbs. Cyssandra strode through the melee, her sword flicking out to snatch the lives of another three Fyreslayers.

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This was too much for two of the Vulkite Berzerkers, who fled for the cavern entrance.

 

Battle Round Six

The corpse rain continued, and Zombies fell all around Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir, trapping him and his Magmadroth.

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Leaning low over the side of his beast, Hursgar-Grimnir swept the area around him with his long Latchkey Axe, cutting through every Zombie as if it were wheat.

In a concerted effort, both Necromancers and Cyssandra hurled Arcane Bolts at both Magmadroths, the beasts reeling under the impact of magic as it repeatedly hammered them. Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir’s Magmadroth, in particular, was badly hurt by his assault, and developed a noticeable limp.

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Confident that the Magmadroths were now too wounded for the Fyreslayers to risk battling her directly, Cyssandra directed her ancient will to her Zombies, once more channeling the Bloodfeast through them.

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As a Necromancer clambered up onto the top of the Arcane Ruins, hoping to keep out of the reach of Fyreslayers, Cyssandra and her Zombies tore into the Vulkite Berzerkers. While they were able to fend off the mindless swings of the Zombies, they could do nothing to stop the supernaturally fast thrusts of the Vampire’s blade, and three more Fyreslayers met their end at her hands.

Rallying, the Vulkie Berzerkers formed a hasty shield wall and, with a mighty roar, drove the Zombies back with one combined push. Staggering back from the blow, the Zombies had no time to react as the Berzerkers followed this up with their axes, and every Zombie was cut down – leaving Cyssandra suddenly very alone.

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Finally freed of Skeletons and Zombies, Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir spied the enemy he had sworn an oath to end.

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Runes glowing with powerful energies, Hursgar-Grimnir bellowed a warcry as his Magmadroth thundered towards Cyssandra, who had just started to realise how vulnerable she had become.

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The Vampire Lady jumped back to avoid being trampled by the Magmadroth, but Runefather Hursgar-Grimnir had anticipated the move, and his Latchkey Axe swung down, narrowly missing Cyssandra’s neck. However, its edge bit deep into her shoulder and she cried out in pain and terror. Hissing back, she prepared to leap towards Hursgar-Grimnir to tear his throat out, but his Magmadroth quickly snapped its jaws round to close around her body.

With a shake and flood of lava, the reign of Cyssandra was ended.

 

Conclusion

That was a good battle – a really good one. The pace is spot on, with the undead appearing in drips and drabs to begin with, then slowly whittling the Fyreslayers down as the game progresses.

Despite the Fyreslayers managing to keep most of their units intact to the end (the Hearthguard and Vulkite Berzerkers both suffered the most), it nearly went ill for them, and both Magmadroths were heavily wounded by the time Cyssandra was slain. In fact, if Cyssandra had managed to dodge the Runefather’s attacks, she would have had a not unlikely chance to finish him off!

Two things really swung things in the favour of the Fyreslayers – the first was the Terrorgheist and its distinct lack of effect. It should have torn apart the Hearthguard Berzerkers (who, to be fair, did not entirely distinguish themselves in this battle either) and given the Runesmiter something to seriously think about – and if it had toppled him, then it would have been free to rampage around the rearmost units of the Fyreslayers. They would have had to pull back to deal with it, giving Cyssandra more time to prepare a robust defence.

As it was, the Terrorgheist missed with most of its attacks or watched them simply bounce off Fyreslayers.

The Fyreslayers also managed to get a double turn at exactly the right time (between rounds four and five). They did not kill a huge amount with it, but this allowed them to move their bulk of their force right into Cyssandra’s backyard, again reducing the time she had to summon reinforcements. When she was forced to engage the Fyreslayers, she only had the Zombies to properly support her and a series of (very) lucky strikes from the Vulkite Berzerkers finished them off perhaps a turn before they should have done.

Once again caught out, Cyssandra was then vulnerable to the charge of the Runefather.

Anyway, thems the breaks for an immortal! This is a really good Battleplan and, if you have Fyreslayers, I recommend you take an oath and try to finish off the Master (or Mistress) of Death lurking in the nearby cavern!

 

The Story Continues…

Well, the time has come. We are all set and now ready to embark upon the Godbeasts campaign. Archaon is back and he has a plan…