Battle Report – Pincer Attack

We are still on Orb Infernia, and the Seraphon, long having meddled in the plans of the Daemon Prince Tetrarchy there, are now beginning to suffer as the forces of Chaos finally unite and start tearing apart the celestial army. Just to throw fire onto this delicate situation, Lord Khul travels from the Ashlands to Orb Infernia to bring his own particular brand of rage to the proceedings.

 

The Story So Far

Lord Khul was angry. Far angrier than usual. Furious even.

He had been betrayed by the Daemon Prince Skinskein, who had promised he would help flank the Stormcasts so Lord Khul could destroy his archenemies. When the daemonic legions did not appear, Lord Khul was left to fight the Stormcasts with just his Bloodbound, allowing Sigmar’s warriors to defeat him ignominiously.

Fuming, Lord Khul travelled with his Bloodbound to Orb Infernia to wreak his bloody revenge upon the Daemon Princes, culminating with Skinskein.

One by one, Lord Khul fought the Daemon Princes, banishing each one with his mighty axe. As he crushed Skinskein’s face, both mortals and daemons of Chaos bowed at his feet – Lord Khul now had all the armies of Orb Infernia at his command. He turned his attention to the Seraphon who were still rampaging in the Daemon Princes’ old territory.

Starmaster Xen’phantica watched Lord Khul’s victories with interest and began assembling a force to defeat him within the canyons of the Ghostglass Peaks. Deployed within a narrow pass, the forces of Chaos would be unable to bring their numbers to bear.

However, the magical walls and terrain of the Ghostglass Peaks, while forming a dangerous barrier to daemons both Celestial and Chaos, proved no obstacle to mortals. As Lord Khul led his Bloodbound against the Seraphon who were already engaged with his daemons, the Slann Starmaster began to realise that he was the one who had fallen into a trap…

 

The Forces

The Seraphon are decidedly outnumbered in this battle and, caught between Daemons and Chaos mortals, they will have to fight hard just to survive.

Bloodbound
Daemon Prince (Lord Khul)
Bloodsecrator
Slaughterpriest
Aspiring Deathbringer
Bloodreavers x 40 (two units of 20)
Blood Warriors x 25 (two units of 10, one unit of 5)
Skullreapers x 5
Skullcrushers x 3
Khorgorath

Chaos Daemons
Herald of Khorne on Juggernaut
Bloodletters x 20
Bloodcrushers x 6
Plaguebearers x 20
Pink Horrors x 20
Daemonettes x 20
Nurglings x 6
Burning Chariot
Seeker Chariots x 2

Chaos has the superior force (by far!) here, but they will have to act quickly, as this Battleplan lasts a mere four rounds. Their most powerful unit is Lord Khul himself, but there are plenty of other hard-hitting units and no shortage of cannon fodder in the form of Bloodreavers and lesser Daemons.

Seraphon
Slann Starmaster (Xen’phantica)
Eternity Warden
Skink Starpriest
Oldblood on Carnosaur (Klaq-tor)
Scar-Veteran on Cold One
Saurus Warriors x 40 (two units of 20)
Saurus Guard x 15 (three units of 5)
Saurus Knights (two units of 10)
Skinks x 40 (two units of 20)
Stegadon x 2
Bastiladon

All the Seraphon have to do in this battle is survive – and with the Eterntal Starhost surrounding the Starmaster, plus the brutish Stegadons and other big dinosaurs, they might just stand a chance. However, either way, casualties are going to be enormous.

 

Battleplan

This is a fairly simple Battleplan on first glance – the Seraphon deploy in the middle, while the two Chaos armies take a short table edge each (they have a general each, and so can use two command abilities every round). The Seraphon decide who takes the first turn, but it goes downhill for them from there.

The battle will last for four rounds, with the Seraphon gaining a major victory if any of them survive, Chaos gaining the major victory if they instead get wiped out. Once again, the Orb Infernia Time of War sheet is being used.

 

Deployment

The Seraphon based their defence around the Numinous Occulum. This placed the Starmaster Xen’phantica dangerously close to Lord Khul and his Bloodbound, but meant the Slann could leverage the full power of the Occulum for his spells. He would be further aided by the constellation that hung high in the sky above them, of the Sage’s Staff.

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The forces of Chaos, Bloodbound on one side and a combined army of daemons on the other, wasted no time as they deployed and, with a howl from Lord Khul, they advanced.

 

Battle Round One

As Lord Khul growled at nearby Bloodreavers, promising them dire consequences if they should even think about running, a retinue of Bloodcrushers dove into the Realmgate and, guided by the arcane skills of Pink Horrors, reappeared on the other side of the battlefield, right in front of a Stegadon.

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As one, the two Chaos forces closed in upon the beleaguered Seraphon.

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A might crash echoed across the landscape as daemon and mortal hurled themselves at the Seraphon.

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The daemons had seen what a Bastiladon was capable of in past battles, and it immediately became a target. Pink Horrors and the Burning Chariot swept clear the thin line of Skinks shielding the beast, before a Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh crashed into its thick armoured hide. However, the impact did little more than scratch a single toughened scale.

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Blood Warriors recklessly charged into the Oldblood atop his Carnosaur but met instant resistance. Nearby Saurus Guard pummelled the Blood Warriors before the Carnosaur opened its great maw and savaged the rest. The few survivors retreated quickly, hoping Lord Khul would not witness their cowardice.

Luckily for them, Lord Khul had taken to the skies and swooped onto the Numinous Occulum to confront Starmaster Xen’phantica directly. His axe howled with bloodlust as it swung, the Saurus Guard and Eternity Warden raising their shields in a desperate attempt to protect the Slann. Gleeful at having reached his prey so early, Lord Khul threw a series of heavy blows that not even the Eternity Warden could defend and then, with an ear-splitting screech, reality itself broke.

The Eternity Warden and Starmaster Xen’phantica were pulled from Orb Infernia straight into the Realm of Chaos, to face a timeless torment. The Saurus Guard, dismayed at their failure to protect the Starmaster, rained blows upon Lord Khul, crippling the Daemon Prince and forcing him to retire from the battlefield.

Both forces had lost their generals very early on, but this was likely to hurt the Seraphon a great deal more as they now only had a single Starpriest to rely upon for magical support.

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Elsewhere, Skinks had been charged by another Seeker Chariot, but they had skillfully melted away from the whips of the Daemonettes on board, and now slipped behind the main line of Chaos daemons. Relatively safe from attack, they began hurling javelins at the Plaguebearers defending the Realmgate, the small but deadly missiles peppering the daemons with noticeable effect.

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On the other side of the line against the daemonic force, the Scar-Veteran remembered how he had held up an entire force of Nurgle daemons in a past battle and urged his Cold One on with all speed to the Plaguebearers and Bloodletters coming up the flank.

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In the initial charge, the Scar-Veteran sustained no injuries and slew a Plaguebearer, but reality blinked once more – this time bringing two more Plaguebearers to fight him.

Despite being mired by Bloodcrushers, the Skinks within the Stegadon’s howdah kept their heads and aimed their Skybolt Bow at the Bloodsecrator as he prepared to plant his Icon of Khorne. The bolt found its mark and left the Bloodsecrator badly wounded. Meanwhile, the Bastildon charged up its crystal and unleashed a terrifying bolt of energy that blasted a retinue of Daemonettes, their screams reaching the ears of even the Bloodbound on the opposite side of the Seraphon. The beast then turned and swung its tail, smashing apart the Seeker Chariot that had ploughed into it, even as Saurus Guard destroyed the Burning Chariot of Tzeentch nearby.

 

Battle Round Two

Despite losing Starmaster Xen’phantica, the Seraphon had gained a new confidence as the forces of Chaos who outnumbered them were either stalled or destroyed. They began to advance away from their defensive positions to go onto the attack.

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Lumbering forward, the Bastiladon blasted one unit of Pink Horrors with its crystal before charging into another, sending them scampering out of the way before they could be crushed by its great bulk.

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On the other side of the Numinous Occulum, the Oldblood surged forward on his Carnosaur to engage the Khorgorath.

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The battle was short, but very bloody, as the Khorgorath was torn apart by the Carnosaur. Nearby Skullreapers reacted quickly though, and threw themselves into the fray, their daemonic weapons gouging deep wounds in the Carnosaur’s flanks.

In the distance, Saurus Knights charged the oncoming Bloodreavers, hoping to at least stall the Bloodbound advance, and their Celestial Lances found their mark, skewering seven of the barbarians. However, the Cold Ones then found themselves bogged down by the sheer number of Bloodreavers, and all but two Saurus Knights were destroyed.

The Stegadons faced mixed fates. One was finally killed by the Bloodcrushers that had surprised it by using the Realmgate, while the other honked with pleasure as its horns broke apart the last Seeker Chariot.

Raising his axe high, the Slaughterpriest called upon Khorne to boil the blood of the Saurus Guard but the Blood God had noted that his follower had yet to wet his weapon, and cursed the Slaughterpriest with crippling pains.

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The Skinks that had slipped behind the daemonic line were proving to develop into a major nuisance, and the Pink Horrors summoned Daemonettes and a Bloodcrusher in an effort to trap them.

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The Pink Horrors then altered the strands of fate as Nurglings leapt, giggling, through the Realmgate. They reappeared close to the remaining Stegadon, falling over one another in an effort to reach the huge beast first.

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With small battles breaking out all over the field, the last waves of Chaos troops advanced into the fray, spearheaded by a large column of Bloodreavers.

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Magical flames from the Pink Horrors bathed the Bastiladon with sorcerous light, but it emerged completely unscathed, honking its anger at the tiny daemons. Close to the Realmgate, Daemonettes and Plaguebearers finally trapped the Skinks, but the Seraphon had other ideas.

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Like warm butter, the Skinks flowed past the daemons, though the Daemonettes managed to decapitate a few with snips of their claws before they could get away.

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More Daemonettes charged into the Saurus Warriors ringing the Stegadon, and the sudden attack dealt heavy casualties. The Aspiring Deathbringer was particularly furious, as the Daemonettes had claimed the kills before he had a chance to swing his axe. Promising future retribution upon the Slaaneshi daemons, he hunted for a worthy target.

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More Skinks had been trapped close to the Stegadon and, this time there was to be no escape. Surrounded by Pink Horrors, and Bloodletters, there was simply nowhere for them to run, and they were destroyed by savage thrusts of Hellblades.

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Back at the Numinous Occulum, the Saurus Guard were working in harmony, lashing out with glaives charged with celestial energies. They finally repelled the last of the Skullcrushers to besiege the, then calmly waited for the next wave of attacks to arrive.

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However, they proved to be too far away to aid the Oldblood on his Carnosaur, who was finally brought crashing to the ground by the Skullreapers.

 

Battle Round Three

Seeing the Bastiladon swamped by lesser daemons of all Chaos powers, the Skink Starpriest threw a Mystic Shield over it, confident the great beast could now weather anything that was thrown at it.

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Meanwhile, the Skinks started to move towards the Realmgate, causing no little consternation for the Daemonettes pursuing them – if the Skinks were allowed to reach the Realmgate, they could escape and survive the carnage taking place across the battlefield.

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Now the de facto leader of the Seraphon, the Starpriest carefully observed the ebb and flow of the battle. While the Seraphon had taken punishing losses, so had the forces of Chaos, and there was a small but growing chance that they could hold their ground. With a quick gesture, the Starpriest ordered the Saurus Knights to flee from battle, bringing them back to defend the Numinous Occulum that had become a fortress for the Seraphon.

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Agony then consumed the Starpriest, as the celestial blood flowing through his veins ignited boiling him from within. The Starpriest managed to shake off the attack, but he had been seriously wounded. A little further away, the Slaughterpriest grinned, glad to be back in the Blood God’s favour.

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The Pink Horrors summoned more of their kin to aid them, again in an effort to trap the Skinks and stop them from reaching the Realmgate.

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Once again, the Skinks slipped through the grasping claws of daemons to re-position themselves right at the foot of the Realmgate.

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All around the Numinous Occulum, the forces of Chaos closed in, and the Saurus Guard set themselves to receive charges.The Slaughterpriest led the charge with the Skullreapers, along with Bloodcrushers and Bloodreavers.

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Enjoying the protection of both the Numinous Occulum itself and the Eternal Starhost, the Saurus Guard proved near impossible to shift. Only two Saurus Guard fell to the axes and blades of Khorne, while the Slaughterpriest was left badly injured by one of their glaives. The greatest disaster for Khorne though was left to the Bloodreavers who had charged the Saurus Guard defending the rear of the Occulum.

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Eight Bloodreavers fell immediately to the Saurus Guard, and another four ran as fast as their legs could carry them. Those who remained were now unsteady and ready to bolt at the first opportunity.

Further away, distant from the Numinous Occulum, the Scar-Veteran was still fighting valiantly, holding up Daemons of Nurgle as he had in so many battles before.

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However, the combined might of nearly a score of Bloodletters finally brought the Bastiladon to its knees and they scrambled onto its back to slay the Skink crew before driving a Hellblade through its skull. With a final shudder, the Bastiladon finally lay still.

 

Battle Round Four

Time was beginning to run out for the forces of Chaos. While they had managed to destroy most of the Seraphon army, determined pockets still remained – and none were so staunch as the Starpriest and Saurus Guard within the Numinous Occulum.

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Once again, the Slaughterpriest boiled the blood of the Starpriest, demonstrating the power of Khorne over mastery of the stars. Though now struggling to stand, the tiny Starpriest still managed to summon enough energy to unbind the Arcane Bolt that the Pink Horrors tried to hurl at him.

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However, the Starpriest could do nothing to stop the magical fire the Pink Horrors drenched the Numinous Occulum with, and he returned to the Celestial Realm ravaged by flames.

The Scar-Veteran finally met his own end as the Plagueswords of Nurgle found their mark, the Cold One scratching and clawing at daemons even as they tore it apart.

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The Stegadon too was surrounded by daemons of Nurgle and mortal followers of Khorne. Though it had held steady against waves of attackers throughout the battle, this last surge proved too much and it finally succumbed to its many wounds.

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There were now all too few Seraphon left. The Skinks had failed to reach the Realmgate before the daemons could cut them off and now it was their turn to be slaughtered, on the steps of their escape.

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All the remained now was a single retinue of Saurus Guard behind the Numinous Occulum. Dispatching the last Bloodreavers with ease, they then planted their feet, drew their shields together and leaned into the charge of a Bloodletter horde.

Hellblades flashed and Celestial glaives were thrust from behind shields on this last, desperate fight of the battle. If the forces of Chaos could smash this last pocket of resistance, victory would be theirs.

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One Saurus Guard fell to the ground before bursting apart in starry light as it travelled back to the dreams of Slann Starmasters, but the others fought hard, driving the Bloodletters back and sending many back to their Blood God.

Against such determined resistance, the will of the daemonic hordes, now completely leaderless, was broken. The grip of the Seraphon upon Orb Infernia was shattered but they had made the Daemons of Chaos pay heavily. While the daemons would now be free to aid Archaon in his quest for the first of the Godbeasts, they would not be present in the numbers the Everchosen had demanded.

The battle, though it had cost the life of a Slann Starmaster, was a victory for the Seraphon.

 

Conclusion

That was another close one, and no mistake! Chaos had to wipe out the Seraphon completely to gain victory and, in the end, only two Saurus Guard remained!

The Seraphon gave the first turn to Chaos, which proved to be something of an issue, as it allowed Lord Khul to kill both the Slann Starmaster and his Eternity Warden almost immediately (though it caused Lord Khul to be banished from the battlefield too). This deprived the Seraphon of most of their spell support and any chance of summoning reinforcements right from the start.

However, the Seraphon dug down and managed to stick it out. A single unit of Skinks tied up several units of daemons and effectively sucked up all the summoning the Chaos forces could bring to bear, all in an effort to try and trap them (Skinks are very good at that). However, the heroes of the tale have to be the Saurus Guard who, while taking enormous casualties (13 out of 15) managed to keep on fighting right until the end and land the Seraphon a victory.

With just two models left, it could so easily have gone the other way, but the Saurus Guard did the lizards proud!

 

The Story Continues…

With the Seraphon now driven from Orb Infernia and Skarbrand rampaging in the Ashlands of Asphyxia, the forces of Order have their work cut out for them. Next time, we will be engaging in a truly epic fight, so large it needs two Battleplans that are fought on two tables, simultaneously!

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One Response to “Battle Report – Pincer Attack”

  1. The Realmgate Wars – A Retrospective | A Tabletop Gamer's Diary Says:

    […] Pincer Attack Forced to retreat, the Seraphon fell back to the ruins of a Numinous Occulum. The daemonic forces were quick to react, and they fell upon the Seraphon from two sides, launching wave after wave of attacks. Though many Seraphon were dispatched back to Azyr and their Slann Starmaster badly wounded, they managed to hold the line, frustrating the efforts of the Daemon Princes. […]


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