Battle Report – Hammer and Anvil

The fight for the Great Green Torc that hangs in the sky above the Scabrou Sprawl is in full swing, and a new force now enters the fray…

 

The Story So Far

The Battle for the Torc hung in the balance. Both Stormcasts and the forces of Chaos had battered one another heavily, while the Spiderfang Grots who lived there were fighting a guerrilla war against both, just trying to survive.

Without constant reinforcement, the Rotbringers who had gained a foothold upon the torc were gradually being whittled down by the Stormcasts and Spiderfang Grots. Over the following weeks, the Stormcasts gradually pushed their way around the torc, finally entering Springseed and Rebirth, the domains of at one end of the torc. There stood Castle Neonatus, and they gained its walls just in time, for they had been followed by a combined force of Rotbringers and Brayherd. Under the massive rocks hurled by Cygors, a section of the castle broke away and slid into the Amethyst Gate, where it would be greeted by the Lord of Death himself, Nagash. The remaining Stormcasts prepared to sell themselves dearly.

Then, everything changed. A new army arrived on the battlefield – a large tribe of Spiderfang Grots. They had seen their chance to rid themselves of the forces of Nurgle who had corrupted their home, and now threw themselves at their greater enemy, accepting a temporary alliance with the Stormcasts against a far more dangerous foe.

If they could win here, the Great Green Torc would be robbed from the forces of Chaos.

 

The Forces

This is a three-way Battleplan, with the forces of Nurgle trapped between the Stormcasts and Spiderfang Grots.

Rotbringers
Lord of Plagues
Chaos Warriors x 24 (two units of 12)
Chaos Knights x 5
Gors x 40 (one unit of 20, two units of 10)
Ungors x 30 (one unit of 20, one unit of 10)
Bestigors x 10
Warshrine of Nurgle
Cygor
Ghorgon

The forces of Nurgle have been battered in recent battles, but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Notably, these include a Ghorgon and Cygor, along with a Warshrine of Nurgle.

Stormcast Eternals
Lord-Castellant
Knight-Heraldor
Judicators x 10 (two units of 5)
Decimators x 5
Retributors x 5
Liberators x 25 (five units of 5)

The Stormcasts too have been hammered in this campaign, and they have just lost their to leadership to the breaking of Castle Neonatus. However, help is on the way…

Spiderfang Grots
Big Boss on Gigantic Spider
Spider Riders x 30 (three units of 10)
Arachnarok x 2

 

The Battleplan

This Battleplan lasts for six rounds, with the Stormcasts and Spiderfang Grots having to wipe out the forces of Nurgle to claim victory. The Rotbringers still have some pride, however, and despite being bracketed by both of their enemies, they can re-roll any Battleshock tests.

The Stormcasts, on the other hand, can re-roll any saves if they do not move (being the Anvil), while the Arachnaroks deal mortal wounds whenever they charge (being the hammer).

We will be using the Tome of War Sheet for the Great Green Torc once more, this time using the Rebirth section. This brings back models to every unit that suffers a loss, while Wizards (just a Grot Shaman in this battle!) know the Back From the Dead spell, capable of resurrecting monsters and heroes.

One last word, as it will become very relevant later on… While the Spiderfang Grots and Stormcasts both win if they can wipe out the Rotbringers, the major victory will only be awarded to the force that slays the most models.

Keep that in mind as you read on…

 

Deployment

The Rotbringers were immediately forced to deploy back to back, ready to receive a charge from either Spiderfang Grot or Stormcast. While the Stormcasts deployed along a wide front, the Spiderfang Grots, knowing well how nasty the Rotbringers could be, concentrated their force into two distinct areas on the flanks.

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Battle Round One

Sensing time was against them, the Stormcasts led the charge into the Rotbringers. Liberators were the first to crash into the Rotbringers, singling out a unit of Chaos Knights, slaying one immediately.

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Not wanting to be left behind and eager to exact revenge upon the Rotbringers for their oppression since they arrived on the Great Green Torc, the Spiderfang Grots quickly followed.

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The vengeance of the Grots was terrible to behold as they were urged onwards by both their Boss and Shaman, and their spiders fell upon a unit of Bestigors, shredding the beastmen apart before pouncing forward to engage nearby Gors. Between the Spider Riders and the Liberators, the Rotbringers were already finding themselves squeezed between two murderous foes.

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The rest of the Spiderfang Grot and Stormcast armies did not reach their enemies so quickly, but they were well on their way. The Knight-Heraldor raised his trumpet and blew, a thunderous sound rolling out to break apart branches and bring down trees in one of the woods strewn across the battlefield. Falling trunks crushed an Ungor and damaged the Warshrine of Nurgle.

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Fighting the Rotbringers was not without its risks though, and a Liberator succumbed quickly to Nurgle’s Rot, even as he approached them. The Lord of Plagues could see he was vastly outnumbered, and he ordered his troops to pull away from the Stormcasts to concentrate on the Spiderfang Grots.

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Callously, he threw two units of Ungors into the paths of the Stormcasts, hoping to slow them down.

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Hefting a large boulder above its head, the Cygor tossed the rock at a nearby Arachnarok Spider, but it did little more than causing the monster to notice its prey. The Cygor then heeded the commands of the Lord of Plagues, following him and a group of Gors into a unit of Spider Riders.

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The Grots were caught offguard by this attack, but their spiders were alert enough. Gors fell to the ground as poison wracked their bodies, and even the Cygor swayed under its effects.

More Gors raced past the Numinous Occulum to engage more Spider Riders but, again, the poisonous fangs of the spiders took a dreadful toll.

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All across the battlefield, Gors broke and ran, fearful of fighting beasts whose fangs dripped a deadly poison. The Spiderfang Grots mostly held their nerve, though a handful slipped into the surrounding jungle and its safety.

 

Battle Round Two

The Rebirthing of the Great Green Torc took effect, and both Spiderfang Grot and a Liberator were returned to life, much to the dismay of the Rotbringers.

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The Rotbringers were now firmly caught between two armies, and the rest of the Spiderfang Grots and Stormcasts began to move in. The Grot Shaman hurled an Arcane Bolt at a Gor that have been brave enough (or stupid enough) to stand its ground, freeing up the Spider Riders who had been hunting it. They now raced forward into the Warshrine of Nurgle and the Chaos Warriors clustered around in its defence.

Meanwhile, a retinue of Liberators charged from the opposite side.

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Once again, the poisonous fangs of the spiders wreaked havoc among the Rotbringers, whose resilience to disease was no defence against cold venom. Half the Chaos Warriors succumbed to the poison of the spiders and Warblades of the Liberators in seconds, and many of the others chose to flee rather than face certain death. The Warshrine itself was rocked by the assault, and its bearers stumbled under the wounds they received.

As one of the Arachnarok Spiders started to feast upon unfortunate Gors, the Spider Riders supporting it concentrated on the Cygor, delivering ore poison straight into its veins.

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Across the battlefield, more Gors started to flee, but more Spider Riders had started to join them.

However, the Great Green Torc was indiscriminate in its Rebirthing, and now Chaos Warriors and Knights started to return to life.

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The Lord of Plague smiled as he hefted his axe and raced towards the Arachnarok, keen to pit his skills against a worthy foe.

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However, the Arachnarok Spider’s hard chitin shell proved harder to breach than he had reckoned, even with his great axe, and he backed off slightly to assess his next strategy.

 

Battle Round Three

By this stage of the battle, the Rotbringers had been hit hard by the combined might of Stormcast and Spiderfang Grot. They were still holding out in small pockets, but now their attackers moved in for the final slaughter.

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At this point, a dangerous rivalry sprang up between the Grots and the Stormcasts, with neither willing to let the other grab glory. They both started to engage in a series of reckless charges, trying to claim Rotbringer lives before the other.

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Having slain so many Gors earlier in the battle, the Spiderfang Grots were confident that the fight would be theirs, but there were still plenty of Rotbringers left alive. The great Cygor was finally overwhelmed by the sheer amount of venom in its system and it collapsed, the Spider Riders it was fighting leaping over its still body to attack the Lord of Plagues. Wounded by their fangs and spears, the Lord of Plagues retreated into the nearby woods, looking for an escape of his own.

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The Chaos Knights had the same idea, and kill enough Spider Riders to break free of the slaughter and gallop away.

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The Spiderfang Grots were far from safe from the attentions of the Rotbringers, however, as both Arachnarok Spiders stumbled under the effects of Nurgle’s Rot, the virulent disease wracking their bodies with painful buboes.

 

Battle Round Four

One of the Arachnarok Spiders was in clear distress from the Nurgle’s Rot sweeping over its frame, and the Lord of Plagues took advantage of its distraction, quietly making his way through the trees to creep up behind it.

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With a loud cry, he rushed out of the woods, axe held high above his head. Bringing his weapon down, he cracked the chitin-sheathed abdomen of the spider revelling in the gush of diseased ichor that flowed over him as the monster sank down onto the ground and died.

Meanwhile, as the Chaos Knights galloped further away from their pursuers, the few surviving Chaos Warriors broke from combat and tried to run as well, though the only ground free from enemies was right in the centre of the battlefield. Surely they could not remain safe for long.

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The Spiderfang Grots and Stormcasts both rallied quickly and set about chasing the fleeing Rotbringers, though both were still trying to outdo the other. The Spiderfang Shaman hurled an Arcane Bolt at the Lord of Plagues but was then carried off on the back of his Arachnarok Spider to chase the Chaos Warriors.

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The Lord of Plagues called for aid as he was ringed by a unit of Spider Riders, and he desperately fell back into the trees as they pounced forward. The only sign of the Lord’s demise was the rustling of trees before the Spider Riders emerged once more, covered in brackish blood.

The Chaos Warriors had been unable to respond to their Lord#s call for assistance, as they had very serious problems of their own. Caught in the open, they were quickly surrounded by Decimators, Retributors, Liberators and Spider Riders, all led by the Lord-Castellant.

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Hammers swung and axes descended, and most Chaos Warriors were slain where they stood. One managed to shoulder his way past his attackers and he raced into the jungle, to be later hunted down by vengeful Spiderfang Grots.

This left the Chaos Knights as the only surviving Rotbringers on the battlefield, and the combined forces of Spiderfang Grots and Stormcasts started to make their way to them, all intent on being the ones to claim the final kills.

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Battle Round Five

Knowing that, even when weighed down by armour, Chaos Knights could be very mobile, the Grot Shaman called upon the power of the Rebirthing, and raised the slain Arachnarok Spider back from the dead.

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Stormcast and Grot then advanced, running to cut off any chance of escape for the Chaos Knights.

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Urging their steeds through complicated manouevres, the Chaos Knights outwitted the Spiderfang Grots who had caught up to them, and gained more distance, even as the Rebvirthing brought them back up to full strength. Time was running out, however…

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Battle Round Six

The Spiderfang Grots were the only ones fast enough to reach the Chaos Knights in time, and they cackled as they descended upon their prey, knowing they had beaten the Stormcasts and proved their worth over Sigmar’s shiny soldiers.

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However, once again the Chaos Knights managed to evade the worst of their attacks.

Seeing their chance, the Chaos Knights broke free of the battle and thundered off into the jungle. The Rotbringers had been smashed as an effective fighting force, but it would be many years before the Spiderfang Grots would be able to hunt down them all. Until then, the few survivors among the Rotbringers would band together and constantly strike out at the grots, taking their toll over the coming weeks and months.

The Rotbringers had earned a major victory.

 

Conclusion

It has to be said, that battle was for the Spiderfang Grots and Stormcasts to lose -and they did! The Stormcast player (that would be me) told the Spiderfang player (that would be Andy) that the Chaos Knights were going to be a problem way back in the second round. But did either of us listen to that most sage advice?

Nope! Not even slightly!

No, we were both far more interested in claiming more kills than the other, which would have determined who claimed the major victory assuming our side won.

This is a classic example of not focussing on the objectives.

Was a lot of fun though and, if I am honest, I am not sure either of us would have changed what we did, even had we known the result beforehand!

 

The Story Continues…

While the war seems to have been won on the Great Green Torc, things are not going so well back on the Scabrous Sprawl. In fact, complete disaster awaits…

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One Response to “Battle Report – Hammer and Anvil”

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

    […] Hammer and Anvil On the Great Green Torc, the battle of Order versus Chaos still raged as the Stormcasts tried to cleanse the land of Rotbringer and Brayherd. This time, they had unlikely allies in the form of Spiderfang Grots who had been constantly oppressed by the forces of Chaos and now saw their chance to gain freedom. However, despite being caught between these two forces, the Rotbringers drew their army in tight and weathered constant attacks, ensuring they would be present upon the Great Green Torc for many years to come. […]


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