So, we finally come to it – the final battle of the Godbeasts campaign. Expect a confrontation of truly epic proportions…
The Story So Far
The Great Green Torc had been liberated from Chaos and immediately started rejuvenating itself, springing with new life. Without the possibility of reinforcement, the few Chaos warbands remaining were left fighting for their survival as the ruthless Spiderfang Grots hunted them down.
Upon the Scabrous Sprawl, Behemat had been roused to a state of demented agony by the Skaven drills boring into him, and cracks and chasms opened up across the land as the Godbeast shifted. Massive hands, knuckles tipped with mountain peaks rose, sending avalanches that crushed even one of the mighty parasite engines of the Skaven. The terrifying tectonic grinding made armies impossible to coordinate as the mound of Tor Crania rose, revealing Behemat’s head, roaring in pain at impossible volume.
Archaon’s plan to awake Behemat had worked.
With Bloab fleeing the Scabrous Sprawl, the forces of Chaos were left leaderless but for the Skaven, though they fought all the more viciously for it. The Stormcasts were dreadfully outnumbered and, with Sigmar’s attention split between the Scabrous Sprawl and the fate of Alarielle, they were set to be wiped out.
Dracothion then turned his form to starlight and rippled across the skies, hurling a rain of meteors into the war zone. Behemat tried to grab him with a hand the size of an island, but Dracothion slipped free, and then delivered the reinforcements the Stormcasts desperately needed – the Chamber Extremis.
Together, the Stormcasts rallied and assaulted Tor Crania. Their goal – deliver a killing blow to the World Titan. To do this, they would have to commit the direst of blasphemies and summon the Great Bolts…
This is the final fight of the Godbeasts book, and will determine the fate of Behemat, the World Titan, so we need suitably epic forces. The Stormcasts total nearly 300 wounds, while the combined forces of Chaos are reaching towards 400!
Clans Verminus & Skryre
Stormvermin x 20
Clanrats x 40 (two units of 20)
Jezzails x 5
Warp Lightning Cannon
Stormfiends x 6 (two units of 3)
Chaos Warriors x 36 (three units of 12)
Chaos Knights x 5
Gors x 40 (two units of 10, one unit of 20)
Ungors x 30 (one unit of 10, one unit of 20)
Bestigors x 10
Bullgors x 9 (three units of 3)
Gargants x 4
These forces have combined to represent the last forces Chaos has managed to gather in the Scabrous Sprawl, drawn from the remnants of every army that has fought there so far. This is not without its benefits – they have the likes of Stormvermin, the weapons of Clan Skryre, and four (count them!) Gargants. However, the leadership of the Chaos forces has been completely smashed, and there are no great warriors to command this army other than the Verminlord Warbringer…
Lord-Celestant on Stardrake
Lord-Celestant on Dracoth
Knight-Vexillors x 2
Fulminators x 6 (two units of 3)
Tempestors x 6 (two units of 3)
Concussors x 6 (two units of 3)
Desolators x 6 (two units of 3)
Liberators x 20 (four units of 5)
Retributors x 15 (three units of 5)
Judicators x 10 (two units of 5)
The Stormcasts, on the other hand, have fewer issues with their own combined force, brought together from two Stormhosts, with an Extremis Chamber added for good measure. They are heavily outnumbered by their Chaos enemies, to be sure, but they have brought their biggest guns to bear, and the Extremis Chamber has deployed both the Lightning and Thunder Echelons.
Added to that, they also have a Battalion in the form of the Brotherhood of the Great Bolts, which has to be about the sickest Battalion possible – every round, D3 Great Bolts strike the battlefield, typically doing either D3 or D6 mortal wounds on an enemy unit. However, that is not the thing that will really have Chaos trembling… Oh, no. Using this Battalion, the Celestant-Prime’s damage with Ghal-Maraz jumps from 3 to D3+3. That is an Archaon Killer…
The Stormcasts are aiming to deliver a killing blow upon Tor Crania, aiming for the edifice defended by the forces of Chaos. To do this, they will have to cross the battlefield and destroy the edifice which has 20 wounds, but cannot be hurt by anything other than mortal wounds. This they must do in six rounds to claim a major victory (they get a minor victory if they inflict 10 wounds).
However, as always, there are some complications, not least of which is the lightning storm raging over the battlefield that will be constantly blasting units on both sides (the Stormcasts have some slight protection against this, but not much). Stormcast Heroes can try to harness this lightning as they will all have access to the Fury of the Storm spell.
The Scabrous Sprawl Tie of War sheet is also being used for this battle.
As the armies assembled, the Lord-Celestants saw the magnitude of the task ahead of them. The Stormcasts were hugely outnumbered and, worse, it seemed as though the Gargants of the Sprawl had turned against them too.
Ever wary of Stormcasts striking down from the heavens on bolts of lightning, the Verminlord had flooded the region around the dais with Ungors and Clanrats, while keeping his best troops forward to battle the Stormcasts. This tactic caused much chagrin to one retinue of Retributors, who had been held back in a nearby woods alongside Knight-Vexillor precisely for this purpose.
Battle Round One
With a cry from the Lord-Celestants, the Stormcasts surged forward, the Dracothian Guard at their vanguard.
Bolts of lightning lashed down from the storm overhead, but they seemed indiscriminate as one earthed through a Knight-Vexillor. As Judicators started sighting primary targets among the hordes of Chaos, the Dracoths of the Thunder Echelon struck.
More lightning discharged, this time from the weapons of the Dracothian Guard, as they hit the Chaos front line with the force of the God-King’s own hammer. Two units of Bullgors were instantly flattened, and even the Runeshields of the Chaos Warriors proved little defence against the Dracothian Guard’s weapons and the claws of their Dracoths.
The Lord-Celestant on the back of a Stardrake shouted a new order and commanded a Ruinous Assault.
The Dracothian Guard surged forward once again and started to force their way through the Chaos line, with one Dracoth biting the head off a Gargant with a single snap of its mighty jaws.
The Liberators advanced more cautiously but proved just as irresistible.
Even under the weight of this punishing assault, the Chaos line held but gaps started appearing as Chaos Warriors and Stormvermin began to break and flee. The Verminlord hissed dire warnings as they fled past it but too many of the comrades had been killed in the first seconds of the battle for them to heed its threats.
The full fury of Sigmar’s wrath had descended upon the Scabrous Sprawl, and the Verminlord knew it had to act quickly if the Stormcasts were going to be repulsed. First things had to come first though, and the Verminlord threw a Mystic Shield about itself, immediately feeling a bit better about the situation. Then, casually, it hurled an Arcane Bolt at a nearby Knight-Vexillor, causing the Stormcast to reel from the attack.
Lightning continued to lash down from the sky, but the Great Bolts were now beyond the full control of the Stormcasts, and both a Retributor and a Concussor were blasted into ashes, even as a lone Chaos Warrior, the sole survivor of the first wave of attacks from the Dracothian Guard, stubbornly held his ground.
Slowly, the forces of Chaos started to regroup and launch their own attacks. The Cygor retreated a few steps to keep distance with the Dracothian Guard, while the Jezzail teams upon the dais blasted a Concussor off his mount and badly wounded another. Stormfiends unleashed waves of poison gas and warpfire, slaughtering three Retributors before they could reach the huge rats. A massive bolt of green lightning erupted from the rear line as the Warp Lightning Cannon discharged powerful energies into the Dracothian Guard, tearing through a Fulminator – it was becoming apparent that even the mighty Dracothian Guard could be killed by determined attacks.
However, the Chaos horde was still suffering losses of its own. The Doomwheel bounced forward over the rough ground to plough into a retinue of Fulminators but their Dracoths nimbly leaped out of the way before turning back to tear the war machine apart with their jaws and claws.
The battlefield shook with more than just the sound of thunder as a Lord-Celestant steadied his own Dracoth and caved in the chest of a Gargant with his Celestine Hammer. Unfortunately, this left him exposed to a rampaging unit of Bestigors, and their large axes hacked him apart, along with a Retributor-Prime. A retinue of Concussors tried desperately to fight their way to their commander but though they were able to avenge themselves upon the Bestigors, they arrived too late to save the Lord-Celestant.
Then, a great cheer went up on the Stormcasts left flank. The Dracothian Guard had slain huge numbers of Gors and Stormfiends, and now a true gap had opened up in the Chaos line!
Battle Round Two
The Great Bolts continued to lash the battlefield, and a Knight-Vexillor was blasted back to Sigmar. However, they also cracked down upon the dais, weakening the structure slightly sand killing several of the Jezzail teams.
The surviving Lord-Celestant waved his hammer, signalling the Lightning Echelon of the Dracothian Guard to begin their Linebreaker Assault. Tempestors and Fulminators now moved into the breaches, riding over any follower of Chaos who got in their way. The lone Chaos Warrior proved to be no obstacle to their relentless advance.
The full weight of the Dracothian Guard was now being applied to a very narrow front, and this tactic was beginning to tell. The Lord-Celestant commanded his Stardrake to take to the air, before diving down on top of the Cygor.
A vicious flurry of swipes from the Stardrake’s claws proved too much for the Cygor, and it crashed to the ground, removing yet another lynch-pin from the Chaos line.
By now, the Linebreaker Assault of the Lightning Echelon had broken through to the Warp Lightning Cannon, but their momentum was running out and the crew of the war machine fought doggedly to keep it safe.
Just a short distance away, a lone Concussor, the only survivor of his retinue, ploughed into a unit of Ungors, pounding each of them into the ground before they realised the Stormcast had reached them.
Seeing the Stormcasts so close to their positions, both Jezzail Teams and Clanrats broke and ran, streaming from the battlefield in a frantic attempt to escape, closely followed by the last of the Ungors.
The Verminlord began to feel its own position was becoming untenable, and it hastily maintained the Mystic Shield protecting it. However, it cast a rueful glance up at the storm raging above as the Great Bolts hammering downwards this time avoided hitting any Stormcast. Even the weather had turned against him.
The Chaos force was now in tatters, and the Verminlord ordered the last of its units to close in around the Dragonfate Dais. However, it decided not to engage in combat itself – the timing just did not look good to it.
With the crew fighting for their lives, the Warp Lightning Cannon failed to generate enough power to blast its attackers, and Clanrats and the Doom-Flayer piled into the Tempestors assaulting it in an effort to free up the war machine.
One Tempestor fell under the wheel of the Doom-Flayer, but the others concentrated on the Warp Lightning Cannon, finally tearing it to splinters.
Battle Round Three
The Great Bolts hammered down once more, this time claiming a Retributor. However, the Stormcasts stoically weathered the loss and continued their march to the dais.
Seeing no other option, the Verminlord then moved in to the front line, sweeping its long glaive to remove the head of a Tempestor, before reversing the weapon to skewer the Stormcast’s Dracoth.
The Great Bolts now seemed to be bending to the will of Sigmar as they lashed Clanrats and started to strike the dais, sending great chunks of stone spiralling into the sky. Concussors and Retributors finally reached the dais and began lending their own hammers to the task, sending great cracks creeping up through the stonework.
The forces of Chaos now started huddling together as the Dracothian Guard and Lord-Celestant on his Stardrake reached them.
A single charge from two retinues of Fulminators saw the end of the Verminlord as they thrust their glaives deep into its body, while the Stardrake derived much pleasure from the slaughter of Clanrats who were, by now, completely helpless.
Battle Round Four
Behemat, the World Titan, shifted as the hammers of the Stormcasts rained down upon his skull, and everyone on the battlefield fell to the ground, unable to keep their balance.
The Doom-Flayer team was the first to recover and, seeing their Verminlord killed, they backed away before sighting the Retributors hammering away at the dais. Cranking up the mechanism of their Doom-Flayer, they ploughed into the side of the Retributors.
The Retributor-Prime barely noticed as he swung his hammer back, inadvertently smashing the Doom-Flayer and flattening its crew. Raising the hammer over his head, he brought it down in one titanic blast of lightning that crushed the skull of the World Titan, instantly calming the land.
Behemat, the World Titan, was dead and now beyond the reach of Archaon. However, though this thwarted the plans of the Everchosen, every Stormcast knew he still had the Godbeast Ignax under his control. The forces of Chaos would soon be resurgent once more…
An epic battle for the final clash in Godbeasts!
The Dracothian Guard truly proved their worth in this battle, and the concentration of their formations on one particular spot among the Chaos forces allowed them to perform perfectly. Once they had started making their way among the Chaos units, the Verminlord had no real answer for them.
However, the Stormcasts did not survive without some painful losses – one Lord-Celestant was killed, as were two Knight-Vexillors (the latter from the Great Bolts rather than Chaos!), and the Dracothian Guard had been whittled down towards the end. If the Chaos horde had just survived a little longer, had just been a bit more accurate with their attacks, the whole Stormcast advance might have started becoming desperate.
The two generals did have disagreement over tactics in this battle – I had been of the opinion that if the dross of the Chaos force had been put in the front line rather than the elite units, the line would have held. After all, the likes of Fulminators are absolutely murderous on the charge, and it makes little difference to them whether they charge Ungors or Bullgors (Damage 3 on the charge means they will likely wipe out either!). However, once the charge has been arrested, their glaives become… somewhat less powerful. Once halted, the forces of Chaos can then grab the initiative and decide who is best positioned to deal with the Dracothian Guard.
The Chaos general disagreed, citing the opinion that these are the Dracothian Guard – nothing is going to stop them!
Who is right? You decide!
The Story Continues…
The Stormcasts have managed to stop Archaon grabbing another Godbeast but the Everchosen still has Ignax in his pocket, and even now both sides are planning the next phase of the Realmgate Wars. However, before we dip into the All-Gates book, we are going to take another tour of the Mortal Realms and see what else has been happening during the Godbeasts campaign, starting with a quick trip to the Realm of Death and the rise of a Flesh-Eater Court…