The Ironjawz made a dramatic entrance to the Mortal Realms in the last battle, and we are going to see what else they can achieve when a few more models are added – this time against some new additions to the Sylvaneth.
The Story So Far
Once, long ago, the island at the heart of Sorrowmere Lake in the centre of Vastclaw Valley was a place of great sanctity to the children of Alarielle. However, during the Age of Chaos, the Sylvaneth were burned alive within the toppled ruins of their shrine, leaving little but ash.
In the centuries that followed, Vastclaw Valley changed hands many times; the barbarian tribes of Lord Hakshadol held it for a while, but were butchered by the Ogors of Mawking Crackmarrow, who were in turn routed by the Ironjawz. The island, surrounded by the Sorrowmere, was highly defensible and the surrounding valley remained bountiful, ensuring someone always wanted possession of it.
The Ironjawz had been busy raising idols to Gorkamorka during the time of Alarielle’s rebirth, and they failed to notice that the Sylvaneth shrine’s realmroots were still leaking the magic of the spirit paths. In time, these grew into a new Realmgate, one the Sylvaneth discovered and were preparing to use.
At the vanguard of the Sylvaneth was Drycha Hammadreth and her Spite-Revenants and while the Ironjawz were caught by surprise, once they realised they were under attack, they were well up for a fight.
As we have tried the Ironjawz out and already know quite a bit on how the Sylvaneth play, we are starting to ramp up the forces for both – not massive armies by any means, but both are beginning to stretch their legs.
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha
Gore-Gruntas x 6 (two units of 3)
Brutes x 15 (three units of 5)
Ardboys x 30 (two units of 15)
Building on the force we used on the last battle, we are now adding a Warchanter, and putting the Megaboss on his very own Maw-Krusha. They are also using the Brutefist Battalion, which bumps up the Wounds of one of the Brute Big Bosses, and allows them to make charge moves in the hero phase.
Spite-Revenants x 10
Dryads x 30 (three units of 10)
Tree-Revenants x 10
Kurnoth Hunters x 12 (four units of 3)
While we are very familiar with the Sylvaneth, we are taking the opportunity to try out some new units in this battle, namely some more Kurnoth Hunters, Spite-Revenants and the Right Hand of Alarielle herself, Drycha Hammadreth. The Sylvaneth will also be using two Battalions, the Household (increasing the Bravery of the Tree-Revenants and locking enemies in place when fighting them), and the Forest Folk (allowing the Dryads to use spirit paths to redeploy across the battlefield).
The battle lasts for five rounds. If, at any point, the Ironjawz have less than a third of the number of models they started with on the table (less than 18 models), the Sylvaneth gain a major victory. Otherwise, a major victory goes to the Ironjawz.
Drycha and her boys are deployed first as a feint, followed the Ironjawz, and then the rest of the Sylvaneth. The trees on the battlefield are not Sylvaneth Wyldwoods (as they have been cut off from the spirit song) but there is a Place of Power which the Sylvaneth can nominate – if they can get a Wizard or their general close to it, they can unleash its power which deals mortals wounds to Ironjawz and heals Sylvaneth. However, every time this power is used, its range increasing, going from 5″ to 10″, then 20″, 40″, etc…
Which could be bad news for the Ironjawz.
The Sylvaneth have a new command ability, allowing them to awaken spirit paths and treat woodland as if it were a Wyldwood. For their part, the Ironjawz have the Come About command ability which allows them to move in the hero phase and charge after retreating, allowing them to reposition themselves quickly.
We will be using the Places of Power Time of War sheet for this fight, which will allow the land to begin to flourish as the Sylvaneth fight for it.
The coming of the Sylvaneth was heralded by a stirring among the trees of the Vastclaw Valley, a ripple through their leaves that had the occupying Orruks looking up into their boughs in puzzlement. This distraction was sufficient for Drycha Hammadreth and her Outcasts to advance towards the Ironjawz encampment.
As the rest of the Sylvaneth marched upon the Ironjawz, the Orruks began to realise they were under attack, and they assembled themselves into a rough battleline as Dryads, Treelords and Tree-Revenants strode out of the wilderness.
The Brutefist, led by the Megaboss atop his Maw-Krusha, had been the first to arrived and faced the Outcasts, while the rest of the Ironjawz faced the bulk of the Sylvaneth army.
Battle Round One
A wave of noise rolled out from the Ironjawz as they bellowed their joy for the upcoming fight. The Megaboss led the way with an almighty Waaagh!, while the Warchanter began a percussive beat on the heads of nearby Ardboyz that got them nicely riled up.
Buoyed by this activity, the Weirdnob Shaman spied a group of Dryads advancing towards him and called upon Gork to bring his massive foot down on top of them. Unfortunately, the Weirdnob was a little too excited and lost control of his chants. The magical feedback whipped around and detonated the head of an Ardboy, much to the amusement of his friends.
Nothing could stop the Ironjawz from getting stuck in though, and they raced forward with the Megaboss leading the charge.
Further down the line, Ardboyz leapt into the Realmgate they had been protecting, and reappeared right in front of the Tree-Revenants, who had been playing their Waypipes in preparation of travelling across the battlefield to seize their ancient Place of Power.
Yelling as they charged, the Ardboyz took the Tree-Revenants by complete surprise, slaying all but the Waypipe player. Seeing that their plan had failed, he fled from the battlefield to live another day.
With his Maw-Krusha struggling to gain altitude, the Megaboss flew into the closest woods, the great bulk of his beast smashing down trees as it landed clumsily. He roared in delight as he saw one of the trees move – the Megaboss had found Drycha Hammadreth.
Drycha was enraged at the destruction the primitive Orruk had wrought upon the Sylvaneth’s sacred ground but the Megaboss had deeper problems. Perhaps spooked by the presence of the Outcasts, perhaps because of a Brute Big Boss seeing a chance to become Megaboss himself, the Maw-Krusha had charged alone, the Brutes behind him delaying their attack.
Barely noticing the betrayal, the Megaboss launched himself at Drycha, his Maw-Krusha smashing into her and sending her reeling as sap drained from multiple gouges in her bark. However, Drycha was by no means finished, and she retaliated with her full fury, knocking the Maw-Krusha senseless and leaving the Megaboss vulnerable.
Gore-Gruntas had run down two units of Dryads, and now the Treelords took action to halt their advance as the Branchwraith hurled an Arcane Bolt at one.
The Branchwych threw a Mystic Shield over Drycha, already near invisible amongst the trees, while Drycha herself launched a spiteful Arcane Bolt into the Megaboss’ face.
As Kurnoth Hunters trained their great bows upon the Maw-Krusha, weakening it still further, Drycha raised her arms and unleashed a piercing shriek of fury. At her summons, a great cloud of Flitterflies left her honeycombed arms and descended upon everyone fighting nearby. However, Drycha’s fury knew no bounds and while the Flitterflies tore through the Ironjawz and shredded the Megaboss, they also fell upon the Sylvaneth, The Branchwych who had granted Drycha a Mystic Shield gave a terrible wail as she was ripped apart by the Flitterflies.
Drycha cared not.
Kurnoth Hunters moved forward to halt the advance of the Gore-Gruntas and Ardboyz, their large swords easily cutting a swathe through the porcine beasts.
Battle Round Two
The trees around the battle began to stir with new life as the Sylvaneth advanced though, so far, the Ironjawz had given as good as they had received.
The Weirdnob Shaman retreated to the Realmgate, hoping to draw upon its power to help fuel his next attempt at summoning the Foot of Gork, but he completely mishandled the magical energies. An explosive pulse of arcane power blasted from the Realmgate, catching the Weirdnob in the explosion. Stumbling and insensible, the Weirdnob tried to regain his bearings as he peered through the evaporating smoke.
Seeing their Megaboss gone did not shake the Brutes at all (perhaps one of them really did intend to take his place), and they lumbered forward to the Spite-Revenants, their heavy armour clanking as they trotted.
Hissing, the Spite-Revenants clawed back at the Brutes in terrible fury, but for all their anger, they completely failed to penetrate the thick armour of the Ironjawz. Laughing at their futile attacks, the Brutes rushed in, clobbering the Outcasts wherever they could be found. In seconds, it was all over, and only Drycha remained.
On the far flank, Ardboyz had swept round and were beginning to turn the flank of the Sylvaneth, and only three Kurnoth Hunters stood between the Orruks and disaster. Thickets grew from their feet, impeding the attacks of the Ardboyz who could not fight their way through. Their attack stalled, the Kurnoth Hunters strode in with their greatswords, hacking five Ardboyz apart as the last of the Dryads fled the battlefield.
The Ironjawz had retained their momentum throughout the battle so far, but now the Sylvaneth moved to enact their own plans.
Becoming embittered at the brutality of the Ironjawz, Drycha threw a Mystic Shield over herself as the Brutes started to advance into her woods. The Treelord Ancient, having impaled a Gore-Grunta as he fought alongside the Treelord, raised his Tendril Staff and a Wyldwood quickly sprang into being just a short distance away.
The Branchwraith immediately took the opportunity to flee into the Wyldwood, avoiding the attentions of the marauding Ardboyz. The Treelord Ancient noticed the Warchanter skulking among nearby trees, and saw the effect his constant beat was having upon nearby Ironjawz. Striding forward, the Treelord Ancient confronted the Warchanter, much to the surprise of the Orruk.
Raising a massive foot, the Treelord Ancient crushed the life out of the Warchanter before the Orruk could so much as squeak in terror, while the Treelord behind him impaled the last Gore-Grunta he had been fighting.
As Kurnoth Hunters trained their bows upon the Brutes, another great cloud of Flitterflies flowed from Drycha. Once more, they did not stop at the Ironjawz but went on to consume a Kurnoth Hunter.
Drycha did not even notice.
Cursing the Outcast, the Kurnoth Hunters advanced towards the Brutes, their great scythes cutting through an entire unit in short order.
On the opposite flank, the Kurnoth Hunters were still holding back the wave of Ardboyz, but they were badly outnumbered.
Battle Round Three
The Branchwraith’s attempt at using the Wyldwood to slip past the Ironjawz had not gone unnoticed, and the Weirdnob Shaman dispensed with his fancy Foot of Gork spell and instead hurled an Arcane Bolt, badly injuring her.
Seeing her try to limp away, the Weirdnob excitedly raced into the woods, finally tracking the Branchwraith down and battering her to death with his staff.
Meanwhile, Drycha had finally been cornered by the Brutes. Surrounding her, they battered at her bark with their choppas but the Outcast held firm.
More Brutes rushed the scythe-armed Kurnoth Hunters but they quickly paid for their haste, with all but one cut down as they tried to fight through the thickets protecting the Sylvaneth.
The Vastclaw Valley seemed to come alive as flowers flourished and new shoots reached for the sky. The Sylvaneth themselves became invigorated by this wave of life, with wounds beginning to heal even as they fought on. The Treelord Ancient gestured once more with his staff, and a new Wyldwood appeared, deep in Ironjawz territory.
The Treelord Ancient then seemed to disappear into a nearby tree, only to reappear across the battlefield, within the new Wyldwood.
As yet another cloud of Flitterflies arose from Drycha, the Kurnoth Hunter archers began to back away from the Outcast, now understanding that her fury meant she cared little for their well-being. The Flitterflies tore a Brute apart but then spread out to descend upon the Treelord, badly injuring and all but killing him.
Limping away, the Treelord stumbled towards the Weirdnob Shaman, angry at Drycha but determined to avenge the Branchwraith. However, Drycha had inflicted terrible wounds and the Weirdnob Shaman was able to escape.
The Kurnoth Hunters maintained a steady rain of massive arrows upon both Brute and Ardboy, steadily whittling both down, even as one Brute Boss was cut down by the scythe-armed Hunters.
Though now badly wounded herself, Drycha now unleashed her full terror upon the Brutes who fought her. She shredded all but the Boss, who promptly decided that he did not need to keep fighting in order to become the new Megaboss.
The Ironjawz began fleeing from the battlefield, led by the Brute Boss, unwilling to face the wrath of the Sylvaneth any longer.
The sacred Vastclaw Valley once more belonged to the children of Alarielle.
The Ironjawz proved as nasty as ever, all but cutting through the first line of Sylvaneth in a single round (even though the Brutes failed their charges, leaving the work to just the Ardboyz and Gore-Gruntas). However, the Sylvaneth had (perhaps rather callously) placed Dryads in the front line, meaning all their hard hitting units were untouched and ready for a counterattack.
Drycha… well, what can we say about Drycha. She had an initial good start, slaying the impetuous Megaboss, but her Flitterflies ended up doing more damage to the Sylvaneth than the Ironjawz. Still, she is likely to be content with that – I think she ended up killing more models than anyone else, even if most of them were on her own side…
The Sylvaneth had planned to drop Wyldwoods across the table and make for their Place of Power (the Dragonfate Dais you can see in some shots), but the Ironjawz were just too tough, and the Sylvaneth were forced to face them toe-to-toe, keeping their most valuable units in cover wherever possible.
In the end, this worked, but it could so easily have gone the other way. The flanks were anchored by just two Kurnoth Hunters and Drycha (who had been reduced to just two wounds), and if either had fallen, the Ironjawz would have been free to roll in and catch the Sylvaneth in the centre from two sides. That would have been utter slaughter.
The Story Continues…
In the next battle, we will be heading to Aqshy, the Realm of Fire, where the forces of Khorne have managed to hold onto a bridge that Sigmar badly wants. Whole armies have fallen trying to secure it, but now the God-King is sending in just a small, elite force.