Battle Report – Frontal Assault

The first battle in the All-Gates campaign was but a brief skirmish – now the heat gets turned up with a massive attack on a fortress of Nurgle involving Treelords, monsters, plague daemons… and a goddess.

 

The Story So Far

For four hundred years, the fortresses around the Genesis Gate had been ruled by Nurgle’s most worthy heroes – Daemon Princes, favoured Great Unclean Ones, and the most vaunted of mortal champions. Each had added to the defences, creating what became known as the Ring of Corruption, seven vast strongholds standing over seven vast gates. Inside their walls lay the Dripping Fortress, the central keep floating over the Genesis Gate, ruled by the Glottkin.

The Glottkin had been troubled by premonitions and dreams sent by the Plague God, and they knew trouble was coming. They visited each of the fortresses around the Ring of Corruption, ensuring defences were solid and guardians mustered. However, rivalries were evident among all of the commanders.

The Glottkin blamed the Skaven of Clans Pestilens for their fall from Nurgle’s favour, believing them to be responsible for the escape of Alarielle long ago, and they were right to be suspicious, for Verminlord Sepskirk the Foul had been whispering promises of power into the ears of Plague Pontifex Skroglitch Twistspine that would set the Clans Pestilens against the rest of Nurgle’s followers.

The combined Sylvaneth and Stormcast assault on the walls surrounding the Genesis Gate was soon in coming. All seven fortresses of the Ring of Corruption were attacked simultaneously, Alarielle using her magic to disperse the poisonous air that wreathed their towers.

The greatest battle was at the Hornspire, the largest of the outer fortresses and, as the Sylvaneth and Stormcasts approached, the Glottkin unleashed their reinforcements – however, of the promised Skaven of the Clans Pestilens, there was no sign…

 

The Forces

This is a big battle over a fortress wall (always good for excitement), plus it is the first appearance of Alarielle in the All-Gates campaign!

Rotbringers
Lord of Plagues
Blightmage
Blightkings x 10
Chosen x 10
Chaos Warriors x 36 (three units of 12)
Nurglings x 9 (three units of 3)
Plaguebearers x 30 (three units of 10)
Slaughterbrute
Skull Keep x 3
Dreadhold Wall Sections x 10
Overlord Bastion

The forces of Nurgle have marshalled their best mortal defenders and enjoy not only daemonic support, but a Slaughterbrute as well. But will it be enough to hold back the assault?

Stormcast Eternals
Celestant-Prime
Knight-Venator (Tornus the Redeemed)
Retributors x 5
Judicators x 10 (two units of 5)

Sylvaneth
Alarielle, the Everqueen
Treelord Ancient
Son of Durthu
Treelords x 2
Kurnoth Hunters x 12 (four units of 3)
Tree-Revenants x 10

This combined Sylvaneth and Stormcast army has brought together the very best of both forces. Not only is the Celestant-Prime present, but Alarielle herself has entered the battle! This, combined with the monsters and hard-hitting shooting units, will give the forces of Order a decent chance of taking the walls.

 

The Battleplan

In principle, this Battleplan is a simple one – the forces of Nurgle are behind their walls, and victory will go to the army that manages to capture and hold onto the three Skull Keeps in no man’s land.

However, the forces of Nurgle are vast and the Ring of Corruption is packed with reinforcements (except those pesky Skaven – where did they get to, eh?), and units wiped out can be recycled during the battle.

In addition, the poisonous fog from the Great Unclean One Pustrol is still floating around the fortress, and it will begin poisoning Sylvaneth and Stormcast units over the course of the fight, sparing only those closest to Alarielle.

 

Deployment

The forces of Nurgle sighted the advancing Stormcasts and Sylvaneth from a distance, and the garrison was well prepared for the assault as they lined the walls of the Hornspire. Reinforcements had already been called for and, despite the furious battles already happening elsewhere around the Ring of Corruption, the Lord of Plagues at Hornspire was confident his summons would be answered.

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As Alarielle led her army closer to the walls, his confidence turned to a quiet hope the reinforcements would arrive in time…

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Battle Round One

The Hornspire was wreathed in a poisonous fog that choked the Stormcasts, but Alarielle gestured with the Spear of Kurnoth, and the worst effects were driven back in a sphere centred upon her. She saw the forces of Nurgle were well ensconced behind their walls, and was reluctant to give them more time to react to the presence of the Sylvaneth. With a loud cry, Alarielle gestured her army forward, keen to take the towers early in the battle.

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As the army advanced, arrows and bolts from Judicators and Kurnoth Hunters rained towards the defenders, but most missiles simply bounced off the corroded metal wall as the Warriors of Chaos huddled behind them. The Lord of Plagues took a chance and peered down from the ramparts, only to quickly duck back again as he saw Knight-Venator Tornus the Redeemed loose a Star-fated Arrow towards him. The arrow thudded into the wall and exploded, showering the Lord of Plagues and his warriors with chunks of metal.

Cursing the Knight-Venator, the Lord of Plagues saw the Sylvaneth and Stormcasts were intent on taking the Skull Keeps. Raising his axe high above his head, he ordered his force to leave the walls and fight for the towers.

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A battle quickly erupted around the centre tower as the Slaughterbrute swung down from the wall and bounded into the approaching Treelords. He managed to scratch on but then the Spirit of Durthu strode forward to swing the Guardian Sword in a mighty blow that decapitated the Slaughterbrute.

Chaos Warriors rushed into the fray, picking their way over the corpse of the Slaughterbrute, but their swords and axes proved deadly to the Spirit of Durthu, who roared in pain as the many blades found their mark.

 

Battle Round Two

The poisonous fog billowed over the walls, wrapping around any Stormcast or Sylvaneth who was not in the protective bubble around Alarielle. Two Judicators fell to their knees, clutching at their throats as the poison spread through their bodies.

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The battle was now becoming truly vicious as the two forces closed in on one another. Alarielle gestured at the Blightkings who had descended form the wall, casting a spell of Metamorphosis. Two of the Blightkings screamed in terrible pain as verdant branches and leaves sprouted out of their skins to create shrubbery that immediately blossomed with vibrant flowers. The Kurnoth Hunters turned their great bows to the Blightkings, adding their weight to the assault, and another Blightking fell to their massive arrows.

The Stormcasts were keeping pace, the Boltstorm-armed Judicators holding their ground to unleash a terrifying torrent of fire into oncoming Plaguebearers as Tree-Revenants moved to block a charge from the daemons.

On the right flank, Sylvaneth fought Chaos Warrior for possession of the tower there, a Treelord leading Great Scythe-armed Kurnoth Hunters in the attack. The scythes were truly lethal, making a mockery of any armour the Chaos Warriors wore, reaping five Chaos Warriors and a Blightking. This was too much for four of the Chaos Warriors, who fled from battle only to be cut down by the cruel Blightkings on the direction of the Lord of Plagues.

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The battle for the tower on the left flank had also been joined, as a retinue of Retributors smashed into more Chaos Warriors, their great hammers flattening four of their enemies into the ground. However, here the nerve of the Chaos Warriors held, and their axes brought one Retributor to his knees before he was dispatched back to Sigmar.

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In the centre, the battle tilted heavily to the Sylvaneth as the Spirit of Durthu, a Treelord and a small group of Kurnoth Hunters finished the last of the Chaos Warriors they faced. The way to the central tower now appeared to be open.

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From deep within the Hornspire, a trumpet sounded and, hidden from the Sylvaneth, the first of Nurgle’s reinforcements arrived. Running flat out for the walls, a unit of Chaos Warriors tried to keep up with another Slaughterbrute.

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Alone on his section of the wall, a Blightmage peered down at the swirling melee below and saw the greatest threat stagger before him. The Spirit of Durthu had been badly wounded by the Chaos Warriors it had fought, but even now the injuries inflicted were beginning to heal from the benign presence of Alarielle.

Chuckling to himself, the Blightmage raised his staff and sent a powerful Arcane Bolt downwards, the magical energy striking the Spirit of Durthu square in the chest and causing the Treelord to reel under the impact.

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Seeing an opportunity, a tumbling horde of giggling Nurglings flowed towards the Treelords, but each of the little daemons was intent on bringing the mighty Spirit of Durthu down. While the Treelord Ancient tried to stem the tide, the Nurglings just flowed round him and started to climb the Spirit of Durthu, levering aside broken bark to get inside.

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Utterly infested with Nurglings, the Spirit of Durthu gave a long, low moan, before crashing into the ground.

Around the tower on the right flank, Plaguebearers had reached the front line of the forces of Order and began hacking at the Tree-Revenants with their Plagueswords, forcing the Boltstorm-armed Judicators to draw their Warblades and support their Sylvaneth allies.

Only one Tree-Revenant fell to the daemons, for the loss of several Plaguebearers – but then reality blinked, and suddenly the Tree-Revenants were facing more daemons of Nurgle than had originally leapt down from the walls.

 

Battle Round Three

The poison fog dispersed momentarily, allowing everyone to see what was happening across the battlefield.

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The Lord of Plagues clambered down the wall to join the fight, blessing the Blightkings with a dose of Nurgle’s Rot as he went. This infection quickly spread, and a Kurnoth Hunter hissed as its foliage started to blacken and rot.

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The Retributors of the Hallowed Knights dispatched the last of the Chaos Warriors they had faced, and had hoped they would now have created enough space for the Judicators to take the tower. However, a unit of Plaguebearers leered at them, daring the Stormcasts to leave themselves vulnerable as they entered the tower. Then, with a bellowing roar of challenge, the new Slaughterbrute climbed over the wall, looking down at the Retributors, who readied their hammers for more fighting.

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No towers had been taken, and Alarielle could feel the chance beginning to slip through her fingers. While the forces of Order had enjoyed several victories on the battlefield, the towers were still out of reach and it was only a matter of time before a tidal wave of reinforcements from within the Ring of Corruption would overwhelm the Stormcasts and Sylvaneth. Raising the Spear of Kurnoth, she channeled Ghyran’s Wrath and every Sylvaneth on the battlefield was infused with the power of a goddess.

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As Judicators on both flanks concentrated their fire on Plaguebearers, Alarielle could see that the forces of Nurgle were concentrating their reinforcements around the tower on the left flank – this was where the fighting but be at its most fierce. Deciding that she had been a bystander too long in this battle, and knowing the Tree-Revenants would have to take the opposite tower on their own, Alarielle urged her Wardroth Beetle on.

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Concentrating on the Retributors, the Plaguebearers did not notice the ground shaking under the heavy footsteps of the Wardroth until it was far too late. Its antlers were lowered and they hit with such force that the daemons were instantly liquified, bursting apart in a shower of rotting offal.

Around the central tower, Treelords stamped on the Nurglings that rolled around their feet, knowing that they had to destroy the infestation before the tower could be taken. The Lord of Plagues took advantage of this confusion, and raced towards the Kurnoth Hunters, swinging his disease-ridden axe.

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Seeing him approach, the Kurnoth Hunters grew great thickets around themselves, blunting the Lord of Plagues’ charge, before sweeping with their massive swords. The Lord of Plagues staggered back with a huge rent in his chest, but he only chuckled to himself and hefted his axe for another attack – the wound was already beginning to heal.

The assault on the tower of the right flank began to stall as reality blinked once more and Plaguebearers began appearing at a rate far faster than the Tree-Revenants and Judicators could destroy.

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Battle Round Four

Despite having taken extremely heavy losses, the forces of Nurgle had managed to blunt and then stall the assault upon the Hornspire, and they took heart from the warcries of the reinforcements they now heard coming their way.

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The forces of Order were still too close tot he towers for comfort though, and the Blightkings unleashed another wave of Nurgle’s Rot upon Kurnoth Hunters, even as the Blightmage hurled an Arcane Bolt at them. One of the Kurnoth Hunters reeled under the debilitating attacks, but refused to succumb to magic nor disease.

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The Retributors remained steady as the Slaughterbrute leapt off the walls to crash among them. Once more, the Stormcasts were driven back from the tower they had been fighting so long for, and they were forced onto the defensive under the Slaughterbrute’s punishing attacks.

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Time was now running out far too fast for Alarielle, and she knew the tenuous hold the forces of Nurgle had on all three towers had to be shattered – and quickly.

Calling upon the power of Metamorphosis once more, she directed the spell at the Slaughterbrute, which was suddenly wreathed in vines that sprang from the joints in its heavy carapace. The beast stumbled as it tried to force its way past the Retributors to reach the goddess, but Alarielle hurled the Spear of Kurnoth, piercing the Slaughterbrute’s skull and causing it to collapse motionless outside the tower.

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On the other side of the tower, the Treelord Ancient hurled an Arcane Bolt at the Lord of Plagues, just as the Nurgle champion advanced upon the Kurnoth Hunters once more. The Lord of Plagues was slammed against the side of the tower and looked stupidly downwards as his rotting innards dropped from the open wound to pool at his feet. The last thing he saw was a Kurnoth Hunter’s sword swung hard at his neck.

The Kurnoth Hunters strode over the body of the Lord of Plagues and claimed the central tower in the name of the Goddess of Life.

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Following the lead of Knight-Venator Tornus the Redeemed, the Kurnoth Hunters concentrated their arrow fire upon the Blightkings and Plaguebearers still battling around the tower on the right flank, seeking to give the Tree-Revenants and Treelord enough space to claim it.

Then, a massive bolt of lightning lanced down from the storm-filled skies to blast the ground just behind the walls of the Hornspire. When smoke and debris cleared, the form of the Celestant-Prime appeared, hovering above the wall.

Sigmar had sent his own herald to ensure the Hornspire fell.

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This was all the encouragement the Stormcasts needed, and the Boltstorm-armed Judicators redoubled their efforts. Taking a step back, they unleashed the full weight of their firepower on the last of the Plaguebearers around the tower on the right flank, mowing them down in vast numbers.

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The pitifully few Plaguebearers left could not hold back the fury of the Tree-Revenants who were finally able to sweep the area surrounding the tower free of Nurgle daemons.

 

Battle Round Five

Perhaps at the behest of Grandfather Nurgle himself, the poison fog returned with a vengeance, swirling across the walls of the Hornspire in great gusts that choked and gagged the forces of Order. A Kurnoth Hunter and Tree-Revenant both went down under its touch, their bark flaking off to reveal raw Heartwood before it passed.

Though the towers had begun to fall, the reinforcements from the Ring of Corruption were not about to let the hated Sylvaneth and reviled Stormcasts claim them without a fight, and they ran at full speed to the walls.

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One unit of Chaos Warriors managed to catch up to the Celestant-Prime, and their swords and axes battered his armour. Then he raised Ghal Maraz, and Sigmar’s own hammer descended in a series of unstoppable blows that cracked armour and smashed bone. Half a dozen Chaos Warriors fell to the Celestant-Prime’s initial attacks alone, and another ran for his life, terrified at the naked and unleashed power of the Godking.

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On the other side of the wall, more Chaos Warriors threw themselves fearlessly into battle against a Treelord, desperately trying to force the Sylvaneth back away from the tower. The Treelord’s great, sweeping blows knocked many of them off their feet but while many died, the rest were fanatical in their devotion to Nurgle, and refused to run.

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On the far right flank, the Tree-Revenants occupied the tower they had fought so long for, a well deserved victory that gave them much needed respite from the battle.

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However, the Chaos Warriors who had jumped down from the wall were dogged in their defence and they refused to yield the last tower, in spite of (or perhaps because of) their dwindling numbers.

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Hunkering down behind their shields, the Chaos Warriors were hammered by the arrows of Kurnoth Hunters, strangled by the roots of the Treelord, and forced to bear wholesome life from the Metamorphosis of Alarielle. Every time one of them succumbed to the attacks of the Sylvaneth, another stepped forward to take his place, until less than a handful were left.

Time was pressing though, and Alarielle knew she was needed at the Genesis Gate if the All-Gate was to be taken. A large section of the Hornspire walls had been seized and it would be sufficient to allow her army to cross them.

They had done enough.

 

Conclusion

A minor victory for the forces of Order – those pesky Chaos Warriors right at the end just would not die!

Actually, despite the forces of Order having the upper hand throughout this battle (four Treelords and a Goddess of Life are a powerful combination!), they came very close not to winning at all, and it was only in the last two rounds that towers started to be taken. If the odd Nurgle unit here and there had held out just a little longer, the ending might have been very different!

The Spirit of Durthu falling to Nurglings was a bit of an embarrassment, but before that happened he had managed to slay a Slaughterbrute single-handed and finished off a whole unit of Chaos Warriors, so he certainly did his bit on breaking the line. For her part, Alarielle was kept back probably a turn longer than necessary, but I was a bit wary about sending forward into an enemy army after what happened when she last faced a Khorne warband!

As for the forces of Nurgle, their great weakness was that they had to leave their walls to contest the towers and while they had continuous reinforcements, they are not known as having the speediest of units, so the new units had limited effect. They soaked up the initial attacks from the Sylvaneth with Chaos Warriors (who are superb in that role, it cannot be denied) but I cannot help thinking it might have been better to send the Plaguebearers up front – the presence of the Blightmage would mean they could be summoned a lot closer to the battle than recycling them as reinforcements.

Still, the Hornspire (or, at least, a part of it) has fallen, and we will now be moving onto the final objective in the Ring of Corruption.

 

The Story Continues…

The assault upon the Ring of Corruption is now in full swing, but it is a tough fight. Will the forces of Order find the Key to Victory and succeed in capturing the Genesis Gate?

Battle Report – A Deadly Hunt

Well, this is it… We are cracking open the final volume of the Realmgates War campaign, All-Gates. We will finally see whose machinations will prove superior – Archaon’s or Sigmar’s.

 

The Story So Far

The most coveted strategic location among all the Mortal Realms was the Allpoints, a nexus of Realmgates that existed nowhere but was connected to all places. Once, a great city was built around it but when Allpoints fell to Chaos, it was replaced by the Varanspire, Archaon’s own fortress. From there, the Everchosen could strike at any Mortal Realm and dominate them all.

Having gained a foothold in the Mortal Realms, the Godking Sigmar enacted the next phase of his plan to defeat Chaos – retake the Allpoints.

To do this, he planned to simultaneously take each of the Realmgates that led to the Allpoints, one in each Mortal Realm, each protected by a mighty fortress. These were the All-Gates and their capture would place the Allpoints under siege, drainng the power of Chaos and leaving it vulnerable.

The first of these would be the Genesis Gate in the Realm of Life.

The Realm of Ghyran was almost in Nurgle’s complete possession, but the last victory had eluded him time and again – the capture of Alarielle, Queen of the Radiant Wood. However, the days of Alarielle running were now over, for she had been reborn into her war aspect, and a terrible fury consumed her.

Dispatching the Celestant-Prime as his envoy, Sigmar enlisted Alarielle for her aid in besieging the Genesis Gate. It was known to be deep within Nurgle’s territory, on one of the floating islands known as the Landshoals. Sigmar dispatched winged Hunt-teams to find the Genesis Gate and report its location back to Stormcast and Sylvaneth alike.

The islands were enclosed by a fleshy membrane that the Hunt-teams breached, forcing their way through the poisonous atmosphere within and searching the foetid swamps below. Pustrol, one of Nurgle’s favoured Great Unclean Ones, had been tasked with polluting the air to form the first line of defence of the Genesis Gate, and now the Hunt-teams were closing in on his position.

 

The Forces

This is an unusual battle in that both players are actually on the same side! They are both playing Azyrite Hunt-teams trying to bring about the end of Pustrol, a Great Unclean One.

Daemons of Nurgle
Exalted Great Unclean One (Pustrol)
Plaguebearers x 30 (three units of 10)
Nurglings x 9 (three units of 3)

The Exalted Great Unclean One is the target in this battle (and we are using the new Forge World Warscroll for him), while the Plaguebearers and Nurglings are present as his underlings and to cause problems for the Stormcasts.

Hallowed Knights
Knight-Venator (Tornus the Redeemed)
Prosecutors x 9 (three units of 3)

Stark Hammers
Knight-Azyros
Prosecutors x 9 (three units of 3)

Both Stormhosts are arranged into Azyrite Hunt-teams, which move 3D6″ in the hero phase (they are fast!), and can retreat and charge in the same turn. The Hallowed Knights are equipped mainly to deal death from a distance, while the Stark Hammers are tooled up for brutal melee.

 

The Battleplan

The players in this battle each take command of a single Hunt-team (nine Prosecutors and a Hero) charged with hunting down Pustrol, an Exalted Great Unclean One. Whoever lands the killing blow gains a major victory. However, there are some issues to overcome.

To begin with, the poisoned air will begin inflicting mortal wounds on all Stormcast units as the battle progresses. In addition, none of the Nurgle Daemons start on the table – the Stormcasts have to search for them. During combat phases, players can either select one of their own units to fight or one of the Daemon units – if they pick the latter, the Daemons get to shoot, move, charge and pile-in all at once.

 

Battle Round One

The Hallowed Knights were the first to arrive, swooping onto the battlefield in loose formation. Almost immediately, they detected movement in the swamp as Plaguebearers and Nurglings roused themselves to meet the new threat.

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Without hesitation, Knight-Venator Tornus the Redeemed led the way, loosing a flurry of arrows into the Nurglings as his Star-eagle dived in to tear apart more of the giggling little daemons with its talons. The last of the Nurglings dove for cover as the Prosecutors swept in, hiding amongst the dense foliage of the swamp.

More Prosecutors engaged the Plaguebearers, bringing down two with thrown javelins.

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Then, the Stark Hammers arrived. Immediately assessing the situation, and keen not to let the Hallowed Knights get too far ahead and steal all the glory, their Knight-Azyros directed his Prosecutors to attack the Nurgle daemons.

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The Nurglings proved elusive but the Knight-Azyros dove in among the Plaguebearers, dispatching one, but not before the daemons of Nurgle slew a Hallowed Knights Prosecutor. Panicked, another Prosecutor fled.

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Battle Round Two

The noxious atmosphere within the membrane of the Landshoals began to have a telling effect, with Stormcasts choking on the vile gas. Seeing their chance for notoriety over the Stark Hammers, the Hallowed Knights disengaged from the Nurglings and Plaguebearers, leaving the Knight-Azyros to fight an entire unit of daemons alone. However, they quickly ran into more daemons emerging from the foetid swamp.

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While the Stark Hammers had been relegated to mopping up daemons, the Stark Hammers had completely bypassed them in their search for the source of the poisonous atmosphere.

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Their lead units were soon joined by the rest of the Hallowed Knights, with Tornus the Redeemed leading the way.

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As Hallowed Knight Prosecutors swooped down upon newly emerged Nurglings, scattering them, the Plaguebearers ignored the Prosecutors closest to them and started marching towards the Stark Hammers who were still searching for the last Nurglings within the rotten vegetation.

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The Stark Hammers were beginning to see a real fight develop on their hands, and they were painfully aware that the Hallowed Knights were far ahead. They unfurled their wings and began to advance at full speed, but one retinue of Prosecutors were forced to divert their flight to aid the Knight-Azyros who was in danger of being over-run by Plaguebearers. Diving in with their Sigmarite hammers, many Plaguebearers felt the wrath of the Godking.

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Battle Round Three

The poisonous fog abated for a moment, allowing the Stark Hammers to see just how far ahead the Hallowed Knights had flown. Knowing the few Plaguebearers left would be no match for his hammer-wielding Prosecutors, the Knight-Azyros left combat to join the Stark Hammers who were flying in the wake of the Hallowed Knights.

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Then, a great cry went up – a retinue of Hallowed Knights Prosecutors had found their target, and all Stormcasts felt a little daunted as Pustrol, an Ezalted Great Unclean One, hefted his massive bulk out of the swamp waters to face Sigmar’s soldiers.

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With no hesitation, the Hallowed Knights swooped in, unleashing every weapon they had against the greater daemon. However, the fight started to go badly almost immediately. The Knight-Venator’s arrows simply bounced off its blubbery hide, while Prosecutors did little more than inflict minor scratches that oozed filth.

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Swinging his massive, corroded sword, Pustrol swatted two Prosecutors out of the air, their spirits rocketing back up to Azyrheim on bolts of blue lightning.

 

Battle Round Four

Seeing their foolhardy comrades in trouble, the Stark Hammers raced forwards, diving low to gain speed.

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Hammers and javelins were hurled at Pustrol, for little effect, until the hammer-wielding Prosecutors were close enough to launch an assault. The Grand Hammer swung by the Prosecutor-Prime finally caused Pustrol to roar in pain as it was buried deep in the daemon’s back, while the smaller hammers of the Prosecutors rained a hail of blows upon him.

However, Pustrol managed waddled around to reach the Stark Hammer Prosecutors and, with one swing, tore another two out of the sky. Not yet done, the Great Unclean One then cast an ancient enchantment of Nurgle, and unleashed a Plague Wind that tore through the Knight-Azyros, rotting the flesh from his bones before the Stormcast burst in a flash of blue lightning.

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It began to dawn on the Hallowed Knights that they had uncovered an enemy they were ill-equipped to fight, and the Prosecutors spread their wings to lift them out of the battle. Tornus the Redeemed hovered further back and plucked his Star-fated Arrow from his quiver, sighting it down his bow and then loosing it directly into Pustrol’s head.

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Collectively, the Stormcasts moaned as they saw the enchanted arrow simply lodge itself uselessly into Pustrol’s folds of skin. Even as they watched, the wounds the Stark Hammers inflicted started to knit and close as the Great Unclean One lumbered around to face more enemies.

Taking a deep breath, Pustrol opened his mouth wide and spewed a torrent of bile, catching one of the retreating Hallowed Knights Prosecutors before he could get away.

 

Battle Round Five

The bile of the Great Unclean One reacted with the air of the Landshoals and, once again, a terribly poisonous fog descended, blocking sight and choking the Stormcasts. Two Prosecutors succumbed to the poison, falling into the swampy waters.

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Pustrol vomited more bile to drench the last screaming Hallowed Knight prosecutor, while a swipe of his sword bisected the Stark Hammer Prosecutor-Prime still fighting with his Grand Hammer.

Tornus the Redeemed watched as the Great Unclean One lumbered out of the fog towards him, and he barked an order to the two remaining Stark Hammer Prosecutors still on the battlefield.

The Nurgle daemon had won this battle, but now they knew where he was. Fleeing the battlefield, they would return with the full weight of a Stormhost to destroy it.

 

Conclusion

Now, that was a battle that started very well for the Stormcasts – perhaps a little too well, as it made us incredibly overconfident, and running into that Exalted Great Unclean One was like flying into a brick wall!

This was a fun little Battleplan, and it did not take too long to play. What was utterly apparent was a) an Exalted Great Unclean One is a hell of an enemy for Prosecutors to fight and b) were were completely uncoordinated in our attacks!

Because greater daemons of Nurgle constantly regenerate any damage they sustain, we needed to unload our attacks in a combined fashion, with the javelins and tridents of the Hallowed Knights battering it at range while the hammers of their comrades tear it apart in close combat, as the two Heroes unleash their special abilities.

Unfortunately, Tornus’ Star-fated Arrow was ignored by the daemon, and the Knight-Azyros did not even get a chance to use his lantern!

Not a brilliant start for the forces of Order in the All-Gates campaign, but there is plenty more to do, and many more battles to fight! The best Tornius the Redeemed can say is that he located Pustrol, and now other Stormcast forces will inevitably destroy the Great Unclean One, meaning we can get back to the story…

 

The Story Continues…

With the first line of defence of the Genesis Gate neutralised, the forces of Nurgle now have to ready themselves for the main assault upon the All-Gate…

Battle Report – Clash of Titans

We are halting our tour of the Mortal Realms briefly, and this time going back in time to a far off period of history for a titanic confrontation. Here, we will be asking ourselves the deep, moral question; Archaon versus Nagash – who is best?

 

The Story So Far

Before Sigmar unleashed his Stormcast Eternals upon the Mortal Realms, Nagash, Supreme Lord of the Undead, rose from Shyish to reclaim his domain from the forces of Chaos. He had been banished there long ago by Archaon after the Battle of Black Skies, his armies of the dead bound into the Cage of Bones, a Chaos fortress built to extend mastery over the Realm of Death.

When Nagash returned, he unbound the magicks holding his undead warriors in check and the Cage of Bones fell in a single night. Forewarned by his Gaunt Summoners of this turn, Archaon was already marching at the head of a vast host to battle Nagash.

Nagash’s horde of the dead ploughed into the forces of Chaos as soon as they emerged from the Forlorn Wells Realmgate, and the two armies smashed against one another as they fought past the Towers of Torment and Bonekey Keep to the foot of the Cage of Bones.

Archaon knew only he had the power to face Nagash and so he confronted the Supreme Lord of the Undead, Everchosen against God.

 

The Forces

As suits the confrontation between two of the greatest heroes (villains) of the Mortal Realms, we have two large forces to back up both Nagash and Archaon.

Army of the Everchosen
Archaon, Grand Marshal of the Apocalypse
Chaos Lord
Sorcerer Lord x 2
Lord of Plagues
Exalted Hero
Varanguard x 3
Blightkings x 10
Skullreapers x 5
Blood Warriors x 10
Chosen x 10 (Mark of Slaanesh)
Chosen x 10 (Mark of Nurgle)
Chaos Warriors x 20 (unaligned, two units of 10)
Chaos Warriors x 20 (Mark of Tzeentch)
Chaos Warriors x 10 (Mark of Slaanesh)
Chaos Knights x 5 (unaligned)
Gorebeast Chariot (Mark of Tzeentch)
Mutalith Vortex Beast

Archaon has brought the full weight of his mortal forces to bear on the dead, with not only representatives from all four Chaos Powers, but also his very own Everchosen, led by the Varanguard. There is also a good sprinkling of heroes and leaders throughout the force, from specialists like the Lord of Plagues to regulars like Sorcerer Lords.

Army of Nagash
Nagash, Supreme Lord of the Undead
Vampire Lord on Nightmare
Wight Kings x 2
Morghast Harbingers x 4
Skeleton Warriors x 60 (two units of 30)
Grave Guard x 30
Black Knights x 10
Crypt Ghouls x 20
Crypt Horrors x 6
Cairn Wraiths x 3
Tomb Banshee
Spirit Hosts x 6
Vargheists x 3

Nagash has to be pretty confident with his army – he outnumbers Chaos by nearly two to one and, unlike the Everchosen, his forces can come back after they are killed. The Zombies have been left behind in this battle, but the bulk are made up of Crypt Ghouls and Skeleton Warriors, supported in a very heavy manner by Grave Guard and Morghasts, as well as some more esoteric units like the Vargheists (who are making their first appearance in the campaign!).

 

The Battleplan

This Battleplan features this clash of Chaos versus undead at its height, where Archaon and Nagash have met one another and duel, as their armies swirl around at their feet. Nagash and Archaon therefore start in the centre of the table, and no unit may attack, cast spells, or otherwise affect either of these two mighty combatants in any way (unless ordered to do so by a command ability, Smite My Foe, but they will sustain 2D6 mortal wounds if they try…).

Victory is simple – kill the Big Bad on the other side. Everything else is immaterial.

However, the fight between Nagash and Archaon is handled in a special way. Every hero phase, they can use one command ability and then choose an action to use against their opponent – All-out Attack, Defend and Counter, Step Back and Unleash Ranged Attack, and Mighty Blow. Their choice is compared on a matrix against that of their opponent, and the results worked out.

For example, if Nagash chooses an All-out Attack while Archaon selects Mighty Blow, Nagash will get to fight normally, while Archaon makes a single melee attack and doubles its damage. If Archaon had instead chosen to Defend and Counter, Nagash would have been at -1 to hit with all weapons, while Archaon would only attack with one weapon, but would add +1 to both save and hit rolls.

Plenty of opportunity for bluffing between players!

The other twist is that, aside from the two Big Bads, there are no deployment zones – players can set their other units up anywhere on the table (so long as they are at least 6″ away from Archaon and Nagash – not wise to get too close to that fight!), and can go as close as they like to the enemy!

 

Deployment

By the time Nagash and Archaon confronted one another, the battle was well under way, with Chaos and Death forces already in close combat across the battlefield.

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The Varanguard had outflanked the Crypt Ghouls around the Numinous Occulum, while Chaos Warriors and Blood Warriors had surrounded a large unit of Skeletons.

A loud crack resounded across the battlefield as Nagash and Archaon came together in a clash that would have a profound effect upon history.

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Battle Round One

With the battle in full swing, Nagash allowed his power to flow over his minions bolstering their strength and durability. A Vampire Queen blighted the Chosen of Nurgle, allowing the Grave Guard facing them to inflict telling damage before their halberds could fall.

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However, a massive Mutalith Vortex Beast lumbered too close to the Vampire and she was forced to gallop away as fast as her steed could carry her. On the other side of the battlefield, the Skeleton Warriors who had been surrounded by the forces of Chaos fought with a determination only the dead could truly muster, killing nearly a dozen Chaos and Blood Warriors, pushing them back and forcing a few of the Blood Warriors to flee the battle.

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As combatants hammered and slashed at one another, Nagash and Archaon duelled, mustering the full force of their powers against one another. Nagash raised his staff, Alakanash, in a defensive posture, ready to counterattack once Archaon revealed his intentions, but the Everchosen launched an all-out attack that swept the staff aside and landed a number of telling blows from the Slayer of Kings. Nagash thrust forward with his sword, Zefet-Nebtar, but it skittered harmlessly off Dorghar’s tough hide.

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The Mutalith Vortex Beast lumbered after the Vampire Queen, receiving only a slash across its tentacles from her enchanted staff for its trouble

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The Skull Reapers dispatched the last of the Morghasts they had been fighting, and started looking at the Grave Guard, gloating as they saw the feckless Nurgle Chosen might need their help.

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A Chaos Sorcerer Lord of Slaanesh was being pursued by a Cairn Wraith, and he became desperate as he fumbled the casting of an Arcane Bolt at it. No friendly Chaos forces were close enough to help him, and everyone was already engaged in battle. With no other choice, he fled the terror that followed.

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In the centre of the battlefield, Archaon once again launched an all-out attack that sent Nagash reeling, but this time the Lord of Death had been saving himself for a mighty blow. Swinging Zefet-Nebtar over his head, Nagash brought the sword down upon Dorghar, carving a deep wound into the daemonic beast’s flank.

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Archaon backed off slightly, now developing a new respect for Nagash.

 

Battle Round Two

All over the battlefield, the forces of Death and Chaos ground away at one another, each seeking to gain a useful advantage that would mean they might assist their respective lords. The battle was finely balanced, with the forces of Chaos holding the advantage near the watchtower and Numinous Occulum, while Death was ascendant on the plain.

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It was down to the two mighty lords to break the stalemate, and once again Nagash readied himself for a single, powerful blow that, should it connect, would bring Dorghar to its knees and leave the Everchosen truly vulnerable.

Archaon was of a single purpose though, and he once again rallied Dorghar to drive forwards, making another all-out attack that caused Nagash to stumble and fall. As the Lord of Death hit the ground, the entire battlefield trembled and the undead forces started to dissipate or crumble.

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The Everchosen levelled the Slayer of Kings at Nagash’s throat. Once more, the Lord of Death would be a prisoner within his own realm…

 

Conclusion

A major victory for Archaon, and one that mirrored the ‘true’ result of this historic battle.

Playing with Nagash was all well and good (in fact, we are beginning to see how he could be a very powerful unit in a tournament list, even without the full benefit of his summoning skills), but this was the first Battleplan we have played that hit a bum note – which is not bad, considering we have played, what, something like 100-odd battles over 18 months?

The problem is that you spend a lot of time messing around with the forces swirling at the feet of the two titans… and it does not really matter. They are not going to break themselves free and be in a position to help their masters until well into the battle – and the fight will be over by then, one way or the other.

You could get pretty much the same effect by just having Archaon and Nagash on the table. Of course, that would be a Battleplan that lasted only 5 minutes, at best. Overall, this battle probably looks better than it played.

So, not brilliant, but pulling out Nagash for the first time was pretty cool, and Archaon is always fun to have on the battlefield.

And we do have some right cracking battles coming up over the next couple of months or so…

 

The Story Continues…

Our tour of the Mortal Realms is now drawing to a close. Next time, we start the next and final part of the Realmgate Wars saga – All-Gates.

Battle Report – Dead Cunning

More from the Ironjawz and this time, the realms will quake with fear for the Fist of Gork himself has shown up…

 

The Story So Far

Deep within the Realm of Beasts lay the Growling Gates, a nexus of Realmgates that served as an important strategic link across the Mortal Realms with the mighty Gorelight Gatefort at their centre. They had been held by the forces of Chaos for centuries, and now the Stormcast Eternals were ready to take them back. A Strike Chamber was dispatched to claim the Growling Gates.

However, Gordrakk and his Ironjawz had got there first, and now it was the Ironjawz who controlled the Growling Gates.

Gordrakk had faced the Stormcasts before and knew how hard they could be. So, he planned a few surprises for Sigmar’s boyz. As the Stormcasts deployed around the Realmgates, Gordrakk employed the best of his cunnin’ tricks in an attempt to catch his enemies off guard…

 

The Forces

The full weight of our growing Ironjawz force is deployed today, with not just a Megaboss on a Maw-Krusha, but also Gordrakk as the general!

Ironjawz
Gordrakk, Fist of Gork
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha
Weirdnob Shaman
Warchanter
Gore-Gruntas x 6 (two units of 3)
Brutes x 15 (three units of 5)
Ardboyz x 40 (two units of 20)

There is no subtlety in this force (beyond Gordrakk’s plans), no battalions, no frippery – just good, honest Orrukness.

Stormcast Eternals
Lord-Celestant
Lord-Relictor
Lord-Castellant
Liberators x 35 (seven units of 5)
Judicators x 10 (two units of 5)
Prosecutors x 6 (two units of 3)
Decimators x 5
Protectors x 5
Retributors x 15 (three units of 5)

Forces from two Stormhosts have rallied to face Gordrakk in this battle, the Hallowed Knights and the Stark Hammers. Their force is based around the humble Liberator, but enough Paladins are present to give even the Ironjawz pause for thought.

 

The Battleplan

At its core, this Battleplan is a simple one; The Stormcasts start in the middle of the table, defending the Realmgate as they get surrounded by the Ironjawz. Whoever controls the Realmgate at the end of the fourth round gains a major victory.

There are, as always, some complications…

First off, Gordrakk is in charge, and he is using his cunnin’. These will result in a number of tricks he may be able to employ at the start of the battle, ranging from a surprise attack that puts the Stormcasts on the backfoot right at the start of the battle, to a Weirdnob apocalypse!

In addition, Gordrakk can keep some of his forces off the table, to come on as reinforcements whenever he wants (mostly – these are excitable Orruks after all, and they don’t always do as they are told).

 

Deployment

The Stormcast Eternals deployed in a defensive ring around the Realmgate with Liberators locking their shields to hold back the oncoming Ironjawz whose warcries they could already hear. Paladins and Judicators formed a second line in front of the Lords-Relictor, -Celestant and -Castellant who guarded the Realmgate, while Prosecutors floated overhead, ready to reinforce the defence wherever they were needed.

The Stormcasts proved wise enough to most of the Ironjawz tricks, but did not account for the sheer savagery Gordrakk was able to awaken in his Brutes and Ardboyz. When the Ironjawz appeared, they had been driven into a terrifying frenzy of violence that could not be restrained.

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The Orruks drove towards the Realmgate from three points, utterly undismayed by the Stormcasts who stood before them – in fact, they looked like they were well up for a fight!

 

Battle Round One

The Stormcasts steeled themselves as the Ironjawz thundered towards them, but there was more to come. Bellowing their mounts onwards, two units of Gore-Gruntas appeared, galloping along to catch up with the Maw-Krushas of Gordrakk and the Megaboss.

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The noose tightened around the Stormcasts quickly, giving them precious little room to manoeuvre.

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As they half-bounded and half-flew towards the Stormcasts, the Maw-Krushas unleashed a mighty bellow that swept out with concussive force before them. Weathering the blast, the Retributors closest to the Maw-Krushas remained unimpressed. Angry at the stoic response, the Maw-Krushas crashed into the first line of Liberators alongside the leading Brutes.

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Three Liberators were immediately crushed by the unstoppable momentum of the Maw-Krushas and the others quickly fell to the weapons of Gordrakk and the Megaboss, their Sigmarite shields proving no defence against the fury of the Ironjawz.

Barrelling forward, the Maw-Krushas were an irresistible force that smashed through the Stormcasts to open their defensive line. The speed at which the Ironjawz moved in their rampage caught the Retributors by surprise as Brutes brought down one of their number and the Lord-Castellant desperately rushed forward to try to stem the flow. Gordrakk urged his Maw-Krusha on again to reach the Retributors, and the Paladins were smashed apart by his beast’s great fists. Only the Lord-Castellant stood firm, his halberd scoring a wound in the Maw-Krusha, but the monster barely noticed.

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Further down the line, the battle was just as desperate for the Stormcasts as the Ardboyz battered their line.

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In their headlong rush through a Sylvaneth Wyldwood, one unit of Ardboyz did not notice that five fewer Orruks failed to emerge, their warcries drowning out the screams behind them as the trees callously impaled and pulled apart the brutish invaders.

Gordrakk’s rampage was in full effect among the Ardboyz as they quickly wiped out one retinue of Liberators, but the rest of the Stormcasts held the line. Ardboyz started to mob round them, creating small islands of silver armour amidst a sea of green but, having held the charge, the Liberators now started to go to work with hammer and sword, aided by Decimators.

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Under the crush of the Orruks, the weapons of the Stormcasts began to have a telling effect, and soon Ardboyz lay on the ground with more fleeing for safety away from the battlefield. However, many Ardboyz stayed in the fight and the Stormcasts were still hard-pressed.

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His defensive line shattered by the Maw-Krushas, and now in a duel with Gordrakk, the Lord-Castellant had no choice but to turn the healing rays of his lantern upon himself until reinforcements arrived. Fortunately, the Lord-Celestant had watched the attack of the Ironjawz carefully and was already shouting orders to his men.

The Stormcasts reformed their line, and the two remaining retinues of Retributors strode confidently towards the Maw-Krushas and Ardboyz, their hammers held ready to strike.

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Behind them, Judicators and Prosecutors aimed their weapons, and Gordrakk was peppered with heavy fire of bolt, bow and javelin, causing his Maw-Krusha to reel in pain.

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Only the hammer-wielding Prosecutors were close enough to lend aid to the Lord-Castellent, but they plunged in fearlessly, despite being outmatched. Flailing with its huge fist, his Maw-Krusha caught the Lord-Castellant a savage blow that sent him flying onto his back. The Prosecutors dove at the beast, but only managed to divert its attention as their hammers bounced uselessly off its thick hide.

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Then, a massive flash of lightning illuminated the battlefield, followed by a crack of thunder and the mewling of a Maw-Krusha in terrible agony – Retributors had reached the Megaboss and cracked the bones of his mount in a series of punishing hammer blows.

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Further away, Ardboyz continued to flee the battlefield as Decimators and more Retributors continued their bloody work but around the Numinous Occulum, a retinue of Liberators had been caught by Brutes and were now in danger of being cut off from the rest of their army.

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Battle Round Two

Standing high on his Maw-Krusha, Gordrakk gave voice to the power of Gork, invigorating Orruks across the battlefield. Encouraged, the Weirdnob Shaman gestured with his staff and the green smoke arising from it coalesced into a giant spectral foot that briefly hung in the air above a retinue of Stormcasts. With a shuddering thud, it came down to crush the life out of two of them.

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Though he would never have admitted it, Gordrakk was in trouble as he received a constant hammering from the Stormcasts, and the Gore-Gruntas picked up speed to save their boss.

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As the Megaboss’ Maw-Krusha reared up and bellowed at the Retributors, blasting one Paladin, the Gore-Gruntas struck.

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The Prosecutors saw the beasts coming, but could not gain altitude fast enough, and they were pounded into the ground under the feet of the Gore-Gruntas, even as Gordrakk skewered the Lord-Castellant. Despite being brutally wounded, the Megaboss’ Maw-Krusha pounded at the Retributors who had harmed it, flattening them into the ground with its massive fists. Once again, the Stormcasts’ line had been cracked open, and there was now a clear path to the Realmgate.

The other unit of Gore-Gruntas had diverted their rush to the Realmgate and instead charged the Liberators holding the Numinous Occulum, their long polearms easily reaching the Stormcasts above them. With Brutes also rampaging through the ruin, the Liberators had nowhere to go and were wiped out within seconds.

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More carnage was happening on the other side of the Realmgate as Brutes finally reached the swirling melee created by the Ardboyz, and they struck hard, wiping out the Retributors who had reinforced the Liberators.

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The Stormcasts had not been without success in this battle, as both Maw-Krushas had been terribly wounded and the Decimators had almost finished off every Ardboy on one flank. However, the Lord-Celestant knew that immediate action would have to be taken if the Ironjawz were not to simply roll over his army.

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His attention was focussed on the opening the Maw-Krushas had created to the Realmgate, and the Lord-Celestant directed both units of Judicators to open up on Gordrakk. Bolts and arrows of lightning flew at the Fist of Gork, slamming into his Maw-Krusha with deadly accuracy, while the Lord-Relictor prayers to Sigmar was answered by a bolt from the heavens that hammered into Gordrakk and blasted him off his mount. The Maw-Krusha gave one last pitiful moan, then collapsed to the ground, Gordrakk buried somewhere beneath it.

As the Stormcasts gave voice to a cry of victory,  the Lord-Celestant rushed forward, twirling his cloak to unleash a hail of celestial hammers at the Megaboss. The enchanted missiles smacked into both the Orruk and his Maw-Krusha, braining both in a welter of blood.

Buoyed by the slaying of both Maw-Krushas, the Lord-Celestant charged on to the Gore-Gruntas. He had hoped for his Lord-Relictor to follow him into battle, but his sudden rush had caught the Lord-Relictor by surprise , and he remained by the Realmgate.

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The Lord-Celestant rained blows from both hammer and sword upon the Gore-Gruntas, but the massive creatures simply shrugged the attacks off their thick hide and thicker armour.

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Battle Round Three

Oblivious to the fate of Gordrakk and the Megaboss, the Weirdnob Shaman conjured another Foot of Gork (or was it Mork?) that stamped down to crush a Judicator and three Liberators.

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By now, the Gore-Gruntas had reached the Realmgate, with just the Lord-Celestant, Lord-Relictor and a retinue of Judicators close enough to halt their progress. The Lord-Relictor’s hammer cracked the hindquarters of a Gore-Grunta, but the rest overran the Lord-Celestant, leaving him lying face down and immobile in the dirt.

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Realising he was now in command of the Stormcast army, the Lord-Relictor raised his reliquary to the sky to call down another bolt of lightning, this time frying a Gore-Grunta as it tried to climb up onto the Realmgate.

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Battle Round Four

Both sides had suffered heavily, but victory was still available to either. However, all thought of the Realmgate had fled the tiny mind of the Weirdnob Shaman, who was now drunk on the power of Gork. Truly he had been blessed by the God of Destruction, for yet another spectral foot hovered above the battlefield, this time descending to crush two Decimators.

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The Skybolt-armed Judicators had been raining fire down upon the Gore-Gruntas, but their Prime spied the Warchanter, the sole survivor of the Ardboyz group who had fought the Decimators, sprinting for the Realmgate. With a sharp order, the Judicator-Prime told his men to draw their Warblades and charge.

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The focus of everyone else was on the Realmgate, as Prosecutors swooped in to give some relief to the embattled Boltstorm-armed Judicators fighting at its foot.

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However, they failed to notice the Brutes pounding after them who, seeing the Prosecutors alight upon the ground for just a moment, charged. The Stormcasts were quick to react, spreading their wings to take to the air once more, but one was too slow and was caught by the claw of the Brute Boss. Thrown to the ground, he could not avoid the weapons of the Brutes as they tore away his shield and sent him back to Azyr in a bolt of blue lightning.

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The surviving Prosecutors managed to reach the Realmgate but they were exhausted. Fortunately, so were the Ironjawz, and the two armies began to drift apart, finally grateful for the break in combat.

The Realmgate could not be convincingly claimed by either force, and would remain contested.

 

Conclusion

Now that battle was brutal!

The Ironjawz start very close to the Stormcasts and, with their various kunnin’ plans (only one of which Gordrakk managed to pull off this time round), the fighting starts early.

This caused the Stormcasts to be thrown onto the backfoot right from the start, and most of the battle saw them reacting to the Ironjawz in a desperate bid to hold the line. The Ardboyz (40 of them!) took immense casualties and the two Maw-Krushas finally went down, but only at a cost the Stormcasts could ill afford.

In the end, the draw was the right result, as both armies had fought well, and neither could shift the other from the Realmgate.

 

The Story Continues…

After witnessing the arrival of Gordrakk to the Realmgate Wars, we are going to go back in time for a ‘historical’ battle and a very, very famous confrontation with a God.

Battle Report – Tornado of Destruction

The Ironjawz have shown up again, this time in the Realm of Death, where they have run straight into the realm of a Vampire Queen.

 

The Story So Far

Megaboss Dakkbad Grotkicker was in a foul mood. A rival, Megaboss Grugek, had stolen his favourite boss choppa (or, at least, he believed that, as one choppa looks pretty much like another…), and Dakkbad was in pursuit with his boyz.

Following the directions of his Weirdnob Shaman, they arrived in the Nightlands, piling out of the Arch of Secrets to find the decaying city of Crookback on the banks of the River of Souls. This was the domain of Aylessa, Consort of the Blood Queen and blood sister to Cyssandra. Not that the Ironjawz cared – they ploughed straight into Crookback and started smashing its skeletal inhabitants as they mindlessly toiled, barely slowing down as the legions of Deathrattle warriors gathered to face them.

Aylessa had spent centuries ruling over the Nightlands in a reign of blood and terror, using her sorcery to attain utter mastery of those who dwelt in her realm, mortal and otherwise. A member of one of Neferata’s bloodmaiden broods, she had been in the midst of responding to a summons from her mistress when the Ironjawz struck. Not about to let Orruks tear apart everything she had built, Alyessa reversed her course and headed back to the Nightlands, summoning all the denizens of undeath along the way – Spirit Hosts, Banshees, Cairn Waiths, Zombies and the mighty Morghast Harbingers…

 

The Forces

We are kicking things up a notch with these forces as we get more used to the Ironjawz and what they are capable of doing on the battlefield, so a few more extra rules are being thrown into the mix!

Ironjawz
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha (Dakkbad Grotkicker)
Weirdnob Shaman
Warchanter
Gore-Gruntas x 6 (two units of 3)
Brutes x 15 (three units of 5)
Ardboyz x 30 (three units of 10)

The Ironjawz will be using the Brutefist Battalion (tougher Big Boss, plus can charge early in the turn and deal mortal wounds as it does so), plus the Ardfist, which allows the recycling of Ardboys.

Soulblight Vampires
Coven Throne (Alyessa)
Necromancers x 2
Skeletons Warriors x 40 (two units of 20)
Zombies x 20
Morghast Harbingers x 4 (two units of 2)
Cairn Wraiths x 4
Spirit Hosts x 6 (two units of 3)
Tomb Banshee

This is a nice broad mix of undead, covering many bases from skeletons and zombies, right up to the elite Morghasts, all led by Vampire Lady Aylessa on board her Coven Throne. They have enough Wizards to constantly cycle destroyed units, though the Ironjawz have that to an extent as well, so expect carnage!

 

The Battleplan

The Ironjawz are invading Aylessa’s domain, vandalising her buildings as they go. If they can vandalise half of the terrain features on the table in five rounds, they gain a major victory – failure means that Alyessa does instead.

To help with the objectives of both forces, Alyessa has A Living Bulwark command ability, which adds to the save and hit rolls of all stationary undead units close to her, as well as restricting the movement of the Ironjawz.

For their part, the Weirdnob Shaman has a new spell, the Gorkamorka Stomp, which will greatly aid in the vandalism of terrain features as a big, green, spectral foot crashes down upon them!

 

Deployment

The Ironjawz wasted little time in gathering their forces. The Ardfist took the centre while the Brutefist occupied the high ground to the right. Gore-Gruntas galloped forward on the flanks, and the Megaboss, Warchanter and Weirdnob Shaman formed a command group just behind the Ardboyz.

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Vampire Queen Alyessa was a little perturbed at the speed by which the Orruks had assembled and quickly gathered her forces in the main street of the Crookback suburbs.

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Aboard her Coven Throne, just outside her skull villa, Alyessa ensured her Morghast Harbingers and Necromancers were close and sent her Skeleton Warriors and Zombies forth to meet the Ironjawz.

 

Battle Round One

The Ironjawz initial tactics were simple, direct, and to the point. Their whole line surged forward, the Weirdnob Shaman pausing just long enough to throw a Mystic Shield over Megaboss Dakkbad. Gore-Gruntas scampered up the difficult terrain to reach the first tower outside the city and began lighting torches.

Within Crookback, Alyessa peered into her cauldron to gain valuable Tactical Insights as her Necromancers dropped a Mystic Shield upon the Skeleton Warriors closest to the Ironjawz and raised more Zombies. The Zombie horde started to swell as the walking dead clawed their way out of the ground and stumbled out of the doors of nearby houses.

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Spirit Hosts shrieked as they swept forward to engage the Gore-Gruntas, but the Orruks were not much impressed by the wispy ghosts and simply ignored them as they fluttered by.

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Battle Round Two

The tower atop the hill burned as the Gore-Gruntas trashed it, grinning as they spied an entire city worth vandalising before them.

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Pumped up by the power of the Waaagh!, the Brutefist sighted their first enemies and completely ignored the city below as they all pushed their way to the Spirit Hosts.

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Not to be outdone, the Ardboyz followed suit, rushing towards the first houses of Crookback. However, they slowed up as they saw the first Zombies emerge from round the buildings, and hesitated when Megaboss Dakkbad ordered them to charge.

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Cursing the Ardboyz’ reluctance to fight, Megabass Dakkbad stamped on his Maw-Krusha’s back, goading the beast forward. He had intended to barrel into the Zombies but his Maw-Krusha was instead distracted by the Tomb Banshee shrieking at the Gore-Gruntas. Thinking one dead person was as good as another, Dakkbad gave his beast free rein and it smashed into the Banshee, its massive bulk sending her reeling. However, she recovered quickly and managed to avoid both the Megaboss’ weapons and the Maw-Krusha’s fists.

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Behind him, the Spirit Hosts let loose an exalted scream as one of the Gore-Gruntas they fought fell to their ethereal blades.

However, the Spirit Hosts had begun to suffer from the attentions of the Gore-Gruntas, and the Necromancers summoned more within Crookback.

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Mindlessly following the wishes of the queen, the Zombies stumbled forward, seeking the living. As they left the streets of Crookback, they sensed the approaching Ardboyz.

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Drawn to beating hearts and flowing blood, they picked up speed until a tidal wave of the dead fell against the Orruk line.

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The Ardboyz reacted first with a collective ‘Yuck!’ but quickly got into the spirit of the fight as they realised that knocking down Zombies was actually a lot of fun. They ignored the two Orruks the Zombies managed to pull to the ground and started to chuckle as Zombies started flying through the air with each sweep of their huge weapons. In less than a minute, every Zombie lay broken and barely moving.

On the left flank, two Morghast Harbingers led Skeleton Warriors to engage the Gore-Gruntas on the hill, stymieing the advance of the Brutefist as they thundered past the now burning tower.

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Much further away, the Tomb Banshee swooped and dove, avoiding the worst Megaboss Dakkbad and his Maw-Krusha could throw at her. Dakkbad was beginning to get angry at the elusive spirit but, no matter how hard he tried, he could not catch the Banshee.

 

Battle Round Three

Within Crookback, the two Necromancers worked together, summoning a mighty horde of Zombies to replace those the Ardboyz had destroyed. Once again, the street was thronged with the walking dead.

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On the hill, below the burning tower, the battle was turning to the Ironjawz but the dead stubbornly refused to give ground. The Brutes had finished off the Skeleton Warriors and Spirit Hosts but a single Morghast remained to slay one of the Gore-Gruntas.

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Once more, the Tomb Banshee ducked and weaved her ethereal form past the weapons of Megaboss Dakkbad, but his Maw-Krusha had had enough. Opening its great mouth, it surged forward to catch the Banshee by surprise, swallowing her whole. Looking disappointed as it tried swallowing the spirit, it lumbered round under the Megaboss’ direction to face the Zombies filling the street.

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As the Ardboyz finally arrived on the outskirts of Crookback, a great, green spectral foot hovered above the battlefield. At the behest of the Weirdnob Shaman, it descended, stomping one of the Spirit Hosts out of existence. Buoyed by this, the Ardboyz increased their pace and reached the first houses.

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As one, the Irojjawz poured into Crookback, the Ardboyz following in the wake of Megaboss Dakkbad. The remaining Spirit Hosts proved no obstacle to the Maw-Krusha at all, and it barely noticed as it barrelled through them to lumber into the newly assembled horde of Zombies.

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By the time the Ardboyz reached the Zombie line, the fight was all but over, and rotting body parts flew in all directions as the Orruks bashed and hacked. The few remaining Zombies, bereft of the magical energies holding them together, simply collapsed to the street.

The Skeleton Warriors close by had advanced to protect one of the houses, and they fared no better. More Ardboyz entered Crookback, smashing bones apart until not a single Skeleton Warrior remained.

Vampire Queen Alyessa now felt the first trace of worry as the Ironjawz entered her city, and she realised her defences were crumbling fast.

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Battle Round Four

Seeing the Orruks draw far too close for comfort, the Necromancers both panicked and ran back to the safety of their Vampire Queen, but they both fumbled the casting of their spells.

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Promising both a long and painful death, Alyessa summoned more Spirit Hosts to block the advance of the Brutefist, and then assembled her remaining minions into solid lines of defence across the street. If she could stall the Ironjawz long enough to summon more reinforcements, as the Morghasts had managed at the tower, Crookback could still be saved.

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By now, the first houses in Crookback were beginning to burn as the Ardboyz tore them apart with whoops of sheer joy. Even the tavern was destroyed, albeit inadvertently, as the Maw-Krusha thundered through its thin walls.

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In the distance, Gore-Gruntas had sighted a second tower and, seeing their Megaboss had the main street well in hand, trotted over to destroy it.

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There was now a rush to Crookback, with the trailing Ardboyz and Brutefist eager to reach the city before the other Orruks had destroyed everything. The line of Cairn Wraiths Alyessa had assemble to protect her proved no obstacle to the Megaboss and Ardboyz who ran along his side, the spirits evaporating under the first blows.

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Battle Round Five

Vampire Queen Alyessa surveyed the burning buildings further up the street, and found it inconceivable that a brutish Orruk could possibly defeat her superior tactical mind. As she summoned more Morghasts to defend her, an idea crossed her mind.

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If she dispatched one unit of Morghasts to defend the tower and then took the others with her to defeat the Megaboss atop his great Maw-Krusha, she could, perhaps, save the rest of her city.

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Alyessa barely noticed as her Necromancers, doubting the efficacy of their queen’s plan, turned and ran as fast as they could from the oncoming Ironjawz. She directed her Coven Throne to surge forward into the Maw-Krusha, intending her Morghasts to hit him in the flank.

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It took Alyessa a few, vital, seconds to realise the Morghasts had disobeyed her instructions, and she saw them watching her malevolently, utterly still, as she stood up on her Coven Throne to fight the Megaboss. Her first thought was that she had somehow disappointed Neferata, or even Nagash, and they had directed the Morghasts to fail her at a critical point as punishment.

Such thoughts quickly fled her mind as Alyessa realised she was now in the fight of her life against an enraged Ironjawz Megaboss.

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Her sharpened stiletto and the poniards of her Hand Maidens quickly found their mark, digging deep between the armour plates of the Megaboss, though Alyessa could not bring herself to give him the Blood Kiss.

The pin pricks from the vampires’ tiny weapons barely registered as pain to Megaboss Dakkbad, and his Maw-Krusha tore into the Coven Throne, throwing it aside before tearing it apart. Alyessa staggered out of the wreckage only to find the Megaboss had leapt off his mount and was swinging his Boss Gore-hacka at her. The Vampire Queen did not have time to scream before the massive blade messily severed her head from her shoulders.

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As the Necromancers fled for their lives, behind them Crookback burned…

Conclusion

A major (and well deserved) victory for the Ironjawz!

This was a fun battle, not least because we discovered some new buildings that had appeared from the local gaming club had removable roofs – which meant we could our flashing smoke markers to signify which buildings had been trashed by the Ironjawz, which led to us seeing a steady progression of fire sweeping its way up the street!

Despite the undead stalling a whole flank of the Ironjawz near the tower, the Vampire Queen could just not get the rest of her force properly organised. The high point was the summoning of a brand new unit of 30 Zombies as soon as the first lot had been destroyed (which is what a Death force should be doing), but it all went downhill from there, with both Necromancers failing in their summoning just when it mattered. This was further compounded by both units of Morghasts failing their charges right at the end, sending Alyessa in to her doom as she faced the Megaboss alone.

That was a last ditch effort, true, but it would have bought the dead another turn.

Still, ’twas not to be!

 

The Story Continues…

We are going to stick with the exploits of the Ironjawz for a bit longer as the Fist of Gork himself, Gordrakk, has just arrived and he is determined to prove to the Stormcasts who is best.

Battle Report – The Wild Hunt

A fairly momentous battle this time – Alarielle the Everqueen has awoken, and she is most vexed by Bloodbound incursions into the Jade Kingdoms. She is therefore taking a trip to the Realm of Fire to sort them out.

 

The Story So Far

When Alarielle was rebirthed, she was not idle – everywhere, the forces of Chaos pushed against her lands and her children, and everywhere she took vengeance upon them.

When the Hellhaze Realmgate atop the Godskull Mesa burst into life, it took the Khorne worshippers camped there by surprise, to say the least. They had often used the Realmgate to conduct raids into the Realm of Life, but no one had ever followed them back to Aqshy – until now.

Alarielle came out of the Realmgate first astride her massive Wardroth beetle, but she was quickly followed by waves of Sylvaneth as they spread out across a fiery landscape of thundering volcanoes and towering brass fortresses.

The Khornate horde rallied quickly to face the Sylvaneth – knights, warriors, and daemons flooded out of the Dreadholds to face them. Alarielle was not dismayed in the least.

She was smiling.

 

The Forces

Up to now, we have always played the Sylvaneth as being on the back foot but, this time, we are unleashing their full power, spearheaded by none other than their own goddess. We just have to hope the forces of Khorne have something to match her…

Khorne Bloodbound
Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut
Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury
Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage
Slaughterpriest x 2
Skullgrinder
Mighty Skullcrushers x 6
Blood Warriors x 25 (two units of 10, one unit of 5)
Bloodreavers x 20
Chaos Warriors x 12
Bloodletters x 40 (two units of 20)
Skull Cannon

This is not your average warband of Bloodbound by any means – the Lord has managed to rally the support of two Bloodthirsters to his cause, and enjoys the presence of two Slaughterpriests and a Skullgrinder. Up to now, they have been ready to face whatever they happened across in Aqshy or Ghyran.

Sylvaneth
Alarielle the Everqueen (Throne of Vines)
Treelord Ancient (Regrowth)
Branchwych (The Reaping)
Branchwraith (Verdant Blessing)
Drycha Hammadreth (Verdant Blessing)
Treelords x 2
Son of Durthu
Kurnoth Hunters x 11 (two units of 3, one unit of 5)
Dryads x 30 (three units of 10)
Spite-Revenants x 10
Tree-Revenants x 20 (two units of 10)

Clearly, Alarielle is not mucking about, as she has brought her best and brightest with her. The Sylvaneth have assembled themselves into three Battalions, the Household and Forest Folk, both of which we have seen before, as well as the Free Spirits which allows the Son of Durthu and Kurnoth Hunters a free move in the hero phase, so long as it is towards a designated enemy or terrain feature.

As this battle represents Alarielle unleashed, as it were, we thought it would be both fun and appropriate to add the Sylvaneth Allegiance Abilities to the game.

 

The Battleplan

In this battle, the table is divided into six sections forming 12″ ‘strips’ across the long edges. The Sylvaneth’s territory comprises the first of these strips and increases to the next one so long as there are no enemy models within it (models within 3″ of a Sylvaneth unit do not count as they have already been overrun. If the Sylvaneth can push their territory right across the table by the end of the fifth round, they get a major victory.

If they do not achieve this, the Khorne force either has to wipe out the Sylvaneth to gain a major victory, or a minor victory will be determined (somewhat randomly) based upon how many territories the Sylvaneth did manage to claim.

Alarielle has a command ability that can force enemy units to flee out of a territory, while the Khorne general has an ability to stop them doing that. In addition, any Khorne model in Sylvaneth territory has its Bravery reduced, while Sylvaneth Wyldwoods will pop up throughout the battle as the force of life makes itself felt.

On top of all that, we will be using the Brimstone Peninsula Time of War sheet (minus Blood Geysers) to represent conditions in the Realm of Fire.

Deployment

The forces of Khorne had been caught off guard by the sudden appearance of a bunch of angry foliage, but were disciplined enough to begin forming battle lines. However, they remained on the back foot and only half of their forces were ready to take the full impact of the Sylvaneth.

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Alarielle was keen to bring the wrath of the Sylvaneth to the enemies who had plagued them for so long, and her forces came flooding out of the Realmgate. Tree-Revenants equipped with Waypipes took station on the far flanks, ready to leap forward to distract the Khorne defenders in their rear lines, while Drycha and her Spite-Revenants were instructed to remain far from the main body of the army. Alarielle and her Tree Lords occupied the centre, forming a solid block that she intended to roll over the defenders.

 

Battle Round One

With a keening cry, Alarielle gave the order to advance, her Wardroth Beetle stomping at the ground in eagerness to reach its enemies. Mystic Shields flowed like vines to cover Alarielle and the Spirit of Durthu as Drycha summoned trees that quickly grew out of the ground between her and a horde of Bloodletters.

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As one, the Sylvaneth surged forward, with Alarielle leading the way. Kurnoth Hunters supported the advance, launching huge arrows from their mighty blows into the first Bloodthirster that led the vanguard of the Khorne force, the missiles lodging deep into its thick skin.

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Another horde of Bloodletters scampered at the greater daemon’s feet, and Alarielle glanced contemptuously at them. As the Spirit of Durthu channelled his own life force into his sword, unleashing a mighty blast of living energy into their ranks, Alarielle hurled the Spear of Kurnoth at them. Bodies of more than a dozen Bloodletters spiralled high into the air as explosions erupted around them.

Behind the Sylvaneth attack, the Tree-Revenants used their Waypipes to access the Realmroots, using the shadowy path to emerge near the Dreadholds of Khorne. Their arrival had not gone unnoticed though, and already Blood Warriors and Skullcrushers were turning to face them – exactly the distraction Alarielle had intended…

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Her Wardoth Beetle carrying her far ahead of the rest of the Sylvaneth, Alarielle alone was in position to begin the attack in earnest. With no hesitation, the Goddess threw herself at the greatest threat in the Khorne front line – the Bloodthirster.

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Hapless Bloodreavers were inadvertently caught in the charge of the Wardoth, and five of their number were crushed under its heavy front feet. However, Alarielle’s attention was fixed firmly on the Bloodthirster. The great daemon thundered and roared, its great axe skidding harmlessly off the Wardroth’s thick carapace, even as the beetle’s massive antlers thrust forward to gore the Bloodthirster’s stomach. With Bloodreavers caught between the two battling giants, the fight went back and forth until, finally, Alarielle reached forward with the Talon of Dwindling and snatched the unholy life of the daemon.

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Behind her, the Sylvaneth hissed in victory, as the first greater daemon had been dispatched within seconds of the battle beginning, and vegetation blossomed in the wake of their Goddess.

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Bloodreavers threw themselves at Alarielle in a desperate bid to gain the attention of the Blood God, and the rest of their front line advanced to meet the Sylvaneth head on. Behind them, the Mighty Lord of Khorne turned his Juggernaut around, having spied the Tree-Revenants who had appeared near the Dreadholds. He was followed by his Skullcrushers and, on the other flank, Blood Warriors followed suit while others garrisoned a Skull Keep. Not wanting to be outdone, the Slaughterpriest within the Crucible called upon the power of the Blood God, boiling the sap within one Tree-Revenant before it could run.

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With a blast of the Skullcrusher’s horn, the Juggernauts accelerated into an unstoppable charge. Half a dozen Tree-Revenants were flattened by the initial rush alone and while one Skullcrusher was badly wounded by their blades, the Sylvaneth were quickly wiped out. On the other flank, the Blood Warriors repeated the carnage with the Tree-Revenants they had caught as well.

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As Bloodreavers fought and died fighting Alarielle, the daemonic forces of Khorne raced towards the Sylvaneth, with Bloodletters leading the way. However, Alarielle’s attention was fixed firmly upon the second Bloodthirster which raced towards, bellowing a martial challenge. Its whip flashed forward but its barbs did nothing more than scour the Wardroth’s antlers.

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Such was the fury of its attack, Alarielle was forced to give ground while parrying axe and whip. The Bloodreavers took advantage of the distraction and hacked at the Wardroth with their Meatripper Axes, causing the beast to roar in pain.

Bloodletters raced through the woods Drycha had summoned, quickly finding the Spite-Revenants skulking in their shadows, and dispatching them with daemonic efficiency. Close by, Chaos Warriors routed an entire retinue of Dryads but Blood Warriors on the far flank soon found they had picked the wrong target when they charged a small unit of Kurnoth Hunters. Great scythes swung, easily slicing through thick armour and butchering the Khorne worshippers before they could properly organise their attack. The few that remained ran for their corrupted lives.

 

Battle Round Two

Advancing alongside the Kurnoth Hunters, the Branchwraith called upon the power of Alarielle for a Verdant Blessing, and more trees sprang into existence, this time next to an Ophidian Archway to help shield the advancing Sylvaneth.

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Having absorbed the initial attacks of the Bloodletters, the remaining Forest Folk disappeared in view, following the Realmroots to reappear in this new wood. They had simply bypassed the first Khornate wave and were now in a defensive position, ready to meet the second – Blood Warriors who had moved out of position to chase down the Tree-Revenants. Knowing that Dryads would pay a heavy price in facing Blood Warriors alone, the scythe-wielding Kurnoth Hunters ran forward to support them.

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As the Bloodthirster paused in its assault, seeking a way through the Wardoth’s defences, Alarielle bloomed with life, healing the wounds she had taken, and then reached into her Soul Amphorae to scatter pollen across the battlefield. Everywhere, Sylvaneth rallied and healed as the tiny grains floated past them.

The Spirit of Durthu pounded forwards to aid his Goddess, shimmering with the effects of the Mystic Shield the Treelord Ancient had placed upon him. Drycha, having seen her Spite-Revenants torn apart by the Bloodletters in front of her, also shimmered with magical defences as she prepared her own special form of vengeance.

Behind the Sylvaneth, life blossomed in a wave of vegetation and animal life, but the advance of Alarielle’s blessings were stalled by the nearest Skull Keep and the Slaughterpriest inside who enacted hideous rituals to keep the power of Khorne flowing across the land. Kurnoth Hunters tried to target the Slaughterpriest from across the battlefield, but even the great Spear of Kurnoth, thrown by Alarielle’s own hand, bounced off the thick walls of the keep.

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With a piercing scream, Drycha raised her arms and swarms of Flitterflies flew into the air, descending upon everything that moved. Six Bloodreavers and a Chaos Warrior were torn apart by the tiny spites, but Drycha’s fury could never stop with the blood of Khorne worshippers alone, and the Flitterflies tore great chunks out of Treekin and Kurnoth Hunters before they dispersed.

In the centre of the battlefield, the Spirit of Durthu and a Treelord had joined Alarielle in her fight against the Bloodthirster, and the ground shook as three titans of battle brought war against one another.

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The few remaining Bloodreavers were the first to suffer, stomped into the ground by the battling giants. The last of them fled the battle, leaving his unit’s standard battered and broken upon the rocks. Close by, the Spirit of Durthu casually squashed the Skullgrinder who had thought to lay low a Goddess.

Alarielle allowed her anger to flow freely now and, with a single order, goaded her Wardroth onwards. The mighty beast piled ahead, bullrushing the Bloodthirster and knocking it to the ground. Before the daemon could arise once more, the Wardoth plunged its antlers into the Bloodthirster’s black heart, sending it back to Khorne.

A short distance away, the Khorne Lord felt the first inkling of doubt cross his mind as he saw the last Bloodthirster bound to his service banished by the power of the Goddess.

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Undaunted by the advance of the Sylvaneth, the two Slaughterpriests combined their prayers, promising many worthy skulls to the Blood God if he would but aid them now. Khorne smiled upon their belief and the Spirit of Durthu was caught in the grip of the Blood God, sinking to one knee as his sap boiled with pure fury.

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As the Spirit of Durthu rose to rejoin the battle, the Crucible of Khorne unleashed a torrent of molten metal at him, incinerating his trunk. Blackened and still aflame, the Spirit of Durthu showed no hesitation in continuing his advance.

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However, Khorne was not yet done. The Skull Cannon clattered forward, its Bloodletter crew cackling as they sighted the Spirit of Durthu down their long barrel. With a blast of black powder and blood, fiery skulls rocketed through the air to impact the Spirit of Durthu in the chest. The great Treelord rocked back on his feet, then fell to the ground, never to move again.

Bellowing frantic orders, the Lord of Khorne reorganised his Skullcrushers, and returned to the battle. Across the battlefield, Blood Warriors advanced to the Dryads who had taken cover in the new growing trees, but only a small splinter unit actually reached the Sylvaneth. Several Dryads fell to their axes but their line held.

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Battle Round Three

Directing his great Tendril Staff, theTreelord Ancient awakened the wood the Forest Folk were fighting in, and branches impaled a Blood Warrior before he realised not everything he was battling was a Dryad.

Meanwhile, Alarielle cast a Metamorphosis spell upon the Slaughterpriest within the nearest Skull Keep, and the devout man died screaming as branches and leaves forced their way through his skin. With his foul rites at an end, the force of life flourished, and the Skull Keep began to sprout vines across its black metal walls. For good measure, Alarielle hurled an Arcane Bolt at the Skullcrushers who were assembling in front of her before raising the Spear of Kurnoth high to urge the Sylvaneth forwards.

The Branchwraith brought more trees into existence, close to the Crucible, and the Dryads moved forward under their branches, keeping pace with their Goddess.

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Behind Alarielle, Kurnoth Hunters dispatched the last of the Blood Warriors, even as Drycha tore apart the last of the Bloodletters.

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However, both had been delayed too long by their enemies and were now far away from Alarielle, who now surged forward to smash into the Skullcrushers before their Juggernauts could build up enough speed.

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The Wardroth Beetle possessed far more momentum than even a Juggernaut at full tilt, and three Skull Crushers were gored by its great antlers.

The great guns of the Crucible angled slightly in their mounts, one coming to bear upon Alarielle herself. She sensed the build up of magical energies as the Crucible unleashed an Arcane Onslaught upon her. Raising the Spear of Kurnos, Alarielle absorbed most of the energy from the attack, with just a single gout of liquid metal splashing against the carapace of her Wardoth. Then, the Lord of Khorne charged into the fight, astride his Juggernaut.

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Blindsided by the charge, the Wardroth was knocked a few steps to the right under the impact of the Juggernaut, but then held firm. Alarielle looked down upon the Lord of Khorne with a cold contempt.

 

 

Battle Round Four

With the forces of Khorne on the verge of collapsing, the Sylvaneth advanced under the shadow of their Goddess and the trees that were springing up in her wake, rising miraculously from blasted, volcanic rock.

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Alarielle once again reached into her Soul Amphorae and scattered pollen across the battlefield. This time, the tiny grains coalesced into four Tree-Revenants who dutifully took up position on Alarielle’s flank to guard against the oncoming Skull Cannon.

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However, a Treelord, leading Kurnoth Hunters and Dryads, got there first. The Bloodletter crew were quick to react and they turned the Skull Cannon around to attack the Dryads. The daemonic machine opened its maw and swallowed one whole, before belching its flaming head at Alarielle. Raising their greatswords, the Kurnoth Hunters wrecked the Skull Cannon with two heavy strokes.

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The Mighty Lord of Khorne continued his duel with Alarielle but soon realised that, alone, he could not hope to face the wrath of an angry Goddess. His massive axe did little more scratch the huge Wardroth, while its antlers nearly tore him off his saddle.

Realising he needed to regroup his forces before he could laucnh a successful attack, he gave an order to the hornblower among the few surviving Skullcrushers. As one, the Juggernauts turned and galloped away from Alarielle.

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Battle Round Five

Seeing his Lord flee from battle, the Slaughterpriest within the Crucible cursed the blatant cowardice and knew there would be a reckoning after the battle – there was no way the Lord could lead a warband after that rout, and perhaps now was the time for the Slaughterpriest to take command.

Invoking the power of Khorne, the Slaughterpriest called upon the Blood God’s aid as he activated the Crucible. Molten metal spouted from its guns and, once again, Alarielle raised her spear to block its path. This time, however, the fury of Khorne was behind the torrent and even a Goddess could not stop it all. Her Wardroth hissed in pain as boiling metal sank into its carapace.

As he saw the Wardoth falter in its advance, the Slaughterpriest saw how he could defeat a Goddess. Enacting his most vile rites, he sought to boil the blood of not Alarielle, but her mount. Under the heat of Khorne’s gaze, the Wardroth burst into a million tiny spites, forcing Alarielle  to take to the air and withdraw from the battlefield.

As the last Skullcrushers were hacked apart by the Kurnoth Hunters, the Treelord extended its roots and strangled the Slaughterpriest for the insult he had offered to Alarielle.

Now, just the Mighty Lord of Khorne remained on the battlefield.

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As he saw the angry Sylvaneth advance beneath the eyes of their Goddess who floated high in the sky above them, the Lord of Khorne realised his warband had been utterly destroyed. Turning his Juggernaut, he fled the battlefield as fast as he could.

The Sylvaneth were triumphant.

 

Conclusion

Now, that was a fun battle!

In the end, it was a minor victory for the Sylvaneth, as they only managed to capture four sections in all (that Slaughterpriest in the first Skull Keep seriously held up the advance of their territory), and only a reasonably lucky dice roll in the end meant they managed to win.

That said, while we have been playing with Sylvaneth almost since Age of Sigmar came out, this was the first time we saw them work as a truly potent force. This was in part down to Alarielle (she is lethal, and I am not surprised we have seen her start to appear in tournament lists, despite her points cost), but also because of the Allegiance Abilities and, in particular, the wider range of spells. The Verdant Blessing that allows trees to spring up over the battlefield allows for the effective leapfrogging of units and allowed (for the very first time, despite having taken the Battalion many, many times in the past) the Dryads to do something useful by using the Forest Folk ability to redeploy (and avoid certain death at the hands of those Bloodletters!).

It was a shame that Alarielle was driven from the battlefield in the final act, but she had been a real power house before that point – killing two Bloodthirsters, one after the other! Had the Treelord Ancient (or Captain Useless, as we have started calling him) managed to keep up with her, his Regrowth spell might have kept her going but then… you can never trust a Treelord Ancient…

 

The Story Continues…

In the next battle, we are going back to the Ironjawz, this time visiting the Realm of Death where a Vampire Queen has inadvertently placed herself between the Orruks and where they intend to go.

Last of the Beastclaws

The final nail was put into the coffin of the Christmas Project this week (only a few days late)… the last three models for the Beastclaw Raiders.

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Two more Stonehorns and another Thundertusk!

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The sad thing here is that I now have almost as many Stonehorns/Thundertusks as Mournfangs, which is probably not quite the right ‘balance’ for your typical Beastclaw Raider tribe. In my defence, this has come about purely for the storyline requirements of campaign games, not a Matched Play ploy.

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Still, I can now call the Beastclaws ‘finished’ until and unless they make a full appearance in the Realmgate Wars campaign (I am guessing that will be quite some time, if it happens).

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The next project is adding to the Everchosen’s horde of Chaos Warriors (unaligned guys), but I will be taking some time out to put together some non-campaign-related Forge World models that I have had lying around for a year or so now. Looking forward to that!