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.
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.
Knight-Venator (Tornus the Redeemed)
Prosecutors x 9 (three units of 3)
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Their lead units were soon joined by the rest of the Hallowed Knights, with Tornus the Redeemed leading the way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…