The forces of Sigmar and Chaos have claimed one All-Gate each in the campaign so far – now we turn our attention to the Realm of Beasts, but a new rising power looks set to complicate matters greatly.
The Story So Far
The fight for the All-Gates spanned all the Mortal Realms, though there was yet to be any news on how the Stormcasts fared in the Realms of Light and Shadow. Within the Realm of Beasts, however, the war had flared to dangerous proportions.
The Mawgate was protected by a fortress, as was every All-Gate. This one, however, was within a living fortress, a megalithic burrowing world-worm known as Fangathrak. It had been subjugated by the forces of Chaos and chained in place by six Crawlerforts, each garrisoned by immense armies of each of the Ruinous Powers. Though it could move, the Mawgate was currently located beside the Deffgorge – the site of covergence of the territory of several Ironjawz warclans.
As Megabosses fought one another over who should have the first crack at attacking Fangathrak, the lords of the Crawlerforts launched their own premptive assault upon the Orruks. Ironjawz mobs were torn apart by the combined weight of Chaos.
Not so Megaboss Dakkbad, who lured the Bloodbound of Lord Hakadron, ruler of the Bane Crawlerfort, into the Deffgorge.
The Deffgorge had always been a rite of passage for the Ironjawz. An Orruk who wanted to prove how ded ‘ard he was would travel to the Deffgorge and, with other Ironjawz watching from the edge, run the Deff-blitz – a gauntlet that involved running from one end of the gorge to the other, avoiding the attentions of the hungry Gargants who lived there.
Megaboss Dakkbad was now planning to do the same thing with the Bloodbound…
The Ironjawz have managed to ‘encourage’ a relatovely small force of Bloodbound to follow them into the Deffgorge. Both armies are relatively small, but they have brought some of their finest units – however, both will have to contend with the Aleguzzler Gargants who live there. The Ironjawz are a little weaker than the Bloodbound, so they will want to take advantage of the Gargants as much as possible before turning around to fight.
Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut
Chaos Warriors x 12
Skullcrushers x 6
Bloodreavers x 40 (two units of 20)
The Bloodbound have brought a fair bit of chaff with them in the form of Bloodreavers, which may work out very well for them in this battle. If they can keep the bulk of their force intact through the Deffgorge, they may just have enough to defeat the Ironjawz at its end.
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha
Gore-Gruntas x 6 (two units of 3)
Brutes x 5
Ardboys x 20 (two units of 10)
Like the Bloodbound, the Ironjawz have a healthy buffer of weaker units – however, ‘weaker’ for the Ironjawz means Ardboys, who are potent enough on their own!
Gargants x 3
The three Gargants who live in the Deffgorge are on no one’s side – really, they are just hungry and are happy to snatch any morsel that tries to run past them!
On the face of it, this is a simple Battleplan – the winner is the army that annihilates its enemy. Of course, when the Ironjawz are involved, it is unlikely to be that easy.
Throughout the battle, the Gargants will appear, under the control of one player or the other (though they can – and likely will – switch allegiance repeatedly throughout the fight!). The only safe place is on the plains at the far and of the Deffgorge (the Gargants don’t like the bright light).
So, being at a slight disadvantage, the Ironjawz will be aiming to run through the Deffgorge as quickly as possible, hoping the Gargants will cause the Bloodbound a fair amount of stress (and casualties). Once they make it to the plains, they will hope they are in a position to outmatch the Bloodbound and deliver a telling defeat.
The Ironjawz were already running at great speed when the Bloodbound entered the Deffgorge. The Megaboss turned round on his Maw-Krusha and bellowed an order to the Ardboys, telling them to block the advance of the Bloodbound,. The Ardboys did not mind – they were well up for a ruck.
Incensed at the fleeing Orruks, the Bloodbound were in swift pursuit, the quicker moving Skullcrushers on one flank to sweep round the Ardboys.
Battle Round One
All the noise generated by the Ironjawz started to awaken the Gargants, and the first appeared at the head of the Deffgorge, just outside the flat plains beyond.
The Ironjawz paid it no mind, and ran at full tilt to the plains, shouting insults over their shoulders as they went. The Ardboys backed up slightly, getting ready to receive the first charges.
Another Gargant appeared, this time from the other side of the Deffgorge, but they were now in a position to block the Ironjawz retreat,> The Megaboss realised he would have to do something about at least one of them.
Seeing the Ardboys begin to shuffle backwards, the Slaughterpriest enacted a terrible Blood Bind rite. This enraged the Orruks, forcing them to run forward in an attempt to get to grips with Khorne’s warriors.
With a bloodthirsty howl, the Bloodbound surged forward, each eager to be the first to slay an enemy.
The Ardboys quickly had a real fight on their hands – and they were loving every second of it. Chaos Warriors, Skullcrushers and Bloodreavers all rushed towards them, and casualties from both sides fell to the ground. However, the Ardboys held firm, arresting the advance of nearly the entire Bloodbound horde.
Battle Round Two
Unfortunately for the Bloodbound, this served to awaken yet another Gargant, and this one came from a crevice in the side of the Deffgorge that was right behind the Bloodbound.
Waving his Gore-hacka, the Megaboss directed both his Maw-Krusha and the closest Gore-Gruntas towards the closest Gargant blocking their path. The Maw-Krusha unleashed a mighty below as it lumbered forward, the titanic sound wave staggering the Gargant as it tried to lope towards the Ironjawz.
The massive bulk of the Maw-Krusha barrelled into the Gargant, sending it flying. By the time the Gore-Gruntas and Megaboss had finished bashing the fallen Gargant with their Gore-hackas, there was only enough left to feed the Gruntas and Maw-Krusha.
Meanwhile, the Ardboys had started to suffer as the Skullcrushers were able to bring their full weight to bear. Some Ardboys fell to their glaives while others turned to flee from the carnage, but the Bloodreavers also suffered terribly in the clash.
Yet another Gargant appeared, this time from within a Sylvaneth Wood right next to another group of Bloodreavers. Even the craziest of them baulked at the sight of the monstrosity now thundering towards them.
No one else within the Bloodbound warband gave the fate of the Bloodreavers a second thought as the Skullcrushers had managed to work themselves free of the Ardboys and set off in pursuit of the other Ironjawz. The Chaos Warriors, too, disengaged from the Ardboys and ran after their mounted allies, leaving a pitifully few Bloodreavers to finish the Orruks off.
The Skullcrushers soon caught up with the Brutes, who had been lagging behind in the run towards the plains, their Juggernauts running one down before any weapons were raised. The glaives of the Skullcrushers skewered one more, but then the Brutes turned round and gave the Juggernauts a good bashing, felling two of them in quick succession.
The last Gargant near the plains bellowed as it lumbered forward, crashing in the side of a group of Gore-Gruntas. One of the Gruntas was badly hurt by a swing of a massive club, but the Gargant was savaged in return.
Meanwhile, the Chieftain of the Bloodreavers issued a challenge to his followers, promising the Blood God’s eye would be on them if they could fell the mighty Gargant that had dared cross their path. Suitably incensed, the Bloodreavers bravely charged with a howling warcry.
Utter carnage ensued, with the axes of the Bloodreavers chopping the Gargants legs and opening up hideous wounds. Roaring in pain, the Gargant lashed out with club and foot, slaughtering many of the Bloodreavers that milled around below it. The Sylvaneth Wyldwood began to flow with blood.
Battle Round Three
Though the Ironjawz had not yet reached the plain, and Gargants were now roaming the Deffgorge, the Megaboss realised the Skullcrushers had run too far ahead of the rest of their force. Grinning to himself, he wheeled his Maw-Krusha round to face them, his Gore-Gruntas following his lead.
One Gargant stomped forward past the ruins to grab a Bloodreaver, who he stuffed into his trousers as a snack for later. The other Bloodreavers looked up in horror as its club swept through their ranks, smashing the life out of five of them. The Lord of Khorne began to swing his Juggernaut around to drive the Gargant off, but instead was kicked by a huge foot that broke bones and sent him reeling back in his saddle.
Close the the pass, one unit of Gore-Gruntas cackled with delight as their mounts ate a Gargant, while the other skewered a Skullcrusher as they charged in.
Battle Round Four
Yet another Gargant appeared from the sides of the Deffgorge, once again appearing behind the Bloodbound. Sniffing the air, it peered around and then started marching towards the Skullcrushers on the other side of a Sylvaneth Wyldwood.
Seeing no profit in fooling around with a Gargant, the Lord of Khorne broke from battle to continue the chase of the Ironjawz. Before joining him, the Slaughterpriest showed the merest pity to the Bloodreavers engaged in battle with the other Gargant, boiling its blood before racing after his Lord. However, it was of little avail, as the critically wounded Gargant was still more than a match for the Bloodreavers. The last of them fled in abject terror as the slower ones were ground into the rock.
Seeing their Lord approaching, the Skullcrushers disengaged from the Ironjawz they had run down, and reassembled themselves for a final charge.
Now finished with the Bloodreavers, the Gargants began to lumber after the Bloodbound, trapping them against the Ironjawz who had now turned back round to fight.
Gore-Gruntas charged in at full speed, using the weight of their mounts to break the line of Chaos Warriors long enough for the Maw-Krusha to dive in and crush the last of them.
Things were going no better to the Bloodbound’s rear as the first of the Gargants finally caught up to them. The Lord of Khorne spied another Gargant had entered the Deffgorge and it appeared to be heading towards the Orruks, but this was little comfort as the closest Gargant seized the Lord from his saddle and delivered a powerful head butt that knocked him insensible for a few crucial seconds, even as the last of the Skullcrushers were mauled by Gore-Gruntas.
Battle Round Five
By now, the noose was well and truly tightening around the last of the Bloodbound, and only the Lord of Khorne and his Slaughterpriest were still fighting.
The Slaughterpriest, his axe now red with Orruk blood, channelled the power of the Khorne and enacted the Blood Boil rite upon one of the Gargants, cooking it in its own skin. However, despite one massive beast falling to the ground, the odds were still against him.
The Maw-Krusha clumsily took to the air and landed heavily to one side of the fight, the Megaboss’ eyes lighting up as he saw both the Slaughterpriest in front of him. Urging his mount forward, the Megaboss bayed with glee as his Maw-Krusha flattened the Slaughterpriest under its great bulk, and could barely stand up straight for laughing so much as he watched the Khorne Lord get battered to the ground by its great fists.
Seeing more Gargants approaching, the Megaboss raised his Gore-hacka and directed his Ironjawz out to the plains. He had one great victory under his belt but was now looking for more…
Now, that was about as textbook as it gets for the Ironjawz. Though slightly outmatched at the start of the battle, the sacrifice of the Ardboys gave the rest of the Ironjawz time to deal with Gargants blocking their way without being distracted by the Bloodbound. As the Bloodbound advanced, it became increasingly likely that Gargants would appear next to or behind them, and they were sufficient to cut the Bloodbound to a manageable size.
A well-timed charge from the Gore-Gruntas and Megaboss against the toughest unit in the Bloodbound force (the Skullcrushers, though they had already had a bit of a battering from their engagement with the Ardboys) broke the back of the army, leaving just the Heroes to fight from within a Ironjawz and Gargant sandwich!
This was a fun Battleplan overall, fast-paced and with a tough rogue element (the Gargants) guaranteed to stuff things up for one player or the other!
The Story Continues…
Well, the Ironjawz have well and truly arrived in the Realmgate Wars, and they will be sticking around for a bit longer. After all, what self-respecting Megaboss would simply stand aside and watch a huge battle between Chaos and the Stormcasts? Of course he will want to get stuck in!
In the next battle, the Ironjawz will be launching an attack on one of the Crawlerforts that hold the Mawgate in place…