The Ironjawz have had a laugh with the forces of Chaos so far – but now they are getting serious, as Gordrakk has arrived to give both the forces of Chaos and the Stormcasts a good duffin’.
The Story So Far
Gordrakk’s Great Waaagh! had been rampaging through the Mortal Realms, growing in size as it went. Aboard great hulking warships, Gordrakk now came over the Gnawing Sea and watched Ironjawz, Chaos, and Stormcasts fighting – the Fist of Gork saw the chance to even a few scores as he led his horde onto the shore.
For their part, the Stormcasts had gradually whittled down the Chaos defenders over days of fighting, and now pushed forward to the Mawgate. It was not until the ground started shaking with the footfall of thousands of Brutes and Ardboyz did the Stormcasts slow down. For the most fleeting of moments, they thought that an alliance had been brokered between Sigmar and Gorkamorka, but these hopes were dashed as the Ironjawz piled into their rear lines.
The Flayed, Brass and Blood Crawlerforts had already fallen to the Ironjawz, and a counterattack by the forces of Chaos distracted the Orruks long enough for the Stormcasts to reach the Mawgate. However, they were not alone, for Gordrakk had led his own force there and the combined armies of Chaos had followed too.
A pitched battle erupted around the fortifications of the Mawgate, even as the World-Worm Fangathrak writhed and twisted against its chains, the powerful Waaagh! energies of the massive Ironjawz army driving it mad.
This is a three-way battle, all against all, for control of an Infernal Realmgate. Expect serious carnage!
Bloodbound & Slaaneshi Host
Daemon Prince of Slaanesh
Mighty Lord of Khorne
Blood Warriors x 20 (two units of 10)
Bloodreavers x 20
Wrathmongers x 5
Daemonettes of Slaanesh x 30 (three units of 10)
The forces of Chaos have combined, with both Slaanesh and Khorne bringing strong forces to the battle. There is going to be a lot of close quarters fighting in this battle, an area where Chaos normally excels.
Gordrakk, Fist of Gork
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha
Gore-Gruntas x 6 (two units of 3)
Brutes x 15 (three units of 5)
Ardboyz x 40 (two units of 20)
The Ironjawz, on the other hand, are throwing everything they have at the fortress, sporting two – count them! – two Maw-Krushas, one of which is bringing the Fist of Gork to the fight. Added to that, they are arranged in a Brutefist and Weirdfist, meaning they will be charging an awful lot, and the magic of the Weirdnob Shaman is going to be truly spectacular. They ain’t worried about nuffin’.
Liberators x 25 (five units of 5)
Judicators x 10 (two units of 5)
Decimators x 5
Retributors x 10 (two units of 5)
The Stormcasts have a solid core of Liberators, with a good range of commanders and fifteen Paladins to back them up. So long as they can avoid getting crushed by combined attacks from Chaos and the Ironjawz, they may have a chance for victory.
This Battleplan features a huge Dreadhold in the middle of the table (using the Infernal Realmgate Battalion Warscroll), with each army taking a third of it right at the start. The winner is the army that manages to claim all three sections or, alternatively, the army that has lost the least number of models (expressed as a percentage) once one of the other forces has been wiped out.
Other than that… well, this is an all-against-all battle involving three brutal armies. Casualties are going to be horrific!
The three armies hastily arranged themselves to face their two foes, but the fighting had already begun in earnest, with Daemonettes and Liberators battling on the ramparts. Other units assembled themselves on the walls, but some were already moving outside the fortress to attack the Skull Keeps their enemies had claimed as temporary headquarters.
No one dared set foot in the courtyard of the Dreadhold, knowing that to do so was tantamount to suicide.
Battle Round One
Gordrakk was the first to act, continuing his headlong plunge into both Chaos and Stormcast forces. He bellowed with the Voice of Gork, a mighty challenge that infused his boyz with the power of the Waaagh! as he followed int he wake of his Gore-Gruntas to hammer the Stormcasts protecting their Skull Keep.
Together they smashed into a retinue of Retributors, flattening them before a single hammer could be raised.
On the other side of the Dreadhold, the Megaboss smacked his Weirdnob Shaman around the back of the head, instructing him to do something about the Bloodreavers and Daemonettes that blocked their path to the Chaos-held Skull Keep. Drawing upon the excited energy of the nearby Ardboys, the Weirdnob summoned a giant green spectral foot above the Bloodreavers before bringing it stomping down, grinding half a dozen of them into the dirt. The foot raised itself and then came down again, this time on top of five Daemonettes as the Weirdnob giggled manically to himself.
Then, the Ironjawz charged.
The combined weight of Ardboys and Maw-Krusha proved overwhelming to the Bloodreavers, who were slaughtered to a man, the Ardboys barely noticing they had struck the unit as they pounded over the bodies.
On the walls of the Dreadhold, the Liberators clashed with Daemonettes, but casualties on both sides were slight, despite the Slaaneshi daemons being infused by the rage-causing Wrathmongers close by.
The forces of Chaos were the first to react to the charges of the Ironjawz, as the Lord of Khorne activated the power of his Skull Keep to create a ring of vorpal blades that barred entry to the tower.
Outside the Dreadhold, the Daemon Prince of Slaanesh took command of a unit of more Daemonettes, leading them on a flanking sweep to the Stormcasts, intending to keep the pressure upon them and take advantage of any opening that Gordrakk created.
With blinding speed, they charged into the two retinues of Liberators deployed to block just such as advance, but the Sigmarite shields proved to be unyielding. Only two Liberators were returned to Azyr, while the Daemonettes were utterly destroyed. Now, the Liberators could concentrate upon the Daemon Prince alone.
The Lord of Khorne saw he had a more immediate problem with the advancing Ardboys, and while he felt confident that the Blood Warriors within the Skull Keep would deliver severe punishment to anyone assaulting the tower, he knew that his own casualties might make further defence impossible. Yelling from the top of the Skull Keep down to his minions, he ordered Blood Warriors and the Khorgorath to leap down from the walls to block the Ironjawz.
They were joined by the Daemonettes who had survived the Foot of Gork, and threw themselves into the enemy.
The Megaboss was gleeful as he sliced through the Daemonettes, but the thick armour of Ardboys and Blood Warriors proved difficult to breach and casualties were otherwise light. One Ardboy thought he might slink off, away from the battle, but a blow to the head from the unit’s icon bearer changed his mind and he stayed in the fight.
The Slaughterpriest waded into the fight too, determined to earn the skull of the Weirdnob, and his Hackblade tore a chunk out of the Shaman’s arm. However, the Slaughterpriest was surprised to see that, instead of running, the Weirdnob started laughing as it pointed its staff at him. A bolt of green energy slammed into the Slaughterpriest’s chest, staggering him and teaching him a lesson that all Ironjawz should be respected in battle.
Back round the Stormcasts’ Skull Keep, Gordrakk was urging his Gore-Gruntas ever onwards.
As the Gore-Gruntas slammed into the Liberators, their mounts disappointed to find he could not eat a Stormcast, Gordrakk piled into the Lord-Celestant, who immediately found himself on the defensive.
Though the Lord-Celestant managed to land a telling blow on the Maw-Krusha, he was no match for the Fist of Gork, and was quickly sent back to Sigmar on a bolt of blue lightning.
With the Lord-Celestant gone, the Lord-Castellant took over command of the Stormcasts. He surveyed the battle from the Skull Keep and saw the situation was already grim – however, despite the loss of the Retributors and Lord-Celestant, the Stormcasts were still intact as a fighting force and could deliver telling blows to both enemies.
On the walls, the Lord-Relictor raised his Reliquary Staff to the skies and called down a bolt of lightning that struck the Daemon Prince of Slaanesh hard.
The Lord-Castellant then gave the order to unleash the ambush the Lord-Celestant had planned for the Ironjawz. From the walls of the Dreadhold, Boltstorm-armed Judicators rained fire upon Gordrakk, peppering him with bolts, as Liberators and Decimators dropped down to engage the Gore-Gruntas.
The axes of the Decimators were unsuited for use against such large targets, but the Paladins made good account of themselves and dispatched one Gore-Grunta, as did the Liberators guarding the Skull Keep.
Gordrakk himself piled on further forwards, attacking both the Judicators and Lord-Castellant. Three Judicators were torn apart by the Fist of Gork’s weapons, Smasha and Kunnin’, causing another’s nerve to break and run, while the Lord-Castellant was battered by the Maw-Krusha. However, their return attacks caused the beast to rear up in pain, blood gushing from several deep wounds.
Outside the Lord of Khorne’s Skull Keep, the Ardboys and Blood Warriors both started to get past one another’s guard, and bodies on both sides were starting to pile up.
The Megaboss urged his Maw-Krusha forward and together they knocked the Slaughterpriest flying – the Megaboss bellowed that if anyone was going to hit his Weirdnob Shaman, it would be him.
Battle Round Two
Battle was now raging around the Dreadhold and the Ironjawz advance was beginning to slow down. However, both the Lord-Castellant and Lord of Khorne saw that Gordrakk had yet to commit his Brutefist to the fight – could they deal with the lead elements of the Ironjawz and still be in position to take advantage of any chaos the Brutes caused when they charged?
Channelling the Waaagh! energies, the Weirdnob Shaman hurled an Arcane Bolt at the Khorgorath that was lumbering towards him, wounding the creature but not slowing its advance, and exploding the head of a nearby Ardboy in the process.
Meanwhile, Gordrakk cast an eye over his shoulder to see Liberators were beginning to advance on his Skull Keep. Bring both brutal and kunnin’, Gordrakk gave a signal, and the Brutes pushed the Malefic Gate wide open, crushing three Liberators beneath the heavy metal gates.
Pleased with the crunchy yet squelchy sound the flattened Liberators made, the Brutes jumped down off the walls and entered the courtyard, ready to charge wherever Gordrakk told them to go.
Though the charge of the Gore-Gruntas had been halted by the Stormcasts, Gordrakk himself was really enjoying himself as he continued to batter away at the defenders of the Skull Keep. The Lord-Castellant was the next to fall to the Fist of Gork, and the last Judicator soon followed.
The Skull Keep previously occupied by the Stormcasts was now empty!
As the Maw-Krusha of the Megaboss bellowed at the Khorgorath, blasting the unnatural life out of it, the fight for the walls of the Dreadhold was beginning to swing in favour of the Stormcasts.
Though the Liberators had suffered under the pincers of the Daemonettes, the Liberator-Prime and Retributors dispatched the last of them, and weathered the Wrathmonger counterattack.
However, just below them, the Daemon Prince of Slaanesh slaughtered the last of the Liberators it had been fighting, and was now free to pick a new target – either the Stormcasts on the wall, the Liberators pushing their way to the Chaos-held Skull Keep… or the now empty Skull Keep closer by…
The Daemon Prince chose the empty Skull Keep, but knew it had to deal with Gordrakk before the tower could be claimed.
The ground outside the Chaos-held Skull Keep was now looking rather empty, as both Bloodbound and Ironjawz had effectively destroyed one another. Two Ardboyz scrambled over the corpses of their mates and fallen Blood Warriors, and as the Megaboss began turning his Maw-Krusha around to lumber towards the Skull Keep, the Lord of Khorne activated his tower’s gargoyles, sending Ruby Rays of Death lancing through the air to savage and burn the beast.
On the walls, tragedy struck for the Stormcasts. Whirling their chains, the Wrathmongers spun about the Retributors and Liberator-Prime, the hammers at their ends glancing off Sigmarite armour. However, the mere presence of the Wrathmongers infused the Stormcasts with seething rage, and they struck out blindly, hammering the Wrathmongers into the skull work, before turning on one another in an orgy of pure slaughter.
When the dust settled, no Stormcast or Wrathmonger was left alive…
Leaning over the walls of the Dreadhold, the Lord-Relictor saw the Decimators had almost finished their fighting with the Gore-Gruntas. Calling upon the power of the God-King, he brought another bolt of lightning down, frying the last one.
The Liberators who had been advancing towards the forces of Chaos saw their chances of success were slim, and were alerted to the danger posed by both the Ironjawz and Daemon Prince behind them. Reversing their course, they marched back to their own Skull Keep.
Meanwhile, the Liberator-Prime, Decimators and Lord-Relictor both sought to avoid the Brutefist inside the Dreadhold, and make an attempt to claim the Ironjawz Skull Keep, despite it being garrisoned by a full unit of Ardboys.
Battle Round Three
The Lord of Khorne dared a glance at the remaining Ironjawz outside his Skull Keep, and was rewarded for his curiosity by an Arcane Bolt hastily thrown by a quick-reacting Weirdnob Shaman.
The Megaboss lumbered towards the Skull Keep on his Maw-Krusha, bellowing at the two Ardboys to follow him – far from being wearied by battle, they were well up for the fight and chased after their boss.
Within the Dreadhold, the advance of the Stormcasts had not gone unnoticed by the Brutefist, and the first Orruks clambered up the walls to reach the Judicators.
More poured out of the open gates, racing out to intercept the lone Liberator-Prime.
However, the Brute Big Boss was a kunnin’ Orruk, and he thought he had figured out the great swirly-thing arch in the centre of the courtyard. Leading his Brutes forward, they leapt through the Realmgate…
…to appear right next to the Chaos-held Skull Keep.
With barely time to take a breath, they charged forward, joining the Ardboys and Megaboss in the assault on the Skull Keep.
The level of brutality they brought with them was sickening, even for hardened Blood Warriors. The great bellowing of the Maw-Krusha blasted the Lord of Khorne to death, while the Blood Warriors were quickly defeated by creatures who loved battle even more than they did. Only four Blood Warriors survived, using a secret portal to escape the Skull Keep and flee the battlefield.
On the other side of the Dreadhold, more Brutes had also caught up with the Liberator-Prime, with predictable and devastating results.
Gordrakk himself was keen to claim his third Stormcast hero of the battle (he is always interested in getting the ‘full set’, as he calls it), and chased down the Lord-Relictor, who had dropped down from the walls to avoid the Brutes inside. Even with a heavily wounded Maw-Krusha, the Lord-Relictor was utterly outclassed by the Fist of Gork.
Not realising the Skull Keep had already fallen, the Bloodsecrator dropped down from the walls to defend it, placing himself in the path of the Ironjawz.
Meanwhile, the Daemon Prince of Khorne had a far better plan. As Gordrakk was focussed on battling the Lord-Relictor, it crept up from behind, and then charged before the Maw-Krusha could turn round.
A series of terrible slices from its great sword slashed through the Maw-Krusha, causing fatal damage. Gordrakk was toppled from his mount and then buried by it as the beast rolled over on top of him. His rage at being pinned in place could be heard from across the battlefield, but the Daemon Prince had other problems to contend with, as the Stormcasts were intent upon exacting their own revenge against it.
As Liberators charged the Daemon Prince, the Boltstorm-armed Judicators on the walls leaned over and tore it to shreds with a flurry of bolts.
Battle Round Four
Feeling that victory was now in their grasp, the Ironjawz attacked both Chaos and Stormcast forces with renewed vigour.
Chanting and dancing, the Weirdnob Shaman enveloped his Megaboss with a Mystic Shield, then suddenly stopped, with a look of great consternation. In a burst of green light, blood and brains, his head exploded, showering the walls of the Dreadhold with its remains.
Completely unperturbed by this, the Megaboss drove his Maw-Krusha on to the Bloodsecrator, the Brutes not far behind.
The Bloodsecrator was bowled over by the Maw-Krusha’s massive bulk and, before he could properly get to his feet, the Megaboss had jumped down from his mount and quickly finished off the follower of Khorne.
Further away, Brutes swept over the few remaining Stormcasts, rolling over them as an inevitable armoured tide.
It was with some disappointment that the Megaboss realised there was nothing left to kill on the battlefield. Then he heard the angry voice of Gordrakk, promising pain to everyone if they did not get the corpse of his Maw-Krusha off him…
Well, I was right – casualties were indeed horrific!
The Ironjawz won the day, and there was plenty done by both the Chaos and Stormcast players that helped that. The Stormcast player (yeah, that would be me) placed his first retinue of Retributors within charge range of Gordrakk and his Gore-Gruntas, meaning there was no heavy support capable of tackling Gordrakk on that side of the table – just one round of attacks from Retributors would have at least cut Gordrakk down to size, allowing the Stormcasts to keep their Skull Keep.
The Wrathmongers were well used against the Retributors on the wall (completely forgot about their ability – the price of running a three-army game while actually playing), but they would likely have been better used on the Megaboss and his Maw-Krusha. The Ardboys and Blood Warriors effectively destroying one another was a good trade for Chaos, if the Megaboss could have been flattened as well. That would have ensured the safety of their Skull Keep (the Blood Warriors inside would have been sufficient to throw back most assaults).
Instead, the Chaos and Stormcast players chose to engage in clashes on the walls and just outside the Dreadhold, which achieved nothing but weakening both their positions, a situation the Ironjawz were more than capable of taking advantage of.
Basically, the Ironjawz acted, and Chaos and Stormcast reacted. Which is never a great strategy in miniatures games.
It is also worth pointing out that the use of the Realmgate by the Brutes in the last turn guaranteed the taking of the Chaos Skull Keep, as that unit was just enough to turn the tide convincingly against the Blood Warriors holed up inside.
Still, a great result for the forces of Destruction, and an All-Gate now out of the hands of both Sigmar and Archaon!
The Story Continues…
With Gordrakk reigning supreme over the battlefield, the World-Worm Fangathrak broke free of its chains and tunnelled into the earth, taking the Mawgate with it. Neither Chaos nor Sigmar will claim this All-Gate, as the war drums of the Fist of Gork have smashed all before them.
This is not the only bad news for Sigmar, as an alliance with Nagash has broken down in Shyish. The God of Death had promised his legions to help the Stormcasts take the All-Gate there, but they never appeared – without the support of Nagash, the Stormcasts were slaughtered to a man when they assaulted the mighty walls of Gothizzar.
The All-Gates War is therefore taking a dark turn for Sigmar, for while he has gained the Genesis Gate, he has now lost the All-Gates in the Realms of Metal, Beasts, and Death. There are still more All-Gates to claim, however, and the action now moves to the Realm of Fire. If Sigmar can close the Brimfire Gate, he will have delivered a powerful blow to the forces of Khorne.