It has not just been the Bonesplitterz roused to fight after the Realmgate Wars, as our previous battles might indicate – the Gutbuster Ogors are raging as well (some might say because the weather is about to turn for the colder…).
The Story So Far
Lord Baudrax the Hunter, leader of the Red Butchers, had carved a swath through Aqshy, pledging to lead his warhorde on a great hunt in Khorne’s honour, piling skulls as they went. In answer, Khorne sent Baudrax a powerful vision of a mighty huntsman named Skargut, the prophet of another god known as the Ravenous One.
Baudrax swore a furious oath that he would slay this false prophet and take his skull.
Plunging through a Realmgate known as the Ragged Maw, the Red Butchers voyaged to the Realm of Beasts to seek this Skargut out. For days, they battled the Spiderfang tribes of the ancient Kraggengorst ruins, then ranged out onto the Savage Steppes, matching themselves against screaming dust-wraiths, sudden squalls of amber hail, and baking, brutal heat. After many weeks slaughtering every monstrous beast and primitive tribe they came across, the Red Butchers finally came to a place of gargantuan onyx crags, many carved in the likeness of a titanic club-wielding Ogor.
As they approached, vast horns sounded from the largest of the crags and from caves surged Gutbuster Ogors, led by a Beastclaw Hunter atop a gigantic Stonehorn.
Baudrax was pleased. Now there would be blood by the gallon!
This is the first time we are using the Gutbuster Ogors, so their force is relatively small – however, the Bloodbound will have to bring a fairly decent-sized army just to keep pace!
Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut (Baudrax the Hunter)
Wrathmongers x 5
Mighty Skullcrushers x 12 (one unit of 6, two units of 3)
Blood Warriors x 20 (two units of 10)
Skullreapers x 5
This is a solid Bloodbound force, built around a Brass Stampede. The Skullreapers and Wrathmongers are both hard-hitting units, and with a score of Blood Warriors to soak up damage, Khorne stands a good chance of victory on this day!
Huskard on Stonehorn (Skargut)
Ogors x 13 (one unit of 7, one unit of 6)
Leadbelchers x 8
Ironguts x 8
Whether it is up close and personal or by blasting huge chunks of metal at the enemy, this force has things covered. The combination of Leadbelchers and an Ironblaster will have the potential to seriously tear up the Bloodbound, while a charge of Ironguts, led by the Stonehorn, could give even their Brass Stampede pause.
To claim victory in this battle, a player must slay the enemy general – a mighty victory is awarded if at least half of their starting models are still alive, a minor victory otherwise. If neither player has done this by the end of the sixth battle round, a player can claim a minor victory if he has at least half his starting models still on the battlefield and his opponent does not. Otherwise, it will be a draw (though you have to think it is still a win for Khorne, with that many dead…).
Baudrax has a new command ability for this battle, Irrefutable Challenge, which stops lesser models charging either general. Skargut has Righteous Fury, which allows him to re-roll missed hits against enemy Heroes (ouch!).
In addition, the gods are watching this battle, and will be mightily displeased if their champion tries to avoid battle. If a general ends up further away from the enemy in their move phase, fissures may open up to swallow his army as punishment. Priests may also be able to take advantage of their god’s interest, subtly influencing the outcome of the battle.
Finally, a general slain by any model other than the enemy general is likely to be saved by his god and returned to the battle, fully healed!
The Ogors flooded out of their caves and took to the battlefield, their Huskard overseeing their advance.
Baudrax was well pleased by their appearance, and he ordered his own warband to push forward in a broad line, his Skullcrushers to the flanks. His own eyes, however, were fixed firmly upon Skargut, sitting high atop a Stonehorn. Khorne would indeed be pleased by the Ogor’s skull.
Battle Round One
Content to let the Khorne invaders come to him, Skargut bellowed an order that halted his Ogors. Baudrax roared as he held his axe high in the air, and his Brass Stampede led the charge forward.
Ogors trotted across their battleline, as much to get out of the way of Skargut’s Stonehorn as give their Leadbelchers some cover from charging Blood Warriors. Skargut released his Blood Vulture, which immediately spied Baudrax and dived down to scratch at the Lord of Khorne with its cruel talons. On the other side of the Numinous Occulum, the Ironblaster thundered and hurled a dozen heavy projectiles into a group of Blood Warriors, tearing apart two of them.
Meanwhile, the Ironguts rushed forward, having sighted what was probably the most powerful unit in the Khorne force – an over-sized unit of Skullcrushers.
Taking full advantage of their massive inertia, they crashed into the Skullcrushers before the Juggernauts could reach a full gallop. Their mighty clubs and swords easily smashed through the armour of the Skullcrushers, knocking three of them sprawling and out of action for the loss of only two Ogors.
Battle Round Two
The Slaughterpriest offered a prayer of Resanguination to Khorne, and Baudrax was healed of his minor wounds caused by the Blood Vulture. However, he then pushed his luck, as he tried to Blood Bind the Ogors near the woods, and Khorne punished the Slaughterpriest for his temerity, forcing him to double over in pain as his own blood burned.
Climbing to the top of the Arcane Ruins, the Bloodsecrator found he had a commanding view of the battlefield, and planted his Portal of Skulls, causing a dull red light to shine around him as a gate was opened directly to the Realm of Chaos.
Baudrax decided the Ironblaster could present a problem to his war band, and his Juggernaut thundered out of the Sylvaneth Wood in an effort to cut it off. However, it proved to be just a little too far out of reach.
Spurred on by the Portal of Skulls and driven to rabid levels of frenzy, the Khorne warband rapidly closed the remaining distance to the Ogors.
One unit of Skullcrushers swept far along the Ogor’s left flank, and fearlessly dove into the woods, ignoring the threat of the Sylvaneth spirits within. Trees swayed violently as Ogor and Juggernaut thundered within them, and blood was soon raining into their roots as one Skullcrusher and two Ogors fell. This kind of close quarters fighting was not to the liking of one Skullcrusher, and he turned his Juggernaut around to flee the battlefield, the jeers of another unit of Skullcrushers following him as he galloped away.
Another arboreal fight erupted close by as Blood Warriors, Skullreapers and the Khorgorath engaged more Ogors and the Leadbelchers.
The Leadbelchers held their ground and crushed one Blood Warrior, even as Sylvaneth spirits impaled another on their branches. However, the Ogors, caught outside the wood, suffered greatly, with the Blood Warriors and Skullreapers bringing three of the beasts down between them. As the Khorgorath waded into the melee, it tore the head off another, a sight that convinced the survivors that they would be far better off if they fled from the battlefield.
Skargut cajoled his Stonehorn forward, not wanting to leave all the slaughter to his minions. He released the Blood Vulture once more, and it dove down onto the Skullgrinder, who was forced to fend it off with his anvil.
The Ironblaster roared again, killing another Blood Warrior and convincing another to flee, softening the unit up nicely for Skargut, his Stonehorn lumbering forward.
However, the Blood Warriors were eager to get to grips with such a powerful foe and while one was gouged by the horns of Skargut’s beast, the others managed to inflict a series of savage wounds upon the Stonehorn.
A fierce battle was well underway in the Sylvaneth woods. On one side, the Leadbelchers continued to hold their position against Blood Warriors and Skullreapers, but at a terrible cost. Three were quickly slain and another four fled the fury of Khorne’s soldiers, leaving a single Leadbelcher fighting.
The Ogors in the other wood fared better, and their clubs battered the last Skullcrusher they faced, leaving them triumphant under the cover of the trees.
Battle Round Three
Seeing yet another unit of Skullcrushers approaching, the Ogors retreated further into the Sylvaneth Wood, knowing the spirits around them would exact a heavy price upon any Chaos invaders who tried to enter their domain. The Ironguts, meanwhile, entered one of the Sylvaneth Woods themselves, hoping to skirt past Baudrax the Hunter and keep Skargut free of Khorne minions so he could focus his attention on the Lord of Khorne.
However, Skargut was already bogged down by Blood Warriors, and he waved his Ironblaster forward, knowing he needed more time before he could face Baudrax on terms he was happy with. The Ironblaster roared, but the shot was hurried and it went wide. The Ogor on the back of the Ironblaster goaded his Rhinox on, and together they smashed into Baudrax.
This was exactly what Baudrax had been waiting for. His Juggernaut danced to one side with an agility belied by its massive, powerful frame, and Baudrax’s axe hammered into the Rhinox, leaving it badly wounded. Skargut’s Stonehorn crushed three more Blood Warriors, but one still remained, completely undaunted by the monster he was fighting. The Ironblaster had indeed bought the Huskard time, but still he needed more before he could face Baudrax.
In the Sylvaneth Woods, the battle was beginning to go the way of Khorne, as the last of the Leadbelchers was killed and the Blood Warriors began to close in upon the last Ogors.
Baudrax raised his axe to the sky and bellowed praise to his Lord Khorne. The sky darkened as clouds swept over the battlefield, and a Blood Rain fell upon every combatant, healing every devotee to Khorne as it fell.
Spurred by this manifestation of his god’s power, the Slaughterpriest offered his own praise as he tried to Blood Boil Skargut’s Stonehorn, but Khorne took offence at such a weak offering from a puny servant and once more the Slaughterpriest was crippled by pain.
Baudrax’s warband began to sense blood and, led by the staggering Slaughterpriest, they began to run to the Ironguts.
However, the Slaughterpriest was in too much pain to engage them in combat, and his reticence confused the Wrathmongers, who stayed in place as their continued to whirl their chains. Baudrax saw this happen, and he swore to the Blood God that Skargut’s skull would not be the only one offered that day.
Blood Warriors and Skullcrushers rushed the Ogors within the Sylvaneth Woods from two sides, trapping they prey between the trees. However, the Sylvaneth spirits had been biding their time, and two Skullcrushers disappeared as the trees swarmed and crushed them.
The Ogors fought all the harder as they saw the advantage swing back to them, wounding the last Skullcrusher and smashing a Blood Warrior to a sticky pulp.
Unable to reach the Ironguts, the Skullreapers and Khorgorath instead threw themselves into the flank of Skargut’s Stonehorn.
Driven into a truly psychotic rage by the combined effects of the Bloodsecrator’;s Portal of Skulls and the nearby Wrathmongers, they unleashed a devastating series of blows that brought the Stonehorn to its knees. Skargut tumbled from his saddle and was gutted by the Khorgorath.
However, Gorkamorka was watching, and his favoured champion would not be brought so low, so easily.
A giant, spectral green hand reached down through the blood-laden clouds to scoop Skargut up and place him back in the saddle of a completely restored Stonehorn. Skargut grinned down at the warriors of Khorne who had attacked him, and prepared to strike back, even as Baudrax casually dispatched the Ironblaster.
Battle Round Four
Now filled with a Righteous Fury, Skargut bellowed at his Ironguts, and they lumbered forward, once again building momentum as they crashed into the Wrathmongers and Slaughterpriest.
As one Wrathmonger has hammered flat into the ground, a powerful rage descended upon one of the Ironguts, and he lashed out at one of his comrades, only to be frustrated by the thick armour they all wore. This armour also defeated the efforts of the Wrathmongers themselves, but they soon parted as the Skullgrinder piled into the fight, killing two Ironguts with wide, fast swings of his anvil, even as the Slaughterpriest hacked down another.
This was too much for the two surviving Ironguts, and they turned and ran from Khorne’s fury.
Within the Sylvaneth Woods, battle still raged, with four Blood Warriors smashed apart by the clubs of the Ogors and thrust of their Ironfists. However, they were few in number, and the Blood Warriors rallied alongside the last Skullcrusher, finally finishing the Ogors off.
Khorne has won the Battle of the Woods, but only a single Blood Warrior and lone wounded Skullcrusher emerged from the trees. Much blood had been spilled under their branches.
All eyes were now drawn to Skargut – he stood alone before Baudrax’s warband, but Gorkamorka was with him and his Stonehorn lashed out left and right, crushing a Skullreaper and impaling the Khorgorath on its great horns.
A dreadful Murderlust descended upon the Skullgrinder, and the weaponsmith raced forward, determined to take Skargut’s skull and thus be elevated past Baudrax in the eyes of Khorne.
However, Baudrax reached Skargut first, barrelling into the Stonehorn at full tilt.
Skargut stood high in his saddle, raining down blows on the forces surrounding him as Skullreapers, Wrathmongers and a Blood Warrior delivered a dozen small cuts that began to split the hide of the Stonehorn.
Baudrax the Hunter roared, getting the attention of the Ogor, and Skargut swung his Stonehorn around to face his enemy. However, the Lord of Khorne was quicker. A flurry of blows from his mighty axe took out the knees of the Stonehorn, causing the beast to pitch forward into the hard earth, tumbling Skargut onto the ground. Baudrax’s Juggernaut reared up and ploughed a hoof straight through the Ogor’s chest, silencing him immediately.
Smiling savagely to himself, Baudrax leaned over Skargut’s corpse and grabbed his long beard before swinging his axe, severing the Ogor’s head from his body in one blow.
The Blood God would indeed be satisfied by this offered skull…
Now, that was a suitably bloody battle.
Baudrax the Hunter managed to get his worthy skull, though only with a minor victory as he lost too many units in the process – not that I think either he or Khorne minds. After all, it matters not whence the blood flows…
This was the first appearance of the Ogors for us, and there is certainly much to be impressed about. Certainly, there are few units in the game that could comfortably take down three Skullcrushers in a single round, then finish off the others in the next. #
That said, Ogors are few in number and weak of armour, and if an enemy can overwhelm them while weathering the (pretty nasty) hits, then they remain eminently defeatable.
Frankly, we can’t wait to see what full-blown Beastclaw Raiders will be like!
The Story Continues…
The Everwinter is coming – in the next battle, Baudrax the Hunter takes on the full might of the Beastclaw Raiders, along with a few of their allies, in an arena created by the gods.