Last time, we tried out the Gutbuster Ogors and snuck one of the Beastclaw Raiders in to lead them. Now, we are going with a much larger force of Beastclaw Raiders, accompanied by Spiderfang slaves/allies, against Baudrax the Hunter and his Red Butchers once more.
The Story So Far
After his victory over the Ogor champion Skargut, Baudrax the Hunter sought to return with his warband to the Realm of Fire. However, the fickle gods and Gorehammer Realmgates had other ideas.
Baudrax emerged with his Red Butchers into a vast arena of bones, with two other Realmgates spread along its edges, each sparking with sorcerous energies. As the Red Butchers advanced, the Realmgates flared into life, disgorging a new army into the Gorehammer Arena.
A new Ogor champion emerged from a Realmgate, Gurguk Facegouger, riding atop a mighty Thundertusk. He was joined by more Beastclaw Raiders, and a slave tribe of Spiderfang Grots.
As the two forces charged towards one another, Baudrax was aware that the Realmgate were still very much active, and he wondered whether he could begin using them to his advantage…
The Beastclaw Raiders are still fairly new to us, so we are keeping the forces small, but the addition of the slave Spiderfang Grots means the Bloodbound are still able to bring a fairly weighty force to the battle.
Beastriders on Thundertusk (Gurguk Facegouger)
Mournfang Riders x 4
Just a small force of Beastclaw Raiders (but then, they tend to be very potent!), and they have pinched an Ironblaster from some Gutbuster friends to give them some ranged support.
Spider Riders x 30 (three units of 10)
The Spiderfang Grots would likely prefer to be anywhere else, but their Beastclaw overlords are not giving them much choice. The Spider Riders can be thrown into battle to absorb charges from the Brass Stampede, but the Arachnarok Spider will be a foe most worthy of the Bloodbound.
Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut (Baudrax the Hunter)
Mighty Skullcrushers x 12 (one unit of 6, two units of 3)
Chaos Knights x 10 (two units of 5)
Once again, the Bloodbound have brought their most mobile elements to battle, with a full Brass Stampede supported by Chaos Knights and a Gorebeast Chariot.
Drawn from Battletome: Dominions of Chaos, the Endless Battle Battleplan features an arena, around which three Realmgates are placed. Victory will go to the side that manages to either wipe out its enemy or at least slays more enemy models than it started with.
Baudrax has the Slay the Champion command ability, which allows him to double his damage on any wound roll of a 6 against enemy Heroes. The Beastclaw Raiders instead can channel an Apocalyptic Fury, which allows their general to gain an extra attack whenever he rolls a hit of 6 or more.
However, the main theme of this battle will rest with the Realmgates. Units can use them to bounce around the table as normal, but where they appear is random – it is possible for a unit to disappear for more than one round and, if it takes longer to come back, they have a chance of bringing a brand new unit with them!
As the Beastclaw Raiders have been taken out of their normal environment, we will not be using the Everwinter’s Blessing Battle Trait, but it seems right that they should still get the bonus from the Beastclaw Stampede (re-roll wound rolls of 1 when charging).
As soon as the two forces saw one another, they charged forward, eager to get to grips with the enemy and claim first blood.
The entire arena shuddered under the brass-shod hooves of the Skullcrushers, and the Beastclaw Raiders allowed their Spiderfang allies to range ahead, in place to absorb the charges of the Bloodbound.
Battle Round One
Ogors and Grots spread out, looking for any gap that would allow them to flank the Bloodbound or take advantage of the three Realmgates that formed the points of the arena.
The Ironblaster bellowed, hurling a rain of metal at the Gorebeast Chariot, but the shot went wide, thrown off kilter by the rapid motion of the Rhinox.
As the Bloodbound thundered onwards, five Chaos Knights reined their mounts in and turned about, leaping into the Realmgate behind them. Almost instantly, they reappeared behind the Ogor force, urging their mounts onwards as soon as they saw Spider Riders in front of them, completely unaware of the danger they were now in.
With a loud crack that echoed around the arena, the lead elements of the Bloodbound smashed into the advancing Ogors and Grots. Chaos Knights were now fighting Spider Riders in both the front and back of the Ogor line, but immediately found themselves bogged down by surprisingly vicious spiders. A handful of Spiderfang Grots were killed in these charges, but not before they pulled down two Chaos Knights.
However, though most of the Spiderfang Grots held their line, a handful more decided the wrath of their Ogor overlords was far more preferable than the fury of the Bloodbound, and they urged their spiders to flee the arena.
Skullcrushers slammed into the Mournfang Riders, toppling one and crushing it underfoot as they barrelled in, but the Ogors quickly recovered, slaying one Skullcrusher and leaving the Juggernaut of another badly battered.
Battle Round Two
Though both forces were now heavily committed to battle, their sheer toughness had resulted in few casualties beyond the Spiderfang Grots, whom neither side cared about.
Now, however, the second wave of Skullcrushers, led by the Gorebeast Chariot and Baudrax the Hunter himself, lumbered into position.
As Baudrax declared a Blood Stampede that set Skullcrushers and Gorebeast alike to a frenzy, the remainder of the Bloodbound charged. The largest unit of Skullcrushers moved far to the right flank to catch a group of Spiderfang Grots who had been hoping to reach a Realmgate unscathed.
Completely outmatched, the Grots cowered behind their shields which, unbelievably held firm against the axes of the Skullcrushers. Three Spider Riders were crushed underfoot by the Juggernauts, but the survivors counted themselves fortunate that they had survived this attack.
Closer to the centre of the arena, Spider Riders were slain by Chaos Knights before the Gorebeast Chariot and Baudrax could reach them, so the Chariot’s crew concentrated their fury on the Mournfang Riders. Unfortunately, this change of mind hindered their charge and the Mournfang Riders ignored the Chariot as they decapitated another Skullcrusher with a swing of a Gargant Hacker.
More Skullcrushers flanked the Ogor force, only to find their way blocked by a huge Arachnarok Spider. A little daunted by the size of the monster, they nevertheless charged, but the spider reared up and they quailed under its shadow, their charge completely disrupted.
Across the arena, Spider Riders fled the carnage, leaving only two to fight on alongside their Ogor masters. As they fled before the swords and axes of the Chaos Knights, the Ironblaster pulled back slightly and lined up on the cavalry, blasting one knight clean off his mount.
It was at this point that Gurguk Facegouger entered the battle on his Thundertusk. Lumbering forward, the great beast opened its maw and let loose a chilling breath that froze Baudrax the Hunter to his Juggernaut. Baudrax shook himself free of the chill, dislodging ice from his armour, but he had been badly wounded by the Thundertusk and knew he had to defeat the beast – and quickly.
Seeing Baudrax reeling in his saddle, Gurguk Facegouger urged his Thundertusk onwards to finish the Lord of Khorne off, but was blocked by Chaos Knights. One knight was instantly crushed by the Thundertusk’s horns and another was badly injured, but together they managed to score some deep wounds on Gurguk’s mount.
Across the battlefield, Bloodbound continued to fight Beastclaw Raider, but neither side was willing to yield and there were only a couple of warriors were slain.
Battle Round Three
The Ironblaster lined up on the Gorebeast Chariot, but its Ogor crewman was dismayed to see the shot bounce off the chariot’s metal frame. Gurguk Facegouger was fuming too as Baudrax ducked low in his saddle as the Thundertusk breathed a chill air at him once more, and completely avoided its reach.
Close by, the Skalg leading the Mournfang Riders was crushed to death by a Juggernaut, but his standard bearer broke the Gorebeast Chariot in two as his mount gored the crew before they could recover.
Baudrax shook off the lingering effects of the Thundertusk’s breath and surveyed the battlefield. Grinning savagely to himself, he saw the time was right and he unfolded the next stage in his plan. Bellowing loudly, he ordered a new Blood Stampede, driving his Skullcrushers into a frenzy as they swung around the Beastclaw Raiders force.
Consumed by Murderlust, the largest group of Skullcrushers picked up speed, and then charged into the heart of the Beastclaw Raiders, their sudden appearance catching everyone offguard.
The combined weight of so many Juggernauts was simply unstoppable, and they smashed into the Thundertusk, Spider Riders and Arachnarok Spider, brass-shod hooves grinding their enemies into the arena floor. The Ironblaster and Mournfang were caught in the charge as well, and their reeled under the sudden impact.
However, there was no time to recover as the Skullcrushers’ axes set to work, quickly taking the skulls of the last two Ogors.
Baudrax the Hunter raised his own axe to the sky and bellowed praise to Khorne. Once again, the Blood God had favoured him with victory.
That last charge of the Skullcrushers was perfectly timed and, with a large (and untouched) unit of 6 of them, it dished out D6 mortal wounds to every enemy close by – enough to finish off the Thundertusk and Arachnarok Spider completely, which gutted the remaining Beastclaw Raider force.
Something to watch out for if you end up fighting them!
Otherwise, the battle had been fairly even up to that point – the Spider Riders were mostly dead, but taking blows is what the Ogors had brought them for, and Baudrax himself was on his last legs, after getting hit by the automatic 6 mortal wounds of the Thundertusk’s breath (nasty!).
Full credit to the Bloodbound though – that was a perfect charge at the end.
The Story Continues…
The Everwinter is truly upon us now, and next time we will see the Beastclaw Raiders ride through the Sylvaneth on their own turf.