Battle Report – Skulls for the Skull Throne

The new Battletome: Blades of Khorne added lots of new goodies for Khorne armies of all stripes, along with two new Battleplans. While the temptation is always there to always add lots of ‘cool’ and powerful models to an army, we thought we might go in the other direction for one of these Battleplans, and field two forces of the ‘average’ infantryman…

 

The Story So Far

The Godbeasts campaign had left a powerful mark upon the Realm of Fire. The Land of the Chained Sun had been scorched into a blasted ruin by the Fyreslayers who once lived there, and the balance of power in Orb Infernia had been irrevocably altered by Lord Khul. The great and the powerful had moved on from this fiery land, to wage war and fight battles across the Mortal Realms – but some still lived and fought here.

The Devoted of Sigmar had successfully beaten back the Bloodscorch Bulltribe from their homes in the Tauroi Archipelago but while many of the Devoted had followed the Stormcast Eternals to fight for Sigmar and claim a place in his great cities, a few remained. Pledging to defend their homes and continue the fight against Chaos, they were a hardy bunch led by the most devout of Warrior Priests.

Many of the greatest champions of Khorne’s Bloodbound had also departed, following war and strife wherever it led them. Some, however, remained. Whether it was a desire to fight for territory, an eagerness to finally defeat the Devoted of Sigmar, or simply a blood-filled fury that drove them to fight the closest enemy, the reasons varied between each Bloodreaver and Blood Warrior.

The wastelands of the Tauroi Archipelago would soon see another great confrontation between Bloodbound and Devoted, as the minor champions who led both sought to defeat their age-old enemies once and for all.

 

The Forces

We are keeping things low key in this battle – a fair few models will be on the table but under no circumstances will any of them actually be any good!

Khorne Bloodbound
Exalted Deathbringer (Blood Drinker)
Aspiring Deathbringer (Gorecleaver)
Slaughterpriest (Collar of Khorne)
Bloodstoker (Talisman of Burning)
Bloodreavers x 40 (two units of 20)
Blood Warriors x 10

The Blood Warriors are fulfilling their role in this force as elite troops, but we have deliberately not put a Bloodsecrator in. If the Bloodbound want skulls for the skull throne, they will have to work for it!

Devoted of Sigmar
Warrior Priests x 4 (Phoenix Stone, Obstinate Blade, Relic Blade, Talisman of Blinding Light)
Flagellants x 60 (three units of 20)

Like the Bloodbound, the Devoted of Sigmar have not got any real ‘choice’ units here, having to rely on just Flagellants and Warrior Priests (a War Altar of Sigmar would have been too powerful!), and lots of both!

 

The Battleplan

This Battleplan is all about collecting worthy skulls. Each army has four Heroes, each of whom can choose an Artefact of Power from their allegiance list. After both armies have been deployed, each player randomly determines which enemy Hero he needs to slay to gain a worthy skull.

When they have got that Hero’s skull, they randomly determine the next target, and if they run out of Heroes, they start on unit leaders.

The battle lasts for five rounds, and victory goes to the force that has claimed the most worthy skulls!

We will, of course, be using the Blades of Khorne Battle Traits, for lots of Blood Tithe goodness.

 

Deployment

As the Bloodbound moved into enemy territory, the Devoted of Sigmar gathered to meet them, chanting prayers and devotions as they made themselves ready around the ruins of a once proud civilisation.

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Both forces had already identified which enemy Heroes needed to be brought low. The Devoted of Sigmar saw the Slaughterpriest was responsible for holding the Bloodbound together, while the worshippers of Khorne had decided that the skull of the leading Warrior Priest was the most worthy to claim for the throne of their god.

 

Battle Round One

As chanting Warrior Priests blessed the Devoted with prayers of shielding and the power of the God-King himself, the flagellants tore forward, screaming bloody murder as they flailed about with their weapons.

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They tore past the Ophidan Archway, desperate to bring Sigmar’s Justice to the heathen.

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Across the battlefield, the Bloodstoker raised his whip and cracked it across the backs of Bloodreavers, galvanising the entire warband to action.

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Battle Round Two

The prayers of the Warrior Priests became steadier in their devotions, and the whole leading line of Devoted were both protected and strengthened by the presence of Sigmar. With the Bloodbound now so close, they increased their pace, their fires burning bright and promising terrible retribution.

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With a mix of cries and screams, the first Flagellants reached the Bloodbound, piling into Bloodreavers and Blood Warriors.

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Undaunted by the massive brute forms of the Blood Warriors, the Flagellants flung themselves at Khorne’s elite, grabbing limbs and bashing with clubs as they reached a peak of religious fervour. The Blood Warriors were unprepared for this kind of attack and though they felled half a dozen Flagellants with their axes, two were torn apart and a third, to his immense shame, fled the battlefield.

On the other side of the line, the Flagellants took fewer losses and smashed or burnt the life out of six Bloodreavers, and here too another of Khorne’s faithful fled before Sigmar’s vengeance.

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The Bloodbound had been forced onto the back foot, but they had no intention of staying there. As the Bloodstoker whipped Bloodreavers into a fury, the Slaughterpriest raised his axe in prayer and boiled the blood of five Flagellants, steam coming out of their eyes and mouths as they collapsed onto the ground.

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Bloodreavers rushed in to support the Blood Warriors, much to the latter’s chagrin, but the though nearly half a dozen more Flagellants were killed in the counterattack, they remained firm and brought another Blood Warrior down.

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The Gorechosen then emerged from the woods, and together they surveyed the battlefield.

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It did not take them long to find a suitable enemy – not a prized skull by any means but, as the Exalted Deathbringer was oft heard to say, he would do. Together, they rushed a lone Warrior Priest who had been running to join the Flagellants.

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The Warrior Priest fought bravely, and it took all three of the Khorne Heroes to defeat him. However, the end was inevitable.

Just a little behind that fight, Bloodreavers and Flagellants battered one another with the crudest of weapons. The Bloodreavers were steadily gaining the upper hand, but just as it seemed the Flagellants would be driven back, they would hurl themselves onto the blades of their enemies in an effort to kill in the name of Sigmar.

Soon, there was but one Flagellant left facing the Bloodreavers.

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Battle Round Three

The Aspiring Deathbringer snarled in pain as he was whipped by the Bloodstoker as they prepared to assault the Ophidian Archway which remained in the hands of the Devoted.

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Sighting the worthiest skull amongst his enemies, the Slaughterpriest raised his axe again to boil the blood of the Warrior Priest Lord, and was elated as the man collapsed to the ground, red steam arising from his body. The Slaughterpriest made a note to claim his skull later, and cast a disparaging look at the nearby Blood Warriors, who were still fighting Flagellants. Eventually, they dispatched the last, but it had taken too long – there were more skulls to be found and they would not claim themselves…

The Gorechosen rushed the Ophidian Archway, and the Flagellants guarding it ran to meet them.

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The Aspiring Deathbringer and Bloodstoker relished the fight as they slew seven Flagellants between them, but both were wounded in return.

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The Exalted Deathbringer, however, had vaulted past the Flagellants to climb the archway, where he found a Warrior Priest.

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The Warrior Priest was forced to give ground as the Deathbringer landed a solid blow, but he remained steady and fought back, badly wounding the Khorne Hero in return.

Meanwhile, a lone Flagellant, the sole survivor of the first attack wave, was incredibly still alive and fighting Bloodreavers. The God-King must surely have been watching his faithful servant, as the Flagellant killed a Bloodreaver while the weapons of his enemies seemed to strike only thin air.

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With the Bloodbound amongst them and more Bloodreavers about to strike their line, the surviving Warrior Priests raised their voice to the Celestial Realm, praying for Sigmar’s healing hand… however, the God-King’s attention had now left this battlefield, and their devotions went unanswered.

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However, Khorne was most certainly watching, and the Blood God filled his servants with a true Murderlust. Bloodreavers surged across the battlefield, much to the surprise of a Warrior Priest whom they quickly surrounded. Recovering, he started to fight back but the press of bodies around him was too tight, and he was quickly wounded by several sharp knives and axes.

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The lone Flagellant battling Bloodreavers killed another one of his enemies, but was finally slain by an axe that thudded through his back – truly, Sigmar’s gaze had moved away from the Devoted.

As the Exalted Deathbringer continue his duel with the Warrior Priest guarding the Ophidian Archway, the other two members of the Gorechosen continued to tear through the last Flagellants on the battlefield.

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The Devoted of Sigmar became crazed the closer they got to defeat, and they hurled themselves at the Gorechosen, careless of their own lives. The Bloodstoker was taken aback as the Flagellants all but relinquished their own lives, and his blood streamed from dozens of wounds.

Finally, though, only two Warrior Priests remained on the battlefield.

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Battle Round Four

One Warrior Priest was surrounded by Bloodreavers and beyond hope. Though he had the God-King’s name on his lips, he was quickly overwhelmed and hacked into ever smaller pieces by his rabid foes.

On the Ophidian Archway, however, the last Warrior Priest fought on, refusing to give in to the inevitable. With a great cry, he rushed the Exalted Deathbringer and hurled his enemy to the ground.

Cursing his superior for cowardice and stupidity, the Aspiring Deathbringer climbed the Archway. The Warrior Priest greeted his new foe by twirling his hammers and crouching, ready for the charge.

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However brave he was, however, the Warrior Priest had been just too badly wounded in his last duel, and the Aspiring Deathbringer smashed his cruel axe through the priest’s breastplate, glad that he had succeeded where the Exalted Deathbringer had failed, and claimed a worthy skull for Khorne…

 

 

Conclusion

The Devoted of Sigmar had fought bravely but in the end… they were completely outclassed!

We certainly had some decent last stands (which is all I really expect from these guys, to be honest!), first with the lone Flagellant who would just not die, and then with the Warrior Priest on the Ophidian Archway.

The Devoted might have done better if they had managed to get more prayers off – after the first two rounds (and the first was not great, with only two prayers active) Sigmar barely paid them a blind bit of attention, which really stuffed them up towards the end. Both Warrior Priests could have significantly benefitted from a little healing and, without it, the Bloodbound could simply steam over them.

Which was a shame, as while the Bloodbound retained the upper hand all the way through the fight, the Devoted had stalled the Bloodreavers on the right, smashed the Blood Warriors into insignificance, and slain the toughest Hero. With a bit of healing, maybe (just maybe) they could have beaten the last of the Gorechosen, leaving only one unit of Bloodreavers and the Slaughterpriest to face.

That would probably still not have been a fight they could win, but it would have seemed more convincing!

 

The Story Continues…

We are going to stick with the forces of Khorne in the next battle, to try out the next Battleplan in the new book. This will feature a veritable horde of Khornate daemons against some rather angry Ironjawz!

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