Event Report – Battle Brothers

Warhammer World ran their Battle Brothers Event for Age of Sigmar this weekend – and I was in attendance!



The Armies

My Battle Brother for the weekend was James (the chap who plays through the Realmgate Wars campaign with me), and he had been painting up his Daughters of Khaine. It is a fairly simple force in concept:

Cauldron of Blood x 2 (one as general with the Phoenix Stone and Tenacious)
Witch Elves x 2 (units of 20)

Now, I had started thinking about taking an army that was cool and fluffy but, after looking at what James was taking, I realised we were not going to be making any friends, so I went for Seraphon:

Eternity Warden (wit Phoenix Stone and Tenacious)
Skink Priest (with Priestly Trappings)
Saurus Guard x 3 (units of 10)
Eternal Starpost Battalion

I think you can all see where we were going with these choices.

The Witch Elves would run ahead and absolutely murder anything they came across (the number of attacks they put out is utterly insane), relying on the overlapping Blood Cauldron auras to effectively give them two 5+ saves against any and all wounds.

The Seraphon would advance and sit on any objectives with a 2+ re-rollable save that ignored Rend of -1.

I figured that this force would look weak upon deployment in a game that has lots of big monsters and tough Heroes, and it would not be until the second turn before opponents started realising just how nasty it was…


Game One

Our first opponents were a couple of young lads called Matt and James, and they too had Seraphon and Dark Elves – however they had brought nice, fluffy forces and we had brought an absolute monster along.


I turtled down on the right flank, while James gave them a solid left hook and swept round. The elf player on the opposing side had an amazing ability to make saves, so that Anointed on the Phoenix lasted a long time, but those Saurus Guard kicking out D3 damage (thanks to Eternal Starhost) proved an inevitable end.

They took their loss well and were amazingly good-natured (always nice to see in younger players – and older ones too, for that matter), and staged a last ditch defence with the Bolt Thrower crew charging into my rampaging Saurus Guard (and came ‘this’ closer to taking down a unit, thanks to some miserable saves on my part!) but, in the end, the sickness of our force told.


Game Two

This is where we started having to up our game. We faced a great pair of chaps who had also come to the event loaded for bear – Ogors teamed up with a Warherd (that is beastmen, but where the smallest/weakest fighter is a Bullgor!).


We could tell that, upon deployment, they thought they had this game in the bag – and I was not too confident myself, knowing that Rend -2 Bullgors would rip through my Saurus Guard like tissue paper. However, as the lines crashed together…


The Witch Elves utterly mauled the Ogors and a flanking move by a bunch of Bullgors was annihilated by the Saurus Guard (though only because the lizards struck before the cows – had we not done that, I would have evaporated). It was at that point our opponents realised what they were facing and, full credit to them… they congratulated us on it!

The battle then turned into a real slog. The Ogors fell quickly but the Warherd was just plain nasty – at 1,000 points, this is an absolutely solid force and would recommend it to anyone.

We prevailed in the end but, talking to our opponents afterwards, they thought they got completely hammered. I don’t think they realised just how close we had come to breaking either. This battle could have gone either way and it was probably just the Witch Elves smashing the Ogors early on that pulled us ahead. There certainly weren’t many of the girls left at the end of the battle…


Game Three

Now, this was an interesting one, in many ways! We faced a Flesh-Eater Court/Bonesplitterz combo run by a Father/Son team. The father was very Italian and the son very… well, drunk!

(At one point, I think James suggested the son keep track of turns by having a pint for each one, and then just counting the empties to see where we were in the game!).

This one was a lot of fun, and our opponents were clearly doing something right as they went on to win one of the painting awards, along with the event championship!

The Battleplan played was Escalation, and that immediately caused the first problem. Both my force and James’ relied on synergies and we could not deploy everything needed to get all our buffs. The second problem was that the Bonesplitterz were fielding a Kunnin’ Rukk with Arrow Boyz, and we had never faced that before. Heard about it online, but this was the first time we had actually seen it.


One of James’ Witch Elf units and its Cauldron of Blood disappeared under a hail of arrows in the first turn, leaving a massive unit of Savage Orruks to roam the centre of the table. When his reinforcements came along, James decided to leave the Bonesplitterz to the Seraphon (thank you for that), and contest an objective with the Flesh-Eaters.


This he did convincingly, facing down a Varghulf, Ghoul King and Crypt Horrors. In fact, he held on to the objective right up until the final Crypt Ghoul reinforcements came along. They proved too much for him, and the girls were wiped out.

Meanwhile, I was facing two units of 30 Arrow Boyz, plus Boarboyz, all in Kunnin’ Rukk formation.

So, I turtled.

The Father’s face when I removed two Saurus Guard as casualties after a round of shooting from that lot was a picture. Knowing he had to shift me, he charged.

That might have been a mistake, as my Saurus Guard were now dishing out D3 damage, and Arrow Boyz are not all that in close combat.

They managed to grab two objectives, but my Saurus Guard steadily advanced.hacking their way through the Orruks. The game ended when a single Saurus Guard broke from combat to grab the centre objective while his mates hammered more Arrow Boyz into the ground. A victory, but so very, very close to defeat – after the first turn, we did not have any idea how we were going to deal with those Bonesplitterz!


Game Four

After a good night’s rest, we were back on the Sunday morning, this time facing a combined Death force – and just looking at their army before deployment, I knew we were in trouble.

Arkhan, four Morghast Archai, and a Mourngul, surrounded by a whole bunch of Spirit Hosts and Banshees.


I could see what was coming, so I raced for the objective on our side of the table and camped, waiting for the inevitable.

I did not have to wait long. James started confidently, but quickly got bogged down by the Mourngul (reducing to a single wound at one point, but it just kept coming back!) and torn apart by the Morghasts. While he did manage to do some damage, there was no holding back the undead and the game ended on turn 5 with them launching an assault upon my Saurus Guard around the objective, with Mourngul and Mortarch leading a massive unit of summoned skeletons.

This game actually ended in a draw, so it came down to points, and I had a feeling it would prove distinctly lop-sided. So, I was surprised to hear that the only unit we had completely lost were one of the Witch Elves (everything else managed to hold on just long enough!), while the Morghasts and Spirit Hosts were had nobbled proved sufficient to grab a minor victory for us!


Game Five

By now, we were well into the thick of things in terms of fearsome opponents, and when our last match was being set up, I knew we were in for another tough time – Ogors matched with Beastclaw Raiders.


The Mournfang Riders, along with Yhetees and Fimir crashed into the Witch Eves, and while they managed to give one of the Cauldrons a good bashing, the Daughters of Khaine remained firm.

The problems were more on my side of the table. The Stonehorn had rushed forward in the first turn and trounced my Skink Priest, while the Saurus Guard had advanced (which I probably should not have done) into a wood to contend another objective. The Skink Priest went down, and I was left without re-rolls on the saves.

However, as it turned out, I suddenly became quite good at rolling saves without re-rolls – which was all the better when the Eternity Warden went down, meaning I had a basic 4+ save against Rend -2 nasties!

We were tabled right at the end of turn 5 but, by that time, we had wracked up enough points on the objectives to claim a decent enough victory. It was the Witch Elves that managed to grab the objective in the enemy deployment zone (briefly, but it was a good points boost), but I am going to say it was the Seraphon that won this one – not only did one unit hold a forest (and the objective in it) from an entire warband of Ogors, plus Gargant, but a single Saurus Guard survived the (frankly murderous) attacks of the Stonehorn for two consecutive turns, denying our deployment zone objective (and a bucket load of victory points) to the enemy!

As expected, we suffered on Favourite Game votes (I blame James and his Witch Elves), but we managed to secure fifth place in the event. Result!


End of the Weekend

There was not a bum game among any that we played, and we did not even hear about ‘That Guy’ let alone meet him throughout the weekend. People brought tough armies (some tougher than others, sure), but they also brought along a really good attitude. Every game was pretty much played for laughs, and no one really tried to ‘game’ their way to victory.

There was also the appropriate amount of blaming one’s team mate for disasters!

I think the team/Battle Brothers events are going to be moving into my top slot of Warhammer World games, as they really are a great laugh and no one takes things amazingly seriously.

As for our armies, I think the Seraphon were solid, so long as they did not meet Rend-2 or mortal wounds. The Daughters of Khaine are vicious and can really catch people off guard (you don’t really see them in ‘net’ lists), but they suffer badly against any force that can dish out a similar amount of attacks. I think James might try the Sisters of Slaughter next time…

Oh, and I know someone will ask – just under 50 people attended this one.

Event Report – Seeds of Hope

Games Workshop had another one of their one-day free events for Age of Sigmar this weekend. So, we loaded up the car and made the trip into the wilderness of the North to attend!

This was (I think) a dry run for their 2,000 point ‘tournament’ event in a month or two, being a three-round, 1,000 point event, using all the Matched Play rules. I went up with Andy and James, who took Ogres (Gutbusters) and Daughters of Khaine respectively, while I went with my Hallowed Knights:

Lord-Celestant on Dracoth
Fulminators x 4

So, a nice, compact force that was not too over the top but it had it where it counts. The Lord-Celestant was a Legendary Fighter (giving his hammer +1 attacks) and he carried the Phoenix Gem (healing him every round).


I did not count up the attendees, but it was well attended, with more participants than any other Age of Sigmar event I have been to, I believe.


My first game was against a chap called Andre who hailed all the way from Florida (he hadn’t flown over just to play, he was in the UK for other reasons!) with his Ironjawz. Now, I have picked up some of these guys, but had never played or faced them before, so was interested to see how they went.


It didn’t go well!

In the first turn, the Lord-Celestant grabbed an objective, putting the Hallowed Knights in the lead (as I did not think his Warchanter or Megaboss could get to an objective in the first round), and the Fulminators charged into the Ironjawz flank, wiping out an entire unit of Brutes as they went.

Then the Ironjawz just turned around and mauled the Stormcasts! There were still some high points, such as the Lord-Celestant abandoning his objective to kick the snot out of the Megaboss (though he was badly wounded in the attempt and was quickly pulled down by a Brute), and a desperate last stand by the Judicators, who managed to destroy another Brute unit in close combat!

However, victory was very firmly in the hands of the Orruks.


The next battle was against a combined Chaos force, which included Nurgle and Khorne daemons, with a big unit of Bullgors, all led by a Great Unclean One. This battle had a random placement of objectives in the second round and, just my luck, mine landed right in front of the Bullgors – so, they needed to be dealt with!


As it turned out, just about everything went my way in this fight – the Fulminators wiped out the Bullgors in a single charge, and then went on to clock the Great Unclean One. Even the Liberators did respectable work, tying out and bashing a combined Bloodletter/Plaguebearer force.

Victory for Order!


The final battle was against a Deathrattler force, and things went well, initially. The Fulminator charge was pulled off flawlessly, wiping out a big Grave Guard unit, and though they got bogged down by a Wight King who was reducing their hit rolls, they finally managed to fight their way through him and his Skeleton Warrior bodyguard.

So, they were ready to plough forward and grab the enemy objective from a single unit of Skeleton Warriors – easily done!

However, I had let two Tomb Banshees sidle up the middle of the table to attack the Liberators and Judicators guarding my own objective. Nothing to worry about, as they are only Banshees – so I thought…

As it turned out, these Banshees were way, way more effective than the ones I had used in the past! Their screams almost annihilated my units and they were even bringing Stormcasts down in close combat!

If my Lord-Celestant had not doubled back to support them, I would not have had five models on the objective to claim it, and victory might not have happened – that game was a lot closer than it looked!

And that was the Seeds of Hope event – a very enjoyable day and while the Death Faction was the overall winner of the event itself, Order was able to claim Warhammer World for the Season of War summer campaign.


I have to say, this was probably the best Age of Sigmar event I have been to. Everyone was very friendly and there were no TFGs in evidence – at all. Like, none. There were no forces that looked terrible to face, and I did not meet anyone who was absolutely determined to win all their battles. A very positive experience, and I am looking forward to the next one!


A Tour of our Tables

We are quite blessed in where we get to play all our games, and I thought it might be fun to have a little tour of the tables we use.


This is one side of the Mongoose offices, dedicated to games of all types (with a dash of stock room and mail order centre thrown in!).


The ‘red table’ will be familiar to those who have been following our Age of Sigmar campaign in the Realm of Fire. However, it was originally built as an alien world for 40k, and we have some additional volcano and bunker pieces to reinforce that.


This is ‘big green’ and is generally used as either fantasy or (more often) alien jungle. Most of the individual terrain pieces come straight from an aquarium shop, and are stuck onto flocked wood tiles – or, in the case of the large ruins, just plonked onto the table!


‘Small green’ will be familiar to those of you following the Realm of Life campaign, though it is used weekly for 40k  by the local club on Tuesday nights. Most of these tables have readily removable boards so they can be quickly switched around (for space or naval battles, for example), and this is generally the table that gets converted first.


This one is normally used as a desert world for 40k, but it works well for any dusty, dry place (just last Saturday, it was hosting a 4,000 point End Times battle). It also tends to serve as a temporary storing area for terrain as it is so flat and convenient! However, right now it has a little fortified fantasy village sitting at the foot of a wizard’s tower.


This is the first of our snow tables and, despite having had a few knocks in its time, still serves very well for 40k – indeed, it is quite 40k-specific as evidenced by the upturned MkI Land Raider at the back!


This is sort of two tables in one at the moment. The actual wooden board was destined to be built upon, either as a Stalingrad or possibly Rorke’s Drift, but it was plain enough to be co-opted by the Infinity players at the club! They have brought their own terrain along for the half at the back, while the foreground has the modern Arab town terrain first put together for Battlefield Evolution (when set up on its own table, it tends to get called ‘Downtown Baghdad’).


This is the Mega-City One table, though kit sees a lot of use for Infinity at the moment, hence all the buildings getting pushed together. However, it works well for any sci-fi game, and plenty of Space Marines have met their end on this table too!


This is a table that has been some years in the making – it started off as a poster/floor plan released by Games Workshop as part of their Cities of Death range. Subsequently, ruined sci-fi buildings have been added until we have a quite densely packed Space Age Stalingrad. Battles tend to be quite vicious on this table!


This is our big snow table, currently set up as a Planetstrike battlefield. Adding more bunkers and defence posts is one of those long term projects that are always on the go, though it is a slow process.


And this is our third snow table, originally intended to be Klendathu for Starship Troopers. For really large games, we tend to keep this one and the larger snow table pushed together, like so:


However, we can also add the first snow table to the left hand side, making a truly awesome battlefield – something that was done late last year for an Apocalypse game with the local club.

We also have access to two more large tables in the other side of the office, though they are in dire need of a repaint and possible re-modelling.

Another one of those long term projects!


Throne of Skulls: Rotwater Blight

This weekend I took another trip up to GW HQ in Nottingham for another event, this time Throne of Skulls: Rotwater Blight, for Age of Sigmar once again.

Short Version: I would rate this as the best event for Age of Sigmar thus far. The people there were all great gamers and GW are really hitting their stride with Sigmar events.

For the long version, grab a coffee and settle in for a little read…


We have (finally) managed to figure out how long it takes to drive to Nottingham, and arrived just a few minutes before they opened the doors to Warhammer World. Myself and the gentleman I had travelled with (James, the opponent you read about in our ongoing Age of Sigmar campaigns) were the first to register. For the first time at a Sigmar event, instead of a couple of loose sheets explaining what was going on during the weekend, we had a proper printed pack.


The basic premise of the weekend was that the Rotwater Blight Time of War sheet would be used throughout, with a variety of scenarios drawn from the two campaign hardbacks. Now, anyone familiar with the Time of War sheet will know that hordes of Dryads can potentially appear – assuming that no one would bring that many, GW instead changed the rule to bring on Blighted Treelords, whose models they provided (there were a lot of Treelords in that cabinet!).


While most of us dove straight into the first game, we did have the option of breakfast at Bugman’s Bar.


And at the front of the stage, a reminder of what we were playing for – the frankly massive Throne of Skulls trophy.


There were a number of awards being given out over the weekend for painting (which I always disregard, people with actual talent always show up), which are all done on a player vote basis – so, it is not GW who decide who the winners will be, but the players taking part. The same applies to the Throne of Skulls trophy – at the end of the weekend, players vote for their favourite opponents, and he who gains the most votes wins the event. So, winning at all costs is out – your gaming score is only taken into account in the event of a tie on votes.


The first game was the Hold Or Die Battleplan, where one small force starts on the table and is mobbed by the enemy, until the rest of their forces finally show up. I had brought my new Seraphon force, primarily because it had the most models that I thought would be resilient to breakage! You will note I did not bring any Terradon riders, specifically because I guessed their flying bases would not survive the weekend!

I was paired up with a young chap called Johnny. I really don’t do kids at all, but I would guess he was perhaps 11 or 12 – however, at no point did I think this would be an easy win…

You see, about 20-odd years ago, I was playing at a 40k team tournament, again at Warhammer World. In my first match, I was paired up against a 12 year old, and I smugly turned round to my team mates and informed them that I had this one ‘in the bag’. Yeah, you guessed it – the kid handed my rear end to me. I should have guessed what was going on, because as I was moving and attacking with units, I was explaining exactly what they did and why… and the kid was finishing my sentences off for me. He did not need any help – he knew the rules inside out, and I really should have twigged; he was exactly like I was when I was 12!

So, I always give maximum respect to young players, and Johnny was no exception – he knew most of the stats of his Bloodbound off by heart.


We rolled off for positions, and it was decided I would be the ambushee, so I set up a Sunblood, some Skinks, Kroxigors and a Bastiladon in a hilltop outpost and awaited the coming hordes. He had a unit of 30-odd Bloodletters and when they rush in with extra attacks doing mortal wounds on a 5+, they hurt!

This was a fun game, with the Bloodletters being very wary of the Bastiladon’s solar engine, and in the end being deployed against my reinforcements who came onto the table behind the two Skull Cannon that had been deployed to bombard the outpost. Valkia the Bloody led an assault on the oupost and wiped out the Skinks and the Sunblood just by blinking at them, but she finally fell to the massive hammers of the Kroxigors.

The game ended with a toe-to-toe fight between the Bastiladon and the Khorne Warshrine, a deadlock that was finally broken by the Kroxigors. The Seraphon had been utterly savaged with just a handful of them left alive, but no Khorne worshippers had survived the encounter. A major victory for the Seraphon!


The next battle was going to be a hard one, I knew, as it was The Ritual and I was the attacker – always a big ask. I was facing a combined Stormcast and Sylvaneth force (run by a very friendly bloke called Rupert) who were trying to enact a ritual at one end of the table. My Seraphon would have to slog it across the battlefield and get their general into contact with the ritual’s focus, and then destroy it before the ritual was completed.

As I said, a big ask.

Not many of the enemy force started on the table – the Sylvaneth were hiding in the trees while the Stormcast were preparing to arrive by lightning bolt. In the first turn, pretty much an entire army arrived on my back line. I took one look at it and thought ‘nope’. Leaving just my Carnosaur and Bastiladon to hold them up, the rest of my army sprinted forward, my Slann Starmaster trying to egg his chair on as quickly as it could go!


The battle consisted mainly of a series of running skirmishes on my back line, until my main unit of Saurus Warriors (35 of them!) crashed into the Stormcasts defending their shrine. The Seraphon had the distinct advantage on this part of the battlefield, but the ritual progressed too quickly and, in the end, the lizards just ran out of time.

So, this one was a loss for the Seraphon, but I thought they had given it their best. I also saw the comedy of ten Skinks (possibly the most useless unit in the game!) trying to defend the Slann Starmaster from a bunch of Prosecutors and Dryads, realising that they formed no barrier as their enemies could literally reach over them to strike the Slann!


The final game for Saturday was Breakthrough, a Battleplan I know well and like. I was to be the defender, trying to stop a wave of Nurgle daemons from leaving my table edge. This chap was called James (a different James to the one I had travelled up with) and, again, was a Proper Chap – up to now, every player I had faced had been first class and I was beginning to feel everyone at this event was just there to enjoy themselves, win or lose, which is not always the case in a tournament!

Deployment was random for my force, and a series of weird dice rolls left my centre completely uncovered. On the left, the Kroxigors and Blightkings pretty much took each other apart (just one wounded Kroxigor walked away from that fight), while the Oldblood on the Carnosaur munched his way through a unit of Plaguebearers before getting mired for pretty much the entire battle by a group of Nurglings.


The main Nurgle attack was on the right, where Plaguebearers advanced alongside a Giant Chaos Spawn and Great Unclean One, with just my Saurus Warrior line and Bastiladon to hold them. The Saurus Warriors held at first, but summoned Plaguebearer reinforcements began to wear them down and when the Great Unclean One waded it, it looked like the battle was lost.

However, the Bastiladon charged up its solar engine (which loves to be fired at Chaos Daemons!) and pretty much nuked it, leaving the greater daemnon in just one wound. James gave a sigh of relief (Great Unclean Ones are tough to kill because they automatically regain wounds every turn) until he saw a Skink crewman on the back of the Bastiladon heft a javelin. The throw was true, and the Great Unclean One finally went down (to a Skink!).

Without the possibility of more reinforcements, the Nurgle force started to wilt after that and despite a valiant push to the table edge by one large unit of Plaguebearers, attrition finally took its toll. Another major victory to the Seraphon, and a good end to the first day!


After breakfast at the Farmhouse (a restaurant next to the Travelodge we were staying at), it was back to GW HQ and the final two games of the event. My first match was against a force of Orcs, and army I had yet to mess around with in Age of Sigmar, so I was looking forward to this battle.

This Battleplan was Kill the Beast, where one player has a monster that must, well, be killed, and the other player is trying to do the killing. My opponent (apologies, I forget his name, but he was a great sport) nominated me to be the beastmaster, so I chose my Bastiladon to be the creature he was hunting. I duly deployed my Saurus Warriors in a ring around it, though right from the start I had my doubts about their ability to fend off even basic Orcs, let alone Black Orcs.

There was an additional problem in that there was a ‘sky’ table in this battle where flying creatures would duel and having control of the sky was part of the victory conditions. The trouble here was that the Orcs had a Warboss on a Wyvern, whereas I had… a Skink Priest in a feathered cloak. A fair match up that was not!

As things went, the law of averages suddenly swung in my favour. My Bastiladon had been rolling fairly low throughout the event for its solar engine (it gets 2D6 attacks every time, and I had only once rolled more than 7), but in this battle it could do no wrong! When the Wyvern landed on the battlefield to deal with my Carnosaur, the Bastiladon completely immolated it with a single blast (thus giving my Skink Priest control of the skies!), then toasted a bunch of Trolls. With the Carnosaur munching its way through Orc Boyz and the Chameleon Skinks taking care of the Doom Divers and Rock Lobber on his base line, the battle seemed to be going well.

And then the Black Orcs hit my line.

Between them and Grimgor, my Carnosaur had already been torn apart, and they ripped apart the Saurus Warrior line in a single turn. I had already seen what was coming and both my Bastiladon and Slann Starmaster were trying to get away from the oncoming horde (the latter desperately trying to summon more Kroxigors and Saurus Warriors as he floated) but neither are particularly fast.

The battle ended with the Black Orcs hammering away at the shell of the Bastiladon before, finally, three newly summon ed Kroxigors proved enough to whittle them down and break the deadlock.

Another major victory for the Seraphon!

Then something a bit odd happened in the event as a whole.


The GW chaps running the event had been roaming the tables, looking out for nicely painted armies. These would then be put in the cabinets between games on the Sunday and all the players would vote for their favourite – basically, the nicest painted army, as decided by the players themselves, would win the Best Army trophy. Above was Rupert’s combined Stormcast and Sylvaneth force that I had faced during The Ritual.


A very nicely painted army of Seraphon by a chap called Dan. Note the use of older metal models.


A potent Bloodbound force by Sam.


A pure Sylvaneth force by Steve Foote, who went on to win the Best Army trophy along with the award for Best Monster (his converted Forest Dragon at the back was seriously impressive, and he got my vote).

The odd thing was this…


I only had my blinking Seraphon nominated!

Now, I was never in the running (as I said before, people with proper talent turn up to these events!) but, honestly, if a painting lackwit like me can get an army in those cabinets then, really, anyone can!

Anyway, having my Seraphon in there was nice, and I got a certificate out of it at the end of the event!


The final battle was against a Dark Elf army run by a young chap called Josh – I had seen his army across the tables earlier in the day and James had already played him and said he was a good egg. So, I was looking forward to this one.

The Battleplan was War of Storms, one I have played twice at these events but never won, so my hopes weren’t high. Basically, you have a line running between the two armies which shifts back and forth during the battle due to chance, prayers from Priests and wounding or killing the enemy general.

I was very lucky in my rolls for this (aided by the fact that I had priests and Josh did not), and a solid hit by the Bastiladon forced the Dark Elf general to retreat right to his backfield early on. My Saurus Warriors got munched by his Black Guard, while the Hydra and Bastiladon more or less neutralised one another for the entire battle – he could not crack the Bastiladon’s armour, while I could not do enough damage to beat his regeneration!

However, the ‘storm front’ eventually rolled over the Dark Elf’s table edge, giving the Seraphon their fourth major victory of the weekend!

With all games done, and with a group of tired but happy gamers, the event came to a close. I had really enjoyed the games I had played, and would happily welcome any of the players I was matched against into my regular group. Guys, if you are ever near Swindon, give me a shout!

All that was left was the award ceremony, where I picked up my nomination certificate, and Steve Foote picked up his Best Army trophy. Then there was, finally, the Throne of Skulls trophy. And, umm, I won it…


Could not quite believe it when they called out my name, but there you go!

To be fair, two other chaps received as many votes as I did (including Steve, the gentleman who won Best Army). I only clinched it because of the Battle Points earned during the games (41 points out of a possible 50).

So, that was… odd!

Anyway, I really enjoyed this weekend and we are currently debating whether to go to the next couple – a doubles event in February and then a strongly scenario-led one in March…


Event Report: Trials of the Oighear

Now and again, GW run one day events for their games at the HQ in Nottingham. These are free to enter, and this weekend I went along to my first one.

This was the Trials of the Oighear, an Age of Sigmar campaign covering Ice Mages in the Realm of Metal getting together every thousand years to prove who is best and will be their leader. The conceit here is that they can change shape at will and hire in mercenaries to do their fighting – so, for the event, you could bring any army of up to 30 models, plus one Ice Mage whose Warscroll was provided.

You can read about Ice Mages here. They are quite pokey for wizards, and have a Shield of Ice ability that gives them and one other unit +2 saves. They do not have access to arcane bolt or mystic shield, but have their own suite of spells. Frosty Blast is a pumped up arcane bolt that also slows the target unit, Lake of Ice shifts units in a random direction, and Ride the Storm effectively teleports the Ice Mage up to 20″.


The only restrictions to your army is 30 models, only one of which can be a Monster and none can be Wizards. The Ice Mage is in addition to this.

I ended up taking two units of 9 Chaos Warriors, 1 unit of 9 Chaos Knights, and a Lord on Manticore – all Tzeentch worshippers (hence the units of 9). The Ice Mage went on top of this, for which I used the Tzeentch Sorcerer Lord I had painted up earlier because… he was kinda bluey in colour…


First Game

All tables and opponents were randomly drawn in this event, and I got paired up with a Dwarf player to begin with. The battle took place across an ice field, with one side trying to get past the other. Throughout the game, units risked breaking the ice and drowning, though Heroes would just get a bit stuck and flyers would ignore it altogether.

I am not going to say what I thought of this game – instead, I will just give you some facts.

  1. I lost, and the game lasted about 20-odd minutes, which is the quickest game I have ever had at an event.
  2. He took a Giant in a Dwarf army (or a Destruction unit in an Order army, if you prefer).
  3. He started off by saying that he did not fancy marching his Dwarfs across the table, so would I mind being the attacker instead of rolling randomly?
  4. There were three Organ Guns, with an Engineer in the force. But you see, that does not really matter, because…
  5. What I first thought was a unit of 20 Troll Slayers was actually 20 separate Dragon Slayers. In other words, there were 20 Heroes in his army. No actual troops, unless you count the three Gyrocopters.
  6. He had also taken Ungrim Ironfist, whose ability he proceeded to use upon the Giant (description says Dispossessed only).
  7. And he had 38 models on the table in a 30 model event.


I just present these facts to you, you make up your own mind.


Second Game

This was an ambush Battleplan, and I ended up being the Ambushee – this would be a classic confrontation as my Tzeentch warband would be surrounded by Nurgle followers! I had to set up first, so my opponent would know exactly what he had to face, but at least I got to go first. I picked what I thought was the weakest point in the circle (a big unit of Chosen, as it turned out – no way did I want to mess with Dragon Ogres, Blightkings and a Maggoth Lord!), and just went for it!


We both made a few mistakes in this battle but, in the end, I managed to get a third of my models off a table edge to claim victory, even though I felt like a complete coward at times – my Knights kept getting tangled up with the Maggoth Lord, which they did not enjoy and so kept fleeing, while I quite cheerfully sacrificed one unit of Chaos Warriors to act as a speed bump for his Dragon Ogres!

My opponent (nice chap, really into the modelling side) didn’t think this scenario was completely fair. I am in two minds about it. If I were doing it at home, I would pay particular attention to the forces in the centre (the defender) to make sure they were either few in number or just plain slow. On the other hand, he spent some time messing around with my Chaos Knights, the fastest unit I had after the Manticore. However, they did not really mean a great deal in terms of the scenario conditions, as I needed to get a certain number of models off the table and the Knights would not likely have cut it. Just concentrating on my slow Chaos Warriors could have made things really sticky for me.

Still, I cannot criticise – my main tactics were centred around trying to get the Hell away from the Maggoth Lord!

While I was playing this game, Dwarf Boy was on the table next to ours – his opponent had a grim expression, glazed eyes, slumped shoulders… yeah, I could sympathise.


Third Game

The second game was good, this third was the best of the lot. I met another Chaos force, this one full of Trolls, Ogres and Plague Toads, and the Battleplan was basically the storm one from the Ghal Maraz hardback – basically, the territory of the players shifts in a line across the table, influenced by victories and random chance. If you kill the enemy general (the Ice Mage, in this case), you will shunt it far enough that you will likely win.


My issues began early on in this game. You see, they had given us a list of objectives to complete to gauge how well we did, and in this Battleplan, it seemed as though every objective was designed to get us to commit suicide!

For example, you got 3 bonus points if you did not use the +2 Save Shield of Ice at any point. You got 3 more if you teleported your mage to an enemy then charged him (always a good idea for a wizard…).

So, I had made the decision not to use Shield of Ice, and that kinda stuffed me from the outset. You can see in the photo that our Chaos Lords on their Manticores had engaged one another. However, while I had the mark of Tzeentch (can unbind spells), his chap had the mark of Nurgle and the benefit of Shield of Ice – which gave him a 1+ save, meaning I only got a few scratches in while he was (eventually) able to finish me off.

I knew that using Shield of Ice was the right thing to do, but once you start something…

The game ended with my Ice Mage teleporting over to his, completely fluffing his frosty blast spell, then getting minced in close combat.

Still, an excellent game and, morally speaking, I think I was the better Ice Mage! And, as it turned out, I was only 1 Objective Point behind this chap across the entire campaign. So, that ended well too!


One Day Events

So, should you make the effort and go to one of these events? Well, it is free – if you can bring yourself to struggle up to Nottingham (two hour drive for me, your mileage may quite literally vary), why would you not at least give it a try? No entry fee, no hotel bill, just bring some pennies for drinks and food at Bugman’s Bar and, frankly, you could just as easily bring your own. Give me a shout, and I will see you there!

Speaking of which, the next Age of Sigmar events being advertised right now are Rotwater Blight on January 9-10th (which I am booked in for already), and the Rise of the Seraphon on February 20-21st, a doubles event (which I have not booked for yet, but the idea of leading a huge bunch of Lizards is appealing…). Both of these are the more standard two-day paid-for events.

A Tour of Warhammer World

I have posted before about events held at Warhammer World but, up to now I have not gone into the exhibition centre they have there – principally because of the £7.50 entrance fee. Well, this weekend, I went up for the Trials of the Oighear event (full report on that tomorrow) and this time I took one for the team. I ponied up the cash, and took a look around. I also snuck in a camera so you could all have a look as well.

(there is no actual ban on photography, but I would not have felt like 007 without that conceit).


When you walk in, this is the first thing you see, some cabinets at the bottom of the stairs displaying some very old GW products, which are all likely to be older than most of the people who walk through this place (sadly, I remember buying many of these when they were first released…).


Like the original Beakies and Space Ork Raiders. Or, just below them in the photo, the Devastators box set, containing (no, not heavy weapons marines) the likes of the Mole Mortar and first exposed-to-the-wind Land Speeder. And yes, that box next to it contained two Land Raiders.


Still, things like Hydras and Manticores are way bigger these days, so I guess it is not all bad.

Once you have had your fill of nostalgia, you head up the stairs to the first exhibition room, dedicated to Age of Sigmar.


The displays are divided into two main types – the first is like the above, where entire armies are on display. Here is a part of the Orcs and Goblins cabinet – that Forge World Giant really is a big ‘un…


And here is a snap of something that explains Bretonnians in the Mortal Realms (don’t kid yourselves, I am pretty sure these guys will be properly gone soon enough).


The second kind of cabinet is like this – massive. In fact, this is one of the smaller ones. We’ll get to the really big stuff soon enough!

Basically, they are of (usually) large battles involving hundreds of miniatures in a suitably awe-inspiring setting.


In this one, the Stormcasts are having a bit of a barney with the Bloodbound on a floating island fortress thing. It goes without saying, you can spend an hour looking at each of these displays and still be picking up brand new details. Taking a camera with you might well be a good idea…


This one is labelled End Times, and depicts a Skaven attack upon a Dwarf stronghold. However, it is designed to be viewed from all four angles, with each facing presenting something new.


On this side, the Dwarf reinforcements are rushing inside the hall to try to stem the invasion.


There is a massive chasm inside that divides the display in two, with the two forces fighting over rickety bridges.


From the other side, you see the chasm is wide enough to allow the Gyrocopters in, where they are performing strafing runs on Skaven war machines.


Dwarf miners are trying to flank the Skaven army, but have run straight into the Brood Horrors…


The reflections are bad on this one (they may allow photography, but they do not aid it here), but this is the main Skaven attack – that green glowy thing is not a reflection, but a Warpstone weapon…


The next display is of a Chaos force leaving a blight-ridden fortress.


Nurgle is the theme here, and they have not been afraid of splashing out on Forge World models…


Along with the Glottkin, a Maggoth Lord (Twiceborn), and a lovely converted Mutalith at the back, all Nurglified.


And this is just part of the main horde – took this snap because I quite liked the Warshrines.


However, once you move round the side of this display, you realise you have not seen it all, as the Chaos forces are moving underground as well.

That was the quick tour of the Age of Sigmar section. The second exhibition room is dedicated to Warhammer 40,000.


Again, all the armies are on display, from Sisters to every Marine chapter you have seen painted up in White Dwarf. These are the two variant Land Raiders and Rhinos that you can grab from Warhammer World (and only Warhammer World).


And, of course you get the big displays too. The first is a bit of a marine-on-marine action with the Emperor’s Children.


While just across the way is a Space Wolf fortress being attacked by Tyranids. Didn’t spend too long on this one because, well, filthy Space Wolves (the Lion was right!). But there is nothing funnier than watching a Space Wolf getting eaten by a bug.


Here, for example, are some Space Wolves who cannot fly properly.


And here are some Space Wolf dogs about to get torn apart.

Gets me every time.

Anyway, after Marines, it was onto the Guard (Astra Militarum). Think you have a large Guard army at home? Really? Try this…


These guys are just on parade. And no, this is not Epic scale. Note the elite troops on the wall on the left and, right at the back, the Commissar’s personal super-heavy…


It might take a little while to paint that many Guardsmen up…


This is a smaller display, but I know it will have fans – the Death Korps of Krieg, in a fortified position.

From here, it is on to the next Exhibition Room. There is just a single display in this one, and it is billed as the largest 40k display in the world. They may be right.


You ready for this?


Now, I am rubbish at photography, so you do not get the right sense of scale here. And the lighting is very weird, so the camera was not at its best anyway. But this display needs two stories, and you walk down and around it.


The lights also kept changing…


But as you get to the top, you find a Bloodthirster has got there before you.


And this is how you are supposed to use a Dreadclaw…


It is not until you get downstairs that you realise how many Titans there really are…


You would need some seriously tall guys to play properly on this board.


The next Exhibition Room is dedicated to all things Xenos, and we start with a very nice Eldar vs. Tyranids set up, including glowing lava!


And a Titan. Must have a Titan.


They call this one Ork Town…


And just on from that, a cabinet that contains all their really large models, including the Warlord Titan.


No reason for this photo, other than I thought that was quite a nice scheme for Necrons…


And I took this one because I thought I was looking at the really large Tau flyer. Umm, no. Not even close. As we will see.


Orks vs. Crimson Fists – it must be Rynn’s World!


This picture will get the long beards nodding knowingly…


Yeah, that is the big Tau flyer. And it is ‘uge.


But then it needs to be, with this lot bearing down on it.


The display is an odd L-shape, right next to a door, hence the choppy photo.

However, that door leads to.. another Exhibition Room, this one dedicated to the Horus Heresy.


‘Standard’ Calth battle.


And one showcasing the interiors that Forge World do.


And there is always room for one more Titan…


As a complete aside, I did notice a new table when I went back to the gaming hall. There had been a mention that a new Age of Sigmar table was being built. Well, I think it has just been unveiled…


This is actually quite nice – and it shows off the Dreadhold’s modularity nicely. The first thing you notice are the really tall towers (keeps and bastions stacked on one another) and the gatehouse, which is just great. However, note the triangular keep to the left as well. Seems to be what you get from three keeps and three walls.


All with a river of blood running through it. Didn’t get a chance to play on this table, but it would be a fight to remember…



Age of Sigmar Event Report: War at Life’s End

This weekend we rocked up to GW’s HQ in Nottingham, for the first Age of Sigmar Doubles Event, The War at Life’s End. And a rain-swept scene greeted us upon arrival…


I had teamed up with the freakishly tall James, his Sylvaneth and my Stormcasts making for a nice fluffy force that would fit in well with the story behind the event – an assault on the Realm of Life by the Nurgle Lord Lugubrious Blisterphlegm. Would the sacred glades be corrupted, or would the Nurgle Lord face Sigmar’s wrath? We would decide that over the weekend!


The event was noticeably better organised than the last, and we had faction briefings at the start of every round. The first game would see the forces of Chaos massing for attack and the armies of Life would have to try to stop them getting past – this would use the Breakthrough Battleplan from the main hardback but with the roles reversed, Chaos being the forces that had to break through the line and get off their opponent’s table edge.

The faction leader did stress that as every team likely had around 100 models (James and I had 80-something) and only two and a half hours to play, we should chat with our opponents and sort out what models would be used. This was, I think, promptly ignored by everyone and every army deployed pretty much everything it had – when most games only got through 2 or 3 turns in this round, we all modified our thinking and armies were reduced later on…

Anyway, for our first game, we met two delightful chaps whose names were easy to remember – they were Matt and James! They had a combined Chaos force that featured loads of Chaos Warriors and Knights, the Glottkin, a Maggoth Lord, a whopping great dragon and a Chaos War Mammoth!


There were no ‘tricks’ on their side, so this would be a stand up fight and the two forces soon crashed together. On the right flank, I managed to convince James to feed his Treekin to the Chaos Dragon where they formed a nbice shield for my Protectors and their monster-killing glaives. A large number of 6’s on their wound rolls meant the dragon was butchered in short order and became the first large model to fall.

In the centre, Chaos Knights gave my Liberators a right pounding and, had the game gone on longer, might have seen off my little command squad as well (most Stormcast characters had clustered together). Things fared better on the left flank where James’ Dryads and Tree Lords mixed it up with Plaguebearers, the Maggoth Lord and, towards the end, the Glottkin.


A great deal of carnage ensued but, in the end the line held and we had our first victory! We even managed to stall the War Mammoth, though that was a dubious proposition at best…


After lunch, we had another briefing and were told the forces of Life had done well across the board, and that a new Battleplan would appear next, The Hidden Threat. This battle would be decided on how many wounds were caused by both sides – not models slain, as is often the case in Age of Sigmar, but wounds. So, it might be worth going after the big stuff.

We were to face a combined Nurgle and Khorne force, and agreed to limit our forces to 30 models per player (so, about 60 per side). I dropped my Skyborne Slayers formation but, having spied a few big nasties on the other team, kept the Celestant-Prime to one side. You know, just in case.


This battle was interesting to say the least! James and I raced to kill the Great Unclean One, but while we managed it, it diverted a lot of resources and allowed the Plague Drones and Toads to pound our other forces while a valuable Lord-Celestant and Tree Lord were showboating with the greater daemon. Aside from some Dryads, the left flank was more or less mine to hold and, initially, things went well, with Bloodletters being hammered quickly and Chaos Warriors getting whittled down.

The man of the match for me here (and possibly the man of the event) was the humble Heraldor. Looking over his stats, he does not seen all that – sure, he can cause terrain to quake and dish out D3 mortal wounds to anyone within D6 inches of the scenery… but D3 wounds is not a great deal. Maybe a couple of wounds off a Hero or the odd Bloodletter getting crushed.

However… when you can keep blowing it, those 5 wound Heroes start looking quite fragile and even the Khornate War Altar was beginning to feel its effects. Plus, because the Battleplan was based on wounds and there were several Khorne units close to the woods the Heraldor was affecting, we were starting to seriously rack up the points. The Khorne player soon decided he had had enough, and that the Heraldor had to die! This was a reaction that would be repeated throughout the weekend.

The moral of the story: if you are a Stormcast player, get yourself a Heraldor. You will not regret it.

The other issue we had was Epidemus, sitting in a temple at the far end of the table. We ignored him to begin with but soon realised that the tally of deaths he was keeping was buffing a lot of Nurgle forces. Enter the Celestant-Prime!


Unfortunately, the Celestant-Prime had not brought his A game and, in four rounds of combat, had managed to only reduce Epidemus to his final wound when, really, he should have completely trashed the Chaos Lord in a single round. In his last attack of the game, he managed to miss with every swing of his hammer…

The final result was close but, in the end, we managed to win by about nine wounds. I think we can put that down to the Heraldor!


So, we were fairly jubilant, but as we had our last faction briefing of the day, we discovered that all had not gone so well for the forces of Life. In fact many other armies had been crushed and Chaos had won that round. With the campaign hanging in the balance, we were told the last round of the day would have no Battleplan and would use the 4 page rules sheet as written…


Up to this point, every team we had met had absolutely great players, the kind of guys you would be happy to play at any time. In fact we had not even heard of any ‘dick’ players attending. In the final round, I thought we had finally found them – as it turned out though, I was wrong.

We were facing a combined Chaos and Undead force, and the chaps we faced said they had played some slow games and would we mind limiting out forces to 20-odd models each? No problem at all, we said, though I had noticed Skarbrand sitting in their pile and figured he would show up. When models started going down onto the table, one of the other players promptly walked over to a display cabinet that had been set aside to showcase well-painted models, took out his Nagash and plonked him on the table.

Nagash and Skarbrand both on the table in a small 20 model game? I had a feeling we were being played here. This was reinforced when the summoning began, and I started to think what was the point of limiting the number of models if you were just going to double the size of your force in the first turn? This could be construed as a dick move, intentionally making sure your opponent sets up a weak force and then hitting him with everything you have got.

As it turned out, these guys were new at Age of Sigmar – for one of them, this was only their fourth game, the first being played in the small hours of that morning!

Once I realised that they were not trying to pull one over us, I started getting into the game.


Once the summoning began, James and I pulled our forces backwards, trying to buy ourselves as much time as possible. With the amount of summoning going on, the Chaos/Undead team would have to wipe us out to get a victory as summoned models count as calculates at the end of a battle, and they had brought in so many zombies on a single summoning that we were way ahead on kills. And we had no intention of being wiped out.


James did his teleporting Tree Lord trick to bounce models to the other side of the table, while the Undead tried to stop the Celestant-Prime from coming down by setting up a conga-line of zombies. They did not quite block off all areas of the table but right in the last minutes, Nagash charged the Celestant-Prime who was utterly unable to stop any of the wounds coming in and fell.

I think the Celestant-Prime is related to my Lord-Relictor, another model that never performs well. The Heraldor should be promoted to run the entire Stormhost…

At the end of the battle, we had just killed enough models to claim victory but, factoring in the summoning as well, it was not even close. Another victory for Life!


After that, we hung around a bit waiting for other teams to finish their games and then it was off to the restaurant for dinner, then the hotel for bed.

Come Sunday morning (after a really big breakfast), we had our first faction briefing of the day – and it turned out that the other teams had let us down. We had drawn with Chaos in the last round! The whole campaign teetered on a knife edge and the next battle would be telling. This one would be War of Storms, another Battleplan from the books, that saw the ‘line of battle’ being pushed one way or another to claim territory, with the death of an enemy general being a big boost.

So, kill the enemy general while protecting out own. Simples!


We faced a combined Tzeentch and Khorne force and, again, we agreed to limit our forces somewhat. The two forces started by lining up but we spotted the enemy general (a Lord of Change) had deployed just a little too far forward. Judicators and the Knight-Azyos (not to mention a Branchwraith on top of a summoned Balewind Vortex) punished the daemon for that, and he retreated quickly to his back line, with just a single wound left.

On the right flank and in the centre, Tzeentch daemons marched forward to engage the Sylvaneth while I had to cope with a bunch of Skullcrushers which, using their battalion rules, were dishing out 3 automatic mortal wounds every time they charged. Ouch.

I managed to whittle them down and bring and end to the lord leading them, but the Stormcasts had paid the price for that. Our general (Lord-Celestant) had been fairly battered by the attack and a sneaky Tzeentch Herald finished him off with an Arcane Bolt.

We might have lost right there but the Celestant-Prime had appeared on their back line, dropped a meteor on the head of the Lord of Change (killing him and bringing us back into contention), and then failing to kill a daemon prince – when he was rolling 8 dice for attacks, I ask you!

At the end of the battle, however, the line of territory being claimed was just a little too far into our half, so we had to acknowledge our first loss. Still a brilliant game though.

At this point, some judging was going on for the best painted armies, and I took a few snaps of them…





So, it was on to the last battle of the event! At our faction briefing, we were informed that we had done sufficiently well to ensure that the forces of Chaos could not win – but would we be able to ensnare the Chaos Lord who started this all before he escaped?

The next battle used the Ritual Battleplan, a notoriously hard one for the attackers – and we would be the attackers!

We chatted to the guys we faced (fielding a combined Khorne and Wood Aelf force – no, don’t ask me!), and quickly agreed to use pretty much everything but if they left Skarbrand behgind, we would not bring on the Celestant-Prime. Easy.

I was using my Skyborne Slayers Battalion, which could drop very close to the enemy and start attacking the objective, while James had placed a bunch of trees close to it as well, ready for a Tree Lord to come striding out of them. Our opponents were very wise to this, and set up in tight formations that would block any surprise attacks. It looked like we would have to do this the hard way…


Once again, the Heraldor parped his horn and promptly marked himself for death, while the Knight-Venator quickly assassinated a Slaughterpriest (the only time in the entire event where his special Skyfate arrow actually worked!). The Knight-Azyros led a group of Liberators in an attack on the Wood Aelf archer line, in an effort to create enough room for the rest of the Stormcasts to come down, while the Sylvaneth and some Stormcast heroes tried to do the same on the right flank. On the left, I just kinda milled about and did not really get stuck in!


This game ended in a titanic fight around the ritual objective. The Aelf archers held on to the last but were nearly annihilated in the process, while the Knight-Azyros endured sustained attacks from a Tree Lord and a War Altar. Treekin were sent to reinforce him but were matched by a group of Wrathmongers. Whatever was tried, neither side could break the deadlock anywhere along the line.

The battle ended in a draw – Chaos could not complete the ritual in time, and we could not bring down the Skyborne Slayers in any area of the table that would do the least bit of good.

The chaps we were playing were brilliant, and it was the perfect game to end the weekend on.

During the awards ceremony, we learned that the Forces of Life had clinched a victory (just!) but that Lord Blisterphlegm had managed to escape.

Really enjoyed this event, more so than the last one, and am looking forward to the next, likely early in the New Year!