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