The Ironjawz have shown up again, this time in the Realm of Death, where they have run straight into the realm of a Vampire Queen.
The Story So Far
Megaboss Dakkbad Grotkicker was in a foul mood. A rival, Megaboss Grugek, had stolen his favourite boss choppa (or, at least, he believed that, as one choppa looks pretty much like another…), and Dakkbad was in pursuit with his boyz.
Following the directions of his Weirdnob Shaman, they arrived in the Nightlands, piling out of the Arch of Secrets to find the decaying city of Crookback on the banks of the River of Souls. This was the domain of Aylessa, Consort of the Blood Queen and blood sister to Cyssandra. Not that the Ironjawz cared – they ploughed straight into Crookback and started smashing its skeletal inhabitants as they mindlessly toiled, barely slowing down as the legions of Deathrattle warriors gathered to face them.
Aylessa had spent centuries ruling over the Nightlands in a reign of blood and terror, using her sorcery to attain utter mastery of those who dwelt in her realm, mortal and otherwise. A member of one of Neferata’s bloodmaiden broods, she had been in the midst of responding to a summons from her mistress when the Ironjawz struck. Not about to let Orruks tear apart everything she had built, Alyessa reversed her course and headed back to the Nightlands, summoning all the denizens of undeath along the way – Spirit Hosts, Banshees, Cairn Waiths, Zombies and the mighty Morghast Harbingers…
We are kicking things up a notch with these forces as we get more used to the Ironjawz and what they are capable of doing on the battlefield, so a few more extra rules are being thrown into the mix!
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha (Dakkbad Grotkicker)
Gore-Gruntas x 6 (two units of 3)
Brutes x 15 (three units of 5)
Ardboyz x 30 (three units of 10)
The Ironjawz will be using the Brutefist Battalion (tougher Big Boss, plus can charge early in the turn and deal mortal wounds as it does so), plus the Ardfist, which allows the recycling of Ardboys.
Coven Throne (Alyessa)
Necromancers x 2
Skeletons Warriors x 40 (two units of 20)
Zombies x 20
Morghast Harbingers x 4 (two units of 2)
Cairn Wraiths x 4
Spirit Hosts x 6 (two units of 3)
This is a nice broad mix of undead, covering many bases from skeletons and zombies, right up to the elite Morghasts, all led by Vampire Lady Aylessa on board her Coven Throne. They have enough Wizards to constantly cycle destroyed units, though the Ironjawz have that to an extent as well, so expect carnage!
The Ironjawz are invading Aylessa’s domain, vandalising her buildings as they go. If they can vandalise half of the terrain features on the table in five rounds, they gain a major victory – failure means that Alyessa does instead.
To help with the objectives of both forces, Alyessa has A Living Bulwark command ability, which adds to the save and hit rolls of all stationary undead units close to her, as well as restricting the movement of the Ironjawz.
For their part, the Weirdnob Shaman has a new spell, the Gorkamorka Stomp, which will greatly aid in the vandalism of terrain features as a big, green, spectral foot crashes down upon them!
The Ironjawz wasted little time in gathering their forces. The Ardfist took the centre while the Brutefist occupied the high ground to the right. Gore-Gruntas galloped forward on the flanks, and the Megaboss, Warchanter and Weirdnob Shaman formed a command group just behind the Ardboyz.
Vampire Queen Alyessa was a little perturbed at the speed by which the Orruks had assembled and quickly gathered her forces in the main street of the Crookback suburbs.
Aboard her Coven Throne, just outside her skull villa, Alyessa ensured her Morghast Harbingers and Necromancers were close and sent her Skeleton Warriors and Zombies forth to meet the Ironjawz.
Battle Round One
The Ironjawz initial tactics were simple, direct, and to the point. Their whole line surged forward, the Weirdnob Shaman pausing just long enough to throw a Mystic Shield over Megaboss Dakkbad. Gore-Gruntas scampered up the difficult terrain to reach the first tower outside the city and began lighting torches.
Within Crookback, Alyessa peered into her cauldron to gain valuable Tactical Insights as her Necromancers dropped a Mystic Shield upon the Skeleton Warriors closest to the Ironjawz and raised more Zombies. The Zombie horde started to swell as the walking dead clawed their way out of the ground and stumbled out of the doors of nearby houses.
Spirit Hosts shrieked as they swept forward to engage the Gore-Gruntas, but the Orruks were not much impressed by the wispy ghosts and simply ignored them as they fluttered by.
Battle Round Two
The tower atop the hill burned as the Gore-Gruntas trashed it, grinning as they spied an entire city worth vandalising before them.
Pumped up by the power of the Waaagh!, the Brutefist sighted their first enemies and completely ignored the city below as they all pushed their way to the Spirit Hosts.
Not to be outdone, the Ardboyz followed suit, rushing towards the first houses of Crookback. However, they slowed up as they saw the first Zombies emerge from round the buildings, and hesitated when Megaboss Dakkbad ordered them to charge.
Cursing the Ardboyz’ reluctance to fight, Megabass Dakkbad stamped on his Maw-Krusha’s back, goading the beast forward. He had intended to barrel into the Zombies but his Maw-Krusha was instead distracted by the Tomb Banshee shrieking at the Gore-Gruntas. Thinking one dead person was as good as another, Dakkbad gave his beast free rein and it smashed into the Banshee, its massive bulk sending her reeling. However, she recovered quickly and managed to avoid both the Megaboss’ weapons and the Maw-Krusha’s fists.
Behind him, the Spirit Hosts let loose an exalted scream as one of the Gore-Gruntas they fought fell to their ethereal blades.
However, the Spirit Hosts had begun to suffer from the attentions of the Gore-Gruntas, and the Necromancers summoned more within Crookback.
Mindlessly following the wishes of the queen, the Zombies stumbled forward, seeking the living. As they left the streets of Crookback, they sensed the approaching Ardboyz.
Drawn to beating hearts and flowing blood, they picked up speed until a tidal wave of the dead fell against the Orruk line.
The Ardboyz reacted first with a collective ‘Yuck!’ but quickly got into the spirit of the fight as they realised that knocking down Zombies was actually a lot of fun. They ignored the two Orruks the Zombies managed to pull to the ground and started to chuckle as Zombies started flying through the air with each sweep of their huge weapons. In less than a minute, every Zombie lay broken and barely moving.
On the left flank, two Morghast Harbingers led Skeleton Warriors to engage the Gore-Gruntas on the hill, stymieing the advance of the Brutefist as they thundered past the now burning tower.
Much further away, the Tomb Banshee swooped and dove, avoiding the worst Megaboss Dakkbad and his Maw-Krusha could throw at her. Dakkbad was beginning to get angry at the elusive spirit but, no matter how hard he tried, he could not catch the Banshee.
Battle Round Three
Within Crookback, the two Necromancers worked together, summoning a mighty horde of Zombies to replace those the Ardboyz had destroyed. Once again, the street was thronged with the walking dead.
On the hill, below the burning tower, the battle was turning to the Ironjawz but the dead stubbornly refused to give ground. The Brutes had finished off the Skeleton Warriors and Spirit Hosts but a single Morghast remained to slay one of the Gore-Gruntas.
Once more, the Tomb Banshee ducked and weaved her ethereal form past the weapons of Megaboss Dakkbad, but his Maw-Krusha had had enough. Opening its great mouth, it surged forward to catch the Banshee by surprise, swallowing her whole. Looking disappointed as it tried swallowing the spirit, it lumbered round under the Megaboss’ direction to face the Zombies filling the street.
As the Ardboyz finally arrived on the outskirts of Crookback, a great, green spectral foot hovered above the battlefield. At the behest of the Weirdnob Shaman, it descended, stomping one of the Spirit Hosts out of existence. Buoyed by this, the Ardboyz increased their pace and reached the first houses.
As one, the Irojjawz poured into Crookback, the Ardboyz following in the wake of Megaboss Dakkbad. The remaining Spirit Hosts proved no obstacle to the Maw-Krusha at all, and it barely noticed as it barrelled through them to lumber into the newly assembled horde of Zombies.
By the time the Ardboyz reached the Zombie line, the fight was all but over, and rotting body parts flew in all directions as the Orruks bashed and hacked. The few remaining Zombies, bereft of the magical energies holding them together, simply collapsed to the street.
The Skeleton Warriors close by had advanced to protect one of the houses, and they fared no better. More Ardboyz entered Crookback, smashing bones apart until not a single Skeleton Warrior remained.
Vampire Queen Alyessa now felt the first trace of worry as the Ironjawz entered her city, and she realised her defences were crumbling fast.
Battle Round Four
Seeing the Orruks draw far too close for comfort, the Necromancers both panicked and ran back to the safety of their Vampire Queen, but they both fumbled the casting of their spells.
Promising both a long and painful death, Alyessa summoned more Spirit Hosts to block the advance of the Brutefist, and then assembled her remaining minions into solid lines of defence across the street. If she could stall the Ironjawz long enough to summon more reinforcements, as the Morghasts had managed at the tower, Crookback could still be saved.
By now, the first houses in Crookback were beginning to burn as the Ardboyz tore them apart with whoops of sheer joy. Even the tavern was destroyed, albeit inadvertently, as the Maw-Krusha thundered through its thin walls.
In the distance, Gore-Gruntas had sighted a second tower and, seeing their Megaboss had the main street well in hand, trotted over to destroy it.
There was now a rush to Crookback, with the trailing Ardboyz and Brutefist eager to reach the city before the other Orruks had destroyed everything. The line of Cairn Wraiths Alyessa had assemble to protect her proved no obstacle to the Megaboss and Ardboyz who ran along his side, the spirits evaporating under the first blows.
Battle Round Five
Vampire Queen Alyessa surveyed the burning buildings further up the street, and found it inconceivable that a brutish Orruk could possibly defeat her superior tactical mind. As she summoned more Morghasts to defend her, an idea crossed her mind.
If she dispatched one unit of Morghasts to defend the tower and then took the others with her to defeat the Megaboss atop his great Maw-Krusha, she could, perhaps, save the rest of her city.
Alyessa barely noticed as her Necromancers, doubting the efficacy of their queen’s plan, turned and ran as fast as they could from the oncoming Ironjawz. She directed her Coven Throne to surge forward into the Maw-Krusha, intending her Morghasts to hit him in the flank.
It took Alyessa a few, vital, seconds to realise the Morghasts had disobeyed her instructions, and she saw them watching her malevolently, utterly still, as she stood up on her Coven Throne to fight the Megaboss. Her first thought was that she had somehow disappointed Neferata, or even Nagash, and they had directed the Morghasts to fail her at a critical point as punishment.
Such thoughts quickly fled her mind as Alyessa realised she was now in the fight of her life against an enraged Ironjawz Megaboss.
Her sharpened stiletto and the poniards of her Hand Maidens quickly found their mark, digging deep between the armour plates of the Megaboss, though Alyessa could not bring herself to give him the Blood Kiss.
The pin pricks from the vampires’ tiny weapons barely registered as pain to Megaboss Dakkbad, and his Maw-Krusha tore into the Coven Throne, throwing it aside before tearing it apart. Alyessa staggered out of the wreckage only to find the Megaboss had leapt off his mount and was swinging his Boss Gore-hacka at her. The Vampire Queen did not have time to scream before the massive blade messily severed her head from her shoulders.
As the Necromancers fled for their lives, behind them Crookback burned…
A major (and well deserved) victory for the Ironjawz!
This was a fun battle, not least because we discovered some new buildings that had appeared from the local gaming club had removable roofs – which meant we could our flashing smoke markers to signify which buildings had been trashed by the Ironjawz, which led to us seeing a steady progression of fire sweeping its way up the street!
Despite the undead stalling a whole flank of the Ironjawz near the tower, the Vampire Queen could just not get the rest of her force properly organised. The high point was the summoning of a brand new unit of 30 Zombies as soon as the first lot had been destroyed (which is what a Death force should be doing), but it all went downhill from there, with both Necromancers failing in their summoning just when it mattered. This was further compounded by both units of Morghasts failing their charges right at the end, sending Alyessa in to her doom as she faced the Megaboss alone.
That was a last ditch effort, true, but it would have bought the dead another turn.
Still, ’twas not to be!
The Story Continues…
We are going to stick with the exploits of the Ironjawz for a bit longer as the Fist of Gork himself, Gordrakk, has just arrived and he is determined to prove to the Stormcasts who is best.