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!

Battle Report – Imprisoned in Ice

The Beastclaw Raiders are trotting out for one last battle (for the meantime, you can sure they will be back soon enough), fighting against the might of Khorne’s own daemons.

 

The Story So Far

Frostlord Braggoth had been on a roll, defeating the Cold-Iron King and then turning to the Realm of Beasts to smash the forces of countless Chaos Lords. In doing so, he gained the ire of the Blood God, who sent a daemonic army to claim the skull of the Frostlord.

Led by Urgor’eth, a Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage, a legion of Khorne’s daemons followed the trail of destruction the Ogors had left in their wake. As they gained ground, they smashed the ruins of the Tydewall Dreadfort and were drawn to the smoke of the Drownfel fort in the distance. Bloodletters licked their blades while Flesh Hounds bayed and snarled for the battle to begin. The legion headed out onto the floodplain where the ocean rose to cover a stretch of a land bridge, and water steamed as it came into contact with the daemons.

That was when Frostlord Braggoth sprang his trap. A freezing gale erupted around the daemons and, within moments, the chill coiled around them. Too late did Urgor’eth realise the danger as ice clawed its way up his daemons, freezing them in place. With the daemons unable to fight back, the Beastclaw Raiders charged…

 

The Forces

As this is the last of the Beastclaw Raiders battles we will be fighting for a while, we are bringing quite large forces to bear – the daemons have the numbers, while the Ogors have the heavyweights.

Daemons of Khorne
Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage (Urgor’eth)
Bloodmaster x 2
Bloodthrone x 2
Skullmaster
Flesh Hounds x 10
Bloodletters x 50 (five units of 10)
Bloodcrushers x 6
Skull Cannon

This is a suitably heavy force, with lots of mortal wound-dishing Bloodletters, plenty of daemonic Heroes, fast-movers like the Bloodcrushers and Flesh Hounds, all led by a Bloodthirster. Maybe even the Beastclaw Raiders will be slowed down by this little lot!

Beastclaw Raiders
Frostlord on Stonehorn (Braggoth)
Huskard on Stonehorn
Stonehorn Beastriders
Mournfang Riders x 6 (two units of 3)
Thundertusk Beastriders
Icebrow Hunter
Frost Sabres x 6
Yhetees x 6 (two units of 3)

But the Beastclaw Raiders are not messing around either, bringing four of their massive monsters, and two Battalions, the Jorlbad, and Skal (both of which we used in the last battle). However, to keep things fresh, we are also using the Yhetees for the first time!

 

The Battleplan

This is the Imprisoned in Ice Battleplan that sees the daemons start frozen in ice (except the Bloodthirster). Until they thaw out (rolled for in each of their hero phases), they cannot move and suffer mortal wounds. On the plus side, they cannot be otherwise attacked while frozen, and they do not take battleshock tests at any time during the battle.

The Beastclaw Raiders move onto the battlefield in their first turn (when only the Bloodthirster is unfrozen, so he will have to be careful!), though the Yhetees will arrive a little later.

This is a fight to the death, with frozen models counting towards the dead pool until they thaw out!

No Time of War sheets will be used, but both forces will be using their Battle Traits, so expect some Everwinter and Tithe of Khorne goodness!

 

Deployment

With his legion frozen in place, the Bloodthirster Urgor’eth could only rage impotently as the Beastclaw Raiders approached from the west.

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The Stonehorns, led by Frostlord Braggoth, massed on one flank while the Icebrow Hunter and his Frost Sabres anchored the other. Mournfang Riders and the Thundertusks formed the centre, preparing to charge straight through the daemons as they thawed.

 

Battle Round One

The Beastclaw Raiders trundled forward, a little suspicious of the effects of the Everwinter – had it really frozen an entire legion of daemons? Even the Blood Vulture was confused, swooping through the still forms of Bloodletters.

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As the Bloodthirster continued to rage, some of the Khornate daemons thawed out and stirred – Flesh Hounds, a Blood Throne, the Bloodcrushers, a unit of Bloodletters, and the Skullmaster. However, the grasp of the Everwinter grew tighter around others. A handful of Bloodletters perished from the cold and the limbs of a Bloodmaster started to turn to ice.

The few unfrozen daemons saw the Ogors approaching and leapt to attack.

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The Bloodthrone crashed into the Huskard but his Stonehorn simply ground it into the ice. Bloodletters reached Mournfang Riders and though their Hellblades pierced the thick hides of the beasts, the Ogor counterattack was horrific, slaying eight of the daemons and causing another to evaporate.

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Battle Round Two

More daemons started to thaw, as the Skull Cannon and three units of Bloodletters shook off the last of the ice that had held them, and moved to claim the skulls of the Beastclaw Raiders. However, the Everwinter continued to freeze others, killing a Bloodmaster and injuring two more.

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Flesh Hounds bayed with bloodlust as they raced for the Frost Sabres, Bloodthirster Urgor’eth close behind.

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Meanwhile, the rest of the daemons raced towards the main part of the Beastclaw Raiders’ force, though they were hampered by icy outcroppings and daemons still held by ice. The Bloodletters of the Skull Cannon saw the Ogors were by now very close and they reversed their daemonic engine, putting more distance between them and their prey.

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The Frost Sabres sprang at the Flesh Hounds as they raced ahead of the Bloodthirster, bringing one down, but they paid a heavy price as the Flesh Hounds began to savage them.

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Within seconds, four Frost Sabres had had their throats torn out by the Flesh Hounds and even the efforts of the Icebrow Hunter were not enough to turn their attack.

However, the Bloodletters fared less well, their Hellblades slaying one Mournfang, but the Thundertusk advanced and trampled many of them, shattering their unit.

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Bloodthirster Urgor’eth bellowed as he saw the Icebrow Hunter, and knew he was about to claim his first worthy skull of the battle. However, the Everwinter blew and out of the swirling snow came the forms of three Yhetees.

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They took Urgor’eth completely by surprise, landing several telling blows as he tried to fend them off, his own efforts merely wounding one.

On the right flank, Frostlord Braggoth led his Stonehorns in a concentrated attack against Bloodletters and Bloodcrushers.

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Even the thick brass plating of the Juggernauts was no match for the crushing weight of two Stonehorns and one was instantly flattened. The Frostlord roared  as he thrust with his spear and his Stonehorn gouged Bloodcrushers. By the time his Huskard had joined him, all six Bloodcrushers had been banished back to the Realm of Chaos.

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Another Frost Sabre fell to the Flesh Hounds, but they were quickly reinforced by nearby Mournfang Riders, who thundered into the rear of the dogs and started smashing them apart with their clubs.

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Battle Round Three

The ground around Bloodthirster Urgor’eth started to crumble as the very earth rebelled against his presence, but both Yhetees and Mournfang Riders managed to get out of the way as cracks raced towards them.

Then, it started to rain.

Crimson droplets fell from the overcast sky, sizzling wherever they struck the ice. However, every daemon they touched was invigorated with the power of the Blood God, and wounds started to knit and heal.

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A Bloodmaster and Bloodthrone burned with rage as they freed themselves from the ice, but another Bloodletter was completely frozen.

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Pinned in place by the Yhetees, Bloodthirster Urgor’eth wrapped his whip around the neck of one, neatly decapitating it with a violent tug. A short distance away, the Skull Cannon roared, and a flaming skull blasted the chest of another.

The Skullmaster urged its Juggernaut forward to help Bloodletters trying to hold back a Stonehorn and its Beastriders, and the monster staggered as it barrelled into it. Flying into a fury, the Skullmaster lashed out with its Hellblade as the Juggernaut continued to drive forward, forcing the Stonehorn back.

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However, the Stonehorn quickly recovered and the Skullmaster’s attacks were halted as it was gouged by massive horns.

As the Mournfang Riders finished off the last of the Flesh Hounds, Bloodthirster Urgor’eth vented fury at the Yhetees, but though seriously battered, the last Yhetee survived.

The Everwinter began to gather its strength and a terrible blizzard descended onto the battlefield. The Ogors braced themselves to weather its worst effects, but two Bloodletters succumbed to the cold, their frozen forms collapsing to the snow-covered ground.

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The Beastclaw Raiders dug their heels in to their mounts, driving them forward to run down the rest of the daemons. As the Mournfang Rider rode past the Bloodthirster, their Skalg levelled his pistol for a ride-by shooting, and Urgor’eth roared in pain and anger as the shot buried itself deep into his shoulder.

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Seeing the Bloodthirster was on the back foot, the Skalg barked an order and, as one the Mournfang Riders swung round to charge the greater daemon.

Still distracted by the last Yhetee, Urgor’eth did not notice that the Mournfang Riders had turned and charged until it was too late. Knocked off his feet, the Bloodthirster hit the icy ground hard and before he could rise again, a Mournfang’s hoof had crushed his skull.

 

Battle Round Four

The feeling that the wind was well and truly behind the Ogors in this battle now was no illusion, for the Everwinter blew a freezing tailwind that drove them forward.

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More Yhetees appeared out of the snow, moving to engage the nearest Bloodletters.

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However, Frostlord Braggoth beat them to it, as his Stonehorn thundered into the Bloodletters. Most were crushed under the hooves of the Stonehorn or skewered by the Frostspear, leaving only a handful for the hungry Yhetees to finish off.

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Behind them, Mournfang Riders tore apart a Bloodthrone and smashed into the Skull Cannon, leaving it rickety and unstable. It lashed out at the Ogors, and blasted a flaming skull at them, but the burning missile merely bounced off the metal belly plate of the Skalg.

The last unit of Bloodletters could not shake off the grip of the ice, and another two were frozen where they continued to stand. Seeing only a lone Bloodmaster to support them, the crew of the Skull Cannon turned and sped away as fast as their daemonic machine could take them.

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The Bloodmaster leapt out of the hollow crater it had been lurking within, and leapt at a Yhetee with its Hellblade.

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Startled, the Yhetee swung its icy club at the Bloodmaster, but was not quick enough. The Bloodmaster cackled as its Hellblade pierced the Yhetee’s heart, but looked up in dismay as a Mournfang Rider oiled-in to avenge the Yhetee, stomping the Bloodmaster flat.

 

Battle Round Five

More Bloodletters froze under the ice that held them, and the Bloodmaster gave up on any hope of them being freed.

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The Skull Cannon was the first to run, straining to climb the rocky hill in an effort to put as much distance between it and the Beastclaw Raiders. The Bloodmaster, too, fled from inevitable destruction, but was far slower.

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The Mournfang Riders regrouped and began their charge to finish off the Bloodmaster, but before they reached the daemon, the Icebrow Hunter yelled as he ran at top speed, brandishing a great spear. Putting all his weight into the throw, he hurled the spear, and it arced gracefully through the sky. The Bloodmaster had just enough time to look up as the spear descended and impaled the daemon with killing force.

Desperate now, the Skull Cannon crew urged their daemonic machine to scramble up the rocks, even as a Blood Vulture circled above them.

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One of the Stonehorn Beastriders levelled his massive harpoon launcher at the battered machine, but his shot went wide as the Skull Cannon drove itself over the rocks and out of sight.

The daemonic forces of Khorne had not been completely wiped out, as Frostlord Braggoth had planned… But they had suffered a serious setback.

 

Conclusion

One daemon of Khorne survived the battle, earning the Blood God a minor victory – but he cannot be proud of that win!

The daemons were off balance right from the start of the battle (not their fault, they had been frozen in ice), and they never really recovered, the slight wounds they did to the Beastclaw Raiders (one Mournfang was killed, and one Stonehorn had lost half of its wounds) not enough to halt the advance. And, as we saw in the last battle, you just cannot let an unwounded Frostlord roam free across a battlefield.

In the daemons’ place, I might have used the Blood Tithe (there was enough of it!) to summon a second Bloodthirster, but more effort was put into the Crimson Rain to heal the first Bloodthirster. That stalled the Yhetees (the Bloodthirster really should have won that fight!) but, in the end, they managed to pin him in place long enough for the Mournfang Riders to finish him off.

Overall, the daemons did not have a great deal of luck in that battle (one unit of Bloodletters was still frozen by the end!), and the Beastclaw Raiders are the type of army that can easily take advantage of that.

 

The Story Continues…

Well, that is all the Battleplans from Battletome: Beastclaw Raiders complete! We are now going to turn to the Battleplans in Battletome: Blades of Khorne, starting off with one I have been looking forward to, ever since I twigged what forces would be great for it!

Battle Report – Ensnared

The Beastclaw Raiders are giving the Mortal Realms a real shaking, and we are not going to stop them – this time we are going to see what the forces of Death make of them!

Grab yourself a coffee as you go through this battle report as it is, as they say, a good ‘un…

 

The Story So Far

The Bloodbound warhorde of Lord Kargor flooded into the valleys of the Hallowhoar, eager to claim skulls for Khorne but unaware they were being stalked by Ragnir, an Icebrow Hunter who was tracking them for his Alfrostun. Unfortunately for the Ogors, the Bloodbound were utterly destroyed by the deathless armies of the Cold-Iron King. However, Frostlord Braggoth would not be denied his prize, and he ordered the Alfrostun to attack before the Bloodbound corpses could be rendered into more undead.

In his arrogance, the Cold-Iron King opened the gates of his tomb-city when he saw the Alfrostun approach, confident his skeletal legions would annihilate the Ogors. However, while arrogant, the Cold-Iron King was no fool, and he summoned his Nighthaunt allies and Morghast Archai, a gift from Arkhan himself.

Frostlord Braggoth was not daunted by the array of undead before him, for he had destroyed countless armies in his life, and he split the Alfrostun, with the Jorlbad and Eurlbad taking different flanks, even as Ragnir disappeared with his Frost Sabres to ambush the undead at an opportune time…

 

The Forces

The forces of Death are certainly not going to get an easy run in this battle, with the Beastclaw Raiders fielding a total of 5 Stonehorns and a Thundertusk!

Beastclaw Raiders
Frostlord on Stonehorn (Braggoth)
Huskards on Stonehorns x 2
Stonehorn Beastriders x 2
Mournfang Riders x 8 (four units of 2)
Thundertusk Beastriders
Icebrow Hunter (Ragnir)
Frost Sabres x 6

The Beastclaw Raiders are no longer sending out a raiding party here and there – this is a full on Alfrostun (in fact, we are only missing a Torrbad!), with three Battalions: Jorlbad (can run and charge, as well as re-roll battleshock tests), Eurlbad (dishes out mortal wounds while the Huskard does more damage), and a Skal (the Icebrow Hunter and Frost Sabres can ambush the enemy).

Deathrattlers
Mounted Wight King (the Cold-Iron King)
Wight King
Grave Guard x 30
Black Knights x 10
Skeleton Warriors x 60 (two units of 30)
Spirit Hosts (two units of 3)
Cairn Wraiths x 4
Morghast Archai (two units of 2)
Mourngul

Against any other force, the presence of the Grave Guard, Morghast Archai and Mourngul might give an enemy pause, but the Deathrattlers are going to have to work very hard just to keep pace with the Beastclaw Raiders, especially as they have no models capable of summoning replacements!

 

The Battleplan

This is a straight fight to the death, with the last army standing gaining victory. The Deathrattlers deploy their army first, followed by the Beastclaw Raiders who place their Jorlbad on one flank, the Eurlbad on the other, and keep the Skal to one side (the Icebrow Hunter and his Frost Sabres will launch a surprise attack in the second battle round).

The Everwinter rules are being used of course, but they have an additional effect in this battle, gradually slowing down the enemy’s run and charge rolls. In return, however, the Deathrattlers are fighting on their home turf, territory that is infused with a network of death magicks – so long as the Cold-Iron King survives, every unit heals D3 wounds in their hero phase.

 

Deployment

The Cold-Iron King assembled his forces on the battlefield. He could see the Beastclaw Raiders were approaching from both flanks, and ordered the bulk of his force to face the Eurlbad.

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The Beastclaw Raiders closed quickly with the forces of the Cold-Iron King, Frostlord Braggoth leading his Eurlbad on the left flank while the Jorlbad took the right. Somewhere, the Skal lurked, its Icebrow Hunter and his Frost Sabres ready to pounce on an unsuspecting enemy.

 

Battle Round One

Frostlord Braggoth immediately saw that the Cold-Iron King was planning to utterly destroy his Eurlbad before turning on the rest of his Ogors, and he called a halt to the advance, instead waving the Jorlbad to hit the right flank alone. He hoped that by baiting the Cold-Iron King on the left and smashing him on the right, he could split the undead legion into its component parts and destroy them piecemeal.

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The Huskard of the Jorlbad dutifully followed his Frostlord’s orders, and Stonehorns and Mournfangs lumbered forward past the woods. At a cry from the Huskard, they charged, smashing into the Spirit Hosts who swarmed close by.

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Under the full weight of a Stonehorn charge, the Spirit Hosts simply dissipated into nothingness, while a Cairn Wraith was clubbed to oblivion by Mournfang Riders.

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The Cold-Iron King reacted quickly, sending a full column of Skeleton Warriors to face the Jorlbad, along with every Morghast he possessed… and the Mourngul.

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Brandishing their spears and empowered by the presence of the Cold-Iron King himself, the Skeleton Warriors swarmed over the Jorlbad, bringing down a Mournfang Rider and badly wounding a Stonehorn carrying Beastriders into battle. Reeling from this attack, the Jorlbad was completely disorganised and had no answer for the Morghast Harbingers who tore apart the Stonehorn apart and savaged its riders.

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Frostlord Braggoth gritted his teeth, cursing the Cold-Iron King. He could see the Jorlbad was in real trouble, but the rest of the undead legion had not moved, simply waiting patiently for the Ogor’s own move.

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Battle Round Two

The assault on the Jorlbad continued with no sign of the undead allowing the Ogors to flee the attack. The Skeleton Warriors continued their relentless advance, now swarming over the Thundertusk, bringing the great beast down with a multitude of spear thrusts, while the Morghasts and Mourngul concentrated on the last of the Mournfang Riders and Huskard.

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Within moments, a wounded Huskard was all that was left of the Jorlbad. Fearing he had left it too late to enact his plan, Frostlord Braggoth made his move, even as the Everwinter swirled around him with a fortifying hoarfrost that coated the hides of the Ogors and their beasts.

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The Frostlord barked an order to one of the Mournfang Riders below him, and a clear, strong note from a horn sounded across the battlefield. At this signal, the Skal appeared, the Icebrow Hunter and a pack of Frost Sabres racing to the aid of the Jorlbad’s Huskard.

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Then, the Eurlbad went into battle.

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The ground shaking as they galloped forwards, three Stonehorns moved straight for the bulk of the Cold-Iron King’s legion, aiming for the elite Grave Guard as Mournfang Riders moved round the flank.

As the Stonehorns struck the undead line, bones and rusted armour were ground into the earth or tossed through the air with merciless abandon.

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Eight Grave Guard simply disappeared beneath the hooves of the three Stonehorns as they all but ignored the sword and axe blows of the dead soldiers. Then Frostlord Braggoth moved to the fore, his Stonehorn and Frostspear sweeping a dozen Grave Guard out of his path, closely followed by the Stonehorn Beastriders who destroyed the rest.

Freed from entanglement from the Grave Guard, the Huskard turned his Stonehorn around to start smashing Skeleton Warriors. Nine of them fell to his blows while more crumbled as the magical energy animating them was disrupted and failed.

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Things were not going so well for the Beastclaw Raiders on the right flank, as the Frost Sabres of the Skal charged in to save the Huskard of the Jorlbad.

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Their sudden appearance had surprised the Morghast Harbingers, but they responded quickly and the Frost Sabres were only able to rip apart one of them, leaving the second to attack the Huskard directly.

The Huskard fought bravely, but he was no match for the skill of the Morghast, which sliced the Ogor’s head off with ease.

 

Battle Round Three

The Cold-Iron King might have felt a touch of doubt at this point, had he been capable of feeling. While the Jorlbad had now been completely destroyed and the Skal posed little threat, the Eurlbad and Frostlord had crushed nearly three score of his warriors in a single rush. A response had to be made immediately.

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Sending his Black Knights around the Arcane Ruins, the Cold-Iron King sought to block the flanking move of the Mournfang Riders and stop them from rampaging through his rear lines.

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Meanwhile, the Skeleton Warriors and Morghast Archai assembled themselves to finish off the Skal with one swift and brutal attack.

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However, the freezing cold of the Everwinter was starting to have a telling effect upon the undead as their joints started to literally freeze in place. The steeds of the Black Knights stumbled as leg bones locked into position.

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However, the Morghasts and Skeleton Warriors were close enough to their prey that they were able to push through the freeze. The Frost Sabres put up a brave defence, tearing apart several Skeleton Warriors before their hearts were pierced by cruel spears, while the Icebrow Hunter was lucky to survive the attack from Morghast Archai and he stumbled away, badly hurt.

Two more Morghast Archai flew to halt the advance of the Eurlbad but though they battered the Stonehorn Huskard, the Beastriders close by destroyed the last of the Skeleton Warriors they faced, freeing up the Frostlord to pile into the Morghasts. With powerful thrusts of his Frostspear and sweeping attacks by the Stonehorn, the Morghasts were smashed apart.

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The Everwinter continued to blow cold, and now a freezing tailwind drove the Beastclaw Raiders on. Frostlord Braggoth bellowed to his Eurlbad, exciting them to maximum violence.

The Mournfang Riders were the first to respond, and they ploughed into the Black Knights before the undead could form a proper charge against them.

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The much larger Mournfangs broke through the Black Knight line, crushing eight of them, while another collapsed to the ground as the magicks supporting it fell away.

As the Icebrow Hunter, bereft of his Frost Sabres, ran for his life from the Morghast Archai, Frostlord Braggoth steeled himself for a task he had known he would have to attend to before the battle had started. With the Jorlbad destroyed, the Mourngul was now free to roam the battlefield, and it now headed towards the Eurlbad with all speed. Joined by his Huskard, Braggoth urged his Stonehorn forward, hoping to destroy the dreadful creature before it could do much damage.

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Even the Mourngul, the Cold-Iron King’s prized servant, reeled under the sheer weight of the Stonehorns and their riders but, when the dust had settled, Frostlord Braggoth was dismayed to see the Mourngul was still fighting and had badly wounded his Huskard.

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Battle Round Four

Frostlord Braggoth felt a touch of fear as he saw the Cold-Iron King was feeding power into the Mourngul, and it was already starting to get stronger after the punishment it had sustained from the Stonehorns.

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To make matter worse, the rest undead legion was now free of both the Skal and Jorlbad, and was now heading back to destroy the Eurlbad.

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The only saving grace Frostlord Braggoth had was that the effects of the Everwinter were growing ever more severe, with even Morghast Harbingers forced to the ground as their wings grew heavy with ice. Only a single Cairn Wraith was able to reach the Stonehorns battling the Mourngul, but the Ogors completely ignored it as they faced the far more terrible foe.

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The Huskard’s Stonehorn was now bleeding from many deep wounds, and it could barely keep to its feet as the Mourngul continued to score several telling hits. However, this was all the distraction that Braggoth needed and as his own Stonehorn gouged the creature, he thrust his Frostspear deep into the Mourngul’s heart. With a piercing screech that pained even the Frostlord, the Mourngul vanished into mist that then dispersed in the winds blown by the Everwinter.

As the Everwinter deposited another fortifying hoarfrost on the few surviving Beastclaw Raiders, Frostlord Braggoth heard the desperate cries of his Icebrow Hunter being pursued by Morghast Archai, and he resolved to rescue his minion.

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Two Morghast Harbingers stood in his way, trying to shake the ice off their wings so they could get airborne. With a thundering of hooves, Braggoth’s Stonehorn barrelled into them, grinding both into the ground before they could raise their weapons.

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Behind him, the Stonehorn Beastriders were now atop a badly wounded beast and were being hard pressed by two Cairn Wraiths and a mounted Wight King. The Mournfang Riders, having dispatched the last of the Black Knights, swung round the Arcane Ruins to slay the Wight King and one of the Wraiths, greatly relieving the pressure on the Beastriders.

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Unfortunately, no such help was available to the Huskard of the Eurlbad, and as his Stonehorn collapsed from its wounds, another Cairn Wraith neatly took his head with its scythe.

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Battle Round Five

Seeing the fate of their Huskard, the Beastriders urged their Stonehorn to break away from the last Cairn Wraith they faced, leaving it to the unhurt Mournfang Riders. Across the battlefield, the Icebrow Hunter ran as fast as he could from the Morghast Archai, believing himself a dead Ogor. However, in the distance, he could see Frostlord Braggoth charging towards him. There was just the slightest chance of help…

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Frostlord Braggoth ploughed into the Skeleton Warriors, heedless of the carnage they had caused to his Jorlbad earlier. Spears splintered and shields shattered under the charge of his Stonehorn, and the Frostlord leaned low in his saddle to swipe at more. The few Skeleton Warriors that remained intact after the charge simply fell into a pile of bones as they were released from servitude.

The rest of the Eurlbad started to follow their Frostlord, who was already far ahead of them and alone.

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Two Mournfangs were still tied up battling a Cairn Wraith, but the Skalg used his pistol in a ride-by shooting that blasted the spirit into nothingness.

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The Cold-Iron King could barely believe what he was seeing, as the Beastclaw Raiders started to surge forward from what had appeared certain defeat. However, he knew he still had his Morghast Archai to serve him, and he retreated to the Ophidian Archway.

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From this vantage point, he could not only see the whole battlefield, but could take advantage of the spirits that lurked within the stones of the ruin.

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The Morghast Archai finally managed to reach the Icebrow Hunter and though Frostlord Braggoth was now close by, their glaives easily tore the heart out of the hunter before he could strike back.

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Battle Round Six

A lone Morghast Harbinger and Cairn Wraith still roamed the centre of the battlefield and, weighed down by ice, they slowly moved to face the Eurlbad.

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Mournfang Riders tore into the Morghast and bludgeoned it apart with their clubs, while the Stonehorn Beastriders simply ride over the Cairn Wraith as if it were not there.

Meanwhile, Frostlord Braggoth, angry that he had not been able to reach the Icebrow Hunter in time, vented his fury upon the Morghast Archai who had done the killing, smashing one apart with his Stonehorn and vanquishing the spirits of the other with his Frostspear.

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Battle Round Seven

With his greatest servants suddenly destroyed, the Cold-Iron King drew his Spirit Hosts closer around him as the Beastclaw Raiders started to circle the Ophidian Archway, searching for the best route to attack.

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The Cold-Iron King could hardly believe what he was seeing – centuries of rule destroyed in moments by primitive Ogors. As Mournfang Riders worked hard to dissipate the Spirit Hosts with their Gargant Hackers, Frostlord Braggoth kicked his Stonehorn forward.

The massive creature thundered into the Ophidian Archway, toppling the ruin in a shower of dust and rubble. Clambering out of the debris, the Cold-Iron King fixed the Braggoth with a baleful glare before his dark unbeating heart was pierced by the Frostspear.

Frostlord Braggoth gave a sigh of relief. His casualties had been great and he had thought not to survive the fight, but he finally stood the victor over this battlefield.

 

Conclusion

Now, that was an interesting battle. Three players were involved, with Andy taking command of the Cold-Iron King’s legion, James on the Jorlbad, Thundertusk and Skal, and I took the Eurlbad and Frostlord.

As we deployed, I could see what Andy was thinking – give one of the pincers (mine!) a right smacking by concentrating most of his forces against it. A good move, as you can lean on a smaller part of your enemy’s force with the greater part of your own. Upon seeing this, I persuaded James’ Jorlbad to dive in while holding back the Eurlbad myself, thinking to disrupt Andy’s plan and force him to face both of us on a more even keel. However, he responded by holding position against me and then sending every Morghast and the Mourngul against James.

This meant that while James enjoyed a very early success against Andy’s outermost forces, he received a right kicking in the first turn that immediately put him on the defensive and, by turn two, the back of his force had been broken.

My Eurlbad did better, completely smashing the Grave Guard and half of Andy’s Skeleton Warriors in good order, but that still left the Morghasts and Mourngul to deal with – by using them in such weight against James, they were still more or less intact.

The one good weapon I still had in my pocket by that time was the Frostlord – while the two other Stonehorns had been seriously wounded (down to just one or two wounds!), the Frostlord was completely untouched, meaning he still had his massive range of attacks. When combined with the mortal wounds a Stonehorn dishes out on the charge and retaining the initiative so he could charge every round, the Frostlord was able to take out each of Andy’s nasty units one by one, ending with the Cold-Iron King himself being beaten while taking refuge in the Ophidian Archway.

This was a great battle – we had some worries right at the start that the undead were simply going to roll over the Ogors, and I am not sure how James feels about being the decoy force (!) but in the end, it came right down to the wire with the Beastclaw Raiders finally pulling out a victory right at the end!

 

The Story Continues…

Next time, we see the Everwinter reach its full potential as it locks an entire legion of daemons in its icy grip!

Battle Report – A Feast of Plenty

The Everwinter has come to the Realm of Life, spearheaded by a Jorlbad of Beastclaw Raiders. Will the Sylvaneth be able to halt their advance and stop them ravaging sacred ground?

 

The Story So Far

Hidden in the heart of the Balefens, the Sylvaneth had nurtured the Glydmir Enclave and coaxed life from lands reclaimed from the ravages of Nurgle. The Beastclaw Raiders ploughed into this territory, spearheading a billowing gale of ice and snow.

The first to feel their insatiable hunger were the Clawood Gargant tribe, who were picked off one by one until the Beastclaw Raiders were weighed down by joints of meat and bone. The surviving Gargants fled deeper into the swampy Balefen and the Beastclaw Raiders pursued, led by a Jorlbad.

They ran straight into the Sylvaneth who had dispassionately watched the destruction of the Clawood Gargants but were now forced to take action as the Ogors moved deeper into their land. Trees died from the supernatural cold of the Everwinter and the Forest Folk rallied to launch a series of ambushes on the invaders, to little avail. Eventually, the Jorlbad reached an enchanted orchard where they found themselves surrounded by hundreds of soulpods in the shape of ripened fruit – a feast for the taking.

Roused from a deep slumber, the Treelord Ancient Kurothos saw his kin fall beneath the advance of the Everwinter, and now moved to annihilate the Ogors.

 

The Forces

We are starting to loosen the reigns on the Beastclaw Raiders, slowly building up the size of their forces as we get used to them in action.

Beastclaw Raiders
Huskard on Stonehorn
Stonehorn Beastriders
Thundertusk Beastriders
Mournfangs x 4 (two units of 2)

We have a full Jorlbad here, with supporting Thundertusk, which means the Beastclaw Raiders will be extremely fast moving (they are also resilient to battleshock tests but, with the small units of Mournfangs involved, that will not be a factor in this battle).

Sylvaneth
Treelord Ancient (Kurothos)
Branchwraith
Kurnoth Hunters (two units of 3)
Dryads x 30 (three units of 10)
Tree-Revenants x 20 (two units of 10)

The Sylvaneth have arrived in great number, but they have few of their really tough units and comprise mainly Forest Folk. Will they be able to stall the Beastclaw Raider advance?

 

The Battleplan

This battle takes place in a clearing filled with shrines dedicated to the growing of soulpods. The Beastclaw Raiders will gain a major victory if they can wipe out the Sylvaneth in five battle rounds. If they fail, then victory will be determined by the number of soulpod shrines they have managed to munch their way through – if the Sylvaneth can stop them devouring the contents of less than four soulpod shrines, a major victory will be theirs.

With only five battle rounds and the entire length of the table to cross, the Beastclaw Raiders will have to be quick – but then again, that has never really been a problem with them, so it is up to the Sylvaneth to block their advance and not be destroyed as they do so.

Sylvaneth defending a shrine have a chance to ignore wounds, but Beastclaw Raider models that consume a shrine will be healed.

For this battle, we will be using the full set of Battle Traits for Beastclaw Raiders; both their Beastclaw Stampede rule, and the Everwinter’s Blessing. The latter allows the Beastclaw Raiders to roll a dice at the start of their turns to see what effect the Everwinter has on the battle. This can range from a Fortifying Hoarfrost that allows them to re-roll saves of 1, to a Raging Blizzard that dishes out mortal wounds to nearby enemy units.

 

Deployment

Within the Balefens, everything seemed still but keen eyes could pick the slightest of movement from within the Wyldwoods. The Sylvaneth were stirring to action…

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Battle Round One

The Jorlbad thundered into the grove at the head of a fortifying hoarfrost that coated the Stonehorns and Thundertusk with ice. The outer trees were undefended, and the Beastclaw Raiders quickly gorged themselves on soulpods the Sylvaneth had known they would have to sacrifice before the Ogors had even arrived.

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A Blood Vulture flew high into the sky, only to plummet down upon an unsuspecting Dryad, but this was the only casualty the Sylvaneth suffered as the Ogor’s great bolts all went wide.

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Deeper within the grove, Treelord Ancient Kurothos summoned the power of the Wyldwood to his bidding, and the vegetation reshaped itself into a Throne of Vines upon which he sat.

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Meanwhile, the Branchwraith further fortified the Wyldwoods by throwing a Mystic Shield upon its Dryads, even as Kurnoth Hunters loosed massive arrows that scored several telling hits upon the approaching Thundertusk.

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Battle Round Two

The Mystic Shield was maintained on the Dryads, and now Treelord Ancient Kurothos lent his magical weight to the defence, adding his own shield to the defenders. As the Thundertusk approached, the Kurnoth Hunters loosed another volley, this time causing the beast to stumble as it bled from several deep wounds.

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The Everwinter had by now entered the grove proper, and a freezing tailwind seemed to drive the Beastclaw Raiders even further forward. Once more, a Blood Vulture took to the sky, but its attacks upon Dryads were thwarted by the trees of the Wyldwoods themselves, sweeping their branches to drive it back.

By now, the Beastclaw Raiders were in position to attack, and Stonehorns and Mournfangs thundered forward to assault the Dryads in the outermost Wyldwoods.

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The trees proved no obstacle to these massive monsters, and half a dozen Dryads were crushed under the weight of their hooves before they could react. A fierce, but very brief, battle ensued but while the Dryads managed to score light wounds on the Ogors, they were completely outmatched. The few Dryads who survived this assault quickly ran, using the spiritways to flee the battlefield.

The Thundertusk had been too injured to launch its own charge, but it summoned enough strength to loose a chill breath upon the Branchwraith, who screeched in pain as the ice started to freeze her limbs.

Yet more soulpods were consumed by the Ogors, this time the Mournfang Riders eating their fill.

 

Battle Round Three

The Sylvaneth had known the Beastclaw Raiders would be unstoppable at first but now they had consumed half of the soulpods of the grove, they had to be halted before they moved deeper into the woods.

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Shaking the ice from her limbs, the Branchwraith hurled an Arcane Bolt at the Thundertusk, causing the beats to shy away from the brilliant sorcerous light, before she turned and ran for the safety of another Wyldwood.

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Meanwhile, a deep bass voice rolled over the grove, invigorating every Sylvaneth who heard it – Treelord Ancient Kurothos had begun his Spirit Song.

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The Kurnoth Hunters sustained their withering fire, with one group finishing off the wounded Thundertusk, while a second group joined the Kurothos and his Doom Tendril Staff in striking at the approaching Huskard and his Stonehorn.

The Everwinter infused the Beatsclaw Raiders with a chilling effect and a deadly frostbite radiated from their advance, but fortunately for the Sylvaneth, no one was close enough to suffer from it.

With another Wyldwood about to fall into the hands of the Huskard, the others urged their mounts forward to strike at the last two bastions of the Sylvaneth that still stood.

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Others saw the Branchwraith fleeing the Wyldwoods, and gave pursuit. Two massive bolts flew past her head, followed by the shot of a pistol, but the Ogor’s aim was very poor, and the Branchwraith very swift.

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The soaring Blood Vulture fared no better, as it was again beaten back away from the last Dryads by the branches of the Wyldwood their hid within.

The Huskard bellowed as his Stonehorn crashed through trees to reach the Kurnoth Hunters who had slain the Thundertusk. One was crushed instantly underfoot, while the other two were gouged by the Stonehorn. The Mournfang Riders who had been following the Huskard took advantage of this sudden opening in the Sylvaneth defence to throw themselves straight at Treelord Ancient Kurothos. Caught offguard, Kurothos was wounded in their rush, but recovered quickly to flatten one Ogor with a single sweep of his staff.

Close by, another Stonehorn was making an impact, this time against the Tree-Revenants supporting Kurothos.

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Nimbly dodging the worst of the Stonehorn’s lumbering attacks, they darted out of the woods to defend their leader against both the Stonehorn and Mournfang Rider.

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Another Wyldwood had now fallen into the hands of the Beastclaw Raiders, and now it was the turn of the Huskard to enjoy the sweet taste of Sylvaneth soulpods.

 

Battle Round Four

By now, only two Wyldwoods remained in Sylvaneth hands, but each resolved to keep the Ogors back.

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As Kurothos threw a Mystic Shield over himself, the Branchwraith hurled an Arcane Bolt at the Huskard, and then retreated deeper into the Wyldwood.

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The fighting now intensified, and the Huskard was further wounded by Kurothos’ Doom Tendril Staff, even as the Tree-Revenants scored a series of deep cuts against the Stonehorn on the other side of the Wyldwood. However, they could not halt its advance and the last of the Kurnoth Hunters were smashed into the trees by its great horns.

However, Treelord Ancient Kurothos held firm, with the powerful blows of the Mournfang Rider he faced simply bouncing off his Mystic Shield as he fought from within the Wyldwood.

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Once more, the Everwinter blew a freezing tailwind as the Beastclaw Raiders closed in for one final attack. The Huskard dove into the Wyldwood, searching for the Branchwraith even as he struck at the Treelord Ancient. The Branchwraith successfully evaded his wild blows, but Kurothos was hit badly, staggering under the sheer weight of the Stonehorn. However, even as rivers of sap ran down his trunk, Kurothos refused to budge from the Throne of Vines he had created.

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The second Wyldwood still held by the Sylvaneth was assaulted by two brave Mournfang Riders.

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The Dryads started to retreat deeper into  the Wyldwood, and the Mournfang Riders followed, cutting three of the Forest Folk down. It took them a few moments to realise the trap the Dryads had led them into. Spurred on by the plight of the Forest Folk, Tree-Revenants swarmed forward, leaving the protection of the Wyldwood to surround the Mournfang Riders. Very quickly, the Mournfang Riders realised they had a real fight on their hands as they strove to defend themselves from Sylvaneth mystic blades.

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Battle Round Five

The Mournfang Skalg, desperately trying to find a chink in the defences of the Treelord Ancient, caught a glimpse of the Branchwraith between Kurothos’ legs, and he hastily raised his pistol to snapfire at her. The shot was true, and the Branchwraith’s head exploded in a shower of sap and leaves.

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A freezing tailwind from the Everwinter helped the Stonehorn Beastriders turn their mount around to aid the Mournfang Riders who had been ambushed by the Tree-Revenants, even as their Blood Vulture dove down to savage a Dryad.

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The battle for the Wyldwood was short, as the Dryads were mercilessly ridden down by the Stonehorn, before it plunged into the Tree-Revenants. They managed to bring down one of the Mournfangs before they too were crushed. Though the battle still raged close by, this Wyldwood had now been claimed by the Beastclaw Raiders and the Beastriders gorged themselves on soulpods.

Kurothos was now battling the Mournfang Skalg and his Huskard alone, for all other Sylvaneth had either been slain or had fled the grove. Knowing he could not flee, the Treelord Ancient used all his skill and deep knowledge of the Wyldwoods to fight, blocking every attack thrown at him.

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The Huskard raged at his own impotence for, despite being very badly wounded, the Treelord Ancient was not only surviving, he managed to deal some very strong blows upon the Stonehorn.

Maintaining both his Mystic Shield and Spirit-Song, Kurothos felt the power of Alarielle flow through him as he continued to fight. Once again, he battled the Stonehorn and this time forced it backwards, out of the Wyldwood.

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Cursing the Treelord Ancient, the Huskard declined to charge back into the woods, and signalled the retreat. The Beastclaw Raiders had ravaged the grove and while they had not claimed it completely, their stomachs were full enough for them to be satisfied with a draw.

 

Conclusion

It is not often we see a draw – and it was all down to the Treelord Ancient, who had been reduced to a single wound! The combination of a Mystic Shield with cover was enough to bring his save down to 1+ but while that served him well against the Mournfang, it is not so comforting against a Stonehorn who has multiple Rend -2, Damage 3 attacks. However, the Huskard could just not land that last telling blow!

The Sylvaneth fought purely defensively but while the Beastclaw Raiders were certainly formidable, the Sylvaneth were still able to prove they were not invulnerable. The Thundertusk went down pretty quickly and while the Beastclaw Raiders were only to lose two Mournfang Riders on top of that, they also dealt significant damage to the Stonehorns, who were not only halving all incoming damage, but healing as they consumed soulpods!

The Huskard had been reduced to enough wounds that a single blow from the Treelord Ancient’s staff, followed by a good impale attack, could have finished him off – alas, the Treelord Ancient was no luckier in that than the Huskard was in attacking him.

A good, solid battle overall, and we are looking forward to the next one involving the Beastclaw Raiders!

 

The Story Continues…

We are going to carry on following the path of the Beastclaw Raiders a little while yet, and next time they will be travelling to the Realm of Death, bringing the Everwinter with them.

Battle Report – Endless Battle

Last time, we tried out the Gutbuster Ogors and snuck one of the Beastclaw Raiders in to lead them. Now, we are going with a much larger force of Beastclaw Raiders, accompanied by Spiderfang slaves/allies, against Baudrax the Hunter and his Red Butchers once more.

 

The Story So Far

After his victory over the Ogor champion Skargut, Baudrax the Hunter sought to return with his warband to the Realm of Fire. However, the fickle gods and Gorehammer Realmgates had other ideas.

Baudrax emerged with his Red Butchers into a vast arena of bones, with two other Realmgates spread along its edges, each sparking with sorcerous energies. As the Red Butchers advanced, the Realmgates flared into life, disgorging a new army into the Gorehammer Arena.

A new Ogor champion emerged from a Realmgate, Gurguk Facegouger, riding atop a mighty Thundertusk. He was joined by more Beastclaw Raiders, and a slave tribe of Spiderfang Grots.

As the two forces charged towards one another, Baudrax was aware that the Realmgate were still very much active, and he wondered whether he could begin using them to his advantage…

 

The Forces

The Beastclaw Raiders are still fairly new to us, so we are keeping the forces small, but the addition of the slave Spiderfang Grots means the Bloodbound are still able to bring a fairly weighty force to the battle.

Beastclaw Raiders
Beastriders on Thundertusk (Gurguk Facegouger)
Mournfang Riders x 4
Ironblaster

Just a small force of Beastclaw Raiders (but then, they tend to be very potent!), and they have pinched an Ironblaster from some Gutbuster friends to give them some ranged support.

Spiderfang Grots
Arachnarok Spider
Spider Riders x 30 (three units of 10)

The Spiderfang Grots would likely prefer to be anywhere else, but their Beastclaw overlords are not giving them much choice. The Spider Riders can be thrown into battle to absorb charges from the Brass Stampede, but the Arachnarok Spider will be a foe most worthy of the Bloodbound.

Bloodbound
Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut (Baudrax the Hunter)
Gorebeast Chariot
Mighty Skullcrushers x 12 (one unit of 6, two units of 3)
Chaos Knights x 10 (two units of 5)

Once again, the Bloodbound have brought their most mobile elements to battle, with a full Brass Stampede supported by Chaos Knights and a Gorebeast Chariot.

 

The Battleplan

Drawn from Battletome: Dominions of Chaos, the Endless Battle Battleplan features an arena, around which three Realmgates are placed. Victory will go to the side that manages to either wipe out its enemy or at least slays more enemy models than it started with.

Baudrax has the Slay the Champion command ability, which allows him to double his damage on any wound roll of a 6 against enemy Heroes. The Beastclaw Raiders instead can channel an Apocalyptic Fury, which allows their general to gain an extra attack whenever he rolls a hit of 6 or more.

However, the main theme of this battle will rest with the Realmgates. Units can use them to bounce around the table as normal, but where they appear is random – it is possible for a unit to disappear for more than one round and, if it takes longer to come back, they have a chance of bringing a brand new unit with them!

As the Beastclaw Raiders have been taken out of their normal environment, we will not be using the Everwinter’s Blessing Battle Trait, but it seems right that they should still get the bonus from the Beastclaw Stampede (re-roll wound rolls of 1 when charging).

 

Deployment

As soon as the two forces saw one another, they charged forward, eager to get to grips with the enemy and claim first blood.

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The entire arena shuddered under the brass-shod hooves of the Skullcrushers, and the Beastclaw Raiders allowed their Spiderfang allies to range ahead, in place to absorb the charges of the Bloodbound.

 

Battle Round One

Ogors and Grots spread out, looking for any gap that would allow them to flank the Bloodbound or take advantage of the three Realmgates that formed the points of the arena.

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The Ironblaster bellowed, hurling a rain of metal at the Gorebeast Chariot, but the shot went wide, thrown off kilter by the rapid motion of the Rhinox.

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As the Bloodbound thundered onwards, five Chaos Knights reined their mounts in and turned about, leaping into the Realmgate behind them. Almost instantly, they reappeared behind the Ogor force, urging their mounts onwards as soon as they saw Spider Riders in front of them, completely unaware of the danger they were now in.

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With a loud crack that echoed around the arena, the lead elements of the Bloodbound smashed into the advancing Ogors and Grots. Chaos Knights were now fighting Spider Riders in both the front and back of the Ogor line, but immediately found themselves bogged down by surprisingly vicious spiders. A handful of Spiderfang Grots were killed in these charges, but not before they pulled down two Chaos Knights.

However, though most of the Spiderfang Grots held their line, a handful more decided the wrath of their Ogor overlords was far more preferable than the fury of the Bloodbound, and they urged their spiders to flee the arena.

Skullcrushers slammed into the Mournfang Riders, toppling one and crushing it underfoot as they barrelled in, but the Ogors quickly recovered, slaying one Skullcrusher and leaving the Juggernaut of another badly battered.

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Battle Round Two

Though both forces were now heavily committed to battle, their sheer toughness had resulted in few casualties beyond the Spiderfang Grots, whom neither side cared about.

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Now, however, the second wave of Skullcrushers, led by the Gorebeast Chariot and Baudrax the Hunter himself, lumbered into position.

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As Baudrax declared a Blood Stampede that set Skullcrushers and Gorebeast alike to a frenzy, the remainder of the Bloodbound charged. The largest unit of Skullcrushers moved far to the right flank to catch a group of Spiderfang Grots who had been hoping to reach a Realmgate unscathed.

Completely outmatched, the Grots cowered behind their shields which, unbelievably held firm against the axes of the Skullcrushers. Three Spider Riders were crushed underfoot by the Juggernauts, but the survivors counted themselves fortunate that they had survived this attack.

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Closer to the centre of the arena, Spider Riders were slain by Chaos Knights before the Gorebeast Chariot and Baudrax could reach them, so the Chariot’s crew concentrated their fury on the Mournfang Riders. Unfortunately, this change of mind hindered their charge and the Mournfang Riders ignored the Chariot as they decapitated another Skullcrusher with a swing of a Gargant Hacker.

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More Skullcrushers flanked the Ogor force, only to find their way blocked by a huge Arachnarok Spider. A little daunted by the size of the monster, they nevertheless charged, but the spider reared up and they quailed under its shadow, their charge completely disrupted.

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Across the arena, Spider Riders fled the carnage, leaving only two to fight on alongside their Ogor masters. As they fled before the swords and axes of the Chaos Knights, the Ironblaster pulled back slightly and lined up on the cavalry, blasting one knight clean off his mount.

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It was at this point that Gurguk Facegouger entered the battle on his Thundertusk. Lumbering forward, the great beast opened its maw and let loose a chilling breath that froze Baudrax the Hunter to his Juggernaut. Baudrax shook himself free of the chill, dislodging ice from his armour, but he had been badly wounded by the Thundertusk and knew he had to defeat the beast – and quickly.

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Seeing Baudrax reeling in his saddle, Gurguk Facegouger urged his Thundertusk onwards to finish the Lord of Khorne off, but was blocked by Chaos Knights. One knight was instantly crushed by the Thundertusk’s horns and another was badly injured, but together they managed to score some deep wounds on Gurguk’s mount.

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Across the battlefield, Bloodbound continued to fight Beastclaw Raider, but neither side was willing to yield and there were only a couple of warriors were slain.

 

Battle Round Three

The Ironblaster lined up on the Gorebeast Chariot, but its Ogor crewman was dismayed to see the shot bounce off the chariot’s metal frame. Gurguk Facegouger was fuming too as Baudrax ducked low in his saddle as the Thundertusk breathed a chill air at him once more, and completely avoided its reach.

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Close by, the Skalg leading the Mournfang Riders was crushed to death by a Juggernaut, but his standard bearer broke the Gorebeast Chariot in two as his mount gored the crew before they could recover.

Baudrax shook off the lingering effects of the Thundertusk’s breath and surveyed the battlefield. Grinning savagely to himself, he saw the time was right and he unfolded the next stage in his plan. Bellowing loudly, he ordered a new Blood Stampede, driving his Skullcrushers into a frenzy as they swung around the Beastclaw Raiders force.

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Consumed by Murderlust, the largest group of Skullcrushers picked up speed, and then charged into the heart of the Beastclaw Raiders, their sudden appearance catching everyone offguard.

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The combined weight of so many Juggernauts was simply unstoppable, and they smashed into the Thundertusk, Spider Riders and Arachnarok Spider, brass-shod hooves grinding their enemies into the arena floor. The Ironblaster and Mournfang were caught in the charge as well, and their reeled under the sudden impact.

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However, there was no time to recover as the Skullcrushers’ axes set to work, quickly taking the skulls of the last two Ogors.

Baudrax the Hunter raised his own axe to the sky and bellowed praise to Khorne. Once again, the Blood God had favoured him with victory.

 

Conclusion

That last charge of the Skullcrushers was perfectly timed and, with a large (and untouched) unit of 6 of them, it dished out D6 mortal wounds to every enemy close by – enough to finish off the Thundertusk and Arachnarok Spider completely, which gutted the remaining Beastclaw Raider force.

Something to watch out for if you end up fighting them!

Otherwise, the battle had been fairly even up to that point – the Spider Riders were mostly dead, but taking blows is what the Ogors had brought them for, and Baudrax himself was on his last legs, after getting hit by the automatic 6 mortal wounds of the Thundertusk’s breath (nasty!).

Full credit to the Bloodbound though – that was a perfect charge at the end.

 

The Story Continues…

The Everwinter is truly upon us now, and next time we will see the Beastclaw Raiders ride through the Sylvaneth on their own turf.

Battle Report – Clash of Heroes

It has not just been the Bonesplitterz roused to fight after the Realmgate Wars, as our previous battles might indicate – the Gutbuster Ogors are raging as well (some might say because the weather is about to turn for the colder…).

 

The Story So Far

Lord Baudrax the Hunter, leader of the Red Butchers, had carved a swath through Aqshy, pledging to lead his warhorde on a great hunt in Khorne’s honour, piling skulls as they went. In answer, Khorne sent Baudrax a powerful vision of a mighty huntsman named Skargut, the prophet of another god known as the Ravenous One.

Baudrax swore a furious oath that he would slay this false prophet and take his skull.

Plunging through a Realmgate known as the Ragged Maw, the Red Butchers voyaged to the Realm of Beasts to seek this Skargut out. For days, they battled the Spiderfang tribes of the ancient Kraggengorst ruins, then ranged out onto the Savage Steppes, matching themselves against screaming dust-wraiths, sudden squalls of amber hail, and baking, brutal heat. After many weeks slaughtering every monstrous beast and primitive tribe they came across, the Red Butchers finally came to a place of gargantuan onyx crags, many carved in the likeness of a titanic club-wielding Ogor.

As they approached, vast horns sounded from the largest of the crags and from caves surged Gutbuster Ogors, led by a Beastclaw Hunter atop a gigantic Stonehorn.

Baudrax was pleased. Now there would be blood by the gallon!

 

The Forces

This is the first time we are using the Gutbuster Ogors, so their force is relatively small – however, the Bloodbound will have to bring a fairly decent-sized army just to keep pace!

Bloodbound
Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut (Baudrax the Hunter)
Bloodsecrator
Slaughterpriest
Skullgrinder
Wrathmongers x 5
Mighty Skullcrushers x 12 (one unit of 6, two units of 3)
Khorgorath
Blood Warriors x 20 (two units of 10)
Skullreapers x 5

This is a solid Bloodbound force, built around a Brass Stampede. The Skullreapers and Wrathmongers are both hard-hitting units, and with a score of Blood Warriors to soak up damage, Khorne stands a good chance of victory on this day!

Gutbuster Ogors
Huskard on Stonehorn (Skargut)
Ogors x 13 (one unit of 7, one unit of 6)
Leadbelchers x 8
Ironguts x 8
Ironblaster

Whether it is up close and personal or by blasting huge chunks of metal at the enemy, this force has things covered. The combination of Leadbelchers and an Ironblaster will have the potential to seriously tear up the Bloodbound, while a charge of Ironguts, led by the Stonehorn, could give even their Brass Stampede pause.

 

The Battleplan

To claim victory in this battle, a player must slay the enemy general – a mighty victory is awarded if at least half of their starting models are still alive, a minor victory otherwise. If neither player has done this by the end of the sixth battle round, a player can claim a minor victory if he has at least half his starting models still on the battlefield and his opponent does not. Otherwise, it will be a draw (though you have to think it is still a win for Khorne, with that many dead…).

Baudrax has a new command ability for this battle, Irrefutable Challenge, which stops lesser models charging either general. Skargut has Righteous Fury, which allows him to re-roll missed hits against enemy Heroes (ouch!).

In addition, the gods are watching this battle, and will be mightily displeased if their champion tries to avoid battle. If a general ends up further away from the enemy in their move phase, fissures may open up to swallow his army as punishment. Priests may also be able to take advantage of their god’s interest, subtly influencing the outcome of the battle.

Finally, a general slain by any model other than the enemy general is likely to be saved by his god and returned to the battle, fully healed!

 

Deployment

The Ogors flooded out of their caves and took to the battlefield, their Huskard overseeing their advance.

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Baudrax was well pleased by their appearance, and he ordered his own warband to push forward in a broad line, his Skullcrushers to the flanks. His own eyes, however, were fixed firmly upon Skargut, sitting high atop a Stonehorn. Khorne would indeed be pleased by the Ogor’s skull.

 

Battle Round One

Content to let the Khorne invaders come to him, Skargut bellowed an order that halted his Ogors. Baudrax roared as he held his axe high in the air, and his Brass Stampede led the charge forward.

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Ogors trotted across their battleline, as much to get out of the way of Skargut’s Stonehorn as give their Leadbelchers some cover from charging Blood Warriors. Skargut released his Blood Vulture, which immediately spied Baudrax and dived down to scratch at the Lord of Khorne with its cruel talons. On the other side of the Numinous Occulum, the Ironblaster thundered and hurled a dozen heavy projectiles into a group of Blood Warriors, tearing apart two of them.

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Meanwhile, the Ironguts rushed forward, having sighted what was probably the most powerful unit in the Khorne force – an over-sized unit of Skullcrushers.

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Taking full advantage of their massive inertia, they crashed into the Skullcrushers before the Juggernauts could reach a full gallop. Their mighty clubs and swords easily smashed through the armour of the Skullcrushers, knocking three of them sprawling and out of action for the loss of only two Ogors.

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Battle Round Two

The Slaughterpriest offered a prayer of Resanguination to Khorne, and Baudrax was healed of his minor wounds caused by the Blood Vulture. However, he then pushed his luck, as he tried to Blood Bind the Ogors near the woods, and Khorne punished the Slaughterpriest for his temerity, forcing him to double over in pain as his own blood burned.

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Climbing to the top of the Arcane Ruins, the Bloodsecrator found he had a commanding view of the battlefield, and planted his Portal of Skulls, causing a dull red light to shine around him as a gate was opened directly to the Realm of Chaos.

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Baudrax decided the Ironblaster could present a problem to his war band, and his Juggernaut thundered out of the Sylvaneth Wood in an effort to cut it off. However, it proved to be just a little too far out of reach.

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Spurred on by the Portal of Skulls and driven to rabid levels of frenzy, the Khorne warband rapidly closed the remaining distance to the Ogors.

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One unit of Skullcrushers swept far along the Ogor’s left flank, and fearlessly dove into the woods, ignoring the threat of the Sylvaneth spirits within. Trees swayed violently as Ogor and Juggernaut thundered within them, and blood was soon raining into their roots as one Skullcrusher and two Ogors fell. This kind of close quarters fighting was not to the liking of one Skullcrusher, and he turned his Juggernaut around to flee the battlefield, the jeers of another unit of Skullcrushers following him as he galloped away.

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Another arboreal fight erupted close by as Blood Warriors, Skullreapers and the Khorgorath engaged more Ogors and the Leadbelchers.

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The Leadbelchers held their ground and crushed one Blood Warrior, even as Sylvaneth spirits impaled another on their branches. However, the Ogors, caught outside the wood, suffered greatly, with the Blood Warriors and Skullreapers bringing three of the beasts down between them. As the Khorgorath waded into the melee, it tore the head off another, a sight that convinced the survivors that they would be far better off if they fled from the battlefield.

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Skargut cajoled his Stonehorn forward, not wanting to leave all the slaughter to his minions. He released the Blood Vulture once more, and it dove down onto the Skullgrinder, who was forced to fend it off with his anvil.

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The Ironblaster roared again, killing another Blood Warrior and convincing another to flee, softening the unit up nicely for Skargut, his Stonehorn lumbering forward.

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However, the Blood Warriors were eager to get to grips with such a powerful foe and while one was gouged by the horns of Skargut’s beast, the others managed to inflict a series of savage wounds upon the Stonehorn.

A fierce battle was well underway in the Sylvaneth woods. On one side, the Leadbelchers continued to hold their position against Blood Warriors and Skullreapers, but at a terrible cost. Three were quickly slain and another four fled the fury of Khorne’s soldiers, leaving a single Leadbelcher fighting.

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The Ogors in the other wood fared better, and their clubs battered the last Skullcrusher they faced, leaving them triumphant under the cover of the trees.

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Battle Round Three

Seeing yet another unit of Skullcrushers approaching, the Ogors retreated further into the Sylvaneth Wood, knowing the spirits around them would exact a heavy price upon any Chaos invaders who tried to enter their domain. The Ironguts, meanwhile, entered one of the Sylvaneth Woods themselves, hoping to skirt past Baudrax the Hunter and keep Skargut free of Khorne minions so he could focus his attention on the Lord of Khorne.

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However, Skargut was already bogged down by Blood Warriors, and he waved his Ironblaster forward, knowing he needed more time before he could face Baudrax on terms he was happy with. The Ironblaster roared, but the shot was hurried and it went wide. The Ogor on the back of the Ironblaster goaded his Rhinox on, and together they smashed into Baudrax.

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This was exactly what Baudrax had been waiting for. His Juggernaut danced to one side with an agility belied by its massive, powerful frame, and Baudrax’s axe hammered into the Rhinox, leaving it badly wounded. Skargut’s Stonehorn crushed three more Blood Warriors, but one still remained, completely undaunted by the monster he was fighting. The Ironblaster had indeed bought the Huskard time, but still he needed more before he could face Baudrax.

In the Sylvaneth Woods, the battle was beginning to go the way of Khorne, as the last of the Leadbelchers was killed and the Blood Warriors began to close in upon the last Ogors.

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Baudrax raised his axe to the sky and bellowed praise to his Lord Khorne. The sky darkened as clouds swept over the battlefield, and a Blood Rain fell upon every combatant, healing every devotee to Khorne as it fell.

Spurred by this manifestation of his god’s power, the Slaughterpriest offered his own praise as he tried to Blood Boil Skargut’s Stonehorn, but Khorne took offence at such a weak offering from a puny servant and once more the Slaughterpriest was crippled by pain.

Baudrax’s warband began to sense blood and, led by the staggering Slaughterpriest, they began to run to the Ironguts.

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However, the Slaughterpriest was in too much pain to engage them in combat, and his reticence confused the Wrathmongers, who stayed in place as their continued to whirl their chains. Baudrax saw this happen, and he swore to the Blood God that Skargut’s skull would not be the only one offered that day.

Blood Warriors and Skullcrushers rushed the Ogors within the Sylvaneth Woods from two sides, trapping they prey between the trees. However, the Sylvaneth spirits had been biding their time, and two Skullcrushers disappeared as the trees swarmed and crushed them.

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The Ogors fought all the harder as they saw the advantage swing back to them, wounding the last Skullcrusher and smashing a Blood Warrior to a sticky pulp.

Unable to reach the Ironguts, the Skullreapers and Khorgorath instead threw themselves into the flank of Skargut’s Stonehorn.

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Driven into a truly psychotic rage by the combined effects of the Bloodsecrator’;s Portal of Skulls and the nearby Wrathmongers, they unleashed a devastating series of blows that brought the Stonehorn to its knees. Skargut tumbled from his saddle and was gutted by the Khorgorath.

However, Gorkamorka was watching, and his favoured champion would not be brought so low, so easily.

A giant, spectral green hand reached down through the blood-laden clouds to scoop Skargut up and place him back in the saddle of a completely restored Stonehorn. Skargut grinned down at the warriors of Khorne who had attacked him, and prepared to strike back, even as Baudrax casually dispatched the Ironblaster.

 

Battle Round Four

Now filled with a Righteous Fury, Skargut bellowed at his Ironguts, and they lumbered forward, once again building momentum as they crashed into the Wrathmongers and Slaughterpriest.

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As one Wrathmonger has hammered flat into the ground, a powerful rage descended upon one of the Ironguts, and he lashed out at one of his comrades, only to be frustrated by the thick armour they all wore. This armour also defeated the efforts of the Wrathmongers themselves, but they soon parted as the Skullgrinder piled into the fight, killing two Ironguts with wide, fast swings of his anvil, even as the Slaughterpriest hacked down another.

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This was too much for the two surviving Ironguts, and they turned and ran from Khorne’s fury.

Within the Sylvaneth Woods, battle still raged, with four Blood Warriors smashed apart by the clubs of the Ogors and thrust of their Ironfists. However, they were few in number, and the Blood Warriors rallied alongside the last Skullcrusher, finally finishing the Ogors off.

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Khorne has won the Battle of the Woods, but only a single Blood Warrior and lone wounded Skullcrusher emerged from the trees. Much blood had been spilled under their branches.

All eyes were now drawn to Skargut – he stood alone before Baudrax’s warband, but Gorkamorka was with him and his Stonehorn lashed out left and right, crushing a Skullreaper and impaling the Khorgorath on its great horns.

A dreadful Murderlust descended upon the Skullgrinder, and the weaponsmith raced forward, determined to take Skargut’s skull and thus be elevated past Baudrax in the eyes of Khorne.

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However, Baudrax reached Skargut first, barrelling into the Stonehorn at full tilt.

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Skargut stood high in his saddle, raining down blows on the forces surrounding him as Skullreapers, Wrathmongers and a Blood Warrior delivered a dozen small cuts that began to split the hide of the Stonehorn.

Baudrax the Hunter roared, getting the attention of the Ogor, and Skargut swung his Stonehorn around to face his enemy. However, the Lord of Khorne was quicker. A flurry of blows from his mighty axe took out the knees of the Stonehorn, causing the beast to pitch forward into the hard earth, tumbling Skargut onto the ground. Baudrax’s Juggernaut reared up and ploughed a hoof straight through the Ogor’s chest, silencing him immediately.

Smiling savagely to himself, Baudrax leaned over Skargut’s corpse and grabbed his long beard before swinging his axe, severing the Ogor’s head from his body in one blow.

The Blood God would indeed be satisfied by this offered skull…

 

Conclusion

Now, that was a suitably bloody battle.

Baudrax the Hunter managed to get his worthy skull, though only with a minor victory as he lost too many units in the process – not that I think either he or Khorne minds. After all, it matters not whence the blood flows…

This was the first appearance of the Ogors for us, and there is certainly much to be impressed about. Certainly, there are few units in the game that could comfortably take down three Skullcrushers in a single round, then finish off the others in the next. #

That said, Ogors are few in number and weak of armour, and if an enemy can overwhelm them while weathering the (pretty nasty) hits, then they remain eminently defeatable.

Frankly, we can’t wait to see what full-blown Beastclaw Raiders will be like!

 

The Story Continues…

The Everwinter is coming – in the next battle, Baudrax the Hunter takes on the full might of the Beastclaw Raiders, along with a few of their allies, in an arena created by the gods.

Battle Report – Horns of the Beast

We have been having some fun with the Bonesplitterz, but now they have drawn their entire Warclan together, as they are hunting that most difficult of prey – Stardrakes within a full formation of Stormcast Eternals!

 

The Story So Far

High above the Clawspine Expanse in the Realm of Beasts, the Stormcasts of the Hallowed Knights Extremis Chamber marched along a magical path of stardust created by the wizards of Azyrheim, a feat that required no little bargaining with the Collegiate Arcane. The Orruks below were completely unaware of the Stormcasts crossing the sky – all except the Wurrgog Prophet. He wanted to slay their starbeasts and, puzzling how to get to the Stormcasts, the Prophet finally settled on a plan.

He would ask Gorkamorka to blow up the sky.

As the Stormcasts began passing over a huge volcano within the Clawspine Expanse, the Wurrgog Prophet called out a mighty ‘waaagh!’ to the spirit of the mountain. The volcano erupted violently, hurling lurid emerald flames and burning boulders into the heavens. The star road was bombarded, and began to drift to the ground.

Masses of bellowing Orruks were waiting for the Stormcasts as they descended, all eager to claim a starbeast for themselves.

 

The Forces

As far as the Bonesplitterz are concerned, we are (literally) putting everything on the table for this one – every Bonesplitterz Orruk in the collection, using every Battalion they qualify for.

Bonesplitterz
Wurgog Prophet
Big Boss x 2
Wardokk x 2
Maniak Weirdnobs x 4
Boarboys x 10
Savage Orruks x 40 (two units of 20)
Arrowboys x 20
Big Stabbas x 2
Morboys x 20
Boarboy Maniaks x 20 (two units of 10)

The Warclan has truly come out in force, with no less than six Battalions being fielded! The Extremis Chamber is always a very, very powerful enemy to face, but the Bonesplitterz are massing in force, and have just the right tools to deal with the Stradrakes. Could this be the first defeat of the Stormcast Extremis?

Stormcast Eternals
Lord-Celestant on Stardrake
Drakesworn Templar
Fulminators x 4 (two units of 2)
Tempestors x 4 (two units of 2)
Concussors x 4 (two units of 2)
Desolators x 4 (two units of 2)

The full Lightning and Thunder Echelons are being used in this force, making it mightily potent. However, the actual unit sizes are small, and if the Bonesplitterz can isolate units and finish them off quickly, they stand a good chance of claiming a Stardrake! However, if things go a little pear-shaped for the Stormcasts, they can take advantage of Sigmar’s Aid, and bring some Liberators, Judicators and Paladins down in the latter stage of the battle.

 

The Battleplan

This is a huge mash up, with the Orruks wanting to bag themselves every Stardrake and Dracoth they can see, and the Stormcasts having no choice but to defend themselves. So, this will be a fight to the death, ending with the total destruction of one army or the other (or until it becomes obvious that one cannot win).

As always, there are issues.

The Bonesplitterz Snaga Rukk does not have to be set up at the start of the battle, and can march round the left or right side of the battlefield to arrive in the second round.

In addition, the Bonesplitterz are trying to hold the Stormcasts in place, and so those near the Wurrgog Prophet do not have to take battleshock tests and can re-roll charges in the first round, while the Stormcasts can re-roll charges and hit rolls close to their general, again in the first round.

 

Deployment

The Bonesplitterz deployed in a long line, stretching across almost the entire battlefield. For their part, the Stormcasts deployed in a much tighter formation, the better to concentrate their attacks on a single point, though the Drakesworn Templar led half of the Thunder Echelon in a diversionary attack that the Lord-Celestant would hope stop the Orruks from simply closing around his much smaller force.

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He was also very much aware that the Snaga Rukk had already departed the battlefield and was already making great strides across his right flank.

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Battle Round One

The Wardokks capered around the rear lines of the Bonesplitterz, their dances greatly accelerating the magic flowing around the Weirdnob Maniaks and Wurrgog Prophet. At the bidding of the Prophet, a spectral image of Gorkamorka shimmered into existence over the Bonesplitterz, drawing gasps of awe from the Orruks. He reached down with one hand and scooped up the Boarboys, depositing them within striking distance of the diversionary component of the Thunder Echelon.

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Then with his other hand, Gorkamorka picked up a unit of Savage Orruks and carried them over the Sylvaneth Woods, to drop them in front of the rest of the Stormcasts.

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The rest of the Bonesplitterz ran as fast as they could, dismayed that Gorkamorka had not chosen them to lead the attack.

At the urging of the Wurrgog Prophet, the Arrow Boys skipped forward and showered the Tempestors with a volley of arrows that temporarily blocked the sunlight. However, the ever vigilant Fulminators of the Lightning Echelon were close by, and their glaives spun in bright circles that deflected all but a single arrow.

With a bellow, the Savage Orruks and Boarboys ploughed into the closest Stormcasts, determined to forge a path to the Stradrakes in a single gutsy attack.

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The Boarboys managed to land a few light blows on the scales of the Dracoths, but otherwise proved a poor match for the Stormcasts.

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A little further away, the Savage Orruks leapt into battle against the Lightning Echelon and fared even worse. No Dracoths, nor their riders, were killed, and over a dozen Orruks lay dead within seconds. This proved too much for some of them, and five more ran from the battlefield, desperate to find safety.

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Satisfied that the Bonesplitterz initial attack was now held in check, the Lord-Celestant ordered the rest of his forces forwards, hoping to deliver a crippling blow before the maddened Snaga Rukk arrived in the battlefield. Meteors rained down upon the Orruks from the heavens, crushing one careless Wardokk.

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As Concussors finished off the Boarboys and Fulminators skewered the Savage Orruks who had engaged them, the Drakesworn Templar goaded his Stardrake on towards the Bonesplitterz main line. However, despite many attempts, he could not persuade the Stardrake to charge into their ranks. It took him a few seconds to spot what had spooked his mount – the Bonesplitterz had positioned Big Stabbas behind Savage Orruks, and they had already marked the Stardrake as their first target.

 

Battle Round Two

The initiative the Bonesplitterz had gained earlier on had been completely robbed by their stalled assault, and the Stormcasts quickly took advantage of it. As the Dracoths advanced, they opened their maws to release a crackling wave of lightning that fried some of the Arrow Boys, even as meteors continued to rain down from the sky, this time badly wounding a Big Boss.

Then, as one, the Dracothian Guard advanced at a trot, aiming to ride down every Orruk they could reach.

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Though the Big Stabbas still lurked behind the Savage Orruks, the Drakesworn Templar was too close and too committed to retreat. Ordering Concussors to follow him, he ploughed into the Savage Orruks, hoping to finish them off and reach the Big Stabbas before the Bonesplitterz could react.

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Seeing the danger, the Lord-Celestant cursed his Drakesworn Templar, and dove in, pushing the other Stardrake to one side. This caused the Templar to miss with his Stormlance, and the Lord-Celestant only clobbered two Orruks with his Celestine Hammer. However, the Stardrakes and Dracoths were decidedly hungry, and they swallowed or simply tore apart nine Orruks between them, gouging a huge hole in the Bonesplitterz line.

However, it was not enough and two Big Stabba teams were close enough to rush forward, even as the surviving Savage Orruks streamed passed them in an effort to escape the Stormcasts.

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The Templar’s Stardrake roared in pain as their Big Teef punched through its chestplate with ease, dealing two deep wounds.

On the other side of the Numinous Occulum, Desolators joined Fulminators as they rode into the mass of Arrow Boys in front of them.

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The Arrowboys had been watching the Fulminators since the beginning of the battle, and they were ready to receive the charge. The Fulminators were quickly bogged down in their assault, but the Orruks had not spotted the Desolators also closing in, and their big axes hewed heads from shoulders as Dracoths tore apart what was left. The Arrow Boys could not withstand that assault and they too broke from the battle and ran.

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Casting his eye across the battlefield, the Wurrgog Prophet could see that he had lost four units of his boys, but he did not overly care – he could see the Stardrakes had been pulled into the perfect position and the Big Stabbas were ready to strike.

Organising his Wardokks and Weirdnob Maniaks, the Prophet ordered them to pool their magic. Arcane Bolts flew at the Drakesworn Templar in volleys, each one finding its mark, even as a Weirdnob Maniak began to break the bones of the beast.

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From the corner of his eye, however, the Wurrgog Prophet could see the rest of the Dracothian Guard, and the Hand of Gork appeared once more, this time to scoop up the Prophet and deposit him nearer the Big Stabbas.

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The Teef Rukk was now close enough to hear his commands, and the Prophet ordered them to bring down the Stardrake of the Drakesworn Templar. The first Big Stabba team rushed in, but bounced off its chestplate.

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However, further threats from the Prophet saw the Big Stabbas recover, and they once again hurled themselves at the Stardrake, this time wounding it badly.

A great chorus of bellows shook the battlefield then, as the Snaga Rukk arrived, covering the last portion of their rush forward by the cover of Sylvaneth Woods.

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Heedless of the spirits of the woods, the Snaga Rukk ploughed onwards, quickly finding the Tempestors and Fulminators of the Lightning Echelon. With a maniak fury, they piled in, overwhelming two Fulminators and a Tempestor, for the loss of only a couple of pigs.

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The Big Stabbas rallied once more and rammed their Big Teef home, driving their weapons deep into the heart of the Templar’s Stardrake. The great beast roared in pain, and then burst into starlight that shot up towards the Celestial Realm. Though cheated of their bones, this feat energised the entire Bonesplitterz force, even as it dealt the Stormcasts a terrible blow to their morale.

Invigorated by the escaping spirit of the Stardrake, the Big Boss leapt forward, determined to claim a Dracoth by himself.

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The Concussors were having none of his heroics, however, and a single swing of their hammers knocked the Big Boss to the ground, where he lay still. Seeing the Lord-Celestant would be the next target of the Big Stabbas, the Concussors then performed they well-trained Ruinous Assault, leaping the short distance to the Big Stabbas, braining each Orruk.

However, Bonesplitterz are tougher than the average Orruk and, as they died, they hurled their Big Teef in high arcs to pierce the scales of the Lord-Celestant’s Stardrake.

 

Battle Round Three

The Bonesplitterz could sense weakness now, and they scrambled to claim the advantage. One Stardrake had already been killed, halving the number of monsters the Stormcasts had within their force, and the Stardrake of the Lord-Celestant was already wounded. Further more, the Snaga Rukk had performed well, and was threatening to completely collapse the Stormcast’s right flank.

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The Lord-Celestant reared up in the back of his Stardrake, and once again the Wurrgog Prophet directed his wizards to focus their energies on the beast. A Weirdnob Maniak and Wardokk both hurled Arcane Bolts that struck home, but every other Orruk wizard were too excited at the prospect of felling another monster that they fumbled their castings.

Undaunted, the Prophet bellowed at the nearby Morboys, and they redoubled their efforts against the Fulminators who had helped see off the Arrow Boys, pulling the Stormcasts off their Dracoths.

The Snaga Rukk had built up a huge momentum, and they continued rolling up the Stormcasts’ right flank, hammering the Tempestors before Desolators reigned their Dracoths in and counterattacked, felling four of the Boarboy Maniaks.

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Overcome with giddiness from the slaying of the first Stardrake, a Weirdnob Maniak wove through Orruk and Stormcast to charge into the Lord-Celestant. So unnerved was his Stardrake at this furious attack, it reared up and tried to avoid the staff and boar of the Weirdnob, who repeatedly battered away at the beast.

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The battle stood on a knife edge, and the Lord-Celestant cursed as he was forced to retreat from the Weirdnob Maniak’s frenzied attacks, knowing his battered and bruised Stardrake could not stand much more punishment. However, he yelled orders to his Dracothian Guard, and they manouevred to engage the remaining Bonesplitterz – one last push could break the back of the warclan, so long as they could keep their own formations intact.

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By now, Concussors had reached the Snaga Rukk and, alongside the surviving Tempestors and Desolators, their hammers made short work of the Boarboy Maniaks, smashing aside Orruk and boar alike.

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Meanwhile, the rest of the Thunder Echelon moved on the Morboys, catching them in a well-timed pincer.

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Under the heavy axes and hammers of the Dracothian Guard, the Morboys had few chances, and the small number of survivors ran as fast as they could to get away from the Dracoths.

Their leaders, led by the Wurrgog Prophet himself, had already seen what was happening and they led the retreat from the battlefield.

The Stormcast Eternals had won the battle, but the Bonesplitterz had inflicted heavy losses, with one Stardrake and almost all of the Lightning Echelon sent back to Azyr.

 

Conclusion

That was a hell of a battle, and not one that the Stormcasts could claim was easy. The Bonesplitterz made serious account of themselves – they not only killed the Stardrake of the Drakesworn Templar, but also reduced the Stardrake of the Lord-Celestant to a single wound (which was why he ran so fast from the lone Weirdnob Maniak. Too much to risk!).

However, the Extremis Chamber continues to prove their worth when unleashed. The Bonesplitterz may have diverted them from their mission, but the Orruks certainly paid the price for that.

 

The Story Continues…

We have introduced the Bonesplitterz to the Mortal Realms, and next time we will be showcasing yet another new force – hold onto your boots, for these guys of Destruction have a much heavier footfall than mere Orruks!