We agreed to follow all the variables of the comp rules, so the first thing to roll was the scenario:
We rolled – Take and Hold. This is played as per Battle of the Pass (so lengthways on the table) but differed in so far as, victory goes to the general with the most UNIT Fortitude in his opponent’s half at the end of the game. It turns out that neither of us paid attention to what we rolled and paid no attention to the victory conditions…
We then had to select our secret mission:
I chose: Hero Hammered – to kill the most amount of NME heroes.
Neil chose: Stash the Cash – to capture and hold a piece of scenery in the opposing NME’s table half.
We rolled 4 pieces:
Anvil of Vaul Hill (units within 6″ have flaming and magical attacks) – placed on the south of the map
Scree Slope (Dangerous terrain) (placed on the north of the map)
Building with 3 pieces of wall (counting as hard cover) – NOTE: we messed up and forgot to place the walls.
Neil won the roll to deploy the first bit of scenery and the hills went in the deployment zones and the building and forest in the centre. Neil eventually won the roll to see who deployed first (after we made the same dice roll five times on a row!)
I failed to make extensive notes so any errors are due to my memory and the pictures were taken on a camera phone (and rushed), so excuse the quality.
Barlin looked around from his position in the Silvergate Guard, satisfied that the deployment had gone to plan. Immediately to his right Drugin commanded the old grumblers with a unit of quarrellers to his right. Burrnoth had set up his war machines on the hill behind the line with a commanding view of the battlefield. The slayers had been placed on the right flank where they could surge forward and cleanse their shame without jeopardising the line. The left flank would be held by the Harek and his guard of irondrakes, backed up by a second unit of quarrellers.
The final units moved into position just as the daemonic hordes appeared
The organ gun was entrenched, hence the walls round it in the below photo.
The chaos horde stormed forwards with 2 loose formations of winged monstrosities screening the centre troops. Barlin and Harek exchanged a look as they felt an enormous surge of the winds of magic and mentally braced themselves for the inevitable onslaught.
Barlin felt a ripple in the winds and a shadowy pit started to appear under the organ gun. He focused his thoughts, straining and the pit faded away. At the same time Harek was forced to dispel a miasma that was convalescing over the unit of quarrellers. Both of them had broken into heavy sweat and realised that they were facing not just a formidable caster but a greater daemon. They were both taken aback and recovering from the initial wave of magic, when the second wave struck and and were unable to prevent this from impacting. The Silvergate Guard felt their strength ebb away whist the grumblers had a malaise settle on their minds.
The daemonic engine then fired at the organ gun but it fell short, ploughing through the Silvergate guard.
The dwarf return fire was less than spectacular. The cannon struck the daemonic engine and the crews satisfied grunts were cut short as the shot bounced harmlessly off. Both quarreller units unloaded into the advancing furies and cries of dismay were heard as every bolt missed. Burrnoth leant his expertise to the Organ cannon yet a damp fuse meant it only spluttered out a pitiful few shots that failed to make an impact. He frowned and started to inspect the machine to ensure greater performance when next it fired. Barlin concentrated and was able to remove the Hex on his unit and then ordered the gyro to reposition closer to the warmachines.
One of the units of furies launched into the sky dropped down to attack the cannon and tore through two of the crew. The other unit tried to follow suit but got tangled up together falling in a heap a few feet on from where they started. The rest of the daemons slowed their approach and one of the khornites mounted on a juggernaut peeled off to join his compatriot in the centre of the lines. Harek felt the greater daemon try to cast the pit of shadows again and invoked the runes struck on his staff, wiping the spell from its alien mind. He nodded in satisfaction and he felt Barlin dispel another attack. There would be no more magic cast for the minute. His satisfaction was short lived as the reign of chaos struck, smashing into the unit of quarrellers to his right.
The gyrocoptor charged into the flank of the furies in an attempt to save the cannon. Although killing one, his efforts were futile as they ripped the final crewmen apart and turned their attention to him. The slayers could contain themselves no longer and moved towards the bloodcrusher unit advancing on their flank. Harek ordered his unit of irondrakes forward and they proceeded to fire at the beast hiding under the eaves of the house, cutting it down, their flaming shots ensuring that it would not be regenerating at any point in the future. Burrnoth ordered the organ gun to fire at one of the juggernauts and the hail of shot ripped it apart. The unit of quarrellers on the right flank fired on the other Herald and it screamed in rage as several bolts tore into its flesh.
The daemon horde continued forward, the second unit of furies made it off the ground without mishap and swooped down to attack , their claws piercing one of the organ gun crew. The bloodcrushers charged into the slayers the juggernauts tossing bodies into the air and trampling a rank and a half in a few seconds. Not to be outdone, the slayers struck back with glee hacking 2 of the beasts and riders apart. The Herald in the centre tried to emulate those of the unit he had started the battle with, charging towards the quarrellers but misjudged the distance and left himself dangerously in the open. The Keeper was distracted by the horrors moving into the house and lost its grip on the winds of magic. The horrors nearby started to jibber frantically and a flaming gateway materialise in front of them. Barlin took no chances with whatever nightmare might have sprung forth from such a portal and slammed his staff on the ground wrenching the spell from their minds and scattering it to the ether.
Burrnoth couldn’t take the potential loss of another of his beloved machines and piled into the furies, pistols blazing as he blasted several of daemons from their feet. He was too late as the remainder slew another of the crew. The right flank quarrellers peppered the remaining herald with bolts and there were a few smiles as it faded out of existence. The drakes fired at the beast to their right causing several wounds. The slayers and the bloodcrusher continued to hack at each other. The reign of chaos claimed a few of the shieldbeards but they shook their heads muttering about how this wasn’t as powerful as it had been back in the day, when whole units would have been wiped out.
Barlin could only watch as the skullcannon charged into the quarrellers, smashing the unit apart, Drugin could be heard yelling at them to hold and that and the looks from the longbeards ensured they stayed where they were. On the other flank the Bloodcrushers charged the irondrakes. Carnage ensued as nearly half the drakes were cut down but inspired by Harek they struck back incinerating 3 of the 4 riders. The furies finished off the cannon crew and Burrnoth struck back in revenge nailing one with a headshot. The slayers finished off the remaining Bloodcrusher grumbling over the lucky ones that had met their end. Noticing the devastation that the daemonic engine had caused to the quarrellers, they turned to face it, hopeful that it might provide more of a challenge.
Burrnoth continued to shoot dead furies as they clawed ineffectively at his armour. The slayers charged into the daemon cannon eager to get to grips with a new foe just as it finished off the last of the quarrellers. The other quarreller unit fired everything into the remaining beast, the magical/flaming shots causing it to dissolve and sink into the ground it’s life force expended. The irondrakes finished off the final crusher with ease and reformed to face the Keeper who suddenly looked very worried. Durgin had been watching the advancement of one of the units of horrors and order his unit to charge into them. Barlin taking this as his cue advanced with the hammerers.
The Keeper of secrets shot past Harek and slammed into the quarrellers making short work of the doughty dwarfs. Drugin and the longbeards tore through the unit of horrors and single solitary daemon was left remaining. Seeing that, the remaining horrors backed off as quickly as possible. The slayers finished off the daemonic engine and turned to help the beleaguered Gyro in the centre.
Drugin dispatched the remaining horror and ordered his unit to reform towards the next unit in sight. Barlin ordered the charge against the horrors hidden building but the heavy armour of the Silvergate guard prevented them reaching their target. Harek ordered his unit to turn and face the Keeper of Secrets, firing on the turn and causing it to flinch as burns appeared on its back
The 2 visible units of horrors continued to retreat out of the dwarves reach and the keeper ran away from the irondrakes it’s speed catching them by surprise as it outdistanced their weapons. Burrnoth finally finished off the last of the furies and the other mob of furies sacrificed one of their number in order to bring down the gyrocoptor that had frustrated them.
Barlin ordered the charge and the hammerers assaulted the building but despite inflicting several casualties their attack was repelled. Burrnoth glanced over his shoulder and decided that he would be better off heading away from the keeper. Not that he was scared mind. The slayers then charged in and finished off the last of the furies. At this both sides recognising an unspoken truce withdrew from the field of battle.
Well after chatting, Neil and I both realised that we had completely misread the scenario objectives. Both of us would have deployed completely differently had we clicked on (and Neil definitely would not have retreated his Pink Horror units. As it stood we both agreed it was a draw. We had both obtained our secret objectives and I had the edge in victory points.
Shooting was woeful for the dwarves. It may have made more of an impact if I had positioned my units to prevent the furies charging. After the cannon was charged I should have backed up the hammerers to prevent the 2nd unit of furies having the space to get in. This would have given me another round of organ gun potential carnage.
The slayers performed exceptionally well. I forgot how good they can be. It helped that there was no shooting on the other side as they are often a priority for that. I had a large stroke of luck in both spell eaters destroying their targets (Pit of Shades and Infernal gateway). After that, the magic phase was somewhat ineffective.
The Irondrakes were a solid anvil and managed to dish out a massive amount of damage in one round. The Hammers did nothing all game bar anchor the line. This is something I should probably be aware of. Most opponents know how damaging they can be and will avoid them so I probably need to be more proactive in getting both them and the slayers into combat. I can then use the quarrellers as flank chargers, rather than them receiving the charge, although with Groth, they will hold their ground (unless they are wiped out in one go…)
It was a good game against a great opponent and I learnt a lot about my tournament list and some of its strengths and weaknesses. It is doubtful i’ll get another practice game before the group stages start.