On Friday I managed to get in my 2nd competition game against Paul Baker’s Daemons of Nurgle army with the Herd of Khazbar the Magnificent. After my trouncing by Dan White’s Empire army in the first of my stage 2 games, I knew that I had to get something from this game to be in with a chance of qualifying for the knockouts. No pressure then!
Again i’ll caveat that all mistakes are due to memory (or the fact that I forgot to take any notes on at least 2 of the turns).
We ended up with meeting engagement which is played as per the rulebook but you have to win by 100 victory points to claim the win. I’m not sure i’d ever played this scenario before (or if I had it was way back in the distance past where I don’t remember!) so even though it is one of the least favourite scenario of a lot of players, I was quite looking forward to it as it was something different.
We rolled up 6 pieces of terrain (one short of the maximum) and they were as follows:
Statue – Alter of Khaine (gives frenzy – very top left)
Forest (ended up as a venom thicket – top left)
Hill – Anvil of Vaul (gives flaming and magical attacks – centre)
Hill – Scree Slope (Dangerous Terrain – bottom left)
Forest (top right – no one entered it so we didn’t roll to see what it was)
Hill (normal – bottom right)
I chose stash the cash and Paul chose three and four pence.
Khazbar (Great Bray Shaman – Lvl 4 – Shadow) – Ended up with Melkoths, Enfeebling foe, Pit of Shades and Mindrazor.
Wazzock (Bray Shaman – lvl 2 – Beasts) got Wildform and Curse.
Great Unclean one (lvl 4 – Nurgle) – got Miasma, blades, curse of the leper and Fleshy Abundance.
BSB (lvl 1 – Nurgle) – rolled – Rancid Visitations
Herald (lvl 1 – Nurgle) – rolled – Plague wind
Khazbar was nobodies fool. He would not needlessly expose himself at the outset. This time he would wait, together with the birdwomen, hidden within the trees until he could ascertain the battle plan of the enemy. Let Wazzock take the risks, he was expendable. He was puzzled though. Why had the Nurglings encroached in his domain and where were their leaders?
Turn 1 – Nurgle
Khazbar looked slightly worried as the unit of flying drones disappeared off the field and into the trees not too far to his left. Were they trying to sneak up on his position and ambush him? He summoned the birdwomen closer to him ensuring their silence as a black nimbus surrounded his hand sucking in the light, the shadows growing around them. On the battlefield the sky ripped open and amidst a deep earth shaking roar, a giant bronze skull hurtled down utterly destroying one of the chariots. This was too much for the Gor horde who turned tail and fled, leaving nothing but their spore showing where they were once part of a solid battle-line.
EDIT: If we had read the rules correctly on the night, we would have realised that Paul could not have moved the Plague Drones off the board until turn 2 in order to complete his mission.
Turn 1 – Beastmen
Still glancing over his shoulder in case the drones appeared, Khazbar sent spikes of pain into the minds of Zhuroc and Wazzock, reminding them that they needed to be far more terrified of him than the enemy. With fearful looks to the treeline they whipped the panicking Gor back into a semblance of order and turned to face the rest of their brethren. Determined to impress his master, Wazzock cast Curse of Anraheir at the nearest plaguebearer unit. He shrieked as the miscast ripped all knowledge of spells from his mind, eliciting a shake of the snout in disgust from Khazbar.
Turn 2 – Nurgle
The trees on the far side of the field of battle rippled and then melted into a toxic sludge as a great unclean daemon waddled its way forward flanked by two of its heralds, the closest of which moved straight into the nearest unit. It wasted no time and gently blew in the direction of the Beastmen lines, the breath rapidly growing into a vortex of plague that spluttered to a halt just in front of it’s own unit. It giggled as the other herald and the greater daemon both took wounds from the magical feedback.
Tongue licking the gash that had opened in its flesh, grin becoming wider, the Unclean One followed up by casting Curse of the Leper on the closest Razorgor.
Turn 2 – Beastmen
With the magical battle now swung in favour of the daemons (and having nothing to do with the worry of those damn disappearing drones), Khazbar decided that he best get on the field and moved up flanked by the harpies. He immediately fired off a quick succession of spells at the nearest enemy unit and reeled back wiping the blood from his snout as he promptly forgot half his repertoire.
Turn 3 – Nurgle
The nurgle units moved to form a battle-line with the BSB Herald joined the far left Plaguebearer unit. The Great Unclean One shuffled up to anchor the line and with a deep belly laugh, its hands blurred as it flung numerous rancid visitations at the nearest Razorgor, to no effect.
Turn 3 – Beastmen
With a sudden realisation that he was on his own, Khazbar ran forward to join his unit of bodyguards and ordered the right flank to advance.
Bloodhorn bellowed at the nearest Razorgor who moved up to block the plaguebearer unit as the Doombull lost control and with splittle flying from its maw, flew into the greater daemon, the venom thicket lashing out at him on the way through.
Turn 4 – Nurgle
With a crack of thunder the sky split open and a pestilent rain storm started, sluicing skin and muscle off one of the Razorgors. Four of the Gor in the Horde, broke out in boils and fell to the ground shrieking as they erupted.
Ignoring the its growing instability the great unclean one fired a miasma at the doombull and then taking advantage of its weakened state, smashed it to the ground.
Khazbar grunted as a third unit of plaguebearers appeared from the trees and joined the others. The herd would have to engage them soon before anymore reinforcements appeared.
Turn 4 – Beastmen
At the behest of Khazbar the herd advanced at speed, maintaining a discipline in formation seldom seen amongst his kind. Recognising that the decisive moment of the battle was almost upon them, he cast enfeebling on one of the nurgle units. True to form the backlash and explosion took out 12 beastmen, most of them in his own bodyguard, making a charge through the venom thicket a risky proposition.
Turn 5 – Nurgle
Khazbar looked on in disbelief as the enemy seemed to freeze. The only movement was one unit backing up slightly and the two beasts of Nurgle running behind a forest.
(Edit: Completely forgot to take any notes of this turn so its possible there was some magic and/or damage from the Reign of Chaos but with only 3 dice for Paul I’m not sure anything was actually cast).
Turn 5 – Beastmen
With a loud bray, Khazbar ordered the herd to charge. The Horde and Razorgor smashed into the nearest unit decimating a third of them with almost no loss to the Gor. The ensuing instability further reduced the unit. Khazbar and the Bestigor charged into the greater daemon, losing a three of the unit as the thorns from the thicket delivered their deadly poison. The Daemon launched his assault and Khazbar barely flinched as his protective amulets flared and turned aside the worst of the damage and in return he buried his hatchet in the grinning face. Seconds later it was joined by a dozen great weapons as his bodyguard tore into the pulsating mass of flesh and with a final echoing laugh it vanished back into the Garden of Blight from whence it came.
Turn 6 – Nurgle
The melee between the hordes continued. The plague bearers overcame their initial hesitance and cut down a rank of the gor but it was too little to save them and the remaining few dissipated into the ether. The Razorgor in its excitement continued forward, disappearing into the woods. Its compatriot final succumbed to the gentle administrations of the rancid visitations, its body left bubbling as it rejoined the earth.
Turn 6 – Beastmen
Khazbar hurriedly cast mindrazor on the Gor to his left, before joining his bodyguard and the Gor horde in charging the rear most of the plague units. Although causing a large number of wounds, the bearers remained in the mortal plain at the end of the combat.
The other combat ground to a stalemate but with their numbers dwindling, position worsening and loss of their stabilising influence, the remaining daemons withdrew from the field.
Approximately 1187 vs 558 Victory Points in my favour.
Mark – Win + 6 Turns + 1 Hobby (15+1+1=) 17 pts
Paul – Loss + Mission + 6 Turns + Painted (5+7+1+2=) 15 pts
Oh how things could have gone so very differently. The destruction of the chariot from the reign of chaos roll and the panicking of the horde on the first turn, meant I had to take subsequent panic tests with most of my units. With the BSB routing and my general off the board, they were taken for the most part against leadership 7, so it was pure luck that half my army weren’t running from the get go! To say I was worried was putting it mildly and it really threw me, making me very cautious until I got my general back in the line. This cautiousness meant that I didn’t end up in combat until turn 5 which was almost too late to make an impact.
Once again the Gor horde proved it’s worth in combat and really went to town on the Plaguebearer unit, although this was helped by some exceptionally lucky ‘to hit’ rolls on my behalf (in the first round of combat, after rerolls, I hit with all the 25 attacks I was able to make!). Paul also played that combat very well, backing up his unit so that I was unable to get a flank charge with the ghorgon, effectively taking it out of the game. The break test roll of double ones had us on the edge of the seats for a few minutes whilst we checked the rules to see if the unit had been utterly destroyed or was back to full stength (it was the former).
Thinking that i’d lost the doombull to a dangerous terrain check on the charge, on turn 3, was definitely upsetting/deflating (for some reason Paul didn’t think so 😀) and I definitely went somewhat quiet (apologies to Paul for that) until a check of the rules revealed it was only a wound lost.
My shaman general also rode his luck, not only saving all but one of his ward saves when the Great Unclean One put all its attacks against him but then making all his saves from the plaguebearer unit too! Considering my normal 1D6 rolls are low and 2D6 rolls high (to respectively fail saves and break/panic tests), I nearly fell off my seat in shock. The dice gods must have been smiling on me!
I’m starting to get used to having to roll for a miscast every time I cast a spell (ok, a slight exaggeration as it only occurred in 4 of my 6 turns). It doesn’t seem to matter how many dice I roll. At least this time I had a variety of results rather than the repeated dimensional cascades of the last game (only 12 dead from that result this time!). Miscasts or not, i’m still enjoying having a magic phase though I have to now learn that just because I can cast doesn’t mean I should (if only to limit the miscasts!).
All in all it was a very enjoyable game. More tense than the last one, maybe as more was riding on it. I completely misread how Paul was planning on tackling the game. Castling was not something I expected. It was also one of the quickest games i’ve played, probably as there was no shooting phase and with Paul barely moving and no combat really until turn 5, we flew through the turns. One thing i’ve taken away from this game is not to faff around so much and just get stuck in (if only to avoid the Reign of Chaos).
Competition wise I’m not in a particularly good position. Although I got a win, my failure to achieve my missions in this and the last game has massively put me on the back foot points wise. On a plus note, it does mean that I don’t feel under any pressure for my final game. Of course I will be trying to win it and in the process throw a spanner in the works for Neil but Already I am in the position of having to rely on other results going my way.
My third and final game against Neil’s mixed deity Daemons is penciled in for 13 January. After that I’ll be free to try out some other things which I’ll cover in a later post.