Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Project: Kislev II

So, just in case you thought I had forgotten my mad ambitions to recreate the Battle at the Gates of Kislev, I figured I would show how preparations are going. It's still early days, but that doesn't mean we've been sitting idle...

In case you missed the link in my last post, Owen from Terrain for Hippos has been working on converting a couple of units of Kislevites for me, from (of all things) Bretonnian Men-at-Arms and Bowmen. The first picture below is of the prototypes, instructions for which you can see here. The rest are images he shot me over email, along with the blurb below them...
The first completed Kislevites, converted from Bretonnian peasants.
The full project, in various stages of completion.
The fully converted regiment.
The work in progress regiment, including some brutal lobotomies...
(From  Owen's email):
I have arrayed the Kislevites in two units; one featuring the first command group and all the green-stuffed troops, the other featuring the second command group and non green-stuffed troops. The concept model also makes an appearance, as do the untouched bodies.
You will note that I've managed to get a single pose old school bowman to hold an axe (two of them actually!) but it only works on one body. I've also given a guy a complete fur cloak rather than just lining. He's not very visible here. There are a few Bret shields which have proved impossible to remove, but they're on command group models, so I'm sure you can just make them part of their finery. Also found out that bowmen have plenty of shields on them, and men at arms have none, apart from the command sprue figures!
As you can see, they're coming along nicely. Much (if not all) of this has been done in the last few days, and he'd probably be close to done if it hadn't run out of crucial components (I shall rectify this on the weekend). Once completed, these guys will be manning the walls of Kislev alongside their Dwarf allies, preparing to sally forth when the cavalry arrives.

I have also been working, although my focus has been slightly tempered by my involvement in Axemaster in just over a week. I need 14 knights and a hero painted by then, and the guys below will cover that. They've got paint on their bases and their steel is done, so they're well on their way...
18 Knights Snow Leopard, along with the Grand Master who will be the Captain in their midst at Axemaster.
Another shot of the Grand Master. I put him on a rock to help him stand out a little from his comrades.
Once these guys are done, I will probably make a point of going back and adding cloaks to/painting the other 21 of them. Then I can get back to my Ogres. After all, I am going to want some Kislevite Ogres to pad out those Kossars...

Below we have the current proposed table layout for the game itself, as well as some of the game details. Obviously it's all in the planning stage right now. Click on the map for a larger version you can actually read.
The Battlefield
The Battle at the Gates of Kislev takes place on a cross-shaped table. The centre of the cross is a 6x4 foot table, with the long edges facing North and South. Each side of the cross is then extended by 2 feet, giving you a table 10 feet wide (East-West) and 8 feet long (North-South), with the corners missing.

A castle wall (representing the wall of the city of Kislev) is placed on the North arm of the table, with the front of the wall 12” from the join with the centre of the cross. A gatehouse (preferably a large, impressive one) should be placed as close to the centre of the wall as possible.

The battlefield is fought out on a plain in front of the city gates. The only hill on the battlefield is the Hill of Heroes, placed on the South arm of the table. The hill should not be so large that it enters the centre of the cross. You may place some forests if you wish, most likely in the corners of the East, West and South arms of the table.

Deployment is as follows:
1. The Kislev Defenders are deployed on and behind the walls of the city, on the North arm of the table.
2. The Chaos armies are deployed anywhere on the centre of the cross, at least 12” from each of the enemy deployment zones as shown in the diagram below.
3. The Empire Infantry and Dwarfs are deployed on the South and West arms of the cross respectively, at least 12” away from the Chaos deployment zone.

Note that the Empire Cavalry do not begin the battle on the table.

First Turn
The Forces of Good have the first turn.

And finally, we have a number of the personalities involved in the battle. Note that these are all rules I have made up. The points values will be irrelevant (they're mainly for my reference to ensure some level of balance), and these characters are not meant to be balanced for general play. Some are based on existing special characters. Others are completely made up...

Magnus the Pious (600pts)

                  M WS BS S T W I A LD Type
Magnus    4    5    5   4  4 3 4 3  10   In
At the Battle at the Gates of Kislev, Magnus fights on foot. He carries the Sword of Magnus and wears the Armour of the Pureheart. He must be the army general.

Sword of Magnus
Despite being a family heirloom of fine craftsmanship, the sword wielded by Magnus during the Battle at the Gates of Kislev possessed no magical properties. However, there are countless witness reports from the battle of the blade glowing with an eerie light, and Magnus’s blows being struck with a level of skill and ferocity as though Sigmar himself were guiding his hand.

The Sword of Magnus grants Magnus +2 Strength in combat. In addition, he may reroll all failed To-Hit rolls.

Armour of the Pureheart
This gleaming suit of plate mail was present to Magnus by Ar-Ulric Kriestov after he passed unscathed through the Sacred Flame of Ulric, thus proving the purity of his heart and the nobility of his cause.

The Armour of the Pureheart grants Magnus a 1+ armour save that cannot be improved by any means.
“My god is always with me…”
Magnus’ unshakable faith in Sigmar sustained and protected him in a way no mere enchanted talisman or blessed relic ever could. It was as though Sigmar himself watched over Magnus and ensured his chosen vessel would come to no harm.

Magnus and any unit he leads are Immune to Psychology.
In addition, when Magnus loses his last wound (or is killed outright), he must take a Leadership test. If he passes, he is immediately returned to 1 wound and continues fighting as normal. A wound restored in this manner does not count towards combat resolution – it is as though Magnus had passed a saving throw and the wound was ignored.

Note that Magnus may always take this save, even against effects that would normally remove him outright (except being caught by pursuing enemy). However, the ability does not stop the effects from impacting any other models – it only preserves Magnus himself.

Leader of Men
Magnus is generally held to have been the most charismatic leader the Empire has ever seen. With his personality and oration alone, he unified an Empire that had been divided and bickering for a hundred years.

Magnus the Pious must be the army general. In addition, his Inspiring Presence range is increased to 18” instead of the normal 12”.

The Great Orator
Magnus’ imposing presence and inspiring oration unified a divided Empire and led them to victory in the largest battle the Old World had ever seen. Around him, his troops fought with great courage and tenacity, inspired to ever greater feats by his words and his example.

At the start of each friendly turn, Magnus may choose one of the following effects:
      Hammer of Judgement – All friendly units within Magnus’ Inspiring Presence range may reroll failed To-Hit rolls until the start of the next friendly turn.
      Hold the Line! - All friendly units within Magnus’ Inspiring Presence range become Steadfast until the start of the next friendly turn.
      Sigmar Protects - All friendly units within Magnus’ Inspiring Presence range gain a 5+ Ward Save until the start of the next friendly turn.

Asavar Kul the Anointed, Everchosen of Chaos (685pts)
                      M WS BS  S  T  W  I   A  LD Type
Asavar Kul   4   9     5    6   5  4   7  5   10    In
Some reported seeing Asavar Kul ride to battle in a monstrous chariot drawn by daemonic steeds, however when he faced Magnus in the field, he fought on foot. He wears the Armour of Infernal Torment and the Pendant of Eternal Damnation, and carries the Slayer of Kings. Asavar Kul must be the army general.

Special Rules
Will of Chaos, Eye of the Gods

Armour of Infernal Torment
Asavar Kul is clad from head to toe in a suit of blackened armour that glows red from the searing heat within. Flames dance across his shoulders and the air around him shimmers in the haze. To even approach this armour is to risk blistered skin from the scorching heat. The pain for the wearer must be indescribable. 

The Armour of Infernal Torment grants Asavar Kul a 1+ armour save. Attacks made against him in close combat are at -1 to hit. In addition, any failed armour saves in close combat will result in the attacker taking a Strength 4 hit, as the heat lances out from the rent in the armour to scorch its assailant.

Slayer of Kings
The Slayer of Kings is the Sword of the Everchosen, borne into battle countless times in the hands of a select few. Inside the colossal blade struggles the enraged soul of the daemon U’zhul, trapped for an eternity within the sword by Vangael, the second Everchosen.

The Slayer of Kings ignores armour saves. In addition, in any close combat phase the bearer may unleash the power of U’zhul. This doubles his attacks (to a maximum of 10), however any rolls to hit of a 1 instead hit a friendly model in base contact, or the bearer himself (bearer’s choice). Once unleashed, these effects remain in play for the remainder of the game.

Pendant of Eternal Damnation
A slender jewel of Elven origin, this pendant has long since been corrupted by the dark powers to protect their favoured servants. 

This pendant grants Asavar Kul a 4+ ward save. Note that this will combine with the effects of the Mark of Tzeentch to become a 3+ ward save in total.

Mark of the Chosen One
As the Everchosen, Asavar Kul enjoys the favour of all four of the Chaos powers. Their watchful gaze lingers upon him, granting him protection and power in equal measure.

Asavar Kul bears the favour of all four Chaos Gods. These differ from the regular Marks and act as follows:

Mark of Khorne – The model gains +1 Strength (already reflected in his profile)
Mark of Nurgle – The model gains +1 Wound (already reflected in his profile)
Mark of Slaanesh – The model is immune to Fear, Terror and Panic checks, as is any unit he leads
Mark of Tzeentch – The model gains a 6+ ward save, which may be added to any existing ward saves

A Beast in Human Form
No mortal can enjoy the favour of the Chaos Gods for long without undergoing changes. As the Everchosen, Asavar Kul barely resembles the man he once was. A towering form of muscle and menace, he is an imposing physical presence that looms over those who follow him and commands obedience.

Asavar Kul causes Terror. In addition, his Inspiring Presence range is increased to 18” instead of the normal 12”.

Engra Deathsword (350pts)
                                   M  WS  BS  S  T  W  I  A  LD  Type
Engra Deathsword   4    8      3    5   5  3  7  5    9     In
Engra Deathsword is Kul’s trusted lieutenant, who oversaw the siege of Praag and its subsequent defilement. Like his master, he fights on foot. He is armed with the Blades of Slaughter Unmatched and wears the Armour of Endless Midnight.

Special Rules
Will of Chaos, Eye of the Gods

Violator of Praag
Engra Deathsword was responsible for the abomination that became of the city of Praag in the days before the final battle in the Great War Against Chaos. His place in history is assured, and his name will ever be a curse upon the tongues of the sons and daughters of Kislev.

Engra’s reputation precedes him. As such, he causes Fear. However, his deeds of infamy will not go unpunished. All units and characters from the Kislev Allied Contingent gain Hatred and are at +1 Strength when striking blows against him in close combat, such is their desire for vengeance.

Armour of Endless Midnight
The colour of this armour is a reflection of the soul within, for it is granted only to those who are utterly dedicated to the destruction of the realm of mortals and end of all hope.

The Armour of Endless Midnight grants the wearer a 2+ save that cannot be improved by any means. In addition, the bearer may reroll failed armour saves.

Blades of Slaughter Unmatched
This seemingly strange pairing of sword and axe seem to shake with a life of their own. In battle, they move faster than the eye can follow, unerringly finding the vulnerably points in their targets’ armour.

The Blades of Slaughter Unmatched require two hands. They grant the bearer +2 attacks. In addition, targets must reroll successful armour saves against wounds from these wicked weapons.

High King Alriksson, Lord of Karaz-a-Karak (750pts)
The battle gear of the Dwarf High Kings has remained unchanged for generations, save for the eccentricities of the current King, Thorgrim Grudgebearer, so named for his personal obsession with expunging every grudge written in the Great Book of Grudges. Traditionally, the Great Book has not been borne into battle, but has remained safely within the walls of Everpeak.

High King Alriksson uses all the rules for Thorgrim Grudgebearer as presented in the Dwarf army book, with the sole exception that Alriksson does not carry the Great Book of Grudges into battle.

Ar-Ulric Kriestov (300pts)
                     M  WS  BS  S  T  W  I   A  LD  Type
Kriestov       4    5      3    4   4  3   5  4   9      In
Warhorse    8    3      0    3   3  1   3  1   5     WB
Ar-Ulric Kriestov was in command of the cavalry army that rode north to relieve Praag, only to arrive too late. Turning toward Kislev, the army fell upon the unprepared rearguard of the Chaos hordes before arriving in the flank of the main force at the gates of Kislev. He rode to battle on a barded warhorse, wearing the Wolfplate Armour and wielding the Hammer-axe of Skoll – the emblems of his position as the head of the Cult of Ulric.

Special Rules
Favour of the Winter Wolf
Much as the Grand Theogonist is the head of the Cult of Sigmar, the Ar-Ulric is the supreme representative of Ulric, the God of battles, wolves and winter. The bearer of this title enjoys considerable powers for use in the service of his god.

Ar-Ulric uses the same special rules as an Arch Lector of Sigmar (refer to the Empire army book for more details). 

Wolfplate Armour
The Wolfplate armour confers a 4+ Armour Save (giving Kriestov a 2+ Armour Save when combined with a barded steed), a 5+ Ward Save and Magic Resistance (1).
In addition, Ar-Ulric and any unit he accompanies receive a 2+ Ward Save against Flaming Attacks.

Hammer-axe of Skoll
The Hammer-axe adds +2 to the bearer’s Strength. In addition, on any turn the bearer charges, the Hammer-axe adds D3 to his attacks.

Tzar Alexis Vassilivich (375pts)
(Note that these rules have been lifted directly from Boris Ursus from the Kislev army book, with a couple of adjustments)
                      M  WS  BS  S  T  W  I  A  LD  Type
Tzar Alexis   4    5      3    5  4   3  3  4  10     In
Warbear       6    4      0    6  5   3  4  4   7     MB
Tsar Alexis led the army of Kislev into battle alongside the Elector Count of Ostland, before the Chaos hordes reached Praag. The allied forces were outmatched and slaughtered, and Alexis was forced to retreat to Kislev with the tattered remnants of his army. There he led the defence of the city and bought time for Kislev’s allies to come to her aid. 

Tsar Alexis carries the Shard Blade and is protected by the Armour of Ursun and a shield. He is mounted on a mighty Warbear.

Special Rules

Armour of Ursun
The Armour of Ursun counts as full plate (4+ Armour Save, which combines with a shield and the Winter Coat of the Warbear for a 1+ total Armour Save). In addition, for each hit caused by his enemies in close combat, the Tzar may make an additional attack back after his enemies’ attacks have been resolved (and assuming he’s still alive!). He may make these bonus attacks even if he has already attacked that phase.

Shard Blade
When using the Shard Blade, Alexis adds +2 to his Strength. In addition, any models who suffer an unsaved wound must take an immediate Toughness test. If this test is failed, they suffer an additional wound, with no Armour or Ward save possible.

Winter Coat
A Warbear is swathed in thick laters of winter fat and muscle, that protect him from the worst excesses of Kislev’s harsh weather and the blows of his enemies. As a result, he adds +2 Armour Save to his rider, instead of the usual +1 for being mounted.

Thunder of Ursun
A Warbear and his rider cause Fear.

Fury of Ursun
Such is the ferocity of the Warbear that he and his rider must always pursue when enemies break from combat. 

There were a lot more heroic characters involved in the Battle at the Gates of Kislev, several of which already have rules. I just thought I'd show what I have thus far. Each of the characters above will most likely be generals of one of the armies involved in the battle, so they will represent the players themselves. These characters (and a few more besides) will be the things that really shape the game and give it the story I want.

Till next time...

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