This is the seventh part of my series of posts covering my time playing Warhammer at Cancon 2014. You can find the previous game here.
So I had made it to the third and final day of the tournament. I was just about breaking even on battle points, with 3 wins and 3 losses to this point. Probably not quite where I had hoped to be, but if I could put in a good showing on the final day, I might more or less achieve my original rough goal.
Game 7 – Battle for the Pass
Michael Jackson – Warriors of Chaos
- Chaos Lord of Khorne on foot – I'm afraid I simply can't remember what this guy had. No doubt some form of protection and a strength boosting-weapon
- Festus the Leechlord
- Exalted Hero of Nurgle (BSB). Again, I don't recall what gear he was carrying, although I think he was pretty well protected
- 17 Chaos Warriors of Khorne with full command, halberds, shields, Banner of Swiftness
- 17 Chaos Warriors of Nurgle with full command, shields
- 16 Chaos Warriors of Nurgle with full command, shields
- Gorebeast Chariot of Nurgle
- 8 Chaos Trolls
- Giant with Mark of Nurgle
Well this is something you don't see much nowadays – basically an all-infantry Chaos army based around Chaos Warriors. I confess, it was not surprising to see such a list languishing at my level on the middle tables. It's nice to know some people still field Chaos Warriors in reasonable numbers (50 Chaos Warriors total approximately one zillion points)...
Anyway, I think Michael and I were probably both pretty happy to see each other given the scenario – Battle for the Pass can be annoying when one player wants to sit back and pound the enemy rather than engaging. As it was we had no shooting models between us, so there was most certainly going to be some combat.
|Battle for the Pass deployment.|
|The Empire lines, with a great big, annoying Blood Forest just waiting to cause me headaches...|
|The Chaos lines with many Chaos Warriors and not a lot of faster stuff.|
I deployed with a large Blood Forest in my line, which proved to be a bit of a headache during the game, given my habit of casting bubbled augment spells. I put a unit of Flagellants in there, across from the enemy Trolls who had already deployed. I wanted to keep my Knights and Demigryphs well away from their vomit.
Michael got the first turn and predictably advanced pretty well forward. He didn't even bother trying to cast any spells, as he only had spells that would matter in combat.
|Chaos Turn 1 - general advance.|
|As seen from another angle.|
In my first turn I decided not to charge, given I had marginally more fire-power at range with my magic. I reshuffled my lines to put the buff wagons within range of the Flagellants on my left flank, intending to make sure that they would make short work of the Trolls. I knocked a Troll off with Shem's Burning Gaze, but then failed to get my Banishment through to capitalise on their loss of Regeneration. I cast Speed of Light on the Flagellants to console myself. It was obviously a good roll for the magic phase. The Blood Forest took a whack at the Flagellants for minimal damage, then sauntered along my lines before planting itself right on top of my Inner Circle Knights.
|Empire Turn 1. I buffed the hell out of the Flagellants, then put a massive tape measure in the way of the Trolls, just to make sure they couldn't charge.|
Michael continued to advance along the line, although the Trolls elected not to charge the Flagellants that turn. Presumably I had gotten a little carried away when I had buffed them to the point where they would hit the Trolls on 2+ with re-rolls...
|Chaos Turn 2|
|A bit of a stand-off. The Trolls decided the Flagellants were a little too prepared for their arrival.|
|The lines were closing. It was time to do something.|
In my turn I think I caught him slightly by surprise when the Flagellants ignored the Trolls and wheeled right in front of them, into the flank of the Khornate Warriors led by his Lord. The other Flagellants went into the front, and soon we had all the blood-crazed madmen on the table squished into a single combat. I also agonised for a little while over what to do with my left flank, before electing to send the Demigryphs into the Giant, and the White Wolf Knights into the Gorebeast Chariot. I decided I wanted to keep the cavalry away from the Giant and his ability to roll something disastrous like Jump Up and Down. Even Yell and Bawl would have pinned me in place for a counter from the Chariot. This way I had a couple of more marginal combats, but I figured it was the better choice.
|Doooom! The Khorne Lord and his entourage find themselves swamped by crazed Flagellants.|
|The White Wolves and Demigryphs charge the Gorebeast Chariot and Giant respectively. Neither made spectacular headway.|
|The Blood Forest was on a bit of a rampage, and whacked my units maybe 3 or 4 times during the game. I think it basically ran into that building near the BSB by the end.|
I had another decent magic phase and tried to cast Wyssan's Wildform on the Demigryphs, but Michael decided he liked his Giant alive, and dispelled it. This then left me free to cast Speed of Light on one of the Flagellant units. I may have cast re-rolls to wound from the Arch Lector on both units this turn – I am afraid I can no longer remember. What I do remember was that the Flagellants killed every single one of the Chaos Warriors on the charge. The Chaos Lord was suddenly all alone and rather demoralised, and was run down as he tried to escape.
|The Flagellants run down the Chaos Lord, but fall short of Festus' own unit.|
|Not a bad haul for a single round of combat, eh? Ah well, they're only Chaos Warriors. Not like they're actually good fighters or anything...|
The Demigryphs and White Wolves had a much harder time of it, although I think they both won combat. The Gorebeast Chariot proved much too hard a target for the White Wolves, and despite various efforts to improve their combat effectiveness with magic, I couldn't convince them to actually land a wound. I eventually broke the thing after about half a dozen rounds of combat when I was down to 3 Knights, but then failed to catch it and it rallied. It lived through the game. How annoying. The Giant was less resilient, and keeled over after maybe 3 or 4 rounds of combat against the Demigryphs. I did lose one in return, but that was acceptable.
With the Khorne Warriors out of the way, Festus led his unit of Nurgle Warriors into one of my Flagellant units and ground it down over a couple of rounds of combat. He gave his unit Blades of Putrefaction, but that was neither here nor there. I stopped the boosted regeneration, at least.
|The Flagellants are somewhat dented by the time Festus and his friends have attacked.|
|Chaos Turn 3.|
I made a miscalculation in the next turn, and moved my Wizard Lord up next to Festus' unit in order to get out of sight of the other Warrior unit whilst still being within bubble range of Speed of Light. This was good in theory, however the last Flagellant died at the wrong time and Festus and his mates found more room to reform than I had anticipated. Basically they reformed after combat and were 1 inch away from me. I fled the charge, but didn't roll high enough to escape. Oh well, that was my fault. It was silly.
|My Wizard Lord thought she was being very clever hiding in the blind spot there. Pity about the whole combat reform thing when the Flagellants died.|
With the general's leadership gone, the Trolls were basically out of the game. They came close to passing one of their stupidity tests, but ultimately they were just shambling along waiting for something to happen. What eventually happened was the Inner Circle Knights decided to charge them in the flank, and the Arch Lector close behind them gave them flaming attacks. The Trolls got done and were destroyed.
|Empire Turn 4.|
|The Trolls are picked off easily in their stupid state.|
|Festus and friends are assaulted from multiple directions.|
The flaming attacks also coincided with the rest of my army catching up with Festus' unit. They had reformed after catching the Wizard Lord, but were more or less surrounded. I hit them in the rear with the Flagellants and in the front with the Demigryphs who had just finished off the Giant (they had to reform 2 wide after the combat in order to ensure they could make this charge). Those flaming attacks had reached the Flagellants, as had the Hatred from the War Altar and the Hurricanum's bonus to hit. Once again the Warriors found themselves on the wrong end of a thrashing. They killed a few Flagellants, but not enough to prevent themselves being butchered, with only Festus and the BSB testing to hold their position, needing a double 1. They failed and died, and my lines reformed to face the few Chaos survivors (by this point the rallied Gorebeast Chariot and a unit of Nurgle Warriors).
|What happened to our underlings?|
|I think it was at this point that the Gorebeast Chariot finally fluffed its attacks and fled|
|The table late in the game. The Nurgle Warriors have failed a charge at this point, having scared off my War Altar.|
|He nearly went clean off the table, thanks to a boost from the building. Thankfully he rallied.|
The game ended in slightly farcical fashion, with me losing track of who went first, and thinking Michael had another turn to mop me up when I failed to charge the Gorebeast Chariot with my Demigryphs. The farce was completed when the Flagellants failed to rear-charge the remaining Warriors, leaving the Inner Circle Knights and Hurricanum to do it alone. This meant the Warriors were steadfast. They decided to fail anyway, and spoon-fed me a few more victory points at the end.
|My units line up their final charge, which went unexpectedly well after the Flagellants goofed up.|
It had been a pretty serious thumping, as my various augments and buff wagons had seen my troops outclass the Warriors, leaving Michael with little to work with.
So, I was now sitting on 4 wins from 7 games, and more than breaking even. All I needed was a strong last game and my army would have done pretty well for itself.