Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Battle of Heffengen - Part 5

This post is part 5 of the report on the Battle of Heffengen. You can read part 4 here.

Apologies if the photos are starting to get worse. As evening fell and the light deteriorated a bit, it got harder to take decent shots without a flash.

Chaos Turn 5
Chaos Turn 5. The comet finally arrives!

After the brief change in momentum that had accompanied the appearance of the undead hiding in the river, the Empire army was once again on the back foot. 

The counter-attack launched by the Empire on the western flank was short-lived. The griffon, pegasus and hurricanum that had burst through and disposed of the Chaos knights of Nurgle were now charged by knights of Slaanesh, marauder horsemen and a chariot respectively. The captain on pegasus who had rallied nearby was also charged by skullcrushers. The vargheists and black coach (which was caught up in a sudden frenzy) also made to charge, but found their targets to be just out of range.
The Slaanesh knights led by the sorcerer lord charge the griffon as the Chaos second wave hits home.
With all this aggression, it was somewhat surprising that not a blow was struck in anger. As the charging Chaos units bore down on their prey, the sorcerer of Slaanesh gathered his powers and unleashed an irresistible Cacophonic Choir. All around him, enemies screeched in pain as their minds were torn asunder by a terrible assault on their senses. Both pegasus fell dead, as did their riders. The crew and horses of the hurricanum collapsed as one, leaving the machine defenceless as the Chaos chariot bore down upon it. The griffon tore itself to pieces in a mad fit of agony, and the rider survived but a moment longer as the backlash from the sorcerer’s loss of control blasted him from his feet. Seven of the knights fighting to protect Mecke’s fallen form perished, and even the halberdiers trying to fend off the invincible chimera lost a couple of their number to the terrible spell.
There were Empire units engaging the Slaanesh knights, marauder horsemen, chariot and skullcrushers before that spell. Stupid "choir bomb".
A gorebeast chariot is in amongst the Empire missile troops.
Another of the volley guns on the Empire flank fell to a charging chariot, which rolled on up the hill towards the waiting lines of handgunners. The minotaurs hacked most of the remaining swordsmen to pieces and chased off the few survivors, with their pursuit bringing them into the flank of the halberdiers. Having fought stalwartly against the chimera, the arrival of these gore-covered monstrosities was more than their depleted formation could take and they died to a man before they could even consider retreating.
The minotaurs deal with the remaining swordsmen, then help the chimera dispose of the halberdiers. By that point, each minotaur was good for 9 attacks with a great weapon. Will it blend?
Akkorak should probably have dealt with the Empire knights by now, but he was playing with his food and/or rolling pretty badly.
With the fall of their general, the resolve of the huge regiment of knights was faltering. Akkorak the Crow continued to wade into their midst with his sorcerous blade howling for the blood of heroes. His demoralising presence was causing havoc to the normally disciplined formation of the Empire knights, and those that tried to move away left themselves open to attack from other quarters as their Chaos rivals took advantage of the distraction. The line would surely have collapsed entirely were it not for the presence of the order’s grand master, who bellowed for his men to hold and led by example as he shouldered his way through to accept the challenge of the champion of the enemy knights. The exchange was brief and brutal, and ended with the Empire hero holding aloft the severed head of his challenger. This display of courage was just enough to help those around him regather their composure, and the struggle continued.
Before combat...
...After combat. Note that the Empire knights have lost steadfast. Fortunately the BSB is still in the unit, and they managed to pass on Ld 4.
Poor Reiksguard. Not really the combat they would have chosen.
Having weathered the charges of several Chaos chariots earlier, the Reiksguard were now in a position to push back, using their superior numbers and the strength of their formation against the enemy. Two of the chariots wheeled about and fled, however two more remained to keep the elite Empire knights in place and prevent any potential pursuit.

The marauders that had so easily broken the morale of the greatsword regiment spied a new target, and charged into combat against a large formation of halberdiers. Flails struck down numerous Empire soldiers, however they held the line and fought back bravely with their warrior priest shouting random Sigmar-inspired poetry that was no doubt intended to inspire.
The marauders did well against the greatswords, but get bogged fighting the halberdiers.
The deadlocks in the centre of the field continued, however the Teutogen guard were finally completely overwhelmed by the combined efforts of the plaguebearers and bestigor. A chimera launched itself toward the shattered remnants of the White Wolf knights, however they turned and fled rather than facing the beast alone. Seeing this and determined not to let them escape, one of the skullcannons fired at them, knocking one from the saddle with an accurate shot.
The Teutogen guard are wiped out, leaving the plaguebearers open for a charge in the flank. Nick decides against this, figuring there is no way he can work his way through so tough a daemon unit in the time remaining. How dull (regardless of whether he was likely correct).
The other crew of the other skullcannon saw the flock of over-sized birdies flapping about in a tizz on the hill and decided to take aim at Deathclaw in an effort to finish what it had started with its previous shot. The shot was on target, but remarkably the wounded griffon shrugged off the cannonball with no apparent ill effects. This apparently upset the coven of Chaos sorcerers, who set about trying to roast him with magic. Blue Fire of Tzeentch was dispelled, but a Bolt of Change struck and further wounded the already crippled beast, leaving it clinging to life by a thread, although the strange after-effects of the spell seemed to alleviate the pain somewhat.

Toward the east of the field, the bloodletters continued to batter at the steam tank, swarming all over it looking for any potential weaknesses. The other steam tank was struck by a hellcannon shot and it split apart under the force of the impact, leaving nothing but a steaming pile of scrap. The demigryphs had rallied nearby, but the pursuing Chaos warriors were not about to give up and charged them again immediately. Unfortunately without the chimera to assist them, they found their prey a far more dangerous prospect. Clearly upset at the fright the previous bout had caused them, the monstrous mounts tore savagely into the Chaos warriors with such ferocity that their charge collapsed into a disorganised rout and they were completely obliterated.
The warriors want another crack at the rallied wolfygryphs.
Well that was a mistake. We should have brought the chimera with us (actually, they did try. The chimera failed a redirect test on its miserable Ld after making the White Wolf knights flee).
In the heart of the eastern flank, Vardek Crom was in the process of leading his chosen warriors in the disposal of the remaining flagellants that had attacked them when the inevitable finally occurred. With a deafening roar and blinding light, the Comet of Cassandora that had been on its way for so long suddenly tore through the shroud of the clouds above and plummeted into the midst of the combat. A searing shockwave blasted out from the impact, knocking hundreds of warriors from their feet and shaking the ground for many miles around. The remaining flagellants knew a moment of ecstatic triumph before they were vaporised by the energies unleashed. Almost a score of the Nurgle chosen were also slain, as their tough Chaos armour provided no protection whatsoever from the crushing force of the blast.
The comet finally comes down, and only hits 2 units (most were smart enough to have moved away by now). The flagellants are wiped out by 21 strength 18 hits (or at least it would have been strength 18 if that was a thing), and were apparently flung clear of the combat as they died. 19 chosen died as their unit copped 25 hits.
By the time Crom and his few surviving warriors recovered, they found themselves in a smoking crater surrounded by scorched human remains, their own once-glorious putrid banner proclaiming the wonders of Nurgle having been reduced to a ragged scrap of smouldering cloth.

The daemon prince that had been delaying the mournfangs and flagellants was finally brought down by their combined efforts. A regiment of skeletons had been emerging from the river and was immediately set upon by the Slaanesh warriors and varghulf that had just finished disposing of the last of the grave guard and wraiths. The front ranks of the undead were smashed in a shower of splintered bone, but there were plenty more of them continuing to appear from under the water - enough to keep their assailants busy. The lone varghulf continued to defy the mob of ghouls attempting to drag it down, thrashing its muscled body around to crush those that scrambled up and tried to find purchase upon its back.
Walach and the chosen press on, determined to finish what they started with Vlad (who is on the corner of the unit, just out of picture. Lurking.)
Walach Harkon and the chosen of Tzeentch that had helped him dispose of Vlad’s previous entourage set their sights on the ghoul mob in which he had reappeared, and threw themselves into its flank, though they were soon bogged by the sheer teeming mass of the undead savages. It would take time to work their way through to the vampire lurking in their midst.
The skullcrushers return to the field on the western flank.

Empire Turn 5
Empire Turn 5
Having been beset by issues and an inability to maneuver properly when parked so close together, the steam tanks on the western flank finally rumbled to life and moved to take part in the battle once more. One set its course for the skullcrushers who had reappeared on the flank after pursuing the enemy from the field, however it could not get up enough momentum to reach its target. The other turned hard on the spot and slammed into the side of the gorebeast chariot that had been threatening to cause chaos in the midst of the Empire missile troops on the hill. The two vehicles collided with a loud crunch and the shriek of tearing metal, however a gorebeast is made of stern stuff and was able to hold the crippled chariot upright even under this sort of terrible punishment. The crew had had enough, however. They altered their course and drove out from under the prow of the tank, fleeing toward the waiting line of artillery on the lower ground at the Empire rear.
The steam tank falls a few inches short of a glorious charge.
Moving the other tank allowed this one to spin and charge the chariot.
It escaped on a single wound, and then fled off the table next turn.
With the minotaurs and chimera having torn such a hole in the Empire lines that they were currently clear of friendly targets, the handgunners, crossbowmen and artillery turned their attention in that direction. A volley of crossbow bolts bounced off the seemingly impenetrable hide of the chimera before some handgunners actually managed to land a telling shot and made the brute flinch. Its aura of invincibility gone, yet another regiment of crossbowmen turned their attention toward it and finally brought the monster down. It fell with a defiant roar, clearly in denial about the whole thing. The minotaurs weathered a storm of shots from the artillery and the remaining handgunners, with fully half their number falling to the terrible punishment.
The halberdiers stuffed up the charge, so Sam had to content himself with a single pegasus charge trying to improve the combat.
The halberdiers that had been waiting on the hill spotted an opening and charged down toward the Chaos knights that were assaulting their own knightly comrades. Unfortunately they were unable to make it in time, and it was left to another pegasus captain to try to assist and swing things in the Empire’s favour. He charged in with lance lowered and managed to wound the sorcerer lord at the front of the Chaos regiment, but it was not enough. Half a dozen Empire knights were felled as Akkorak and his men continued to press forward. The beleaguered knights continued to hold their position, but the captain decided he had made a mistake in getting involved, and turned and fled back toward his own lines.
It was a noble rescue attempt.
But in the end, the knights fought on alone. In truth, the charge of the pegasus probably saved them that turn.
Largely bloodless deadlocks continued to dominate the centre of the field, with both regiments of Reiksguard, more knights and the spearmen all holding their own without ever looking like breaking through in return. There was one exception however, as the relatively brief struggle between the halberdiers and marauders came to an end. With the menace of their flails largely spent, the marauders found they were outclassed by their opponents and tried to flee, but they were too entangled with the Empire formation and they were run down as they attempted to escape.
Grindy grindy grind. Nobody is going anywhere.
The pegasus captain has the best seat in the house to watch the worst show ever.
The halberdiers see off (and catch) the marauders.
On the other side of the central hill, the chimera that had been threatening the fleeing form of the sole remaining White Wolf knight was incinerated by the power of Shem’s Burning Gaze. As its charred form collapsed to the ground, the demigryph knights charged past into the daemonic bloodcrushers. The huge beasts crashed into each other whilst the knights on top drove their lances into the softer bloodletters on top. Both sides suffered casualties, but the force of the charge was enough to give the Empire the advantage and the remaining daemons lost their grip on reality and vanished. The charge of the demigryphs continued into the nearest terrorgheist, which had been lurking behind the front line.
Clash of the monstrous cavalry, whilst the terrorgheist watches on.
The overrun catches the terrorgheist napping.
Crom's BSB and his unit rallied in a precarious situation.
Apply excessive force.
Crom’s battle standard bearer and his fleeing entourage of Tzeentch chosen had only just regained their composure when they were charged by Grub Kineater and his ogre ironguts, and the knights led by Gotfrei Talb, Luthor Huss and Valten. The Chaos regiment was formidable, but this was overwhelming force. The cavalry and ogres crashed into the waiting infantry with deadly effect, great weapons and lances striking home all across the line. The chosen were the Chaos elite however, and they didn’t go quietly. Several knights fell, and Huss himself perished as he tried to defend Valten. Warriors on both sides had fallen, but the chosen had taken by far the worst of it. They broke despite the leadership of Crom’s champion, and were run down as the knights swept on over the lip of the crater caused by the comet, and into combat with the smoking remains of Crom’s own bodyguard.
Valten and co wade into the Chaos elite.
Ooh, Valten vs Crom!
Skeletons continued to fall in droves as the Slaanesh warriors and varghulf waded into them with great, smashing blows. And yet for every one of the undead that fell, there seemed to be a limitless reserve to take their place. The ghouls swarming over the varghulf finally managed to tear its throat out, however their efforts were too late for them to assist their master.
Things get a little congested as the Empire and Vlad's forces move to try to improve the situation.
Vlad’s own stinking entourage of ghouls continued to labour, although they had turned to face their assailants and could now fight back in a more convincing manner. A few chosen perished to their poisoned talons, but it was a losing battle. Von Carstein himself did not engage; he chose instead to lurk out of reach of the combatants as he tried to swing matters to his advantage using sorcerous means. Unfortunately the enemy wizards were alert to his efforts, and both Invocation of Nehek and Okkam’s Mindrazor were dispelled before they could take effect. As Walach and his Chaos allies waded into the ghouls and their numbers started to dwindle, it looked like Vlad might have to roll his frilly sleeves up and get his perfectly manicured hands dirty once more.
This is somehow both noble and entirely unheroic. The crippled Deathclaw hides at the back of the table with 2 griffons landing side-on in front of him to try to catch any cannonballs. Next time I'm driving the griffons.

You can read the final part of the report here.

Turn 5 Original Notes
(Note that some of the notes were getting pretty patchy here. There are whole multi-turn combats that never get mentioned. Lucky I took a lot of photos)...

Turn 5 Chaos
  • chariot charges hurricanum, holds
  • chariot charges helblaster
  • black coach flips out, fails frenzy, fails charging peg dude by 1 (needing a 12)
  • vargheists fail to charge mencke’s old unit by 1 (triple 4, needed a 9)
  • blood knights move up to support skullcrushers that came back onto the table, black knight reinforcements with vampire turn up

  • everything rallies.
  • cousins fears the comet.
  • in light of subsequent events, he is right to do so.
Power: 26 (channels: 4)
Dispel: 15 (channels: 1)
  • irresistible boosted choir: 11 hits on griffon, kills griffon and leaves rider on 1 wound, kills both peg riders, kills hurricanum, kills 7 knights fighting akkorak, 2 halberdiers. small blast miscast, kills griffon rider. (Hits rolled: 12, 11, 11, 10, 8, 6)
  • blue fire on griffon dispelled
  • bolt of change on deathclaw, leaves him one wound, gives him 6+ regen
  • When asked for comment, Deathclaw said ‘cheap.’
  • comet finally comes down: 21 hits on flagellants, 25 S18 hits on warriors. 10 warriors left including Crom.  
  • They are smouldering slightly.
  • And displeased.
  • And now, Cousins throws dice and undead things… INVOKATION WITH THIS GUY!
  • blocked.
  • gateway on an 25. prevented. bah.
  • on to shooterations.
  • helcannon kills some handgunners, they don’t panic
  • skill cannone: deathclaw lives.
  • one knight killed by killcanon.
  • hellish kanone on stank. or mabe valten. on stank. stank obliterated and rendered dead, like an dodo. 
  • “shall we start fighting?’ - cousins.
  • chariots kills helblaster
  • minotaurs kill swordsmen, overrun into halberdiers fighting chimaera, kill them. now on 9 attacks per model.
  • akkorak’s unit: mighty BS4 chaos knight champion dies to grand master in challenge. many empire knights die due to many 1s. empire knights hold on Ld4.
  • carpark worth of chariots punch reiksguard, don’t kill many. reikssguard win by muso. two chariots break, two hold.
  • teutogen guard ground down. 
  • some skeletons and ghoul died. varghulf survived. not much happened in any of the combats. #amazeballs.

Turn 5 Empire
  • strong consideration was giving to moving helstorm battery into path of minotaurs
  • haberdiers charge akkorak’s unit, fail
  • peg charges akkorak’s unit, succeeds
  • steam tank runs at skullcrushers needing a 13, fails on a 10
  • other steam tank skid turns and charges gorbeast chariot threatening missile troops
  • engineer flees through missile troops, panics a couple of cannons
  • aaron gets bored waiting and starts the turn early.
  • ogres charge icy blue unit with bsb in. valten and freinds do so too.
  • Things wander about and stuff happens. 
  • Rallies: some sort of knight with flag does not rally, and is almost off the table.Those chaps who fled last turn and almost got off, and paniced the demigryphs, those guys, they are off.
  • some spiritual hosts appear and hold a seance in the flank of the purple black knights.
  • Shuffling and moseying in the best traditions of the game are indulged in.
  • “it is no longer clear who is winning” -Greg Johnson.
  • “it is clear that I am not winning” - Owen Top
  • “it is clearerous that I iz orlso no winnerating” - Grot Erasmus Bag
Power: 23 (channels: 2)
Dispel: 15 (channels: 0)


  • Invocation is invoked. Nick throws dice at it.
  • It is gone.
  • Gelt casts something which raises stuff or something. I don’t know.
  • Maahnd Rarzaaahr!!! Defeated.
  • Big shem eats chimera
  • Handgunners shoot wound off chimaera
  • Crossbowmen do 3 wounds, walks it off, other crossbow unit finally kills the dream
  • cannons and mortars and handguns (oh my) kill half the minotaurs
  • Nope. I can hax combat plz?
  • Nope. I can haz combat plz?
  • akkorak’s unit kills 6 knights. peg knight hero wounds sorceror lord, empire loses combat by 3, knights hold, peg hero flees
  • steam tank does 3 wounds to gorbeast chariot, breaks it, gorebeast chariot fails to neck itself on helstorm
  • I haz a combat! I haz a happi!
  • the whole valten combat thing leaves chaos losing, need 3 with re-roll to avoid running. they do not have the happy. they are run down. poor bright blue chaos mens.
  • valten and co. are now to be seen clanging into crom’s unit.
  • demiwolves vs bloodcrushers - bloodcrushers fail break test and explode.demiwolves hit terrorgiest on overrun. 
  • I haz a combat! I haz a happee!
  • a handful of ghouls, three chosen, a varghulf died. enough stuff is dead that vlad is in contact now… this bodes ill for the future. chaos won apparently. also, it appears mr von carstein is just out of contact.

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