Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Shadows Return: Game 2

At the same time as Game 1 was taking place, Game 2 was being played on a nearby table. In order to prevent her Empire "allies" from being summarily crushed by a vastly superior Chaos force, the Vampire had moved to the rear of the Chaos advance and ambushed it using what resources she could dredge from the rotting swamps around her.

This game was fought using another scenario we threw together for the occasion: Ambush!

As I was largely distracted by the other game, Owen generously offered to write up a rough account of what happened from the perspective of his Chaos army. Don't say I never did anything to you. Umm, I mean for you. Obviously...

Game 2: The Battle of Briny Bog

Lord Scroltch the Deliriously Pustulent wriggled happily and squelched the delightful mud between his tentacles. Lord Nurgle had recently seen fit to reward him by transforming him into a giant mutated octopus beast of revolting aspect with a really amazing collection of skin diseases, and then sent him to this delightfully muddy island which smelled of mold and rot with a piquant hint of week-old fish. About him gamboled his finest followers, great bloated and diseased knights mounted astride some really quite startlingly handsome slugs and giant flies. The slugs clearly enjoyed this new environment, and he could hear them purring like great self-satisfied pustulent cats. All about him his warriors and marauders cavorted with the sheer joy of such a vile smelling place. One of them had even started to make a mud castle. Really, this was quite the best holiday he’d had in years. Or it would’ve been if not for that distressingly offensive Kragan, the Destroyer.
Lord Scroltch. Who only got a game because Owen forgot the proper model of Chaos Lord on unsightly large toad. I like this guy better.
Kragan the Destroyer scanned the horizon from beneath mighty lowering brows through the ornately gothic visor of the mighty skull-helm he wore. There was nothing out there to kill, and this thrice-damned mud was making his great war axe, Ichor Fiend rusty. The potent champion of Khorne had been in this Albion place for three hours so far, and all he’d slaughtered was a single rabbit, and about four-hundred mosquitos. Surely there was a battle out there somewhere? Surely the great god of blood, slaughter and bloody slaughter had sent him here for a reason, probably one to do with blood and slaughter? Kragan growled, and glared at his ‘companions’ in the Nurgle contingent, all happy as sandboys as they cavorted and capered in this bog. It was all very well for them, dedicated to a foolish god of disease and filth, but a real man, with a real god, needed action!

A loud blast of flatulence behind him heralded an ungodly stench. With a roar, he swung to face the source of this new vileness, and was just about to bring his great (and now slightly rusty) axe, down upon a nurgle warrior who was fanning his bottom and grinning like he’d just eviscerated a whole herd of Rhinox when he spotted movement in the shabby scrub around the lip of the bog.

“At last!” He roared, his vision already turning red with berserker fury, “An ambush! A foe to rend! Come to me little foe, and feed my blade your delicious juices!”
The bizarre deployment rules jam 3000 points of Warriors of Chaos into an areas about the size of a shoe. Fortunately that works just fine. Silly expensive Chaos Warriors. The unit with its butt hanging off the table contains the Vampire Lord and Banshee.
The view from the other side. Not sure where Violentia found all the Vargheists. Maybe they were just hanging around, looking for something to do.
Is that really 3000 points?
Lord Scroltch was surprised out of his revery (he’d just found a rather large and interestingly coloured boil on one of his tentacles, and was prodding it with another tentacle to see if anything exciting oozed out) by the furious battle shouts of his slaughter-obsessed comrade.

“Oh I say chaps!” He chortled happily, “It appears old Kragan has spotted something! Defensive positions and all that!”1

Hurriedly, the rotten ranks of warriors, chosen and marauders fell in and formed some sort of defensive cordon, facing outwards in anticipation of the foe. Unable to tell from whence the foe would spring, Scroltch ordered his men to face in all directions and cover every possible approach. Kragan just growled at his men until they fell in around him facing the direction of the movement which had caught his eye.

Then, with an eerie silence, an army of the dead rose from the swamp. Bones shimmering with the slime of ages rattled and clicked as they rolled over the boggy ground to coalesce into corpse warriors. High pitched and bone-chilling cries were heard from the low clouds overhead and great dark shapes swooped down to glower menacingly at the assembled chaos hordes. Zombies wrenched themselves from the depths of the murky waters and straggled together into the incoherent clumps characteristic of their regimental structure. Then from out of the mists strode a lone figure, hooded and cloaked, and with a faint aura of power crackling about it. The figure strode to the head of the undead horde, and cast off the cloak, revealing what Lord Scroltch recognised as a Vampire. The vampire raised one hand, a single, bony digit extended towards the chaos horde, and in sepulchral silence, the undead legions began to advance,

Kragan the Destroyer, seeing that the bulk of the undead army was to his rear, and all he had to face was a unit of strangely luminous dogs, swore an oath so fearful that the air around him became black and danced with tiny enraged ethereal skulls for a full minute afterwards, and began to turn his warriors to face the foe.

Croop the Gangrenous, leader of the Ragged Brothers of Contagion realised his position was poor at about the same moment as a unit of undead knights crashed into his flank, and was still grumbling about it when a Varghulf punched him in the face. Swinging his filth-encrusted flail, he vowed to sell his life dearly, although he was rather frustrated to be fighting undead, as they are so distressingly immune to most diseases. Behind him, the rest of the army began to maneuver.
James has an Owlbear Varghulf! James wins!
Squishy bats go squish..
While Lord Scroltch and his contingent of knights happily squelched their way through some rather large bats, the bulk of the undead assault fell upon the Warriors of Nurgle. Eldritch energies crackled as the magic users of both sides strove to either cripple or bless the regiment, and a great number of skeletons crashed into its front, bringing with them the vampire herself. 
I'm sure there were more undead in this unit before...
Oh, there they are. Thanks Plague Wind!
An unnatural murk had descended upon the battlefield as Violentia’s baleful magic sucked the strength from what little sunlight penetrated Albion’s already thick cloud cover. Shadows capered and twisted through the air as the Vampiress hurled spells at her enemies and the Chaos Sorcerers attempted to counter them and respond in kind. 

Rank upon rank of rotting corpses shuffled through the mud after their mistress as Violentia strode toward the foul Warriors of Nurgle that barred her way. The air was rent by mind-shredding howls and shrieks as her Banshee mother drifted along at her side. Though nearly impervious to pain, even the mutated Chaos Warriors slowed their pace and shook their helmeted heads as though to clear them in the face of the unnatural assault on their senses. 

The Vampiress reached her foes and took advantage of their distraction, blade whistling and whirring as it sliced through the air. She and her mother actually made an effective team in the field, though if anyone had ever dared make the observation to their faces, things would have turned ugly. The Banshee occasionally paused her ghastly shrieking in order to encourage her daughter, “really Violentia, I thought I taught you better than that.” “Is that really the best you can do? Are you even trying?” “My dear, you are a disgrace to your bloodline.” Violentia did not reply, but her once civilised demeanour gradually deteriorated along with her mood, and she was soon snarling and casting about as savagely with the claws of her hands as she was with the blade of her sword.

By the time Violentia’s rampage brought her face to face with the champion of the enemy regiment, she was little more than a blood-crazed beast in the mudded and ruined garb of an Imperial noblewoman. The massively corpulent Warrior boomed a gurgling laugh at the sight of her, which might have been interpreted as a challenge. The situation was not helped at all by her mother, “Just look at you, Violentia. Those stains will never come out.”

Violentia lost what remained of her composure and dropped her sword as she roared and lunged for the enormous Chaos Warrior with the talons of both hands. She bore him to the ground in a great splash of mud, and she had her hands clamped around her enemy’s throat as she tried to tear his helm off with her teeth. This somehow added to the mirth of her opponent, and he struggled to fight back as he alternated between fits of gurgling laughter and hacking coughs as he drowned in a mix of his own phlegm and the mud of the swamp around them. 

So absorbed was she in her savage efforts to stop the hideous laughter that Violentia no longer had any idea what was going on around her. Her once vast entourage of shambling dead was almost entirely gone, destroyed by the axes of the enemy and the foul magicks of the enemy Sorcerer. She didn’t even hear the final wail of her mother as her essence dissolved in the fact of the enemy onslaught. The echo of her final words as the Chaos Warriors encircled her crazed daughter went unnoticed, “Really Violentia, this was embarrassing…” 
The armour of the warriors proved surprisingly tough to breach, but the skeletons fought on tirelessly. Yet, when the Nurgle Champion, Ploon the Spectacularly Gouty challenged the Vampire to a duel, her powers began to weaken, and this, coupled with the carnage wrought by his warriors on the skeletons caused a spectacular failure of the magical energies binding them together. While the chosen grimly battled with the assault of Vargulfs, and Kragan the Destroyer swung his unit to face something worth killing, the necromantic spells binding the undead together began to crumble, and with a horrible shriek, the vampire herself was turned to dust and cast to the winds. With their locus lost, many undead crumbled.

It was then only a matter of bringing force to bear on the remaining regiments. Chaos warriors charged home and were soon lost in the joys of slaughter and light maiming. Having laid waste the Skeletons, Vampire and Necromancer, Ploon swung his unit around to help deal with the great winged hulks of the Vargulfs which threatened the rear of the chaos hordes. A great melee ensued, yet and when the dust settled, Ploon stood atop a great mound of fallen comrades and vargulf parts. Although the marauders fell, their deaths were avenged a hundred times by their fellows, and as the dusk fell over the fetid swamps of Albion, even Kragan the Destroyer had to admit he had had ALMOST enough to slaughter, although he was heard to mutter that a whole herd of demigryphs would have just put the blood soaked, skull encrusted cherry on top of the day’s joyous bloodshed.
The late stages of the battle saw the Necromancer and his Zombie friends trying vainly to scare off the Chaos BSB. They were still locked in combat when the battle ended.
  • Lord Scroltch the Deliriously Pustulent - Octopus Lord of Nurgle.
  • Slorbo the Verminous - Nurgle BSB on Deamon Steed
  • Bluurt Buboe Bestower - Nurgle Sorcerer
  • Probnog the Pimple Popper  - Nurgle Sorceror
  • Kragan the Destroyer - Champion of Khorne with a disproportionate role in the story for a unit leader.
  • The Slug Appreciation Society - Knight of Nurgle
  • Slimey Vestulom and the Vile Stench Legion - Chosen of Nurgle
  • Ploon the Spectacularly Gouty and the Convalescent Ward - Warriors of Nurgle
  • Croop the Gangrenous and the Ragged Brothers of Contagion - Nurgle Marauders
  • The Will of Papa Nurgle - Warshrine of Nurgle (which everyone sort of forgot about)
  • Kragan the Destroyer and the Bloody-handed Kings of Slaughter - Khorne Warriors
Thanks Owen! I added the italics, but the rest was all his work.

Wow, we even get a run-down of Owen's Chaos army. Now we have names to glorify and lament as the campaign rolls on. I'm not going to bother doing something similar for James' undead, given the fact that most things were summoned on the spot for the battle, and almost all of it was gone again by the end of the battle. Including the Vampire Lord and her dearly beloved mother. The only thing left my the end was the Necromancer and a handful of Zombies. In fact...

Norbert the Necromancer scrambled through the mud as he sought to put a little distance between himself and the Chaos army that had so easily dismembered the army of his mistress. Violentia had not been the ideal mentor, but she had taught him enough to look after himself and hold his own in battle. He had also learned enough to know that he really didn't want to be here right now. He needed to regroup and work out what to do next. Right now he was all alone, but a man like him never stayed that way for long...

1 Readers may be surprised at a Nurgle lord talking like an upper-crust englishman, but I ask you, is there ANY country more likely to give rise to Nurgle cults?


  1. Beneath the upper crust lies the lower ooze.

  2. I can now reveal that the irrepressibly happy looking Lord Scroltch is actually a Eureka Miniatures Martian Cephalopod I use as a unit filler. He has also been used as the demonic leader of a warband of nameless horrors in Fanticide, and generally answers to the name of 'Squidums'.

  3. Chaos has been doing pretty well so far... How hard will it be to come back for the Empire/Vampire army? (The "Ire" army?)

    1. My life for Ire/Aiur!

      There are doubtless ways back, but they will need to pick up their game a bit!