Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Epic Battle of Ultimate Doom!

Irdgar saw the Dragon Ogres to his right advance against the Necrosphinx, as he led his retinue towards the horde of skeletons assembled before him. Arrows whistled through the air, but failed to pierce the armour plates and shields of Irdgar's elite warriors.
Drawing upon the unreliable winds of magic, Irdgar felt his dark lord Slaanesh's blissful caress, and smiled with pleasure as his spell made the undead bowmen crumble to dust by the scores! He opened himself further to the destructive energies of Chaos, becoming a true instrument for the dark gods, each millisecond bringing him closer and closer to his master, the Dark Prince. A tiny voice deep inside his mind pleaded him to stop, pleaded him to let go, but Ingtar ignored it in favour of the glorious choir rising higher and higher for every sliver of magic coursing through him...

Dusted off my miniatures and took roughly 1000 points worth with me to a local gaming club/store "Farao's Cigarer" yesterday, to partake in their Epic Battle of Ultimate Doom. All in all we were 14 players; the organizer split us into two even teams; the battlefield was chosen and our armies deployed. To cut it short: it was a blast!

The other team consisted of Dwarfs, men of Bretonnia and the Empire, Lizardmen, Wood Elves and Tomb Kings, representing the forces of good and order; my team on the other hand were mortal and daemonic followers of the dark gods and a handful of Dark Elves. As we were starting to converse and plan our battle strategy (few of us had ever met or played with/against each other, so there had been no planning in advance), a Bretonnian Paladin arrived at the field with his trusted knights just in time to see a band of traitorous Orc mercenaries leave the Encampment of Order, in favour of the armies devoted to Chaos and Destruction. Funny enough, the Orc Warlord turned out to have the highest leadership of all our heroes and commanders, so this shift of allegiance also gave my side a brand new commanding Warlord...

With 14 000 divided between two opposing forces, I soon lost track of what was happening everywhere on the battlefield, but my side's battleplan was roughly to harass/kite the Lizardmen on our left flank, keeping them from the core of the action; send our Flesh Hounds, Seekers of Slaanesh, Marauder Horsemen against the hill the cowardly Dwarfs and men of the Empire had fortified with their fearsome artillery; concentrate our superior heavy infantery on the right side of the battlefield's centre, to punch a hole through their lines, while our farmost right flank was screened by Furies and scouting Nurglings.
And I think it went rather well.

With an army consisting mainly of Chaos Warriors, with a trio of Dragon Ogres thrown in as support against tough opponents, my troops were deployed along hordes of Goblins, Plaguebearers, Black Orcs and Chaos Marauders on the right - except for a unit of Marauder Horsemen, which command were turned over to the captain overseeing the capture of the Artillery Hill.

Stones from Bretonnian Trebuchets fell among our ranks, while Skeleton Bowmen showered us with a rain of arrows, but it could not halt our advance! We answered with dark magic, softening them before the inevitable charge. Unfortunately, the commander of my troops became slightly overeager, let his control slip for a second and was rightly punished by the unforgiving winds of magic. Although his spell removed half of the skeleton horde deployed before the bulk of my units, the magic backlash of his miscast destroyed not only him, but half of the regiment he was accompanying. Nevertheless, the next round saw my screen of bloodthirsty Warhounds charge the crew of an enemy Trebuchet, which gave my Dragon Ogres a clear path to the enemy Necrosphinx. Although the Warhounds were soundly beaten, the fury of the Dragon Ogres turned out to be too much for the Undead construct, which was reduced to lifeless stone and dust.

At that point, the organizers tapped his finger at his watch; it was time to settle the score. I raised my eyes from the nearby melee, and inspected the battlefield surrounding me. At the far left, our flank had been pushed back by the Lizardmen, but our careful manouvering had placed the cold blooded warriors in a position where they could be of little assistance to their allies; our various fast units had successfully breached the defenses by the Artillery Hill, and enemy crewmen were either fleeing, slaughtered or fighting desperately for their lives. Although hampered by the dangerous march through Wild Woods, our horde of Khorne Marauders and Black Orcs had arrived to assist the cavalry by the hill, turning the enemy counterattack into a rout. My Dragon Ogres were in the midst of the enemy, awaiting orders to charge the next unit, while my Chaos Warriors were within charging range of the enemy bowmen. A valiant charge by Knights of Bretonnia had chased our Hydra off, and while this potentially left my rear vulnerable, Plaguebearers and a Herald of Khorne mounted in a war chariot had halted the human advance.

Although a lot could have happened if we hadn't had to stop at the end of the third round, I think we would have carried this home in the end. And the victory conditions counted at the time we stopped, were also in favour of the forces of Order's defeat:

- 1 point to the forces of Chaos/Destruction for having most units with Standards and/or Battle Standard Bearers on the enemy's half of the battlefield.
- 1 point to the forces of Chaos/Destruction for slaying most enemy heroes and monsters.
- 1 point to the forces of Chaos/Destruction for having captured most enemy Standards.
- 1 point to the forces of Order for having most painted units.

I think the opposing team were a bit unlucky, in that sense that their warmachines were unable to take out our heroes, and thus score points. My Sorcerer were our only casualty, in fact, and he died by his own hand... They were also unable to soften our units enough with their ranged attacks, and so we brutally butchered our way through their lines as soon as we made contact. Excepting the Bretonnian cavalry on the right flank and a regiment of Dwarf Longbeards (double 6 on the charge roll, what's up with that?!) were their only units on our half of the battlefield, as the rest of their army tried to defend their guns and stonethrowers, which gave my side some easy scoring points, as we got several banner-bearing units over to their side of the battlefield.

My side might have had Lady Luck on our side, though: the Necrosphinx for instance, missed on its monster-killing-blow strike, while my Dragon Ogres just cut through it, insane toughness and all, like a hot knife through butter... Granted, they had Strength 7 with Great Weapons, but still... But I guess luck can be put to blame in any battle.

Closing words: it was tons of fun, and I hope I'll be able to make it the next time such an event is organized!

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