With the NWG tournament less than two weeks away, pracitce games continued at the club Monday night. This week I faced Dave Cusack and his Empire, and the game was so much fun that I felt I just had to report it. Dave is not attending the tournament so he played a regular unrestricted 2500pts list while I played my tournament set-up which abides to no SC/triple special/double rare.
We rolled the Watchtower scenario which was great for practice as it had been the only scenario I had never played yet (obviously things have changed since then). We got a rather mundane terrain set-up with one of the other club members rolling it and setting it up. You will see the set-up in the deployment map later, but just to clarify, we got a Tower of Blood in the North-West corner surrounded on the Southern side by a Ghost Fence, in the opposite corner was a regular building surrounded to its Northern and Western sides by a Blessed Bulwark, forests in the other two corners, as well as Quicksand in the Northern deployement center. Of course the watchtower was in the middle.
This fight was to be a last stand for man, as the forces of Chaos attempted to invade the Empire. The Emporer himself led the defense knowing the last garrison before the city must hold. Below are the two lists that competed in the game.
Sorcerer Lord [ Level 4 ]
Mark of Tzeentch, Enchanted Shield, Infernal Puppet, Talisman of Preservation, Ironcurse Icon, Third Eye of Tzeentch
Mark of Tzeentch, Chaos Steed, BSB, Sword of Swift Slaying, Dawnstone, Shield
Mark of Tzeentch, Shield, Book of Secrets (Lore of Fire), Dispel Scroll
6x Chaos Knights
Full Command, Mark of Nurgle, Banner of Rage
5x Chaos Knights
Mark of Khorne, Standard Bearer with the Banner of Eternal Flame
14x Chaos Warriors
Full Command, Mark of Tzeentch, Shields, Rapturous Standard
49x Chaos Marauders
Full Command, Mark of Khorne, Great Weapons
5x Maruader Horsemen
Standard Bearer, Musician, Flails, Throwing Axes, Mark of Slaanesh
5x Maruader Horsemen
Standard Bearer, Musician, Spears, Throwing Axes, Mark of Slaanesh
Emporer Karl Franz
Battle Wizard [ Level 2 ]
Lore of the Heavens, Dispel Scroll
Sword of Sigismund, Shield, Heavy Armour
Hochland Long Rifle
10x Knights of the Inner Circle
20x Swordsmen [ 10x Handgunners ]
20x Spearmen [ 10x Handgunners, 5x Free Company ]
5x Knights of the White Wolf
Marksman with Hochland Long Rifle
Helblaster Volley Gun
When rolling for spells, the Chaos Lord got Flickering Fire, Baleful Transmorgrification, Treason of Tzeentch, and Gateway, while the Book carrier just took the basic Fireball. The Empire's Battlemage rolled Iceshard Blizzard and Comet of Cassandora. For this game the Empire siezed the Watchtower at the beginning. Including vanguard moves, deployment can be seen in the diagram below.
With the Empire manning the tower the Chaos forces secured the first turn, surging forward with unnatural bloodlust. The Hellcannon passed its rampage test allowing it to target the Emporer later. The Maruader horde charged straight at the watchtower, making the charge successfully. The rest of the army advanced at speed, with the Horsemen on either flank setting up traps respectively, while the Khorne Knights and Chaos Warriors moved to make the charge should the traps work. The BSB and his retinue moved forward at full pace gunning for the Warrior Priest. In the meantime the Hounds advanced in order to provide distractions.
The magic phase yielded little results, with only 4 Handgunners and a White Wolf Knight being taken down. In shooting the Hellcannon aimed a blast of doomfire at the Emporer but scattered wide by a considerable margin. In combat the Marauders easily tore apart the Huntsmen, though not without losing 4 men first, and so the horde moved into the watchtower.
The Empire, needing to retaliate quick declared a series of charges, with the Emporer charging the Hounds, and the Knights on either flank charging the Horsemen there. The Hounds failed their terror check leaving the Emporer stuck blocking the Swordsmen due to a failed charge, however the Horsemen on both fronts held their ground throwing axes at the on coming cavalry, felling a single Inner Circle Knight.
In the magic phase the blizzard failed to reach the field, however the Battlemage managed to irressitably cast a Comet which was aimed right for the watchtower. In return, 8 Swordsmen were slain from the magical backlash. In shooting the dual efforts of the two Eastern Handgunners unit took down four Chaos Warriors, while elsewhere the Outriders took down a Khorne Knight. The Cannons both aimed at the Hellcannon, one killing a crew instead while the other successfully dealt 3 wounds to the monster. The Helblaster opened fire on the Nurgle Knight, but through the cloud of flies they only managed to hit a paltry amount, slaying only one Knight. To round out, the Western Handgunners wiped out 4 Hounds.
In combat the Empire Knights bloodied barbarian aplenty. In the East the Horsemen struck first but failed to kill any, losing 3 men in return and fleeing the fight. The Knights elected to hold and reform so as not to give the Warriors of Chaos an easy charge. On the other flank the Horsemen managed to cut down two Knight with their flails before before being butcherd to the last man. The Inner Circle Knights took a reform for their efforts.
Passing its rampage again the Hellcannon settled while the rest of the army began charging. The Khorne Knights charged straight at the Inner Circle Knights who though now were taking a frontal charge instead of a flank, were wide open rather than having the stand-and-shoot Outriders for screening. The lone Hounds charge the Handgunners getting cut down in return. The Chaos Warriors successfully made the long charge into the White Wolf Knights and suffered no wounds while charging through what turned out to be a Living Wood. The Hounds failed to rally and went a long way off the board. The Horsemen however managed to rally, ready to face down the Cannon if given half the chance.
With the Winds of Magic proving lax this turn, the mere 5 dice at disposal to the Chaos forces could do little, casting an Infernal Gateway of Karl Franz which was promptly dispeled. Ironically enough the Comet came down and slew 8 Marauders. In shooting however the Hellcannon roared up and shot a blast that landed straight on the eastern-most Great Cannon subsequently spewing daemonic ichor onto the Handgunners in the periphery. The Cannons was obiterated while the the gunners to the west lost 2 men and the gunners to the east lost 1, though they also panicked a fled.
Needless to say, the Dark Gods smiled over the bloody combat that ensued. Though a counter-charge was earlier declared by the Free Company detachment, the BSB declared a challenge denying the Free Comapny their attacks. The BSB cut down the unit champion for maximum overkill while the rest of the Knights and their horse butchered the unit down to a man. The Priest prompty fled off the board while the Knights chose to give chase to the Free Company, catching them and overrunning into the Great Cannon. The Khorne Knights were just as successful butchering 5 Inner Circle Knights thanks to the Hatred bestowed by the proximity of the Tower of Blood, with no casualties in return. They gladly chased the remaining 2 from the board. The Warriors managed to kill 3 White Wolf Knights for no wounds in return, the Knights breaking and fleeing the table as the Warriors successfully restrained and reformed to face the forest.
Their lines left shattered from the previous turns' gory fighting, the Empire were in deparate need of reprive lest they suffer defeat so soon. Looking to inspire the men Karl Franz charged head long into the watchtower hoping to oust the barbarian defenders. The rest of the army manned up and got ready for what was coming. The Handgunners in the west marched out, having nothing to shoot this turn, with the Outriders in the same situation moving to try and protect their rear. Not all were inspired however as the fleeing Handgunners continued on their way and left the field.
Magic was uneventful with shooting yielding not much more, only slaying the last of the Horsemen. However things began to look up for the Empire in combat as Karl Franz managed to single handedly expel the Marauders from the watchtower, though Deathclaw suffered 3 wounds in the process. In the north the Knights moved through the cannon with ease coming next to the Engineer who had turned to face them having nowhere to run.
With forces now scrambling to reposition the Chaos forces could not make any assaults. The Marauders managed to rally but were in no position yet to retake the building. The Knights moved back onto the field at pace, while the Warriors marched through the Living Wood, losing two of their number.
Magic proved petty again in number of dice, however a well aimed Gateway managed to fell the great Griffon carrying the Emporer, toppling the steeple of man to the ground. Shooting proved less fruitious as the Hellcannon exploded in a spectacular array of Daemonic colour.
Combat continued much as it did with the Knights continuing to make their way through the Empire line now coming to the Helblaster.
Having now been grounded by Chaos magic, Karl Franz took the opportunity to seek refuge and try and hold the watchtower alone. The Swordsmen passed a leadership check to march and ran out of the Knights' charge path. With magic and shooting resulting in no wounds, combat came quick with the Knights butchering the Helblaster and finally coming to a stop as they failed to reach to Handgunners.
With all haste the Knights charged on both fronts, Khorne against Outrider and Nurgle against Handgunner. The Outriders fired a volley at the oncomnig foe slaying a Knight but not slowing them. The Handgunners decided to flee hoping to get away and take the Knights out of position, which failed as they went only a few inches and were easily caught. The Marauders assaulted the watchtower again, underestimating the prowess of the Emporer. Finally the Warriors trudged on toward the tower, the Sorcerer blasting spells as they went, though to no avail.
In combat, the Knights easily butchered the Outriders and overran into the back of the Handgunners. Over at the tower, the Maruaders managed to wound Karl Franz, but failed to eject him from the tower.
The Empire turns was dull with the Swordsmen being the only unit capable of acting, turning to face the Warriors. The Handgunners were cut down bringing the Knights to the tower.
Due to the nature of the scenario we now had to roll a dice to see if the game ended. On a 6 it would end, we rolled a 5.
The Knights and Warriors charged the Swordsmen on either side, buthering them bloodily. Below is how the game looked at this point.
As of this point Karl Franz was the only Empire model left on the field. The Marauders would charge him every chance they got. The game would go on for the full 9 turns, the dice being exactly one short of ending the game each time. In the very last combat phase of the game the Marauders finally slew the Emporer of man and took the tower for the forces of Chaos.