We have talked about our end times campaign we had been playing in quite a few of our previous episodes. After returning from Germany here is the over due battle report for the mega battle to end the campaign. This is largely my perspective of the battle I fought but I got some of the major things from through out the table as well. The theme of this game is a small section of the final battle for the old world where a portion of order allies assault a chaos legion lead by Archaon and try to free captured Teclis.
This post also includes a small gallery of Eric/Stonemonk’s Nagash that was used in this battle. The model looks great already but Eric still plans more on him. You should be seeing more of him as well as the rest of Eric’s undead coming soon.
In with the rules for our end times campaign were also the rules for the final battle. The original plan was pretty complex and able to handle many players, even fighting between more than 2 teams. We were able to draw up 7 of us to play so simplified the rules for the game quite a bit. This is a link to roughly the rules that we used. From what’s there we did change the magic phase so each deployment zone would get their own magic dice.
With the 7 of us we brought roughly 12000 points per side to the table. On the chaos side we had Brian A, playing two armies to make up for odd players, both with his Chaos Mortals; along with two some kind of Chaos Legion list, a primarily Skaven force with some Beastmen played by Trevor and I think primarily mortal legion played by big Ben. On the order side we had myself with my Vampire Counts Undead Legion, Fred with all High Elves force, as well as his sons; Gordon with Dwarves and Zach with Lizardmen. We played on a 12’x4′ table for ease, thank you I’m Board for the space!, they also provided the game mats and Fred brought terrain. Terrain was kept very simple with mostly ordinary forest, a couple hills and a couple small “towers”. I think we could of done a little more here because it looks pretty sparse and uninteresting but there was some worry of terrain mucking up the speed/ease of the game and this was also what was easily available.
From the trouncing chaos wrought during the campaign our forces were a little unbalanced. Each of the chaos armies were 3000 points each and the order were only 2500. Also as a result of the campaign all order units, not lone characters, would be stubborn. Another component of the campaign battle was that each side would get a number of extra characters themed to the final battle for the old world. The original rules provided many options and wasn’t entirely clear how to keep all these extras in balance. With the smaller scale of our battle, as well models available we came to the agreement that the extra characters would be limited to around 2000 points. The extras for chaos were Archaon as the chaos supreme commander with the Sword of Chaos (knights) and the Magister with Chosen warriors holding Teclis. The order side had Nagash (loned from Eric aka Stonemonk) as supreme commander with my undead, Balthasar Gelt allied with the dwarves, and Tyrion and Alarielle were with the elves – only one of the elves was bonus while other was included in the list.
We sort of predetermined set up ahead of time that Nagash and Archaon matched up and the Elves would be fighting to free Teclis. We did roll of to chose zones and Brian won and fittingly took the center zones and myself and Fred to my left set up opposite. The two flanks had the dwarfs opposite Ben’s choas on my far left and the lizards just to might right against the Skaven/Beastmen. After a few vanguards we determined first turn by rolling a D6 per army and adding the totals, chaos had won the initiative and we were underway!
A quick run down of the list across from me: Archaon was there with his knights extra, there were two demon princes – one nurgle and the other flying and khorne I believe, two units of 4 crushers, two units of warriors, a chimera and a couple units of hounds. My list besides Nagash was Manfred Mortarch of Night, two hero level vampires one flying and another on hellsteed, unit of ghouls, unit of skeletons, three units of wolves, great weapon grave guard, unit of 3 vargheists, and a terrorgheist.
Chaos turn one pretty much just saw a push forward across the board. The small 3ft deployment zones really hampered the chaos across free me. You can see that it made a lot of stuff double up and really affected what could be brought to bear on my smaller frontage units later in the game. Nothing of note happened in the magic phase as casts failed and Nagash dispelled. No combats of course so it was on to order turn 1.
My moves saw wolves charge his dogs as well as my vargheist into his other unit of dogs on either of his sorta flanks. The rest of my moves put my other wolves up to direct the charges in the next turn. Nagash moved to my right to reinforce my lines there and the rest of my stuff kinda mills about. In the magic phase I summoned blood knights in my opponents deployment zone because Nagash can. Also brought a small unit of zombies to help hold the line. Combats saw my vargheists overrun into the crushers and the dog fight wiff on both sides leaving them in place.
Mean while in the other zones there isn’t much going on. There is some fast cav running around and a phoenix getting into combat from the elves. Alarielle takes out some of the Magister chosen unit with a dwellers. In the skaven zone to my right either on this first turn or second there was warplightning cannon misfire as well as a miscast that lost the grey seer some levels.
Chaos turn 2 things started to heat up! The flying demon prince saw the opening I purposely left and charged into combat with Nagash. The other prince as well as Archaon and his knights charged each unit of wolves respectively. Magic I think was actually skipped on purpose this turn. In combat overrun moves obviously brought the demon prince into skeletons and Archaon with knights into the grave guard. What I think had been a bad to hit roll by the crushers left the vargheist standing in combat only losing one gheist. In the interesting combat of demon prince on Nagash; Nagash flubbed to hit but scored 2 wounds, one saved but the other multiplied to 2. Nagash got hit with 2 wounds back and saved them but the prince had the other trickster’s shard and then I failed to save either!
In my turn two my vampire on hellsteed charged the dogs that had managed to finish off my wolves, they fled but were caught. The blood knights get to charge and hit the rear of the crushers fighting the vargheists. In the magic phase I go for lots of buffs to help the grave guard also healing Nagash from vamp attribute and the terrorgheist gets 2 or 3 knights with a scream. My blood knights flub big time rolling to hit and only manage to do one wound. They lose some wounds and there is only 1 vargheist left but combat is a draw. With the buffs the grave guard are able to kill the remaining knights while taking few wounds thanks to a 5+ ward spell. Here we come to find out Archaon is really more of a tank in combat as he is only swinging strength 5.
In the zone with the elves a shaggoth makes a long charge into Alarielle’s unit of phoenix guard. There are three choas chariots that cause some havoc when a unit of silver helms flee from them. A couple redirect and they go into a unit of dragon princes where Tyrion and two more elf characters are. The chariots impact hits do lots of damage to this unit but what is left sticks around. The phoenix dies is this turn already thrown into a warrior unit and I think forgetting to thunder stomp. Looked like a big unit of longbeard dwarfs got a little over extended and ended up getting rear and flanked in the far left zone from me.
Not much happens in turn 3 in the undead zone as the wide frontage of the crushers keeps them from being able to make it to combat this turn and have to repostion while the warriors opt to let Archaon fight for himself. The chimera does charge into the flank of the summoned zombies and grinds. Magic sees some death magic get through on the terrorgheist and ends up geting a few wounds. With buffs still on the grave guard they hold fast against Archaon and maybe even get a wound in at this point.
My moves are just a bit of shuffling and some dogs show back up on the board (recycling per scenario rules). My vamp heroes are in the back lines but don’t have much to do against the ranked chaos units. In the magic phase I heal the terrorgheist back up as well as a few troops and less buffs go through on grave guard. A scream at Archaon maybe sneaks another wound or 2 in this turn but the grave guard don’t touch him in combat. The demon prince and chimera still grind the undead in combat but the blood knights are killed freeing the crushers.
Big things happen in other zones of turn 3 though. There is a big grind with a big hoard of gore on an equally big hoard of saurus to my right. Some time around this point the grey seer miscast again losing all it’s levels and both warp lightning cannons are gone from misfire. By now I think that long beard unit has been scrapped and all the dragon princes are gone leaving only Tyrion and characters but they are taking down the chariots. The chosen with magister are whittled down a little more by dwellers and a unit of miners comes on the board intending to get to them. In big news a demon gets a charge on Gelt and he is obviously toasted. A tzeench disc riding bsb joins in with the shaggoth on Alarielle’s unit. The elves fail a stubborn break check twice and flee off the board. Order is already down 2 incarnates on turn 3 securing one win condition for chaos!
In chaos turn 4 the crushers finally have way to the ghouls and the other crushers also charge ensuring the chimera finishes the zombies. Magic again was primarily attempts at the terrorgheist but didn’t amount to anything. In combat Archaon is still grinding down the grave guard while being hard to touch himself. The demon prince is finally nearing the end of the skeletons. The zombies are wiped but the crushers but they can’t overrun past the chimera. Though previously untouched the ghouls take a ton of wounds but after combat res there is one left standing preventing the over run which would of taken them into the terrorgheist.
In my turn I’m really feeling the pressure now as my line is nearly broken and I still need to keep Nagash alive and kill Archaon to keep chaos from victory. In the beginning of my turn I had the option to charge Nagash into the crushers fighting the 1 ghoul but opted not too. Instead I stay defensive and realign my characters and terrorgheist with the idea of reforming my line through summoning in the magic phase. Come the magic phase my first summon roll to bring back the blood knights go irresistibly and a detonation miscast result doesn’t bother Nagash and I only lose a couple dice. I put these guys back behind the wave of chaos again which later I realize was a mistake as it doesn’t help hold my line. After a couple Ryze spells are dispelled I cast an invocation that didn’t help much but also put 2 doom and darkness on Archaon dropping his Ld to 4! Suddenly I am down to my last 2 dice and realize I made a mistake and didn’t summon anything to hold the line! I am able to correct a bit by casting the incantation of Urgency to re-shuffle my characters and bring some dogs up to control the charges that will hit me next turn. Even with the doom and darkness the terrorgheist has a pitiful damage roll needing the 3+ to wound Archaon but still maybe gets 1 wound through. In combat the remaining ghoul is obviously brought down while the demon prince and Archaon continue grinding against the dead.
The main action in the other zones is happening with the elves. Tyrion and with his unit of 2 heroes are free of the chariots now and finally make the charge on the Magister and his unit. The miners fought through some marauder cav to also hit the Magister’s chosen in the rear. There is a challenge and the Magister is cut down while some chosen remain.
At this point it is getting close to the time we need to wrap up but more so it has been a long many hours already so we are going to call the game after this next turn. So chaos turn 5 and there is going to be some trouble coming my way. The crushers hit the dogs that will take them trough to Nagash on a decent over run roll. I think the chimera could of jumped the dogs to hit the terrorgheist but it charges into the wolves in front of it along with the crushers. In the magic phase more attempts are made at the terrorgheist and a miscast takes out some of my grave guard. Obviously the wolves are removed and the crushers make there over run into Nagash. The chimera also makes it easy into the terrorgheist but luckily doesn’t get combat till the next round. There are very few skeletons and grave guard left at this point but Archaon has finally been whittled down to where he only has 2 wounds left.
So this is it, my last turn to try and secure a win in this game. The blood knights charge the flank of Archaon not to kill him but the challenge with the added res should keep the grave guard alive if we need to figure points at the end. I don’t have much of anything to move but Manfred jumps to a safer spot on my right side and my core units return on the board edge. Not realizing they are remains in play, unfortunately for him, both doom and darkness spells remain on Archaon. I do attempt some buffs on Nagash which draw dispell dice and then what I really want goes off; both Nagash and Manfred summon a banshee to the field! The first scream doesn’t phase Archaon at all but the second gets good wounds through and Archaon’s ward save can’t keep him alive and he finally falls! Come to realize I should of been playing Nagash way more aggressive as he isn’t scratched by the unit of crushers. He should be able to wreck face but since I can’t roll well he only does a couple wounds himself.
Meanwhile a bad positioning with a counts as chaos lord on disc (ogre in this case?) allows it to have a charge on Tyrion’s flank. Teclis has been freed but Tyrion falls to the lord and the rest of chaos forces have the remaining heroes surrounded at the end of the game.
The game is over! We probably could have fit one more quick turn in to finish things off but it was a long day already and some of us were wanting to get out of there. To determine victory it was a matter of who could achieve the most objectives. By that rule order would of technically won the day by killing Archaon and freeing Teclis while choas only eliminated 2/3 of the incarnates. There was some question of where Teclis actually goes once he is freed and one more turn he probably would of been killed. Along with that and some other nonsense it seemed very okay to actually rule this game a draw.
My hindsight looking back at the game is I should of been more aggressive with Nagash for combat. He was the perfect tool to take down crushers easy and I should of realized how tough he was after swatting that demon prince aside. He could thunder stomp which would of taken it to the smallish warrior units too. I did intended that Nagash would duel Archaon had the grave guard been taken down earlier but that never came up. I also had Manfred who easily could of held position for some spells if Nagash some how wasn’t able. Also I didn’t get to see Mortarch Manfred in combat to see how that would shake out. The game maybe could of been played less grindy to make things more interesting but then again that’s what undead do and in a straight up fight wouldn’t stand against chaos. The small table really forced the grind with chaos not being able to flank or spread out much.
As for game organization I think our rules played well as similar set ups have worked in prior mega battles. I guess we needed even more organization to getting our rules together because there was some hubbub of what people thought ahead of time compared to what we actually did. I think the best thing this mega battle had were multiple objectives that would secure victory. Ours were pretty minimal and I think having more would make things really interesting and exciting as the game goes on. As previously mentioned a larger table would have made for a different game. This game really played like battle for the pass where you line up and then there isn’t much of any maneuvering. It was cool though that it really made the table look full and like a huge battle. I think we also thought that the recycling core units on to the table would make for a battle in waves. It was somewhat effective at that in other zones than the undead one but maybe more turns would be needed to really see that well.
Overall our campaign and final game were pretty successful even with some trouble getting the last few weeks and this final battle accomplished. The campaign kept our pick up games a little more interesting and produced reason to do a big battle which is always fun. Only thing that could of been even better were more people playing during the campaign. Especially in the final battle as written I think it could be very exciting when you have multiple tables and even multiple sides in a game like that.
That was pretty long but it was a big game and tried to give the full play by play how it went down. There is some recounts from Brian A and Fred on the game as well as a few more pics on the forum here.