Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Lord Sechnaill's Crusade Continues in: Warriors of Chaos. In Tzeentch we trust.

"Lord Sechnaill looked around the peaceful landscape, dotted with trees and the rubble of a long burned out tower.  The grass was green and there was a hint of Spring in the air.  He was about to signal the column to halt while the Peasants catch up with that ungainly war machine of theirs when, through the trees, he spotted heavily armoured figures advancing with malign purpose through the peaceful valley.  Not waiting for the stragglers, Lord Sechnaill signalled his men to form into their battle lines.  A command met with much groaning by the "Pilgrims", who had taken advantage of this opportunity to tap a fresh keg of ale.

The Damsel led the men in a swift prayer to the lady, the Barman - I mean Pilgrim Leader - poured a fresh round of medicinal beverages and the fight was on"

Today's battle sees Lord Sechnaill's forces pitted against the Warriors of Chaos, supported by a mighty Daemon Prince of Nurgle and a Sorcerer Lord of Tzeentch on floating disk (with his puppet familiar). This was part of my pre tournament preparation for an upcoming teams tournament, where all scenarios except for Battleline will be used.  We rolled up Meeting Engagement.

Some of you might remember Richo's and my previous battles (here and here), and this week he was trying out an End Times list, using the extra lord allowance to spread his caster from his combat lord.

The Batlefield!  The forests from left to right were a Fungus Forest, a Wildwood and a Forest
Deployment was a simple affair, with both armies deploying tight and heavily on their left flank.  Warriors won the roll off, so they deployed first, Skullcrushers coming in for a wide sweep down the Bretonnian right flank, Chimera and Daemon Prince in position to harrass and combination charge with their flight, Chariots positioned to deal damage and the Khorne Warriors of Chaos anchoring the left flank with the BSB.  Hounds were deployed to vanguard and harass, though one unit was late returning from a hunt and missed the start of the battle.

A terribly blurry shot of the Chaos Battle Line as they prepare to rip their way through some Knights.  From left to right: Nurgle Gorebeast Chariot, Khorne Warriors with Halberds and BSB, Khorne Chariot with Halberds, Chaos Hounds in front of the Tzeentch Sorcerer Lord, Nurgle Daemon Prince, Chimaera and Skullcrushers of Khorne.

Bretonnians deployed heavily on the left flank, with the Grail Reliquae anchoring the right flank, trebuchet deployed in the rear and Lord Sechnaill's Knights of the Realm supporting the Reliquae, Knights Errant sticking close to their lord and the remaining Knights of the Realm ranging on the left flank.  Pegasus Knights deployed centrally and into a forest to check the local fungi in case it was worth sending for their Truffle Pigs.

So we have Pegasus Knights forming the far left flank, followed by Knights of the Realm bearing the War Banner, Knights Errant with the Damsel and Errantry Banner holding the centre.  Towards the right we have Lord Sechnaill's Knights of the Realm lance, with his faithful Questing Paladin and Battle Standard Bearer.  On the far right is the Grail Reliquae.
Chaos Warhounds scout towards the Knight line, Pegasus Knights clear the forest and move up the flank.  The Damsel finishes her benedictions and the Knights raise their heads solemly and prepare for battle.

Turn 1 - Warriors of Chaos
As the war horns are sounded, the Daemon Prince roars his orders and the Warhounds run straight at Lord Sechnaill's Knights, barring their path as they sink into a guard position.  The Sorcerer Lord guides his disk with remarkable skill as he flies over the heads of his comrades to land directly in front of the Grail Reliquae.  Daemon Prince and Chimera fly up the Warriors' left flank as the Skullcrushers advance into a better charging position.  More Warhounds return from their hunt, ready and eager to feast on tinned meat as the Warriors adjust their position to better protect the flank and the Chariots line up their charges.
The Warrior's flank advances

Dark energies swirl on the winds as the Sorceror Lord calls upon the might of Tzeentch to aid them in the destruction of His enemies, hurling a cracking bolt of change directly at Lord Sechnaill, before he is pushed roughly aside by one of his fellow Knights who takes the bolt square in the chest.  White light flashes as the Lady's presence is felt, protecting the Knight from Tzeentch's intentions as the bolt passes down the Bretonnian line meeting similar resistance.  Once the bolt has passed through the Knights, they are thankful to realise they are unchanged and prayers, oaths and praise are raised to the Lady of the Lake.  In a fury, the Sorcerer Lord calls down Tzeentch's Infernal Gateway, mustering all his strength to bring his wrath down upon the peasants who have dared to stand in his path.  Unfortunately, Changer of the Ways cackles as he pulls his power out from under his Sorcerer leaving him bereft of magic and unable to complete the spell.

The Chimaera, all three heads laughing monstrously at the ineptitude of the Architect of Fate's servant, unleashes his devastating fiery breath upon the Grail Pilgrims, who consider this terribly unsporting as their Brandy catches fire.  The fire engulfs 11 of the Battle Pilgrims, however the blessing of the lady is upon them and the fire is put out with a great patting of coats and dousing of flames with liquid.  Unfortunately, some (4) of the poor fellows mistook their spirits for water and were immolated instantly.

Following his pet's lead, the Daemon Prince himself unleashes a horrible, pestilent breath weapon.  His horrendously poor hygiene and blessings of Nurgle reducing seven of the Battle Pilgrims to vomiting, dying wretches.  Unwilling to abandon their bar, however, the peasants hold their ground, call for another round and prepare to defend their libations.

The lay of things at the end of Chaos' turn 1.  As you can see, things are not looking good for the Grail Reliquae.  Or those hounds.

Turn 1 - Lord Sechnaill

The enemy has advanced and Lord Sechnaill intends the battle to be joined.  However, before his orders can be called a mighty roar comes up from the Battle Pilgrims, as they charge (bar and all) into the face of the Tzeentch Sorcerer. Stunned by the sheer temerity of such an action, the Sorcerer Lord holds his ground and prepares to deal swift death to any man who dares attack him.

Lord Sechnaill charges his Lance into the offending warhounds while the Pegasus Knights sweep down from the skies to land next to the Knight lance, protecting it from a counter charge by Daemon Prince or Chimaera.  The remaining Knights advance into better positions to charge, with the Knights of the Realm advancing into what turned out to be a wild and vicious forest, though they managed to evade its many dangers.  As they progress through the forest, the mist thickens and a form is seen riding hard through the trees.

The Green Knight bursts from the forest at a full gallop, his Phantom Steed absorbing all light to hit it, even as its rider glows with a faint green aura.  He rides hard into the path of the Warriors of Chaos, though does not engage immediately.  Some distance away, behind the advancing line of the Skullcrushers, the Peasants have finally arrived with that damnable field trebuchet, and set quickly about assembling and aiming the enormous contraption.

The Damsel conjures what magic she can from the light winds of magic, managing to revive some of the sickened and vomiting Battle Pilgrims to defend their Reliquae and protect their drink.  Just as the duo raise to their feet and raise their
glasses, swish is heard as a massive stone is loosed by the Field Trebuchet, landing amidst the Warriors of Chaos and crushing three of them, armour and all.

"May I interest you in a
field, in which no fucks
Lord Sechnaill watched in dismay as the peasants charged at the Sorcerer Lord, as he saw a good chunk of his supplies being carried into the fight with them.  Convinced that he was to lose his only infantry, he could do nothing but observe in shock and awe as the Peasants ran recklessly into the face of their attacker, two of them being cut down on the charge but the familiar aura of the Lady glowing into effect and protecting the remainder.  Realising the danger of his hubris, the sorcerer attempts to guide his disk away from the peasant rabble, but is unfortunately unable to gain any elevation before a thrown barrel sends him sprawling from his mount.  Within seconds he is overrun by revellers who viciously club and beat the poor fellow to death.  Adding him to the drunk pile, they turned their wrath on the Daemon Prince and went off to pick a fight.  "Oy you!" yells the Pilgrim Leader, rather rudely from behind the bar "We want a word!"

With the Pegasus Knights screening the Realm Knights overrun, the other Knight units advanced into position while the Grail Reliquae hares off into a Daemon Prince after running down and butchering a Tzeentch Sorcerer Lord on Disk.

Turn 2 - Warriors of Chaos

I will grind you to dust!
With a roar from the Daemon Prince letting the Warriors know that he's got the situation under
control, the Warriors of Chaos battle line surges forwards, with a chariot crashing in amongst the Pegasus Knights on the ground, and the Chimaera hitting them from the air.

The Khorne Warriors, seeing their chance for righteous glory in the eyes of their God, charge ruthlessly into the lone armoured horseman.  With Tzeentch's representative having been dragged down and beaten to death by drunken fanatics, his magic was felt a lot less, and the Warriors relied on what they do best: hand to hand killing.

Hearing the challenge from the drunk before him, and seeing that his men had the rest of the battle in hand Nurgle's Daemon Prince raised his weapon and hacked and slashed among the peasants, driving his talons into their flesh and thoroughly scuffing the top of the bar.  Pus oozed from his many open wounds and blessings from Nurgle, and yet after all was done and his might had been vented only two of the drunken peasants remained fallen.  Half of the remainder got up and charged the Daemon Prince while the other half charged him, using the bar itself as a battering ram!  Taken momentarily aback by the sheer insanity of the puny humans, the Daemon Prince had a brief thought of self preservation before realising how silly it would be to run from peasants and held his ground.

In the air, the Chimaera ripped viciously at one of the Pegasus Knights, while the rider clung on for dear life swiping at the flying monster whenever he got the opportunity.  Meanwhile the Warriors chariot smashed among the grounded Pegasus attempting to get airborne to assist their flight-mate, halberds flashing amidst steel armour and a cloud of dust and feathers scattered amongst them.  A lone Pegasus, his rider unconscious and his wing broken by the impact of the chariot, attempted to flee the melee on foot but was ridden down by the chariot as the Chimaera swooped wickedly into Lord Sechnaill's lance.

The Green Knight eyed the oncoming Chaos Warriors with disdain and readied his blade.  The Warriors charged and unleashed a barrage of vicious attacks that would have cut a man behind, but passed harmlessly through the Green Knight, who in return unleashed a flurry of blows and cut three of the Warriors down.  The impetus of the charge and the ferocity of the Warriors takes its toll on the Green Knight's spirit, as the Fay Energies dissipate slightly.
Here we see that after running down and massacring the Pegasus Knights, the Khorne Chariot hares off towards the Green Knight while the Chimaera engages Lord Sechnaill's lance.

Turn 2 - Lord Sechnaill

The great silver
stone slinger
A harsh cry rings out over the battlefield as the Chimaera comes streaking down at the Knights of the Realm under Lord Sechnaill's command.  Spotting the oncoming danger, the Lord springs into action, peeling off from his position at the front of the Lance and intercepting the creature as it came in.  His blade flashed in the sunlight as in two quick motions the Chimaera was sliced clean across the throat and straight through the abdomen.  Viscous blood sprayed forth and the creature crashed dead upon the field.

Seeing their Lord moving to dispatch the creature and the destruction of their Pegasus Knight comrades, the ranging Knights of the Realm charged full speed into the flank of the Warriors' Chariot.  Their lances strike true, though more go wide as they gouge a pair of great rents into the chariot's frame before the charioteer gets the animals under control and leads them rapidly away from the attacks of the Knights.  The Knights continue on in hot pursuit but aren't quick enough to catch the Chariot, also arriving moments too late to assist the Green Knight who, finding a worthy opponent within the Warrior ranks accepts a challenge from the Battle Standard Bearer for the enemy army.  Steel meets steel, hoof meets shield as the warriors dance in a vicious display of swordsmanship and brutality.  With neither warrior managing to deal any telling hits to the other, the Green Knight accepts the measure of his opponent.  With a bow of his head and a salute of his blade he returns from the mists from whence he came.

The Damsel has a quiet word with a couple of the Knights Errant and they bring their horses about to stay close to both the Grail Reliquae and the Green Knight.  A light gust blew through the valley, the winds of magic blowing lightly upon the battlefield.  The Damsel conjured up what power she could and focused her will upon the embattled pilgrims, bringing three of the slain warriors back to their feet (and drinks).  The song of the Trebuchets can be heard, the swish and a thunk of masonry being propelled by the skilled hands of the crew as they fly unerringly into two of Khorne's Skullcrushers, crushing them beneath their great mass.

On the right flank, the Daemon Prince continues to roar his defiance; met by a pilgrim who has climbed upon the bar, still being used as a ram, and bellowed right back into the creature's face.  Brazen as that may be, and a show of pure peasant belligerence it is unfortunately not a good idea to be that close to the face of a Daemon Prince, as the resulting head-butt shattered the poor man's skull and sent him sprawling to the floor.  The Daemon Prince brings down another couple of the Battle Pilgrims with his blades, but the Blessing of the Lady holds firm and the peasants stand their ground.

The Knights of the Realm fall just short of their target.  That's a day they're going to rue, as you can see the Gorebeast and Warriors prepare to counter-charge.

Turn 3 - Warriors of Chaos

Daemon Prince brings in some
Having finally made their way around the rubble of the tower, the Skullcrushers spotted that their General was still stuck fighting these peasants and charged valiantly into their midst to cut him free.  The peasants laugh raucously in the face of the Skullcrushers, needing to cut their almighty Daemon Prince free.  Raising another toast to their enemies, not letting the inconvenience of a battle interrupt their celebrations, some of the peasants continued to climb all over the Daemon Prince, stabbing into his thick, scaly hide. One enterprising fellow even broke a stool over his head before being torn in half.  The remaining peasants, realising that their battering ram was doing nothing against the Daemon Prince, set it against the charge of the Skullcrushers and attempted to drive them off using the large wooden bar.  While ineffective, they managed to stave off most of the Warriors' attacks although the armoured juggernauts managed to cut down most of the remaining peasants, with the survivors using the bar for cover.  Even still, in the face of even more overwhelming odds a pair of backsides could be seen peeking around the corner of the bar.

The Warriors of Chaos, the Green Knight having departed, seized their opportunity to counter-charge the Bretonnian Knights, hacking and slashing amidst them with their Halberds as the Gorebeast Chariot slammed into their flank.  In a frothing charge, the Gorebeast impales six of the armoured Knights, with the Knights swinging ineffectively against their hard armour plating.

The fleeing Charioteer of Chaos brings his steeds around and prepares to return to the fray.

Warriors and Gorebeast Chariot slam into the Knights of the Realm, this was after the impact hits wiped out the back rank, but before the second rank got deleted by Warriors of Khorne.

Turn 3 - Lord Sechnaill

The Green Knight
As the blood of the Chimaera drips from his blade, Lord Sechnaill orders his lance forwards in an attempt to end the battle.  With a thunder of hooves the Knights of the Realm, lead by the Lord himself, charge headlong into the flank of the Warriors of Chaos, in support of their embattled comrades.  The Knights Errant also spur their horses into action, crashing into the Gorebeast Chariot.  With the light of the Lady emmanating from him, the Lord and his lance set upon the Warriors of Chaos, stabbing with their lances, hacking with their swords, the Questing Knight pulling forth his tremendous Great Sword to carve through the enemy.  The Knights Errant drove their lances deep into the Gorebeast chariot, meanwhile man and beast lashed out at the Knights, ripping the three surviving Knights from the original charge to shreds, and unhorsing the Questing Paladin before he'd even had a chance to swing his mighty blade.  The battle was bloody and brutal, but in the end both Gorebeast and Warriors stood their ground.

The Green Knight, sensing that his work is not yet done, rises once more from the forest behind the Warriors, advancing rapidly towards the combat.

Grail Reliquae stands strong
Meanwhile, the Daemon Prince bellows his frustration aloud as the Damsel restores yet more Battle Pilgrims to hold him off.  Well and truly into their cups by this stage and showing greater than usual belligerence and resilience, the battle pilgrims charge forth once more, slamming the bar into the Skullcrushers while the Daemon Prince and Skullcrushers rend yet more of their number asunder.  With all of his customers torn asunder around him, the Pilgrim Leader, from his position behind the bar, stands his ground and offers the Warriors a drink.

And with that was the battle ended, no telling victory was struck by either side and by sheer dent of attrition both armies chose to quit the field.

Warriors of Chaos managing to hold their ground, even while fighting on two fronts.

So the end result was a draw, or close enough to it.  The victory points difference actually being 102 points.  The list performed quite well, though I admit that I got incredibly lucky with the first turn killing of the Disco Sorcerer Lord by my Grail Reliquae.

Definite MVP being the Reliquae, it takes a certain amount of stones for a bunch of drunken, angry pilgrims to hold up a Daemon Prince and 2 Skullcrushers for 4 turns of combat.  Especially given that my expectations from the Reliquae were quite low, I'd really just wanted to tie up the wizard.  Double Heroic Killing Blow on the Chimaera was also a really nice touch.

Lore of Life was fantastic, though I think that I will be switching back to Beasts for the tournament.  A prophetess with the Reliquae (obviously not in it) would probably make the unit a whole lot more survivable.

Thank you very much for reading, and I apologise for my terrible phone photography.  I hope you have enjoyed my report and I look forwards to more warhammer, more battles and bringing you more stories of Lord Sechnaill and his drunken battle pilgrims!

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