750 Beasts of Chaos Vs Ossiarch BonereapersKraggoth, Great Bray Shaman, known as the Seer of Calamities, staggered across the Ghurish waste, the sun baking his man-flesh cloak, his hooves stumbling in the rocky sand. It had been days since he had drank water, longer still since food, but the Gods had further plans for him, and so they did not permit him death. Not yet.
The totem at the top of his gnarlstaff cackled with the voices of demons, mocking his ruined body, his delirious mind. "Mighty wizard, where art thine spells, now? Where have your curses hidden? What are you now, but a heap of rags for the sun to bake?"
"Shut...up..." Kraggoth muttered.
He lost his footing at the top of a skree slope, and down he tumbled, his cloak and his staff tangled together. He lay in a heap at the bottom, lacking the strength to stand. Above, the carrion birds whirled, biding their time. "Let them come," he rasped to no one. "My flesh will curse their bowels and the bowels of their children's children, and so on to eternity."
The staff did not answer. Nor did the gods. The sun beat down on him like the hammers of the storm god, and he felt the world slip away.
He awoke when a bucket of cold piss was poured over his head. He was splayed out on his face on a cool stone floor. He groped for his staff, his cloak - both gone. Where was he? He raised his face from the floor.
Before him, squatting on a wide, flat stone piled about with the skulls of orruks, was a bullgor. No, not just any bullgor - this creature was a mountain of muscle and scars, his horns wide as a gor was tall. This was a doombull. Kraggoth cleared his throat.
The doombull raised a single finger, thick as a child's arm. "Before you speak, shaman of the Allherd, let it be known that if a curse passes your lips, my children will strike your head from your shoulders before you draw a second breath." It motioned behind Kraggoth, around him - a warherd was gathered, kneeling on the stone floor, their horns dipped in blood, their muscular chests daubed with wards and charms.
"You are Maygog, Doombull of the Red Wastes," Kraggoth said. "I am at your mercy, great slayer."
Maygog was not impressed by the show of deference. "Why should we not feast upon you, wretched thing? Why should we not slay you and take your bones for trophies?"
"Because those that taste my flesh are cursed, just as those that spill my blood bear my mark forever afterwards. You of all creatures should know the price of crossing a Great Bray Shaman."
The great doombull considered this. "Where is your herd? Why have you trespassed upon my land? Come - speak your tale, and if I judge it good, I shall spare your wretched life. If I think you lie, then I shall kill you myself, and defy your weakling curses just as I defy all that walks or crawls this world."
Kraggoth sensed opportunity - his third eye was open to the manifest possibilities of the twisting future - so he bowed his head in acceptance and began his tale...
Got in my second Path to Glory game (finally), still at 750 points. After my last victory against the Overlords, I had secured a Nexus of Ruin (the Barrowlands), but had made no progress on my Quest to Defend my Lands. For this game, I faced another participant in our little campaign: the Ossiarch Bonereapers. Here are the lists:The Teeth of GhurSubfaction:
Great Bray Shaman (General: Twistfray Cursebeast, Bleating Gnarlstaff, Spell: Tendrils of Atrophy)
20 Gors w/Shields
10 Ungors w/Spears
Doomblast DirgehornOssiarch BonereapersSubfaction:
Battle RegimentNote: As of this game, my opponent hadn't gotten the new book, so he was using the old rules
Boneshaper (General: Mighty Archaeossian, Godbone Armor, Spell: +d3 Discipline points)
10 Mortek Guard w/blades
10 Mortek Guard w/blades
Gothizzar Harvester w/Scythes
2 Morghast Harbingers w/BladesMission, Terrain, and Deployment
We were playing another Open Play game, since we still aren't comfortable enough with the rules to include the complexity of the Matched Play missions w/Grand Strategies, Battle Tactics, and so on. So, we wound up playing Field of Glory. The board had three objectives. At the end of the game, whoever had the most objectives won, and if anyone had all three, they would win a major victory. The twist was this was being fought during a lightning storm, so every hero phase saw a chance of lighting raining down on our foes. We elected not to play with any Ruses, since we've generally found those are vastly beneficial to only one party in the game and almost never both.
Terrain was simple--an obelisk in the NE, a canyon of rocks in the SE (behind which I placed my Herdstone), a ruined house in the SW, and pile of old ruins in the north. All of these had various Mysterious Terrain rules, but none of these rules ever came up.
The objectives were in the board center, in the canyon in the SE, and by the ruined house in the SW.
I won for deploying first and, given Battle Regiment, that meant I would be going first, too (at this point, I'm not really sure Battle Regiment is worth it, since there aren't many advantages to going first in this game in comparison to, say, 40k, where it is often decisive). Anyway, I knew my opponent was going to castle up and also knew that if I couldn't manage my attack just right, I'd lose--I needed to outnumber him and double-team his units. I decided the best course of action would be to try and bait him into a trap by keeping most of my force on the board and try outflanking him with the Bestigors. Therefore, the Cockatrice and Shaman went behind the big mob of Gors, who occupied as much real-estate as possible in front of my deployment zone. The Ungors, meanwhile, claimed the objective in the canyon in the SE.
The Bonereaper's deployment zone was a box at about the center of the west edge and going halfway out to the middle of the board. My opponent castled up--the Harvester in the center with Mortek Guard on the flanks, the Boneshaper and the Harbingers behind.
Deployment:The Beastherd's linesUngors in the CanyonsThe Bonereaper Legion approaches!The Board (from the north)Kraggoth conjured a small, green flame at the center of the warherd lair. In it floated a monstrous skull. The light from the cave seemed to be drained into it, leaving the bullgors in shadow. Kraggoth, his gaunt silhouette lit by the ghoulish green light, spoke to the great doombull. "The bone-soldiers of cursed Nagash have come to Ghur, here to feast on the many remains of the Greatfray's many conquests. So it was that the gods whispered to me an exploratory force of these empty, mindless vessels. They had been rebuffed by the sky-riders that raid our lands. They were wounded. Weak, I thought, though now I know this to be a lie. That which is dead is never weak; nor is it ever strong. It is only what it always is - hard, unyielding. But no matter. My gors were blooded by combat and ready to crush these puppets of the Corpse God. We came upon them at their camp, and there joined in battle..."Turn 1
My plan sort of relied on my opponent making the mistake of attacking me piecemeal - I wanted him to come to me, not the other way around. In retrospect, I think maybe I would have been better served by ambushing a greater portion of my army, but this is the trouble with small point battles - I didn't have the resources to spare. Anyway, I pulled back
a little from my starting line with the Gors while the Ungors claimed the SE objective in the canyon. The Shaman summoned the Doomblast Dirgehorn (hereafter referred to as the "Vuvuzela of DOOM") about halfway between our two forces and called it a day.
Top of Turn 1 The Herds hesitate..."With my power, I called down a splinter of the great Dirgehorn of Ghulak, there to taunt the bone-puppets. My Gors were thirsty for violence, and jeered and howled underneath a burgeoning storm," Kraggoth paused for dramatic effect. "But were the bone-hoarders goaded? No. They lacked even the barest trait of ill-discipline. So be it. I was willing to wait, but the gors, well...
In the bottom of Turn 1, all my opponent really does is send the Harbingers back to claim the objective in his backfield, all while scooting up a short distance, taunting me
with a charge.
Bottom of Turn 1Bouncing back for housekeeping purposes...Turn 2
Now, as luck would have it, my opponent won the priority roll, so it was his turn again. He flew the Harbingers back into position, he fired skulls from the Harvester, but did no serious or permanent damage. We sat there, staring at each other across a field of lightning-scorched sand, and waited for the other guy to blink.
Top of Turn 2"What was I to do?" Kraggoth said. "The Gors wanted blood, even though there was no blood to be had among those dry husks. The Dirgehorn's call demanded violence. Very well, then - let it be known that Kraggoth the Seer is no coward. I gave them the order to charge, and let the beasts live or die by the strength of their hatred!"
The problem I was facing was that the Bonereapers were sitting on two objectives to my one. I had
to attack sooner or later, and the Bestigors had to come on the board now.
It was turn two - the herdstone was giving me rend, though it wouldn't do me much good. It was time to attack, come what may.
The bestigors ambushed from the south and charged the Mortek Guard there, while the Cockatrice charged them also. The gors charged the harvester and the other Morteks. I had hoped I could run my Bray Shaman close enough to use the Braystaff on the central objective, but he choked with a 1" run roll (stupid--should have paid the command point for the auto-6!). The Ungors came forward to cover him. As for spells, the Boneshaper stopped my attempt to put Mystic Shield on the Gors, alas.
The combat on this round went...okay. The cockatrice missed its gaze on the Harvester (dammit), but the bestigors killed a full 9 Mortek Guard and the Gors whittled off a couple wounds from the Harvester and the northern guard. Of course, the Harvester proceeded to eat about 4-6 of my Gors and heal itself up (dammit!) and, while I replaced most of those losses thanks to the Bestial Might ability, my hope to quickly take out or cripple the Harvester were dashed. I was going to need some strong dice from here on out.
Bottom of Turn 2Giant Battle FTW!Turn 3
I won priority! A pleasant surprise! I did my best to press advantage, but the Shaman wasn't close enough to drop Tendrils of Atrophy (curse that run roll!), so had to settle for Mystic Shielding the Gors. What followed was a truly terrible round of dice for me.
The Bestigors did manage to kill that last Mortek Guard and tried (and failed) to do serious damage to the Boneshaper. The Cockatrice failed its gaze on the Harvester again
(man, that's bad) and its claws and beak did modest damage to the Harvester, which was quickly healed again. My Gors UTTERLY CHOKED. The Harvester's Roar kept them from getting commands, which hurt a LOT, and then I proceeded to tank just about every single damned armor save I made, losing a full 11 guys on one round and, without access to Inspiring Presence, the whole unit popped. That, right there, meant I was in deep, deep trouble, since I had nothing that could tank the Bonereaper lines for any period of time, now. Later on I remembered that I actually was owed a Triumph in that game, which was Indomitable, and lemme tell you, if my Gors had stuck around another round, this would have been a different
game, but, well, you live and learn.
Top of Turn 3My lines collapse!"Cowards," Kraggoth spat on the ground, his saliva sizzling on the rock. "The gors were flensed of flesh and fed into that hollow machine of the bone-men, serving to replenish their ranks even as we slew them. They ran - from the foe, from me, for when I catch them, my vengeance shall be mighty indeed. We would have carried the day, but for them. What would I have given to have some number of this brave company with me, then. Oh, then how those petty death-accountants would pay."
Around him, the bullgors eyes glittered with appreciation. They hung upon the telling of the tale. Kraggoth had them...
In the bottom of 3, the door slammed shut on the bestigors. My opponent swung the other Mortek guard and the harbingers into them and, in the ensuing combat, killed several. Fortunately, the Cockatrice finally managed to get off a gaze at the Harbingers, reducing the damage. It was then devoured by the Harvester. I did manage to severely damage one Harbinger and bring down a few more Mortek Guard, but I knew full well they were going to get back up again.
Bottom of Turn 3Bestigor's Last StandTurn 4
Yet another priority shift! A game full of double turns! The Bonereapers had most of their damage healed by either the Harvester or the Boneshaper. Most of them continued to grind the Bestigors down to just one guy - the Gouge-horn - who stuck it out to the bitter end. The Harvester charged the Ungors who might have fled, were it not for the unfortunate fact that the Bray Shaman was still in engagement range and would be killed. Therefore, they fought it out. They lost 4 but got 4 back thanks to a great battleshock test and Bestial Might. I was holding on by the skin of my teeth!
Top of Turn 4"The great abomination rose before me," Kraggoth said, arms held up, "an ugly corruption of once-living matter, filled with a hollow, remorseless spirit. My servants threw themselves upon it to protect me, biting and clawing and jabbing with their spears, but it was purposeless. For ever chink in its armor they dislodged, their own bones were repurposed to patch it. It dripped with the blood of my own herd. I spoke all my curses, directed all my power at it, and yet it kept coming. What force could be strong enough to challenge such a thing? What beast would be brave enough to face it?"
The bullgors roared their boasts as Kraggoth spoke. They knew who could slay this thing. All of them knew.
Kraggoth permitted himself a small smile. He turned to Maygog, ready to finish his tale...
In the bottom of 4, my final bestigor is put down with a half-dozen nadrite spears through his chest, dying as he curses their name in dark tongues. The ungors were swept away except for the half-horn, who wisely ran for his life. My Shaman, using Finest Hour, All-out Attack, and Tendrils of Atrophy (that is 3 attacks on 2s and 2s with a -2 rend and doing 3 damage!) does...2 wounds to that Yhwh-condemneded Harvester. At the end of the turn, I concede the battle rather than lose my warlord.
Bottom of Turn 4Kraggoth bowed to Maygog, "So, I escaped. They chased me for a while, tireless and efficient, but I was too wily for them, and the gods had other plans. Plans that brought me here, mighty Maygog - before you and your Warherd. Here to bring you a challenge unlike any other - can you, great doombull of the red wastes - slay that which is already dead?
Silence drew out. Maygog rubbed his chin, his fangs bared. Kraggoth had trapped him, he knew - he could not deny what the herd wanted, and the herd wanted to hunt these empty bone-soldiers and cast that their profane empire. To deny it would invite challenges, would weaken him and his herd, and this in turn would only serve to empower Kraggoth, usurper that he clearly was. The doombull's hatred of the shaman radiated off of him like a furnace. Still he rose, and his deep voice boomed throughout the lair. "Let the puppets of Nagash learn fear! Let us teach them the folly of their so-called arts! LET US SLAY!
The cheers and roars of bullgors echoed far into the desert night. The revels were long and raucous, with much blood spilt.
And Kraggoth was glad.Final Score
Bonereapers: 3 objectives
Beasts of Chaos: 0 objectivesPost-Mortem
Whew! That was a rough one. I made a bunch of mistakes here, not least of which was underestimating the Harvester. I saw that it had 10 wounds and was like "yeah, I can probably take that out," but failed to realize it heals instantly
upon causing damage! Holy amphetamine parrot! You basically have to kill it in one activation or bam, it's back at full strength a second later. What's more, it can heal even if your guys die for other reasons! In the last turn, I sacrificed an ungor to lay down a curse on the beast, and it healed back
the one lousy wound I did!
Other mistakes included failure to move my general where he was most needed, forgetting my Triumph (that one was HUGE), and also underestimating the strength of Monstrous Rampages. Roar, which forbids the use of commands, is absolute MURDER and I now understand why monsters are such a big deal in this edition. Wow.
It didn't help that my dice were very cold this game. I was failing waaay more than half my 4+ saves while my opponent was making waaay more than 1/3 of his 5+ rolls. The Vuvuzela of Doom was cool and all, but when my opponents dice were so hot, it really didn't seem to make much of a difference. Honestly, nothing
I did to his army seemed to make much of a difference. I think overall I was stupid not to use Ambush for almost everything this game--I would have been better off jumping down his throat with everything in turn 2 from a totally different direction of the board or hitting him with everything from the side or something. Ugh.
Anyway, this was still a BLAST, though, and a close game right up until Turn 3 or so, and even then the possibility for victory was there, however slim, right up until my ungors choked and my bestigors finally died. I need some actual hammers in this list, and as the story implies, I have some plans. Anyway, thanks for reading and thanks very much to my opponent!