I am really enjoying how this campaign has been weaved together with the narrative and by the number of models on the table. Will Kraggoth's prediction be correct? I look forward to finding out.
Thanks! And sorry for the delay--didn't get this done before I went away for a long weekend.Turn 1
I had first turn! As a side note: it's nice that first turn isn't that big a deal in AoS, overall. The perks of not having an absurdly overpowered shooting phase (*cough*40K*cough*). Anyway, my primary strategy for this game ran something like this:
1) Get objectives. Sit on objectives.
2) Kill the Frigate turn 1, if possible, and not-at-all if not possible.
3) Keep the Frigate and its buddies busy with amphetamine parrot while I am doing #1.
The Overlords have mobility over me, they have shooting *all* over me, but I have lots of wounds and lots of units, and he has almost none of those things. I make him work to kill me, all while making points hand-over-fist. It seems simple, and this time I am going to stick to it. My Battle Tactic was Gain Momentum, which meant I had to kill an enemy unit of my choice (I chose the frigate) I double-timed the Ungors up to the far east objective, ran the Gors (with the Bray Shaman) to the east objective, and hustled the Cygor to the west objective.
As an ambush, I brought the Doombull and the Bullgors on in striking range of the Frigate and the Doombull blew the Brayblast Trumpet to bring 10 more Gors w/2 hand-weapons in to jump on the eastmost Arkanaut company. The Doombull also tried to hit the Frigate with Warping Curse, but I discovered to my dismay that the Endrinriggers can heal an unconscionable amount of damage in a round and my 5 mortal wounds went to waste while the Doombull took 2.
I roll the bullgor charge first, but I have to All-Out Defense a pretty nasty Unleash Hell from the Frigate. This means, though, that when I rolled my charge and got a 4 (which, even with their +2" is just 6"), I couldn't pay another command point for a re-roll, since I'd already used it. A failed charge! The Doombull followed suit (dammit!) with another
failed charge. My whole "kill the frigate" plan is down the tubes right there! Woe is me!
As a consolation, though, the summoned Gors charged the Arkanauts and killed 2. Any losses they sustained themselves (3, I think?) were replaced by the Allherd rule that lets me replace Gor and Ungor losses every turn. At turn end, I earn 3 VP for objectives, but no battle tactic points, as I didn't even scratch the Frigate.
Top of Turn 1Advance!Ungors are fleet of hoof!Maygog chokes.Did someone blow a horn?Kill! Kill!Kraggoth and his herd ran across the dusty ruins, their backs hunched against the blazing sunshine, their horns down. They blew no trumpets, waved no banners at the Bray Shaman's command. They didn't want the attention.
Kraggoth could hear the boom of the airship's cannon, could hear the bloodcurdling howls and roars of the warherd, Maygog above all. He was showing off like a dunce, beating his chest and flinging curses, as though he were somehow bulletproof. Kraggoth strongly doubted that he was. "Keep shouting, you lice-ridden dunce," he muttered. "Make sure they can see nothing but you."
In the bottom of Turn 1, the Overlords picked "Opening Salvo" for their Battle tactic, meaning they needed to kill a unit before any other units had been destroyed. The middle arkanauts moved to try and bail out their buddies embroiled with the ambushing Gors, but to no avail--any casualties they inflicted were replaced by the teeming masses of the Allherd, while the duardin lost another couple guys.
The main show, though, was in the NW corner. The frigate moved in and I tried to redeploy my Bullgors out of easy charge range, which sort of
worked - they dropped back a few inches to hide behind the Doombull. It didn't matter, though, since the combined firepower of the frigate, the endrinriggers, the admiral, and the navigator killed them down to the last bull. That left Maygog the Doombull to take the charge in the face. And take it he did! The frigate slammed in there, the endrinriggers disembarked and tried to chainsaw off his face, and the admiral and navigator whacked him with large objects, but Maygog the Mighty had chosen this for his Finest Hour and he just WOULD NOT DIE. He ended the turn with 1 wound and killed one endrinrigger and wounded another in response. Essentially, the monstrous minotaur caught an entire ship's worth of duardin in his horns and not only didn't die
, but killed a guy in return.
The upshot of all this is that they scored their Battle Tactic but didn't claim any objectives for a total of 2 points. The beasts hold a small edge!
Bottom of Turn 1The Frigate lines up its shotFor some reason, shooting their pistols into a swirling melee only results in more dead dwarvesThis is why I say my Gors need to drink less. That's a BAD attack roll.Maygog the Mighty holds a whole ship at bay!Turn 2
My battle tactic this turn was "Head to Head" which basically boils down to have one of your battleline units kill one of their
battleline units. Give how few dwarves were left in that Arkanaut company in the north, it seemed likely, and indeed those drunken rowdy gors managed to scalp the last couple beardos and score their points. Elsewhere, the shield gors secured the east objective a little more decisively while the Cygor ran off to the west with the Bray Shaman trailing behind, yelling advice (he gave the Cygor an All-Out Attack command). The Cygor, listening carefully to the little wizard's suggestions, too careful aim and bowled a boulder at the Endrinriggers, killing 3. The Doombull went first, but choked on killing the last Endrinrigger and did 2 mortal wounds to the frigate (should have sent all my attacks to one place--rookie mistake). The Endrinrigger returned the favor by chainsawing the Doombull in the guts, taking him down. Still, he more than performed his duty. Hats off to you, big stupid bull-face.
I still have 3 objectives to the duardin's zero, scoring 3 points plus another 2 for the battle tactic plus another
2 for killing enemy battleline for a total of 10 VP so far.
Top of Turn 2Kraggoth veered away from his stampeding horde of Gors to follow after the long, loping strides of the Cygor, Topha the Blessed. The mad giant was babbling, but Kraggoth shook his staff and shouted at him, "Kill the tinkerers! Crush their impotent science! See them as I see them!"
Kraggoth focused his glare on the distant endrinriggers floating about Maygog's horned head beneath their absurd little globes. He could feel the cygor's presence in his mind - like a wave of misery and abject chaos - and then felt the storms of madness subside for long enough for the creature to focus his will. He hefted a boulder the size of a cart and hurled it overheand. A perfect shot! Three of the floating duardin were crushed, instantly and utterly. Topha howled, but not with victory.
The tortured creature had just foreseen its own death.
The bottom of 2 saw the Overlords choose "Eye for an Eye" for a battle tactic, meaning he had to kill one of my units after losing one of his own the previous turn. The remaining Arkanaut company, the last endrinrigger, the admiral, the navigator, and the Frigate all closed in on the poor Cygor.
The Navigator sent some nasty chill winds in the direction of the Cygor and the Bray Shaman, doing a couple mortal wounds to each. Then I had the Bray Shaman redeploy behind some cover while the rest of the Overlords army nuked the Cygor, even though it was sporting a Mystic Shield and an All-out Defense command. It gave up the battle tactic, but it also took the duardin the whole turn to knock it out and they still had only claimed 1 objective, getting them 3 points.
Bottom of Turn 2The Big Guy gets out-maneuveredKraggoth abandons the Cygor to its fate
The current score as of the beginning of Turn 3 is 10-5, Beasts winning. To Be Continued...
Post Merge: August 29, 2023, 10:29:23 PM
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For the second turn in a row, I keep priority and still go first. My battle tactic is "Desecrate Their Lands" which just involves claiming a terrain piece in the enemy deployment zone, which the Ungors do with little trouble. The Bray Shaman lays down the Warping Curse on the remaining Endrinrigger, killing off the unit, and casts Devolve, which should limit the Frigate's movement, all while falling back to hide among the shield-gors camping on the east objective. The ambush gors attack the remaining Arkanaut company, killing most of them.
According to my notes, I scored only 2 VP for objectives this turn, but I'm not sure why that is, given that the Overlords only had 1 objective last turn and I had 3, but whatever - 2VP for objectives and 2 for battle tactic brings my total to 14.This photo suggests the Frigate moved in this turn, but I don't know how.Beleagured Arkanauts need help! Kraggoth stood atop the dusty ruins, his voice echoing across the bare stone walls and crumbling monuments, calling down the darkest moods of his enemies upon them. Aboard the skyvessel, he could hear the duardin becoming beasts, some warping and devolving in front of their brethren's eyes, only to be summarily slaughtered. Others bore the curse more subtly, their attention waning, their tempers flaring. It was not much, Kraggoth knew, but it might be enough to deny these arrogant swine their victory. How dare they come here! How dare they defy the gods with their wretched science! He would make them pay. He spoke this hatred with every syllable, and in the distance, the skyship faltered in its course.
Of course, for all that the Frigate was able to pass its Devolve tests pretty regularly throughout the rest of the game, be it known. My enemy's battle tactic was to "Mobilize the Fleet," which meant ending the turn with all his units embarked on a skyvessel. This was easily managed - the ship flew close so the company could fall back and embark and the Admiral and Navigator likewise climbed on board. Shooting was focused on the ambushing Gors whose luck finally ran out and they were blasted into gory chunks and then the remnants swept up in the charge.
Big turn for the duardin - 2 objectives for 2 VP, 2 VP for the battle tactic, and 2 for killing a battleline unit. Score as of Turn 3 is Beasts 14 to Overlords 11. This is anybody's game, folks.
Bottom of Turn 3Turn 4
I win priority again,
and the battle tactic I wanted was to end with two units in cover. The plan is now to keep my advantage by hunkering down on the objectives and deny the skyvessel any more points. I use the Bray Shaman to once again Devolve the Frigate and use Twisting Curse to wipe out the remaining Arkanauts aboard the ship (another 2 VP right there). Come to think of it, I should have declared an Eye for an Eye, here, but it didn't occur to me at the time. I would also
like to make it known that I forgot to use the Shaman's relic - the Bleating Gnarlstaff - the entire
game, and right here it would have paid off gangbusters, but whatever.
What I did do was run the shield gors into cover in the ruins at the board center and then, having forgotten my stupid battle tactic, I only kept the shaman on the edge
of the ruins and ran the Ungors out to hold the far eastern objective, meaning I only had one
unit in cover - a really stupid, easy mistake that cost me 2 points in a close game. What a donkey I am! Even still, it was a solid turn - 3 points for objectives (the gors took the west objective from the Frigate, the shaman the east) and 2 for killing the last enemy battleline, bringing me to 19 VP
Top of Turn 4Taking CoverSecuring what's mineAt Kraggoth's command, the gors poured into the base of the ruined hall, fortifying windows with shields and rubble, and howling their challenges to the cowardly sky-duardin, circling above.
"Here we stand!" Kraggoth bellowed. "Here we show our true strength! The Warherd thinks it is strong because they are like a fire, but we? We are of the earth. We are of the mountains! And no clanking machine will uproot us! This is our land!"
"OUR LAND!" the gors answered.
"OUR LAND!" Kraggoth repeated.
"OUR LAND! OUR LAND! OUR LAND!" the chant seemed to shake the earth, and Kraggoth grinned. They would not break. Not today. The dwarves would not succeed. He needed no portents to know it would be so.
I forget what battle tactic the Overlords selected for this turn, but it didn't much matter. They pulled their frigate around and I redeployed the Gors making it hard for them to manage a bombing run. Then the frigate and its passengers unloaded on the gors, who used All-Out Defense to aid the effects of cover. After shooting and a charge from the ship, the Admiral, and the Navigator, I lost a lot of gors for very little damage in return, but I was sitting on a Triumph thanks to the fact that the Overlords were a couple points over the limit. I used Indomitable to auto-pass the battle-shock test and then 5 gors came back to the unit thanks to the Allherd's Bestial Might. They weren't going anywhere.
I couldn't contest both
of the center objectives, so the duardin took one of them for a total of 2 points and no battle tactic points. The score is now 19 - 13.
Bottom of Turn 4A chaotic meleeTurn 5
I lose priority! The Duardin finally get a double-turn, the bastards! They try for Gain Momentum as a battle tactic, meaning they need to destroy one unit (the shield-gors) and control more objectives than me and they will get the points. This would mean 5 more points for them and the possibility to squeak out a win in the final half of the turn if I couldn't knock him off one or more objectives. All of it, though, is predicated on wiping out my big block of gors. They do their damnedest, shooting and attacking and all the rest of it, but not enough gors die for them to be wiped out, and I hold on to a single CP to use Inspiring Presence, auto-passing the battleshock test. The gors stick! The Duardin score only 2 VP, for a final total of 15 to my 19.
We elect to not play out the last turn, but what would happen is the gors would have fallen back from combat while still camping on the east objective. I'd get 2 more points easy, my Ungors would head towards the board edge to complete my "Scout New Lands" quest, and that would be it. Both of us completed our Grand Strategies, too - mine was "Desecrating Brayherd" (have brayherd units contesting 2 objectives) and his was something related to keeping his Frigate alive. Ta-da!At Kraggoth's signal, the remainder of his herd melted back into the dusty wilderness, their howls still echoing in the ears of their victims. The sky-vessel, damaged and depleted, was forced to withdraw, leaving the land to the beasts, as was right.
Later that night, as the duardin left behind - either living or dead - were sacrificed and burned at the foot of the herdstone, and the gors indulged in drunken revelry beneath a mad sky, Kraggoth stalked the battlefield, looking for Maygog.
The Doombull had not perished, though his wounds were grevious. The Shaman followed the trail of blood and viscera until he found the mighty beast lying with his back against an ancient tomb, his talons clutching what was left of his insides. Maygog looked up at the shaman in resignation - he was too weak to fight, too weak by far.
"Come to finish me, eh?" Maygog rasped.
"No. I've come to watch you end." Kraggoth leaned on his staff. "Do you plan on dying?"
"I am strong. I will not die. You..." Maygog winced as he shifted his weight, "You would be a fool to let me live."
"An orruk would not let you live. But orruks are fools." Kraggoth spat. "I am no fool."
"What, then? Will you nurse me to health like...like a cow?"
Kraggoth laughed. "No. You heal yourself, if you're so strong. But while you scream and howl and vomit in your lengthy convalescence, consider this: I won the battle, not you. I drove away the interlopers, not you. I control powers you cannot comprehend." The Great Bray Shaman leaned over the broken Doombull, his eyes glowing with power, "And if I want to end you, all I need do is
wish it so.
Maygog glared up at the smaller beast for some time before, at long last, rolling onto his side. "Very well...master."Final Score
Wow, what a game that was! It came right down to the wire and was really great. Mistakes were made on both sides, dice were hot and cold at intervals for both of us, and for once in my life I actually managed to make more than a few armor saves.
Failing the Bullgor Charge was a big deal and I thought the game would go straight downhill after that, but I was able to pull it out anyway, mostly thanks to my board control abilities. The plan worked beautifully, thanks in large part to Maygog the Doombull holding the line for a turn (no matter what Kraggoth says, that guy was clutch). All the Brayherd units pulled their weight and then-some, too.
I'm starting to get the hang of this army. I am not really an "offensive" force so much as I am a board control and maneuver faction. I need to focus on objectives and keep the enemy busy fighting the non-scoring elements of my army while the rest of my army racks up points. This isn't a very glorious way to fight, but it seems effective, especially since my opponents all seem to have far fewer units than me. I don't especially like
the idea of getting my ass kicked in order to win games, but I'll take it for now. The Beasts of Chaos are not a top-tier army for a reason.
As for my opponent, that frigate is outrageously tough and outrageously maneuverable. I dread seeing a second one at 1250 points, as I am almost certain to. Not exactly sure what I'm going to do about that. Still, I'm figuring it out.
The main thing is this was a great game - maybe the best game of AoS I've played thus far - and I'm looking forward to more. Thanks for reading and thanks, as always, to my opponent!