After months of searching Goethe had finally found the province he was looking for... Platino. This small province was tucked away along the war torn lands of the border princes. Vast armies would converge on this location to gain the favor of their gods and earn riches beyond their wildest dreams. Now all Goethe had to do was actually find out where it was all hidden...
This was the first game of a three round tournament that took place in Woodbridge Mall, New Jersey on February 7th. It had a good turn out with a respectable 14 players (all of the slots filled) and a good mix of armies. I believe it was 1 High Elf, 1 Chaos Demons, 2 Chaos Warriors, 1 Orcs & Goblins, 2 Dark Elves, 1 Empire, 2 Ogres, 1 Vampire Count, 1 Chaos Beasts and 3 others I couldn't recall.
The air was thick with foul magics but Goethe urged his army forward it had all come down to this he knew now that the treasures beyond imagination were within his grasp. Sameth nonchalantly announced "it seems my misguided brethren are here to stop your advance.." Goethe shot a stare to the demon sorcerer for not addressing him by his title, but that would have to wait for later. So that would explain why there was an unearthly silence in the province of Platino... it seems the demons hungered once more for the souls of fresh prey...
A rather nice guy I played against, I already knew I was in trouble when I saw his beautifully painted demons. It is one of the armies that I have never played against so I knew that I would have trouble identifying any real threats. His list from memory:
Herald of Nurgle and Khorne
Skulltaker and Masque
Plague bearers x 10-15
Plague bearers x10-15
Flesh hounds x5
Flesh hounds x5
Blood letters x15
Nimue rolled: Chillwind and Black Horror
Sameth rolled: Steed of Shadows, Creeping Death and Shades of Death
Shrieks from another dimension cut through the fog as the demon army materialized in front of the dark elf line. The demons wasted no time charging forward thirsty for dark elf blood, in response the dark elves stood firm firing their missiles into the fray. Here and there a demon would simply vanish from any of the shots that connected sending them back to the aether. The Masque's wail disoriented the shade's resolve making them fear for the worst.
It was a pretty quick turn 1 for both of us, I won first turn I believe and waited to see where his units would go. I decided two or more good rounds of shooting would knock down the demons a peg or two before I could charge... well that was the plan anyway! The Masque brought down the leadership of the shades by 2 points it didn't matter the first round but the following rounds I had a feeling it could hurt..
Again the center and the left flank stood still firing the crossbows and warmachines on the bloodletters who were vulnerable to the missile fire unlike their nurgle brethren who simply absorbed the missile fire. Both chariots rumbled slowly forward waiting for their chance to smash into the ranks of the infernal puppets of the chaos gods.
The right flank lead by Jotan showed no regard for Goethe's plan and decided to march forward and meet the enemy. Their folly was shown true when the flesh hounds ripped through most of the corsairs who despite the assassin's help only managed to kill a solitary hound bearing down on them. Amazingly they outran the slavering hounds were baying for their blood. The witchcraft of the Masque caused the shades veterans of countless battles to run at the sight of their comrades being torn apart by the hounds.
Well that went pear shaped quickly... I was hoping to at least kill a few hounds with the assassin popping out, at the very least hold them in place for either the shades or Jotan to charge the sides. Instead they ran and caused the Shades who were at negative 2 or 3 leadership to run away also! The screamers were on the far left flank getting ready to fly over my units but I was more afraid of the center and left flank... That khorne unit hurting was coming one way or another..
The demons were so close now the evil flicker of demonic fire could be seen in their very eyes. One chariot was foolish enough to try and take the glory for themselves charging headlong into the bloodletters. They had even managed to take down a fair few but in the end of the brute strength of the khorne herald smashed the chariot to pieces.
With the flesh hounds and screamers threatening the right flank Jotan set about a unit of flesh hounds. He skewered one of the hounds outright with his pegasus severely injuring another. Though they stubbornly stood firm kept held at bay by the tip Jotan's lance.
With scent of blood in the air the khornate champions continued their rampage turning over the other chariot and smashing into Goethe's unit. Between skulltaker and the herald they managed to cut a bloody swathe through the corsairs whose feeble weapons could not find a weak spot on the armored behemoths. Goethe and his corsairs decided to run away from the ferocity of khorne's champions as they busied themselves beating the dead bodies of their comrades.
Oh look more hurt on my units! I had initially wanted the first chariot to do some damage and my him overrun into the second chariot which he would destroy easily and leave himself open for a double attack (from Goethe's corsair unit and the spearmen). He didn't overrun but the next turn he did charge the second chariot, everything would of been dandy if he didn't roll VERY high for his two characters (skulltaker and the herald) smashing into Goethe's unit. Predictably they slaughtered the corsair unit and either ran them down? or they held and I fled off the table.
Screams could be heard from all across the dark elf battle line, the demons had broken through and were taking their prize. The mythical fog had obscured most of the battlefield as small pockets of resistance were fighting off the demons the best they could. On the left flank the bolt throwers kept firing into the plague bearers for little to no effect before they were overrun.
There was no center of the battle line as Skulltaker and the herald mopped up any resistance that got in their way. The spearmen were bathed in multicolored flames by the demons only a handful surviving their faces filled with burns and ash. The shades who ran earlier from the demons decided to put up a brave counterattack, they assaulted the screamers that were running rampant all over the field and managed to banish them.
On the right flank or rather what was left of it was a company of crossbowmen firing at anything that came within the distance of their weapons. Jotan held his side a wound he had received from an aerial duel earlier with the screamers. He cursed in his native tongue as he spurred his pegasus into the sky. With that the remaining dark elves called a retreat and slowly left the field.
Over these two turns the screamers proved themselves to be quite a nuisance as they sailed over my depleted corsairs and crossbowmen on the right flank. I had to keep flying Jotan in circles in order to get them to move into my lanes of fire or at the very least charge range. The shades despite their earlier cowardice managed to kill the last blood letter to score points for the unit and they managed to take out the screamers!
Sameth kept flying around staying out of trouble and failed to kill anyone or even cause wounds with creeping death. I really have to pick his lore better when I play he is continuously put to shame by Nimue. Speaking of the little vixen it was a bad idea to have her in Goethe's corsair unit as she couldn't escape later and was run down. Taking her out of the unit a turn earlier would of given me a slight advantage in the later turns with magic.
At the end of the game I had a handful of spearmen (under half), Sameth, Jotan (injured), crossbowmen, a unit of harpies and a few shades.
He had only lost a unit of screamers, bloodletters, both units of fleshhounds (it may have been one and most of another) and an odd plague bearer or two.
A few miles down the road Goethe and what remained of his army waited till the screaming was over. Goethe unrolled the ancient map and tried to look for another way to travel deeper into Platino in vain. One of the shades stood a sword's distance away waiting to be acknowledged. If anything Goethe was quite surprised any of their kind survived that battle but the shades were quite canny if anything. He looked up at the shade as he spoke "Master my warriors have found a different route..". Goethe dismissed the shade with a casual wave of his hand, with a gleam in his eye he thought it didn't matter how many of his warriors would die he would have his treasure...
If I had to play this battle over again I would definitely have moved my casters on the far left flank, despite having plenty of fliers and the flamers he wasn't overly aggressive with them. I could of gotten away casting spells and slowing down by the plague bearer blocks and the blood letters. I also should of never taken that gamble with the chariots and waited another turn of him either marching or positioning himself. I deployed a few inches back so even if he charged he would of not hit me and the counter charge would of been more effective. Ah well thats life for you I suppose. Onward to the next battle!