Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Slavar av Mörker

Ding Ding!

In round one, the warbands start by facing off against their most hated foes. Khorne v Slaanesh, Tzeentch v Nurgle, offering the most opportunities for the champions to grab some swift Victory Points. They need to amass ten for a Reward, and there's no final conclusion likely until someone has at least six, so I'm keen to keep this fairly fast.

Gorefaust comes out the best in round one. He manages to personally account for all but one of Eirich's beastmen plus Eirich himself. Even though he loses, he comes out with 12 VPs. This earns him a Reward - the Eye of his God! Khorne is watching with interest, much like nobody else in the stands. Vorti scores a ludicrously powerful chaos weapon, a pet demon dog and a Collar of Khorne all in one fell swoop. And a broken arm and a dead Thug, but it can't all be glory.

Eirich has technically won, but earns nothing - he didn't survive until the end himself, his beastmen don't get VPs, two of them are perma-dead with one crippled and Eirich's ribs are broken for a T penalty. This is all fine. I still don't like Slaanesh.

It's a stalemate from the others - Urge is taken out by a bolt from von Triest's staff, but his virtually unkillable Pestigors (T5, W2) wipe the Tzeetnchian band out entirely. Neumann dies of his wounds and is the first knockout; Urge merely loses an arm and therefore ability to use his only weapon. Lucky he's got that killer face, then.

I am not happy about this.
I mean, I'm all for change, don't get me wrong, I just expected something more positive. 

Seconds Away

The early death of one band spoils my match planner, so the remaining three take it in turns to beat the crap out of each other until a final victor emerges. I find an alternative victory table in Slaves to Darkness, offering straight rewards rather than a tedious VP system, so I start using that instead to speed the plough.

Thankfully for us all, it doesn't last all that long (just under three hours, including photos and write-up). This is down to some spectacularly bad rolls on the casualty recovery table, but hey ho. Chaos is a fickle doodad, as everyone keeps pointing out.

Khorne vs Nurgle - Boneyard

Gorefaust's new axe has the splendid ability to summon 2d6 skeletons for d6 turns. As his new Fleshhound pal tears a Pestigor to shreds in a single turn, using its 'pounce' ability, Vorti uses the axe to tie the others up with irritating skeletons for the rest of the game. This proves vital, as Urge's tentacle face paralyses him shortly afterwards. It's only because the demon and undead manage to scare off the Pestigors, running them down as they flee, that he claims victory.

As the black pincers deadly fangs of the Fleshhound draw nigh,
Urge opts for the better part of valour.

His new reward? The actual face of actual Khorne (causes old school terror, the proper running-away-early kind). Not bad.

Nurgle vs Slaanesh - Bow Selector

Eirich is already in poor shape. His minions are hobbled and outnumbered compared to Urge's deathless slab of necrotic beastmen. But it doesn't help Urge himself, of course. Eirich snipes him at range with his bow, putting no less than three arrows into Urge's wobbly hide before hitting anything vital. Urge's Pestigors panic without their leader (I'm running pseudo-Necromunda style panic tests, so if you see pals go down you may leg it), and victory is Zaan's.

The strange and unearthly Chaos Wastes inspire all kinds of exciting and eye-catching terrain projects.

He is promptly rewarded with (drum roll) a Crest. Yes, the crest of a rooster, an entirely cosmetic effect. Thanks Slaanesh, I knew you were shit. Still, could be worse. Urge scores 100 on the casualty table, which means for him, this ends poorly and also here.

Slaanesh vs Khorne - A Grudge of Dwarves

Vorti the Chaos Dwarf against Eirich and his dwarf cripple brigade - it's a good fight. The fleshhound eats one of Zaan's luckless followers almost instantly; the other tries to tie it up for an extra round, to allow Zaan to shoot at Vorti for a little longer, and goes the same way.

Vorti then reins his doggie demon in, as this is clearly a opportunity for an important duel. Eirich mans up, despite his terrifying foe; Vorti does the gentledwarvley thing and doesn't summon a pack of skeletons to fight for him.

Instead, it's a nail-biting seven-round battle royale. Eirich is a little faster than Vorti, and pecks away with his sword and platyduck bill, scoring hit after hit. Nothing gets through the dwarf's chaos armour and shield combo, though. Vorti swishes about uselessly for ages, then finally gets bored. A single hit transports Eirich to the casualty table, and it's game over.

Seldom, if ever, has the pulse-pounding tension of dice-based wargaming been so well captured on film.

It Is Now

And also campaign over, as Eirich manages to roll 100 too. That leaves only one - triumphantly sporting his new rewards (a hunchback and a goat's face for his new replacement Thug), Vorti Gorefaust is the only survivor. Not a prince, but still standing, and out in the Wastes, that's got to count for something.

When the Eye of Khorne fell upon me I knew I had his Ear. Also his Face.  

Well, it's been Blood for the Blood God here tonight, Bob. All the players are going home happy, except for the dead ones.

That's right, Trevor, I'm certain the fans will be pleased, although not as pleased as Mrs Kraken is to get her table back. Do you think we can expect more of this kind of futile and desolate solo wargaming exercise in the future?

Let's hope not, Bob. Let's hope not.


  1. I still think Urge was cheated - he could have found cover behind that giant pacifier, had it not clearly already aligned itself with Khorne.

    So the Manchester Utd of the Chaos Gods wins out again, GW will be pleased that their franchise champions are holding up well (Khorne is my least favourite deity - brass balls to that).

    Still, that was entertaining. The obvious question becomes: how do we run this remotely? A three-way Skype, where two players control a warband each and a third acts as GM. The miniatures are set up on location 3, and the GM physically moves them as directed and does the measuring, on camera as best as possible. Then we rotate roles each session so everyone gets a go?

  2. You can find many excellent remote tabletop map aids these days, I shall look out a couple of examples. They're designed for DnD, but I suspect could easily be used to run a wargame like this one.

  3. http://roll20.net/
    to name but three. I'm doing some experimental downloading and fiddling even as you read this.

  4. In fact, if anyone's feeling ridiculous or experimental, join me in roll20 on this link here any time over the next hour!