Sunday, 14 December 2014

Grave Undertakings: Warriors of Chaos vs Undead Legions

It's Just Not Right! 
It's All-Skype Fight Night!

Back so soon! 'Tis I, Kraken, in jolly old original font.

And this time I won't get distracted by work (or xmas parties, or Shadows over Mordor) and fill in my parts whilst they are still in my head!

A ripping yarn of necromantic sorcery awaits you tonight, with 1600 points worth of Chaotic Warriors taking on a wide assortment of the undead. The new Khaine magic End Times rules are what's coming out to play here, courtesy of Gen. Kas, so expect more power dice than are humanly possible!


Charles Incarnage, a Chaos Lord - Mark of Khorne, Collar of Khorne, Mask of Many Eyes and Talisman of Protection
Vilitch the Curseling, a Vilitch the Curseling
Ivor Banner, an Exalted Hero - Battle Standard Bearer, Hideous Visage and Shield
40 Marauders - Mark of Khorne, Light Armour, Shields, Full Command, Great Weapons
2 Chaos Chariots

This was a very hastily thrown-together list, seeing as the first one I submitted wasn't actually legal! I was trying to do roughly the same thing, i.e. a big block of tooled up Khorne Marauders, but then I realised I couldn't hide Vilitch in them and tried to take a Warrior block too, but somehow forgot that I needed at least three units to be legit.

Kas kindly pointed this out to me to spare my blushes, so I tried again and came up with this chariot-and-maniac list. I kept Vilitch as a loner, as Kas had now explained some more of the new End Times rules to me. His ability to steal dice was potentially huge in a game where you have random caps on the maximum number of dice to use, for one, and the new ability to summon a magical focus to stand on meant being a loner wasn't quite so terrible.

Otherwise, simple - run the marauders at the foe, let the chariots hit flanks or archers, hope Vilitch blows some stuff up before he gets sniped!

The Damned Legion of Kas

Mannfred on his Megahorse
A Tomb Prince - Terrifying Mask of Eee, shield and Flail
25 Skeleton Warriors - Full Command and Screaming Banner
30 Skeleton Archers - Musician and Light Armour
A Corpsecart with Balefire
A Heirotitan
A Casket of Souls

I wanted to try undead legions having only played the one game with Nagash and no troops, and wanted to go for some summoning; although (again) did not do as much as I thought (150pt of hexwraiths and 50pts of skellies). 

I was toying with Arkhan, but Mannfred gave me a reroll of a dice for winds of magic (which now I think about it is probably less useful in a 4d6 game). 

This is what a Casket of Souls looks like via Skype

I did consider going with an unnamed hero, however when I considered that the mortachs could choose to split their spells from 2,3,4 lists (depending on which one) and that if you had one spell from a list you were now loremaster (in Khaine End times rules): I could have a lot of spell options. The 3 won, and Mannfred and his 10 wounds stepped up.

I then considered if I was going to hit the magic phase, and as I now can, I should have the extra d3 power from a casket of souls and if I am going to win the magic phase, then a heirotitan's bonus d3 to casting attempts surely was a good idea. 

And this is quite clearly a Tomb Priest. See? He's got a tomb. 

Add the obligatory corpse cart to make casting harder for opponent and offer an always strike first potential boost. Throw some core in and I was pretty much done.


No surprises here - a road, some scattered forest and swamps, a few impassable monuments (but no special ones, we had enough magic to be going on with) and a fenced and walled graveyard in the middle. The long wall in the middle had impassable sections at either end, just for fun.


Using the traditional WFB method here, we didn't have time to sort a map out for blind deployment.

I threw my chariots down on the road, staggered to guard each other's flanks. The Marauders decided to stay as far from the Cask of Souls as possible - I'd never fought one, but had the idea it wasn't that mobile. Besides, a denied flank sort of approach to deployment usually works fairly well for WoC.

I elected for a close block. The casket had a bound spell that did not lead line of sight, so located it behind some impassable terrain.

The titan next to it, as guard, and the archers and warriors were then set on either side. Finally Mannfred was perched behind.

That left us looking a little like this:

Battle Chronicler actually looks more realistic, I know. But some day I shall have a proper battlefield! I promise!

Warriors of Chaos Turn 1

I got the first turn. Everything headed gently forward, the plan being to use the graveyard wall to protect the sides and then wheel round into the foe.

Magic! Thirteen power dice for me, eleven dispel for Kas. So that didn't feel too mad, even if it was already more than I'd ever had before.

In the event, though, my dice curse struck pretty heavily. Vilitch, despite being a supposed master of magic, failed to make the rolls on any of the spells I tried, which was pretty much all of them. Even Blue Fire of Tzeentch, which is pretty embarrassing. Hang your heads, Curseling.

He did, however, summon a magical fulcrum to sit on. Having a 3+ ward save (as well as various casting bonuses) would help weather the incoming arrow storm, I reckoned.

It's not Thulsa Doom's Mountain of Power. But it'll do.

Undead Legions Turn 1

I am going to wait for them; my archers are not great, my warriors not great and I have one caster, but he is mobile and can get out of charge arcs and in to flanks of army to start throwing some spells at Vilitch and the rest of the army.

In the back field, the skeletal warriors round the monument preparing to counter the inevitable charge on the archers and prepare a counter.

Magic rolling is a little underwhelming again, and with that fulcrum up and running Vilitch shrugs off most attempts to kill him, but is wounded and the marauders are cursed forcing the use of some power dice next phase.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 2

The Marauders reform to face Mannfred, but fail their test so don't get any closer. There's a small summoned unit of skeleton warriors to their rear now, but nothing I'm worried about. The chariots roll down the path.

Twenty power dice! Ahahahahahahaha!

The plan is to throw magical fire at Mannfred until he can regenerate all the time is nothing more than a mutant puddle of slime. But with so many dice, I can't resist a little showboating (and I'm also still slightly anxious about the archers, because I've only got one wound left thanks to one of Mannfred's Lore of Death spells last turn). A bit of light Blue Fire spam on them ought to slightly reduce the ranks.

Cast unstoppably, thank you! For the price of a single S1 hit, I lose a wizard level, a handful of power dice and all further casting attempts this turn.

Goddamn showboaters.

Undead Legions Turn 2

I debate the charge on Vilitch or chariot, and elect to knock out Kraken's magic offence, he runs from the charge and with a just above average roll Vilitch would be caught. Which he was, although leaving Mannfred dangerously close to the horde.

The summoned skellies were not going to charge, why give the marauders a free reform, they were going to bide their time, and hopefully make marching difficult.

Magic phase leads to doom and darkness getting through on to the horde, followed by spirit leech and other spells and causing the lord some head pain. 

There were some Hexwraiths now, though, popping in on the Marauder's other flank. Which was just super.

The archers try and whittle down the chariot that is inevitably about to charge and take a wound off.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 3

Both chariots charge the archers, but only one makes it in. The one that gets there is already wounded, and rumbling into another hail of arrows only makes this worse.

At least that's another wound down to the stand and shoot from the archers.

In go the Marauders!

Normally 40 crazed barbarians with great weapons would be a concern, but I know I am going to be locked into challenges for three rounds, and feeling confident when the lord only has one wound, one of the three is a lowly champion and the other an unequipped BSB.

Hey, come on, he's got a scary face.

That all said, whilst the lord only just dies, I lose the combat by 6 and am 6 wounds worse off for it. 

Yeah, Mannfred isn't what you might call an easy target. But if I can whittle him away with combat resolution, the rest of Kas's army are almost certainly not going to reach me in a hurry.

Undead Legions Turn 3

A bit of indecision on my part about the charges, and where best to place them. In the end, the summoned skellies stay put (why give those marauders easy combat res) the hexwraiths decide they can do more to the chariot running through it than the titan can charging it. So the titan and Prince-empowered warriors go to the archers aid and that's the only charges.

It was the right move as the spectral steeds tear through the chariot, their ghostly scythes ripping their souls from the warriors' cadavers.


Whilst the reamining chariot fights on, it can't help but be distracted by the monolithic construct in its flank and only hurts one archer before being pummeled by the titan.

Magic is focussed on survival and with Mannfred hurting, several spells are cast to restore him to full wounds, and give him a boon in next combat.

In which, the marauder champion is thrust forward to be impaled on Mannfred's sword.

The Marauders were labouring under the twin enchantments of Doom and Darkness as well as Curse of Years at this point. I figured keeping the BSB in play for one more turn was at least an extra point of combat res, but seeing as Mannfred could effectively grow a whole new Mannfred every magic phase, I knew which way this hill was sloping.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 4

The BSB reluctantly steps up and is dutifully annhiliated. Even being three points up from this challenge, Mannfred loses because he can't play trumpet. Hah. Take a wound off, vampiric hell-scourge!

Last turn I have of being safe from the horde, but at least there will be no BSB next time.

Last turn the Marauders have of being safe from the thunderstomps too, mind you. There's still 26 of them at this point, so there's a good chance I'll, errr, scrape his paint a bit more? Maybe?

Undead Legions Turn 4

The reserves ponder forward, and the hexwraiths charge in. Again the summoned skellies realising that they would be minced just hold back.

Curse of years is cast again, this time leaving Mannfred's head as he casts it and some of his power goes with it, leaving 21 unusued power dice on the table, and Mannfred swings his sword with anger. 

The marauders have no answer to the onslaught and turn tail but are run down to a man.


Warriors of Chaos: Nil, Undead Legions: At Least Twenty


Sheesh. Tabled again, although I wasn't really surprised - it was a poorly selected army, although an entertaining one to attempt.

I enjoyed the extra magic power. Although I had 4 turns of it, and Kraken only 2, so I suppose that it was more one sided. 

Well, one and a bit. Stupid Vilitch, it was all his fault.

It did not feel as bad a rule as "Chaos Ascended" and we both said we would play again. Loremasters of Hoeth are going to be interesting (essentially getting 56 spells to choose from). We rarely spammed a spell, I think there was only one round with one spell re-cast. There was one round each were we both lost circa 20 power dice after a miscast. Considering all the power dice it was interesting to note only 3 miscasts in the entire game. I will play these rules again, and as now canon and are valid magic rules if either player chooses to use (not just with Khaine lists or EndTimes scenarios).

Yeah, I went into the fight grumbling into my Oldbeard about random power dice selection, GW sales policy, Tory Government, etc, etc. But actually it was pretty fun and surprisingly balanced. I'm not sure it's as tactical as the normal system, and I did miss the feeling of weighing up the pros and cons when picking what spell to sling. But when you're slinging, it's a blast! Even if that blast is centred on your model, of course.

Okay, it's a bit less fun when you've got no wizards. I don't know if the Dwarves get any End Times compensation, but sitting mournfully as your opponent pelts you with an endless stream of hell isn't ideal. But it isn't with standard rules either!

Mannfred has the ability to syphon 3 powerdice to attacks or 3 attacks to powerdice, several times I had surplus and forgot to do this... only once did I regret it, but still annoying. 

I think I was lucky that I was facing one deathstar and two chariots, I would have struggled more against more units. Although I suppose you can't cram that much in to 1600pts.

I was not smart, especially with the hierotitan positioning... of the two big TK monsters I chose the magic one and used him as a combat beast. 

In places, I do feel that I got lucky, Kraken had a lot of against the odds rolls. 

I'm not sure this counts as luck, actually, it's pretty par for my course. If it doesn't happen, you should feel aggrieved at Dice Gods.

1 comment:

  1. Sheesh - I guess I should have read the new Khaine rules about Loremaster a bit better before going into this battle! Vilitch could have re-rolled any dice involved in a Tzeentchian casting attempt, even if there was a miscast involved. That might have helped change things round a bit...