Friday, 20 February 2015

Shore Leave: Dark Elves vs Warriors of Chaos


Another day, another ruined tower. 

The Badlands were filled with them, dismal relics of failed settlements. This one poked out of a murky wood, the roof sagging inwards like punctured bellows. It must have had a moat once, slimy water choked with rotting snags lay from its feet right to the edge of the road. Facing it, a trio of large burial mounds, topped with twisted statues. 

Phlothos's Warband were in good spirits. More hapless peasants had joined their ranks. They'd even picked up some defectors from a broken Slaaneshi warband, riders willing to experience the unique sights and smells that Nurgle could show them. Change was in the air since their battle with the goblins. Hope rose in their rotting bones, and every day brought them nearer to the mountains. 

"I have been many things in my life," Phlothos said. Ub Shudder, most competent of his men, listened attentively nearby. 

"A leader of men. An invalid. A warrior. I studied the mysteries of our foetid faith under pestilent priests in the far north. Look at me, would you believe I was once a simple miner?"

Shudder shrugged. Looking at Phlothos, it was hard to believe he'd ever been a person at all. Mucus-slick tentacles sprouted from his armpits. His disease-wracked body, almost twice the normal girth of a man, had the sheen of a bloated corpse. His great deformed ruin of a head waggled unsteadily on its crapulent neck as though it might finally give in to gravity and break free any moment. 

"We all have pasts," Shudder said, and spent a moment pushing his own once more to the back of his mind. 

"True, true, friend Ub!" Phlothos boomed heartily. "Dark and broken pasts. Perhaps that is why we feel so alive in this dark and broken land!" He gestured widely at the forsaken tower and its lands. "Who knows who once lived here? Broken and wretched folk, to look at it now. But proud and mighty once, perhaps!"

"Or elves."

Phlothos gave his lieutenant a curious look. "What makes you say that, friend Ub?"

Ub pointed. "Them, my lord. Naggarothi pirates, I should say."

Phlothos looked. There indeed, stealing out of the blasted landscape like thieves, was a substantial warband of elves. Riders and footmen alike had deep blue and purple cloaks. Some pushed bolt throwers, others goaded some vast, writhing creature ahead of them, treating it like a monstrous ox. 

"What are they doing here?" Phlothos wondered. 

"Does it matter?" Ub asked. 

"No, no, I am merely curious! Spread the word, we shall fall upon them like a wasting illness. Whatever they sought in this benighted place, they shall find but death instead. My visit to the Dwarves has been delayed more than enough. But of course, it's always nice to kill a few elves, you know!"

Ub nodded, held his banner up and shook it twice. Warhorns sounded down the ranks of their warband; the elven host responded in like kind. Ruins shall beget ruin, Ub thought to himself, and smiled. 

Make the Rigging Tight!
It's All-Skype Fight Night!

In a very rare occurrence, we have a SkypeBoot with both armies situated on the same side of the North Sea. For this to happen, I had to make the sacrifice of playing with the stinky Dark Elves, but having a completely non-proxied army would amply compensate for that.

Unleash the Kraken!

Many thanks, that collar was getting rather tight. I shall once more be steering Phlothos and his Chaotic warband on their luckless journey to visit vengeance on the dwarves. 

For tonight's clash, we're continuing the Woffboot trend of experimenting with End Times magic to improve the rules. Tonight? Full ET spells, power dice and army lists available. But we're ditching the random number of power dice rule, because it's sucky, and allowing ourselves normal 8th ed control of the dice pool to see how that feels. 

I've not had, historically, much success fighting elves. This time, the scores would be settled. For I had a plan...


The Black Arkivists - Dark Elves

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

  • Ursula, Supreme Sorceress (General) - Lv4 Dark, Shrieking Blade, Sacrificial Dagger, Talisman of Preservation.
  • Capt'n Nafarient, Black Ark Fleetmaster - Two Hand Weapons, Light Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak. Cloak of Twilight.
  • Master Stroke, BSBLance, Light Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Shield, Cold One. Banner of Eternal Flame
  • 19 x Black Ark Corsairs - Two hand weapons, Light Armour, Sea Dragon Cloaks. Full Command. Razor Standard.
  • 5 x Dark Riders - Spear, Light Armour, Shields, Repeater Crossbows.
  • 5 x Dark Riders - Spear, Light Armour, Shields, Repeater Crossbows.
  • 5 x Cold One Knights - Lance, Heavy Armour, Shield. Full Command.
  • 1 x Reaper Bolt Thrower
  • 1 x Reaper Bolt Thrower
  • Bathyal - Kharibdyss

Not having a clue about Dark Elves, other than they're supposed to be very good, I eschewed the usual favourites (rhymes with 'Door locks') and went for a themed list: a pirate crew of salty corsairs, with their pet sea-monster. Even I could tell the Fleetmaster was absolute rubbish, but a ship needs a captain and that's fluff for you.

In terms of kit, the Cloak of Twilight was all the Fleetmaster could afford, and it might help him in challenges. The Razor Standard was to help against that horrible Chaos Armour, and the Banner of Eternal Flame was to take out the inevitable Nurgle regeneration (given to the BSB, so he could switch units if needed)

For the Supreme Sorceress, the Talisman of Preservation was a given. The Sacrificial Dagger may have been overkill (haha) given we'd have all those End Times Magic dice flying around, but it looked too fun to pass up. The Shrieking Blade was to use up points, but I also had a theory that, if I ever cast Shroud of Despair, it may keep her protected, since Kraken would need to take Ld tests (and risk the -1 cumulative penalty to everyone) to target her in close combat, and so may hesitate to do so... well, it sounded sensible to me.

Boast: Breakthrough - with two fast cavalry units, this one had to be a shoo-in.

Delf Beatdown - Warriors of Chaos

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

  • Phlothos OrgmeierExalted Hero - Mark of Nurgle, Soul Feeder, Charmed Shield, Filth Mace, Palanquin of Nurgle
  • Ub Shudder, Exalted Hero BSB - Shield, Hideous Visage
  • Vlys Drebbak, Chaos Sorcerer -  Lv2, Shadow, Dispel Scroll
  • Clotch Hurdrech, Chaos Sorcerer -  Lv2, Nurgle, Barded Chaos Steed, Obsidian Lodestone
  • 15 x Chaos Warriors - Mark of Nurgle, Shields, Full Command, Standard of Discipline.
  • 5 x Marauder Horsemen Mark of Slaanesh, Shields, Javelins, Full Command
  • 5 x Chaos Knights - Mark of Nurgle, Ensorcelled Weapons, Ranger's Standard.
  • 1 x Chaos Warshrine - Mark of Nurgle

Well, okay, not a plan so much as a theory. My theory is that Stylus is going to be experimenting with interesting Dark Elves units rather than picking the usual lineup. Yes, we'll probably see Warlocks. But I have a suspicion I might get a rather less manouverable and more combat-orientated opponent than previous Delf combats. 

(Good theory. My first draft was centred around a big block of Black Guard. And Warlocks too, because I'm weak, weak, weak).

So I'm taking some heavy cavalry, tooled up for manouver themselves with the Ranger's Standard, some lights to go warmachine hunting, and the usual hefty block of warriors to mop up the survivors. Nurgle and Shadow magic, to strike fear into those puny elves. And a warshrine, partly to observe my traditional form and partly because you can obnoxiously spam its ability in ET if you're so inclined. 

Boast: Bodyguard. Nobody has killed Phlothos yet, amazingly. I should start capitalising on that. 


No special terrain here, it's all completely standard and non-mysterious. A single large wood covering the entire west flank, a tower and tombs in the middle (the Dreadstone can be garrisoned, the two smaller tombs are impassable) with standard swamps between them.

A road along the middle gives +1 M as long as you keep the unit touching it for its entire move, some fences and a trio of grave mounds, each containing an Arcane Fulcrum (since we'll be using End Times Magic).

I should note that I put this field together before making my army list, that's the usual way. Then we did full blind deployment using Battle Chronicler, with Stylus getting first pick of sides. 


A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

I didn't think Stylus would see me coming through the woods. The Ranger's Standard would let the Chaos Knights hurtle cheerfully through, and perhaps I could steal a flank that way. Conversely, I could see him making for the tower, so I'd send the chaos warriors to contest it and at the same time use the cover of the woods against the inevitable delven shooting. 

That left my horsemen out by themselves. I didn't have high hopes for them, but maybe they could pick off or distract something for a turn or two before dying. 

The plan? Get into combat fast. Stay there. Win.

When I saw the terrain, my first thought was: 'why has Kraken halved the size of the battlefield? No-one's going to go near that forest, so the whole game will play out on the eastern side." ... let's see how that works out.

Anyway, when I saw the tower, I knew I wanted it. I could get there first, regardless of who got the first turn. And with my Corsairs tucked up in there, I reckoned I could even the odds against the Chaos Warriors (no palanquin for Phlothos, no supporting attacks, no targeting my Sorceress, the Cloak of Twilight giving me a 'first turn' bonus with every re-charge, and plenty of time to blast out Dark Magic spells). Yes sir, I wanted that tower.

For the more mobile elements of my army, the Kharibdyss could charge up the centre and cause havoc (I reckoned he'd have the measure of the Warshine), and I'd hold the Cold Ones in reserve, waiting for a late charge against whatever tried to bypass the tower. The Dark Riders would take out the opposing fast cavalry, then make a nuisance of themselves (and get me my boast).

For the totally static elements, the Reaper Bolt Throwers would compete to also take out the fast cavalry, then rake the chaos units with arrows, in the way that elves do so well.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.
Chaos line
A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.
Man the Barricades

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.
Deployment with Vanguards

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 1

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

His warriors drawn up, Phlothos gave the order to advance. Not down the road, as his enemy was clearly expecting. Instead, they plunged into the dense tangle of foliage off to the right. 

Not everyone obeyed. The Slaaneshi cultists weren't interested in Phlothos's order, just the new opportunities he might bring them. What they thought they might experience by charging straight down the road towards the bulk of the dark elves, Phlothos had no idea. He stayed out of the trees long enough to see them throwing spears at one of the bolt thrower crews. As the first elf died, a stout hazel javelin in its breast, he smiled and entered the wood.

Under the dark boughs, he could already hear muttering and groaning. Vlys and Clotch were weaving myriad spells together, knitting a vile tapestry of sorcery that they cast in a great sheet over the seafaring raiders ahead. Their ashen faces turned green, their legs swayed, they clutched one another, stricken by shadowy diseases. 

The knights swept ahead. Their banner glowed with tendrils of pale green light that licked the ground ahead of them. Where the light touched, the dense vegetation withered and died. No bramble or branch would stop them from ramming home against the ailing elves. 

Dark Elves - Turn 1

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

Ursula swayed backwards, her head spinning as if she were caught in the topsails of the Ebon Renegade. Whatever magic that chaos sorcerer had slipped past her, it had clouded the mind of every one of her corsair bodyguard. Even Capt'n Nafarient had lost his famed sea-legs.

"Becalmed, m'lady!" Nafarient cried to her. "We be goin' nowhar with these winds!"

Ursula gnashed her sharpened teeth. That ruined tower, so near and so inviting, now seemed far beyond the reach of their wobbling legs. The iron knights would be upon them before they could draw nigh. With a shaky gesture, she beckoned the Kharibdyss' handlers to goad the beast ahead of them. Let that landlocked leviathan bear the brunt of the assault. Better it than her.

Elsewhere, the Dark Riders ghosted over the battlefield unseen and unopposed. The Cold One Knights swung their reluctant mounts around and began sweeping behind them, hoping to shore up the western flank. Or else they had already seen defeat and were making an early retreat.

Summoning all her magical power, Ursula threw a Doombolt of awesome power upon the Chaos Knights, only to have it snuffed out of existence by some rotting scrap of parchment carried by one of the enemy sorcerers. Undaunted, she tried again, again to have her efforts dispelled by the other sorcerer. She could sense this pair were laughing at her, but her knowledge of the Dark Arts stretched back into the centuries. She was content to wait her moment.

More restless were the two Reaper Bolt Throwers that had been dragged from their Black Ark's fo'c'sle. The Gorgon loosed first, dropping three of the human horsemen that had dared to attack their brother war machine. With only one crew remaining, the Ice Storm was a fraction slower, but still managed to revenge itself by killing the remainder of the troop. Denied any target by the haste of the war machines, the Dark Riders could only clash their spears.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.
Clash Clash

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 2

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

What was that... that thing? 

Blotched with phosphorescent patches, howling to itself like a terrible gale at sea, snapping various fanged mouths that dripped with blueish ichor... Horrific. 

Phlothos wanted one. 

He'd settle for a dead one, though, it looked like the elves behind it were jabbing it with poisoned goads, just hard enough to make it angry. "Slay it, brothers!" he called, and the knights swept forward. Leaving a trail of blighted greenery behind them, they slammed home. 

As they did so, Clotch hissed a few arcane phrases and the air around the knights filled with dirty fumes. Whatever that creature was, it had clearly never smelt the like of that miasmatic stench. It reared up and lashed about, shrieking. Elven handlers swung through the air on spiked chains, helpless against its strength. From behind his marching men, Phlothos heard the Shrinemaster chime out a psalm to Nurgle on cracked bells, and could feel the blessings of their god settling over his sergeants. 

But the knights couldn't get close enough. A massive clawed tail swept through the air, keeping them and their steeds at bay, as the abyssal monster keened. One knight was ripped from the saddle and left smashed against a tree, his armour spikes jammed deeply into the wood. Even though the master of the knights hacked a reeking gouge in the monster's flank, it wasn't going anywhere.

"Faster!" Phlothos shouted impotently at the imps bearing his throne. "We must go to the aid of our brethren!"

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.
Charge the Fish-thing

Dark Elves - Turn 2

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

"The leviathan stands!" cried Nafarient in a voice that could carry orders across a tempest-swept topsail. "I see in him outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it!"

The Corsairs needed no further encouragement. They leapt forward into the melee of beast and chaos knight, cutlasses in one hand, rigging knives the other. The Dark Riders were similarly enthused, and plunged into the forest, heedless of danger. One troop distracting the regiment of Warriors, the other moving to envelop them.

Behind everything, the Cold Ones manoeuvred to find a path through to combat, with a patience that only lizards possess.

This time, Ursula was prepared for the magical contest, and ready to even the odds between Nafarient's crew and these inhuman knights. With an ease that brushed aside the defences of her sorcerous rivals, she struck the Knights with pain so great it penetrated even their diseased and bloated nerves, blunting their finely-honed skills and sapping their strength. Then, sensing the upper hand, she dispelled the pain with a thought and immediately re-cast it to even greater effect. The power of darkness then infused the Corsairs, strengthening their sword arms. Only an attempt to steal the souls of the Chaos Warriors fell short, when Ursula discovered that other powers had already claimed that territory.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.
Glorious Potential
Both the Gorgon and the Ice Storm attempted a single shot on the Chaos Warriors, their long bolts finding a path through the dense woodland and skewering four Warriors. The slender flights of the Dark Riders followed, and two more humans fell with fetched shafts sticking out of their helmet's eye sockets.

The ensuring combat was a laughable affair: with Corsairs choking on the sorcerer's foul stench, and Knights near-crippled with pain, both fighting elites could scarcely land a blow on either other. The superior numbers of the Corsairs, and their magically-augmented strength, eventually brought down three Knights for no loss. Unable to even harm the Kharibdyss, the sorcerer and his remaining escort wheeled around their diseased mounts and fled. While Nafarient held his troops in good order, the Kharibdyss leapt free of its handlers and ran down the fleeing riders, before smashing into the main block of the enemy.

Ursula ground her heel into the bloody mess of flesh and steel beneath her. These poor unfortunate souls were but the beginning. The threads she spun had yet to catch their true victims.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 3

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

Phlothos stared into the maw of the fishbeast. Closer up, it was even more ghastly. Curled talons like filleting knives, long gullets wide enough to swallow a horse. 

Luckily, he wasn't riding a horse. 

He rose up unsteadily on his palanquin, gripping one arm for support, and prepared to swing his mace. 

Something exploded massively just to his left. The throne rocked violently, he almost lost his grip. The slime-encrusted shield he carried now had a spiked helmet embedded in it. The head's previous owner was collapsing messily nearby. 

Vrys! Vrys had done something awry. Ghostly figures of embodied shadow magic flickered through the trees, dragging Chaos Warriors away to impossible distances before vanishing. The sorceror himself was among them, gone from this realm to who knew where. 

At least the monster was hurting too. One of its necks? Tentacles? Phothos wasn't sure, but it was missing the fanged mouth at the end now. Shadowy shrapnel dotted the creature's front, and it once more reared up, revealing a rippling expanse of pale stomach that rivalled Phlothos's own. 

He smashed his mace into it. Ub Shudder followed suit, hacking a clawed bodypart away. The Warshrine smashed through the forest to the left, and just as the wounded monster tried to twist away from the onslaught of blows, the Shrinemaster slit its principal head off with a well-timed strike from his axe. It collapsed in a complicated tangle of appendages. 

The shrine powered directly on, crashing into the corsairs before they could get away. Phlothos tried to follow suit, but the stinking carcass of the creature blocked his way. Nurglings scuttled out from under the throne to shift it aside, sensing his frustration, but it wasn't going to be a quick job. 

Dark Elves - Turn 3

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

"Avast!" bellowed Nafarient, as the hulking construct, still dripping with Kharidbyss blood, smashed through the forest canopy. "'Tis a ghost ship!"

Ursula decided to leave this to the experts, and instead signalled all the Druchii cavalry to close in. The Dark Riders continued to encircle the Warriors, the Cold Ones manoeuvred to find a way through the forest. The Reaper crews loaded up their machines with determination.

With both magical rivals dead, Ursula could do as she pleased. The same agony that had wracked the Knights now inflicted the Shrinemaster and his crew; while the Corsairs found themselves fuelled by dark power once again.

Taking aim at the truncated block of Warriors, the Reapers switched to multiple shots, ensuring at least some bolts would find a path through the vegetation. Truly, all but one of the Warriors were slain, and a further bolt sunk into the armour of their battle standard bearer. The Dark Riders took aim and finished the work: the enemy disappeared under a hail of repeater bolts and showers of blood.

Emboldened by Ursula's spells, the Corsairs leapt aboard the Warshrine, hacking away at the magically-infused decks. Defying his own pain, the Shrinemaster impaled one of the pirates with his sword, but could not withstand boarders in such numbers. The mainmast fell, and with it, any will to fight. The Warshrine turned as fast as it had arrived and fled, only to be run down by the eager Corsairs.

The Druchii skipped over the arrow-stuck corpses of the Warriors, then came to a halt. One warrior remained, a bloated carcass of a man, held aloft by a refuse of putrescent deamons. He raised his foul mace in challenge, and the message was clear: they may have eliminated all the others, but now they must face him.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 4

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

There was nobody left. 

He was alone in the wood, surrounded by elves. Their laughter was everywhere, their blades flashing and swashing in the dappled half-light. The wreckage of the battle lay behind him, warriors skewered by spear-length bolts, the broken body of the seamonster. 

No matter! Time to mourn the dead... well, there was no point, was there? Phlothos thought. Everything dies sooner or later. Why waste time complaining about the inevitable?

"Embrace me, little one!" he bellowed at the piratical commander swaggering amongst the elven ranks. "Come, press yourself to me, let me share my love of life with you!"

Foolishly, the elf obliged. He pranced up, swirling his scaled cloak round himself in a shadowy swirl. Fine-edged cutlasses, embossed with barbed anchor designs, flashed and glittered. Rusted chips of armour flew in all directions as the elven captain swung and hacked at Phlothos's pustule-coated bulk. 

Phlothos gasped and yelped appropriately, rolled his eyes back in his head and slumped sideways on his throne as though mortally wounded. When the corsair gave a triumphant cry and leapt up on the edge of the throne to salute his watching troops, Phlothos wrapped an arm round his left thigh, stuffed a tentacle into his mouth, lifted him up and broke him over the palanquin's side. For good measure, he swung his mace round in a long arc that took the captain's head straight off and knocked it back into the ranks of his men. 

The watching sorceress hissed her fury. Blades were lifted, evil resolve stiffened amongst the pirates' ranks. Phlothos heard the beginning of an incantation, the sound of dozens of crossbows being cocked, the soft trample of hooves breaking from a canter into a gallop. 

And then there was light. 

Dark Elves - Turn 4

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

Nafarient was dead. Ursula had led him to this fate, telling him to show no weakness before his crew, goading him to accept the challenge of this monstrosity. She felt responsible for the captain's death.


She was one step closer to unquestioned command of the Ebon Renegade. But before she could decide which other rivals needed to be removed, a torrent of magical energy erupted before her. Where the Chaos commander had once stood, or slumped, there now stood a titan. A enormous figure, malformed and pestilent, but possessed of undeniable power. His rotting skin swelled and burst as new muscles and sinews ripped forth.

Gathering her wits, Ursula conjured up another Word of Pain. But in her haste, she lost control of the spell and three of the Corsairs around her died in overwhelming agony. The abomination also looked as if her miscast had injured it, but that didn't prevent it from picking up the Corsair champion and ripping him into pieces.

Ursula cursed Nafarient one last time. Not only had that Fleetmaster lost his duel, he must have trigged a gift from the Ruinous Powers that transformed this lone, wounded warrior into a Daemon Prince of legend.

It seemed that, after all, the captain may get the last laugh.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 5

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

Pain! Such pain! Everything was a blinding black and red haze of agony. Phlothos screamed, swinging his mace at it as though it were a living thing. 

Perhaps it was. Perhaps he'd killed it, he felt something crunch at the end of the arc. But he'd no idea what. 

He felt wrong. His body (the great flabby mound that had slowly replaced his body) was a torrent of screaming agony, yes, but that wasn't it. His arms felt like they were bending the wrong way. His ribs, should they move and gape like that? Was he mortally wounded? Was this the end of him? Who was doing all that screaming? He didn't have that many mouths, surely? 

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.
Daemonhood at last

Dark Elves - Turn 5

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

This was getting serious, Ursula thought. Even with a wall of Corsairs between herself and the Daemon Prince, she could smell the foetid ruination on it. She beckoned the Cold Ones to charge forward, followed by the Dark Riders.

No-one seemed particularly keen to come to her rescue, and several tumbled from their saddles as they rode through the woodland, feigning injury rather than complete the charge. One troop of Dark Riders slunk away completely, no doubt already preparing their excuses about 'urgent reconnaissance'. Ursula would make them pay for such cowardice. She would spend every one of their lives if it ensured her survival.

And yet even the Power of Darkness seemed to be turning against her, shredding her from within as she tried to summon its might. Focussing on the pain, she increased it manyfold and hurled it at the Deamon Prince, preventing its full strength being brought to bear.

Sensing an opportunity for advancement, the Druchii Master who carried the battle standard challenged their stricken foe. The fool then proceeded to miss most of his attacks and witness his proud sea-dragon cloak get shredded by those poisonous talons.

The rescue attempt had failed. Was there anything that could bring this monster to his knees?

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.
Avoid the challenge

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 6

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.


He was standing up! 


No wonder everything hurt, he'd not put his full weight on his diseased legs in years. The pain was worse now, if anything, but he could just about see through it. There were elves all round him, panicking and shouting at each other. Horses wailed in fear, riding round him in circles with their riders trying to stab him as they passed. They looked so small!

There was a lance in his side. A heavily-armoured elf hung from it, his face a rictus of terror under his helmet. "Yes!" Phlothos shouted at him. "I've been trying to get at that boil for years!" But all that came out was a multi-tonal bellow. 

Darkness was coming, he could tell. The fight was hopeless, even to one as skilled as him. Sooner or later, a lucky blow would end it. You couldn't defend yourself from so many foes, especially skilled ones like these pirates. Some of his wounds already ran deep. 

But they seemed to be taking their time about it. Phlothos wondered why. 

Dark Elves - Turn 6

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.

Ursula was running out of heroes to stand between herself and oblivion. Almost the entire raiding party was now surrounding this Daemon Prince and still they could not bring it down.

With practised ease, the Sorceress once again inflicted unbearable pain upon the creature. Then she re-cast the spell, deciding that she could improve upon the existing level of pain. Her hubris was rewarded with another blast of magical feedback, though her talisman saved her from real harm.

Strengthened with dark energy, the combined efforts of the Corsairs finally managed to wound the deamon. Given time they could, perhaps, have brought it down, but Ursula had learned the lessons of over-reaching her grasp. There was no sense trying to haul this catch aboard, not when it could drag them all under.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Dark Elves and Warriors of Chaos.
Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

Result: 17:3 to the Dark Elves

(1,699 : 596 in old money)


The leviathan lay still, half-buried in the forest litter, like some slumbering giant. It had crawled a long way over land to reach this end. Ursula cared not. There were plenty more fish in the sea.

The slain humans had been stripped of all loot, though there was little to be found that wasn't covered in bile or pus. Around their corpses, the forest had already started to blacken and die, as if contaminated by their deaths. Ursula cared not about that either. Forests were the Asrai's problem.

The Deamon Prince had gone. Lumbered away from their gnat-stings as if it could no longer be bothered with them. Ursula was glad to see its riddance. If this was the same Chaos warband that had been cutting a swathe through the Border Princes, then her crew had been lucky to survive. Although of course, she had made her own luck.

Events did not transpire as planned, but the battle could not have gone better. Nefarient was dead, as was his First Mate, and the commander of the Corsairs. All killed by that deamon and, in the eyes of others, she was blameless. When they returned to their ship, only one voice would now command the Ebon Renegade.

Freed from doubt or dissension, her Black Ark would ravage the oceans. They would not yield to the traitor Malekith and his weakling allies. She alone would keep alive the spirit of Nargaroth. For them, the war would never end.

The Konclusions of Khaine

Uck. That was messy!

I was delighted that my deployment gamble paid off. If Stylus had got the first turn, the Corsairs would have been straight into the tower I thought. If they'd done that, I'd have needed to rely on magic to get them out again in all likelihood. Not that I'd have lost combats to them - just that with a BSB and a general to keep them from running, it would have taken a while to winkle them out.

But with that whiffed Knights' charge (a lone wound from nine attacks! Thirteen, with horses. Typical), I was looking at making the least of my initial fortune.

Probably my greatest turn of luck. If that combat had gone the way it should have gone, my line would have rolled up like a yo-yo. The Kharibdyss proved a very effective block (after my plans to reach the tower had immediately gone to hell), but it really had no right to.

It balanced out a bit later, of course. Phlothos might have effortlessly won the challenge with the Fleetmaster, but he still lost the combat. It was only the fluke of turning into a daemon prince that kept him (and me) in the game at all! If he hadn't been perpetually crippled by Word of Pain, he might even have eventually won out. The elves couldn't hurt him, but he couldn't really do much back with a mere S3.

Turning DP did mean I lost two other things in the game, though - my boast, as Phlothos is removed as a casualty when he transforms. And more importantly, the claim that this was a non-proxied game! I do have a suitably Nurgley Daemon Prince and base, but I hadn't thought to look them out in advance and didn't want to root about in a cupboard. Hence the Shaggoth in the photos.

Good game all the same - very entertaining to butcher the Delf command structure over six rounds of combat. I'll have to come back later to get the sorceress.

If I'd played with a cooler head, I guess I should have restrained the Corsairs' pursuit of the Warshine, fled any subsequent charge and let the missile troops finish the job. But where is the fun in that? We'd get no Deamon Prince that way.

Also, my challenge with the BSB wasn't as crazy as it looked, given he had a 1+ armour save against the DP's reduced S3. Turns out that doesn't count for much if you roll a bunch of 1s.

My challenge with the Fleetmaster was exactly as crazy as it looked. I don't think you can lose a challenge any worse than summoning a Deamon Prince in your wake. Worst. Fleetmaster. Ever.

End Times Magic-wise, well, removing the stupid random magic dice rule makes it much better, straight off the bat. If we'd also removed the spell-spam ability, the barrage of Pain I faced wouldn't have been quite so severe, as Stylus either rolled low or even got dispelled on a few of his first attempts. So although the rules remain enjoyable for me, I really don't think they're as good or balanced as standard ones. Current ruling says you must use the ET stuff even if just one player wants to, which feels stupidly divisive to me, although I can't think many players would insist on something an opponent was reluctant to have.

Agree. I hadn't realised spell-spamming would be so ridiculous (maybe it cancels out with the variable number of power dice allowed, or maybe they combine into a different sort of ridiculous). But I ended up just lobbing Word of Pain again and again (kept going until I got the full D3 reduction on all characteristics) and that can't be right.

I'd really like to give normal 8th Ed power levels and casting rules a try next, just adding in the End Times spells and spell selection so you have all the tools to chose from, but much less power to throw into it.

Yes - I like the ability to pick anything (although in this battle I barely had a chance at any ranged spells because close combat happened so fast). But everything else just UNbalances the magic phase.

For my part, I had more fun with the Dark Elves than I was expecting. I might be tempted to take the helm of a raiding party once again. Dark Magic was enjoyable too, and I'll bear that in mind for my Wood Elves. Nothing in the battle turned out how I expected it to - apart from the elven arrows mowing down the Chaos Warriors, that's always a given.

Next month: No more elves! Daemon Prince Phlothos takes on squishy humans!


  1. Sounds like a fun battle! It made a good read

    1. Thanks for the loan of your Dark Elves. Glad I didn't break their winning streak. :-)

  2. Rules Checks!

    What's everyone's thinking on the ET spell stuff regarding hitting a unit repeatedly with a hex they already have? Rerolled value of a Miasma, for example, rather than a stacking penalty, right? That's what we went with in the absence of a better plan.

    1. Re-rolling the value of a variable hex/buff seemed the most sensible (and non-variable spells, such as a basic +1, don't get to stack) - otherwise you'd end up draining units to an absurd degree.

      But to play Tzeench's Advocate: if you were spamming a magic missile/direct damage spell, you wouldn't re-roll the 2D6 hits, would you? Because the damage would all be resolved before the next spell was cast.

    2. Well in a traditional game you can stack a hex/augment if it came from different sources (so has to be signature or bound or loremaster involved). But two beast wizards can both cast wyssan's on the same unit.

      This again makes for a good reason to not allow the recast. (I think one of the things about the ability to recast is to combat the random fickle nature of the winds... which was not in play in this game).

    3. I guess that makes sense in an 8th Ed game - if you want to recast spells, you're limited to the signature and you're paying the points for multiple wizards of the same lore.

      I agree the recast ability is too powerful without the random power dice (although given that I ended one phase by throwing away twelve unused power dice, I would have still have had overwhelming spamming ability).

      Which means the only ET magic rules I like are access to the whole lore and no more lapsed concentration.

    4. What would be nice to include is a variable miscast result - say you add +1 to the roll on the miscast table for every power dice used; or have to roll an extra dice on the miscast roll for every power dice used, discarding the highest (or lowest, depending on the miscast table - you'd need to shuffle the results so they were in order of calamity).

    5. I was pondering on how you could combine the current spells with a rather old fashioned take on the magic phase - the magic points you used to get back in 1st ed.

      E.g. a wizard has five points per level, each point equating to a single dice in the magic phase. And perhaps an equivalent number of dispel points (or ten per level and can split them as wanted). Points have to last the whole battle, the usual rules for doubles and miscasts apply, and you could get one back on a successful channel as usual. But once they're gone, they're gone for good!