On this Episode of Fight Club we have a classic good vs. evil Age of Sigmar match up – the Stormcast Eternals taking on the skull crazed legion of Khorne! For this battle we used the matched play system (points) from the General’s Handbook, and brought 2000 point armies.
Celestant-Prime Lord Celestant on Dracoth – General: Phoenix stone (heal one wound/turn), Command Trait – Master of defense (6+ ward save after suffering a wound)
5 Judicators with crossbows – thunderbolt crossbow 5 Judicators with boys – shockbolt bow 5 Liberators 5 paladin retributors – starsoul mace
Pregame thoughts: Well Scott’s a great player and a tactical thinker when it comes to how he designs his lists with synergy. The thirster’s command trait will increase the hitting ability of all units around him, the wrathmongers likewise give a +1 to hit bubble around them, and once the secrator plants his standard he’s giving everything in a bubble around him an extra attack! The Thirster can also let one unit run and charge. This is going to mean that everything is dangerous and some key units need to either die or be out of position in order to take some of the power out of the list.
My list is a fast and slow build, where the hammerstrike force, prime and Celestant can strike where I want them, while the rest of the list is a solid backfield anchor. I’m heavily outnumbered and he has some specific bonuses against my army, but my decent saves and multiple wound models should hopefully see me through.
Triumph: As I had less points in my list than Scott, this gave me a Triumph to help balance this out. I rolled and got a once per game ability where I can choose to reroll all failed saves in one single combat.
Mission: We rolled mission #6 – the gift. How this works is at the beginning of turn two an objective falls from the sky in a random section of our deployment zone. At the end of the player turn if you have a unit within 6″ and no enemy unit within 6″ you get a number of victory points equal to the turn number (ie: 2 points on turn two, 3 on turn three etc.) for each objective you control.
Deployment: Stormcast Eternals were done first (I only deployed six units – the Prime and the retributors from the hammerstrike were in reserve) so I got to decide who got first turn. As Scott’s shooting was minimal and not much would be in range turn one I decided to let him go first, and gambled on the double turn. Age of Sigmar has players roll off each game turn to see who goes first. I’m not a fan of this rule as it can literally end your game on a dice off, and I don’t think it’s particularly balanced, but my own biases aside, we decided to use it this game.
Khorne Turn One
Scott’s Bloodthirster gives the soul grinder run and charge, and uses the +1 attack within 10″ trait. Bel’akor casts mystic shield (+1 save) on the bloodthirster. The khorne forces all move and run forward to get into position. Nothing is in range to shoot and that’s pretty much it for the turn.
Stormcast Turn One
My Celestant does his command ability to make all units within 24″ immune to battleshock. I keep the prime off table (he earns +2 attacks for each turn he stays off) as well as the hammerstrike retributors. I move conservatively, trying to still be in good position in case I get the double turn, but also trying to at least make those Khorne units not be able to charge with the entire army! With shooting I manage to deal a few wounds to crushers and a couple of bloodletters die, but nothing really impressive here.
Initiative: We roll off and I win, netting the double turn!
Stormcast Turn Two:
At this point Scott and I get into a discussion about how this didn’t really feel fair to do to him and a slight debate about the merits/downfall of the double turn. We go forward with it anyways to see what happens.
My objective drops down on my right flank.
I keep the prime off the table to continue to power up. As well with only 8 wounds if I drop him into the midst of the khorne forces, they will rip him up fairly easily. He’s a glass cannon for certain so I have to be careful with him. I do my immune to battleshock aura and move up to push the left flank with my prosecutors and deep striking Hammerstrike retributors (who can charge and land close if near the prosecutors). My General heads towards the soul grinder as he has a decent chance of hurting it badly on the charge (and I had my reroll saves triumph I could use). The crossbows hold the objective and the retributors move to support.
Shooting finishes off a crusher and a couple of bloodletters, so not much, but it’s charging time! My General promptly rolls double 1’s for his charge (cue sad trombone) leaving him standing stupidly in front of the khorne lines.
The retributors charge into the crushers and bloodletters and the prosecutors charge into the flesh hounds. In Age of sigmar, players alternate picking units to fight in combat, beginning with the player whose turn it is.
Combat one: Retributors kill two crushers with an additional wound on the third. Combat two: Bloodletters kill one retributor Combat three: Prosecutors kill one flesh hound Combat four: Flesh hounds cause a wound to the prosecutors Combat five: Retributors kill the entire unit of bloodletters
Battleshock: no casualties either side (in Age of Sigmar at the end of the turn you roll a dice, adding number of models slain. For every point above your bravery, another model flees!)
Scoring: +2 for the Stormcast (holding my objective at the end of turn 2)
Khorne Turn 2
Scott’s objective marker lands by the fight between the prosecutors and the flesh hounds. This is good news for me, as it means he has to split his forces between pushing towards my objective and clearing me away from his own (as he can’t score it if I’m within 6″)
The Bloodsecrator plants his standard which gives +1 attack to all the khorne units within a big 18″ bubble. Bel’akor puts the shield up on the thirster and curses my retributors so they have -1 on their to wound rolls. The grinder gets the ability to run and charge from the thirster. This is going to sting a little!
Bel’akor moves up near Scott’s objective marker, and the wounded bloodcrusher retreats from combat and circles around near the objective as well. He needs to take out my units from within 6″ of the objective (the prosecutors and retributors) in order to score. Everything else moves up, including two units of bloodletters and the soul grinder intent on doing nasty things to my General!
The two bloodletter units and grinder charge my General, the bloodthirster charges a unit of retributors, Bel’akor charges into the prosecutors and retributor combat and the wrathmongers combo charge both units of retributors.
Combat one: The bloodthirster hits and wounds four times on the retributors, and with a -2 rend they need to roll 6’s to survive. I roll 3 6’s and only lose one paladin! Combat two: Given how much trouble my General is going to be in, I attack into one of the bloodletter squads and kill the nine models left in the unit. Combat three: Bel’akor kind of whiffles a bit and only slays two prosecutors. Combat four: Prosecutors kill two flesh hounds Combat five: Wrathmongers kill a retributor from each squad. Combat six: The retributors put six wounds on Bel’akor (out of his 8!) Combat seven: Flesh hounds kill a prosecutor Combat eight: Retributors completely fail to do any wounds to the bloodthirster or the wrathmongers. Combat nine: I declare the reroll saves triumph on my General. The bloodletters rip him apart anyways with a flood of mortal wounds (due to all the nearby buffs).
Battleshock: no casualties either side.
Scoring: Scott fails to clear his objective so does not score any points this turn.
Initiative: Scott wins the double turn! Oh oh I think… this is probably over.
Khorne Turn 3
Bel’akor casts mystic shield on the Bloodthirster and attempts an arcane bolt which fails. That wounded crusher moves to hold the objective and shooting from the thirster and the grinder thin down the retributors. Near my objective the blood crushers and hounds charge in to the crossbows and the grinder and bloodletters charge into the retributors. The wounded crusher also charges in to try and kill the prosecutors to clear the objective zone.
Combat One: Bel’akor splits his attacks. He kills the prosecutors but fails to take out the retributors. Combat Two: as I know the wrathmongers are going to kill the retributors I use them to kill Bel’akor Combat Three: Bloodletters kill one retributor Combat four: Crossbow judicators kill two flesh hounds Combat five: Soul Grinder completely fails to do anything to the retributors Combat six: Retributors put four wounds on the bloodthirster and kill two wrathmongers. Sadly wrathmongers have a special rule where the model that kills one gets to attack again – controlled by the khorne player! So a retributor dies. Combat seven: Wrathmongers finish off the retributor contesting Scott’s objective. Combat eight: Retributors kill three bloodletters.
Battleshock: The bloodletters in my zone roll a 1 for battleshock, which means they actually gain back the lost members of the squad!
Scoring: Scott cleared his objective and scored it for +3 victory points
Stormcast Turn 3
Well it’s do or die for the stormcast so in comes the Celestant Prime to assume command of the army (you get to select a new general when the first one is slain). And as is befitting of taking photos for a battle report I promptly broke his wings off putting him on the table! Shooting from the prime kills a wrathmonger, a flesh hound and a crusher. The judicator bows kill another wrathmonger. The crossbows kill a flesh hound (in AOS you can still shoot while in combat). The prime charges in to clear the khorne objective and the liberators charge into the wrathmongers to pin them.
Combat one: Crossbows kill a flesh hound Combat two: Wrathmongers kill one liberator Combat three: Retributors kill 8 bloodletters Combat four: The flesh hound puts one wound on the prime! Combat five: Liberators do two wounds to the wrathmongers Combat six: Bloodletters fail to wound the retributors Combat seven: Celestant prime butchers the flesh hound Combat eight: Soul grinder kills retributors.
Battleshock: the last two bloodletters evaporate.
Scoring: Scott is contesting my objective but I’ve cleared his for +3 points
Initiative: Stormcast win initiative for the double turn!
Stormcast Turn Four
Shooting drops three wounds off the bloodthirster and a wound off the bloodsecrator. The last remaining flesh hound is killed, clearing my objective. The prime is looking to dispatch that bloodthirster and makes the charge!
Combat one: Celestant Prime does three wounds to the thirster but fails to kill him Combat two: wrathmonger does a wound to the liberators Combat three: liberators kill the wrathmonger clearing Scott’s objective Combat four: Bloodthirster fails to wound the Celestant Prime
Battleshock: no casualties either side. (not much left!)
Scoring: I hold both objectives for +8 this turn
Khorne Turn Four
The bloodsecrator gets to run and charge. The grinder and the crushers move to clear the crossbows off the objective. The secrator charges into the prime and the grinder and crushers charge into the crossbows.
Combat one: Bloodthirster gets three wounds through on the Prime, which do D3 wounds each, causing six wounds leaving him with only one remaining. Combat two: The Celestant Prime kills the bloodthirster Combat three: Bloodcrushers put one wound on the crossbows Combat four: The judicator crossbows do absolutely nothing in combat Combat five: The bloodsecrator wounds the prime twice, but he makes his saves! Combat six: the Soul grinder absolutely murders the crossbows
Battleshock: no casualties either side.
Scoring: Scott cleared my objective so has +4 this turn
Initiative: Scott wins the double turn! (this happened an awful lot this game)
Khorne Turn Five
This is the last turn (scenario ends turn five) so this is Scott’s last chance to get his points. The Soul Grinder shoots and fails against the judicator bows. In our only combat the bloodsecrator fails to wound the prime and is crushed in return.
Scoring: Scott has my objective solid, so gets the +5
Stormcast Turn Five
The liberators sit on the objective and score it for the turn. The Prime moves up to threaten the soul grinder and shooting does basically nothing impressive.
Scoring: I have my objective so get +5
Final Score: Stormcast +18 Khorne +12 Win for the stormcast eternals!
In the end the double turns kept going back and forth and just when I’d think “I’m done” suddenly it would switch again. This ended up being an incredibly close game and easily could have gone either way. The crucial turn was my turn four, where I was able to score both objectives late in the game. As well as getting the couple early points while contesting Scott’s objective early. Definitely some luck on my part in the prime not getting completely plastered by the bloodthirster when he failed to take him out on the charge.
If you haven’t tried out Age of Sigmar with the rules from the General’s Handbook yet, I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try!
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