Once again we return to the realm of life, to an ancient watchtower, now all but ruined which has been taken over by the Daemonic allies of the Plague Lord Febris the Vile ahead of his main force.
A small force of Sylvaneth have gathered to evict the plague daemons from this ancient tower, however with a larger force approaching the stars did not bode well for the woodland spirits, from high in Azyr came thought, an ancient memory of a proud warrior and his fierce mount, yes, that will do, as the mind of the Slaan Starmaster stretched back deep into his memories a great roar echoed through the forest and the Starmasters thoughts coalesced into physical form, time was of the essence the tower must be retaken before Lord Febris's hoard returns in full force.
We had a couple of options for games and we decided on playing the Watchtower, we also decided to use some time of war rules, adapting the Brimstone Peninsular rules for the realm of life.
Around the tower are six areas of spontaneous growth and horrific corruption, these can explode outwards in a tangled mess of roots and bile as the war of life if fought by the very land itself. Over the terrain hangs a heavy cloud of fog limiting sight over the terrain.
Victory conditions were simple, the player with the most models in the tower when the game ends wins, from the end of the 3rd turn a dice is rolled each battleround and the game ends on a D6 roll of a 4+.
As usual we used Clash comp, this time with a 12.5 pool cap (largely defined by how much stuff Charlie had with him)
Seraphon and Sylvaneth
Saurus Oldblood on Carnosaur
12 Saurus Warriors
8 Saurus Knights
Lord of Plagues
Chaos Sorcerer Lord with mark of Nurgle
5 Chaos Knights with mark of Nurgle
10 Chaos Warriors with mark of Nurgle
5 Putrid Blightkings
With just 12" between the Attackers force and the watch tower this was going to get messy real quick.
Nurgle take the initiative
Nurgle Turn 1
The Nurgle Sorcerer draws together the power of chaos and summons unit of Nurglings providing a screen to prevent the Saurus Warriors and knights getting to the tower without a fight.
An area of corruption explodes showering the Treelord and the Plaguebearers in the tower and both took mortal wounds.
The Nurgle reinforcements arrive and start to take up positions to aid in the defence of the tower.
There's an awful lot of battlefield to cover, perhaps Febris should have brought along more knights and left the lumbering Blightkings at work elsewhere.
Seraphon Alliance Turn 1
Another blast from an infected area, this time throwing stricken roots against the Chaos Sorcerer.
The Branchwraith sang a song of war to rouse the tree spirits to action, the wind whistled through the trews but nobody answered the call.
The Treelord Ancient traced arcane symbols in the air and a Mystic Shield enveloped the Saurus Warriors.
The Seraphon Oldblood attempted to call the Plaguebearers out from the Watchtower into the open field, however the daemons stood firm.
The Oldblood on Carnosaur maneuvered around the Watchtower and the rest of the force moved up as quickly as they could.
The Oldblood on Carnosaur lets out a roar and charges the watchtower and the great beast proceeds to munch on the Plaguebearers.... all of them!
With the Carnosaur now blooded it becomes an even more dangerous beast, capable of rampaging across most of the board.
Elsewhere both the Saurus Warriors and the Saurus Knights failed their charges.
Nurgle win initiative
Nurgle Turn 2
The area of corruption near the Treelord exploded covering both the ancient creature and and Oldblood on Carnosaur with filth and corrosion, both took mortal wounds, the Treelord is beginning to suffer here.
The Chaos Sorcerer summons forth more daemons from the abyss, 10 Plaguebearers appear to bolster the left flank against the Saurus.
Across the board the Chaos Knights let out their sickly warcries and barrel into the side of the Carnosaur, hoping their momentum and surprise attack will weaken it before it can strike back.
Unfortunately it really didn't go well, the Knights literally bounced off the Carnosaur inflicting a grand total of 1 wound. The Carnosaur promptly ate two of the Knights, shaken but still hopeful the Knights shrug off their bravery test.
Yet another corrupted area explodes again near the Treelord, he escapes with only minor damage but the Dryads nearby lose a couple of their number.
In return the branchwraith once again tried to call forth the spirit of the woods for aid in the battle, this time the woods answer and 11 Dryads appear in the nearby forest.
The Carnosaur turns on the last Chaos Knight and unsurprisingly devours him.
Meanwhile on the other flank the Saurus Cavalry crash into the recently summoned Plaguebearers, though the Plaguebearers took the initiative they were ineffective against the charging Seraphon who's star lances cut through half the unit with ease.
The Saurus warriors became bogged down with the Nurglings, never quite managing to finish enough off to free them up.
Battle round 3
Seraphon alliance wins initiative
Seraphon Turn 3
Mystical sheilds were summoned around a unit of Dryads and the Saurus Warriors.
One of the Dryad units takes up position within the Watchtower, claiming this important strategic objective whilst the other unit of Dryads and the Oldblood on Carnosaur sweep round the Watchtower to get to the Nurgle forces behind.
The Carnosaur charges the Lord of Plagues and taking the initiative quickly devours him to ensure his plague ridden axe wouldn't come to bear on the wounded Carnosaur.
In return the Plaguebearers took the opportunity to strike at the Saurus Cavalry who had become bogged down in combat following their charge, the pox-ridden daemons managed to drag several of the Saurus down.
The recently summoned dryads charge Epidemus, but only cause light wounds, his rancid flesh sloughing away to protect him.
In return he strikes back at the unit slaying several of them as the Blightkings pile in to support and hack through the Dryads leaving only a single dryad alive who layer fled from the battle shock.
Nurgle Turn 3
The Nurgle Sorcerer attempts to call upon demonic reinforcements but the Treelord gestures and the mystical energy dissapates. It was at that point the nearest area of corruption belched, covering the Sorcerer with acidic filth and he dies a horrible death. Grandfather Nurgle clearly was unimpressed with his performance on this day.
The rest of the chaos force moved around to try and gain the most advantageous position for what was to be the penultimate round of combat.
Free from the combat with the Dryads the Blightkings turned and charged into the Carnosaur.
Jumping to attack quickly before the mighty beast could recover, they hammered it hard, just striking enough damage to kill the beast outright.
Meanwhile the Biletrolls vomitted over the Dryads and followed the sickly missiles with a full on charge. unfortunately their performance left much to be desired and they failed to shift enough of the Dryads from the objective.
The game looked to be hanging in the balance, as it stood the Seraphon/Sylvaneth Alliance held the objective but with the Carnosaur dead, the Blightkings and a fresh unit Chaos Warriors rampaging around it could easily swing the other way.
The die was cast to see if we would continue.... and as it settled on the table it was clear, the forces or Order were victorious.
Wow, an excellent game, I really, really underestimated that Carnosaur and overestimated the abilities of the Plaguebearers to withstand it's damage output.
The less said about the Chaos Knights the better, their performance was abysmal, I honestly expected them to put a massive dint in the offensive abilities of the Carnosaur, with 15 Attacks plus a further 10 from their steeds to result in a single wound was pitiful.
Overall the scenario worked really well, it felt like a pretty fair game and had it run for another round it still could have swing either way. The adapted time of war rules worked well and were oh so annoying, the Seraphon really took the brunt of the damage from them but taking the sorcerer out in the last turn could really have scuppered the Nurgle game should we have hit turn 4.
My major mistake was using the Plaguebearers as the initial force. I should really have dropped 10 blightkings there, with a sorcerer to drop mystic shield and oracular visions on them, I'd have had 2+ saves, rerolling 1s and even with the carnosaurs rend the unit should have brushed off the initial attack holding up the big guys until the rest of the force arrived.
I also really suffer from not having much shooting, it's the main issue with pretty much the entire chaos faction, you're essentially missing out a phase every round which could really have been used to weaken some of the monsters or to hunt out the branchwraith hiding at the back.
Charlie and I will be back for more soon I hope, we're just arranging dates and we did discuss a longer session so we could run a couple of games back to back mini-campaign style.