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Friday, November 4, 2016

More Age of Sigmar

My buddy Chris came out to visit last week, and he pitted his Khorne Bloodbound army against my Undead. (And we got to break in my new terrain!) You can see more of Chris's models on his blog: World of Walton'scrafts


We played the Escalation scenario from the General's Handbook. Each of us divided our army into three parts, deployed the first third, and then the rest would arrive in turns two and three. The battlefield was divided diagonally, and we were trying to control three objectives– The mausoleum in the upper right corner, the large monument in the center, and the small shrine in the lower left corner.

 




The Zombies lurk in the cornfield as the Ghouls creep around the corner.


Nagash leads the Red Guard skeletons toward the center.


The Bloodreavers follow the Cygor toward the hill.


I don't know where he kept finding giant rocks to throw at Nagash.


My Dire Wolves arrived in turn two and charged the Blood Warriors.


They would spend most of the battle fighting over the mausoleum.  Mystic Shield and the Corpse Cart added +2 to their save, which gave the wolves some staying power.


The Varghulf arrived to aid the infantry in capturing the shrine.


A trio of Khorgoraths arrived to contest the shrine.




Chris didn't waste time getting his Khorgoraths stuck in.  They would eventually prevail and control the shrine.


Units close in the center as Chris brings his Skullcrushers up for support.


Thanks to the double turn, my Skeletons were able to wipe out the Blood Reavers before the Skullcrushers could get into the fray.  But once they arrived, they made quick work of my remaining Skeletons.


The Wraith Korak and some Spirit Hosts arrived to help the wolves. 


But it would take the full might of Nagash to finally kill the Blood Warriors.

 

While I was able to take the objectives and score victory points early on, Chris was able to grind down my units and either control or contest them in the later turns of the game. He was ahead by two points going into turn five, and got the double turn, which allowed the Skullcrushers to wipe out my Skeletons before I had a chance to replenish them in my Hero phase. In the end, I lost by one point. Nagash survived and killed the Cygor, but the Master Necromancer had accumulated 12 wounds. It was a great game!

This was the first time I had used Nagash in a game, and I'm not sure how I like him under the Pitched battle rules. He's a beast in combat, for sure, and his command ability allows the entire army to re-roll 1s to hit and on saves, as well as ignore Battleshock tests. He can cast eight spells per turn, but that doesn't really come into play under the Pitched Battle rules, because summoning really isn't an option. My only spells were Soul Stealer and Arcane Bolt (ranged attack spells), Mystic Shield (invaluable to buff one unit's save), and Hand of Dust, which I never had the opportunity to use since it can only be cast at the start of my turn if he's still engaged in combat (which he never was).

Having to set aside points from the army into a "summoning reserve" means the army is never bigger than its starting point value, so the other four or five potential spells go to waste. Nagash has the ability to cast any spells that other Death Wizards on the battlefield know, so maybe I could take a Vampire or Necromancer so Nagash could cast their spell with his huge bonuses to the casting roll. He just feels like a specialty model that needs to have special exceptions made for him, or a specific scenario to take full advantage of everything he can do.


There seems to be a lot of that in the game– Units whose core rules are hamstrung by the Pitched Battle format. Rat Swarms can generate extra bases per turn, Zombies can add a model to their unit for every enemy they kill, Flesh Eaters have a lot of rules that draw extra Ghouls to their units. But Pitched Battles don't allow units to ever be larger than their starting size, so those rules go to waste. Players really need to pick and choose what they want to do, and I think using points and battlefield rolls to generate starting lists, using the "Three Rules of 1" to curtail spell spam, and then ignoring the summoning pool rules might be a good way to go for most friendly games to get the full use of the warscroll rules and abilities.

As far as the game itself, it plays well enough, but my main issue is still the sheer volume of dice needed to roll. Throwing multiple handfulls of dice every round of attack becomes tedious after a while, as does shimmying guys into position when they pile in and checking the melee range for every little dude in the engagement.

I also made some new counters– Swords to mark which units have already fought in the Combat phase (very useful when you're jumping back and forth between seven different units all over the battlefield), and a few larger tombstones to mark wounds in increments of five (the little crosses are 1-wound; the large ones represent 5-wounds).

 

 

I also finished up a Mystic Shield spell counter. This one grew beyond my initial concept of a simple spirit holding a shield. I used some of the spare spirits from Nagash and the spirits on the bottom of the Morghast wings. Hopefully, this will keep me from forgetting which unit has the shield cast on it!

 










'Til next time!

3 comments:

  1. Looks like a fun battle. How does it compare to a similar sized WHFB game?

    And that shield counter is great!

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    1. We played a 2000 point game and it probably lasted a little longer than a similarly-sized game of 8th. Most of it comes down to move 20 or 30 individual guys as opposed to just sliding a single block, and having to measure and move everyone in the combat phases. Also, resolving tons of dice drags it out a little. But other things like the magic phase go a lot faster because there really aren't any options or resource management of power dice.

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  2. Fun looking game! I'm jealous of your terrain collection.

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