perjantai 18. elokuuta 2017

Thematic Terrain

Time for a quick look at my recently expanded collection of terrain!

The last terrain-related posts I made were some homemade ruins and barricades, right? Well of course not, there was this huge watchtower and all not too long ago! How could you not remember that?
Anyway, this time I haven't built any of these myself, I merely painted them and sat down in awe to marvel at their beauty. Some of them have also made appearances in battle reports and tutorials without any special mentions.

This post is all about those special mentions.

We kick off with a groupshot. This whole bunch is from Momminiaturas, cast resin terrain that I basecoated black before applying a couple of very simple drybrushes and washes to achieve this look.

There's a dwarf stone golem which I play as a Gronti-Duraz (more on that later), two dwarven pillars that I left in two separate pieces on purpose (to simulate ruins/damage), two elven waystone-esque pillars that make great arcane terrain pieces for a game of AoS, two phoenix braziers that I gave blue flames just for that magical tingly feeling and finally the elven altar that made an appearance in the 3rd Beardling tutorial along with the other elven terrain. In addition I have some barrels, strongboxes and urns to be scattered around the battlefield in house ruins, settlements, walls etc.

All in all a nice collection of thematic terrain to add a little flavour to battles when used alongside more commonly seen hills, forests, rocks and rivers.

This golem is just humongous. Made entirely out of solid rock and inscribed with runes of power, this durable giant is going to wreak havoc on the field with its enormous hammer. I basecoated it black, rummaged through my paint storage for fifty shades of grey, grabbed my drybrush and just went to town. The final touch was picking out the runes with Lothern Blue to make them really pop up. Done!

There were no rules to be found for Gronti-Duraz (obviously), so me and one of my regular opponents devised a warscroll for it to be used in our narrative battles. I'll put the warscroll here, available for everyone, but keep in mind that it is purely made up and should not be used against your opponent without his/her total consent. And no, Matched Players, this model does not have a points value.

Pretty tough guy, this one. The aim was not to make him extremely powerful or to perfectly fulfill any particular role in an army, the abilities and stats are meant to make this angry duardin statue feel like and angry duardin statue when played on the battlefield. The buff to saves is mostly useless to shield-bearing Dispossessed units once they get into combat, and the unbinding is done much more cost-effectively by Runelords. However, Gronti-Duraz can take a punch (or twelve) and keep dishing out damage that rends apart whole formations of enemy warriors or severely slows down and bruises an enemy monster that was on its way to do the same to the duardin battleline.

In narrative megabattles this rockbeard is going to be an awe-inspiring sight as it wades into the fray, towering over a sea of warriors!

Finally, there are two MDF Realmgates. They arrived flat in an envelope, I pushed the pieces out, glued them together and applied some colours of my own to personalize them a bit. Quick and easy!
The fiery gate on the right made an appearance in one of the recent battles, scorching a bunch of unfortunate Grots before allowing them to travel through its gaping maw to reappear on the enemy flank. I'd say they are suitably sized for Age of Sigmar scale, acting as some lesser realmgates if nothing else. I'll be sure to involve these peculiar and dangerous ways of transportation in my games more often, they add a whole new layer of optional approaches and tactics to the battle at hand.

That's the end of the terrain gallery for now. Next up, a narrative battle report!

torstai 10. elokuuta 2017

Garrison of the Ironhold

I promised you more duardin content, and here it is!

To celebrate my army's new home, I took a bunch of the newest models I had recently acquired for my Dispossessed along with some older models with poor paintjobs to bring them up to shape. During a handful of evenings a total of 40 Warriors, 24 Slayers, 20 Quarrellers, three artillery pieces, their crews and a Warden King passed through my worktable.

Here they are in all their speed-painted glory!

To kick things off I started with 24 poorly painted Slayers that I've had for ages. I redid their skin and weapons, then brightened up their glorious mohawks and Braveheart-warpaints. Their bases received the very same treatment I use to unify my whole duardin army, I only need to add some tufts of grass to break the rather monotonous appearance of bare mud.

These old metal models are truly works of art. They all look astonishing and some of their faces are actually quite emotional. There is something in their design that the newer Citadel models lack despite being superior in quality otherwise.

Oops, sorry for the shadow here!
These 20 Warriors are Dwarf with Axe -models from em4miniatures, very cheap plastic one-posers that I use as beardlings in my narrative matches (they're about the same height as Battle for Skull Pass GW models but quite a bit thinner). The champion's hammer is from Stormcast Eternal Retributors and the banner came from a Freeguild Greatswords box.

Strapped to their backs are small round shields that also came from em4miniatures, perfect props for hiding that rather obvious injection spot that these fellas have in between their shoulder blades. And shields are always a good choice for unit of Dispossessed Warriors, not to mention that they're a perfect canvas for showing off some clan colours!

Dwarves with Crossbows from the same manufacturer. They make for a cost-effective unit of Quarrellers (which you want to have loads of anyway) and they look the part, they all have quivers of quarrels at their hips and hand axes hanging from their belts behind their backs. With the final addition of the shields I mentioned earlier, these long-bearded thinlings have everything one needs to become a Quarreller in the garrison of Ironhold.

I wasn't a fan of their weapons themselves, though. What kind of crossbow has tiny knobs like that for a bowstave? To fix this, I delved into my bits box and found 20 Repeater Crossbows which I cut apart to build proper prods for their tools of death. Now they are ready to patrol the walls from dusk 'till dawn!

Next up, some firepower. 10 more Thunderers to bring my total up to 34, with a fourth colour to add to my three-coloured duardin army. There's something magical about the combination of purple, silver and gold, don't you think?

I also took three old artillery pieces and repainted them to be worthy of the fortress they protect. A Cannon and two Flame Cannons (the second one is a conversion, obviously) from my entire arsenal of 3 Cannons, 3 Flame Cannons, 1 Grudge Thrower, 1 Organ Gun and a Bolt Thrower.

GW vs Black Hat size comparison. From left to right:
GW BfSP Warrior, Black Hat Dwarf Axeman, GW metal Ironbreaker, GW old plastic Warrior
20 Warriors from Black Hat Miniatures, by the name of Dwarf Town Guard Axemen Regiment. An affordable batch of twenty adorable models, clad in chainmail, swinging axes and brandishing large round shields. They have a bit of an old-Citadel-dwarf -feeling to them, which is pretty much the reason I bought them in the first place. They all have swords strapped to their belts and the champion holds his own aloft. Swords.

I (being a zealous Warhammer lore fan) dislike duardin using swords. Their physical dimension are why they don't use bows or ride on horseback and the same reason applies to using swords, in my mind. Their sword arms are too short. They aren't as swift and deft as aelves (those treacherous, thagging elgi...). They're sturdy and strong, attributes leaning towards the use of hacking and smashing weapons like axes, hammers, maces, mattocks... But at least the swords on these models look like their wielders, short and broad, which makes them easier to use in tight spaces (underground tunnels, dense formations...) and to think of as merely another form of hacking weapons.

Well, it's purely a matter of opinion. Unless you're a longbeard.

Then there's this fellow. You recognize him? You should.
He's none other than Grombrindal the White Dwarf himself, in his White Dwarf Subscription Model 2009 -form!

A truly detailed (and beardy!) model to paint, and a joy to behold. His pose is not threatening or aggressive or anything the newer models most often are. He's calm and tranquil, almost casual. To be fair, if you're an immortal demi-god warrior protector of your race then yeah you have a good reason to act like you don't give a damn. 'Cause you just don't need to.

I already have a Grombrindal model for Age of Sigmar and to differentiate these two models I gave this one a somewhat less grandiose beard. In colour, I mean, not in proportions. This whole model was done in a bit of a hurry along with all the models above, which left his beard look a little messy. I might have to revisit his facial hair with a brush later on to fix it, but for now he makes for an excellent Warden King model to represent Snorri the Ancient, the respected castellant of Kazad-Zul who commands the garrison while Commander Ungrim Ironhelm leads his legions on the field.

That's that for now, I'll keep painting here on the side while progressing my other endeavors such as the 4th part of the Beardling tutorial, a new narrative battle report and some terrain pieces. Until then!

tiistai 1. elokuuta 2017

Behold the Ironhold

According to my latest account I own well over 300 Dispossessed Duardin models. Such a mighty throng of dawi needs a place to sleep, feast and live in, doesn't it? It needs a home.

Well, after a bit of research I found a very promising estate for just such use from a company called Ziterdes. The price was decent but the property was in dire need of renovation and caring inhabitants. It arrived in the mail two weeks ago, I painted it up in two days and my mountain folk moved in immediately. The housewarming party can begin!

Behold the impregnable Kazad-Zul, the home of my duardin, also known as the Ironhold to some uncivilized races that do not speak khazalid. This mighty fortress guards the passage to the vast underground deeps, housing an entire bustling city hidden away from sight. Networks of halls and tunnels crisscross between different districts where thousands upon thousands of dawi live their day-to-day lives, safe in the knowledge that none who would do them harm can ever break past the formidable defenses of this mountain hold.

Please, step inside and we'll take a closer look at this humble dwelling!

This bird's eye view shows the layout of the Ironhold pretty comprehensively. The fortress is surrounded by steep mountainsides and high walls, leaving visitors only a single route inside: the slightly winding causeway. Any would-be invaders will find it tiresome to march all the way to the road and then up, all the while under a constant fusillade of shots, bolts and boulders that the defenders rain upon them as they approach.

Of course, some inventive warlord might construct ladders and siege towers to assail the walls directly. Better bring loads and loads of both then, as many of them will wither away under Ironhold's vigorous cannon-fire. Any lucky climbers that reach the battlements will be given a congratulatory high-five. In the face. With an axe.

Survivors will be struck again.

Out in the back there's a bastion big enough to house a Grudge Thrower or an Organ Gun, accompanied by some Quarrelers to keep the backyard clean of any unwanted quests.

The causeway is wide enough for 4-5 men to walk abreast, winding slightly towards the gate from the side of the mountain. Both towers next to the gate have a good field of view on the road, allowing a Flame Cannon or two to loom over the entrance and immolate intruders. The slopes uphill from the road also allow for a unit of sentries to be deployed in case of an attack, like a small unit of Irondrakes or Thunderers to provide additional missile-fire coverage around the fortress.

The gate itself is rune-carved and sturdy, wide enough for two man-sized creatures to enter simultaneously (on 20mm square bases, that is...), should they be allowed inside in the first place. With the courtyard full of elite duardin warriors in the event of a siege, the gatecrashers will find themselves in a textbook example of a bottleneck: 1-2 of their warriors squashing through the gate to stumble into 4 Ironbreakers or Hammerers waiting to welcome them with their hammers.

Even worse for the attacker if the weather forecast promised bullet showers with a risk of arrowstorms for the day of invasion.

The courtyard has loads of space for the stunted folk. Any arriving wagons can be turned around easily and their goods can be unloaded to be delivered into the stronghold, while visitors may marvel at the intricate metalworks and masonry until (and if) they're allowed to enter the deeps.

The battlements are sufficiently wide for war machines to be deployed all along the length of the wall, with ranks of Quarrellers and Cogsmiths to back them up in battering the foe before it reaches the gates.

At the foot of the towering walls heaps of bleached bones can be seen, the skeletal remains of those who have tried to take Kazad-Zul in the past. Such is the cruel fate that awaits those who would dare similar attempts in the future.

That's what the home of my dawi looks like! I've been working through several units of Warriors, Thunderers, Quarrelers and artillery lately to bring them to shape, brightening up old paintjobs, fixing mistakes, unifying colours and adding whole new units to the force. In other words, I've been dusting off my Dispossessed to make them look worthy of their new hold and to defend it if situation so demands.

Be prepared for more Duardin content in the near future, the garrison of Ironhold marches out on a parade!

lauantai 29. heinäkuuta 2017

Heroes For Beardlings


This third part of the tutorial has been coming for over a month now, but I finally managed it. As opposed to the two previous parts of this series, one of which explained the basics of the game while the other took a closer look at units, this tutorial will not be a blow-by-blow record of every single dice roll in the game. To keep it nice and short, this tutorial will focus on what is says on the title: Heroes and the hero phase. Every army needs a General to lead it, and heroes are excellent candidates for such a grand title as they bring extraordinary skills and tricks onto the battlefield!

In this battle forces led by an aelf Archmage face the warband of a Lord of Chaos, so a brief introduction for these heroes and their warscrolls is in place.

 This is an Archmage, a hero armed with his Seerstaff and not much else. His Saves are low, his Wounds are average and his weapon is pathetic. But he is a wizard, meaning that he can cast powerful spells and attempt to counter enemy spells to affect the flow of battle! Every wizard's Warscroll has a Magic-section that tells you how many spells the model may attempt during his own turn, and how many enemy spells the model may try to unbind in the enemy turn. It also lists all the spells available to the model.

Every wizard in the game knows at least two spells: the Arcane Bolt and the Mystic Shield, profiles of which you can find in the Age of Sigmar core rules. Many wizards also know additional spells that are usually written on their Warscroll for easy reference, such as the Elemental Shield in case of the Archmage.

This sinister character here is a Lord of Chaos. A complete opposite of the wizard, this hero is an absolute beast in combat. His plentiful Wounds and good Save keep him alive on the front lines while he carves a bloody path through the enemy ranks with his Daemon-possessed Reaperblade and Chaos Sword. Once per battle he may also perform a special attack that reduces his Attacks but inflicts tremendous Damage!

As you can see, he also has a special section on his Warscroll called Command Ability. Command Abilities are powerful special rules and effects that the army's General may use in the hero phase, and most heroes have one on their Warscroll. Whoever your General might be and whether they have abilities on their profile or not, the General knows the Inspiring Presence Command Ability in addition to any other ones he might have. As well as the common spells, this ability can be found in the Age of Sigmar core rules.

Now that the heroes have been given a basic introduction, let us personalize them a bit! The General's Handbook lists all kinds of different Command Traits and Artefacts for each of the four Grand Alliances, allowing you to customize your General in terms of magical items and different styles of leadership. You may pick one Trait and one Artefact from your Grand Alliance's lists as you like or to generate them randomly.

The Archmage cannot hold his own in personal combat so it would make sense for him to be a Strategic Genious, leading his forces from the back while being protected by a magical Phoenix Stone to keep him healthy.

In addition he has access to the Order Grand Alliance Battle Trait, which is an additional passive bonus allowing order units within 12" of him to re-roll Battleshock tests.

The Lord of Chaos is nothing short of a maniac butcher, causing fear in any enemies who have to fight within his Terrifying Presence. The chaos gods embrace such emotionless murderers as their greatest champions, bestowing upon them a Favour of the Gods such as a mutation that makes them more durable in battle.

The Chaos Grand Alliance Battle Trait allows a dice to be rolled for each chaos unit within 8" of the hero in the hero phase, conferring a +1 To Hit bonus on a roll of a 6.

That's already a lot of information to absorb, and we're not even in the battle itself yet. Luckily once again we have a narrative to walk us through the battle and make the rest of the trek more enjoyable. Let's get to it!


The first turn of the 1st Battle round goes to the Aelves.
Aydan Windcaller could sense it in the air. Foulness, the source of which could not be mistaken. Followers of the Dark Gods were on the move. He uttered a single word of power, summoning a gust of magical wind to gently sweep him up to the nearby altar to take a look at his retinue. Citizen militia sat cross-legged in small clusters around the site, breaking bread and supping from waterskins. His elite bodyguard, the Swordmasters, had dutifully spread out around the altar and showed no signs of any need for respite.

He had come to this place to meditate, to momentarily become one with the invisible magical torrents that flowed through this place and to find a peace of mind. The torrents weren't invisible to him. He traced one faintly multi-coloured stream above his head, all the way to the distant mountains where it disappeared into the horizon. Every aelf had the innate ability of mage-sight, but as an Archmage his was more honed than most.

"Enemy approaches, Ifulvin. Prepare the levies," Aydan spoke out softly to the leader of the Swordmasters, who thumped his fist to his breast in acknowledgement before walking off to rouse the sitting aelves.
"This will be a bloody day, I'm afraid..." the Archmage muttered to himself as he let his gaze sweep across the landscape, trying to determine the direction from which the foe would come.

The Aelves begin their turn with the hero phase. The Archmage does not have a unique Command Ability listed on his Warscroll, but he still knows the one that is common to all Generals. He therefore uses his once-per-game Strategic Genious Trait to give both of his units the Inspiring Presence Command Ability until his next hero phase (marked by yellow dice next to the units).
Next the Archmage casts the Elemental Shield spell by rolling two dice and comparing the result to the spell's casting value. The total must equal or exceed the given value (in this case 6), so a roll of 7 indicates the spell was succesful. A blue dice is placed next to the Archmage to remind that the spell is in effect.
The Swordmasters move towards the Chaos Warriors, while the Spireguard hang back to protect the wizard. All Aelf units are still within 18" of the Archmage and can benefit from the protection of the Elemental Shield.
The marauding horde burst forth from the treeline, but the aelves were ready. Having placed his levy militia right next to his elites, Aydan knew the bravery of the soldiers was greatly fortified. They would not run.
"Keep your heads calm and hands steady, this warband may be savage but no match for an Archmage," he reassured his troops who seemed to draw courage from their leader's tranquility.

Mumbling a fluent stream of ancient aelvish, Aydan Windcaller conjured a great shimmering dome of elemental energy to surround himself and his retinue. They were ready to face the foe.

The Spireguard use their bows in the shooting phase to great effect, felling three Marauders.
The Swordmasters charge into the Chaos Warriors, going first in the combat phase as it is their turn. They manage to slay four Warriors (each with 2 Wounds) but take an equal punishment in return, suffering 7 Wounds (one of which was deflected by the Elemental Shield). The Warriors fail their battleshock test and two more run away.
The Spireguard drew their bows and took aim with drilled precision, obeying their watchmaster's barked orders without a second thought. Soon the air was filled with whistling shafts that struck the oncoming Marauders, many of which stopped dead on their tracks with arrows protruding from their bare chests.

The Swordmasters brandished their eloquent greatblades and surged into motion, closing the gap between them and the foe with a couple of nimble leaps. They spun into the fray like dancers, their swords licking out to open throats, impale helmets and sever limbs. Some of the northmen had seen enough and snuk away while their remaining comrades laid about them with weapon in each hand, their berserk fury accounting for many aelf deaths. Scale armours were rent by axes, helmets got caved in by hammers and jagged swords drew aelven blood, yet the Swordmasters' faith in their leader was such that none turned their backs to their duty.

Chaos begins its first turn and hero phase. The Lord of Chaos rolls one dice for each friendly unit within 8" of him, but no 6s are rolled (Chaos Grand Alliance Battle Trait). He then uses his Command Ability Aided by the Gods, allowing himself and friendly units within 10" of him to re-roll failed Save rolls of 1 (marked by the purple dice).
Both the Lord of Chaos and the Marauders move forward, the Chaos Warriors remain in close combat with the Swordmasters.
Titaharr the Executioner lifted a bundle of chain-bound skulls towards the skies, drawing roared cheers from his warband. The warlord leveled his gaze to the Archmage through the eyeslits of his hell-forged mask.
"Your head will be the next to join my collection," he threatened in an echoing voice, which changed into a hideous laughter as he saw the aelven spellcaster swallow nervously.
"Ha, coward! The gods are with us this day, and they need some entertainment! Kill the aelves, kill them all!"

His Marauders sprinted across the grassy plain towards the Spireguard, roaring in excitement. The Warriors were still exchanging blows with the Swordmasters, and even though the outcome of that fight seemed uncertain Titaharr dropped down from the rock and started after his Marauders. Today his  axe would feast on noble flesh...

The Chaos Warriors manage to get the upper hand as the Swordmasters fail to inflict a single wound, and three aelves are killed in return. Even the Elemental Shield didn't give enough protection against the amount of attacks!
The Marauders charge to challenge the Spireguard along with the Lord of Chaos, but of all three combatants only the Chaos hero caused any damage. The Aelves suffered no desertion due to Inspiring Presence.
The boasting of the warlord seemed to have distracted the nearby Swordmasters who got cut down in short order by the armoured northmen, leaving only Blademaster Ifulvin to keep the four towering brutes at bay.

The Marauders crashed into the Spireguard shieldwall head-on, avoiding the thrusting spears but failing to reach their axes and maces past the long shields of the aelven soldiery. Titaharr had no such trouble. He rammed his armoured shoulder into the gap between two shields, taking both of the aelves down on their backs. A wide swing of his axe beheaded the next spearman in line, and before the two aelves on the ground got back up the Executioner visited ruin upon them both with his chained skulls and plated boots.
"Weaklings..." he mused as he stepped over the corpses in search of more carnage.

Aelf turn two. The Archmage casts Arcane Bolt (casting value 5) and inflicts one mortal wound on the Lord of Chaos. He also gives Inspiring Presence to the Spireguard as the numbers of the Swordmasters are too depleted for it to be of any use there.
Aydan watched in horror as the armoured giant of a man jumped down from the rock and struck his militia shieldwall like a comet of doom. As the warlord was dispatching the spearmen one by one, Windcaller tapped into the rapidly flowing energies of this holy site and sent forth a bolt of white flame from his outstretched hand. The magical missile struck the wildly swinging Lord of Chaos to the flank, momentarily staggering the man but doing no apparent damage beside some battered armour.

Surely this creature was protected by great powers, thought Aydan, for resisting the cleansing flames of Asuryan was a clear sign that darker deities had some interest in this butcher.

In the Aelven combat phase the Spireguard were chosen to strike out first, inflicting 2 wounds on the Marauders. Next to swing were the Chaos Warriors, and as they slew the only remaining Swordmaster left (who would have attacked next), the Lord of Chaos was activated right after them. By using his once-per-game Ability Reaperblade the Chaos hero skipped his axe's 3 Attacks to perform only one, which upon hitting and wounding would inflict 2D6 Damage. The Lord of Chaos hit and wounded, the Spireguard failed their Save and a whopping 11 was rolled for Damage, evaporating the Aelven unit immediately!
The Chaos Warriors were activated in combat after the Spireguard but before the Lord of Chaos. They managed to slay the lonely Swordmaster, thus ridding the Aelves of their only other combat activation besides the already activated Spireguard.
The Chaos Warriors surrounded Blademaster Ifulvin and rained down blows from all sides, a downpour of violence that was too much even for such a skilled individual to parry or deflect. A mace to the chest and an axe to the back delivered the brave aelven bodyguard to meet his makers, his battered form falling to the ground to lie among  his fallen brethren.

The Spireguard had reformed their ranks after the impact of the Chaos Lord, their silverwood spears transfixing careless barbarians as they tried to push through the aelven shieldwall. The Executioner was not done yet, however, and as he strode over the carcasses of those he'd already slain he called out to the malevolent entity residing inside the blade of his cursed axe.
"Heed my call, daemon M'enash! Bring forth the destruction of those who oppose me and feast on their pitiful souls!"

The upraised axe begun to resonate and a single menacing eye opened in the fleshy growth on the flat of the blade.
"Yessss..." a faint voice hissed, seemingly coming from nowhere. 
"Yeeeessssss....." the voice grew in power until Titaharr swung his weapon once more, slicing a Spireguard in half. An orange screaming orb shot out from the Executioner's reaperblade and bounced from aelf to aelf, each time sinking into their chests before blasting out of their backs in bright flashes of sparks. In a matter of heartbeats the screaming ceased as the orb returned into the blade of the axe, the entire line of pale-skinned Spireguard tumbling into a lifeless heap at the feet of the northmen almost at the same instant.

Chaos turn 2. With no enemy units on the field except for their General, the Lord of Chaos uses his Aided by the Gods Command Ability again to allow himself and his followers re-roll failed Save rolls of 1. Each unit walks towards the lonely Archmage.
The Lord of Chaos charges the Archmage, and activates first in the combat phase as it is the Chaos turn. He misses all his attacks, however, but so does the Archmage and no damage is caused by either side.
Kicking dead aelves from his path, Titaharr walked to the bottom of the altar's steps. His followers were approaching right on his heels, equally afraid of the Archmage's power and the punishments the Executioner would mete out if someone stole his kill.
"How kind of you to wait so patiently for your turn, your pathetic underlings were overly eager to fall to my blade," Titaharr taunted, swinging his axe casually back and forth across his chest while his eyes followed the thin blood dripping from it.
"Now hand me over that head of your's and we're done here."

"Come and get it," Aydan replied, holding his seerstaff in both hands.
The Lord of Chaos charged up the steps, roaring, his axe missing the mage by mere inches as the aelf sidestepped and brought down his staff on the Executioner's head. There was a dull clang and Titaharr begun to laugh once more.
"Why do you even TRY?!" he bellowed as he lifted his axe up for another strike.

Aelf turn 3. The Archmage casts Arcane Bolt once more, succeeding in casting the spell but only inflicting 1 mortal wound on the Lord of Chaos, who still has 5 Wounds left.
In the combat phase the Archmage misses his single attack, but Lord of Chaos manages to inflict 2 Damage on the wizard.
As Titaharr turned to his adversary, his axe high above his head, another bolt of white flame struck his breastplate. Blinded by the flash of light and feeling his flesh begin to sear beneath the armour, the Chaos Lord took another bash to his head from the defiant mage's staff. He swung his axe downwards, raking the blade across Aydan's left shoulder and almost severing the limb. The cry of pain from the aelf was music to his ears.

Chaos turn 3. The Chaos Warriors and the Marauders charge into combat to surround the dueling heroes.
The Lord of Chaos activates first in the combat phase, delivering 4 unsaved wounds to the Archmage who only had 3 left. The Aelf forces have now all been slain to the last and victory goes to Chaos!
The warband could no longer hold their excitement as they charged to the altar, surrounding it from all sides and looking for a chance to land a blow. Titaharr would have none of that, this kill was his, and his alone.

With the mage still staggered from the grievous wound, the Executioner brought his axe down on the hapless aelf with all his strength behind it. The blade sunk in right beside the neck and carved its path down to the chest, taking Aydan Windcaller to his knees before the towering champion of chaos. Titaharr raised a plated boot and kicked the Archmage down from the platform to free his axe, the aelf falling limply to the grass below.

A voice begun whispering inside the Executioner's head. A voice promising immortality.
"Bring me the spellcaster's head, we have a ritual of our own to perform now, and this is the perfect place to do it," he commanded, his underlings scurrying off to obey his will.

Their master would now ascend to daemonhood.


That was that!

The game itself was very short but it demonstrated the actions and use of heroes on the battlefield. Of course, in a game as small as this the heroes seem invincible, but bear in mind that larger games with larger units reduce the influence a single hero can have on the course of the battle.

Right at the end of the tutorial game the Lord of Chaos slew the enemy General, activating his Glory or Damnation Ability that would have transformed him into a Daemon Prince had the game not ended at the same moment. Thematic abilities like this one make heroes even more attractive and fun than they already are with their enhanced statlines and Command Abilities, giving the game a nice narrative feel that spices up the gameplay.

There's still one final part of this tutorial series planned thus far, Battles For Beardlings, which takes a look at Battleplans, deployment and very basic tactics, as well as draws together everything we've learned in the previous tutorials.

Allegiance, Battle & Command Traits and Artefacts were already discussed to some measure in this tutorial and will be taken to account again in the next one. I might some day continue this four-part series with further additions that delve deeper into that specific subject, or things like Battalions, advanced tactics, faction introductions or even hobby aspects like assembly or speed painting. Anything a complete beginner might need!

But before I get too much ahead of myself I should see that part 4 gets done in time, preferably without over a month's wait like with this one....
Luckily I have many things to show you in the meantime, from new terrain to heaps of painted models.
Until then!