perjantai 29. joulukuuta 2017

Defilers of the Bargonne Boneyard


You still remember my hold's Great Book of Grudges, right? Well, recently I played my first so-called Grudge Match, a special type of narrative battle in which my local playmates gather their murderous hordes and challenge my Dispossessed for a cruel fight for survival.
Why? To deliberately inflict harm, misery and grief to my clans so that they can see their names carved into the hallowed pages of the Book of Grudges, of course!

This very first Grudge Match was against a Bloodbound warband by the name of Galathor's Gore Pilgrims. We played a roughly 1500p game using the Battleplan: Skulls for the Skull Throne from the Bloodbound Battletome, in which both sides randomly determine an enemy hero who's skull they must claim for Victory Points. Once the marked hero's skull has been claimed, a new one is determined randomly. Simple and brutal.

On with the story!


"Move it, lads! We gotta reach the boneyard before those blood-crazed fanatics lay waste to it," Slayer Lord Farim bellowed to his marching warriors. The duardin picked up pace and ate away miles at a steady speed not many human armies could have maintained for even a few hours.
With the vast majority of Kazad-Zul's legions chasing greenskins beyond the realmgate, it had fallen to Lord Farim and his remaining clansmen to defend the western reaches of Ungrim Ironhelm's duardin kingdom. The regions they had to patrol were vast, dotted only sparsely here and there by fortified outposts and walled mines and lumbermills. Each of these islands of duardin civilization could hold its own even with the minimal garrisons they had been left with for the duration of their High King's campaign, but dealing with any larger threats was a job Farim's meagre force had to do by themselves.

An urgent message had arrived from the rangers of the Bargonne Forest that a warband of Khorne-worshippers had entered the region. It seemed this barbarian horde had set its aim on the local boneyard. For what purpose, Lord Farim had no idea. Perhaps they were after some easy skulls that didn't fight back when claimed for the Blood God? Or perhaps this was a planned maneuver with which they hoped to draw desperate defenders to come to them, running to the defense of their buried friends and kinsmen?

Whichever the case, the latter of the options was exactly what Farim and his forces were doing. To fight the enemy away from disturbing the sacred rest of those put to eternal sleep.

"Aaight, seems like we made it after all!" the Slayer Lord claimed as he stopped in front of the boneyard gate, his Slayers still jogging not far behind him. Everything seemed quiet enough and there was no movement visible anywhere in the forest opening.
"Spread out and keep your eyes open. And set up the bolt thrower up on that hill."

On the far left flank of the recently arrived duardin company stood the Bargonne Forest Rangers who had carried the message to Lord Farim's hold. They stalked through the autumnal woods with crossbows at the ready, eyeing the treeline for first signs of the enemy.

They didn't have to wait for long as the first barbarians started pouring onto the opening. Dozens of khornates strode casually onto the opening, as if they had stood there waiting for a good while now. Almost like the trap they'd set up was sprung. A shouted warning from the Rangers alerted the rest of Farim's host to the presence of the enemy. They had just given the enemy exactly what they wanted.

Fresh prey.

"Onwards! Push back this corrupted filth and preserve the eternal rest of our kin!" Farim bellowed as the thrust his axe towards the foe, causing the entirety of the duardin force to advance. Only Runelord Nithrik and his accompanying Rangers acted more cautiously, taking good positions on the edge of the forest in the left flank.

The duardin ran across the field and entered the boneyard. The enemy did nothing. The bolt thrower fired into their ranks in an attempt to take down Bloodsecrator Ragrax Brassfist who carried a banner of bone. The enemy did nothing.
Then suddenly a Slaughterpriest strode forth from the ranks of the Bloodbound, his booming voice raised in fervent prayer to his merciless patron. As the cursed words of the dark tongue rang across the boneyard, a handful of Slayers following Lord Farim fell to the ground in agony, their blood boiling within their veins and flowing out of ears and noses.

Only then did the Chaos horde reveal itself in its entirety, a horde of barbarians and muscular monsters emerging from the woods and running full speed towards the duardin.

Their advance was so rapid that Farim's clansmen were caught off-balance. Towering fleshy Khorgoraths crashed into the ranks of the mountainfolk, followed by blood-crazed fanatics with their jagged blades and heavy axes.

Behind all the chaotic tribesmen and abominations now bringing the battle to the duardin walked a single, giant man. He was Galathor Skullcleave, the Mighty Lord of Khorne in charge of this warband and its unholy quest of brining ruin to the Bargonne Boneyard. A cruel smile spread on the face of the khornate lord. Today the blood spilled and skulls claimed in the name of Khorne would be plenty!

Inside the boneyard a band of Bloodreavers threw themselves upon the Slayers without any thought of self-preservation. Axes whirled in the air as both sides hacked into each other, muscled men falling as fast as the orange mohawks did. In the end the Slayers came out on top, standing upon a mound of cleaved corpses of both their friends and their foes.

Lord Farim and his accompanying Slayers met two Khorgoraths and an Exalted Deathbringer amidst the tombstones. The Bloodbound hero managed only a few swings at the Slayer Lord before a swift strike from an ancestral rune-axe decapitated him, but the Slayers were not as lucky as their liege; the Khorgoraths were all but immune to the blows landed upon their fleshy forms, yet claiming many duardin lives in return with each blow. Bone tentacles snapped out from their shoulders, grasping throats and puncturing chests, even as their giant meaty fists pounded life out of any who came close enough to land a strike.

On the right flank the charge of the Khorgoraths was halted by a lonely Grimwrath Berzerker, Grundin Giantbane. The lonely duardin took on both of the monsters, bouncing around them to strike his axe home here and there, trying to wear the beasts down. The Khorgoraths were not just dumb brutes, however, and Grundin attained serious injuries as his adversaries ran into him using the weight of their massive bulks. This noble feat still took all of the monsters' attention, letting the clan's warriors form a shieldwall upon which the tide of rushing Bloodreavers crashed. The barbarians died in droves as the duardin hacked away at them with systematic efficiency, but the sheer ferocity of the Bloodreavers still broke their formation. Many duardin paid for it with their lives as the hungry axes of the Bloodbound bit into their flesh.

Things went even more south when a Skullgrinder appeared from the forest, wielding a giant flaming anvil at the end of a length of chain. This peculiar weapon scythed down the remaining shieldwall, sending the broken bodies of warriors flying through the air before crashing down amidst their brothers-in-arms.

As the battle raged on inside and outside the boneyard, the Rangers stood in wait. Their patience was rewarded when a mob of Blood Warriors ran into view, apparently seeking to flank the beleaguered duardin. A chorus of unloading crossbows thrummed from the Rangers' hideout and a swift volley of bolts swept across the field, striking all but one Blood Warrior to the ground with their chests filled with protruding shafts.

In the boneyard the other band of Slayers ran into the last Blood Warrior, seeking to take down this persistent foe. The tribesman proved to be even more persistent when the duardin clashed blades with him: that single man carved through one Slayer after another, using his twin axes to trip and throw the duardin around before landing the killing blows. The maniac even laughed uncontrollably while performing this cruse dance of death before the weight of foes pressed him down to be chopped to death in turn.

The Khorgoraths made short work of Farim's remaining companions, ramming through the Slayers to leave nothing alive in their wake. Many wounds and axes decorated the bodies of these monstrous beings by now, but nothing seemed to stop them. Lord Farim picked up some speed and flung himself into a slide in between the feet of one of the beasts, his runic axe slicing the creature nearly in half on the go. As he got up from the ground behind the slain monster, the other one rushed in to land a blow that sent the Slayer Lord back to the ground.

On the right flank Grundin Giantbane's distraction of the Khorgoraths came to an end when he got picked up and eaten whole. His heroic actions had still bought time for the warriors to gather around to focus on the beasts and the Skullgrinder in the woods. The monsters proved tough as ever, the axes and hammers of the duardin merely bouncing off their fleshy hides, while in return the mountainfolk died in droves. Each roaring charge of a Khorgorath resulted in warriors getting trampled and maimed, each swing of the flaming anvil sending more bearded folk and broken shields flying through the air.

Death everywhere.

The fighting inside the boneyard was alleviating. Mounds of fresh corpses filled the scene, with Lord Farim and a lonely Khorgorath battling each other in the middle of it. An Unforged called Murin the Shattered was closing in on the scene, willing to aid his lord as he saw Galathor Skullcleave approaching the Slayer Lord as well.

In the left flank forest the Rangers heard a strange rumble from the skies, and before they could react a huge meteorite of brass came down upon them from the heights. It crashed into their formation with tremendous force, sending a score of duardin flying onto their backs and utterly crushing the two unfortunate rangers to have stood right under it. It seemed the Blood God was watching the battle unfold and saw fit to bless its followers with an unholy intervention.

Both the Rangers and the Slayers spotted some movement behind a nearby rock, and set out to investigate. Perhaps there were more Blood Warriors there, lying in wait for the right moment to spring up and join the battle?

Elsewhere the battle was fading down to the last few skirmishes across the field, with both forces spent and tiring.

Before Murin the Shattered could reach his liege, the rampaging Khorgorath trampled the prone form of Lord Farim to death. So did the Protector of the Western Reach and Lord of the Drakeflight Hold pass on to the halls of his ancestors.

On the right flank the combined efforts of the Khorgoraths and the Skullgrinder finished off the remaining warriors, leaving only a single survivor who ran off into the woods, leaving his whole company to grow cold on the bloodied grass.

The Rangers and the Slayers found Ghirkar Redwrath, an Aspiring Deathbringer, from behind the massive rock. A volley of bolts shot out from the Rangers in the forest, leaving a number of shafts stuck into the armour plates of the Bloodbound champion. The Slayers charged in, only to be cut to shreds by the wrath of Ghirkar. The gigantic man had much to prove in the eyes of both Galathor and his dark god, so he used his axe and hammer to deadly effect in bashing the heads and cleaving the skulls of these hapless souls foolish enough to face him.

The bolt thrower on the hill had hit nothing in the battle so far, as much of the fighting had been done swiftly and in brutal, swirling melees that gave no chance to take down foes without risking friendly fire. Now the eyes of the terrified crew turned towards the monsters that rushed out of the corpse-strewn woods, led by the grinning Skullgrinder with murder in his eyes.

Murin the Shattered stopped in his tracks as he saw Lord Farim battered to bloody paste under the wrath of the fleshy beast.
"Come on 'ere, ya towerin' pile o' pig-meat! I'll show ya what a proper duardin feels like on the way to yer foul belly!" he cried out, gaining the attention of the lone Khorgorath. As the monster began stomping its way towards the Unforged, Galathor Skullcleave also joined the fray.

Murin had to dodge the Chaos lord's Flesh-hound as it tried to topple him. Soon after that Galathor's own reality-splitting axe swung through the air, missing Murin's neck by a hair's breadth. Then the Khorgorath was upon him. Stepping aside from the beast's furious downward blow, Murin ran up the monster's muscled arm to stand on its back, sinking his twin axes to where he supposed the creature's head would be. A scream of agony emitted from the Khorgorath as it fell on its face on the ground, stone-dead. The brave Unforged used this forward momentum to fling himself upon Galathor, who parried the oncoming duardin's weapons with his own.
For a moment the lonely duardin and the Lord of Khorne stood toe-to-toe, holding each other's gaze in a murderous challenge. Soon the Flesh-hound bounced upon Murin once again, forcing the Unforged to turn and cleave the beasts head off in one swing, but not before it had ripped a mouthful of tough duardin meat from Murin's back. Lord Skullcleave saw his opportunity and rushed on, weaving his mighty weapon in a series of furious strikes that got turned aside by the duardin's axes. The parried strikes hit the ground, raising a cloud of dust that separated the combatants for a few heartbeats. The duel resumed when Murin appeared out of the dust cloud, hacking at Galathor from every imaginable angle with the skillful use of his runic weapons. Some blows found purchase on the Lord of Khorne's armour, and some even drew blood as they landed in between the armour plates.

During this relentless assault by the Unforged, Galathor saw an opening in the duardin's defense and went for it. His mighty hell-forged axe bit deep into his opponent's side, a fatal blow.
"You fought well, mortal, but there's no defeating the ch-" 
"I'm not done yet," Murin interrupted Lord Skullcleave and brought up an axe to the man's face. Both combatants collapsed on the spot, each other's axes still stuck on each other's prone forms. Both had met their martial match in battle.

Up on the hill overlooking this fatal duel the two Khorgoraths simply ran over the bolt thrower and its crew, stamping them to red mist and tearing the war machine apart piece by piece.

The battlefield began to grow silent as the dead had now outnumbered the living. The entire site was covered in carcasses both great and small, and the only duardin on the field were the Rangers and Runelord Nithrik in the forest on the left flank. They loosed yet another volley at the Aspiring Deathbringer hiding behind the rock, but their bolts merely bounced off the cold stone or clattered harmlessly off the Chaos champion's armour plates.

Ghirkar Redwrath finished off the last of the Slayers fighting him, taking one of them down with a hammer to the jaw and the other with a wide sweep of his axe. As both of his remaining adversaries fell broken to the ground, the Aspiring Deathbringer started towards the forests behind him, away from the range of the duardin crossbows.

Before the Rangers started running after the escaping enemy champion, another brass meteorite struck down from the skies and blasted into the ranks of the duardin. As the survivors got back up to their feet, the Aspiring Deathbringer was already out of reach. The Rangers huddled into the patch of forest, aiming their crossbows around and seeing if there were any immediate threats to them on the field. There were none.

Even the nearest enemies were too far away to catch the Rangers, so Runelord Nithrik made the call to retreat from the field. As the last surviving duardin skulked off into the woods to return to their now-leaderless hold, the remaining Bloodbound began scouring the field for worthy skulls to offer to their deity.

The Skullgrinder looked around him and realized there were no more enemies to kill. The battle was over. He flew into a mighty rage for not having had a fair enough share of the killing, and swung his flaming anvil around to take down a lonely autumn birch with a single blow. As the hapless tree cracked and toppled, catching fire in the process, the Skullgrinder let out his frustration to the uncaring skies with a long, wordless cry.


Despite what it looks like as a story, the game was really a close one!

My Marked Hero was the Unforged, Murin the Shattered, while my opponent's was the Aspiring Deathbringer Ghirkar Redwrath. As it happens, my Marked Hero met his demise fighting (and taking down) a Mighty Lord of Khorne and a Khorgorath! As my Slayers and Quarrellers both failed to kill that single Deathbringer (I needed 2 more inches and my crossbows would've reached him!) so the victory went to the Bloodbound by 1-0.

in retrospect I really should have been more aggressive with my Quarrellers. I could have used them to move up the field after having wiped out the Blood Warriors, rather than kept them hugging cover in the corner of the field. Now all they did was kill a few infantry and wound a hero! I was too careful with my ranged unit, and it cost me the game. However, I still blame my Bolt Thrower. It didn't hit (or at least didn't wound) anything during the game, if I remember correctly. It might have put in a few wounds on one of the Khorgoraths, I do not recall, but not that it matters anyway. Won't be using that machine for a while.

Then there's this one thing... this was a Grudge Match, so naturally this loss is now to become a grudge in the Great Book of Grudges. This unfortunate event lowers my hold's Grudges Settled -percentage from 67,7% to 60,0%.
Congratulations to Galathor's Gore Pilgrims, you've now made your mark in history by having your name written there in blood!

Expect furious vengeance.

lauantai 23. joulukuuta 2017

Holiday Club Special

The holidays of the ending year are upon us!

To celebrate this, the miniature gaming club I once founded in my smallish hometown (and nowadays runs under a different overseer) held a Games Day today. Everyone was invited to watch, play and talk of Age of Sigmar and its many aspects for free, using the miniatures we overseers and some helpful veteran clubbers provided.

We had a great deal of people (at least in the scale of this town's population) attending the event: there were several games running simultaneously, with veteran players floating around the tables to offer aid and advice in case they weren't pulling off an introductory game themselves. Dice rolled merrily all day long and a lively chatter filled the room as people avidly shared their war stories and the epic feats their characters had performed on the field of battle!

We had Skirmish games, regular ~1000p games and even a 2v2 multiplayer battle during the day, showing the visitors a wide spectrum of possibilities and conflict scales Age of Sigmar could be used for as a miniature wargame. The space we played in was the local community/youth centre, with more than enough well-lit and well-maintained room to hold us all comfortably. This is all thanks to our club's warm collaboration with our municipality's youth activity organization, as they let us use their estates on a weekly basis to run our gaming club.

You can read more about our club and its founding here.

I got to play an introductory game against one of the newcomers, with him taking control of my Aelves while I played my Stormcast. The scenario was a pretty simple one and the armies had been roughly balanced beforehand, to speed up the set-up phase of the game and to let people just enjoy the experience of cooperative storytelling of a miniature wargame such as Age of Sigmar.

We had six numbered objective counters spread out on the table and we rolled a dice at the beginning of the game: models could flip the objective markers to reveal their number once they moved into base contact with them, and once the objective with the rolled number on it was found the victory would go to the faction that had more models within 6" of it at the end of the fifth battleround. We rolled a 2 and the battle could begin!

My Stormcast were forced to take the first turn of the first battleround by my well-rolling opponent, and the objective marker my forces managed to reach was not the one that had to be found. The Aelves, however, used their turn to strengthen their positions on the field while flipping the single objective that had been spawned on their deployment zone. To everyone's surprise, that particular objective was number 2, the one the game could be won with!

The rest of the battle was simply my Stormcast running to the opposite corner of the field, battling White Lions, Dragonblades, Reavers and actual Dragons along the way. They never reached even the halfway mark, with most of my forces withered away in the running battle that took place in the middle. At the end of the 5th battleround there were 10 Spireguard, 5 Reavers, a Loremaster and only a single badly wounded Lord-Relictor on the field, marking a crushing defeat for my Stormcast!

We both had a great time, especially my newcomer opponent, who was quite amused by the fact that my much much slower army had to slug its way through to his side of the table under heavy downpour of arrows and dragonfire. We even had several epic hero duels as my Stormcast heroes sought to slay the rampaging dragon, but most of them simply got eaten. In the fourth battleround my Lord-Relictor fortunately managed to slay the beast with a summoned bolt of celestial lightning, exacting vengeance for his fallen brothers!

All in all the event was successful and everyone had fun. Many were intrigued to delve deeper into the hobby and find out more in case they some day wanted to buy into it themselves, to build, paint and play their own unique army to tell some epic stories with!

With this holiday-special-game-event-special-post-special I bid you all happy and peaceful holidays!

perjantai 8. joulukuuta 2017

Catching Up

Hi there!

For the past several weeks all I've covered here in the blog has been my Path to Glory campaign in the local game store, and little else. Now the campaign has drawn to a close and my Aelves did not rank that well; they didn't even reach either of the campaign's two victory conditions! Oh well...
I actually missed the last round due to busy personal life, but to finish the story I began for Lord Sundamar Blazeborn and his loyal followers I'll find someone to play the league's final scenario with. This story must have an ending!

Speaking of endings, now that the PtG-league is over I have many things planned for the future of this blog. What exactly do I have in mind?

  • The Iron Grudge campaign will be continued, meaning new narrative battle reports and war overviews as my Kazad-Zul Duardin advance into the enemy territory in search of Big Bossy Warboss Urgokh da Choppa.
  • A Firestorm campaign is on the horizon. Using the rules and contents of the Season of War: Firestorm -box, I and three other warlords shall pit our armies against each other for the dominance of the Flamescar Plateau as the year 2018 kicks in. Narrative battle reports, campaign overviews and pics of beautiful armies shall come in abundance!
  • Army projects: My Freeguild have soon all been rebased and they're hungry for battle, not to mention a fledgling Fyreslayers Lodge or the soon-to-be-famous Sunsplitterz Warclan!
  • Instagram activity is a regular thing for ExtraBushyBeards already. Every few days I'll bombard the feed with painted models and WIPs so you have something hobby-themed to browse when commuting or waiting at the dentist's.

To sum it up: there'll be plenty of epic war stories to read and many pics and projects to see —  a firm return to the blog's origins as the place of narratives and casual fun after a couple of months of relative competitiveness.

I did mention the ExtraBushyBeards Instagram account, didn't I? With over a hundred followers already, we have established an aspiring duardin colony in the mountains that'll hopefully grow into a prospering Karak some day. As I go through my collection of painted models I photograph some chosen pieces in my Lightbox Studio to be uploaded there for easy reference and some on-the-go eyecandy.

Here are the 50 Freeguild Guard Militia I began working on back in Regimental Rebasing. 30 of them are already done and I'm currently working on the next batch of 10, leaving only the last few undercoated buggers before I paint their 25mm round bases and call them done. I ordered some 200 bases from Kromlech just for this army project, the old Empire needs to be renewed in order to stand up to the challenges they'll face in the upcoming Fir...

Oops, I've said too much.

Some Empire Knights rebased as Knights of Order. Only usable in Order allegiance armies nowadays but hey, they make a nice addition to any narrative games even though they might not fit into my more structured Freeguild lists! 

Their bases were done in a very quick&dirty way similar to the bases of my Freeguild infantry: Abaddon Black, Dawnstone, Nuln Oil, done. Didn't bother making any drains or mosaic this time as I doubt these fellows will see much action in the upcoming battles.

That's all for catching up on things, next up I'll try to get that PtG-story on Sundamar to a conclusion. Until then!

maanantai 27. marraskuuta 2017

Path to Glory: Signs of Corruption


The fourth part of my local Path to Glory campaign is finally here, this time centered around the battleplan Beast's Lair in which both players had a chance to control a powerful monster in the middle of the battlefield by rolling off at the beginning of each battleround. Whichever side had any models in the table centre (without any enemies nearby) when the monster was slain would be victorious. We used a Treelord as the Beast of the Lair.

I played against a Blades of Khorne warband which was quite daemon-heavy. Actually it was all daemons through and through. Interesting!

"By Asuryan... Look at this place," Loremaster Aerelian sighed as they stood on a hill overlooking a blackening valley full of leafless trees and infertile ground.
"This is the work of the minions of the Dark Gods. The corruption is spreading rapidly throughout the region and it seems to originate from somewhere around here."
"A morbid sight indeed," Sundamar replied, sitting in the back of A'undtur who had fallen deathly silent since they had entered the dying valley.
"We must locate the source of this desolation to put an end to it. I say we search this valley thoroughly now that we have enough warriors for the task," he said, nodding back over his shoulder towards the lines of aelven troops snaking up the hill to accompany their leaders.

The rest of the reinforcements from home had arrived shortly after the battle at the Altars of Damnation, swelling the ranks of Sundamar's expedition with fresh citizen militia skilled in the usage of bow and spear. With these new warriors he was confident he could find and destroy the source of this foul corruption in no-time.

"There was a dedicated warden for this valley once, a mighty lord of the forest," A'undtur mind-sang suddenly, startling Sundamar.
"I wonder what has become of him."
"Sylvaneth, you mean? I bet those forest spirits have been driven away from here ages ago, they wouldn't let their lands be despoiled in this way," the aelf noble replied, eyeing their surroundings nervously as their party began descending into the valley.

They hadn't traveled far before they spotted disturbing movement in a patch of forest ahead of them.
"I believe we have found the valley's guardian... or something that used to be him. And we're not the only ones making this discovery, either. Draw your blade, Little One..." A'undtur sang as a black-barked Sylvaneth Treelord burst out from amidst a collection of dead trees, bloodcurdling howls of daemons echoing in the background. Lord Sundamar's mouth was too dry to form a reply.

Here's what my Aelf warband House Blazeborn Expedition looks like now. A Dragonlord, a Loremaster, 5 Dragon Blades, 10 White Lions, 5 Reavers and (the latest addition) 10 Spireguard.

The Spireguard were the only non-elite choice I could add to my warband at this point, as I do not want to waste any more Glory Points in another unit of Reavers. They were also already painted, conveniently enough, so I could just swoop sweep them into my bag to be taken along with a minute's notice. I don't expect much of them, but I hope their bows will prove handy when harassing the opposition and thinning down their ranks before the inevitable brutality of melee.

10 Bloodletters, 10 Bloodletters, a Bloodthrone, a Bloodhthirster (behind the rock), a Skullmaster (behind the rock) and 3 Bloodcrushers
I deployed my forces into the corner with less Mysterious terrain around it (I roll terribly when those are nearby) and my opponent's warband naturally set up on the opposite corner. Both forces started a bit bunched-up, with the intention of running into the mid-field Beast's Lair to bathe in blood, but I was confident in my missile capabilities and their might against his all-melee horde of slavering daemons.

The first turn of the first battleround went to the Aelves, as well as the control of the Treelord for this round. I moved my forces cautiously towards the middle in order to unleash a hail of arrows at the daemons in the second round, letting them slither out of their deployment area into the daylight. The Treelord walked out of its lair and shot its Strangleroots at the Bloodcrushers, but failed to inflict any damage. Its subsequent charge also failed and the turn switched over to the Blades of Khorne.

The Beast's Lair in the middle was Deadly terrain, which is why the Dragon Blades are so oddly positioned.
Completely ignoring the Treelord, the daemons circled around it to get closer to the Beast's Lair in the middle of the field. The Bloodcrushers and the Skullmaster began some sort of flanking maneuver on the right, riding closer upon the backs of their juggernauts.

The Aelves got to begin the second battleround (and gained the control of the Treelord once more), so I lined my warriors up for the shooting phase. My Dragon Blades and Reavers got close enough to the Lair to claim it for the Aelves should the Treelord perish any time soon. The Loremaster cast Hand of Glory on my Dragonlord, who then flew next to the hill on the right in order to halt the flanking enemy cavalry.

The Reavers managed to take down 4 Bloodletters with their 15 arrows, thinning down the closest enemy infantry unit quite nicely. The Dragonlord spat fire over the hill to burn a single Bloodcrusher to crisp. The Dragon Blades failed their charge into the Bloodthrone looming in the distance. The Treelord, however, did make its charge and managed to reach the great Bloodthirster himself!

After Strangleroot shots and a number of melee attacks the Bloodthirster stood on 5 Wounds, but it managed to get back at the sentient twig by carving it down to 4 Wounds in return!

A true clash of the titans.

My opponent moved up his forces within charge distance, leaving only one unit of Bloodletters to see if their Champion could handle the Treelord with or without some help from its minions. The Bloodcrushers along with the Skullmaster on the right advanced just a bit, maintaining a disturbing presence in my dragon-guarded flank while his other units charged in.

The Bloodthrone charged my Dragon Blades, suffering 1 Wound in the melee while the aelven knights took as much in return. The 6 Bloodletters of the arrowfire-weakened unit came at my Reavers, cutting down two of the poor cavalry before suffering two casualties in return as the Spireguard ran in to aid their mates.

The Combat between a Greater Daemon and a Treelord was going horribly. The Bloodthirster dealt out three wounds while only taking one himself, leaving its adversary at a single Wound!

The third battleround began with the Aelves, but the control of the Treelord switched over to the Khornates. The Dragonlord received Hand of Glory from the Loremaster and climbed to the nearby hill, blasting one more Bloodcrusher from this reality with a healthy gout of dragonfire before charging in. The Spireguard fired at the turncoat Treelord, seeking to take out its last Wound with a rain of shafts. All shots bounced off or missed altogether, but one lucky shot went through and slew the Beast of the Lair!

The White Lions charged the Bloodletters in the middle to lend some aid to the Reavers and the Spireguard, making short work of the remaining daemon infantry with their axes. The Dragon Blades managed to put two more wounds into the Bloodthrone but lost one of their own in the fight, while the Dragonlord ate up the last remaining Bloodcrusher.

The Bloodletters and the Bloodcrushers at the back (around the rock spire) are casualties, not unholy reinforcements.
My opponent's third turn saw the Bloodthirster advance into the middle with its minions hot on its heels. The daemons sought to swarm the centre and push me out, for now that the monster was dead the victor would be determined as soon as all enemies had been cleared from the Lair. Funnily enough, the Greater Daemon of Khorne failed its Deadly terrain test when charging across the middle forest and was removed from the field!

The Dragon Blades slew 2 Bloodletters in the combat phase but suffered 5 wounds in return, killing two knights and leaving one on 1 Wound. The Bloodthrone survived this round unscathed and managed to heal 2 Wounds with its Gorefeast ability. I wonder what the flesh of aelven nobles taste like...

The fourth battleround began with the Aelves. The Loremaster tried to cast Arcane Bolt at the Bloodletters but got automatically unbound by the Khornates' Blood Tithe Battle Trait. The Dragonlord climbed to the edge of the hill and slew one daemon with dragonfire, while the Reavers repositioned themselves and loosed 9 shots at the Bloodthrone, taking it from 5 Wounds down to just 2.

Both the White Lions and the Spireguard charged the Bloodletters through the Deadly forest, forming two layers around the daemons: tough White Lions in the first rank, spear-armed Spireguard in the second, with only a small gap left to get the Spireguard unit champion into contact with the foe. One Lion and two Spireguard met their demise charging through the woods, but the daemons were quickly dispatched under the aelven onslaught.

In the Blades of Khorne turn four, the Bloodthrone charged the Spireguard and managed to kill 6 of them in one go! The lonely Skullmaster on the right also charged my Dragonlord but got minced before getting a chance to attack my Champion.

The Bloodthrone was the only enemy model on the field at this point, yet it still stood within the boundaries of the Lair and thus still denied me victory. So I activated my White Lions next and piled them in...

A handful of dice, 3+/3+/-1/1 and the daemonic slaughter-chariot was gone.

A major victory for the Aelves!

The last of the daemons crawled out of the wreckage of the Bloodthrone, clawing its way onward amidst the corpses with its mangled legs trailing numbly behind it. A ranger walked up to it and pressed the abomination flat on the ground with a dirty boot, bringing a great axe down on the daemon's head with a splat. The warriors began spreading out to examine the battlefield, checking fallen comrades and skewering lingering foes. All around the corpse-strewn valley the corporeal forms of the slain daemons began slowly dissipating as their hosts had been banished back into the Realm of Chaos, leaving only dead mortals to dot the landscape.

Sundamar was breathing heavily. The corrupted warden had fought the daemons with admirable ferocity, but there had been something sinister about the Treelord all along. The Loremaster had advised everyone to keep their distance and remain vigilant, for the warden surely couldn't tell a friend from foe anymore. It had clashed with a greater daemon with some measure of success before it had turned on the aelves. Aerelian had immediately ordered the Spireguard to loose a volley at the wooden giant, finally bringing the grievously wounded behemoth down with one lucky shaft.

Young Lord Blazeborn was even now staring at the blackened Treelord that laid flat on the ground, its bark split and torn, with several arrows protruding from its battered form.
"There still is a chance to save it. Its life essence hasn't completely left the husk yet, and I might be able to spark it once more," Loremaster Aerelian stated as he walked up to his liege.
"It might be grateful enough afterwards to join our little adventure. I'm quite convinced it has a score or two to settle with whoever is spreading this corruption."
"Do it," Sundamar replied after a moment's thought.
"We need all the help we can get. How much time do you need, master Aerelian?"
"I'd say three days, but I'll make it two. The restoration ritual is exhausting and it'll take our friend here a while to recover its full strength, but we'll get there. I think I'd better start recalling my lessons on the tongue of the ancients..."

As an additional reward for this victory the Treelord now joins my warband with D6 Wounds, recovering and additional D6 Wounds at the start of each subsequent scenario as it gains back its strength. A handy addition if you ask me! That monster packs a punch which is always welcome in Aelven warbands while also bringing some serious durability into my ranks, too. I believe I now stand at 6 Glory Points in this league, which is not that good as there are already players competing for victory with either 5 added units or 10 collected Glory Points. Oh well, I've had a blast and there are still scenarios to come, so the challenges haven't ended yet for Sundamar Blazeborn and his followers! I'm thinking of taking a Reward for my White Lions instead of a new unit, just to try how that mechanic plays out.

My opponent's Blades of Khorne were a joy to meet on the field, the black-and-red colour scheme topped with weapons of bleached bone looks absolutely stunning! The warband was also played really well, and I have to admit I feel a bit embarrassed to fall for such an obvious bait. A bunch of cavalry hanging on my flanks doing nothing? Had I done nothing the bastards would've struck my Loremaster and Reavers in the back, but as a pretty poor tactical choice I sent my Dragonlord after them. Yes. I sent a damn dragon to chase flankers while my footmen died in droves in the mid-field. The Dragon Blades could've done the same and I would've had my main killing machine free to meet the foe where it mattered!

Agh, what is done is done. I was lucky to have the Treelord on my side for so long, it pretty much saved the day by smashing the Bloodthirster down to its last Wounds before dying itself. I also have to pat my Spireguard and White Lions in the back. They held the middle even though their lord and master was off chasing daemon-riders.

We'll see what the next game brings about. Until then!