Monday, May 16, 2016

Our Epic Three-Player Age of Sigmar Battle

As mentioned a few weeks back, I had been preparing for a three-player battle with my good buddies. It turned out to be an absolutely epic day, and a brutal, close-fought, tactical game that came down to almost the final dice roll to decide. In fact, it was among the best games of Warhammer I've ever played.


We used 'open play' - no points (agreeing to literally bring whatever we liked), and no extra rules restrictions or modifications other than those presented in the latest draft FAQ.

The scenario was Convergence of Fate, which we only adjusted to make deployment zones more suitable for three players, and removed the extra re-rolls for Vow of Enmity. The goal is to have the most models within 3" at the end of the game. The game ends at the conclusion of Turn 6, or at the end of a turn in which one of the armies is completely wiped out.




The armies deploy for WAR


The battle took place in one of the Underworlds within the Realm of Death, where the memories of the souls who linger there have formed facsimile landscapes of the World-That-Was. This is why you will notice some familiar names.

The Forces consisted of:


The Host of Light


The Host of Light gathers
Eltharion the Grim (General)
Tyrion - Avatar of Light
(thank you +Mengel Miniatures !)
Teclis
Korhil
2 x High Aelf Mages
1 x High Aelf Prince
25 x Swordmasters
15 x Lion Rangers
2 x Chariots
5 x Dragon Knights
3 x Bolt Throwers
20 x Archers
1 x Great Eagle




The Tomb Legions of Settra the Imperishable


Settra marches to battle
Settra the Imperishable (General)
Royal Warsphinx
2 x Tomb Kings
4 x Liche Priests
1 x Casket of Souls
6 x Necropolis Knights
20 x Tomb Guard
40 x Skeleton Archers
1 x Necrosphinx








The Deathlords of Shyish


The Deathlords emerge
Arkhan the Black (General)
Nagash
Wight King with Black Axe
Wight King with Infernal Banner
Necromancer
2 x Morghast Archai
3 x Spirit Hosts
40 x Skeleton Warriors 
10 x Grave Guard
5 x Black Knights










Turn One


Nagash allies with the Host of Light against the more threatening Tomb Legions, who declare that they need no ally.

The mystical forest near the aelf deployment
befuddles the eagle and the archers.
The Swordmasters gain potent magical protection from the Eldritch council;
3 Mystic Shields and the Shield of Saphery.
The Host of Light advances, laying claim to the Dais early.
The buffs start spreading in a lengthy first Magic phase by the Tomb Kings.
Multiple Righteous Smiting, and multiple My Will Be Done thanks to Settra's ability.
The alliance is troubled by the power developing down this end of the board.
The Necrosphinx, with 2 Mystic Shields roars across the battlefield to engage Eltharion,
and preventing the archers from releasing their mighty volley (whenever they awaken from their stupor).
Nagash unleashes his magic. Able to borrow the Liche Priest's spells (much to Settra's annoyance),
he imbues the Grave Guard with potent ability. The spirit hosts is destroyed by a round of shooting from the archers,
and Nagash takes four wounds from the same unit.
The Undead armies advance. Nagash summons another Spirit Host and moves to lend support to his aelven allies.
The Grave Guard make a huge charge into the Tomb Guard, but the skeletons fail,
and so they are left without support. The combat is swift but brutal.
They kill many, but are completely destroyed in return, despite their buffed ability.

Turn Two


The current alliance between Eltharion and Nagash stays in place. The Tomb Legion clearly need to be stopped.

Eltharion is slaughtered by the Necrosphinx, and Tyrion wheels round to attack.
The Dragon Knights move in to support.
The Tomb Legion releases its second wave - the Necropolis Knights,
while his flying, super-buffed archers move to take out Nagash.
Over 150 shots later, the Lord of the Undead is taken down.
With the help of the Necropolis Knights, Tyrion is slain.
The Heart of Avelorn shatters and he is brought back, but only briefly.
The reanimants are too strong.
The archers charge the skeleton warriors, braving the wrath of the Wight Kings.
Behind them, Tomb Scorpions emerge. The Deathlords are caught in a pincer attack...
...literally!
The Swordmasters pile in to the Necropolis Knights, but this foe is too strong even for them,
with mystic shields in play and too many wounds. Teclis's Tempest blows the Necrosphinx off the battlefield,
but still little headways on the Necropolis Knights.
The brave aelven Prince seeks vengeance for the death of the High Lords, and charges Settra - wounding him twice.
He somehow survives with 1 wound left, but is killed the following turn.
The Dragon Knights charge into the battle, but are wiped out completely before they can attack.
Yep, that's three Mystic Shields on the Necropolis Knights.
The skeleton warriors ably cut down the archers, as Arkhan observes how his ally fares.
The Necropolis Knights threaten to carve through the entire aelf force.
With a dismissive gesture, Arkhan casts Curse of years on the Necropolis Knights.
The aelves look on, astonished, as the seemingly invulnerable unit crumbles into corpse dust before their eyes.
Such power!
The Morghast and Black Knights turn to deal with the emerging Tomb Scorpions.
This doesn't go as well as hoped, and the scorpions take down one of the Morghasts with ease.
The first and second waves of the Tomb King assault have been vanquished, at great cost.
However, having witnessed Arkhan's potent magical ability, Teclis begins to rethink the alliance...

Turn Three


Betrayed! The aelf and Tomb Legion forces ally, and both armies take the initiative against Arkhan and his forces..


The Liche Priests summon more Tomb Guard, and imbue them with the power of Righteous Smiting.
The Spirit Hosts are charged by Settra. Miraculously they get past his defences with their ghostly attacks,
and Settra is vanquished! Another turning point in the battle.
The undead forces had been moving to position around the Dais.
They had been hoping for the alliance to last another turn to better establish themselves.
But now, caught on the back foot, they are surrounded by Lion Rangers and Swordmasters.
Arkhan the Black is cut down by the Tomb Guard.
Luckily, the Black Knights and Morghast begin to demolish the scorpions.
The necromancer summons a few Grave Guard, but will it be enough?

The Lion Rangers, led by Korhil, surround and butcher the necromancer.
With his passing also goes the ability to summon more troops.
Chariots and Bolt Throwers cut down the summoned Grave Guard.
Suddenly the forces of Light are in the ascendancy, very well positioned to hold the Dais.
The Wight Kings attempt to consolidate by finishing off the Tomb Guard,
bludgeoning them with their rusted blades.

Turn Four


A tentative (and suspicious) alliance now forms against the aelves, as the two Undead forces put aside their differences in order to prevent the outright victory of Teclis and his cronies.

The Tomb Kings unleash a ferocious third wave.
The Royal Warsphinx and Bone Giant are imbued with multiple Mystic Shields and Righteous Smiting.

The elite aelven forces are cut down in the face of such an assault.
With numbers thinning, the result of the battle is in the balance.
In return, aelven magic and shooting drastically reduces the last of Nagash's forces.

The Black Knights retreat from the chariot and great eagle.
What's left of the skeleton warriors take advantage of the alliance pact
(with no generals left to break it during the turn), and surround the Liche Priests.


Turn Five


The Wight King, now leading the Deathlord forces, makes an alliance with the aelves once again. Unable to take victory for himself, he chooses to fight against their shared hated foe from battles long ago.

Frantically hacking at the War Sphinx, the Dark Lord of Despair is unable to finish it off with his Black Axe.
But he does prevent it from moving on to smash the aelven allies.
He even survives an extra round thanks to the Infernal Banner, but is stomped into dust soon after.

More frantic positioning around the Dais.
The aelves are low on models remaining, but currently have the advantage.

The final model in Nagash's army, refusing to let the banner fall.

Turn Six


Going into the final turn, there are no alliances. The aelves refuse all help, determined to stand on their.

The Tomb Guard retreat from the Wight King, and take the objective.
Liche priests summon more archers, and the Bone Giant wrecks what is left of the aelven forces,
threatening to decimate them and prevent them from being able to contest the Dais.

The Wight King is finally cut down in his attempt to kill off
a few more Tomb Guard in order to give the aelves a chance at victory.
The aelves need to kill two more Tomb Guard in order to claim the objective.

Teclis and his Eldritch Council line up their Arcane Bolts. They miss with the first two...

But the last one kills two Tomb Guard on the Dais... and as the final turn ends, the aelves have the victory!



And so concluded an absolutely epic battle. It took about eight hours to play, but we figure about three of those hours were taken up by the casting buffing spells, and another 4 hours on re-rolling archer's shots. So it wasn't THAT long really...

What surprised us was just how close (and dare I say, balanced) the game was with no restrictions on models, summoning, and buffs. We look forward now to around July, when the General's Handbook will be released with exciting new campaign options.