September 15, 2014 by brennon
Over the weekend I got to bring my Warhammer Fantasy Dwarf army down to Titan Games in Stourbridge UK and take part in a massive mega battle between two forces. On one side stood Nagash and on the other stood Archaon the Everchosen. The battleground was the war torn ground that forms The Empire and every army was on a knife edge. Fragile alliances had been made and the generals had mustered; spying their foes across the battlefield and swearing oaths. It was going to be awesome…
The Who’s Who Of Legends!
It had been decided before hand which side armies would be joining but the phrase of the day was ‘you can do what you think is the coolest’. You might have been fighting on the side of Nagash but if you thought glory lay elsewhere then you could bring the pain if needs be! Despite that however this is how the sides lined up.
On the ‘side’ of Nagash we had Nagash himself followed loyally by Arkhan the Black. To the left of him stood Karl Franz of the Empire and a huge contingent of High Elves led by Teclis himself. As well as the powerful spellcaster a mass of dragons swooped down from the skies intent on making sure they were part of this epic battle. To the right of Nagash stood the hordes of Grimgor and Skarsnik with Orcs and Goblins for each leader. Next to them, and grumbling about being so close to greenskins, stood my forces led by Belegar Ironhammer and Josef Bugman.
On the other side of the battlefield standing atop a hill of skulls rode Archaon himself and a Great Unclean One festering below him. To his right a massed army of Skaven led by Queek Headtaker and a horde of rodents. A bell tolled to the far right threatening to do a lot of damage to everyone. To Archaon’s left stood a two huge Ogre Kingdoms armies with one of them led by Golgfag and his Maneaters.
Each side came in at around 2000 to 3000 points each with a few added extras to make things interesting. Archaon had roped in the service of a massive Chaos Siege Giant whereas Nagash, or more importantly Karl Franz had seen through the beguiling Arch-Lector of Ulric and his daemonic visage and had bought not only Valten and Luthor Huss to the battlefield but also the disgraced Balthasar Gelt. Interestingly Marienburg had also managed to get their ramshackle landship all the way to the North and it stood in pride of place next to the Dwarf battleline.
Everyone’s armies were of varying levels and numbers and it would be rather lengthy to list them all by points but here is what I bought…
- Belegar Ironhammer, Runelord with Anvil of Doom, Josef Bugman, Daemon Slayer, Thane with BSB.
- 20x Longbeards, 20x Warriors, 20x Thunderers
- 20x Hammerers, 20x Slayers
- 20x Bugman’s Rangers
…all of the heroes were laden with runes of course and I’d tried to make this one both as cool as possible with loads of neat heroes I wanted to use and thematic, as if Josef Bugman had got Belegar’s troops there in a hurry without time to prepare cannons and warmachines. The focus was going to be on getting into the thick of the fighting quickly. My Daemon Slayer would soon become my favourite character on the battlefield.
The End Times Call!
So much happened in this battle that it would be hard to write a proper blow-by-blow account. There is the possibility of a very narrative, fluff driven battle report happening in the near future but for now I’m going to run you through how it all unfolded and try and get across how fun it all was. Like a real battle I had no idea what was really going on beyond the shouts of the High Elves and Skaven so their details may be a little sketchy!
With the armies set up the High Elves were facing off against the Skaven, both intent on making sure Nagash and Archaon got to fell the other. In the middle the two main attractions took up pride of place alongside Karl Franz and Balthasar Gelt. On my flank I was partnered up with the Orcs & Goblins against a massed army of Ogres. There were two huge deathstar units stood right in front of me and my heart sank to begin with but I looked at my Daemon Slayer and decided he would have one hell of a good death. With that Nagash rolled and we got first turn.
Everything started with a lot of movement as you might expect and any magic down our side of the board was squashed by Archaon. Dragons swooped down towards the Skaven army and started burning great big holes in it as Warp Lightning Cannons lit up the sky and Queek hurried forwards towards battle. On my flank Ogres moved into position and in turn magic was killed off by the Anvil of Doom and Nagash working together (crazy!).
Immediately however the Orc & Goblin player revealed his trecherous nature and two massive Mangler Squigs ran off into the battlefield. Both of them headed straight for Karl Franz on Deathclaw. The first smashed into the undead lines blocking the way and tore apart ghouls and zombies. The second got all the way through their lines and smashed into the surprised Emperor. Like that Karl Franz was unseated from Deathclaw and left puzzled as he faced a long walk across the battlefield. I think Grimgor had had this plan all along. If anyone was going to get to the middle and fight Archaon and Nagash it was him.
The following turn saw battle joined up and down the field. Nagash was already in combat, Grimgor had been flung forward by greenskin magic and the Daemon Slayer had joined battle with the Ironguts. Dragons were in and about the Skaven lines while Teclis was holding off masses of magic thrown at him by Skaven spellcasters. Belegar and his trusty Hammerers were assaulted by Maneaters and Golgfag, Mournfangs and behind the battlelines Gorgers could smell the blood and were drawn into the fighting over this next turn.
I cannot speak as to what was happening with the High Elves combat wise (too much going on, felt like a real battle!) but with the help of the Marienburger landship the Slayers were making a serious dent in the Ironguts. He had already felled one of their heroes and succeeded in killing another during the next combat. Even though slayers were dying in their droves next to him he kept on battling and the cool Deathblow rule that they now get meant the toll reaped was high. It became so successful a combat that the slayers, all dead save the Daemon Slayer, drove off the Ironguts but failed to catch them unfortunately.
In the middle of the battlefield Nagash and Archaon were joined in a duel that neither of them could win. Each time wounds were caused something would heal or save them through lucky ward saves. It looked as if this was going to be a proper duel for the ages and it certainly looked it as both of them clashed atop raised ground towards the centre. With battle joined up and down the lines Skarsnik saw his chance for sneaky stabbings and turned on my Dwarf lines! Valten, Bugman and Luthor Huss turned in surprise to see the warlord charging down the hill towards their fragile flank! With that, we broke for lunch.
Betrayal & Sensible Dragons!
Much talk happened over the break about what we were all going to do next. It was clear that the Chaos Siege Giant would have to die to my Daemon Slayer, in my mind anyway. Away from that I agreed it was awesomely thematic for Skarsnik to turn on his fragile allies and attack Bugman and the others. He wasn’t going to be following Grimgor into the heat of battle so he could stab some stunties instead!
On the other side of the battlefield the High Elves were losing out to the more powerful Skaven regiments and their massed artillery. Dragons were lying smote on the battlefield and each side had huge holes in it. It appeared as if they might not have much fight left in them. We pushed our Nagash to try and get rid of Archaon was quickly as possible! Belegar was eying up Golgfag and it was pretty clear both of them were going to get into a fight.
The battle begun again with earnest and my first question was ‘can my slayer charge the giant?’. The answer was unreservedly yes (he was technically out of his charge arch even being a single model now). With that the Daemon Slayer jumped at the chance and ran hell for leather towards the beast. He managed to score a wicked amount of wounds on the Giant for nothing in return as the Giant instead clubbed the landship also nearby. Behind him the Dwarfs were paying dearly. Josef was struck down by Skarsnik and Valten sensed the end and retreated (ran away…). The Longbeards and Warriors had both been crushed by the Ogres but Belegar charged Golgfag anyway intent on some revenge. The two of them dueled but neither could land a blow on the other even though Belegar unleashed his Revenge Incarnate on the Ogre lord.
In the middle of the battlefield Grimgor had finally made it into combat. He was behind Arkhan the Black who had previously been owning it up in combat. Grimgor was then charged in the back by the undead he had just betrayed! Ogres came in from the flank as well and started hacking up the Chaos Warriors they had meant to be supporting too! It was all out Chaos. To the other side of the massive combat the surviving High Elf Star Dragon swooped into the combat intent on making sure Archaon didn’t escape as many of his kin had already fallen.
The following turn was one of more tragedy for my poor Dwarfs. Belegar was locked in combat with Golgfag once again and all of his Hammerers had fallen to a combination of Leadbelcher cannons and Ogre weapons. The Runelord was desperately fighting off a Gorger with his two Anvil Guard and Skarsnik managed to kill off the last of the Thunderers and charge into the Mournfangs. The Daemon Slayer bought down the Chaos Siege Giant in spectacular fashion, the huge beast smashing into the landship and basically tearing it apart before it rolled over a stray Goblin Fanatic and crumbled into ruin. Even as he had beaten this huge foe however the Ironguts sought revenge and attacked him. He was battered, bruised and bloody but it looked like his time had finally come. Despite fending off many a blow he fell and claimed his death at last.
Belegar swung out for the Golgfag meanwhile and couldn’t land a blow. In return Golgfag pierced his armour and the True King of the Eight Peaks fell to his knees. I like to think some enterprising Dwarf managed to get him off the battlefield quickly before he could die. The Dwarfs were reduced to the Rune Lord and his Anvil Guard stoic in their defense even in the face of adversity.
In the middle of the battlefield all eyes turned to the fighting between Grimgor, Arkhan, Nagash, Archaon and the Star Dragon. Grimgor climbed atop the back of Arkhan’s nightmarish steed and with a resounding pop pulled the fools head off. Thinking he’d killed Nagash Grimgor was satisfied and wandered back to his Immortals claiming he was ‘da best!’. Meanwhile Nagash wasn’t having much luck with Archaon but the Star Dragon decided enough was enough. It swooped in, killed practically all of Archaon’s knights and then as the Everchosen turned to flee swooped after him and plucked him from his horse.
With that rout Nagash had won and the Chaos forces had been splintered. Skaven returned to their warrens, High Elves looked at the utter devastation of their kin, Ogres looted the dead, Grimgor declared himself da best (again) and my Dwarf Rune Lord, I like to think anyway, finished off the Gorger (who was on one wound) and sundered the Anvil making sure no-one else could take it before retreating from the battle.
Was It Fun?
So was it fun? Yes, it was amazing fun and everyone was really in the spirit of telling a narrative rather than just fighting a regular game of Warhammer Fantasy. I really like the 50% Lords rule as it allows for some epic heroes to come to the battlefield and gives you a chance to create some awesome characters of your own like my Daemon Slayer I dubbed Havva Gornstone.
After reading the narrative component of The End Times book I was really looking forward to this and I wasn’t disappointed. I hope the rest of The End Times books spur us on to even more awesome moments like this and the next edition could be very good indeed. Now, show me where Ungrim Ironfist is, I need to go and lead a fresh army into battle!
Have you played End Times games yet?
"Dragons swooped down towards the Skaven army and started burning great big holes in it as Warp Lightning Cannons lit up the sky..."
"With battle joined up and down the lines Skarsnik saw his chance for sneaky stabbings and turned on my Dwarf lines!"