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Battle Report: The Christmas Day Massacre or Lady Olynder's Holiday Ball featuring Cities of Sigmar

Battleplan: Duality of Death

Total Points Played: 1520

Terrain: Open War Terrain 55-56, no terrain with warscrolls

Armies

  • Nighthaunt
    • Heroes
      • Lady Olynder
        • General
        • Spell Lore: Soul Cage
      • Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed
        • Artefact: Pendant of the Fell Wind
      • Dreadblade Harrow
        • Artefact: Midnight Tome - Spell Lore: Shademist
      • Dreadblade Harrow
        • Artefact: Atherquartz Brooch
    • Battlelines
      • Chainrasp Horde x10
      • Chainrasp Horde x10
      • Hexwraith x5
      • Hexwraith x5
    • Other
      • Bladegheists x20
    • Battalions
      • The Dolorous Guard
      • The Forgotten Scions
  • Cities of Sigmar - Living CIty
    • Heroes
      • Freeguild General on Griffon
        • General
        • Command Trait: Ironoak Artisan
        • Artefact: Ghyrstike
      • Freeguild General
      • Celestial Hurricanum with Celestial Battlemage
        • Spell Lore: Ironoak Skin
    • Battlelines
      • Demigryph Knights x3
      • Demigryph Knights x3
      • Freeguild Crossbowmen x30
      • Freeguild Guard x20

Deployment - Video! Click Me!

Cities of Sigmar won priority for deployment and placed his Freeguild General on Griffon and both Demigryph Knight units into reserve. Rather than split the rest of his forces, he gathered them across from the left objective (from my perspective). In forward deployment were his Freeguild Guard, in rear deployment were his Freeguild Crossbowmen. The Freeguild General and the CHwCB ended up adjacent to the Crossbowmen and behind the Guard.

My Nighthaunt deployments started with a power move, placing Olynder, the entirety of the Dolorous Guard, and the Knight of Shrouds into the Underworlds before putting my first unit on the table, prompting my opponent to decide his picks with limited information. We allow battalion deployments to work as written, so when I placed my KoS into reserve, the rest of the Forgotten Scions appeared on the board, one in each deployment zone directly in line with either objective. I placed my Bladegheists right against the deployment zone close to the left objective, opposite my opponent's forces, and then one batch of Chainrasp Horde behind them. I placed my second Chainrasp Horde, who were my last deployment, at the closest edge of the right-hand deployment zone to that objective. 

CoS retained priority by finishing his deployment first. He elected to go first.


Gameplay

Turn One

Cities opened the turn casting Ironoak Skin on his Freeguild Guard, giving them a -1 to be wounded. He then marched them forward, able to secure the objective and provide a line for his Crossbowmen and heroes. Shooting was not fully in range, so a few wounds were tossed at my Chainrasps and Bladegheists damaging them 4 and 2 respectively (I think). There was no other battle options available at this point, so it was on to an inconsequential battleshock phase, and then on my my rebuke.

CoS: 1 point, NH: 0 points

I began my half of the turn attempting to cast, and failing, Shademist. Par for the course, really. I then ran my lonely Chainrasps on the right-hand side of the field into objective range and then teleported the Dreadblade on that side to cuddle up with them. On the left side, I quickly moved my Bladegheists into charge range to engage Freeguild Guard. My Chainrasps being my only battleline, I wanted to turtle them up with my Dreadblade so I pulled them both back into cover (we don't get a cover bonus, but line-of-sight still counts for ranged!) and let them cower. At the end of my movement phase, seeing my opponent committing all of his ranged on this side of the board, I opted to drop my Olydnerbomb now and line her up right at minimum range, flanked by her Dolorous Guard on either side and the KoSoES tucked narrowly behind her. For the shooting phase she Wailed at the Crossbowmen for 3 wounds and at the Hurricanum either nothing or very little, and then we moved on to the charge phase. All units failed their natural charges, but I felt getting the Bladegheists into trouble right away was necessary, so I burned a CP (no refund) for a re-roll. On this chance they made the charge. Between the charge and pile-in they had enough movement to line up in two ranks with enough space for that second rank to be in their 1" range. 11 wounds later, the counter-attack was muted by all the gore flying around. Cities opted to spend a CP to keep the rest of his Guard from running in the battleshock phase.

CoS: 1, NH: 1

End of Turn 1 - Video


Turn Two

I scored the double turn (YAY!) but in my unbridled joy I completely forgot my entire hero phase (WHAT)... By all rights this should have spelled the end for me. No attempt at Shademist for my Bladegheists, no attempt at Grief-Stricken on the Hurricanum, no attempt at Soul Cage on the Hurricanum, and no Lifting the Veil. What the hell was I thinking?! At least I remembered to gather my CP for the turn and move right into the movement phase, pulling my Bladegheists back to get into charge range again. Knowing they would land another charge, I bring my cowardly Chainrasps out of hiding to put them in objective-claiming range if my 'gheists could finish the job on the Guards. Meanwhile, Olynder and her retinue selected their dance partners for the evening and sauntered up to the 3" barrier. For shooting, she Wailed some more (and THEN I realized my missed hero phase, so I wailed as well), and then we got to business with the charges; all made them easily with the KoS achieving Wave of Terror (with me forgetting the battalion's buff to his attacks). Once into combat proper, the beat was properly dropped and the KoS took the mic for some dubstep beatboxing, spending his free Command Ability on Olynder, and my bank of CP on both units of Hexblades, himself, and with range to spare on buffing the Bladegheists, as well.  Thanks to the Aetherquartz my 3 CP remained at 2 after the breakdance showdown. The resulting bloodletting reduced the Freeguild deployed models from 52 to 4.

CoS: 1, NH: 4

End of First Half of Turn 2 - Video (prepare for salt)

CoS had to answer, and try he did. Being denied any semblance of a hero phase (so we're even now) he jumped to his movement phase. He summoned up his reserves, dropping one set of Demigryph Knights in charge range of my  Chainrasps and Dreadblade who had been ignored so far on the right-hand side of the board. His second set of Demigryphs flanked my other Chainrasps. Finally, his Freeguild General on Griffon zoned in as close as he could to Olynder, determined to ask for this next dance. He then promptly failed all three charge rolls...  He was forced to engage in combat with his already-bleeding-out General on foot who was promptly slapped off the map.

Note: It is here I commit a grievous sin! Several, even! Pulling out my White Dwarf magazine I noticed that I had been neglecting my KoS's extra attack for the battalion. But, worse than that, my thick sexy Dwarf (the magazine) knocked our videographer's coffee over, dousing his leg in cold brew. It was decided right then that no matter the outcome of this macabre ball that I, the Spiller of Nectar, the Defiler of Grounds, had lost this game. Despite my now permanent title of shame and irredeemable loss, we continued on for spectator's sake.

End of Turn 2 - Video (more salt, and some coffee)

Points? What are points? Uh, CoS: X, NH: Y


Turn 3

Turn 3 began with CoS getting the dice off. The Demigryph Knights on the left side of the board made their charge and put down both the Chainrasps and my Dreadblade that carried the Midnight Tome, robbing me of that objective. On the other side of the board, his second set of Demigryphs got in close enough to contest the other objective and deny it to the both of us. And his general? Well, all the abilities he had at his disposal, with any points he could shove down his throat, and all of the 2+/2+ shenanigans he could muster, he just couldn't contend with the new massive wound pool Olynder had with the Dolorous Guard. By splitting his attacks he put some wounds on the KoS, but but the majority of them pelted Olynder in the face. But, of the 9 wounds that made it, 4 Hexwraiths (2 on each side) ended up taking the brunt of it saving Olynder the indignity of having to eat more than 1 wound herself. In the end, the Living City just couldn't deliver enough firepower to offset the massive early damage, and after a bit of theorizing of my half of the round, CoS conceded.

Winner: Nighthaunt (but not really because of that coffee thing).

End of First Half of Turn 3 and Concession - Video


Summary

It's honestly hard to tell how well the two new battalions operated for me. On the one hand, organizing them into an Olynderbomb Underworlds deployment, coupled with the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed's Command Ability spam made just about the entire army an amazing threatening presence. But on the other hand, at least at 1520 points, it left so little for any support units that if enough pressure were to be applied to them, like what happened at the top of turn 3 to my Chainrasps and Dreadblades, I could have been left chasing objectives or going for total annihilation in order to win. Ultimately, this game ended up so one-sided that several key abilities or scenarios were never tested, such as having to spend CP to resurrect models and seeing how much power-per-point that can be balanced at, or how much whole unit loss I could take before feeling the misfortune.

In this configuration there are multiple ways to play this to try to offset these weaknesses. Opting to keep my objective campers in the Underworlds and utilizing the Pendant of the Fell Wind a bit more for a game-start deployed Olynderbomb, for example. But, this game couldn't do much to teach me any of that.

This wasn't helped by the abysmal rolling of my opponent. Some days you just can't roll a 3+ to save your life, and this was one of those days for him. The salt you begin to hear in the videos has everything to do with consistently rolling a handful of 1s throughout the game. Not much to be said about that, really. But, there were some lessons learned on his side of the board in terms of coming up against the scary Nighthaunt again (he wasn't a fan of our LoG battles namely for the lack of any real threat on the table and feeling like I was only playing and wining by spending the sheer time on it).

There will be a rematch very soon. I will bring this same list with no alterations, and we'll see how it holds up.

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