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Battle Report - The Beast in the Storm

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Orros Firestorm's grip tightened on his tempestos hammer, the leather binding creaking softly under his golden gauntlets. All around him the lead elements of his warrior chamber fortified their position, recalled from Ghur into the Realm of Fire for an upcoming campaign. Stalwart Liberators moved to secure the boundaries of their camp while Judicators readied their bows for any threat that presented itself. The hellish darkness was momentarily disrupted as the realmgate that towered above them pulsed brightly, disgorging yet another group of Stormcasts from the wilds into the steam and ash choked barrens of Aqshy. Despite the seeming order the Lord-Celestant couldn't shake the feeling that something was not quite right. The orruks that they had been pursuing for so long had all but mysteriously disappeared in their last few days in the Ghurlands, leaving their path to the realmgate unhindered. 

Pulling sharply on the reins Orros directed his dracoth over to Lord-Castellant Boreaus who was deep in conversation with a unit of paladins. “Everything seems to be going smoothly?” he asked. Boreaus turned to face his lord, the paladins dispersing to their duties. “Aye, a little too smoothly if you ask me,” he said with a scowl. It was then that they heard it. A distant rumble, slowly building in volume. “What is that? A dormant magma flow roused to life perhaps?” the Castellant mused as he hefted his lantern. Listening carefully Orros strained to filter out the rest of the background noise. “No,” he said suddenly, “nothing as benign as that. I do not think we were the first ones to pass through that gate.” Pulling his dracoth back towards the realmgate, the Lord-Celestant shouted over his shoulder, “Ready the men Boreaus! We have company.” The Castellant turned back to stare into the darkness that swathed the perimeter of their camp the sound finally began to resolve into clarity. A distant roar, growing closer with every moment. A chant, a battlecry, a Waagghh!

My friend and I got together this past weekend to play a game of AoS, my Stormcasts against his Ironjawz. I really wanted to try out using some Time of War rules so we picked the Brimstone Peninsula rules from the first book. For a scenario I remember thinking that the battleplan Dead Cunning from the Ironjawz book looked like a lot of fun, and it even featured Ironjawz versus Stormcast, so perfect for what we had. The battleplan has us play a little dice game before the battle starts. My friend picks a number on a dice, hides it with his hand while I'm not looking then yells "Hey Sucker!" at me. I then have to guess if it's odd or even. If I guess right, nothing happens, if I guess wrong though he gets to pick from a list of additional rules for his army. This is supposed to represent his army tricking mine into a trap. The game is played three times and I luckily won all three times, so he didn't get anything extra.

Here's a quick breakdown of our armies: 

The Firestorm Warrior Chamber

- Lord-Celestant on Draocth with Thundershield (which I completely forgot about) and Tempestos Hammer.

- Lord-Relictor

- Lord-Castellant with Gryph Hound

- Knight-Venator

- Knight-Vexillor with the Pennant banner

- Knight-Questor

- 5 Liberators with Hammers and Shields

- 5 Liberators with Hammers and Shields

- 5 Judicators with Skybolt Bows and a Shockbolt Bow

- 3 Prosecutors with duel Hammers

- 5 Retributors with 1 Star-Soul Mace

- 5 Protectors with 2 Star-Soul Maces

The Ironjawz

- Gordrakk

- Warchanter

- Warchanter

- Weirdnob Shaman

- 5 Brutes with Jagged Gore-hackas, a Gore-choppa, and Boss with a Brute Claw and Smasha

- 5 Brutes with Jagged Gore-hackas, a Gore-choppa, and Boss with a Brute Claw and Smasha

- 5 Brutes with Jagged Gore-hackas, a Gore-choppa, and Boss with a Brute Claw and Smasha

- 3 Gore-Gruntas


To start off I had to deploy first in the middle 2 foot section of the board. There was a realmgate at the very center, which you had to control at the end of turn 4 to win. I deployed my whole force in a ring around this gate to protect it, but made sure I was more then 3" away from it since it can flip out at the start of each turn and cause mortal wounds on nearby units. I didn't really know where to deploy anything since he got to deploy his whole army after me, so I just kind of guessed and tried to distribute it evenly. He then gets to deploy in the four corners, but instead chose to just split his force over 2 opposite corners. Gordrakk, the Gruntas, one unit of Brutes and one of his Warchanters went in one corner, while everything else went in the other.


He got first turn and promptly moved his Gore-Gruntas and Gordrakk as far forward as he could with the rest of his army coming up behind them. The Gruntas charged into my Relictor while Gordrakk charged the nearest unit of Liberators. Of course the Liberators got wiped out to a man before they got to attack. My second unit of Liberators then piled into the Gruntas and started hacking away at them. My Relictor also took some wounds but survived. In my turn I turned as much as I could on Gordrakk. I used my banner to teleport my Protectors over to him from the other side of the banner, dealing a wound to him in the process. My Venator then failed to do anything with his star fated arrow, as always, and my Judicators shot off into the distance apparently distracted by a bird or something. My Prosecutors started to make their way around a giant rock to get to the Brutes behind Gordrakk and threw their hammers at him while they were doing that. They didn't cause any wounds though. 


On the other side my Retributors and Celestant started moving towards the approaching Brutes, with the Dracoth's breath attack not doing much. In the charge phase the Celestant made it into combat and knocked a few wounds off the shaman and also took out a Brute before getting several wounds back and dying. The Protectors charged into Gordrakk and started hacking away at him, carving off a few wounds before one of them was killed in return. They also had the +1 save roll from the Castellant.


When it came time to roll for initiative I won securing myself the double turn. My shooting once again didn't do much, although the Judicators did manage to kill a Brute this time. In combat the Retributors charged in with the Star Soul Maces failing to kill the Shaman, but surprisingly the Prime did a fantastic job against the Brutes and took out 2 of them. The Protectors continued to hack away at Gordrakk but couldn't kill him yet.

In his turn he continued to advance the rest of his army. The Retributors held their own, but started to take losses. On the other side the Protectors managed to take down Gordrakk after one of them rolled a 6 to wound and did a ton of damamge thanks to their special rules. The Maces then finished him off. The Gruntas also continued to get whittled down, although my Relictor was now dead. The Liberators held their own though and were supported by the Questor who did absolutely nothing.


The Mawcrusher towered over the unit of Protectors, it’s massive bulk threatening to crush any who ventured too close. From its back the Megaboss shouted insults down at the Stormcasts, swinging his axes enthusiastically despite being well out of range. One of the Protectors lunged forward with his glaive, the blade drawing blood from the beasts side before deflecting off of one of its iron hard scales. Barely noticing the wound, the Mawcrusher swatted the offender away, knocking him flat on his back. As a group the other paladins prodded the creature with their weapons, forcing it backwards with a beastial snort of irritation. Infuriated, the orruk punched the beast in the back of the head, yelling and pointing forcefully back at the golden warriors before it. Roaring the Mawcrusher leapt into the air, gliding with an awkwardness befitting of its size before it landed amongst the paladins once more. Quickly darting out of the way, the Stormcasts scattered, all except for one. Too slow to escape the approaching doom, one of the Protectors was flattened by the creatures gigantic fists, a loud crunch resounding around the battlefield as his armor crumpled in upon itself under the weight. The beast and orruk roared simultaneously in triumph before the Stormcast’s body dissolved into azure lightning spearing up into the heavens. Surprised by the sudden shock and bright light, the Mawcrusher reared up with a yelp, the orruk hanging on tightly so as not to be crushed by his own mount. As the creature reached its zenith upon its hind legs, the Prime stepped forwards, thrusting his glaive into its belly and yanking sharply to the right. With a wet slop the Mawcrusher’s innards spilled out onto the molten rock, pooling about its feet. 

Landing back on all four limbs, the beast gave another roar, before its legs gave out beneath it and it sprawled into the ash. Wasting little time, one of the Protectors advanced on the stricken Mawcrusher, Star-Soul Mace in hand. Bringing the massive weapon up in a large arc, the creature had a chance to mewl in pain one last time before its head was pulverized with a downward swing. The Protector’s twin, carrying the second Star-Soul Mace clambered up over the beast’s mutilated skull, climbing the heavily scaled back like a mountain. Pulling himself from amongst the chains that secured him to his mount the Megaboss attempted to untangle his weapons before abandoning them completely. Inhaling deeply to deliver a defiant Waagghh!, the orruk’s head was suddenly vaporized in a pink mist as the energy unleashed from the mace connected with his skull. The headless body collapsed amongst the ruin of its pet, the surrounding Protectors breathing heavily from the exertion. Though the leader was dead, in the distance amongst the swirling ash and hellish volcanic glow could be seen several mobs of Brutes. A Warchanter bounced from one foot to the other in excitement as the group advanced, unfazed by their boss’ demise. Clambering back down from the creature’s back, the Protectors reformed, ready to meet the new threat before they heard a call from behind.

“To me Protectors! Orros is in need!"


With the main threat now gone I rolled for initiative and won again. Deciding that my heroes, Liberator, and Prosecutors could probably take care of the Brutes and Warchanter on the one side of the table I moved my Protectors through the Realmgate to come out near the combat my Retributors were in. Unfortunately they lost another warrior to the gate, but I still had 3 left. My shooting whittled away a few wounds here and there, but overall didn't do much. The Prosecutors charged into the Brutes near them and didn't do much of anything, but managed to tie up that unit. On the other side my Retributors and Protectors kept whittling away at the massed units of Brutes, with the Shaman finally dying at some point. In his turn my Prosecutors were completely wiped out, as were my Retributors. His Gore-Gruntas finally died though at some point in this turn, I think in my turn or the previous one.


In the final turn my Protectors wiped out what was left on their side of the board but I also lost my last Protector to battleshock, while my Liberators, Knight-Questor, Venator, and Judicators took care of what was left on the other. At the end of them game my Castellant was within range of the objective and he had no models left. A Stormcast victory! All I had left were my 5 Judicators, 2 Liberators, my Castellant, Questor, and my Venator. It was a tough game and if I hadn't have won the initiative in a few of those turns it could have gone the other way. I think he over committed though with Gordrakk and the Gruntas, and should have waited for more support from his Brutes. I'm really happy with how my army did considering it just consisted of the models I own. Although I did hurriedly assemble my Protectors and Vexillor for this game to help deal with Gordrakk. 

The Time of War rules were fun too, with the blood geysers killing a Retributor right at the start of the game and almost killing my Vexillor. They also did a few wounds on his forces, including Gordrakk. The Realmgate only freaked out once, but managed to finish off my Vexillor and almost kill my Castellant. It was a really great game, and not one I thought I was going to win, even half way through I didn't think I was going to win. This has definitely gotten me excited to finish my Stormcast though.

Orros leaned heavily on the Castellant's shoulder, his leg numb with pain. It had been close against the orruks and he had feared that he might be due for the Soul Forges once again. The Brutes had dragged him off his dracoth, hacking at him all the while. If it had not been for the intervention of the Retributors and later the Protectors then he most certainly would have died. As it was, he spent the rest of the battle behind the safety of his Paladins, a bitter wound to his pride, but an easier one to recover from than one of the greenskins crude blades to the face would have been. He had heard the cheer go up from the far side of the camp as the orruks boss fell and knew that the tides of war had shifted in their favor at that moment. Now he surveyed what was left of his forces as Boreaus helped him settle onto a nearby boulder. With a grimace he realized how heavy their losses had been. It had been close, too close for his comfort. The realmgate was secure though, and the rest of his Chamber was now free to reinforce them, that's all that mattered in the end.  The Firestorms would continue on their new campaign into Aqshy.

"Let me tend to you with my lantern Orros," the Castellant insisted. The Lord-Celestant waved him away in protest, "No, no. I am fine for the time being. See to the rest of the warriors. I will still be here when they are healed." Hesitantly Boreaus left his commander be and turned to the other wounded. A lone figure approached through the swirling ash, a purple plume distinguishing him out from the rest of the force. Herakor Caelus, Knight-Questor of the Tidalborne set his shield down near the rock, wiping orruk blood from his blade as he did so. "A hard fought battle Lord-Celestant, Nihlus would have approved," Caelus remarked. "Tell him he is free to join us," Orros said with a smirk. "I don't know how much better these barren ash wastes are from the sprawling sands of Shyish," he said gesturing around them, "but I wouldn't complain about his company." Caelus sheathed his blade and picked up his shield again, "If only it were that simple my lord. Unfortunately the sands of the Endless Deserts do not readily relinquish that which they have claimed. I am afraid I shall be your only company from the Tidalborne for the time being."

"And welcome company it is Herakor," Orros said with a hint of warmth in his voice. "Now let us prepare for our coming journey. There is much to do, and little time." "Yes my lord," Caelus saluted with his fist on his chest, bowed shallowly and left the Lord-Celestant to his thoughts. Orros pushed him self to his feet unsteadily before regaining his balance. "Come now warriors of the Firestorm," he shouted. "We are finally home, let us bring Sigmars light to the fire!" 


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