Sunday, September 11, 2016

Blood for the Blood God

Hi all,

Got out to the G-Dub yesterday for a1500 point Age of Sigmar tournament.  I took my growing Khorne Bloodbound force, which I'm painting up for the Armies on Parade event in mid October.  I had myself a fun day, with a 1-1-1 record, a couple of good games, and one that was a complete blast.  I ran the following list:

Allegiance:  Chaos
Bloodmarked Warband 

L1:  Khavos, Lord of Khorne on Juggernaught 
-          Crown of Conquest

The Sacred Eight

L2:  Bloodsecrator 
L3:  Bloodstoker
L4:  Slaughterpriest 
L5:  Slaughterpriest w. Hackblade and Wrath-hammer 
BL1: 8 Blood Warriors, Icon Of Blood
BL2:  8 Blood Reavers 
BL3: 16 Blood Reavers, Icon of Gore, Horn of Hate 
O1:  8 Khorne Chaos Knights, Carmine Banner, Glaives, Horn 

            O2:  Khorgoroth 

I spent a chunk of the day scrambling to keep track of the various conditional / special abilities the army brings to the table.  The Bloodbound are all about mutually reinforcing synergies, and there's a ton of "if/then" abilities to remember.  That's compounded by our use of allegiences in the tournament, which added even more (to the point that I actually overlooked a couple that might have made a difference in one game).  The bookeeping element will sort out over time, but what it translates to is an army that, if well-managed, hits like a truck, and if not, dies in piecemeal bits.

Game 1 was against a formation out of the new Beastclaw Raiders (i.e. Ogres) book.  He had a couple of Mammoth riders, and two units of Ogre cavalry - so, about as points concentrated / elite (and smashy) as you can get.  We played a scenario with two objective points, and I promptly used my larger number of deployments to refuse a flank.  I figured if I could hit him from the side, I could try to concentrate my army on a portion of his at a time, and even the odds.

Plan was to use terrain to limit how many of his units could hit mine, while funneling the knights into a target of my choice.

In the end, the game was a bloodbath.  By the end we were down to a handful of models apiece, and when the dust settled, he'd taken 1120 points of my army, and I had 1100 of his.  Highlight of the game for me was the knight unit charging one of his mammoth guys and nuking it in a single round of combat.  The Beastclaw formation is all-around solid, and it's only real weakness is the small unit count, so it'd struggle in some multi-objective scenarios.  I imaging it's fun as monkeys to play, and at least with another smashy list like mine, was also fun to play against.

It was at this point that my camera (which I'd checked that morning, and which showed a full charge), decided to die.  Not sure if it's on it's last legs, needs a new battery, or what, but it was deeply frustrating.  All pics in this post are, thus, from the first game alone.  Despite the setback, I carried on, and played my second game against a Free Guild (i.e., Empire) force.

He brought a gun to a knife fight.  Lots of handgunners and artillery, a lord on a griffen, a Hurricanum (shooty, plus it supports shooty - kind of an uber warmachine), plus a big unit of surprisingly resilient swordsmen.

The hole is where one of his mammoths used to be.  Knights hit like a truck.

This time, the scenario had 3 objectives, and instead of being straight control, we got victory points for every turn we controlled an objective - and the longer you had controlled it, the more points per turn you got.  I knew I'd have to close with him quickly, so again used my large number of deployments to refuse a flank, protect some units from shooting, and try to swing round and hit his shooters, rather than the protecting screen of swordsment and the griffen lord.

The plan worked fairly well.  I managed to take out the griffen over a couple turns, weathered the worst of the shooting, and held up his big mob of swordsmen with my own JuggerLord long enough to get hitty units into his shooty ones - with fairly predictable results.  The fact that I was taking the fight to him also meant I managed to seize two of the objectives early on, and ended up winning by scenario points - although he ground through a fair bit of my army in the doing.

Of course, so do Mournfang cavalry.

Game three was against Stormcast, and was something of a learning experience.  The Stormcast (aka Sigmarines) have a character that, once per game, can teleport any of their units anywhere on the board.  A standard trick, of which I was aware, but which I'd not seen (having not bought the model for Cub, not being an idiot), is to teleport a big unit of elite beaters into the opponent's deployment zone.  In my case, this involved a unit that rival my knights for hitting power, with the added bonus of four models that automatically do d3 mortal wounds (just skip the whole hitting, wounding, and armour save thing, and go straight to damage).

Sorry, so do Mournfang cavalry times two, and a second mammoth.

In practical terms, this meant that I lost my key force multipliers - my JuggerLord and Bloodsecrator, before my first turn, which kind of put me on my back foot.  I ended up almost being tabled, but learned a fair bit - notably, not to leave any space around my core units for these kind of shenanigans.

As it turned out, I had overlooked a couple of things that would have helped me in precisely this situation, notably command abilities (one of which can debuff enemy attacks for one turn), and a second magic item (for which I qualified due to taking a battalion warscroll), with a similar effect.  The combo would have made the teleporting unit -2 to hit on the first turn, which would have radically boosted my survival.

Turns out though, most of my stuff is pretty resilient.  Well, not the Blood Reavers, but the rest is pretty good.

In all, I had a really fun day.  I'm enjoying the Bloodbound, who while fairly direct in how they play (take axe, apply to face), do have some depth in how units reinforce each other.  AoS at this point reminds me a little of the early days of Warmachine, where people were still figuring out the kinds of over-the-top silliness one could pull off, and were actively looking for ways to entertainingly break the game.

The impetus from the games has me back at the table, working to get the Bloodbound ready for Armies on Parade.  I also got in a game with the Cub a week back, so between getting some WiP shots and that game, I should have a post ready fairly soon.  Until then, enjoy your hobby.



  1. Great report/blog post. Your phone likely has a camera for photo's you know so you can use that. ;)

    Funny this weekend was talking to people about the Kings of War and maybe getting back to using/painting GW figs. Completely different mentality I think in the two games, although I have not played either. The very loose nature of AoS with typical GW rules issues (which you mention) plus my distinct lack of interest in the new background means that KoS likely has more appeal to me if I get around to doing anything.

  2. I actually enjoy AoS more than I have preceding editions. It's loose, but there's nothing that not being a complete tool doesn't handle. The new handbook more or less takes care of any lingering concerns I had - objective play plus a points framework allows for entertaining pick up games, and there's plenty of room for campaigns.