It was quite some time since last Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report. I believe my last battle was in June or something…? Long time no see, right?
So, there another one. This time my Skaven facing creatures of pure Chaos – Daemons of Khorne, The Blood God, lead by The mighty Bloodthirster in flesh and blood (mostly blood, I presume:). My opponent – Michael is truly devoted to 5th edition, so we understand each other perfectly. Thank you for the game!
We played in Bunkier, friendly local hobby store (Warsaw, Poland).
The game rules – 5th edition (2000 points). My favourite one. When rules were simple and fun:)
For purpose of this game I changed my army list a bit. Recently painted Lord Sklork was elevated to the rank of the general. The army is not pure Pestilens army – not enough models for that, but let’s assume – Clan Pestilens is rich. They have plenty of warp tokens to rent Stormvermin or hire Grey Seer on Screaming Bell, right?
Next time though – pure Pestilens. That’s my goal anyway:)
‘Oh, great Horned One God, ascended above The Great Four. Oh, Nurgle, Father of Thirteen Plagues – show me the way in this time of trial! Give me the strength-power to fight-fight with the wicked abominations of Blood God. They polluted the Clan’s lair of Poxott with their blasphemous presence. No-no… they will not be tolerated here… Clan Pestilens gather their ranks once again to fight-fight-FIGHT for purity of the race’.
‘Oh, Great Nurgle, Foul Patron of Thousand Poxes, Skrolk thank you thee for you visions of prophecy-knowing. Blood Good, the insult of thee and your faithful disciples, appeared here in Poxott to destroy us – devout rats-rats of Pestilens, deeply committed to horned Rat God and Lord of Flies. Thanks to thee and your visions, I-I, your humble servant, will stop red-blood daemons and sent them back to warp-oblivion’.
Lord Skrolk’s prayer before the battle against Daemon Horde of Khorne in the tunnels of Poxott.
The battle took place in underground chambers of Skaven lair, Poxott in northern part of Estalia, where Clan Pestilens defended the Skaven settlement against Khorne Daemons incursion..
Khorne Daemon horde of Morde’lumin
Morde’lumin The Bloodthirster (Spellbreaker, Withering Gaze)
6 Flesh Hounds
6 Flesh Hounds
16 Bloodletters (Standard Bearer – Banner of Rage)
Lord Skrolk Pestilens Chosen
Lord Skrolk (Liber Bubonicus, Rod of Corruption, Golden Crown of Artazar)
Shagrax The White, Grey Seer (Black Amulet, Skavenbrew, Double Handed Weapon, Riding Screaming Bell)
Compolk of Foul Peak, Plague Priest (Flail of Skulls)
29 Plague Monks (Standard Bearer, Musician, Additional Hand Weapons)
9 Plague Censer Bearers
30 Clanrats (Standard Bearer, Musician, Light Armours, Shields, Spears) pushing Screaming Bell
30 Skaven Slaves
12 Stormvermin (Standard Bearer, Musician, Halberds)
The battle lasted 5 turns.
Grey Seer Shagrax The White, arrived from Skavenblight to Poxott just few weeks before, were useful asset in Lord Skrolk’s war scheme. He convinced Grey Seer to help him in time of need. Just a few sentences including couple of key phrases like: ‘enemies of The Council’, ‘warp-stone’ and ‘gratitude’ and Shagrax The White joined the cause with no hesitation.
Shagrax were in possession of the recipe of infamous Skavenbrew, the potion of incredible power. The simple Skaven Clanrat by drinking The Brew could turn into vicious killing machine. The result may be vary, and it depends on several factors like, proportions of warpstone powder in the cauldron, fur’s colour of the rats’ blood used as catalyst or even phase of Morrslieb.
Shagrax prepared the Skavenbrew the best he could, feed the entire unit of Clanrats pushing his Screaming Bell. The blood of the Skaven warriors boiled, their eyes were filled with blazing rage, and the foam on their teeth were meant only one thing – they become frenzied. Lord Skrolk were pleased that they joined the rest of Pestilens followers in insane battle fury.
Meantime, the horde of Morde’lumin The Bloodthirster received the blessings of Khorne, like before every battle his followers fight. So called, Chaos Gifts can be deceitful and tricky like The Gods themselves. No worshipper of Four Gods can be sure of his idol gratitude.
Khorne, this time sent many blessings on Morde’lumin’s army. Unit of Bloodletters received colourful skins (which obviously had no actual effect during the battle). Mace Tail grew on the back of the leader of the unit. That was only two of the mutations, and Khorne had more revelations to send.
The Storm of Chaos went directly trough the Censer Bearers and took two of them to The Warp.
…but Khorne was generous. Morde’lumin felt the gaze of his god piercing him trough. The Eye of The God and The Voice saying the words to Morde’lumin:
‘Mhuq’ccccmmaaflrhaaeranfoltlooaooeaaksccfloeyyandhq’datlsszakablaneoflg’guuzyyg’g! I call you by your true name! You are not worthy to lead my minions to the battle! I see in the reflection of the the shiny skulls of my enemies, you are no more than a worm and you will loose the battles are about to come – and there will be no place for you by my side. I recall you to The Warp for a thousand years to fight for me in The Arena. There’s your place – not here! Mortal matters are not concern of yours any more. Follow me, now! …Here I leave the replacement – this grotesque Chaos Spawn…buahahahahaha…’
The grim laughter echoed, and the words became reality. Morde’lumin essence were pulled back to The Warp, and his mortal body were twisted and transformed into Chaos Spawn…(Yeah, Michael took the risk to use Eye of The God card and rolled the worst possible result – Bloodthirster is turned into Chaos Spawn. And 750 points model went to dirt. No, no. I couldn’t agree to that. My Skaven wanted to defeat The Greater Daemon in the battle, not like that. Even rats don’t fight like that – at least in such friendly, casual battle like this one. So, this happened next…)
Morde’lumin astral form were on the way to The Warp, but he couldn’t accept his God unjustified decision. He plead and promised his true devotion to The Blood God:
‘Master! No! Please! Take me to The Arena. I couldn’t wish nothing more. This is the gift I desire the most! But take me afterwards! I feel the blood already on my axe! I see the skulls of these vermin crushed under my hooves. The flesh ripped apart by my fangs! And rat general enslaved by your Throne for eternity! I see that already! Please give me the chance that became reality! And after the battle, I go to The Arena to fight for ten thousand years to praise your name!
…and Khorne, little bit amused, and little bit tempted by Bloodthirster’s vision, allowed him to stay and lead his daemons for the last time (For the purpose of the game, Morde’lumin lost one point of his Toughness characteristics to represent revert of Chaos Spawn turning process.)
Turn 1 (Skaven)
Lord Skrolk thanked the gods once again for his vision. He received the chance to protect the Pestilens lair. Of course his visions were not absolutely clear – they sent him here to stop the Khorne horde, but Skrolk wasn’t sure if he will be able to defeat them. ‘In Horned Rat I trust-trust‘ – he repeated silently and gave order for entire army to march. All Skaven regiments accompanied by the sound of the Screaming Bell moved forward.
When Winds of Magic started to accumulate above the battle, Shagrax The White saw he chance for himself. Of course, he believed in Skrolk’s visions. After all, here they were, facing horrifying abominations of Blood God. What he couldn’t accept, that Skrolk will by glorified as the hero and saviour of Skaven lair. That was not fair! He was way smarter, stronger and braver than Skrolk! And his name should be at everyrat’s muzzles as the true victor of Poxott. Luckily for Shagrax, he had something that Skrolk would only can dream to posses – magical abilities. And lore of Skaven Magic – true gift from Horned One. And this will make Shagrax shine!
Shagrax cumulated power in his staff, and by saying few sentences of invocation, he summoned the swarm of Vermintide. Rats started to appear out of nowhere, formed a big living mass and ran forward direct at unit of Bloodletters. They ran straight at daemons, biting and scratching their incorporeal bodies exactly like they were real! 2 Bloodletters were sent back to Warp due to inflicted wounds. Impressing result considering the fact that was minor spell form Skaven Lore. Shagrax can be proud of himself.
Turn 1 (Daemons)
Morde’lumin was twice determined to get rid of infestation. First, winning this battle and purge the vermin lair was always the goal. But now, he gave the promise to his God personally. He couldn’t wait to finish all this puny rat-men off and fly all over to the other planes to fight on The Arena. Such a glorious future that might be…
…but now, back to reality. His battle cry was heard all over the battle: ‘Give me blood! Give me flesh! Give me ALL!’ and Khorntes attacked.
Morde’lumin flew over Clanrats and landed right behind them. To attack them from rear – that seemed to be nice idea. The Skaven, their bodies were fragile as brushwood, and when he attack them from the rear, they will stand no chance. His axe will drink gallons of blood!
While Bloodletters marched forward, Harpies flew high into the clouds, far far away from the sight of any units on the ground. And at the same time Chimera unbounded by any rider, refused to do anything at all! It was wild monster, hard to control at any circumstances. And in battle conditions, these creatures sometimes were too unpredictable. This one simply roared with anger, and did nothing else (in 5th edition unbounded monsters need to pass Ld test to act normally, and this Chimera as you probably already have guessed, failed the test;).
Meantime, on the eastern flank, both packs of Flesh Hounds charged at Plague Censer Bearers. These fast beasts, with ease ran across all battlefield and hit the Skaven skirmishers with great impact. It may seemed, that Skaven had no chance during this encounter – Hounds of Khorne were vicious creatures, armed with sharp fangs and claws, and their opponents, of course, they were armed with flails, but they don’t seemed like a match for Hounds.
There is the poisonous gas though… getting out from censers carried by The Bearers. And it is deadly to all – alive, dead, undead and…daemons. Filed with warpstone in gas form was even more painful to ethereal, unstable bodies than to mortal. Hounds surrounded by cloud of gas, started to rasp in agony. The pain was unbearable, the wounds were too real for the daemons. Flesh Hounds, the emissaries of Khorne fled. Their patron were not pleased with that sight. Not at all. Thankfully, they will get another chance, cause frenzied pursue attempt of Plague Censer Bearers were futile. Hounds were just too fast even for Skaven.
Turn 2 (Skaven)
Lord Skrolk were pleased. Flesh Hounds were chased away and both flanks were open for full frontal attack. Censer Bearers entered the state of full frenzy and without any order attacked Bloodletters from the flank. Other units marched forward. Even Shagrax – he ordered his Clanrats to push straight ahead (completely ignoring Bloodthirster threat).
While Plague Censer Bearers entered the combat, the annihilation of daemons continued. Everlasting conflict between God of War and God of Plagues continued here, in Estalia. And followers of Nurgle seemed to be on the winning side at the moment. The charge from the flank caught Bloodletters unprepared. Those warrior daemons were used to full frontal combat and such sneaky attack were …well.. confusing. This plus, poisonous gas from Censers were enough to defeat them. Thankfully they held the ground, and the combat went on.
At the same time the swarm of Vermintide moved forward, killing two more Bloodletters.
Shagrax was delighted already, and that was just the prelude of his full power! It was the time now for something more impressing. Something that will be repeated by all Clans across whole Under-empire. It was the time for the most powerful arcane in his sleeve – The Curse of The Horned Rat!
When he started the words of the spell, and the power was whirling above him, ready to be transformed into the spell itself – the loud, bloodcurdling bellow interrupted Shagrax, making him stop the casting. That was Morde’lumin:
‘Aarrrgh! Puny mortal! You dare to abuse my God with your pathetic tricks!? There will be no magic here and now! I’m saying so, The Bloodthirster of Khorne, his faithful disciple and and the axe in his hand! Feel The Warth of Khorne and begone to your filthy burrow!‘
The Shagrax’s spell was dispelled.
Turn 2 (Daemons)
Morde’lumin was filled with joy. The blood were spilling into the soil already and that was only a start. Multiple deaths will come soon and Khorne will be pleased with that even more. He grabbed his axe in both hands and charged with fury at Clanrats from the rear. Only few mighty swings and several Skaven died squealing like mice. There was no possible way, they could fight back. Not against the mighty Great Daemon of Khorne. The only possible solution for them was to escape.
Grey Seer Shagrax were furious!
‘Stop-stop! You chikenlings! Skaven don’t run away! The power of the Bell protect you! Cowardlings! No-no… I fight-fight alone then! No big dog-faced crud will scare me away. I’m The Grey Seer, The Emissary of The Council! To the end. Kill-kill!‘.
Shagrax was left alone. To protect The Screaming Bell. He will be victorious or be killed. Either of ways…
At the same time, Harpies landed on the rear of Plague Monks and both pack of Flesh Hounds rallied.
Chimera once again went wild and preferred to roar loudly into the air than listen to tactical plan.
In the middle of the battlefield, fight between Bloodletters and Censer Bearers continued. What a tight combat that was! There was no easy way to determine the winner. Causalities from both sides, but still not even near final resolution…
Turn 3 (Skaven)
The battle was entering into most decisive moment. Bloodthirster were fighting Shagrax the White. Stormvermin joined the Plague Censer Bearers in combat versus Bloodletters. At the same moment Plague Monks driven by boiling frenzy moved forward to get to the fight as soon as possible and spread the Word of The Pox. Slaves moved little bit to the right to face Flesh Hounds. And at the west, Clanrats pull themselves together and rallied, ready to fight again (words of Grey Seer must have worked after all).
Everything was still open, here in the underground chamber of Skaven Lair of Poxxot.
While fight in the middle, between Bloodletters and Skaven determined no winner, the most interesting confrontation were in the western flank – between The Chosen One of Khorne Morde’lumin The Bloodthirster and Grey Seer Shagrax The White protecting The Screaming Bell.
To fully understand that challenge, you must know Skaven way of close combat. Skaven are not interested in full frontal assault. They are little bit too cowardish for that, but first of all, they are smart. Skaven know, they don’t have a chance in direct face-off. The only way to defeat the enemy is to dodge, evade, avoid the blows and deal the swift strikes from the least expected moments and angles.
That was the Shagrax’s way as well. Morde’lumin was trying to hit Grey Seer with his axe, but Skaven Sorcerer were fast, jumping from bar to another, hiding behind the Bell or on top of it. Morde’lumin’s frustration grew and grew with every second. He killed the Striker of The Bell already, he significantly damaged the carriage, he hit The Screaming Bell twice, but Grey Seer was barely scratched…
‘Ha-ha! You won’t hit be you foolish dog-daemon! Ha-ha!‘ laughed Shagrax loudly while Morde’lumin’s anger were climaxing!
Battle was intense, alright, but Skaven side most powerful advantage were not used even slightly. The Winds of Magic were weak – there was not enough power in the skies to cast most destructive spells. The only spell possible to cast was Wither, from Liber Bubonicus, the Book of Woe. Lord Skrolk read the words carefully and casted the spell at Bloodthirster. The magical aura surrounded him, showing him the visions of horrible defeat and dishonourable death. That vision could scare anyone, but no Morde’lumin. He was the hero of many battles and he was immune to the Skaven witchery!
Turn 3 (Daemons)
Morde’lumin was frustrated. No matter how hard he tried, Grey Seer was dodging every blow he dealt. But he was old daemon. He lived thousands of thousands of mortal years, and with old age comes the experience and wisdom. Morde’lumin realised if this approach doesn’t work, it was time to try something else…
So, he decided to ignore Grey Seer completely and concentrate his efforts on hitting the Bell as hard as possible to make it ring as loud as possible. Morde’lumin heard the power of The Screaming Bell and how destructive its sound could be. So, there were the possibility that the louder the ring, the larger scale of destruction.
At the same time, Chimera, finally came to it senses, and followed the plan of the battle. It flew across the battlefield and charged the Clanrats from the flank.
Miserable, simple, poorly armoured Skaven warriors could not fight properly against the beast with three heads. Each head even more horrible that the other. The Beast born from the pure Chaos was too much form them. Squeaks and cries: ‘No-no! The beast-thing! Skaven run-run! Flee-flee!’ and they fled from the combat one more time. And they were fleeing fast! So fast, that Chimera couldn’t catch them to wipe them out entirely.
In the middle the fight between Bloodletters and combined forces of Stormvermin and Plague Censer Bearers. Flesh Hounds were joined the fight also and charged The Bearers.
From all clans of Skaven Under-empire, Clan Pestilens has the worst reputation. The fact they are spreading, literally, all kind of diseases and poxes among other Skaven, made them not quite popular members of under-society. Pestilens, from time to time were hiring other Clans to fight in their wars, but hired Skaven were not happy about that. Trust me on that.
Like in this battle, Censer Bearers spreading the poisonous gas cloud around themselves were causing a lots of casualties among enemy ranks. But Stormvermin were also close. In fact little bit too close. Dangerously close. Four of them choked to death with deadly vapours. And while The Bearers were fighting daemons like equals, Stormvermin were completely broken due of the wounds inflicted by The Pestilens. They were broken and fled the combat as far as possible.
Meantime on the east, the other pack of Flesh Hounds charged at Skaven Slaves, but they managed to hold their ground. And Harpies charged the plague Monks from the rear. Plague Monks were fighting fiercely, with frenzy and stubbornness, but the fact Harpies charged from the rear to gain additional attack advantages was reverent. Also Lord Skrolk was in the front rank, and he couldn’t help his brothers in need. Plague Monks lost, but they remain firm and held the position.
Turn 4 (Skaven)
Morde’lumin were right about The Screaming Bell. He hit it so many times, and so hard, that the power of the Bell went out of control. The screaming sound become so loud, the magical force channelled trough it from Horned Rat himself was too big. First, it tore apart the carriage, and then The Bell imploded with horrible boom, wounding The Bloodthirster and Grey Seer equally.
Morde’lumin smiled. That was exactly what he hoped for. Right now, puny, mortal vermin had no place to hide or run. There was only him, his axe and another skull for the Throne of Skulls.
…and Shagrax The White, once proud Grey Seer, at this moment was looking like the most pathetic Skaven slave from the deepest, darkest levels of mines of City of Pillars. Squealing like tiny dirty rat, pleading for mercy…
…but there was no mercy. Morde’lumin grabbed the Shagrax with one hand and bit his head off with one snap of his hound-like jaw. He chew it for a moment and howl lusty in triumph.
Flesh Hounds and Bloodletters joined him in one loud prolonged cry. Blood for the Blood God!
They say when it rains, it pours. Powerful Grey Seer was dead, and in the middle Stomvermin were unable to rally and surrounded Plague Censer Bearers finally beaten. they were slowly wiping out by Bloodletters, Flesh Hounds and unfortunately by their own poisonous gas. And now the moment came, when the last Pestilens brother fell.
On the plus side – on the west flank, Clanrats rallied to face horrible Chimera once more, and on the east, Lord Skrolk finally pushed trough the ranks to fight harpies. With his help, Plague Monks killed many of these Chaos creatures and broke them from combat. Harpies flew away, and Plague Monks pursued, but they were unable to catch them.
Meantime, Slaves continued to resist Flesh Hounds. Yay for them!
Turn 4 (Daemons)
Morde’lumin felt victory won’t slip away. He was pretty sure the battle is won. The remaining rats will be slaughtered in the battle or sacrificed on the pile of flesh and bones in the name of Khorne. With last final effort, he can get rid of the those who dare to oppose him, and raze The Poxott to the ground. And when it’s over he will be taken to The Arena to fight in the name of Bloody God for eternity!
…but now, there was the battle to be won. Morde’lumin flew from the western flank to the east, landing at the right flank side of Plague Monks.
At the same time, Harpies rallied and Slaves somehow, miraculously continued to stand against Hounds of Khorne. Inexplicable deed of Slaves, who were denying their fate to die in the battle.
At the western flank, meantime, Chimera had the appetite to get rid of Clanrats once and for all. The three-headed monster charged them one more time, and they stood with bravery (if it’s even possible to say about something like Skaven bravery:) pointing their spears against incoming roaring Chimera. They fought well, but Chimera is creature out of this world. It’s almost impossible for simple Skaven to fight with it. Who saw the abomination with wings, tail and three head? Even the most horrifying mutations of Clan Moulder are easier to deal with.
So, there was no surprise, that Chimera simply came over poor Skaven forcing them to flee once again. But this time there was no mercy. Chimera pursued them and finished the reaming handful of Skaven.
Turn 5 (Skaven)
At this point, remaining Skaven units were surrounded. Flesh Hounds, harpies and Bloodthirster were so close…
And, as if all that weren’t enough, true disaster happened. The disaster that started the chain of events that put the end of this battle.
It all started with one simple Skaven Slave, whose name is irrelevant, that it’s not even worth to mention here. That Slave, fighting in rear ranks of his unit against Flesh Hounds, he felt the trample and the earth shaken. He heard the loud roar coming from the back. And when he turned around, he saw enormous, horrifying figure with gigantic wings, axe and the whip, all covered with blood. Definitely not from this earth. The Slave squeal like a tiniest kitchen mouse. Overwhelmed by terror of The Bloodthrister, The Slave started to run. And when the rest of the Slaves noticed one of them running away, the panic spread. And whole unit fled. Flesh Hounds howled with triumph and started the pursue, which became slaughter in few moments. Slaves were eaten, tore apart or scattered away in no time, and The Hounds ran into the flank of The Plague Monks regiment.
That was the first of events – panic of The Slaves.
And when the Flesh Hounds started the feast of blood upon Plague Monks, all started to fall apart for Lord Skrolk and his followers. The Hounds fought with incredible ferocity. Once they felt blood, they were becoming unstoppable killing machines. Plague Monks were just like feed for them. No fight back. Lord Skrolk tried to keep his brothers together, control their morale, but it was impossible. Flesh Hounds were victorious. Plague Monks had no other choice than flee.
‘No-no! My kin-brothers! We are Pestilens, blessed-loved by Horned Rat. We don’t run-flee! We fight-bite-kill-kill! We are Pestilens!‘ – Lord Skrolk tried to keep his unit together in one more desperate attempt, but it was all lost. Whole regiment ran away. And Flesh Hounds were in their top glorious moment. Blessed by Khorne himself, they finished his enemies with ease…
The last of unfortunate events – perish of Clan Pestilens. Which put the end to the battle.
Morde’lumin was triumphant. Khorne was more than pleased for all the sacrifices he received. All world will be under his hooves soon!
Lord Skrolk failed to defend Poxott, and his visions lead him to his doom. Maybe Dark Gods didn’t want him to win the battle, and wanted to punish him. Or maybe he was a simple peon in the big astral game of chess? Peon teased with amusement…Nobody knows…
Oh, I lost the battle completely. And final score was something like 20-0. I didn’t score even one lousy victory point (despite quite a promising beginning). I got no effective way to fight the flyers. They surrounded my army from both sides, which meant for me no rank bonus, and eventually multiple failed break tests.
Plus, the Winds of Magic in this battle were almost silent. The rolls were miserable. Mostly 1,2 or 3s. With no Power, there was no way I could cast my precious Skaven spells. And I’d love to see Bloodthirster transformed into a Skaven. Next time, perhaps.
Oh, enough whining:) The battle was great. It is always the pleasure to fight against Michael. Thanks for the nice time and hopefully soon we play the re-match, right? 🙂
The battle was played few weeks before Oldhammer Weekend. It was something like training game for us before big event. Soon. Very soon complete report from it. Stay alert!
Cheers and until next time!