Seeing as this was going to be the first game for either of us since March (thanks, global pandemic) Josh and I decided to first play a more casual match. It turned out to be our only game, as we were both a lot more rusty than we expected. Thankfully, I went with Nurgle as my faction, hoping that the fact that I’ve played it for years would at least give me the edge on remembering rules. As we were aiming for casual, I left the Blightkings at home and brought an almost entirely demon list. I had painted six Plague Drones, a Sloppity Bilepiper, and a Spoilpox Scrivener during lockdown and darn it, I wanted to use them. As it turns out, one of them was probably the best part of the entire list.
I also opted for a battalion I’d never used before, Tallyband of Nurgle. While I didn’t have the right amount of units to trigger the first bonus, I mostly brought it for that sweet, sweet regeneration. I also took the Munificent Wanderers subfaction. Sure, I didn’t expect it to be a lot of help against the Kharadron Overlords, but why not? It’s free real estate.
If you’re wondering why the board looks a bit…sparse, it’s because I didn’t realize that, due to sanitization measures, I’d need to bring my own mat from home. Whoopsie! The next one of these will be far more picturesque.
Since we were only likely getting the one game in I decided Kharadron Overlords would be a good to refamiliarize myself with the game. Other than magic, they operate in most other facets of the game as opposed to my Iron Jawz and are also painted, which cannot be said for Idoneth Deepkin.
I ran the Barak-Zilfin skyport to try something new (spoiler: it didn’t work) and had enough stuff to put together the Grundstok Escort Wing as my Battalion. I was really aiming to run a little bit of everything even if it wasn’t optimal just so I could get a feel for all the nuances of the army again. Also, it was stuff that was painted.
Coming in at three drops total in deployment, I opted to let Josh go first. What was I going to do, run up slightly and get shot more? Besides, with Starstrike, my best bet was to flood the middle point with as many Plaguebearers as possible, while letting Rottigus and the Drones (terrible band name) tie up as much as possible. The point that fell in my back line would be hard for him to unseat unless it just landed in an impassable place (spoilers, it did). As is appropriate for Nurgle, only a few Plaguebearers were shot off…not at all thanks to my totally misremembering of their negative to shoot. His first volley of attacks against them should have been -2, instead of -1, but hey, it worked out in the end. First mistake of the day! A Drone suffered a few wounds as well, but proudly hovered in place.
When it came time for my turn, the wall of filth moved forward with sloppy determination, after Rottigus used his signature spell to drop a few balloon boys. Everyone ran, of course, managing to get swarm most of the center of the board. The standouts were the Drones, who used the orbital slingshot of a Gnarlmaw to get into combat with a bunch of balloon boys. Shrugging off the bomb damage, they…really didn’t do much of anything besides get in the way. Thats their job though! I didn’t realize that, because they fly, they prevented his little ship from being able to Fly High, so that was a nice bonus.
At the end of my turn, the first piece fell, almost directly in the way of my two big blocks of Plaguebearers. Grandfather Nurgle smiled upon us that day, as the turn priority went to me as well.
Move and shoot, that’s always the game plan with KO. The moving part went off without a hitch! Everyone was positioned nicely, and we had good board coverage. For Starstrike I knew my best bet was to keep to the outside, and not try and fight for the middle. The problem is when the shooting attacks don’t work as they are supposed to. I usually run Sky Cannons on my ships for the benefit of having multiple attacks, the problem is I rolled a lot of ones when determining how many attacks I was going to have. Not a recipe for success.
But all in all a fine turn one. I did some chip damage, but didn’t kill much of anything. I’m decently far back and should survive whatever comes during turn one.
MAGGOTKIN OF NURGLE
Now it was time to party, and by party, I mean fail ⅔ of my spell attempts. Whoops. While my Chaos Warriors sat around eating snacks in the back line, banking on a one-in-three chance that the next objective would land on top of them, the rest of the army surged forward. With command points to spare, I clogged up the objective with a full-restored unit of Plaguebearers. Meanwhile, a surprisingly effective round of Drone combat put the hurt on the smaller ship, but failed to kill the last Skywarden. In return, the combined KO assault finished off the wounded Drone…who would then return to the fray with a roll of a one on my battleshock.
A special shout out to the Beast of Nurgle that was summoned in, threw himself into a pile of ships and the general, and managed to survive long enough to draw all of their fire even when I was double turned. What a good boy.
Ok now we have some problems. I lost the turn roll off even having the advantage and now he was well positioned to throw some gross meat at me. At this point I’m realizing the left side of the board is probably a loss cause. The plague drones are too many wounds for the small contingent I’ve placed over there and honestly, they’ve done very little in the way of damage anyway. They didn’t die super fast which I guess is a bonus but I’m outmanned so I’m not even really contesting the point that’s about to drop on that side of the map.
I had also completely forgotten about the pack of 15 Sequitors I brough as allies to help reinforce the army so Zack graciously let me randomly deploy them somewhere along my backline, but they aren’t exactly fast so they needed to hustle to help out in this fight.
Here’s what really killed me though. That damn Beast of Nurgle got right into a thicket of my guys and drew all of my firepower towards it. Since it’s in melee I have to shoot it first and it was only sitting on a wound or two left, I needed to free the Frigate and Endrinmaster in Dirigible Suit from that fight so they could put the hurt on the more pressing pack of Plaguebearers who were swarming the right side of the board. A couple blown rolls and some good saves on Zack’s part and now it’s looking dire. I’m behind the curve on damage which is the worst place to be with KO. I’m not dead, but I’m losing the ability to put out high damage in any given round to turn the tide in my favor.
Well I got the double turn which is good, the bad part is I’m missing a lot of firepower and now a second pack of Plaguebearers is moving towards me and I haven’t even finished off the first. Scrivener has also been the absolute bane of my existence as I have gotten him down to a single wound a couple of times and have yet to actually pluck him off the board.
I’ve even tried charging both my remaining Engrinriggers and the Frigate into the fight just in the hopes of getting lucky on some dice rolls in melee. Not a lot seems to be working. I wouldn’t say I’m getting diced necessarily but some very key rolls certainly have not gone my way.
MAGGOTKIN OF NURGLE
After getting double turned, I had suffered quite a few losses on one side of the board, with a Plaguebearer unit almost entirely deleted. It could have been way worse, however, as forcing the KO to reroll all hit rolls of 6 cut down on any exploding drills. Once again, I was forgetting that they should still be -1 to hit, and also, that the enemy shooters were well within range of the Witherstave, but hey, it worked out either way. Luckily for me, one new objective landed directly in the path of my Drones, almost certainly guaranteeing it to me as long as they took out a few of the Thunderers hiding inside the ship. Unfortunately the other objective fell on the exact opposite side of my Chaos Warriors, who quickly put their lunch away and began jogging towards it.
A surprisingly effective Hero phase helped me pick off a few more of the Endrinriggers (I remembered the wheel this time), and thoroughly cripple one of the smaller ships with Favored Poxes. The stand out this turn was the Scrivener, who kept the Plaguebearers alive with a combination of Witherstave and their innate ability to re-roll saves of 1 while he was nearby. The KO were forced to slog it out in melee with them, and while I managed to only kill one total, it forced them to waste shots that could have possibly taken out a hero. Besides, there was another horde trundling up the center to reinforce that point, having only taken a few wounds from various cannons before that. Rottigus, uncontested, began his thunderous charge towards the objective, forcing Josh to either screen it out with the 15 Sequitors he brought as allies, or risk losing a ship full of soldiers.
Combat occured, and the flies finally earned their pay by wiping out all but one of the Thunderers contesting the objective. Rottigus slammed into the Sequitors, and between his impact, weapon damage, and bouncing back mortal wounds, slew a whopping 7/15. The middle group of Plaguebearers began to surround the remaining small ship and Endrinmaster, and while they managed to do only a single wound, thoroughly took the objective. For thematic giggles, both the Poxbringer and Scriviner attacked the Arkanauts inside of the Ironclad, doing a surprising amount of damage.
MAGGOTKIN OF NURGLE
After winning the roll off, we did some quick math and decided this was a good place to call it. With the wheel and warscroll healing taking everyone back to full, and the battalion roll allowing me to add a total of five plaguebearers back onto the two depleted units, The KO really only had a shot at taking the objective in my territory…but it was looking rough. Likely Rottigus would have finished off the Sequitors, and between the Drones and remaining Chaos Warriors, I simply had the numbers to hold two of the three objectives. Josh was ahead by a few victory points, but as the number scored rose with each round, I would pass them with a decent lead at the end of the turn. Overall though it was my favorite type of AoS game, one where, either win or lose, it isn’t a one sided murderfest the entire time. There were several points where it could have gone either way fairly easily. And next time I’ll remember my rules!
Hahaha … yea there wasn’t a turn four. We pretty much called it here since I was at about half my army strength and way behind on points. Definitely not the worst match I’ve played, but by the end I was thoroughly trounced. If a couple things would have broken my way earlier I might have crossed that damage threshold to really give him a run, but wasn’t in the dice on this day.
WINNER: MAGGOTKIN OF NURGLE!