I’ve been itching to get back to regular Warhammer games for a while now, spurred on by listening to podcasts like Bad Dice and Garagehammer, and by some of the awesome new plastic kits that have been produced for the recently updated armies.
Luckily, I have a good friend in the same boat who just bought the new Warriors of Chaos book and wanted to take it for a test drive! I asked for a 2000pt game so that I could get a feel for the rules again, since it’s been at least a year since my last 8th edition game, but I was convinced into going for 3000pts. I’m glad that I did, I got to put in all the toys I wanted short of a dragon!
For my army list, I took heavy inspiration from the advice of Ben Curry on Garagehammer. Units of 30 in horde formation, Death Hag with a Cauldron of Blood and Battle Standard Bearer, and Shadow magic on a level 4 Sorceress. I also took a level 2 Sorceress with Metal magic, just in case I encountered Chaos knights.
The scenario was a Pitched Battle, and we had an Altar of Khaine on the table – it was very quickly decided that Chaos Warriors were invading Naggaroth from the North, and the Dark Elves were defending. We don’t go in for complex stories for our games, but a bit of context rather than ‘we wanted a rumble’ or ‘I’ve got all these toy soldiers’ improves the game quite a bit.
I was pleasantly surprised at just how well it turned out. Whenever I eschewed the Cauldron’s 5+ ward save in favour of an extra attack, I wish I had taken the ward save instead. I also completely forgot the Banner of Murder on the Black Guard, and they were wiped out. Overall though, the game went tremendously well and despite the high armour and Mark of Nurgle making it incredibly difficult to wound the Chaos Warriors, I scored almost double the victory points. At the end of the game, there was only one Chaos Warrior unit still on the table and going toe-to-toe with 30 Dark Elf Spearmen and a single Chaos Knight musician running off the table (one more turn would get him off the board).
The game started poorly for Chaos, with Warhounds using the Vanguard rule to get closer to my lines, then failing their Terror test when my Hydra declared a charge. And fleeing through a Chimera, causing a Panic test, and sending that running off too. Neither unit would play a part in the game.
The Forsaken rolled poorly for mutations, getting two turns of Always Strikes Last. This gave my 30-strong Corsair unit a chance to kill them off. The Chaos Giant was taken down by the sheer number of Poisoned Attacks that my Witch Elves had, but on the plus side he fell on top of them and killed another nine.
The Black Guard performed alright, but I forgot that they had the Banner of Murder entirely. This would probably have helped a little bit. Luckily, before they were destroyed another Hydra assisted with a flank attack and the Witch Elves got into the front with Okkam’s Mindrazor cast on them – this was one of my aims of the game, to try and get their massive volume of attacks boosted with the Mindrazor. Although the Black Guard were wiped out (they only had a Standard Bearer left at that point), the Chaos Warrior unit was completely devastated.
That was the only way I could have got rid of the Nurgle Wizard General, who had managed to cast a few spells successfully and thus had a boost to Toughness and Wounds of 3 or 4 – even with Mindrazor, that would be a difficult prospect. Running him down after a failed Break test was much easier.
I also faced a Slaughterbrute (proxied with a Great Unclean One, for the Nurgle theme). This got into combat with my Cold One Knights, who failed every Stupidity test they had to take. The Knights managed to knock at least a wound off each turn, and the Slaughterbrute thankfully directed it’s attacks against my general two turns in a row. Since he had the Pendant of Khaeleth (roll under the attack’s Strength and you get to ignore it) and the attacks were Strength 7, nothing got through to him. It kept the Cold Ones out of the game, but it could still have been more effective if it had been supported more by the nearby Forsaken or if it was paired with a larger, tougher combat unit to push a probable win into an absolute win. I think that next time, I may be facing a Mutalith Vortex Beast.
All in all, I was really pleased with my new army list and I’ll definitely take it again. It may even give me a chance against the Empire gunline that has plagued me for so long…