From beneath the waters of Lethis slithered a loathesome creature. Part elf-hag, part serpent. She was known as the First Medusa, a great gorgon born in the service of Morathi millennia ago. Alongside her came her cadre of followers. Cruel elves, similarly serpentine beings and a host of wicked creatures that flew in the air, held aloft by the wings of bats…
Bullzhara had arrived in this new land some months before. He had finished erecting a simple, yet imposing monument, and had begun enacting his ritual to capture the attention of the tentacled one who called him here. Arranging the crystals just so upon the altar, he carefully inserted the gravesand within through magical means. It was perfect. The ceremony could begin.
It was then that the horns of war echoed across the blasted plain and the daughters of Khaine descended upon the Dawi Zharr. The ritual would have to wait. He would have to defend the site.
It was a hard fought battle. The dwarfs were ordered to hold the line and protect the cannon that they had dragged through the portal with them. Such things are not easy to replace. However, a daemon engine, filled with bloodlust refused to obey and stomped towards the enemy on great robotic legs.
Cannons wailed and blunderbusses fired, but the daughters of Khaine moved with rapid speed. Through magical means, many of the fallen were healed and fought on again.
The chaos construct met the enemy, a group of nimble elves armed with daggers that deftly dodged his every strike, but were able to climb upon him and sever the pipes that fed steam from the engine to the weapons and limbs. With a demonic hiss, the spirit within the being escaped and it fell to the ground, bereft of life.
The Medusa, upon a great wheeled machine, hurtled into the line of dwarfs, who opened fire as she crashed into their lines. A lucky shot knocked her from her pedestal and removed her from the battle but the chariot careered onwards crashing into the lines of the Dawi Zharr, crushing some below its wheels.
They had no time to celebrate as no sooner had their leader fallen, the slithering servants of Morathi were upon them, armed with cruel spears and worked into a frenzy by the words of a wicked elven priestess behind them. The priestess, known only as “Doris”, locked eyes with Bullzhara as he hastily rushed between maintaining the cannon and continuing his ritual.
Then from behind, descending from the skies came the winged beings that crashed into the rear of the Dawi Zharr lines. They were surrounded.
The fighting was vicious. Neither side gave any quarter. Slowly but surely dwarf killed elf and elf killed dwarf until the ground was slick with blood.
All that still drew breath by the altar were Doris and Bullzharra . She smiled a cruel smile and whirled towards him like a tornado of blades. She was a greater martial artist than any the sorcerer had faced before. His armour bore the brunt of most of her attacks, and he defended himself as best he could with his staff but this was a battle that he would not win.
That was when a “click” was heard. The cannon crew, the last of Bullzharra’s troops still alive, had reconfigured the great rocket launcher to turn, lower, and face the priestess. Her eyes widened as she realised what was about to happen. Before she could act, in an explosion of demonic energy she was catapulted sky high.
Bullzharra collapsed to his knees. The ritual had been completed. Would he ever receive an answer? Was it worth the cost in Dawi life? He smiled behind his face mask. It was worth every last drop blood his men had spent.
Chaos dwarf major victory (on VPs)
Injuries : Daemon Engine damaged (-2 wounds next game.) Both units of gunners now -1 warrior.
Level Ups: Death shrieker rocket launcher (game winning roll at the end to be fair!) gains special rule. Can, once per game, add 1 to hit rolls when firing.
Thoughts on AoS (this is a long long incoherent ramble)
The game is good. Really good. I think comparing it to warhammer fantasy battles is like comparing Rugby to Football. Both are completely different games with dedicated followings and some fans of one will never be fans of the other. However it doesn’t make one “good” and one “bad”.
AoS feels like a skirmish game. I play a lot of Warlords of Erewhon and it feels more like that game than it does WHFB. The difference is that compared to WoE this is a much more high fantasy game with special abilities and magic spells galore whereas WoE is a much more low fantasy game.
If I wanted to tell a story of 100s and 100s of soldiers clashing like a great battle of antiquity, then WHFB does a better job of it. The individual is only marginally important. The big movements of troops and flanks and stuff like that is king. If I wanted to tell a more character driven story, id use WoE or AoS. WoE is perfect for a gritty, realistic, dudes scrabbling and stabbing in the mud kinda game and this is perfect for a Superheroes and mages using weird and wonderful powers to clash kinda story. The individual matters here. Very rarely in WHFB has a single dwarf done much for me but in this game today, one of them scored an objective on his own and beat up a multi wound unit leader with the butt of his blunderbuss.
My criticisms of AoS are well documented (see podcast haha) but I think it’s safe to say that perhaps some of my views were based upon assumptions or what I’d read on the Internet and were maybe exaggerations of the truth. (The exaggerations go both ways. Ever heard someone say 2nd 40k: when one turn takes two hours…it definitely doesn’t. Or WHFB 8th Ed: you can’t even play unless you’ve got at least 400 models. Absolutely untrue.)
My criticism of nosenibbling boneberks stands. Those things are stupid.
I think the heartache of losing the old world to a new game meant many people start with a “AoS is bad, prove me otherwise” mindset. And I get it. The Company fucked it bad 6 years ago and we (and they) know it. But AoS has grown up. It’s a really tactical game. The command and heroic actions are amazing. You get to do a lot on your opponents turn. And the double turn thing wasn’t as horrific as I thought it would be.
I think now that WHFB is coming back I can also be much more forgiving of AoS existence. It’s now not the game that replaced the other game. It’s now just another game, a third game alongside 40k and Fantasy that can be enjoyed for what it is.
My final comment is this: Living games are hard for me to be invested in. Codex creep and new release=filth is always gonna be a thing. Pick up games against socially maladjusted overly competitive nerds is gonna be a thing. But in a narrative campaign that limits what you can take and encourages players to avoid named characters and stuff. Telling a good story is coming first and this Path to Glory system seems to be a good vehicle for doing it.
And at the end of the day. It’s not always about WHAT you play. It’s about WHO you play with, and HOW you play it that can make any system amazing or unbearable to play .