Battle Report: Skirmish Weekend Part 5

The final game sees the forces of Order and Destruction racing to outrun a whirling maelstrom. The victors will escape to safety through the waiting realmgate, while the losers face only annihilation.

Read Part 1 (game 1 and 2) here
Read Part 2 (game 3) here
Read Part 3 (game 4) here
Read Part 4 (game 5) here

Game 6: Seize the Relic

Warbands

Forces of Order – Mark and Ross – 101 Renown
Artemisia – Knight Venator – General
2 Aetherwings
Arthos – Beasthunter (as a Vulkite Berserker Karl)
Kraia – Dryad Branch Nymph
2 Dryads
Amadriel – Branchwych
Kirannon – Kurnoth Huntmaster
2 Kurnoth Hunters

Forces of Destruction – Aaron and Colin – 67 Renown
Weirdnob Shaman – General
2 Orruk Ardboys
5 Orruk Brutes

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The earth-breaking Realmstorms of Ghur were but a myth in these lands. They were not thinking things, so the stories told, but nonetheless possessed a predatory animus that saw them ravage the lands they passed over, crumbling mountains and tearing up forests with their elemental ferocity. Arthos had watched the roiling tempest crest over the distant mountains and had known it was no ordinary storm, the thunderhead of bruised clouds closing over the peaks like titanic jaws, spears of amethyst lightning smashing into the rock face and hurtling debris high into the sky. They had to reach the realmgate before the storm hit, or they would surely be destroyed.

As the party burst through the treeline in front of the ancient temple of the realmgate, they saw that one of Ghur’s monstrous predators had fallen across the building in its death throes, parts of its gigantic skeleton poking out amidst the rubble of the stone walls. Only two doorways remained intact, and they quickly made to approach the closest. At the same moment the Orruk raiders careened out of the forest to their left. Both warbands hesitated briefly as they saw the other, and then realising the intent of their enemies, broke into a frantic dash for the archways. Behind them, thunder growled low and loud, and the wind lashed at their tails…

***

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Arthos sprints for the broken steps in front of him, the Lady Amadriel and her handmaidens at his side but quickly outpacing him as their long limbs carry them forward in great strides. To his left he sees the band of hunters, called to the party’s aid by mighty Kirannon, rush to intercept the Orruks outside the ruined sanctuary. They risk the vicious fury of the storm, but the survival of the Lady of the Grimwald is all that matters to the noble warriors. The Knight Venator soars over Arthos’ head, keeping low to avoid the rapidly growing storm clouds above, but swooping through a large hole higher up in the wall.

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The dryads are already through and deep into the room before Arthos bounds to the top of the steps and through the doorway. He hears a hollering challenge and looks to his left to see the first of the Orruks shoulder its way through the crumbling portal on the other side of the room, closely followed by other greenskins. He recognises the two beasts: The left side of his face is still swollen and he had lost a tooth to the armoured kneecap of the bird-chewer Orruk in the dark green plate, and the smaller one in the gaudy purple cape has a ugly light green scar across its jaw from his axe. A booming crack of thunder makes him flinch and he glances out the door to see trees being ripped from the ground and spinning into the air. The storm is only minutes away.

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Outside, the hunters’ charge gains momentum, their oaken footfalls shaking the earth as they raise their glowing blades high. Ahead of them, the Orruks are angrily jostling for position in front of the doorway, the small frame only wide enough to admit one of the hulking brutes at a time.

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A smaller Orruk, stuck at the back of the pack, suddenly notices the charging treemen and rushes to meet their attack. The first hunter steps aside the crude overhead swing and parries upwards, slicing off the Orruk’s hands with one clean cut. As the greenskin cries out in pain and stumbles backwards, the hunter reverses his swing and chops down, his glowing blade parting the Orruk’s armour like paper and opening him from the shoulder to the hip. Dark red blood hisses angrily on the ensorcelled sword as the hunter steps over the fallen beast, but the Orruk’s sacrifice has allowed his allies to get inside the building. A dozen metres away, a fork of lightning hammers into the ground with a deafening crack and a spider web of fissures sears angrily through the scorched earth.

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Inside the chamber, the Knight and her hunting hawks take up position above the realmgate, and Arthos and Amadriel rush to the foot of the gate. Rubble lies across the ancient portal, and they hurry to clear it. The dryads step forward to block the path of the Orruks, willing to give their lives for that of their Lady. The floor shakes and splits as the realmstorm draws in and chunks of debris drop from the ceiling, forcing both parties to choose their steps wisely. 

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Seeing the Orruks draw closer, Amadriel attempts to call the forest spites to her aid, but the raving Shaman chants a garbled ward and holds his staff high, the ensorcelled skull at its top drawing all the magic from the room. Behind the Shaman, the looming silhouettes of the Kurnoth Hunters fill the doorway. Now surrounded, the Orruks roar in defiance and turn to face these new challengers. The hunters respond with a booming shout of their own, pounding down the broken steps and into the waiting greenskins. Outside the storm rages as great stones are pulled from the walls and the roof begins to splinter and peel away.

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A frenzied melee breaks out. Ethereal Sylvaneth blades clash with crude sky-iron cleavers and axes, bright sparks flaring in the gloomy chamber amid cries of rage and pain. A brute goes down under a flurry of quick cuts from Kirannon, but not before the hunter suffers a deep wound of his own. The other brutes hack off chunks of knotted armour and take many grievous injuries themselves.

Amadriel focusses her mind and calls her spites once more. Distracted by the combat raging around him, the shaman is unable to resist this attempt, and a swarm of glowing yellow insects pours from the bole of the Branchwych’s staff, engulfing the Orruks. The shaman roars in pain at the vicious stings and one brute disappears thashing under the swarm, the spites choking his airways and burrowing through his eyes to reach the delicious brains below.

The Venator has been waiting for her moment to strike. She sees the shaman distracted and dives, shooting her bow as she goes. A shining arrow impales the Orruk’s arm and he howls and drops his staff. Scrambling for the fallen totem, he turns his back on the winged hunter, and her birds attack, clawing and tearing at him with sharp beaks and talons. Whimpering in agony, the shaman rolls over and Artemesia places a heavy sigmarite boot on his chest. She draws her bow and looks down at the lolling creature. He makes to say something, and she shoots him in the roof of his mouth. The glowing arrow protrudes from the top of the Orruk’s dense skull, and his dead eyes roll into the back of his head.

The three dryads throw themselves on the bird-chewer with a scream. The Orruk drives his cleaver through the chest of one of them, hacking off wooden limbs with his axe before being dragged down by sharp talons, impaling thorns tearing his insides to ribbons.

Kirannon dispatches the last of the brutes, casting the broken Orruk aside. He looks about to see if any enemy remains and sees none. He hears a roar behind him and turns his head to see the purple-caped Orruk diving from the steps of the doorway. He turns too late and the Orruk lands heavily on his back. With a cry of triumph the Orruk raises its axe and brings it down hard, burying it into the hunter’s neck. With a grunt he stumbles and falls to one knee. The hooting Orruk tumbles off his shoulders and rolls to its feet, eager to finish the job. As the beast jumps forward Kirannon’s arm shoots out and grabs the creature by the throat. He slams it into the dirt and holds it there, pressing all his weight and rage down on the Orruk. It thrashes and paws at the enormous fist to no avail, the treeman’s thick lifesap pumping from the ragged wound onto the pinned creature. The Orruk stops flailing and gurgles its last short breath, and the giant guardian collapses on top of it and lies still…

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Purple lightning blasts a gaping hole in the roof of the temple and enormous chunks of masonry crash to the flagstones. It’s time to go. Arthos retrieves the last of his throwing axes as the remaining hunters heave the heavy blocks from the mouth of the realmgate. Amadriel finishes her silent rites over the fallen hunter and the broken body of her handmaiden. Beckoning them to the shimmering portal, Artemesia steps through and is gone. The treekin follow, and Arthos takes one final look back as the maelstrom ravages the forest he calls home. He steps though the swirling gateway, and is gone.


And there we go! 6-0 for the Forces of Order, with a good old punch up at the end. Mark and I had a good surplus of Glory built up by game 6, and we contemplated not spending it to make it a fair fight but in the end decided to go all in and see what we could get. Arthos didn’t do a whole lot this game except throw a couple of throwing axes. He little regular sized human legs meant most of his targets were dead by the time he was able to charge them.

It was a great weekend that got all four of us really fired up for AoS, and with AoS2.0 imminent it’s a perfect time to be getting into it properly. I’m looking forward to playing some full sized games of it, both with my Sylvaneth and the Nighthaunts, so look out for some of those battle reports on the horizon.

We’ve been chatting since the weekend about what sort of things we’re going to next. Path to Glory might be an option sometime in the Autumn, and we’ve realised that we need a bit more variety of scenery, so we’re going to work on that as well. I’ve already got a big box of cork bark to make some hills and cliffs out of, and we’ll be picking up some Azyrite Ruins as well. I’ve been thinking about doing something like this, but that might be a tad too ambitious. And of course, I’m switching over to Nighthaunts, so we’ll see how that leaves us in terms of alliances and what not.

And if you haven’t already, check out Colin’s report of this game here!

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