Sunday, October 2, 2016

9th Age Batrep: The Great Crusade

It's the first outing of my new 9th Age Fantasy Army. They are actually based on a race from my own Fantasy world: The Anatani. In 9th Age, they are Warriors of the Dark Gods (aka Chaos Warriors) and I've made mine out of a combination of Mantic Salamanders, Reaper Bones Bathalians, a couple of toy cannon from Russia, and odds and sods like my Ogres standing in for trolls and actual barbarians as the barbarians. This was to make the army work at 2000 pts (Jason was practicing for a comp in Dunedin) as I needed more special and less rare. Jason has a pretty sweet Sylan Elf army based largely around multiple clones of Elrond and Legolas with lots of GW LOTR elves in there.

My stuff is less pretty, not least because the army is a quick and dirty Fantasy Army project to give me something else than my morphed historical stuff. He had a couple of Eagles, a couple of trios of Treemen, a big block of archers, another big block of spears, obligatory sword masters, and some stealth-elves for the equally obligatory backline shenanigans. His Mage was lvl 2 lore of white magic. I hade two blocks of warriors (shields and two handed weapons), two trios of trolls, a pair of hell-cannon, a unit of monstrous cavalry, and a unit of barbarian auxiliaries with shields. The boss was a lvl 4 Sorceror with lore of fire. How did the we go?

Rotation 21290 after Aphelion: The Great Crusade.

The orders have come down from the Primarchs, and the Legions march South once more. It's been worse every great-winter.... non-Compliant human populations crowd south, pushed by the undead, bringing their disorder and superstition with them. But they are but a symptom, the Winter King is the disease. Eparch SSS'LA, a Sorceror of the 63rd Circle, cautiously picks his way past an abandoned Human Tower. It's not yet thaw after the last little-winter, and it's far, far too quiet. Where are the babbling human vermin? No matter, the Geomancers have divined a Ley-Line centred next to this tower and this would be where the 133rd Anatani Expeditionary force would....

Wait. There are the Human Vermin after all. No by great Virish, those are pointy eared tree lovers! What's that word? Vegans? There are a lot of them too. And they have slingshots. It's almost amusing how the forest folk play at war but they probably smear filth on those arrow-heads and call it poison. And they are in our way. Time to bring up the siege golems and clear them out. So better wash our claws after drenching them in their blood.

 The great wheeled siege engines seethed with a hatred of all our enemies. They rolled the hill under their own power, clamouring to be let loose on the hated foe in glorious close combat. The Eparch and our standard bearer kept them barely restrained, and instead they bore their flame wreathed barrels about, training them on the Elves below. The leaf eaters desperately tried to shoot at least one..... but too late. First one, then another, blast of hellish energy opened great gaps in their ranks.

 Then, with a groan, one of the siege golems died. The other was successfully baited by the flyby of a giant-budgie. Bellowing with anger, that remaining siege golem charged down the hillside and smashed into it. The bird was swiftly reduced to a cloud of gore and feathers but it had brought the wood-vegans a period of reprieve.

 And look, Elvish clansmen have snuck around the rear and are trying to kill out mercenary Ogres. Seems like a poor trade, Arrows cost money, dead mercenaries cost us nothing. Eparch SSS'La decides just to ignore them for now.
Rather, with a magisterial sweep of his staff, he commands the Evolved Sleepers into a charge on the animated twigs anchoring the Elven flank. Little progress is made though, those tree men are embarrassingly stubborn. So our heavy cavalry are reduced to impotently watching the Vegan commander retiring rearward with what's left of his spearmen. Heh, at least they're still smoking from that siege golem hit....

But this isn't ideal. Not all those leaf-eaters were carrying bows. Looks like that Siege golem got its wish, and glorious melee ensued. I think it's assailants got more than they bargained for... but eventually took it out. That's all the artillery gone, I hope the strategic importance of this Leyline to our Crusade is worth it. This has proven quite the quagmire and our blood still runs slow and sluggish this side of the thaw. If we ever find a tower where the inhabitants haven't all been, presumably, eaten by Elven terrorists, we are going to have a hard time digging them out.

Ahhh there we go. Exarch XEE'Lee, the 133rd's standard bearer, took his sword, quaffed his draught of amphetamine and singled out the enemy standard. It was over exceedingly quick. One less obstacle to our crusade. No doubt these leaf eaters were reconsidering their decision to close to fight. A shame more of their forces were so far away, across an open killing ground for their archers. Well the Evolved Sleepers would get it done on our right and we'd roll up the flank.

Here they are. No doubt flushed from victory and returning to aid us..... Wait, they've lost one of their number and are in full flight. And there is another of those damnable seagulls ready to run them down. What is happening here? Word from the Primarchs was that there would be only light resistance as we moved through the 'Nam region? We are being eaten alive by walking trees and oversized birds!

Doesn't this just cap it off, the Elven guerrillas have snuck in and taken up residence in the abandoned Human tower. We've lost our siege golems, so what is plan B?

Not bad. I knew we brought along some of the local Vermin for a reason. Not only do these boys give a discount due to their fervent belief in the manifest destiny of our great Crusade. They also appear to like climbing. Must be the monkey in them.

At this point I feel a measure of concern. We may be fighting Vegan savages; Our cause may be destined to prevail, like it has on numerous worlds; but it seems like we have stirred northward a little soon in the spring. Only our comrades, the human Vermin even now giving a good account of themselves against the Elves in that tower, are making any real headway. Of course, the command staff are still at it. Exarch XEE'Lee butchered another Elven champion. However, all about him, Elite Anatani lied dead in the snow. Then dead trolls are heaped upon them. Eparch SSS'La tried to bring fiery ruin upon the main Elven lines but time and again his efforts were either dispelled or fizzled. Resignedly he set aside his staff and drew his blade, ready to enter melee.

Again another volley of black, filth smeared, arrows arched skyward and felled another company of Anatani Warriors. In the end, only SSS'La and his bodyguard made it to the Treemen. I'm sure the battle went well for them but....

...Elven Clansemen seem to be awfully close to my position. Time to go and bear back to the Crusade what lessons can be learned from this debacle. 

Well that didn't go so gloriously as last time. I always struggle against Elven gunlines. However, I also need to learn my rules! Frenzied units (ie the Siege Golems) need to take all valid charges so I should have them right there with my leadership bubble to allow a round or two more shooting. I also need to stop leaning on the low casting values of Fire magic and my +2. I lost two rounds of spells to an early fizzle, and that is my primary mid-game ranged power. Alternatively, I can see the argument for the non-magic route. I have more Salamanders to be my foot soldiers. They and the heroes that sit in them, are a highlight of the list. Both the Sorceror and the Battle Standard Bearer are pretty impressive and were still ticking along, able to do more damage, once we called it for time. I was far too many points behind due to the losses. I'm also not so sure about the Monstous Cavalry. I'll give them gratmweapons next time but I wonder if they have enough punch for their points. I just need to see what I can tweak to let enough survive the hail of arrows one more turn, and allow me to get stuck into the gun line. 

Still great fun. I really like these Homebrewed rules the 9th Age team have provided and have found it pretty balanced. 

Thanks for reading. 

1 comment:

  1. It took me ages to get this posted an formatting isn't quite right. Upgraded to IOS10 and it turns out that blogger app hasn't been available since about March. The new IOS totally breaks it and the web based version is unworkable through safari. I think it's mostly solved now though.