Monday, 11 April 2022

Learning Age of Sigmar Part Three - Seraphon vs Khorne


Here we are at part three of my little series of mini-battle reports for my attempts to learn how this game works. So far I've pretty much learnt the basic rules, remembered most of my army rules and started to work out how to play around the double turn - I think! As with the first and second game, this was 2000 points matched player against Dargiris and his chaos forces - this time pure Khorne!

My Seraphon force was basically the same as last time, I just swapped a spell on the Slann. Coalesced, Coatl's Claw, Oldblood on Carnosaur, Oracle on Troglodon, Slann, Bastiladon, 2x10 Saurus Guard, 3x5 Saurus Cavalry, 2x10 Skinks.

The Khorne army consisted of a whole host of mortal infantry units of various flavours of blood and skull related names, 30 Bloodletters, three Bloodcrushers, assorted characters and a big old (and by that I mean metal) Bloodthirster. As before I wasn't super worried about remembering all the rules or names of my opponent's units, just general broad strokes for now.

We played the Marking Territory mission from the General's Handbook, the first one, featuring four objectives in a square with two in each deployment zone. If you control all four from round three onwards, you just win. Otherwise it goes to secondary scores.

Deployment - dinos in the middle, some Guard and faster units on the flanks and a cav unit providing the counter charge. The Slann was on the left next to some arcane ruins (we decided to use the random mysterious terrain and got three pieces of +1 to cast and dispell, and one +1 bravery which never came up)

For the first time I won the priority on turn one, and decided since he had basically no ranged weapons or magic, to let Dargiris have first turn. This feels like it was the right move.

Khorne forces ran up towards the centre, a line of chaff units in front, and making sure the big Bloodletter block was outside of 24 of the Slann for it's 'everyone gets mortal wounds on a 5+' spell.

I took my turn and moved up somewhat cautiously on the flanks, but pressing forward in the middle. I choose a battle tactic to kill a specific battle line unit - in this case the smallest unit of the chaff infantry. The dinosaurs all got some decent damage with shooting, then made their charges in, cutting through the chaff and getting me a point. I'm not entirely sure if I was a bit hasty here - perhaps I should have held back for them to come at me a bit more, but with the Bloodthirster on the flank I thought they might have a chance of doing some damage before an immediate counter attack.

We rolled priority, and I won again, so time for the double turn!

Having moved the Slann up a little, I tried to nuke the Bloodletters, but it was denied by the Bloodthirster with an 8 - Khorne's number dealing out mortal wounds to the poor frog! Elsewhere my Dinosaurs got blasting, clearing the rest of the chaff and freeing up the Oldblood for a charge. Cavalry made it into the Bloodcrushers, killing two of them, but looking a bit exposed after that.

Fighting in the middle was a mixed bag - I whiffed on most of my attacks leaving the nasty Khorne units behind the chaff screen fairly strong, but they also rolled poorly, or my saves were good, and the big dinos stuck around for another go.

In Khorne turn two the weight of attacks and mortal wounds started to show, and my big hitters began falling. The Bloodthirster was still out of combat though and I managed to stick around with the remnants of my cavalry on the left flank.

Turn three, I sent the Guard in to try and clear the larger remaining units and control the far right flank objective. It went pretty well going in on the charge, especially after the Slann got his spell off and did nine mortal wounds to the Bloodletters. However both units became bogged down and weren't able to finish the job.

At this stage the game looked like the Seraphon might be ahead - most of the Khorne units were either dead or heavily depleted, and hadn't made much forward progress. It almost looked like I could have auto-won on turn three if the Slann made the cavalry fly onto an objective - except that the Bloodthirster guarding it counts as five models so they'd not outnumber him. However, I had also lost most of my most killy units. And the Khorne force had another twist...

With all the carnage they had accrued enough blood points to summon in a bonus Bloodthirster! It immediately turned the tide on the right flank, while it's brother finally got stuck in on the left.

While their melee attacks were a little underwhelming (in part thanks the the Coalesced ability to reduce damage by one) they still did the business, and with nothing left that could really threaten either of them, I conceded that I would not be able to score any more points - though I'd probably cling on with a couple of skink units so it'd be a narrow victory for the Khorne forces at best.

And that was that - once again I feel like I remembered most of the rules (though we did both forget out monster actions at the start of the fight phase) but I'm not entirely sure if I made the right tactical decisions. I'm finding it hard to judge thanks to both not being able to predict the priority rolls, and not really knowing what the armies are supposed to do (my army is mostly melee but the Khorne forces definitely outclassed them there - should I have held back a bit, or would I have just been overrun like in the first game?) I'm also a little confused as to how the game seems to take so long to play, even though compared to 40k it doesn't seem like that much is actually happening - just two lines meeting in the middle on a basic level. Perhaps this is just due to my army choice though.

On that note, I am thinking next time I might venture into running Starborne to have access to teleportation movement and summoning shenanigans, that seems fun and potentially very strong with the objective based game we have here. I did initially think that the -1 damage ability was too strong to ignore, but actually it doesn't come up very much, and I can replicate the +1 to hit ability of the Coatl's Claw with command points. 

Anyway, hope you enjoyed, and thanks for reading. If you've got any thoughts or suggestions feel free to comment below. Stay safe out there!

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