Welcome to this special episode of Optimal Game State. Today, we’re actually playing games!
The goal of this channel is always to put together a fun game. Every Christmas, I always play some games with my Brother which is great fun. We’ve been playing lots of Warcry since it came out and he’s got a decent sized Stormcast force now.
This year I’m a little more organised and rather than the usual random games, I’ve put together a mini-campaign. I’m using the Path of Ven Tak campaign from the main Warcry rulebook changing the theme slightly. In this version, Warden King Klaus was bringing presents from the Northern Duardin holds down to the Cities of Sigmar when he was attacked by Chaos Warriors. The campaign has three battles that chain together.
The storm cast here to save the day are a group of Sacrosanct lead by the Evocator-Prime Dharius Lightingsoul, although with him he has Heldinus and Taltros two Evocators, Morinos a Sequitor, and two Gryph-Hounds Ilex and Hedera. The Evocators are great fighters and have served this war band well over the years, the two Gyrph-hounds are super fast which can be useful but there was some debate whether to take them as they can’t carry treasure and we know that will be important. The first battle will have the dark rules which was why no Castigators with bows. The Sequitor was picked to round out the numbers.
Eager to reclaim his lost presents, they are accompanied by Warden King Klaus who provides support from his sack of treasures. They’re all reskinned lesser artefacts with a Christmas theme. Klaus is from the Tempest Eye cities of Sigmar war band, so he opens up that awesome Triple Swift as the Wind.
The Stormcast come upon the camp of Krom Felheart in the middle of the night. This is battle has everyone start on the table turn 1. There are 5 present tokens, but only one is the important present, unfortunately only the Chaos Warband know which it is. At the end of each turn, the Chaos war band will remove one present, and at the at the end of turn 4 whoever has the important present wins. The twist is Dead of Night meaning no fighter can see beyond 4 inches. That won’t make a difference to the models we’ve picked but did impact those selections.
Fellheart’s Raiders consists of one Aspiring Champion, 6 Chaos Warriors all from the start collecting box and 2 Chaos Warhounds. The Aspiring Champion is basically a slightly upgraded Chaos Warrior, these are all pretty insanely tough at 6 wounds and all have 2/4 damage so they can get some work done. The Warhounds are a bit of speed and their reaction is super action efficient making them great support for any hero. I don’t particularly like the actual chaos war hound models so these are Fenrisian Wolves on oval bases.
At the start of this battle we have the Chaos war band in the centre split between three groups. Dharius the Evocator-Prime is in the south-east with the Gryph hound Ilex, the two Evocators are off to the west, and everyone else is coming in from the north. The first turn is mostly spent picking up presents. Dharius gets one as does Klaus. Three of the Chaos Warriors grab the ones nearest to them, one takes a big risk and goes west where the two Evocators are. The battle breaks out into three separate areas with both Stormcast and Chaos Warrior weathering multiple hits. The war hounds and gryph-hounds don’t prove as resilient and soon go down. As the battle goes on the fake presents are slowly removed and in the last turn it’s clear the real present is held by the Chaos Warrior Feytor Hackbile in the middle south well away from the battles. The Stormcast are unable to extricate themselves and the first battle goes to Chaos.
After the battle we go through the casualties and Renown and Taltros ends up with a broken leg, while Dharius and Morinos both roll 6s to get a point of renown. Keeping to his promises, Warden King Klaus brings more gifts for the war band, with a Gingerbread house and a Gingerbread man.
The second battle is a chase through the snow. The campaign from the book lets you roll the twist but this seemed apt. The actual twist is Swampland which reduces movement by 1, but that works just as well for snow and I added extra Christmas decoration snow. As the winner of the previous battle, the Chaos war band is trying to make it to the northern edge with no Stormcast nearby and escape. If 3 make it off the board, Chaos wins, if that hasn’t happened by turn 4 or the Stormcast manage to kill 3 of the Chaos Warriors then the Stormcast win.
For this battle, Feytor Hackbile and Jäger Hellreek are joined by Khagra’s Ravagers. This is the Underworlds war band. For the stats Khagra is a Chaos Lord, Zarshia is a Chaos Sorcerer, with Dour Cragan and Radek Godblessed both as Chaos Chosen. This was a little bit of creative license for me as the Chosen have two handed weapons, but making these guys a little tougher made sense to me. To match the first war band, the leader is in the Dagger with the remaining evenly split between Hammer and Shield.
The sisters Khagra and Zarshia start in the middle, with the other two in the south east and west corners. They’re all gonna just rush north as fast as possible. There is a fence there but it’s just for looks. On the first turn only the two Evocators are on the board and start at the middle south.
Turn 2 the Warden King, Gryph hound and Sequitor join. The Evocators press the sisters getting close enough to the board edge that they can’t leave this turn. Klaus attacks the nearby Chaos Warrior and uses the ability Swift as the Wind, giving +6 move to the sequitur and graph-hound. That lets them zoom over to get in front of the sisters.
Turn 3 the first Chaos Warriors in the North West gets off the board, but the second is stopped by careful positioning of the Gryph-hound. Klaus finishes off his Chaos Warrior giving the Stormcast some hope that they’d be able to get 3 kills.
Turn 4, the Stormcast hold most of the line, but the North East corner is still open. First the Chaos Warrior there gets through, the Evocator tries his best to stop Zarshia but due to the quad she’s able to disengage, move, then move again to sneak off the board and win the game.
A real close game, if that Quad wasn’t there the Stormcast would have won. This was pretty low casualties for them though, and only a Gryph-hound went down but it was just a flesh wound. The other Gryph-hound Ilex gets a point of renown while the two Evocators get some extra treasure.
Battle 3 is the Battle at the Encampment. The Chaos Warband has retreated to their fort but have been pursued by the Stormcast. This is a simple battle with 5 present tokens on the board that the warbands battle over. At the end of round 5 whoever has the most presents win, just like Christmas morning.
The warband the Stormcast face this time is lead by Lothar God-Slayer, a Chaos lord of Karkadrak. This guy is a monster at 375 points but hits like a truck and is fast with a mounted speed of 8. Along with him are two war hounds and that leaves enough for 4 Chaos Warriors split into two groups.
For this battle, Dharius and Ilex stand alone at the gates to the Chaos stronghold. On round 2 Lother and his hounds will appear in the north east and the two Evocators will appear from the souther board edge. Turn 3 will add the remainder of the Stormcast in the middle north.
The first turn has everyone moving in to pick up presents, with only Dharius and Ilex who doesn’t have hands the Stormcast can only grab one. Ilex does step in front of a present preventing the Chaos Warriors from grabbing it.
Turn two, the Chaos Warrior knocks out Ilex and grabs the present, the Evocators move in and start doing damage to the Chaos Warriors holding treasure. The ones that can, retreat to the east of the map where they’ll stay for the rest of the game. Then Lothar rides in. His first strike doesn’t take down the Evocator, but he gets a second go at the start of turn 3.
The remaining Stormcast enter from the north, Klaus grabs the present hidden behind the small wall and uses Swift as the Wind to super charge the rest of his group. The second Gryph hound starts nipping at the heels of the two war hounds. Importantly, Dharius gets some damage on the Chaos Warrior with the gold present.
Going into turn 4, it’s all to play for. The Chaos war band has 3 treasure but one, Valmir Mortkin, is out of position and surrounded in the middle of the board. Dharius makes a bold play, he attacks taking down Valmir but the present is loose. Dharius then uses a triple for Inspiring Presence to led the nearby Evocator Taltros take the next action and move to pick it up. Furious, Lothar God-Slayer charges in but just can’t do enough damage ending turn 4 with the Stormcast having 3 presents to the Chaos Warband’s 2.
Victory to the Stormcast.
We had a lot of fun. We also made lots of mistakes and definitely could have played a lot better. As a prize for winning, my brother got to open a bonus Christmas present of a box of Evocators.
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