Greetings all! This past weekend, a good friend of mine and I finally got to wield our Age of Sigmar armies in all their glory- a battle between the Stormcast Eternals and the Seraphon, with the latter trying to prove their worth to Sigmar in a show of force. We used the Azyr comp points system (no restrictions, available for perusal here: http://www.louisvillewargaming.com/Files/AzyrComp.pdf ) in an attempt to cobble together some semblance of balance for our first large scale combat. My list was as follows (Critique and suggestions fully welcome!): Seraphon: Misc Heroes: Lord Kroak - 7 Old Blood on Carnifex - 8 Astrolith Bearer - 2 Skink Starseer - 3 Eternal Starhost: Eternity Warden - 3 Saurus Guard (15) - 9 Formation - 2 Shadowstrike Starhost: Skink Starpriest - 2 Chameleon Skinks (20) - 8 Ripperdactyls (3) - 4 Formation- 2 Thunderquake Starhost: Engine o.t. gods - 6 Stegadon - 6 Bastiladon - 6 Kroxigor (3) - 4 Formation - 3 Total: 75 My friend brought a Venator, Castellant, Celestant on Dracoth, Celestant, Relictor x2, Judicators x10, Liberators x20, Prosecutors x9, Protectors x5, Retributors x6 and 4 of the Dracothian Cavalry with Glaives (which we decided were 4 points each - a celestant on dracoth without the command ability), as well as the Devastation Brotherhood and Hammerstrike Force formations, totalling 76 points. We were playing on a 6 x 4 board, with the sole objective of kicking the crap out of each other. On with the batrep! Pre-game Thoughts Frankly there was one thing on my mind- those Dracothian cavalry. Dayum those models are scary on paper, particularly the Glaives. A 2+ save in shooting (1+ if buffed by the castellant!) was going to be nasty, coupled with a devastating charge and the dracoths rend, I was not looking forward to engaging these guys in combat. I was also beginning to wonder if I had errored in bringing Saurus Guard instead of Warriors- Between the Retributors and Dracoths, that was a lot of mortal wounds coming my way, which is the one thing Guard cannot tank. Every single mortal wound on those units was going to hurt considerably, whereas the Warriors could have soaked up the damage nicely. The Game Plan First of all- fight fire with fire. Use the Astrolith's increased range and casting bonus to engage what can only be described as magic artillery- Dedicate all 3 of my casters to pump out as many mortal wounds at those Dracothian Cav as possible. I had 15 wounds to chew through, which is a tall order. Next was to prepare for the deep striking Retributors- it was of similar importance to gun down the unit of prosecutors asap to slow the Paladins enough for me to fight on my terms. Finally, assassinating the Celestant on Dracoth and Judicators using my Rippers and Chama Skinks would be key in forcing my opponent to advance to me under heavy fire from my Bastiladon (Blastoise) and Steggy, where they would be met with some buffed up Guard and very angry Kroxigors. Deployment: I knew the key to victory would be to take advantage of as many overlapping synergies as possible, so I had to deploy incredibly defensively. My Guard were placed in front of each of my big beasties, with the Kroxigor and EotG in the central column, flanked by Blastoise and Steggy. Kroak, Astrolith, E Warden, Starseer and Starpriest were laced throughout. My Oldblood was on my right flank, with my chama skinks set up at the very rear. My opp deployed in neat blocks, with the Liberators and Protectors covering his Judicators. His Dracoth cav was set up on the same flank as my Oldblood. Kroak was my general, Celestant on Dravoth was my opponent's. Turn 1 - Seraphon Excellent start, I win the roll off to go first. In the Hero phase, I generate 2 insight from Kroak, and 3 from my starseer. My Chama skinks vanish, and I cast Mystic shield on 3 of my Saurus guard. Kroak lobs a few meteors, allowing me to inflict 3 mortal wounds on the Dracoth cav and 2 on the Celestant on Dracoth. The Engine of the Gods hummed with power, as a unit of 5 Saurus Knights burst into existence next to my Oldblood. Finally, my Starpriest decided that the Celestant on Dracoth had to die this turn. In the movement phase I stayed largely static with the bulk of my forces, whilst my Chama skinks materialised in a ruin off the flank of my opponent's blob. My rippers wheeled down from the sky and started swooping towards the Prosecutors. In the shooting phase, one unit of Chama skinks tore the enemy general apart with a torrent of envenomed darts, whilst the other took the Celestant (on foot) down to one wound. Excellent start. The Steggy could just about reach the unit of protectors, but only managed to take a single wound off. In the combat phase, my Rippers got stuck in with the large unit of prosecutors. This is the first time I had used them in combat...they inflicted 17 damage with just their beaks. They prompty wiped the unit off the board, to both me and my opponents amazement. Turn 1 - Stormcast Reeling from the first turn display of savagery, my opponent set his hero line against my Chama skinks but failed to inflict any mortal wounds, buffed the save of the dracoth cav and healed up the Clestant on foot slightly. Movement involved marching the main blob and the cav towards my forces, whilst landing the Retributors 9" away from my left-most flank of Guard. The Heroes peeled off towards my Chama skinks. Shooting time. The dracoth cav scorched a Ripper out the sky, with Judicator fire killing another. The Celestant lobbed some hammers at my Chama skinks, killing a single unfortunate soul. The Venator took aim at Blastoise with his extra-killy arrow...and failed to even make a dent. In combat, the relictors and celestant charged my units of skinks, and one unit of liberators launched the selves at the lone Ripper. The skinks proved to be tougher than I initially thought, only losing a total of 5 models, whilst managing to bring the celestant back down to a single wound. The poor liberators did not roll well, and actually failed to kill the last remaining ripper, which (with a little help from 2 insights) in return killed 3 models. In battleshock, both the chama skinks and liberators held. But, I was feeling cheeky, so I forced my opponent to reroll his battleshock test with an insight...and he rolled a 6! 3 more Liberators down. Turn 2 - Seraphon Yeah I used my last 2 insights to completely reroll the initiative order. I'm not proud. It worked though. Hero Phase- Generated a total of 8 (!) insights, mystic shield on my Steggy, EotG spat out 4 mortal wounds towards the Dravoth cav, killing one. Curse of fates on Oldblood, Starlight on Kroxigor, meteor inflicts 2 wounds on the protectors, killing one, and then 1 more on the Dracoth cav, and finishes off the Celestant. Skinks vanish. Movement phase- Stegadon broke rank to lumber towards Dracoth cav, Oldblood and knights sped towards somewhere between the Dracoth cav and the Protectors. The kroxigor pushed towards the 2 units of retributors on my flank, with my skinks appearing behind them. Shooting phase- Blastoise is PISSED that he hasn't shone as the badass I know he is, and promptly rolls double 6 for the number of shots. With the help of the astrolith bearer, and 3 insights, he promptly kills 7 Liberators. Ouch. Steggy gets in on the action and takes out another dracoth cav with a bolt to the face. The chama skinks manage to kill 2 retributors, and my oldblood took another 2 wounds off the unit of protectors with his gauntlet. Combat phase- went savage with the thunderquake formation- lets do this. Saurus cav crash into the Protectors, Oldblood just about reaches the unit of Liberators locked in with my last ripper, Steggy thunders into the last Dracoth cav and my Kroxigor take on the healthy unit of retributors. It was a massacre. The Steggy outright murdered the last dracoth cav by impaling him where he stood, then the Retributors tried in vain to kill my kroxigor (-1 to hit and re-roll saves worked wonders), whilst my saurus cav killed another protector. The protectors gave a good account of themselves, killing 2 and a half saurus, whilst my kroxigors completely annihilated the poor retributors, with a timely insight causing a paladin to get torn apart by ravenous jaws. Now came the master plan- between insights and Curse of Fates, the Oldblood caused the remaining Protectors and Liberators to soil themselves and run back to papa Sigmar. With 10 Judicators, a single retributor, 2 relictors, a venator and a castellant left on board, my opponent decided to concede, as he felt that he did not have enough clout to kill my largely untouched forces. Post-game Analysis Good lord that was brutal. Neither of us expected the game to be over so quickly. I was so intimidated by the overall superior quality of the individual Stormcast units, but we have now both learnt that synergies and tactics are evidently vastly superior to simple stats. I was blown away at how effective the Rippers were, as well as how universally excellent Insights are. The Dracoth cav did not get a chance to shine,and are nowhere near as scary as I first thought if dealt with accordingly. Also real talk- Starlight is the perfect counter to retributors. No more insta-gibs on 6s! I felt that I made the right call to play ultra defensively whilst assassinating key targets, to force the game to play out in my favour. My mate reflected that he perhaps played too aggressively, and could have afforded to ensure the kills on both my skinks and rippers, so that he wasn't rushing forward with a depleted force into a group of very nasty dinosaurs (complete with laser turtle of course). All in all, it was a pretty enjoyable game (albeit pretty one-sided), although I do have my doubts on the balancing of the Azyr comp points system. Perhaps next time, we will just use wounds to balance instead. So, that was my first full battle with Seraphon. I was suitably impressed, and I would love to hear any and all feedback on tactics, army choices, balancing etc. I am very much a newbie to both the hobby and the army, not to mention writing battle reports (apologies for any inconsistencies, the drink was flowing freely throughout and after the battle), so I shall strive for clearer and more insightful stories in the future. Thank you for reading!