Week 2 of The Quest For Gold. In last week's episode we competed in a three-way civil war against Red and Blue Seraphon. Though we earned very little Gold due to bribing the Red Seraphon away, we made it out with a Relic that gives our Hero a high resistance to spells and medium resistance to any Mortal Wounds. So now we come up against Chaos as our next opponent. Same rules as last time, search for Gold in any terrain, searching in special terrain (one special terrain in each of our territories) for halves to a map to lead to a Relic to give to our heroes. Things are looking good. Or they were looking good, before my new opponent set up Archaon. Yes, in this episode our daring Seraphon heroes face of against the mighty Three-Eyed King himself, leading an army of Chaos Undivided Daemons. Plaguebearers as the main infantry, some Flamers as ranged support with Kairos Fateweaver and the Blue Scribes Tzeentch, and a Keeper of Secrets and Skarbrand representing the other two Gods. With the addition of the mortal wizards summoning the Daemon legion for Archaon in the form of a Bray-Shaman and Sayl the Faithless. Also he has two Hellcannons. Oh, and Archaon has a Relic too. The Skull of Malagor, capable of unleashing a spell that does high damage should the target fail a Bravery test of two dice, forcing all enemies nearby to become immobile should they fail another bravery test on two dice, and forcing nearby enemies to take Battleshock on two dice. That last one could be problematic for us. Things are dire to say the least. Archaon takes the first turn. Right off the bat, Archaon has a Mystic Shield up for that insane 2+ Save. Damn it. Blue Scribes fail summoning a Balewind Vortex, so they're done. Bray-Shaman fails casting Savage Dominion so he's done. Things are looking good. Then Sayl the Faithless pulls off a Traitor's Mist on a unit of Flamers, giving them an insane Movement of 18". Then the Flamers roll a 6 for their run and blaze across the map. Onto the edge of my Special Terrain. They find my half of the map, and a group of Flamers in Archaon's territory find the other half. Straight away the Relic spawns. Randomising where on the map it spawns, the Relic thankfully spawns instantly in my territory.What good luck. That is until Kairos Fateweaver uses his one-use ability to change the result of the deciding dice roll so that the Relic spawns in Archaon's territory, in a terrain piece surrounded by Daemons. Damn it. Meanwhile his Plaguebearers march on, looting Gold as they go. Skarbrand moves across the far side of the map away from the Relic in order to threaten to take me from behind if I dedicate my troops to chasing down the Relic. Finally the Hellcannons fire at my Eternity Warden, one misses but the other wounds him heavily. Things look bad. But as my turn starts and I kill off the Hellcannon's crew with a quick Comet's Call to stop them firing at me, I notice that my Bastiladon is currently directly in front of the Relic. Not only that, but he has a clear line of sight at all of the Daemons that would try to loot the Relic, and he's got the Daemon-killing Solar Engine. I grab some rerolls from my Starseer and give my Bastiladon Mystic Shield and Curse of Fates before running him through a small canyon, where he emerges in No Man's Land between our territories, his eyes locked on the Relic's location. The Eternal Starhost and all my wizards and on-foot heroes march ahead to try to meet the enemy head on. I plan for the Basi to grab the Relic and escape while my Temple Guard sacrifice themselves to cover his retreat. All except my Carno Oldblood, who after killing the Flamers in my territory with some shots from his gauntlet, moves into a swamp off to the side in order to block Skarbrand from attacking my infantry. I will have that Relic. Daemons take the next turn and Kairos Fateweaver finds the Relic on a 5+. Alright that did not go as planned. Still, on the bright side Archaon fires an Arcane Bolt at my Oldblood, but after seeing how ineffective it is as the Emperor's Stone relic absorbs the spell and prepares to fire it back at the next attacker, Skarbrand holds back for a moment until I've spent my stored Arcane Bolt. The Hellcannons have no such restraint however, as without their crew they charge forward at the nearest enemy, one at the Oldblood and the other at the Bastiladon. Still, both are a distance away so it's no big deal. What matters is that Kairos must die. The Plaguebearers advance further. I begin my turn by rolling a triple six on my Engine of the Gods, stopping time. Two games in a row, I am on fire. Feeling that the Basi could use a bit more support in his mission, I summon a Starpriest to give him Starlight, that -1 To Hit against all attacking enemies will really help save him in his suicide mission. Now loaded with a Starlight, Mystic Shield, and Curse of Fates, the Basi blasts Kairos with a volley of shots from his Solar Engine and destroys the two-headed Daemon. The Relic is dropped, all anyone needs to do to pick it up is to end their movement phase within 1" of it and the Basi is within running range. I take my next turn, and run the Basi right at the Relic. I run far enough and the Relic is secured by the Basi. However I must now plant my Astriloth early as without its bonus to spell range. But I have the Relic, all I need to do now is escape. Daemons take the first move in the next turn. As expected, the Basi is charged by a Keeper of Secrets, a Great Unclean One is summoned and then charges in too, even some Flamers are charged in. Even the Hellcannon now charges in. They want the Relic. To make matters worse, my Temple Guard are charged now by the Plaguebearers who had been slowly advancing all game, suddenly jumping forward and managing to charge from 11" away. Skarbrand charges the Oldblood too, cutting off more reinforcements. My evacuation team is held up, but that's fine. The Basi can just retreat back through the canyon to escape the battlefield with the Relic as getting to my table edge secures it. Then Archaon gets hit by Sayl's Traitor's Mist and flies all the way to the mouth of the canyon, blocking my escape. And then he charges the Basi too. Okay now things are bad. Slayer of Kings can one-shot monsters with a lucky roll, and with all the attackers even my 2+ unrendable save won't hold up forever. I have limited rerolls to use on it, and one Curse of Fates per phase but even so, under the sheer weight things will be hard. And I can't retreat because now thanks to Archaon's raw size my Basi is totally surrounded and can't get 3" away thanks to his slow movement. My Temple Guard are permanently held up, with Sayl and the Bray-Shaman summoning more tanky Plaguebearers and providing Mystic Shields, providing a horde as fast as I can kill them. I clearly have only one way out. The Bastiladon must survive until time runs out, or Archaon must die. The turn ends, the Basi is fine, Skarbrand takes some wounds as does the Oldblood. Guard and Plaguebearers are still stalemated. I take the first move in the next turn but fail to summon Salamanders to fire at Archaon, their Rend and Damage could help. So I settle for firing a Comet's Call and Arcane Bolt at him, the latter of which gets past his saves and does a few wounds. Chameleons appear in the canyon to fire at Archaon, but his armour negates everything. The Basi dare not attack Archaon, as his armour saves could reflect Mortal Wounds right back and I want to minimise all wounds I take. So instead I fire at the Hellcannon with my Beam, killing it. However the Basi takes a wound. 7 left. In the next round, everything is the same. Guard vs Plaguebearers, Oldblood and Skarbrand inexplicably still fighting as Skarbrand rolls poorly and the Oldblood's saves are lucky while the Oldblood just doesn't attack Skarbrand back in order to keep his anger level as low as possible, Skarbrand joining the fight against the Basi could be dangerous as Carnage may one-shot the Basi. The Basi meanwhile takes another wound. 6 left. Next turn has Archaon steal five Rerolls from my Starseer! Not only that but he Unbinds Starlight, making it far easier to hit the Basi! If ever there was a time for me to lose, it would be now. Slamanders are summoned with Handlers successfully, as is a bloody Stegadon behind Archaon! At this point I'm looking for as many things with high Rend as I can to get past his armour, and the Stegadon and Salamanders have high Rends. Unfortunately the Stegadon couldn't make its 9" charge and the Salamanders roll poorly, only one hitting which is then saved by Archaon's armour. Two more wounds are dealt to the Basi. 4 left. Then in Archaon's turn, he fires an Arcane Bolt at my Basi but my Starpriest juuuust Unbinds it, while the Keeper of Secrets fires one which is blocked by the Basi's Mortal Wound save thanks to Curse of Fates. But then Archaon attacks, hits all his attacks, and rolls a single 6 To Wound. If he rolled two 6's then it's an instant kill, I've been lucky so far. Then my opponent picks his non-6 dice back up, to make use of the rerolls he stole from my Starseer. Things are tense, one 6 will end the game! All three dice... land on 5. My heart skips a beat through fear, it was so close. Another wound is dealt to my Basi, putting him on 3, but I get the first move next turn so it's all over. I take my rerolls back, the Salamanders all fire at Archaon and manage to cause 7 Wounds, more Comet's Call and Arcane Bolts wound him further, and he's finally brought down by a charging Stegadon with that huge Rend -3. The exit is open, and my Basi is ready to make his escape. After failing to cause more wounds on the Basi in combat, my opponent forfeits the game. Good God that was close. The Relic is the Grail of the Lady, granting my Oldblood the ability to heal D3 Wounds every turn and the power to heal D3 nearby units in the same way too. In addition, I spend all the Gold I've amassed to slightly empower my Oldblood. All of his randomised upgrades land on the same result, giving him an extra wound each. In the end, he has 15 Wounds, D3 Healing, a 4+ Save against Mortal Wounds, and a 4+ save against spells. Time to roll out my Tankosaur next week.