In our last episode, our Seraphon heroes managed to claim a third Relic, the Daggers of the Deathmaster, which cause a victim's Wounds to degrade every turn until death, poison damage essentially. Combined with the Grail of the Lady which heals D3 Wounds to the bearer every turn, and the Emperor's Stone which absorbs spells and Mortal Wounds, as well as Wound upgrades thanks to spending some Gold at the shop, our mighty mounted Oldblood hero was truly a force to be reckoned with and had ploughed through every enemy that stood in his way. However, in the Realm of Metal, he was to face his greatest challenge yet. Da Best of Da Best, Grimgor Ironhide. Leading an entire army of Black Orcs with several Black Orc warbosses and with support from Da Prophet of Gork and Mork, Wurzag, Grimgor wielded the Bow of the Everglades for high Rending attacks that stunned targets, the Sceptre of Goldtooth which hits like a truck and steals gold when used on the enemy general, and the Last Vial of Lustria which gives Grimgor a giant dino mount with extra weapons, movement phase buffs, and an upgrade to 12 Wounds (in this case a Greater Narloc model was used with Grimgor stood on its giant base like Skarsnik with Gobbla.) In addition, he was supported by a massive Manlger Squig, a Colossal Squig (using Giant rules as there are no Colossal Squig rules,) and a Magma Dragon (using an unmounted Magmadroth's rules.) However this time, the rules are different. There is a massive five storey tower in the middle of the map, with the Relic at the top. To reach it, you must scale the tower, one floor per movement phase and two by running. As we both have three Relics, whomever claims this last Relic wins the campaign. Taking the first move, I march my host forward. The dense buildings and towers play against me here as the industrial forest prevents me from keeping a solid formation, forcing my rearguard to lag behind. However I manage to set up a mostly defensible position,in the alleyways of the city, plundering gold as I go. However aside from my Basi taking a potshot at a visible Black Orc shaman, there is little in the way of combat. I do take an advantage though, as my Chameleon Skinks manifest in the first floor of the tower, the highest they can appear in this turn. The enemy sprints at our host at full speed, but thanks to a series of bad rolls, they fail to cover any meaningful ground. That is aside from the Magmadroth, who is able to run up to our front line and unleash a devastating Roaring Fyrestream, dealing six Mortal Wounds and roasting our front line. This cannot be allowed to stand, and thankfully we get the chance to stop it as I take the first move next turn. The Orcs manage to steal our Starseer's rerolls, but that's not a major problem because they only stole one. With some help from Curse of Fates, our Engine of the Gods manages to deal six Mortal Wounds right back at the Magmadroth, which is followed up by a rapid casting of Comet's Call, Celestial Deliverance, and Arcane Bolt to finish the beast off before it can do any more damage. The monsters on the flanks, Oldblood on the left and Bastiladon on the right, meanwhile move forward to scout out around the buildings to catch any scouts early. The Oldblood then goes the extra mile by throwing his Daggers at the Colossal Squig he can see from afar (yeah they're ranged weapons too!) and although only one wound is dealt, the monster is poisoned with its health draining for the rest of the game until death. A good sign, as my Chameleons climb to the third floor. Then the Orcs charge. Every Orc unit in the game and all successfully hit. One unit smashes our front line, the other strikes the Bastiladon blocking our right flank, the last assaults the Tower and begins climbing after the Skinks, and all are buffed with a Command Ability and have a Warboss to support them, they all hit on 2+ with rerolls and wound about as easily. This I'm all prepared for. My Guard have not moved this turn so they deal D3 Damage, my Astriloth is planted for rerolls To Hit, and my Chameleons are too high to be caught this turn. What I wasn't prepared for, however, was Grimgor. I failed to anticipate his dinosaur granting him the ability to run and charge in the same turn, causing him to jump a great distance and slam head-first into my Oldblood. And as its his turn, he gets to attack first. Things are tense, for all our power Grimgor holds far more aggressive Relics, while ours are more geared towards surviving against ranged opponents and blocking Mortal Wounds. My only chance is my buffed Wounds, but even that's dodgy. But if I can survive, I may at least be able to poison Grimgor to ensure mutual destruction at least. Grimgor unloads all his power, Relics in hand, and it's all our hero can do to barely hold on. Grimgor even uses the Sceptre to steal some of our Gold! In the end thanks to a single Save roll, he's down to just one Wound. I breathe a sigh of relief, we've survived. We may even be able to poison Grimgor and then retreat to heal with the Grail. That is until my opponent gives me a single, soul-destroying order. "I'm using my one reroll on your Save roll. Take it again." My heart drops. It's a 4+ Save, I have a 50/50 chance of passing it. But I've never been lucky with dice, it's why I use rerolls. With a silent prayer to the Dice Gods and with a wince of fear across my face, I roll this dice that may have game-ending results. Both players lean in, half afraid and half eager to see the result! And I fail. With a single mighty blow, Grimgor brings our hero down in this titanic assault. In grief, a unit of nearby Salamanders pile in to get vengeance and even wound the green monster, but they're swiftly beaten back by the Colossal Squig which too was in pile in range of the Sallies. Now not only has our greatest hero been defeated, but our left flank is open to his murderers. On the bright side, our front line of Guard used this opportunity to attack the Black Orcs first and, thanks to their Damage buff, wiped them all out swiftly, and the Bastiladon remains unkillable to the right. The Orcs take the first move in the next turn. As expected, the Giant and Grimgor smash into the flank while the Orcs in the Tower climb up to one floor below the Chameleons, allowing for the two floors to engage in combat. Thankfully the Skinks get a +1 to their cover Save because they're defending upper floors, giving them a 2+ Save in total. However they still can't hit back very effectively and the attacking Orcs manage to kill two anyway through sheer volume of attacks. But the biggest news is Grimgor and his Colossal Squig attacking our left flank. Supported by Wurzag who throws Arcane Bolts for some deadly Mortal Wounds and a Warboss who joins the melee with a charge, Grimgor uses his Relics to utterly smash our flank to pieces. By the end, nothing of my left flank remains, and this leaves our host of vulnerable wizards wide open for Grimgor's attack force to take advantage of. To make matters worse, thanks to the density of the city restricting our formation, my front line or right flank can't reach the left flank to offer reinforcements and support until the turn after, giving Grimgor all the opportunity he needs to destroy our Kroak and Eternity Warden, cutting off our magic support and our Starhost Save bonus which would effectively end the game. Backed into a corner, I plant my Astriloth again for I shall not go quietly. My Engine fails to activate its desired D6 Mortal Wounds effect which I had hoped to use against Grimgor. With a cry of anguish, I throw all of my rerolls and remaining energy into Kroak's spellcasting! And Kroak unloads his full potential. Comet's Call hits 5 units, and all three Celestial Deliverances go off. And it's with these Celestial Deliverances where both my opponent and myself realise just how far the Orcs have bitten off more than they could chew, because they've totally surrounded us closely and thanks to my Astriloth, every single Orc on the battlefield suffers 3D3 Mortal Wounds from the surge of Celestial Deliverances in addition to Comet's Call. However, thanks to the rerolls being on my side once more, all four of the D3 Mortal Wounds that Grimgor takes result in 3's, dealing a perfect 12 Wounds, bringing the monster down in a mighty act of vengeance for my beloved Carnosaur so perfect and bloodthirsty that it would make a Dwarf proud. Furthermore the Orcs scaling the Tower are severely depleted, and the Chameleons are able to finish them off with their poison darts. However, the threats of the Colossal Squig and Warboss still remain. Black Orc Warbosses hit very hard and may kill my Slann, and the Squig is a beast that poses a serious threat in any scenario. However, there's one thing that I forgot about. Something that remained underused throughout this campaign. The Stegadon in my rearguard. Far behind thanks to the bad formation due to the building, it does what it can to make its way towards the Squig but it just can't make it there, landing 10" away. Things look dicey, but I go for the charge anyway in the hope that maybe some miracle might happen to save me from destruction. The Stegadon charges 11" right into the giant squig's side. God. Damn. As my Starseer and Starpriest form a shield between the Warboss and Kroak with their bodies, the Stegadon crushes into the Squig's side. And in doing so, it makes it within range of both the Engine of the Gods and the Astriloth Bearer who grant it rerolls To Wound and To Hit respectively, so it hurts that Squig. And, thanks to the wounds caused by the poison effect of the Oldblood's Daggers earlier, the Squig has already sustained enough damage that the Stegadon's charge brings it crashing down. In the next turn, the Orcs are unable to stop the Skinks from climbing to the top of the Tower and seizing the final Relic, The Destroyer, from the peak. To a final, resounding, and heart-pounding finish to this glorious campaign. Although the Quest For Gold will continue informally, the Campaign is done. Although Relics may change hands if Relic Wielders are slain and although Gold may be continually spent to increase one's army (I used today's earnings to buy a Kroxigor henchman to carry the Daggers so that the Oldblood may use the Destroyer with his normal Spear,) the contest is done. Our next campaign will be the Battle for Ghyran, a great Order vs Chaos competition where two teams compete to help either the Hallowed Knights or Torglug the Despised as depicted in the Balance of Power, and as I play a Hallowed Knights Stormcast army, they'll be my army of choice for this next campaign. So sadly that'll conclude my batreps for the time being as my Seraphon take a well deserved rest.