With my AoS fluff finally complete (for now!) it was high time time to finally add a Slann to the Guardians of Cote de Saur. I did up a Fangs of Sotek list, which I'd been itching to try, and went down to my trusty FLGS for a few games. The first two games of the day were fairly standard affairs, but the third was something else. I've decided to attempt a battle report of the match since it's by far the closest game of AoS I've ever experienced. Plus it ended up being quite fitting to my fluff to have a force of the undead invading Aqshy! My list was as follows: Slann Starmaster (Incadencent Retricies, Arcane Might) Starpriest Old Blood on Carnosaur (Ignax's Scales) Scar-Veteran on Cold One Saurus Sunblood (Onyx Blade) 10 x Saurus Warriors 10 x Saurus Warriors 40 x Saurus Warriors 10 x Saurus Knight Troglodon Chronomantic Cogs Malevolent Maelstrom Sunclaw Starhost Fangs of Sotek If this doesn't look like a completely optimised list, it's because it isn't! I have a very firm rule since I started collecting this force at the beginning of the year that if I paint it, I field it! Hence my Troglodon and Knights were coming along with me, despite having failed me in the past. Little did I know how critical that decision would be. My opponent was playing Legions of Nagash, a great mate whom I've played with for the past 11 years of 40K. His Nids and Deathwing have clashed against my Orks more times than I can remember. His AoS army is extremely resilient, based around regeneration and stacking 6+ saves. It goes something like follows: Allegiance: Grand Army of Nagash Arkhan the Black Necromancer (Gravesand Timeglass) Wight King (Ossific Diadem, Lord of Naggashizzar) 10 x Black Knights 40 x Skeletons 40 x Skeletons 40 x Skeletons 10 x Grave Guard Deathmarch So thanks to his Battalion he gets a free model back each turn near the Wight King. But then he also gets D3 wounds back from Invigorating Aura from Gravesites, and another D3 from Legions Innumerable if he rolls a 5+. AND his Necromancer gives back D3 to up to 2 nearby units. Oh and Arkhan does it to up to 4 units AS WELL! Then once he has armour saves, he then gets a 6+ save against any wounds taken and then ANOTHER 6+ save after that. His Skeletons can also get up to 5 attacks each and pile in and attack twice. It's a very nasty list that has stymied most other players at the store. This would be the first time I was up against it. We rolled up Aqshy for our Realm, and were playing Total Commitment (pg 56, General's Handbook). Four objectives were set up, two in each player's deployment zone. Victory points were awarded at the end of each turn, with a objective in your deployment zone worth 1, whilst holding one in the opponent's territory was worth 3. In a twist that had us both chuckling, we rolled up a 2 on the Realmscape table which normally is a dreaded result, as it gives +1 rend to all ranged attacks shot from 12" or more away. But aside from a Troglodon spit, a Starpriest staff and my Old Blood's Gauntlet of the Gods, no-one had any ranged attacks! The resident Kharadron player was practically salivating mind you! We deployed as follows, and he decided to give me the first turn. Seraphon Turn 1. My Slann began by casting Inferno Blades on the 40 strong Saurus Warrior unit, giving them +1 dmg on all their attacks. My Starpriest followed this up with Summon Starlight on the same unit, before imbuing the Carnosaur with the venom of Sotek. My Slann then cast Chronomatic Cogs, choosing +2 movement, and then cast Malevolent Maelstrom near Arkhan, hoping to help stop his casting next turn. My Old Blood on Carnosaur then used his Command Ability 3 times, giving him and the Sunblood next to him +6 attacks on a weapon of their choice. Naturally, I chose the Carnosaur's jaws. Then I rolled for Lords of Space and Time on the Saurus Knights. I rolled a 3, and placed them adjacent to the top left objective. Hopefully they could make the charge, and I even saved a CP to try and ensure it. Movement and charges saw my whole left flank advance. My Scar Vet on Cold One headed towards the left hand objective. My Carnosaur and Warrior unit both made the charge, but my Sunblood failed. His 11 attacks would now account for nothing. The Knights also failed their charge, despite using my final CP for a reroll. Arrg! Combat was predictably brutal; buffed up by Inferno Blades, the Saurus Warriors tore down 4 knights and innumerable Skeletons. The undead were no slouches on the counter-attack however, and did 6 wounds on the Carnosaur before he could strike. Starlight helped an insane amount on the Warriors, but nonetheless 7 of them were dragged down. Still above the magic number of 30 though! Battleshock came and his ravaged Skeleton unit decided that undeath wasn't all it's cracked up to be and decided to go back to just plain death. He had another 40 strong unit though and it was now piling in. The good news was he was now no longer holding his left hand objective. Seraphon Points: 2 Legion of Nagash Points: 0 Legion of Nagash Turn 1. The turn began with the four Knights I'd dragged down all getting back to their feet. Uh oh. Meanwhile the Skeleton unit was buffed with Danse Macabre, despite my Slann trying to unbind twice (thank-you reroll from Arcane Might). Arkhan had already effortlessly dispelled the Maelstrom, but then failed to cast anything else. His unengaged Skeleton mob swarmed forwards towards my right hand objective, jaws lolling and hands outstretched, whilst his Grave Guard moved onto his own objective in their place. Arkhan also flew down towards my right flank objective. The 10 Saurus Warriors there gripped their weapons a little more tightly and put their faith in Rana. Combat saw more of my Saurus Warriors dragged down, enough to push me below 30. Only thanks to Starlight did more not dissolve into celestial motes, and because Inferno Blades was still active, when they did hit back it hurt badly. 3 more Knights died, and another raft of Skeletons. Still buffed with extra attacks, the Carnosaur wanted to join in but was too far from the action. It was close enough to bellow a roar at the Skeletons however in the subsequent Battleshock test, making a few more of them dig themselves back underground, muttering about how they never mentioned giant celestial lizards in the brochure about a holiday in the Mortal Realms. Seraphon Points: 2 Legion of Nagash Points: 1 End of Turn 1: Legions of Nagash Turn 2. My opponent won the roll-off for Turn 2 and promptly set about reviving units. Again the Knights were back to full strength, and another handful of Skeletons were back too, complaining about the lack of Undead Unions to stop them being exploited like this. Apparently travelling through time and space and living for untold thousands of years had finally caught up with Arkhan because the dreaded necromancer didn't manage to cast a single spell. The Necromancer tried to show his Mortarch how it was done, casting Danse Macabre on the engaged Skeleton unit, but Rana's spirit flashed across the battlefield and negated the spell, thanks to the reroll from Arcane Might. Deciding that perhaps Arkhan would do better just hitting something, my opponent moved him down next to my right hand objective, along with a swarm of Skeletons. The combat on the left side of the board continued unabated. Starlight and Inferno Blades were still in effect, and high leadership with low casualties meant not many of my Warriors were fleeing. They were down to below 20 after the Skeletons piled in, but they still managed to take a big chunk out of them back. 6 were forced to attack the Knights thanks to proximity and managed to kill 2, which I knew with a sinking feeling was not going to matter much. Meanwhile Arkhan charged in against my small Saurus Warrior unit, and promptly missed every attack. His mount decided that enough was enough and smashed down 4 Warriors. The Skeletons then took care of the rest. My right hand objective was in the enemy's cold, dead hands, and I had nothing available that could take it back. Battleshock time and the last remaining Skeletons engaged with my Warriors slunk back to their crypts. 80 down, 40 to go! Seraphon Points: 2 Legion of Nagash Points: 5 Seraphon Turn 2 My turn began with turning the Cogs from "Help my Opponent capture my objectives" to "Help me Summon". Starlight was cast again on the Warriors, with a roll of double 6! Clearly the constellations had aligned. Then Rana tried to throw Inferno Blades back on the warriors and completely failed twice. Perhaps being locked in Nagash's Maximum Security wing for the past 500 years had affected the old Slann a bit. In any case, Rana decided that spellcasting wasn't worth the effort right now and settled for accruing some conjuration points instead. The Knights, having failed to charge once, were whisked through time and space and ended up over near the Grave Guard, having rolled a 5. Perhaps I could claim his objective in return. My Sunblood, itching for a fight, roared a challenge at the Black Knights, meaning my remaining Saurus would reroll to hit them now. My Carnosaur fired his gauntlet at the Wight King, and the Troglodon joined in, and together they stripped a whole 2 wounds off. My Scar Vet on Cold One moved up and nabbed the left hand objective. Take that, Nagash! The Carnosaur then charged into the Wight King, planning to devour the undead creature. To my horror, the Old Blood promptly failed most of his attacks and didn't inflict any damage! The Wight King raised his axe with a grim smile then tripped on a discarded skull, missing with every attack! We both had a good laugh at that, but then my Sunblood, having charged the Knights, lashed out, hitting with everything, then wounding with everything, including 2 3 dmg attacks. Onyx Blade baby, gets yours today, available in all good Aqshian relic stores! 3 Knights were smashed to the ground after their plethora of saves were rolled. I even had a handful of Warriors left, fighting on in defiance of the odds. Meanwhile the Knights sought to redeem themselves and successfully charged the Grave Guard. Lances flashing into flame, they charged in, and did 2 wounds, both of which were saved. Oh. Their mounts fared a good deal better, dragging down 5 Grave Guard. 2 Knights were killed in response, and I didn't have enough Knights close enough to the objective to claim it. Rats. Seraphon Points: 6 Legion of Nagash Points: 5 End of Turn 2: Top of the turn and he won the roll off. Continuing with the theme of "Casting Spells is for Losers", Arkhan didn't manage to get any spells off, and neither did the Necromancer. The remaining Skeletons that had claimed my objective now started to head back north to help the Grave Guard out, leaving Arkhan to hang out and chat to his mount about the good ol' days back in Khemri. In a depressingly familiar phase the knights all got back up again, but at least the Skeletons were all gone. The Necromancer then revealed a small black hourglass from his backpack and hurled it toward my Carnosaur. The malign energies within began to sap the beast's strength, inflicting 2 Mortal Wounds, but I saved one thanks to Ignax's Scales. If he wanted to kill my Old Blood, he'd have to do it the old fashioned way. Combat was short and brutal. The Sunblood lost 4 wounds and the last remaining Warriors were ground into the dirt. My Knights dragged down a few more Grave Guard, but not enough to claim the objective. The Wight King, fresh from watching his Extended Edition of The Return of the King, channelled his inner Eowyn and decapitated my Carnosaur. That flank was looking awfully bare. The Sunblood killed two Knights but I'd already learned there were three things certain in this world: death, taxes, and reviving Black Knights. Seraphon Points: 6 Legion of Nagash Points: 9 Seraphon Turn 3 Rana continued to contemplate the cosmos, but then snapped out of his meditation when he realised he could use the Troglodon to cast spells through. Drawing upon his arcane reserves, he cast Glare of Vulxatrix through the Troglodon, aimed at the Wight King. If I'd successfully cast the spell, and then rolled a 6, the Wight King would be dead with no fancy saves. If I'd successfully cast the spell. Rana decided again that if Arkhan wasn't going to cast, then he wasn't going to either. But hey, I had 24 summoning points now. If only I owned a Bastiladon.... Rana was close enough to my left objective though to claim it himself. He hurled the remaining Saurus Warrior unit over next to the Grave Guard, hoping they could tip the balance. The Warriors, having grown fat and lazy sitting around the whole battle, then promptly failed their charge. Having failed through spellcasting, my loyal Troglodon Miss Spitty (my 4 year old daughter named her) charged in against the Wight King, having first spat at him and taken another wound. 2 to go! Drawn to the screams of an undead creature, she made the charge, and promptly failed to do any damage. She lost 4 wounds in return. Who will rid me of this turbulent Wight?! The Knights vs Grave Guard continued along, the Guard failing to wound, but also not failing any armour saves in return. Gripping stuff indeed. Seraphon Points: 10 Legions of Nagash Points: 9 End of Turn 3: Legions of Nagash Turn 4 Once again, he won the roll off. I wasn't bitter, oh no. Arkhan decided to try the whole spellcasting thing again and managed to get off Curse of Years on the Knights! He then rolled a single 6 out of 10 dice, and then rolled a 1. A single mortal wound caused. The Skeletons got hit with Danse Macabre and promptly began performing Thriller as they sauntered forwards. The Black Knights came back, as per normal. The Sunblood was now completely surrounded and the Knights were spilling over into Miss Spitty. Predictably, the Sunblood was beaten down in a hail of lances and undead horse bites. Miss Spitty was left on one wound, having managed to inflict a single wound on the Wight King, who promptly rolled a 6+ and negated it. The Skeletons charged in against the Knights and the Saurus Warriors, hacking down two Knights and 5 Warriors. Both held, fortunately. That combat was now effectively pointless, since I couldn't claim that objective with 40 walking xylophones heading into it. Seraphon Points: 10 Legion of Nagash Points: 13 Seraphon Turn 4. Time to try that Summoning thing everyone's been raving about. All the cool Slann are doing it. A fresh 20 strong Saurus Warrior unit materialised between Rana and the top left objective, but not before Rana tried to hate-stare the Wight King to death again. He promptly failed the cast and went back to checking his zodiac chart. The Starpriest tried to cast Starlight on the Black Knights but failed. Even Sienna would have had trouble casting spells in Aqshy today. For good measure I tried to pull the Saurus Knights out with Lords of Space and Time and rolled a 2. Now they had to stay there and think about what they did. Combat saw Miss Spitty in a hopeless situation. One wound left meant she was hitting on 4's and wounding on 5's. She needed to cause two sets of wounds because the Wight King halved all damage taken. Trusting in my daughter's wisdom, I rolled the dice. 2 attacks hit, and then two fives came up. The Wight King failed both armour saves. Then he had 2 6+ saves. He failed. Then he had two more 6+ saves. He failed. MISS SPITTY GIRL OF THE FREAKING MATCH! She shortly afterwards was ripped to shreds by the Black Knights but thanks to her million-to-one shot, I had a chance at victory. Without the Wight King, the Knights wouldn't get a free 4" move next turn, and my opponent couldn't summon 40 skeletons on the gravesite marker right next to them. I just might make it. Seraphon Points: 14 Legion of Nagash Points: 13 End of Turn 4: Seraphon Turn 5 The stars wheeled into alignment and I won the roll off. Praise the Old Ones, where-ever they are. Rana decided that summoning was much more preferable to casting spells and brought forth 5 Saurus Knights from the stars. Starlight went down on the Warriors along with starvenom. The Warriors then moved up next to the objective. It all hinged on whether the Black Knights could take it off me. The 5 remaining Saurus Warriors on the other side of the board were the target of my last Lords of Space and Time, but I rolled a 1. They would have been charging Arkhan to try and take the objective off him if I'd rolled well so perhaps it was better for them to stay where they were. In the only remaining combat a few more Saurus died to no effect. It would all come down to the charge on the other side of the board. Seraphon Points: 18 Legion of Nagash Points: 13 Legion of Nagash Turn 5 All that mattered was the charge. The Black Knights moved up and scored a 7. It was enough to get them into combat, but even after the pile in, only three Knights were in range of the objective. The Scar Vet on Cold One piled in, lending his pickax to the fight, whilst Starlight on the warriors ensured that the Knights couldn't kill enough. Battleshock might have claimed a few but I had 2 command points sitting around and promptly used one to ensure the Warriors didn't run. The objective remained in my hands and the game was over. Seraphon Points: 18 Legion of Nagash Points: 17 Final Result: Seraphon Victory This was an absolute nail-biter. It could not have been closer; any one of a number of dice rolls throughout the game could have meant defeat or victory for both sides. If the final objective had been claimed by my opponent in the last turn, we would have been tied on points and it would have gone to points totals of units destroyed instead, and on that, I was way, way behind. All in all it was a fantastic game that we both enjoyed immensely, and we're looking forward to the rematch. For now though, Tlaxxili stands!