...or, my second battle report. So today, I did indeed face pretty much exactly the same 1000 points of Death Allegiance Army in the second round of the local GW shop’s Age of Sigmar Escalation League. I got pasted pretty badly once again, but once again had a good time overall, learned a lot, and hey, in those first two rounds I was doing really well! Here’s what I set up on the battlefield: Eternal Starhost—130 --> Saurus Eternity Warden (1, Leader)—140 --> Saurus Guard (5, with Stardrake Icon, Battleline)—100 --> Saurus Guard (5, with Wardrums, Battleline)—100 --> Saurus Guard (5, Battleline)—100 Ripperdactyl Riders (3)—140 Skink Starpriest (1, Leader, General)—80 Razordon (1, Artillery)—40 Salamander (1, Artillery)—40 Chameleon Skinks (5)—120 The Skink Starpriest had the Nimble Command Trait and carried the Light of Dracothion Artefact. The Eternity Warden carried the Blade of Realities Artefact. Of course I enjoyed the benefit of the Lords of Space and Time Battle Trait. Here’s what my opponent set up: Zombies (10, Battleline)—60 Morghast Harbingers (2)—220 Skeleton Warriors (20, Battleline)—160 Vampire Lord (Leader)—120 Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (Leader, Behemoth, General)—440 The Vampire Lord was the type with membranous wings and so could fly. The Vampire Lord on the Zombie Dragon seemed to be equipped with both the Deathlance and the Vampiric Sword. In fact, he seemed to have access to everything on that model’s warscroll, but to be fair, I’m not entirely clear on how those “some are equipped with X while others bear Y” clauses are supposed to work. The General once again had the Red Fury Command Trait, all Death units were making full use of the Deathless Minions Battle Traits (and their banners, in the cases of the Zombies and Skeleton Warriors), and once again, I don’t believe a Death Artefact came into play. He didn’t mention what he had and I forgot to ask. Once again, I turned over a neatly written Pitched Battle Army Roster and he turned over nothing. That’s not that big a deal. Before we started, we had a discussion about rules with each other, with a half dozen other folks standing around, and with refereeing by the store manager. More or less, I got shut down on all points. We measure base to base, that’s fine. We ignore verticality when it comes to measurement for melee attacks. I don’t think that’s fine, but there’s not much I can about it. Nobody much cares about the finer points of model movement when piling in. In fact, as near as I can tell, local culture calls for all models in a given unit to be involved in any given combat with all models in an opposing unit; measurements, movement, and range all kind of get thrown out the window. Again, that’s not my understanding (my newcomer’s understanding, my probably shaky understanding) of the rules, but I’m not gonna be that guy. I do slightly worry about what will happen if I ever play at a non-local tournament having been trained into these habits. Onward. We rolled for the Total Conquest Battleplan which has a crazy, if visually attractive setup map—kind of reminds me of a flag designed for a nation that never needed a flag before the 20th century. I was Player A and went first. The way that map is set up, there are four objectives that you want to take and keep control of. There’s one in your territory, one pretty easy to take in the first round’s movement, and then the opposing player is in the same position with the other two. I set up my Eternal Starhost on the objective in my territory, closely supported by my Skink Starpriest, and moved my Salamander in to take the “easy” objective. I set my Bloat Toad up on my opponent’s “easy” objective, having already used Lords of Space and Time to teleport my Razordon to take control of it, prowling the upper floors of the ruin it was inside. I moved my Ripperdactyls in to close support of the Razordon, which made my opponent shy of rushing in with his Zombies, which I believe was his original idea. Like I said, the first couple of rounds went pretty well. He kept his Skeleton Warriors and Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon back on the objective in his starting territory, and moved everything else at my Razordon. His dice, as they would prove to be throughout the game, were hot, while mine were lukewarm at best. He killed my Razordon, but I managed to get in with my Ripperdactyls with a full on Swooping Dive/Voracious Appetite/Toad Rage combo that took out his Morghast Harbingers. It cost me two Ripperdactyls, though, and the third only hung on one more round. I did, however, score points for controlling three objectives at the end of my first round. The second round was kind of a wash. He killed my last Ripperdactyl and took that objective, and made a failed set of ranged attacks at my Salamander, who, alas, was unable to return the favor because of distance issues. At the end of the second round, I was up on points, and had lost two full units (Ripperdactyls and Razordon, who, by the way, did take out a few Zombies at one point but they of course came back). And then things kind of became an odd reverse mirror image of how they went the other day. He apparently decided he was going to ignore objectives and clear the board of my models. Which, I’m sorry to say, he did, only taking about two and a half rounds to do it. Probability is what it is, and probability lined up on his side today with the dice. But the biggest factor was that there was simply nothing I could do against that Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon. Fourteen wounds with multiple ways to regenerate and multiple saves against every wound received. Putting out 15 melee attacks per round from four weapons with damages of 2, D3, D6, and 2. It just rolled through my units, one at a time. I did manage to counterspell its Blood Boil with my Skink Starpriest’s Artefact, keeping my General alive for one more round than otherwise, but it was pretty dispiriting, really. So, he eventually cleared the table of all my models and took the win. If it had gone to points, he would have still won, but I did score a creditable number, I thought. Overall, I would have been kind of down on myself for the day, except for something he let slip. He was talking to somebody else and mentioned that he does not, in fact, like the Death models. Doesn’t like their lore, doesn’t like their look, doesn’t like painting them. But he feels he’s found the most effective combination in the game so he doesn’t have any choice. He in fact has sold or traded all his other AoS models. And that actually kind of made me feel sorry for him. Playing the game is only about 30% of why I’m in this nested set of hobbies. I don’t think I’d spend the time and money if the only thing I got out of it was winning more battles than my friends did. Anyway, what I really, really noticed was my lack of offensive oomph. We go to 1500 points next week, so I’m going to be looking for ways to keep the battlefield control the Eternal Starhost allows me while gaining some tough, mobile damage dealing. Time to look at my Behemoths, I guess. Oh, one more thing. We drew names at the shop today for the Secret Santa gift exchange at next week’s Christmas Party. One guess as to who I drew.