The Week Three Result, or, Boy, Did That Work as Advertised! On Wednesday, 2nd May, I played the third of four weekly games in my local GW shop’s Spring Age of Sigmar Escalation League. This week was the 1500 point game, played using the rules for a 2000 point Matched Play game. Shop house rules are that measurements are taken base to base and whoever goes first in the first round goes first in all subsequent rounds, so no “double turns.” Games in our League use random draws from three subdecks of the Open War deck to establish the Deployment, the Objective, and a Twist. Every game played each week by all players uses the same cards, which are drawn the day before the week’s games begin (cards already used in League games are discarded so we don’t repeat ourselves). The cards drawn for the game I played were as follows. Deployment: The battlefield was, as is standard for Open War games, 4’x6’. The table was split in a bog-standard half-for-you half-for-me way, straight down the long dimension. Deployment rules for Open War games state simply that units be set up in their own territory, at least 3” from enemy units. Objective: Treasure Hunters. The players take turns to place six objectives. Each objective must be placed more than 6” from any other objectives and the edge of the battlefield. At the start of each player’s turn, they must roll a dice for each objective they control, in any order they wish. If they roll a 6, they have found the hidden treasure—remove the other objectives. The player that controls the hidden treasure at the end of the fifth battle round wins the battle. Twist: Lashing Rain. The lashing rain takes effect from the start of the first battle round. While it is raining, subtract 1 from hit rolls in the shooting phase, and subtract 1 from all runs and charge rolls. Roll a dice at the start of each battle round after the first. On a roll of 4 or more the rain stops (if it was raining in the last battle round), or starts again (if it was not raining in the last battle round). Here’s the army I took. Allegiance: Seraphon Lord Kroak (450) --General --Leader Saurus Astrolith Bearer (160) --Leader --Artefact: Incandescent Rectrices Bastiladon (280) --Behemoth 10 Saurus Warriors (100) --Battleline --Celestite Spears 10 Saurus Warriors (100) --Battleline --Celestite Clubs 40 Skinks (200) --Battleline --Boltspitters and Star-bucklers Razordon (40) --Artillery Salamander (40) --Artillery Reinforcement Points (100) Total Points: 1470 Leaders: 2 of 6 Artillery: 2 of 4 Behemoths: 1 of 4 My opponent was a man named Clay, well-known in the local community for being friendly and welcoming to newcomers. Oddly, though I’ve been frequenting the shop for a while now, we’d never met. His army had the Skaven Skryre allegiance with some other Skaven allied in. I didn’t get the exact numbers on his roster, but it was something very much like this. Arch-Warlock (I believe this was his general) 40 Clanrats (Battleline 1) At least 1 Packmaster Around 3 Poisoned Wind Mortar Weapon Teams 5 Skryre Acolytes 3 Stormfiends (Battline 2) 3 Stormfiends (Battleline 3) Warlock Engineer Reinforcement Points (100) Total Points: 1460 Before I begin my battle report proper, I wish to raise a point. The rules for Pitched Battles include this sentence under the subheading “Army Roster” at page 77 of the General’s Handbook 2017: “Once you have picked your army, record the details on a piece of paper (your army roster), and show it to your opponent before setting up your army at the start of your battle.” I dutifully run off one of the blank roster sheets found on page 112 of that book before every battle and write in all the details of my army. I have never, not once, played an opponent who provided me with a roster. The only reason I bring this up in this battle report is because of something interesting that happened when I handed over my roster. I am sure—sure because he told me after the battle—that my opponent changed his roster based on what I handed him. Specifically, he reserved 100 points for summoning a Balewind Vortex when he saw that I was fielding Lord Kroak and had reserved 100 reinforcement points (though I didn’t put specifically what I was planning to summon on my roster). I’m not suggesting that that is in any way dodgy, but I did find it interesting. Anyway, onward. Before we began setting up our units, we each placed three objectives. The six more or less wound up forming a rectangle in the center of the table about 18” long and about 12” wide, with the objectives taking up the corners and the mid-points of the long axes. We did not roll for scenery (shop culture is that it’s rarely used for anything but cover), but set up a few pieces here and there. I won the top of the game roll-off and, having fewer units to set up, had him begin, knowing I would complete deployment first and thus play in the first turn of each round. He began by deploying his forty Clanrats in a long, one model-deep line across the center of the board, about three inches back from the dividing line between our two territories. I set up my Saurus Astrolith Bearer in a wooded area near the back of my territory. On and on it went, until I finally had a deployment that included control of the three objectives in my territory using my Bastiladon and my two units of Saurus Warriors, the Skinks in the back ready for teleporting, the Salamander and Razordon on either flank, and Lord Kroak near the center, exactly 19” from the closest enemy wizard. Clay held three of his Stormfiends in reserve, but more or less set everything else up in a long line right behind his line of Clanrats. His plan, he told me later, was to tempt me into a charge against that unit and then respond with a lot of shooting. At the beginning of the game, I rolled to see if the Treasure objective was any of the three I controlled. It was not, and I ran the script I’d rehearsed in my head for my first hero phase. First, I rolled for Lord Kroak’s Impeccable Foresight command ability and came up with one potential reroll. Then I had the Astrolith Bearer “set” his Astrolith. Spellcasting time, and I started with Summon Balewind Vortex. I missed the roll by 1, but used the reroll on one of the dice and conjured the whirlwind. Once up top, Lord Kroak cast Mystic Shield on himself, then his three offensive spells. I must admit I cannot give you the exact details of all the mortal wounds dealt to the opposing army, but suffice it to say, at the bottom of my hero phase Clay had removed his Arch-Warlock, his Warlock Engineer, all of his Mortar Teams, all of his Packmasters (however many of them were), and a number of his Skryre Acolytes and Clanrats. The three Stormfiends already on the board escaped relatively unscathed. It was pretty devastating, and my opponent was clearly unhappy. Being a big softie, I elected not to teleport my Skinks into his rear. I think I need to work on my killer instinct, maybe. In the shooting phase, I advanced my Bastiladon and my two artillery units on either flank and fired on the Stormfiends and Clanrats to middling results. One Stormfiend and a number of Clanrats were removed. The Razordon only rolled for five attacks, and my Salamander did not make the “It Burns” roll after its initial successful attack on the Clanrats. In the charge phase, the Bastiladon failed to make it to the Stormfiends, but the Razordon did. And paid the price. It dealt no wounds to the big rats and was slain in response. On the other side of the battlefield, the Salamander took out another couple of Clanrats after a successful charge, and suffered one Wound. In the Battleshock phase, more Clanrats and all the remaining Skryre Acolytes fled. It was now the bottom of Round One, and my opponent’s turn. He began by checking the one objective he now controlled (he’d initially controlled all three in his territory) to see if it was the Treasure, and it was not. I raised the point that it seemed to me that while statistically unlikely, probability actually allowed the possibility that we reach the end of the fifth round without ever determining where the Treasure was. He wasn’t interested in discussing it. He began by bringing his other three Stormfiends up from the underground, where they had burrowed into my backfield. They came up with good shooting range on Lord Kroak and my Skinks. His wizards dead, he had no spellcasting, and no other hijinks to pull that were apparent to me. He did some minor repositioning in the movement phase and unleashed on Lord Kroak. His rolls didn’t go well and mine did, and Lord Kroak suffered one wound. His backfield Stormfiends didn’t make their charge roll versus my Skinks, but the two across the way made it to my Bastiladon. Their clash was inconclusive, with one or two wounds being dealt to each side, but no models removed from the table. No Battleshock rolls were necessary at the bottom of his turn. The second round began and we first determined that it was still raining per the Twist card, so its penalties were still in play. I then rolled seeking the Treasure, and found it in the center of the three objectives I controlled. We removed the other five objectives and I proceeded with my hero phase. Once again, Lord Kroak got off all four of his spells, but this time the wounds dealt were much lower. Some more Clanrats and a Stormfiend died. The only movement I performed was to get all forty of my Skinks into shooting range of his backfield Stormfiends and an advance on his remaining Clanrats with a unit of Saurus Warriors wielding spears with 2” range. In shooting, the Bastiladon took out another Stormfiend, the Skinks did the same, and I completely forgot to shoot with my Salamander. It was an emotional time, y’all. My Warriors made their charge against the line of Clanrats and lost one of their members in the ensuing scrum. The fights between the little rats and the Salamander and the remaining big rat up front and the Bastiladon didn’t amount to much for either side. Battleshock tests were taken, but no models were removed as a result. In the bottom half of the second round, Clay stopped after an ineffectual shooting phase and conceded the game. This was my third victory in the first three League games I’ve played. However, since I did not field a fully painted army, I scored only three points, so I’ve now netted 11 of a possible 12. Sorry for the lack of pictures this week, my phone was about to die during this game. I learned a lot this week. First, yes, “Kroaknado” can be extremely effective against some armies. Second, I’d never seen the tactic of stringing a long line of infantry across a whole front like that, and I’m mildly curious about how effective it would be for me to deploy my Skinks that way sometime. Third, I like going first.