During the week Phil and I fought a 750pt game over my newly constructed battle board. The last time we <a href="http://www.farfaraway.org/blog/2009/08/11/asphyxious-vs-severius-500pt-warmachine-battle-report/">played</a> my Cryxian force got the better of his Menites, but this time I would be using my old reliable Khadorans. We rarely play 750pt games, so I took this opportunity to field eIrusk. This article provides a narrative description of the battle from Irusk's perspective.

750pt Khadoran ArmyDuring the week Phil and I fought a 750pt game over my newly constructed battle board. The last time we played my Cryxian force got the better of his Menites, but this time I would be using my old reliable Khadorans. We rarely play 750pt games, so I took this opportunity to field eIrusk. I really like his non-epic version and have really good success with him. Both versions are support ‘casters that frustrate your enemy and buff your troops and ‘jacks. They can get stuck in when needs be, but you’d want to be sure they get the job done as any retaliation will hurt. I talked about my force construction already for this game, but here’s my list again –

  • Supreme Kommandant Irusk
  • Destroyer
  • War Dog
  • Great Bears of Gallowswood
  • 8 Iron Fang Pikemen
  • Iron Fang Officer & Standard Bearer
  • 3 Man-O-War Shocktroopers
  • Greylord Ternion
  • Widowmakers
  • 4 Battle Mechaniks
  • Man-O-War Kovnik
  • Man-O-War Drakhun (+dismount)
  • Manhunter
  • Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios

That leaves me just a few points shy at 747 points comprising 34 models and 29 VPs. We’re going to play for the ‘caster kill so VPs aren’t going to matter. Phil’s army was relatively ‘jack heavy with four arc nodes, but these were balanced by some solid troop choices –

  • Grand Scrutator Severius
  • Guardian
  • 3 Revengers
  • Choir of Menoth (6)
  • 10 Holy Zealots
  • Monolith Bearer
  • 10 Temple Flameguard
  • Temple Flameguard Officer and Standard Bearer
  • 6 Knights Exemplar
  • Reclaimer
  • 3 Wracks

That comes in at 25 VPs and 46 models and whilst ‘jack/troop balanced is lacking in the solo area.

For this battle report I’m going to try something different and write it as a fictional narrative. It’ll probably be rubbish, but here it goes.

The Battlefield
Irusk had his eyes closed. The wind was picking up and it carried the undulating chanting of the approaching Menites. They had strayed into this newly acquired region of the Khadoran Empire and trespassers, even those who claim to have a God at their side, will not be tolerated. Irusk could sense his men’s readiness. They were a hammer that was poised and he would decide where the blow would land. No one understood the lands and terrain that armies fight over better than he and it would act as his anvil. He would channel the enemy to the point where he wanted them and would then release the hammer, striking them, smiting them.

Even with his eyes shut he could see every detail of the low hill with ruins atop that stood before him. Whilst it might appear to be a strong defensive position to an inexperienced commander, he saw it as a means to divide the enemy’s strength. He committed the Widowmakers forward on his left flank and sent the mercenary Elf with them. He did not trust her, but knew she could slow any opposing ‘jacks that advanced that way. Behind the hill he deployed the Destroyer with whom he had developed a strong bond in the last months. He could sense it’s strength and it’s eagerness to surge towards the enemy. He would have to work to control it as his plan was to use it as a pivotal point in his army, the centre about which he would divide the enemy. The Great Bears had the Iron Fangs under their command and he had ordered them to advance on the right along the dried river bed when the saw enemy in numbers. He was confident that they could deal with any that came that way. He and his entourage, consisting of of a Kovnik, Drakhun, Greylords and the Wardog Ronoyxa, would stay flexible, ready to react to where the enemy sent the bulk of their force, but he was sure it would be the river bed.

On the wind he caught the acrid smell of coal smoke and as he opened his eyes he could see the massive Guardian ‘jack followed closely by spear-armed Temple Flame Guard and possibly Exemplar Knights advancing towards the Widowmakers. So it began.

He barked orders to the Men-O-War to move to the centre, willing them forward with extra speed. His ‘jack held steady whilst the Bears and their Iron Fangs rush up the right. In front of them he could see the smoke of three small ‘jacks in tight formation as they moved along the riverbed. The chanting seemed to be coming from that direction and he knew that the choir of Menoth had strange powers the thwart the efficiency of the Khadoran guns. The Iron Fangs would have no such trouble. A glint of light flashed from atop the hill and amongst a large group of zealots he spotted Severius. He knew the threat range of this old man and his ability to drain magic from the air was disconcerting. He moved his entourage along the river slightly careful to keep the enemy ‘caster in his slights.

The report of the Widowmakers guns caught his ears and he hoped that signified the deaths of Menites. If the Elf did not delay that Guardian ‘jack then he could be in trouble, but the smoke from it did not seem to be closing quickly. In the centre, the Men-O-War were quickly enveloped by the Zealots. Even these maniacs were not foolish enough to use their fire bombs in close combat and the highly armoured Khadorans began wading through them. Irusk ensured the advancing trio of ‘jacks were slowed by turning the previously dry river bed into a quagmire below their feet. The Iron Fang Pikemen charged to engage one of these smaller ‘jacks which now appeared to be Revengers. He would have to deal with all of them as having even one nearby was as dangerous as getting too near Severius. The Great Bears dodged and weaved through the pikemen to engage the second Revenger, but they did not seem to be dealing with it as quickly as he’d expect. More sporadic shots could be heard from the Widowmakers, but they were now less in number. Irusk feared that the left flank would not hold much longer and as if to add insult to injury he felt all the magic surrounding him dissipate forcing a temporary retreat.

The Iron Fangs and Great Bears became enclosed in clouds of ashes as some troopers seemed to disintegrate, but those remaining were slowly dealing with the enemy ‘jacks. Irusk could see Severius focusing his energies towards them. In the centre the Drakhun launched forward towards the third Revenger and totalled it, but the horse fell in the assault. The Guardian appeared on the hill as, almost simultaneously, the depleted Flame Guard and Exemplars rounded its base. This was bad. Irusk only had a few Mechaniks and the Destroyer in that area as the Men-O-War were still engaged with the Zealots in the centre. Without even being ordered the Mechaniks launched themselves at the enemy spearmen, but were cut down to a man.

This bought a little time and he focused his mind on the Destroyer levelling it’s bombard towards the enemy unit. Four fell in the explosion. As they crowded together and began advancing he attempted to halt them, but only felled one. He urged the Greylords forward and they took care of the rest, but were almost wiped out in the process. Eyriss and the Widowmakers were nowhere to be seen, but they had at least reduced the now leaderless Exemplar Knights to three. On the hill the Guardian engaged the Men-O-War over a ruined wall and killed one of them. The others repositioned to engage the remaining Zealots, who had managed to throw some bombs towards the dismounted Drakhun and the Great Bears. Between the bombs and the magics of Severius the right flank wasn’t looking great either.

Urged on by their leader the Exemplars engaged the Men-O-War to the rear and obliterated them as the Guardian rounded the wall in the direction of the Destroyer. A foolhardy Monolith bearer surged towards the Khadoran ‘jack, his attack barely scratching it’s armour. The dog Ronoyxa bounded towards him and lunged at his neck, felling the fanatic and returning to his master’s side. Irusk saw his chance and focused all of his mind on the Destroyer. Through it’s eyes he could see the Guardian become nearer as the Destroyer hurtled at it. He swung hard rending the lance arm from the Guardian’s body and on the backswing took it’s other arm off. The ‘jack wasn’t disabled, but it was essentially neutered. Just as he returned to himself he was nearly thrown off balance by a fire bomb that landed at his feet. He drew his handcannon and dropped the lone Zealot. The Iron Fangs and Great Bears could not be seen from where he was, but there were several casualties lying near the now destroyed Revengers. Again he fired his handcannon, this time killing a Knight. The dog killed another and with an almighty swing of the axe the Destroyer finished the Guardian and the final Exemplar.

It was only now that Irusk noticed that the choir was no longer chanting and that Severius had retreated into a defensive position on the hill. As he surveyed the scene he noticed that there were no other Protectorate troops standing. Severius’ anger caused him to surge forward frying a Manhunter that Irusk himself did not even spot until he went up in flames. This was the chance, time for the Destroyer to Blitzkrieg the enemy warcaster, who would now be finding the ground under his feet turning to thick gorse. The Destroyer swung, but before it could connect the enemy ‘caster dove out of the way and quit the field as quickly as his aged feet could carry him. The day belonged to Khador. Irusk felt every the pain of every man lost, but he was relieved to see the Great Bears pull themselves to standing from amidst the corpses of fallen pikemen. Many good men of the empire had died today, but losing the Bears would have been a severe blow.

So, there it is, my Khadorans emerged victorious when Phil conceded with only Severius left alive (and standing in combat with my Destroyer). I had the Wardog, Kovnik, one Greylord, the Destoyer and the Iron Fang’s Standard Bearer left alive with Irusk. The bit above about the Great Bears is just character fluff. None of them passed tough checks during the game! It was a hard fought battle, but by performing a refused flank and not attempting to take the hill I was able to only fight half of Phil’s force at a time. That said, when the TFG and remaining Exemplar Knights appeared around the hill in good numbers I thought I was in trouble. The ranged ability of the Destoyer and Greylords, coupled with some shots from Irusk and the Kovnik really took care of them. I forget how good Khador can be at range when needs be. Here are all of the photos I took –

That was a epic game!