Phil wrote up an excellent campaign (based on my ANNIHILATION campaign rules) that we began playing through last night.

It pitches Legion and Circle against each other in a struggle for control of the Rustwood, a traditional stronghold of the Orboros druids. The area has strategic importance to Everblight as his forces seek to keep the specific locations of the remaining two pieces of the Scourge Bringer secret. By extending their control into the Rustwood they can protect the eastern approach. Everblight has tasked Absylonia and Saeryn, accompanied by a beast heavy force, to this task.

The campaign will be played using VASSAL and last four games – 25pt, 25pt, 35pt and 50pt. This gives each player 108pts (80% of the total) for their starting force. Remember, in ANNIHILATION casualties carry forward, reducing your pool of available troops. Each of the four games is a standard SR2011 radial scenario which Phil has written custom fluff for. Here’s the battle report for the first game.

Game 1

For the first game we were playing with 25pt forces over the Sacrifice scenario. My army was a Tier 4 Absylonia Theme force comprising the following:

    Faction: Absylonia – Winds of Change
    Points: 25/25
    Tiers: 4
    Absylonia, Terror of Everblight (*5pts)
    * Harrier (2pts)
    * Shredder (2pts)
    * Shredder (2pts)
    * Stinger (2pts)
    * Angelius (8pts)
    * Carnivean (10pts)
    The Forsaken (2pts)
    The Forsaken (2pts)

In a recent tournament I saw how effective the Angelius is with Absylonia. Forced Evolution gives it an impressive DEF 16 and P+S of 16, which is Armor Piercing. I have a choice of either Carnivore or Playing God as the upkeep on the Carnivean, but as Phil’s force had few living models Playing God made a good choice. The only real advantage it gave was Reach, but a Carnivean with Reach is amazing as it affects all three of his melee weapons!

Phil went with a Moshar Tier 2 force:

    Faction: Mohsar – Sandstorm
    Points: 25/25
    Tiers: 2
    Mohsar the Desertwalker (*5pts)
    * Gorax (4pts)
    * Woldwarden (9pts)
    * Woldwarden (9pts)
    Sentry Stone (Leader and 3 Manikins) (3pts)
    Stoneward and 5 Woldstalkers (5pts)

0 DeploymentPhil won the starting dice roll and deployed in the bottom right. He repositioned the Woldstalker unit thanks to a tier benefit after seeing my deployment. All of my lessers were advanced deployed and the two heavies got to advance move thanks to tier benefits. It was obvious from deployment that neither of us were going to make a serious play for the scenario. I had options with the placement of my Forsaken and Harrier, but the POW 20 from the Sacrifice would kill them. In an attrition-based campaign that’s undesirable!

Round 1
1 BOn his first turn Phil pushed forward aggressively and put out a load of Pillars of Salt. Pillar of Salt is great against Legion as it blocks Eyeless Sight, which specifically hurt the Angelius’ offensive punch. After casting the spells above I also pushed forward fast with the Angelius moving down the right and the Carnivean moving towards the control zone. I put its aniums up and dropped Blight Field in front of it to prevent Phil from smashing it up too badly if he chose to charge in with a Woldwarden.

Round 2
2 BOn his next turn Phil laid into the Carnivean at range. He first cast Curse of Shadows (via a Woldwarden) on to the Carnivean, effectively neutralising its animus, and then shot it up with the Woldstalkers. This did a lot of damage, but not enough to take it out. Again he dropped down several Pillars, primarily to thwart my heavies. He also put Sunhammer up to damage my beasts as the moved in Moshar’s control area. The Sentry Stone snuck in to steal a fury from the Carnivean.

On my turn I reckoned I could sneak the Carnivean around the Pillar in front of it to get Reach on the Woldwarden that had cast Curse of Shadows against it. First I needed to get Absylonia moving. I was afraid of losing branches on the lessers to Sunhammer and since the Carnivean had a good bit of damage on it I feated. I also cast Blight Field where I expected the Carnivean to end up and camped the remaining three fury in anticipation of Moshar’s feat. The Carnivean did indeed have enough movement to creep around the Pillar and Sentry Stone to get into Melee with the Woldwarden. With only DEF 10 I hit with every attack and totalled it. The Forsaken came up to remove the Fury from the Carnivean. The Angelius flew over the Pillars in front of it and used Overtake to strike and kill four Woldstalkers. It managed to engage the rest of that unit and the Gorax. Finally I flew the Harrier in to harrass the remaining Woldwarden.

Round 3
3 BThis round is where things really hotted up. Phil did indeed feat and placed more Pillars of Salt. He then decided to focus his energy on destroying the Angelius. The Gorax pummeled it, but failed to destroy it. It’s high DEF and inability to be knocked down saved it. On the right the Woldwarden almost one shotted the Harrier – the second hit did the job. The Sentry Stone managed to fill up on Fury, warped into a prime location and produced three Mannikens. These were placed in front of Absylonia and the Forsaken and Stinger near her.

On my turn I couldn’t leech any fury, but I saw an opportunity to put a lot of hurt on Moshar. With only the Woldwarden as a viable transfer target (Gorax was full of Fury) I hoped to destroy it with the Carnivean. Before all of that I had to take some Frenzy checks. The Angelius passed (pretty amazing given it had 4 Fury on it!) and the Shredder nearest the Stoneward frenzied, but failed to hit him (rolling 5 on 3D6). With the Angelius free to activate the plan was on. The Carnivean again crept around the edge of a Salt Pillar to engage a Woldworden and again he totalled it. Absylonia activated next, she healed the Angelius for 1 point, bringing it back to fully functional, she then dispatched two Mannikens with her claws and finally cast Blight Field defensively. The unengaged Forsaken moved up and removed a Fury from the Angelius (for once I was thankful of the Sentry Stone – it stole a Fury last turn which allowed him to do this!). The Angelius swung around and (boosted) hit Moshar with a P+S 18 strike dropping him to about 4 boxes. The second Forsaken killed the third Manniken and the Stinger hit the Sentry Stone for 6 damage at range.

Round 4
4 BPhil was very much on the back foot and in his turn he was trying to protect Moshar, but this was nearly impossible. The Gorax and Moshar double teamed on the Angelius is a bid to destroy it, but again its high defense kept it (just about) alive. The Sentry Stone warped back to place three Manniken between the Carnivean and Moshar.

In my turn I activated Absylonia first, she again healed the Angelius and then walked over to the Sentry Stone and destroyed it. This left both the Angelius and Carnivean in position to take the Furyless Moshar down. The Angelius took the final swing of the game felling the Circle warlock.

This was a fun game and my first time using Absylonia. I have to say she is great fun! ‘m pretty pleased with how this game went. I should have used the Shredder to destroy the Stonewarden as every death counts in an ANNIHILATION campaign, but taking out the Gorax may have left me unable to kill Moshar.

Roll on Game 2…