Warhammer AoS Battle Report: Stormcasts vs Brayherd

Monday, September 11, 2017

Today, I bring you pictures and some thoughts from my friendly 2000pt AoS pickup game from NOVA 2017, Stormcast Eternals vs Brayherd!

Ian's Brayherd looks awesome and really impressive considering he painted the whole thing in under 2 weeks...

Ian has a great narrative write up of our game over on his blog that you should check out:

My report is less detailed as this was my first real game of AoS at this point level so I'm sure there's things I missed but I'll try to touch on the big stuff and my overall impression of AoS in general. Before we get into turn 1, I should briefly mention that I was unsuccessful in completing the 2 units of Judicators on the eve of NOVA; there were more steps to those models than I anticipated haha, but the 2 that are primed metal represent the Judicator Primes. Here's my list:

Also, on the trip down to the hotel, my toddler accidentally trampled my army transporter case that was holding the Stardrake and 3 flying Prosecutors... astonishingly, the damage wasn't too bad, only breaking the drake in 4 places which I was able to repair before this game. Needless to say, I started researching hard shell transport cases ;)

On to the game! We rolled up the Total Conquest Battleplan from the General's Handbook 2017 edition. I won the roll off to place and ultimately go first as I had fewer deployment drops, and only the Stardrake remained in the celestial realm. Here's the board after deployment:

Thoughts going into turn 1: that's a lot of beasts! I know Stormcasts are more of an elite army but I honestly have no idea how well my units can withstand being so outnumbered. I took first turn to give myself a chance to shoot with my Judicators at his left flank and I also deployed my Knight-Venator with a clear shot at Ian's general shaman, one of two casters that are able to summon the mighty Ghorgon. My Star-fated Arrow failed to wound the general, but hey I had to try! I wasn't expecting much from the minimum-sized Judicator units, however rolling well for the Shockbolt wounds really ups the damage output of these squads. On to Ian's turn 1...

And the Ghorgon emerges, front and center staring down my general. I also learn just how fast the Brayherd can hoof it lol

One of the first turn chargers makes it in, tying up the Liberators (for the rest of the game).

I thankfully win the initiative roll and start turn 2. My Stardrake is hungry and smells dinner approaching on the field of battle...

The Stardrake truly puts out an enormous amount of damage! Its Lord of the Heavens / Rain of Stars ability alone consistently put out mortal wounds all across the battlefield that really added up by the end. When close enough, he ate enemies outright with Cavernous Jaws, ravaged the horde with great claws and sweeping tail, not to mention the beat stick that the rider swings with. This unit alone mopped up that region of the board, but not before Ian claimed 3 of 4 objectives for the dark gods, taking a healthy lead on the primary mission.

The other big show down was that Ghorgon taunting my Lord-Celestant on Dracoth. I shoot everything I can at it bringing its wounds count down to something closer to my own general's health, trying to even up that fight before charging in. My general connects big time with his mighty Tempestos Hammer, rolling well on the bonus attacks and the critical D3 damage roll, felling the daemon spawn before it could cause any more nightmares for my army.

That was a huge turn for me eliminating the biggest melee threat and keeping my general alive (and 24" ignore battleshock bubble), but Ian still had control of the board and most of the objectives. The next couple turns saw a lot of melee's play out, some more bloody than others, but I learned that my units were quite resilient across the board. Ignoring battleshock tests was definitely a big help, but not gonna lie, my new purple dice were rolling hot in my favor. But I was going to lose on primary if I didn't make a play for objectives. I had one trick left up my sleeve in the form of the Knight-Vexillor and his Pennant of the Stormbringer. I decided to use this once-per-battle ability on the Knight-Venator, who only had a couple wounds left and was severely outnumbered in combat; riding the winds of the storm, I placed the Venator down on an objective I could actually claim and where he could put some wounds on the Doombull. Now, I just had to hope the large ongoing melee with Liberators & Retributors against Beastigors & Ungors (I think?) swings in my favor so I can snag a 3rd objective and try to even the score...

The dice continued in my favor and I was able to secure the 3rd objective, with just enough turns remaining to catch and pull ahead by 1 point at the very end of the game, 11-10! Wow, what a game! Super bloody, felt like a rollercoaster ride the whole way, and honestly could have gone a completely different direction had Ian gotten double turn on turn 2 or any number of combats thereafter had gone another way.

That's just one of the great things about AoS that I didn't realize until playing the game, just how fun & tactical picking the order of unit activation is each turn. There is a depth to this game that isn't immediately apparent by reading the 4 page rules alone. I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth the game flowed. Sure, I had to reference the warscrolls quite a bit as I was unfamiliar with most of the units on the board (mine included), but we barely had to reference the core rules! I actually thought to myself how complicated and tedious some of the combats/interactions would have been had we been playing 40k haha. The core game may seem simple at first, but it's in that simplicity that the game simply works. The game feels more engaging as there is more player interaction, even in the opponent's turn as you each take turns activating units after the first combat. Overall, the game was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about my army and the game in general. I look forward to playing more AoS soon!

Here's the album link to all the pictures from the game:

And don't forget to check out Ian's battle report of this game over on his blog!

Next up is the Blood Bowl recap :)

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