Sigmar League Round 4: Escalation - Tzeentch vs. Death

 What's up folks! A much-belated write-up for my Age of Sigmar League, Round 4!
 No match this time, my League opponent wasn't able to make it out to two different times we agreed on, so he fell on his proverbial sword and offered the Forfeit, like a true gentleman.

 Escalation is one of the cooler scenarios, so I was bummed not to play it - but I grabbed a pickup game at the store instead, a prep game for Round 5.

 Good ol' Iron Stubble stepped up to the plate, he'd been hankering to try out his Tzeentch army. Tzeentch being my personal favorite of the Chaos Gods, I eagerly accepted. I must admit I was also somewhat eager to face an army that was worse in Combat than mine (which is saying something...)

 This wasn't a League game, and I only decided too late that I wanted to do any sort of write-up, so I have very few pictures. Several of them Glamour shots. Also expect this to be a bit shorter and less detailed than my usual, it was a super-fast game.

 The quick-n-dirty of the Scenario is that it's four Objectives - one in each Deployment Zone, two dead center in each 4x4 table half. At the end of each player turn, that player got 2 points for each central Objective they held, 1 for their Home Objective, and 4 for the Enemy one if the held it. I believe the Objective went to whichever player had more models within 6" of it, no Contesting.

 That said, the cover photo for this post is Army Deployment. Here's a recap:

 I was running more or less my usual: 50x Skeletons (30/10/10), Arkhan the Black, Vampire Lord on Horse, Count Mannfred on Nightmare, 5x Hexwraiths, 10x Skeleton Horse Archers, 10x Black Knights, and my Wight King General with Tomb Blade Relic and Ruler of the Night trait.

 The Tzeentch list was an unusual one compared to anything I've seen before, and had two Battalions in it. I'll never remember all the details, but in short, it was 3x 10-man units of Pink Horrors, 3x Heralds of Tzeentch (one on Disc), two Lords of Change, two Exalted Flamers, a Sorceror on foot and a Burning Chariot.

 In short, it didn't really look like much. It's a small list, and mostly made up of Pink Horrors, which players love to talk smack about!

 I had fewer units to set up, so I had the choice of first turn. I chose to give it to him, because neither of us would be in range to Charge or Shoot, so I wanted him to move first on the off chance I could make some of those Charges in my follow-up.

 As it so happens, I did! My Hexwraiths, buffed with Mystic Shield made the Charge on the unit of Pink Horrors holding that Objective. Count Mannfred, who is a little bit slower, did not make the Charge, but hoped to do some mop-up.

 He'd gotten two points for this Objective and one for his Home Objective, so started first turn with 3 points, and in such a way that it would be hard for me to take this one. Still, I tried, the Hexwraiths dropped these little buggers down to a handful of models (four, I think) but the little buggers stuck their Bravery.

 After this Combat, we rolled off for Turn 2 and I double-turned. That would have made for a very, very different game had we decided to play it out that way, but we didn't. We decided to keep the turn order the same as we'd started because we didn't want the game to just *end* right there.
 That said, considering how the rest of the game went, we probably should have played it with my double-turn. Because...

 Then THIS happened. I knew his list was a Shooting list, but I was totally unprepared for the sheer volume, accuracy, and devastating damage it's able to blast out. The Pink Horrors alone put out quite a few shots as a normal Attack, but the Exalted Flamer and the Chariot, plus spells from the Herald, just wiped my Hexwraiths instantly.

 In a hilariously Tzeentchy moment, they also laid into Count Mannfred and brought him down to a single Wound (uh oh), but, because Chaos and a particularly bad (or GREAT!) roll, the crazy-ass spell that should have done that final Wound and then some wound up *Healing* Mannfred for d3 - which turned in to 3. So he went from full health, down to 1, then back up to 4 in the same Hero Phase. That about made my week!

 My Black Knights and Vampire Lord also made the Charge. This is where lack of pictures get's problematic, because I don't remember if this was my Turn 2 or my Turn 3. Probably 2 - moving on.

 My Knights rolled in juiced up on the Charge (where they get +1 to Wound and Damage), rolled a mountain of mighty, mighty attacks!
 ...And did three Wounds. And killed two Horrors. Sigh. As much as I tell myself before every game "Black Knights are bad in combat, don't expect too much" it's still comedic just how terrible it can go. They stuck in and won Combat, but that was about all I can say for them. The Vampire Lord, on the other hand, killed half of the unit she Charged, but took three Wounds in the process (after healing).

 The turn after this, those Lords of Change got involved. They're not as good as a lot of heavy-hitting units, but they're still Monsters, and they had very little trouble dealing with my poor Cavalry.

 The game went badly very quickly. Every unit I put within 18" lasted a turn, maybe too, with the rare exception of my Archers who were shot at less and rolled some screamin' hot Death saves and my Skeletons, of whom there were a giant mountain, so they just took time to dig through.
 Even there though, the ranged superiority of a pure Tzeentch army shined. I like to put Heinrich Kemmler in my Skeletons unit, so he can be almost un-killable with his 2+ shunt to Skeletons. But, those Wounds he takes are Shunted as Mortal Wounds, so they actually become far more potent against the Skeletons than they would have been, which Iron Stubble used to great effect to trim down my Skeleton unit more quickly with things like the Pink Horrors basic attacks. I would normally have gotten a 5+ save (no Rend on Ancient Shields) followed by a 5+ Death save (from Ruler of the Night) - but shooting Kemmler forced me to shunt or let him die (which might have been a better option?)
 Arkhan was wiped in a single round of shooting, per usual. Even in armies with far less shooting, that tends to happen :P
 He did, however, successfully fire off Curse of Years and just obliterate a Herald (and fortunately a Lord of Change didn't Unbind it!) We even rolled it out after though, and it would have done enough wounds to one-shot a Lord of Change. Ah well, missed opportunity!

 Because everything that got within 18" of his walls of death just disappeared, he was also wrecking me on Objectives, getting 3-5 per turn where I was getting 1, and 3 on some rare lucky turns.

 Near the end of the game though, I got bold. My Archers peppered that lone Sorcerer holding his Home Objective and Kemmler busted out the hail-mary of all hail-mary Arcane Bolts, killing the Sorcerer. He then used his 2d6" teleport to jump up and take the home Objective. Woo! Personal goal!
 When I'm losing, I like to have a specific goal that isn't necessarily about winning, but about accomplishing *something* cool and difficult. This was a good one :)

 It helps when it's a particularly dramatic moment :D

 Note my Wight King is still alive here, but that didn't last long...

 OOoooOOOoooHhh! Swirly green magic ball!

 And, scene.
 It was a real fast game, and tons of fun! But holy hell did I get my ass kicked. Not the usual ass-kicking either, but a sound, resounding, smack right on the chin. Tzeentch is a very unusual army, and while I'm sure there are many armies out there that won't struggle with it so much, I sure did.

 One thing we were both bummed about, if a Lord of Change Unbinds a spell, it learns that spell and can cast it freely for the rest of the game. The only time his Lords of Change successfully unbound my stuff it was Arcane Bolt (but it was a close thing with Curse of Years!)

 I know my army isn't as competitive as it easily could be, and I'm still a real n00b player, but this was a particularly challenging (and fun!) game. It was also back-to-back with my League match Round 5, which was also against Chaos. A solid 6-7 hours of CHAOS!

 Hope you liked this one :) wait for my rematch against the greater threat of Chaos beyond Tzeentch!