Bloodstone Marches – Battle of Hawksmire River

Bloodstone MarchesAfter talking about it for a while but never committing, my gaming group finally decided to start up the Theater of War presented in the Hordes: Evolution book. For those unfamiliar, the Theater of War is a map-base campaign system Privater Press has created for their miniature games. The first two theaters were created for Warmachine – The Battle for the Thornwood (in Apotheosis) and The City of Sul (No Quarter 8 ) – before the Bloodstone Marches was released for Hordes in Evolution.

Players create detachments from which they can draw their forces to attack each other’s territory. In addition to lands claimed, players accumulate Victory Points each battle which they can spend for various boons. Overall victory is achieved either through claiming a certain number of territories or winning the three Strategic Scenarios for your faction.

For our campaign Saultydog would be manipulating the druidic order of the Circle Orboros (the blue territories) Prorpger would be rallying the scattered Trollblood forces (the purple territories), and I would be leading the draconic Legion of Everblight (the red territories). We decided to allow proxies for the length of the campaign to allow us to try out some of our new models and see how they worked for us.

For the first round initiative was determined by a die roll. I won and elected to use my attack against the Circle to try for my first Strategic Objective and my attack against the Trollbloods to attack the long purple mountaneous area in the center of the map to try to get closer to my third Strategic Objective. Josh declared the final attack of the round against Prorpger at his own first Strategic Objective.

I decided to go ahead and do a battle report for each of the Strategic Objective battles, starting with my first one (the only game we were able to play). At th very least it would give me some more content to post up here. So without further delay…

Destroy Sacred Orboros Stones: Hawksmire River
Sunday, October 7th, 2007

For the Legions first Strategic Objective, I had to destroy at least five of eight Orboros keystones to help cripple the Circle’s power. These 1″ diameter stones were arranged equidistant around a hill located in the Circle’s half of the table. Each column was ARM 18 and could take 15 damage points before being destroyed. If a column was destroyed by a melee attack, it would violently release the energy contained within, causing the model to suffer a boosted POW 14 damage roll. In addition time was of the essence – with my attack coming from an adjacent territory the game would go to Hammertime after eight rounds.

Everblight – Myself

  • Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight
  • Carnivean x2
  • Seraph
  • Shredder x2
  • Harrier
  • Gudrun the Wanderer (Proxied by a Devout)
  • Blighted Swordsmen x10
  • Striders

I selected my Thagrosh detachment for the stones, trusting Draconic Blessing and two Carniveans to tear into the stones and survive their explosions without any significant damage. My hope was to win the initiative roll and use Slipstream to could get to the stones first round and start the carnage early.

Circle Orboros – SaultyDog

  • Kruger the Stormwrath
  • Woldwarden
  • Warpwolf
  • Gorax
  • Alten Ashley
  • Farrow Bone Grinders x4 (Proxied by Pirates)
  • Druids of Orboros x6
  • Shifting Stones x2
  • Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew
  • Tharn Ravagers x5
  • Tharn Wolf Riders x4 (Selecting the Striders as their prey for The Hunt)

SaultyDog brought Krueger, his usual anti-Legion warlock. I wasn’t a fan of the balding druid but at least I didn’t have too many single wound infantry for his feat to chew up. At least nothing I saw was going to change my strategy. I just needed to get the job done before Tornado, Forked Lightning, and Krueger’s Feat started messing with my plans.

As the defender, SaultyDog got to place most of the terrain. Since we decided to do the campaign spontaneously, we didn’t have time to create the necessary terrain so used what we had. He placed a pair of hills around the central hill at 11 o’clock and 3 o’clock. A building was placed at 9 o’clock, forest at 7’oclock, and a pond (shallow water) at 5 o’clock. Without any good columns handy we subbed in some bottles of P3 paint. They were inelegant but sufficient. I added a couple of linear obstacles to my side to help provide cover during my advance. With Wings and All-Terrain my beasts wouldn’t be slowed down by them but they might give my forces a nice defensive buff during the approach. I won the roll for initiative and opted to go first.

Board Layout

Deployment

Thagrosh and the larger beasts all went on the front of my deployment zone. After checking Thagrosh’s control area I confirmed that liberal use of Slipstream would let me get to at least one column. The Swordsmen got sprinkled around the right side of my forces and the lesser warbeasts to the left.

Legion Main BodyLegion Advance Deployment

SaultyDog put Krueger, the Warpwolf, the Gorax, and the Bone Grinders just to the left of center. The Tharn were placed just to the right of Krueger, then the Woldwarden and Druids down the line. The Wolf Riders were spread out, two on each side of his lines.

Circle Left Flank Circle Right Flank

As pictured above, for Advance Deployment I placed Gudrun and the Striders behind the house on the left flank. SaultyDog countered by putting a unit of Shifting Stones to either side of the circle of columns. Alten hid out behind the stones on the right flank, waiting for a shot at my Carniveans.

Turn 1

Everblight

I started with the beasts. The Seraph slipstreamed one of the Carniveans and flew up into the woods. It shot at the 7 o’clock column, rolled 5 for extra attacks, and with some good rolls on boosts destroyed the column outright. The Slipstreamed Carnivean then charged the near column, wrecking it in melee and taking 3 points of damage from the explosion. Then the second (unpainted) Carnivean advanced and sprayed the 4 o’clock column, boosting damage and doing a good 8 points of damage. The swordsmen ran to fill in the gap then Thagrosh cast Death Shroud, healed the damage on the Carnivean from the explosion, and charged the front Carnivean for extra distance, failing when he hit the obstacle. The Shredders cast Tenacity on Thagrosh and the Seraph and advanced, and the Harrier brought up the rear.

Up on the Advance Deployment lines, the Striders shifted over and CRA’ed the 9 o’clock column. I had to leave a gap for Gudrun’s base so they couldn’t do a 6-man; instead I did a 2-man (that did no damage) and a 4-man (that did 2 damage). Finally Gudrun charged the column, did 6 more damage, and used Binge Drinking to knock himself down. I figured Feign Death would keep him safe from Krueger and Ranged attacks, insuring he’d be around for a couple more rounds.

Carniveans Hungry AD Goes to Work

Circle

After seeing me kill two columns and half the damage on two more, Josh had to run his army forward to try to stop me. The only models that didn’t run were Krueger and Alten. Krueger cast Sky Borne, advanced towards Gudrun, and feated, placing two templates on the Striders and one on the painted Carnivean and two Swordsmen. He wanted the unpainted Carnivean so a frenzy would send it into his painted cousin but the beast was just out of range. Three Striders died and the rest made their command check. The Carnivean took no damage but the Swordsmen behind him both died.

Circle Rush

Turn 2

Everblight

I leeched the Fury off my beast leaving three on the painted Carnivean and one on each Shredder, who passed their Frenzy checks. Gudrun stood and finished his column. The painted Carnivean advanced and sprayed, catching a shifting stone, two columns (destroying the closer already damaged one and doing a couple points to the second), and Alten Ashely (boosting to hit to kill him). The unpainted Carnivean trampled over the Shifting Stones and bought attacks on the column but rolled crappy and couldn’t finish it off. Finally the Seraph flew up out of the woods around Krueger’s feat AOEs and shot it, destroying the fifth column I needed to win.

End Game Feated Striders

Post Mortem

This scenario was pretty uninspiring. Given Legion’s speed and how hard they can hit, the odds were in their favor. Combined with decent terrain placement and winning the initiative roll, the game just wasn’t that fun. I think Circle can do a few things to help their defense, one of which is try to block off the Legion’s movement. Forests or other types of rough terrain won’t help but using buildings or other obstructions would at least funnel the Legion and slow them down a bit. Still, an unfortunately blah game.

War Chest

  • Legion: +1 VPs (1 Total)
  • Circle: +1 VPs (1 Total)

Result: Victory for Legion, Strategic Objective 1 complete.

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