Handful of Points Escalation League: Session Four

The Handful of Points Escalation League is back! After a month off where we relaxed and played skirmish games we jumped into our 1250 point games. Now we can start bringing out the big guns and synergies that are throttled at lower points values, and my scary Slaves to Darkness start getting a little less scary as a result. Now a quick aside before we begin: due to unforeseen circumstances we were forced to change venues at the last minute, so if you notice Tupperware terrain (patent pending) in the pictures, that will be why.

With that out of the way, let’s get straight to the list for this month.

Kristian’s army list

Army Faction: Slaves to Darkness
– Subfaction: Host of the Everchosen
– Grand Strategy: Bring Ruin to the Realms
– Triumphs: Inspired

Slaves to Darkness Daemon Prince (170)
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
– Wings
– Daemonic Axe

Chaos Lord on Karkadrak (200)
– General
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
– Command Traits: Favoured of the Pantheon
– Artefacts of Power: The Conqueror’s Crown

Chaos Chosen (240)
– Mark of Chaos: Nurgle
– Skull Drummer
– Exalted Champion
– Icon Bearer

Chaos Chosen (240)
– Mark of Chaos: Nurgle
– Exalted Champion
– Icon Bearer
– Skull Drummer
– Ensorcelled Banner: The Eroding Icon

Chaos Knights (220)
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
– Doom Knight
– Standard Bearer
– Hornblower
– Cursed Lance
– Ensorcelled Banner: The Banner of Rage

Ogroid Theridons (170)
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
– Thorakon
– Banner Bearer
– Charge-caller
– Goroan Great Axe

TOTAL POINTS: 1240/1250

My Chaos Lord dedicated himself to Khorne and got a lizard, that does mean I lose out on having a Galletian Champion but if I remove my opponent’s then it won’t matter, or at least that’s the plan. My game plan was for the Lord to go off one side with the knights while my prince babysat the Theridons on the other; the Chosen would claim objectives and mop up whatever was left from the first wave.

Escalation League Game One: Slaves to Darkness vs Nighthaunt

My game this month was against Niall (not our editor) and his delightful Nighthaunt. I use the word delightful quite wrongly.

Niall’s army list

Army Faction: Nighthaunt
– Subfaction: The Scarlet Doom
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line

Kurdoss Valentian (210)

Reikenor the Grimhailer (190)
– Spells: Lifestealer

Lord Executioner (130)

Cairn Wraith (100)
– General – Command Traits: Lingering Spirit
– Artefacts of Power: Reaper of Sorrows


Bladegheist Revenants (180)

Chainrasps (110)

Hexwraiths (180)

Spirit Hosts (130)

TOTAL POINTS: 1230/1250

This was Niall’s second game of Age of Sigmar and my first encounter with Nighthaunt, and I want to applaud Niall for remembering most of the overwhelming volume of special rules the ghosts have, even I would have struggled. Those special rules are annoying by the way, as you will soon see. Our battleplan was Twists and Turns, a scenario in which the objectives randomly become active or inactive while controlled…fun?

I finished deploying first and decided to take first turn, this ended up being a mistake as I was nowhere close to being able to make any of my charges, and left all my fastest units exposed to Niall’s own. For those who don’t know: when Nighthaunt units charge the enemy you make a note of what the charge value was and then the poor enemy they charged into gets a debuff depending on the roll, either -1 to hit, -1 to save, or fight last. Couple this with the fact that all the rend of my attacks would be impotent against the Nighthaunt’s Ethereal ability and I was in for sad combat.

The revenants and Reikenor slammed into my Theridons and Prince, leaving one ogroid standing on one wound and chipping into the prince who got some licks back on Reikenor. On the other flank, the Hexwraiths charged my knights and began the long grind that would become known as “Horse Wars”.

Next round Niall deploys his reserve units: Kurdoss Valentian, the Lord Executioner, and the chainrasps. Unfortunately for Niall however, my Chosen have begun closing the distance and one of them charges into the Bladegheists, lifting the entire unit in one round of punching. My lord similarly engages with the Spirit Hosts and sees them off too. On the flank, Horse Wars continue.

Round 3 and Kurdoss joins the fray against the Chosen. And promptly receives 16 attacks to the face, dying immediately. It isn’t all roses for Chaos though; the prince has fallen to Reikenor’s scythe, while the Cairn Wraith and Lord Executioner have ganged up on my chaos lord. Horse Wars continue. Reikenor blows out a candle in the direction of my remaining Theridon, killing it dead, and then proceeds to bravely fly away in the direction of the hero fight in the middle of the field while my second Chosen have been delayed by some very brave Chainrasps.

It takes a while, but one unit of Chosen eventually meets up with my chaos lord in time to see him valiantly slay Reikenor before being felled himself. Luckily they mop both heroes in return. At this point, a single Hexwraith stands victorious in the Horse Wars, and spends the remainder of the game playing keep-away from my Chosen whilst stealing objectives from me. The final score is 17 all: Niall scored most if not all of his battle tactics and grand strategy, but I held most of the objectives for the game’s duration. My first not-win.

Escalation League Game Two: Soulblight Gravelords vs Hedonites of Slaanesh

Arron and Ben both got shiny new 3rd edition Battletomes for this month and wanted to try them against each other. Obviously I was busy playing my game with Niall so I reached out to both of them for comments about how their game went.

The eagle-eyed among you will notice my chaos lord moonlighting as a lord of pain

Arron’s army list

Army Faction: Soulblight Gravelords
– Army Type: Vyrkos
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumph: Inspired

Belladamma Volga (170)*
– Artefacts of Power: Ulfenkarni Phylactery
– Spells: Spirit Gale

Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (440)*
– General
– Command Traits: Hunter’s Snare
– Deathlance
– Spells: Vile Transference

Ivya Volga (135)*

Dire Wolves (130)*
– Doom Wolf

Deathrattle Skeletons (170)*
– Skeleton Champion

Askurgan Trueblades (180)*
– Askurgan Exemplar
– Curseblood
– Elongated Claws and Slavering Maw
– Paired Askurgan Blades

*Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: 1225/1250

Ben’s army list

Army Faction: Hedonites of Slaanesh
– Army Type: Pretenders

Keeper of Secrets (400)
– Spells: Phantasmagoria

Syll’Esske (215)

Lord of Pain (135)
– General
– Command Traits: Monarch of Lies
– Artefacts of Power: Sceptre of Domination

Hellstriders with Hellscourges (160)

Hellstriders with Hellscourges (160)

Hellflayer (130)

TOTAL POINTS: 1200/1250

Arron: We called it at the end of Rd3 as a win for me with a score of 18-15(?).

I started off launching the Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (VLOZD) in quite aggressively for a titanic duel against his Keeper, but the keeper (with help from the Lord of Pain) took down the VLOZD with relative ease. As we got stuck in more, Ivya Volga and the Askurgan Trueblades basically nullified the keeper and eventually won that engagement.

I absorbed quite a lot of wounds to prevent Ben’s Depravity early on as I knew I could regain a lot of wounds/models, but as things got a little more tense his Depravity score started to increase. Outside of that main engagement Ben’s attacks were mostly successful, but I think what won it was the number of summons, revives and late reinforcements that kept me with a solid force on the table at all times.

Ben: I got 7-9 depravity a turn from Euphoric Killers, entirely from killing wolves. The summoned wolves took a lot of wounds from some Hellstriders with Hellscourges, while the others were killed by Syll’Eske.

Offering dice was good fun but Arron almost always took the wounds. It was particularly good when offered on a save to a low health hero but if they could survive the wounds they were likely to take them and heal back up later but if the wounds might kill them I could get the depravity.

The Keeper providing a free temptation every combat phase. I ended the game on 46 depravity despite having 2-3 dice left over almost every round.

We’ll be back next month and are going to be hitting 1500 points. I’m just going to fetch my wizard hat and practice some magic in time for the next game.

Did you enjoy this update on our escalation league? Let us know in the comments! If you want to support the site you could always tip us a bit of change to feed our plastic crack habit, or get some great deals on wargaming and table top gaming products through our Element Games referral link. They have great offers on Age of Sigmar and a wide range of other Warhammer and accessories if you want to start your own escalation league. Make sure you’re following us on Instagram to stay up to date and get involved in our community by sharing pictures of your projects with us!

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