Handful of Points Escalation League: Session Five

Last month we at the Handful of Dice offices were bested by that great nemesis of all gaming groups: scheduling conflicts. But we’re back this month! And at 1500 points this time; more and bigger guns will hit the field, but the sheer amount of stuff we now have in our armies also means we can’t get away with undersized tables anymore, so we only have one game this time.

This month was a Chaos-off between the Slaves to Darkness and Hedonites of Slaanesh, and the last use of the General’s Handbook Season 2 before we rotate to the new one next month. Now, on to the lists.

Kristian’s army list

Army Faction: Slaves to Darkness
– Subfaction: Host of the Everchosen
– Grand Strategy: Bring Ruin to the Realms
– Triumph: 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 Sorcerer Lord (120)
– Mark of Chaos: Nurgle
– Spells: Chaotic Conduit, Warp Reality
– Aspects of the Champion: Stubborn as a Rhinox

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

Gorebeast Chariot (115)*
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
– Chaos Greatblade and Lashing Whip

*Chaos Warband
– Unified

TOTAL POINTS: 1475/1500

Ben’s army list

Army Faction: Hedonites of Slaanesh
– Army Type: Invaders
– Grand Strategy: Glutton for Depravity

Keeper of Secrets (400)
– General
– Command Traits: Hurler of Obscenities
– Shining Aegis
– Spells: Pavane of Slaanesh

Lord of Pain (140)
– General
– Artefacts of Power: Icon of Infinite Excess
– Aspects of the Champion: Stubborn as a Rhinox

Syll’Esske (200)
– General

Hellstriders with Hellscourges (160)

Hellstriders with Hellscourges (160)

Myrmidesh Painbringers (150)

Hellflayer (130)

The Dread Pageant (140)

Fane of Slaanesh (0)

TOTAL POINTS: 1480/1500

This is a very interesting match up on paper. We both have the same amount of units but our killing power is in very different places. History has shown time and again that the chosen do the Dark Gods’ work, but if Ben’s Keeper touches anything it’s probably not going to survive. As such, we are both incentivized to dodge each other’s killier pieces while carrying out our plans for the game, this is much easier for the speedy Hedonites than the footslogging Slaves, but you’ll have to read on to see how it went.

Battleplan: Battlelines Drawn

Battlelines Drawn is an interesting plan where the table quarters are the objectives, rather than having actual objective points on the board. We both liked it, it was different from what we’re used to in Age of Sigmar and hearkened back to the games of Fantasy we would play as kids, good stuff.

Round one was decidedly uneventful. I took the first turn with my low drops and slowly made my way up the field, claiming three quarters. On his turn, Ben ran along the edges of the board to contest them; our armies just stared at each other angrily.

Round two was a lot more exciting; once more I got the first turn and charged my lord into Ben’s own, while the chosen were just out of reach…For now. A mighty duel was had in the centre of the board, at the end of which my lord on Karkadrak stood triumphant; Ben moved his Painbringers in to try and claim vengeance but it was not to be.

Things were looking good for me as I rolled my Eye of the Gods table for having slain an enemy hero. And I rolled snake-eyes. My might lord and his trusty steed were promptly transformed into a chaos spawn. Surely things couldn’t get worse right?

On Ben’s turn he moved one unit of seekers and the chariot to continue contesting the top right corner, while the Dread Pageant took a pot shot at my lordly spawn. Then, in a dire turn, his Keeper charged my knights, which isn’t how it’s supposed to go. The knights quickly folded either to damage or the ensuing moral, but the spawn faired better by weathering the Painbringer attacks long enough for my chosen to consolidate into the combat (which neither of us had noticed when Ben was doing his own consolidation) and lift them.

Round three and Ben claims the double turn. At this point he’s garnered enough depravity to summon a unit of Daemonettes in the far corner behind his Fane and far away from my ability to deal with them. Ben kept most of his stuff at a safe distance from the chosen, hoping to force me to use command points on the charge rerolls, but he gleefully ran his Keeper into my Theridons. Two of the Ogroids go down, but the third one gets some licks in before bravely running away.

On my turn the charges go my way; both chosen arrive at their destinations to remove Ben’s units from the top right quarter, my spawn throws itself at the Dread Pageant with the hope of doing some chip damage, and the Daemon Prince charges into the wounded Keeper. The chosen clean up, but at this point if they did otherwise I’d be disappointed; the spawn dies in a flail of tentacles, as expected. However the Prince did very little to the Keeper, only to get mulched in return.

The last two rounds rapidly run away from me, mostly because of how fast the Hedonites are. My chosen are too far away to touch anything, and too few to control enough quarters for scoring. You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned my chariot at all, and that’s because it did bubkis. It slowly did doughnuts in the centre of the field, charging into combat once only to do nothing before being stepped on by the Keeper. The final score was close though, but Ben was able to score his Grand Strategy while I was not, meaning Ben won by three points.

Ben: There were a few great bits of luck for me in this game. An enemy lord turning himself into a spawn is the best you can hope for when he’s barreling into the middle of your army.

The objectives being table quarters rather than fixed points was also a huge benefit. It’s very hard to avoid a confrontation when you’re pressing into a circle, and I knew I was going to have to avoid confrontations.

The extra space meant I could pressure more of the board and try and pull my heavily armoured but relatively plodding opponent into bad spots.

The chosen did their deadly work but ended up stranded in the centre of the board, while deamonettes and seekers jeered at them from the far edges, and it was just about enough. The keeper really overperformed and tied the whole thing together, keeping my flush with mortal wounds and depravity points by doing so.

The next editions to the army should probably be a bit of range, to help me consistently offer depravity dice with less risks taken. A unit of Blissbarb archers would do this nicely, but the more time passes the more the mammoth task of painting my Keeper fades to a fond memory, and the whispered praise of Synessa may be too much to resist…

Next time we move to 1750 points and a new General’s Handbook. The winds of magic are blowing, and my Slaves to Darkness need to change with the times.

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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