In my opinion, empire are one of the best match ups for daemons. Their huge blocks of infantry, supported by a warrior priest or 4 (hatred, unbreakable etc), war alter, steam tanks, cannons, mortors, mass shooting, good magic, heavy cavalry, detatchments, the list goes on.
So after me and stuart received a bit of a mauling at the hands of this empire army with our lizardmen (I somehow managed to write a list with no magic), we opted for the rematch but this time with daemons. Stuart couldn’t make this one, so I’d have to wing it myself.
My dear wife was abroad for a few days so we had the living room floor available and if it went on too long, we could leave everything on the floor and start where we left off the next evening (bonus for me as I could read their army lists and measure out all the distances……….as if I would).
So onto the army lists. I knew they’d take a similar army to the last one and that it would be pretty tough.
Before I run through my list its probably worth ‘fessing up that as I write this I noticed that my list was very slightly illegal as I didn’t count up my core correctly. I needed 5 core for 4000pts and I had 3 blocks of plaguebearers, 1 block of horrors and some furies (which don’t count towards core). Actually the list was fine, I had the horrors down as 2 units of 10, but when I put them on the table I put them down as one block of 20. Overall I don’t think this affected the battle too much. My opponents may have a different opinion 🙂
So back to the list. As above I took 3 solid blocks of plaguebearers two were 20 strong, one was 16 strong, 20 horrors, 7 furies, 5 flesh hounds, 2 x 5 flamers, 3 beasts of nurgle, 5 bases of nurglings, kairos fateweaver, blue scribes, GUO with trappings and nurgling infestation, 2 nurgle heralds one with a palanquin, noxious vapours and slimetrail and the other with noxious vapours, slime trail, BSB and banner of dispair (-2 ldrship within 12″).
From memory the empire had 3-4 warrior priests, archlector with war altar and VHS and other goodies, steam tank, 2 cannons, 2 mortars, Ludwig Scharzhelm, at least 6-7 blocks of infantry (2 greatsword units, some spear and free company), 1 battle mage, 10 huntsmen, 20 flagellents, 15 handgunners and a captain mounted of griffin (with alfreds casket I think) and an engineer with pigeon bombs.
We took a pictures after deployment and although blurry will give you an idea of the terrain and layouts of the armies.
At the top is the empire and from left to right goes 15 handgunners on a hill with 2 mortars and battlemage, unit of spearmen with warrior priest mounted, flagellents, war altar, spearmen, greatswords, huntsmen, greatswords, halberdiers (with the hill behind having 2 mortars on), free comapny steam tank and finally the griffon.
My left to right at the bottom was bluescribes behind impassible terrain, hounds, GUO surrounded by nurglings, plaguebearers (without herald), beasts of nurgle, flamers plaguebearers (with BSB), horrors, plaguebearers (with herald), flamers, fateweaver and finally the furies.
I took first turn and marched everything up. The furies moved right up to the board edge to try and draw out the griffon. Either he’d refuse and fly past and I’d get to the mortars or he’d charge which would stop any kind of march blocking for a turn or two, either result would be a bonus.
We counted up the power and dispell and then I attempted to let rip. First up was Tzeentch’s firestorm into the greatswords. The empire magic defense failed miserably by rolling a total of 7 on 5 dice. I managed to kill 3, creating a horror behind them. The scribes rolled up steed of shadows which in his hidden position meant it was useless. The great unclean one manipulated the winds of magic and cast rnacid visitations on the flagellents dropping 2 and then 5 more when they failed their toughness test.
No shooting and no combat. Their turn 1.
The only charge this turn was the griffon into the furies. The lines shuffled forward a bit and then stopped. The steam tank generated 4 steam points and rumbled forward. In the magic phase they rolled up second sign which I felt could go through. With these guys I usually let them get a bit of magic off, not only to provide power dice via the blue scribes, but to see how many bounds and special ‘tricksy’ stuff they have. I’m fairly certain only the unbreakable spells got off and I made a note to add 3 more power dice into the pool next turn. Shooting and both cannons were rotated and pointed straight towards fateweaver. Two 24″ guesses were well out and the cannonballs cut a trench through the grass in front of the flamers. The mortars were slightly more accurate, deviating away from fateweaver slightly into the horrors next door. Parts of horrors scattered over the battlefield as 2 mortars dropped dead centre of the unit exploding shrapnel into their tightly packed unit.
Edit: 14 dead horrors may sound a lot from a mortar but the multiple wounds were carried over onto the unit from the guy that got hit dead on. We played this wrong from what I can see, but it wasn’t changing much so I left it.
The handgunners opened fire on the fleshhounds and killed one where it stood.
As expected the furies were cut down to a man and promtly got sucked back into a warp like portal. The griffon overran off the board, safe for a turn,
Turn 2 and I have to admit my notes were a little sparse at this point, quoting directly from my notebook I wrote “Turn 2” so excuse me if this turn seems a little hurried.
The daemons as one continued the march forwards to the enemy, the path of the battle laid out before them by their lord. I again opened up with my magic casting Tzeentchs firestorm and creating another horror behind them. I also used nurgling infestation to boost up the nurglings again. Shooting wasn’t too effective if I remember correctly.
As there was no combat it was back to their turn. The flagellents attempted to charge the nurglings to draw them out for a second charge of the war altar onto the GUO. It became obvious now that the arch lector carried the usual combo. As it happens the flagellents were an inch out so the war altar ended up declaring against the nuglings instead. A bit more shuffling amongst the ranks, the griffon came back onto the table, flapped its wings and landed behind my lines and the steam tank rolled forward.
All the crews turned their attention to fateweaver but only 1 cannonball and a mortar were on target. Fateweaver, seeing the future ducked and weaved dodging both. The remaining horrors weren’t too lucky manipulating time and space and walked straight into the second mortar shell. In combat the arch lector killed a base or two of nurglings but thanks to the great unclean ones leadership they rolled good.
Stay tuned for part 2.