Warhammer Club

As the league approaches its climax there was just a single game played this week – the much-anticipated showdown between Mr Ashfield’s Chaos and Mr Crabbe’s Drukhari. Both players as yet unbeaten and, with it being Mr Ashfield’s final league game, it was a chance for him to claim the honours of completing all his matches undefeated – and a chance for Mr Crabbe to thwart this and take a step closer to the same glory. With both armies being very combat orientated and led by well-seasoned veteran generals it was certainly going to be a tense, tactical yet bloody affair.

Chaos vs Drukahri

With a dense field of terrain both armies deployed. Chaos, as expected, placed front and centre and eager for the fight, with the Drukhari, as usual, splitting their deployment between the ground and high in the skies above the battlefield. Mr Crabbe made the risky decision to field his winged heavy weapons specialists, Scourges, for the first time – untested in battle and, unusually for him, unpainted. With this being such a crucial moment in the league, would he regret this bold, or possibly foolhardy, decision or would it give the reward he hoped from them?

Chaos took the first turn and, as is their style, the bloodthirsty Khorne Beserkers charged forwards towards the centre of the battlefield eager for combat, claiming objectives as they went. The remainder of the army shuffled themselves cautiously to protect their flank and rear from the threat from the skies. The mighty Chaos Hellbrute fired a salvo from its inferno cannon at the Grotesques that were rather exposed atop a hillside. Despite taking some damage, through foul arcane crafts, the muscled mutants shrugged off the worst of the blast and even managed to regenerate.

The main Drukhari force then swooped down onto the battlefield however, due to some very clever positioning by Mr Ashfield, they were not able to outflank the Choas force and lost a great deal of their advantage, as they were forced to deploy right in front of the advancing Berserkers. Due to a miscalculation, the arriving Scourges were also unable to unleash their full firepower but, with some fearsome weaponry at their disposal, they still reduced the Hellbrute to a smouldering pile of ash.

The Chaos horde then moved up through their rage-fuelled gears and stampeded towards the newly arrived Drukhari transport, ignoring the rough terrain as if it was not there. Axes swung and armour was rent asunder as the Berserkers and their accompanying Lord tore the ship to pieces, scattering the desperately disembarking Wyches and their fearsome Succubus

With their Reaver jetbikes slashing past, covering almost the entire length of the battlefield, the psychotic and nimble warriors then unleashed a whirlwind of blades upon their attackers, the Succubus taking on the Chaos Lord in single combat and dispatching him with terrifying ease. In return the Berserkers wiped out the Scourges, who should not have been so close to the combat and deserved to die for their carelessness.

The last couple of rounds were a mere formality as the remaining Berserkers perished, under a rain of knives and huge cleavers of the Wyches and Grotesques. Meanwhile a horde of slavering Chaos cultists dealt with the threat of the Reavers who were now vulnerable after rather overstretching themselves.

As the dust settled and calm descended, the victory points were added up: 5 for Mr Crabbe and 5 for Mr Ashfield, and both players seemed satisfied with the outcome. Mr Ashfield was not quite done though, uttering the simple phrase that will haunt Mr Crabbe for a long while “and 1 point for a FULLY painted army.” Mr Crabbe’s cry of frustration will echo through the ether for eternity. And with that, the answer to the question “bold or foolish?” was well and truly confirmed as the latter.

Result: Victory to Mr Ashfield. 6 points to Mr Crabbe’s 5.

With only a few league matches remaining, an impromptu match between Luka Taylor’s Astra Militarium and Mr Crabbe’s Drukhari went ahead on Thursday.

Having learned from his previous errors, Mr Crabbe decided to deploy the majority of his force on the tabletop rather than high in the skies as usual. This proved to be the correct decision against a heavily entrenched force of tanks and Guardsmen that filled the backline of Luka’s deployment zone with the exception of a solitary mechanised Sentinel that cut a lonely figure in the centre of the battlefield.

First turn went to the Drukahri who, unsurprisingly, tore forwards to claim objectives. The Scourges unleashed a fearsome volley at the Sentinel which was reduced to a molten smear where it had once stood. The sneaky winged fiends then ducked back behind a hill in a rather cowardly fashion.

The Imperial force countered. The brave Death Korps of Krieg moved from the trenches alongside a fire-bellowing Hellhound. Booming shots rang out as huge shells and blasts of laser energy spewed from the rear-guard Tank Commander. The mutant Grotesques, usually so hardy, were only spared by the cover of the rough ground around them. With most of the Drukhari force relying on the protection of the mountainous terrain, the first two turns had seen little action but had taken a while as both generals thought long and hard about their very different tactics. This was not so much cat-and-mouse as cheetah-and-eagle.

The Drukhari’s next turn was always likely to be a messy affair with the commanding Succubus and her bodyguard of Wyches springing from their Venom which then tore off behind enemy lines. The Scourges caused significant damage to the dangerous Hellhound, which through sheer determination and strict military orders continued to function as if it had suffered no damage. The subsequent charge of the Drukhari was an all too familiar frenzy of blades and blood, the Succubus and her retinue whirling through the ranks of heroic guardsmen. When the vicious dance of death was complete, a solitary stubborn Death Korps trooper stood alone roaring his defiance as he refused to either submit nor run. The Emperor would be proud.

In return, the massive guns of the Tank Commander dealt with most of the Scourges, the last remaining one flying away in fear after seeing what real firepower meant. Most of the Wyches also died as the mighty vehicle took a calculated risk by firing directly into combat. The token scalp of finally destroying the Hellhound was precious little to savour for the Succubus, who with no human targets left was rendered rather redundant from that point on.

 With time up on the mismatched opposing forces. This had proven to be one of the tightest games so far with the final score standing at Mr Crabbe 3 victory points to Luka’s 2. It was certainly fair to say that the Imperial Guard could claim a certain amount of moral victory for limiting the Drukahri to their lowest score yet with their Tank Commander not taking even a single wound.

Luka played a blinder, making excellent use of his stratagems, special rules and tactics. Additional thanks should definitely go to Jasper Welton for offering additional guidance to the guard army and for running a superb introductory game for one of our newest recruits Dan Harding.

Mr Crabbe