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1000 points Death vs. Death


Master Necromancer
Had my second trial game with my new 1,000 point list today. Again, that list is:

Wight King with Black Axe (general, RotN, Tomb Blade)
Tomb Herald
30 Skeleton Warriors (spears, tomb shields)
10 Zombies
10 Zombies
3 Skeleton chariots
3 Necropolis Knights

This time, however, I was up against no soft lot of mortals, but rather against an enemy as cold and heartless as myself - another death player! And not just any death player, but one with strikingly similar taste in unit selection!

His List:
Necromancer (general, ruler of the night, ring of immortality)
30 skeleton warriors (swords, tomb shields)
6 skeleton chariots
6 necropolis knights(!)

Needless to say, I was quite intiidated.

Since his list didn't qualify for the campaign scenario (which requires a minimum of 3 units of 10), we played a battle plan out of the matched play section of the general's compendium. I forget the name of the mission, but it puts an objective in the center of each player's deployment zone. You claim an objective if 5 of your models and none of the enemy's models are within 5" of the objective. You immediately win if you control both objectives at the end of any game turn (ie, check before rolling for initiative), otherwise winner goes to the player who kills the most points worth of enemy units, including any summoned units.

As one might guess from the lists in question, this fight was a slog, and ran all the way to the end of the 5th turn, so I'll pass on the play by play this time, and just cover the broader stuff.

Opponent put his chariot and necroknight units on opposite flanks, with his skeletons guarding the objective. His necromancer followed after the snakes, to keep them and the skeletons in deathless minion range.

I put my smaller chariot and necroknight units opposite his necroknights. With zombies to man my objective, I was able to put the skeletons opposite his chariots, with characters enough to cover everything. The zombies on my objective stapled his large skeleton unit to his, as if he moved them off the objective I could threaten an instant victory by just run-withdrawing my faster stuff into range of his objective.

Early game, I presented my skeletons, buffed by vanhels and lord of bones, to his chariots, and pulled my other units back a bit to force a long charge with his vanhels'd up knights. He thankfully failed that charge, and his chariots got picked apart by my buffed up skeleton block. I then shifted buffs to my necroknights and charged his knights with my knights and chariots, and that fight just dragged on. For the next several turns he hovered between and 4 knights, while I hovered between 1 and 3 each of the knights and skeletons, but neither side could get rid of the other. A few failed or dispelled casts of vanhels didn't help.

Frustrated, I tried to turn the tide by charging my wight king in, thinking a few extra d3 damage attacks might break the deadlock, but that was a critical error, as a couple vanhels'ed up necroknights ate my wight king and busted me down to 6+ deathless minion saves.

At this point the end of the game was closing in, and his knights had a very good chance of taking my smaller units apart now, so I withdrew my knights and chariots, positioned them to try and make an assassination run on his skeletons, and charged my skeletons into the necroknights to keep them out of the way. I did manage to kill his skeletons, but not before his necroknights killed mine and charged badk into the chariots, wiping them out and contesting the objective.

So in the end it came down to victory points. I killed:

His skeletons (240)
6 chariots (280)

He killed:
My skeletons (240)
My chariots (140)
My wight king (120)
Total: 500

Death put up a good showing and fought a tough game, but in the end, despite some tactical blunders, Death still managed to pull out a victory over Death, securing another point for Death in the summer campaign!

Granted, I don't think it's supposed to work that way, but if the local store wants to log another victory for glorious Nagash, who am I to object?

The main thing I've learned from this is that the Wight King is really just there to spread ruler of the night and lord of bones, and absolutely not to throw into combat. In light of this, I'll probably be giving him the ring of immortality in future games. I want to expand out to 2,000 points as soon as possible, though, and in the process trade the wight king for a more melee-capable lord in the Royal Warsphinx. I also loved the opponent's large necropolis knight unit, and look forward to upgrading my own unit to 6.

On that subject, I traded my most-of-a-settra-the-imperishable to my opponent in exchange for that second box of demigryph knights, so now all I need to pick up for that 2,000 point army is the corpse cart. Still an awful lot to paint, though.
What an awesome read, really painted a vivid battle in my minds eye. Also it is great learning of units and tactics, I will look forward to seeing more of this caliber postings! Thank you for the tip, I just had a new wight king given to me, I will keep in mind what your experience was. Is this using the ninth age ruleset?


Master Necromancer
Oh, no no, this is age of sigmar, hence being in the battle-report subforum of the age of sigmar section of the boards, though I admit I could have made that clearer.

Ninth age looks like a nice and polished rule set, but it's very firmly rooted in 6th, 7th, and 8th edition fantasy, a period where the warhammer undead were defined by a strict segregation nto 'mummies' and 'vampires', and further of vampires into 'blood lines'. My heart is firmly entrenched in the early days of warhemmer undead, where everything was in one big tent under the control of powerful liches and necromancer, in particular Nagash. After getting back a unified undead faction in the End Times campaign, there's no way I'm going back to the segregated sub-lists embraced by 9th age, no matter how much better that game's core mechanics may be than those of Age of Sigmar.

So yeah, this is an Age of Sigmar battle report, using the new matched play rules from the general's handbook.
Oh, no no, this is age of sigmar, hence being in the battle-report subforum of the age of sigmar section of the boards, though I admit I could have made that clearer.
Ah, understood... I think I just assumed having a point value that it was a ruleset. OK Ill not be returning to this decrepit graveyard of the forum then hehehe! Thank you.
I just finished a death vs death 1000 pt battle. I used the death rattle battalion. Only changes I made was to add a necromancer, increase grave guard to a unit of 15 and increase one unit if skeleton warriors to 20 spearmen. My WK was the BSB version.

My opponent has Khalida as general, plus one Liche priest. The rest of his army was made entirely of skeleton archers.

He had some pretty bad rolls and I had really good ones but in the end I tabled him by the end of round 4. The mobility of the battalion along with the synergy of the death rattle worked really well. Most of the time I getting a 5+ armour save, a 5+ death alliance save and then a 6+ banner save. Then on my turn I would get back 1 model from the battalion and a bunch from the banners. I only ended up losing 1 unit of 10 skeleton warriors.


Master Necromancer
Yeah, archers are great support, but they don't have the kind of hitting power or points efficiency you'd need for them to be your primary offensive tool, even with khalida. Now, if he had mixed some bowshabti, a couple catapults with a necrotect, a few mounted archers for harassment, maybe a warsphinx or two, maybe a casket, then you might have been in more trouble.


Master Necromancer
Well, mantic's tomb kings are out for preorder now, and they've got some halfway decent bowshabti and a catapult. And there's that old skeleton mamoth model to use as a wasrphinx.

If you play at a GW store exclusively, then those don't work, but I've seen some decent ushabti conversions from the new treekin things - kurnous hunters or whatever they're called. Any big monster could maybe be converted into a warsphinx by rigging up a howda, putting some grave guard on top, and painting the beast to be ghostly or carved stone.

Otherwise, he should drop khalida, pull back the archers to support (say one to two units of 30), and grab some of the more damaging options from what's still available. Dragonlord, grave guard, blood knights, spirit hosts, etc.
We do play at a GW store which is infuriating since they don't let you use non GW models and yet don't sell the models we want either. I really hate that policy.
Its nice to come back and see people still playing AoS :) nice battle report btw, I look forward to seeing how your lists evolve.

Curious though, since I won't get to test the generals handbook soon (working 50+ hours a week stifles hobby time) how well do you feel the points and conditions for an army list balance the armies? (This question is open to anyone that played the new book, not just @Malisteen)


Master Necromancer
Far from perfectly, that's how, though the various buffs, synergies, and unit strength rules mean there's only so much points could do in this game. It's a starting foundation, but it's still worth doing a quick check over of each others forces to see if they look at all equivalent.
Its nice to come back and see people still playing AoS :) nice battle report btw, I look forward to seeing how your lists evolve.

Curious though, since I won't get to test the generals handbook soon (working 50+ hours a week stifles hobby time) how well do you feel the points and conditions for an army list balance the armies? (This question is open to anyone that played the new book, not just @Malisteen)
Battleline is an abomination. Core requirements were always terrible am not happy to see them back.
The sub allegiances are frustrating. Part of this is again due to the stupid battleline requirements but now also the allegiance abilities that require all one sub allegiance. Sylvaneth at least has a big army but the Beast claw Raiders have so few units and yet you can't take anything else from Ogors or else you lose their abilities and magic items. It forces you to buy the same handful of models over and over again because you are punished for having variety in your army.
I also used to like to field scourgerunner privateers and man-eaters because they're all mercenaries. Now if I do, I don't even get the grand alliance abilities or magic items.
Fielding a named general is also discouraged as you lose out on the command traits.
The leader limits and behemoth limits on the other hand are quite generous and a good way of controlling min maxing
The points seem reasonable with minor complaints. The necropolis knights are too cheap for how much better than are than other heavy Calvary and the Necrosphinx is so expensive that it is hard to justify using him.
The new scenarios in the GH are great! Lots of objectives that aren't just kill everyone. Very impressed by this.
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Master Necromancer
I don't mind the battleline requirements, but think they were either too restrictive in what units count as battle line by default, or else number of units required for battle line are too great (should be 1,2,3; instead of 2,3,4), or both. On the other hand, the leader/behemoth restrictions seem too generous. You'll almost always run out of points before they even become a thing. Matched play also explicitly requires you to stick to an alliance, which seems too heavy handed, what with allegiance abilities already rewarding those who choose to do so anyway. Also, some of the subfactions are too narrowly defined, resulting in factions with only 2 or 3 units in them, which doesn't work well with the whole allegiance thing, as those subfactions can't be played on their own, but the themed lists they go with can't take them. Maneaters/beastclaw raiders with regular ogres for instance. forest goblins with regular goblins or savage orcs. Necromancers & mortis engines as their own subfaction under Death. Etc.

It's far from a perfect system, but it's better than the no system, or the half dozen competing systems with no overall consensus, that we had before. Hopefully it can be polished up as time goes on.