The Journey had been long and perilous. Traversing the whirls and eddies of the storms had been relatively simple thanks to Weymouth's psychic beacon lighting the way. The danger came not from the storms, but from the bitterest of rivals travelling the same route. Nestor had ordered the Castigators to keep a wary eye on Festus Foulspawn's Death Guard that had shadowed them for the entire journey. Tensions rose even higher when Damien Broadcloak's Tzeentch warband came into view, but all of them respected the truce accorded to the participants of the Southern Invitational.
Damien Broadcloak had extended an invitation to the Castigators and Death Guard to join him for a meal and pass the time while they reached their destination. Nestor had readily accepted his offer, eager for any news on his rivals, especially his wayward brother.
Damien Broadcloak hadn't disappointed. He may be blind, but he was an insufferable gossip and Nestor had listened intently as Blinky shared his news. The call of the Invitational had enticed several known adversaries to Weymouth. All four of the Chaos Gods had answered the call alongside Space Wolves, Dark Angels and Orks amongst others, but this information paled into insignificance when Blinky informed him of his brother's alliances.
But for Broadcloak's bodyguards and Nestor's Chief Sorceror stepping in to calm the situation, the truce would have been broken as Nestor flung back his chair and reached for his blade.
"Watch your mouth Blinky, lest I cut that sorcerous, forked tongue from your grinning skull" spat the Slaanesh Lord.
Feigning shock at his guest's outburst, Broadcloak had continued with his tale. "It saddens me also cousin, that the mighty Vorlath would succumb to such an unworthy choice, but the truth is that your brother has allied himself to Khorne!"
Blocking Nestor's progress was a Great Unclean One, Daemon Prince of Nurgle, 7 Plague Drones, 3 large units of Plague Bearers, 3 Heralds of Nurgle and two Plague Hulks. The Psychic spoor given off by this army was almost as strong as its stench and Nestor realised he would have to engage the Daemonhost quickly in an attempt to dam the flow of Daemons that were sure to be summoned.
Nestor Urged his Daemon allies forward with the Daemonettes holding the centre and the Furies and Herald of Slaanesh taking the right flank. The Noise Marines took a fearsome toll on a Plague Bearer unit, killing 10 and putting a wound on the Herald. Nestor and his Bikers turbo'd up the right ready to engage them and reduce the Psychic power of the Nurgle host, the Spawn ran with them to offer support should they need it.
The Nurgle Herald Summoned a unit of Bloodletters in an attempt to slow Nestor down, as the rest of the Nurgle host shambled forward. The Plague Drones charged the Daemonettes, killing 8 of them but losing 2 Drones before they could strike. The Nurgle Prince and Plague Hulk attempted to charge the Slaanesh Furies but both failed to reach combat.
Nestor called in his air support and the Fire Raptor and Heldrake lay down an obscene amount of fire power. Five of the Bloodletters were roasted from the Heldrake's attentions The Fire Raptor killed another two with its Autocannons before the Spawn charged in to finish them off. The Noise Marines and Raptor killed another 10 Plague Bearers moving through the centre to help the Plague Drones and the Furies jumped over to aid the Daemonettes against the Plague Drones. Nestor slammed into the Plague Bearers on the left wiping them out over a couple of rounds. The Plague Drones succumbed to the attentions of the Nettes, Furies and Soul Grinder in a devastating counter charge.
Nurgle turned his back on his Daemonhost as a Herald attempted to turn himself into a Bloodthirster,. Disgusted by this lack of faith, the Herald was dragged back into the warp with no Bloodthirster summoned! More Daemons were summoned, to help out the reduced unit in the centre, But the Heldrake and Blastmasters wiped them out before they had chance to get their bearings. The great Unclean One cast power after power upon Nestor and his Bikers, however he was a victim of his own success and while he wiped out the bikers, he left himself out of range to charge our hero!
The Daemonettes, Furies and Soulgrinder charged the central unit of Plague Bearers wiping them out with ease. The Noise Marines and Fire Raptor wiped out a Plague Hulk attempting to push through the ruins.
The Daemon Prince summoned a unit of Plague Bearers in an attempt to claim line breaker but the Noise Marines and Heldrake wiped them out almost immediately. Tired of the havoc being waged by the Fuires he charged into the them determined to exact some revenge. But the winged beauties proved too quick for the noisome Daemon and he was cast back into the Warp over several rounds of combat. Finally his second Plague Hulk turned up to put pressure on the Noise Marines that had been so devastating, but without any nearby support the Noise Marines, Fire Raptor and vector striking Heldrake sent it straight back to the warp.
In an act of defiance the Great Unclean One charged the Soul Grinder, stripping a hull point from it but taking two wounds for its troubles. As Nestor's forces roamed the battlefield looking for more diversions the GUO slunk away to lick its wounds. The Castigators had wiped out 10 units for the loss of one Bike squad and were firmly in control of the Relic......a resounding victory for the
After much drinking and eating the Castigators encountered their next obstacle.....Space Wolves with
The Furies immediately jumped over to the Murderfang eager to be at the Wolves' Dread while the Daemonettes scurried into the ruins. The Spawn, seeing the chance to claim an objective ran to the ruins on the left but fell short. Nestor, mindful of the Thunderwolves moved up alongside the Spawn and the Noise Marines killed a Biker on the left. The Furies charged the Dread and quickly found out why it is called a Murderfang as it butchered 7 of them before losing a hull point.
The Storm Fang and Storm Talon arrived to distract the Castigators while the Wolves claimed another three objectives. The Murderfang killed another 6 Furies and self repaired the damage it had already taken!
Nestor, realising the Wolves were claiming far more objectives than his forces were, called in his air support. The Heldrake came on vector striking the Storm Talon and taking a hull point from it. The Fire Raptor came on directly in front of the Stormfang, downing the Storm Talon with Autocannon fire and forcing the Stormfang to jink. The Spawn charged the Bikers killing one before they 'hit and run' away, fortunately this gave them an objective. The Soul Grinder charged the Drop Pod wrecking to claim another objective.
The Objectives continued to lead both armies around by the nose with neither army really getting stuck in, although the Castigators were suffering horrendous losses. A scrum developed in the ruins in the centre between the Daemonettes, Nestor with his Bikers and the Thunderwolves and 10 Grey Hunters. As we moved into my last turn Nestor and the Daemonettes had been wiped out and the Wolves were 9-6 up on objectives. Fortunately for me I managed to claw back three objectives to claim a draw. Our Lady blessed the Castigators, and if there had been time for another turn, the Wolves would have surged ahead on objectives.
After a short respite to offer a liquid offering (or two) for Our Lady's blessing, the final conflict of the day saw the Dark Angels blocking our hero's path. Sammael and his command Squad backed up by a Bike squad, Black Knights? (plasma gits) and a Dark Shroud. Waiting in the wings were two or three units of Terminators (hey, it's not easy placating Our Lady with liquid offerings!).
Nestor and his entourage deployed in the corner with both Noise Marines in the ruins hoping to tempt the Ravenwing to deploy opposite. The Furies and Soul Grinder deployed alongside them with the Daemonettes and Spawn holding the centre.
The Dark Angels, in their eagerness, took the bait and deployed directly in front Nestor and his Noise Marines, it was a decision that would cost them dearly. The Blastmasters stripped a hull point from the Dark Shroud and killed two of the Bikers, pinning them. The Furies ran into the ruins to block the path of the Ravenwing while Nestor turbo'd along his back line towards the centre. the Daemonettes and Spawn ran into the large ruins, putting them in a perfect position to react to any immediate threats.
The Ravenwing moved forward shooting at the Furies and killing two or three. Their main focus was on Nestor and his redeploying bikers, but thanks to their jink and Icon of Excess nothing got through.
The battlefield became a killing ground as the Castigators' air support arrived. The Command squad took horrendous casualties from the Heldrake and the Fire Raptor. The Black Knights were torn apart by the Furies and Soul Grinder and the Dark Shroud came crashing down from the Noise Marines' Blastmasters. The Spawn charged into the pinned bikers wiping them out in a devastating charge. Nestor's bikers opened fire on the remnants of the Command squad and left Sammael on one wound. To add insult to injury the Soul Grinder took his last wound with his Harvester Cannon!
By the time the Terminators arrived the battle was effectively over. The Castigators ground forces scattered to the winds as the Hell Drake, Fire Raptor, Soul Grinder and Noise Marines wiped out all but two Terminators!
A truce was called for the day and all of the warlords shared a meal and the odd drink or two. Plots and conspiracies followed and Nestor discovered that his next opponent would be leading a Khorne Daemonkin host. As luck would have it this particular brigand was as fond of alcohol as Nestor and an agreement was made to stay out all night drinking and we would just have a battle between leaders in the morning :D......it was a decision Nestor would come to regret!
Morning came way too quickly and Nestor immediately regretted downing a bottle of Sambuca while waiting for a taxi to take him to another bar. Our Lady was displeased at her Chosen One's lack of faith, taking great pleasure in his discomfort and adding to Nestor's misery by forsaking him in his need. The Khorne Lord on his faithful Jugger simply smashed Nestor aside to claim a resounding victory, while taunting him of his brother's new allegiance!
|Weymouth's eerie atmosphere produces yet another strange phenomenon!|
After a hearty meal and a couple of pints of liquid refreshment (merely to placate Our Lady of course!) Nestor felt more like himself again. It was said that he paled significantly when he saw the horde of Orks that confronted him for the final battle, but Nestor has always been pale!
Nestor was obviously still feeling the effects of the night before, because he ordered the Soul Grinder to deploy centrally, thinking it would be out of range of the Ork artillery (for some reason I thought their range was 24" and not 36"). The rest of Nestor's army deployed in a refused flank opposite the Warboss's Truck to negate his Speed.
The Orks began their long march across the battlefield, The Warboss's truck edged forward while the front unit of Boyz besides them ran into the ruins. The Traktor Cannons opened up on the Soul Grinder, rolling a 9 for strength and blowing it up with a spectacular opening salvo. The resulting explosion killed two Daemonettes and three Furies....Ouch!
Nestor shot forward into the ruins, backed up by the Furies and Daemonettes with Herald. The Noise Marines shot at the Trukk, stripping a hull point and shaking it. Pausing only to rapid fire into the Boyz Boyz, Nestor and the Daemonettes charged into the leading unit and wiped them out in one round of combat.
The Orks' Dakka Jet showed up cutting down four Noise Marines as the Warlord called a Waargh. The Warlord and supporting Ork Boyz both attempted to Charge Nestor and his Bikers and both failed to reach combat.
Taking full advantage of the Orks lack of Speed, Nestor called in his Heldrake. The winged terror vector striked the Dakka Jet smashing it to the ground and then roasted 8 of the Ork Boyz who had failed their charge. The lone Noise Marine also targeted them, killing three and pinning them. The other Noise Marine unit shot at the Traktor Cannons, wreaking one and killing two crew members, it all proved too much for the gretchin and they promptly legged from the field of battle. Nestor and the Furies charged into the Ork Warboss's unit, leaving the Warboss all alone on one wound.
The Warboss called another Waargh....bloody tricksy formations ;-)......and the pinned unit of Boyz moved in to help out their beleaguered Warboss. It was too little too late though and Nestor and his Bikers slaughtered the boyz as the furies finished off the Warboss.
The Meat Grinder continued but the Orks lack of speed proved to be too much of a disadvantage as the Fire Raptor, Heldrake and Noise Marines shot up unit after unit while the remnants were finished of by the Nestor, the Furies and the Daemonettes. As the battle came to a close the Orks had one unit of Boyz left......The Castigators were victorious!
Pict-Feeds of the Battles
|Festus Foulspawn, the Blightmaster of the Pandora Cluster leads a devastating charge into Seb's Orks.|
|You can use as much pink and purple as you want brother, but these abomination are toast when I get my hands on them.|
|Damien 'Blinky' Broadcloak's Tzeentch warband|
|Space Wolves do battle with Billy Nottingham's Nurgle warhost.|
|The Blightmaster's Death Guard in all their glory!|
|Pete's Daemon Prince of Nurgle if flocked by Slaanesh Furies.|
Calm fell across Weymouth as the truce was once more enforced. Tired and contented Warlords waited for the results of the first Southern Invitational. Much to Nestor's surprise the Castigators had secured third place. His wayward brother Vorlath had taken second spot with his bastardised Khorne Daemonkin and Emperors Children abomination and in first place was Billy Nottingham with his Nurgle Warband......all hail the first champion of the Southern Invitational....A worthy adversary!
|Once known as the Geordie lad Paul Scott, he now goes by the name Billy Nottingham.|
|Plenty of room for more winner's names on there.|
|The trophy was designed by Pete and harks back to their roots of the Dorset Werewolves. A great trophy!|
What a fantastic weekend. I'd like to give a massive thanks to Pete and my wayward brother Steve for organising a truly great event. The venue was the best I've played in (even better than Warhammer World!). A big thank you to all of my opponents for entertaining me for the weekend and for all of the Cold Steel Mercs for making the event a weekend to remember.
Many thanks to Steve and his family for putting up with us on Friday/Sunday night and for Michael and Rob keeping me company on the long trip there and back again.
Until next time......may Our Lady grant you her number ;-)