How many Death Archons??? Captain Phineas Shae vs Kommandant Irusk (Solomachine Double Feature)

Today I am going to be doing something slightly different by playing the same casters twice in a row, but allowing for list alterations between games. I also wanted to test the new Death Archons, so I decided to run at least one theme that allowed two of them, in this case the Talion Charter Mercenary theme force, and one that might be more obscure but also benefitting from them, in this case the Armoured Corps theme for Khador.

The lists were:

Captain Phineas Shae: Blockader, 2 Death Archons, Bosun Grogspar, First Mate Hawk, Lord Rockbottom, Doc Killingsworth, Stone-Cold Black Bella, 1 Powder Monkey, one max and one min unit of Press Ganger, a max unit of Sea Dog Boarding Crew with 3 Riflemen and Mr. Walls, the Commodore Cannon.

A ton of solos, two large and one small unit and a colossal to back it all up. The Pirates won the roll-off and decided to go first. The min unit of Press Gangers goes into ambush.

Kommandant Irusk: Grey Lord Adjunct, Destroyer, Juggernaut, Death Archon, Man o´War Kovnik, 2 Suppression Tankers, 2 max units of Man o´War Shocktroopers with Officer, max Man o´War Demolition Corps with Dragos Draganovic.

A big bad brick of Man o´War with a solid commander behind them.

The two 3″ templates are the bombardment from the Talion Charter theme benefit. Not really great against heavy armoured Men o´War to be fair.

View from the side

The Man o´War units and Suppression Tankers make their Advance Move.


Shae casts Storm Rager on the right Death Archon and Phantasm on the Press Gangers.

The Mercenary army tries to take ground and set up for a counterattack once their frontlines have been overrun. Nobody said it was easy being a pirate.

Irusk put up Iron Flesh on the right Shocktroopers, Superiority on the Destroyer (thanks to the +2 inches of range from the Adjunct) and Inhospitable Ground to slow down the Sea Dogs and Press Gangers. He also gives the right Shocktroopers the Special Orders battle plan so they can move 4″ in Shield Wall, then reposition another 3″.

The Destroyer drops a Bombard shot into the Sea Dogs, but all bar one pass their Tough checks. This will be a theme of the game. The Suppression Tankers drop two Covering Fire templates before the Sea Dogs.


The smaller unit of Press Gangers runs unto the table to tie up the Destroyer and Suppression Tanker.

The Sea Dogs advance around the Covering Fire and achieve very little with their pistols. The Death Archon, now with two Corpse Tokens activates Annihilator, then charges into the Shocktroopers, promptly rolling a triple 1 on his charge attack. Unsurprisingly, it bounces off the ARM23 infantry, killing only one of them, ironically the one it missed with the first attack by rolling 17 on the second swing.

The Commodore Cannon tries to dislodge a few Man O´War, but doesn´t even hurt them with some very poor rolls.

Stymied by the Covering Fire, the Sea Dogs press on to claim more board space and force the Khadorans into the threat range of their colossal and Archons.

After upkeeping Iron Flesh for the Kommandant, the Adjunct decides to prove his worth by using his frost shotgun to kill two Press Gangers and knocking two more down.

With two Focus from Irusk, the Destroyer walks behind the Press Gangers and kills the Lass and two Press Gangers, one of whom was knocked down.

Never one to refuse free gifts, Irusk shoots the last knocked down Press Ganger and feats. He also gives the left Shocktrooper unit Pathfinder. He also puts Battle Lust on those Shocktroopers.

The Shocktrooper Officer rolls the double 4 to freeze the Archon, so the other easily kill it off. The unit is still in Shield Wall.

Bulkhead kills three Press Gangers with his Shotgun, missing one twice though.

The Death Archon uses Annihilator and charges forward, killing the Lass in the first swing, uses Spectral Flicker to move forward (I played this before the ruling that you had to spend a corpse token before attacking to make the place after the attack) and kills Hawk as well as dealing some damage to the opposing Death Archon. The Sea Dogs pass quite a few 4+ No Knockdown Tough rolls here. The Archon puts up Mortal Fear.

The Shocktroopers charge and kill the Death Archon. They also deal 15 points of damage to the Blockader. The Suppression Trooper killed a Press Ganger and also chipped in some damage on the Archon.

The Armoured Corps is forcing its way through the centre, but no points are scored.

Mercenaries 0 – Khador 0


The Blockader kills the Death Archon and a disappointing one Shocktrooper with its 5 attacks and an Ancilliary from the Powder Monkey. 4+ Toughs are bad on both sides.

Shae casts Storm Rager on Bella and shoots a Shocktrooper, who ignores the shot. Bella then charges and makes her Blood Reaper Attack, killing one Shocktrooper, while two others tough.

With a lot of effort, the Sea Dogs kill a single Shocktrooper.

The Commodore Cannon drops another Shocktrooper and forces another Tough check.

Still no points are scored and things are looking grim for the Mercenaries.

Mercenaries 0 – Khador 0

The Suppression Tanker cuts through the Sea Dogs.

The Destroyer lobs a shell into the Sea Dog, then the Shocktroopers kill the last two Sea Dogs.

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The Juggernaught kills Bella.

The Demolition Corps flattens the Blockader and the Suppression Tanker kills the last Press Ganger.

Irusk runs behind the building in the right zone so that he cannot be attacked by the last few pirates.

Seeing the writing on the wall, the Mercenaries run away.



NOTE: The second game took place a week later, after VTC lists had been published. As the pirates had had a rather disappointing showing the first time around, I decided to use a modified list, based on a VTC list I found to run instead.

The Khadoran list is still the same and they deploy first this time around. This is after the advance moves.

Shae´s list this time:

Phineas Shae: Galleon, 2 Death Archons, 3 Powder Monkeys, 2 Swamp Gobber River Raiders, First Mate Hawk, Lord Rockbottom, a min unit of Press Gangers, Lady Aiyana and Master Holt, max Sharde Pirates and Officer, max Sea Dog Boarding Crew with 2 Riflemen and Mr. Walls.

Sideview: confusingly before advance moves.

The awkward moment when I deploy Aiyana and Holt after all other deployment is over…


Never one to be cowardly, Irusk casts Inhospitable Ground, Iron Flesh on the Demolition Corps, which also gets Pathfinder and Superiority on the Destroyer, then charges towards the Galleon. He has his eyes on the biggest prize it seems.

The red onslaught. Note that the right Suppression Tanker has put down a Covering Fire template in front of the Demolition Corps. Irusk is also safely nestled behind multiple layers of Man o´War troopers.

Fortune favours the bold or so Shae thinks, feating bottom of one and casting Coup de Main (that e at the end of Coupe is a mistake) to speed up the pirates. He also drops Storm Rager on the Archon next to him.

With the No Quarter mini-feat and Overtake plus boosted melee attack rolls from a coin as well gaining an additional damage die from First Mate Hawk, the Sea Dogs surge forward, killing three Shocktroopers on the left …

… and two on the right. The Death Archons collect corpses.

The remaining pirate forces push forward, but trying to stay out of charge ranges if possible.


The right Shocktroopers show their worth by missing two attacks and the third one being negated by a Tough check. The Suppression Tanker exacts bloody vengeance by spraying down four Sea Dogs, though one toughs.

The Adjunct tries to spray a gap to open room for the Death Archon, but misses the one that can actually make a free strike against the Archon.

The free strike misses of course and the Archon drops into position, killing Hawk and a Sea Dog on the first swing, as well as damaging the opposing Archon with a boosted attack.

The second swing finishes off Walls, who had Toughed on the first one as well as a Sea Dog and knocks down another Sea Dog. It also scratches the Archon some more. The Death Archon puts up Mortal Fear.

Irusk puts up his ´Do I have to do everything myself?´ face, shoots the offending Sea Dog that holds up traffic, gives the Demolition Corps Pathfinder and uses his Feat.

The Demolition Corps uses its mini-feat Bonds of Brotherhood to spread out damage if necessary, charge 9″ thanks to the Kovnik giving them Desperate Pace and kill the prone Sea Dog, knock down a Sharde Pirate and also, as a little aside, kill the Death Archon on their right.

The Destroyer lobs a shell into the Sharde Pirates, killing two while 3 Tough. For heaven´s sake, it is only on a 5+!!!

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Bulhead kills three Sea Dogs and nearly a Shocktrooper. Who the hell gave that guy a P+S 16 shotgun? #powercreep

The Khadorans put up a solid wall of red steel, let´s see how the Mercenaries will respond.

Lady Aiyana for once manages to hit a 3+ and puts Kiss of Liliss on the Demolition Corps. Holt celebrates that rare occurence with a shot into the air, so only one of his two pistols actually does damage.

Rockbottom tosses a coin at the Sharde Pirates to make them all stand up.

The Pirates charge the Demolition Corps and between Assault shots and their charge attacks, they drop one, as well as forcing quite a few Tough checks. They also kill one of their own, but thems the breaks.

Missing its first boosted attack roll on the Death Archon, the Blocader needs all its Focus to kill the Archon, then pummels a Demolition Corps Man o´War into the dust with an Ancilliary Attack.

The last Death Archon kills Dragos and two Shocktroopers, then puts up Mortal Fear.

The Press Gangers charge the Suppression Tanker and Juggernaught, but do little real damage. No points are scored as all scenario elements are contested.

Khador 0 – Mercenaries 0


The last Demolition Corps soldier and the two Shocktroopers work together to kill a Sharde Pirate. What value!

The Destroyer charges and kills the last Death Archon.

The Adjunct sprays down the two Press Gangers that have engaged the Suppression Tanker.

The Suppression Tanker drops the Swamp Gobber that shot him and jumped behind him.

Irusk puts Battle Lust on the Shocktroopers and gave them Pathfinder, then the Kovnik gives them +2 Speed and they charge the Galleon. The Juggernaught trampled over the Press Gangers, killing one and knocking down two.

Still no scoring, but both sides are running out of models quickly. Can the Galleon deal with the Juggernaught next turn before the Destroyer can charge it?

Khador 0 – Mercenaries 0

The Powder Monkeys use an Ancilliary Attack to kill the Shocktrooper Officer, then fuel up the Galleon.

The Sharde Pirates kill the last Demolition Corps and whale ineffectively at the Shocktroopers in Shield Wall.

The Galleon kills the Juggernaught.

With the Juggernaught down, Shae puts Storm Rager on himself and moves into the right circular zone.

Khador 0 – Mercenaries 1


The Suppression Tanker guns down two Sharde Pirates.

The Shocktroopers kill the last one, controlling the left zone for Khador.

The Destroyer fired a boosted shot into the Galleon, then the Kovnik and Bulkhead open up on it too, dropping it to 3 damage boxes in the end.

True to his reputation as a gloryhound, Irusk takes aim and finishes off the Galleon.

As an encore, he casts Airburst on the three Powder Monkeys, killing them all, while also re-enacting the phrase ´Have a plan blow up in your face´ as two of them land on top of him with their Catastrophic Explosion rule, costing him two focus points to prevent most of the damage, but ending up on fire, as is the Kovnik next to him.

(picture missing here): The last two Shocktroopers charge the objective, destroying it and also being able to redirect an attack into Lord Rockbottom and killing him. The Suppression Tanker on the right runs through the forest into the right circular zone to contest it.

Khador 3 – Mercenaries 1

Shae charges the Suppression Tanker, finishing it off. Lady Aiyana casts Kiss on the Shocktroopers in the centre and Master Holt kills the Officer.

Khador 5 – Mercenaries 2


The Destroyer stays at 12.1 inches of Master Holt to avoid being hit by a Quick Draw shot, then lobs a shell onto him, killing him and Aiyana.

Looking pleadingly at Irusk, the Kovnik asks: ´May I?´ The Kommandant nods and the Kovnik runs to slam into Captain Shae, but the nimble warcaster avoids being hit by the lumbering Man o´War.

Khador controls all three zones to win the game.

Khador 8 – Mercenaries 2



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