This afternoon I played my Week One Battle for my local Games Workshop store’s four-week Age of Sigmar Escalation League, which consists of one game per week across four weeks played with armies of 500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 points (the 500 point week is played with the 1000 point Matched rules and the 1500 week is played with the 2000 points rules). The house rules for the League are as follows. Measurements are taken base to base and the player who goes first in the first round goes first in every subsequent round, so there are no “double turns.” Further, we’re playing with three shop-drawn cards from the Open War deck, specifically the Deployment, Objective, and Twist subdecks. Every League game played in each week is played using the same draws. Open War deployments assume a 4’x6’ battlefield, and this week’s draw was a caddy-corner quarters deployment with a circular 12” diameter no man’s land in the exact center of the board. The objective drawn was “War of Attrition,” which established these win conditions: “Each player adds up the value of the Wounds characteristic of all enemy models that their army slays. At the end of the fifth battle round, the player with the highest total wins the battle (even if their own army has been wiped out.)” The Twist card drawn was Blessed Healing, which established that “Each player can pick a friendly unit at the start of their hero phase. That unit heals D3 wounds.” I fielded an army of exactly 500 points, which consisted of the following units: 1 Saurus Eternity Warden (General) --Leader --Command Trait: Thickly Scaled Hide --Artefact: Coronal Shield --Command Ability: Inspiring Presence 5 Saurus Guard --Battleline --Stardrake Icon --Wardrum 30 Skinks --Battleline --Boltspitters and Star-bucklers 1 Salamander 1 Razordon My opponent, a most excellent fellow named Neil, fielded a Skaven army. I’m not really familiar with their particulars (or indeed, with the particulars of any AoS army besides Seraphon), but he fielded four units. His general was a big rat with 5 wounds who wasn’t a wizard, but who did throw out multiple buffs on different units. It also had the ability to scurry away from melee. This was the only model Neil played that had more than 1 wound, which came into play with both the win conditions and the Blessed Healing Twist card, which I was able to take better advantage of than him. His two battlelines were both twenty-rat units of melee-equipped infantry types. With a “one extra attack” buff from their leader, one of these units was putting out dozens and dozens of attacks each combat round. His fourth and final unit was really interesting. They were kind of these ninja assassin guys. There were four of them, and while they were a unit, they were individually armed. Heck, they were even individually named. I believe they were from one of the box games, originally. The leader was sometimes able to bring one or two of them back from the dead. Given that the whole point of this battle was to inflict as many wounds as possible, we didn’t play around much with fancy deployment. We each wanted to get into it with the other army as soon as possible, so despite having taken the time to roll for and place terrain features and randomly assign each a “mysterious landscape” characteristic, terrain wound up having very little impact on the battle. Here’s how the table looked just before hostilities opened. Neil went first and, given his complete lack of shooting, moved, ran, charged, and special movement abilitied his rats for all they were worth, trying to get into melee as quickly as possible. He only held his general back in his first turn. He managed to kill off almost half my Skinks in his first turn! So much for that Celestial Cohort bonus. On the other side of the battle, his ninja rats lightly wounded my Salamander. I used the Skinks Wary Fighters ability to withdraw them from melee. Now it was my turn, bottom half of the first round. I used Blessed Healing to bring my Salamander back to full Wounds, had the Eternity Warden use Inspiring Presence on the Saurus Guard, and then used Lords of Space and Time to move the remaining few Skinks to the opposite side of the board to snipe at the enemy general from the rear. Those Skinks, guys, I’m not sure they dealt a single wound, but that bare handful managed to survive the whole battle by teleporting around and provided distractions at crucial moments. At this point I stopped taking pictures, sorry. I positioned my Eternity Warden and Saurus Guard to engage his two mobs of rat infantry, and my two Artillery units wound up engaging the ninja assassin rats, flanking them. This proved to be the setup for the remainder of the game as we settled in for a slugfest. The Warden and the Guard took out some infantry, and the Salamander took out a couple of the assassins, but they came back. Two failed rolls on my part this round were crucial: the Razordon didn’t get off Instinctive Defense ability and neither did the general make the rolls to blind the infantry units with his Coronal Shield. I did, however, make a lot of good Saves. Round Two began with the enemy General coming out from hiding behind some terrain and engaging my Saurus Guard. My opponent also concentrated his infantry units on the Guard, and two of those worthies returned to Azyr to await future battles. The Eternity Warden also took a few wounds, while across the way, the Razordon and Salamander were keeping the assassins busy, though neither side was doing anything very effective. In the bottom half of the round, the Artillery once again killed two assassins (one was to come back). Meantime, my Warden/Guard knot of righteous fury absolutely annihilated one unit of rat infantry. Their few survivors didn’t make their Battleshock test. His General was down to two Wounds at this point. Then came the top half of round three. It was all melee, and things went very well for me. He managed to kill two more Saurus Guard, but my Eternity Warden still had five wounds and my Razordon and Salamander were unscathed. The Skinks had teleported back to this side of the board and boxed in the enemy general in such a way that his scurrying ability was limited. The Eternity Warden killed the opposing general in this turn, and Neil put out his hand and conceded the game. I had scored my first ever victory in an Age of Sigmar game. There’s a points competition that goes along with the League. Losing armies score 1 point per game, winning armies score 3 points per game, and if the army is fully painted and has base treatments there’s a bonus point. So in week one, I scored the maximum four points. Now to paint up my thousand point army and hope for the best in week two!