Argatoria: Arox vs Dirandis 750pts game

Report & Strory: Jarek Westermark & Jakub Polkowski, Arts: Patryk Chudziński


There were portents and omens aplenty that the march through this strange quiet valley would bring victory. Lorca, the tribe fortune-teller, had seen it in the movement of carrion birds circling below a merciless sky and had seen it repeated in their entrails when they made the mistake of landing too close. Clouds and rock formations spoke to her of great feats to come and feasts to follow. The tribe, forced to move from its ancestral home when the enemy far too powerful arrived, would find new and fertile ground just beyond the desolation of the valley. There was only one problem, though. Some of the rock formations told their story to regular warriors of the tribe as well: giant stones shaped into the likeness of lizards and toads by means that were most certainly magical. No tool existed in the world of men to make such grand statutes, effigies of beings possessed both an alien cunning and a savagery that seemed all too familiar. It was underneath one of these monuments that the tribe made a camp. The valley walls looked down upon brothers of fire and wolf maidens, feral sasquatches and massive half-giants. Orm, the tribe’s leader, took Lorca aside.

“The people are restless”, he told her. “I trust your augury, but we walk on strange lands. Our footsteps make no sound here. Songs die in our mouths.”

“We walk the paths of the old ones”, the fortune-teller agreed. “Under the gaze of false, foreign gods.”

“Then perhaps we better withdraw.”

Lorca shot Orm a quick look.

“Yes, maybe that would be for the best. To run back home, frightened by stone and silence. To scrape a living off rocks. To lick moss, eat rats, curl up like children and weep.”

“Careful, woman.”

“I’m not the one who’s being too careful.”

This had the desired effect. Orm suddenly stood a feet higher, his face as stiff and unforgiving as the giant lizard statue which towered above him. Indeed, for an instant, he seemed the giant’s equal.

“None shall deny us our destiny,” he drawled out. “And none will say that the Blue Half Moon Tribe turned tail and ran. No matter what comes our way.”

“No matter what comes,” Lorca repeated. She wasn’t looking at her chief anymore. She gazed up, into the distance, at one of the hills forming the ravine. She was almost certain that one of the smaller stones which lined the edge had just moved.

“None can match us,” said Orm in a booming voice that even the valley’s unnatural silence could not swallow. “We are strong. We are strong as the wind and tough as mountains.”


“They’re soft,” whispered a forked tongue. “Soft as bog beast meat, when you rip away the shell. The sun burns them, the sand blinds them. They pose no threat.”

There were two pale creatures stooped upon the edge of the cliff. One of them, a reptilian hero called Ssath, had just spent an hour watching the human tribe, which made camp below, and now came back to report to his general. The great K’Tan’to, his smaller liagulian frame made splendid by ornate robes and headdress, hissed softly. An acknowledgement. But not affirmation.

“You think them dangerous, lord?” asked Ssath with a nervous twitch of his long scaly tail.

K’Tan’to turned his back on the valley, left it behind, his gait slowed by age and worry.

“I’ve seen the world change much since my spawning”, he said. “It turns again and again, darkness crosses paths with light, the new swallows the old.”

“What are you saying, master?” asked Ssath, as he followed the gaunt amphibian. He was a proud warrior, over three feet tall. He held in his hand a giant golden blade. A blade that called out for blood. “These pink-skin vermin hide in their pathetic tents, while we dream of glory in the halls of our great city. This is no true foe. Just beasts to be slaughtered.”

“And who would slaughter them?”

“I would!” roared Ssath, his sword raised. “I am reptilian! My scales will stop any blow, my teeth will rend soft flesh!”

K’Tan’to halted, fell silent for a while. A gust of wind played in the tall grass. Clouds marched in the sky like a conquering army.

“You speak of vermin,” the liagulian lord finally spoke. “Interesting. Was it not vermin that infested the Temple of the Sun last season? Had they not bred and bred until all but the highest levels had to be abandoned? These humans, I fear, possess the same unbroken will to spread and multiply. In the days of my father they were nothing but rumor. Now they crawl ever closer, even setting foot in this sacred valley. What is the secret of their ascendancy?”

Ssath snarled, then hesitated under his master’s gaze.

Slowly, he bowed his mighty head.

“Please enlighten me, wise one. For me to better lead our forces when we attack at dusk.”

K’Tan’to placed a hand on his subordinate’s arm.

“Your scales are indeed hard as stone. Set in their places, set in their ways, unchanging. But if there is one constant in this universe, it certainly is just that. Change. My own skin,” he pulled his hand away, “is more delicate. Mutable. It retreats from the touch, leaves a place for doubt, pain, and improvement. Perhaps this is why I am your lord, and not you mine. But these humans, well,” he crossed his hands behind his back, slowly made his way to the army of pale lizards that awaited his command, “I fear that, as you say, they are softer than any of us.”


Sorvir opened his eyes. His mouth was dry, lips were chapped. Even a few minutes after sunrise it was already hot. Again, there were no clouds in the sky and no chance of rain. He stood up, looked around. He was in the middle of a sea full of yurts. His tribesmen were preparing meals and reading for the struggle to survive another day in this hostile area.

He checked if his sword could be drawn out of the scabbard quickly, spat out the dirt from his mouth and moved to the chieftain's tent in the center of the encampment.
Due to dehydration, he couldn’t think clearly.

“We will die in that blasted land.” he thought.

Sorvir missed the misty forest in which their folks used to live for decades. The tribe was forced to leave it when the cursed Sheol-morg arrived, burnt it to the ground, and killed so many of them. He wanted to stay and fight even if it would mean certain death, but the chieftain ordered otherwise. He swore to be loyal with his blood and he was not an oathbreaker. He buried his pride deep and followed the leader. The bitter taste of defeat was still with him.

He walked deeper into the camp with his mind troubled and suddenly hit the wall and fell to the ground. When he looked up he noticed that it was not a wall at all, but the back of Hugr - the warboss of the Half-Giants that joined the tribe last full moon.

The mountain of muscles slowly turned around with a growl.

“You hit Hugr. You suffer.” snarled the giant.

Sorvir knew he had only a few seconds left to stay alive. He jumped up and started to run hoping that the beast will not chase him. Luckily only the deep laughter of the giant followed him.

Sorvir’s heart was still beating like crazy when he finally entered the chieftain’s yurt. He was on the brink of old age. His hair was long and white and his muscles once strong and thick were becoming limp. Still, he was a man of power and a fierce warrior, veteran of countless battles. Orm glanced at Sorvir, hesitating for a second.

“Sit down, my son. I have a new task for you.”


“Sorvir, did you hear that?” said Jorgin, his best friend since childhood. "That noise?"

“Yes, shut up! Something's coming!” hushed Sorvir.

After two days of traversing through the rocky valleys under the strange totem gaze their scouting party reached a ruined stone city with a pond of drinkable water in the middle. They filled their waterskins and drank as much as they could. For their dried throats that water tasted like nothing before. They cheered thanking the gods for their guidance. The rescue of their tribe was finally found. But their luck wouldn’t hold. When night came, they heard strange noises - roars and squawks that no human being could possibly make. They hid and waited in total silence. Time slowed, and it took almost forever before they saw what was responsible for the noise. Pale man-lizards approached the pond to fill their vases with water. There were hundreds of them, each armed with blades of gold or obsidian. They were different in size and shape. Some of them wore strange golden masks and there were huge beasts among them as well. Just before sunset, the cold-blooded left the area.

“Sorvir, we must go back to the camp and tell everybody about this place.”

“Yes Jorgin, I know. We will fight with them for this place or die of thirst. What kind of choice is that?” The bitter taste in his mouth returned, stronger than before.





Well! What a strange feeling, getting ready for the first battle under a new system, and a living, breathing one at that! Haven’t done that in years. I’ve spent the last couple of months frantically getting the army ready. I’ve always toyed with the idea of painting up an albino lizardmen army, and now the dream finally came true in glorious 10mm scale. The miniatures for Argatoria are a joy to paint, highly detailed and filled with character, they evoke 80s fantasy in the best possible way. My favorite unitwould have to be the Ropuchons, though I had the most fun with the Golden Guards - I even went ahead and tried my hand at NMM for the first time. The results are pleasing to the eye, I think… if you squint.

But enough with the hobby bull and onto the battle! Knowing almost nothing about the system, I skimmed the rules (comfortable with knowing that Tetyana of Spellcrow would be there during the game itself to lead us through any disputes and make every nuance clear!) and concluded that getting the charge is generally a good thing. Thus my army composition was geared towards maximizing charge ranges. Command groups, the Mystic of the Reborn and Champion of Nature would combine their special abilities to make my infantry that crucial bit quicker than Kuba’s filthy barbarians. Other than that, I knew I wanted a horde of killy things, and the tough Reptilians fit the bill nicely. The Golden Guard, Ropuchons and Desauros were all auto-includes, due to how awesome they look on the battlefield. All remaining points went to the humble Liagulians and their armored Sanctified brethren.

My plan was simple. Close in to about 21cm (my average charge range) but above 18 (when Kuba would feel comfortable charging), then pray to the god of all lizards - Mr. Mojo Risin’ - and start rolling low, low, low!



It will be the first real game for me and Jarek in the wild lands of Argatoria. Till now we have both been pushing ourselves to the limits to finish painting armies for this battle report. As we have absolutely zero experience with the game itself we asked Spellcrow for support and luckily Tetyana had time to assist us with all the rule mechanics doubts.

The core of my army will consist of the starter box with some small additions. Dirandis as an army benefits from taking units from the Core and Elite sections so having that in mind I tried to take quite a lot of them but still use all units that are included in the big box. So my Core section consisted of a horde of Brothers of Fire, and two units of 4 bases as well(one for free!). From the Elite section, I took two units of four bases of the Wolf Maidens - they will be my “bait” units. Then the Half-Giants from the Rare section. From the Unique section, I took a unit of four Sasquatches and of course - Dominic the Elephanton.

When I started adding up the points for the units I realized that I will be able to field only three heroes - a General, a single Command Group and the Fortune-teller with a Dispel, Elixir and Blizzard and Whispers of the Gods spells. So no champions for me :( I still don’t know how important they are for the army but I tend to play in the „boys over toys” style. So let's see how it would work and whether I will have to rethink my army composition for the next games.

My plan for the battle is simply to have fun and try to kill as many lizards as possible. I would love to talk about some fancy tactics that I am going to use but the truth is that I simply need to play more games before I can formulate any. All that is left is to march onto the battlefield and pray to the Gods!


Pre battle


Domination, 20 Blood Points. First deployment map.


Arox had to deploy first whole army. They also managed to get one piece of terrain to deploy.


deployment-1 deployment-2 deployment-3


Turn 1

Before the roll for Initiative, the unit of Sasquatches made their pre-game move. Initiative was won by the Arox and they have activated two units - the Sanctified and the Reptilians on the left flank.

Dirandis also activated two units - the Brothers of Fire and the Wolf Maidens on the right flank. Both of them moved closer to the enemies.

Arox activated one unit - the Liagulians, which made a leap toward the board centre.

The roll for the number of activated units for Dirandis was 5 and 6, so all units had to be activated. The remaining units decided to bypass the building, splitting their lines in two. The Sasquatches continued their flanking manoeuvre.

The remaining Arox units moved forward. Unlike the Dirandis, they stayed in a tight formation.

The Arox won the roll for the Hero phase. The first Command group on the left flank moved closer to the Reptilians and the Liagulians. The second Command group stayed close to the horde of Reptilians.
The General, Champion of Nature and Mystic of the Reborn stayed close to the Desauros.
The Mystic of the Reborn managed to cast the Whispers of the Gods. There were no additional orders given.

The Dirandis General moved behind the Half-giants. The Command group stayed just behind the Elephanton.
The Fortune-teller cast the Whispers of the Gods and there were no orders given as well.

Arox 0 : 0 Dirandis

Turn 2

Once more, the Arox won the roll of the Initiative.

With the single activation, the 4 base unit of Liagulians was moved to block the march of the Brothers of Fire and the Wolf Maidens.

The Dirandis responded to this with one activation as well. The Brothers of Fire on the far right flank dashed forward.

Arox activated two units - the Golden Guards moved to support the Liagulians on the right flank.
On the left flank, the unit of Reptilians moved slightly forward.

With three activations the middle of the Dirandis battleline moved slightly closer to the left flank, leaving a path for the Elephanton.

The Arox army responded with three activations as well. The main hitting units in the centre moved closer to the humans.

Dirandis had a single activation and the Wolf Maidens rushed to close the distance between them and the Liagulians.

In the next activation Arox managed to move two units on the left flank. The Sanctified moved to intercept the Sasquatches and the 8-base strong unit of the Liagulians set up to protect the second line.

Two last units from the Dirandis moved. The Sasquatches decided to move aggressively forward and the Elephanton simply squeezed between the building and the horde of the Brothers of Fire.

The Arox rolled "2" for the Initiative in the Hero phase and the Dirandis roll was "1". The Barbarian General decided to use the Elixir but the Lizard mage countered it with the Dispel. So the Initiative was again on the Hotbloods' side.
On the right flank, the Command group moved to support the Liagulians and the Golden Guards. The second band of banner-wielding lizards moved closer to the Desauros and the horde of the Reptilians.
The Mystic of the Reborn managed to cast a Blizzard at the Wolf Maidens, forcing them to move back.
The Lizard general croaked the order and the Sanctified charged the furry beasts in front of them.
The blessed warriors prayed during their charge for the Wrath of Nature but even though it was a success none of the Sasquatches was harmed.

The lizards attacked furiously, but their blades were unable to wound even one of the beasts.

The Command group moved closer to the Wolf Maidens. The Fortune-teller tried to cast Blizzard but failed.
The Great Hunter joined the horde of the Brothers of Fire and ordered the Wolf Maidens to move.
The brave warrior-women prayed for the Agility and charged into the Liagulians. They were 15cm away from the enemies and the roll was "2" and a "1"... But thanks to the prayer it was a success.
But then their luck ended there as they managed to cause only a single wound.

Arox 0 : 0 Dirandis

Turn 3

The third Initiative roll was won by the Dirandis, even though the Arox used their special rule allowing them to re-roll their die.
The Dirandis' roll for the number of activated units was 5.

The Sasquatches were the first activated unit. They hit real hard, wiping out the whole unit of the Sanctified!

The second activation was the Wolf Maidens. They prayed for Strength and managed to kill 2 bases of the Liagulians.

Three remaining activations were used to rotate the horde of the Brothers of Fire, a small unit of Brothers of Fire and the Half-giants.

The Arox had a single activation. Golden Guards charged the Wolf Maidens and butchered them mercilessly before backing away.

In Dirandis turn only the Elephanton moved slightly forward.

The Arox got three activations and the Lizard King chose this moment for an all-out attack. The Desauros and the horde of Reptilians came closer to threaten their foes. The third unit to move was the weakened unit of Liagulians, who were previously rescued by the Golden Guards.

The only unit left on the Dirandis side was a small unit of the Brothers of Fire. They moved closer in an attempt to finish off the Liagulians later in the game.

The Arox moved all their remaining units. The left flank turned to the centre moving away from the Sasquatches.

Now came the decisive moment of the battle. All upcoming rolls for the Initiative would have a huge impact on the final result.

The roll of the Initiative in the Hero phase was won by the Dirandis. But those sneaky lizards still had some tricks to play!
They decided to use their Elixir, but it promptly got dispelled by the Dirandis. Then they used their army special rule and re-rolled the die. The new result was equal to that of the Dirandis. A reroll was needed and this time it was an Arox victory!

The Champion of Nature joined the horde of Reptilians. The Command groups sped forward to provide their auras to as many units as possible.
Then the Mystic of the Reborn tried to cast the Whispers of the Gods but failed.
Now everything was up to the Sox’Augatir. The Lizard King chortled and the horde of the Reptilians reacted.

They charged while chanting prayers to the gods. These prayers did not go unanswered. The unit was blessed with Fortune.

Reptilians entered a real death-frenzy. This was a massacre with eleven ones on the "to hit" roll! This quickly led to fifteen (!!!) dead bases for the Brothers of Fire - leaving only 1 left. And the Arox now only needed one more blood point to win the game.

There was nothing else to do for Dirandis but try to pre-empt the inevitable. This game could still be won by the humans!
To do so, the Reptilians horde had to be annihilated.
The Fortune-teller managed to cast the Whispers of the Gods. The Command group moved as close as it could to the lone Barbarian base.
The General attached himself to the Half-giants and it was time to try to give the order... The roll was a success and the Elephanton would have its chance to prove itself in battle. It needed to kill at least 5 bases - so that the Reptilians would lose their horde rule.

The Elephanton trampled and crushed its foes mercilessly, killing 6 bases of the Reptilians outright.

Arox 19 : 12 Dirandis

Turn 4

The result at that point was 19:12 for the Arox. The General who would snatchwin Initiative would most likely win the game as well.
The Arox would need to finish off the single base of the Brothers of Fire and the Dirandis would charge the flank of the Reptilians with the General-led unit of Half-giants.
The dice hit the table. It was a 4 for the Dirandis, +2 due to the Whispers of the Gods, for a total of 6. The Arox rolled a 4. But again - their special reroll was used and when the die stopped moving, it came up a 6. A tie! Another roll-off was needed!

This time the result was 5 for Arox and just 2 for Dirandis. The Arox would have the Initiative.

Even though the Arox had only a single activation, they used it to finish off the lone Barbarian base easily, winning the game.



Orm fell to his knees next to battered remnants of his last remaining son. Hugr managed to retrieve his body from the battlefield. The Half-giant stood now motionless, a witness to the chieftain’s grief. Sorvir paid the highest price for his pride and stubbornness. Orm gently closed the young warrior's eyes. Then he noticed a golden tooth-like piece that was still stuck in Sorvir’s neck. It was a fragment of the sword wielded by one of the lizards that attacked and butchered them mercilessly. He pulled it free, cutting his fingers deep with the razor-sharp edges of the piece of the blade.

He sat there alone with his thoughts, wondering why the Gods have abandoned his people. He cursed them for the losses he suffered. His bloodline ended here. On the sands of this forsaken land. With almost no chase of survival. Then he felt her gaze upon him.

“Orm! Stand up! Your people need you. You cannot show weakness. Not now.”

His soul burned with rage. In a blink of an eye, he was on his feet with his hands on Lorca's throat trying to suffocate her. He raised her up effortlessly, her legs kicking wildly, trying to find support.

“How dare you, woman, to speak to me this way? Who do you think you are?”

“The mother of your unborn son”, gasped the fortune-teller, wrapping her arms around her belly in a defensive gesture.

Orm released his grip letting her hit the ground next to the dead Sorvir. She coughed, trying to catch her breath.

“Be damned, witch!”

He left her on the ground and marched into the darkness of the night. He wanted to be alone.

“Maybe this is how it must be. The gods might only allow us to find a new home when all of those who still remember the old one are dead.”


There were two pale creatures on the ridge. One toadlike and frail, the second, a knot of muscles under scaled skin. They watched as the human army withdrew.

“Blood!”, growled Ssath. “Blood for the ancient ones! A victory!”

K’Tan’to nodded his heavy head.

“Many have fallen! Many slain!”, roared Ssath. “The valley is ours. The world!”

“The world”, the old Liagulian echoed.

The blood-crazed warrior looked at his lord. Doubt flickered in his beady black eyes. Far behind him, in the camp, the wounded were being treated and the few remaining prisoners led to a great bonfire.

“Have we not won a great victory? Have we not killed many sons of man?”


K’Tan’to pointed a crooked finger at the Dirandis force.

“But see there. See how they form a defensive circle, even as they leave?

Their forces still defend the old, the young, the weak. They have not, will not give up. See how the women sway in their gait, overfull, brimming with life? Our next great hatching will not come for many cycles. They will replenish their numbers soon. And return. Their gaze is set upon this land. A river always finds its way to the ocean.”

“They are no river,” growled Ssath. “Save a river of blood.”

K’Tan’to sighed a heavy sigh.

“Come,” he said finally. “Let us see to the sacrifices. The gods will not be denied their prize.”

And then, a moment later, the ridge was empty once more.


Arox 20 : 12 Dirandis

Post game


I am the Lizard King, I can do anything! Sorry. Had to be done. Well that went rather well, I’d say! A lot of posturing and cautious moves from both sides, some skirmishes on the flanks (those Sasquatches are NASTY!) and then, just as my brain was starting to overheat from all the strategizing (and furiously counting and recounting the likelihood of charges), I just decided to go for it. And so it was that my horde of pale lizards smashed into the juiciest target on the board - a horde of weakling so-called barbarians. Of course to get there, I needed to win some rather unlikely rolls, like gaining the initiative twice in a row, and with Kuba getting a +2 modifier too… but we’ll just chalk that up to my clearly superior generalship. I tried being more clever, really I did! But he hid his damn elephant where my dinosaur couldn’t reach it. Decisive action was definitely required.

Fortune, fortunately, really favored the bold (and scaly) this day. My lizard warriors rolled ones like no-one’s business and slaughtered their way to victory. Legends say that the dust kicked up by the fleeing humans lingers in the valley of death to this very day. Nyaaa!

Fighting Kuba’s toy soldiers with my own was a joy, as always. As was playing under Tetyana’s watchful eye. The look of disbelief in those (as well as Kuba's!) eyes as I rolled my Reptillian attack dice was just icing on the cake. That shouldn't have worked!

But it did. It did.


What a close game it was!!! I had a fair chance to actually win this game, but lost all the rolls that could lead me to victory.

Jarek took a different approach when building his force and having all the heroes made his army way more flexible than mine. His longer charge ranges made me hesitate to push forward. I tried to lure him into charging into my horde with his own horde. This part of the plan worked with one exception - I was not ready for eleven ones that appeared on his “to hit” roll. Losing 15 bases in one charge was really brutal - at that point, I lost 19 bases and Jarek needed only 1 more to win the game. I was in a great position to counter-charge, but needed to win the initiative roll with a +2 bonus, then finish off his horde with the Half-giants. I failed, Jarek activated a single unit and finished off my sole remaining base of barbarians, winning the game. Nicely played, Mr Albino!

Where did it all go wrong? First of all - the army composition. After the battle we noticed that my army was illegal, as you have to include at least one Champion. So I should have started building the army with the heroes. I think that taking 2 Command groups is a good idea. This game is all about charging and the Command group is the key to making a successful charge. When I consider the differences in our armies, I see that the Mystic of the Reborn from the Arox fraction can make units charge crazy long distances. It would be nice to have some cavalry to counter this, but I had no such miniatures yet. YET.

When it comes to the game itself - I think I could use my Elephanton much more aggressively. I should put him in front of the Arox horde, where it could not be ignored. For sure he would die - but hey! It is only 1 blood point after all! This manoeuvre would allow me to be in a position to counter-charge with the half-giants and the horde of the Brothers of Fire. Also, I made a terrible mistake when positioning my command group - I moved them in to support the Wolf Maidens' charge, but I didn’t take sufficient care during this move. When the ladies turned to face the enemy, they slipped out of range of the command group aura… I definitely could use them better elsewhere. On the other hand, the Sasquatches are amazing and my plan to outflank Jarek's forces with them worked out rather nicely.

Argatoria is a totally different game from the ones I used to play. It requires readjusting your tactics and the way you plan the battle itself. Is it fun? Yes, and much more so than I anticipated!!! This is a real, modern tabletop wargame experience with an old-school vibe!

All in all - I enjoyed this game quite a lot. It is obvious that I need more practice and to rethink my army composition. This was certainly not my last battle in the wild, untamed lands of Argatoria. Jarek simply beat me this time but I will have my revenge in the future!