Sunday, 29 November 2015

Kings of War Battle Report! AKA Minty pops his KoW Cherry!

I haven't been getting my fantasy wargame on lately mainly due to the storm of apathy that Age of Sigmar provoked in our gaming group. For a while I've been wanting to play Kings of War and last week Vinny expressed an interest. So as two experienced gamers a 2000 point demo game was the order of the day. We downloaded the free rules and it's another episode of Good vs Evil - This Time It's Personal! My Wood Elves vs Vinny's Undead.

We Don't Need Your Stinkin' Tactics!

Rather than bore people who read this about my non valid tactical thoughts on Kings of War, I just picked stuff that I wanted to use to see how the game works. With only the vaguest of ideas of how the game plays and what stats are more important than others I brought a force, not entirely dissimilar to my Warhammer 8th Edition army. So I brought Minty, a *Tree Herder, a mage armed with a Sabre Toothed Pussycat, Regiment of Kindred Archers, troop of Gladestalkers, 2 regiments of Stormwind Cavalry, Drakon Rider Horde, Hunters of the wild, and a Horde of Tallspears. As I mentioned before, my grasp of the game was shaky so learning what shit does would help with any future plans. Vinny's forces were Soulreaver Cavalry, Zombie regiment, Ghoul regiment, Zombie Trolls, a Necromancer, 3 regiments of Skeletons, a Vampire, some **Werewolves. Vinny also provided his rather splendid battleboards for our mutual enjoyment along with his themed scenery and also Pat came along to provide neutrality and some **fingers of fudge.

Initial Deployment

Vinny lost the roll for intial set up. I deployed rather haphazardly with cavalry and fast moving units to the flanks (bar one centrally placed Stormwind unit) with the general idea that rolling up flanks has some sort of tactical benefit. Vinny did something similar with his Werewolves and Soulblight cavalry out on the flanks either in an attempt to counter my rolling up flanks idea or in some twisted parody of my valiant Elf masterplan. Vinny then won the roll for first turn and elected to go second. After the customary handshake and good luck type salutation (along with a secret crossed fingers behind my back play) the game was on!

Elf deployment


Undead Deployment

Turn One

I advanced my units up fairly aggressively with the hope that Vinny would do the same and give me lots of easy charges next turn. As I had moved most of my army to within charge range next turn but not close enough to let Vinny charge me, my movement was fine except for a slight miscalculation (or just plain stupidity) where my archer regiment was about 1" out of shooting range. The Gladestalkers plinked a couple of damage off the skeletons nearest them and as I hadn't equipped my mage with any zap type spells my turn ended with little to show for it.

First Shot from ****TRIPODCAM©


End of Elf Turn 1

Second Shot from TRIPODCAM©

TRIPODCAM© rocks!
Vinny advances and decides my leaving the Stormwind an inch or two out of the Soulreaver charge range was a bit of a dickmove. Good naturedly of course. The forces of Undeath shuffle forward giving me plenty of choice for my next turn. The Balefire Catapult targeted my Stormwind unit that are dressed up as Wild Riders. The reason for this is probably because of several shitkickings Vinny's army has received from them. Luckily he missed. The Ghouls surge forward 3" and a lightning bolt damages the other Stormwind unit mildly.


Dick Move #1

End of Undead Turn 1

Minty surveys the battlefield

Turn Two

Movement Elf Turn 2
This turn I declared quite a few charges. Now this is where my lack of experience showed. Not really knowing how good/bad units were I declared the following Stormwind#1 into the Soulreavers, Minty into the Zombie Trolls and the Tree Herder into the Ghouls. In the centre of the table Stormwind#2 charged the Revenants and my Drakon Riders charged into the Werewolves in the woods over on my right. The only things I didn't move were my Tallspears and Archer units. Little is acheived in the shooting phase as the archers cause I think a total of two wounds and the Mage forgets how to heal his mates. Of all the combats only the Stormwind vs the Revenants causes a rout. The rest are reasonably successful but all get beaten back. most annoying was to prove to be the Drakon riders vs the Werewolves not playing fair by skulking in the woods. Only causing a measly 4 damage. I will come to regret that. 

My first mistake

The 1" shuffle back combat resolution looks a trifle unheroic 

Meanwhile on the other side of the battlefield.
Vinny's turn is rather unpleasant for me, and at the same time rather weird. The Soul Reaver cavalry and Zombies charge the now not-so-cocky Stormwind, the Zombie trolls bowl into Minty, the Vampire lord charges into the other stormwind unit whilst the Werewolves counter charge the Drakon riders. The shooting phase sees the Necromancer Bane Chant the Zombie Trolls and the Balefire Catapult proves just how bad eyeless sockets are for targeting by missing again. In combat the Soul Reavers and Zombies cause a nasty 24 wounds on the stormwind but Vinny duly rolls a double 1 to rout them. A you didn't rout my cavalry dance was swiftly enacted then it was back to the carnage. The Werewolves showed the Soul reavers how to fight properly and routed the Drakon Riders. The Zombie trolls cause 9 damage on Minty scaring the bejasus out of him! The second Stormwind take 4 more damage but withstand the onslaught from Mr Vampire. At the end of the turn things look pretty evenly balanced.

My Stormwind Cavalry are not in their happy place.

Turn Three

It was now time to get stuck back in. Charges were Stormwind #1 into the Zombies that had just flanked them, Minty back into the Zombie Trolls, Tree Herder back into the Ghouls, Stormwind#2 into the Balefire Catapult and the Hunters of the Wild into the Wraiths. The rest of the movement consisted of the Tallspears advancing towards the Werewolves and Wraiths with a mind to charge one or the other if the opportunitypresented itself and to keep my rather rubbish mage out of the way. My melee phase was pretty cool.Stormwind#1 routed the Zombies, rather than move away from the Soul Reavers and give them the chance to advance towards my other units I shuffle back so if they did charge them (a forgone conclusion I thought) any movement would get them further from the main action. Minty caused a respectable 7 damage on the Zombie Trolls but I then failed to rout them! This would be uncomfortable next turn. both the Tree Herder and Stormwind#2 routed their opponents whereas the Hunters just bounced off the Wraiths (I didn't know how tough they were).

End of Elven turn 3

Zombie Trolls seem to be tricky opponents.
Vinny starts his move by charging Stormwind#1, Minty, and the Hunters with Soul Reavers, Zombie Trolls and Wraiths respectively. He then moved his werewolves into the position in the picture below using Nimble, annoying. He Bane Chants all over the Zombie Trolls and then Vampy zaps the Stormwind#2 unit for 2 damage. Melee is pretty eventful as Minty is routed, and the Hunters waver.

Dick Move #2
The Soul Reavers then inflict another 4 damage on the Stormwind#1 and in the subsequent Nerve test rolls the dice pictured below! Snake Eyes two turns in a row! Surely these guys are living a charmed life? If I thought my you didn't rout my cavalry dance was enjoyable, Vinny's I didn't rout your cavalry two turns in a row dance was even better!

24 damage points is meaningless when you roll like this!

Turn Four

As the Stormwind were now living on borrowed time (an unkind word would probably rout them) I thought I'd try to get my money's worth out of them by charging the Zombie Trolls. My Tree Herder charges the skeleton spearmen and the Stormwind#2 go for Mr Vampire. Tallspears, and both Archer units turn to face the Werewolves shooting a couple of wounds from them. The mage heals the damage on the Hunters. in the melees the Zombie Trolls are routed and the Stormwind advance 6" towards the Necromancer. The Tree Herder inflicts not enough damage to rout the Skeletons and Stormwind#2 fail to kill the Vampire lord.

Operation: Stormwind Cavalry hide from the Soulreaver Cavalry

Finally got rid of the Zombie Trolls
As with most good wargames units were getting a bit thin on the ground. Vinny got some double charges off - the Vampire and Skeletons into the Stormwind#2, Wraiths and another Skeleton unit into the Hunters. Also the Skeleton Spears charged into the Tree Herder. I was surprised to see the Necromancer not move out of the Stormwind#1 front arc but like I said before very little was going to rout them so I had an inkling of what was coming. The Werewolves scooted around the back of the Tallspears into within spitting distance of my archers. The Necromancer fails to damage my Stormwind#1 with his arcane jiggery pokery and is now in very real danger of death by horse. The melees go as I expect with the skeleton Spears bouncing off the Tree Herder and both my Stormwind#2 and Hunters unit taking an early bath.
Hunters of the Wild get a kicking!

End of Undead movement

Turn Five

Time was getting on so it was shit or bust time. Stormwind #1 charged the Necromancer, Tree Herder into the Skeleton Spears and both units of archers into the Werewolves. My mage who had spent the last four turns doing next to nothing set his cat on the Wraiths. Some rather wicked rolling on my part sent them packing back into whatever graveyard they came from with their incorporeal tails between their legs. Melee phase caused the redemise of the Skeleton Spears and the Necromancer. My archer units sort of bounced off the Werewolves. 

The Wraiths are destroyed by a playful kitty!


In KoW archers charging Werewolves is an actual thing.

The werewolves charged my Gladestalkers and the Vampire Lord charged the Stormwind #1. Inevitably the Stormwind finally succumbed to the severe beating they have received from turn 2 and finally routed - not bad for a unit on 28 damage! The Gladestalkers withstood the Werewolf charge and we called the game due to it being late and we both had work in the morning. So after some totaling up the game turned out to be a draw, a hugely enjoyable, eventful draw that really got me enthused about Fantasy Wargaming again!

Werewolves charging archers is more common.

The inevitable Vampire/Stormwind Cavalry on 24 damage combat.

Conclusion

Well apart from the inactivity during my opponents turn, I really enjoyed my first Kings of War game. I think both Vinny & Pat were similarly impressed. The game is quick and easy to play with, I suspect lots of tactical aspects as well. From the point of the game, I think my biggest mistake was not double teaming the Soul Reaver with the Dragon and Stormwind#1. Had I done that instead of going for the Zombie Trolls who were effectively blocked in by the Ghouls I could have got rid of them turn 2. Although my unbelievable luck with the Stormwind got me a draw when a victory to Vinny would have been a fairer result. In the future a Bane Chant equipped mage would make my archers not so rubbish and could've swung the combat with the Hunters and the Wraiths. I'm sure knowing the stats of my opponents units would have helped with decision making. But then that's the fun of learning an entirely new game system. So my next KoW action is to start planning my Forces of Nature army.

Thanks for reading.


*    I didn't think Treeman was GW's I.P. but just in case it is, Tree Herder it is.
**  Masquerading a Varghulfs.
***Not, in any way the Slaanesh type.
****I bought a tripod.
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