DarkBlack's Call to Arms

Hello!
Having gotten into playing on Universal Battle recently (due to the pandemic) I just had to sign up to Call to Arms 4. With the ease of recording and some inspiration from the legendary Swordmaster, I decided to write up my games here.

I will mostly be using my night-stalkers that I own actual models of, but might try out a unit I am considering buying or (if occasion calls for it) play my dwarfs.

3 Likes

Round 1: Night-stalkers vs John Douglass’ Empire of Dust.
Dominate at 2300 points

Night-stalkers:
Scarecrow Regiment
Scarecrow Horde
Doppelgangers
Shadow Hounds Regiment
Butchers Horde
Butchers Horde
Soulflayers Regiment
Soulflayers Regiment
Terror
Shadow-hulk
Dread-fiend
Void Lurker
Shade

The plan with this army is to use the butchers, terror and shadow-hulk as an aggressive hammer. While that happens the faster elements delay the enemy on one flank and put pressure on the other. The shade and dread-fiend are there to disrupt shooters and add dread to fights.

Empire of Dust:
Revenants Regiment -Casket of the Damned
Revenants Regiment -Casket of the Damned
Revenants Horde -Casket of the Damned
Mummies Regiment -Casket of the Damned
Mummies Regiment -Casket of the Damned
Desert Swarm Regiment
Desert Swarm Regiment
Enslaved Guardian Archers
Monolith
Soul Snare
Ahmunite Pharaoh - Eternal Guard
Revenant on Undead Great Burrowing Wyrm - Poison Breath
Apaphys, Champion of Death

A solid core with a strong offensive (but slow) battle group in the pharaoh and mummies. A lot of surge capability, so I need to be careful with my flanks. The amount of surge also means that I should be mindful of the extra threat range, but I learn that the hard way in this game. Apaphys is a beast that will put down my void lurker in a straight fight, so I need to have other units support that.

Deployment:


Both armies put a solid core in the centre, because the scenario is dominate.
Nigh-stalkers put my titans on the left (their right flank) while the mummies are on the other flank.
The nigh-stalkers titans are meant to support the butchers from the left (hopefully smashing through Apaphys) while the dread-fiend stops the shooting and the shadow hounds and soulflayers keep the mummies busy.

Night-Stalkers turn 1


The centre moves up slowly and the scarecrow horde gets left behind to fall to the second line.
My flanks are aggressive though, the void lurker gets right into position. The left soulflayers are unopposed, so go to threaten the rear later. The dread-fiend gets in range to charge the enslaved guardian archers. The right soulflayers and shadow hounds move to call the attention of the mummies away from the centre.

Empire of Dust turn 1


The shadow hounds did get their attention, but more than they bargained for. Mummies surge right in there, with a poor roll at that. The desert swarm don’t get to surge into the dread-fiend’s flank because the monolith had to surge the mummies too. The shadow hounds wanted to avoid fighting till turn 2 or 3, because their mission is to keep units away from the centre, so this is not ideal. It is reckless of the Empire of Dust though, mummies would do an average of 5 damage to my De 4+ on average, so would then need an 11 on nerve to not get flanked by soulflayers.
The enslaved guardian archers waver the dread-fiend, so that plan is put to a stop too.
The rest of the army shuffles to face the threat coming down the left flank.

Night-Stalkers turn 2


The mummies get flanked and killed as expected. My scarecrows charge the desert swarm so that the nigh-stalkers get to be the army with chaff in the centre-right.
The butchers not move short because of the surge potential just displayed, but forget to make sure that they can actually charge something next turn. So much for “aggressive hammer”.
The mobile forces on the left move into position while the void lurker starts his stand off just out of Apaphys’ charge range.
The shade does what seems like a good idea at the time, but then realises that it can’t see much to charge and the monolith doesn’t get disordered.

Empire of Dust turn 2


The fight on the right flank gets going (again, much earlier in the game than I should let it), but the mummies don’t get in! With 23 surge dice fed into them, the mummies go 5 inches. This denies the desert swarm their surge again, so the scarecrow regiment only gets shot at.
I took this screen shot a little early. The soul snare does 6 damage to the terror with drain life and the left desert swarm gets surged just the wrong amount and end up just out of contact with the terror, but not in the shadow-hulk’ sway

Night-Stalkers turn 3


The terror regenerate 3 damage and stomps on the desert swarm, while the shadow hulk gets rid of the soul snare. The left soulflayers and dread-fiend charge in to keep the enemy in place while “aggressive hammer” get ready to charge.
On the right flank the shadow hounds keep grinding (they regenerate some damage) and the soulflayers abandon the plan for a flank charge, with a little help from the shade.

Empire of Dust turn 3


The Empire of Dust wins the right flank. Shadow hounds go down and surge actually works! Mummies hit the rear of the soulflayers and devastate them, but roll a double 1. Guardians stomp on a shade.
In the centre, Apaphys goes to support the right while the dread-fiend gets munched and the soulflayers get wavered.

Night-Stalkers turn 4


Now that the game is half way done, my “aggressive hammer” finally charges. The revenants get hit hard but hold. The wavered soulflayers back up to let the terror in and the titan accomplish their mission.
The devastated soulflayers do 0 damage.

Empire of Dust turn 4


The revenant horde hit the right butchers and the fight flank gets cleared up.
This is actually a threat to me, the units on the right are good units and also a lot of US with not much stopping them. while my successful flank is cramped against the building and my own units are in the way of them scoring. Thankfully I have a second line.

Night-Stalkers turn 5


The nigh-stalkers win the centre. Butchers turn to face the next wave. Sure would have been nice if that flank got delayed instead of fighting in the first turn. :man_facepalming:

Empire of Dust turn 5


The Empire of Dust start their late offensive, they need to push through the damaged units to score.
There is a respectable amount of unit strength facing the middle while the night-stalkers trip over themselves.
The butchers hold though, nerve roll of 3 saves them (needed a 5)

Night-Stalkers turn 6


Doppelgangers get in the fight and fail to destroy the mummies (the mummies regenerate all 5 of those wounds). The soulflayers find that they are a little too far to score, which makes a draw a real possibility.
If the doppelgangers, right butchers and void lurker are killed then we both have 2 unit strength 3 units scoring.
My titans get into fights with his titans to keep them busy, while my void lurker sneakily scores and pulls the wyrm out of scoring

Empire of Dust turn 6


My doppelgangers hang in there, but Pharaoh himself finishes off the butchers. Leaving the game in my favour.
Just outside of scoring titanic monsters are locked in combat!

We get turn 7.

Night-Stalkers turn 7


I use my borrowed time I shove units into the scoring bubble!
The terror stops giving the monolith tentacle hugs and goes to score a point, while the soulflayers help to put the last revenants down.
Most importantly: the shadow-hulk defeats the CHAMPION OF DEATH proving that shadow and The Void are to be feared more that Death.

Empire of Dust turn 7


The game ends on a vengeful note.
With victory firmly out of his grasp the Ahumite Pharaoh shows Death who the champion is by destroying more butchers and having his enslaved guardians shoot (yes the stealthy things) off the soulflayers.
The mummies seems unable to come to grips with the weirdness that is doppelgangers.

Scores:


The end has 4 night-stalker units for 8 US to the Empire of Dust’s one unit for 3 US.

I certainly underestimated the surge potential of this opponent and the right flank did not go as planned. The rest of the battle field was mine to dictate though. My opponent stayed on the back foot after I put pressure on his army and I won through. I am not sure how I would have dealt with Apaphys if he was more aggressive, rather than standing off. The right flank could have been a much larger problem if Apaphys was there to deal with. I couldn’t even stall Sp 5 infantry, never mind a flyer.
It got messy after the attack with the impassable terrain and difficult (grey square) restricting me, but that terrain was the reason that there was so little opposition there. My titans attacked through that terrain with strider.

Thank you for reading!
I will post my round 2 game in this topic too.

11 Likes

Thanks for writing this up! Thrilled to have some KOW reports to read. Nice work in Game 1, will stay tuned for the next one.

1 Like

Very cool. I have not joined the Call to Arms, but have started a UB mini league locally of 4 players, with the aim that if we get familiarized and comfortable with the software this time around, some of us might join a larger international thing in the near future. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Awesome write up man.

Congrats on the win.
Also best of luck with the rest of your games, eager to read future reports. Will you be posting them in this thread?

1 Like

I will be posting all of them here.

Thanks for reading!

Round 2 vs Mark Nicholas with Basileans
Pillage at 2000 points

Night-stalkers:
Scarecrow Regiment
Scarecrow Horde
Doppelgangers
Shadow Hounds Regiment
Butchers Horde
Butchers Horde
Soulflayers Regiment
Terror
Shadow-hulk
Dread-fiend
Void Lurker

Similar to my last list, but 300 points smaller. I deemed the shade (which struggles to matter) and the second regiment of soulflayers to be the least useful (also exactly 300 points :slight_smile: ), so I dropped them.

Basileans
Men-at-Arms Spearmen Horde - Hammer of Measured Force
Paladin Foot Guard Regiment
Paladin Foot Guard Regiment
Gur Panthers Troop
Gur Panthers Troop
Ogre Palace Guard Horde
Elohi Horde
Phoenix
Bearer of the Holy Icon - Lute of Insatiable Darkness
Ur-Elohi - Blade of the Beast Slayer
Samacris, Mother of Pheonixes
Danor the Wizard

That is a centre to beat mine! A solid line with ogres to hit hard. and a lot of healing to win a grind. I need to hit hard and kill units.
Some good fast units too, but I have more nimble and should be able to win the flanks.
The double phoenix is redundant, which isn’t bad, but it’s expensive in a small army

Deployment:


We both put objectives out on the flanks to potentially draw troops away. I put and objective in the woods, because I can take it with my titans, they have strider. Then we loaded up the right flank.

Centres in the middle. Basileans put their panthers far on the flanks to keep my fast troops busy and put the dangerous stuff toward the left.
I roughly matched, but put my cavalry on the right to overwhelm the right side.

Turn 1


Night-stalkers won the roll off and decided to go second.
The Basileans moved up a little.
The Night-stalkers pushed up in the middle and went aggressive on the flanks. Gur panthers are Sp 10, so I am not getting the drop on them. Panthers are also not very threatening, so I got in their face to get the engagement on the flanks going, because my centre is outmatched.
I realised later in the turn that I had given the Ur-Elohi a flank on my dread-fiend, but left it because that would let my void lurker charge first. Again, I want to clear the flanks and help the centre as soon as possible (or distract the elohi).

Basileans Turn 2


The Basileans move to a defensive position in the centre and take the bait on the flanks.
The dread-fiend has a bit of luck and survives.
At this point I realise that the Blade of the Beast slayer is not actually useful, Ur-Elohi are CS 2 base against my De 4+

Night-stalkers Turn 2


The dread-fiend holding gives my void lurker a flank, but I roll duoble one!
I clear the panthers on the right and move up in the centre.
My regiment of scarecrows sneak off to hang out on an objective and not do anything else in this game.

Basileans Turn 3


The Basileans push up in the centre, because the flanks are already a problem. While the Basileans need to get the fight going, they are give the night-stalkers their pick of which units to fight.
The pheonix scarifies itself to protect the right flank.
The dread-fiend wavers again. The soulflayers get hit with some fireball.

Night-stalkers Turn 3


The spectator “pinx74” says it. The game if pretty much decided this turn.
The night-stalkers get three double charges, expecting to kill the phoenix and maybe one of the other units with a bit of luck. All three units go down, average damage followed by pairs of decent nerve rolls.
Night-stalkers go from a outmatched centre that needs help from the flanking forces to mopping up a shredded line and moving in from two won flanks.
I try to pivot the right butchers to avoid getting flanked but notice later that they can’t pivot past the other unit without stepping on Danor’s toes.
This is the last useful thing that Danor manages.

Basileans Turn 4


The spearmen kill the butchers with a flank charge and turn to hold the right flank.
The remaining paladins deal some damage, but are not as fortunate as the Night-stalkers when rolling nerve.
Elohi threaten from the right, because that flank isn’t clear yet.
Soulflayers go down to fireball.

Night-stalkers Turn 4


The right flank is finally clear and Night-stalkers turn to face the elohi. The terror blocks the elohi’s line of sight to the shadow-hulk’s rear, so that it can stomp on some infantry.
The spearmen hold the flank very well.
Danor will try to do some more damage to finish off the butchers for the rest of the game and fail every time.

Basileans Turn 5


The elohi hit the doppelgangers and wavers them. The elohi need to kill, or Danor needs to finish off the butcher to avoid a (hindered) flank charge from the butchers, but neither happens.
The spear horde recover all their damage and punish the shadow hounds.

Night-stalkers Turn 5


The heroic line of spears who held their line like they were supposed to don’t see the shaodow-hulk coming up behind them and are crushed mercilessly. The elohi hold against the butchers in their flank though.
The shadow hounds go to lick their wounds on an objective.

Turn 6


Danor fails to put damage any on my wounded units. The elohi destroy the doppelgangers and are destroyed in turn.
Night-stalkers move to objectives.

Turn 7


We get turn 7, which lets the terror and void lurker catch Samacris. It is a tournament and I want those kill points.

While I think I was heading toward a win already, this game became very one-sided in turn 3.
I didn’t roll poorly in this game, no crazy lucky success, but also no misfortune.
Which does make this victory feel somewhat hollow, a better game for my gracious opponent would have been more fun for both of us. With two good wins I’m in for some hard games in the next rounds though!

Thank you for reading and watch this thread for round 3.

7 Likes

Hello !

I am the now famous PINX74 … :wink:

actually the game really turned at that time!

and, as a Basileans player, I was very sad about the turn, but it already felt like coming with a difficult center, and sides not very strong …

IMHO of not very good player, and that Elohis intervened too late and should have helped one of two sides to take over. either in support of the spearmens …

but it’s always easier when you’re a spectator …

again sorry, for this little remark during your game, usually I am discreet to not disturb … :slight_smile:

miss this time, I hope no one took it wrong.

in any case thank you for this beautiful part.

and don’t hesitate to warn me when Basielans are getting ready to play …
bye (and sorry for my poor english)

3 Likes

No need to apologise!
I mentioned it because it was fitting.

As long as someone isn’t advising one of the players then I like to have some chat going.

Round 3 vs Ben Johnson
Kill at 2000 points

Firstly, I must thank Ben for his patience. I had to postpone our game because my daughter decided that our scheduled time was a good time to be born!
During our game Ben also waited for me while my wife needed a hand with our little one.

For this round we are using a modified Kill! scenario, to test out an idea to make the scenario fit into the Northern King’s scoring system. The idea is to add 6 objectives for bonus points, so that all the point don’t come from killing things.


Most of the difficult terrain on the right and the far left flank is a little cut off from the rest of the battlefield. The small grey tombstones are the objectives

On to the lists: we were both playing with armies that we have physical models for, so I’ve included pictures!

Night-stalkers:
Scarecrow Regiment
Scarecrow Horde
Doppelgangers
Shadow Hounds Regiment
Butchers Horde
Butchers Horde
Soulflayers Regiment
Terror
Shadow-hulk
Dread-fiend
Void Lurker

This is the same list as Round 2. A solid line with cool monsters and fast sneaky units for the flanks.

Trident Realm
Depth Horror Horde
Depth Horror Horde
Depth Horror Horde
Depth Horror Regiment
Depth Horror Regiment
Depth Horror Regiment
Depth Horror Regiment
Tidal Swarm
Tidal Swarm
Tidal Swarm
Knucker
Knucker
Knucker
Depth Horror Eternal
Depth Horror Eternal
Depth Horror Eternal

This is a challenge. Not only is my stealthy irrelevant, but the ensnare is very relevant for two combat focused armies. The idea is also similar to my own, but with chaff and the flankers are more slippery.
There are also 4 units more than I have, so the depth horror hordes will go down after I’ve deployed. The infantry can also take mine in a fight. I will need to bring my monsters and more powerful fast units to bear.


This army was a challenge to build an army for £50! Looks great!

Deployment


As I pointed out above, I have fewer drops than my opponent, so the main punch of the Trident Realm came down after my army was out. I went with my usual setup of a line of butchers facing looking with the titans in the terrain to make the most of their strider. Shadow hounds out on a flank to keep things busy. The void lurker went down near the middle to be more flexible, but intending to join the fast units on the left if the hordes or depth horrors didn’t oppose that flank.
My opponent weighted the flank that I did not. The tidal swarms came right at me to be bait and disrupt my plans.

Night-stalkers turn 1


Night-stalkers are given the first turn and use it to creep up and be indecisive with my flying units.

Trident Realm turn 1


The trident realm push up on the right flank. Tidal swarms come right in to stall my line and do a little damage. On the left flank the nimble units avoid each other and waste each other’s time. That’s a taste of my own medicine.

Night-stalkers turn 2


The tidal swarms get stomped on. The scarecrow horde flank one regiment of tidal swarms to get a shift to the right. I reform my “line” to avoid getting double charged (this will be somewhat of a theme).
The shadow hounds cannot hide from so many fast and nimble opponents, so I invite one knucker to get caught up in a with them or leave a threat in the coming advance’s flank.

On the left flank I make a bad strategic decision (in hindsight, of course). I turn my flyers to threaten the flank of the bulk of the enemy and avoid combat with my dread fiend. I’m used to avoiding combat with my nimble units and threatening the flank with my flyers is good, but not on the same flank.
I need to win the far left flank to effectively attack from there, but I let myself get stalled.

Trident Realm turn 2


The Trident Realm do what I should be doing on the far left on the far right and get a lucky waver on my shadow hounds. The depth horrors creep in, using the terrain to make charging them near futile.

Night-stalkers turn 3


The scarecrows push up to cover my void lurker and give my army space to move up the left. Not that much is moving up the left, because the soulflayers turn right in response to the knucker coming around my flank.

Trident Realm turn 3


The Trident Realm don’t take the bait and engage units to get rid of the scarecrow horde. The right flank creeps forward carefully and the shadow hounds waver again. On the left the dread fiend also gets wavered.
A knucker slips around my flank.

Night-stalkers turn 4


My butchers, shadow-hulk and terror move a little out of line, to be a little ahead of the next, so that the wider depth horror units can’t shuffle enough to make room for another unit in the front of my titans. Neither side want to engage otherwise, hindered charges are not worth the counter charge.
For either player; allowing a double charge makes a good chance of the unit being destroyed, making a hole that the rest of the line will unravel from.
The void lurker projects threat across the depth horrors forcing them to react. The soulflayers turn to where I do not want the knucker. The regiment of scarecrows turns to flank the far left knucker, if the dread-fiend survives.
As a bonus, the scarecrow horde puts some damage on the depth horrors.

Trident Realm turn 4


The right flank responds to the void lurker and finishes off the shadow hounds.
The knucker gets properly behind my lines. A depth horror eternal joins the fight against the scarecrow horse, but it holds. The dread-fiend doesn’t even waver!

Night-stalkers turn 5


I decide to engage. I’m being encircled and need to break out. I can charge the units to the right without getting charges by the other depth horrors, but my opponent has carefully made sure that I cannot double charge any units to give me the breakthrough I need and I don’t get lucky either.
The butchers avoid getting double charged while the soulflayers block line of sight to their rear from the knucker. It will only buy me one turn though, because the knucker can slip past them next turn.

The dread-fiend and scarecrows catch a knucker! The horde of scarecrows does not do as well though.

Trident Realm turn 5


The Trident Realm hits back. Hard. The depth horrors see the something akin to themselves in the terror, not sure if it’s a nightmarish mockery or their kin had been twisted. They put the creature out of it’s misery with 11 damage and a good nerve roll. One horde of depth horror dare the ineffective charge we have been avoiding all game.
More units pile into the scarecrow horde, but they hold with a double 1!

Night-stalkers turn 6


The scarecrow horde use their borrowed time to finish off the depth horror regiment that they have been fighting! The void lurker and shadow-hulk destroy their opponents too, but are now damaged and open to one of those double charges that we’ve avoided all game.
My butchers do not get the nerve roll to destroy the depth horrors.

My units on the far right try to grab objectives

Trident Realm turn 6


The Trident Realm close the net they’ve been setting up all game and destroy the butchers with rear and flank charges and that double charge takes down the void lurker.

Night-stalkers turn 7


We get turn 7. I pick up the damaged depth horror horde and make a bid for an objective with the scarecrow regiment.

Trident Realm turn 7


The Trident Realm take down the shadow-hulk like the other titans and move more unit strength to take an objective from my scarecrows.

The game ends with 1475 to 805 points killed.

This was a wonderful game against a gracious and patient opponent. We had a tense stand off in the middle and were both looking for gaps to sneak our fast units into, but no obvious blunders were made until turn 5. That blunder being charging my titans in to kill two regiments. That happened because I was losing and needed to try something. The reason I was losing was that my fast and manoeuvreable elements were outnumbered and outplayed. I had failed to mount an actual assault (getting stalled on the left) while my opponent got his knuckers into place and set up his units on the right flank.
In truth I lost during deployment, which is when one should decide where to concentrate force. I was pushing for the left flank while most of my offensive units were on the right getting surrounded. I should have either deployed more force on the left or supported my titans with fast units and attacked on the right. At the very least I could have been aggressive and decisive on the left flank, but I let that pass me by too.

The lesson here is that one should have a plan from deployment. Leaving your plan open is not the same as being flexible.
I must also give some more thought to (or get more practice) dealing with my own tricks. What if I come up against a list that does something I rely on better that mine?

7 Likes

Hi Erasmus; firstly thanks for the game , it was a very tactical game, it felt very much like a Judo match with two opponents waiting for the opening.

(Caveat to my comments; I’m not a very good player so my plan and thoughts will be quite simple)

Kills an interesting scenario, as apposed to its name you need to be sensible and not throw away points rather that getting them.

DEPLOYMENT

We had well matched armies from a combat point of view but my ensnare was in my favour. Too be fair when I saw Erasmus’ list my first impressions were he’d taken a less than optimal list, but as we unwrapped it and played I realised it was a good list that was combat focused; I’d be expecting two mind screeches , some reapers , a shade and two void lurkers for a top night stalkers list but this list was far better balanced and focused.

my plan was simple, hold my big units till late and match on the flanks. On the left I felt the knuck could take the Dread Fiend with its greater movement. I was happy to let him out flank as I could move left ( with nimble) to cover his move. On the right I was planing to use the swarm as a shield to allows knucks to force the cav to either charge or move and then to pin them down (the ensnare would take away nimble) so my depth horrors could get in to finish the job this would also potentially allow me to get one or two knucks round his rear; which they did . In the middle it was a case of covering the space . There was some good scenery to allow me to keep my units in a defensible position and as neither of us had shooting I didn’t need to get cover. I won the roll for first turn which I gave to Erasmus; this was a massive impact on the game as we both had combat armies which basically meant in turn 7 (If we had one) I’d get a free charge and I expected we’d both hold back until we had a decisive charge which I’d try and control and deny.

GAME

You can read the detail above but the key points I’d comment on are:
-I got lucky with two wavers and big damage on the knuck charges early on which essentially allowed me to hold or control the flanks .

  • in the centre we both knew that over committing would be an issue and so we positioned and nudged for 4 turns, I think Erasmus would have been better double charging my units when he contacted in turn 5 When he charged with his titans (I believe he had one but not sure, I was trying to deny the double charge)
  • as we knew we’d have to control when we charged, getting round the flanks or rear would be critical and my luck on the right and moving my knuck into space to position in the middle was critical. I felt he would have tried to do the same with his void lurker but I positioned my DHE to cover the space so he couldn’t.
  • moving the hoard of scares up really blocked my units and when I rolled I D1 it meant I couldn’t get my units into play, it blocked up 2 DHE and 2 DH regiments. It was a good move by Erasmus and effected the game significantly; it’s a good lesson that chaff can take many forms.
  • I got lucky breaking his Terror which meant I could turn to destroy his titans for a greater points return.
    -Erasmus was forced to engage because I’d chipped away points on the flanks which put me ahead combined with me having the last turn and I’d got round the back to challenge him.
  • I always felt we were both in the game so movement and luck would be the deciding factor and I think it was, my two wavers really helped.
  • once we had engaged I got the advantage when all my units didn’t break which was lucky but a good example of why my army rule (ensnare) really helps.

CONCLUSION

it was a very close game regardless of the result. I felt we both had even dice, both had good and bad. Even the double one delayed the game rather than deciding it. A different list ( more shooting) would have made this very different, the result may have changed as my army is very susceptible to shooting but the main point is it would have taken away from the nice tactical play IMO.

This is my favourite kind of game, very close, very tactical, not many mistakes both sides and not any mad dice. It was very close and Erasmus played very well. Playing on line allows us to take time to consider our moves which although a long game felt like we were able to give it our best rather than rushing to a conclusion. All in all I was happy with the result and how I played but mostly Erasmus made it fun; even though we were playing in a tournament this was a very friendly game, which is my overriding experience with KOW

Ben.

5 Likes

Thank you for your thoughts!

If I had a double charge at any time I would have taken it, especially turn 5. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

You did cover my potential landings very well. What I should have done is to kill your units on the left, rather than trying to work around them. A void lurker and soulflayers with the dread-fiend should have been able to pick off knickers and eternals until they had space to threaten your flank and rear.u

How dare she interrupt a game! Just kidding!
Congrats dude! :partying_face: :heart_eyes:

1 Like

Round 4 vs Michael Pearcy
Push at 2000 points

Night-stalkers
Scarecrow Regiment
Scarecrow Horde
Doppelgangers
Shadow Hounds Regiment
Butchers Horde
Butchers Horde
Soulflayers Regiment
Terror
Shadow-hulk
Dread-fiend
Void Lurker

This is the same list again.

Free Dwarfs
Free Dwarf Shieldbreakers Horde - Brew of Haste
Berserkers Regiment
Berserkers Regiment
Free Dwarf Rangers Regiment - Blessing of the Gods
Free Dwarf Rangers Regiment - Hearneas’ Rangers
Ironbelcher Cannon
Ironbelcher Cannon
Dwarf Lord on Large Beast - Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
Dwarf Lord on Large Beast - Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
Berserker Lord - Wings of Honeymaze
Sveri Egilax on Hellbrock

Speed 5 dwarfs! With some extra mobile and tough lords and a decent amount of scout and wild charge. Even if I catch the lords it will be another thing to actually put them down. Cannons are not as good against night-stalkers, but can still put that little bit of extra damage on my titans.

Deployment


The plan was to be aggressive on the right flank (just need to hop the terrain) while I push through the middle (doppelgangers with loot in tow). The shadow-hulk has loot because I didn’t want to put both tokens on one unit, this was a mistake. The scarecrows are meant to slow down my opponent on the right.

My opponent saw my strong left and put his loot far away from it. Then opposed my units with a lord an Sveri. This effectively countered my plan. Not only would it be difficult to deal with those units, there is also nothing to fight for on that flank.

Free Dwarfs turn 1


The game starts with a reminder not to deploy units in a position where they need to clear terrain in the first turn. My units that are supposed to be putting pressure on the right flank are stuck, they don’t have line of sight to charge and will get charged if they hop over the terrain like I planned.

The berserker lord flies up and a regiment of berserkers get thrown out to bait a charge from the terror and give my line pause. The loot carrying horde hangs around. Cannons scratch my titans and the rangers on the right put some hurt on my dread-fiend.

Night-stalkers turn 1


The soulflayers cannot turn and leave without landing on the shadow hounds, so slide sideways to at least project some threat. The void lurker turns to project threat and start toward the right flank.
My line shuffles up to charge range.

Free Dwarfs turn 2


The dread-fiend gets show off while the cannons turn their attention to the shadow-hulk.
The berserkers back up to delay engagement! The berserker lord shows them how things are done by jumping behind my lines.

Night-stalkers turn 2


The night-stalkers titans make a hard right turn, there is no reason to engage with the dwarf left flank. The butchers push up to cover the move. The shadow hounds stay to delay the left flank.
The scarecrows push up to put on some pressure, but go too far.

Free Dwarfs turn 3


The beserkers, lord and horde of shieldbreakers devastate and destroy the scarecrow horde, putting them in a fight with my core. The loot is passed to the rangers on the right.
Shadow hounds are not enough to deter dwarfs on large beasts, the dwarfs rumble forward on the left.
The pressure is on!

Night-stalkers turn 3


Berserkers die. The shadow hounds smell blood and get a flank on the left unit while butchers go in. doppelgangers and the other butchers destroy the berserker regiment on the right. Those butchers overrun as far as they can, properly exposing their flank.
The void lurker goes ranger hunting and the scarecrow regiment try to help.

Free Dwarfs turn 4


Sveri and the left berserker lord plunge into the middle of the night-stalker army.
The scarecrow regiment is destroyed and allows the rangers to overrun out of the void lurker’s arc.

Night-stalkers turn 4


The shadow hounds show that a dwarf lord really does not need to worry about them, they charge the rear of the left one and do not even waver. The void lurker turns to finally charge the rangers.
The terror pushes up to grab loot and also kill some rangers.
The shadow-hulk and doppelgangers drop their loot to charge the horde, but do not shake their nerve despite 16 damage. Which is unfortunate, because I need to charge through to get at those rangers.
The soulflayers position to grab and protect the dropped loot.

Free Dwarfs turn 5


The shadow hounds continue to fail by getting wavered and a cannon shot does the same to the soulflayers. The units that I was relying on to pick up my loot are now unable to do so.
A lord grabs one of my tokens, safe from being challenged.
Sveri and the flying berserker lord kill off the doppelgangers, putting Sveri in a position to flank my void lurker if it charges the rangers.
The shadow-hulk goes up to 13 damage, but holds with a double 1!

Night-stalkers turn 5


The void lurker cannot kill the rangers in one hit and will sacrifice itself to try, so goes to try score something.
The butchers are too close to the shadow hounds for them to get out of the way, so the butchers cannot join that fight.
The terror kills a unit of rangers and turns around.

Free Dwarfs turn 6


The soulflayer get wavered again!
The flying berserker lord gets in the butcher’s way and the dwarf lord with my loot dodges the void lurker’s arc.

Night-stalkers turn 6


There is nothing to do but take the loot I can and fail to kill dwarf lords.

No turn 7, the games ends 6-3 to the Free Dwarfs.

There was a tendency for things not to roll my way in this game, enough to make a close game harder, but not enough to decide the game itself. I had it the other way around in round 2 though, so it evens out.
I also didn’t play very well, I didn’t think several moves through (i.e. where they would leave me after my opponent moves). Plus my plan was bad from the beginning, I could of used the scarecrow regiment to carry the loot behind my push instead of sacrificing them to my own detriment. That would have left my shadow-hulk and doppelgangers free to do what they needed to.

It is also time to rethink my list a little. There are units that I don’t get good use out of and other that I just want to try out.
The void lurker is my most expensive unit, but I didn’t feel confident in sending it to attack a unit. I wasted it hoping around trying to get a flank. A cheaper nimble unit could also dance around and hunt flanks. Flying monsters are a lot of points that need some skill to use well, I am tempted to try this army without one.
Soulflayers also disappointed (but that was a lucky waver) I may be expecting too much from them though. I will have to reconsider their role or replace them with other units At 105 less points than the void lurker I don’t mind if they spend the game just being a threat though.

Speaking of army composition, I quite like the surprisingly mobile and aggressive list that my opponent brought! It’s also still quite tough.
I am a little pleased that Dwarfs won a game too; even though these dwarfs are not part of the great empire. :stuck_out_tongue:
My other army is Dwarfs and if I take part in another UB tournament, there might just might be a (slightly more narrative) series of reports featuring The Fool’s Hold!

Thank you for reading! Round 5 will be below.

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Thanks for the report. I really like the way you do them, combining tactical analysis in the post with amusing but accurate captions on the map. It’s original and makes for a great read!

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I am glad someone finds them amusing! :grin:

Round 5 vs Adam Ballard
Invade at 2300 points

Night-stalkers
Scarecrow Regiment
Scarecrow Horde
Doppelgangers -Mead of Madness
Shadow Hounds Regiment - Chalice of Wrath
Butchers Horde
Butchers Horde
Soulflayers Regiment
Soulflayers Regiment
Terror
Shadow-hulk
Dread-fiend
Dread-fiend
Shade
Butcher Fleshripper

I put back the shade and a regiment of soulflayers that I took out make a 2000 point list to get back to 2300 points.
I’ve also dropped the void lurker, because I struggle to get enough out of it for the points it costs. To replace it I have a dread-fiend to threaten flanks and a fleshripper. Twice the US, but that can be in two places and roughly the same potential damage output. This left me enough points to take a Chalice of Wrath on the shadow hounds, it’s not something that I expect to help in every game, but I have had games where I wish I had it. The last 10 points went to Mead of Madness on the doppelgangers, a little extra speed is handy on a second line unit and madness is thematic for my arrmy.

Empire of Dust
Skeleton Warriors Horde
Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Skeleton Spearmen Regiment
Mummies
Enslaved Guardians - Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
Enslaved Guardian Archers
Bone Giant
Bone Giant
Monolith
Empire of Dust Balefire Catapult - Scarab Jars
Empire of Dust Balefire Catapult
Soul Snare
Cursed High Priest
Idol of Shobik

A solid and balanced list. A little deceptive to how much the units can actually do, but more on that later.

Deployment


My cunning plan was to delay between the terrain on the right and attack the centre left with my titans and butchers; while soulflayers and shadow hounds sweep down the left (of the table, not my army’s left).
My opponent had a different idea entirely. The almost all of Empire of Dust army squeezed between the building and the right flank. This threw my deployment off considerably. I proceeded to put units down where seemed like a good idea at the time while dithering about where to attack and how much I wanted to dedicate to holding my opponent up. The right move would have been to take a little time to decide on a new plan when I realised what my opponent was up to, which was fairly early into deployment.
Not a good start.

Empire of Dust Turn 1


The Empire of Dust won the roll and took the first turn, which was not ideal for me. Units are pushed up a little and a catapult hits the dread-fiend on the left.

Night-Stalkers Turn 1


Night-stalkers move up as fast as scarecrows can while minding the bone giant on the left, it can’t see my butchers to charge, right?
On the far right my fast units don’t have the space to slow the enemy by threatening flanks and dodging arcs, so they dither instead.
The left goes for the catapults. Those catapults are not really a threat though, the shadow hounds really should be threatening the bone giant to help the titans.

Empire of Dust Turn 2


The infantry move up. The Idol of Shobik charges the scarecrows to hold them and the doppelgangers behind them up. The left bone giant moves into the forest to get just the right angle to surge into the butcher’s flank. It needs 5" with 8 surge dice (monolith) and even then needs to roll above average to rout the butchers in one go. It gets both. To make it worse, I missed this move, so nothing is in position to charge the bone giant next turn.

Night-Stalkers Turn 2


My titans turn to deal with the bone giant and Shobik, while the shade and scarecrows team up to do no damage to the Idol. Shadow hounds move to get behind the enemy, but haven’t thought about what to do once there.
The left soulflayers spot a flank on the mummies and that (along with an urge to hold them up) begins the attack. The butchers and damaged soulflayers attack to protect their flanks. Unfortunately the flanking soulflayers stub a toe in the terrain and don’t get a bit of luck to remove the mummies. The have take a good amount of damage so I’m confident that I’ll win that fight after a bit of grind, or at least hold things up. Right?

Empire of Dust Turn 3


The scarecrow horde holds against the bone giant in the flank and the shade stands up to the Idol but wavers.
Things go much better for the Empire of Dust on the right, the unsuspecting nightmares have fallen into a trap. Even without a flank attack the flanking soulflayers fall to the enslaved guardians while the guardian archers do have a flank charge on the other soulflayers. The high priest drains the life of the dread fiend for 6 damage, healing the mummies. The tables have turned, the now badly damaged dread-fiend is swallowed by the sands while the mummies are barely hurt.
The butchers are now isolated and doomed.

Night-Stalkers Turn 3


The night-stalker titans put down the Idol of Shobik and bone giant on the left, while the shadow hounds get in position. The remaining butchers put up a fight, but don’t do enough.
The dread-fiend on the left starts on the catapults.

Empire of Dust Turn 4


The butchers are destroyed and the terror is engaged by undead infantry.
The skeleton horde faces the threat from behind.

Night-Stalkers Turn 4


The titans engage the infantry sent to delay them while the doppelgangers hold the line. The shadow hounds are confronted by a lack of tasty rear charges and realise that simply supporting the titans from the flank would have helped far more. The terrain means that any charge from their position will be hindered.
The catapults are mopped up.

Empire of Dust Turn 5


The terror exposed a sliver of its flank to attack the guardian archers and is taken down by the skeleton spearmen. The doppelgangers have their energy drained away while fighting the mummies and waver.
The victorious units on the far right move to score.

Night-Stalkers Turn 5


The shadow-hulk gets stuck in while the butcher fleshripper flanks the skeleton spearmen, for a small victory. The shadow hounds are scoring, but don’t have a good charge.

Empire of Dust Turn 6


The soul snare and guardian archers team up to do 9 damage to the shadow-hulk and roll the nerve to rout it. The other unit move to score.

Night-Stalkers Turn 6


The butcher fleshripper tries to escape the guardian archers, even though it could probably stand up to charge that might give the shadow hounds a flank.

Empire of Dust Turn 7


The butcher fleshripper pays for my folly, because the Empire of Dust already have the maximum extra points.

Night-Stalkers Turn 7


In the last turn the shadow hounds go for a long shot at extra kill points but achieve nothing.

Thoughts
This went as badly as a game could. A combination of not having a plan, not thinking my moves through and learning the dangers a lot of drain life the hard way lead to a crushing defeat.

The Empire of Dust’s deployment put a massive concentration of force in small space on the right. Anything that I deployed to the right of the top building was doomed as there was not enough space to deploy adequate opposition. I really only needed to slow something potentially trying to get around the top building and threaten units that ignored it.
I actually needed my best units engaging between the two buildings, I could have engaged the weaker units to the left while blocking the better fighting units to the far right.

To make it worse, I squandered several units. A horde of butchers that I needed to be part of my assault were put on the right to “hold up the enemy” where a regiment of scarecrows could have done the job and not been tempted to get into trouble. The shadow hounds spent the whole game getting behind the enemy, but could have threatened the pesky bone giant in turn 1. Finally, my shade joined a pointless attack, while it’s sole mission should have been destroying the soul snare.
That’s all because I didn’t have a clear plan for those units, because I didn’t have a plan in general.

This defeat means that I will probably see me slip to the bottom half of the ladder and means that I have lost half of the available games. That means I have to win the next game for an average overall result! ONWARD TO MEDIOCRITY!

7 Likes

Adam here, (EoD player). You may not have highlighted this enough, but my dice were hot and yours were NOT! There were several things that went in my favor and just snowballed. My gameplan was to go hard on the right and hope to punch through. I knew those warmachines were not going to do anything, so left them out to die. In invade I value the US over my heavy hitting monsters, so they went in first. It was a fun game and Erasmus is a great player! Thanks again!

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Round 6 vs Robert Alexander
Salt the Earth at 2000 points

Night-stalkers
Scarecrow Regiment
Scarecrow Horde
Doppelgangers
Shadow Hounds Regiment - Chalice of Wrath
Butchers Horde
Butchers Horde
Soulflayers Regiment
Terror
Shadow-hulk
Dread-fiend - Blade of Slashing
Dread-fiend
Butcher Fleshripper -Mace of Crushing

Similar to the last list, but I thought that more damage from my heroes might be useful.

Empire of Dust
Skeleton Spearmen Horde
Revenant Cavalry Troop
Revenant Cavalry Regiment -Brew of Haste
Revenant Cavalry Regiment -Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
Enslaved Guardians
Enslaved Guardian Archers
Enslaved Guardian Archers
Monolith
Undead Wyrm
Soul Snare
Cursed High Priest -Tome of darkness -Heal (5) -Surge (8)

More mobile than the other Empire of Dust lists I have faced, but with less dangerous drain life.

Deployment


Empire of Dust won the roll off for sides, which they needed after their risky placement of the objectives to the top left.
My plan is to delay on the left, secure the middle with butchers and push for the objectives on the right. The terror is on the right to support the attack, but would have been more flexible in the centre.

Empire of Dust Turn 1


The Empire of Dust win the roll for the first turn too and use it to surge the revenant cavalry troop to destroy the rightmost token, which is bad for me. It means that my attack can only secure one token while my opponent has two behind their advance. This is why I should have deployed the terror with more flexibility.

Night-stalkers Turn 1


I need to deal with the units on the right and push through to one of my opponent’s given tokens. I double charge the revenant cavalry troop to deal with them quickly, but fail. The other units on the right move to make sure that I have the unit strength to hold the token on the hill even if the revenant cavalry kill something or the spearmen get a long surge.

The butchers move to secure the centre and hopefully push through to a token on the left.
My dread-fiend on the left denies a token on the left.

Empire of Dust Turn 2


The right unit of revenant cavalry use Jesse’s Boots to destroy the shadow hounds. The dread-fiend on the left gets stomped on for its trouble. The skeleton spearmen burn their token.

Night-stalkers Turn 2


The soulflayers fly over, their job is to keep the left flank occupied, so they are forcing the revenant cavalry to use a turn and a surge to deal with them.
The attack in the middle stalls and the shadow-hulk backs up, I can’t press forward without opening my units up to getting units surged into their flanks.
A units of butchers engages the spearmen horde, not ideal, but also a flank threat that I can’t ignore.

Empire of Dust Turn 3


The skeleton spearmen back uo to keep the butchers hindered and my units in the middle get engaged, making it unlikely that I’ll get to a token on the left. The soulfalyers are dealt with, but at the cost of surging something else.
The revenant cavalry on the right try to do some damage before their doom.

Night-stalkers Turn 3


The butchers on the right continue and the butchers in the middle take off a horde of archers!
The dread-fiend and fleshripper gang up on the right revenant cavalry. The terror rand scarecrow regiment move to join the fight in middle.

Empire of Dust Turn 4


The undead wyrm hops over the statue, turns and then gets surged into the shadow-hulk’s flank. The shadow-hulk shows how tough it is. The heavily damaged butchers are easily dealt with by the enslaved guardians.
The butcher fleshripper shows how tough it is too, it has turned out to be a handy unit.
The revenant cavalry on the left start chewing through the scarecrow horde, I expected them to go and claim the top objective.

Night-stalkers Turn 4


The doppelgangers have a chance to do what they are made for and do well, but don’t get the bit of luck that I need in this game. The fleshripper and dread-fiend combo finish off their regiment of cavalry. They can now split up to hold a token and go help in the middle, unlike the void lurker that they replaced. The remaining butcher horde finishes off the skeleton spearmen and turns toward the fight in the middle too.
The scarecrow horde fail to do any damage, meaning that the cavalry will get their thunderous charge.

Empire of Dust Turn 5


The shadow-hulk goes down and the guardian archers surge into the doppelganger’s flank so that they can reform to protect the damages enslaved guardians.

Night-stalkers Turn 5


The night-stalkers need the ensalved guardian archers out of the way and to get unit strength in the middle, but roll a double one! That makes it difficult to remove the unit strength that I need to to control the middle objective and effectively decides the game.

Turn 6


In the Empire of Dust turn the undead wyrm uses its fly to land in the gap behind the terror (75mm base is not as deep as the 80mm of large infantry) to flank my butchers and they are removed. The cavalry break through the scarecrows.

The night-stalkers destroy the guardian archers and bring in the dread-fiend to even the unit strength for a draw.

I decided against the slide with the terror pictured.

Turn 7


There is a turn 7 though.
The revenant cavalry come in for the win! Plus the undead wyrm surges into the rear of the dread-fiend.

The night-stalkers do not destroy anything in the last turn, for a 2-1 loss with heavy casualties.

Thoughts
I could thought more carefully about the scenario. It would have been a different game if I won either the roll off for choosing sides or going first, but started at a disadvantage instead. I could have mitigated that risk though. When I noticed that my opponent was putting east to defend objectives on one side I could have done something similar, so that the sides were more even. I also could deployed to assault my opponent’s easy objectives, rather than deploying to take objectives that could be removed on turn 1. My titans have the advantage of a small frontage and could have done well pushing up the left, a concentration of force that would be difficult to stop in such a small space.

The inopportune double one and turn 7 just made it worse though.

Whatever it is that my night-stalkers were looking for in the desert is not found and The Empire of Dust does not have nightmares or emotions to sustain them.

6 Likes

There you have it! My less than mediocre showing in Call to Arms 4. With another loss I will definitely end well in the bottom half.
While I was hoping for at least 3 wins, I feel that two of my games could have gone either way, so not that far off! I was outmatched in one game and outplayed in another though.

I will have to return to redeem myself and definitely plan to write battle reports for it. That will be in another thread, but I will post a link here when that happens.

If you want more of my battle reports NOW, I am flattered, thank you.
Also; you can read about my dwarf’s exploits in The Digital Throne ( a UB tournament in Canada) here. My dwarfs of The Fool’s Hold even inspire some narrative.

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