Follies of Fools

Welcome to my series of battle reports using my dwarfs in The Digital Throne, a Universal Battle tournament in Canada. We’ll be playing 5 rounds with the same 2300 point list.

Recounting tales for my night-stalkers in Call to Arms 4 has me want to do the same for my much loved, but poorly played dwarfs. I’ve loved dwarves and things dwarven since reading The Hobbit as a child.

I tend to favour an aggressive fast moving play style, so playing dwarfs is not quite my speed (so to speak). I intend to try getting the hang of it though, because I’m stubborn and being forced to use my units together and plan ahead like dwarfs require will hopefully make me better at Kings of War.
Before someone asks: use the same spelling as Mantic for dwarfs in the context of Kings of War, it is their world. Same goes for Tolkien though.

If you like reading background and want to know why I call it the Fool’s Hold you can read about it here.

My list:
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Shieldbreakers Regiment
Rangers Regiment
Rangers Regiment
Sharpshooters Troop
Sharpshooters Troop
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment
Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment
Steel Behemoth
Dwarf Lord on Large Beast
Berserker Lord -Brock -Blade of Slashing
Dwarf Army Standard Bearer
Flame Priest -Inspiring Talisman - Bane Chant -Increase Fireball to (10)

The idea is that there is a solid core with some bite for units on the way in and shieldbreakers and a steel behemoth to hit back, with the lord on beast supporting where needed. The rangers scout to provide the early pressure that the rest of the army struggles. The brocks are there to be a fast wing.
The sharphooters provide damage from a denied flank and waste something’s time to go get them.

I prefer 2000 points (this is not the place to discuss that, please), but 2300 does let me include extra options and so try them at once.
I’ll be keeping an eye on how which units do poorly (or well) while I try to figure out how to play dwarfs!

4 Likes

a hint I learned from watching Ronnie in the mega game is to move once in a while :slight_smile:
looks good, I look forward to hearing how it performed. The double sharpshooters is something I don’t see a lot of

Round 1 vs Robert Shewring
Control vs Order of the Green Lady

Men-at-Arms Retainers Horde -Aegis of the Elohi -Vial of Sacred Water
Order of the Brotherhood Horde -Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding -Vial of Sacred Water
Order of Redemption -Blood of the Old King
Water Elementals Regiment
Water Elementals Regiment
Earth Elementals Regiment
Earth Elementals Regiment
Greater Water Elementa
Devoted -Inspiring Talisman -Surge (7)
Druid -Tome of Darkness -Bane Chant -Surge

This is a fast list that hits hard, with some toughness and surge ability. The cavalry will kill something, I will have to hit it back hard enough to remove the horde. If I can trade a regiment of ironclad for the Order of the Brotherhood that’s a win.

Deployment


I’ve denied the left where the building and obstacles would make it hard to advance, the Lord on Large Beast’s job is to hold things up. The plan is that between shooting on the way in and a counter punch I can take the deal with the Brotherhood horde early.
The rangers take the pond to start shooting. The brocks as set up to sweep down the right, to not much opposition, but the forsaken will be an issue, they will have to be baited

**Brotherhood Round 1 **


The cavalry in the centre and water elementals move up to charge and the earth elementals move up their side. The forsaken feel that they are projecting enough threat already.

Dwarfs Round 1


The dwarfs open up as much shooting on the knight horde as possible, doing a respectable amount of damage. They have to charge or get shot off before doing so. I could have backed out of charge range, but I wanted get the engagement going, so that I could move to score. In hindsight; I could have backed out of range and tried to kill the cavalry horde from a distance.
The rangers had to choose between more effective shooting or moving back, this will be a common decision for them, so I should think on it.
The brock riders move out of the forsaken’s range and the other regiment moves forward with the mastiff pack as chaff.

Brotherhood Round 2


The cavalry come in. the brotherhood horde routs a regiment of ironclad (after healing from the devoted and sacred water), while the hindered charge from the redemption knights does not shift the stubborn fools.
The water elementals charge to fight in their element.

Dwarfs Round 2


The counter punch wavers the brotherhood horde. The rangers find that fighting water in water is difficult and the mastiffs try to help. in hindsight, the brocks have set up a trap, so I would have been better served by the mastiff pack sneaking off to score. I could also have sent in brock riders to prevent the water elementals flanking the rangers.
The lord on beast leaves his flank exposed to the earth elemental for a hindered charge, not my best moment.

The ironclad brace for impact! This tactic is not about standing forever, a regiment just has to force the cavalry to slow. Then they can pull out their wounded while the counter charge comes in, they will not be an effective unit for the rest of this battle, but their job will be done.

Brotherhood Round 3


The brotherhood horde rolls 6 for their headstrong and routs the shieldbreakers. the redemtion knights still do not move their opponents. The water elementals overwhelm a regiment of rangers.
The forsaken shuffle around, giving the steel behemoth a flank, while the greater earth elemental does not take it’s flank charge though. The fight the far left starts going to the earth elementals.

It turned out that my opponent thought his greater earth elemental was sp 5. Which raises a question of sportsmanship; generally I don’t want to gain an advantage because my opponent didn’t know something, or something easy to forget slipped their mind (it is one of the things that I like about Kings of War and the community). I often remind my opponent of wild charge or brew of haste when they move too close and always remind my opponent of ensnare when they’re deciding what to charge; for example.
However; I feel that my opponent has to be responsible for knowing their own rules. Easy to forget steps like regeneration are another matter though (who hasn’t forgotten at least once :P), those are rules that actually have to happen; strictly speaking: not doing them is against the rules.

Dwarfs Round 3


The steel behemoth takes a flank charge and brock riders show the rangers how it’s done. These foes are defending their sacred forest though, so the other water elementals and forsaken hold. The ironclad in the woods keep fighting and get a lucky waver on the brotherhood horde.
The units on the left slowly get grounds down.

Brotherhood Round 4


The knight horde rolls another 6 for headstrong, but the ironclad hold! The rest of the left flank does not though. The steel behemoth gets a double on for nerve, it really is not concerned about that fight.

Norgrunn’s axe broke on the big rock! There is also a horde of devoted “environmentalists” coming.
Seems like the time to retreat his flank.

Dwarfs Round 4


The steel behemoth turns while the brotherhood are still jammed up, but still late. The water elementals still hold! The standard bearer moves to try hold up the greater earth elemental.

Brotherhood Round 5


The standard bearer holds while the ironclad leave the field for the steel behemoth to clear.
The left flank gets properly cleared out.

Dwarfs Round 5


The brotherhood horde wavers, again. At least the puddle is finally cleared.
The rangers push on to score where the mastiff pack should be scoring.

The rangers swear under their breaths, fighting water elementals in their element is not a good idea! Let’s not try that again.

Brotherhood Round 6


The redemption knights use their Blood of the Old King to send the standard bearer running, might as well.
The brotherhood horde rolls yet another 6 for headstrong, but fail to impress the steel behemoth.

Dwarfs Round 6


The beserkers stream into the central quadrant to finally scatter the brotherhood knights and add their Unit Strength to the centre sector. This leaves the dwarfs with a narrow draw.
The Order of the Green Lady are more devoted than that though, we roll for and get turn 7.

Brotherhood Round 7


The greater earth elemental and redemption knights destroy a unit of brock riders, retaking the dwarf central sector.
The Men-at-Arms, who really should be blocked up by the beserker lord, hold up the remaining brock riders and nearly rout them!

Dwarfs Round 7


The only hope for a draw is removing a unit to take a sector. The steel behemoth has a tiny sliver of flank to charge and goes for the Men-at-Arms, but rolls low for number of attacks and whiffs. Serves me right for trying dirty tricks. I do despise flank charges like that, but the game is as it is.

That failure takes the Fool’s Hold from a draw to a 4-1 loss.

Thoughts
This game had a few units be frustratingly tenacious. It is tempting to chalk the loss up to that and a unfortunate turn 7 roll, but I didn’t do everything right and figuring out dwarfs is part of the point.
In general, I deployed too much force on the right. I could not bring my brock riders to bear and was forced to attack through water elementals in a pond.
the building and obstacles on the left would make it difficult to attack from there, but the open space on the left would have been a better path of attack.

This game has made it clear that dwarfs can’t rely on one unit to deal damage. We have to bring units together. How to concentrate the force that we do have has to be a major tactical concern when playing dwarfs. Brock riders are not the hammer one expects from them. Me 4+ means that the 26 attacks should give 13 hits, only one more an 18 attack unit with Me 3+, and then only with TC 1. The high -/18 nerve seems good, but with De 4+ only makes their durability on par.
Brock riders are cheaper than hammer cavalry units though and fearless. They do seem more fit to be a supporting unit than something that can carry an attack on their own, bar adding artefacts. My view on artefacts is firmly “boyz before toyz”, but brock riders are worth considering expensive artefacts for; which can bring them up to par (in effectiveness and cost) for a cavalry hammer.

I expected that two units of rangers would be a sufficient amount of pathfinder, but with brock riders playing a supporting role it is worth considering a relevant artefact for one of the brock regiments.
The flame priest almost only used bane chant so the 15 points for fireball (10) would be better spent on Sir Jesse’s Boots. Bane chant is certainly important (see note on dealing damage) and is an alternative way to improve brock riders, as opposed to artefacts, that is more flexible and less likely to go to waste if my opponent deals effectively with the brock riders. It seems that the flame priest will be best used inspiring the rangers and supporting the brocks supporting them.

What did well in the list: The sharpshooters did their job and deployed on either side of that building to make it take longer to engage and deal with them, but concentrating their fire would have been more useful.
The multiple regiments of ironclad did well too, having to deal with separate sturdy units definitively achieved the goal of holding up the enemy better than a horde that would have been multi-charged and probably taken off in turn 2 or 3. The amount of throwing mastiffs was also a good spike in damage.


The Fool’s Hold had come out to claim at least a part of the forest, to set up a camp for logging operations. They met a stubborn and devoted resistance, of the kind one would expect from dwarfs defending their hold. The dwarfs could not help but respect that and retreat under vengeful pursuit.
This forest will have to be respected like they expect their mountain to be respected.

On a practical note, they still need the lumber though. At least charcoal has to be made.
There would have to be guarded expeditions from the hold to harvest the fringes of the woods, outside of what the Order of the Green Lady consider their domain, if possible. Much less productive and efficient. At least while the plantations grew, which they now absolutely have to plant and cultivate.

7 Likes

Round 2 vs Jon McCready
Plunder vs Ogres with Basliean allies

Siege Breaker Horde - Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
Siege Breaker Horde - Mead of Madness
Siege Breaker Horde
Siege Breaker Horde
Siege Breaker Horde
Siege Breaker Horde
Warlock -Inspiring Talisman - Drain Life (5)
Berserker Bully -Blade of Slashing
Berserker Bully

Basliean Men-at-Arms -Veteran Command
High Paladin on Dragon - Aegis Fragment

This looks like a hard list. Faster than me, mostly De 6+ and still hits like ogres. Plus a dragon for extra speed. Lets see how the Fool’s Hold does. I do not want to take this on in a straight fight, so I will have to spread the objectives out and try to fight part of the army while holding off the rest.

Seems like a Basilean noble with money for mercenaries. On the wrong side of Golloch’s Empire.
*See the end of the report for more narrative.

My list again, for convenience
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Shieldbreakers Regiment
Rangers Regiment
Rangers Regiment
Sharpshooters Troop
Sharpshooters Troop
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment
Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment
Steel Behemoth
Dwarf Lord on Large Beast
Berserker Lord -Brock -Blade of Slashing
Dwarf Army Standard Bearer
Flame Priest -Inspiring Talisman - Bane Chant -Increase Fireball to (10)

Deployment


Note that the loot tokens with blue stars are worth two points, while the yellow star marks bonus points for the tournament score only.

Being aware of where I can apply force, I put most of my offensive units on the left to claim the tokens there. This time having the brock riders attack over open terrain.
Then more good troops to grind in the middle, with my Lord on Beast ready to grab the centre token first turn.
The sharpshooters, ironclad and Brock Lord on the left are to stop those forces from joining the rest of the battle and maybe maybe denying an objective

My opponent has a similar plan, but aiming for the right tokens, with more committed to the centre.

Ogres Turn 1


Ogres get first turn.
The delaying troops on the left are careful. The centre and right objectives are grabbed right away because there is no serious threat projected over them. More on that later.
The main force of ogres step up.

Dwarfs Turn 1


Without enough charges to dent the unit holding the centre objective, dwarfs position to charge and take aim.
Our own delaying troops (on the right) step up and unleash mastiffs at the dragon, because the Men-at-Arms are out of range.
Our offensive troops get in position while the mastiffs grab the loot. Our left unit of rangers find themselves overextended.

Ogres Turn 2


The ironclad in the middle were a little too eager and get charge by two units of siege breakers (one hindered though), which brings them to where they can be dealt with.
The other units move over the loot token, allowing the bully to grab it. This makes the game very difficult if not impossible to win for the dwarfs. More on that mistake later.

The bully on the left gets the wild charge to hold up a unit of brocks, while the mastiff pack is easily scattered.

On the right, the dragon stomps on a troop of sharpshooters and turns to face the right flank. That’s a relief, because dealing with it in the centre would have been a nighmare.

Dwarfs Turn 2


The fight in the middle gets going, with the lead siege breakers dealt with, while the Lord on Beast keeps the other siege breakers busy. This was foolish, because the unit that stopped the slide to conform is destroyed, exposing a flank to the unit in front of Norgrunn.
The remaining sharpshooters begin a duel with the warlock.

On the left, the brock riders do very well, the Berserker bully is dealt with very quickly (with help from bane chant). Despite a poor 1 damage, the siege breakers are wavered! Rangers step up to grab a token as the threats from a turn before are committed.

With a battle cry of “why are you plundering us if they can pay you” the dwarf berserkers put the ogres on the back foot.

On the right the Berserker Lord challenges the dragon while the ironclad press on. Again, I do not project threat. If the Ironclad advanced more in turn one, they could have started a fight with the Men-at-Arms for a token on the right now. Instead of useless shooting on the dragon.
They probably couldn’t keep the token, but could have posed a problem.

Ogres Turn 3


The ogres move to secure their loot on the right, taking victory even further from the dwarf’s grasp.
Nevermind that though! Heroics are afoot!

The Berserker Lord takes a beating, but holds against the dragon.
The Lord on Beast holds of the flank attack with a waver! Opening up a flank in kind.
The rangers with a new loot token hold off a siege breaker charge too.

Dwarfs Turn 3


The Rangers and steel behemoth rout another unit of siege breakers.
The dwarfs on the left turn to the centre, while the rangers buy time and the engaged brocks score another waver!

On the right the ironclad keep pressing while the Berserker Lord continues his EPIC FIGHT!

Ogres Turn 4


The ogres do more running away with the loot on the right. The dragon puts down the Berserker Lord.

On the left one unit of rangers routs as the other begins to hold in the middle. The warlock flanks the Lord on Beast, but only gets a waver.

Dwarfs Turn 4


The beserkers on the left win their fight while the other two hordes of siege breakers in the middle are wavered!

The Lord on Beast gets his headstrong roll, but is only just out of range to charge the dragon! The steel behemoth runs over the warlock. Both units press on the maybe try help on the right in turn 7.

The ironclad on the right move up too eagerly, in a hopeless bid to contest some loot.

Ogres Turn 5


The hopeless bid on the right is crushed, the dwarfs realising that the time to retreat has come.
The other ogres are wavered.

Dwarfs Turn 5


The dwarfs win the left flank and approach the right in case of turn 7.

Ogres Turn 6


One more unit of rangers flee as the ogres continue to move their loot further into a corner.

Dwarfs Turn 6


Dwarf secure the slightly less loot they have, while avoiding the remaining ogres in the middle.
Shots go into the unkillable dragon, in a bid for kill points. It has iron resolve and an aegis fragment, so unless it’s incredibly careless (which it would need to be to be taken off in one go), it can take more damage than a horde.

There is no turn 7, so the dwarfs loose 4-3.

Thoughts
As hinted above, the major lesson here is that I need to think harder about projecting threat. Similar to how I learned about concentration of force in the last game.
It would have been a closer game if I got the first turn, but relying on that is not a plan. I needed to have threat projected over the key tokens at deployment, to make grabbing tokens dangerous for my opponent in turn 1, not only in turn 2. I could have had rangers in the pond (scouted into range) and brock riders in the middle. That would have given me a reasonable chance to take the centre token back in turn 1.
With one unit of chaffed brocks and shieldbreakers there already, I could have had slower supporting units on the left, like the steel behemoth.
I did need all the force I put on the left though; I should have lost more units there, but got lucky wavers. Those wavers made me win better on the left, but I was going to take that flank anyway

Both concentration of force and projecting threat are not new concepts to me; all armies need to consider them, but most can do so as a matter of course. Dwarfs have to plan ahead to do so, because they don’t do either as directly.
Which makes dwarfs harder to play. “Buffing” dwarfs to compensate isn’t an option though, because it can be compensated for through thinking ahead, so “buffs” would then make dwarfs too good in the hands of skilled players.
It also means that playing dwarfs is a good way to improve at Kings of War.


A bedraggled ranger burst into the hall with grim news. An army of ogres, prepared to fight dwarfs, was approaching the trade caravan. It seems that the had been hired by That Paladin. The one who arrived a few weeks before with only one regiment of men and demanded tribute for Basilea. Obviously funding his own adventures under the assumption that all dwarfs have piles of gold. He was told that subjects of High-King Golloch don’t fear Basilea and wouldn’t, even if if he wasn’t on the wrong side of Abercarr.

The caravan was mostly samples of ale and salted pork to establish trade, so could be abandoned. Two of the wagons were more important, they held samples of the secretly made black powder, bound for testing by Golloch’s warsmiths. That powder had to be reclaimed, or word would get out that there is a black powder supply and more enemies would come.

The Hold is not ready yet, the halls are still being dug and stone walls are still being built. At the moment the Fool’s Hold, our home, is little more than a fortified camp around a mine.

For that same reason the ogres are a grave threat. The Fool’s Hold cannot stand against siege breakers yet, that army cannot be left to be hired or plunder nearby. The ogres have to be fought and enough damage done to them that they must retreat to recover and will consider these lands threatening.

4 Likes

Round 3 vs Justin Berg
Dominate vs Salamanders

Rangers came back from patrol and reported an army or Salamanders marching nearby. Norgrunn knew that they would be looking for supplies, plunder and morale; which will put the logging expeditions at risk. “We have to get ready for a fight” he grumbled, “just in case”.

The armies eyes each other near a small logging camp, really jut a clump of trees with some supplies and tools. The council approached the salamander leaders to talk trade. With the Fool’s Hold on the eastern edge of Golloch’s Empire, meeting the Salamanders to set up trade was an important step in securing the hold’s prosperity.

“Our rangers report that you are in need of supplies” said Mimir, “we will assist you for the promise of trade”. One of the two salamander clan lords hissed “Why pay if we can take? We will show you the fire of Kthorlaq”. Before Mimir could correct him, she meant that they would give supplies now for a trade agreement later. Mendeleev, the flame priest, burst out: “FIRE?! You think you can show ME fire!? I know the chemistry of flame! I will show you FIREPOWER!”.

Salamander list
Salamander Primes Horde - two handed weapons - Effigy of Fire - Pipes of Terror
Salamander Primes Horde - two handed weapons - Effigy of Fire - Fire Oil
Salamander Primes Horde - two handed weapons - Effigy of Fire - Blood of the Old King
Ancients Troop
Ancients Troop
Scorchwings Regiment
Scorchwings Regiment
Scorchwings Regiment
Lekelidon
Lekelidon
Lekelidon
Battle Captain -Path of Fire
Clan Lord on Fire Drake - Brew of Sharpness
Clan Lord on Fire Drake - Blessing of the Gods

That looks like a scary lit at first. It is, but the De 4+ of the infantry and the Me 4+ of the dragons make it sound a little more manageable. The pathfinder aura of the battle captain is really good though, especially on this table (see below).
Lots of flying is a problem for dwarfs, I will have to use shooting and my fast units to delay or remove flyers and rely on my combat troops to deal with the infantry. Ideally my sharpshooters can take out the scorchwings (spoiler: they do not). The ancients troops have low enough nerve that piercing (2) shooting could be effective, but there are already a lot of targets.

I actually would have been more concerned by De 5+ on the infantry hordes. With 25 attacks on Me 4+ (and a pathfinder aura) the average is 12.5 hits for 8 or 9 damage to De 5+ or 10 or 11 to De 4+, plus effigies.
That means that a regiment of ironclad should survive a hit from a horde of primes (so two turns with or without two handed weapons), but a regiment of rangers probably will not (thanks to two handed weapons). Brock riders can go either way, but should be alright, especially if inspired.

3 mastiff and 3 charges from ironclad will do on average 8 and then 9 damage to De 4+ (total 17), so my ironclad can handle one horde on their own. Depending on what else they have to deal with.

There is also actually quite a lot of shooting that will no doubt add up, another reason to get rid of scorchwings.

My list again, for convenience
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Shieldbreakers Regiment
Rangers Regiment
Rangers Regiment
Sharpshooters Troop
Sharpshooters Troop
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment
Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment
Steel Behemoth
Dwarf Lord on Large Beast
Berserker Lord -Brock -Blade of Slashing
Dwarf Army Standard Bearer
Flame Priest -Inspiring Talisman - Bane Chant -Increase Fireball to (10)

Deployment


The interesting map provided has a forest in the middle for dominate. That make my rangers and behemoth the obvious choice to threaten and occupy it.
The infantry line on the right is to hold the right and deal with what fits past the house )remember they can handle a horde on their own), but close enough to hopefully send units into the dominate circle later.

Lords to hunt the fire drake on the right and hopefully shooting can deal with the other. Which leaves the brock riders positioned to “sweep down” the open flank without inspiring, hopefully their nerve will make up for it.

Rather than put both units of sharpshooters in the woods, one is positioned so that it can turn and score late in the game. Turns out that it is also a better target for charges though.

Salamanders Turn 1


The long line rumbles forward and the lots of little bits of shooting target the rangers, with cover.
One fire drake moves up to threaten on the right and the other puts pressure on the left, so much for shooting ancients troops or scorchwings.

Dwarfs Turn 1


The right moves up a little and turns for the fire drake while the lords start trying to catch it.
Rangers forgo moving to shoot the middle horde, expecting the ironclad to handle the right prime horde and the brocks the one on the left.
Brocks move into position, leaving behind the damaged mastiffs.

The sharpshooters do an expected amount of damage to the left fire drake, but the flame priest shows the clan lord what dwarf firepower is about, ending with 9 damage (double the average from those 3 units).

Salamanders Turn 2


The right fire drake hops over the rocks, but has to go too far to also turn. The far rifht scorchwings have a flank on a unit of rangers that I missed.
THe scorchwings on the left chaff the brocks while the primes on get in position behind them, nullifying my advantage in speed.
The centre moves up while the left fire drake angrily stomps on the sharpshooters that were supposed to survive and score.

Dwarfs Turn 2


Fire from the flame priest, who over preforms again, and the steel behemoth rout a fire drake on the left. Firepower indeed. This is fortunate, but with average roll only one turn early.
The brocks accept that they will get charged.
The rangers and sharpshooter keep plugging away at the middle horde of primes.

One regiment of ironclad charge the scorchwings in the froest to keep them from mischief while the right horde takes a little damage from mastiffs. The lord on beast decides to cover the back of the army, which leaves the top right corner safe for the fire drake, because the beserker lord has charged off like lekelidons are war engines, rather than monsters.

Salamanders Turn 3


On the right; the fire drake lands in a safe spot and the ironclad on the hill start taking a barrage of shooting. One unit wavers and the other is just fine. The right horde of primes move up.

In the wood the scorchwings back up and the ancients charge the rangers without much success.

On the left the horde of primes uses the Blood of the Old King to get rid of a unit of brocks, but does not get much more than the average without it. Making the nerve roll needed to remove the brocks more difficult and does not get it. Fortunate for me, again

Dwarfs Turn 3


On the right; the iron clad on the hill that are not wavered cannot avoid getting charged in the flank. They choose to show their flank to the horde of primes rather than the fire drake, because they probably can’t take a frontal charge from a horde with 4 damage already anyway and, more importantly, it might lure the 4 US unit away from the dominate circle.
The beserker lord is just close enough to fight the fire drake after all!

The lord on large beast get the fire drake in his front arc, but fails to keep the shieldbreakers in his arc.

In the forest, the ironclad press on into the scorchwings. The rangers win against the ancients with the help of the steel behemoth.

On the left the brocks easily dispatch the horde of primes.

Salamanders Turn 4


On the right the primes take the bait and the fire drake starts a fight with the shield breakers.
The ironclad on the hill waver from shooting again.

In the middle, the battle captain covers the scorchwings’ retreat while the primes roll poorly and fail to remove the rangers. More fortune for the dwarfs!

The troop of ancients on the left move to hold up the brock riders.

Dwarfs Turn 4


On the left, the damaged brocks fight the ancients while the other unit tries to go around. This is a mistake, crashing through them would have been more efficient, but yet more fortune makes up for the error.

The lucky rangers and steel behemoth deal with the damaged primes. the sharpshooters are luckily in charge range, so get a free double move through terrain.

On the right: the lord on beast threatens the rear of the horde of primes, to keep them from going to score. The beserker lord and shieldbreakers fight the fire drake, putting it close to routing.

Salamanders Turn 5


The ancients on the left easily destroy the damaged brock riders and turn to keep the others from moving past.

The battle captain has a go at the damaged rangers, but fails. While the shieldbreakers are routed along with the ironclad on the hill (shooting). The lekelidons turn so that they can move to score and shoot at the ironclad in the wood.
The prime horde faces down the lord on large beast.

Dwarfs Turn 5


Yet more fortune! The brock riders deal with the ancients in one turn, so they can turn to score in turn 6. The steel behemoth, which is doing rather well in this game, shoots at the damaged scorch wings and routs them.

On the right the standard bearer stand behind the horde of primes, so that the cannot move backwards to score.
The berserker lord leaves the fight with the fire drake to try kill an lekelidon, again, while the lord on large beast takes over and fails. This is greedy and an unnecessary risk. There is now no threat to the horde of primes, so they can now turn and score in turn 7. It also give the fire drake an easy charge into the dominate circle.

The ironclad in the wood moves up and realises that they still have a mastiff, which promptly gets send into the undamaged scorchwings. The rangers remove the battle captain.

Salamanders Turn 6


The primes turn to score in turn 7. The firedrake charges the beserker lord to score, but the stubborn bastard holds.

The ironclad in the woods are fortunate and hold too. The rangers and sharpshooters are behind the woods so out of LoS.

The lekelidons all move to score.

Dwarfs Turn 6


The beserker lord finishes off the fire drake! Glorious.
The steel behemoth shoots at the remaining scorchwings, but only wavers them. The ironclad in the wood get a flank and remove a lekelidon.
Brock riders and lord on beast move to score.

Fortunately (again) there is not turn 7.


The result looks worse that the game was, Three units worth 9 US are fortunate to be scoring, but I only needed one of those bits of fortune.
Turn 7 would have been uncomfortable, but I should have been able to remove enough units to win in turn 7 too.

While it’s not an unearned win, fortune certainly favoured the dwarfs this time!

Thoughts
Most of my units did well here. I was quite impressed with the steel behemoth, it did good damage from shooting or close combat almost every turn, which was fantastic in an army that struggles with damage output.
The double rangers and brock riders were great for projecting threat and dealing damage, again.
Both lords were vital against the fire drake.
The three regiments of ironclad, rather than a horde, were great too. They took more damage and did more things that a horde could have.

My question of what to leave out for a 2000 point list isn’t any easier.vv

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This was an excellent game and you’re a great opponent. The forest in the middle was interesting for dominate, but I thought the pathfinder aura would give me the early edge pushing into it.

I planned on routing the one brock rider regiment on T3, and taking the charge from only the other regiment on your turn. That was a 50/50 and I had no backup plan on that flank other than to have the ancients mop up the second regiement of brocks once my horde eventually died. So that was a poor overall choice on my part.

And then on t4, not killing the rangers hurt. I probably could have moved the BC into aura range for them to do more damage, but I needed to protect the scorchwings by charging the ironclad at that point, because they’re a sneaky 2 US. At the start of the turn I was thinking I was going to route the rangers, and the ancients on the right were going to trade with the damaged brocks, and hold up the other unit of brocks for a turn or 2. Between that and hopefully shoot off the wounded ironclad regiment on the hill, and then the one in the forest before the game ended I felt like I had a dominant position in the middle, and could go after the rest of your US 3 regiments, to force you into some risky plays.

The game didn’t go that way, thanks to a couple low nerve rolls and clever plays on your part but that was my thinking at the time. A better general probably could have mitigated those risks, but alas I am not one of those.

And if anyone is looking for some salamander tactica, here are my thoughts on my list after a dozen games with the list. First off, that path of fire BC is amazing if you’re going with infantry hordes . They also synergize well with ancients, because they let them still move at the double through and project threat into woods. I kind of want to try out 4-5 ancient troops and the BC as an anvil at some point. because their def 6 and inspiring is amazing. I also an a huge fan of scorchwings in the current war machine meta, and they’re good for sneaky flanks too with thunderous 1 and pathfinder. The thing about the list i’ve been wanting to change the most is the dragons. When they’re good, they’re great. But other games they get shot off the board before they do anything important, like one did in this game, or they dance around for the whole game not doing a lot. Thats 655 points that could be invested into units like tyrants, rhinosaur cav, or fire elementals that offer a lot of other things to the army. It also frees up the restrictions of having to use 2H primes as hammers, and offers the possibility of switching out to ceremonial guard in regiments or hordes with a healer backup. I could also go down the 18" steady aim shooting rabbit hole with those points by adding some corsairs. So I think i’m going to drop them in the future.

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Thanks for the report, and congrats on the victory!! I didn’t necessarily see that coming :sweat_smile:

Dig the lizard list, nice to see a scally horde that doesn’t include Tyrants.

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Round 4 vs Joel Zigelstein
Push vs Twilight Kin

Norgrunn held his head in his hands. This was bad. The worst report he could think of. Strange elves doing horrific things and taking slaves. Elves don’t scare him, but he had heard about Twilight Kin and what they bring to the battlefield. That was the horror. He thought that the stories were just stories until he dealt with THEM himself. Night-stalkers.
If they took root in the fears and minds of even one village nearby then they would be near and lurking forever. Things that crawl out of the shadow. Things that walls cannot protect you from.

These elves must be eliminated or driven away before their corrupt magic can take root and invite THEM. While we’re at to we must move runic wards to the nearby villages; to protect the the villages and to draw the Twilight Kin out.

Twilight Kin List
Blade Dancers Regiment - Mead of Madness
Blade Dancers Regiment - Aegis of the Elohi
Tallspears Horde -Brew of Strength
Cronebound Butchers Regiment
Cronebound Butchers Regiment
Cronebound Butchers Regiment
Cronebound Butchers Regiment
Cronebound Abyssal Horsemen - Blessing of the Gods
Cronebound Abyssal Horsemen - Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
Cronebound Shadow-hulk
Soulbane - Mournful Blade
Summoner Crone - Boots of Levitation - Scepter of Shadows
Army Standard Bearer - Lute of Insatiable Darkness

That is a lot of dangerous things! Nothing should rout a regiment of ironclad in one go by itself, but the abyssal horsemen with Blessing of the Gods might. The blade dancers, tallspears and abyssal horsemen should run over a regiment of rangers in the open.
The blade dancers are dangerous, but have low De. They are my preferred shooting target 3, but brocks should rout them with one clean charge.
The tallspears are De4+ and bought CS 1, so similar to the hordes of primes from the last game, except my brock riders must avoid it. My ironclad will be able to deal with it, mastiffs and 3 charges should rout them or put them very close. My ironclad have a more important mission though…

The butcher regiments are probably intended to screen something, likely the abyssal horsemen. They are tough, but I know from playing butchers myself that they don’t hit that hard. If I can get them engaged one on one with ironclad it should take 3 turns to get through. Trapping whatever they are screening behind them.
The abyssal horsemen are just dangerous. They also need to be hit hard to overcome their regeneration. Hopefully I can keep them delayed till after I have dealt with the other threats.

Shadow-hulks are hard to rout and do decent damage against almost any De. It’s going to be a pain, but will take damage output the I need to deal with other threats to deal with.
If at all possible, I must get rid of the summoner crone. She will be protected though.

My list again, for convenience
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Shieldbreakers Regiment
Rangers Regiment
Rangers Regiment
Sharpshooters Troop
Sharpshooters Troop
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment
Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment
Steel Behemoth
Dwarf Lord on Large Beast
Berserker Lord -Brock -Blade of Slashing
Dwarf Army Standard Bearer
Flame Priest -Inspiring Talisman - Bane Chant -Increase Fireball to (10)

Deployment


The Twilight Kin took the top and deployed centrally, with butchers screening the things I would like to shoot at. Which is good in principle, it is difficult to win Push! without the centre objective. The terrain makes attacking the centre difficult though, from the top the main attack is through terrain and from the bottom the attack force is split by the impassable rock and units moving from the bottom right will have to cross the obstacles and woods.

The Twilight Kin tokens went to the shadow-hulk and tallspear horde, probably to avoid my strong right.

The Fool’s Hold put the ironclad to hold up the centre and sharpshooters on the left for the same reason. With bare flanks, I put the push tokes there.
The right flank has little opposition, so the main Push! is planned there. Rangers to navigate the terrain and brocks for speed. The second unit of brocks is deployed centrally to help where needed in the late game.

It’s important to note that the Northern Kings scoring system used here offers bonus points for the number of units holding tokens, give us a reason to spread them out.

Twilight Kin Turn 1


Twilight Kin get the first turn and use it to send the blade dancers and their body guards up through the woods with horsemen to support. The other horsemen prepare to defend the right flank . The tallspear horde hide behind the hill to avoid getting chipped away.

Dwarfs Turn 1


The dwarf infantry line moves up, avoiding most charge ranges, but baiting a charge from the blade dancers with mead of madness. Ironclad can take a charge from blade dancers, especially hindered, and can flank and can destroy an isolated unit if it comes in.
The right flank attack and token carrying force move up at full speed! One unit of rangers supports them and the other moves to attack the flank of the incoming attack in the centre.
The sharpshooters don’t have targets so one moves up to score and the other to find targets.

Twilight Kin Turn 2


Butchers move into my way to make way for the blade dancers to take the bait.
The rest of the centre keep shuffling up. The tallspears continue hiding and the right flank continues turning to face.

Dwarfs Turn 2


Two regiments of ironclad team up and rout the blade dancers as planned, reforming to protect the damaged unit. The other ironclad and steel behemoth charge the butcher regiment in front of them.
The right flank gets into threat range and the beserker lord engages the butcher regiment to hem in the horsemen behind them. The sharpshooters still don’t have targets to continue.
The lord on beast moves up to engage the horde and stop them from crossing the line later.

Twilight Kin Turn 3


The fight for the centre really gets going. Horsemen and butchers engage the dwarf infantry line.
The remaining blade dancers threaten the lord on beast while the soulbane challenges him to a fight.
The right flank stays in place as the butchers fight the beserker lord.

Dwarfs Turn 3


The rangers on the right flank help remove the butchers there while the brock riders get into place. Which is a mistake, The mastiff pack already have the tokens where they need to be and the attack force isn’t getting all the way around in time to help the centre, so just keeping the horsemen busy is enough. The beserker lord could hold up the butchers without the rangers getting charged by the horsemen. The mastiffs should really go hide, but come closer so that they can pass a token to another unit for the bonus points.

The dwarf infantry line engage and grind while the units on the left inch closer to their objectives.
The damaged ironclad throw a mastiff at the summoner crone rather thank flanking a unit, but the crone survives.

Twilight Kin Turn 4


The crone repays the mastiff with drain life and heals the horsemen, undoing most of the steel behemoth’s damage and turning that into a losing battle. The shadow-hulk picks up the centre token and looms over the infantry line.
The rangers get run down on the right.

The Twilight Kin start doing things on the left. The tallspears come out and the blade dancers and soulbane put some significant damage on the lord on beast.

Dwarfs Turn 4


The sharpshooters without loot and lord on beast move to hold units up for a turn, while the brock riders move to come and help. Another mistake; stopping the tallspears will get me a draw, I really need to fight and kill the shadow-hulk.

The grind goes on in the middle, with two butcher regiments getting flanked and destroyed.
The brock riders charge the horsemen on the right, but could not fit with the beserker lord.

Twilight Kin Turn 5


The horsemen hit back hard, but the brock riders were fresh and the steel behemoth gets lucky. There isn’t space to flank the steel behemoth, so it has to be counter charged. The last regiment of butchers fail to do any damage to the last regiment of ironclad.
The shadow-hulk and another drain life make a hole in the dwarf infantry line, making me wish that the brocks waited for the shadow-hulk instead.

The lord on beast is easily removed by the tallspears and soulbane.

Norgrunn has been on enough adventures to know that final stands are only worth it for other lives. He has distracted the elves for long enough, time for him to leave.

Dwarfs Turn 5


The infantry from the close right get in and rout the horsemen. The steel behemoth pays for it’s secure flank with a lack of options, it can only turn around, which threatens where the shadow-hulks will be if it tries to run. The ironclad on the hill didn’t take any damage, so throw a mastiff at the crone and that kills her!

The brock riders waver the horsemen on the right.

On the left the other brock riders charge the spears to keep them back and get lucky! A double 6 nerve buys two turns instead. The remaining sharpshooters get out of dodge.

Twilight Kin Turn 6


Blade dancers finish off the ironclad on the hill and the shadow-hulk faces the incoming infantry.
The horesmen on the right use fury to rout the brock riders! That puts the mastiff pack in a bad spot where my greed for bonus points might cost me the game!

Dwarfs Turn 6


The mastiff pack tries to hide, but don’t need to, because the beserker lord finishes off the horsemen! Phew.
The remaining dwarf infantry come in from the close right and do a little damage while the sharpshooters and steel behemoth get to safety.

Turn 7


There is a turn 7, but it does not change the result. The brock riders get slaughtered, but the tallspears start foo far from the line. The shieldbreakers get stomped on.

The dwarfs shoot at the shadow-hulk, but that is not effective.

Three tokens over the line gives the dawrfs 6 VP against the Twilight Kins two over the line and two not over for 6 VP too. A close fought draw!

Thoughts
Holding a unit back to keep them safe and rushing to score often gets misjudged and is risky even if it doesn’t. It is too easy for your opponent to hold your units up, making it take longer than expected.

The principle lesson here is regarding the scenario. A plan that involves getting the tie-break objective, like Push!ing through the middle, has an advantage.

I terms of unit performance; the sharpshooters are not doing badly, but also not particularly well. They had a hard time performing their primary function in this game and I didn’t actually need them to sneak an objective down the flank. It was actually risky, without the double 6 the tallspear horde may very well have taken those tokens. I think that they are the units that I would miss the least if I trimmed this list to 2000 points.

The villages are protected, for now, but the Twilight Kin and Night-stalkers remain a threat. The Fool’s Hold must prepare for horrors and fortify their minds.

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Round 5 vs Justin Gisby-Clark
Pillage vs Undead

It’s simple: armies of undead get bigger the longer they’re left to kill and grow. When one emerges it’s best to go out and put a stop to it.

Undead List
Revenant Infantry Horde
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment - Staying Stone
Soul Reaver Infantry Regiment - Blessing of the Gods
Revenant Cavalry Troop
Revenant Cavalry Troop
Revenant Cavalry Troop
Revenant Cavalry Regiment - Sir Jesse’s Boots of Striding
Wights Horde - Healing Brew
Wights Horde - Brew of Haste
Vampire Lord - Mount - Blade of Slashing
Necromancer - Drain Life - Inspiring Talisman
Morgoth the Faceless

That is hard hitting, soul reavers can rout a regiment of ironclad in one charge and wights might too. With a good anvil and fast fearless chaff to get the the nasty stuff in.
This will be a challenge, I have to get rid of a something before close combat and coordinate effective counter punches to bring those dangerous units down. Soul reavers will be removing a unit every turn from when they charge to when I rout them.

My list again, for convenience
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Ironclad Regiment - Throwing Mastiff
Shieldbreakers Regiment
Rangers Regiment
Rangers Regiment
Sharpshooters Troop
Sharpshooters Troop
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment
Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment
Steel Behemoth
Dwarf Lord on Large Beast
Berserker Lord -Brock -Blade of Slashing
Dwarf Army Standard Bearer
Flame Priest -Inspiring Talisman - Bane Chant -Increase Fireball to (10)

Undead Turn 1


The undead only shamble up.

The dwarf deployment plan is to attack the woods on the left with rangers and steel behemoth. Brocks support the attack and mastiffs grab the objective in the field. The ironclad and sharpshooters hopefully take something with them holding off the soul reavers.

I tend to make battle plans in terms of attack vectors, which works for the fast and aggressive armies that I usually play, but it does serve me well for dwarfs.

Dwarf Turn 1


Dwarf infantry advance! This is a mistake, undead can move onto the hill and surge off it, so I am not safe behind it. I’m really just getting into a combat that’s bad for me sooner and throwing away a turn of shooting.
The mastiffs are actually needed to screen the brocks, but the beserker lord tries to do the job by baiting a charge, forgetting the vampire’s duelist.
Shooting is not particularly effective.

Undead Turn 2


The revenant cavalry troops come in to hold my army in place, they’re tough enough to keep my units from working together.

Dwarf Turn 2


Hoping to get rid of the cavalry troops quickly so that we can coordinate our counter strike, the dwarfs don’t get what they need.
The vampire lord survives on the left. The right cavalry troop gets flanked to remove it and save the far right ironclad from getting flanked, but a double 1 means that the attempt costs two units.
While soul reavers would probably still rout ironclad in a frontal charge, one damage from the throwing mastiff would have wavered the left unit of soul reavers.

Undead Turn 3


A frontal charge from soul reavers removes a regiment of ironclad, as do both flank charges.
The wights on the left go through the beserker lord and rout the brock riders in one go.

Dwarf Turn 3


The other regiment of brocks break through too late, as does the steel behemoth. I miss that the flank is exposed too.
Dwarfs try to hold up units on the left and put everything available into the cavalry regiment on the right, to no avail.

Undead Turn 4


The shield breakers hold! The steel behemoth does not. Wights barely notice the rangers that charged them.

Dwarf Turn 4


The remaining brocks put down the vampire, but the revenant infantry hold them in place.
The other dwarfs try, but do not succeed.

Undead Turn 5


Dwarf units are isolated and easily picked off by the dangerous undead units.
The rangers get a double 1 though!

Rangers bravely hold so that some of their unit can escape. Some to warn the Fool’s Hold to fortify and some to get help from Golloch

Dwarf Turn 5


Norgrunn and Mendeleev hold off as many as they can while the rangers escape with their warning.
The sharpshooters are hunted down, it will be some time before the Fool’s Hold can bring sniper corps to the battlefield again. If they survive the siege to come.

Undead Turn 6


With a wave of vampires from behind; Norgunn is swallowed by the undead horde, along with the other dwarfs that have not fled.

Dwarf Turn 6


While he still has flame left to hold the undead at bay, Mendeleev retreats back to the Fool’s Hold. It will not be the safest, but Golloch needs him to make gunpowder from fool’s gold, so will have to save the hold if Mendeleev is trapped there.

Thoughs
That was possibly the worst defeat I have ever suffered in Kings of War!
I was too eager to start and that let my opponent stop my units from working together to overcome his powerful units. I lost in turn 1. Making better use of my mastiffs to screen the brocks would have helped, I must plan that better.

Overall, all the units did what I took them for. For the way my list works and the MSU style I’m going for, I feel that the sharpshooters contribute the least, so they’re two thirds of the answer to what I would drop to make a 2000 point list from here.

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