“The enemy vanguard routed our reinforcements, your brother stayed and fought as long as he could, but ultimately in vain. I am happy to say that he made it back safely, however.”
The Palace Guard saw his prince’s demeanor light up with these news. The loss of the reinforcements was certainly a blow, but family had always been the center of Deral Lionbane’s world. “Then we must make do with the forces we have. We’ve taken up a good position, we know the land, we will prevail. What has my brother reported on the enemy composition?”
“They appear to be of the herd, but the scouts report a second force of northmen arriving to reinforce them. The three brothers have also reported that the Herd has a huge monster with them, and apparently this was the primary cause for the carnage”
Lord Deral thought of his options for a moment. He had force-marched his army to the site of magical energies, choosing to arrive and set up position ahead of the mages that were to arrive later. Now the mages had arrived, but the reinforcements that had been traveling with them had been routed and the enemy was on their way. “Sound the call to battle, we will destroy the servants of the Dark Gods and complete our mission. By Lionstone, we’ve faced worse before” he said and stood up, dismissing his captains to their duties. In the distance, the cold, hell-forged trumpets of the enemy sounded their challenge. They had gained a victory and their confidence and blood-lust was high. With grim determination, he walked out to avenge his fellow elves.
The game was a 2,000 point pitched battle with my elves against a combined force of Varangur and the Herd. We had played an earlier 1k game against the Herd player, which I had lost rather bad, the Brutox especially making minced meat of my elves. I was hoping that by trying out some new units I could squeeze out a win, but the Varangur units had me worried with their high defense, universal Crushing Strength, and high Nerve values.
Apologies for poor lighting and some of the images. We were more focused on playing than documenting, and it wa dark AF here in Finland.
Herd and Varangur
Units from left to right as accurately as I recall (some unit upgrades etc. may be missing). My friends have not gotten around to painting all of their units, or purchasing/converting everything needed (case in point, Magus Conclaves are a bunch of orcs and goblins ), so I had the advantage with the dice gods! I hoped…
A regiment of warhounds
A regiment of Lycans
A troop of Tribal Spears
A regiment of Warband
A Regiment of Tribal Warriors
Great Chieftain with Hunting Hound and Sword of Slashing
A troop of Centaur Longmanes
A regiment of Bloodsworn
A troop of Sons of Korgan
2x Magus Conclave with Famulus
Cursed Son with Blessing of the Gods
Regiment of Bloodsworn
High Elves (Elves)
Again, all units are in order of left to right.
A troop of Silverbreeze Cavalry
A regiment of Drakon Riders
A regiment of War Chariots
A regiment of Palace Guard
An Army Standard Bearer with Healing Charm
A troop of Kindred Archers
A mage with Bane Chant and War-Bow of Kaba
A regiment of Palace Guard
A troop of Palace Guard
A regiment of Kindred Spears
An Elven Prince with Inspiring Talisman
A mage with Fireball and Myrddin’s Amulet of the Fire-heart
A troop of Kindred Archers
A regiment of Stormwind Cavalry with Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
I won the roll for table side, and even though my opponents deployed first and got a +1 to their “who gets to go first” roll, I won that too. This is why you paint and base your army, folks!
First turn saw everyone rush forward, with especially my opponents eager to get within axe-hitting distance of my elves. I was fairly confident in my left flank, but despite having a lot of mobile units on the right, there wasn’t a lot of room to maneuver. I was also rather concerned with the two Conclaves gunning for my brand new Drakon Riders (finished just for this game!). My shooting was rather ineffective, a few wounds here and there, but being a dummy I forgot to move my archers forward, thus finding them out of range of the enemy (being used to the 30” range in WHFB rather than the 24” in KoW). My opponents blasted magic at the Drakon RIders as expected, but only scored 2 wounds with the Nerve teste being passed easily. A bigger threat was the Hunting Hound of the Chieftain, which was sent charging against my Palace Guard Troop. I’ve seen these do a lot of damage before as with some good rolls they just stack up wounds on a unit like no tomorrow. This time however, the doggy fluffed all its attacks, and the Palace guard put it down like a…dog (I’m so sorry for the obvious pun)
Going into turn 2, I had a few charges lined up, one of which I really didn’t want to make. On the left flank, my Stormwind Cavalry saw the flank of the warhounds and charged in, the Potion of the Caterpillar allowing them to pass through the forest unhindered. In the center, the Palace Guard matched up against the Tribal Warriors, and although they would be hindered in this charge, I had faith in their sword mastery. But on the right, the War Chariots were faced off against the Brutox, and no matter where I moved them, they’d be charged by it next round. So, in a glorious “all or nothing” gambit, they charged right at the big fist-pumping monstrosity.
Elsewhere my units just kind of shuffled around, deciding to soften the enemy up with shooting a little bit before engaging in combat. The RBTs both shot at one of the Conclaves and manages to cause enough damage to Waver them, meaning I had just halved the enemy shooting for the next round. Hooray! A decent fireball and some shooting by the archers on my left flank also put on a world of hurt on the Warband now moving between the two woods, but they held firm.
In combat, the Stormwind utterly crushed the warhounds with 22 wounds caused. The hounds routed, leaving me with a very strong unit behind the enemy lines, ready to cause some major mayhem later.
The Palace Guards facing off against the Tribal Warriors did ok, managing 4 wounds despite charging into the woods. If they could hold next round, I was convinced that I could win that fight, if no enemy units arrived to flank me.
The War Chariots fought bravely, managing to beat on the Brutox a fair bit with their limited attacks, but the stupid thing’s Nerve is so high, that my opponents still needed to roll a double 6 to even see it wavered. They didn’t, it wasn’t, and I was preparing to remove one of my favorite units from the field very soon.
Herd and Varangur
The dark tide rises. The Herd and Varangur players wasted no time in charging my chariots with the Brutox and a unit of Bloodsworn. The Cursed Son moved to harass my Silverbreeze Cavalry and the Lycans moved to block my Stormwind Cavalry from exploiting their position. My opponents also moved forth their Sons of Korgan reserve, preparing to exploit my rather poor situation on the right flank. (This is one of the reasons I really enjoy Kings of War more than that other game, the fact that you can actually have and use reserves without feeling like you’ve been “wasting” units sitting at the back. Although now I wished that my opponents didn’t have these reserves, but oh well).
Elsewhere the Centaurs, Warband and Tribal Spears all advanced.
Shooting was ineffective, causing another wound on the Drakon Riders, but they held.
The combat however, was a different tale. The Brutox alone could have crushed the chariots, and the Bloodsworn were just a brutal addition to the party. Blood, splinters of wood and fur went flying as the poor chariots were hacked to ribbons and my opponents got ready to go after my Palace Guard the next turn.
Near the center, the fight went somewhat better. The Tribal Warriors fluffed most of their attacks, and only caused two wounds on the Palace Guard. Even so, I rolled stupid high, but thanks to their high Nerve, nothing bad happened. It was an unpleasant feeling though, after the charior disaster. Talk about a wasted unit…
The right flank was collapsing, the left flank wasn’t doing as well as it should, my Drakon Riders were out of position and I was out of drinks, could things possibly go any worse? Only way to find out is to charge right into the jaws of the enemy and kick them in their shins! On the right flank, everything charged. The Stromwind took on the Lycans, the Kindred Tallspears went toe to hoof with the Tribal Spears, and the Palace Guard faced the Tribal Warriors in the woods. The only unit that didn’t charge was the Palace Guard troop, because they had nothing to charge at, and I wanted to keep them in reserve in case the Chieftain got any ideas (my opponent has used his Chieftain very successfully and very aggressively before, and I learn from my mistakes!). Speaking of characters, my Prince charged the centaurs in the flank. They couldn’t hit me back, so I figured why not cause a few wounds on them, maybe take out their Thunderous Charge when they charged my poor archers next round.
On the right flank, I had to get the heck out of dodge with my Silverbreeze, and double timed them up the hill behind the Conclaves. Doing so meant I had to forgo their shooting for this round, but the Cursed Son would have hacked them to pieces otherwise, so… Also the Drakon Riders continued to do nothing, although I did manage to finally place them somewhere threatening, by parking them right in front of the Conclaves. Come at me, bro! I ain’t afraid of some nerds with their magic sticks!
Shooting is where things changed. I cast Bane Chant on the archers and shot at the Sons of Korgan, managing to get 6 hits and 5 wounds! My opponent had been enthralled by the siren song of Crushing Strength (3) and turned in their shields for great weapons, which had made them a far softer target. Confident, I shot at one of the Conclaves with both RBTs, scoring 6 hits from the Blast rule! Another 3 wounds later, I was certain that the unit was going to rout. On the left flank, another fireball and a hail of arrows saw the Warband take on another bunch of wounds, making it look like they might finally rout. ‘Lo and behold, every single unit I had shot at went poof, off the table! Even the chieftain’s Inspire ability didn’t help the Warband (we had agreed ahead of the game that the Chieftain could Inspire the Varangur units as well, for fluff reasons and to keep things fair)! Things were starting to look up!
Bye bye, Conclave…of orcs?
Fitting how they fell over as soon as they moved within bow-range
Combat saw the elves continue their comeback. In a glorious surge of successes, the Stormwind routed the Lycans with ease (great throws by me, terrible Nerve roll by my opponent), the Tallspears routed the Tribal Spears (to nobody’s surprise) and the Palace Guard took out the Tribal Warriors, as I had expected. My opponent decided then and there that he would only ever use Tribal Longhorns in the future, 3+ to hit makes a big difference! The Prince also managed his mission, causing two wounds and thus disrupting the centaurs, giving my archers a slightly higher chance of surviving.
He who dares, wins!
13 wounds and a 13/15 Nerve? You can’t always roll snake eyes!
This wasn’t even a fair fight
All in all an amazing turn, I started to believe in victory again!
Herd and Varangur
I might have reclaimed the left flank, but my opponents still held the right and were planning on pushing their advantage with their most powerful troops still essentially unharmed. If they managed to rout or even waver my Drakon riders and take out a unit or two, I’d be seriously struggling to get rid of the tough Bloodsworn and Brutox.
(ignore the pile of casualties in the top-right corner)
The centaurs charged the archers and even without their Thunderous Charge, I was likely going to lose that unit. The Brutox and lefter Bloodsworn unit charged my Palace Guard, the Brutox rolling 6 attacks on his randomized d6 attcks. The fun just never stops with that one. The Chieftain imitated my prince and charged my Stormwind cavalry and the remaining Bloodsworn unit moved to a better position not to be rear-charged.
Shooting started dreadfully. The remaining conclave hit with both attacks thanks to Elite, and got four hits with Blast. Needing only 3+ to wound had me rightully worries. Then:
One wound. I let out a whoop of relief as my opponents just laughed incredulously. The dice gods were with me! Until the Brutox and Bloodsworn massacred my Palace Guard at the beginning of the combat round and left me with a deep sense of impending doom.
The centaurs had to cause just 1 wound to force a Nerve test, and with 10/12 values, I wasn’t confident. They caused 4, and my initial Nerve roll came up as a 6, Wavered. No shooting, no charging, they’d be sitting ducks for the next round. I had my army standard bearer next to them and was contemplating rerolling, but I’d have to roll 5 or less on two dice to get anything out of it, and if I rolled a, 8 or higher, the unit would rout. One of my opponents taunted me by saying “Come on, games are won by rolling dice”, and so I did. 4! My brave, brilliant archers took on the centaur charge and held firm!
I was surrounding my enemies, but I was also running low on units that could challenge them in a one on one fight. I did a little shuffling to move out of charge ranges and get my own units IN charge ranges. My Prince charged the centaurs in the rear, but sadly wouldn’t get to triple his attacks, due to being an Individual. I also had a momentary case of the stupid, as I didn’t move my archers anywhere! They couldn’t shoot because the centaurs were in the way and the Brutox was about to tear them several new ones, but I just completely forgot about them as I started my shooting phase. At least I remembered to move my army standard and mage out of the Brutox’ way.
Shooting was effective, but not very dramatic. I managed to waver to remaining Conclave, so eliminated my opponents’ shooting, and put several wounds on their Chieftain, but other than that nothing happened. Combat was also short and sweet, the Prince putting a few wounds on the centaurs and wavering them, effectively locking them in place to be flanked next turn.
Herd and Varangur
The Brutox, the bane of my existence, charged into the archers. In case you’re wondering, why he has less wounds than before, it’s because the damn thing keeps regenerating!
Nobody can stop the fist pump party!
At this point my opponents made an absolute mad lad move: Moving their Bloodsworn unit forward as bait! The other one backed off a few inches and the Cursed Son got a charge on my Prince! The former was…an interesting tactical decision, but the second was not a welcome development, especially since I had not thought it possible, having had yet another case of the stupids. The Chieftain charged my Tallspears as well, hoping to rout them as there was no risk of retaliation.
The Brutox predictably tore the archers apart. Sadly no amount of rerolls would had saved them (technically yes, double 1’s always do, but the damage was just brutal), and their brave story came to an end. The Cursed Son also did really well, getting 5 wounds in, with the Prince just barely holding on. The Chieftain put on several wounds on the spears, but not enough to waver or rout them. Still, a few more wounds would put them in danger territory.
I obliged my opponents and charged the Bloodsworn with everything I could. My prince moved out of the Cursed Son’s vicinity, deciding that it is absolutely vital that his leadership be present in this rather one-sided fight.
The Palace Guard troop seized the moment, and flanked the centaurs, about to contribute to the battle for the first time!
Then I had YET ANOTHER case of the stupids. I moved my standard bearer and mage to be within spell distance of units, so they could cast Heal and Bane Chant. What I didn’t notice, is that I placed them in a perfect line in front of the Brutox! And on the other side of the individuals was my remaining archer unit…
Finally, for shits and giggles I charged my Silverbreeze cavalry into the remaining Conclave. They’re be hitting on the same 5+ as with shooting, but even a single would would guarantee that there’d be no return fire due to melee wounds causing disruption, unlike ranged wounds.
I started (and ended) shooting by throwing EVERYTHING at the Brutox. RBTs, archers, fireball, the bane of my existence tanked it all and kept on pumping. That must have been somewhat disheartening to see for my elves…
Combat was predictably one-sided, with the combined power of the three elven elite units making short work of the Bloodsworn. The Palace Guard turned to face the last enemy units and the Drakon Riders backed up one inch, JUST ENOUGH to get out of charge range of the Bloodsworn!
Herd and Varangur
The Brutox charged gleefully into my army standard bearer, the Chieftain into my Tallspears and the Bloodsworn and Cursed Son into my last Palace Guard regiment. The Conclave shuffled to be behind the Silverbreeze to be out of their charge arc next round.
Skipping shooting and into combat, the Chieftain managed to put a few more wounds on the spears, but thanks to some healing rolls from my turn, the unit stayed. The Palace Guard on the other hand was facing the elite Bloodsworn and Cursed Son, and despite putting up a valiant stand, they routed even with the Prince’s reroll. It was a rather magnificent “last huzzah” for my opponents, who had not realized that they weren’t going to win the game unless something went really wrong for me.
Then the Fun Train. The Brutox picked up the standard bearer, smashed him on the ground several times, causing 5 wounds (which truth be told was far better for me than I had hoped). However, in true 90s action hero fashion, when faced with a giant monster, the standard bearer held firm! The rampage of the beast had been stopped by a humble standard bearer! I am so happy that I painted him, I couldn’t be more proud!
It was time to mop up what was left! The Prince ran to the top of the hill, ready to take on the Conclave if they survived (and if there would be a turn 7), the Palace Guard, Stormwind and Drakon Riders charged the last Bloodsworn unit and the standard bearer and mage skedaddled out of the Brutox’s way.
Shooting was a repeat of last turn, with a very important change: The Brutox, the bane of my existence, the fist-pumping murder machine was FINALLY killed! Even with 11 wounds it was far from certain, but the dice were not kind to my opponents and the monster’s rampage was brought to a halt.
Burn in Hell!
The Bloodsworn were given the end their kind deserves, a bloody one. Last real enemy unit was routed off the field.
Herd and Varangur
But wait, there’s more! Realizing that their Chieftain had a line of sight to my Stormwind, my opponents decided to charge both their heroes into the unit. Forget the last huzzah of the Bloodsworn, this was some Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid nonsense! With nothing else to do, they focused all of their dice rolling powers into this one final act of defiance…and routed the Stormwind cavalry!
Have to admit, I did not see that coming!
We rolled to see if there would be an extra turn, and there was, but it is rather anti-climactic. The Prince routs the Conclave and the Palace Guard routs the enemy heroes by overrunning the Chieftain. The elves have won the day!
Deral Lionbane tore his axe free from the chest of the last of the sorcerers and turned to observe the field. What he saw was disheartening. Dead littered the battlefield, too many of them wearing the green, white and gold of his house. And too many of them because of his mistakes. Yet, the battle had been a major victory. Despite the initial setbacks, the forces of the Herd and Varangur had been utterly crushed and the few survivors had been sent fleeing. The mages were both unharmed and could now safely conduct the cleansing ritual, returning the balance of magic to their natural flow, free from the corruptive elements their foes had sought to exploit. He breathed deep and winced, the wounds caused by the Varangur champion were many and deep. “Stupid, stupid and lucky” he berated himself as his men rushed up towards him, bringing with them healing salves and mages to tend to him. He raised his family’s axe far above his head and let out a great roar of triumph. Across the valley the Elves joined in, and a sense of elation washed over them all. It was a hard fought victory, but one they could be proud of and one that would be sung about in the halls of Lionstone.