The Elven way: A Tale of Gaming updated 01/03/22 Game 13 Nature

Yes I think it’s pricey but probably the way to go. I think conjurers staff might be a bit better than the amulet as you probably get an extra dice every turn (5/6 extra total vs 5 LB) that’s especially good on the turns when you are casting Curse.

Thanks for the review, Paul. I basically agree with everything except that I really like archers being Ra 4+ (even though I have definitely used the “elves are humans with elite”-argument before).

The changes to seaguard, gladestalkers and stormwind cavalry should provide an alternative to the palace guard + drakons + dragon + mages army building process. At the very least, the “everything else is bad”-argument no longer flies if you’re bringing the same list as everybody else. I especially like the seaguard as I’ve always viewed elves as a combined arms army and the new seaguard screams combined arms.

I strongly agree with you that chariots (of all armies really) should have simply kept the profile from the start of 2nd edition. Every change afterwards made things worse.

I also don’t see when you would pick the Torc of Borrowed Time over the Amulet of the Fireheart, but perhaps someone will find a weird combo.

Looking forward to your first CoK22 reports.

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Thanks Geeps glad you found it helpful. I think Seaguard are going to be really good. If it was me I’d have rolled back the points drop if they were going to give them steady aim I think it’s that a huge upgrade to a unit I think people were already under rating.

I thought I heard that the new Ram helm does not give any bonus when the unit is hindered?

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It just gives thunderous charge so yeah, that won t work if hindered. And it also says you can t use pathfinder/strider, right?

Been thinking of putting it on a Drakon Horde …

No it’s that you can’t use path finder or strider when charging. So it’s a hindered charge which costs you 1 TC and -1 to hit so still 4+ TC 2

You only lose 1 TC when hindered not all of it.

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Oups you’re right. I must have been thinking of Phalanx :wink:

My bad, I was thinking of the TC bonus from hills (“makes a Charge that is not Hindered”).

Battle Report #10

2300pts vs Abyssals

Narrative Intro:

Elves

Aeneas swept his spear to the left blocking the incoming blow from King Eataine. Swiftly he drew back bring his spear point to face Eataine once again keeping his liege at bay. The soft silk scarf tied around his eyes caused little issue to the King’s Champion having long ago mastered his other senses to guide his movements.

Horns blew in the distance, the time for practice at an end Aeneas withdrew his blindfold, Eataine was already making for the command tent eager to hear the news from the returning scouts. Aeneas passed his ancient spear to an aide marvelling at the long lost craftsmanship from another age that had gone into forging his symbol of office.

Gladdened that he would at last be at the side of his King in battle after years marshalling the defences of the capital Theren, Aeneas strode towards the command tent just as eager as his lord to hear the scouts’ reports, hoping to hear signs of the Abyssals they’d been tracing.

Ben has written an Abyssals Intro too:

Ba’el’s bad morning

Ba’el woke up with a splitting headache! What had he done last night? And what was that smell? Looking around the seventh pit off hell he saw the remnants of the previous evenings festivities. There were torn limbs everywhere, upturned tortured devices, barrels of blood spilled everywhere and then there was the ‘mess’! It’d started out like most other nights, he’d invited his pals over for a Cheese and Wine party involving some of the most deserving of the damned, but it had pretty soon got out of hand. Chroneas had brought the dip, Fiendy brought the bbq and the Knights had for some reason brought their horses! It was all the fault of that Warlock with his magic brew, what had he put in it?

He’d woken to find everyone strewn around snoozing off the effects of the intoxication but he couldn’t get back to sleep, what was that smell, kind of like clean linen combined with lavender! Those damn elves again had opened up a magic portal and their foul stench was invading his realm. Well he wouldn’t have it! Bellowing so loudly he woke the denizens of hell (well his mates)! He screamed “they’ve done this for the last time, awaken my friends, to arms, we will wipe the scent of these pesky elves from the world forever!” Maybe that would help ease his headache!

Game Intro and Lists:

With the shockwaves of the Clash of Kings 2022 update sweeping through the KoW community and the lengthy gap since my last report it seemed the perfect time for my tenth report. I challenged my regular opponent Ben to a game with our new toys. We decided on a larger 2300 points level than usual to allow us to try even more of the new options. I’d be taking my Elves as usual whilst Ben would be taking his Forces of the Abyss so it’s a match up you’re used to reading by now.

Elf List:

Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant, Lightning Bolt: 135pts

Mage (Eldroth): Lightning Bolt, Conjurers Staff, Bane Chant: 125pts

King (King Eataine): Horse, Rampage (d3): 150pts

King’ Champion (Aeneas): 145pts

Spearmen Horde: Brew of Strength: 270pts

Spearmen Horde: Healing Brew: 235pts

Drakon Horde: Staying Stone: 280pts

Glade Stalker Regiment: Fire oil: 180pts

Glade Stalker Regiment: 175pts

Quicksilver Lancers: Pathfinder: 260pts

Forest Guard Troop: 105pts

Forest Guard Troop: Nimble: 115pts

Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts

With so many changes available to choose from in Clash of Kings I couldn’t include them all so decided to go for 2 bigger ones and then add in a few smaller ones as best I could. My first choice was to bring in what is in someways the “hidden formation“ in the new book, two Spearmen Hordes and a King’s Champion to give them fury. I love the idea of spears but in gaming found due to using damage boosting items on them you forgo waver protection which can be a big issue, the King’s champion resolves this with his fury aura. Brew of Strength went on one unit and I rather undermine my argument by having no items on the other unit but this is due to wanting as many new items elsewhere as possible rather than a purely competitive choice.

The 2nd big inclusion are two regiments of Gladestalkers these were heavily upgraded in CoK and could potentially benefit from the King’s Champion Aura as well if required. The plan was to combine the shooting from the Gladestalkers with the usual lightning bolt mages to bring a more devastating shooting attack than elves have previously been able to bring. I dropped the boomstick not because it isn’t still powerful but the slight nerf does make a conjurers staff a similar value option and it frees up extra points for another spell in this instance a second bane chant to support the spear hordes. A troop of Silverbreeze supplement the shooting further whilst also providing some fast chaff.

To round out the list I added the exciting new Quicksilver Cavalry that are bound to be a mainstay in elf lists for a while as an alternative to the Drakon Hordes. I’ve paired this with a Drakon Horde and a Mounted King with the new rampage item to give him a little more bite versus chaff. Hopefully this should be a strong combination able to outmanoeuvre and overwhelm a section of the board for me whilst the shooting and infantry advance.

The final additions were two Forest Guard troops I mainly wanted to see how the nimble banner would work I’ve long thought most infantry troops should get nimble as they tend to represent light skirmished type units. With lots of path finder in the list already I thought I may well be engaging in terrain a lot so added a second troop to maximise this and provide extra chaff support. I’ve only ended up with 4 main combat units vs the 5 I’d usually have at 2300pts but the extra shooting and combat abilities from the Gladestalkers mean I’ve got a lot more support available for the bigger units.

Forces of the Abyss List:

Ben has graciously written up his thoughts on writing his new list following CoK 22 for us

I’ve been playing FOA for some time now and the new additions to their list from the new COKs are nearly all great, that’s combined with new spells and magic items left me with a major headache of things to include.

We’d decided to play 2300, I’ve already got a 2000 point list which I know well so I decided to use that as the staring point. There are already 3 units of tortured souls in there which will benefit from the extra TC so now I just needed to decide how to spend my extra 300 points. The additional inclusions I looked at were:

Firstly I went with more Abyssal Horsemen, they’re devastating and in pairs they’re even better. I though I’d include them this time as I know how they’ll work

Secondly I gave the warlock scorched earth (the hindering spell), I think this will be very useful in most games, I did also look at the celestial restoration (the healing spell) which I think is another great addition but I didn’t want to overload with spells even though we can now take an item that allows you to cast twice in one turn

Finally I decided to upgrade a Fiend to a Chroneas, the improved hitting power combined with his healing make him my new favourite inclusion, let’s see how he does!

I also thought about including the Well of souls, always great but the points drop and extra healing are very tempting. I decided not to this time as I feel my list isn’t built for it’s inclusion

I didn’t upgrade the Molochs with a despoiler champion even though giving them brutal and vicious is well frankly amazing, they’re one of the best hitters in the game anyway and now they’ll go through bone like butter. I didn’t upgrade purely down to points constraints but I’ll will be trying it out in other games soon.

So my army is:

-2 regiments of flamebearers, amazing shooters and unlocks too!

-3 regiments of Tourtured souls, i liked them before but they got better for free! They act as blockers, hitters and with US 2 they can do well in scenario scoring too.

  • 2 regiments of Abyssal Horsemen, one with Jesses boots, very hard hitting and their regeneration really helps, they are a little vulnerable to shooting though

-1 horde of Mollochs, again great hitters and if I come up against phalanx then these boys will be engaging rather than the knights

  • 1 Abyssal Field, I normally play with 2 so let’s see if I’ll miss him

  • Chroneas, I like having two monsters in the list and I’m interested to see if he is as good as the Fiend

  • Seductress with mace, great for getting to back line and taking on mages, she can even take on a regiment of bows

  • Abyssal Warlock, so good for the points and now with the hindering spell even more versatile

-Ba’el, again won’t leave home without him, he does so much and but I mainly use him to get behind and threaten

So the list I’ve built is pretty balanced with some of the new stuff to try out, I know Paul’s list is pretty shooty so if I can avoid getting shot off in turn 1 I might stand a chance!

Deployment and Scenario

We chose the scenario Raze to fit in with Ben’s story. My little brain can’t quite cope with a new scenario and new units all at once but we’ll try out some of the new scenarios from Cok 22 in the future.

Ben chose sides taking south (I’d have taken north anyway as I wanted the hill on the right nearer me so I could have open ground to place two tokens on the right). We both had 13 units so we’d finish deploying at nearly the same time. I began with my spears and kings champion on the left to create a defensive perimeter over his two tokens. Ben massed most of his troops on this side whilst I put my faster stuff on the right. With only 4 main units I ended up with a refused centre with only some forest Guard to stop giving Ba’el a free reign to fly between the two battle groups. My shooting was set up to aggressively go after the Warlock with the terrifying Shattered Earth spell. This included scouting a Gladestalkers unit so it could get on the hill. A mage and Gladestalker also went on the far left to support the Spears.

Elf Turn 1

On the left I wasn’t too keen to face the Flamebearer units with my infantry lines so as the the Raze markers were safe for another turn I kept out of range with my spears and other infantry. Meanwhile my mage Eldroth and the Gladestalkers snuck into range of the Tortured Souls without exposing themselves to the Flamebearers nearby.

On the right I advanced on to the hill with my Gladestalkers to get a clean shot on the Warlock as the deep deployment of the Horsemen and Tortured Souls left me safe from counter charges other than the Seductress which I was fine with. The other units advanced cautiously not wanting to get pinned by the Seductress early on.

Shooting saw the newly added Gladestalkers unleash on their targets supported by the mages who were delighted to finally have some back up in the shooting phase. Slightly above average damage and solid nerve rolls meant I managed to pick up both the Tortured Souls on the far left and the Abyssal Warlock on the right!

Abyss Turn 1

The Abyssals advanced cautiously, wary of the long charge ranges possessed by the fleet of foot elves. The Seductress chose to charge the Silverbreeze rather than the a Gladestalkers no doubt deterred by the pair of finely crafted long daggers each Stalker wore at their belt.

Shooting saw Ba’el squint at the woods where he thought he could see some Elven Cavalry sadly his headache made it hard for him to concentrate and he failed to do any damage to the arrogant elven knights. In combat the Seductress lashed out with her whip left and right injuring two horses but the disciplined Elven Scouts stayed resolute in the face of such painful yet alluring punishment.

Elf Turn 2

Satisfied with their previous turn’s shooting the Elves felt little pressure to push too far forward. On the left the Spears advanced to protect the precious raze tokens whilst the other units stayed back ready to support. On the left the Drakons couldn’t resist the Seductress’s slender profile and charged. Begrudgingly the Silverbreeze backed up, their fear of being trampled by Drakons over eager exceeding their lust. The Gladestalkers, King and Mage moved to take up more aggressive positions.

Shooting began with the Fiend towering over the intervening hill sufferering as lightning seared it’s flesh and arrows piercing it’s hide. On the left, however, distracted by the whipping noises Alenui and the Gladestalkers only managed a little damage on the Tortured Souls.

The allure of the Seductress proved her undoing as the over eager Drakons crushed her as they landed. Confused the Drakons backed up only to see her crushed remains beneath their claws. The Gladestalkers destroyed a raze token as they touched the amulet Eldroth had given them to the evil power source destroying both items forever.

Abyss Turn 2

The Abyssals were now in a position to strike back with fire and fury. To that end they advanced into range on the left eager to burn the foul elven intruders in their realm. Ba’el spotting a gap flew into the middle of the elven lines. The Tortured Souls units seeing green cloaks nowhere near any protective woods charged the Forest Guard and Gladestalkers.

Shooting saw fire rain down on Spearmen and Gladestalkers alike. The assorted twigs on the Gladestalkers cloaks exacerbated the fire causing more damage whilst the Spear’s metal armour reflected rather than conducted most of the heat. Neither unit was phased, however, aware that a price must be paid to end the Abyssal scourge.

The Tortured Souls tore into the lightly armoured Gladestalkers who were momentarily shaken. In the centre the Forest Guard blocked most of the blows with their axes and held firm.

Elf Turn 3

Ba’el jumping into the middle of my lines whilst threatening for future turns had also opened up the centre of Ben’s line. My Quicksilvers used their nimble to take full advantage and claim a Raze token whilst also threatening the Mollochs and Abyssal Horsemen next turn. To take advantage of this the Drakons charged the Tortured Souls and the Silverbreeze and King Eataine charged the Horsemen and Mollochs respectively you block them up.

In the centre both the Forest Guard Troops charged the Tortured Souls (one in the flank) keen to avenge their fallen kin. The left most unit of spears and Aeneas (King’s Champion) charged the wounded Abyssal Fiend. The remaining units moved to improve their positions for the following turns.

Shooting saw Eldroth bane chant the Spears facing the Fiend whilst the Gkadestalkers and Alenui put some damage on Chroneas to soften him up for later in the battle.

Combat saw the enchanted blades of the Spears driven into the mighty Fiend’s Chest, as the beast sought to defend itself from the front Aeneas leapt up from it’s unprotected side plunging his Spear through the vile creature’s neck bringing its reign of misery to an end. In the centre the Forest Guard’d heavy axes easily cleaved through the chains binding the Souls to their Torture freeing them.

On the right the Drakons overwhelmed the Tortured Souls whilst King Eataine skew a Molloch and the Silverbreeze were easily fended off by the Horsemen.

Abyss Turn 3

With Ba’el‘a headache getting worse rather than better he decided to keep flying away leaving his equally hungover drinking companions to their fate. (Ben conceded at this point).

Narrative ending:

Abyssals scattered as the ferocious Elven troops ripped into them. Spears and lances were plunged into demonic flesh and harrowing screams echoed through the night. King Eataine sat aside his mighty steed his heart gladdened to see the Abyssals so throughly vanquished. The one disappointment was Ba’el’s escape, he’d no doubt come to darken Eataine’s door once more.

Conclusions and Jubilations: (Paul)

Well that was some serious vengeance for the Elves after the beatings I’ve received vs Ben’s Abyssals. I rolled fairly well throughout and didn’t have any bad luck at all which definitely made things an uphill task for Ben. I think him forgetting my Knights were nimble was the last straw for him as they were able to get in a nasty position. Barring crazy bad luck the game was pretty much over at that point.

So what do I think of the new elves? I think they’re really very strong, I don’t want to read too much into a single game but all the upgrades seem to work at the top end of my expectations. Gladestalkers combined with Lightning bolt really elevates the shooting potential of the list and having a fast nimble combat block really boosts the manoeuvrability threat of the list. It feels very much like 2nd edition elves “We’re going to out shoot you and then out charge you”.

Apparently other races have also improved a lot so we will have to see how the new meta plays out but I’d be surprised if Elves aren’t now at the top table when it comes to KoW power rankings.

List Changes

I was very happy with the way the list operated but I want to try an optimise it to see how powerful elves can really get. The main change is to swap out the Spearmen and Kings Champion for Seaguard Hordes and a foot king to really maximise the advance and shoot nature of the list.

I’m going to give the mounted King the Torc of Dissidence to help versus some of the new spells such as Veil of Shadows and Shattered Earth that could derail my plans at key moments.

New List:

Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant, Lightning Bolt: 135pts

Mage (Eldroth): Lightning Bolt, Conjurers Staff, Bane Chant: 125pts

King (King Eataine): Horse, Torc of Dissidence: 145pts

King (Pauldren): 100pts

Seaguard Horde: Chant of Hate: 290pts

Seaguard Horde: Fire Oil: 235pts

Drakon Horde: Staying Stone: 280pts

Glade Stalker Regiment: 175pts

Glade Stalker Regiment: 175pts

Quicksilver Lancers: Pathfinder: 260pts

Forest Guard Troop: 105pts

Forest Guard Troop: Nimble: 115pts

Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts

I’m hoping to play some Nightstalkers soon to create a tough match up for this list.

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Hi Paul,

Thanks a lot for organizing a game and writing a report so soon after the release of the CoK22! It is also fantastic Ben offered his insights. The reports are much more interesting when you have both sides commenting. Reminds me about that old school reporting style from White Dwarf! :slight_smile:

Ben’s army is a tough one to play against for sure so congratulations on your victory! It was, indeed, the result you probably waited for a bit, after a few tough battles were Ben emerged victorious. It was great to see that the plan for your army, i.e., to have a combined arms approach, worked so well. The shooting was efficient and when you entered melee, it was on your terms and decisive. Truly the Elven way!

I am also quite intrigued by the changes you would like to implement, especially considering Sea Guard. I love the unit and I am looking forward to seeing what you can do with two hordes. I suggest you name the formation of these two units and a King already as your own! I expect people being inspired by your ideas soon so better to secure the place in Elven history and claim IP :smiley:

As always, very inspirational and I can’t wait to read more of your reports. Night Stalkers are indeed a very interesting opponent for Elves and I consider them their arch enemy in KoW.

Cheers!

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Battle Report #11

2300pts vs Forces of Nature

Narrative Intro:

Eataine and Pauldren stood on the rear deck observing the coast, the fleet of ships surrounding them glided through the waters as they hugged the coast. King Pauldren was keen to establish a costal trading colony in the Alaitoc Sea. His old friend the King of Theren had offered his ships and his own expertise in selecting the location.

All of a sudden the foremost ship was engulfed in a gale driving the ship towards the rocky coastline. It took all the seasoned Captain’s skill and experience to avoid the ship being crushed against the rocks. As Pauldren looked on aghast the remaining ships were driven off course by winds that appeared with no warning on what had been a calm day.

Eataine knew this was no freak weather occurrence and ran to the helm desperate to see his ship safe. Alenui and Eldroth emerged from below decks eyes ablaze and they cast their incantations. Lightning struck out towards the sails but instead hit the mischievous wind spirits driving them off. All around the fleet elven seamen worked to fight off the elementals whilst straining to maintain control of their vessels.

Despite the Elven crews’ skill many found their ships caught against rocks breeching their hulls. One by one the damaged ships limped towards the beach. As the crews began disembarking a low rumble could be heard from the nearby tree line. It was now clear the wind spirits intentions had been malevolent rather than mischievous. Drawing his sword Pauldren began shouting orders to his troops and the ships’ crews as the tree line grew closer…

Game Intro and Lists:

Following on from our previous game I was keen to see how effective my list would be with Seaguard Hordes instead of Spear Hordes. Ben was a good sport and agreed to take something other than Abyssals for the sake of giving the blog a rare non Abyssals v Elves matchup. Ben scoured his Cok 22 book looking for his favourite filthy new tricks and settled on Forces of Nature. We’d be playing 2300 points level again than usual to allow us to explore more of the new options.

Elf List:

Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant, Lightning Bolt: 135pts

Mage (Eldroth): Lightning Bolt, Conjurers Staff, Bane Chant: 125pts

King (King Eataine): Horse, Torc of Dissidence: 145pts

King (Pauldren): 100pts

Seaguard Horde: Chant of Hate: 290pts

Seaguard Horde: Fire Oil: 265pts

Drakon Horde: Staying Stone: 280pts

Glade Stalker Regiment: 175pts

Glade Stalker Regiment: 175pts

Quicksilver Lancers: Pathfinder: 260pts

Forest Guard Troop: 105pts

Forest Guard Troop: Nimble: 115pts

Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts

So there are only 2 main changes from the previous report. The first one is simple with the Mounted King taking Torc of Dissidence. A Mounted King’s item slot is usually a bonus as he already has good enough stats to perform his primary roles (disordering, blocking, adding damage) so with several new nasty spells around (in particular Shattered Earth and Veil of Shadows for this list) I wanted to try it out for some magic protection.

The other change was to swap out the Spear hordes for Seaguard Hordes with the King’s Champion becoming a foot King To cover the extra cost. I felt even with last year’s points drop Seaguard were superior value to Spearmen but adding Steady aim this year whilst maintaining the points drop has really elevated them to one of the best elf units (if not the best). I added fire oil and vicious as these would impact both shooting and combat attacks. A secondary advantage is the Seaguard wouldn’t favour being used in pairs to maximise the King’s Champion’s fury Aura so there’d be more tactical flexibility with this change.

Forces of Nature List:

Kapoka the Hidden Saviour: 145pts

Druid: Surge 4, Horse: 100pts

Treeherder: 260pts

Wiltfather: 300pts

Hunters of the Wild Regiment: 160pts

Hunters of the Wild Regiment: 160pts

Forest Shamblers Horde: 200pts

Forest Shamblers Horde: 200pts

Air Elemental Horde: 220pts

Pegasus: 90pts

Pegasus: 90pts

Beast of Nature: fly, extra attacks: 205pts

Beast of Nature: fly: 190pts

So Ben’s gone all in on a high defence rush style list (exactly what a shooty elf list hates to face). This should be a really challenging match up for the Elves exactly what I’m after having been surprised how effective my list had been last game.

Ben’s honed in on some really effective combinations. Kapoka’s Phalanx Aura impacts most of the army and they’re able to scout alongside all the trees meaning I will likely have half Ben’s army in a block in the centre of the board all benefiting from Phalanx and high defence.

The other elements of the list are set up to support with fly (also as a added bonus that the Beasts of a Nature could come into range of the Phalanx Aura).

Looking at Ben’s list I think I’ll need to play a careful patient game. I’ll try to strip away the supporting elements so I can bring my full force to bear on the main units, hopefully getting some flanks. Unfortunately his main blocks starting on the half way point will make buying time much trickier and more costly!

I’ve never faced the Wiltfather before and found a single Treeman tough enough to deal with (I’m not sure what possessed anyone to think we needed an even tougher version!). My plan will be to largely try and leave these guys alone as they’re only unit strength 1 and don’t have a lot of attacks so if I can clear off the surrounding units I might get a flank late on but without that I don’t see me being able to do sufficient damage to them for it to be worthwhile focusing on.

It’s an interesting choice how to line up to face Ben’s list as ideally I want everything matched up with the non-tree units and nothing facing the trees but I doubt Ben will be that accommodating. I’d guess the Trees will likely go centrally so some kind of refused centre could work but I’d need something in the centre to stop him just turning to face or using the fast stuff to fly into the gap. I’ll also have to see what scenario we end up with as this will add another layer of priorities I need to incorporate into my plans.

Deployment and Scenario

We had been planning on using a new scenario for this game but on closer examination we discovered they were generally either designed for smaller or uneven forces. Perhaps we might play these through another time but this wasn’t really what we were after for this game.

We chose the scenario invade to fit in with story of the Elves being pushed back on the coast by the FoN whilst the Elves are trying to breakthrough. So this will be really testing for the Elves as Ben will have a lot of unit strength in my deployment zone almost immediately.

Ben chose sides taking south he began with placing the scouting block of trees on the left so I countered with the Seaguard and mages hoping to be able to shoot him up and slow him down so that my faster elements could reach his flanks. Both of our faster elements went on the right, my hope was I could defeat these quickly and swing round to support the right flank. Alternatively I may simply outnumber Ben with superior unit strength if I could remove enough of his higher unit strength tree units.

Scout moves were fairly straightforward Ben advancing en mass and my Gladestalkers moving up for better positioning. Fortune favoured the Elves as I won first turn so had a little more time before the Trees were upon me.

Elf Turn 1

With first turn secured it was key that I made the most of it through effective movement and target selection. My Seaguard backed up to give themselves a little more room whilst the remaining units on the left moved to target the Hunters near the centre hoping to peel away Ben’s unit strength.

On the right King Eataine and the Silverbreeze pushed up aggressively both offering charges to the Beast of Nature as I needed to clear this guy off early to free my units up to swing round. In the centre my nimble Forest Guard advanced and pivoted so that it could move round to threaten the Tree block’s flank and rear as they advanced towards the Seaguard units.

Shooting saw the Elite Elven Silverbreeze target the Beast with an astonishing display of accuracy most of the arrows flew true but sadly all bounced off the thick hide of the Beast (6 out of 7 hits 0 damage). In the centre almost all the Elven shooting targeted the Hunters of the Wild as arrows and lightning bolts rained down on them they turned tail and fled obviously unused to hunting prey that fights back. Finally the other Seaguard unit’s bowfire broke through the thick bark protecting the Forest Shamblers several times.

Nature Turn 1

With no appetising charges available and Drakons forgetting to put their leader point in the wood Ben’s right swung round using the wood as cover for his fast units. On the right with nothing yet in range Ben pivoted his line to turn his flank away from the centre of the board reducing the threat from this position. This was reinforced by Ben’s left sided flyers moving behind the hill to further cover threats in the centre. Shooting saw the three wounds on the Forest Shamblers healed.

*Elf Turn 2

A mistake in the placement of my Drakons Leader point has opened up the right flank. With Ben’s treeline rapidly approaching I felt I needed to to commit now to try and win the flank and apply pressure to Ben before he could react. In a very fiddly movement phase I charged the Air Elementals with the King and the Beast of Nature with the Silverbreeze hoping to ground them both. The nimble Forest Guard Troop moved to block these flyers from advancing too the front.

Both Gladestalkers units moved to target the Pegasus as I’d need to waver it or it could block my charges next turn. On the left flank one bright spot was Ben had strayed out of Inspire range with the remaining unit of Hunters so I’d have a good chance to remove that unit with the combined shooting of the Seaguard Hordes and Mages. The foot King sacrificed himself in front of the Forest Shamblers to protect the Gladestalkers.

The Gladestalkers spying the elegant Pegasus pure white and pristine unleashed a hail of arrows splattering the white with red as the beast crumpled to the ground. The Seaguard and mages meanwhile failed to take full advantage of the uninspired Hunters only wavering them. Combat saw a both the Air Elementals and the Beast disordered and therefore grounded.

Nature Turn 2

With his flyers grounded Ben decided his best option was to commit whenever possible. On the left the Forest Shamblers moved to cover the injured Hunters whilst in the centre Pauldren was mobbed by both the Wiltfather and the Forest Shamblers Horde.

To the right both flyers hopped over the hill to hit the blocking Forest Guard’s flank whilst the Air Elementals engaged the Silverbreeze and the Beast of Nature charged the Gladestalkers.

Shooting saw the Hunters recover 3 damage from the previous turns‘ bowfire but the Druid was unable to reflate any of the Air Elementals. Combat saw the King and Forest Guard torn to shreds whilst weak rolls saw the Silverbreeze survive and the Gladestalkers only take minimal damage.

Elf Turn 3

Having pulled Ben in I now needed to commit my forces and hopefully kill what I needed to. The Quicksilver Cavalry lowered their lances hit the flank of the Air Elementals along with the Silverbreeze going in the front. King Eataine hit the rear of the Beast of Nature in the Wood whilst the Drakons went in the flank as both charges would be hindered. Most other units simply moved out of charge range buying more time to defeat the flyers.

Playing it safe King Eataine used his Torc to steal surge from the druid in case Ben tried a desperate long range double surge. Shooting saw arrows and lightning bolts arch through the air to little effect as the vicious Seaguard failed to land a single wound on the Forest Shamblers so everything else targeted the Pegasus but were only able to waver it. Combat saw both the Beast vanquished and the Air Elementals balloons popped.

Nature Turn 3

With limited options Ben spotted a flaw in my positioning and attempted a long range surge with his Forest Shamblers into the mage where they would have been safe from flank charges. Unfortunately he rolled one below the average roll he needed and had was left with his flank exposed. At this point Ben conceded as he’d be heavily outnumbered and surrounded.

Narrative ending:

King Eataine looked out across the bay, below him he could see his fleet beached. Repairs were almost complete soon he would set sail again. His companion King Pauldren would not recover so quickly his body and armour crumpled by the blow from the mighty Wiltfather only the combination of skill from Eldroth and power from Alenui had saved his life. Despite driving off the forest dwelling host the price had been high. Bringing civilisation to the Alaitoc sea would not be without cost.

Conclusions and Jubilations:

Another short game but I think it would be a mistake to look at that and say it was a dominant win. The first turn roll and some other 50/50 rolls went my way and that could have made a huge difference. Also we were both new to this match up and both could have played it better IMO. Sometimes a mistake or sub-optimal play can result in victory but it’s important to understand that good results do not automatically equate to good decisions. Case in point I mistakenly left Ben an opportunity with that last turn surge. The surge falling short failing brought the game to an abrupt end. However, it was actually poor play by me not positioning my troops correctly and good play by Ben given the state of the game he needed to gamble a little to avoid a slow death.

From Ben’s perspective I think in particular he could have been more aggressive with the Treeherders as these are really difficult for me to deal with and this could have then had his other units free to operate more flexibly to counter me elsewhere.

In terms of my play I hadn’t fully appreciated the impact of Treeherders not being shambling could have on my plans. If played aggressively I can’t afford not to deal with them as they can grind me out whilst blocking me from using the Seaguard where I really need them. I didn’t support the Seaguard enough instead trying to concentrate on turning the right flank.

Also with such tough shooting targets I really needed to have as much fire concentration as possible I barely killed a Hunter Regiment one turn and fell short the next. Even the minimal healing powers Ben had were enough to fully healed the Hunters in two turns.

My plan had been to overwhelm the right flank including having perhaps some Gladestalkers surviving with their high unit strength putting me in an unassailable position once shooting and combat with the Seaguard had taken its toll on the left but I think there is a strong chance Ben could have been the one in such a strong position if he’d been able to use the Treeherders to absorb damage. So I think I might have been better going stronger on the left flank and not trying to dominate the right.

List Changes

i don’t really have any list changes but the Seaguard for Spears swap certainly wasn’t as overwhelming an upgrade as I thought they might be. So I think I would play around with the Spears based list I used last game again in the future. I’m looking to play a 2k game next time so will drop a Gladestalker Regiment, Forest Guard troop and downgrade an item to shave off the points.

2k version of List:

Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant, Lightning Bolt: 135pts

Mage (Eldroth): Lightning Bolt, Conjurers Staff, Bane Chant: 125pts

King (King Eataine): Horse, Torc of Dissidence: 145pts

King (Pauldren): 100pts

Seaguard Horde: Brutal : 270pts

Seaguard Horde: Fire Oil: 265pts

Drakon Horde: Staying Stone: 280pts

Glade Stalker Regiment: 175pts

Quicksilver Lancers: Pathfinder: 260pts

Forest Guard Troop: Nimble: 115pts

Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts

4 Likes

Enjoying the battle reports and seeing the updates in play.

I agree with your analysis of this unit - to me it seems odd for it to have been included in the update. In other lists, the Shieldwall option normally gets overlooked for a more expensive choice. Afaics, the main advantage of KW is being able to field sword & shield minis.

1 Like

Thank you glad you are enjoying them.

Battle Report #12

2300pts vs Forces of Nature: Salt the Earth

Narrative Intro:

Eldroth and Alenui, two mages in the service of King Paweldran, stood silently in a glade within the forest north of the city Bel-Valdar. There was great natural and magical energy flowing within these woods. Gradually the patterns in the flow became discernible, great power was emanating from the east. Eldroth and Alenui opened their eyes, the task complete. There had been reports of a force massing in the forest now the two elven mages knew exactly where.

King Paweldran surveyed his troops, arrayed for battle the tightly formed ranks of his coastal guards, his nobles mounted on their prized steeds, forest rangers, experts in woodcraft and the mighty Drakon lords astride their monstrous steeds. Each one would have it’s part to play in the coming battle.

The Forest Dwellers’ arrogance would not go unpunished. Whilst there had been skirmishes and a few pitched battles Paweldran was keen to inflict a chastising defeat on the elements that called the forest home. The recent incursions into his realm could not go unanswered!

Game Intro and Lists:

Over the Christmas holidays I’d had a chance to play one of my old friends Ed. He’d taken one of the trickiest armies to face imo, a flying & surging Forces of Nature army. This army has so many ways to operate you really need to position units very carefully in the early turns to avoid what could prove disastrous errors. Sadly I made numerous mistakes and was soundly beaten. Keen for revenge and to try out some further list tweaks I challenged Ed to a rematch.

Elf List:

Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant, Lightning Bolt: 135pts

Mage (Eldroth): Lightning Bolt, Conjurers Staff, Bane Chant: 125pts

King (King Paweldran): Horse, Shardblade, Blade of Beast Slayer: 170pts

King (Pauldren): 100pts

Seaguard Horde: Brutal: 270pts

Seaguard Horde: Fire Oil: 265pts

Drakon Horde: Strider (1): 290pts

Glade Stalker Regiment: 130pts

Glade Stalker Regiment: 130pts

Quicksilver Lancers: Pathfinder: 260pts

Stormwind Troop: Nimble: 150pts

Stormwind Troop: Mace of Crushing: 145pts

Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts

2300pts

I’ve been tweaking the list I’ve used since the last report throughout my subsequent games. Rather than using 2 Gladestalker regiments and 2 Forest Guard Troops I switched to 4 troops of Gladestalkers as they had similar combat abilities minus the thunderous charge. So I’d have a bit less punch. However, the extra points would allow me to upgrade the mounted King to have Blade of the Beast Slayer and Shardblade bring back some punch against high defence monsters.

Having used this I’d found that it had inadvertently turned the list into a bit of a gun line (albeit one that could push up aggressively), although effective it wasn’t really the kind of list I enjoyed playing. I like a more varied list that has a range of tools to operate in multiple ways. So I wanted to drop two of the Gladestalker troops for something different and balance the list out.

A unit I’ve wanted to get into an elf list for a while but not been able to is Stormwind troops. These guys aren’t up there with the best value “thick chaff” (expendable units that can also take or give a hit given the opportunity) in the game but given the elf list and the models I have they’re one of the better options available. In particular I liked the idea of using the new 10pts nimble item on one to create a cheap highly manoeuvrable unit that could get in awkward positions for my opponent. I took a second unit to give myself more long ranged blocking charge threats that I could use to support my main units getting into combat.

The one thing I’m currently lacking is an infantry regiment to carry out scenario and other thankless tasks without being vulnerable to smaller threats. This would probably take the form of a seaguard regiment in place of the 2nd stormwind troop. I don’t really want an extra shooting unit as mentioned above but it’s hard to argue there’s anything close to being as effective when performing that role for similar points.

Forces of Nature List:

Avatar of the Green Lady: 150pts

Gladewalker Druid: Crown of Wizard King, Ring of Harmony, surge, blizzard: 180pts

Druid: Conjurers Staff, Bane Chant, Lightning Bolt, Surge: 115pts

Earth Elemental Horde: 220pts

Earth Elemental Regiment: 130pts

Earth Elemental Regiment: 130pts

Fire Elemental Horde: 220pts

Greater Fire Elemental: 175pts

Hunters of the Wild: 90pts

Hunters of the Wild: 90pts

Pegasus: 80pts

Nature’s Wrath Formation:

Greater Air Elemental: Lightning Bolt: 220pts

Air Elemental Horde: Dragonshard Shield: 250pts

Air Elemental Horde: Hammer of Measured Force: 250pts

2300pts

Ed’s list is full of great units. Earth Elementals getting extra nerve along with defence 6 makes them immensely resilient even in regiments. These provide perfect screens to push up and absorb charges before the other units counter. They’re also a nightmare to build up damage on as the list has plenty of heal when you can’t kill them outright.

Air Elementals are really tricky to face as their nimble fly and surge combination makes them a nightmare to stop getting flanks etc unless you can keep them at arms length. The formation adds regeneration limiting shooting’s effectiveness and the Thunderous Aura which makes up for their lack of natural crushing. In the previous game Ed used the Hunters of Wild to screen these guys from shooting. These are also great value in troops as defence 5 makes them tougher than most chaff and scouting means they can be in awkward positions on turn 1.

The three characters are what really makes this list so tough to face. The Avatar is ridiculously good value compared to a heal 6 Elf mage for instance (only 25pts more) cloak of death in a flyer with pathfinder is horrible and radiance of life combined with the army’s high defence, regen and heal is also excellent. The Gladewalker Druid comes with a an excellent mix of abilities in particular being able to cast twice a turn most of the time which is an incredible ability.

Previously Ed deployed in a compact formation to maximise the benefit from his screens and protect his individuals. Realistically I don’t find it worthwhile chasing individuals most of the time but especially when surge means getting into the back lines is often more dangerous for you than the enemy! This also means getting flanks tends to be fairly unrealistic at least earlier in the game. I tend to find the best approach is to try and stretch a shambling army’s line out to reduce their ability to support each other whilst keeping them at arms length. I then strike decisively to gain an advantage I can then exploit.

So all I’ll need to do to win this game is to keep most of my units away from Ed’s flyers, avoid going near anything that might surge into me from any direction whilst also punching through the front of his high defence units that will be healed if I don’t wipe them out in a single round of shooting or combat. Easy peasy!

Deployment and Scenario

In our previous game I’d deployed against Ed in quite a traditional formation flyers & cavalry on the flanks infantry in the centre. I believe this was a mistake for a few reasons:

  1. Surge/Shambling means I get little benefit from trying to “turn the flank” through movement alone in addition it also prevents Ed from doing the same with his flyers so I don’t require speed to counter this threat.
  2. I find infantry Hordes often very good at holding a flank especially seaguard with phalanx and shooting attacks. They can push up absorb a frontal charge hit back hard and act as an anvil for supporting units to operate as hammers.
  3. Because I want to punch hard so that I can kill units in front of me quickly Cavalry & flyers often work better nearer the centre. From there they can threaten several units to allow for combo charges units rather than very wide on the flanks where they often have fewer options.

Therefore I had two main styles of formation I felt would work well. Either I invert the traditional model and place faster units in the centre and shooting units on the flanks or I form a fast flank and a slow flank essentially forming a large hammer and anvil with my entire army. I will decide which approach to take depending on the scenario and terrain.

We rolled for a random scenario excluding those with bluff tokens as whilst possible to play online with Universal Battle it’s more fiddily. The scenario we rolled was Salt the Earth which should be a fairly neutral scenario.

I won the roll to choose sides taking north as there would be two Tokens in my deployment zone. All the tokens had been placed on the right hand side of the board which surprised me as I’d have though Ed would use the woods on the left to help provide cover and hinder my units. I used my character placements to buy me time whilst Ed placed his Earth Elementals in the centre so I was able to counter with my cavalry and flyers. His Air Elementals then went on the right so I countered with my Seaguard. In the end I largely ended up with my fast flank/slow flank deployment. Ed won the first turn roll having deployed defensively he decided to give me the first turn which I was happy to take but I don’t think it hugely mattered as either way came with its own merits.

Elf Turn 1

With Ed deployed defensively there wasn’t a lot to exploit. My only real available targets were the Earth Elementals. With so much healing available I felt it was best to go at the regiments and concentrate fire as best I could. Most of my moves were based around taking up firing positions as I wanted to keep my fast troops back so that they could advance with a pivot in future turns rather than potentially needing to back up in a straight line. With Ed’s army largely shambling I knew he wouldn’t be able to rush me in a single turn.

The foot king moved up to give himself some options as he could move 360 in any direction he could easily back up if required I wanted him to either do some blocking/support charges or move to help the Seaguard later on. The nimble troop of cav began swinging round hoping to get into position to combine with the other fast units later on.

All but one Seaguard Horde could target the Regiment on Ed’s left flank (or centre of the board given half wasn’t being used). However, given the lack of piercing little damage was achieved with one regiment unscathed and the one on Ed’s left taking only 5 damage so would likely be fully healed next turn.

Nature Turn 1

With little pressure to respond to Ed redressed his lines but mainly focused on getting his heal into position. Elven hopes were raised when poor rolling left the Earth Elementals with a point of damage still on them but a last minute reroll from the Druid’s Conjurer’s staff dashed those hopes. Even worse the Greater Air Elemental threw a Gladestalker unit into disarray with a lightning bolt wavering the unit.

Elf Turn 2

With the Forces of Nature hanging back the Elves had plenty of room to operate. This allowed the Seaguard on the hill to move over and get a clean shot on the Greater Air Elemental along with the other Seaguard horde and the mages.

Meanwhile as the Cav troop on the left was able to swing round into a relevant position the Cavalry and flyers pushed up a little to apply some pressure in case Ed decided to push up. The Greater Fire Elemental had turned towards the left flank so hopefully I could either draw him away or he’d have to let my troop be aggressive.

Shooting saw arrows and lightning rain down on the Greater Air Elemental piercing the old wind bag so many times it popped like a balloon struck with a pin. The Elves had claimed vengeance for the hurt feelings of the wavered Gladestalkers.

Nature Turn 2

Ed continued to redress his ranks unwilling to engage in piecemeal fashion. Shooting saw an almighty blizzard strike the Gladestalkers who had already suffered from lightning bolt the turn before. Despite their sturdy elven cloaks they exclaimed “we’re not dressed for this weather, we’re going home!” and promptly left the battlefield in search of hot cocoa.

Little else occurred as the traditional healing ritual was observed on the Greater Fire Elemental who was too busy paying attention to his injuries to properly aim a fireball at the Stormwind Cavalry troop thereby leaving them unscathed.

Elf Turn 3

Ed continued to be cautious but was leaving some units in range of my seaguard hordes so I pushed these forward to continue pressuring the right flank. In the centre I continued to shuffle preparing in case Ed tried a long range surge attempt with his Earth Elementals.

On the left I backed up the troop of Stormwind intent on drawing the Greater Fire Elemental away from the centre or being able to push back up if he turned away. The Stormwind Regiment and mounted King advanced to force the Greater Fire Elemental to push further away if it wanted to pursue the troop.

Shooting saw the Seaguard and Eldroth do enough to rout the Hunters allowing Alenui to target the Gladewalker Druid but sadly he only scored a single point of damage. Both the Gladestalkers and Silverbreeze managed 2 wounds each on their targets which pleasingly meant Ed would need to use heal and not just Radiance of life in his turn (a moral victory).

Nature Turn 3

Ed decided to take a leaf from the Dwarf book of tactics and formed his lines into a castle. Meanwhile the Druids and Green Lady saw to every ache and sprain suffered by the army leaving a pleasingly clean table top with no damage markers to be seen.

Elf Turn 4

With Ed forming a defensive perimeter the Elves took the opportunity to shuffle their units ready to advance next turn. Most units stayed out of charge range with a couple of units in range of the Air Elementals as bait just incase Ed nibbled.

Shooting was constrained as most of the squishy stuff was hiding behind a wall of defence 6 Earth Elementals. Combined fire from the Gladestalkers, Silverbreeze and Seaguard rained down on the Hunters but could only waver them. The remaining shooting targeted a Earth Elemental regiment causing minimal damage as was to be expected.

Nature Turn 4

Ed again decided to reform his ranks. This time he moved up his Air Elementals to screen them with the Earth Elementals so he was now in a position to threaten charges next turn.

Shooting saw the Earth Elementals healed by the Green Lady. Both Druids entered a trance, coercing the weather itself to change as sunshine was replaced by a freezing blizzard and a bolts of lightning falling from the sky. The Stormwind on the hill, being exposed to the elements, suffered terribly as their silk ruffled sleeves got slightly damp lowering their spirits (represented by 1 point of damage).

Elf Turn 5

It was decision time, I had three options 1) Attack: go aggressively after the central tokens knowing Ed would have 2/3 turns to strike back 2) Persist: position to charge next turn in an attempt to take the central tokens 3) Defend: play defensively destroying the most vulnerable tokens and looking to hold the 1 or 2 of the wider ones along with the two in my deployment zone.

I decided on number 2 Persist. My Silverbreeze moved to ensure the Air Elementals couldn’t see any of my faster units. The nimble Stormwind Troop moved forwards to draw a Pegasus or Greater Fire Elemental away from the fight. The rest of my force just moved to take up positions to either charge or move into objectives in turn 6.

Shooting saw some excellent rolls as the Gladestalkers finished off the injured hunters and then everything else aimed at a Earth Elemental Regiment 9 wounds were scored but a weak nerve roll came up just short. Still an excellent turn’s shooting that may even leave the Earth Elementals damaged for my turn 6.

Nature Turn 5

Unfortunately as is usually the case I’d missed a nimble flying surge trick. This is exactly why I said this is such a tricky army to face. As such a Seaguard horde were hit front and flank by the Earth & Air Elementals in what could easily be a decisive move.

Other movement saw the Pegasus drop into the forest to destroy the objective and threaten another next turn. (Another oversight by me!). Meanwhile the remaining Earth Elementals charged the Silverbreeze troop.

Shooting saw the the injured Earth Elementals recover a good chunk as the Florence Nightingdruids and Avatar Crusher whipped out the bandages. The Earth Elementals easily crushed the Silverbreeze underfoot (well made them run far far away at least).

Finally the big combat saw the Earth Elementals chip in with a welcome 3 damage. If the horde of balloons could do their bit they’d be a great chance of wavering or even killing the Seaguard. Fortunately (well for me) despite them knowing phalanx doesn’t work to the flank the mere sight of pointy sticks unnerved the Air Elementals stopping them striking with too much vigour and risk a puncture and the Seaguard held firm.

Elf Turn 6

A lone piercing note rung out across the battlefield. The Elven troops who’d held formation with unwavering discipline, finally heard what they’d been waiting for and charged into the fray.

Both Seaguard units charged the Earth Elementals as there wasn’t room for the wounded Seaguard to face the Air Elementals. The other Boulder brother units found themselves beset by cavalry in the flanks and Drakons in the front. King Paweldran himself drew his Ancestral Sword Yahdra and charged into the wood hunting the ignoble Pegasus cowering in its hiding place. Finally the nimble Stormwind made a blocking charge on the Fire Elementals.

Shooting saw the young mage Alenui attempt to bless the spears of the Seaguard but his concentration failed him at the crucial moment. Imperceptibly shaking his head at his young apprentice Eldroth turned from the Drakons he had been blessing and aided the Seaguard’s spears instead.

In the woods the Pegasus was swiftly despatched as Yahdra sliced straight through the beast’s neck. Imbued with a soft light the shard glass blades of the elven spears were driven into the creatures of the earth breaking their magical bonds leaving only rubble as remains. The cavalry and Drakons were equally devastating as their lances could finally target the weak spots they’d spent all battle observing.

Nature Turn 6

Despair engulfed the Druids as they witnessed the life spirits of their forest torn asunder. Years of meditation and mental conditioning barely kept their fury in check. Yet despite the loses they knew there was still a chance they could drive the Elves off.

The Air Elementals on the right charged head first into the wounded Seaguard. in the centre their breeze brothers stood in front of the Stormwind troop looking back at the Druids giving them a knowing wink. The Greater Fire Elemental moves to breathe fire on those same Elven Cavalry.

Shooting saw flames engulf the proud elven knights singeing rare fabrics which were thousands of years old past down from mother to son for generations. The flames, however, were immediately blown out by a great gust of wind as the Air Elementals surged into the fray. Finally tears in his eyes the ancient Gladewalker Druid stretched out his hand willing his Great Fire Beast to launch itself into the unsuspecting Drakon’s flank. Reaching deep into his reserves a pained expression came across his face, there was nothing left, he’d used all his magic. Despairing he crumpled to the ground in a heap.

(In what has become sadly typical of my play I’d messed up my positioning exposing the Drakons to a flank charge from the Fire Elemental if it surged. In a moment of great compassion Ed’s dice took pity on me and left the Greater Fire Elemental agonisingly short of hitting the flank of the Drakons.)

Combat saw Ed take vengeance on the Elves with both the Stormwind troops and Seaguard Horde routing due to to either windswept hair or burnt fine fabrics. The elves had carried the day so far but would the forest spirits accept defeat so easily? No they would not…

Elf Turn 7

There was little to do now but hope my Elves could mop up the remainders of the Forces of Nature to prevent them striking back. The Drakons and King Pauldren charged the Air Elementals whilst the Quicksilver Cavalry and King Paweldran charged the exposed flank of the Greater Fire Elemental.

Shooting targeted the other Air Elementals hoping to take advantage of their lack of inspire. It was all to much for them as the hail of arrows and lighting blew them away. Combat saw both Kings fail to wound their targets but the units made up for their leaders finishing off the Greater Fire and Air Elementals.

Nature Turn 7

The battle was lost but the Fire Elementals boosted by bane chant killed the Drakons as a final act of defiance.

Elves 2 - 0 Forces of Nature (1 token contested)

Narrative ending:

Paweldran sat in his command tent, sipping his wine, enjoying the poetry readings by some of the younger members of the party. Today had been a good day, he’d suitably chastised the creatures of the forest who’d dared to challenge his supremacy. No doubt they’d soon send envoys seeking peace and he could return to his studies and the management of his realm.

Conclusions and Jubilations:

Well victory and vengeance all rolled into one. This was a tight game that I could (and probably should) have lost or drawn. I made two silly mistakes late in the game, allowing surges into flanks that should have cost me more than they did. It was nice that dice bailed me out but after what I felt was strong play by me in the first 4 turns.

It was a strange game in that we had only lost 3 units between us by the end of turn 4 and zero combats fought. This is the nature of the lists though whilst I have a lot of shots they don’t have piercing and Ed has a lot of heal and high defence. I think the slow patient approach is the way to go about beating this kind of Forces of Nature list it’s so easy to get caught out. You need to get everything into position to engage them on your terms. Ed had to keep compact to avoid being picked off by shooting or cavalry, that gave me time to control board space.

I think the Stormwind Troop with nimble is a good example of this and it’s what I wanted it in the list for. I was able get it in a good position without committing it early then strike to block a unit from Ed’s backfield that I could never have reached from the front. Even though it seemed wasteful to have the Cavalry shuffling backwards and forwards for several turns it played an important role it impacting Ed’s moves without sacrificing itself too early.

We used one of the Epic Dwarf KoW map packs that many players use. The board we rolled up had an unusually large area of open space that essentially allowed my entire and to operate as one unhindered line. Different terrain would have had an interesting impact on the game. Anyway Ed made life very difficult with great play and was harshly denied a better result. As always he’s a gent to play and I’m looking forward to our next game!

List Changes

No changes at the moment I feel like I’ve got the list in a place where I like the options it gives me. The Stormwind troops give me pretty much what I expected: not great in terms of their abilities but their abilities are a great fit in the list.

5 Likes

Great report Paul and a very good game and convincing win. This Forces of Nature army is not only challenging to play against, it’s challenging to play with too. The Air Elementals go down so easily being only Def 4, as the Greater Air Elemental demonstrated this game, and there’s little genuine speed in the list, with only the Pegasus being a non-shambling flyer. I thought my tactics of lurking behind the building and the Earth Elementals worked OK for the most part and allowed me to do one sneaky surge flank after flying over the building, but I made some mistakes, which cost me badly. I think the double Earth Elemental Charge on the Siverbreeze was the worst. I should have sent in either the regiment or the horde and held the other back for another turn. Anyhow, it was a very good, if cagey for the first 4 turns, game and I look forward to assaulting your Elves with Earth, Wind and Fire again another day.

5 Likes

Thanks Ed, great to get your views to add more perspective to the report.

Yes it’s difficult to use your list too, it’s why I used the word tricky rather strongest etc. It’s got lots vulnerability too it why keeping it at arms length to bring shambling into the game helps.

I hadn’t thought about the Earth Elementals charge but yes it did mean you’d committed a good chunk of your threat into a difficult position.

3 Likes

DVD extras:

A: Battle Report 12 Alternate ending: Attack

In my most recent report we had an unusual situation. Barely anything had died by the end of turn 4 but we were both now in position to commit. This meant there were lots of very different options available to me regarding how I used virtually my entire army at the start of turn 5.

The game was played on universal battle allowing us to save and explore the various options. I was unsure which way to play it so actually ended up carried out the movement phase of 3 different options to see what they would look like. These options were as follows:

I had three options 1) Attack: go aggressively after the central tokens knowing Ed would have 2/3 turns to strike back 2) Persist: position to charge next turn in an attempt to take the central tokens 3) Defend: play defensively destroying the most vulnerable tokens and looking to hold the 1 or 2 of the wider ones along with the two in my deployment zone.

My opponent Ed being a good sport was happy to play out one of the other alternative scenarios, I’d already played option 2 Persist in the actual report so this time we would try option 1 Attack. I won’t repeat the first 4 turns of the report but you can read up to the end of turn 4 in the original report here:

Elf Turn 5

I decided to go all in and try to do enough damage that I’d come out on top in the centre. As such my Cavalry, Drakons and Seaguard joined King Paweldran in charging all the Earth Elemental units in the centre. The Silverbreeze meanwhile moved to protect the flank of my Quicksilver unit.

I kept some units back on the flanks to cover any of Ed’s units trying to make a break for tokens and to hold some of the other tokens for myself if I could keep Ed busy in the centre.

Shooting saw bane chant cast on the Quicksilvers and Drakons plus a wound on both Air Elementals hordes from the Seaguard and Gladestalkers (the Silverbreeze move had blocked line of sight to the already damaged Hunters).

Combat saw a flurry of poorly aimed lances fail to unnerve the Earth Elementals.

Nature turn 5

Cackling to himself at the Elves’ arrogance and puny lances Ed instructed his forces to counter the inept elven attack. However, many of his units were hemmed in by his tight formation. This meant the Fire Elementals and one of the Air Elementals couldn’t charge and had to remain behind his other units.

Shooting saw the Horde of Earth Elementals bane chanted and a lot of the damage healed. Combat saw lots of poor rolls (obviously both sides had been exhausted by the first 4 turns of manoeuvring exercises). As such Ed only managed to waver the two cav troops which significantly reduced his options in turn 6. One bright spot is despite only doing 2 damage to the Quicksilver cavalry the missed strikes slung mud all over the proud elven knights’ shining armour, flabbergasted the Quicksilvers would need to spend the next turn wiping themselves down (Wavered).

Elf Turn 6

With Ed’s troops hemmed in I should be in a good position if things ended turn 6. I’d really got lucky with some low nerve rolls meaning the Silverbreeze were only wavered so were blocking an a lot of Ed’s army from flanking the Quicksilvers and winning the central token next turn.

Most units needed to stay blocking because they were wavered or counter charging to keep Ed boxed in. King Pauldren (on foot) moved to provide further blocking next turn if required. The nimble cavalry troop moved to destroy the token in the wood as this was more accessible to Ed than most of the others. The Gladestalkers moved to claim the token in my deployment zone.

Shooting again focused on bane chants seeing the Drakons and Seaguard benefiting. Combat was limited but Paweldran grounded the Air Elementals and the Drakons didn’t break the Earth Elementals. The Seaguard, however, did manage to destroy the Earth Elementals regiment.

Nature Turn 6

With his troops hemmed in Ed had few options but to play for turn 7. The wily fox did, however, have one last trick in his bag surging the Greater Fire Elemental into fireball range of the Gladestalkers. Their claims engulfed in flames they fled the field abandoning a key objective. Combat saw the Cavalry troops vanquished but the larger units remain.

The Druids prayed their hardest but there was to be no turn 7. The elves had just hung on 3-1.

Takeaways

We still played out turn 7 and Ed managed to kill the Quicksilvers with a surging Greater Fire Elemental to claim the central token and a draw. Charging a turn earlier whilst securing the tokens for a time resulted in too much time for the Elves to withstand the surge tricks.

I perhaps shouldn’t have destroyed the token in the forest it would have been hard for Ed to take out the Gladestalkers and the Cavalry and unless he broke the cavalry in turn 6 I could have burned it in turn 7 if it was under threat. I also could have destroyed the token whilst staying away from the Pegasus or being behind the wood to move onto the deployment zone token. I simply hadn’t spotted the threat from the Grester Fire Elemental.

Another issue in this game is I moved my mounted King on to the hill in turn 4 to benefit from the Thunderous bonus but by not keeping him between my Quicksilvers and Drakons I lost the opportunity to combine him with one of those two units as Ed was able to position his Earth Elementals in such a was as to block me.

With Ed having moved the Air Elementals behind the Earth Elementals to protect them from shooting I was able to pin them in place by engaging en mass. This is why it’s important to engage all together versus this Nature list as you can fill the all spaces the shambling flyers want to drop into. Even yielding/support individuals can be vital to block any gaps they might try to exploit.

5 Likes

Battle Report #13

2300pts vs Forces of Nature: Plunder

Narrative Intro:

Amarynth looked out across the glade at the creatures of the forest, despite several defeats their leaders repeatedly refused the overtures of peace from the Elves. As Warleader of Bel-Valdar Amarynth was to continue his campaign to force a resolution. Signalling the advance with a single note from his war-horn Amarynth took flight on his steed Navarel keen to take the fight to the enemy.

Game Intro and Lists:

Today I’ll be facing Ed again he’s tweaked his list from our last report and I’ve been making some progress on a new list I’ve been painting up so was keen to try this in a game at 2300pts.

Elf List:

Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant, Lightning Bolt: 135pts
Mage (Eldroth): Lightning Bolt, Conjurers Staff, Bane Chant: 125pts
King (King Paweldran): Horse, Shardblade, Blade of Beast Slayer: 170pts
Drakon Lord (Amarynth): Brutal: 170pts

Spears Horde: Brew of Strength: 270pts
Palace Guard Horde: Fury: 280pts
Quicksilver Regiment: Pathfinder: 260pts
Stormwind Regiment: Strider (1): 230pts
Forest Guard Troop: Nimble: 115pts
Forest Guard Troop: 105pts
Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts
Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts
Bolt Thrower: 90pts
Bolt Thrower: 90pts

2300pts

This list is based off something I’ve been using since the start of 3rd edition, the new element I’ve added at 2300pts is the two bolt throwers, I’m not sure how I’ll find these as getting line of sight might be tricky and they’re very vulnerable compared to my usual shooting options. On the plus side they have extreme range. Cok 22 has also meant I could upgrade a couple of units with nimble which should make a big difference.

Forces of Nature List:

Avatar of the Green Lady: 150pts
Gladewalker Druid: Lute of Insatiable Darkness, Surge, Blizzard, Ring of Harmony: 190pts
Unicorn: Fly, Lightning Bolt, Hex: 165pts
Centaur Chief: Gnome Glass Shield:120pts

Earth Elemental Horde: Warbow of Kaba: 225pts
Earth Elemental Horde: 220pts
Fire Elemental Horde: Strider: 235pts
Greater Fire Elemental: 175pts
Pegasus: 80pts

Formation: Nature’s Wrath
Greater Air Elemental: Lightning Bolt: 220pts
Air Elemental Horde: Hammer of Measured Force: 250pts
Air Elemental Horde: Brew of Strength: 270pts

This was similar to Ed’s list from our previous game, however, he’d got 2 less drops than me this time meaning I’d out deploy him (14 to 12) which is a rare occurrence with Elves.

Deployment and Scenario

We rolled up Plunder as the scenario which I was happy about as loot scenarios present a different challenge for my army which often likes to sit back in the early turns to take advantage of my shooting.

Ed won the roll to choose sides taking the north side. We placed the 2 points plunder tokens in the centre and on the right flank. Ed deployed focused on the two 2pt loot tokens so covered about 2/3rds of the board. I largely matched him but put the Palace Guard Horde to the left to pick up the two 1 point tokens. My plan was to split Ed’s forces in two then defeat one of the two elements to give me a 2 point token along with the two on the Palace Guard. I won the roll for first turn and took it to be able to apply pressure on the loot.

Elf Turn 1

On the left the elves moved up aggressively capturing both loot tokens with infantry whilst Amarynth flew his Drakon in front of the building ready to swoop into the backfield. On the right the advance was less aggressive with the Silverbreeze units screening the elven lines.

Shooting saw all elven shooting draw a bead on the Unicorn several bolts and arrows struck the majestic beast nearly causing it to flee but in the end it was only wavered.

Nature Turn 1

Ed advanced cautiously with the exception of the Pegasus which charged the Silverbreeze in front of the spears and the Centaur Chief who advanced down the flank. Shooting saw swingy rolls as the Green Lady perhaps suffering from subconscious jealously failed to heal any of the damage taken by the Unicorn. On the flip side King Paweldran took 4 damage and the Silverbreeze on the right were wavered by the Greater Fire Elemental’s Fireball. In combat the Pegasus did a little damage to the Silverbreeze who stood firm.

Elf Turn 2

I was glad to see the Pegasus committed early as this is usually a thorn in my side late game. The failed attempt at healing the Unicorn was also a boon as I’d have a chance to finish it off this turn. Two flying objective holders down by turn 2 would put Ed on the back foot.

The Silverbreeze facing the Pegasus slipped sideways into the gap I’d left in front of the rock and the Spears levelled their spears and charged. Most other units on the right shuffled out of range of the Air Elementals’ charge. In the centre I had a choice with my Cavalry whether to support the Spears if Ed combo charged them or threaten the Earth Elementals I decided to focus on supporting the Spears incase Ed went all in.

On the left concerned by King Paweldran already taking damage I decided to commit him into the Earth Elementals along with the Forest Guard to try and pin them whilst the Palace Guard and Drakon moved into position.

Shooting saw the Unicorn driven off by Bolt Thrower fire but little else of note. In combat the Pegasus died to the Spear’s assault and the Earth Elementals took some damage from Paweldran and the woodsmen.

Nature Turn 2

Spotting the opportunity to hamstring two units at once the Centaur Chief charged the flank of the Quicksilvers (I had assumed he was yielding rather than mighty so now the Forest Guard were also stuck). This allowed his Air Elementals to take out the Silverbreeze without a threat of reprisal.

On the left the engaged Earth Elementals counter charged the Forest Guard and the second unit positioned to surge into the King. Meanwhile the Greater Air Elemental moved to counter the Drakon if he charged the Earth Elementals next turn. My decision not too support this flank with the central Stormwind was looking ill-judged indeed!

Shooting saw the Silverbreeze in the centre wavered along with some healing and surging. In combat both the Forest Guard and King Paweldran died on the left along with the Silverbreeze on the right flank.

Elf Turn 3

With Ed having effectively neutered my plans I spent the turn reorganising. The Drakon Lord backed up out of range of the Greater Air Elemental whilst the Stormwind in the centre moved to threaten from the south. Looking to make the best of a bad situation the Quicksilver Cav and Forest Guard both charged the Centaur Chief hoping one would remove the Gnome Glass Shield for the other to finish him off. The Spears and Silverbreeze backed up to prevent taking unwanted charges.

Shooting saw some damage put back on injured Earth Elementals and the Quicksilvers bane chanted in a effort to help their swords finish off the annoying Centaur Chief. This proved successful as the Gnome Glass was shattered by the Forest Guard and the Knights finished the job.

Nature Turn 3

Ed decided he needed to shift some support to the centre and brought his Fire Elementals round meanwhile the Earth Elementals moved to protect each other from combination charges. On the right both Air Elementals descended onto the Quicksilver cav.

Shooting saw some major rolls cause me problems. First the Druid healed 4/4 damage on the Earth Elementals reducing their vulnerability to the Drakon Lord Amarynth’s flank charge next turn. Then a single wound from the Greater Air Elemental’s lightning bolt wavered Eldroth denying the Stormwind any bane chant support on their flank charge.

In combat the Air Elementals routed the Quicksilver cav but were left in a tricky position for my turn.

Elf Turn 4

I was left with a tricky dilemma following Ed’s turn I had a flank charge on both Earth Elemental units but the odds were 50/50 with the cav denied bane chant and much worse than that with the Drakon Lord. My Palace Guard could help the Cav charge but this would mean potentially exposing their flank and I’d have to drop my loot tokens.

With the right looking fairly good I decided to try and hold on to my tokens with the Palace Guard hoping I could pick up some more tokens on the right. I put the Cavalry Drakon into the Earth Elementals’ flanks to try and minimise what could reach the Palace Guard. Everything that could charged the Air Elementals on the right hoping I could get myself a token in subsequent turns.

Shooting saw the bolt throwers unleash on the Fire Elementals causing 6 damage. In addition Bane Chant boosted the Forest Guard fighting the Air Elementals in an effort to try and get some damage to stick on them for next turn when my spears would try and engage them.

Combat started off in thrilling fashion as Amarynth’s lance struck home in the side of the Earth Elementals causing 6 damage now needing a very achievable 7 twice to break and potentially turn the course of the game I got the 7 forcing a reroll where the odds were now in my favour. Agonisingly I rolled a 6 falling 1 short. The Stormwind had no such issues causing huge amounts of damage and easily routing their Earth Elemental Horde. The Stormwind then picked up the loot token (which was an error we’ll come to shortly).

On the right the flanked Air Elementals we’re easily crushed by the Spears. However, inspite of the bane chant only 3 wounds were caused by the Forest Guard facing the other Air Elementals meaning they were likely to be back at full wounds next turn.

Nature Turn 4

On the left it had all gone a little bit 1970s funk music as Earth, Wind & Fire (Elementals) all charged. The Stormwind were hit in the front (Fire) and flank (Earth) whilst Amarynth and his Drakon were blocked by the Greater Air (Wind).

On the right the Greater Fire Elemental charged the flank of the blocking Silverbreeze and the Air Elementals countercharged back into Forest Guard.

Magic saw healing magic abound importantly the Air Elementals we’re back to full health.

Combat began with Amarynth wavered and the predictable demise of the Stormwind. Ed was then able to back out of range with the Loot tokens that I had foolishly picked up. On the right the Silverbreeze were easily swatted aside by the large bonfire.

In a tense moment a low damage and nerve roll meant the Forest Guard just barely survived against the Air Elementals (exposing their flank to the Spears). Sadly Elven hopes were dashed when we realised an additional wound should have been placed on the Forest Guard from the Green Lady’s cloak of death. The Elven Spearmen would have to do things the hard way.

Elf Turn 5

On the left side of the battlefield we’d reached a stalemate if I tried to go after the tokens Ed held I’d probably be surged in the flank and lose mine or if I dropped mine to chase his he’d likely block me up until at least through turn 6. As such the Palace Guard backed away and hoped the Elven Spears could get the job done.

Shooting targeted the Greater Fire Elemental, as the right flank was now key anything I could do to either encourage Ed not to use cloak of death or make killing the big bonfire easier could be crucial. Unfortunately he was in cover so I only managed 1 wound. Importantly bane chant went off on the Spears.

All eyes were on the critical combat as the Spears assaulted the Air Elementals. Apparently unconcerned by the hinderance of the wood the Elven martial discipline ruled supreme as the Air Elementals were brushed aside. The momentum was such that the Spears were even carried on to the 2pt loot and out of arc of the Greater Fire Elemental.

Nature Turn 5

On the left there was little to do other than shamble towards the Palace Guard and finish off the Drakon Lord.

On the right was where the game would be decided. Meticulous general that Ed is he positioned his units to limit the Spears movement as best he could whilst inflicting Cloak of death and fireball on them adding 3 more damage. All the Spears needed to do was advance and turn to face the Greater Fire Elemental next turn as long as he didn’t waver them with a double 6…(he did).

Elf Turn 6

This turn was going to be nervous but there wasn’t a lot I could do about in my go. All the shooting targeted the Big Bonfire, 6 damage followed by a double 6 on nerve was enough to raise my hopes before the inspire reroll dashed them.

Nature Turn 6

Ed held the fate of the game in his hands it would all come down to if the Big Bonfire could scare off the Elven Spearmen. Cloak of Death and the monster’s attacks were enough to break them on the first attempt so it came down to the all important inspire reroll which failed to even waver.

A 1 on the turn 7 roll and it was all over! The Elves had pulled it off.

Elves 4 - 3 Forces of Nature

Narrative ending:

Amarynth slumped on the chair in his tent. Alone he could finally show his relief at the victory rather than the easy going confidence he displayed in front of the troops. Once more the Forces of the forest has been defeated but it had been far too close for comfort.

Conclusions and Jubilations:

This was one of those wonderful games where there was plenty of cunning play and the dice always did enough to keep each player in it. No sooner would one play look in trouble then a big dice roll would bring them back in it. I can’t remember a game where so many dice rolls were either exactly what was needed or fell one short. It was great fun for Ed and I so I hope you enjoyed the report.

What lessons can be learnt? The Stormwind Cavalry in the centre definitely should have moved to threaten the Earth Elementals turn 2 I’d have had them in a three way pincer and Ed wasn’t in position to stop me. I was too concerned with what might have happened with the Spears when they weren’t really at risk. I think in someways I caught myself out by getting the Drakon into such a strong position so quickly, silly as it sounds I wasn’t really prepared for it.

Should I have sacrificed my King by charging in turn 2? I’m not sure. I was shaken by taking 4 damage in turn 1 and was concerned he’d be wavered if I waited another turn. I think committing him would have been the right move if I’d also committed the knights (as discussed above) but going in half arsed was a mistake (don’t half arse things, always commit your whole arse to what you’re doing).

Again in turn 2, (must have been having a bad moment) on the right I assumed the Centaur was yielding when it was in fact mighty. If I’d checked I could have positioned my forest guard so the Centaur wouldn’t block them this could have really opened up that side of the board for me or made Ed more cautious.

Finally I picked up the token with my Stormwind cavalry after killing the Earth Elementals in turn 4 all this achieved was to move the tokens away from the threat of my palace guard as the Cav were almost certain to die.

Anyway a great game, a win and plenty to learn from it what more can you ask for?

6 Likes

This was indeed a cracking game with both players in it until the very end. If Paul hadn’t rolled high with the spear horde to rout the AEs and then overrun onto the token, it would have been a different result.

I added a Unicorn, because I think Hex is necessary in any list with lots of Def 6, just in case you come across the Alchemist’s Curse. Unfortunately it got shot off early doors, so I didn’t get to use it much. I liked the addition of the Centaur Chief with the Gnome-Glass Shield to my list, but I didn’t like going down to only 1 surge caster, and none with the longer range that either a mount or the Wizard King Crown provides.

So far I haven’t really got the hang of this elementals list. I am glad I haven’t been keeping a tally of wins and losses! I will keep practising and tweaking the list and I’m sure I’ll find something that works for me eventually.

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