The Elven way: A Tale of Gaming updated 21/6/21 Game #2

The Elven way: A tale of Gaming

Welcome to my Gaming Blog, here I will look to chronicle my competitive and narrative exploits with Elves in the world of KoW. I will look to include a variety of battle reports some traditional and others more narrative or short form. I will also include some narrative background around my army.

For those interested there is also my complimentary hobby blog which can be found here:

https://www.kowforum.com/t/the-elven-way-a-tale-of-red-era-inspired-hobby/

As a little introduction I’ll give some of my background. I’ve been playing KoW since early 2nd edition mainly with Elves after fleeing the old world as so many other have. I love both narrative and compatible gaming so will try to include a mix of both here. I have a large elf army already painting with most of the Elf lists as options but as painting focused project with a set 2300pts list. I also play online using Universal Battle which gives unlimited options so occasionally I might try an unusual list I’d never get round to painting.

I’m all for interactions so any questions or discussions you wish to bring to this thread are welcome.

Index of Posts:
Game 1: Abyssals v Elves 1500pts Invade :

Game 2: Abyssals v Elves 1500pts Plunder:

For those wanting to see more of my games some have been covered on YouTube by other gamers.

Dash28:

Round 4 Call to Arms IV vs Trident Realms

Round 5 Call to Arms IV vs Trident Realms

Round 6 Call to Arms IV vs Northern Alliance

Newbie Dice:

UB Tournament game vs Page Neo Basileans:

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Game 1: Abyssals v Elves 1500pts Invade

Narrative intro:

Lord Amarynth, Warden Of Tor Bel-Valdar, swept over the disciplined lines of the elven force on his winged steed Navarel. His heart swelled with pride as the sun glistened off their blood red blades. Only the sternest of hearts could face the rituals required to forge the shard blades. Each blade was tinted by the blood of its bearer and bound with ancient spells cast by the Loremasters of Bel-Valdar.

Landing Amarynth looked out across the plain to see the foul filth threatening to invade his brother’s lands. Earlier that day a portal emerged near his city and now a force of daemonic Abyssals had spewed out polluting the very grass their claws touched.

The situation would have been far more dire had it not been for the mages of the city. Tirelessly working to unravel the spells which formed the portal from the daemonic dimension. Fight as they did against the maelstrom of energy it was not enough to prevent the incursion. Each moment the vile beasts polluted the land the connection to their realm strengthened.

Now Amarynth and his brothers Paweldran and Alenui must lead their forces to drive back this new enemy to weaken the link between the two dimensions and give the city’s mages a chance to destroy the portal. Gripped by urgency the Warden signaled the advance, the elven forces surged forwards to face their foe. Not a time for caution thought Amarynth, though he dearly wished he’d had that luxury…

Game intro & lists:

For my first report I decided to challenge my old friend and regular opponent Ben to a game. He’d been playing in an online 1500pts event and I’ve always enjoyed that points level so we agreed to a practice game using the scenario invade which he’d be playing next round.

I was keen to try out a 1500pts version of the list I’m painting up as a project so took the following:

Drakon Lord (Amarynth): Staying Stone: 175pts

King (Paweldran): Horse, Shard blade, Blade of the Beast slayer: 170pts

Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant (2), Lightning Bolt (5): 135pts

Palace Guard Horde: Chalice of Wrath: 280pts

Spearmen Horde: Brew of Strength: 270pts

Forest Guard Troop: 105pts

Stormwind Regiment: Potion of the Caterpillar: 235pts

Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts

Meanwhile Ben had been running his forces of the Abyss:

Ba’el: 265pts

Abyssal Warlock: 90pts

Abyssal Fiend: 175pts

Abyssal Horsemen: Jesse’s Boots of Striding: 255pts

Tortured Souls Regiment: Mace of Crushing: 125pts

Tortured Souls Regiment: Healing Brew: 125pts

Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts

Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts

Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts

This should prove to be a tough matchup with lots of shooting and a lot of great value units it will be hard to bring my elves to bear without exposing them to punishing shooting and countercharges.

Deployment

The scenario is invade. The elves won the roll for sides and chose the bottom edge entirely due to not needing to move my army.

The Abyssals put all their shooting in the centre meaning the elves split most of their forces down the flanks. With extra drops the Abyssals were able to place Ba’el and the fiend last.

Elves won the roll for first turn, torn between wasting a turn of Abyssals shooting or pushing forwards the elves decided to go first to push forwards to try and keep the battle on the Abyssals side of the board.

Elf turn 1

The bulk of the force on the left advanced staying just out of range of the fiends fireball and the tortured souls charge. Units vulnerable to a charge by Ba’el we’re supported by other units threatening to flank him in response.

The spears advanced full speed to start threatening the flame bearers on the right. The king decided to switch flanks to have a wider range of targets whilst still being able to go after the shooters in the centre if required.

The Silverbreeze’s bows and Mage’s lightning bolt combined for a single point of damage on the tortured souls.

Abyssals Turn 1

The Abyssals shuffled forwards keen to get into firing range but not much else.

Amused by the poor elven shooting in the previous turn Ba’el failed to do any damage with his lightning bolt mainly due to him cowering behind his own tortured souls unit.

The flame bearers and warlock has no such issues turning the sky red with fire causing 18 wounds! Even at the urging of their King the Palace Guard broke ranks keen to take care of some very urgent repairs to their singed robes.

Elf Turn 2

Vengeance burned in the eyes of the elves having witnessed their shock troops depart the battle at the hands of the vile Abyssals flames. Determined to drive the enemy back (and avoid a similar BBQ’d fate) the elves took the fight to the enemy.

King Paweldran in fit at rage at seeing his honour guard go up in flames struck out at a unit of flamebearers doing 4 wounds and wavering unit. Even the Silverbreeze who’d charged to block the other tortured souls managed 3 wounds.

The knights and Amarynth (Drakon Lord) charged the wounded Tortured Souls sending them back into the abyss from whence they came. The knights backed up allowing Amarynth to threaten Ba’el if he jumped over to charge the exposed flank of the Forest Guard who had been careless in their fury at the death of the Palace Guard.

Abyssal Turn 2

Ba’el spotted the open flank of the Forest Guard and jumped over doing 9 wounds allowing him to reform out of the arc of the Drakon. The Horsemen and tortured souls combined to do 13 wounds and remove the Silverbreeze.

Then disaster struck the Abyssal Fiend managed to waver King Paweldran removing an important piece from my potential retaliation. Shooting landed a single wound on the Spears.

The elves were looking in dire straits indeed!

Elf Turn 3

Things were already turning desperate for the elves bold gambles were required if the day were to be saved. Lord Amarynth (Drakon) had a pair of flanks visible he chose the tortured souls over the flamebearers as he stood a better chance of routing them. Not many other moves were open to the elves who just had to hope the Abyssals suffered a reversal in fortunes next turn.

Alenui (mage) mustered all his arcane skill to unleash a devastating lightning bolt on Ba’el hoping to at least disrupt the monster’s grip in the mortal realm. In his desperation Alenui had summoned more power than he could control and the lightning only glanced Ba’el causing a point of damage as the main force of the Bolt missed him entirely.

Amarynth drove his lance into the tortured souls as Navarel struck out with horn and claw. It was just enough to feel the souls from their binds and they were freed from their imprisonment. The Warden turned to face the Abyssal Horsemen and Ba’el hoping he could still turn the tide of the battle through force of will.

Abyss Turn 3

Ben took the charges available and directed the rest of his efforts into shooting the spears, 7 more damage was added as standing in the woods is apparently beneficial when having fireballs thrown at you.

Combats started well for the Elves with the Stormwind holding firm ready for a desperate attempt at a mage assisted counter charge next turn. The rest of the combats didn’t go so well. The drakon took 12 damage from the Horsemen causing Amarynth and Navarel to head back to the city to come up with some better tactics. King Paweldran also took another 5 damage and decided he’d best confer with his brother back at the city as well.

Elf Turn 4

Whilst all seemed lost the remaining elves were determined to drive back the Abyssal filth wherever they could. The Stormwind countercharged Ba’el knowing sending this monstrosity back home would be a victory in itself. The Spears hoped to banish a warlock before facing another hail of fire.

Alenui focused his energy to gift the Stormwind’s blades strength which would hopefully prove to be the bane of Ba’el. The knight discarded their lances and drew their swords their skill showing as they landed hit after hit (rolled nine 1’s to hit so got my value out of elite) but even with the mage’s spell Ba’el’s leathery hide was only pierced thrice.

The Garrison of Tor Bel-Valdar (spears) having seen their nobles fail thrust their spears banishing the foul Warlock standing in their way.

Abyss 4

Little remained for the Abyssals to vanquish but hungry for the life energy of mortal beings they strove on. Ba’el disinterested in the knights wandered into a nearby wood to investigate why they offered protection from fireballs.

The Abyssal Horsemen seeing an opportunity to charge down a hill took it and finished off the Stormwin Cav. The valiant spears flanking manoeuvre was brought to an end by a hail of fireballs despite the protection provided by the woods.

Before leaving the field to join his brothers Alenui cast one more lightning bolt at Ba’el stunning him briefly allowing Alenui to escape his clutches.

Narrative ending:

The candle flickered in the wind. Looking up from his book Amarynth shivered. The window in the library was still open from the day’s heat. The days were oppressively hot and the nights icy cold since the Abyssal’s arrival. Amarynth put down his book, a military history of one of his great grandfather Tethan’s campaigns.

For days the Warden had sought wisdom and guidance on how to face the Abyssal scourge. After his initial defeat only the powerful defensive spells woven into the city’s walls had kept the growing evil forces at bay. Each hour the bonds between the two realms strengthened. The city’s loremasters worked tirelessly but could only delay the inevitable. Amarynth kneW he must find a way to defeat them on the field of battle.

Conclusions and Recriminations

Well this was a chastising defeat. When reviewing loses I always like to go back to the start: deployment.

I find playing heavy shooting you have to be precise and decisive in your deployment and initial moves. The Stormwind needed to be in a position to threaten the shooting they have the speed, defence and ability to go at the double into terrain. The Palace Guard were poorly suited to operate in the centre of the board. They should have gone in the woods or on the left flank. The Cavalry would have been out of range if Ben had gone first or in cover and ready to charge if I went first.

The infantry on the flanks are able to face most threats head on and can support the initial moves of the fast elements of the army. This is flipping the script on the traditional historical tactics of cavalry on the flanks and infantry in the centre, however, many wargames make cavalry effective against shooting and heavy infantry ineffective which was often the not the case in military history.

Another mistake was the Forest Guard moving up turn 2 both exposing their flank to Ba’el but also not sitting deeper to allow for counter attacks and threatening spaces where Ba’el might jump over into. They should probably have deployed in the centre along with the cavalry using their pathfinder to move into the central marsh. This was a classic example of not using the elements of my army correctly to take advantage of their abilities.

I’m interested if any of you have any further thoughts on what I could have done differently or any queries. Thank you for reading what I hope will be the first of many.

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Hi @paulb800!

Great to see you joining the forum! It is about time your army is introduced to the wider audience :slight_smile: Thanks a lot for the video reports, I watched your game against Ben in Call to Arms and it was really interesting one. Highly recommended to watch. I will do my best to find time to watch other games as well, as I missed them live.

Thanks a lot for basing the name of the king on my name too! Great to be immortalized this way :smiley:

I am already looking forward to any new content you are going to submit in the near future.

Cheers!

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Hi @paulb800!

I finally had a bit of time to read your battle report. Oh boy, that hurt! :frowning:

Smaller size game, and in particular smaller size table, mean that any casualty has more significant consequences. It also limits the room for maneuver, which I think is what Elven armies need in general. While Ben could use it to his advantage, because it was more difficult to stay out of range of his shooters.

Before I read the report, I simply had a quick look at the maps and the deployment. I came to the similar conclusions that having infantry hordes on the flanks and fast elements in the middle, would have been more advantageous. Yes, I am using the full benefit of a hindsight here!

However, I don’t think Ben would have deployed his shooters much different. Simply because there is not enough room on the flanks to focus fire. And this is what was so efficient in this game for him.

So, if you had Stormwind, Silverbreeze, Drakon Lord and the King all in the middle, there would be a possibility to charge with all of them against the enemy shooters. They all would need to move to get into 18" range, which brings them all in charge range of these 4 elements. Even though they don’t hit enough to rout enemy regiment on the charge on their own (with the exception of the knights of course), they can be used to disrupt the enemy.

If the infantry is close to follow, there may be a second wave of the attacks coming the turn after. I think that would force Ben to commit other units and give you a fighting chance to break through them and get to the shooters in relatively good shape.

Perhaps you could have a re-match to test these ideas? :slight_smile:

Cheers!

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Agree with all your points and a rematch is already scheduled.

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Excellent report! Not an ideal result for the elves, but narratives wouldn’t be much fun if only one side won all of the time, right?

I’m new here and a fairly new and slowly learning elf player, so I really appreciated reading your report and analysis.

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Thank you, glad you enjoyed it. I’m planning to add some more tactical analysis type content so hopefully you’ll find that useful too.

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Battle Report #2

1500pts vs Forces of the Abyss

Narrative Intro:

As first light entered the windows his eyes opened. He had not slept, he knew he would not. He rose walking to the balcony the oppressive heat present since the Abyssal invasion causing him to sweat already. Pushing aside the distractions of the heat he entered the meditative state taught to him long ago.

Slowly his body began to move through a series of slow thoughtful exercises gently stretching tensed muscles. Gradually the movements quickened from what appeared like an intricate dance onwards into leaps & thrusts barely visible to a human eye as more than a blur. Finishing the exercises balanced on the slender rail of the balcony Amarynth’s eyes opened looking out past the city’s walls to the once luscious fields. The peace which usually resulted from the exercises was absent, in its place a cold fury at what had become of his homelands since the Abyssal incursion.

After the chastising defeat which began the war Amarynth Warden of Tor Bel-Valdar must again lead his forces to face the Abyssal menace. Weeks of study and meditation had been spent honing his strategies and tactics learning from his past mistakes. Now he must prove himself equal to the challenge he’d already failed at once before…

Game intro and lists:

This is a rematch of Game 1 against Ben’s Forces of the Abyss with the same lists as last time but this time the scenario is Plunder. Here are the lists again:

Elves:

Drakon Lord (Amarynth): Staying Stone: 175pts

King (Paweldran): Horse, Shard blade, Blade of the Beast slayer: 170pts

Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant (2), Lightning Bolt (5): 135pts

Palace Guard Horde: Chalice of Wrath: 280pts

Spearmen Horde: Brew of Strength: 270pts

Forest Guard Troop: 105pts

Stormwind Regiment: Potion of the Caterpillar: 235pts

Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts

Ben’s Forces of the Abyss:

Ba’el: 265pts

Abyssal Warlock: 90pts

Abyssal Fiend: 175pts

Abyssal Horsemen: Jesse’s Boots of Striding: 255pts

Tortured Souls Regiment: Mace of Crushing: 125pts

Tortured Souls Regiment: Healing Brew: 125pts

Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts

Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts

Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts

Hopefully I had learned some lessons from last time out.

Deployment and Scenario

Scenario was plunder with the central loot token being worth 2 points.

The map had impassible terrain limiting a lot of movement on the flanks. My plan therefore was to place my infantry in front so that if I got first turn I could jump the faster units past the infantry and move the infantry hordes up in support. If I went second I’d be able to get my infantry right up in Ben’s face whilst my faster units would have a range of options depending on how Ben moved

Ben took advantage of the wood near his deployment zone to offer his Cavalry a screened approach but otherwise deployed fairly central again limited by the impassible. (I’m not convinced two decent sized pieces of impassible on a smaller 4 ft wide board is a good idea especially when they end up blocking both flanks!)

I’m generally a fan of going first to be assertive but on the final deployment I was thinking of going second to remove a turn where the flamebearers could shoot me and to allow me the last turn to hunt down loot tokens. As it was Ben took first turn so I was fairly happy with that.

Abyss Turn 1

Ben moved up quite aggressively, he’s a big fan of using a nimble monster to take tokens turn 1 so his Warlock grabbed the central one worth two points so this was already turning into a key point in the game.

The rest of the Abyssals advanced quite aggressively ready to protect the loot. Ba’el unleashed a lightning bolt at the Silverbreeze cavalry but in avoiding hitting the Palace Guard in front it end ended up going right over their heads.

Elf Turn 1

King Paweldran furious at the damage done to his realm by the Abyssal invaders charged straight for the Abyssal Fiend. The rest of the force pushed up keen to take the fight to the Abyssals before they got shot to pieces.

The Drakon Lord managed to get in a nice position staring down the flank of the Abyssals whilst denying any charges to the enemy using the impassible pyramid (I’m assuming the Abyssals brought this from their realm?).

In combat Paweldran arced his ancestral sword Yahdra down in a furious blow on the Monstrous fiend gouging a deep wound into its shoulder.

Abyss Turn 2

With the battlelines so close together the Abyssals launched a number of charges into the wood including the injured fiend. Meanwhile King Paweldran’s brave (or reckless) charge left him exposed to the Abyssal Horsemen who uses their strider item keen to expose the folly of the Elven arrogance.

Shooting underwhelmed with the Palace Guard weathering most of the shooting well whilst the Stormwind Cavalry lost a couple of pendants reducing their morale.

In combat bitt Tortured Souls units only managed single wounds as the woods got in their way. The abyssal fiend meanwhile comfortably broke the Forest Guard. The Horsemen caused grievous wounds on King Paweldran (11 damage) but remembering his vow in front of the Shrine of Raloris to cleanse the Abyssal filth from his lands Paweldran grit his teeth through the pain fought on (double 1 on the 2nd rout test).

Elf Turn 2

The battle was progressing at a furious pace. The Palace Guard, Drakon Lord and King found tempting targets in Flamebearers units. Meanwhile in the woods the elves counter charged the Abyssals wherever they could.

Alenui (Mage) wove a complex spell to bless the lances of the Stormwind Cavalry a flame engulfed each weapon as they carved into the monstrosity. The Fiend, however, was unconcerned by the damage wrought (low damage double 1s on nerve).

All the remaining engaged units were destroyed except for the tortured souls facing the silverbreeze who took a wound disordering them.

Abyss Turn 3

Amarynth (Drakon Lord) had fatefully miscalculated is position and found an angry Ba’el barrelling into his flank! Quite understandably he was rather stunned (wavered) by this turn of events.

Shooting saw the Flamebearers put a few more wounds on the Palace Guard. The Tortured Souls no longer hindered by tree branches finished off the Silverbreeze whilst the Fiend failed to do much to the Stormwind. The Abyssal Horsemen boldly charging headlong into a horde of spears managed to get 6 damage on them.

Elf Turn 3

After my mistake last turn King Paweldran and Warden Amarynth we’re both now vulnerable to attack from Ba’el. I decided to sacrifice Amarynth to keep Paweldran’s 360 arc charges for going after the loot carrying Warlock. Amarynth withdrew and pivoted to threaten the Warlock whilst also offering the rear to Ba’el forcing Ben to take the charge or risk losing a lot next turn.

King Paweldran charged the Abyssal Horsemen along with the counter charging spears keen to endure the remaining main Abyssal units were destroyed before they could do more damage. The Horsemen learned the hard way about cavalry vs spears and were banished back to the Cavalry Academy for more lessons.

The other combats saw the Stormwind finish off the Fiend and the Palace Guard kill the last Flamebearer unit reforming to threaten Ba’el if he didn’t get far enough away on his overrun next turn.

Abyss Turn 4

The warlock continued to skull away with the previous loot whilst Ba’el finished off Amarynth and the Tortured Souls did a few wounds in the flank of the spears.

Elf Turn 4

The garrison of Tor Bel-Valdar (Spears) steeled themselves and charged the mighty Ba’el. Again and again spears thrust piercing his leathery hide but alas he was unaffected.

The Stormwind cursed as they’d foolishly left themselves completely out of position so we’re left to practice their dressage technique in the forest. Angry at the idiocy of his household knights Paweldran committed himself into the flank of the Tortured Souls doing 4 damage but Ba’el’s menacing aura kept their souls bound to the battlefield.

Alenui attempted to drive the warlock off with lightning but only managed a single point of damage.

Abyss Turn 5

King Paweldran’s admittedly brave charge into the Tortured Souls was shown to be folly as they easily spooked his horse and hit the flank of the spears already engaged with Ba’el breaking their spirits to boot.

Elf Turn 5

The Stormwind keen to get back into the battle charged the Tortured Souls but the life energy they’d absorbed from the King and the Spears meant they just hung on.

The Palace Guard moved round to pick up the token next turn. Whilst Alenui fired another lightning bolt at the Warlock opening the wound that had just regenerated from its evil magic.

Abyss Turn 6

Ba’el and the Tortured Souls charged the Stormwind who keen to atone for their previous failures held firm (double 1).

Elf Turn 6

The Palace Guard picked up the loot whilst the Stormwind grounded Ba’el. All rested on Alenui banishing the foul Warlock he unleashed his full strength adding 3 more damage to the wounded beast. Alas whilst it struggled to stay in the mortal realm it just managed to cling on although it was visibly drained from the effort (wavered).

Time had run out for the Elves as the Forces of the Abyss once more win the day.

Narrative ending:

Alenui, youngest of Tor Bel-Valdar’s Loremasters, sat still eyes closed as he examined the alien device. The swirling green energies filled his mind’s eye. A pattern formed the one he’d been waiting for a flash of fire cut through the green strands and all was black. Alenui has severed the link with the Abyssal Realm. Knowing that these devices helped create links to bring more Abyssals into the lands of Bel-Valdar only made the failure to secure more of them in the recent battle all the more galling. Try as they might the city’s Loremasters could not defeat the Abyssal threat alone it would need to be achieved on the field of battle.

Conclusions and Recriminations:

Well that was a tale or two halves! No need to go back to the deployment phase on this one (although the Stormwind Leader point should have been deployed in the wood to allow them a turn 1 charge is a minor niggle). I usually play online games turn by turn spread out over a few days. This game was going really well on day one and was approaching a farce of ineptitude on day 2.

At the end of the Abyssals turn 2 it looked game over everything was in excellent positions. The avalanche of mistakes started in my turn 2 by mistakenly thinking I was out of Ba’el’s charge range with my Drakon Lord (we’re playin online and text based so often don’t confirm things with your opponent you usually would in person).

Turn 3 I didn’t position my Stormwind to counter anything instead leaving them whistling in the wind at a key moment. What’s worse is I compounded my mistake by not using the Cav to pick up the loot and instead bring my Palace Guard into the centre where they could have been better positioned than the cav could be.

Turn 4 was the real disaster charging the Tortured Souls with the King rather than the Warlock was a huge error in a multitude of ways. I did this favouring the lightning bolt which hits on 4/3s rather than the king who hits on 2/2s. It’s made even worse due to losing the option to bane chant the spears which could have caused Ba’el a lot of trouble.

From there I’d thrown my best opportunities. Only some lucky lightning bolts could have saved the day. I’d managed somehow not kill a single units in the final 3 turns of the game despite having nearly all my force left at the start of turn 4.

Well I hope you all enjoyed my embarrassment I certainly didn’t :man_shrugging::rofl:.