Thursday, 10 November 2016

KoW - 3d6 October - Game 2 - Ogres - 2016/11/10


In the game 2 of 3d6 October tournament I met Tim who commanded the army of brutal Ogres! It was the first event for Tim and for me it was the first game against Ogres in Kings of War. In round 1 Tim has already defeated another Elven army so I guess he knew how to deal with my force. 

In this game the challenge was to fight against a new army and against the clock too. Encouraged by the success in the first battle I was at least reassured that I can play fast enough. But coming up with a good plan against a completely new army was a different story :) Let's have a look at what Tim brought to the table:

Ogres - Army List

20 Red Goblins, Regiment - 85 
20 Red Goblins, Regiment - 85 
20 Red Goblins, Regiment - 85 

6 Warriors, Horde - 200
- Warlord, Hero, Crepognon’s Scrying Gem of Zellak - 205

3 Warriors, Regiment - 130
- Army Standard, Hero - 70

6 Berserker Braves, Horde - 230
- Army Standard, Hero - 70
3 Berserker Braves, Regiment -150

6 Shooters, Horde - 230
6 Shooters, Horde - 230
6 Boomers, Horde - 230

This army has 13 elements, so we are almost matched one on one. I must say I was impressed by the number of hordes in this force and when checked the details I am a bit jealous! These Ogres can shoot AND fight very well! 

The army wide special rule is Brutal which is very handy in melee while all Ogres have Crushing Strength (1). That is why their shooters are so versatile and can be dangerous both, at a distance and in close combat. Let's have a look at all the units in more detail:

Warriors - one horde and one regiment. Warriors look like a very good choice. They are fast in comparison to the infantry units of other armies and Elven foot soldiers cannot outpace them. They hit very well, crushing strength will help to inflict some damage too. With Def5+ they are well protected and they have a very good nerve as well. Very good and flexible type of a unit, capable of fulfilling both, defensive and offensive roles. 

They would win the war of attrition with my units so I would need to find a way to attack them with more units at the same time. As they have wider frontage that may be possible even in the direct attack. But obviously I would need to look for opportunities to charge from the flank.

Berserker Braves - another pair of horde and regiment. But they are definitely hammer type of a unit with tons of attacks. They don't hit as well as Warriors but the sheer number of dice to roll should make up for it. They also have better nerve value and cannot be wavered. But at the same time their armor is not as good. 

That means they may be a better target for shooting to make sure that when it is time for melee they are already damaged and easier to rout on a charge.

Shooters - main providers of the ranged attacks for the army. Their heavy crossbows have excellent 36" range so even with Reload! special rule they should be able to have a lot of targets available. They might be hitting on 5+ but with 18 attacks and Piercing (2) they will inflict significant amount of damage even against well armored foes. 

At the same time they are quite good in melee so disrupting in melee does not mean they may be useless for a turn. Quite the contrary, they would take care of themselves and do not necessarily need other units to protect them.

I know I cannot avoid them entirely so I would need to use terrain for protection and potentially cover units with each other. I accepted I will suffer some casualties but I also knew that my own shooting may hurt them. The trick will be to try and focus fire on one unit and at the same time try to deny that opportunity for my opponent. And if the fast troops can get to their flanks that would be even better!

Boomers - another great unit. With an effective range of 18" and attacks that are not affected by cover these guys are very dangerous. I am sure they are great in dealing with some fliers trying to land behind the lines of the Ogres army. As with Shooters, simply attacking them in melee to prevent them from shooting may not solve the problem entirely. While they may not pose an immediate threat due to the shorter range I rated them as more dangerous, in particularly for later turns of the game when all units may get closer to each other. 

Again, if possible I would need to use my own shooting to inflict some damage and attacking them with fast troops is even more important as they can do so from outside of their shooting range.   

Red Goblins - these little fellas are actually very useful too. Their abilities in melee and with ranged attacks are not great but can be quite annoying. A few pot shots here and there may be what you need to waver small enemy troops or finish the units that are already damaged. Excellent road blockers too, they can always be used to secure objectives while the Ogres do the fighting. 

Having to deal with 3 units of these may be a problem simply because there are so many other, more dangerous targets that would require the immediate attention. Hopefully, the combination of low armor and nerve could be used to my advantage. 

Warlord - the general of the army, he he is very good in melee and can lead his Ogres to battle properly. As he is not an individual he will be very dangerous on the flanks and being Nimble he may get there much easier that any other unit. Good nerve and armor are his advantages too. Fortunately for me he is not faster than my own infantry so I may have a chance to at least stop him from attacking the chosen targets and limit his options.

Army Standards - I like them very much because of their versatility. They not only wave their flags but can also add a few more attacks. Like warlord they can be more dangerous on the flanks so I will need to be careful and not to expose these, especially when the melee starts.

In general, I think Tim commanded the army with more dangerous shooting and better attrition abilities. I decided I could have a chance if I used Elven natural advantages of speed and maneuverability to limit the damage from shooting and get combined charges where possible. 

As we had similar number of elements in the army and Tim in addition bought the Gem I had to come up with a plan for the deployment that was less dependent on the relative position of his units.    



We played on the table that seemed to have a theme "Ruins". There were 5 pieces of blocking terrain, one house with height 3, two height 4 in the North and two height 2 in the South. There was also a difficult terrain of height 0 on the Eastern flank. And three pieces of obstacles. 

 Deployment and Scenario

Armies arrayed for battle.

This round we played the Dominate! scenario. With the open center and dangerous shooters in the enemy army, who also can fight very well if needed, I felt that it will be an even bigger challenge to win this game.

I tried to follow my initial plan to be able to focus the shooting on one target and deployed my units with bows in the center. I kept fast cavalry on the flanks simply to avoid being shot by two units at the same time.

In addition, I kept heavy cavalry and fliers on the flank so that I could potentially outflank the enemy units and have better positions to storm towards the center.

The deployment phase was quite intriguing because I had to deploy 3 units of my own first and at some stage it looked like I have deployed half of my army already while Tim still kept me guessing about the exact positioning of his most dangerous units.

Once again I got the first turn and decided to take it in order to start shooting first.

Outcasts - Turn 1

First blood for Elves.

The Elves moved first in order to seize the initiative. Drakon Riders moved along the empty flank and were getting ready to threaten enemy from that direction.

The rest of the army moved forward so that all the shooters had enemies in range and the unit of Ogre Warriors fell to multitudes of bolts and arrows.

Curiously, the heavy cavalry and the Drakon Rider Lord didn't move at all (Edit: I actually forgot to move them, quite embarrassing I must admit!)

Ogres - Turn 1

Ogres hit back!

Sea Guard is down!

The Ogres responded by shifting some units on the left flank and simply opening fire. The Shooters aimed at Elven Sea Guard and barrage from two hordes of them simply obliterated the enemy. Shooting duel continued.

Outcasts - Turn 2

Elves aim at the Shooters

Ogres didn't cover all the angles and that opened a very good opportunity for Drakon Riders. They could attack an exposed flank of the Shooters and managed to destroy the unit on the charge! That was a very important success for the Elven army.

In the middle of the battle field the Elves focused their ranged attacks at the second horde of Shooters and inflicted some damage. Not enough to unnerve the enemy yet, however.

Ogres - Turn 2

Ogres keep shooting.

Red Goblins add their contribution!

The attack of Drakon Riders was unexpected and probably that is why the counter charge of one of the Army Standards was not efficient. The hulking Ogre tried hard to wound enemy fliers but nimble Drakons avoided clumsy attempts to harm them.

The remaining Shooters aimed at Palace Guard this time and inflicted quite substantial damage.(Edit: The unit was wavered! I forgot to make indicate that on the map, my apologies.)

On the other hand, a lucky shot from Red Goblins spooked one of the Elven horses and the entire unit had to now focus on calming down their steeds rather than harassing the enemy.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Elves attack - but it does not go well.

Elves decided to attack on multiple fronts now. On the left flank, Storm Wind cavalry attacked a regiment of Bersekers to occupy them and to allow nearby Palace Guard to move to the flank.

Drakon Riders decided to ignore the Army Banner and flew over it to get a line of sight to the enemy shooters. Unfortunately, the huge pile of ruins did not allow them to continue the attack immediately.

Another unit of Palace Guard attacked Goblins in the middle to get rid of them and attract the attention of the Boomers. In the meantime, fast cavalry and a bolt thrower kept shooting at the Shooters and this time they wavered them!

The main attack, however, was on the right flank. The plan was that Storm Wind cavalry destroys the Berserkers while Drakon Lords keeps the Warriors busy. Victorious Storm Wind was supposed to reform and help their commander after that. Unfortunately, Elven knights failed to inflict expected damage and was now about to receive a counter charge of quite angry horde of Bersekers! (Edit: The outcome surprised both of us, the knights inflicted only 5 points of damage!)

Ogres - Turn 3

Elves pay for their folly!

The counter charge of the Ogres was brutal. The knights on the right flank perished, their Lord kept fighting but it was clear he is not going to hold for long.

In the middle, Boomers shot over Goblins who showed rare moment of bravery and refused to rout when attacked by the Palace Guard. Now the Elves were gone too!

Only on the left flank the Elves held their ground, but the situation surely got more complicated.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Elves can still hurt their enemy!

But the Ogres refuse to die!

Despite heavy losses Elves still had means to fight against the enemy. On the left flank the regiment of Berserkers was destroyed by the combined efforts of Storm Wind cavalry and Palace Guard.

In the middle, Drakon Riders and Chariots charged in. But while Chariots had an easy job in routing Red Goblins, Drakon Riders could not get rid of the Boomers. At least the enemy was not able to counter attack.

Silver Breeze cavalry shot at the badly damaged Shooters but once again they refused to yield!

Ogres - Turn 4

It's getting crowded.

Left flank holds.

Now Ogres tried to remove the Elven units that were blocking the path to the center of the battle field. On the left flank it didn't work but on the right the Elves were defeated.

In the middle only the Army Standard could perform some action and he charged Drakon Riders and forced them to the ground.

Outcasts - Turn 5

Elves defend the flanks.

With not much space to maneuver the Elves had to resort to war of attrition. The units on the left flank were in a bit better position but have not inflicted enough damage to destroy their enemies.

In the middle chariots got rid of the Boomers and Drakons fought against the Army Standard. While on the right one unit of Silver Breeze blocked the advance of the Ogres so that the rest of the army had a chance to regroup.

The shooters aimed at the Berserkers but despite the damage done the enemy unit was still in the battle.

Ogres - Turn 5

Ogres are getting closer.
Berserkers defeat the cavalry and push forward!

Elves kept blocking the Ogres but they kept attacking as there was no other choice! On the right flank it was easy, fast cavalry could not possibly hold and Ogres pushed forward.

On the left Goblins and Army Standard attacked but they did little damage. Army Standard fighting against the Drakons, however, wavered them and that was a significant achievement! (Edit: I can't remember why the Shooters could reform to see Drakons in this turn. Previously, they were wavered for two turns in the row but somehow they didn't reform earlier.)

Outcasts - Turn 6

Last push by the Elves.

The battle entered the last stage. Elves pushed one more time to inflict damage and block the Ogres from getting to the center.

On the left Storm Wind and Palace Guard still could not get rid of their weakened enemies! On the right, another fast cavalry sacrificed itself and shot down the Berserkers in the last act of defiance.

It was now up to Ogres to do something to sing the balance of the battle into their favor.

Ogres - Turn 6

Ogres make it!

Never willing to give up, Ogres charged one more time. First, the Shooters and Army Standard destroyed Drakon Riders and overrun towards the center, barely making it! Warlord too routed his enemies and also made a huge leap forward!

It was all Ogres needed to avoid being defeated and survivors of both armies withdrew after inconclusive battle!


Turn by turn animation summary

After-battle thoughts

That last turn allowed Tim to get his Shooters and Warlord in range for claiming the scenario objective! Or rather to contest it and save the draw in the last possible moment. Well done, Tim!

I really enjoyed that battle. I think some of the ideas worked well, I managed to spot a few nice openings but I made a few mistakes too and that is why the game ended in a draw. There are quite a few interesting observations I have made during writing the report so let me share them now.

I was happy with the deployment. It was very interesting experience to deploy 3 units at the start and I wonder how did that affect Tim's deployment. Having said that I believe I should have deployed Chariots a bit to the right and Drakon Lord on extreme flank, facing forward. That would have allowed me to better support center and flank with the chariots and Drakon Lord would have had easier task to land in a good spot to threaten the flanks. Of course, not forgetting to move them in the first turn would have helped too. :)

I am not sure it was a good idea in turn 2 to move Palace Guard (PG3) towards the center. If I kept them behind the ruins I would have had a chance to support either flank still. Also, angling chariots towards the center meant I could not use them to help the cavalry on the flank.

The result of the attack of the Storm Wind regiment was a total surprise. I thought that with 16 attacks that hit on 3+ with Elite and doing damage on 2+ I would have inflicted enough damage to rout Berserkers on the charge. That is why I charged Warriors with my Lord in order to buy time for the cavalry to regroup.

But it only shows I need a back up plan just in case.

Looking at the situation again I wonder if charging the Warriors was not a better option. They have "only" 18 attacks as opposed to 30 from Berserkers. And my cavalry would have been safe out of sight of Bersekers too. It is possible then that I would have been able to destroy the warriors in the second round, especially that I could use my mage to provide some Bane Chant.

That was a difficult situation because I really needed the enemy units on that flank occupied while I was dealing with the center and left flank.

I was happy that the Drakons had good landing zones and could perform flank attacks twice in this game. The second attack was not as devastating as the first one. I also could not destroy the Shooters despite significant damage done to them. I should have kept chariots facing North too, in the turn when Drakons got wavered the Chariots could have either charge or shoot at the Shooters and help to give me one more chance to destroy them.

With the right flank open I decided to use fast cavalry to stop enemy advance. It was risky because I lost 290 points in doing so. At least the shooting helped and I destroyed Berserkers eventually.

In the end I think I made two mistakes that allowed Tim to overrun towards the center so that his Shooters and Warlord just entered 12" radius zone. In both cases I should have moved my Army Standard and Mage behind Drakons and Silver Breeze, respectively. Thanks to that the overruns would have had stopped earlier and that was all I needed to keep the Ogres away from the center.

It was a great lesson and yet another example that in Kings of War such details matter a lot.

The main thing was that Tim was a great opponent and I had a great time playing against him. I hope he enjoyed the game too and that he will be a regular participant in the KoW events in the future.

Thanks for reading!


  1. What a great battle report once again SM. I really liked how it appeared you just drove a wedge down the centre of the map whilst your flanking forces slowly but surely started to envelop the enemy.

    Those Ogres certainly are tough! Might have to have a go with them in March my friend!

    1. Thanks, Jimmy! I hoped it would be interesting one for you, after all you have quite a nice collection of Ogres too!

      The Ogres are tough and the way they are pictured in the world of Mantica, is of brutal but not savage warriors. They are not simply bigger Orcs with larger appetites. I think you would find them even more interesting!

      I would love to have a game or two against your beautifully painted army for sure! :)