In the round 3 of the Valley of Kings tournament I had a chance to play against the army I have never faced before - the Twilight Kin! I was very excited as it meant I will have a game with a civil war theme. These are always very close and bloody!
Andrew, who commanded a beautifully painted army of the Evil Elves, is also a new opponent for me so I was very happy to play against a new player with a new army at the same time!
I was very intrigued by Andrew's army because it was a combination of units that seemed to be a copy of some of my own and those that are unique to the Twilight Kin army:
Twilight Kin - Army List
40 Crossbowmen, Horde, Heart-seeking Chant
- 10 Shadows, Troop
- 10 Shadows, Troop
- Bolt Thrower, War Engine
- Hydra, Monster
- Dark Lord, Hero, Scarletmaw's Fenulian Amulet
20 Reaper Guard, Regiment, War-bow of Kaba
- 10 Blade Dancers, Troop
- 10 Blade Dancers, Troop
- Bolt Thrower, War Engine
10 Dark Knights, Regiment, Maccwar's Potion of the Caterpillar
- Hydra, Monster
40 Crossbowmen - the only horde formation of the army, very dangerous unit to my small element, especially with Piercing upgrade. Not to forget about Vicious either! It would need to be distracted and disordered as soon as possible as every turn of shooting would mean a loss of a unit for me.
20 Reaper Guard - pretty much a clone unit of my Palace Guard. Very good in melee, with a bit higher nerve, their potential weakness is their average armor and no defensive abilities. If caught in the open they can quickly sustain enough damage to be destroyed.
10 Dark Knights - a bit slower than Storm Wind but having more attacks. In a typical fashion they also were upgraded with a Pathfinder so I would really need that obstacles somewhere to establish a defensive perimeter. They can be potentially outpaced and outmaneuvered by my faster and more nimble units.
2 x 10 Shadows - the scouts of the army, further boost the ranged attacks capabilities. They can vanguard and have pathfinder to allow them to get to good shooting positions faster. Vulnerable too so I can potentially try and outmaneuver them with my fast cavalry to be able to shoot at them first.
2 x Bolt Thrower - very reliable war engines and long range attacks providers. Combination of these units mean that my army is at a disadvantage in the shooting duels. However, I have faster and more maneuverable units to either begin outside effective range of the shooters or be in the position for the attacks quicker. The biggest danger is if all the above units focus their fire on a single target or even split it between two units. The elements of my army are small enough to get killed in a single turn.
2 x 10 Blade Dancers - these units are very fast for infantry, have a lot of attacks, can ignore waver results and further modify the nerve tests with Brutal special rule. They can be deadly against any of my units simply due to the sheer amount of the attacks. But they are also quite vulnerable so can be a good target for my own shooters and can still be outpaced by the cavalry.
2 x Hydra - I think these monsters have really great rules. On one hand they can get more dangerous with more damage sustained as they add the number of attacks equal to the number of damage points. But at the same time their regenerative abilities and 5+ defense mean they are hard to destroy. And need to be killed in a single turn of melee preferably.
Dark Lord - the only source of Inspire in the army. The most powerful and the most flexible element of the force too. He can circle around, picking targets for the Lightning Bolts or engage in melee, when the time is right. Against smaller units he can hunt them individually but can easily pick the targets for combined charges too. It would be very difficult to catch the dragon in melee so I intended to shot at it if given the chance.
In general, I faced the army that has the advantage in the shooting but was a bit slower and I had a few more units too. Not a huge advantage but may be useful. The general plan was to try and limit the efficiency of shooting with terrain, mutual cover and the approach that would allow to disorder the shooters.
Deployment and Scenario
|Deployment before the vanguard moves.|
|Deployment after vanguard.|
I still remembered a very good plan Clint had against my army at Clash of Kings in the same scenario and I wanted to use a variation of it. I wanted to focus first on preventing the enemy from entering my center and right flank. The intention was to carry the fight to the Twilight Kin zones.
I also noticed that the shooters were guarding the flanks so that they would not be able to focus on the same area of the battle field. It was still difficult to contain them but allowed me to deploy some fast force on the left flank where I could attempt to distract and possibly destroy the bolt throwers and also prevent the units there from entering this area of the battle field.
Lat but not least I wanted to divide enemy army so that I would potentially be able to dominate one of the zones in order to win the scenario conditions.
Once again, I got the first turn!
Outcasts - Turn 1
The Outcasts moved cautiously. The majority of the army on the center left needed to keep the formation, navigate the terrain and be careful of potential attack from the dragon.The beast was also the first target of the ranged attacks. And while only a few arrows pierced the thick skin, the dragon was nonetheless annoyed!
On the left flank the small group begun the harassment too, with the fast cavalry trying to out-shoot the enemy, while drakons found a good landing spot to avoid bolt throwers.
Twilight Kin - Turn 1
|Twilight Kin shows how effective the shooting should be.|
|The Knights are shot down.|
Twilight Kin moved towards the center right to consolidate their positions and present more unified front. In the meantime, the Crossbowmen aimed at the first unit of enemy Knights and simply shot it down!
On the opposite flank the Bolt Throwers and Shades tried to do the same to the light cavalry but were not successful.
Outcasts - Turn 2
|Drakons behind enemy lines!|
|The Outcasts shoot back.|
There were some problems in going over the obstacles and some units could not yet clear them. The dragon was also hiding behind the hydras so the shooters opened fire at the Shades and eliminated them!
Also one of the bolt throwers fell when attacked by the drakon riders. Silver Breeze cavalry shot at the second unit of Shades again but the enemy scouts still refused to yield.
Twilight Kin - Turn 2
|Another unit of the Knights is no more!|
|Twilight Kin backs up.|
Interestingly, the Twilight Kin army backed up. The Dark Knights turned around to threaten the Drakon riders. At the same time majority of the units pulled back too. The Crossbomen still did what they do the best - shot down another unit.
Outcasts - Turn 3
|The Reaper Guard holds!|
Drakon Riders ignored the enemy Knights completely and charged the Reaper Guard that exposed the flank. Despite a great opportunity to eliminate the unit on the charge, the Reaper Guard held!
Twilight Kin - Turn 3
|Dragon counter attacks.|
Twilight Kin counter attacked but this time it was the stubborn Drakons who did not want to get routed when their bigger and meaner cousin attacked. But the Crosswbomen were still very consistent in eliminating the enemy units.
Outcasts - Turn 4
|Attack on the right flank.|
|Drakon riders spear head the attack again!|
Finally, the units on the right flank could attack the dangerous horde of enemy crossbowmen. The charge was so impressive that the enemy warriors wavered in shock and awe!
At the same time the Drakon Lord attacked one of the Hydras to distract the beast and allow the reinforcements to arrive.
Twilight Kin - Turn 4
|Two more units routed.|
After a few rounds of the fire exchange, it was finally the Silver Breeze unit that lost their nerve first and fled the battle. The Drakon Riders could not hold against the second charge of the Dragon either.
Fortunately, the Drakon Lord held against vicious hydra!
Outcasts - Turn 5
|Some quite interesting developments.|
|Another round of melee.|
The battle was becoming more desperate now and the Outcasts attacked with more units to shift the balance into their favor.
Drakon Riders and Palace Guard attacked the Crossbowmen but still could not destroy that unit. At the same time the War Chariots spotted an opportunity and charged the exposed flank of the Hydra. But the beast held and the second one was about the attack too!
Twilight Kin - Turn 5
|The charge of the Monsters!|
Both Hydras and the Blade Dancers attacked but surprisingly, the War Chariots held the line! (Edit: Lucky double 1's happened here!) The Drakon Lord and nearby Palace Guard troops also held their enemies in place!
Outcasts - Turn 6
|Change of plans!|
|Dragon is down!|
It was clear for the Outcasts that their initial plan to control the North-East corner of the battle field would not work so they had to come up with a new one. The units in that area of the battle field doubled their efforts to hold their enemies in place a bit longer to buy time and prevent them from moving to other directions. That allowed the Drakon Riders t fly away behind the enemy lines.
But to succeed they needed a bit of a help from the shooters. Fortunately, combined efforts of the Sea Guard and Silver Breeze cavalry allowed to inflict enough damage to finally kill the Dragon!
Twilight Kin - Turn 6
Twilight Kin finishes off three enemy units in one go! That is quite a heavy blow to the Outcasts but will they have a bit more time to turn the tide?
Outcasts - Turn 7
|Change of the attack direction.|
The Drakon Riders managed to reach the lone bolt thrower in their rapid redeployment and destroyed the war engine!
At the same time, the Sea Guard aimed at the damaged Shades and managed to rout them too! Suddenly, North-West fell under the Outcasts control!
Twilight Kin - Turn 7
|The last attempt to reclaim the control.|
Twilight Kin was caught by surprise and tried to claim the control over the battle field again. The foolish Palace Guard did not hold against the charge of the Knights and perished. However, fortunately for the Outcasts, the rest of the units were too far to change the course of battle!
|Turn-by-turn animation summary.|
I would like to thank Andrew for a fantastic game and the opportunity to play against his great looking Twilight Kin army! I am also sorry that due to turn 7 his solid victory turned out to be a loss :(
I admit it was very lucky for me that I had extra round to redeploy Drakon Riders and to shoot at the Shades for the ability to control one more zone than Andrew.
While it was good to snatch the victory from the jaws of the defeat, such situation certainly calls for a better plan next time. I think the main problem I had this game was a very slow advance on the right flank which cost me 3 units before I even attempted the charge!
The deployment would have to be refined so that I could move my units over the obstacles in a single turn and to have other elements in the position to attack and disorder the shooting horde turn 2. It means that I should have probably moved the cavalry more aggressively, with the support of the Drakon Riders and Drakon Lord. Even placing them in the charge range of the enemy Dragon.
I am glad I had second Drakon Riders unit on the left flank to destroy one bolt thrower and then distract the enemy for some time.
I am also happy with the performance of the Sea Guard because it was thanks to their combination of phalanx and shooting that they kept the Knights from charging and risking being flanked by the Palace Guard. As well as having the ability to add constant shots to the ranged attacks of the army. Thanks to that the Dragon went down and the Shades were routed in the last turn.
It looks to me that I should refine my deployment on the right and be more aggressive in the approach next time to make sure that no matter if the turn 7 happens or not - I can still prevail!
Thanks for reading!