Sunday, 10 May 2020

Game 143 - Trident Realm - 2020/05/10

Greetings!


In the second game at 2300 points per side I played against Jeff again! We were about to submit our army lists for a local online tournament to be played on Universal Battle 2 . More about the tournament in the next battle report :)

I noticed in the past that even if I may not be able to play many games prior to the event, it does pay off to play a game or two. I did not intend to make many changes to the army list but I wanted to see if the items choice and allocation is what I would like to play with during 4-battles tournament. 

Jeff also wanted to have one more game to decide on the final list. But what is also important, we wanted to play with the use of an online chess clock to be used in the tournament. We used the one recommended by Michael, the tournament organiser:


We were allocated 10 minutes each for the deployment, followed by 90 minutes each for the game. It looks like a lot of time in comparison to normal tournament. However, some games on UB2 are done with the use of chat. And even if you are talking directly to your opponent, the online games always take longer for me. I was thus very intrigued and I hoped I would not time out!

Jeff decided to take Trident Realm to the tournament and here is the army he used for this battle (spoiler alert, he made some last minute changes to it before submitting the list to the event):

Trident Realm - Army List


Gigas Horde (G1), Monstrous Infntry - 205
Gigas Horde (G2), Monstrous Infntry - 205

Depth Horror Horde (DH1), Large Infantry - 185
Depth Horror Horde (DH2), Large Infantry - 185
Depth Horror Horde (DH3), Large Infantry - 185
Depth Horror Horde (DH4), Large Infantry - 185

Placoderm Regiment (P1), Infantry - 160
Placoderm Troop (P2), Infantry - 105
Placoderm Troop (P3), Infantry - 105

Tidal Swarm Regiment* (TS), Swarm - 70

Depth Horror Eternal (DHE1), Hero (Large Infantry) - 115
Depth Horror Eternal (DHE2), Hero (Large Infantry) - 115

Naiad Stalker (NS1), Hero (Infantry) - 95
Naiad Stalker (NS2), Hero (Infantry) - 95

Thuul Mythican (TM1), Hero (Infantry), Lightning Bolt (3) - 100
Thuul Mythican (TM1), Hero (Infantry), Lightning Bolt (3) - 100

Naiad Envoy (NE), Hero (Infantry), Lute of Insatiable Darkness


You probably have noticed many similar elements in the army list Jeff brought for this game such as Depth Horrors and Depth Horrors Eternals. These are very good elements, very reliable in the fight but a bit low on Defence. 

No wonder then that tougher units were included to balance it out. Enter Gigas and Placoderms. Gigas seem to combine good Defence with the ability to deal damage thanks to Crushing Strength 2 and Vicious. They further boost this with Big Shields and the fact they are Nimble may be handy too.

Placoderms seem to be excellent cavalry blockers with their Defence 6+ and Phalanx. But as you are going to see in the game (another spoiler alert!), they can work perfectly as a protection for more fragile Depth Horrors, in particular from the ranged attacks.

An interesting addition is the contingent of five individuals. Four of them have some sort of ranged attacks abilities which can be handy in taking away a few points of damage here and there. But especially in the last stages of the game where one may need just a single point of damage inflicted to force that crucial nerve test.

Stalkers also give an opportunity to intercept some fliers, although not as fast, they are still very manoeuvrable and it may be hard to avoid them. 

In general, this army has 17 elements, 12 of which are scoring and with combined unit strength of 26.


Outcasts - Army List

Stormwind Cavalry Regiment (S), Cavalry - 215
Palace Guard Regiment (PG1), Infantry - 160
Palace Guard Regiment (PG2), Infantry - 160
Tallspears Regiment (T1), Infantry - 140
Tallspears Regiment (T1), Infantry - 140

Drakon Rider Regiment* (DR1), Large Cavalry - 165
Drakon Rider Regiment* (DR2), Large Cavalry - 165
Forest Shamblers Regiment* (FS1), Large Infantry - 120
Forest Shamblers Regiment* (FS2), Large Infantry - 120

Silverbreeze Cavalry Troop* (SB1), Cavalry - 130
Silverbreeze Cavalry Troop* (SB1), Cavalry - 130

Lord on Drakon (DL1), Hero (Large Cavalry) - 170
Lord on Drakon (DL2), Hero (Large Cavalry) - 170
Elven Archmage (M), Hero (Infantry), Inspiring Talisman, Lighting Bolt (5), Bane Chant (2) - 135
Elven Archmage (M), Hero (Infantry), Lighting Bolt (5), Bane Chant (2) - 115
Army Standard Bearer (AS), Hero (Infantry) - 60

As you can see, my army did not change in terms of composition from the last game. However, after a discussion with Ed, I decided to test his idea of placing Bane Chant on both Archmages at a cost of items on Drakons and Army Standard. The rationale is that an Archmage is better at casting spells thanks to his ability to re-roll 1's. And with two I should be able to add Crushing Strength 1 to more units or have a better chance to cast it in general (e.g. when the first attempt fails).


Terrain


Terrain Details

The map was prepared by Erasmus Burger aka DarkBlack on KoW forum. I was looking for something a bit different for this game. Many thanks to Erasmus for this gloomy map, perfect for his Night Stalkers army!


Deployment and Scenario


Elves vs Trident Realm - Control

For this game we got Control as the scenario. I must admit I was puzzled how to deal with Jeff's army in this scenario. On one hand I wanted to use my shooting to some advantage. Especially against the Horrors I had sufficient amount to deal some damage. 

At the same time I expected Jeff to counter that and he had enough elements to position his tougher units where he needed them to limit the efficiency of my ranged attacks.

I thus decided on the following. Create two task forces comprising Tallspears, Palace Guard, Shamblers and Archmage. Each one of them had elements to deal with different opponents and could operate on their own. I kept them close to both flank and centre to be able to move either way.

I positioned Drakons and Drakon Lord on flanks as usual to either threaten units advancing there or to help the infantry with some flanking attacks thanks to their speed.

In my previous games I deployed Silver Breeze mainly in the centre. This time I gambled and placed them on the left flank to shoot at advancing Horrors. Unfortunately for me, Jeff counter that plan in the deployment phase by placing two troops of Placoderms. I thus knew I would not be able to have a shot at the Horrors already.

I then placed my Storm Wind in the centre. I thought that if I could advance fast and keep Gigas in the open, I could mount a good charge against them. Especially with Bane Chant and support of one other unit, I had a chance to rout such tough enemy.

There were a lot of "ifs" in that plan so I treated this game more as a testing ground for ideas and I was really concerned if they would actually work.


Deployment of the armies after scout moves.

Trident Realm - Turn 1


Trident Realm army advances at a steady speed.

The army of Trident Realm of Neretica advanced in a single line. Only on the units facing the Elven left flank formed double line and Placoderms took to the front to protect the Depth Horrors behind them.

Tuuls Mythicans cracked a few Lightnings as well but at this stage they did minimal damage.


Outcasts - Turn 1


Elven cautious moves.

Elves responded by cautious advance and shooting on their own. Unfortunately for them, the targets were tough to hit or had a very good defence. Thus the damage due to ranged attacks was quite low.


Trident Realm - Turn 2


Nereticans keep advancing on the left and centre.

Placoderms slowed their advance to allow Depth Horrors to keep up and all units occupied the hill now.

Gigas and Placoderms in the centre continued their steady advance towards the Elven regiments. It was now clear that Elves would have to attack through the forest if they chose to do so.

The units on the Elven right kept their distance for now. Only the Stalkers moved forward to shoot at the Drakon Lord.


Outcasts - Turn 2


Elven Gamble

Since the shooting did not really work, Elves decided to switch to the more direct attack. Silver Breeze and Drakon Lord, although badly disadvantaged in the attack, charged Placoderms on the hill. In this way they could block the enemy and buy time for Drakons to get into the position for an attack.

At the same time, as the Depth Horrors were also blocked from joining the fight for a while, the units attacked through the centre, engaging Gigas, Swarms and Placoderms. Tallspears fighting Placoderms did well in particular, as they managed to waver their opponent.

In this way, Elves attempted to stop the tide and carry the fight to the enemy territory instead. And the Drakons were coming to assist.


Trident Realm - Turn 3


Holding the line!

Nereticans pushed back and several Elven units were badly damaged. But they held the line! Depth Horrors on the left started manoeuvring around their companions while those on the right advanced. Especially that one of the Stalkers managed to distract the Palace Guard.


Outcasts - Turn 3


Elves start breaking through the centre.

With both Drakon Riders regiments joining the fight in the centre, Elves managed to win three crucial combats and it looked like they were breaking through the Nereticans formation.

Silver Breeze and Drakn Lord valiantly kept the enemy engaged there while Storm Wind and Palace Guard on the right had to face two fresh hordes of the Depth Horrors on their own.


Trident Realm - Turn 4


Elves are still holding!

Surprisingly, Elves still managed to hold on the left with only one unit of Silver Breeze routed. Unfortunately, Palace Guard on the right was no match for two hordes of Dept Horrors that mounted a coordinated attack against Elven elite.


Outcasts - Turn 4


Vicious fight continues.

Elves kept pressing through the centre, keeping Gigas busy. Otherwise, that unit of Monstrous Infantry would be able to chew though Elven units one by one. 

Unfortunately for Elves, coordinated attack by Tallspears and Drakon Riders, despite dealing significant damage, did not rout the Horde of Horrors on the left flank. 

The situation became worse when Storm Wind cavalry failed to break another unit of Horrors on the right as well.


Trident Realm - Turn 5


Elves suffer a lot of damage.

It was clear that eventually, Elven units would start to crumble. Battered Dragon Lord and Silver Breeze cavalry were not able to hold any longer and were defeated. Also nearby Tallspears and Drakon Riders were routed. 

What is more, both Drakon Lord and Storm Wind cavalry were wavered during the fight on the centre right. That was crucial as they were not able to counter attack.


Outcasts - Turn 5


Gigas are defeated!

Combined effort of Forest Shamblers and Palace Guard finally saw the last horde of Gigas defeated. Drakon Riders turned their attention to Placoderms and charged their exposed flank. In this way they prevented the enemy from entering Elven territory.

Both Archmages also dealt final blow to one of the Depth Horrors units. Unfortunately, there were no Elven units on the right to step Nereticans from advancing.


Trident Realm - Turn 6


More losses for Elven army

Trident Realm army secures the control of the most important area of the battle field by defeating Elven Storm Wind cavalry. 

Palace Guard was also a casualty, although Elves had three more units there to continue the fight.


Outcasts - Turn 6


Final attempt

Forest Shamblers were not able to attack the same target so they had to split the efforts. As expected it was too little and too late to make a difference.

Archmages targeted Placoderms but their lightnings were not efficient either.

Finally, Badly wounded Drakon Lord tried to make one more lucky attack against the Horrors but that, unsurprisingly, failed too.

After a bloody battle, Elves had to, once again, concede a defeat.


Final positions and control of the territory.

Summary


Turn-by-turn animation summary

After-battle


Many thanks to Jeff for another great game and congratulations on his victory! As usual, he kept the objectives of the scenario clear in his sight and even despite some loses, he prevailed and had enough units left to control majority of the territory for 5:3 win.

I was happy I was able to put up a fight as I thought my charge in turn 2 was quite desperate. While I am glad it worked, I need to point out that the fact that I got Placoderms wavered and in the subsequent round, Gigas did not defeat Palace Guard, significantly helped me to break through the centre.

At the same time, while I would like to use my units for many different roles and I believe Silver Breeze can add to melee in the right circumstances, the attack against the phalanx on the hill was, again, a bit of an act of desperation. After all, I threw away the ability to shoot that would have been so much needed in the later stages of the game.

The main take away for me is that I do need a better plan and deployment when my army is outnumbered. So that I can still use ranged attacks to the good effect. And charge with light cavalry to aid melee regiments and not to sacrifice themselves. 

Looking back at the game as it was unfolding, there are always things I would have done differently. For example, I blundered on the right flank allowing the Stalker to attack Palace Guard and at the same time, not having Storm Wind in the right position to charge Horrors earlier. What is more, I did not really have good chances to break them on the charge. With Ensnare and -/17 it is really difficult to rout them in a single turn. But what hurt even more is inability to continue the attack after counter charge. 

I also think I should have moved Tallspears T2 towards the top right zone instead of attacking the Envoy. In this way I could control that zone and perhaps save the draw.

Last but not least, as Jeff pointed out, I made a mistake of thinking Placoderms are the same unit strength as Drakons. Instead of shooting at them, I could shoot at Depth Horrors. If got lucky, and with 10 lightning bolts it was in the realm of possibility, I would have deprived Jeff from controlling one additional zone.

On its own it would not win me the game but it is this type of habit that allows good players like Jeff to win the scenario, no matter what.

We had a bit of discussion on our respective army lists and we both made some changes before submitting them to the event. Jeff decided to go with more Placoderm troops, for example, while I decided to reshuffle the items and spells again.

I came to the conclusion that having both, Lightning Bolt and Bane Chant for each Archmage, does not work for me. First, I find it difficult to decide which one is more important when I can potentially cast both. Second, if I choose Bane Chant, it significantly limited my ability to inflict damage at range. I don't have many ranged attacks so every single one counts. And third, poor Army Standard has nothing else to do than to wave the flag.

I thus decided to come back to the previous set up and give Army Standard the Lute while keep Archmages with Lightning Bolts.

Another, I think quite important change, was to give Storm Wind Chalice of Wrath to grant them Fury. In this way I can guarantee that a lucky Waver would not stop them from fighting. I have never used it before but I had a feeling it would be the best solution for my knights.

I hope you enjoyed this battle report. Please let me know what do you think about the armies and the battle itself. How would you deploy if you were commanding any of the forces? Is there anything in particular that you would have done differently and that I did not discuss?

Thank you very much for your comments in advance and thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the battle report. I am working on a tactica for the Trident Realms and this had a lot of good information.

    ReplyDelete