Friday 20 May 2016

Kings of Dave 4 - Game 1 - Goblins - 2016/05/20


First game of my first Kings of War tournament! First time 2500 points too! In that very important moment I learned I am about to face Goblins by a veteran wargamer Rowan. I had a great pleasure to play against Rowan in the days of Warhammer 8th Edition. He is one of these players who combines great generalship, fantastic painting skills and very friendly attitude. I knew then that no matter what the result is going to be I will have a great time!

Rowan's army is at work in progress stage but I am not surprised considering how many models he needs to paint or re-paint or re-base. I can't wait to see the finished version though, because I am sure it will look amazing. 

Goblins -Army List

60 Rabble, Legion - 180
- War-Trombone, War Engine - 65
- Mincer , Monster - 80
- King on a Fleabag , Hero, Boots of the Seven Leagues - 145

40 Spitters, Horde, Heart-seeking Chant - 170
- War-Trombone, War Engine - 65
- Giant, Monster - 190 
- Flaggit , Hero - 40

20 Spitters, Regiment - 85
- Big Rock Thrower, War Engine - 80

10 Mawbeast Pack, Regiment - 95

10 Fleabag Riders, Regiment - 145

- 5 Fleabag Riders, Troops - 95 - 5 Fleabag Riders, Troops - 95
- Big Rock Thrower, War Engine - 80  

6 Trolls, Horde, Brew of Haste - 205
- Big Rock Thrower, War Engine - 80
- Wiz on Fleabag, Hero, Bane Chant -  75 

6 Trolls, Horde - 190
- Giant, Monster - 190 
- Magwa & Jo'os, Hero - 110

Now that's quite a few models on the table! :) 21 elements in total! Jonah75 on Lost Lands Blog was wondering how would that game look like and he was definitely right about my army being out deployed. My first thought was how would Rowan manage to fit this army on the battle field at all!
As usual, let's have a look at his choices in more detail. I tried to update myself on each army before the event but I must admit I didn't even try to remember all the details. Now it's the good time to see if I assessed the threats properly.

60 Rabble - it was the first time I had a chance to see Legion formation deployed against my army. It definitely looked impressive. With very high nerve this unit can soak up some damage easily. 30 attacks is already a lot to face, even hitting on 5+ and with no further modifiers. Seems like a perfect anvil for the army. But it also looked as very hard to maneuver and with such wide flanks it may be difficult to avoid charges to the side. 
If possible, I would try to exploit this. Although I was aware that with so many units in the army the Legion would have enough support to prevent my units from attacking it from unwanted direction.

40 Spitters + 20 Spitters - Goblin Archers may not be the best shooters ever but the fact there are so many of them can potentially make up for their lack of accuracy. Horde formation is still harder to rout and with Piercing (1) they would definitely inflict damage. The regiment is there for different purpose I think. They are more like troops of Archers, adding few shots here and there to force nerve checks. They may be more useful in later turns of the game when the enemies are already damaged and all is needed to rout them is that one more wound. 

I hoped to use my fast elements to engage the horde quickly to disrupt them until my other units could attack it. The regiment could be potentially routed by my own shooting.

10 Mawbeasts Pack - these critters are quite hard hitting but are also very lightly armored. It makes them great unit for counter attacking or as a reserve. They don't have high nerve either so even more reason to keep them in a second line. Height 1 means they might not even be a viable target for shooting. However, if my unit can hold against them I may be able to hurt them in the counter charge.

10 Fleabag Riders + 2 x 5 Fleabag Riders - I am always curious about fast cavalry employed by other armies and Fleabag riders are not an exception. They are of the fighty type and I expected they might have been included in the army for war engines hunting and general annoyance duties. In particular troops. 

However, the are also very fragile and as they may operate outside inspire range I will look for the opportunities to rout them with shooting. My own fast cavalry should be a perfect counter measure and I was looking forward to the fast elements battle too.

6 Trolls - hard hitters and anvils both. Two hordes of them too. Total opposite of the goblins, they are always a force to be concerned with. What has worked against them so far is a strike of heavy cavalry, preferably with Bane Chant, so that they can be routed on a charge. Thus denying them the chance to regenerate the damage. 

War-Trombones - I heard a lot about them. Mobile artillery, that always hits on 4+ is a very useful element of the army. No doubt they would be there to guard against my fliers. Interestingly they also have Piercing rule that makes them even more dangerous. But if I could sneak in with my King or Drakon Lord, then they might be a good counter to these dangerous war engines.

Big Rock Throwers - Long range artillery. D6+2 blast is quite scary to be honest. In particular that there are 3 of these war machines. It also adds to the variety of the ranged attacks Goblin army had. Indirect fire is very annoying rule too, if you are on the receiving end. However, these war-engines also have the same weakness as many other elements in the Goblin army - low nerve. All I needed to do is to make sure I can inflict a wound or two and then roll high on nerve check. :)

Mincer - that is quite an interesting element of the Goblin army It is quite big so hiding it can be difficult. But with Big Shield rule it is also well protected. It has a low nerve value but is also cheap and hard hitting so one cannot just ignore it. Fortunately for me it is not that fast so I may have a chance to avoid it for a while or attack it first before it hits my units.
Giants - like trolls, they are the hardest hitting elements of the army as well as very tough ones. They are even more difficult to rout because of smaller base, meaning it is very hard to send more than 1 unit against them. While at the same time they are able to maneuver around other units. 
A lot will depend which unit they will assist but wherever they are I expected bloody combats and if I am going to have a chance to rout them it will not be without cost.
King - he had a vanguard rule so I expected him to be primary war engines hunter and shooting hordes disruptor. Not very brave as all Goblins but yet another annoying element that can potentially sneak around and start making lots of trouble. 
Wiz - he has Lightning Bolt and Bane Chant spells and I think he also had Inspiring Talisman. I expected him to stay with the shooters for ranged support as well as further increase of their damaging potential.
Flaggit - his only job was to wave the flag and 40 points for one is a real bargain.
Magwa & Jo'os - this is quite an intriguing hero. He can be considered a fighting wizard. He can hit reasonable hard and can add his attacks to any charge nicely. At the same time he can cast Lightning Bolt which is always good. On top of that he is another source of inspire. Very versatile hero and individual despite being Large Cavalry.

In general I faced the army that has elements to use in each phase of the game and at each stage. Versatile ranged attacks would not let the enemy to stay away and avoid combats. Cheap units could be sacrificed to draw enemy into traps or stop their attacks. While there were enough hard hitters to enact revenge or to carry the fight to the enemy.

I could not outdeploy this army so I decided to go for a refused flank formation. It would allow me to avoid part of the enemy forces as I expected them to spread along the entire width of the battle field. I also wanted to use their large number of units and big size of some of them to prevent them from attacking together at the same time. As they had to form two lines I intended to use it and be able to eliminate the first one to be able to decide what is attacked by the second. If that plan worked, I would be able to go for exchange of units on favorable terms. 


Ruined city - urban warfare in Mantica

I think it was the less favorite table among the participants. It had only two types of terrain, height 4 buildings and obstacles. It had a lot of bottle necks and that was another thing I wanted to use against more numerous Goblin army. Of course it was as much of a problem for me because buildings covered flanks of large formations nicely and prevented combined charges. I expected a lot of frontal assaults then.


Deployment of the armies after vanguard moves.

Deployment order.

I used Crepognon’s Scrying Gem of Zellak and got a high dice roll so that Rowan had to deploy 4 units in one go. It meant we had 18 deployments each and no side could out deploy the enemy. I decided to pick South because it looked to me that North would split Goblins army more efficiently, thus helping me in blocking some parts of it while attacking others.

I decided to deploy my hard hitters on the left flank as I hoped they would be able to navigate that side easier and would avoid two rock throwers too. I wanted to use Gladestalkers to be able to shoot at fast cavalry early and hunters as spearhead of the attacks (in the center) or interceptors (on the right flank). 

Final deployment after vanguard moves.

I won the roll off and picked the first turn as we were playing Kill scenario and I wanted to use my own shooters first to inflict some damage on Goblins fast troops.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Steady advance in the middle
Opening salvo!
Elves seized the initiative and moved forward. It was not easy even for these elite warriors to maintain their formation and to navigate destroyed city. Thus the battle line slowed down a bit

It was also important not to block the line of sight for the shooters. On the left flank bolt thrower crew and nearby gladestalekers aimed at the regiment of fleabags. However, the inspiring presence of Mr. Magwa (or was it his pet Jo'os?) kept them in check.

On the right flank, the brave King started having some second thoughts about his reckless approach due to his new shiny shoes, which put him in the immediate danger. Elven shooters scared him indeed and he remained in place considering further options. 

Goblins - Turn 1

Fleabags spearhead the advance on the right ...
... and on the left flank.
Goblins showed they have some serious shooting potential too!
  Goblins and Trolls on the right flank moved forward as fast as possible. Fleabags on each flank run first, probably inspired by their King. 

Goblin Wiz cast a spell on nearby Spitters and together with the magic of another stolen artifact, their arrows gained much more strength than expected. Elven Spears were the target but even with the further damage inflicted by the rock throwers, they showed iron resolve and didn't even waver.

Last of the rock throwers spotted a glimpse of a shiny armor of the Elven Knights and they too were hit hard. Clearly the Goblins were winning the shooting match at this time.

Outcasts - Turn 2

Elves continue attacking on the flanks

Many fleabag riders die.

The main battle line slowed down as they could not yet charge the approaching trolls or giant. Elven units didn't want to expose themselves to the enemy attacks yet. However, that meant they would need to brace for yet another barrage of Goblin artillery. 

In the meantime, the fast units on the flanks charged the fast cavalry of the foe. On the left Drakon Lord scattered entire regiment on his own but the nearby Drakon Riders somehow failed to do likewise.

On the right, the Hunters captured the Goblin King and bravely faced enemy units on their own. Nearby fleabag riders were also routed by Elven shooting. That action should stall the advance of the enemy units on that flank for a while.  

Goblins - Turn 2

Goblins fight back
Blows exchange on both flanks.
Goblins were not intimidated by the losses and counter attacked. Lone hunters stood no chance against Trolls and Spitters. But they were slowed down so that the rest of the Elven army could face fewer enemies at the same time.

Magwa unleashed his pet at the Drakon Riders but they were not that impressed. Then the shooting elements of the Goblin army begun their barrage. However, this time rock throwers missed completely. Horde of Spitters, deprived of the magical support from their Wiz, chose a new target but Gladestalkers, inspired by the King, held their ground.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Elves seem to be winning on the left flank.
Getting crowded in the center.

There seems to be change of plans for Elves!

The Elves noticed they are not going to overwhelm the Goblins one formation at a time so they had to strike simultaneously on a few fronts. 

First, Drakon Riders finished off last fast cavalry and threatened Magwa. Gladestalkers, Silver Breeze and Bolt Thrower crew, all aimed at this infamous Goblin hero but somehow he avoided the arrows!

The King charged all by himself at the horde of Goblin shooters and disrupted them! In the middle of the battle field Spears led the way with Palace Guard following close behind them. The Hunters charged the trolls to stop the enemy from attacking their companions while their rearranged the battle line.

Shooters on the right aimed at the Giant in the middle as they wanted to help the assault teams but the damage was not that great.

Goblins - Turn 3

The fighting escalates.

Elves lose three units - heavy blow!

The battle entered critical stage where the balance shifted from one side to another. Using the opportunity of disordered formation in the middle of the battle field, Goblins launched their attacks. Rabble and Trolls gave no chance to the Hunters and routed them immediately.

Giant decided to finish off badly damaged Spears regiment. While Magwa used his magic to rout Gladestalkers.Fortunately for Elves, fine armor of their King proved enough protection from the Trombone and Rock Throwers still could not hit their chosen targets.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Last charge of the Elven units

Elves take a lot of risky decisions.

Knowing that the battle will come to an abrupt end, the Elves decided to take a lot of risky decisions. First, Bolt Thrower and Silver Breeze cavalry tried to shoot down Magwa but yet again all the shots missed or failed to do any damage!

Then Drakon Lord, the King and the regiment of Spears attacked Spitters but despite inflicting substantial damage they could not finish them off.

Palace Guard had to charge Trolls on their own (Edit: I made a mistake in maps as the building is not placed properly. If you look at the pictures you will see there was not enough space for both PG regiments to charge in) and did some damage too but again, it was not enough to rout them.

Then Storm Wind cavalry finally had enough room to charge and they aimed at the Giant. But the huge brute, despite heavy damage, managed to hold! If only the Elven wizard was fast enough to support that attack! (Edit: I failed to cast Bane Chant!)

Last but not least, the crew of the second Bolt Thrower shot at the Rock Thrower but minor damage was not enough to scare the Goblins operating it.

Now Elves were about to face some serious counter attacks.

Goblins - Turn 4

Goblins Rabble charge the exposed flank!

In the end the balance is shifted into Goblins favor!

The shooters in the middle were boxed and single Trombone that could shoot didn't do enough damage to rout any Elven unit. Magwa also tried his magic to destroy the Bolt Thrower but failed.

It was thus up to the Rabble to shift the balance into the favor of Goblin army. Damaged Trolls pulled back to regenerate their wounds while the Rabble attacked now exposed flank of the Palace Guard and routed the Elves. The Giant attacked the heavy cavalry but it looked like they wounded him too badly as he didn't do much of the damage.

His twin, however, had no problem in destroying the Bolt Thrower.

As the battle had to come to a quick and an expected end, both armies disengaged. It turned out that it was the Goblins that inflicted more damage upon their enemies and they carried the day!


Turn-by-turn summary animation

After-battle thoughts

First of all, I would like to thank Rowan for the game, as always a great pleasure to fight against his armies. Second, I need to apologize for being slow, it was my first game at 2500 and it did show! Third, Rowan fought his way to the 2nd place during the event so - congratulations!

Last turn saw many Elven units being routed but not that great number of Goblins. It was enough to achieve the victory for Rowan who had 280 points more than me, just 30 less and it would have been a draw! According to the rules pack that transferred to 16-4 result in Goblins favor (15-5 for the victory and +1/-1 for scenario).

I was, of course, very curious how would the battle really end so I am really not happy with my own, slow performance. I think in turn 5 I would be able to rout some Goblins. For example, Spitter horde was already badly damaged. Drakon Riders could charge Mawbeast pack. Drakon Lord and King had a few options to either assist units or go for new targets. I think the King would go after Trombone in this particular case.

Badly wounded Giant might not have had enough resilience left to withstand Stormwind charge, even when deprived of their Thunderous Charge. And maybe this time, finally, the shooters would inflict some damage upon Magwa! :)

At the same time Rabble legion was not yet touched and Trolls were regenerating their wounds fast. Rock Throwers might start hitting things again and that would have been bad too. The units on the right flank were far away and might not have had a chance to engage my army again.

But that is just one part of the story, unfortunately unfinished one (at least for now as I hope to be able to play against Rowan again, maybe against his Goblins too!)

Another question is what could I do better this game and possibly have better chances at winning the game even after turn 4.

The terrain made it difficult for both of and I was, in general, happy with the deployment. The shooting was a bit restricted no matter what. I think I could deploy fast cavalry better, so that they could have good targets to aim at turn 1.

There is always a temptation to position the shooters on one flank to be able to focus the fire but it also makes it more predictable where the hard hitters might go.

I was not quite happy with the way I advanced, however. First of all, the King could use his speed and maneuverability to charge Spitters horde turn 2. I also moved my infantry a bit too far so that Goblin archers could shoot at them without moving. I didn't move the infantry into any favorable position but instead put them at risk and who knows, it might be that one shooting phase that resulted in one extra unit routed too early.

I also wasted time with Drakon Lord after he attacked Fleabags. Instead of turning around and chasing the tail of its mount I should have landed behind the enemy lines and start hunting targets from there.

Another element that I was not sure how to use to full potential was vanguard. I used Hunters as early interceptors but I think that was not what they should have been doing. I was happy with the exchange Hunters-for-King but I think I wasted these who charged Trolls.

I am sure there are plenty more to discover from that game alone but that's it for now. If I happen to do so I will update the report for sure.

In the meantime, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. As always, your comments and feedback are very appreciated.



  1. Nice. I like MSU in Kow... seems like the system is better adapted for the style than warhammer. Hows KoW doing in your area?

    1. Hi Andrew!

      I am glad you like MSU style, I have a feeling I am about to discover a lot of new things in KoW with that approach. Btw, I find your comment quite intriguing because I heard opinions that MSU in KoW is actually not that viable approach. Would be fantastic if you could elaborate more!

      I think KoW is very popular in Canberra and judging by the number of announced events, also in Australia. The tournaments are not yet of the size of the best days of Warhammer but the interest is growing. Some of the very prolific organizers are doing their best to make KoW events happen regularly so that helps too.

      I hope I will be able to pick some more (and regular) casual games as I know about at least 2 stores that are perfectly equipped for any system. That should also help spreading some interest of KoW.


    2. I don't know who told you that MSU is not viable in KoW, but that can't be right, can it? The ability to have many small cheap units to divert/chaff elite units can completely lock them down for the whole game. Most scenarios are won by having units at specific points on the battlefield. So having more units can not only make sure you can get units there turn 6, but can also prevent the enemy from getting to those scenario locations. Afterall, even Soul Reaver Cavalry can only kill one unit each turn. So three cheap troops can lock them down for three turns and with some skill redirect and expose flanks.
      Loving your battle reports! May they never end and keep on MSUing!

    3. Hi NotoriousGorilla!

      Thanks a lot for your comments and kind words! I don't plan to give up on MSU, just need a little bit more regular gaming schedule :)

      I agree with you on principle and I guess people simply like to present their opinions as absolute truths sometimes. I obviously enjoy MSU more than other potential styles but I would not like to see people playing in one way either.

      I have one new report in the making and I hope to finish it around the weekend so stay tuned!


    4. You are going to Clash of Kings, right? If you do I hope to end up on a table with you (not in a sexual way). I think there are lots of different ways to play KoW and elite armies are also viable.

    5. Hi there! Sorry for a delay in replying.

      Yes, I enrolled for Clash of Kings in January 2017. Which army are you bringing? At the moment I need to do things for that event, paint as much as possible (to replace old miniatures with the new ones) and to dramatically speed up game play. I played the battle last Friday with Clash rules and 50min each is really not enough for me yet.


  2. Tough game. Great gobbo generalship. Tough terrain for your style, I guess. Great combination of playing styles by your gobbo opponent.

    1. Hi Jonah,

      Thanks for the comment! Yes, I think the terrain constrained us both but in different ways. Goblins could not sometimes bring all of their units together while my army could not pick the flanks the way it needs.

      But that is part of the game and it was interesting to play on that table.


  3. Thanks for the posting the game up mate as per usual. Great read.

    1. Thanks Jimmy! Always great to know you enjoyed the reading :)