Wednesday, 3 August 2016

KoW Game 23 - The Brotherhood - 2016/08/03


My very good friend Michael is currently building his unique force of the Brotherhood. He has quite a few units already and he is proceeding with the painting. However, he was obviously curious about the army in terms of battle field prowess. From my part I wanted to test some minor changes to my own army list and since we haven't played against each other for some time it was a great opportunity to do so! 

This time we played on Universal Battle again but I hope there will be an opportunity to meet this  army in reality as it is always a great pleasure to play against great looking forces. 

The Brotherhood - Army List

10 Order of the Brotherhood, Regiment, Brew of Strength - 235
- 5 Villein Reconnoiterers, Troop - 100
- 5 Villein Reconnoiterers, Troop - 100
- Villein Siege Artillery, War Engine - 80

10 Order of the Brotherhood, Regiment, Crepognon’s Scrying Gem of Zellak - 235
- 5 Villein Reconnoiterers, Troop - 100
- Forsaken Beast, Monster - 125
10 Order of Redemption*, Regiment, Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar - 280

 6 Order of Forsaken, Horde, Blessing of the Gods - 290
- Forsaken Beast, Monster - 125
- Devoted on Horse, Hero, Heal (4), Lightning Bolt (3) - 115
- Exemplar Forsaken, Hero, Brew of Haste - 215

This is a very fast and well armored army. Three regiments of Knights, one horde of flying cavalry, two beasts and flying Exemplar make for a hard hitting force. Even the Villeins can be dangerous if allowed to sneak to the flank or rear. But is there any gap in that shiny armor than can be exploited? Let's see:

10 Order of the Brotherhood - the main unit of the army. Seems like a typical heavy cavalry (which is already great to have) - only better thanks to higher nerve and Headstrong. They can even improve nerve of nearby Villeins too. Fast, well armored, hitting hard. Fortunately for me the Knights also have a single, well defined weakness. They don't like it when they cannot use their Thunderous Charge.

For that reason I am taking Tallspears and I intended to use any piece of terrain on the battle field to create a good defensive position. I assumed Brew of Strength was one of the artifacts that was taken to mitigate that disadvantage. But even with the ability to force the Knights to charge when they might be losing their TC(2) bonus may need to be considered carefully.

10 Order of Redemption* - these Knights are even better than regular Order of the Brotherhood. More attacks, Inspire and Regeneration mean that they are both, harder to rout and harder to stop. To make matters more challenging they also have Pathfinder special rule so that I may re-consider that aggressive approach with Tallspears.

The good thing is I met them before and I know they can be defeated if isolated and attacked with overwhelming force. Quite good recipe for success against any foes but it does not mean I should not try it here as well.

 6 Order of Forsaken - Flying heavy cavalry that keeps all the advantages of a regular regiment of knights but adds speed and maneuverability. Very powerful combination and a unit that is more than a match for any of my hard hitters. In fact, I consider Orders of Forsaken and Redemption the two most powerful units in that game.

They have Elite status that makes them even more dangerous, especially that with their speed and maneuverability they should be able to choose the fights they want to fight. That is why I decided that my infantry needs to deploy in double line formation so that I can either have second wave ready to counter attack or at least deny the easy landing zones behind my lines.

5 Villein Reconnoiterers - 3 units of fast cavalry that is actually quite good in melee due to TC(1). Speed and maneuverability may see them getting some good flank charges. They are also very good at war engines hunting. I am also sure they would often be used to perform sacrificial duties so that the Knights can steal all the glory :)

As always, if I have the opportunity, I would try to get rid of the enemy fast troops first so that they don't interfere with my movement phase. However, the opponents usually know this too! It would be very interesting to see how they are going to be used this time.

Villein Siege Artillery - a single piece of artillery and one of the two sources of ranged attacks. It does not sound like much but if it hits (and it ignores cover so that may happen more often!) then the damage can be significant. Not to be ignored for sure! Hopefully, one of the fast units would get there soon enough.

Forsaken Beasts - very interesting Monsters. They are slower than the cavalry and don't fly but there are two of them. They didn't have any upgrades but even in their default versions they are dangerous. Well protected, with good nerve value they can even operate alone and thanks to small foot print they may get where bigger units cannot. They also add to the number of units that can hit hard either alone or together in a combined charge fashion.

I have never faced these before so I was curious how to hunt them down and what they add to the Brotherhood army.

Devoted on Horse - single wizard in the army with a bit of healing and a bit of ranged attacks abilities. I expected this hero to add a few points of damage here and there at the beginning of the game and to switch to healing later on.

Exemplar Forsaken - the fastest element on the battle field. Definitely to outpace my own fliers as my opponent often mentioned he considers extra speed of Elven armies to be a huge advantage. Hits harder than Drakon Lord and is more resilient than him too (better nerve and Headstrong) which means he can be a very flexible element in the army, fighting alone or helping units whenever needed.

Even with some ranged attacks to help against such fast units it would not be easy to harm him.

I used a very similar army than before but with a few notable changes.

Outcasts - Army List

10 Stormwind, Regiment, Potion of the Caterpillar (Pathfinder) - 235
- 5 Silverbreeze, Troop - 145
- 5 Silverbreeze, Troop - 145
- Drakon Rider Lord, Hero, Large Cavalry - 160

3 Drakon Riders, Regiment, Dwarven Ale (Headstrong) - 185
- 5 Stormwind, Troops - 140
- Bolt Thrower, War Engine - 90

20 Palace Guard, Regiment - 150

- Bolt Thrower, War Engine - 90 

20 Palace Guard, Regiment - 150 
- Elven Mage, Hero, Mounted, Scarletmaw’s Fenulian Amulet, Lightning Bolt (5), Bane Chant(2) - 160
20 Spearelves, Regiment - 140
- Elven Mage, Hero, Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant(2) - 110

20 Spearelves, Regiment - 140
- Battle Standard Bearer, Hero - 50

I rarely change anything in my army lists. I discovered I can do better in a longer run if I stay with a single army and focus on what I can do with it rather than changing it constantly.

However, sometimes there is a moment where I am not entirely satisfied with some elements or simply cannot use them to the fullest potential. It also happens that I am inspired by certain choices of my opponents and I try to see if I can replace what I am not using well with something new, hopefully filling the gap.

In this particular case I was inspired by a mobile ranged attacks in the form of a wizard with Lightning Bolts. Elves can have their mages with LB (5) which is already better than their counterparts in other armies. In addition, Scarletmaw’s Fenulian Amulet adds 2 more dice to be used with the spell. Hence, effectively I had 7 dice with Elite to use. 

I also had him mounted so that he can have a longer effective range and added Bane Chant too. With it I had quite a selection of spells and two wizards that could assist more units at the same time.

The price was not cheap though as he costs 160 points. Quite a lot for such a fragile individual and in order to make some room for him I had to get rid of one bolt thrower and a unit of Archers. The question was if 7 Lightning Bolts that always hit on 4+ would add more to the army than a bolt thrower and a unit of Archers. 

I should also add that this change allowed me to upgrade Palace Guard troop to the regiment. In general, my army should operate in a similar fashion. But I know that in practice small changes like that may affect the way I play in a more signifcant manner.

Terrain details

We used one of the maps prepared by epicdwarf at Mantic forum:

Kings of War - Map Pack

We rolled Map number 3 and the diagram above shows the details about the respective heights of each terrain feature.


 Deployment Order

Final Deployment

I picked North and Michael rolled for his Crepognon’s Scrying Gem of Zellak to see how many units I would need to deploy in one go. It happened it was 3 in total and it was very interesting experience for me. At some stage I deployed quite a significant portion of my army while still not knowing where the hardest hitting elements would go!

We also rolled for the scenario and we got one of the new described in the tournament pack called Control.

I have to admit that I misread the rules and assumed (wrongly) that only middle of the battle field can be considered for control mission. While in reality there were 6 areas to grab, with the middle ones providing extra points.

This is only to make you aware that some of my decisions have been affected by that wrong assumption.

My general plan was to use double line formation with the infantry, either to combat fliers or be able to take the charge of the fast cavalry and be able to hit back. I put three characters over there as I thought this formation would need the most of the support. Heavy cavalry was also there to keep in check enemy Knights in case they were more daring.

Fast cavalry was positioned in the center in order to give me more flexibility and decided which flank to support. Drakons and Storm Wind troop were on the opposite flank to provide enough fast and hard hitting units to hopefully slow down the more dangerous enemy units. But at the same time they were fast enough to switch to the center of the field and go quickly to the other flank to help the bulk of the army there.

My plan was, then, to win on the West and use the back door to park in the middle of the enemy deployment zone for the points for scenario. I also wanted to do that fast enough so that any possible advantage I would get would allow me to form a new battle line and engage the enemy formations arriving from the East.

The Brotherhood - Turn 1

Brotherhood advances on both flanks.

The Orders of the Brotherhood advance towards Elven units, keeping tight formation. Units support each other well and some were sent forward to bait the enemy for early charges.

With only Siege artillery war engine having a foe in range the shooting is limited to a single shot. But it hits and inflicts quite a significant damage on the Tallspears regiment.

Outcasts - Turn 1 

Elven maneuvers

The Elves responded by moving infantry formation towards the forest but keeping the distance to avoid being charged by both regiments of knights at the same time. In particular Order of Redemption could hit hard with its Pathfinder ability. 

Drakons used the cover of the rocks to move towards the flank of the enemy formation and to hopefully lose the enemy fliers as well. 

To give them cover and occupy the foe, Silver Breeze troops moved in and together with a bolt thrower they inflicted some damage. 

The Brotherhood - Turn 2 

Order of Forsaken prepares to intercept Drakons

The Knights on the Western flank were not in a hurry to go against numerically superior Elven units and sent Villeins as an obvious bait for the enemy heavy cavalry. On the East Order of Forsaken turned sharply to get a good intercepting position in case Drakons continued with their flight towards the flank of Order of Redemption.

The Siege War Engine hit again and Tallspears were now significantly damaged. However, they proved to be resolute in the face of danger.

Outcasts - Turn 2

Elves hit the fast cavalry

Elves focused their attention at enemy fast cavalry. On the East Silver Breeze managed to rout the unit before it hunted down exposed Bolt Thrower. On the West flank charge by Palace Guard got rid of another one and didn't expose Elven Knights to a deadly counter attack.

Both Tallspears units moved boldly forward but in a way that would not allow enemy Knights to attack them both. Or so they thought! 

Finally, Drakon Lord found a good landing spot to threaten the enemy war engine but the regiment of Drakons had to stay behind the rocks in order to avoid being attacked by Order of Forsaken.  

The Brotherhood - Turn 3

Charge of the Brotherhood

The Knights on the Western flank decided there is no time to wait for reinforcements and charged in. Tallspears in the forest miscalculated and were now under the attack of two heavy cavalry regiments. As one of them was charging to their flank it was impossible to hold the ground even in the forest and Elven regiment was routed.

(Edit: Please, note that Michael decided to charge into the forest at this particular moment as it was clear we are not going to play longer than 4 turns. Otherwise he would have not attacked yet.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Elves counter charge!

Despite the loss of the regiment Elves didn't move back but counter attacked. Storm Wind and Tallspears hunted down the Forsaken Beast and threatened the flank of nearby Order of the Brotherhood regiment. But the main charge was mounted against Order of Redemption. Palace Guard pinned the enemy knights while Drakons charged at the exposed rear. However, despite the perfect coordination the attack was not strong enough to even waver the proud Knights!

In the meantime the shooters and mounted mage tried to eliminate the Exemplar but he too proved to be quite resilient.

The Brotherhood - Turn 4

Blood fight in the forest continues.

The Knights kept fighting in order to eliminate as many enemy regiments as possible but despite horrendous casualties inflicted upon the Elves they could not rout their foes!

With the reinforcements too far to help, how would the Elves use the unexpected turn of events to their own advantage?

Outcasts - Turn 4

Elves win on the Western flank.
This time even the mighty Knights of the Brotherhood could not hold against another well coordinated attack by the Elven forces. The Western flank was won by the Elves but would it be enough to control enough of the territory to claim the victory?


Turn-by-turn animation summary.

After-battle thoughts

First of all, many thanks to Micheal for a game! I am glad he found time to test his new Brotherhood force and I am looking forward to the opportunity of playing against them on a real table with real miniatures!

When we checked who controlled which part of the battle field field it turned out to be a draw! Sadly, due to the fact of a quite slow game we run out of time and had to finish after turn 4. This situation was the reason why I started this topic:

How to play faster? 

If you have any good tips, please, share it with me as I really want to play my games faster so that I can finish 6-7 turns as required in a reasonable time. No matter if it is a tournament or casual game.

As to the game itself I really liked the challenge of playing against such a fast and well armored army that hits very hard. I must say I didn't expect that Michael would split his forces in two. But it is probably because I misread the scenario and thought only middle parts count. Knowing that entire battle field is taken into account I can now understand the purpose.

I mentioned earlier that Michael decided to charge earlier than he planned due to lack of time. I wonder then how would the game evolve if he didn't. My infantry was not yet in a position to attack so he could comfortably keep the safe distance. Storm Wind regiment was a threat but a frontal charge may or may not be successful. If it didn't then I would lose it to a counter attack for sure.

It is also a question how the fliers would play their hide and seek game further. I was happy that I spotted the opportunity to move behind the rock but I wonder if I didn't do that too early. Maybe I should have waited one more turn to draw the enemy towards my lines first and then move? On the other hand though, that would have opened the path to the middle area on my side that is worth 2 victory points.

I was glad with the way infantry moved in formation but at the same time I made that silly mistake and exposed the flank of the Tallspears that cost me the unit.

In the end I was also not focused on the scenario objectives (partially due to misreading them) and if I only kept Drakon Lord in the right area I would have claimed one more scenario point. Silly me! 

As far as the army with new tweaks goes I am definitely happy with the new mage. I am still wondering if I need him on a steed and if I need that second Bane Chant. I do miss second bolt thrower though. Despite my liking of troops I cannot deny that upgrading one unit of Palace Guard to regiment is helpful. However, there are a few artifacts I would also like to try. Seems like I am dangerously leaning towards army list building :D

I hope you enjoyed the report despite the game lasting 4 turns only.

Thanks for reading! 


  1. Great to see another battle report up my friend! :)

    1. Thanks, Jimmy! I am not playing as often as you with X-Wing but hopefully I will still be able to provide some regular updates :)

  2. Speed -
    1)unit cards so you are not checking stats or special rules in book.
    2)D6s in coloured groups of ten (ten red, ten green etc) to allow for rapid dice counting.
    3) everything multibased of course

    1. Thanks a lot for the tips, Jonah!

      I am intrigued by the cards. I have seen some players are doing it. I may actually add these indeed.

      Colored dice will be added to the shopping list! And I am "multi"-basing at this stage, need to keep rolling these textured pins!