Sunday, 27 November 2016

Kings of Cro-Nation 1 - Game 2 - Trident Realms - 2016/11/27


In the second game I finally had a chance to play against Tas and his Trident Realms. Tas is a fellow blogger and you can check his reports (and other interesting posts!) here: Wedgetail on Wargaming

Tas participated in all three tournaments I attended this year but we missed each other out in the previous two. Fortunately, this time we were paired up. He has a beautiful army with some really gorgeous models. It is still WiP but I must say that even with unpainted units and models the army already looks fantastic. I can't wait to see it finished! 

The army that Tas brought to this event looked like this:

Trident Realms - Army List

40 Naiad Ensnarers, Horde, Fire-oil - 235
- Kraken, Monster - 230
- Siren, Hero - 140 

6 Water Elementals, Horde - 220
- Knucker, Monster - 145
- Trident King, Hero (Large Cavalry) - 220

6 Depth Horrors, Horde - 185
- Coral Giant, Monster - 200

6 Naiad Wyrmriders, Horde - 240
- Naiad Wyrmrider Centurion, Hero (Large Cavalry), Ensorcelled Armour - 185

I have had only a single game against Trident Realms so far but some units were also present in Forces of Nature armies I faced so quite a few elements of this army were quite familiar. 

40 Naiad Ensnarers - a solid unit to form a center. Its strength lies in a great healing abilities as defense 3+ makes them quite fragile. They are capable anvil, provided they are only attacked from the front. Pathfinder on such unit is also great so it is easy to predict it will try to move into some dangerous terrain and entrench there. If that happens it would be very hard to rout it from there. I have learned that in order to defeat it I need to have a few units attacking it at the same time. I may need to do so in 2 turns but only if I can inflict enough damage to prevent it from regenerating it all too fast. 

6 Water Elementals - quite fast, well protected and can regenerate damage too. Cannot be wavered and are good in war of attrition. They are indeed tough so in order to defeat them I need two waves. One to stop them and second to overwhelm them. Not so easy to do because they are faster than my infantry but hopefully quite a few cavalry units I have may do the job. 

6 Depth Horrors - as fast as my infantry and a bit fragile they need to be protected to get into melee in good shape. If they do, however, they should win one-on-one fights comfortably. I don't expect them to be in the first line of attack though and I may need to focus on faster units first anyway. 

6 Naiad Wyrmriders - the cavalry of the army. They are fast, hit as hard as any heavy cavalry but have a bit less armor. That is balanced by the fact they have regeneration 4+ and a bit better nerve value. Like the infantry, they need to be attacked in force, otherwise they will heal back all the damage. As they are fast and sport Pathfinder I would probably need to send something as a bait/road blocker in order to overwhelm the unit with a few of my own.

Kraken - probably the most favorite of the monsters in the army! :) Fast monster, good healing abilities, hitting hard too. As with all the monsters the main thing is not to let it to get into your flank! Once again, with Ensnare it will need to be attacked by a few units at the same time and/or from the flanks. With mobility of the monsters it can be even more difficult to do than against the units. 

Knucker - this is the fast an highly maneuverable monster of the army. One of the priorities for me to take care of. First, because it can intercept almost any of my units. Second, because with such mobility it is very likely it will find the way to flanks and rears. Its weakness, as many units in the army, is vulnerability to shooting so given the chance I will try to harm it from afar. 

Coral Giant - one of the few elements with defense 5+. It also has a very good nerve and is quite fast. It can hit hard too as any other giant. Even from the front but can be absolutely devastating when attacking from the flank. In order to destroy it I need to inflict a few wounds with ranged attacks and hopefully have an opportunity to attack it from two directions at the same time.

Siren - the first of the heroes of the army and the one quite intriguing. She has the special spell that pulls the unit towards her and makes it disordered. Very good for disrupting the ranks of the shooters but also for making any type of cavalry less dangerous. I knew I would not be able to avoid her but I also thought that as I don't have any big units her impact will be smaller than in the case of large flier or horde formation.

Trident King - the King himself. Very flexible hero, able to lead, attack from distance or in melee. Good defense combined with good nerve as for a hero of this size makes him more durable. Potential weakness may be his larger foot print and wider flank. With such a versatile hero it is harder to predict what is he going to do so I would need to adapt to the situation and look for the openings if possible.

Naiad Wyrmrider Centurion - this centurion is definitely the toughest one to kill. Not only defense 6+ is the best one can get but regeneration 4+ can quickly heal any damage. I expect this hero to lead Wyrmriders but may as well go for individual missions, especially later in the game. It can be slowed down if allowed to attack from the front only so as always it will be crucial not to give opportunities to be attacked from the flank/rear.

In general, I faced the army with 10 elements total, a good mix of solid units, monsters and versatile heroes. Many of them had Ensnare special rule as well as healing abilities. My advantage, hopefully, was in more units and better maneuverability/speed so that I could get these multi-charges in.

Deployment and Scenario

Terrain with Pillage tokens.

I remained on the same table as in the first game, so just for the reminder:

Hills - height 1
Blocking - height 4
Pond - height 0, difficult

We got 7 tokens for Pillage! scenario in total so it was plenty to fight for control of. After the first game I already decided I need to have a battle line rather than two independent groups of units. With so many tokens, however, I also thought I may need to spread out the army and use the advantage of the numbers of units. 

The middle pond looked like a perfect place for Naiads to park so I wanted to make sure they don't get there. Especially that there was a token there too. I won the roll off to pick the table side and I decided to remain where I was.  

Deployment from the Elven point of view.
Trident Realms in refused flank formation.

Tas went for the refused flank formation and that made perfect sense. First, he could limit the advantage of more units on my side and second, the impact of the shooting too. It looked to me that he wanted to focus on controlling four tokens on the left side of the battle field. While Water Elementals and Coral Giant to contest the fifth.

I probably should have deployed the units on the right closer to the center but I intended to use them to outflank the enemy anyway. I needed to do that quickly to support the left side so that I could coordinate the attacks at the main formation of the Trident Realms army.

Once again I got won the roll off and decided to go first to slow down the advance of the enemy and be in the outflanking positions already.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Outcasts move forward ...

... and attempt a few shots at the enemy.

The Outcasts moved forward at a moderate speed. The units stayed out of potential charge ranges of the enemy and a few arrows were shot to mark the distance and to do some small damage where possible. It was not enough to impress the Neriticans, however.

Trident Realms - Turn 1

Neriticans move to meet the enemy head on!

First traps are set!

Neriticans approached the Elven units on the left with several elements setting up potential traps if the foe decided to attack. Water Elementals and Coral Giant faced the much bigger force on the right, determined to fight them no matter how many units Elves had.

Then the Siren sang and tried to lure the Drakons forward. They resisted but moved regardless.

Outcasts - Turn 2

First charges!

First blood for Elves.

There was no time to lose and Elves charged. On the right flank Drakon Riders and Storm Wind cavalry hit very hard and even the massive Coral Giant perished. Nearby Chariots attacked the Water Elementals to prevent them from charging other units and to allow Drakon Lord to move to their flank.

On the left flank fast Elven cavalry tried to bypass the enemies and attack those that were more vulnerable. Storm Wind knights got lucky in monster hunting and dangerous Knucker was killed. Drakon Riders chose to attack the exposed flank of the Naiads but the risk didn't pay off and while the damage was substantial, the infantry horde was not even wavered.

Trident Realms - Turn 2

Neriticans hit back.

Three Elven units perish!

Trident Realms army had to hit back to size the initiative. The King led the attack and smashed into Elven knights who could not hold against such a ferocious attack.

The Centurion also spotted an exposed flank of the Palace Guard troop and they paid for that mistake with their lives. Then Naiads and Kraken countered the Drakons who also died quickly. Only the Army Standard on that flank survived and kept the Horrors from joining the fight elsewhere.

Water Elementals had no choice but to attack the Chariots but didn't manage to rout their enemy.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Elves continue their attack.

Elves control the right flank.

Chariots, Storm Wind and Drakon Lord all descended upon isolated Water Elementals and even these tough unit could not hold against such an attack. Naiads too could not withstand the attack of Elven units, despite the fact all of them had to charge from the front. But the Drakons in particular inflicted a lot of damage, clearly seeking to avenge their companions.

Trident Realms - Turn 3

Trident Realms under pressure.

Neriticans keep fighting back.

The King and his Kraken charged the Sea Guard they barely survived this attack. Depth Horrors finally got rid of the annoying Army Standard and reformed to face the enemy. In the meantime Wyrmriders moved to intercept the Drakons and Palace Guard regiment.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Kracken is not going to be released again.

Neriticans are stopped in their advance.

Elves had some tough decisions to make. They had more units but the battle lines rotated and the frontage was narrow. The units decided to spread their efforts in order to stop the advance of the enemy. It was a risk but it paid off!

Drakon Riders charged Wyrmriders and wavered them! At the same time all the shooters focused on the Centurion and wavered that hero too! That allowed Palace Guard to attack the Kraken from the flank and kill the monster!

Trident Realms - Turn 4

No other option but to attack again!

Trident King attacks alone.

With Wyrmriders wavered and Horrors not yet in the position to attack, the Trident King has to charge alone.Damaged Sea Guard is finally destroyed but there are so many other units in the Elven army left!

Outcasts - Turn 5

Elves charge again.

Elves press forward.

Drakons and their Lord attack Wyrmriders before they manage to heal back the wounds. This time the unit cannot hold against coordinated charge and is destroyed.

At the same time Palace Guard engages the King to keep him occupied and the rest of the Elven army moves forward to support the front line.

Trident Realms - Turn 5

Neriticans try to fight back with the few units left.

Elves hold the line!

Neriticans have only a few units left and they commit them to melee. Horrors cannot defeat the Drakon Lord, however. Centurion is not successful either.

(Edit: I think I made a mistake on the diagram. I indicated that the King attacked too but looking at the picture I wonder if he was not actually wavered the turn before. It may be so as otherwise the distance between the king and the palace guard is too big.)

Outcasts - Turn 6

Only two heroes remained.

The King is dead!

Drakon Riders and Place Guard charge against the King and destroy the general of the enemy! The Drakon Lord and Storm Wind cavalry use the momentum to kill the Horrors. There are only two heroes from the Neriticans' army left.

Trident Realms - Turn 6

Last attack of the Centurion.

The last charge of the Centurion.

The last act was for the Centurion to attack Elven cavalry and he had his revenge. But with the army gone and Elves controlling the strategic objectives, the Neriticans were defeated.

Turn 7

I believe we had turn 7. However, I run out of time and finished only turn 6. Tas tried to get my Drakon Lord (I think!) but was not successful.


Turn by turn animation summary.

After-battle thoughts

Many thanks to Tas for a great game! I am glad we finally had a chance to play against each other and I certainly hope it is just the first game of many to come. Thanks a lot!

I was obviously very happy that this time the plan worked. The deployment was better than previous game and thanks to that I could engage the enemy units early. I got lucky on the right flank in routing the Giant on the charge as that allowed me to overwhelm Elementals the turn after and be ready to support left flank in time.

It was also crucial to the overall success that I managed to slow down the army of Neriticans on the left flank. First, the horrors spent way too long in fighting the Army Standard. Second, Storm Wind killed the Knucker and that required the action from the King himself. And sacrifice of the Drakons paid off because two infantry units and second regiment of flying large cavalry could deliver the second blow.

Unexpected wavers of Wyrmriders and Centurion were also lucky and allowed me to avoid further casualties.

Fortunately for me the mistakes I made didn't result in some serious consequences. The first one was to expose the flank of Palace Guard to the Centurion. That was really bad and should not have happened. Second, looking at the picture, I think I could reform the Storm Wind on the left flank so that it could not be charged. I think I could rotate them so they had Kraken and the King in their flank zone but due to nearby terrain there would have been no place to charge. Maybe, just an idea I think could have been implemented.

But the main thing for me here was that I really enjoyed the game where I could use the advantage of having more units and was able to position them so that multi-charges were possible.

Thanks for reading!

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