Sunday, 6 November 2016

KoW - 3d6 October - Game 1 - Elves - 2016/11/06

In the first game of 3d6 October small local tournament I had a pleasure to play against Mark and his Elves. It was not our first game but certainly a first battle between our armies in Kings of War. 

Civil War games always bring that extra element of playing against the army with potentially the same set of strengths and weaknesses. However, the composition of both forces is still an important factor. I was very curious about that game and I was glad to see that our armies are significantly different from each other. It was especially important in a tournament where three out of eight armies were Elves!

Mark built his army with units in horde formation and added two war engines as well as four heroes. In detail, his army looked like this:

Elves - Army List

40 Therennian Sea Guard, Horde, Wine of Elvenkind (nimble) - 320
- Dragon Breath, War Engine - 90
- Mage, Hero, Bane Chant (2), Inspiring Talisman - 110 

40 Therennian Sea Guard, Horde, Brew of Keen-eyeness (+1 to hit) - 325
- Dragon Breath, War Engine - 90
- Mage, Hero, Bane Chant (2), Fireball (10) - 100  

6 Drakon Riders, Horde, Brew of Haste (+1 Speed) - 285
- Drakon Lord, Hero, Ensorcelled Armour - 195

6 Drakon Riders, Horde, Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar (Pathfinder) - 290
- Drakon Lord, Hero, Medallion of Life - 195 

Very significant amount of shooting, four very fast and hard hitting elements, with Sea Guard being a potential threat in melee as well, especially backed up by the wizards with bane chant. Let's have a closer look as some of the choices are much different to what I have in my army:

2 x 40 Therennian Sea Guard - two hordes of very versatile infantry. Thanks to the high nerve and phalanx they can be good anvils and stop even powerful enemies in their tracks if they were foolish to attack from the front. With the support of Drakons that can be very powerful combination. In addition, if they counter attack with Bane Chant that can hurt too. 

Their weakness in terms of ranged attacks, i.e. Range 5+, is covered by the artifacts. Making one of the units Nimble is simply great, while +1 to hit obviously helps a lot. 

I expected trouble from these guys and accepted that my troops may be destroyed in a single round of shooting. That is why I planned to deploy a bit further away so that they could not shoot at me first turn unless I moved towards them.   

If possible, I would need to engage them in melee so that they could not shoot at me. However, my small units would need to do so in coordinated way, otherwise Sea Guard would kill them in the counter charge.  

2 x 6 Drakon Riders - the hard hitting part of the army. Extremely mobile, they can outpace my heavy cavalry and can destroy many of my troops on the charge. Their presence alone would be a challenge but even more so with the added threat of the two hordes of Sea Guard.

One of the units is super fast thanks to Brew of Haste and the other has always useful Pathfinder upgrade. 

I am still learning how to deal with flies properly but one of the things I have noticed is that it is important to try and pin them down, i.e stop them from flying. If I could attack them to do so that would be handy, even at a cost of sacrificing the unit

Depending on the terrain and particular deployment, I may also try some luck with shooting. But as always, in order to be effective it has to be concentrated on one target.

2 x Drakon Rider Lord - I like this type of a hero a lot. I would expect them to assists the drakons and that would make dealing with either unit a bigger challenge. Since the Lords are more fragile than the units I was not surprised to see Mark gave them some upgrades. One of the Lords received Defense 6+ while the other sported Regeneration 5+. Very useful artifacts, especially for flying heroes.

Because of that choosing the right target for shooting was problematic. Drakon Riders had higher nerve while the Lords where more difficult to harm or would recover the inflicted damage. 

Not giving them opportunities to charge flanks/rears would be very important but unfortunately it is not that easy to do. 

2 x Dragon Breath - these were very intriguing and I was very curious about their abilities. Shorter range was something I wanted to use against them but they are mobile and can shoot in any direction. Also, effective range 18" is not that short at all. Especially that I would need to get close eventually anyway. 

But if they get into the open then I may have chance to destroy them as they are the most fragile elements of the army.

2 x Mage - their main role was to provide Bane Chant for the Sea Guard. Either ranged attacks or in melee, that would be very dangerous for my units. One mage provides Inspire to the defensive block while the other has an additional Fireball ranged attack. Indeed, landing behind that formation seems to be a very bad idea now! 

In general, I think Mark's army had an advantage in the shooting department, had better hard hitting elements and his units were tougher. But he also had 10 deployment drops to my 15 and I hoped that I can use it to my advantage. First, by better placement of some of the units and second, by having enough reserves to cover up the losses. 



We had the following terrain on the table:

3 x Hill - Height 1 (I think!)
1 x Forest - Height 4 
3 x Blocking terrain - Height 3
1 x Pond - difficult, Height 1

It left quite an open ground in the middle and a bit of cover on each flank. Mark won the roll off and picked North. It was due to the fact we played Pillage! as scenario and he placed his tokens on the Norhtern part of the field.

Deployment and Scenario

In the Pillage! scenario one places tokens first and then the dice are rolled to see who can pick the side. It means it can be a bit risky to place the tokens in a particular fashion as if the side the player chose would be where he is going to start.     

Here is how we did that, Mark was placing the tokens on the Northern half. 

Placement of the tokens.

Placement of the tokens suggested that Mark wanted to fortify the corner to defend his three tokens while trying to get one of mine at least in order to win the scenario. I placed three of mine more in the middle, so that if I didn't have that side of the table I would be able to fight for them anyway. 

However, Mark won the roll off and took the North. Here is how the deployment looked like.

My apologies for the blurry photo :(

Armies deployed for battle.
Mark deployed his army in a symmetric way. The center was there to have a clear line of sight to as many potential targets as possible, while more mobile drakons guarded the flanks. They could either move forward and threaten to attak my units, and with flying ability they would have a lot of options, or stay put to help the center. 

I decided to position all my shooting center-left so that I could focus the fire on a single target. Since the drakons were either hidden or out of range I planned to commit to the shooting duel with Mark's Sea Guard. 

I deployed my hard hitters on the right flank and had support of two Palace Guard units in order to fight against drakons and their lord. That should give me a bit of an advantage and if I could win that flank with half of the units committed I would call it a success.  

On the opposite flank I had Storm Wind troop to potentially charge in and slow down enemy fliers if they get too close. Chariots and Palace Guard would be the counter charging element too. 

I thought I had a chance if I could strike relatively fast and at the right moment so that I would not lose too many units to shooting and would not allow faster Drakons to overwhelm my defenses. I won the roll off and elected to move first.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Outcasts attempt to outflank the enemy.

Outcasts moved to the flanks in an attempt to outflank the enemy. On the right, Drakons spotted a good landing spot but the lord didn't follow as that would have put him in the range of the charge of the enemy air force. Heavy cavalry stayed behind the hill, that offered some cover from the shooters. Nearby Palace Guard moved forward to support.

On the opposite flank, all the units moved forward, using the terrain to cover their advance. The shooting was focused on Sea Guard unit in the open and while the enemy didn't flinch at all they did take some considerable damage.

Only Storm Wind troops was left behind as a reserve, in the case of enemy Drakons flying around the army flank.

Elves - Turn 1

Outcasts lose first unit!

Defensive moves by Elves.

Elves moved away from their breathren and allowed the shooters the clear line of sight. With the magical support their arrows hit home and Outcasts lost one of their airborne units.  

On the opposite flank, Palace Guard troop almost shared the drakon's fate but the elite foot unit held fast. 

Last but not least, the other formation of drakon riders circled slowly to land just beyond the reach of the enemy heavy cavalry.   

Outcasts - Turn 2

Outcasts shoot back!

One Sea Guard down, one to go!

Outcasts slowed their advance a bit on the right flank. The loss of the Drakons was problematic so the commanders decided it is better to wait a moment and see if the formation on the opposite flank can achieve a success.

The units had to tighten the formation to avoid being attacked by enemy drakons. That brought them in the range of the attacks of the Dragon Breaths however. To give themselves a better chance for survival, Outcasts kept shooting at the already damaged enemy Sea Guard and this time managed to destroy them!

At the same time, lone Storm Wind cavalry pulled back a bit to avoid being charged and guarding the rear of their companions' formation.

Elves - Turn 2

Dragon Breaths!

Elves now used their air forces to close the distance to the enemy. On the left flank they still kept the distance to the lone cavalry unit. On the right their advance was also cautious.

In the middle, remaining Sea Guard reformed and shot at their counterparts. The damage was not significant though. On the other hand, Dragon Breaths did well as both light cavalry units wavered and blocked the chariots behind them!

Outcasts - Turn 3

Outcasts charge!

Both armies have approached each other cautiously so far, trying to use their ranged attacks to make the difference. But now the Outcasts committed to melee. Although the attack was spearheaded by the Drakon Lord alone, his units followed to support. He charged enemy Drakons, inflicting some damage in order to pin them down. But his ferocious attacks disrupted the ranks of the enemy more than he expected!

On the other side, the ability of the Outcasts was limited but Chariots and Bolt Thrower still managed to waver one of the Dragon Breaths crew. At the same time, Storm Wind cavalry moved forward to seek protection behind the terrain and avoided the attention of the enemy drakons for some time.

Elves - Turn 3

Elven Drakon Rider Lord counter attacks.

Dragon Breath in action again!

Elven Drakon Lord tried to emulate the same result as his adversary but he completely failed in his attempt when he didn't inflict any damage on the Storm Wind cavalry regiment at all!

It seemed like Elves were distracted by too many enemy troops around and shifted their attention from one target to another. This time Dragon Breath and Sea Guard combined their efforts and destroyed the chariots completely.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Outcasts win the right flank!

Using the opportunity, the Outcasts launch an attack on the right flank. Storm Wind cavalry and smaller unit of Palace Guard charge the enemy commander, while the regiment and Drakon Lord fight against damaged enemy fliers. Both foes go down and Outcasts reform to face the Sea Guard that is currently being distracted by the Army Standard.

The shooters also gained some advantage by destroying one of the war engines of the enemy army. That was also a significant success!

Elves - Turn 4

Elves regroup.

Elves go into defensive formation

With heavy losses suffered, the Elves decided to go for the defensive approach. Sea Guard removed annoying enemy Army Standard and reformed to brace for the inevitable attack of the enemy.

The Drakon Riders formation on the left flew back to control the objectives.

Outcasts - Turn 5

Outcasts continue their advance.

Storm Wind cavalry and Palace Guard continued the offensive. They both attacked the Sea Guard. Even attacking a phalanx, heavy cavalry was determined enough to inflict some serious damage. The enemy unit still held but it was clear that another punch like that and they will perish.

The shooters continued their duel and last of the enemy war engines was gone too.

Elves - Turn 5

Last charge of the Sea Guard.


The Sea Guard was now in a bad spot, damaged and isolated, far from the remaining friendly units. The only option was to counter-charge and to take as many enemies with them as possible. Unfortunately, enemy Place Guard stood fast.

Outcasts - Turn 6

Last attack and securing the objectives.

Outcasts moved to consolidate their advantage. In their half of the battle field the units secured their objectives unopposed. In the North, Storm Wind and Palace Guard made sure the enemy Sea Guard was routed and did not pose any danger anymore.

Then fast cavalry and Drakon Lord moved towards another objective. It was to prevent the enemy from controlling three of them with only two units. Now they needed to hold against inevitable attack.

Elves - Turn 6

Fast cavalry is destroyed.

But the Drakon Lord holds!

Elves decided to attack. Drakon Riders and one of the Mages chose one Silver Breeze cavalry unit each. Both were already damaged so had no chance to hold against these attacks and perished. However, in the duel between commanders, Outcasts' Drakon Rider Lord held his ground!

Seeing that the any further fighting would not change the outcome battle too much both army leaders decided to disengage and avoid unnecessary casulaties.


Turn-by-turn animation summary

After-battle thoughts

I would like to thank Mark for a great game. It's been quite a while since our last encounter and it was definitely good to catch up.

I was very happy with the outcome of the game but I admit that at least two situations helped a lot to achieve that. First, lucky waver on Mark's drakons not only pinned them down but also kept my own Lord unharmed. Second, Mark's Drakon Lord failed to inflict any damage on my heavy cavalry and they could counter charge with full strength.

That allowed me to win that flank with much bigger force remaining and I had enough time to destroy isolated Sea Guard too. More importantly, that helped to keep 2 out of 3 tokens secure.

Another huge achievement for me was to actually finish in time while using Chess Clocks! I had 2 minutes left but turn 6 I skipped the shooting in order to be able to do something in turn 7. It didn't happen but I had a bit of extra time anyway.

I am also glad my own shooting was dangerous to Mark's army and that I could engage his force in a shooting duel.We both were a bit cautious on the left flank but fortunately, there was enough action going during the game anyway.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Wow great report. Very happy to see you come out with a win here because that other list was much too filthy for my liking.

    You did a great job of stopping the Drakon Riders and Drakon Lord with your positioning on the left flank. Almost 25% of his army couldn't do anything for the first 5 rounds and when they finally did get involved it was game over.

    I am sad I didn't get to see the chariots run anything over but it looks like they are working out well. With their flank protected by the terrain and their threat projection it stopped Mark from moving any units over to the right flank to help out.

    Looking forward to the next one!

    1. Hi Casegamas!

      Thanks for your comment!

      I don't think Mark's list was so filthy, there are certainly much worse out there. It was, however, an army that posed a serious threat to mine so I am happy I managed to pull out a victory, both in scenario terms as well as in attrition points.

      I also think Mark was too shy on his left flank. He had a Drakon Lord with Def 6+ there so he could simply force the attack of my cavalry and counter charge with his drakons. That would have opened that flank to his units. But he chose to defend the objectives and that is why we had a bit of a stand off there.

      It was my second game with the Chariots but I already like them. They can shoot over usual terrain and units, their longer charge range keeps some units at a distance and they can always combine their efforts with other elements. I can tell you that in the 3 games I have material for new reports they have seen more action!

      Thanks again! I will do my best to prepare next report this week. Stay tuned!