Saturday 10 December 2016

Game 38 - Kingdoms of Men - 2016/12/10


It's been a few months since I played against Michael aka Darth Sabre and he was victorious. You can read the report from that battle here. I hoped for a re-meatch and I guess Micheal wanted to make sure that I know it was not a coincidence! We thought we would have had an opportunity to play against each other during Kings of Cro-Nation 1 event but it was not to be. Fortunately, there is always Universal Battle! 

Michael brought his trustworthy Kingdoms of Men he has some really nice results with. But this time with a bit of a different unit set up:

Kingdoms of Men - Army List

20 Foot Guard, Regiment - 135
- 5 Mounted Scouts, Troop - 100
- 5 Mounted Scouts, Troop - 100
- General on Winged Beast, Hero - 190
20 Foot Guard, Regiment - 135
- 5 Mounted Sergeants, Troop - 105
- 5 Mounted Sergeants, Troop - 105
- Wizard, Bane Chant (2), Lighting Bolt (3) - 90
40 Heavy Pike Block, Horde, Brew of Sharpness - 315
- Wizard, Mounted, Bane Chant (2), Lighting Bolt (3), Inspiring Talisman - 90

40 Bowmen, Horde, Brew of Keen-eyeness - 210

10 Knights, Regiment, Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar - 215
10 Knights, Regiment, Brew of Strength - 225

It seems to me that Michael has the core of the army settled and now he simply plays with different units to see how they fit into his army list. Here are the main changes in comparison to the army I faced last time we played against each other:

40 Heavy Pike Block - instead of Berserkers we now have Heavy Pikemen. A very good defensive unit thanks to Phalanx and Ensnare. No cavalry will try to attack them from the front. They are also Elite and on top of that they were upgraded with Brew of Sharpness. Now they would hit as often as Elven elite units! With 30 attacks and supporting wizard with Bane Chant they can also have a good chance to inflict a substantial damage on their own. Hence, this unit is more flexible as it can be used both in defense and in the attack. It can always advance and keep the enemy under the pressure as even in the open it will be difficult to defeat it, provided the attacks are going to be from the front.

Hence the key to destroy that formidable unit will be to inflict some damage at range first and then try and engage from at least two directions at the same time.

40 Bowmen - instead of Arquebusiers, these shooters are here because of their better mobility. I guess the horde armed with rifles could have been avoided better while Bowmen can still pivot/move and shoot. That increases their effective range and flexibility. The lack of piercing is mitigated by the presence of a supportive mage.

2 x 5 Mounted Sergeants - I wish I had a cavalry like that too. They are fast and very maneuverable but can be useful in melee too. If they are allowed to attack from the flank they can also inflict substantial damage on their own or aid units attacking from the front. They are also fast enough to potentially be able to intercept the enemy fast units. Routing them would be one of my priorities.

In general, I think the idea of the army is quite similar. I like the presence of 6 cavalry units and they can work together very well. Either as fast task forces or as the units that cooperate with the slower infantry.

The army has nice ranged attacks abilities, with 5 elements possessing some kind of shooting. It means they can either focus on a single enemy or spread their efforts, depending on the situation. With 13 elements total I cannot really out deploy it.

Regardless of the scenario I decided I need to neutralize the knights and cavalry in general. Knights because they can outpace my infantry and with their upgrades they can easily destroy units on their own. Cavalry in general in order to achieve more freedom in maneuvering. 

Here is the list of my army for the reference.

Outcasts - Army List

3 Drakon Riders, Regiment - 175
- 5 Silverbreeze, Troop - 145
- 5 Silverbreeze, Troop - 145
- Drakon Rider Lord, Hero, Large Cavalry - 160

3 Drakon Riders, Regiment - 175
- 5 Stormwind, Troops - 140
- 5 Stormwind, Troops - 140
 - Army Standard, Hero, Mounted - 65

3 War Chariots, Regiment - 140
 - Army Standard, Hero, Mounted - 65
20 Palace Guard, Regiment - 150 
- 10 Palace Guard, Troop - 105
20 Sea Guard, Regiment - 170
- 10 Palace Guard, Troop - 105
- Elven Mage, Hero, Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant(2), Fireball (10) - 120

Scenario and Deployment

 We used the standard terrain heights:

Forests - height4, difficult
Hills - height 1
House/Rocks - height 3, blocking
Wheat Field/Pond - height 0, blocking

Deployment Order

We played Dominate! as a scenario, which this time was obviously called King of the Hill! I expected that Michael is going to deploy in the center, possibly with the Bowmen in the middle. The hill would offer the cover while allowing them control the center of the battle field and be ready to move forward to secure the objective. 

Such  deployment would also allow the flanks to go strong and spread if necessary to deny me the speed advantage. Once parked in the center, some of his units would be hard to shift, in particular if assisted by cavalry. 

My idea was to deploy my shooters in a way that would allow them to close towards the center and try to engage Bowmen in the shooting duel. I might lose some units but I hoped I would inflict enough damage in exchange.  

Second, I wanted to use the speed of my own cavalry to eliminate their counter parts on flanks.  If that worked I would be able to surround the enemy in the center.

However, during the deployment it was clear that Michael is going for the weighted flank and wants to use his Knights regiments to crush that side of my formation. As he positioned Bowmen on the left I decided to adapt and alter the plan. I deployed in the way he would have expected, i.e. trying to avoid his Bowmen. I still kept fast units on the extreme left in order to deal with his light cavalry there but also to distract his shooters.

The right flank was to use local number superiority to win the flank and destroy the Knights at the same time. Hence, instead of a pincer maneuver I wanted to outflank the center from one side only. 

Final deployment.

I won the roll off and decided to take the first turn.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Opening fire

The Elves approached their enemy carefully, trying to pick the softer targets at the beginning. Mounted Sergeants were the main target and while they survived the attacks, they wavered. Nearby Mounted Scouts didn't get hurt that much yet.

On the opposite flank fast troops advanced too but some of them may have moved a bit too far and out of the defensive terrain.

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 1

Humans reply with shooting too.

The units on the right pulled back a little as they wanted to buy time and wait for their infantry to occupy the hill. 

The light troops on the left did likewise and the Bowmen acquired their first target. Storm Wind cavalry sustained heavy damage that successfully stopped its advance.

 Outcasts - Turn 2

Outflanking maneuvers.

The outflanking maneuvers continued and the fastest units on each flank moved far to the enemies sides. At the same time the reset of the army advanced with the exception of Sea Guard and Chariots that helped one of the Silver Breeze cavalries to destroy enemy mounted scouts. Second unit of elven fast cavalry aimed to finish Mounted Sergeants but somehow stubborn humans refused to yield! (Edit: I rolled double 1's for a nerve! :))

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 2

Charge of the light cavalry.

Mounted Sergeants spotted the opportunity and charged in to intercept enemy Drakons. The foe held the ground but at least they were now occupied. That allowed the Knights to advance into charging positions.

The infantry in the middle climbed on the hill. While the Bowmen finished off the damaged Elven knights on the left.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Elves counter attack.

Drakon Riders on the left charged in and destroyed Mounted Sergeants immediately. Now they would threaten the flank of the Human army.

Their companions finished off the second unit of Sergeants while the rest of the army advanced in order to catch enemy Knights before they could attack.

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 3

Humans hold the center.

The Bowmen were not concerned with the enemy Drakons as the Mounted Scouts still guarded their flank. That allowed them to pick a fresh target and Sea Guard suffered some substantial damage.

On the right the Knights had to deal with the annoying Army Standard and their companions, supported by the General, reformed to face potential attack from the enemy fliers.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Massive Elven attack.

Elves decided to unleash the attack. On the left, Drakons claimed yet another unit of enemy fast cavalry.

In the center, Sea Guard engaged human Foot Guard to prevent them from assisting their companions. They, on the other hand were now engaged by the Chariots from the front and Storm Wind from the flank. Only thanks to the fact that the Elven cavalry lost their momentum while charging through an obstacle the human infantry managed to survive that attack.

On the left, as expected, Drakons and the Lord en ganged enemy knights. It was to occupy them for a while so that Palace Guard regiment could catch up with the faster units and lend their support. At the same time, smaller Palace Guard troop attacked second unit of knights. The objective was to hold them there for a while and allow units in the center obtain some advantage. But the elite Elven warriors did more and simply routed the human cavalry! (Edit: I was very lucky here. I needed 11+ to rout them and got 11 on the nerve test!)

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 4

Ferocious melee continues.

Kingdoms of Men army was eager to counter attack and make the Elves pay for their folly. First, Bowmen on the left reformed and shot at the Drakons. This time they survived.

In the middle the battle over the hill continued. Foot Guard counter charged Elven marines and inflicted enough damage to destroy them. Heavy Pikes didn't give any chance for the Storm Wind, especially when attacking the exposed flank.

The Knights, supported by the magic, destroyed Drakons while the General defeated Palace Guard on his own. Elves lost four units in that counter attack!

Outcasts - Turn 5

Elves don't stop!

While the counter punch was strong and well aimed, Elves didn't lose the power to inflict more damage. Drakons on the left continued to distract the Bowmen. At the same time the Chariots finished wounded Foot Guard and held their position in order to stop human infantry from advancing further.

That allowed Palace Guard regiment to assist Drakon Lord in eliminating the human knights. And yet again, small unit of Palace Guard troops claimed a big prize, this time the general himself!

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 5

Human army claims the hill

Bowmen, not able to shoot as normal, decided it is tome to get into melee. They inflicted some damage again and it was enough to get rid of the Drakons for good!

Foot Guard and Heavy Pike charged War Chariots and Elves were destroyed (Edit: Please, note that the damage 12 was done by Pikes alone and we simply proceeded to roll nerve. Foot Guard would have inflicted that 1 more point required for double 1's result being the only chance for Chariots to stay.)

Outcasts - Turn 6

Final attack of the Elves.

Drakon Lord spotted the exposed flank of the Foot Guard and took the chance. His attack hit hard and was enough to rout the elite human infantry regiment. Palace Guard was slowed down by the wizard. Last but not least, Silver Breeze cavalry shot at the Pike block but this time their performance was  disappointing.

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 6

Heavy Pike charge but as a result, abandon the hill!

Heavy Pikemen were supposed to be blocked but somehow Elven Fast cavalry didn't move to do so properly and human phalanx charged Palace Guard. The attack was very powerful and Elven regiment perished.

However, humans realized their charge left the hill unguarded and they were now late to get back to control it. Instead, Elves claimed the objective and were victorious!


Turn by turn animation summary.

After-battle thoughts

That was close! Many thanks to Michael for a great game that was not resolved until literally last turn!

I am also very glad I didn't fall to Michael's mind tricks :) You see, when Michael loses a unit, no matter how early in the game, he announces in a solemn voice that the game is already lost for him. That is to make his opponents to relax and think they have it in a bag so that they can make mistakes which Michael then capitalizes on. Fortunately, I knew about that secret tactics and didn't believe him at all! :-P

This game may have ended at least in a draw. Some of out units at the end of turn 6 were still a bit too far away from the center and not entirely in the 12" radius. Heavy Pike Block alone was worth 315 and it would have been difficult to balance that.

One may think the charge of this unit against Palace Guard was a mistake. Indeed, it took the unit away from the center. However, if they didn't and Michael attacked one of the fast cavalries instead, in turn 7 (if it happened) the unit would have been in a bad spot. With two Palace Guard units ready to charge and Drakon Lord flanking or even charging from the rear. I think it was very difficult situation to judge correctly, especially that the unit already sustained some damage.

I made some mistakes that cost me some units. And while I was lucky not to lose the game because of that I should have played better. First, the positioning of Storm Wind on the left. I had them in the difficult terrain for the protection from the shooting. However, I would have achieved the same by placing them behind the hill. If they were angled towards the left I would have been able to move at a double, reach the protection of the house and follow with Drakons and Army Standard. Instead, I moved them into the open and lost them for nothing.

I also think deploying a bit more towards the center with the Fast Cavalry would have been better, in particular for later turns when I needed them to help with the scenario objective.

The Drakons on the right moved a bit too much forward. Yes, the Mounted Sergeants should have been finished by shooting but I should have taken that possibility into account.

I was not happy with my Drakon Lord on the flank. The idea was good but I should have probably positioned him on the very edge first and then pivot at a shallower angle to be able to jump to a more beneficial position later. In general it turned out not too bad but simply could have been done better.

I got some lucky rolls too. The best example is when I got the Knights with Palace Guard troop. Not only they inflicted 5 wounds while performing hindered charge but I managed to get that 11+ result I needed to rout them. That was a big result because it allowed me to get rid of one of the most dangerous enemy units. Then similar situation with the General, although this time I needed 6+ with a re-roll.

On the other hand I was a bit disappointed with Silver Breeze in the last turn when they inflicted just 2 points of damage.

I also wonder if I should not have moved my drakons on the left over the Bowmen after they routed mounted sergeants. I would have landed behind the enemy lines and Bowmen would have had to reform. I survived one round of shooting quite well. But then I might have not been able to get Army Standard close enough to provide Inspiring presence. However, that was definitely an option.

The battle turned out to be bloody and we both lost, I believe, around 1300 points. A draw would have been a perfect result :)

I also think that Michaels army is great. Personally, I like Pikes better than Berserkers because they are more flexible. They can defend but they can also put a pressure on the enemy and with Bane Chant they can do some damage too. But I heard that Michael really "liked" my Army Standards and decided to incorporate something at least equally annoying, so I am not sure yet what direction the evolution of the army is going to take. :)

Thanks for reading!


  1. Awesome that these are still going. Seems I have quite a bit of reading to do to catch up!

    1. Thanks! Great to see you again! I hope you will enjoy the reading! Have you been playing much recently?

    2. Have not in quite some time, but I'm keen to.

  2. I guess we should schedule a long postponed rematch in 2017 :)