Sunday, 10 December 2017

Australian Masters 2017 - Part 4


In the last preparation game before Masters 2017 I played against my good friend Michael aka DarthSabre. Michael did well in this season too and was sooo close to qulify himself! Next year, Michael! :)

He was kind to agree to play with one of the Master lists too and he chose Kingdoms of Men with Goblin Allies as it was the closest to what he often plays with himself.

Kingdoms of Men - Army List

40 Pole-Arms Block, Horde, Healing Brew
- 10 Militia Mob, Troops
- 10 Militia Mob, Troops
- General on Winged Beast, Hero, The Boomstick

40 Pole-Arms Block, Horde
- 10 Militia Mob, Troops
- 10 Militia Mob, Troops
- Wizard, Hero, Pegasus, Lightning Bolt (3) 

40 Pole-Arms Block, Horde
- Wizard, Hero, Pegasus, Lightning Bolt (3) 

20 Pole-Arms Block, Regiment
- Wizard, Hero, Pegasus, Lightning Bolt (3)

40 Arquebusiers, Jar of the Four Winds

Goblin Allies

10 Fleabag Rider Sniffs, Regiment
- Wiz, Hero, Fleabag, Lightning Bolt (3)
10 Fleabag Rider Sniffs, Regiment

10 Fleabag Rider Sniffs, Regiment
 This army has a lot of elements too but it follows a different philosophy. It has a strong core of four horde units, three Pole-arms Blocks and Arquebusiers. These units, despite low armor, may take some damage and can also deal some too. 

Then there are a lot of supporting units of various kinds but one of the most important elements is that the army has a very good ranged attacks options. As these are spread in between four wizards, general, horde of riflemen and three units of light cavalry, it is not easy to stop it. There is also a lot of flexibility as all these elements can either pick different targets or focus on a single enemy for maximum damage. 

Deployment and Scenario

Deployment of both armies and loot tokens.

We rolled for the scenario and got Scourge. I have not played that scenario before but since it is a version of Loot I decided to approach it similarly. It means I had to be careful in who and when picks up the tokens. Also, I aimed at picking two out of three.

In addition, when I learned I can destroy the loot if I rout the unit carrying it then I decided I can actually get one token to safety and try to burn other two. Or burn one and prevent the third one from being taken, whichever seemed to be more feasible at the time. 

Before the scenario I decided I will use my own shooting to target Sniffs and wizards to limit the amount of shooting the enemy has. Although wizards would have cover, their lower nerve means that I have a chance to inflict damage and they are already in the range of being wavered. 

Sniffs have higher nerve so they may need to get shot at with 2 units at the same time. Hence, the approach to target selection was to use 1 unit at a time against wizards and depending on the result either add second unit against the same wizard or target another one. 

When deciding how to place the tokens I decided to go for opposite flank because I had a feeling that if I placed mine on the same side it would have been easier for the opponent to place the shooters on one side and focus the fire. While when spread out I could possibly use the maneuverability to threaten many units at the same time and divide the enemy efforts. 

I won the roll off and picked south as I had two forests to hide behind and to avoid 1st turn shooting.
I initially wanted to play refused flank. However, with the center empty I decided to go for two flanks and use the speed and maneuverability of Drakons to perform pincer maneuver. To do that I had to deal with the wizards on the left and with sniffs on the right. I also wanted to use my heavy cavalry on the right as a mobile cover and use Drakon Lord to disrupt the Rifles. If my Silver Breeze cavalry performed well I should be able to get rid of one sniff unit at a time and provide an opening for Drakons to go to the flank. I had Palace Guard there to threaten units getting towards the token.

On the left I had chariots and Sea Guard to shoot at the wizards and with drakons and heavy cavalry I had longer range of charge. It should prevent the wizards from flying over and be able to cast their spells from behind my lines.

Michael won the roll off for the 1st turn and allowed me to get first.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Advancing on flanks.

The Storm Wind cavalry units moved on both flanks to give protection to the units behind them. On the left flank chariots and Sea Guard shot at one of the wizards and inflicted first damage. 

The units on the right flank also moved forward but were careful not to get in range of enemy yet. Another reason was that Storm Wind cavalry could not get into the position that would allow charging the Rifles soon after. 

Silver Breeze units spotted Goblin Wizard and shot at him instead. He got scarred and fled the battle!

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 1

The shooting duel.

The units on the left pulled back and wizards cast their lightning bolts at Storm Wind cavalry. So did the third wizard and the general but they failed to do damage. The Rifles didn’t do much better and Elven Knights were still intact. Last but not least the allied sniffs did only a single point of damage against the Drakons! 

Outcasts - Turn 2

Elves keep pressing against the flanks.
Elven forces advanced on both flanks in a more aggressive manner. On the right the cavalry and Drakons moved to be able to charge pole arms and/or wizards. The shooters did not inflict damage this time but the Sea Guard captured the first token.

On the right Silver Breez cavalry wavered one of the Sniff regiments. The cavalry moved in, using the hill as a cover but also risking being charged by the enemy fast cavalry. 

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 2

Powerful counter on the right flank.

Humans decided to respond in a more aggressive way too. On the left they shuffled the positions but the wizards failed to inflict even a single point of damage against Storm Wind!

Militia attacked the Sea Guard to disrupt them while their companions in the center grabbed a token.
On the left flank the wizard and the Rifles made sure this time that elven cavalry is destroyed. However, instead of shooting, the general and one unit of Sniffs attacked the Drakons and routed them! (Edit: Despite the fact that only 3 points of damage was dealt and the Drakons having 4 points in total, a roll of 11 and reroll to 10 made sure they were destroyed!)

Outcasts - Turn 3

The fight on the flanks continues.

Elves responded by charging pole arms on the left and moving Drakons behind the enemy lines. The chariots pulled back as did the Sea Guard. However, only chariots could shoot. Fortunately, they managed to rout enemy wizard!

Elven Standards charged in heroically to slow down enemy infantry formations while Palace Guard went to grab the last token. At the same time the Drakon Lord routed damaged Sniffs and was ready to engage with the Rifles. Palace Guard decided to attack the enemy general while silver breeze shot at the sniffs unit next to him. Unfortunately, this time they failed to even waver the unit.

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 3

Elves lose more units.
The Polearms units on the left attacked their respective foes but neither could rout their adversaries. Unfortunately for Elves, neither Palace Guard troops survived. One was shot to pieces by the Riles, the other was attacked by the general and the sniffs from the flank and routed.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Elves do not give up on the right!
The desperate fight continues. On the left flank the Drakons park behind enemy lines, ready to pick and choose the most appropriate target. The chariots aim at wounded pole arms and manage to waver them giving the Storm Wind a chance! Sea Guard defeats Militia and reforms to face second unit. 

On the opposite flank Elves take a gamble and split fire between two units of Sniffs. One unit is routed and the other is wavered! That is what Elven Lord needed as he disrupted the Rifles.

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 4

Militia routs Elven regiment!

Not much fighting was done this time but the crucial one was between Militia and Sea Guard. Militia dropped the token first and left it behind for the wizard to pick. Then it charged the Sea Guard and did exactly 1 point of damage. That was, however, enough to rout them! (Edit: Michael needed 11+ to rout the unit and got it!) It had dire consequences as Elves lost the token and Kingdoms of Men was now winning 2:1!

Outcasts - Turn 5

Elves fight back.

It was a very difficult moment for Elves as they had very little resources left and not much time to turn the tables again.

The Drakons attacked the wizard but failed to rout them! Storm Wind cavalry routed polearms but now had to brace for impact as the fresh horde of enemy infantry was about to attack them.

Chariots pulled back and attempted to rout Militia but failed to do so. While Silver Breeze had a tough time to decide what is the best course of action and split fire. While one unit succeeded in routing enemy wizard, the other did nothing and Drakon Lord was now in  a very bad situation.

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 5

The fight becomes desperate as armies are running out of time.

Humans pressed their advantage. Although on the left the wizard failed to pin down the drakons, Militia blocked the chariots and once again dropped the token to be picked by polearms unit.

Second horde and the general both sped towards the unclaimed token, while the Rifles and the Sniffs captured enemy general!

Outcasts - Turn 6

Some successes with ranged attacks.

Once again the Outcasts had to make a lot of hard choices. Drakons flew over the enemies and positioned to attack enemy units from the flank. Chariots moved back and routed the wizard with accurate fire to prevent him from casting spells at the Drakons.

Silver Breeze covered the withdrawal of Palace Guard and shot at the general. They did a single point of damage but wavered him!

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 6

Pole-arms claim second token.

Pole arms units controlled the tokens now but it was not possible to avoid being charged in the flank so they simply braced for impact.

The Rifles wavered Silver Breeze which meant the Palace Guard was safe. The charge against second unit in the forest failed to do any damage and elven fast cavalry was able to shoot again.

Outcasts - Turn 7

Last attempt to win the battle failed.

The outcasts had one more chance to switch the balance in their favor. Drakons had to rout the polearms and were in good spot to do so. Unfortunately, the horde held and the Drakons were about to pay the ultimate price. (Edit: I did 13 points of damage which is expected number out of 18 attacks and needed 9+ to rout the unit. Not great, a bit better than 1 in 6 chance but the odds were against me)

Kingdoms of Men - Turn 7

Pole-arms seal the deal.

The battle was already won so it was now a matter of finishing off some units. Drakons were destroyed as they got attacked by two hordes of polearms. Silver Breeze survived another attack but the second unit was shot down by the Rifles.

Victory to the humans!


Turn-by-turn animation summary.

After-battle thoughts

Many thanks to Michael for a great game and well deserved victory! I believe he is now reconsidering horde of Riflemen for his own force :)

After going through the game again I noticed a lot of things I could have done differently so I have some hope for the improvement. I am going to go turn by turn as I think that is better to discuss the possible options.

Token placement

While I think the placement was not too bad I am happy to consider the alternative. Potentially, if I placed my token on the left, the H2 hill would provide some serious blocking of line of sight but then the Rifles could have been placed next to the rock while other hordes would have had their flank secured.


Again, I don’t think there were some serious mistakes there, I think I used the terrain well. The only thing I would change would be to place Drakons on the right directly behind the Silver Breeze so that I can move with the benefit of cover all the time (important for later).

Another possibility was to position right Storm Wind a bit behind but not obstructed by the obstacle so that there would be cover from the forest but they would be able to move at a double.

Turn 1

I was glad to spot the opportunity and be able to rout goblin wizard. I had to use both units as I was hitting on 5+ but 3 points of damage was enough. This is where positioning Drakons behind cavalry would have been better as I invited shooting from Sniffs. They have 42 shots. 14 to hit and then they should be expected to do 4-5 points of damage anyway. So I should either stay beyond the range of fire or behind the cover.

                Turn 2

I was happy with the way I moved on the left flank and scaring off the wizards. But I miscalculated on the right flank.

I tried to hide from the rifles but what I should have done was to position Drakons behind the Storm Wind cavalry to prevent double charge from the general and the sniffs. I invited that charge and I am not surprised my opponent took it. He has number superiority and could afford an exchange. While getting 10+ with a re-roll is lucky, I was also quite lucky the Drakons did not get more damage. 

                Turn 3

I made more mistakes this turn.

On the left flank I should have charged with both, Drakons and Storm Wind as Drakons would be attacking on the left and Storm Wind on the right. Unless they would not be able to fit together. Let’s assume they would. I had a good chance of routing the unit and get to the flank of Polearms later

Second mistake was not to attack the Militia with Sea Guard. I could not shoot after all which I forgot. I needed to measure if I could have avoided polearms but I was ready to move Army Standard to block them if not. 

Shooting with Chariots was good but what is more, if I did what I explained with cavalry and drakons, I would have been in the position to multicharge the most left polearms horde.

I am happy with blocking the Militia with Army Standard in the middle as it shows the weakness of the living shield. They can’t maneuver anymore.

On the right flank I should have charged Sniffs with Palace Guard. I had better chances to do more damage alone than with two Silver Breeze units. At the same time I could have moved second PG troop towards the general and regiment to grab the token. That would have created a dilemma for the general what to do, even if the Palace Guard did not rout Sniffs. 

Silver Breeze would have shot at the other Sniffs. Lord did a good job at killing the Sniffs and staying out of arch of sight of other units. Palace Guard regiment had much better chance to survive the shooting than anyone else.

                Turn 4

I am happy with my decisions in turn 4 as I think I chose targets well and rolled well enough to waver units. I didn’t have many other options more as a consequence of previous turn decisions.

Turn 5

If I were to play this turn again I would have focused the fire of Silver Breeze units at Sniffs. It was crucial to allow Drakon Lord live to keep disrupting the Rifles. The Wizard was not able to fly and there were no other units to help to carry the token.

                Turn 6

I had to take some risks and I didn’t take the right one, i.e. I should have removed Militia with Chariots and take the risk of the wizard casting spell at Drakons. I guess I was concerned my opponent would score high nerve check again but if he didn’t rout or waver the drakons I would have had a better chance to rout the horde and claim the token to win the game.

In general, I can see now I made a lot of decisions that are not the best ones under the circumstances. I had a decent chance to win and had some luck too on many occasions. It just shows how crucial little things are at this level of competition. I cannot afford to make such mistakes and I don’t expect the opponent to make any either. 

The good thing is that I can see now what I can improve and how to play differently, more efficiently.

Thanks for reading!


  1. So how competitive do you think this KoM army is overall?

    1. Hi! Thank you for your comment. Well, that depends on how you define "competitive".

    2. Something really clicked with me when i saw this list. It seems to have a large range of utility and flexibility. Has it done well in your area? What are its weaknesses?

    3. Hi! Thanks for the comment!

      I agree that this list is flexible and that it participates in all phases of the game. However, I cannot answer the question about "my area" because none of the players here uses similar list.

      On the other hand, Michael, the player who use the army in this game, also plays KoM and in the most recent game he used his version of it. I should be able to finish the report soon so you may see if his take on KoM is what you like too.

      Chris, who used the army at Masters did well though. Check the post with Masters summary for the details on the opponents he played against and the results he got.