Tuesday 21 August 2018

Game 93 - Trident Realm - 2018/08/21


Jeff and I continued our semi-regular Kings of War battles series. He was still working on his Trident Realms army and was checking different configurations. That allowed me to keep working on my tactics against this particular force. 

Jeff almost never fields exactly the same army so I expected some changes to be made. However, as he still played with his Trident Realms army I also expected certain elements that I met before. In the end, it is always a very interesting challenge where I need to balance what I think I know about the opposing army, what is new, how that changes the way the army operates and how to adapt my own approach to defeat it.

I also made a few changes to my army list, going back to troops rather than regiments in some cases. But also getting back regiment of Palace Guard. That meant some tweaks as well but let's have a look at what Jeff brought to the table this time:

Trident Realms - Army List

3 Depth Horrors , Regiment, Crushing Strength (1), Fearless, Ensnare
- Depth Horror Eternal, Crushing Strength (2), Inspiring (Depth Horrors only), Nimble, Fearless, Ensnare

3 Depth Horrors , Regiment, Crushing Strength (1), Fearless, Ensnare
- Depth Horror Eternal, Crushing Strength (2), Inspiring (Depth Horrors only), Nimble, Fearless, Ensnare

3 Depth Horrors , Regiment, Crushing Strength (1), Fearless, Ensnare
Rhordin the Dwarf, Hero, Infantry, Crushing Strength (3), Headstrong, Individual, Inspiring (Dwarfs Only)

20 Thuul, Regiment, Stealth, Ensnare, Speed 6
- Thuul Mythican, Hero, Individual, Crushing Strength (1), Stealth, Ensnare, Bane Chant (2), Inspiring (Thuul Only), Banner of Griffin

20 Thuul, Regiment, Stealth, Ensnare, Speed 6
- Thuul Mythican, Hero, Individual, Crushing Strength(1), Stealth, Ensnare, Bane Chant (2), Alchemist's Curse, Inspiring (Thuul Only), Speed 6
20 Thuul, Regiment, Stealth, Ensnare, Speed 6
- Thuul Mythican, Hero, Individual, Crushing Strength(1), Stealth, Ensnare, Bane Chant (2), Alchemist's Curse, Inspiring (Thuul Only), Speed 6

20 Thuul, Regiment, Stealth, Ensnare, Speed 6
- Naiad Wyrmrider Centurion, Hero, Large Cavalry, Crushing Strength (1), Inspiring, Pathfinder, Regeneration (4+), Thunderous Charge (1)

20 Thuul, Regiment, Stealth, Ensnare, Speed 6
- Naiad Wyrmrider Centurion, Hero, Large Cavalry, Crushing Strength (1), Inspiring, Pathfinder, Regeneration (4+), Thunderous Charge (1)

No hordes this time, pure MSU if you ask me! :) Jeff brought his core of Thuuls but this time 5 regiments instead of 6. He also had 3 regiments of Depth Horrors so with all the savings that allowed him to bring in two Wyrmrider Centurions.

That was very interesting addition, because Centurions are very versatile heroes. On one hand they provide Inspiring presence to all units. That would potentially allow Horror Eternals, for example, to move indignantly if needed and he would still have some inspiring presence for the units. Centurions are capable fighters too and bring more speed to the army. Clearly Jeff wanted to add some new interceptors for my fliers :) Add to that good defense and Regeneration and you will have two heroes who are not that easy to break either.

And there was also Rhordin the Dwarf! He is quite a funny hero, with nasty Defense 6+, 4 CS (3) attacks and the ability to force everything that causes damage on him to be re-rolled for one turn. Definitely a very good blocker!

What I expected to be similar, however, was that the army is still melee orientated and that I needed to shoot some units fast. Trident Realms force has 15 elements, the same as my army but all of them can fight and can there in 2-3 turns at most. As earlier games demonstrated, Nereticans are capable of winning war of attrition easily so I needed to use my speed, maneuverability and shooting to gain a small advantage.

Outcasts - Army List

3 Drakon Riders, Regiment
- 5 Silverbreeze, Troop

- 5 Silverbreeze, Troop
- Drakon Rider Lord, Hero, Large Cavalry, Staying Stone

3 Drakon Riders, Regiment
- 5 Stormwind, Troops 
- 5 Stormwind, Troops
 - Elven Prince, Hero, Mounted, Inspiring Talisman

3 War Chariots, Regiment
 - Elven Prince, Hero, Wings of Honeymaze - 100
20 Palace Guard, Regiment
- 10 Palace Guard, Troop
- 10 Palace Guard, Troop 
- Army Standard, Hero
20 Sea Guard, Regiment 

Somehow I didn't use Storm Wind regiment well. I wanted it to be a threat for the fliers but then it seems a bit too big to do that. It also looked to me that I need a foot regiment back to create that small but still a battle line. Sea Guard and 2 troops of Palace Guard were clearly not enough sometimes. 

I realized long time ago that there are always going to be some elements in the list I may miss. There is always an artifact or two I would love to have. I also lost the ability to cast spells. I guess it all pushes me towards the game of maneuvers more than ever. Let's see if that works.

Jeff's army has an advantage in number of melee orientated units. He also has that wonderful redundancy so he can afford to lose units and maintain the capabilities of the army to do damage but also to secure the objectives. His regiments and heroes have the special kind of maneuverability due to square foot print. It actually is more efficient than for some smaller units of the same type. It means that the enemy would never be able t stop a move where particular element pivots and moves elsewhere. That creates a peculiar situation where the smaller troop/regiment is less maneuverable than regiment/horde of the same type. 

Because of that I had to be careful with the placement of my own units and not to get intercepted by these highly maneuverable elements.

The general plan was to use the shooters to inflict some damage and slow down enemy advance. Then use faster elements to punch wholes through weakened units and to always be ready to exploit any opportunities for flank charges. 


Terrain details and objective placement.

Deployment and Scenario

Deployment of the armies

We rolled Occupy as a scenario. It creates quite an interesting dynamics where one needs to attack to get to the most valuable price, defend the objectives that are of equal worth to both sides and prevent the enemy from reaching their primary one. 

It seems like a very difficult task for any army if you wanted to fulfill all of these objectives at the same time. 

Hence, the idea based on the general plan was as follows. Slow the units on the left with shooting and melee. The fight should be about the control of the secondary objective in the middle so that the enemy has no time to reach their primary goal.

Softer center to contest the middle objective and have some flexibility in shooting to help either flank.

Use the speed and maneuverability of the units on the right flank to overwhelm the enemy there to secure primary objective, threaten the flank of the units in the middle and if all goes well, have a spare unit to control secondary objective on that flank.

Jeff deployed with double line, using terrain to full advantage.  First line of Thuul could absorb my shooting. More vulnerable Horrors were on the flank with maneuverable heroes forming second line to intercept the fliers and to be able to charge in between the units. Very flexible formation.

A lot to ask for but if it works then I should be able to control one primary and one secondary objectives, prevent Jeff from reaching his primary one and leave him the control over 2 secondary ones at best. 

Let's see how that worked in the game. :)

Outcasts - Turn 1

Elves move to positions fast.

Elven left moved to acquire some targets but clever Thuul used the terrain well so not much damage was done thanks to the combination of Stealth and Cover.

Units on the center right started outflanking already. How would Nereticans respond?

Trident Realms - Turn 1

Thuul march at a double!

As expected, there was no reason for Thuuls to wait and all the units moved towards the Elven lines at a double.

On the right flank, Horrors maneuvered to face potential charges from the faster Elven cavalry. One unit and heroes formed the second line of defense.

Outcasts - Turn 2

All out attack by Elven forces.

As often before, impetus Elves charge across entire battle field. However, it was not completely reckless.

War Chariots attacked to distract the Centurion and that allowed Drakons and Palace Guard regiment to charge Thuul unit. This attack went better than expected and the enemy was routed on the charge. Nearby Sea Guard, Silver Breeze and the Prince also attacked to stop Thuul units from moving forward. 

All this to allow another combined charge to be executed. Storm Wind, Prince and Drakon Lord managed to attack together as one and brought down one Thuul unit too. Second Storm Wind troop attacked nearby Horrors to stop them and the units behind them from counter attacking. And Drakon Riders were still left in reserve.

Trident Realms - Turn 2

Nereticans counter-attack.

Not worried about the loss of the two regiments, Nereticans mounted their counter attack. On the left flank, combined might of Wyrmrider Centurion and Rhordin the Dwarf damaged the Chariots but they managed to hold. Thuul Mythican also did well wounding nasty Drakons and pinning them to the ground for now. While Horror Eternal and Thuul regiment took on the respective Guard regiments.

Surprisingly, Silver Breeze unit managed to hold the line (barely!) but the flying Prince was captured. 

On the right flank, the Horrors charged as well and routed on unit of the Elven knights. 

Outcasts - Turn 3

Surprising attack on the right flank.

All the units on the left flank counter charged in order to keep the enemy in place. There were a few lucky waver results too that helped Elves to slow down Nereticans' advance as well.

But the main surprise was unexpected attack by Elves on the right flank. Horror units, in their attempt to cover all angles, did not take into account small Palace Guard troops well. That was crucial mistake. Even Drakon riders managed to find enough space to charge the flank of the enemy. All three regiments of Depth Horrors were routed and it seemed that Elves gained a significant advantage on this flank.

Trident Realms - Turn 3

Trident Realms army in war of attrition.

There was no turning back now and Nereticans kept attacking. The Wyrmrider Centurion routed War Chariots while Rhordin the Dwarf wavered Drkon Riders. Also Horror Eternal managed to spook Palace Guard regiment. 

In the center, both Silver Breeze units finally were destroyed. Unfortunately, Depth Horror Eternal failed miserably and could not land a single point of damage on the Drakon Riders!

Outcasts - Turn 4

Elves attempt to use new opportunity.

As the units on the left flank were not able to fight effectively, they pulled back a bit to avoid flanking. 

Both Drakon Lord and Riders used the opportunity to move freely and landed behind the enemy lines. It opened the path for the Palace Guard units to attack the Horror but they did not do enough damage. What is more, there was still an opening in the battle line which Elves did not notice.

Storm Wind cavalry got rid of the annoying Mythican and in their enthusiasm attacked the Centurion too. That was another mistake.

Trident Realms - Turn 4

Nereticans are breaking through.

It was time for the Trident Realms army to take advantage of the mistakes Elven force made. On the right flank it was straightforward, respective units attacked and managed to eliminate Elven counterparts. With the exception of Drakons that miraculously held the ground!

Reckless Drakon Rider Lord was intercepted by the Mythican that was quite crucial, because now the Lord was not able to assist any of his units.

Last but not least, the Drakon Riders and Palace Guard left the opening for the Horror Eternal and it escaped! not only that but it killed the Storm Wind cavalry and the road to two objectives was wide open. 

Outcasts - Turn 5

Drakon Riders attack again.

It seemed that the chances for the victory were now slim so Elves changed the plan. It was now about denying victory to Nereticans.

Drakon Riders spotted the opportunity and attacked Mythican hiding behind the regiment of Thuul. Next, the regiment itself was destroyed.

The Drakon Lord counter charged another Mythican but only wavered him which further slowed down Elven commander.

Trident Realms - Turn 5

Rhordin the Dwarf!

Both armies were quite exhausted but the battle was not yet over. Wyrmrider Centurion got rid of the stubborn Drakon Riders but the Horror Eternal could not do the same with the Army Standard. However, Rhordin the Dwarf wavered second unit of Drakon Riders that eliminated them from the battle.

On the opposite flank Thuul and another Horror Eternal charge Palace Guard but only wavered the unit.

Outcasts - Turn 6

Elves keep fighting!

Elven Drakon Lord charged the Horror Eternal and contested one of the objectives. Nearby Drakon Riders pulled back to avoid being attacked by Thuul.

On the opposite flank Palace Guard managed to flank charge the Centurion and wavered him, stopping the march towards another objective.

Trident Realms - Turn 6

Trident Realms in control of the center.

One of the Thuul regiments was free to move and it marched towards the center objective, claiming it for the Nereticans. Second remaining regiment destroyed Palace Guard and the horror marched towards another objective behind the forest.

Outcasts - Turn 7

Last charge

Elves had no hopes for victory and could not prevent the enemy from reaching the objectives either. Hence, the only thing left to do was to try and take more enemies with them.

Trident Realms - Turn 7

Last word belonged to Nereticans

Nereticans sealed the deal by moving Thuul regiment directly to the center and Horror Eternal towards the second objective behind the forest. That accounted for two controlled objectives and meant victory for Trident Realms!


Turn-by-turn animation summary.


Many thanks to Jeff for a great game and congratulations on well deserved victory! I really thought I have a chance to win it after turn 3 but then mistakes happened and Jeff kept his cool to use the new opportunities to his advantage. 

Once again, he masterfully used his individuals to intercept my fliers and deny me the advantage I thought I have for a moment. I think this game also shows how bulit0in redundancy of the army allows it to raise and keep on fighting even after quite a powerful blow. Well done indeed!

It was a bloody battle and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was very happy I managed to spot these opportunities for flank charges with Palace Guard. Getting three horror units in a single turn was s huge achievement and it is a pity I could not turn it into a victory.

However, I think there were a few things that contributed to the end result which I think I may have done differently.

I didn't fulfill one of the objectives, i.e. do some damage with ranged attacks. That is due to the fact I did not deploy the shooters well and moved them too far forward.  Because of the bad deployment I had to move them to shoot at all and then the terrain mitigated the effectiveness anyway.

Using the benefit of the hindsight to the full advantage, I think I should have deployed Sea Guard where Palace Guard regiment was, Chariots closer to the center and Palace Guard where Chariots where. Or even place the shooters in the center. This would allow me better opportunity to focus on a single target, perhaps without so much cover due to terrain.

In addition, that would allow me to maintain the distance. I think I charged too early, even if I had some successes on the left. I should be more patient and move in a way that allows me to keep the enemy away for at least one more turn. And perhaps threaten the flanks too, as it would be with the Drakons moving to the left flank and Chariots in the center.

What is more, I think that even if I did a similar charge on the left flank turn later, then perhaps the units would have survived a bit longer and thus denying the enemy their primary objective anyway.

As I mentioned, I was very happy I spotted openings and charged in a way that eliminated 3 horror units in one go. But I made mistakes shortly after that resulted in me losing that important advantage on the right flank.

First, I moved Drakon Lord in a way that he could be charged and charged from the front. As a result he was slowed down and could not have other units in arc of sight, even for the ground charge.

Second, after charging the Mythican and routing him with Storm Wind, I should have moved back. In this way I would potentially draw Thuul and Centurion from my primary objective. At the very least, Horror Eternal would need to attack one of the Palace Guards and perhaps these two small units would be able to defend the primary objective against it.

I am still not sure if it was a right decision to send Drakons to the opposite flank. I could only slow down the enemy and even without that waver result in turn 5, I may have not been able to protect all objectives. Perhaps I should have stayed and focus on controlling the primary objective and then on contesting other markers. 

Thanks for reading!