Wednesday 26 December 2018

Game 104 - League of Rhordia - 2018/12/26


It seems to me that Universal Battle 2 platform gains more and more popularity among Kings of War players. Thanks to that I had a great pleasure to have a game against a player I have never played before. Although I bet we attended some tournaments together, it just happened that we did not end up playing against each other then.

Jeff wanted to use this opportunity to get more familiar with Universal Battle as well. But what better way than to play the game and simply discuss subtleties of the platform during the battle? 

I am always happy to share what I know about it. The more players embark on it - the better! What is more Jeff is also playing with not that popular faction among Kings of War players - League of Rhordia. This faction seem to have quite a lot of options in terms of army composition so I was very curious what are the units Jeff likes the most. 

On top of that we have just received our copies of CoK2019 and were very keen to try out new options and implement changes as soon as possible. 

Here are the details of the army list Jeff brought to our game:

League of Rhordia - Army List

6 Honor Guard, Horde, Large Cavalry, Crushing Strength (1), Thunderous Charge (2), Iron Resolve, Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
- Halfling Volley Gun, War Engine, Piercing (2), Range 24", Reload!
- Halfling Iron Beast, Monster, Breath Attack (10), Crushing Strength (2), Thunderous Charge (1), Strider
- Duke on Ancient Winged Aralez, Hero, Monster, Crushing Strength (2), Fly, Heal (4), Thunderous Charge (1), Very Inspiring, Mind Fog (1), Healing Brew

 40 Halfling Archers, Horde, Infantry, Bows, Stealthy
- Halfling Volley Gun, Piercing (2), Range 24", Reload!
- Duke on Ancient Winged Aralez, Hero, Monster, Crushing Strength (2), Fly, Heal (4), Thunderous Charge (1), Very Inspiring, Mind Fog (1), Blade of Slashing

Household Knights, Regiment, Cavalry, Fury, Thunderous Charge (2), Brew of Haste
- Battle Shrine, Hero, Large Cavalry, Lightning Bolt (5), Rallying! (2) 

We've Had Second Breakfast - Formation

40 Halfling Spearlings, Horde, Infantry, Phalanx, Stealthy, Ensnare, Defense 4+
- Master Seargeant, Hero, Cavalry, Elite, Individual, Stealthy, Ensnare, Thunderous Charge (1), Very Inspiring (Halflings Only)

20 Halfling Spearlings, Regiment, Infantry, Phalanx, Stealthy, Ensnare, Defense 4+
- Wizard, Hero, Cavalry, Individual, Blizzard (2), Fireball (6), Inspiring Talisman

20 Halfling Spearlings, Regiment, Infantry, Phalanx, Stealthy, Ensnare, Defense 4+

Although the exact composition was hard to predict, the fact that I faced combined arms force with elements that contribute to the game in each phase was expected.

The army has 13 elements total, with combined unit strength 19 and 10 scoring elements. This force has a strong ranged attacks contingent in the form of Archers, Volley Guns, Iron Beast, Master Sergeant, Wizard with Blizzard spell and Battle Shrine. However, War Engines have limited range and cannot shoot after movement, while Iron Beast is relatively slow. It means that if Archers are distracted then the impact of the shooting can be significantly limited. However, if the remaining elements focus their fire it may still be enough to rout my fragile units.

The melee orientated elements are divided between offensive arm: Household Guard, Knights and both Dukes and defensive force: three units of Stealthy Spearlings that have also Phalanx and Ensnare abilities. 

While the offensive arm can rout units in one-on-one melee and shooters can destroy regiments in a single turn, this army relies on coordination of all elements. Hence, regardless of the scenario, any activity that would allow me to disrupt that cooperation would potentially bring some benefits. 

For example, the primary role for the flying prince would be to disorder Halfling Archers as quickly as possible. As always, utilizing speed and maneuverability will be very helpful in isolating the enemy units and preventing them from working together.

In comparison to the last game I also made some changes. Here are the details of my army for this game:

Outcasts - Army List

3 Drakon Riders, Regiment, Large Cavalry, Thunderous Charge (1), Crushing Strength (1), Fly
- 5 Silverbreeze, Troop, Cavalry, Nimble, Bows

- 5 Windborne, Troop, Cavalry, Nimble, Bows, Windborne Arrows
- Drakon Rider Lord, Hero, Large Cavalry, Crushing Strength (1), Thunderous Charge (1), Dwarven Ale

3 Drakon Riders, Regimen, Large Cavalry, Thunderous Charge (1), Crushing Strength (1), Fly
- 5 Stormwind, Troops, Cavalry, Thunderous Charge (2)
- Army Standard, Hero, Banner of Griffin

3 War Chariots, Regiment, Large Cavalry, Thunderous Charge (2), Bows, Potion of Caterpillar
 - Elven Prince, Hero, Infantry, Crushing strength (1), Wings of Honeymaze
20 Palace Guard, Regiment, Infantry, Crushing Strength (1)
- Mage, Hero, Infantry, Heal (3), Windblast (5), Zephyr Crown

20 Palace Guard, Regiment, Infantry, Crushing Strength (1)
20 Sea Guard, Regiment, Phalanx, Bows

3 Forest Shamblers, Regiment, Large Infantry,  Shambling, Crushing Strength (1), Vanguard, Pathfinder
- Forest Warden, Hero, Large Infantry, Crushing Strength (2), Vanguard, Pathfinder, Surge (3),  Inspiring Talisman

3 Forest Shamblers, Regiment, Large Infantry,  Shambling, Crushing Strength (1), Vanguard, Pathfinder

Main additions are Windborne Cavalry and Mage with Windblast and Zephyr Crown. I used Windborne before and I really like their ability to inflict damage better (Windblast is not affected by Stealth or Cover). But I also want to use the option of pushing the enemy units away from objectives and messing up with their positions anyway. Hence I was happy to see that there is also an opportunity to add a Mage with the same Airbending abilities :) 

A bit of improvement on Forest Warden was nice to have but the main reasons for including this hero and Forest Shamblers were due to their abilities before the update. 

I ended up with the army that has 16 elements, 19 combined unit strength and 13 scoring elements. It was an interesting discovery as for a chance I had a small advantage in the number of units and scoring elements while having the same unit strength. That gives a bit more room for maneuver.


Terrain Details and Objectives

Deployment and Scenario

Deployment of the Armies.

We chose one of the new scenarios from CoK2019 for this game - Raze. However, we completely misunderstood the conditions and created something completely different in the process.

First, we misunderstood what is the number of loot tokens and decided it is 3 plus 1 in the middle. It is of course wrong and should be 3 per each player plus 1 in the middle. Next, we somehow came to the conclusion that these tokens need to be positioned within 6" from the middle line. And on top of it, we also misunderstood that the middle objective can generate loot every turn it is controlled.

I guess we were overexcited with the fact we were about to play our first game under CoK2019 and ended up with our house made scenario instead! I hope you will enjoy the report nevertheless but please keep in mind that our deployment and decisions were of course affected by the objectives as we understood at that time. 

Jeff ended up having to place two objective while I got to place only 1. My plan was to get to my objective with Forest Shamblers as quickly as possible and claim it even if it cost me this unit. 

Next, with the combination of shooting, windblasts and infantry units, I wanted to occupy middle token to start generating loot as quickly as possible. If I could generate some early, perhaps I would gain advantage that would be hard to nullify later.

Last but not least I intended to delay the forces on the right flank so that when they finally claim their tokens there, time may be running out. If that works it may meant these units will be too far to assist those in the center of the battle field. With the plan set, I proceeded to make the vanguard moves.

Deployment after Vanguard.

I won the roll off and chose the first turn.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Opening salvos.

Elven units advanced across entire battle field. On the left Forest Shamblers remained behind the cover of the hill, awaiting the right moment to move towards the objective.

In the center, main group of the army moved to acquire targets while remaining in the forest for protection. Windborne cavalry made sure that one of the Dukes is pushed back so that he cannot attack just yet.

Other elements advanced as well but made sure they are not yet inviting any charges of the enemy.

League of Rhordia - Turn 1

First casualties!

The army of the League also advanced. The Archers and Iron Beast quickly punished War Chariots for getting too close. Elven unit took significant damage and was routed from the battle field.

The units on the left advanced cautiously with second Duke landing nearby abandoned house. The trap was set.

Outcasts - Turn 2

Preemptive strike.

It was the time Forest Shamblers were waiting for. The regiment on the left flank maneuvered to claim the first objective. The regiment in the center was joined by the Forest Warden in the attack against Household Guard. That was meant to be a maneuver to slow down the enemy and allow Windborne to claim a second objective. However, the sudden attack surprised the elite warriors of the League and as a result they got wavered!

The flying Prince made all the effort to distract and disorder the Archers and it worked. They were now preoccupied with fast moving Elven warrior.

To assist him and to avoid the trap, Drakon Riders and Drakon Lord flew over the enemy units and landed in the free spot in between them. Only Storm Wind cavalry was left behind to face the Duke.

League of Rhordia - Turn 2

The League claims the first token!

As the Drakon Riders were not a threat now, the Knights on the right flank moved towards their objective and claimed the first token! At the same time, horde of Spearlings maneuvered towards the center, assisted by the Battle Shrine. Second blast hit the Drakon Lord again and this time Elven noble wavered. 

In the center, one of the Dukes tried to avoid the blocking Elven units and flew into the open field. Fortunately for Elves, Windborne Cavalry remained intact despite the enemy shooting, although they wavered too.

Last but not least the Forest Shamblers on the left flank survived the fire from both Volley Guns!

Outcasts - Turn 3

The fight around the center intensifies.

Elves were in a good position now to consolidate their hold on the center. It was because Drakon Riders could assist Forest Shamblers and Forest Warden to attack Household Guard again. This time the damage was more significant but the warriors of the League refused to yield.

Unfortunately, Drakon Lord found that Dwarven Ale is not to his taste at all and turned around to face the horde of Spearlings all by himself.

League of Rhordia - Turn 3

Elves take casualties!

In the attempt to push Iron Beast away from the Palace Guard, the Mage succeeded in placing it in a perfect spot to attack Drakon Riders. The Iron Beast made a short work of this unit and pivoted to face the infantry.

Nearby Windborne cavalry sustained further damage from the enemy and was routed as well. Elves lost Forest Shamblers on the left flank too and it seemed that their casualties pile up quicker than anticipated.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Household Guard is finally routed.

What the units in melee could not accomplish, the ranged attacks achieved. After taking more damage, Household Guard finally perished. As the Iron Beast was also occupied, it seemed that Elves gained control over the center of the battle field for some time. 

The left flank was lost but the Spearlings were quite slow and in the open while Volley Guns were out of range. On the right flank Elves performed delaying actions and try to buy time for the units in the center.

League of Rhordia - Turn 4

The League counter attacks.

The League suffered some damage but it had enough units to fight back. On the right flank, both Drakon Lord and Storm Wind cavalry were destroyed and only Sea Guard kept the enemy from advancing any further.

In the center, one of the Spearling units reached exposed flank of the Shamblers but stubborn treemen  refused to surrender.

Outcasts - Turn 5

Elves defend the center.

Both Palace Guard units and Forest Warden attacked Iron Beast and even its impressive armor was not enough to stop Elves from damaging it beyond repair.

The nearby Shamblers counter charged and managed to waver the Spearlings. Another unit was pushed back by powerful Windblast and also wavered.

League of Rhordia - Turn 5

Can they make it?

Although pushed back on the left flank, the League had ranged attacks to use and both Volley Guns opened fire at the Forest Shamblers. This time they were not able to hold their ground.

On the opposite flank Sea Guard was routed as well and Battle Shrine managed to waver one of the infantry units occupying the center. Time was running out, can the units of the League make it to the center in time? 

Outcasts - Turn 6

Elves rout one more enemy unit.

Elves decided to carry the fight to the enemy. Palace Guard charged the exposed flank of the Archers who fought entire battle against Elven Prince. Now they perished for good, although the Prince was disappointed that the Palace Guard stole the whole glory from him.

Forest Warden stopped the Spearlings one more time while the second unit was routed by the shooting.

League of Rhordia - Turn 6

Last Charge.

The Knights and the Spearlings attacked the Palace Guard and routed it. The momentum carried the Knights closer to the Drakon Riders and thanks to that they managed to wrestle the control over the center from the Elves.

However, it was too late to swing the balance of the battle into League of Rhordia army favor. Both forces thus disengaged and the battle was over.


Turn-by-turn animation summary.


Many thanks to Jeff for a great game! I hope he enjoyed playing over Universal Battle and I am looking forward to our re-match. We will make sure that we play the scenario right this time!

I was happy with the overall plan and how the situation evolved. Having the ability to shift enemy units with Windblast and inflict damage at the same time was a valuable element for the army. However, as the situation with Drakon Riders and Iron Beast show, one has to be careful with that. Wrong timing of the push may result in good opportunities for the enemy. I also completely forgot about Heal spell that could have been used at that time for a better effect.

I looked at the particular moments of the battle and as usual came up with alternative ideas as to what I could have done differently. For example, the Forest Shamblers on the left flank could have pivoted and move from the hill instead of attacking the Spearlings. I had a chance to save the unit and perhaps even pose a threat for the advancing Halflings.

The reform of Palace Guard after destroying the Iron Beast was not good. In fact, I did not reform at all and I should have. In the position I left these units they were not facing towards the advancing units from the right flank. If I reformed them, even after the waver, I could push back to increase the distance and perhaps save the unit.

It is very hard to resist the flank charge even if it does not necessarily mean a huge advantage. In this case, the second regiment abandoned the center and although I destroyed the Archers, I lost the control over the token. If it was played correctly, I would have lost that point at the end of the game.

Last but not least, I think it was not necessary for Sea Guard to advance. They had good defensive position and should have used their ranged attacks to inflict damage at the advancing foes. The presence of that unit would have already distracted the opposing units as they could not have afforded such a hasty advance without securing their own flanks.

I hope you enjoyed the report despite the accidental scenario!

Thanks for reading!

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