Thursday 13 February 2020

Game 138 - Dwarfs - 2020/02/13


In the fifth round of the Clash of Kings Australia 2020 I met another new player, Brent, who commanded army of Dwarfs. It was thus another classic duel between archetypical armies of many fantasy worlds!

Brent came down from Sydney and he told me he has only recently started playing Kings of War. Excellent! Great to know there are new players joining the ranks! 

The composition of his army was very intriguing. He had some units I knew are tough as I faced them before. For example, Earth Elementals or Ironclad Horde. I was intrigued by Shieldbreaker Regiments as these were similar to Palace Guard, by Brock Riders after changes and the very new Steel Juggernouts. Brent also mentioned that Jeff himself helped him with the design of this army. It is great to have such an experienced and great player in your corner! Here are the details of the army Brent took to the tournament:

Game 5 - Dwarfs - Brent

Ironclad Horde (I), Infantry, Hammer of Measured Force, Throwing Mastiffs - 215
Earth Elemental Horde (EE1), Large Infantry - 220
Earth Elemental Horde (EE2), Large Infantry - 220

Shieldbreaker Regiment (S1), Infantry, Throwing Mastiff - 140
Shieldbreaker Regiment (S1), Infantry, Throwing Mastiff - 140
Berserker Brock Riders Regiment (BR), Cavalry, Brew of Sharpness - 230

Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment* (MHP), Swarms - 65

Dwarf Lord on Large Beast (DL), Hero (Large Cavalry) - 200
Steel Juggernaut (SJ1), Hero (Large Infantry) - 150
Steel Juggernaut (SJ2), Hero (Large Infantry) - 150
Stone Priest (SP), Hero (Infantry), Bane Chant (2) - 110
Berserker Lord (BL), Hero (Cavalry), Blade of Beast Slayer - 160

This army has 12 elements total, 10 of which are scoring. As I mentioned before, it has quite a number of tough units that can be very good in war of attrition. Some of them, such as Shieldbreaker and Berserkers regiments add more offensive abilities. Steel Juggernauts seem like a very good, flexible, multiple role type of heroes that can add some good ranged attacks to the army's arsenal but are also tough and thanks to their manoeuvrability, can find a way to attack vulnerable flanks of the enemy units.

In such classical match up it is probably even more clear that whoever can play to his army's strengths should gain upper hand. Hence I wanted to avoid war of attrition and use the speed and manoeuvrability to catch slower Dwarf units off guard.

Here is my army list for reference:

Outcasts (Elves) - Army List

Stormwind Cavalry Regiment (S), Cavalry - 215
Palace Guard Regiment (PG1), Infantry - 160
Palace Guard Regiment (PG2), Infantry - 160
Kindred Archers Regiment (A), Infantry - 120

Drakon Rider Regiment* (DR1), Large Cavalry - 165
Drakon Rider Regiment* (DR2), Large Cavalry - 165
Forest Shamblers Regiment* (FS1), Large Infantry - 120
Forest Shamblers Regiment* (FS2), Large Infantry - 120

Silverbreeze Cavalry Troop* (SB1), Cavalry - 130
Silverbreeze Cavalry Troop* (SB1), Cavalry - 130

Lord on Drakon (DL1), Hero (Large Cavalry) - 170
Lord on Drakon (DL2), Hero (Large Cavalry) - 170
Elven Archmage (M), Hero (Infantry), Inspiring Talisman, Lighting Bolt (5) - 115
Army Standard Bearer (AS), Hero (Infantry) - 60


Terrain Details

Deployment and Scenario

Elves vs Dwarfs

Dwarven point of view

Deployment of the Armies

In this round we played Push as a scenario. We had 3 tokens each. In this scenario, based on my previous experience, I wanted to use the fact I had a few more elements. So I waited with deploying the Archers to the last moment when Brent was fully deployed and I placed them on the right flank. I decided to use them as the carriers and protectors of the tokens and move them across the board being shielded by other units.

At the same time I wanted to use Shamblers and Scouting move to prevent Dwarfs from claiming the middle token and let other units to pick it. It was difficult task because tough units, in particular horde of Ironclad, was heading towards that direction. Hence the placement of Stormwind cavalry there to further support the units.

I positioned Silverbreeze and Archmage together again to help the army with inflicting some damage before inevitable melee.

Deployment after scout moves.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Elves advance with Shamblers at the front line.

Dwarfs are waiting patiently.

Silverbreeze target the Ironclad.

Forest Shamblers advanced towards their enemies and securing the treasure placed in the centre of the battle field. The rest of the units followed and Silverbreeze cavalry opened fire at Ironclad. It was not the most vulnerable target but the one that had to be thinned down before the fight erupts.

Dwarfs - Turn 1

Who let the dogs out?

Dwarven perspective

Dwarfs bite back!

Dwarfs advanced and released packs of hungry Mastiffs at the Forest Shamblers. The dogs thought they are playing fetch but in doing so, destroyed poor Shamblers anyway.

The Brock Riders and Steel Juggernouts moved to protect the flank and they even managed to score a few wounds on the Drakon Lord!

Outcasts - Turn 2

Outflanking continues

Getting closer

Preparing for the attack.

Remaining Forest Shamblers were sent to deal with the Mastiffs and chased the dogs away. The main purpose was, however, to distract the enemies and let the other units to get into the attacking positions.

At the same time Silverbreeze units were still shooting at the Ironclad inflicting some more damage.

Dwarfs - Turn 2

Bracing for impact.

Dwarf continue their slow but purposeful advance.

Dwarven infantry charged the Shamblers and had no problems with defeating outnumbered foe. But it now left these regiments in the open against Elven cavalry and much faster infantry.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Breaking the line

Elven attack!

Dwarven infantry is defeated.

Elves attacked their enemies, sending two units against one of the foes. Drakon Riders and Palace Guard used the fact the Ironclad were already damaged and managed to rout the Dwarfs. Stormwind assisted by Drakon Riders routed Shieldbreakers and in doing so, Elves created a big gap in the Dwarven battle line.

Dwarfs - Turn 3

Dwarfs reform

Dwarfs fight back

Although losing two units was a significant disadvantage, Dwarfs reacted with typical resolve and stubbornly continued to fight their enemies. Steel Juggernauts kept shooting at the foe and utterly destroyed Drakon Riders regiment.

At the same time Elementals and remaining Shieldbreakers begun to march towards the centre of the battle field.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Another wave of Elven attacks.

This time Elves are stopped!

Elves attempted to use the momentum but suddenly, all the charges were stopped in their tracks! Fortunately, Silverbreeze cavalry units managed to rout Brock Riders that would help the Archers to get the treasure to safety.

Dwarfs - Turn 4

Dwarven counter attack

Elves start losing units.

Once stopped in their tracks, Elves started losing units too. Earth Elementals caught Palace Guard while engaged in combat and the flank attack was unstoppable. On the opposite flank, Berserker Lord finally defeated Drakon Lord.

Outcasts - Turn 5

Another Elven attempt to break their enemies.

Juggernauts do not yield!

Elves had to press the attack once more. Drakon Riders this time defeated Shieldbreakers but the Drakon Lord, despite the attack from the flank, was not able to destroy stubborn Juggernaut, especially when defending a treasure!

Dwarfs - Turn 5

Earth Elementals start turning the tide

Elves under pressure

This time it was Stormwind cavalry that was defeated by Earth Elementals. Elves were running out of the units and Archers, now with heavy treasure to carry, were being surrounded by the enemies.

Outcasts - Turn 6

Another Elven attack fails to break the enemy.
Stubborn Juggernaut!

Archers run away with the treasure

Elven units were now occupied with delaying and blocking actions to allow Archers to carry the treasure to safety. Unfortunately, neither the fights on the centre nor the shooting on the left brought any successes.

Dwarfs - Turn 6

Archers under attack!

A miracle!

In their desperate defence, Elves left some openings and Dwarfs quickly exploited those. First, Berserker Lord attacked the Archmage. If he defeated Elven wizard, he would have had open path to attack the Archers together with the Juggernaut. Fortunately for Elves, that did not happen.

But the Juggernaut reached the Archers and attacked from vulnerable direction. The Archers, however, held their ground!

Outcasts - Turn 7

Protecting the Archers!

Last Elven charge.

Elves focused on blocking all paths towards the Archers who were traversing nearby marsh. Silverbreeze cavalry made sure this time there is no opening for their enemies to move around.

Drakon Lord attacked the Juggernout again and once again he was not able to defeat the stubborn Dwarf!

Dwarfs - Turn 7

Not many Elven units were left alive.

Heavy Elven losses.

In their attempt to protect the Archers, remaining Elven units had to make ultimate sacrifice. In the last fights of the battle, Elves lost three units! But they managed to achieve strategic goal and won the battle, despite such heavy losses.


Turn-by-turn animation summary


Many thanks to Brent for a great game and for some of the photos he kindly provided to add to this battle report!

He almost got me in the end and it just shows that persistence pays off. I think I was quite lucky in the 6th turn that Berserker Lord did not get my Archmage and that Juggernaut did not defeated the Archers. That would have been a disaster!

Brent did very well although the first half of the battle saw some crucial units of his own defeated. He moved his units purposefully and when the time arrived, he was able to get them into crucial fights and inflict heavy losses.

I am very happy that despite my mistakes I managed to protect the Archers and move them to safety in the end.

I analysed the battle, of course, and I came to the conclusion that I simply underestimated how tough Juggernauts are. The odds in that first attack were not in my favour after all, especially that I split the attacks. Perhaps I should have attacked first Juggernout with both, Palace Guard and Stormwind cavalry to improve the chance of routing the Dwarven hero.

But I also looked at the earlier turns, taking full advantage of the hindsight. While the attack in turn 3 was obviously a great success, I thin I could have done it better.

I thin that more beneficial would be the following. Attack Ironclads with PG1 and Stormwind. Attack Shielbreakers S2 with PG2 and Drakon Riders. In this way I would have sufficient attacks to defeat both, probably even better chances against Ironclad. But this positioning of the attacking units would help me to get PG2 to the other half and be protected by other units. I could then reform Stormwind to the left and be ready to attack enemies advancing from this direction.

Because Drakons and Drakon Lord would still be in the range of the attacks and threatening the flanks, that would have given me better options to continue the charges. And have the enemy units in front arch, instead of letting them attack flanks.

In addition to that I made two mistakes I should have been able to avoid. First, Drakon Lord on the right flank flew too close and because of that got shot. I could have avoided that first round of shooting entirely.

Next, I left too much space in between Silverbreeze units to allow the Archmage to be attacked. I got really lucky here.

In the end, taking into consideration the losses I suffered, the game ended with 13:8 score in my favor.

All in all it was another fantastic game against fantastic opponent and I am happy I learned new lessons. I am sure Brent will keep honing his already great skills and I am looking forward to the next opportunity to play against him and his great Dwarven army!

I am very curious about your impressions on this battle, armies involved and battle report itself so please, let me know what you think in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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