Sunday, 16 February 2020

Game 139 - Forces of Nature - 2020/02/16


In the final, 6th round of Clash of Kings Australia 2020 I faced the army of Forces of Nature commanded by Ken - regular Masters participant and a winner of last year Clash of Kings Australia!

I have played against Ken only twice so far and I lost on both occasions. I hoped I would be able to change the current standings to be a bit more equal. Luckily, one of my very few practice games was against this faction so I wanted to use my experience and apply the lessons learned to this game.

Of course, no two armies are the same and no two players would use even exactly the same army in similar fashion, so I had to come up with a good plan against Ken's Forces of Nature anyway. The army had quite a few units I played against before, be it in the army from the same faction or from another one. Earth Elementals are very good example of these and you could see them featured in the previous battle report. 

In general, Ken's army had tough units, fast units and shooting units, which made it versatile and flexible army for sure. Here are the details:

Game 6 - Forces of Nature - Ken

Naiad Ensnarers Horde (NE), Infantry, Hammer of Measured Force, Frenzied Otter - 255
Earth Elemental Horde (EE1), Large Infantry, Mace of Crushing - 225
Earth Elemental Horde (EE2), Large Infantry, Mace of Crushing - 225

Centaur Bray Strider Regiment (CBS), Cavalry, Frenzied Otter - 165
Centaur Bray Strider Regiment (CBS), Cavalry, Frenzied Otter - 165

Woodland Critter Regiment * (WC), Swarm - 80

Greater Fire Elemental (GFE), Titan - 175

Tree Herder (TH), Hero (Titan), Hann's Sanginary Scripture - 270
Forest Warden (FW), Hero (Large Infantry), Inspiring Talisman - 110
Unicorn (U1), Hero (Large Cavalry, Wings, Lightning Bolt (5) - 165
Unicorn (U1), Hero (Large Cavalry, Wings, Lightning Bolt (5) - 165

This army has 11 units in total and all of them are scoring which, in my opinion, is this army's strong point. Earth Elementals and Tree Herder are super tough and it always takes a lot of effort to bring one of them down. Naiad Ensnarers may be considered as one of the units that are good at trapping enemies, thanks to the Ensnare and Regeneration special rules. All of these units are great at war of attrition so it was important to be able to bring overwhelming forces to bring them down, hopefully in a single round of combat.

To engineer such situations would be even more challenging because of the ranged attacks the army could bring to play and simply stop any flanking unit from attacking. I would need to be careful with positioning then, to make sure I always have some cover to limit the efficiency of such attacks.

In addition, although the tough elements of the army tend to be slow, I still had to deal with the fact there are fast units of Centaurs and two flying Unicorns that may further limit the manoeuvrability of the army. To deal with this challenge I would attempt to use my own shooting, especially against Centaurs, to either weaken them before melee, or if lucky, maybe even have a chance to eliminate them before that.

I would also look for the opportunity to exploit some gaps in the formation as with fewer units, it would be more difficult to cover all angles.

Here are the details of my army for reminder:

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 Forces of Nature

Deployment of the Armies

In the last round of the tournament we played Control as a scenario. From my previous experience I knew I will not be able to stop Ken's army in the middle so I didn't attempt to go head on against his units.

Instead, I though I should focus on using my speed, manoeuvrability and small advantage in number of scoring units to control more area than he can. In order to achieve that, however, I still had to catch a few units of his army. So when I noticed he was deploying Centaurs on the right flank, I concentrated my shooters there.

I still had units on the centre left but it was more to slow down the Elementals and try to look for openings to catch Unicorns and Warden to eliminate a few scoring unit. It was a big challenge for me because this plan required a lot of patience. First, I had to use my shooting to good effect to either weaken or eliminate a unit or two. And then, manoeuvre under the fire to get to the right positions and to control the territory.

Deployment after Scout moves.

Nature - Turn 1

Forces of Nature move first.

Steady advance forward

Forces of Nature moved first and whole army advanced towards the Elven lines. In general, the army advanced to match the speed of the slowest elements. In the meantime, the Unicorns started attacking their enemies from the distance. But their efforts did not bring many effects at this stage.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Fight fire with fire!

Elves, surprisingly, move very little.

Elves had to be patient and use their advantages to the fullest. They moved a bit on the left flank to threaten advancing forces but the units on the right flank remained in positions. That allowed them to focus the shooting at the regiment of Centaurs who moved into open space. The shooting proved very efficient as the unit was routed after a barrage of arrows and lightning bolts.

Nature - Turn 2

Forces of Nature continue the advance on the left.

Lightning bolts are more efficient this time.

Forces of Nature continued steady advance on the left flank. This time, Greater Fire Elemental and Unicorn combined their efforts and their ranged attacks wavered Elven Knights.

The units on the right flank, however, were a bit more shy and remaining Centaurs moved back a bit too.

Outcasts - Turn 2

More movement on the right flank.

And withdrawal on the left flank.

First Elven Charge

As the heavy cavalry needed some time to regroup, the units on the left moved back a little. Only Drakon Lord flew towards the flank a bit.

On the opposite side of the battle field, second Drakon Lord charged the Tree Herder to distract it and allow the rest of the units there to move to new positions safely. The shooters aimed at the Centaurs again but this time the damage done was not great.

Nature - Turn 3

Closing the distance

Centaurs attack on the right flank.

Elves appear to be cornered.

The units on the left flank were now being pushed further and further to the corner by the advancing Forces of Nature, especially when Naiads decided to move towards this group of units as well.

At the same time, Centaurs attacked Drakon Lord together with the Tree Herder and Elven Noble had no chance to hold the ground on his own.

Outcasts - Turn 3

The action on the right intensifies.

Attack on the left is successful.

Elves finally charge their enemies in force.

Once again, Elves decided to employ the doctrine that the attack is the best form of defence and charged their enemies. On the left, Shamblers and Drakons charged the enemies that could do some harm with their ranged attacks.

But the main attack was directed at Naiads and despite the fact that some of the Elven units were hindered and ensnared, the enemy was defeated!

Elves attacked on the right as well, where Centaurs where the main target. Elves were not successful in routing this regiment but at least secured the path for fast units to move towards the centre.

Nature - Turn 4

Counter attack

Elven units hold the line - for now.

Earth Elementals counter attacked immediately, but although Forest Shamblers were defeated, Drakon Lords miraculously survived (although being wavered)!

The same with Palace Guard on the right flank that withstood the attack of Centaurs and Tree Herder.

Outcasts - Turn 4

The fight continues

Elves were not successful this time.

Mistakes were made!

Palace Guard and Shamblers on the right flank repeated the attack against Centaurs, and this time the enemy cavalry was routed.

Elves had a great opportunity to eliminate the horde of Earth Elementals on the left flank too but for some strange reason the attack was conducted only by Stormwind cavalry. Despite the flank charge, the damage was not enough to rout the enemies and suddenly, Elves were in a very difficult spot there!

Nature - Turn 5

Situation on the left flank.

Elves are hit really hard.

Elven commanders made a blunder and now it was time to pay the price. Although Palace Guard and Stormwind were not yet dead but wavered, the loss of three other units was really bad news for the Outcasts.

Outcasts - Turn 5

Elves continue the fight regardless.

Drakon Riders fail to break Elementals.

Moving fast to capture the territory.

Elven units on the right flank moved fast, bypassing the enemies and moving forward to capture the territory. Only the Archers remained in the deployment zone, to control that area and defend it against remaining enemies.

In the centre, wavered units were not able to do much but the Drakon Riders attacked badly damaged Elementals. Unfortunately for Elves, they held their ground anyway! (Edit: those double 1's had to happen sometimes! :))

Nature - Turn 6

Unicors and Tree Herder attempt to control this area.

Elementals can't defeat their enemies.

The shooting is not efficient.

Both armies suffered casualties and the battle was entering the final stage. Unicorns on the right landed in the territory occupied by Elven Archers and attempted to wrestle it from their grip. While shooting at the Shamblers and Silverbreeze cavalry at the same time. However, this did not bring expected effects.

On the left and centre, Earth Elementals had some difficulties in defeating their enemies and only Greater Fire Elemental managed to rout badly damaged Elven Knights.

Outcasts - Turn 6

Unicorns are down!

So are the Elementals!

Elven successes!

Forest Shamblers once again diverted and avoided the attention of the enemies. In doing so, they managed to keep control over this part of the battle field.

Silverbreeze units, Archers and the Archmage, all focused on damaged unicorns and managed to rout them both - at last! Thanks to that Archers were now in control of this section.

Drakon Riders finally finished off the Earth Elementals and it looked like Elves gained control over majority of the battle field. But the Forces of Nature kept on fighting!

Nature - Turn 7

It's a draw now!

Earth Elemetnals finally defeated Palace Guard and withdrew to control one of the zones of the battle field. With Greater Fire Elemental and Forest Warden routing Drakon Riders, it looked like both armies were now controlling equal territories!

Outcasts - Turn 7

Elven shooting for the win!

Fortunately for Elves, Woodland Critters did not hide in time and Silverbreeze cavalry units were close enough to take advantage of that. The shooting was accurate and woodland critters scattered to save their lives. As a result, the control over that zone was lost and Elves managed to gain strategic control over the battle field in the last possible moment!


Turn-by-turn animation summary


Many thanks to Ken for a game! It was indeed the battle where balance shifted from one side to the other, mistakes were made by both commanders, unexpected situations occurred and in the end a bit of luck helped me to win in the very possible moment!

I am obviously very happy that this time I managed to win against Ken, in my book it is quite an achievement to do so against Clash of Australia 2019 Champion! For me personally, 14:7 win against a player of Ken's calibre is simply awesome!

I was quite happy that my plan worked in general. The shooting did help at the start and more importantly at the end of the battle. I always try to keep the Silverbreeze and the Archmage intact, as their ability to force late game nerve tests is very handy against damaged enemies.

A bit of luck was indeed important in that game so I looked back at what happened and tried to identify the moments where I should have done something different or better. Simply to avoid a situation where the result depends so heavily on dice rolls.

I came to the conclusion that probably the biggest mistake I made was in turn 4 where I simply should have attacked the exposed flank of the Elementals with both, Stormwind and Palace Guard units. Extra 24 attacks would definitely improve my chances to rout that unit.

The turn earlier, when I managed to defeat Naiads, I should have also reformed both units to face left. I believe I made an attempt but I did not notice I can still do it. I thought I am kind of stuck there.

One thing I am also thinking about is the deployment of Drakon Riders DR1 on the right flank. Perhaps placing them a bit closer to the ruins and Archers a bit to the side (but still in the forest) would have been better. I could move them forward earlier, benefit from cover and be able to threaten either the centre or the right flank equally. Perhaps it would have given me more options during the game.

I hope you enjoyed this battle report. Please let me know in the comments what do you think about both armies and  the flow of the battle. Is there anything you would do differently?

This battle report is the last from the series of games I played during the Clash of Kings Australia 2020. However, I will write a separate post about the tournament and my experiences during it.

Stay tuned for the conclusions and tournament summary! Thanks for reading!


  1. That was close run, but your last bit of luck got you out of a draw rather than a loss. You had to get into that position first, so well played!

    1. Thanks! Indeed, I was lucky in the end but I am glad I had the right troops in the position to do the damage to exposed enemy units. Using the opportunities when they arise is a good skill in itself, I think :)