Sunday 24 May 2020

Game 146 - Varangur - 2020/05/24


In the last, fourth round of the Rage of Isolation tournament, being played on Universal Battle 2, I played against Michael. The Big Boss and Tournament Organiser himself! If you were following my games from this event you would notice I did not post about the round 3. It is due to the fact that, unfortunately, the game was not played and I moved straight to round 4.

Michael plays with many armies but for this event he chose evil Northern Alliance, i.e. Varangur. It's been a while since I played against this army and I have not yet fought against them under 3rd edition rules. It was great that I had the first hand opportunity to see this army in action.

Michael decided to bring the army that is focused on melee and almost every single unit in it was able to deal a lot of damage in its own. Here are the details

Varangur - Army List

Frostfang Cavalry Horde (FC1), Large Cavalry - 265
Frostfang Cavalry Horde (FC2), Large Cavalry - 265

Huscarl Regiment (H1), Heavy Infantry - 225
Huscarl Regiment (H2), Heavy Infantry - 225

Draugr Regiment (D1), Infantry - 75
Draugr Regiment (D2), Infantry - 75

Reaver Troop (R1), Infantry - 135
Reaver Troop (R2), Infantry - 135
Reaver Troop (R3), Infantry - 135
Reaver Troop (R4), Infantry - 135

Snow Fox Regiment (SF), Swarm - 80

Lord on Frostfang (LoF), Hero (Large Cavalry)Aegis of the ElohiSnow Fox - 215
Magnilde of the Fallen (M). Hero (Heavy Infantry) - 175
Cursed Son (CS), Hero (Heavy Infantry), Mournful BladeMask of the Reaper - 160

As this army has a few new units for me, I am going to have a closer look at those Michael chose for his force.

Frostfang Cavalry - Hard hitting and tough they are very reliable core of the army. Although they hit on 4+, with 30 attacks and a Strider they will usually score enough hits to do damage. And with Crushing strength 2 they will! Defence 5+ and nerve 15/17 makes them more difficult to rout, especially in the frontal assault. They are also fast enough with effective charge range 15". 

Ideally, I would like to trap with with Tallspears (hoping they would hold the charge) and counter with a proper flank attack. However, that may be difficult to achieve as it will greatly depend on the deployment.

Huscarls - another two core regiments of the army, Huscarls are as tough as Frostfangs, and are even more reliable thanks to Fury. They have fewer attacks but hit on 3+ so if only not hindered or counter charging, they can be as devastating as their Large Cavalry companions.

They are a bit slower than my infantry and that would give me an opportunity to engineer multiple charges against them. In both cases, any prior damage should make the chance to rout them a bit better too.

Drougs - Although complete opposite of the above, expendable Drougs have their use in the army as objective holders, rearguard or even living shield if necessary. They may be easy to defeat but cannot be wavered. Very reliable unit for sure.

Reavers - this is a very interesting unit and I actually envy them a bit. Although fragile, they are fast infantry, cannot be wavered, which is fantastic for a troop type unit. And have 20 attacks with Crushing strength 1 and Thunderous charge 1! That is truly fantastic for such a unit and I am not surprised that Michael, who usually does not like taking too many units of the same type, made an exception and got four of those!

They are fragile, as I have already mentioned, so they are prime target for my Silver Breeze cavalry if only get exposed. 

In general, this army has 14 units, 12 scoring and total unit strength of 22. In order to prevail against such force, I need to keep the distance for as long as it takes to do some damage with shooting. I also should be able to win some one-on-one fights, provided I can charge first. 

On the other hand, whatever survives my attacks is going to, most likely, rout any of my units in a single round of melee. It means that I need to make sure to either rout the enemy before that happens or be prepared to continue the attacks even after taking casualties.

Here is my army list as a reminder.

Outcasts - Army List

Stormwind Cavalry Regiment (S), Cavalry, Chalice of Wrath - 230
Palace Guard Regiment (PG1), Infantry - 160
Palace Guard Regiment (PG2), Infantry - 160
Tallspears Regiment (T1), Infantry - 140
Tallspears Regiment (T2), Infantry - 140

Drakon Rider Regiment* (DR1), Large Cavalry, Staying Stone - 170
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* (SB2), 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
Elven Archmage (M), Hero (Infantry), Lighting Bolt (5) - 95

Army Standard Bearer (AS), Hero (Infantry), Lute of Insatiable Darkness - 85


Terrain details

Deployment and Scenario

Elves vs Varangur

In the last round of the tournament we played Plunder as a scenario. Five tokens were placed on the middle line across the battle field. I won the roll off and nominated the one on the right flank to be worthy 2 points, while Michael chose the one on the left, one the hill.

I wanted the tokens to be separated but had to be the first to choose which token is worth more points. Fortunately for me, Michael had a plan that was not opposite to the idea. However, as you can see by his deployment, rather than spreading the forces, he refused the flank and went for one half to win before moving towards the centre.

I spread my forces because I did not know that Michael decided to do it this way. I did it to either move with Shamblers forward and block the enemy forces before they could pick the tokens worth 2 points. Or to be able to contest other objectives.

I also noticed that the middle of the battle field is relatively empty so I wanted to use it to my advantage, in particular with ranged attacks. When I noticed Michael is focusing on one flank, I decided to stick to my plan anyway. In this way I would be able to pick the tokens on the right.

At the same time I needed a force on the left to slow down the Varangur. Hence Drakon Riders there as even if they are too weak on their own to damage destroy the tough Varangur units, they can intercept them. While my infantry is slower and may be charged firs instead.

Michael won the roll off and chose to move first.

Deployment after scout moves.

Varangur - Turn 1

Varangur army advances at speed.

Varangur army marched forward against thin, blue line of the Elven forces opposing them. Half of the enemy was on the other side of the battle field so it would be easy for Varangur units to defeat those in front of them.

Advance was slowed down only due to the dense terrain through which the army was marching through.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Flanking force advance.

Half of the Elven army, the one that faced entire Varangur force, remained in their positions while the other half moved to outflank the enemy. The race against time begun.

At the same time the Forest Shamblers collected the first treasure while Silver Breeze cavalry aimed at the enemy Huscarls. Despite heavy armour, the expert Elven horse archers did a substantial damage already.

Varangur - Turn 2

Reavers speed to the front.

Varangur forces continued their advance but this time a few bands of Reavers leaped forward. With not ranged attacks of their own, Varangur units needed a different way to force their enemies to commit to the melee.

Outcasts - Turn 2

First charges.

Some of the Reaver bands over committed, however, and Elves used that to their advantage. On the right, the Drakon Riders and the Lord charged one of the bands in the open and routed them. In the centre, a second group was targeted by Silver Breeze cavalry and one of the archmages and perished as well.

Varangur - Turn 3

Varangur units attack.

Unfortunately for Elves, they also started making mistakes. One of them was to keep Storm Wind cavalry a bit too close for Magnilde to fly over and attack them, thus not allowing Elven knights to threaten other Varangur units.

The rest of the army advanced, although this time the bands of Reavers and Huscarls turned towards the centre in order to face advancing Elven units.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Elven shooting proves deadly.

As the enemy forces on the left were not yet immediate danger, the archmages and silver breeze cavalry all focused on the Huscarls leading the Varangur towards the centre of the battle field. The fire proved very efficient and elite Varangur warriors lied dead.

In the meantime, Tallspears helped Drakon Riders to get rid of some Draugr and Elves seemed to be in full control of the left half of the battle field now.

Varangur - Turn 4

Ultimate price of another mistake.

Storm Wind cavalry, distracted by Magnilde, did not notice another band of Reavers and was now attacked by them. Charging down the hill, the band hit harder than the size of it could have suggested and Elven Knights were scattered.

That put the Elven forces on the left flank in a very difficult situation.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Desperate attempt.

The units on the left had few choices left. They chose to attack and hopefully some would be able to break through. But the attack against Frostfangs, although inflicted some damage, was not enough to break them.

On the other hand, the shooters once again showed their power when Silver Breeze and the Archmage seriously damaged second regiment of Huscarls.

Varangur - Turn 5

Huge losses on Elven left.

Varangur forces delivered a killing blow to the Elven units on the left flank. Only the Drakon Lord managed to escape from the encirclement.

Fortunately for Elves, it seemed that they could take the control over the centre soon and gain a significant strategic advantage.

Outcasts - Turn 5

Elves hit hard again!

Despite the losses, Elves were still in a good position to do some damage in return. One of the Drakon Lords spearheaded the attack and defeated Draugr on his own. While Tallspears occupied Cursed Son, Drakon Riders finished off badly damaged Huscarls. That allowed the shooters to focus on yet another band of Reavers on the hill and eliminate it.

Last but not least, Elves took another treasure under control while Varangur army had only single piece in its possession.

Varangur - Turn 6

Race to the centre

Varangur forces regrouped and raced towards the centre. It looked unlikely that Elves would leave an opening and lose the battle but there were still objectives to be claimed.

Edit: Please note that I made a mistake on the diagram. Lord on Frostfang left the token that was picked by the Frostfang Cavalry FC1.

Outcasts - Turn 6

Noble sacrifice.

One of the Silver Breeze units moved forward to block Frostfangs while other shot at the enemy. Once again, significant damage was done.

In the meantime, Drakon Lord tried to defeat badly damaged Forstfangs on the left and claim one of the treasures but managed to waver them only.

Varangur - Turn 7

More Elven losses at the end of the battle.

Varangur army attack one more time and claimed three more Elven units. At the same time, both Frostfang cavalries dropped their treasures to deny them to the Elves who would have the last word in this battle.

Outcasts - Turn 7

Last charges

Elves decided to finish with the final attack. On the left, Drakon Lord defeated the Forstfangs at last but was not able to claim the treasure. His companion also tried to do the same but his enemy was not yet that badly damaged.

Tallspears regiments teamed up but were not able to inflict sufficient amount of damage on the Lord on Frostfang.

In the last attempt, the Archmage cast Lightning bolt at Magnilde but he failed to do damage either.

Despite that, Elves emerged victorious in this blood confrontation of good vs evil.


Turn-by-turn animation summary.


Many thanks to Michael for a game! It was a bloody one and I was happy I managed to pull out a win and finish the event with a victory.

This Varangur army can certainly hit hard! I was really worried that my flanking force would not arrive in time and I am glad that there was some terrain to slow enemy advance. As in the previous game against Salamanders, the ability to inflict the damage with ranged attacks definitely contributed to the overall result. It just shows again that if I am patient and use the elements to the best of their abilities, I am able to do damage and create advantageous situations prior to the inevitable melee.

Unfortunately, I was not able to avoid mistakes in this game. So let's have a look at a few I chose to discuss in more detail.

As usual, let's start with the deployment. I was really concerned with the fact I may have stretched the army too wide this time. If I were to change the deployment (but taking into account the order in which I did it during the game), I would have deployed Tallspears closer to the centre in the open. Perhaps even leaving some room for Silver Breeze cavalry. After all, I had no enemy shooting to be worried about. And in this way, Silver Breeze would be able to target more enemy units.

In addition, I think there was no need to Scout with left Forest Shamblers. At least not that far. I was not able to move them over the hill and block enemies for another unit to pick the token. Simply because there were too many enemies there. If I kept them together with the units on the left, I would have had more regiments to use in delaying the foe.

I obviously made a mistake with Storm Wind cavalry, moved them away from the Reavers only. I noticed some time after I moved them that Magnilde has them in charge range. But I concluded I moved already and that I should have checked beforehand. While in the discussion with Michael he said he would have allowed me to correct it (which I appreciate!), I want to avoid such situations. I know other players may not necessarily be happy with such situation. It is better to measure first and then move.

Even when charged by Magnilde, I had some choices. I could have shot at the Reavers on the hill, giving Storm Wind better chance to survive the following attack of the enemy hero in the next turn. I thought, however, it was better to further damage the Huscarls. It seems I did better than anticipated and eliminated them completely.

In such case, I could have simply withdrew without counter charge. This always makes it a difficult decision for the enemy. What is more, as a result of this mistake, the forces on the left were properly cornered.

In turn 4 it seemed that I can secure the victory by scenario and it was only a matter of final result. However, I should always play with the tournament score in mind :) I am not sure if the withdraw or even waiting for the charge of Frostfangs would have been better overall. However, I could have flown the Lord and Riders over the enemies and most likely use them in the final turns of the battle.

What is more, even if I waited with Palace Guard to receive the attack, enemy units would be drawn further from the token on the hill. Or would have need to divide their efforts. Either way, that creates difficult choices. Instead, I failed to break Frostfangs (with slim chances to succeed) and after counter attack, enemy forces were in good position to take control over the token on the hill.

In the turn 6 I tried to block Forstfangs with Silver Breeze. I think we made a mistake here as with Frostfangs on the hill, the Lord behind them may have not seen the Drakon Riders. In addition, I did not need to move second unit of Silver Breeze forward. In fact, I should have moved them both back and shoot from safe position. If Frostfangs charged, they would have faced quite a number of Elven units ready to counter attack. And in order to reach the units, they would have needed to drop the token.

Instead, Magnidle charged second unit of Silver Breeze. I think we played it wrong as well. She made a contact, then I aligned, then foxes charged in. While, if I read it correctly, the individual aligns to the unit instead. If that's the case, there was no room for her to align to the flank of the unit. Ah well, let's play it right next time!

Last but not least I did not use the opportunity to fly over Frostfangs on the hill and claim the token they left behind with my Drakon Lord. That would have been a much better option than attacking on his own.

It seems one can learn a lot even when winning the game! I am glad I didn't lose it despite my mistakes!

Tournament Summary

I am glad I could participate in this tournament. In three games I played I managed to win twice and had a fighting chance against quite powerful Undead army. Despite mistakes being made in each game, I have a feeling I am getting better at using this army. Just need more practice! :) It was also very good to play against variety of armies, each of them with a very interesting composition.

If you are interested in checking the over all results, you can find them here:

Rage of Isolation - Results

As to the tournament itself, I have a few comments and feedback.

1. Chess Clocks - I really liked using them as they helped me to speed up my games. Having said that, I only learned in the last round that there is 10 minutes for the deployment total, for both players combined.

I think it is a bad idea because players are not allocated the same time as during the regular tournament. What is more, the penalty for timing out for the deployment phase (not able to place units you have not yet deployed) seems a bit harsh.

I'd rather have 90 min total per player, without specific time for deployment. Exactly as during the regular tournament. In this way the same amount of time is allocated to both players.

2. Composition restrictions - during that event we had composition limits as for 1995 points. I don't think it achieved a desired effect of more diverse selection of the units within army lists.

Other than these two comments, I would not change much in the future tournaments, if this player pack is going to be used. It was good to have maps prepared by Michael and that everyone played on the same map each round. It allowed to compare battle plans, depending on the army and the player.

Many thanks to Michael for organising the event!

I hope you enjoyed this and previous battle reports from Rage of Isolation online tournament.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Always a solid read to check out your ongoing games in KOW. Even better to know you continue to grow and better your gaming skills!

    I know very little about the games itself but am always intrigued after reading your blog.

    1. HI Jimmy!

      So great to hear from you! Thanks for the kind words, I definitely hope I can continue improving despite having fewer games than I would love to play. I guess it is something many of us can say!

      I am very happy I can provide some entertainment and can't wait to see your reports too! Those photos of Legion games you play on your fantastic table are great teasers already!

      Once again, thanks for the visit and a comment!

  2. Man, that got intense in the middle and the end! I definitely think that you have improved with your army, and that I kind of envy just how many games you've been able to play during this whole state of the world!

    I hope you have many more games to come!

    1. Hi there!

      Thanks a lot! It was a good game and I am glad I managed to get a victory. It's good to know that if used well, I can put up a decent fight.

      I am quite lucky that Michael, the player I played against this time, is organising Universal Battle online tournaments so I have opportunities to play. Spare time has shrunk as well but I am still trying to get some games in.

      You can expect some more battle reports, this time from the online tournament but in a different format.