Sunday, 11 April 2021

Game 156 - Basileans - 2021/04/11

 

Greetings!

In the last round of the Rage of Isolation 4 online tournament, played on Universal Battle 2 I played against Yan. I had a great pleasure to play against him a few times in the past, although not yet in person. All our games were online. Yan brought a difference force each time and this tournament was no different. While expected either Herd or the Empire of Dust, Yan decided to try out some Basileans instead. I got an impression he really just wanted to play with this enormous Paladin Knights Horde! And some Elohi! And a Phoenix! And some Living Legends!

Basileans - Army List

Paladin Knights Horde (PK), Cavalry, Brew of Strength - 395
Ogre Palace Guard Horde (OPG), Large Infantry, Staying Stone - 240

Men-at-Arms Swordsmen (S1), Infantry - 105
Men-at-Arms Swordsmen (S2), Infantry - 105
Elohi Regiment (E1), Large Infantry - 160
Elohi Regiment (E2), Large Infantry - 160

Gur Panthers* (GP1), Cavalry - 85
Gur Panthers* (GP2), Cavalry - 85 

Phoenix (P1), Titan - 195

Gnaeus Sallustis[1] (GS), Hero (Large Cavalry) - 180
Samacris, Mother of Phoenixes[1] (S3), Hero (Large Infantry) - 195
Priest (P2), Hero (Infantry), Bane Chant (2) - 95

This army has 12 elements, 11 of them are scoring and the total units strength is 22. It is probably not surprising that the first unit that attracted my attention is the horde of Paladin Knights. It is truly an armoured juggernaut. With 36 attacks and Brew of Strength that grants Crushing Strength (1) on top of the Thunderous Charge (2), this unit can steam-roll everything I have in my army. Even if attacked first or forced to charge through terrain, it has sufficient amount of attacks to do the job. It can be defeated, of course, but in order to do that I would need to take care of a few elements of the army first. This is to have the freedom of movement required to engineer all out attack against such a beast.

The Knights are not the only powerful unit in Yan's army though. Ogre Palace Guard also hits very hard. Elohi are very dangerous, especially when attacking from the flank and can easily block my own Drakon Riders. The same is true about Gnaeus, the Living Legend.

The army has a very good healing ability. The Priest, the Phoenix and Samacris, all have Heal spell. Combined with the Radiance of Life from the last two and Iron Resolve across the army, this force can recover some damage quite fast. That meant that the effect of my ranged attacks that I may use to soften up the enemy before the melee, may be mitigated. However,  I would still do so if only to provide Yan with a dilemma, to heal or to use his own ranged attacks!

In general, the plan I had for this battle was as follows. Engage and eliminate Gur Panthers and Elohi as the fastest elements in the enemy army so that they would not interfere with the movement of my own force. Avoid the knights, and to some extend the Ogres, for as long as it is possible. Unless there is an opportunity to launch a coordinated charge of sever units at the same time.

My army for the reference:

Outcasts - Army List

Stormwind Cavalry Regiment (S), Cavalry, Chalice of Wrath - 230
Palace Guard Regiment (PG1), Infantry - 160
Palace Guard Regiment (PG2), Infantry - 160
Kindred Archers Regiment (A), Infantry - 120

Drakon Riders Regiment (DR1), Large Cavalry - 165
Drakon Riders Regiment (DR2), Large Cavalry - 165

Forest Shamblers* Regiment (FS1), Large Infantry - 120
Forest Shamblers* Regiment (FS2), Large Infantry - 120

Silver Breeze* Troop (SB1), Cavalry - 130
Silver Breeze* Troop (SB2), Cavalry - 130

Paul the King (K), Elven King, Hero(Cavalry), Hann's Sanguinary Scripture, Sabre-Tooth Cat - 155
Dave the Drakon Lord (DL), Lord on Drakon, Hero(Large Cavalry) - 170
Archibald the Archmage (A), Elven Archmage, Hero(Infantry), Inspiring Talisman, Lighting Bolt (5) - 115
Arnold the Army Standard (AS), Army Standard Bearer, Hero(Infantry) - 60

The army has 14 elements, 11 of them are scoring and the total unit strength is 22.

Terrain

Terrain Details

Deployment and Scenario

Elves vs Basileans - Deployment of the Armies

In the last round we played Control as a scenario. I must admit I expected the knightly horde to be deployed dead centre and simply stomp everything in front of it, while it was trotting towards my deployment zone. Because of that I decided to place my shooters in the middle. Silver Breeze had a good chance to move away from the knights, while all ranged attacks had a good view on many targets thanks to open centre.

I also grouped Drakon Riders, Palace Guard and Forest Shamblers to threaten the flanks and be able to control some territory, even if I lost my own centre in the process.

When I saw the Ogres in the centre and the knights on the flank, I decided to position my own Stormwind cavalry on the opposite side. In this way we would most likely try to overwhelm respective stronger flanks and whoever would be successful first, would be in better position to control enemy deployment zone. And potentially threaten the rest of the enemy force too. 

Deployment of the armies after Scout moves.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Elves attempt to seize the initiative.

Elves attempted to seize the initiative and moved forward first. There were a lot of targets to choose from but for now, Elves focused their ranged attacks on the Swordsmen on the centre left. The barrage unnerved the human soldiers and their sergeants were now busy restoring the order.


Basileans - Turn 1

Healing powers of the Basileans.

The Basileans moved forward as well but in a more cautious way. The Paladin Knights led the way, as expected, with the units in the centre only re-adjusting their positions. Then the healing powers were invoked and the damaged Swordsmen were restored to their full strength!


Outcasts - Turn 2

Pre-emptive attacks.

The Elven King spurred his steed and rode all by himself to disrupt enemy battle line. He attacked the second unit of the Swordsmen and that charge surprised them greatly.

At the same time the Drakon Riders attacked lonely Gnaeus in order to stop him from advancing to the flank of their formation.

The shooters did not give up and let lose another volley at the same target. This time it was too much for the Swordsmen and they fled the battle.


Basileans - Turn 2

Basileans strike back!

There were fast troops in the Basilean army too and these were unleashed to intercept the Elven Drakon Riders in particular. 

The regiment on the Western flank was routed by the combined efforts of Gnaeus and Elohi. The one on the East pinned down the Palace Guard while nearby Panthers grounded the Drakon Riders.

Then the Phoenix and Samacris spotted Silver Breeze troop that was further away from their leaders. Nimble Elven warriors were engulfed in flames and the survivors fled the battle.


Outcasts - Turn 3

The exchange of blows continues.

Elves continued their attack on the Western flank and routed the Elohi in return while Gnaeus was badly wounded by the Palace Guard. 

The remaining Silver Breeze and the Archmage moved away from the centre and shot down the Panthers.

The fight on the East was not as successful. The Drakon Riders who counter-charged the Panthers only wavered the big cats. And the combined efforts of the Palace Guard and the Forest Shamblers did not rout the Elohi, despite the flank charge of the Shamblers.


Basileans - Turn 3

Basileans press forward on the Eastern front.

Paladin Knights had the first opportunity to charge the enemy and poor Forest Shamblers were in a very bad spot too. They were routed quickly. Fortunately for Elves, the Palace Guard held its ground against another attack of the Elohi.

The Phoenixes charged this time and while the younger one distracted the Archers, Samacris failed to do any damage against the Drakon Riders.


Outcasts - Turn 4

Elven powerful attacks.

Elves mounted a series of very successful attacks. Gnaeus had to withdraw after his trusted mount took a few arrows and lightning bolts too many to protect his master. 

There were a few counter attacks in the centre where Elves tried to tie down the enemies. And last but not least, the Palace Guard on the East won the duel against the Elohi.

It all could look quite well for the Elves if not for a few crucial mistakes.


Basileans - Turn 4

Elves are losing on the East.

While the Palace Guard accepted the grim fate of fighting against the Paladin Knights on their own, the Archers were surprised by the charge of the Ogres. Both Elven regiments perished as a result of the uneven fight.


Outcasts - Turn 5

Elves don't give up!

Despite the losses, Elves had some good options to attack and gained control of the enemy's deployment zone. Stormwind cavalry defeated Basilean Swordsmen while combined attack of the Drakon Lord, the King and Forest Shambelers made the Phoenix disappear. No doubt it would be reborn again but at least it would not participate in this battle.


Basileans - Turn 5

Basileans capitalize on Elven mistakes.

Basileans quickly capitalized on the mistakes of the Elven regiments. The Ogres charged the Stormwind cavalry while Paladin Knights made sure to get rid of the Forest Shamblers. 

While the battle has not been decided yet, Elves were on the back foot now.


Outcasts - Turn 6

Elven attempts to control the territory.

 

Although the situation looked bad, Elves still had a chance to control the territory. Hence, the Palace Guard moved to one of the zones, Silverbreez remained where they were and Drakons flew to another.

Stormwind attempted to do some damage against the Ogres but it was not sufficient to rout the enemy. Now they had to brace for impact.


Basileans - Turn 6

Elves lose their heavy cavalry.

Unfortunately for Elves, the Ogres did not give any chance for the Stormwind cavalry and Elven knights perished. Elves still controlled enough territory to deny the Basileans the victory. But the humans did not intend to stop and continued the fight.


Outcasts - Turn 7

Last salvos of the Elven army.

At this stage Elves focused on just maintaining the distance and some ranged attacks that proved to be insufficient to rout the Ogres. And yet again, Elves made a crucial mistake that was about to cost them the battle!


Basileans - Turn 7

Basileans carry the day!

In the final charge the Basileans shift the balance of the battle into their favour. The Ogres use the opportunity to catch careless Drakon Riders and take the control over this zone of the battle field from them. Next, the Samacris flies over to its own centre to claim this area as well. And finally, the Paladin Knights capture another Elven leader to seal their undeniable success. 


Summary

Turn-by-turn animation summary

After-battle

Many thanks to Yan for a great game and congratulations on the well deserved victory! He did what the best generals always do, kept his eyes open for any openings and mistakes the opponent may make. This, after a few turns of the exchange of punches, to some great charges of his two most powerful units, the Paladin Knights and the Ogre Palace Guard. 

I wish I was a better opponent for Yan this game. Unfortunately, I made a series of mistakes that he masterfully exploited and that cost me the battle in the end. Let's have a look at these that I consider the most crucial for the outcome of the game.

I think that first 3 turns were quite good and interesting, with both our armies winning on their respective stronger flanks. In turn 4, however, I made a mistake as I did not think if counter-charging with the Archers against the Phoenix is the best option. I thought that as I cannot shoot with them, at least I will deny the Phoenix the ability to fly for a turn. Unfortunately, it also meant I allowed the Ogres to charge, invade my centre and escape the pursuing units. If I withdrew with the Archers instead, I believe I would have been out of charge range of the Ogres. Perhaps that would have also kept them in the charge range of the cavalry.

Second, even more crucial mistake was made in turn 5. After routing the Phoenix, I focused on reforming Forest Shamblers in a way that would present the front to the Paladin Knights. It did not matter in the end but as a result I opened the path for the Ogres to intercept my heavy cavalry. I did not lose them on the charge but it stopped my assault.

Then, in turn 6, I could withdrew with my knights and charge in with the Silverbreeze cavalry. That would have allowed me to block the Ogres for a bit and even give the opportunity to charge for Stormwind in turn 7 with the bonus from Thunderous Charge (2). 

And the final, really sill mistake, was to leave the Drakons in the charge range of the Ogres in the last turn. That allowed them to take away the control over that zone, for Samacris to step aside to the centre zone and Palading Knights to finish off my Drakon Lord. Instead of a draw, I lost 4:2 in the scenario objectives. Ouch!

As much as it feels bad to make so many mistakes in a single game, I have some hope because they can be avoided in the future games. I also take some hope from the fact that despite these mistakes, the game was not resolved until the very end. Well, almost :)

The most important was, however, that it was a fantastic game against an awesome opponent! The great way to finish the tournament, regardless of the result. Once again, many thanks to Yan for all the fun!

For those interested, here are the final results of the event:

Many thanks to Michael for organizing the event and to all my opponents, Nick, Michael D., Michael C. and Yan for the games! Congratulations to Jeff for smashing all the opposition and claiming the overall win!

That concludes the series of the battle reports from the last tournament I took part in last year. It is unlikely I will attend any tournaments in the near future but I will do my best to play some games and write battle reports as usual. In fact, I have 2 in the making already!

Thanks for reading!


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