Saturday 23 April 2022

Game 162 - Forces of Nature - 2022/04/23



Welcome to my most recent battle report! It took me some time to organize a game (again!) but fortunately, I was able to do so. It was played on a freshly updated Universal Battle 2 platform. This time I had a great pleasure to play against Ed and his Forces of Nature army.

It's been a while since our last game so I was really happy to catch up and play again. Ed has been running variations of the Forces of Nature army for some time, including the formation. However, this time he did not use this particular option. The army list offers nice variety and provides a lot of options to choose from. 

Here is the army Ed chose for our game:

Centaurs & Elementals - Army List

Earth Elementals Horde (EE1), Large Infantry - 220
Fire Elementals Horde (FE), Large Infantry - 220

Earth Elementals Regiment (EE2), Large Infantry - 130
Centaur Bray Striders Regiment (CBS), Cavalry, Frenzied Otter - 165
Centaur Bray Striders Regiment (CBS), Cavalry, Frenzied Otter - 165

Hunters of the Wild Troop (HotW), Large Infantry - 90
Hunters of the Wild Troop (HotW), Large Infantry - 90

Beast of Nature (BoN), Monster, Wings, 7 Attacks - 205
Greater Fire Elemental (GFE), Monster - 175
Greater Air Elemental (GAE), Monster - 180

Druid (D), Hero (Infantry), Conjurer's Staff, Bane Chant(2), Surge (4), Heal (2) - 105
Gladewalker Druid (GW), Hero (Infantry), Tome of Darkness, Ring of Harmony [1], Heal (4) - 135
Unicorn (U), Hero (Cavalry), Lightning Bolt (5) - 120

The army has 13 units total, 10 scoring, with total unit strength of 19. 

Even though I played against Forces of Nature before and many unit types are familiar to me, I don't think I had an opportunity to fight against a similarly composed force. It looks to me as melee orientated army, as it has only two sources of ranged attacks. Namely a Unicorn with Lightning Bolt (5) and Greater Fire Elemental with its Fireball (8). However, there is quite a variety of different units and their capabilities in melee.

Let's start with Elementals. The Earth ones are obviously very tough with their Defence 6+. They have "only" Crushing Strength (1), meaning they are not the hardest hitting elements of the army. However, it is more than enough against fragile Elves. And you can always expect shambling units to try and get into your flanks with a timely Surge. Fire Elementals are even better in dealing the damage Crushing Strength (2) and Vicious. Greater Fire Elemental adds to the potential even more, making frontal attacks with a few units at the same time a viable option against many opponents. All these units can form a solid battle line and their high defence helps in reaching the fight.

On the other hand, the regiments of Centaurs, the Beast of Nature and the Greater Air Elemental, all add speed and manoeuvrability to the army. I learned in my previous games that Centaurs can be very efficient in a fight and I decided to make them a priority for my own ranged attacks. This is to have a better chance of inflicting damage (as they have defence 4+) and to try and eliminate fast units. 

The Beast of Nature is always a great addition, as it can threaten the flanks well and can hold on in the fight on its own against several of my units. As long as they fight one on one of course. 

Greater Air Elemental adds the ability to fly over to the flank of a target and then get Surged into a fight. Something that is hard to counter.

That would be something to watch for as any combined charge where Elementals and/or Centaurs attack frontally, while the Beast or the Greater Air Elemental join from the flank, will be deadly to any of my units. 

To make it all happen, the army still needs a few heroes with Surge spells. Ed brought two, Druid and Gladewalker Druid. Druid was equipped with three very useful spells: Heal, Bane Chant and Surge. Gladewalker Druid also had Heal spell and got Surge (5) thanks to the Tome of Darkness magic artefact. This was further augmented by the Ring of Harmony that allowed to cast these spells twice per turn. With further help from Conjurer's Staff and Nature in Balance special rule, it looked like these spells should work really well! I fully expected that whatever Surge plans Ed would have during the game, would work :)

Let's not forget about the Hunters! I was very curious about these troops as they can Scout and can do well in intercepting my units. With 12 attacks hitting on 3+, potentially augmented by Bane Chant, it can be enough to cause trouble.

My first impression was that I would need to play a patient game against this force. Try to inflict some damage with shooting while manoeuvring to look for good options for the combined charges. And avoid the Surge into the flanks if possible!

Here is my army list for the reference:

Outcasts - Army List

Quicksilver Lancers Regiment [1] (QL), Cavalry - 240
Palace Guard Regiment (PG1),
 Infantry - 160
Palace Guard Regiment (PG2),
 Infantry - 160
Therennian Sea Guard Regiment (SG),
 Infantry - 150

The Swirling Tempests Regiment (ST1), 
Large Cavalry, Kal'ar's Hunters Formation - 180
The Swirling Tempests Regiment (ST2), 
Large Cavalry, Kal'ar's Hunters Formation - 180

Silverbreeze* Regiment (SB), Cavalry - 200
Forest Shamblers* Regiment (FS1), 
Large Infantry - 120
Forest Shamblers* Regiment (FS1), 
Large Infantry - 120

Paul the King (K), Elven King, Hero (Cavalry), Hann's Sanguinary Scripture, Sabre Tooth Cat - 155
Kal'ar (Ka), Lord on Drakon, Hero (Large Cavalry), Kal'ar's Hunters Formation - 170
Archibald the Archmage (A), Elven Archmage, Hero (Infantry), Inspiring Talisman, Lightning Bolt (5) - 155
Argus Rodinar [1], Hero (Monster) - 70

This army has 13 Units, 10 of them are scoring and the total Unit Strength is 23.


Terrain Details

Deployment & Scenario

Elves vs Forces of Nature - Universal Battle 2 view.

We rolled for the scenario and got one of the classic ones, Loot. However, for me personally, they all seem like new as I haven't played for a while! I had to place my token on either side first so I tried to make sure it does not leave any spot for the last one on the same side. This is to avoid a situation where I would need to fight against the enemy with a tough and compact army on half of the battle field only. 

I chose the right side of the table and Ed placed his token on the left. I ended up on the Northern side this time as well.

At the beginning of the deployment I decided I want to focus on two out of three tokens only. I was concerned that there may be not enough room for my units to manoeuvre. I wanted to avoid frontal attacks and war of attrition. I thought that if I managed to feign the interest in all the tokens then perhaps it would be possible to use their speed and manoeuvrability to strike elsewhere. And carry two tokens to the safety. 

Hence, I intended to deploy my units in a way that would allow them to threaten all three objectives, but choose two I wanted to take as the game developed.

After a while it was interesting to see that Ed's army is deployed mainly on the centre left, with Centaurs challenging my units on the left flank and lonely Beast of Nature on the right. I also waited with Silver Breeze regiment until Centaurs are deployed. In this way the fast cavalry would be in the position to threaten Centaurs with bows. But also with potential charge, if needed. I hoped to engage with Centaurs relatively early so that I could divert the forces to the centre and see which token I could collect.

On the right flank, I needed to tie up the Beast before it could find a safe spot to land behind my lines. It was important to do so quickly, otherwise a single enemy unit would be threatening several of mine. 

The difficult task was assigned to the Palace Guard and Forest Shamblers in the centre. They had to pretend to be more dangerous than they were in order to distract more numerous forces Ed deployed there. That was to contest the central token for as long as possible and to buy time for the flanking forces to win against their respective enemies. 

Deployment after Scout moves.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Elves take control over the fist objective.

Elves tried to seize the initiative by moving the army first. The units on the Western flank moved into the positions to shoot at the Centaurs but the first volley was not that efficient. 

Forest Shamblers on the Eastern flank moved forward to secure the first objective. The nearby regiments, led by the King, waited in support in case the Beast of Nature decided to attack early.

Centaurs & Elementals - Turn 1

Hunters lead the way!

The Forces of Nature responded by withdrawing Centaurs and the Beast on the flanks while moving with the Elementals and the Hunters forward. One of the units of the Hunters grabbed the treasure quickly too. 

The Druids were busy healing the little damage done by Elven arrows and surging some Elementals forward a bit.

Outcasts - Turn 2

Elves engage in the centre.

The Elven units on the Western flank kept the distance and continued shooting, not discouraged by the fact their previous attempts were nullified by magic. 

Forest Shamblers in the centre of the battle field engaged the enemy Hunters but they did not inflict much damage. Hopefully, they would be able to block the foes for some time.

The regiments on the Eastern front continued manoeuvring but started splitting their forces. The King, with the back up of Dragon Riders, spurred his horse and chased the Beast of Nature, seemingly cornered in the open. While Stormwind cavalry pivoted towards the centre to assist their companions in the incoming combats.

Centaurs & Elementals - Turn 2

Elementals counter attack successfully!

Although there was not much room for manoeuvres, the Fire Elementals were still able to join the Hunters in their fight against the Forest Shamblers. With such overwhelming odds, the regiment quickly perished.

While the Centaurs still didn't move against their enemies, the Beast charged the lonely King. However, Elven commander had centuries of experience fighting against many foes and managed to avoid majority of blows.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Elves launch a few successful attacks of their own.

The third round of shooting proved to be more effective, as the Elves finally managed to rout one of the regiments of Centaurs. That shifted the balance towards the Elven forces slightly.

On the opposite flank, the King was joined by the Drakon Riders and the Forest Shamblers in the fight against the Beast. Unsupported and alone, the Beast was quickly captured and Elven units quickly reformed to move to the centre.

And then the Palace Guard charged the Hunters and managed to rout them quickly. That was a bit unexpected and the Palace Guard braced for the impact as Elven warriors expected some Elementals to counter attack soon.

Centaurs & Elementals - Turn 3

Forces of Nature continue advance through the centre.

The loss of three units at the same time was not part of the plan Druids had for this battle. The army was consolidating the position and reformed to fill the gaps in the battle line.  

Earth Elementals regiment was sent to block the Palace Guard, with Greater Elementals waiting in the second line to engage.

The nearby Hunters used this to circle around and outflank the Elven infantry. At the same time, the Centaurs and the Elementals faced the Elven flanking force.

The Unicorn noted a great success when it managed send a few accurate lightning bolts at the arrogant Elven Archmage, who walked in the open with complete disregard for his safety. 

Outcasts - Turn 4

Palace Guard regiments crumble the Earth Elementals.

Elves changed the priorities for the attacks. Drakon Lord attacked the second regiment of the Centaurs to block them. This allowed the regiments behind him to safely turn towards the centre. The shooters did well in hunting down the Hunters who were caught in the open.

Palace Guard regiments combined their efforts and managed to crumble the regiment of the Earth Elementals. With the remaining Elven units rushing from the Eastern front, it looked like Elven are attempting a pincer manoeuvre to defeat their enemies.

Centaurs & Elementals - Turn 4

Forces of Nature counter attack!

The Forces of Nature army was still very dangerous and proved it. First, the Unicorn charged against the Drakon Riders and the ferocity of the attack surprised Elven flying cavalry. They had to withdraw to regroup.

The Drakon Lord was also badly wounded, which threatened Elven plan to stop the Centaurs from engaging the main Elven forces too early.

The main counter attack was through the centre, however. The Palace Guard regiments faced the wrath of the Fire Elementals and Greater Elementals. As a result, one of the regiments was destroyed but the second one remained steadfast, despite significant damage done.

Outcasts - Turn 5

Big scrum in the centre of the battle field.

Anticipating that the Drakon Lord would not hold for much longer, the Drakon Riders momentarily unable to fight and the Sea Guard too far to attack, it was up to the Silverbreeze regiment to charge. Using the impetuous the charge down the hill gave them, the fast cavalry smashed into the flank of the Fire Elementals precisely when the Palace Guard engaged them from the front. The attack was successful and one of the most dangerous enemy units was defeated.

The King and the Stormwind cavalry also attempted to crush their foe but the Greater Fire Elemental proved to be harder to damage than anticipated. Despite the fact the Elven cavalry could charge in the open, they did not do as much as expected.

Centaurs & Elementals - Turn 5

Forces of Nature hit back.

It was now time for the Elves to suffer some damage. First, the Drakon Lord had to finally concede a defeat and was captured by the Centaurs. 

Second, the Earth Elementals, animated with the power of magic, charged the Silverbreeze regiment and scattered it. 

Unfortunately, neither of the Greater Elementals managed to rout their opponents. The Palace Guard held against all odds while the Stormwind cavalry's armour proved to be an excellent fire protection too.

Outcasts - Turn 6

Stormwind cavalry defeats the Greater Fire Elemental.

The Palace Guard withdrew to make room for the Drakon Riders that engaged the Greater Air Elemental in the aerial combat. That kept it distracted.

The King and the Stormwind doubled their efforts and this time managed to extinguish the fire that animated the Greater Elemental. That also allowed the Elven knights to snatch the treasure!

Centaurs & Elementals - Turn 6

Centaurs collect the treasure of their own.

Free at last, the Centaurs galloped towards the treasure that was left for them by the Elementals. They, in turn, charged the Drakon Riders, together with the Greater Air Elemental, and defeated them.

Unfortunately, the Unicorn failed to damage the second regiment of the Drakon Riders this time and the Elven cavalry was free to move! That would prove a costly mistake.

Outcasts - Turn 7

Elves claim all the objectives!

Despite significant losses on both sides, neither army was ready to cease fire and the fight continued. Due to the failure of the Unicorn to stop the Drakon Riders, they were now ready to team up with the Sea Guard and attack an exposed flank of the Centaurs. Not only they managed to rout the enemy but also recovered the third piece of the treasure.

The units in the centre managed to defeat the Greater Air Elemental. Heroic Place Guard blocked the Earth Elementals from engaging with the Elven knights protecting one of the treasures.

Centaurs & Elementals

Last charge of the Elementals.

The Forces of Nature lost too many units to be able to reclaim all the treasures that were now controlled by the Elves. Hence, the Earth Elementals fought the Palace Guard only to break through from the encirclement. The Elven elite infantry was finally defeated but the army emerged victorious.


Turn-by-turn animation summary.


Many thanks to Ed for a fantastic game! Especially after such a long break! It is always great to play against you!

I was worried that I may be a bit rusty due to not playing for some time but it turned out better than I expected. However, as it often happens, the end result is not the reflection of the battle and how it could have ended if a few situations were resolved differently.

In general, I am quite happy with how I played. The obvious mistake was to leave Archie the Archmage in the open, or rather, outside of inspiring range. I forgot he does not have his talisman anymore!

It certainly helped to rout one regiment of the Centaurs with shooting turn three. My plan was to attack them in turn 4 anyway. But if they survived, it would have mean committing other units there as well. 

Similarly, being able to rout the Beast of Nature early, helped to move the units towards the centre in time. I believe Ed mentioned after the battle, that he should have kept the Beast there for a bit longer and not engage yet. That would have bought his units in the centre more time.

Some of the units proved to be more resistant than anticipated, like the Palace Guard in the centre. Ed had bad luck with a nerve roll when the Greater Air Elemental failed to rout them. This gave me additional turn and the ability to swap units in a fight. 

And one more bad luck situation when the Unicorn did no damage against the Drakon Riders. That allowed them to charge and help reclaiming the final piece of the treasure for the Outcasts.

I also enjoyed a new version of the Universal Battle 2 with a lot of great features that help in the game. The favourite ones so far are the damage tokens (little skulls with numbers attached to the units) and automatic distance measuring between highlighted unit and other elements.

I hope you enjoyed the report!

Thank you for reading!


  1. Thanks for sharing!
    A good read as always.

    I'm starting to think that brocks are Paul the King's only weakness...

    1. Thanks Erasmus!

      I am really sorry as I must have missed your comment earlier.

      Indeed, Brocks are not what he likes to fight. I wonder why? :-P

  2. Gone a bit quiet - hope.all is well swordy

    1. Hi there!

      2022 turned out to be quite a challenging year. As a result, there is still very little time for the hobby and no new games have been played since April.

      Let's see if I can change it before the year ends!