Battle Report 1: Halflings vs Brothermark 2000 points, Pillage
Welcome to our first Battle report, brought to you in text form to start with and then we will see where we go from there!
Dave Fanning was commanding the halflings and myself, Matt Croger, the Brothermark. Dave is newish to Kings of War and I am no great general think of these reports not so much as for great tactical insight but being able to see our thoughts and see mistakes etc. We are using them to improve our own game play and keep a record of it.
Halflings of Dick Castle
Wild Runners (Regiment) 145 Wild Runners (Regiment) 145 Ej Grenadiers* (Regiment) 105 Ej Grenadiers* (Regiment) 105 Aeronauts* (Regiment) 175 - Blade of Slashing 5 Aeronauts* (Regiment) 175 Muster Captain on Winged Aralez 195 - Relentless 5 Muster Captain on Winged Aralez 195 - Relentless 5 Spearspikes (Horde) 165 Spearspikes (Horde) 165 Stalwarts (Horde) 190 - Staying Stone 5 - Exchange shields for two-handed weapons, lowering Defence to 4+ and gaining Crushing Strength (1) 0 Harvester 140 Sergeant 55 - The Standard of Hodenburg  - gain Aura (Elite (Melee) - Infantry only) 25 ------------------------- Total Unit Strength: 27 Total Units: 13 Target Points: 2000 Core (Target%): 2000 (100%)
Villein Bowmen (Regiment) 95 Villein Bowmen (Regiment) 95 Order of the Abyssal Hunt (Regiment) 235 - Maccwar's Potion of the Caterpillar 20 Order of the Abyssal Hunt (Regiment) 235 - Sir Jesse's Boots of Striding 15 Ogre Palace Guard (Horde) 235 - Dwarven Ale 15 Villein Siege Artillery 90 Villein Siege Artillery 90 Villein Skirmishers (Troop) 95 Villein Skirmishers (Troop) 95 Priest 75 - Conjurer's Staff 10 - Bane Chant (2) 20 - Mount on a Horse, increasing Speed to 8 and changing to Hero (Cav - Height: 3) 25 - Library Mindfog (2) 10 High Chaplain Augustus  145 Ogre Palace Guard (Horde) 235 Villein Siege Artillery 90 Bearer of the Holy Icon 50 - Lute of Insatiable Darkness 25 ------------------------- Total Unit Strength: 18 Total Units: 14 Target Points: 2000 Core (Target%): 2000 (100%)
Dave's List Thoughts
I’ve gone all out on the US front, looking for the highest US I could build. All but 1 unit scores ( I didn’t have the points to get another inspiring source) and all but 3 of my scoring units are US 2 or more. I’ve gone for the spearspike hordes over braves for the added US and also I think phalanx might be a deterrent for cav and flyers, and in my game plan I don’t need to kill him just survive.
Matt's List Thoughts
I am most comfortable with mixed arms style lists. I am trying out all the human variants to find a play style that I like among them. I love the abyssal hunt knights so wanted two of them and Ogre Palace Guard are reasonably obligatory so started to build an army around 2 of each. What I ended up with was a reasonable mix that could compete in all phases except the shooting phase wouldn't be reliable. I knew I was going to be playing against high unit strength so I knew the big weakness in this list was the amount of scoring drops.
My plan is to contest all objectives to force Matt to over commit, hopefully we can trade off some units and I leave him short US and take the majority of the objectives. I have also placed an out flanking force to sweep up Matt’s weaker scoring units.
I ended up a little too exposed at the end of deployment, I thought he would of deployed the arty on the other side as he will only have LOS on about 3 objectives. If my centre holds I should get some good flanks but anything can happen with 3 arty in the back line.
I believe his bowmen and skirmishers should get picked up easily, This will force him to split his last 4 scoring units over the board to try and claim the win. If I force a divide in his main hammers and can attack him piece meal with my 6 flyers it might be my best chance.
I don’t play long range artillery a lot so I am in two minds about whether to drop first to control board space or last. In this instance I am keen to have them firing at his aeronaughts as they are a couple of the only heavy hitters in the list. I am losing on the US/drops with US front so I have to be careful on not throwing things away. I tried to place my tokens more centrally so that I have a firing arc over a few of them and I don’t have to spread out as much. Post objective deployment I decide I will try and only compete for 4/5 and let the right one go. When the spearspikes went out on the right flank early I made that decision.
Damn I think he out deployed me, my intent now with the grenadiers and winged aralez is to get into his back line and force him up to take on the spears, if he commits with his knights early I should have enough support to remove them.
My wild runners will be in range next turn to attack his arty, so fingers crossed he has a poor shooting round and I get through it unscathed. If his arty rolls hot it will be hard for me to recover.
Measuring US I beat him big time so if I can hold my hordes and contest an objective I win 3-1. Lets see how that goes.
Dave took first. I would’ve taken first for sure to get the artillery flowing. He put more wounds than expected on the archers but thankfully not broken. I turned the right hand knights just to control drop zones of the fliers and also backed up the middle skirmishers in case the middle general tried to 20 inch drop somewhere. Otherwise it was about creating options while I got shooting. Dave didn't see the skirmishers popping out from behind the knights to charge his EJ so I got that sneaky charge in.
Archers combined did 3 wounds on the left wild runners. I then decided to split the artillery trying to get both units of runners in one turn. 2 artillery did a total of 2w on the right hand runners but then the other rolled double 6 and got another 7 on the left. . Tried a cheeky Mind Fog on the right Ej’s without success. Left hand wild runners died. And in combat my skirmishers got a 2 x 10 nerve roll to pop the EJ’s. Pretty happy with turn 1 and a bruce piece of luck.
Is it too soon for hail mary’s? I’ve realised I seriously miss deployed my aeronaughts and now its up to the dice gods if they survive. I pushed up my aeronaughts on the flank and blocked them with my runners I had an extra 1.6” of movement with the aeros but held them back for a wider charge arc next turn. Here was my first rule misinterpretation, I was under the impression the unit had to be wholly within 12” to not be targeted by indirect weapons, I’ve had it corrected since that if any part of the unit is within 12” they cannot be targeted. My wild runners will most likely die an honourable death however I fired them into the wounded bowmen regiment to take them off comfortably.
I had the counter charge on the skirmishers with my stalwarts and took them off comfortably aswell. That two of Matts weaker scoring units down… two to go.
A little bit of cat and mouse on the far right but I think I’ll hold both objectives with my spear hordes comfortably, I think I’ve jammed myself up a little with the aeronaught regiment on the right, I need to get them into the game so if I can distract Matt’s right Abbysal hunt Cav unit I might be able to just shoot them across the bottom and into the mix when the OPG drop down. Lets see what happens on Matt’s turn 2.
Turn 2 had seen Dave "The Rainman" push forward hard to get towards the artillery, the way he managed to push units did limit some of my targets due to the indirect rule.
On the right hand side I repositioned again about controlling the back field and hopefully keeping some of his toys on that side of the board. I doubled charged the stalwarts and popped my boots on the knights, charged the harvester mostly just to bring units forward and clog him up with the potential to get lucky also. I wasn't afraid of a hindered spear charge on the OPG if I didn't go through. The back skirmishers repositioned to annoy his general if he moved towards the artillery which was likely.
In the shooting phase I tried mind fog on the EJ's again to be annoying, it failed. The archers put one wound on the runners and one artillery shot at them and failed to hit.
2 artillery shot at the aeronaughts and hit twice but only tallied 3 wounds. They did get a waver on a 7 though so they were relatively stuck.
In combat the knights and OPG towelled up the stalwarts and the knights re-positioned to threaten the left. The OPG options were limited after that so remained facing forward.
The other OPG did 4 wounds on the harvester but rightly failed to pop them.
Damn, I didn’t see that double on my stalwarts horde. So my 2nd rule mistake was that you can pivot through enemy units as long as you end clear, for some reason I understood it as no interpenetration was allowed. So my mistake, however hopefully I can rally and hold out.
So on to my turn 3, I regathered a little steam, shot off another unit with a lucky nerve roll and look to be in a good position for turn 4, here is my plan so far.
On the right, I have that objective. His Abbysal hunt regiment will take at least 2 turns to chew through it and its turn 3 now. I've redirected my muster captain into the centre for plans described next, and my aeronaughts will be ready to charge OPG by turn 5. My last regiment of grenadiers will hopfully distract the abbysal hunt regiment for another turn, and if they stay untouched will claim the top objective.
In the centre…. Lots of movement shenanigans. Basically I charged in with my sergeant to the right OPG, and then withdrew my harvester back to block any chance of a double charge from the OPG. My spikes moved slightly so if Matt does take the spear horde charge I’ll get a rear with my muster captain, my plan here again is to delay a turn at least so my aeronaughts can get in for support.
Now to the left… like I said earlier I totally miss read the rule on charging, however I’ve got a new plan. I took the charge on the arty for 2 reasons, revenge for my wavered aeronaughts and because I wanted a good reface to cover the battle field and give me more options. This time I feel like my wild runners have blocked the abbysal hunt regiment from touching anything juicy (only after I refaced my muster captain did I realise I was out of charge arc… so I cant claim that genius move) and also shot at the skirmisher doing only 2 wounds but with a 9 on the nerve roll I took them off. Lastly my aeronaughts just sat there wavered…
With a little luck, I’ll remove the last bowmen regiment next turn and Matt will have only 4 scoring options left.
I was very surprised to be missing my poor skirmishers I did not see that coming. Can only blame myself cause I could’ve kept them out of range.
Movement wise he’d left me with a lot of ordinary choices and lots of angles to account for which is (imo) one of the strengths of the halfling list. I chose to back the knights up in the right corner as that put them within objective range and still corralled the EJs I didn’t want to give them a flank yet so put that off for another turn. Maybe the risk would’ve been worth it.
I took the flank on the runners. Moved one OPG forward and in position to threaten the harvester and spears. At the end of turn I realised the top general could still reach them so that was a bit of a mistake but I wouldn’t have wanted them facing up anyway. Dave had played a really good positioning turn. I counter charged the dick castle banner bearer.
Shooting the archers luckily popped a wound on the aeros. The artillery missed, mind fog didn’t get lucky again.
In combat I put the runners to sleep and then I was left with a difficult choice again if I turned towards the middle I left the flank open for the general and also he could take his time running through the artillery and archers so I chose to face up even though it will likely leave me out of position. It does leave me in a good objective position however.
Dick castle died and again I had a very difficult position as there were flanks everywhere. I decided to offer the top general and the harvester hindered flanks.
Here goes nothing, after surviving for so long out of place my aeronaughts finally have fallen, I would of loved them to hang around longer however hope is not lost.
Matt’s given me a triple charge on his OPG and I’ve decided to take it, I need to reduce his scoring units and since he pivoted his abyssal hunt regiment away from them my muster captain he will be safe for another round. If I took the bowmen like I intended I’d be down one more very useful flyer that I will need come turn 6. I’ve opened him up to a charge from Augusts however if I've re-faced him correctly he should shoot off next turn anyway and hopefully get a juicy flank on a unit claiming an objective.
My grenadiers continue to push his right abbysal hunt regiment further back and my aeronaughts have moved into striking distance.
I knew my harvester was stuck going into the triple charge, however I didn’t have many good options with him and was open to the flank in ever option so I took the option that lets me get a flank charge first. I’ve refaced him on the angle so if he holds my aeronaughts will get a charge. This re-face will either delay the OPG from charging or set me up for a decent CC come turn 5 and 6. I’m expecting 5 wounds from the hindered OPG charge so at 9 wounds total the 6 twice nerve roll might be enough to save me.
I’m totally exposed to his arty this turn so I’m just hoping for another sub par round of shooting with them to leave me unscathed.
I moved the archers forward to offer the general a flank, hoping that would pull him out of the way and Dave would make an error in future turns and my knights would get back to the objective behind them.
Augustus charged the general hoping to ground him and the OPG flanked the harvester. Time to cook the cooks.
Shooting the artillery went off thankfully on the aeronaughts doing 7 wounds and popping them. Mind fog failed on the EJ's again.
In combat Augustus did 2 wounds but failed to rout (Iron resolve then knocked off a wound). The OPG crushed the harvester and reformed. At this point I felt confident I could hang in there.
Good thing I spoke for so long about my cunning plan with the harvester and aeronaughts….
Well I’m really limited in options now so my logic was based on how can I avoid his hammers and stay agile. Taking off his bowmen was pivotal for the reface it gave me and again I elected to charge the priest to keep my units safe. I would of liked the rout results but inspiring saved its bacon and I had to settle for a waiver.
Looking at the board state now going into turn 6 I see 2 objectives to me, 1 to matt and 1 contested. Matts gonna have to expose himself to take the final objective on the left and that might be enough to give me a decent rear charge. So provided I haven’t missed much I should get the win here.
I did not expect the hindered general to go through the archers quite so easily but he did and that's the nature of the game. The knights and OPG repositioned so the general didn't have a flank. I was hoping the left knights still may be able to pivot and claim the token and if not the OPG would be in position to charge his general if necessary. The top knights pushed away to the token to claim it (more on this later) and the priest backed up. There were no valid targets for shooting and no combat.
Movement shenanigans. I’ve positioned my left captain out of firing range, but also within 3 inches of the objective and now matt cannot pivot and move 8 to stay both 1 inch away from me and within 3 inches of the objective.
Up top I’ve push to just within 3 inches while staying out of charge range and behind blocking terrain to avoid the arty.
So currently its 3-1 with 1 contested. Lets see what Matt comes up with.
Dave positioned his general perfectly so I had to move the knights and charge with OPG to claim it and leave the centre token unclaimed. At this stage I knew barring double 1's that I was going through the general so I said to Dave "It's a draw" and then he informed me that I should read lists properly and the EJ's are large infantry so US2 not 1! Then I felt sillier than a bum full of smarties and it was game over with a win to Dave.
Very happy with how my list held up, even after losing all but 4 drops I still finished with 11 US and enough to secure the win.
I’ve taken away a few rules learning, and need to look for the double charge more regularly. Next time I’ll deploy my aeronaughts more centrally as both units failed to do anything more then project some threat. I also need to look to support my stalwart horde better and leave it less exposed.
Very happy with how the nimble EJ grenadier and muster captains performed, and I definitely think they are the true strength in this list. For this list positioning is key and with speed 10 nimble they sure do that well.
Thanks again to Matt for another good game.
What a cock up in terms of list reading but that's how it goes. I didn't have high hopes of winning with the amount of US drops he had but I thought I put up a reasonable fight with some movement positioning errors.
On reflection it's tough to win with not many US drops especially at 2000 points. I'd keep the 3 artillery if at 2300 but otherwise I think I'd go for a big hammer game in the future. Dave is very enjoyable to play and I think we'll have a few of these reports coming.