Thursday, 29 October 2015

Kings of War up-sized

The weekend saw my first game of Kings of War using anything other than 2000 point armies. Pete and I decided to increase the size a bit and see how it played. We went for 6000 points, based on what we thought we could do with the Undead we had on hand. I matched it with Kingdoms of Men, keeping the list fairly light on for magic items in an effort to keep things simple and to get more models on the table. In the end it turned out that 6000 was pretty close to the limit of what the Undead could muster, and so the list wound up a bit more character-heavy and loaded with magic items than my list. This may have contributed to how the game went - who knows?

Kingdoms of Men
  • Horde of Knights (Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar)
  • Horde of Knights (Brew of Strength)
  • Horde of Knights
  • Horde of Knights
  • Horde of Pole-Arms Block
  • Horde of Pole-Arms Block
  • Horde of Pole-Arms Block
  • Horde of Shield Wall
  • Horde of Pike Block
  • Horde of Foot Guard (2 handed weapons)
  • Horde of Foot Guard (2 handed weapons)
  • Horde of Arquebusiers (Brew of Keen-eyeness)
  • Horde of Arquebusiers (Jar of the Four Winds)
  • Regiment of Pole-Arms Block
  • Regiment of Pole-Arms Block
  • Regiment of Pole-Arms Block
  • Troop of Mounted Scouts (Pistols)
  • Troop of Mounted Scouts (Pistols)
  • Troop of Mounted Scouts (Carbines)
  • Troop of Crossbowmen
  • Troop of Crossbowmen
  • Cannon
  • Cannon
  • Cannon
  • Siege Artillery
  • Siege Artillery
  • Siege Artillery
  • Beast of War (Light Ballista)
  • General on Winged Beast (Medallion of Life)
  • General on Winged Beast (Ensorcelled Armour)
  • Hero on Pegasus (Diadem of Dragon-kind)
  • Army Standard Bearer on Horse
  • Wizard on Horse (Bane Chant)
  • Wizard on Horse (Bane Chant)
  • Wizard (Heal, Bane Chant)
  • Wizard (Heal, Bane Chant)
  • General on Horse
  • General on Horse
  • Army Standard Bearer
Undead
  • Vampire on Dragon (Ensorcelled Armour)
  • Vampire Lord (Wings of Honeymaize)
  • Vampire Lord (Blade of Slashing)
  • Vampire on Pegasus (The Fog)
  • Liche King (Bane Chant, Lightning Bolt, Amulet of the Fire-heart)
  • Liche King (Bane Chant, Lightning Bolt, Mreb's Grimoire)
  • Necromancer (Bane Chant)
  • Necromancer (Bane Chant)
  • Revenant King
  • Revenant King
  • King on Winged Wyrm (Medallion of Life)
  • Lykanis
  • Legion of Zombies (Undead Rats/Dogs, Brew of Sharpness)
  • Legion of Zombies (Undead Rats/Dogs, Crystal Pendant of Retribution)
  • Horde of Revenants (Undead Rats/Dogs, Brew of Strength)
  • Horde of Revenants (Undead Rats/Dogs, Blessing of the Gods)
  • Horde of Skeletons (Undead Rats/Dogs)
  • Horde of Skeletons (Undead Rats/Dogs)
  • Horde of Werewolves (Dwarvern Ale)
  • Horde of Ghouls
  • Horde of Ghouls
  • Regiment of Revenant Cavalry (Potion of the Caterpillar)
  • Regiment of Revenant Cavalry
  • Regiment of Revenant Cavalry
  • Regiment of Skeletons (Undead Rats/Dogs)
  • Regiment of Wraiths
  • Regiment of Wraiths
  • Regiment of Wraiths
  • Regiment of Ghouls
  • Troop of Soul Reaver Cavalry (Chant of Hate)
  • Troop of Ghouls
  • Troop of Ghouls
I'm not going to bother with a proper battle report here. I'll just include some photos and describe what happened in the captions.
A view down the table. We went for a simple 12x4 playing surface as the consensus was that playing on a deeper table wouldn't achieve much for this first try. Might mix thing sup a bit next time.
The left flank. I'm going to refer to things from my perspective because I am the one writing. You're not the boss of me! I piled a fair bit of artillery on this flank once the Undead Wyrm made his presence felt. But apart from a horde of Foot Guard (the guys with the wagon), my extreme flank was a bit light on in terms of combat troops. The halflings scattered across the table were objectives. I was trying to save them. Pete was intent on destroying them, as he has a thing about halflings.
Pete's forces on the left were more impressive than mine. Those winged Vargheist models are Werewolves, and there is a Lykanis and flying Vampire on either side of them. Add hordes of Revenenants and Skeletons as well as a Vampire on Pegasus and the Wyrm, and things were definitely stacked against me over there.
Skip across a bit toward the centre, and we find the true pride of Pete's army - the Vampire on Zombie Dragon. He's backing up (from left) hordes of Revenants, Skeletons, a legion of Zombies and some Revenant Cavalry with a Liche lurking behind. 
Behold a pale rider. Like, really pasty white. Dude needs some sunlight.
Pete left a gap in his lines near the centre. I didn't do this; I had too much stuff. From left: Arquebusier horde with Mounted Scouts in front, Pole-Arm horde, Shieldwall horde with Mounted Scouts, General and Wizard behind, and another Arquebusier horde with sundry other missile troops falling off the right of the picture.
That's a horde and regiment of Ghouls jammed together on the right of Pete's lines. The main elements on that flank were 2 regiments of Revenant Cavalry, a regiment of Wraiths, and a Revenant King and Necromancer to urge them on.
Across the lines a little.
My right flank advances erratically. Errm, I mean tactically. That halfling objective in the centre will be mine!
Waves of cavalry advancing. The regiment in the lead actually deployed behind the other unit, but leapt it by virtue of having Pathfinder and the other unit being slowed by a forest.
What am I doing here? How do I address all the threats about to leap at me? Who is steering?
There were too many flying enemies in the area. It made my decision-making difficult.
A view back along the line.
My Pole-Arm horde moved up to what appeared to be a safe position...
Wraiths charged my Mounted Scouts, who were fortune to hold them off and open them up for a flank charge from my Pole-Arms block.
That thing in the middle is a Beast of War. I figure Rhinoxen count.
Ghouls heading for more of my Mounted Scouts.
The Undead move up semi-cautiously on the right flank.
The nearest Revenant Cavalry had moved up into the flank of the Pole-Arms, but were so far away that it was going to take a pretty phenomenal surge to get them into combat...
Apparently the Revenant King has mad surge skillz and after the Necromancer moved them up a bit he shoved them the remaining 5" they needed off his 6 dice.
Not really a rapid general advance. But then they are shambling, so what do you expect.
So much unfriendliness on my left flank, waiting its turn to move.
This particular disaster wavered my Pole-Arms, which was displeasing.
The Zombie Dragon enjoyed spending the early game lurking and threatening as much as possible. He'e just a bully, really.
Wraiths accompany the Zombie Dragon, whilst other flyers move up to scare my lines.
Look at them bravely cowering behind the building so my artillery can't see them. Booooo.
The far left flank is rapidly running out of time as things that move 18" or more in a turn move into position.
On the left I threw everything I could into the Werewolves - Pole-Arm regiment, Griffon and Pegasus. I don't think I quite managed to waver them.
The centre got eventful in a hurry. The Revenants got shoved a little too far forward with surge and got flanked by Knights, whilst the Revenant Cavalry got well and truly hammered.
This did not go well for the Revenants. They routed immediately.
Sure, the Knights in the flank are hindered by the forest. But it's 64 attacks. How hindered can they be?
The Revenant Knights were unable to take such punishment and were also routed.
No such luck with the charge on the Wraiths. Even with Bane Chant, the Pole-Arms charging through the forest couldn't bring enough force to bear on the enemy and were pushed back.
My forces respond to the insolence of the Revenant Cavalry on the right flank, routing them thanks mainly to the flank charge.
It was a bit of a mess trying to balance all of the models on the edge of the hill.
After the various Revenant units were removed, the Knights nearest the Zombie Dragon decided they had to let the Skeletons get the flank if they wanted to ensure the Dragon didn't do something even worse to them.
The Griffon advanced after the demise of the enemy cavalry just enough to clear a path for the Ghouls into the Pole-Arms. I guess that was the plan?
The Revenant King decided to get involved himself and went after the Mounted Scouts. He was repelled with minimal losses.
Having weathered the flank attack, the Wraiths turned on the Pole-Arms horde with assistance from some Ghouls. The assault wavered the Pole-Arms.
A horde of Ghouls had a crack at my Knights with the Brew of Strength, but made little progress. They then got hammered pretty badly by the counter-charge.
The Lykanis and his friends decided to deal with the Pole-Arm regiment, which was unable to take the punishment and routed.
On the left flank, Revenants charged my Foot Guard but were pushed back.
Zombies came for the brains of my Pole-Arms horde in amongst the buildings.
The Pole-Arms were better off than the Foot Guard nearby, who were copping flying monsters in the flank.
"Well this is unsporting": final words of my poor Foot Guard.
OK, so maybe we over-reached a little to kill those Revenants.
That's right. There are actually 2 Vampires attacking them. Not just the one on the Zombie Dragon. Between them they took a terrible toll on the Knights, who unsurprisingly folded.
You know how I said the Pole-Arms were better off than the Foot Guard? Well Surge will make liars of us all. Stupid Liche Kings with eleventy billion Surge dice.
The Baron, flying Vampire extraordinaire, began a spree of carnage this turn by chopping one of the Cannons on my left flank into itty bitty pieces.
The Soul Reaver Cavalry had been in a position to flank my Pole-Arms fighting Wraiths near the centre of the field, but I had managed to waver them with shooting (hence Pete sending a small troop of Ghouls to help instead). In the next turn my Scouts moved in for the kill with their pistols. Combined with other fire from my lines, the Soul Reavers were picked off.
On the left my Foot Guard counter-charged the Revenants. The Griffon and Pegasus worked together to finish off the wounded Werewolves, but then the Griffon rolled pitifully to advance out of sight of the Lykanis.
The Foot Guard had Bane Chant, but it was still not enough to rout the Revenants.
The Zombies were just finishing off the brains of their Pole-Arm victims when my Pike block charged in and poked them a bit with pointy sticks. Much good it did them really - legions take some killing.
My units avenged the Foot Guard by charging and killing the Undead Wyrm, but the other flying enemies remained at large.
My War Beast had had no luck with shooting, so decided to charge the Zombie Dragon instead. 7 wounds - not bad. 
Whilst one horde of Knights had no trouble dealing with the feisty Ghouls that had attacked them, the others got bogged in a forest fighting another legion of Zombies. Progress was limited.
With the Pole-Arms wavered, it was up to the Mounted Scouts to flank the Wraiths with Bane Chant to try to waver them. They didn't even do a wound. Pitiful. The Pole-Arms would not survive a second round of battering.
On the right things were almost sort of going OK. Ghouls had sneaked up on the extreme flank and made it to a Cannon, but my Pole-Arm regiment pushed through the enemy lines thanks to spotting a suitably soft target in a Ghoul troop. The Mounted Scouts moved to delay the big horde of Ghouls whilst my shooting poured into the remaining Revenant Cavalry, wiping them out.
There were random Revenant Kings and the like wandering all over the place. It meant there was plenty of Surge on offer when Pete needed it.
Like here, where it enabled the Skeletons to flank my War Beast to ensure that it didn't live long enough to get another charge on the Zombie Dragon (which might almost have killed it).
Skeletons were chasing my Griffon to try to stop him making it around the building to the Wraiths as they finished off the Pole-Arms.
It is a bad job being used as a speed bump.
Flanked again. Go away, stupid Surgey Liche.
The Revenants had a second go at the Foot Guard on the left flank, but this time they were assisted by The Flying Baron. It did not go well for me.
You know you're desperate when you're sending regiments of Pole-Arms into the front of a legion of Zombies.
Don't you wave that brochure at me.
Oh good, The Baron is back in amongst my artillery.
The left had folded pretty badly. The Lykanis flanked my Griffon which, at Defence 6, should really have shrugged it off. Except that Pete rolled something like an 11 and a 12 for the rout test and routed him immediately. So I started shooting the Lykanis to try to stop it getting to my lines. The Pegasus was using his Breath weapon on it. You can see I got it up to 11 damage, but all I could manage was a waver. Then the Pegasus met his untimely death at the hands of the Revenants.
The Knights bogged in the forest were holding their own until a Vampire and Revenant King turned up to spoil the fun.
The Ghouls are closing in on the right flank. Which is not good, really.
My Griffon made it to the Wraiths and finished them off, then turned around as the Skeletons caught up to him.
It really was a fight they could not win. The dice didn't even try to help them. It took a couple of goes, but in the end the Griffon smashed them up.
The Ghouls have killed the Artillery, but the larger group bounced unexpectedly off the Crossbows. Bogus rolling for the win!
Which meant the flank was aaaaall mine!
You know that Lykanis? Well, I shot him some more. Then I rolled a double 1. Exactly what had happened with the Crossbowmen up the other end of the field. Sigh.
This of course meant the clinically dead Lykanis was free to eat its way through my Artillery.
The Baron was not yet finished, and did terrible things to my Wizard on that flank.
See that yellow and green guy? At this point he is literally the only thing I have alive on the left side of the table. The Baron was flying after him and the Liche was throwing Lightning, but he survived! Yay! That side of the field was not technically uncontested...
One of my Army Standards gave his life to ensure the Zombie Horde that had eaten the brains of my Knights was not free to run off and help the Zombie Dragon...
Who had rather optimistically flown off to attack my Knights alone. He narrowly escaped being routed as a result of this, once the Bane Chanted counter-charge was resolved.
By the end of the game, this is what the field looked like. Left flank (note the complete absence of my troops)...
Centre...
Right flank (and this time note the lack of Undead. At least I won somewhere).
Top Dog. He took 18 damage and was still standing.
King of the world, baby!
Final Result:
Undead: 4
Kingdoms of Men: 2

Sadly only a minority of the halflings could be saved, with the rest being dismembered, maimed and called names by Pete's halfling-intolerant forces.

8 comments:

  1. Wow! Awesome amount of pics (and everything painted!). So, how do you feel about this system at that amount of points? How long did it take to finish the battle?

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    1. It took us about 6 hours to set up the table, pull out the armies, play the game and pack it all away again. I might answer the other part of your question below, as someone else has asked something similar...

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  2. Zoicks. If in doubt, go large, right?

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  3. hoping for a thorough analysis about the game in general and this battle in particular. Do you agree in that the game plays nicely on larger point levels?

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    1. Well I don't know about a thorough analysis right here, but there were a few things I took away from it:

      - KoW works fine for larger games. You end up needing a lot of models, but the flow of the game and its relative simplicity are perfect for getting through a game of that size.
      - 6K made for a lot of stuff for a single person to take care of. I think if the game got any larger, you would really want more than 1 player per side to let people focus a little more on the different areas of the table and make sure they're not making terrible tactical mistakes just for the sake of keeping the game moving.
      - I think it would be fun to try some larger games on a table that is more than 4' deep. Even setting the armies up more than 24" apart. You'd need to increase the turn limit, but I think it might be fun to have to really work your way across the field rather than engaging immediately.
      - Vampires are rude and scary, especially when the player doesn't care about how many points they cost!

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