Sunday, 4 February 2018

Cancon 2018 Aftermath - Part 6

This is a continuation of my report of the recent Clash of Kings tournament at Cancon 2018. You can find the previous part here.

Game 6: Scour
Matt Sellick, Elves

Brimming with confidence after actually winning a game, I now ran into Matt, who was also using Elves. Matt was my only opponent whom I had actually played against previously, although I suspect that was all before the switch to Kings of War.

This game was the first time my opponent also had units with Vanguard, and it really threw me. Not only did he have Vanguard, but he had more units with it than me. Unlike in Warhammer, there are no protections in KoW preventing units with Vanguard from getting really close to each other. So I was left trying to work out what to do when we could advance units right up into each others' faces without knowing who was going to get the first turn.

This was the most confusing decision I ran into during the event. Probably the smart thing to do would have been to stay out of charge range even though it would have meant wasting my Vanguard. But I couldn't decide what to do and was acutely aware of the fact that I was starting to waste time with my indecision, so I pushed things forward in a cavalier and foolish action, choosing to hope I would get the first turn. Naturally I did not.

So many things with Vanguard. What am I to do with this?
I realised almost immediately that the Forest Shamblers were in danger of being flank charged if I didn't get the first turn, but at this point I already knew that I had botched my pre-battle maneuvers. I was quickly becoming resigned to this part of the field going badly.
Matt had kind of stacked the other end of the field with the Tree Herders and their friends, so I was slightly more optimistic about the other side. I needed to get to the Bolt Throwers and silence them, but this time I was determined to make the best use of the terrain that I could.
As I have already said, I did not get the first turn. Matt got the first turn and used it as an excuse to snot my right flank. Which was pretty much what I deserved, really. The Tree Herder did 8 damage to the Forest Shamblers, which thankfully left them functional for now. The same could not be said for the Wild Guard, sadly. They didn't make it.
All things considered, it could have been worse. They're not quite in the picture, but the shadow on the left is the flank of Matt's Drakon Riders. You can't see them, but the Forest Shamblers could, because the Drakons were 1 level taller than the hill...
In my turn, the Green Lady decided to go and land directly in front of the Tree Herder on the flank, thereby shielding my own Tree Herder from a combo charge after he had a go at Matt's Forest Shamblers. The Sea Guard went into the other Tree Herder and did pretty respectable damage. The Stormwind Cavalry were still in my front, so this was a counter-charge I could handle.
My Forest Shamblers did enough to rout the Drakons on the charge and turned to face Matt's lines. He would have to deal with them this turn of they'd cause all sorts of trouble for his units over in the forest. My Drakon Lord was making is way around the flank, whilst my Bolt Throwers wavered one of Matt's reducing the danger he was facing. My Stormwind Cavalry were making liberal use of the cover provided by the forest.
Behind the main line, Matt's Mage and Forest Warden were working their way toward the centre. As expected, the Stormwind Cavalry joined the Tree Herder as he sought revenge for the previous turn. I expected to wear this OK, but Matt did reasonable damage and then managed to waver my unit. That was bad. I was up to 13 wounds and the Tree Herder had Blood Boil. One more charge and I could have had him, but now all I could do was sit and watch...
I had Matt scrambling a bit on my left, which was good. He ended up ignoring the Forest Shamblers with his Archers, because he needed to ensure I couldn't silence their shooting with the Drakon. He was left relying on the breath weapon carried by the Forest Warden. I kind of liked my chances of getting a flank on the Archers at this point, but Matt rolled fairly well and the Shamblers evaporated. Dang it.
Hamstrung by the wavering of the Sea Guard, I had to make do with the other tools at my disposal. The Palace Guard went into the Stormwind Cavalry, but didn't do enough damage to really scare them (I needed solid damage and a good nerve roll). My Tree Herder kept trying against Matt's Forest Shamblers, but after a promising initial round he eased back on the damage he was doing, and they were never really in danger from him. They fired up the next round and smashed him. They had the +1 to hit item, so were better at frontal confrontations than my own horde of them was.
My Drakon Rider was forced to settle for the Bolt Throwers now that Matt had turned the Archers out of range. He did a good job of devouring both Bolt Throwers over a couple of rounds. The Stormwind Cavalry decided they had only one course of action, which was to close the gap with the Archers, wear a single round of fire from them, and then charge them. Sounds easy, right? But bear in mind these Archers had Piercing. Makes it more interesting...
Right, so there is a bit of a gap in my photos at this point. The Tree Herder obliterated my Sea Guard with Blood Boil, which was very sad. As I say, my own Tree Herder perished against Matt's Forest Shamblers. My Palace Guard also failed to hold up well enough against the Stormwind Cavalry. I either failed to kill them on the second attempt, or wavered when they counter-charged me. Either way, I was still sitting an inch in front of them when the Tree Herder had finished with the Sea Guard and found that he could see my flank. So no more Palace Guard. 

Out in the open, my Stormwind Cavalry braced from the one round of shooting they would have to endure from Matt's Archers, and simply vanished. I think it was 8 wounds, and then a solid nerve roll and they were gone. I had no Inspiring in range. It was depressing, but I was stretching to try to close things down and things just were not working. The Archers then turned and gunned down my Drakon, who was scampering for cover after dealing with Matt's Bolt Throwers. So unsporting. For Matt's part, his Forest Warden had made his way over to my Bolt Throwers who did a lousy job of protecting themselves with shooting and got cleaned up.

Not everything was doom and gloom, though. I did get some consolation thanks to my Mage, who was wandering around cleaning up with Fireballs. She dealt with the Forest Shamblers and the Stormwind Cavalry, given they were both "pre-loved" by this point.  

This is pretty much how things finished. You will note a decided lack of models that belong to me. The Green Lady was all I had left, after Matt eventually gave up trying to club her to death with the Tree Herder and wandered off to claim objectives.
I came out of that game with mixed feelings. I knew I had started off terribly with my botched Vanguard moves, but then in numerous places I felt like I had a real chance to take back control. It was just that none of them came off, because they were reliant on Matt rolling a bit low or me rolling better. Realistically justice had been served by the end, but I did feel like I should have had a bit more to show for my efforts.

Result: Loss, 1-20

You can find the last part of my report here.


  1. Thanks for the game as always Greg! It was a funny old game, i totally didn't see the flank charge on my regiment of drakon's, getting the 1 turn of shooting against the knights and taking them off was a bit lucky/unlucky depending on what side of the coin you were.

    My mage had the fireball that took off your shamblers - my thought process there was purely around staying out of range of your knights who after the pivot would have to venture out of the woods for 1 round. I had the shamblers on 8 wounds so started pre-fireball with a 10 nerve check so was confident I could snaffle 2-4 wounds and make it roughly 50/50 to take them off. (once again I got lucky)

    My shamblers had brew of sharpness or +1 to hit making their 18 attacks a touch more reliable.

    Great reports as always!


    1. Not sure you could ever say you had to get really lucky anywhere. You might have been in trouble if you actually rolled badly, but that is every game. It felt like you were in control right from the start thanks to my confusion during vanguards, and I needed you to drop the ball somewhere to really get back into it. You didn't, so you got the result you deserved.

      As for the details, pfft! Who remembers details?

      Thanks for the game!

  2. Nice report, I've started to dip my toe into KOW so can appreciate the learning curve.