18 July, 2019

First "A Corner of Mantica" Vanguard Game ahead!

The first mission will be the first mission in the Vanguard rule-book: "Supply Grab"

In this scenario, we score at the end of the game for 3 objectives.
Because we only score in the end of the game, scouts are not that important. And because I am sure my elf-opponent will again bring his "Archers of Death" I will not bring my Grunt Spitters. 
My estimation is that I will be heads on with my opponent battling it out for those 3 crucial points, where not much maneuvering will be done and sheer Battlepower will be key. I also estimate he will only have around 6-8 models because the elven models are quite expensive.
Therefore I decided upon the following list: 

Vanguard for: First Mission Supply Grab

Biggit + Hvy Wpn + Rare Mount 48
Troll 34
Wiz + Lucky Charm 30
Luggit 10 
Luggit 10 
Luggit 10
Luggit+Mount 15
Luggit+Mount 15
Rabble+Spear  9
Maw-beast 19

The idea is to have a few models that will not be immediately killed by the Archers of Death who can overwhelm single enemies with numerical advantage. The two mounted Luggits and the Maw-beast are there to be able to chase down his archers or at least to make him think twice where he puts them. I did not have the points to give my Troll the Blade of Slashing, so I am not sure how I will fare against his Prince or Shambler... but let's try it out!

16 July, 2019

My Vanguard Company for the Campaign

After our prequel battle, I finalized my company roster and supply wagon for the campaign. I tried to keep flexible and also to have a bit of backup in case some of my units get wounded. 

The final list I decided upon was:

1 Biggit
2 Trolls
2 Wiz
6 Luggits
5 Spitter
4 Rabble
1 Banggit
2 Mawbeasts


1x Rabble Spear 3x Potion of Haste
1x Battle Potion
1x Rare Mount (Biggit)
1x Heavy Weapon (Biggit)
1x Blade of Slashing (Troll)
1x Lucky Charm (Wiz)
1x Rare Healing Herbs (Wiz)
2x Common Mount (Luggits)
1x Long Bow (Bangit)

The second troll and the wiz are both backup in case my main ones get maimed. I thought hard if I should get a third mawbeast, but fielding 3 mawbeats in one mission would limit my other choices too much anyway, so I went with only 2. Plus, I am not yet sure if they are really useful. I am right now more leaning towards using Luggits on Common Mounts. They are only 15 points in comparison to 19 points and do not use a "support" slot. Granted, no "howl" ability, but apart from that I still have 7 movement which should help me reach the pesky elven archers in time. I am also not sure yet if the Banggit will be useful, but maybe I will try him out... but if I do, then definitely with a Long Bow as equipment to give him the reach he needs in the rounds he is not close enough to the enemy for using his bombs! I will proxy my Banggit with an old Goblin Fanatic (I think a 4th edition model). I think his iron ball looks like it could be stuffed with gunpowder and he has the chain for better throwing it! (You can find him on the left on the group picture)

My first wiz will surely be replacing the Stun spell with Slink. Idea is to give my buffed Troll and Biggit another chance to shine each round! For my second Wiz I am tempted to instead stay with Stun... because the elves do not have many models, so if I stun one of his models, that effectively takes away half of his actions... and for his expensive models that could be quite nasty! 

I got 4 Rabble in case I want to try to flood my enemy with models! But only one of them has a spear so far. Let us see if I really use the other 3. If so, definitely not in the first mission, therefore I only bought one spear. And later on if I want to field them, I will spend the gold in order to pay for the spears. I think it will depend much on the mission we are going to play if they will see any action. 

You might wonder about the 3 Potions of Haste. The idea behind that was that in the campaign rules you are only allowed to buy ONE rare OR unique item after each battle! And I might want to buy some of the cool unique items so I would not be able to replenish my potions. Idea would be to give them to my Luggits in order to reach the mentioned archers quickly. In a 1 on 1 combat its pretty even, but I can beat them with the Luggits, plus... I have the numbers on the elven player!

Then, after the first or second campaign game, I will review my strategy and see if I want to change anything...

Next up I might hopefully be able to present the Elven Vanguard Company in another blogpost! 

07 July, 2019

Prequel battle to the "A Corner of Mantica battle" campaign

It is finaly time to play my campaign!

My opponent is a teacher and now has some more spare time in summer. We agreed to play the campaign, me of course leading the goblins. (Actually I also would have enjoyed the elves, but he is an Elf fan).
We agreed to make one test match prior to starting the campaign in order to get a feel what troops we should get for our campaign roster.
I clashed with him two times before and to my suprise he beat me both times. One fight was Undead (me) vs. Forces of Nature (him), I think. The second game I do not remember, but I know he played elves again.
So this time I was determined to play better!

We met yesterday after I had prepared my standard goblin list that I use against the abyssals. He played more or less with the same list like last time when he faced my undead (which he crushed).

My list (old goblin rules!):
* 4 Spitters
* 4 Luggit
* 1 Troll with Rare Blade of Slashing
* 1 Wiz with Lucky Charm and healing bandages
* 1 Biggit with Rare Mount & Heavy Weapon
* 1 Rubble (Spear)

His List:
* 3 Archers
* 1 Levy
* 1 Shambler
* 3 Tallspears
* 1 Wizard
* 1 Prince

First we had the list, then we rolled for the scenario. I rolled "Capture the Giant", but since I did not bring my Giant with me and its not yet painted, we re-rolled. Then Scenario 2: Light the Beacon came up, which would have meant that the defender needed to re-choose his list as he only has 175 pts. Therefore we rolled again and came to "Capture the princess". Another die roll later we knew, I was the defender.
Goblins having captured an Elven princess that the elven vanguard now has to free. Fitting!

After deployment
He positioned himself mostly on my left flank. I put two spitters left and right (they have the scout rule). Apart from that I was lacking a real strategy. My thought was to let him come in close and then kill him off...

He had the first turn but first we rolled for power. I got extremely lucky as you can see...

One lucky dice roll for me!

Then the first round commenced. I was immediately reminded that playing against elves is VERY different from playing against Abyssals when he instantly sniped off two of my spitters! 

My spitter in the middle was immediately killed

He was reluctant to move any closer and feared that I would charge him. But after seeing how fast my Goblins died to his Archers and Spellcaster I got a bit uneasy just sitting back at the objective. 
When he was finally finished with elaborating his next moves and decided to move up his Shambler, I decided to attack! After all, I knew my Troll, combined with a Rabble with Spear and my Biggit buffed with his Mount and Heavy Weapon could do some nasty damage! Even more so with the Wiz being able to remove one activation. 
I think that decision cost me the game... 

The shambler goes in all alone. I decide to charge!
The princess has the best view of the drama unfolding

Unfortunately the shambler is very hard to kill. He keeps my best units bogged down while the battle around them unfolds. Its turn two and I already get charged near the princess... which catches me quite by surprise. The speed of the elves is astonishing! He runs forward and fatigues to get into melee with some of my units. His archers move forward, putting devastation into my lines. 

His archer takes a shot at the Wiz
The Wiz has a bad armor, but an amazing nerve of 3! During the game my Spellcaster gets mortally wounded many times, but stands up again and again thanks to nerve 3 and inspiring. The Healing Herbs I gave him also helped. 

The enemy prince and one tallspear take the already mentioned "Run plus Walk via Fatigue" action and take my Wiz by suprise. Like a miracle my Wiz survives.

I have a decision to make. I could forsake the Wiz. But I have three luggits guarding the princess. I could charge the Prince in the back and the Tallspear in the back as well. If he retaliates at the charging units, I can run away with the Wiz without risking the free "attack". I go for it. 

Unfortunately we played the "6th Sense" skill wrong that the Prince has. Because usually, charging in the back with 2 Luggits would be quite devastating: 8d8 with Sneaky, meaning dice exploding on 7s or 8s...  even with the elven rule that forces me to reroll one of my dice this can be deadly. Unfortunately we interpreted the 6th sense rule of the prince wrong when we think it nullifies the charge in the back and thus the sneaky... but actually it should have worked! 6th Sense only helps in case you are not enganged, but the prince was actually already engaged with the wiz. 
My attack fails completely, but i at least can move away with the Wiz. 

They get closer... 

In the front: 2 of my luggits ordered to rescue the Wiz from the attack of the Prince. In the back on the right you can see the Shambler still being pounded by the Biggit and the Troll. The  Rabble supporting them was already sniped by the deadly archers. 

Round 3 begins... my luck breaks...

Well, with one power point I do not have much wiggle room! I later realize I may reroll a die and end up with two power points, but still... my enemy is again at 7 power points in comparison. Here we made another mistake... he of course always uses his elven special power ability to force me to reroll one of the dice i hit him with on each attack. but we only make him pay 2 power points. oh well, lesson learned for next time. its actually 3 power points!

This round everything goes south. My wiz escapes and I finally kill the shambler, but I decide to move up with my Biggit to shield a lowly spitter from being sniped. And immediately my unwounded biggit gets killed by combined fire of the Elven Wizard and an archer! Those archers are really deadly! My Luggits that came to the rescue of the Wiz both get taken down by the Prince. The Wiz that escaped the Prince gets shot by the elven archers. Once again I get a down-but-not-out result.  

I get dangerously close to breaking. With that and my Biggit gone, my hopes of winning get quite slim. Unless I can tie him down...
Round 4 sees me breaking, but my heroic goblins all stay and fight! Well... the ones that are still alive that is...

But it does not help. The elves advance and secure the princes with beginning of round 5. Even my Troll finally goes down. If I remember correctly it gets shot down by the deadly archers. My wiz gets charged by another archer and finally dies. 

The elves cut the princess free

I have 2 Goblins standing. One Luggit is duelling for the longest time on my left. The other one rushed back from the right flank to the princess... but no chance against those overwhelming numbers.

That was the game! Well, what shall I say.... very different from the games against Dwarves and Abyssals that I did lately. I forgot how deadly those elves are. The spitters are absolutely wasted against this race. I need to come up with a different tactic. Their superior mobility gives me headaches too, he can just stand back and shoot. With his 3 Archers I am pretty sure he can even kill off my troll in one go if he does his group shoot. Fighting him in the campaign will be tricky. I am thinking about bringing some Luggits on mounts. I am not yet sure about bringing mawbeasts instead of just those luggits on mounts, I think mawbeasts are quite expensive and a bit squishy... we will see. 
Apart from that I also learned not to charge his Shambler. He is really a formidable foe! He took so much beating until he went down... I need to focus on other enemies and ignore the shambler until it only has one health left.

The game took quite a few hours, but for my opponent it was also the first game since the beta rules if i recall correctly. PLUS he likes to think quite a while. 
Next time we meet we will assemble our Vanguard Companies and supply train! In about two weeks we will then play our first campaign game. We are both very exited already!

24 June, 2019

Presenting my most-enjoyed Vanguard troupe

Today i thought I would share my most enjoyed Vanguard troupe!

Meet Biggit Crunchem and his men!

I "invented" Crunchem when I made my Kings of War Campaign that I also posted about. Here you find the models I prepared ready for a 400 pts campaign play. You have to remember that the list I created was before Mantic released their new Goblin Vanguard Models.

Find Biggit Crunchem - the Commander of the lot - in the middle to the right on his trusted Mawbeast "Fang". He is flanked by the two Wiz (I still call them Shamans) in his Vanguard: Whirrda is the older of the two shamans. 
The other one does not have a name, he is just there for replacement purposes. In the back you will find the (River) Troll Bangga. He delivers most of the Ooomph! in this Vanguard and usually comes with a Heavy Weapon. 
Those are the named models so far!

I usually field the Biggit, the Shaman, 3-4 Spitters, ~4 Luggits and one Rabble. The Spitters are just too sweet to ignore, because in the original release they come with the SCOUT rule, which is very handy for example in the SECURE THE PORTAL scenario, where it is crucial to secure the objective early on!
The Biggit is buffed with the mount and a heavy weapon in order to deliver the hurt. He gets quite expensive by that, but I had an idea there... 
My Wiz comes with the SLINK Faction Specific Spell that I use instead of the STUN spell in order for me to be able to reactivate the Biggit! Together with the Troll that can dish out quite some hurt in a single round! The Rabble is meant to support the Biggit and the troll so I get that sweet extra die. 
I take the 4 Luggits for unlocking the other models and also... they can dish out some pain on their own!  

23 June, 2019

Vanguard Battle Dwarfs vs. Abyssals: The die is cast!

Last week I gave my demo game.
When I gave the intro of the Rules to my opponent, I showed him the models I brought along:

My trusted Goblins, the Abyssals and the Dwarfs.

I told him my intend to play the Dwarfs, because its not the best list but I still wanted to give them a spin again. But to my surprise he wanted to play the Dwarfs, despite my warnings that they would probably lose!
So I instead went with the Abyssals.
I went for a different Abyssals build this time: I used the Succubi!
I went for the Hellequin Blood-Masque as my Commander, a Despoiler - this time my mantic model because it is easier to transport - one Succubus Lurker, 2 Succubi, one Gargoyle, one Abyssal Guard and 2 Lower Abyssals. For shooting flexibility I took 2 Flamebearers.
The idea behind the list was that the Succubi should stay close to the heavy-hitters to give the opponent the -1 penalty. This should make the nearly-unstoppable Hellequin Blood Masque as well as the Despoiler totally unstoppable! With the two Lower Abyssals I have some meat to go for any victory points and the Gargoyle gives me flexibility. I also wanted to try the Succubus Lurker because I found that it is a great thing to be able to field a model with the "Scout" rule!

The Battlefield

We played on a standard map I would say. We chose the first scenario. In the middle, the treasure is the middle objective giving 3 Victory Points. In the woods in the upper right you find the second objective, just top-left of the white building you find the third objective.

After deployment

My opponent deployed mostly in the middle and on the top-left edge he placed his shooting-units. I massed over the whole table edge and deployed my Lurker to his flank as best as I could.

We both advanced, then he gave a group shot against my Hellequin Commander. He was really unlucky with the shots and only managed to wound once!

One of my succubi charges his shooters.

I get quite lucky and insta-kill the dwarf!

In the middle, my Despoiler and the other succubus advance

The dwarfs move forward, taking advantage (again) of their racial ability for Tactical Redeployment which allows them to move forward as a group. He is very good at using this ability most of his rounds over the duration of the game.
I move my Lurker into the back of the dwarfs. They ignore her.

I decide to charge the dwarfs with the lurker AND the succubus. The despoiler gets struck down by the EARTHQUAKE spell that the dwarfen runesmith took instead of the hammer spell. A weird konga-line forms:

My phone ran low on battery, so this is the final picture.
The despoiler which gets knocked down, the closest dwarf to him is the Ironguard (who then took out my succubus) The lurker also got killed... booh...

What followed was not surprising: A Abyssal victory!

That succubus and my lurker on the last picture were taken out. My despoiler continously was struck down by the Runesmith! I decided to consolidate on the middle objective instead of charging. The objective on my right flank was secured by me early on, so I then just made sure that I could also contest the one on my left flank... where I also was surprisingly strong because my succubus there was able to kill the second of the three IRONWATCH models too before being stopped by the Dwarf Sergeant.
Because it was already late we then decided to stop at the beginning of the 5th round, because I mostly had the game in my pocket.

Summary: A decent game! Not too close unfortunately, but still nice to play. My opponent DID like the Kings if War Vanguard system and also said he would be interested in playing a campaign! He is a fan of the dwarfs of which there are quite some shiny new models out. We played with the old rules, so he then took a look on the mantic page of the new models. We discussed them a bit and I finally packed and headed home. All in all, I would say it was a successful game-night!

19 June, 2019

With my first Kings of War Vanguard Teaser Game ahead....

Today I prepared for a sample-match of Kings of War Vanguard tomorrow that I have been asked to do.
When Mantic first announced about their Pathfinder program I thought pretty hard if I should volunteer, because I am a big fan of Kings of War and Kings of War Vanguard. So far, I decided not to though. That is mainly because I enjoy playing in my own flat or in my mates flats/houses, and I am not such a big fan of playing with people I do not know so well.
Tomorrow, I will try out what it means to be a Pathfinder anyway!
I thought quite a bit about what Factions to bring. Finally I decided to bring my trusted Goblins as well as a modified Abyssals list with the lovely succubi. Additionally, I decided I wanted to give my rusted dwarf models a spin. After all, last time I played them was back with the Alpha Rules for Vanguard!

I decided for the "old" rules found in the rulebook and took a list that felt "balanced" for me.
See the family picture:

That led me to the warband above.
To the left we have 3 Ironwatch for the "Combined Fire" bonus. In the rulebook it says they use crossbows, just beside that in the rulebook you find a dwarf with a musket... and I have some fantastically painted dwarfs with muskets, so those I took because I like their aestetics better than those of my dwarfs with crossbows...
In the back on the left you will find my Earth Elemental. The heavy hitter that can take a beating... I buffed him with BANDAGES as well. Just in front of him you will find one Ironclad and one Shieldbreaker in order to take advantage of the "Hammer and Anvil" special rule.
To the right, you first find my IRONGUARD, then my STONE PRIEST and then finally, my DWARF SERGEANT (who also has bandages to possibly give him a bit more staying power!).
200 points of dwarf action!
So the idea for tomorrow is to let my opponent chose if he wants to play with the Goblins or with the Abyssals. I decided we will do a "Supply Grab" mission, because that is a balanced scenario, no attacker, no defender, not much randomness so I hope the chance for frustration is very small.
I will choose the dwarfs and... to be honest... they are meant to lose of course.

I am exited! Let's see how it goes!

11 January, 2019

A Corner of Mantica - Small Kings of War campaign including Kings of War Vanguard

Okay, long time no post. Time to remedy that. I just finished version 1.0 of something I have been working on for quite a while.

I am an RPG and tabletop fan. Formerly I played Warhammer 40k, then after Games Workshop killed Warhammer Fantasy, I got some fantasy armies and started playing that a bit. Then I discovered Kings of War by Mantic and since then I am in love with that company and their products.
By now I earn all the KoW books, I have the Warpath&Firefight books, I have their Zombies game and I have quite sooome models including an only-partly-assembled Forces of Nature starter force.
But my actual love is for their Kings of War franchise.
I love the way they designed their game so that its OK that you can use your Games Workshop models for Kings of War!

Last year they started a Kickstarter Campaign for their Kings of War Vanguard rules. Those are the skirmish rules. Much like what Kill Team is for 40k.

When they made the kickstarter I just NEEDED to put down a Giant Pledge! I tried their free alpha rules, and I loved them. And I just so much looked forward to the campaign rules they promised!

This year it was shipped. Since I got my Vanguard Kickstarter (i think i actually even started a bit earlier) I worked on a small Kings of War campaign that has the vanguard system integrated. actually i played around with the idea to create a tabletop campaign for quite some time. When the Edge of the Abyss campaign book came out, and I read about it I was just amazed. For one, I wanted to particpate. and for the other part, I wondered how hard it was to write such a book.
so now was the time for me to do one for myself.
i created a campaign tree, chose scenarios, wrote the fluff, put in the ilustrations in, created the map... I was curious to see how much work it would be to create such a thing. And I am surprised to see how much time sinks into it.

it totals 31 pages. i've not played it yet, but am looking forward to doing it.
When you play through it you get 6 Vanguard games and 3 KoW games out of it and how you perform effects the outcome.

you can take a look at it / download it here.
or download it as a PDF here.

i realized that i am a bit rusted in writing non-technical english text, therefore i am happy for any corrections / suggestions esp. by native speakers.
I think I especially had my trouble with what to write with capital letters. "Elven settlement" or "elven settlement"...

too bad I wasn't able to put it up on the mantic forum before they closed it, but i lamented that there already anyway.

Next thing I look forward to from them is their Mantica RPG. When I first read the KoW book, I immediately thought "WOW, this would make a great RPG setting!". Back at that point I was GM-ing a Savage Worlds Hellfrost Campaign. It never got finished and currently I do not do RPGs, but my original intent was to place the next campaign in the world of Mantica by using Savage Worlds system and use some Hellfrost rules and other material for being able to include the Tabletop game aspect into the RPG as well. I thought Savage Worlds would be great for that. Well, altogether I am also a big fan of Savage Worlds and because a friend of mine who is in my RPG group also plays tabletop with me occasionally I thought that would work out nicely for me.

Now with a Mantica RPG coming, I so hope it will be Savage Worlds. Especially after seeing the Vanguard Rules, I think both systems have quite some philosophies in common. One, this "rules lite" approach, and then of course the exploding dice... but I digress. This post should actually be about the campaign ;)