26 August, 2019

Campaign Mass Battle 1: (First) Battle at the Beachhead

Finally... after 2 Vanguard skirmishes, we were ready for the big thing. We both hadn't played the normal KoW for quite some time, so we first did a test match which ended in a draw. 
This weekend, we met to fight the real battle using the Vanilla 2nd Edition Rules!

My list consisted of:

2x Horde of Sharpsticks (one with Blessing of the Gods 25 pts)
1x Horde of Spitters (with Heart Seeking Chant 30 pts)
1x Horde of Trolls (with Chant of Hate 25 pts)
1x Regiment Mawbeast pack
1x Regiment of Fleabag Rides (with Helm of Confidence 20 pts) [and they were definetely led by Biggit Crunchem!]
1x Sharpstick Thrower
1x King on Chariot with the item gaining: no minus modifier when moving costing 30 pts [Warchief Dakkadak]
1x Flaggit (with Diadem of Dragon Kind 30 pts)
1x Wiz with Inspiring Talisman and Bane Chant
1x Troll Bruiser with Darklords Onyx Ring ~20 Pts) [I believe this is my Vanguard Troll, being an alone hero here!]
2x Giants

totalling 1870 pts. Base game was 1750 but because of the Kings of War hook from Vanguard, I had a bit more to spend. 

Opposing me was:

Dragon Kindred Lord (with blade of slashing) [Therion the Commander]
1x Horde Kindred Archers (with Heart Seeking Chant 30 pts)
1x Troop Palace Guard
1x Regiment Palace Guard (with Brew of Haste 15 pts)
1x Horde Kindred Tallspears
2x Regiments of Shamblers
1x Horde of War Chariots
1x Army Standard Bearer (with Diadem of Dragon Kind 30 pts)
1x Elven Mage with Bane Chant and Inspiring Talisman

totalling 1750 points.

The Mission was Invade!

I was REALLY scared of the Dragon. Especially because I knew he was so overpowered that they had changed the rules afterwards so units with FLY would lose FLY when disordered. 
So when the opportunity did arise, I tried to corner the dragon. That was my second mistake. My first was my army composition with so many artifacts.

We setup terrain and rolled and put down our units.

His setup (to the left of the picture missing: the dragon)

My setup (to the left missing on first picture: the mawbeast pack)

From the second Vanguard Game I had won I had the hook to be able to put 2 of hits unit into "HALT". I initially wanted to put that on the tallspears and the Shamblers behind his archers to be able to charge them, but I forgot the shamblers have a Vanguard move. D'ouh! So I could not do that plan. Now they moved before the Archers and that would not make sense. Instead I decided to HALT his Chariots and his Dragon. 

Turn 1 Goblins: I begin and move forward

My idea is that I am able to charge his dragon, sacrifice my one Giant with putting some serious hurt onto him, then attack his chariots and be able to rout them before he is able to manoevre away...

Turn 1 Elves: the elves advance mostly

The hurt giant...

My giant unfortunately falls down just during setup and breaks both his ankles. Thankfully I provisorically fix him up with Patafix! Unoftunately he gets hurt even more by the elven archers. 9 wounds with a single volley. Ouch...

Combat ensues!

My Giant on the left gets killed, my Giant besides my Sharpsticks gets sniped by the archers again... and gets killed. That does not look good. I need to move my center units to engage to avoid flanks. Hopefully my Trolls can kill his Shamblers quickly with the help of Bane Chant. 
Everything falls apart when my Sharpsticks on my right immediately rout... the Mawbeast pack valiantly holds against the charge of the Palace Guard, giving the Fleabag Riders under Biggit Crunchem a chance to charge their flank...

and then are able to crush them! Well done Crunchem!

But apart from that....

my center is doomed... the Shamblers just refuse to shatter and my Trolls will be charged into the side after the Sharpsticks horde there ran away... even the Sharpsticks on the left are not able to rout the small unit of Palace Guard!

Desperately I charge the Chariots with my King (Dakkadak) and the Troll Hero. They fail to rout the already heavily damaged Chariots! Thus Commander Therion on his dragon can charge Dakkadak in the flank... of course Dakkadak is gone... at least we had a Commander Clash! Even though it wasnt really epic...

I finally manage to kill the chariots and move the Troll out of the charging arc of the Dragon, but the game is more or less over. 
On the other side the fleabag riders reorder to face the Shamblers. They get attacked by the Dragon Diadem of the Flag Bearer and waver even though they only have 4 wounds! This leaves the Shamblers open to charge them next round. I would have just moved them away into the enemy deployment zone instead of fighting, but this dooms them!

In the middle the Palace Guard Holds tight even though they get up to 14 wounds!

That means the rest of my units are now doomed because...

the flank attack comes....

At least the Troll stays alive. So does the Mawbeast Pack, but this is much too few points...

Final position for my Troll

Ouch... well... that was disappointing. But I also had some very unlucky dice rolls, but on the other hand... its Goblins! And this is about telling a campaign story and not just about winning! 
I anyway made quite some mistakes while my opponent really made a great list. I am more concerned to bring the models I painted to the table (though this is the first game we had quite a few unpainted models!) instead of checking for their efficiency. That of course does not help. Still.. it hurts to know I lost even though my Vanguard Biggit got hurt with an unrecoverable wound in the process! And so did 2 other units in my Vanguard while the Elves only have one permanent loss and no injury so far! 
Well, we will see how the campaign goes on...

05 August, 2019

Vanguard Battle 2: Supply Grab

On thursday the second battle took place.

I was the defender with only 175 pts and needed to decide on a smaller list. i also knew i was going up against Blaine and knew I could not out-kill my enemy. I knew I would have to out-last him and hold the objective.
Finally I decided on:

  • 4x Luggits on foot (or 3)
  • 2x Luggits Mounted
  • 1x Rabble
  • 1x Wiz
  • 1x Biggit (with Heavy Weapon) (Biggit Crunchem)
  • 1x Troll (with Heavy Weapon)

The elves, lead by Blaine came with:

  • 2x Kindred Archers,
  • 1x Kindred Tallspear
  • 1x Citizen Levy
  • 1x Battle Mage
  • 1x Forest Shambler
  • 1x Blaine

We then decided we would go for the "Kings of War Hook" from the book instead of the hook provided in the campaign for the winner.
We put up the terrain and I found out that I once again had forgotten something crucial... to put a hill into my backpack! The mission objective should be placed on a height 2 hill! 
But we were able to improvise quite well as you will see on the pictures...

Very first roll would already decide if I could potentially win the game or not:
Because Biggit Crunchem has OLD WOUNDS, I needed to roll if he is able to fight. I rolled and got... a two! So thankfully, he could participate.

We then started the deployment. 
I opted to have the two goblin on mounts on my left flank so that my opponent could not move his archers freely. The rest of my guys would just secure the objective. He just opted to move onto the mission objective from the middle of his deployment zone forward...

The improvised hill...

It is time to start the game, but first some lucky charm for myself!

My opponent decided to walk up from the middle and my plan with my two golbins on wolves worked... he was very protective with his units. He even did not run up to me (spending a run action and then a walk action with fatiguing) which I thought was a big mistake. He instead chose to move up on me in formation. I was happy with just securing the objective and biding my time.

My models move onto the objective. The elves approach cautiously

My two Luggits on mounts position themselves for an ambush

Round 2/3 went quite the same. He just moved up a bit, while I positioned my troops at the objective. Blaine came closer to me and I positioned my Wiz in a way so to stun him and his Shambler, robbing his most important figures quite much flexibility!

In round 3 I lost my patience and decided to charge my two Luggits on mounts into his flank with the Levy. My idea was that even if they get killed, I will get XP by killing the Levy! Plus my opponent would need to think of diverting forces back into those two Luggits! Whats more: because one of the two involved Luggits had the IMPRESSIVE SCARS from first game, he could reroll nerve tests which would increase the staying power of the two.

In the middle, my Wiz the Shambler and Blaine again. His Mage and Archers shoot at my Troll who mostly just shrugs the hits off.

My two luggits get their attacks boosted, but I am really unlucky with the rolls! None of my opponents go down!

Alltogether my mounted Luggits fare poorly and are soon taken out of the game without a single kill! At least I bind a few of his forces... My second mistake of the game is moving my Troll into contact with Blaine. 
I figured I would deny his free charge attack and would be safe from the shooting attacks by that, but then saw my opponent force-fatiguing Blaine and nearkly insta-killing my Troll... ouch... 

His Shambler is able to make contact with my Wiz. I send one Luggit to help with the idea of pinning the Shambler in place while later on escaping with the Wiz.

Round 5 starts. Like in all rounds, the elves get quite lucky with their dice rolls while I roll sub-par. But I am used to that already...

When Blaine kills the Troll in a second swift attack, suddenly the game looks quite different!


One agile elf Levy manages to run all the way from the middle and engange Biggit Crunchem together with Blaine. Crunchem is wounded, but stays in the game!

My Wiz disengages the Shambler which was not able to kill any Goblin so far. He positions himself behind the mission objective. We roll if the game ends or if the game continues into a 6th round.

The game continues!

Its already way past 1 A.M. but now the most complicated part of the game starts. The game suddenly becomes like a game of chess! We both try to figure out what models need to be activated in what order so that the game could still be won by the elves! This for me shows the depth of Kings of War: Vanguard!

His second Levy joins to engage one of my Luggits

If he kills my Luggit with his Shambler and engages my Wiz... and his Levy kills my Biggit, then Blaine can lighten up the beacon and I cannot unlight it... buut if I first kill his Levy... 
it gets very complicated!

I solve the riddle and "Gobbler", the Goblin Luggit between my Wiz and Biggit activates, kills the Levy that engaged him and gets re-activated by my Wiz. By this, even if my Biggit gets killed, I can take the fire out again. (Note: this is the simplified version). 
Without any chance to win, my opponent instead decides to switch tactics and take out as many models as he can. 

 Biggit Crunchem finally goes down to Blaine but at least I win the mission! 

The Luggit Goblin Harti manages to survive the mission.

In retrospective, the mistake that cost my opponent the game was that he approached too cautiously. I on the other hand, should not have sacrificed my Troll so easily and shouldn't have let him move his Shambler into contact with my Wiz. 
We both had some very unlucky dice rolls. He shot at my Biggit with his archers and Wizard and wasn't able to kill him. He tried likewise with the Troll quite in the beginning and barely made a scratch. On the other hand, the Luggits on my flank were very ineffective too! 
It turns out, the "Light the Beacon" scenario is a very unhealthy scenario for the defender if you are doing a campaign game, because the defender is very likely to loose VERY many models while the attacker will not! 

But I will write about the effects the game had in the campaign in another post!

22 July, 2019

The first Battle! Vanguard Game 1: Supply Grab

Yesterday saw the first mission of our "A Corner of Mantica" campaign.

And it was a glorious battle with a suprising outcome!

Captain Erundas and his men faced the Vanguard of Biggit Crunchem for the first time, and it was a battle to be remembered!

Let me repost the prequel to the first mission from the campaign which you can find here to get you up to speed:

Vanguard Game 1: Supply Grab (Vanguard Scenario 1)

Erundas and his Vanguard have landed and scatter to begin to scout the area. As luck would have it, Biggit Crunchem’s troops are currently roaming the lands in search for valuables the elves might have hidden. By chance 2 small detachments crash together just as the Goblins have finally found some valuables to loot! Biggit Crunchems guts WERE right! Indeed those tricky elves had hidden some of their belongings! And now they even had the audacity to try to defend their belongings! On the elven side Erundas is surprised to make contact with the Goblins so soon. But when he sees the Elven posessions at stake he knows those would be important to secure for the expeditionary forces!

Last minute changes to the Vanguard Company

I made some last minute changes to my <Vanguard Company list> before we started.

I removed the Banggit, added a third mawbeast, added 3 more spears for the rabble that did not have them, totalling me 4 spears, bought a potion of concentration and a second heavy weapon. I figured there is no way I will field the Banggit against elves: The Banggit with his area-of-effect bomb has only 1d8, but the elves with their racial ability can force me to reroll a single die... so that would be a very ineffective at the price of 28 points!

Martin, my elven opponent was caught off guard, because his Vanguard Company contained a Unique Mount already which he wanted to field in the first mission. As I pointed out to him, Unique Items cannot be bought at the beginning of a campaign, so he needed to shift around a bit and restructure his list for the first mission.

I also decide to make a change to my main Wiz: He holds on to the Stun spell and instead replaces the Zap! I decided Stun is much more important against the high-point units of the elves than Zap is! 

The setup for the mission

You can read about my complete list for the first scenario here

When I created the Campaign I initially wanted to use the first scenario of the Vanguard Rulebook as the very first game so new players could get accustomed to the rules without any "special" scenario rules. 

Martin, and me already had a few games against each other under our belly, so we already knew what we were getting ourselves into. 

The list of Martin came up with for the scenario looked like this. Remember, he initially had a different list with a unique mount:

Captain Erundas and his men:

1x Prince (Captain Erundas)
1x Battle Mage
1x Guardian Shambler
1x Kindred Tallspear
3x Kindred Archers
2x Citizen Levy

When I unpacked my rucksack I found in shock that I had forgotten to bring the models along! 

So unfortunately we had to proxy a bit.

The beautifully painted Elven Ranger (5th unit from the left) is proxying for the battle mage. 
That had its good side:
When Martin decided he would not bring any KINDRED GLADESTALKER in his Vanguard company I was a bit sad, because at some point I had wanted to see that model on the table! 
Now it got its chance!

My force was also ready for battle...

Biggit Crunchem and his men

Find the list in detail here.

Yes I needed to proxy too...
The leftmost wolf is the mawbeast, then I unplugged one of my luggits and put it on top of the other wolf I had along with Patafix. The luggit with the squig needed to proxy for my other Luggit on Common mount... 

Having settled that we were ready for battle.

After Setup

The fences gave me a bit of a headache. If he decided to move there with his archers, my Luggits on mounts would not be able to reach them because they cannot climb... luckily he decided not to do that but instead directly go in the center with them. 

General Battle movement over the course of the game

In the first round we both moved forward. He was a bit too sure about the abilities of his Prince so he went in alone, lured by my proxied Luggit on Mount.I decided to charge my Mawbeast up on the flank to maybe lure another one of his models or his archers. 
On the left flank I moved up one luggit to the obelisks in order to make him think twice if he wants to go with his archers there. Apart from that I stayed cautious. 

The Prince takes the bait

The Mawbeast charges forward

The Luggit threatens the Archers flank

His Prince makes the mistake to charge into my Luggit. The trap closes!

Note that in the shadow of the ruin another of my luggits is lurking in the shadows... literally!
I get very lucky because the Prince makes a hindered charge against the proxied luggit on the wolf but is unable to mortally wound him! 

I run and fatigue move my Troll to get in contact with the Wiz and run my Wiz up, use the SLINK of the Wiz on the troll with a boosted die to be able to reactivate him... and SUCCEED and move the rabble up to support the troll. His Kindred Tallspear ignores my Mawbeast to support Captain Erundas (the prince) but he is late to the party.

Boom! Without the support of the Shambler with his ability to soak damage, and being engaged in the back, the Troll is devastating! Captain Erundas gets thrown to the ground. The Troll is in my Retinue and has the MAULER ability which is REALLY powerful especially in combination with the POUND special rule of the troll. Captain Erundas is taken out of the game!

Its the end of turn two, the Elves have secured the middle, but their commander is down.

On the other side my other Luggit on Mount tries to reach the Archers. Martin runs out of luck with his dice, his 2 remaining archers AND battle mage first fail to kill the Luggit... at last for now! 
My opponent thinks about giving up, but then decides against it. It would not be the elven way!

With the Prince gone, I get a bit too bold.I charge my Biggit into his archer that moved to
the middle and kill him.Unfortunately the archers take me out in turn... Biggit Crunchem
is gone!We both lost our commanders...
My troll decides to go for the Kindred Tallspear on the right instead of going against the Shambler:
I would not be able to kill the Shambler! Without the support of the Biggit and without a Heavy Weapon (which I usually give to the troll) the Shambler would prove to be too resilient! 
A Luggit decides it would be heroic of him to help the troll against that single elf instead of moving into the middle...

End of round 3:

2 Luggits go into position to attack or just secure the objectives

The mawbeast is in the back of the enemy

The troll has its day!

It is past midnight already. I think its at that point that his Shambler decides to charge my Wiz and I elect to flee (which is the goblins special ability). The Shambler fails the charge after that and therefore just walks forward. With the 1 short action I have I have left on the Wiz I stun the Shambler in return! I charge the hated archers battle mage from all sides... finally action for my mawbeast! The mage dies.

His shambler joins in, but because my wiz stunned in cannot hit this turn. The Tallspear falls to the Troll but kills the heroic Luggit that decided to help the troll in return.

The mawbeast, troll and the wiz go for the objectives, his archers fall left and right. but he kills my luggit on the mount in the middle!

I charge to engage his Shambler so I can claim the objective in the middle!

Total golbin victory, or so it seems!

End of turn 5, we roll, game ends! 2 enemy models still standing. Not bad. We roll for casualties and give XP!

Campaign Maintenance follows...

We roll for injuries. I do not yet have a healer as retinue but martin does. 

after the dice are cast, especially me gets quite unlucky:

Biggit (Crunchem): Old Wounds -> on a 1d8, if "1" is rolled, start the next game without that model

wow... this is... unfortunate... especially for the campaign. on the very first MISSION!

even worse: i do not have a backup COMMAND unit that i could bring instead!

Martin is also a bit unlucky and we end up with a strange situation, for the elves as well:

Prince (Captain Erundas): miss next game

Its a similar situation for the elves: they do not have a backup command unit... so what happens now? because while I ROLL and even if I fail, the mission may commence. Not so for Martin. At first we did not know how this could be solved...

Martin is not allowed to field an army WITHOUT a command unit, and we both cannot afford a new one right now:
after rolling, the goblins end up with 18 gold and the elves with 10 (+2?) gold...
Probably the only way we can legally play the second game is by Martin using a mercenary commander next game! I do not own the Firebrand, but I do have Blaine from the Vanguard Kickstarter. But I will need to assemble and paint him until next game... thats a task... and it will eat up his whole savings and he will need to sell additional items worth 2 gold to get one gold to get up to 13 gold. but on the other hand... it was his gamble to not get a second command unit. As it was mine... still, its very unfortunate that the "hero" of my campaign Biggit Crunchem will be replaced on the field by a new Biggit as soon as I can afford it... a 1 in 8 chance that nearly a quarter of my points do not show up is too much risk for me! he will need to be replaced, but i will need probably 2 more games to be able to do so.

Other injuries

His battle mage gets "Broken Bones" after the mawbeast took him down... -1 wound on the next game
One of his archers gets killed outright, but he has enough on his roster!
another of his archers will miss the next game too

Other Goblin Injuries

The Luggit on Mawbeast surviving the attack of the Prince got permanently "Broken Bones", so a permanent -1 on wounds. Ouch...
For the other one I rolled better. The luggit on the Mawbeast charging the Battle Mage gets "Impressive Scars", meaning he is now inspiring. Alright!

in my exploration phase i find a blade of slashing (my second) while martin gets 1 lucky charm and 1 crossbow.   

My Troll managing 2 kills has enough XP to level up, so I upgrade his Melee stats and will now hit on a 4+!

Unfortunately, as the campaign rules are written, we cannot make another retinue, because that phase is BEFORE getting gold, and we did not yet have gold to promote anyone... we are not sure if this is on purpose but we will stick to it... and will need to wait until after next battle!

A battle retrospective

Martin decided he would not pursue his tactic to get a unique mount for Captain Erundas... he is far too valuable to be risked and to put even more points into him. We both agreed that his brave and fearless charge into my right flank all by himself was... unwise. Erundas failed to impress when he failed to kill a single luggit!
We both imagine that my Troll will get quite some XP before the campaign ends, because he is hard to kill but is very deadly. His shambler did not see any real action this time because I opted to ignore him as a target, and that was a good decision. On my side, I was really happy with the new setup I came up with. I can threaten his archers with the two luggits on the mawbeasts and the single mawbeast. That the mawbeast ran into the back and killed his Battle Mage with the help of the Luggit on the mawbeast which in turn got burned with an impressive scar by the mage was epic!
His archer combo stays deadly, I need to make sure to threaten them in the upcoming games!
Apart from that, it was quite clear early on who the winner would be after Captain Erundas went down. Still we both enjoyed the game, because it was still interesting to see if the elves managed to hold some of the objectives!

The next scenario 

The second vanguard game will be "Light the Beacon"! Captain Erundas wants to get a signal to the Elven expeditionary fleet while the Goblins will try to prevent that. 
The game will probably be in about 2 weeks time. I am already exited! And I hope that the "old wounds" will not make Biggit Crunchem incapable of participating in the battle... if so, then I should probably forfeit as soon as I can!