8-player Kings of War Battle Report

So it’s been awhile – almost a month since my last post. Combination of being tired from work and watching The World Cup (it’s on in the early AM hours, here), poor weather, no motivation to take photos, and going through boxes and boxes of stuff that had been in storage has all ganged up, even though I’ve now had more than a week off from work (though with unrostered days in, and work at home – the nature of “holidays” in my work, I’m afraid. Also, friends coming over a fair few times for some intense 4-way-LAN sessions of Dead Island.

The 24 tanks I ordered from Korea for Zavod 311 have come in, and I’ve almost finished the assembly on 4 of them. Pics in a proper update, later. I received some much-needed bits from a Dakka-friend, Carlos13th – to create a couple of musicians and such for Gondor. Also a work in progress that I’ll share later with proper photos of the figures.

What I have today, though are some photos taken from a large 8-player Kings of War battle last Saturday night. Our regular LAN-and-other-gaming friends, Pyro and Orez brought some of their old-timey Pathfinder friends over to play some games. We ended up playing KoW – 1800pts per side with each player controlling roughly 600pts. It took a fair while, mostly due to people getting to grips with the rules (and I haven’t played much lately, either!) and a fair amount of planning and bickering between allies and opponents alike, as it the nature of very-multiplayer games.

1st Turn

The Order of Battle on the Good side was comprised of a 600pt Basilean contingent, led by a Paladin with holy book (army standard) and Wizard, featuring a unit of Mounted Paladins, Foot Paladins, Men-At-Arms and a unit of Heavy Bowmen. These were all proxied from Rackham Confrontation Lions pre-paints, which resulted in much better looking Men-at-Arms models! Unfortunately, due to some issues with the Elohi figures (terrible arms and weapons) they didn’t make it to the field this time. Once I’ve found parts to proxy their horrible, mould-lined and ill-fitting arms and weapons (as I already have for the heads) then they’ll be painted and join their mortal counterparts. Mantic… almost!

Allied with the Basileans was a 600pt contingent from Minas Tirith. The Men of Gondor (Armies of Men) were led by Beregond, a standard bearer, and were made up of a unit each of Knights, Shieldwall, Spear Phalanx, and Archers.

Finally, sub-commanded by myself and Orez were 1200pts of Ogres. Warlord on Chariot, Standard on Chariot, a Shaman with a unit of Berserkers, one large unit of Ogre Warriors, two small units – one standard and the other with 2-handed weapons, and finally, a unit each of Crossbows and Blunderbusses. And I think I may have forgotten a single-ogre unit that might be supposed to be in there as well.

Fighting for the Evil Team on the day was a battle-tested 1200pts of Pan-Elven force (Twilight Kin), led by a mounted High Priestess, A Dark Avenger Hero and Standard Bearer on Cold Ones. The troops were a large unit of Knights supported by Spearmen, Darksome Guard with 2-Handed weapons, Shadows, Wardancers (Blade-dancers), Gargoyles and Heralds of Woe (scout cavalry). Finally, a Reaper Bolt Thrower.

Their allies were 1200pts of Undead, worked out the day before and based on “What undead stuff do I have painted?” So an unusually hard-hitting, elite-style undead army with one unit of skeletons, one unit of ghouls, one small unit of mummies, 2 units of Wraiths (Army of the Dead), a unit of Werewolves (Rackham to the rescue, once again!) and a Balefire Catapult, all led by a Liche King, played ably on the night by the Mouth of Sauron.

Bad guys move across the table at speed.

The Forces of Light prepare to advance.

Prepaint Rackham Lion Knights Line up for the charge.

Their opposite numbers – Dark Elven Cold One Knights. Painted by eBay. (Except for the WIP bases, done by myself).

Paladin Knights charge into the slowly-retreating Dark Elves

The Armies maneouver across the battlefield while the evil generals confer.

Getting close to the big clash!

Paladin Cavalry wiped out, but here come the Ogre reinforcements!

The centre lines begin to make contact!

The side of Good surges forward!

The Grand Melee

Ogres smash into the Elves!

In the end, we played 4 full turns, no scenario. After one of our number let us know that he had to leave shortly, the game took off at a much faster pace. So we were finished by around about midnight with what was effectively a draw – 3 units destroyed on each side. Thanks to all for coming, and especially PE for taking photos, since I forgot to bring my camera out to the room several times, so all of these photos are thanks to him.

Overall I felt that the Undead and Elves had a significant advantage in that they both had an artillery piece each, while the good side had none (this will be rectified!) and a significant speed and manoeuvrability advantage – the Werewolves with Speed 9 and Elves with their fast cavalry (S9) units overwhelm all of the others (Ogres merely go from S6 on foot to S7 in a chariot for some reason) and the units with Fly all being on the Evil side – Gargoyles and 2 units of Wraiths. Again, this will be balanced out when the various armies that I’m building start to fill out towards 1500 and 2000pts.

Ogres will get Red Goblin Cavalry (played by wolves without goblin riders), and units of chariots (played by Ogre Stonetusk cavalry)

Gondor will get Trebuchets and Ballistas as well as Rangers of Ithilien and Swan Knights of Dol Amroth (using Elven Ranger and Elven Knight stats respectively, as befits the elite of Gondor – but no gunpowder or Ogre units, despite the KoM list, as I want the army to fit the Gondor theme.) As well as more foot troops. And eventually, they will be joined by my unpainted Rohirrim.

Basilea will get their Elohi Angelic units and possibly some exotics like Griffons and Phoenixes, as well as more foot troops.

The Undead will ironically, get more non-elite units – more skeletons, ghouls and zombies to fill out their numbers, as well as undead cavalry, wights and more heroes to Dark Surge their minions forward.

The Elves will be split into two forces (once a lot more painting happens – High (Blood) Elves with their woodland offsiders, and proper Druchii – Dark Elves. This will mean warhawks, and possibly treemen/Ents and perhaps a Phoenix on the High side, and things like Manticores, Hydras and even a Cauldron of Blood on the Dark side.

And then I can start on adapting Nurgle, Chaos Warriors, Beastmen and Chaos Dwarves. I really can’t wait for those

War Room – The Grand Opening and some games got played!

It’s been quiet on the blogging front for a few weeks now. While other lucky gamers around the world have been at Adepticon and Salute, I’ve been working on the room, which was all but complete by last Saturday, and had the electrician in again yesterday for the final touches (installing a second flouro light and some spotlights, as well as cabling the alarm and some other stuff). Now all that’s really left is a bit more clean-up, some blinds, and perhaps even a split system aircon/heater (at my awesome wife’s suggestion!)   So just shy of the lights being installed, some friends came over for a gaming night on Saturday. We started with a big game of KoW where I GMed/refereed the three players per side (I only remembered to take one pic, so no battle report unfortunately). Three of the six players had never played anything like this before, and so it was good to see just how easily non-wargamers could pick up the basics of the rules. They all had lots of RPG experience, so it wasn’t incredibly difficult.

The grand battle begins!

A 600-pt Pan-Elven force of Blood Elves (GW High Elves) and Dark Elves (GW) using the Twilight Kin list ally with 600 pts of Basileans (hastily assembled using Rackham Confrontation Lions pre-paints) and a small 300-pt contingent of Gondor/Kingdoms of Men infantry (GW) square off against 1200pts of Ogres (old GW & Mantic) and 300pts of “nature” (GW Wolves and GW Ent using the KoW Goblin rules for a Giant and Wolfriders). Through a combination of superior manoeuvre, the main ogre general being distracted the whole time, and some eagle-eyed sharpshooting and resilient defence from the Gondor contingent, the humand and elves carried the day in the end. The Ogre Warlord’s final devastating rampage through the Elven/Human lines not being enough to carry the day before he too was pulled down under weight of numbers. After that, we ate pizza and pasta, played a couple of games of SJG Frag!, and then finished up.   The following day, my 74-year old Mum came over for a visit. She ended up playing a game of KoW against my wife, while I once again refereed and offered advice to both sides.

The setup – Basileans vs Elves.

Allies just the previous night, the Elves and Basileans turned on one another and met across a green hilly field. My mum took the Basileans and my wife took on the Elves this time.

The armies clash!

Once again I forgot to take a lot of pictures, but the final outcome was a close one. It basically came down to a single (un?)lucky dice roll where the Elven Halberd (spear) phalanx survived a final round of shooting and magic from the Basileans, leaving the Elves with enough troops to declare the day victorious. If the Halberds had broken, it would have essentially been a drawn game. Which is not too shabby for a 74-year-old woman’s first wargaming experience. Once again, both sides enjoyed the game, which is what it’s all about for me. I also got all the bits of the “box” part of a light box sorted, so now I just need to pick up a (couple of) lamps tomorrow, and I’ll be good for photographing figures again – and at a higher quality (hopefully)!