I’m back with another Kings of War battle report – two in two days you lucky things!
I’m using the Twilight Kin again vs Steve Forester’s Goblins. This is my fourth game using Twilight Kin – you can read about my first game here.
The scenario was Control which can be a hard one to play vs Goblins as they have access to lots of cheap sources of unit strength that they can leave sat in a corner all game.
The core of my list is still very similar to my first game. I still have the same four unlocking units, two regiments of Abyssal Horsemen and two regiments of Kindred Archers.
I’ve swapped the Brew of Strength out for Elite on one of the Horsemen units. I needed the 10 points to spend elsewhere and on an 18 attack unit, the difference in results against Def4 and Def5 opponents is actually pretty small.
In the three games before this one, the Kindred Archers have been difficult to quantify. They’ve been very good at holding objectives and carrying loot tokens, but absolutely shite at shooting anything! This is slightly frustrating because they’re effectively doing the same job that a unit 20-30 points cheaper than them. I still plan to keep them in the list because Twilight Kin have no better options, but I definitely agree with the cries of all the other Elf players that knocking them down to Ra5 was unnecessary, especially with all the other nerfs to shooting in 3rd edition.
The biggest thing I’ve changed is how many points I have invested into Drain Life. In each of my games I’ve turned up the dial slightly until reaching the point I’m at now. Each time I’ve spent more points on Drain Life it’s proven to be points well spent so I’m going to keep going until I feel its an overinvestment.
In order to afford all this extra investment in Drain Life, I have had to reduce down to two Butcher hordes. This saved more points then I needed so I had points left over to add in a troop of Silverbreeze which do look excellent on paper.
I really like Steve’s list, its a great example of how Goblins can do combined arms really well – this list has real combat punch and a good amount of shooting.
The Mincer troops are excellent, the 100x100mm footprints are really good at navigating around the Trolls and Rabble regiments and they pack enough punch that they cannot be ignored.
I didn’t appreciate just how many Lightning Bolts this list can throw out and it comes back to bite me in this game.
I started off by deploying both Archer regiments on either flank – the plan was that they would sit at the back of the board all game and do their best to shoot off any soft targets that presented themselves.
Once we were fully deployed I decided on my plan for the game.
I knew that the Trolls and Mawbeasts would be limited in how quickly they could push up the board because of the woods in the middle of his line. I therefore decided that I would try and pin his forces in the bottom left two scoring zones.
I planned to use the Fiends, Silverbreeze and Butchers (2) to take the right bottom zone and then turn inwards to continue to pincer the Trolls and Mawbeasts. This was slightly scuppered when Steve deployed his final troop of Mincers (2) on the right flank, making it much stronger.
It was an ambitious plan but it at least gave me a general direction of travel to work with – I could then adapt on the fly as the game progressed.
I won the roll for first turn and opted to go first so that I could apply pressure early on and work on my plan to pin Steve in place.
Top of Turn 1
All of my units on the left hand side moved forward, keeping just out of charge range of the Trolls.
I pushed up the Gargoyles (2) quite aggressively, putting them in charge range of the Lobba’s next turn. They would have to endure a turn of lighting bolt from Magwa, but if they survived they would be in a good position next turn.
Both Archer regiments shot at units on either flank – they both did a point of damage and managed to waver the Mawbeasts (4).
Bottom of Turn 1
In response to my Horsemen and Butchers moving up, Steve brought his Mawbeasts forward to screen his Trolls – otherwise he held steady in the centre.
On his right flank he chose not to move at all. Magwa fired his Lighting Bolt at the Gargoyles (2) and managed to put 4 damage on them but thankfully didn’t waver or rout them.
All three Lobbas fired at Butchers (1) but they only took 1 damage – stealthy really helped out here as Steve rolled four 5’s to hit out of six shots. One Wiz cast Hex on the Crone and another put a point of damage on the Silverbreeze.
Overall it had been a pretty lacklustre shooting phase for the Goblins.
Top of Turn 2
Despite being in range to charge with the majority of my army, I decided to hold off and let him come to me. At the moment, my plan to keep Steve contained in the bottom two left scoring zones was working and I’d taken very little damage from his first turn of shooting – basically, I didn’t need to rush into combat.
On the left flank, the Soulbane moved him full 18″ to run behind Steve’s lines. If the Soulbane could take out the Mincer troop (1), a lot of Steve’s combat punch would be taken out. One thing that I didn’t account for when leaving the Soulbane out in the open was the amount of Lighting Bolts Steve’s list could throw out. I think after getting off so lightly in the first shooting phase, I’d become a little complacent.
The Gargoyles (2) charge the Lobba (3) and routed it. They pivoted to face the other Lobbas but made sure to keep Magwa in their flank. While this didn’t effect the number of attacks Magwa would have (he’s an individual so doesn’t double attacks in the flank), it did mean that if he chose to charge the Gargoyles (2), he would have to remain in range of the Fiends the following turn.
Both Archer regiments shot at their targets again, both doing another point of damage.
Overall I was fairly happy with this turn, I thought I was in a good position for the next turn and was starting to envelop Steve’s line.
Bottom of Turn 2
Steve began the push up with his Rabble, Trolls and Mawbeasts in the centre of the board. This meant that I would have to start engaging him next turn or risk him being able to cross into my half of the board.
Mawbeast troop (3) charge Butcher (2) and did a very respectable 4 damage to them, but at -/18 they weren’t very concerned about it.
Magwa charged and easily killed the Gargoyles (2), but couldn’t manage to get himself out of range of the Fiends charge the next turn.
Not happy with the sneaky Soulbane trying to infiltrate their back lines, all three Wiz moved backwards and opened up on the Soulbane with their lightning bolts, doing 5 damage and narrowly avoiding wavering him – so much for my plan of the Soulbane running around the back lines unopposed.
Both remaining Lobbas again fired at the Butchers, but both missed (two more 5’s rolled – stealthy was doing well for me this game!).
Top of Turn 3
Enough waiting around… charge!
I decided it was the time to commit across the board. If I waited any longer I would be taking charges on Steve’s terms not mine, so better to engage first and at least wipe out his Mawbeast screen before having to engage the Trolls.
The Butchers (2) killed the Mawbeasts that had charged them in the previous turn. The Crone’s Drain Life helped heal the Butchers (2) back up to full health, undoing all the Mawbeast’s good work.
On the right flank the Fiends charged Magwa, the Crone made use of her Boots of Levitation to move 18″ down the board and cast Drain Life on Magwa. Between the two of them, they managed to kill Magwa in one.
I had hoped that after killing Magwa I would be able to reform in a way that took me out of arc of the Mincer troop (2). This would have effectively let me pick off the remaining units on Steve’s right flank one at a time, supported by the Crone’s Drain Life and the Archer (2) and Silverbreeze shooting.
Sadly it was not to be – no matter how I rotated them there was no way to stop the Mincers getting a charge next turn.
The Silverbreeze and Archer regiment (2) both shot at the Mawbeast troop (4), routing them.
In the middle of the board, everything charged. The Abyssal Horsemen with Elite (and backed up by Drain Life 9) managed to break the Rabble horde in one go and turned to face the incoming Mincer troop.
The slightly smouldering Soulbane shrugged off his lighting bolt barrage and charged the Mincer troop (1), but only managed to do 3 damage.
Butcher (1) charged the Troll on the right, but as they were hindered they did very little only managing 1 damage. Not to worry, the Gargoyles (1) would block in the Mawbeast (2), protecting the Butchers (1) from getting flanked next turn. I’d be fine so long as the hindered Gargoyles (1) didn’t accidentally kill the Mawbeasts (2)…
Oh bugger they killed them! Oh well so long as my over run is more than 1″ I’ll still block the Trolls with the Strider Boots from being able to flank the Butchers (1)… I rolled 1″. Oh dear, that was going to hurt next turn.
The Horsemen with the Brew of Sharpness killed Mawbeast troop (1) and prepared themselves to receive the counter attack from the pathfinder Trolls.
It was not a good turn to be a Mawbeast!
While it seemed like Steve lost a lot of stuff this turn I was actually quite nervous about his next turn. I’d managed to kill his screening units, but I really needed to survive with as much as possible next turn to give me chance to start Drain Life’ing his squishier units (like his Wiz) to heal some damage back on the combat blocks.
Bottom on Turn 3
It was Steve’s turn to charge everything!
On the right flank, the Rabble (2) and the Mincer troop (2) charged the Fiends. Unfortunately the Mincer troops (2) leader point was further to the left than the Rabble’s (2) so they ended up on the left hand side, meaning they weren’t hindered. Together they did 8 damage to the Fiends and wavered them.
Both Lobbas and the Wiz with the Boomstick yet again fired at the Butcher (2). Both Lobbas missed (two more 5s!! – yes I was keeping track) but the lightning bolt got 2 damage through.
The other two Wiz continued their lighting barrage on the Soulbane. They only managed to do 1 more damage but it was enough to waver him. Clearly he’s had enough of being fried.
As expected, the Trolls with Jesse’s Boots flanked the Butchers (1) and easily routed them. They spun around 180 degrees to face the two Horsemen regiments.
The Mincer troop (1) and the Trolls with Pathfinder both charged a unit of Horsemen each. They both managed to do damage but not enough to really threaten them.
Top of Turn 4
In Turn 4, I started to think about what my strategy should be to try and win the game. My initial plan hard half worked – sort of.
For now at least I was manging to hold the Trolls in Steve’s half of the board – the issues was going to be the right flank. The Fiends would most likely die next turn, and that would give Steve at least two more turns to move his remaining units into better scoring positions. Between the two Rabble regiments and the Mincer troop (2) he had enough unit strength to hold both right scoring zones.
I would need to do something about the Rabble!
On the left hand side, Archer regiment (1) fired at the Rabble regiment (1), doing 2 more point of damage and killing them – one down!
On the right flank, I fired both the Archers and the Silverbreeze at the Rabble regiment (2), doing a decent 4 points of damage.
In the centre of the board, Butcher horde (2) charged the Trolls and in combination with Drain Life routed them in one. The Abyssal Horsemen with the Brew of Sharpness did an impressive 8 damage to the pathfinder Troll and wavered them. Sadly David Bowie was hanging around just behind them so they were headstrong.
The other Abyssal Horsemen regiment (backed up by Drain Life 9) managed to finish what the Soulbane started and killed the Mincer troop (1).
Bottom of Turn 4
Steve didn’t have many tactical options open to him this turn, instead he just needed to brawl his way into better position next turn.
The Wiz cast Hex on the Crone – its almost as if he was fed up being Drain Life’d every turn!
Both Lobbas fired at the Butchers (2) again and missed again! Sadly no 5’s rolled this time to add to my smug stealthy counter. The Inspiring Wiz managed to put 1 more damage on the Soulbane, wavering him again.
As expected the Mincer troop (2) blew through the heavily damaged Fiends and over ran towards the centre of the board.
Inspired by the mere presence of David Bowie within their midst, the pathfinder Trolls passed their Headstrong roll and then for good measure proceeded to do 11 damage to the Abyssal Horsemen regiment – routing them in one!
Despite heavy losses on both sides, Steve was in a good position. His right flank was now free to move with at least two turns left, and it was down to a straight 2v2 fight in the centre of the board. I thought I should be able to win the fight for the centre, but I wasn’t confident that I would have enough left when the dust settled to win the scenario.
Top of Turn 5
Continuing my plan of doing everything I could to even up the unit strength balance on the right flank, I shot the Silverbreeze, Archers (2) and the Crone into the Rabble regiments. Sadly due to a combination of mighty goblin shields and Kindred Archers being terrible at their job, I only managed to do 2 more damage.
The Abyssal Horseman with Elite charged the pathfinder Trolls. I felt that I needed to kill these last two units quickly before the Mincer troop (2) reinforcements arrived – so I decided to ignore the Hex on my Crone and cast Drain Life on the Trolls. Naturally, this meant that she rolled the most hits she had all game and did 8 damage to herself!
The Butcher’s (2) charged the Trolls, but as they were hindered didn’t manage to do much damage to them. Luckily for the Butchers, the Crone’s Drain Life had healed them back up to full health, so nothing short of a dairy based divine intervention would put them at risk of breaking next turn.
Bottom of Turn 5 – Dairy based divine intervention
You may have noticed that the Butchers (2) are dead…
Pizza Jesus proving yet again that he truly is the most powerful of all the dairy based deities – even more powerful than the mighty Fondue Ganesh.
Elsewhere the two Lobbas fired at the Silverbreeze – one hit and did 3 damage but didn’t waver/rout them meaning they still had a chance to help kill Rabble on Turn 6.
Proving that lightning can strike the same place twice but three times is pushing it, the Soulbane managed to avoid taking any damage this turn and was finally ready to rejoin the fight.
The Wiz cast Hex on the Drain Life 9 Crone this time, daring me to have another go at killing myself. The other Wiz wavered the Crone who had been Hexxed the previous turn.
Top of Turn 6
This was a key turn for me, as it was potentially my last chance to take off some of Steve’s unit strength.
The Abyssal Horsemen charged the pizza blessed Trolls. The flying Crone decided to ignore the Hex and hit the Trolls with Drain Life 9 – she did a very impressive 12 damage to herself but managed to push enough damage onto the Trolls to allow the Horsemen to break them.
The Soulbane killed one of the Wiz that had been harassing him all game.
On the right flank, the Kindred Archers once again did nothing (because apparently shooting bows is hard for 100+ year old Archers who’s been training to do it all their life?!), but the Silverbreeze showed that its easier to fire a bow while riding a horse at the same time – they did 1 more point of damage to the Rabble regiment (2) and routed them.
At the end of my Turn 6 I held four scoring zones and had reduced Steve to two scoring units. All I had to do now was cross my fingers that Steve’s shooting didn’t suddenly wake up on Turn 6 and take off my Abyssal Horsemen.
Bottom of Turn 6
Mercifully, the Abyssal Horsemen were only in the arc of one of the Lobbas… and it missed! Phew! The other Lobba fired at the Silver Breeze but also missed.
David Bowie charged the flying Crone and the Boomstick Wiz shot the Soulbane – both died happy in the knowledge that if the game ended now their sacrifice would not be in vain.
We rolled for turn 7 – and got it! I was going to have to endure another squeaky bum time shooting phase to see if my Horsemen could survive!
Top of Turn 7
The Abyssal Horsemen charged and killed David Bowie, making sure to stay out of the arc of Lobba (2) with their reform.
The Silverbreeze turned and managed to just squeeze themselves into the top middle scoring zone. This meant that if the two Crones could kill the Mincer troop (2) with Drain Life, I would still win the game even if the Lobbas managed to kill another one of my units.
Sadly the Crones couldn’t quite mange it.
Bottom of Turn 7
I had to endure two squeaky bum time artillery shots against the Archer regiment (2) and the Abyssal Horsemen – but luck was on my side this time and all of the shots missed.
The Mincer troop (2) moved into top centre scoring zone bagging Steve a very well deserved two points.
The Final Result
At the end of Turn 7 I had manged to hold out to win by 4-3.
Steve played really well and it was a brilliant game – if his shooting had gone differently for him in the last few turn, it would have been a very different outcome.
For the most part I was happy with how I played the game. My plan to contain the Trolls had worked pretty well. I took a few unexpected casualties and I think on more average rolls I would have had more units left alive in the centre of the board
The right flank didn’t work anywhere near as well and I was definitely over optimistic there. I’m not sure I could have done much differently and it worked out for the best in the end – but that was more down to luck than skill.
Thoughts on My List
Seeing as this is already a very long blog post, I’ve decided to put my thoughts on my list and Twilight Kin in general into a separate post. So watch out for that in the next few days.