I’m back with another battle report, this time I’m trying out a brand new army for me, Twilight Kin vs the Ratkin of Mark Cunningham. Mark is currently working on a Ratkin army that may be a little unsuitable for a family friendly blog, so lets just say that the Twilight Kin were going to be playing against some Rats of…. ill repute.
This battle report will be the first of the four games I’ve played so far with Twilight Kin. I have another report coming in a few days time that was the fourth game I played with them. At the end of that report I’ll spend a bit of time going through the changes I’ve made to my list and share some of my experiences with Twilight Kin so far.
The more eagle eyed amongst you will realise that my list is actually illegal. The Summoner Crone cannot upgrade to Drain Life 9 alongside a mount. Seeing as I only realised this in turn 1, we decided just to play the Crone as Drain Life 6 for the game and have the 30 points I spent on the upgrade be my punishment for not reading the book properly!
This is my first go writing a list for Twilight Kin so I went for units that looked strong on paper and worked from there. The first thing I found was the lack of unlocks available in the list, especially the lack of horde unlocks. I’ve heard this said about Twilight Kin before but when I started to properly build a list I realised just how much of an issue it was; and how much it would force me down a very set list building path.
Cronebound Butchers seemed to be incredibly good value at only 200 points, so I decided to triple down and take three hordes to form a solid anchor point to centre my lines.
The Horsemen seemed like a ‘must take’ unit – one of the few competitive unlocks available and a very good all round hammer unit. Fiends seemed to be a good pairing with the Horsemen.
Two regiments of Kindred Archers round out the unlocks, their purpose in the list is to sit on objectives and try and shoot off soft targets where they can.
I won the roll for sides and chose to deploy at the top of the board. This instantly gave me control of two of the five objectives, with two more easily within range to move on to.
I decided that my plan for the game would be to ignore the bottom objective and instead focus on the other four.
This would hopefully mean that his Decimators horde (which I was terrified of) would be kept out of the game for quite a while, as it couldn’t stray far from the bottom objective if it wanted to score it late game (Dwarfs only have little legs).
I deployed my three Butcher hordes in the midst of all of the objective. These Def5 -/18 blocks were my best bet for holding out until the end of the game and winning the scenario. Mark had quite a lot of shooting between the Katsuchan’s and the Nightmares, but I wasn’t too worried about that because A) the majority of my army was stealthy and B) he’d deployed his Nightmares behind his Slave Wretches, meaning I would have stealthy and cover against his shooting.
I put my three heaviest hitting units out on the right flank in order to make Mark choose between committing hard for the objectives, but exposing his flanks, or guarding his flanks but slowing down his advance on the objectives.
One thing I was nervous about was the Slave Wretch horde with the Crystal Pendant. He’d deployed it front and centre (on Slave Wretch (2)) so I would be forced to deal with it. I had a plan for that however…
Top of Turn 1
I won the roll off for turn 1 and opted to go first.
All three Butcher hordes pushed up, but made sure to stay out of range of the Decimators and Nightmares, even if they moved in their turn. I moved the Fiends into and Horsemen with Brew of Strength up on the right to immediately start putting pressure on his Slave Wretch hordes (3). While the Slave hordes aren’t great at killing things, they do have a lot of nerve so I was keen to get into them early on to start wearing them down.
Archer regiment (1) put a point of damage on the Slave Warrior regiment. The hope was that they would be able to waver and then kill them before it got in range to threaten the Archers (1).
Archer regiment (2) put a point of damage Slave Wretch horde (2), the one with the Crystal Pendant… its a start!
The Soulbane pushed up fast on the right flank, using the Height 6 rocks to keep out of line of sight of the Overmaster. From where he was, he had a charge next turn on both Katsuchans and the right most Slave Wretches (3).
Gargoyles (3) moved forward 20″ and pivoted 90 degrees. This meant that they were just out of the front arc of the Overmaster, but sadly they were also just out of 20″ range of Katsuchan (3).
The Abyssal Horsemen with Brew of Sharpness moved up more slowly, making sure that the Overmaster didn’t have any room to land safely where he could start to threaten my flank.
Bottom of Turn 1
For the most part, Mark chose to be very conservative with his turn 1 movements, hoping to thin me down a little with his shooting before moving himself into charge range.
The Slave Warrior regiment moved their full 12″ forward, instantly putting the Archers (1) under pressure. Slave Nightmare horde (3) turned 90 degrees to look towards the right flank. This was a nice move on Mark’s part, because it prevented my Gargoyles (2) from moving 20″ behind his line next turn and threatening his rear.
Other than that he stayed put, including with his Overmaster. I have to admit I though this was a mistake. I’m not sure if he was nervous about being flanked/ reared by the Gargoyles, but where he is there, he isn’t doing much good and isn’t putting out much of a threat for next turn.
After the game, Mark told me that he had eyeballed the range of the Overmaster and thought that he’d be able to flank my Fiends if they charged the Wretches (3) next turn. Unfortunately for him, he was out by just under 1″…
Katsuchan (1) fired at the Butchers on the hill and did 1 damage. The other two fired at the Fiends in the woods, but thanks to stealthy they only did 1 damage there as well.
Top of Turn 2
Seeing as Mark was seeming cautious about advancing, I decided to take advantage of the situation and pin him in the corner. This suited me very well, because it meant that I could take the fight to him, while still being in control of the central objective markers.
If Mark had pushed up more aggressively on his first turn, he would have been fighting for the tokens. Instead he now had to kill me AND have enough time to move forward on to the objectives.
Archer regiment (1) shot at the Slave Warrior regiment but only managed to do 1 damage to them. This meant that they were going to take a charge from the Warriors next turn, but I wasn’t too worried seeing as the Warriors were Me5 and the Archers are Def4 and 14/16.
The Fiends (with the Caterpillar Potion) charge out of the woods at Slave Wretch (3), doing 11 damage and wavering them.
The Abyssal Horsemen with the Brew of Strength charged Slave Wretch (2), the ones with the Crystal Pendant of Retribution.
I wasn’t too worried – 18 attacks on 3s and 2s shouldn’t kill the horde, especially with them having Rally (2) just behind them.
The gamble paid off and the Abyssal Horsemen did a good amount of damage to Slave Wretch (2) but failed to rout them. And I had a plan for next turn…
Gargoyle (1) moved forward to block in Slave Wretch (1). This was particularly bad for Mark, because it also blocked in all of this Nightmare hordes behind the Wretches.
On the right flank, the Soulbane charged and killed Katsuchan (2), putting him position to either harass the back of Mark’s main battle lines, or ground the Overmaster stopping him from flanking my units.
I moved the Gargoyles (3) and Abyssal Horsemen with the Brew of Sharpness up behind the Height 6 rock, so that they could threaten the flanks of Mark’s army while remaining out of line of sight of the Overmaster.
In hindsight, I think this was a mistake as I opened up the possibility of Mark moving the Overmaster to the top right of the rocks, out of arc of the Horsemen and out of line of sight of the Soulbane.
This would have meant that the Overmaster could threaten the flanks of my army unopposed.
Luckily for me, Mark missed this.
Bottom of Turn 2
Instead of moving to the top of the rocks, the Overmaster moved to the bottom of the rocks facing the centre of the board. This still meant that he was threatening flanks on all of my army and was safe from being charged by the Abyssal Horsemen with the Brew of Sharpness, but it did mean that my Soulbane had a charge on him – and so had the potential to ground him.
The Slave Warrior regiment charged the Archer regiment (1) and did a worrying 4 damage to them, wavering them. The Katsuchan and Decimators opened up on Butcher horde (1) doing an impressive 9 damage to them even with stealthy.
Slave Wretch (1) charged the Gargoyles (1) that were blocking them in, but they just clipped the woods and were hindered, meaning they were hitting the Gargoyles on 6’s. They only managed 3 damage and wavered them.
Slave Wretch (2) counter charged the Abyssal Horsemen with the Brew of Strength, doing 4 damage but failing to waver them.
Top of Turn 3
The heavily damaged Butchers charged the Decimators in the woods. They were hindered so unlikely to do much damage, but it would at least stop them from shooting next turn.
The Abyssal Horsemen with the Brew of Strength backed away from the Slave Wretch horde (2), in fear of setting off their Crystal Pendant. Instead the Gargoyles (2) charged in, valiantly throwing themselves onto the ratty grenade! Both Summoner Crones joined in on Slave Wretch (2) with their Drain Life, taking the horde up to 15 damage in total. The Gargoyles (2) only managed to waver the horde, but this actually worked out better for me because it kept the Nightmares held up for yet another turn.
The Fiend horde finished off the Slave Wretch (3) horde, and took 3 damage from the Last Breath.
On the right flank, the Soulbane managed to slip through the all important 1 point of damage on the Overmaster, grounding him in place and keeping my army’s flank secure. The Gargoyles (3) charged Katsuchan (3), damaging it but failing to rout.
Bottom of Turn 3
On the left flank, the Decimator horde with the Hammer of Measured Force made light work of the Butcher horde (1) and turned in towards the centre. The Slave Wretch horde (1) again only managed to waver the Gargoyles(1), keeping a good chunk of his army well and truly stuck in place.
The Warrior regiment did 1 more point of damage to the Archer regiment (1) and wavered them again. I would have to start doing something about them soon or risk losing one of my key objective holding units.
Katsuchan (1) and Slave Nightmare (1) & (2) all fired at the Abyssal Horsemen on the hill doing 5 damage to them but luckily failing to waver.
The Overmaster killed the Soulbane in one and was now released to start wreaking havoc on my flanks, but was it too little too late?!
Golekh managed to pull off a nimble charge to join the Slave Nightmare horde (3) going into the Fiends. Combined, they managed to rout them in one. While this was good for Mark, it left him in a dodgey position with Golekh. He couldn’t stay where he was, or else he would be charged in the flank by the Abyssal Horsemen on the hill. So instead he opted to back up D3 and rolled… 3″. This meant that he could be charged in the flank by the other Horsemen instead. Out of the frying pan and into the fire!
Top of Turn 4
Taking advantage of the unexpected opportunity, the Abyssal Horsemen with the Brew Sharpness charged Goleck in the flank, routing him. Unfortunately (for me), the Horsemen had to turn back around to face the Overmaster, giving up the opportunity to flank or rear the rest of Mark’s army.
Butcher horde (3) charged the flank of Slave Nightmare horde (3) but only managed a measly 5 points of damage.
Summoner Crone (1) turned around and Drain Life’d the Warrior regiment, doing enough damage to rout them.
Keen to avoid charging the Slave Wretch horde (2) with the Crystal Pendant, the Abyssal Horsemen with the Brew of Strength pivoted 90 degrees and charged the flank of Slave Wretch (1), routing them.
Gargoyles (2), who had wavered Slave Wretch (2) the previous turn, flew over the top of the horde and charged the Slave Nightmare horde (1) in the flank – only doing 2 damage.
The Summoner Crone and Archer regiment (2) shot the Slave Wretch horde (2) and took it up to 18 damage, but only managed to waver it again – they really didn’t want to die before using their Crystal Pendant on something worthwhile!
Bottom of Turn 4
Nightmare horde (1) ignored the Gargoyles (2) in their flank and decided to charge Gargoyles (1) instead to punish them for holding up the Slave Wretches for so long – finally routing them.
Katsuchan (1) and the Decimator horde shot at the Abyssal Horsemen with the Brew of Strength and took them back to 7 damage… again. Between regeneration and Drain Life healing, the Horsemen had sustained about 15 points of damage at this point and were still going strong.
The Overmaster and Slave Nightmare horde (3) charge the Butchers (3) that had miserably failed to kill the Nightmares (3) – their combined strength broke the Butchers in one. Both the Overmaster and the Nightmares turned round to threaten the flank of the Abyssal Horseman with the Brew of Sharpness.
Top of Turn 5
Butcher horde (2) and Gargoyles (2) charged the Decimator horde, doing a decent amount of damage but failing to break them.
The Archer regiment (2) did 1 point of damage to the Slave Wretch horde (2) and finally broke them. The Gargoyles (3) backed up by Drain Life broke the Nightmare horde (3). The Abyssal Horsemen with the Brew of Sharpness turned around to avoid being charged in the flank by the Overmaster.
On the left, the Abyssal Horsemen with the Brew of Strength killed the Nightmare horde (1) for daring to kill my precious Gargoyles! They turned around to face the middle horde of Nightmares (2).
Bottom of Turn 5
The Katsuchan (1) shot at the Archer regiment (1)… and missed.
The Overmaster charged the Abyssal Horseman with the Brew of Sharpness, doing some damage… but failed to break them.
The Decimators counter charged the Butcher horde (2)… but failed to break them.
The Slave Nightmare horde (2) charged the Abyssal Horsemen with the Brew of Strength… but failed to break them.
There was an unfortunate theme for Mark this turn.
Top of Turn 6
The Gargoyles (3) flew off and landed on the middle objective.
The Nightmares and Decimators were routed on the counter charge – the Overmaster took damage but held. I’d like to tell you it was anyone’s game going in to the bottom of Turn 6, but that wouldn’t quite be true…
Bottom of Turn 6
The Overmaster routed the Horsemen at turned around to face his IMPENDING DOOM!
Katsuchan (1) finally hit the Archer regiment (1)… but failed to break them.
We rolled for Turn 7 and got it – sorry Mark.
Top of Turn 7
After Game Thoughts
Mark was a great opponent using a list that many people consider to be underpowered.
His main issue turned out to be his deployment – his army was so bunched up that when the Wretch hordes wavered, he couldn’t get any of his units in a position to deliver a counter attack. He was also hampered by the amount of stealthy I had in my list.
As I said at the start, this is part one of two battle reports I’ve written up for the Twilight Kin, so I’ll go into more detail on my thoughts on the army and my list at the end of the second game.
My initial impressions with the Twilight Kin are very positive. I do think the lack of actual elves in my list is a shame, but I don’t see a competitive way to change that at the moment. From this game I also learnt how important Drain Life is for the Twilight Kin – their units are strong, but relatively few and the highest nerve value in my list is 18. The healing factor from Drain Life can help to significantly increase the longevity of the list.
Game 2 vs Steve’s Goblins coming in a few days time.